Female leadership in the Christian Scriptures (New Testament)
Arguments from biblical silences; forgeries
Arguments from silences in the Bible:
One can often learn from what the Bible does not say. For example:
Forged and counterfeit writings in the Bible:
We are using these terms with reference to today's value systems. For example, if someone wrote in 1998 an essay in the form of an encyclical by Pope John XXIII, and attempted to pass it off as an unknown work of the Pope, then we would consider it a forgery or counterfeit. If someone write today a speech in the style of George Washington and tried to publish it as if it were written by the first President, we would also consider it a forgery.
But things were a little different in the 1st and 2nd century CE. It was quite an accepted practice at that time for followers of a great philosopher or religious thinker to write material which emulated their leader. They passed it off as if that leader wrote it. However, even in those early days, passages designed to negate the earlier teachings of Paul (as in 1 Corinthians 14:33b-35) would not normally have been considered accepted practice.
We use the term forger and counterfeiter to emphasize that the passages were written by person or persons unknown.
There were dozens of gospels, large numbers epistles, and even a few books on the style of Revelation that were considered religious texts by various movements within the early Christian church. When some of these were selected to form the official canon of the Christian Scriptures (New Testament), the main criteria was whether the book was written by an apostle or someone very close to an apostle. The canon was regarded as inerrant, as inspired by God.
From the perspective of history, liberal and mainline theologians now believe that many books were not written by the authors that they claim to be written by. For example, they suggest that the author of Ephesians, 2 Thessalonians, 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy, and Titus are unknown, while Colossions is only probably by Paul. They believe that most were written long after Paul's execution. This puts their legitimacy in question. They also believe that unknown persons later inserted their own writings into some of their books. If these beliefs are valid, then those passages cannot be considered inerrant because they were not in the original manuscripts.
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