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The Significance of Parallels between 2 Peter and other Early Christian Literature
AcBib 10
Publication Date
October 2002


065010P-GilmourSeveral early Christian texts lack sufficient information to determine such things as when, where, and to whom they were written. Historians have often attempted to locate such texts in history by comparing them to other writings for which date, provenance, audience, and authorship are known. Similarities and differences between them are often introduced to discussions as a basis for historical reconstruction, with varying degrees of success. Gilmour explores this approach to the reconstruction of earliest Christianity, using the pseudonymous 2 Peter as a test case. He develops criteria which help determine if literary parallels are the result of literary dependence, lists possible pitfalls for historical reconstruction based on literary parallels, and considers the possible relationship between 2 Peter and the Pastoral Epistles (1, 2 Timothy, and Titus).

Michael J. Gilmour is Assistant Professor of New Testament at Providence College in Otterburne, Manitoba.