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Pauline Authorship undisputed!

Updated: May 5

**Here I will dispel the idea that several of the Pauline epistles were not written by Paul** Romans, 1 & 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, & Philemon are all attributed to Paul by consensus. There is no real debate concerning authorship among these works. Ephesians, 1 & 2 Timothy, Colossians, 2 Thessalonians, & Titus are disputed.

Ephesians, This book is autographed in the first verse, Paul directly identifies himself. Ephesians is written in first person. The style and authority Paul displays in other epistiles is also on display in Ephesians, no other writer of that time has this style nor the authority that Paul uses. His use of his sufferings as honor and his metaphors are pronounced as is consistent with Pauline authorship. Finally Paul establishes the work by verse 21-22.

" 21 Tychicus, the dear brother and faithful servant in the Lord, will tell you everything, so that you also may know how I am and what I am doing. 22 I am sending him to you for this very purpose, that you may know how we are, and that he may encourage you."

Only Paul could have done this for had anyone else done so then Tychicus could not have attested to the things Paul described.

The following expository explains the various reasonings quite well.

1 Timothy, Again this work is autographed in the first verse. Moreover, the entire first chapter is a recollection of specifics concerning Timothy's time with Paul.

This epistle written to Timothy containing such specific information between Paul and Timothy speaks volumes that Paul is indeed the author. Verse 18 speaks of a prophecy made of Timothy. Verse 20 speaks of Hymenaeus and Alexander, whom Timothy must have been familiar with. The second chapter speaks of Paul's intention to visit and leaves instructions in case of a delay. This would not work unless the author was Paul. The same authority is used in giving instruction.

The argument against Pauline authorship is that 1st & 2nd Timothy, and Titus are written in different vernacular. The doctrines of other Pauline works are not present in the pastoral epistles, and that there is a later date for these epistles. Let us examine these claims.

Different vernacular.. Lets begin by agreeing the language is a bit different but not THAT different. Why? What causes this shift in conversation? A couple things are apparent. First, these are personal letters, not letters to churches but letters to dear friends and loved ones. They SHOULD appear different. an instruction or doctrinal thesis to a church is a very different thing than writing a letter to a close friend. There would be a bigger issue here if these were more similar as the intent and audience of these documents would not match the content. What's more, do we really expect the same instructions and doctrinal issues to be addressed in each church no matter what the church is experiencing and needing? Even those epistles that are attributed to Paul by nearly all scholars do not carry the same doctrinal message or instructions. If they did, there would not be much need to write them. Simply referring to what had been written previously would have sufficed.

The Date of Paul's pastoral writings?

Talking to atheist I am given a date of the first letter to Timothy as pseudapigaghra near the year 110 AD.

Ehrman, Bart (2003). The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings. Oxford University Press. p. 393. ISBN 0-19-515462-2.

This is simply not possible. How do we know?

We know for a few reasons.

The letter was sent to Ephesus. 1 timothy 1:3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer.

Acts 16

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek.2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him.3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek.

All of these cities are close to one another along the journey from Tarsus to Troas. This letter would have made it to Timothy's home town in less than a month and as quickly as only two weeks. If this was not written to timothy, as he died in 97AD, and had contained such details as discussed, there is no possible way this would have been received as authentic. Can you imagine receiving a letter of a loved relative that mentions such details and people that never occurred merely 30 years after their passing and accepting this as authentic? That this letter was spread from France to Jerusalem to Africa from its reception in Ephesus does not speak to the plausabity of it being a fradulent work.

2 Timothy, Again we begin with an autograph and again it is addressed to Timothy who knew Paul quite well. Verse 5 speaks of Timothy's matriarchy and the faith contained therein, very intimate knowledge that is not reasonably acquired by someone other than Paul or a traveling companion. The previous verse speaks of tears being shed by Timothy, again pointing to a close relationship, one not even a traveling companion of Paul's would have recalled or mentioned. Again in verse 15 Paul recalls a desertion of believers that Timothy was aware of. Verse 18 speaks of Onesiphorus and the shared experience of this person assisting Paul. This verse also shows Paul visiting Ephesus at one time lending evidence to the authorship of Ephesians. Verse 17 in chapter 2 mentions Hymenaeus and Philetus, and warns Timothy against their heresies as though Timothy knows of these men, another shared experience. In chapter 3 we find the following

"10 You, however, know all about my teaching, my way of life, my purpose, faith, patience, love, endurance, 11 persecutions, sufferings—what kinds of things happened to me in Antioch, Iconium and Lystra, the persecutions I endured."

More shared experience, even a great many shared experiences and much time together. It is unreasonable to consider that Timothy would not have known Paul's writing from a student's writings. At the end we find these remarks

"9 Do your best to come to me quickly, 10 for Demas, because he loved this world, has deserted me and has gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, and Titus to Dalmatia. 11 Only Luke is with me. Get Mark and bring him with you, because he is helpful to me in my ministry. 12 I sent Tychicus to Ephesus. 13 When you come, bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas, and my scrolls, especially the parchments."

and again

"19 Greet Priscilla[a] and Aquila and the household of Onesiphorus. 20 Erastus stayed in Corinth, and I left Trophimus sick in Miletus. 21 Do your best to get here before winter. Eubulus greets you, and so do Pudens, Linus, Claudia and all the brothers and sisters.[b]"

Any other author saying these things is unreasonable and makes no sense.

References to 1st & 2nd Timothy.

I recommend CPH for further study on this


Everything mentioned above as hallmarks of Pauline authorship can be applied to Titus as well. We find the same specific instructions, the same authority used, and an autograph at the beginning. It is entirely written in first person. There is no autograph at the end.

Lets examine some scholarly work on the subject.

" Leaving Rome in 63 A.D Paul probably went east to Greece (Phil. 2:24) and then to Asia (P remained for several months, working at Ephesus. Thence in 64 A.D. he probably went to Crete and labored for some time. In the latter part of that year he may fulfilled his long delayed purpose of carrying the gospel to Western Europe. 15:28), a mission which is referred to in the earliest patristic writings as actually accomplished by Paul. On his return in 66AD he seems to have gone again to Crete, and on left Titus in charge of the churches there. Then he revisited Ephesus, where Timothy was placed as overseer of the work and he himself went on.

Votaw, Clyde Weber. “The Epistles of Paul to Timothy and Titus.” The Biblical World, vol. 7, no. 2, 1896, pp. 130–38. JSTOR, Accessed 5 May 2023.

This is severely convoluted and fits nothing in the data or even in the life and death of Paul or Timothy.

Acts 16

Paul came to Derbe and then to Lystra, where a disciple named Timothy lived, whose mother was Jewish and a believer but whose father was a Greek. 2 The believers at Lystra and Iconium spoke well of him. 3 Paul wanted to take him along on the journey, so he circumcised him because of the Jews who lived in that area, for they all knew that his father was a Greek. 4 As they traveled from town to town, they delivered the decisions reached by the apostles and elders in Jerusalem for the people to obey. 5 So the churches were strengthened in the faith and grew daily in numbers.

6 Paul and his companions traveled throughout the region of Phrygia and Galatia, having been kept by the Holy Spirit from preaching the word in the province of Asia. 7 When they came to the border of Mysia, they tried to enter Bithynia, but the Spirit of Jesus would not allow them to. 8 So they passed by Mysia and went down to Troas. 9 During the night Paul had a vision of a man of Macedonia standing and begging him, “Come over to Macedonia and help us.” 10 After Paul had seen the vision, we got ready at once to leave for Macedonia, concluding that God had called us to preach the gospel to them.

It is obvious that this is the first time Paul went to Greece. Timothy was left in the area of Ephesus

1 Timothy 1

Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the command of God our Savior and of Christ Jesus our hope,

2 To Timothy my true son in the faith:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and Christ Jesus our Lord.

3 As I urged you when I went into Macedonia, stay there in Ephesus so that you may command certain people not to teach false doctrines any longer 4 or to devote themselves to myths and endless genealogies. Such things promote controversial speculations rather than advancing God’s work—which is by faith. 5 The goal of this command is love, which comes from a pure heart and a good conscience and a sincere faith. 6 Some have departed from these and have turned to meaningless talk. 7 They want to be teachers of the law, but they do not know what they are talking about or what they so confidently affirm..

I can find nothing telling me that there was a journey to Greece after imprisonment in Rome. All journey atlas' or accounts I can find tell us that Paul never left Rome as is constant with Scripture.

The accepted date for Paul's death is 64 AD but some say 67AD.

We know Paul was placed on house arrest for a time between roman imprisonments. “When we entered Rome, Paul was allowed to live by himself with the soldier who guarded him” (Acts 28:16).

We do know Paul was killed in Rome there is no record of him ever leaving Rome. Those who claim otherwise make grave and obvious error.

"Paul's imprisonment in Rome during the next two years is surprisingly fruitful, as he writes four of his fourteen epistles (Ephesians, Colossians, Philippians and Philemon). He is ultimately acquitted of all the charges against him and is freed in 63 A.D. In regard to the timing of his imprisonment in the city of seven hills, an excellent treatise on his life and journeys states the following.

"Apostle Paul was at Rome precisely at that time when the Palatine was the most conspicuous spot on the earth, not merely for crime, but for splendor and power. This was the center of all the movements of the Empire. "Here were heard the causes of all Roman citizens who had appealed to Caesar. Hence were issued the orders to the governors of provinces, and to the legions on the frontier" (Life and Epistles of Paul by Conybeare and Howson).

Paul's fifth and final missionary journey begins when he is set free in Rome. He immediately travels to the island of Crete, then Nicopolis, then makes his promised journey to Spain (Romans 15:24, 28) and likely to Britain."

Except that Romans 15 says

"17 Therefore I glory in Christ Jesus in my service to God. 18 I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what I have said and done— 19 by the power of signs and wonders, through the power of the Spirit of God. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ. 20 It has always been my ambition to preach the gospel where Christ was not known, so that I would not be building on someone else’s foundation. 21 Rather, as it is written:

“Those who were not told about him will see, and those who have not heard will understand.”[g]

22 This is why I have often been hindered from coming to you.

23 But now that there is no more place for me to work in these regions, and since I have been longing for many years to visit you, 24 I plan to do so when I go to Spain. I hope to see you while passing through and to have you assist me on my journey there, after I have enjoyed your company for a while. 25 Now, however, I am on my way to Jerusalem in the service of the Lord’s people there. 26 For Macedonia and Achaia were pleased to make a contribution for the poor among the Lord’s people in Jerusalem. 27 They were pleased to do it, and indeed they owe it to them. For if the Gentiles have shared in the Jews’ spiritual blessings, they owe it to the Jews to share with them their material blessings. 28 So after I have completed this task and have made sure that they have received this contribution, I will go to Spain and visit you on the way. 29 I know that when I come to you, I will come in the full measure of the blessing of Christ."

Illicium is the province of Rome across the sea west of Italy. This is as far as Paul had ever traveled to this point. Paul had not yet visited Rome at this point per the referred text.

Colossians This book was authored by Timothy and Paul as stated in the beginning. The second person narrative is carried in the first part of the book and then again in 4:2. It is clear in the first part Paul is speaking of himself and Timothy. However at the end of the book Paul says He is writing this with his own hand, something we do not find often. Given also the number of persons mentioned as well as various specific instructions From 4:7- 18 we find a continuous list of persons and specific instructions. Such specification would indicate not only the knowledge of such persons on Paul's behalf, but also the recipients knowing of Paul's authority and authorship. Timothy was certainly with Paul at the time of the writing of Colossians and may have even offered suggestions to be included in the letter. Pauline authorship should not be contested as the evidence is overwhelming in this case.

2 Thessalonians

The autograph here is "Paul, Silas, & Timothy. Again it is written in second person throughout the entire 1st chapter. First person does not begin until 2:5, then 2:13 switches back to second person and continues to the end. The last verse Paul tells us that this is by his own hand and is a mark of his works, and that this is his distinguishing characteristic of Paul's letters. (Verse 3:17).

Romans 16:22 seems to disagree with this.

Here we have a scholarly explanation that does not sway to either extreme but instead provides an evidential and logical approach to what is happening concerning Paul's writings, be it by scribe, by fellow worker, or by Paul's own hand. It appears that the common practice was to employ a scribe in some instances but to write personally in others. It is also quite common for the author to add personal remarks after the scribe has finished the work. These indeed are signatures in Paul's own hand while the rest of the book may have been penned by various persons at Paul's direction. We find this in many works of that time in Roman, Greek, and other cultures. This practice was quite the norm.

Finally we have a contemporary witness verifying the writings of Paul. Peter tells us "He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction." 2 Peter 3:16 The Phrase "as they do in other scriptures" tells us without question that the writings of Paul were considered scripture by the apostle. This also provides a very early date for the writings of Paul.

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