I am currently reading Paul was not a Christian, by Pamela Eisenbaum. At the beginning of her book she is talking about disputed and undisputed letters of Paul. She states that the undisputed books of the Bible that Paul wrote are Romans, 1 and 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Philippians, 1 Thessalonians, and Philemon. She talks about how the disputed letters have internal and external evidence that may make them pseudonymous, or perhaps that some of the books are written by someone who attempted to represent Paul's views as closely as possible, though perhaps not in his exact words. While I find this book interesting and enlightening, I am having a difficult time knowing if this is true, and if it is how this changes how we should read these passages? -- J.C.

Yes, it is true. The authorship of many OT and NT documents is disputed. We need to weigh the evidence before jumping to any radical conclusion. Most Bible-believing biblical scholars take all 13 Pauline epistles as written by the apostle himself. If they doubt the authorship, Ephesians and 1 Tim-Titus are the ones usually in question. Liberal scholars (who do not regard the Bible as giving us God’s word) have all sorts of opinions.

What do I think? I think Paul wrote them all, although in the case of Ephesians, I am sympathetic to those who believe a close disciple of Paul wrote it. What would it change if a document had a different author? Probably nothing. Esp. when we remember that Paul had his Tertius, and amanuenses were in widespread usage. We simply don't know how much liberty they were given. As long as the message was right and approved by an apostle, who wrote the documents is a secondary matter.

For more, please refer to the NT Chapter studies at the website. The first study of each document often covers authorship.