Saturday, January 10, 2009

Take the Paul-Skeptic Challenge

Photobucket



There is a skeptic who wirtes an entire blog aimed at destroying Paul as an evidental source for the NT. At least I think that's his aim, its certanly the obvious implied effect. The Blog is Paul, an apostle? really? That's not a loaded title is it? As if that's not enough he also issues a big brave challenge:

"doubts on Paul, a challenge to harmonize Paul with Paul
by Paul Sceptic


By the time someone issues a big brave challenge to the "other side" to prove something they usually don't care care what those meeting the challenge have to say.He has to be so convinced that he's right to be confident enough to issue a challenge, so he's not going to be open to listening to the answers. Be that as it may, what I intend to do is to first point out why the whole thing is wrong headed from the get go, then I'll throw out some answers to the specifics of the challenge just so the lurkers will see these things are not cut and dried.

Before getting started I point to my page on Biblical inspiration Because I think the error here comes from an inadequate understanding of inspiration itself. This so called "Paul Skeptic" is concentrated that there's discrepancy in the time line and that's suppossed to invalidate Paul as an authoritative source. But what is the founding assumption in back of that? It has to be the Assumption that if the document is wrong on one point then he whole thing is wrong. This can only because of one of two things: either he assumes that if Paul was there he would know, therefore, Acts must be wrong because its not written by an eye witness; or the must assume that to be wrong it has not be inspired and therefore has no value as a religious text. Both assumptions are false.


Eye witnesses can forget time spans. We all distort time in our minds. The skeptic assumption is that we can't trust if there's is a mistake. The assumption here is there's only one model of revelation and that has to be verbatim, verbal plenary inspiration with inerrency of the text.The assumption is "O we can't trust anything they say if we they are wrong on one little knit picky point. If God is there and wants us to be saved he has to make it real clear with no problems at all..." This s all very foolish, as though if he can't remember a gap in a three week period then he can't remember if Jesus is the son of God or if adultery is wrong! He's out to lunch on this because he's simply assuming the fundamentalist view that it all has to be perfect. The reason he assumes that is because the accepts the fundie model of revelation that the Bible is a memo from the boss, handed down verbatim to be taken literally word for word. But this is not the only model of revelation we can use. There are many more models.See Avery Dulles' book Models of Revelation. The view that I support is called "dialectical retrieval" in which a variety of methods are found in a plurality of textual types. A dialectical relationship between the text and the reader allows the reader to retrieval aspects of truth communicated trough inspiration but not in historically accurate or specially literal methods. In other words, it doesn't matter if there are mistakes.

Another point that must be understood is that Luke was not present during all of the events in Acts.He was not there for Paul's conversion. So we don't know how he pieced together word of the events. He may have heard Paul speak of it directly. He may have consulted the four daughters of Philip who he speaks of in Acts, since they were known as the first keepers of the archives and functions as early historians for the Church. He may have heard the story from older companions of Paul. So we can assume there may be discrepancies, we should never allow atheists to translate discrepancies into reasons for doubting the truth of the Gospel.

On the other hand, I think it's important to realize that so many of these kinds amateur attempts at scholarship are just exaggerations based upon speculation. We should give the text more of a benefit of a doubt. Or rather, the benefit of faith. To illustrate how we might minimize what some take as devastating, let's look at the claims.

Here is an example of the kind of thing he's talking about:

Here's a challenge for everyone, whoever can meet it, and I really kinda hope someone can. Can you harmonize Galatians 1-2 with the book of Acts, and settle all my doubts on Paul's apostleship that relate to other passages? That's the challenge. I look forward to the responses but not the "Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against Paul?" type of responses. All you Calvinists can save those for your own childish blogs.

Now when I say harmonize Galatians 1-2 with the book of Acts, I mean where Paul says he did not confer with flesh and blood after his conversion (Ananias? [Acts 9:17]) and that he didn't go to Jerusalem for three whole years (Acts says he headed straight for Jerusalem after being kicked out of Damascus "several days" later by the Jews) and how he only went to meet Peter and was unknown by face to the churches of Judea who merely heard about him and rejoiced in God over his conversion (whereas Acts has him go to Jerusalem to try and join the churches of Judea, who know him by face and reject him! and then Barnabas buys his story and brings him to the apostles for verification, and they apparently accept him and give him access to the churches of Judea, and he goes in and out among the churches of Judea! then he gets in trouble with the Jews again [this time Hellenistic Jews] and is shipped off to Tarsus by way of Caesarea [Acts 9:30]). Can that all be harmonized?


(1) not confer with flesh and blood

Gals? (not) vs Acts (9:17) says he did

Gal 1:12: "I did not receive it from any man, nor was I taught it; rather, I received it by revelation from Jesus Christ."




vs



Acts 9:17-Then Ananias went to the house and entered it. Placing his hands on Saul, he said, "Brother Saul, the Lord-Jesus, who appeared to you on the road as you were coming here-has sent me so that you may see again and be filled with the Holy Spirit."


Act 9:18 Immediately, something like scales fell from Saul's eyes, and he could see again. He got up and was baptized,

Act 9:19 and after taking some food, he regained his strength. Saul spent several days with the disciples in Damascus.



Answer: The statement that he makes in Galatians is a general statement. It is not tied down to a time line when he says "not form any man." The account in Acts does not say that the Christians who ministered to him gave him a theology or any elaborate teaching. He's obviously talking his overall approach, his general understanding, what theolgoians would call "systematic theology." He doesn't say he didn't see or speak to a single person. He never says anything like that. This is just atheists making a mountain out of a mole hill. It seems PaulSkeptic is fooled by the wording of a particular translation "I did not confer with flesh and blood" which he takes to meany "I didn't speak to anyone at all" but that's not what it says.

(2) Time frame on going to Jerusalem after conversion

Gals says not for 3 years/ Acts says went straight after Damascus



But when God, who set me apart from birth [fn] and called me by his grace, was pleased

Gal 1:16 to reveal his Son in me so that I might preach him among the Gentiles, I did not consult any man,


Gal 1:17 nor did I go up to Jerusalem to see those who were apostles before I was, but I went immediately into Arabia and later returned to Damascus.

Gal 1:18 Then after three years, I went up to Jerusalem to get acquainted with Peter [fn] and stayed with him fifteen days.




vs

(preceded events described around his baptism and beginning to preach in Damascus).



Yet Saul grew more and more powerful and baffled the Jews living in Damascus by proving that Jesus is the Christ. [fn]

Act 9:23 After many days had gone by, the Jews conspired to kill him,

Act 9:24 but Saul learned of their plan. Day and night they kept close watch on the city gates in order to kill him.

Act 9:25 But his followers took him by night and lowered him in a basket through an opening in the wall.

(Right here we have the gap between leaving Damascus and going to Jerusalem--this gap is three years according to Paul in Galations but appears to be very short in Acts).



Act 9:26 When he came to Jerusalem, he tried to join the disciples, but they were all afraid of him, not believing that he really was a disciple.
Answer: Nothing in the text tells us how long this gap is. The way it's written in acts makes it seem immediate. That is not proof that Luke thought it was immediate. He may not have know how long it was. I think atheists assume that revelation works by God speaking to people "write this word for word." But it doesn't. So we have to assume Luke is remembering this in his natural mind as people told him the story. They may never have told him that detail. He may not have known how long the gap was. But note: the "contradiction" is only implied, it is' surmised because there is no clear actual statment that it was any shorter a time span than three years.PaulSketpic says: "Acts says he headed straight for Jerusalem after being kicked out of Damascus "several days" it does not say he headed 'straight, it does not use that word. Luke could have known that it was three years and may not meant to imply any less, but just thought it wasn't important to spell out how long it was. Luke did not have Galatians to read and go by.

This is my whole point is answering this stuff. I don't care if Luke did get it wrong. That doesn't' bother my theology one iota. But I'm sick atheists assuming that any little supposition they can read in to a blank space in the text is an absolute fact and mandates the burning the Bible. None of these so called problems are anything more than ambiguities and the suppositions that atheists can use to blow them out of proportion.






Then also in Acts, he never preaches to one single solitary Gentile until after Peter converts the house of Cornelius, after which event Barnabas goes down to Tarsus "for to seek Saul" [Acts 11:25] and take him with him to Antioch to preach to the Gentiles there, Barnabas having been sent by the twelve to preach to the Gentiles in Antioch!Then, after some Judaizers have come to Antioch to cause trouble and Paul and Barnabas (with various unnamed others) are sent by the church at Antioch to the apostles in Jerusalem to hear what they have to say on the matter, we find that at the Jerusalem in Acts 15:7 Peter makes the statement "Men and brethren, you know that a good while ago God chose among us, that by my mouth the Gentiles should [first] hear the word of the gospel and believe." He says that with Paul present! Yet Paul claims in Galatians 2:7-8 that he Paul is THE apostle to the Gentiles and Peter is THE apostle to the Jews! Again the claim is made by Paul in Rom 11:13 "I am the apostle of the Gentiles." But Peter(!) claims that title for himself in Acts 15:7. And would not Peter's coming to Antioch (Gal 2:11) indicate that Peter had an interest in Gentiles? Such polarization of an apostle for Jews only and one for Gentiles only is clearly not found in Acts, where Paul is often seen as preaching to the Jews first.


Of course he's talking about two different time periods. The events in Acts happened before the events in Galatians. So it could be that Peter was the Apostle to the gentiles at that time, and latter Paul took over. This, in fact, is how most of us understanding. It just makes sense that Peter would have to start the ball rolling on the gentiles. Had Paul tired to launch that mission himself it would be been rejected. With Peter doing it he had to be accepted. But Paul was clearly better suited so he took it over. Paul was better suited because he was from Asia minor. Peter was a hick, he was from the backwater of Galilee. Paul, being of Asia minor, was like most Jews of that region, urbane, sophisticated, well educated, very litter ate in Greek (Paul wrote excellent Greek). Peter had to be shown by revelation that the Gentiles were worthy. Paul grew as part of a urban assimilated society, where he was a citizen of Rome and part of the gentile as well as the Hebrew culture.

The idea that Peter and Paul were struggling against each other is from a Nineteenth century theologian called Wellhausen. He was a Hegelian, and since the dialectic was suppossed to govern all history, he imposed the Hegelian scheme upon the history of the church: Peter was the thesis, Paul was the anti-thesis, the orthodox church was the synthesis. It's just an arbitrary imposition that is the result of ideology.Atheists and skeptics have continued to use it because a major Bible schoalr gave his stamp of approval on it. There probably was some degree of conflict between Paul and Peter because they were so very different. But, this is overblown and over done.





One particularly interesting example is in Acts 13:46 "Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." Note how this is totally counter to what most people believe is Pauline theology, i.e. that we are born worthless and always will be worthless and thus salvation can't have anything to do with us at all but must be all of God and totally monergistic (i.e. Calvinism). Paul's complaint about the Jews here is not that they have too much pride to admit their worthlessness and accept Christ (as most modern Protestants would have it) but that they consider themselves too worthless(!) and hence they reject eternal life because of a sense of worthlessness! not pride! Put that in your Calvinist pipe and smoke it.


I asked Paul-skeptic where hes' coming from on this issue. He is not a Messianich Jew or a Jew of any kind. His reaction to Paul, according to him, is from the basis of a standard Christian view. He doesn't wan to defame the Apostles trained by Jesus but in my view he's thinking in all or nothing terms. You either accept Paul completely and totally toss out the Apostles, or vice versa. In my view this is a reactionary move one need to make. The Orthodox church was able to accept both James, the Apostles and Paul with on trouble. It's a matter of perspective, we need balance.

10 comments:

squeehunter said...

I like your blog but I have a question and don't know who to ask so I came to you for help. If you can't answer maybe you can direct me to someone who can.

So far from my research, the Exodus and Joshua accounts hold up rather well when moved to the 13th century and lessen the amount of people mentioned. Anyway, I wanted to know how Joshua avoided the Egyptians when he took over all of those cities. From what I can tell, he only really took over towns in the highlands. Did Egypt not really care so much about any highland settlements? It doesn't seem like they would. I would REALLY apperciate it if you would let me know.

Squeehunter@gmail.com

J.L. Hinman said...

There are two possible answers. The first might be kind of disappointing and I don't want to damage anyone's faith. But the basic reality of it is that the OT was redacted in the exile. So the conquest of Cannon was probably a romaticised account given to hearten the people on the eve their return to their ancestral home to start a Persian colony.

The reason is that modern archaeologists don't find the evidence of consequent of most of those places and it seems the can start the dating at a point after most of them were toppled. So it seems they were toppled from within and before the Exodus.


Assuming that you don't accept that and assuming the time frame is right,I would supposes the reason is Egypt wasn't really in charge of that area. That's across the Sinai. The desert lies between them and Egypt so they weren't really that keen on what went on there.

PaulSceptic said...

Let's put it all in less combative terms than a challenge to prove Paul is an apostle. What does Paul have to offer that Jesus didn't give in the gospels? Paul gives a lot of rules like 'no backbiting' and so on, but all of these are deducible from Jesus' saying in Mat thew 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets." Paul gives rules for who is and is not qualified for the office of Bishop, but the Orthodox church, who you say is able to accept the 12 and Paul at the same time, just flatly ignores these rules as does the RCC and nearly all Protestant denominations. The Orthodox church also ignores Paul's prohibition of men wearing hats while praying. Paul gives us that flowerly language about 'charity never faileth' and so on, but Jesus lived out love on the cross. Paul doesn't offer us anything of any real spiritual value that we can't get from Jesus in the gospels. But Paul does offer us much that is destruction, even the worst of all evils comes from the acceptance of Paul, Calvinism and Faith Onlyism, as well as division. Without Paul, with just the gospels, Christianity would NOT be divided. It is Paul that divides us, because Paul is used to nullify Jesus' teachings and setup a new religious system foreign to the teachings of Christ. And each denomination merely picks and chooses the parts of Paul's system that it likes, while all of them reject the actual teachings of Jesus! How is it that you do not see this?

PaulSceptic said...

"The idea that Peter and Paul were struggling against each other is from a Nineteenth century theologian called Wellhausen."

Its from Paul's own claim in Galatians! That's assuming that Paul really is the author of Galatians, and thats your position not mine.

"But the basic reality of it is that the OT was redacted in the exile."

LOL! So you can buy that the Jews changed the story of the exile, but you just can't even imagine the proto-Catholics taking Marcion's cannon and interpolating it with orthodox material? That's priceless. I think the later (the proto-Catholics taking Marcion's cannon and interpolating it with orthodox material) is more of a historical fact than the former.

J.L. Hinman said...

Blogger PaulSceptic said...

Let's put it all in less combative terms than a challenge to prove Paul is an apostle. What does Paul have to offer that Jesus didn't give in the gospels?

I already said that: Jesus did not lay out a systemic understanding; especially in terms of Grace.He left that for Paul to do.



Paul gives a lot of rules like 'no backbiting' and so on, but all of these are deducible from Jesus' saying in Mat thew 7:12 "Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets."


those are not rules they are advice. so what if they are extensions of Jesus' teaching. By that logic we shouldn't have any book in the NT except mark. The whole NT should be Mark, or maybe the four Gospels.



Paul gives rules for who is and is not qualified for the office of Bishop, but the Orthodox church, who you say is able to accept the 12 and Paul at the same time, just flatly ignores these rules as does the RCC and nearly all Protestant denominations.


that's because he did not lay down a blue prints all time, they are ad hoc, and the OC does base its structure loosely upon them.



The Orthodox church also ignores Paul's prohibition of men wearing hats while praying.


you are such a legalist. You need to learn to read the text farily and openly without imopssing your baggage on it.

that was a Jewish deal. He's not saying don't ever wear a hat when you pay, it has to do with the contest in which the Jews understood prayer.


Paul gives us that flowerly language about 'charity never faileth' and so on, but Jesus lived out love on the cross. Paul doesn't offer us anything of any real spiritual value that we can't get from Jesus in the gospels.

that's ridiculous! we would have no understanding of Grace if not for Paul, gentiles would be getting circumcised, and we the whole faith would have been confined to gentiles God seekers in Palestine and the Jewish Diaspora.



But Paul does offer us much that is destruction, even the worst of all evils comes from the acceptance of Paul, Calvinism and Faith Onlyism, as well as division.

that is so silly. Look, Calvinism is not a Paul ting. Jews had a notion of predestination. Calvinism comes from Augustine who was trying reconcile his sinful nature with faith and reacting against Palagianism.

Calvinism comes from Calvin, lets set up some boundaries here. Paul can hardly be held responsible for some guy a thousand years latter in the Germanic culture.

"Faith only" Is the Gospel. The Gospels is about earning salvation


decision clearly existed before Paul and Paul was against it.




Without Paul, with just the gospels, Christianity would NOT be divided.


that's ridiculous. totally absurd. totally disproved by history. Because it ws divided without Paul. The very first thing they did was start fighter over whose Widows got better care, the Hellenistic Jews or the regular Jews. They already had division between the Samaritans and Jews, then when Samaritans got the Spriit the Jews were skeptical.


It is Paul that divides us, because Paul is used to nullify Jesus' teachings and setup a new religious system foreign to the teachings of Christ.


that's totally reactionary and silly. nothing contrary about them. you can't show me a single issue on which Paul contradicts Jesus.



And each denomination merely picks and chooses the parts of Paul's system that it likes, while all of them reject the actual teachings of Jesus! How is it that you do not see this?


that's human nature. they were doing that anyway without Paul.

that is exactly what you are doing. you are interpriting Paul in then most legalistic reactionary way because you want to blame him for things.





"The idea that Peter and Paul were struggling against each other is from a Nineteenth century theologian called Wellhausen."

Its from Paul's own claim in Galatians! That's assuming that Paul really is the author of Galatians, and thats your position not mine.

No. Paul says they had one issue of conflict one time. Aside from that there are no condemnations of Paul in Acts, the other Epistles, or any other place that would lead us to believe that the Jerusalem church rejected him.

the conflict they had was disagreement, Wellhausen magnified it into a dialectical principle,. you are jacking it up even more into a mountain out of a mole hill.


"But the basic reality of it is that the OT was redacted in the exile."

LOL! So you can buy that the Jews changed the story of the exile, but you just can't even imagine the proto-Catholics taking Marcion's cannon and interpolating it with orthodox material?



you misunderstand. You have so much to learn. you really need to go a seminary. I didn't say they changed the story of the exile. Is said in the time period in which the exile occurred and was in effect they redacted the OT.

the whole thing is redacted. IT's all a redaction.





That's priceless. I think the later (the proto-Catholics taking Marcion's cannon and interpolating it with orthodox material) is more of a historical fact than the former.


you make that up to bakc your tangent. the idea that Marcion himself wold have written letters is so totally absurd. that wouold be an amazing historical improbablity.

I don't' mean to offend you or insult you. but you are really on a tangent. you are obsessed with a silly idea and you have taken it to far extremes and your thinking is reactionary and colored by this obsession; you are creating the schism you are violating the basic Gospel.

don't pretend that you support the Orthodox church because you opposing it.

PaulSceptic said...

"I already said that: Jesus did not lay out a systemic understanding; especially in terms of Grace.He left that for Paul to do."

Perhaps that's because Jesus doesn't believe in the Pauline view of grace? See John 5:29, "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." The Paul of the Epistles would have a conniption fit about that saying! He would label Jesus as a heretic and say he's accursed for preaching another gospel! But its backed up again in Revelation, 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Where is the Pauline grace where you "get what God gives instead of what you deserve"? The earliest of the church fathers also all taught (and being an Orthodox you ought to know this!) that works are absolutely essential to salvation! Don't you know that although Paul was accepted into the canon in about 160 A.D., his theology was never accepted until Augustine in the 380s? Why? Because those earlier fathers KNEW that the Pauline Epistles had only been absorbed into the canon to help fight the Marcionite with their own books! That's why all of Paul's heretical teachings were ignored and the focus was put on the orthodox interpolations they had added to the 10 original epistles, and on the 3 new epistles that were orthodox frauds! Come on! Don't you know your church fathers?

PaulSceptic said...

"that was a Jewish deal. He's not saying don't ever wear a hat when you pay, it has to do with the contest in which the Jews understood prayer."

Jewish DO wear hats when praying. Paul says not to. So, Paul is saying do the opposite of what the Jews do. But the Orthodox priests do the same as the Jews. Are they really accepting Paul, or are they secretly agreeing with me?

J.L. Hinman said...

"I already said that: Jesus did not lay out a systemic understanding; especially in terms of Grace.He left that for Paul to do."

Perhaps that's because Jesus doesn't believe in the Pauline view of grace?

Yes he did. He expressed that in Matt. But as I say didn't lay it out systematically.



See John 5:29, "And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation." The Paul of the Epistles would have a conniption fit about that saying! He would label Jesus as a heretic and say he's accursed for preaching another gospel!


Koester identifies Paul's saying source as some version of Q. Paul quotes Jesus extensively. What he says in Romans 2 6-14 concurs with what you quoted.


But its backed up again in Revelation, 20:12 "And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works." Where is the Pauline grace where you "get what God gives instead of what you deserve"?


That's Luther reading Paul. You are not even paying attention to research on Paul from the perspective of a first century Jew, a lot of people have done that sort of work over last few years.

all of your understanding of Paul is filtered through Luther and Calvin, which is a huge mistake.



The earliest of the church fathers also all taught (and being an Orthodox you ought to know this!) that works are absolutely essential to salvation!


No they didn't.



Don't you know that although Paul was accepted into the canon in about 160 A.D., his theology was never accepted until Augustine in the 380s? Why? Because those earlier fathers KNEW that the Pauline Epistles had only been absorbed into the canon to help fight the Marcionite with their own books!


your understanding of that stuff is totally silly. Paul is quoted by 1 clement.

why would the church back Marcion? they labeled him a hieratic.



That's why all of Paul's heretical teachings were ignored and the focus was put on the orthodox interpolations they had added to the 10 original epistles, and on the 3 new epistles that were orthodox frauds! Come on! Don't you know your church fathers?


I'm not Orthodox I thought you thought you where. I mean I'm not in the Eastern church. I try to color within the lines as much as possible.


Blogger PaulSceptic said...

"that was a Jewish deal. He's not saying don't ever wear a hat when you pay, it has to do with the contest in which the Jews understood prayer."

Jewish DO wear hats when praying.

Yes, Jews did, but that means he's speaking in a Jewish contest. that' means it would not apply if some modern American Prot prayed wiht a hot on because it wouldn't mean anything.


Paul says not to. So, Paul is saying do the opposite of what the Jews do.

fallacious. You can't draw a generalization from that one point.


But the Orthodox priests do the same as the Jews. Are they really accepting Paul, or are they secretly agreeing with me?

It doesn't mean the same thing when they do it.

PaulSceptic said...

"Paul is quoted by 1 clement."

First Clement is a letter that is 59 chapters long, and Clement doesn't even get to the point of the letter until chapter 40 (or is it 43?). And what is the occasion or purpose for writing the letter? Clement says that some roudy youths in Corinth don't want to obey their elders (or presbyters) so he is writing to admonish them to submit to their elders.

Now, lets think about this for a moment. Here are some roudy youths who probably have a pretty short attention span, especially for stuff written on official paper by old guys, and Clement now writes them a 59 chapter letter, not getting to the point until chapter 40 or 43? That's just soooooooo unrealistic.

The fact is, Clement didn't write it, nor was it written for its stated purpose. Someone in 160 or so wrote it as a forgery to make it look like Clement quoted nearly everything from the Pauline Epistles all in one ridiculously long letter. This forger wasn't even imaginative (or smart enough) to split his forgery over various forged letters, but crammed it all into one, making it obvious to any modern person (who actually has read First Clement) that it is nothing but a forgery of a later time written specifically to authentic the newly forged Pauline Epistles!

"Why would the church back Marcion? they labeled him a heretic."

Not support him, but absord his literature for their own purposes. They must have though that rather than oppose Marcion's writings it would be advantageous to take possession of them, alter them, and use them against his followers. Plus this course of action (with the help of other sustaining forgeries like 1st Clement) would give them the advantage of being able to claim that these writings had ALWAYS belonged to them and that Marcion had mangled them (when, obviously, the opposite was true).

J.L. Hinman said...

For an excellent summation of the evidence for and against the traditional date of 1 clement (95) see Concord and Peace by Odd Magne Bakke

the arguments there demonstrate the near impossibility or extreme unlikelihood that the letter was written as late as 160. It may have been written in the 80s, or in the "oughts" of the second century.