Monday, February 10, 2020

Interview With Stephen Boyce on "Myths About Autographs"
Click to Play YouTube Video

Here is an interview that I had with Stephen Boyce of City Light Church. We talked about my chapter "Myths About Autographs: What They Were and How Long They May Have Survived" in "Myths and Mistakes sin New Testament Textual Criticism" (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2019). We discussed the definition of "Autograph" as it pertains to the New Testament writings and doctrinal statements, ancient publication, letter carriers, scribes, and textual corruption.


  1. Hi Timothy,
    The link to the interview did not work for me.

  2. Timothy,
    First, this interview is a great follow up to your article in the book. This interview clarifies, for me, several areas in your article. One area I still find ‘open’, for lack of a better description, is the area of co-authors. I understand that in the wider culture this seems to have occurred and clearly Tertius mentions that he was the one who penned Romans, yet do we have an actual evidence that Tertius or Timothy, et al. we’re involved in the wording of any letters? Don’t we in fact have, in the case of Paul, him acknowledging that a letter is his, even when another pens it by Paul affixing his signature/ending? The discussion on conversations with those around Paul on how to deal with an or Paul not having been to Colossae are significantly different than attributing the actual words of scripture to these individuals.

    1. Timothy, thank you for listening to the interview. I am pleased it was helpful despite my drawbacks as a speaker.
      As far as coauthors go, E. Randolf Richards is the source to go to. I will leave a link at the bottom of the comment to the relevant pages that are viewable on Google Books preview. In short, Philemon provides a good example of how Paul includes co-adressies at the beginning of the letter (signalling cocontributors to the content) and includes greetings from those that were with him at the closing of the letter. Go to page 32 and read from there. You will find Richards's arguments and can decide for yourself if they are worthy of consideration.

    2. The fullest and best study on co-senders is by Karen Fulton. She shows that co-senders were not co-authors. Rather, their names were included to show that they endorsed the contents of the letters. I discuss this on my blog and there is a link there to Fulton's work.

      Paul includes as co-senders those who had helped him found the community of believers to whom he is writing. The endorsement of these people naturally had weight.

      In 1 Thess and 2 Cor Paul uses the first person plural. This is because in both these letters Paul is responding to information about the addressees that has come to him from his co-sender, Timothy (whose praenomen was Titus). In these two letters Timothy had a larger role than he did in the other letters, but it is not clear to me that he did any of the dictating.

  3. Thank you Richard for highlighting the excellent reference.