- CUVILLIER Élian - Introduction : le pacte pseudépigraphique
- NOCQUET Dany - Pourquoi fait-on écrire Moïse ? Réflexions sur l’écriture et la pseudépigraphie dans le Pentateuque
- D'HELT Alexandre - La sybille « bru et parente » de Noé. Fonction de la pseudépigraphie dans le Pentateuque
- BURNET Régis - Pourquoi écrire sous le nom d’un autre ? Hypothèse sur le phénomène de la pseudépigraphie néotestamentaire
- PASTORELLI David - La critique textuelle de l’Epître de Jude et la pseudépigraphie
- CUVILLIER Élian - Vérité et historicité de la fiction littéraire. La Seconde épître aux Thessaloniciens comme pseudépigraphe
- VOUGA François - Pseudépigraphies. Crypto-Paul, deutéro-Paul, trito-Paul et quarto-Paul
- CAUSSE Jean-Daniel - Kierkegaard et le pseudonyme. Une figure de la vérité
- RENAUD-GROBRAS Pascale - La pseudépigraphie, entre vérité et radicalisme ?
In this essay on pseudepigraphy in the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch, Dany Nocquet shows that the act of writing, which is at the very heart of biblical revelation, has deep roots in mental representations of the Ancient Near East according to which writing is of divine origin. This assumption explains why the biblical authors portray Moses or God as authors. The phenomenon of pseudepigraphy is intimately tied to written revelation and communication. Thereby the emergence of the book of the Torah is a pseudepigraphic advent: the biblical authors withdraw from their own work to compel their reader to face the Word of someone else who is granted undisputable authority.
To understand how the practice of pseudepigraphy works in the Sibylline Oracles, Alexandre d’Helt replaces their message in the cultural context of the apocalyptic literature of Hellenistic Judaism. By presenting herself as a relative of Noah, the Sibyl requests the reader to become part of this very same filiation. The purpose of the pseudepigraphy is here to call for the conversion of all peoples, a distinctive concern in Hellenistic Jewish literature.
Why are some texts of the New Testament Pseudepigraphs? Régis Burnet reviews the various responses that have been brought to this question and comes to the conclusion that the phenomenon is best explained as a reinterpretation of the work of an apostle by his disciples. He warns, however, against a naive understanding of this explanation by reminding that writing under the name of someone else was never an innocent activity in classical antiquity: the practice must challenge our notions of truth and faithfulness as well as our understanding of inspiration.
Textual criticism of the New Testament illuminates the pseudepigraphic issue insofar as the reception of a text in the early Church is inseparable from the circulation of its manuscripts. David Pastorelli confronts the Epistle of Jude to three different types of texts: Alexandrian, Byzantine and « Western ». Though it is widely attested in the Alexandrian type at the end of the second century, the Alexandrian authors know that some churches do not accept the Epistle. It is most plausibly churches of Syria they have in view: four minor Catholic Epistles (2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John and Jude) are but lately accepted in the Syro-Byzantine type. The major discovery comes from the « Western » text which excludes the Epistle of Jude, allowing thereby to show that its pseudepigraphic status is already discussed in the first half of the second century; the Muratorian Canon confirms that the debate goes on at the end of that same century.
Élian Cuvillier shows that the classical ways of asking about the authenticity of the Second Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians prevents from understanding the theological function of its fictional dimension. Through the device of pseudepigraphy, the author of the Epistle provides to all the communities founded by the apostle an updated version of his eschatology. While seeking to remain faithful to Paul’s message, he ensures its reception in a new context. His Epistle thereby exemplifies the truth of literary fiction as theorized – in different though compatible ways – by Paul Ricœur and Jacques Lacan.
In this essay, François Vouga argues that Paul’s autobiographical statements in 2 Corinthians, Ephesians, I Timothy, and 2 Timothy allow to understand pseudepigraphy as a form of literary fiction that keeps alive the word of the apostle and gives a fresh account of the Gospel’s message to all humankind. The pseudepigraphs should not be read as forgeries for they do not pretend to be original letters of Paul. In virtue of a « pseudepigraphic pact » overtly concluded with their readers, they intend to pursue with them the reflection started by Paul in his major epistles.
In the work of Kierkegaard, pseudonomy has the paradoxical function of revealing the truth. In contrast to pseudepigraphy, which is the act of writing under a name that enjoys authority or recognition, pseudonomy means writing under an unknown name; for the author it entails the erasing of his or her name. Jean-Daniel Causse argues that Kierkegaard’s numerous pseudonyms playfully organize the melancholic scene of his own existence into a theatrical performance that makes him the viewer of himself. In directing the play of these various figures of the self, he unveils the difference between living and turning one’s life into a theatre in which one plays a role. Kierkegaardian pseudonomy leads thereby to the topic of the incognito: while the pseudonym highlights the pretence of truth, the incognito says what it is.
Starting from Michel Foucault’s approach to the question of truth and Roland Barthes’ critique of the « likely », Pascale Renaud-Grobras asks how to reformulate what might be called the truth of the Gospel, between one’s own subjective truth in the « half-said » and evangelical radicalism, always singular and new. If, for Christians, the truth is a person, how can we define truth? If, for the pseudepigraphic authors, truth lies in radicalism, what radicalism are we talking about, between continuity and perpetual novelty?