This blog, by Richard Fellows, discusses historical questions concerning Paul's letters, his co-workers, Acts, and chronology. You can visit my web pages here, but note that they are not kept up-to-date.

Saturday, May 29, 2010

"I" and "we" in 2 Corinthians etc.

Here I argue that Paul writes predominantly in the first person plural ("we"/"us") in the letters where he relied on information from Titus-Timothy, his co-sender. This is the 7th post in the series on the theory that Titus was Timothy.

In Philippians, Philemon, 1 Corinthians, Galatians and Romans Paul almost always uses the first person singular (I/me), even though he has co-senders in the first three of these letters. In contrast, in 1 Thessalonians the plural (we/us) is used almost exclusively. This makes perfect sense when we remember that 1 Thessalonians was written in response to information received from Timothy, one of Paul's co-senders (1 Thess 1:1; 3:6). At the time of writing Timothy knew much more than Paul about the current situation in the Thessalonian church, so it is to be expected that he had a lot of input to the composition of the letter, and this explains why it was written in the first person plural.

The plural also dominates in 2 Corinthians (Murphy-O'Connor counts 276 plurals and 228 singulars). This is explicable if Paul's co-sender, Timothy, was Titus, who had just returned to Paul from Corinth. It is very hard to explain if Timothy was not Titus.

I will now show that the instances when Paul uses the singular in 2 Corinthians can also be explained by the Titus-Timothy hypothesis.

When Paul uses the first person plural, "we", he can mean:
a) Paul and the addressees
b) Paul and his co-sender(s), e.g. Timothy.
c) Paul and his team generally.
d) Paul and those who were with him at the time referred to.

It is often difficult to know which "we" is intended. However, when he is referring to the composition of the letter we can assume that "we" means Paul and his co-sender(s). In 2 Corinthians Paul (with his co-sender, Timothy) refers to the writing of the letter using the first person plural at 2 Cor 3:1; 5:12; 5:20; 6:11; 8:1; 12:19, and perhaps at 2 Cor 1:8 and 2 Cor 6:9,

while he uses the singular at 2 Cor 6:13; 7:3; 8:3; 8:8; 8:10; 9:1; 10:1; 10:2; 10:9; 11:1; 11:16; 11:17; 11:18; 11:21; 11:23; 11:31; 12:1; 12:5; 12:11; 13:10-11.

I think there is a pattern here. Paul uses the singular whenever he is being critical of the Corinthians or being demanding of them, and he uses the plural at all other times. Thus, it is Paul alone who cajoles them into giving to the collection (2 Cor 8:3; 8:8; 8:10; 8:13; 9:1) and is critical of them 2 Cor 10:1; 10:2; 10:9; 11:1; 11:16; 11:17; 11:18; 11:21; 11:23; 11:31; 12:1; 12:5; 12:11; 13:10-11.

2 Cor 6:11-13; 7:3 are particularly interesting:
We have spoken frankly to you Corinthians; our heart is wide open to you. There is no restriction in our affections, but only in yours. In return--I speak as to children--open wide your heats also. ... Make room in your hearts for us; we have wronged no one, we have corrupted no one, we have taken advantage of no one. I do not say this to condemn you, for I said before that you are in our hearts, to die together and to live together.
The plural "We have spoken frankly" indicates that Timothy, as well as Paul, has been responsible for the preceding passages. The subsequent plurals in these verses show that Paul is here defending Timothy as well as himself. He demands that the Corinthians open their hearts to him and to Timothy. However, whereas all previous verbs of writing/speaking have been plural, here they are all singular: "I speak", "I do not say this", "I said before". This switch to the singular demands an explanation. It fits the pattern of Paul using the singular whenever he demands changes to the Corinthians' behavior.

Now, Paul's reluctance to use the plural when being critical or demanding is explicable if his co-sender, Timothy, was Titus, who was being sent back to Corinth to conduct the delicate task of organizing the collection. Titus-Timothy was (or needed to appear to be) loyal to the Corinthians. For the sake of the collection it was important that Paul not jeopardize the relationship between Titus-Timothy and the Corinthians by associating him with any hint of criticism of them. I suggest that this explains the occasions when Paul uses the singular in 2 Corinthians. I have argued here that it also explains why Paul delays his most harsh words to the subscription (2 Cor 10-13).

It is remarkable that all cases of the first person singular in 2 Corinthians fall into one of two categories:
a) cases where Paul is doubting the Corinthians or being critical of them or making demands on them (2 Cor 1:13; 2:3-10; 5:11; 6:13-7:4; 7:8; 7:12: 8:8-14; 10:1-12:16: 12:20-13:3; 13:6; 13:10).
b) cases that concern occasions when Titus was not present (2 Cor 1:15-17; 1:23-2:2; 2:12-13; 7:7; 7:9; 7:14; 7:16; 8:3; 8:23; 9:1-5; 12:17-18: 12:20-13:3; 13:10).

In conclusion, it seems to me that the strange mix of first person plural and singular in 2 Corinthians is accounted for if Paul's co-sender, Timothy, was Titus, who had just returned from Corinth and was about to return there.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Titus-Timothy and the unity of 2 Corinthians and Philippians

This post continues the series on the Titus-Timothy hypothesis and explains why Paul's tone in 2 Cor 10-13 and Phil 3-4 is much harsher than in 2 Cor 1-9 and Phil 1-2 respectively.

In 2 Cor 10-13 Paul is deeply troubled about the church of Corinth. This contrasts particularly with 2 Cor 7:6-15 where Paul describes Titus's encouraging report. Many feel that these two sections cannot have belonged to the same letter and they propose that 2 Corinthians has been formed by joining more than one letter together. However, there is not a single example of a letter that has been formed in this way.

Background
In 2 Corinthians Paul sends Titus back to Corinth to organize the collection (2 Cor 8:6, 16-24). This was a delicate mission that required that Titus be on good terms with the Corinthians. It was therefore important for Paul to show that Titus was loyal to the Corinthians. For the sake of the collection Paul had to be careful not to suggest that Titus was taking sides in any dispute between Paul and certain Corinthians. Titus's sole mission was to organize the collection and he had to remain (or at least appear to be) strictly neutral on Paul's dispute with the "super-apostles".

2 Cor 7:6-15
Titus had been Paul's envoy to the Corinthians, but, when returning to Paul, he was the Corinthians' envoy to Paul. As such, his duty was to present the Corinthians in the best possible light, and in 2 Cor 7:6-15 Paul reports that Titus had fulfilled that duty. Paul records his very positive reaction to the news that Titus brought. This is fully to be expected. Titus's relationship with the Corinthians would have been jeopardized if Paul had hinted that Titus had said anything bad about the Corinthians. 2 Cor 7:6-15 helps to preserve the positive relationship between Titus and the Corinthians and this will allow him to collect money from them.

2 Cor 10-13
Timothy was the co-sender of 2 Corinthians (2 Cor 1:1), and the Corinthians would have taken this to mean that he endorsed the contents of the letter, at least as far as the end of chapter 9. At 2 Cor 10:1, however, Paul detaches himself from Timothy be writing "I myself, Paul ...". Paul may well have picked up the pen himself at this point and written the remaining chapters in his own hand. It seems unlikely that the Corinthians would not have held Timothy accountable for the contents of 2 Cor 10-13.
We can now bring in the Titus-Timothy hypothesis to explain why Paul reserves his severest words for the subscription (2 Cor 10-13). Any criticism of the Corinthians in 2 Cor 1-9 could have induced a back-lash against Titus-Timothy, the co-sender of the letter, and this would have jeopardized the collection that Titus-Timothy was to complete. Paul therefore segregated his harshest comments to the final chapters, from which he detached Titus-Timothy.

Philippians
Other than 2 Corinthians, there is one other letter that oddly switches to an extended severe section at the end: Philippians. The letter sounds as though it is coming to an end at Phil 2:30 or Phil 3:1a, but from Phil 3:1b the tone becomes more harsh and Paul writes a further two chapters. Why the change of tone? Well, Phil 3:1b, like 2 Cor 10:1 shows signs of being the point at which Paul started writing in his own hand. The letters subscription (Phil 3:1b-4:23) is a kind of a re-writing of the main body of the letter. It would have been more time consuming for Paul to write with his own hand rather than dictate to a professional scribe. All this explains Phil 3:1b. Here Paul states that he does not consider it troublesome to write the same things again, this time in his own hand.
But why is the subscription (Phil 3:1b-4:23) more severe than the main body of the letter)? Well, Timothy, Paul's co-sender (Phil 1:1) was about to visit Philippi (perhaps to start the collection) ahead of Paul (Phil 2:19-24), so it was important that Timothy stay on good terms with the Philippians. Again, the change of tone from Phil 3:1b is explicable if, as seems likely, Timothy's endorsement of the letter (implied by Phil 1:1) would not have applied to the subscription, written in Paul's own hand. By restricting his harsh words to the subscription, Paul shelters Timothy from any backlash from the Philippians.

Conclusion
2 Corinthians and Philippians are, I think, the only two letters from antiquity that have an extended subscription that is harsher in tone than the letter body. It is no coincidence that they are also the only two letters that have a co-sender who will visit the addressees before the author will do so. In both letters Paul saves his harshest words for the subscription (2 Cor 10-13 and Phil 3-4) so that any backlash from the recipients would not be directed against his co-sender, Titus-Timothy, who was about to visit them.

In a future post I will argue that the other fractures in 2 Corinthians are also mended when we see Titus and Timothy as the same person.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Titus as co-sender of 2 Cor 12:18-19

Here I will present a new argument that Titus was Timothy. I will argue that 2 Cor 12:14-20 makes best sense if Titus was the co-sender of the letter.

Paul had not been a burden to the Corinthians when he had visited them. Instead of respecting him for this behavior, the Corinthians were thinking that it was a trick to allow him to exploit them through others. In this passage Paul defends himself against the charge:

14 Here I am, ready to come to you this third time. And I will not be a burden, because I do not want what is yours but you; for children ought not to lay up for their parents, but parents for their children. 15 I will most gladly spend and be spent for you. If I love you more, am I to be loved less? 16 Let it be assumed that I did not burden you. Nevertheless (you say) since I was crafty, I took you in by deceit. Did I take advantage of you through any of those whom I sent to you? 18 I urged Titus to go, and sent the brother with him. Titus did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps? 19 Have you been thinking all along that we have been defending ourselves before you? We are speaking in Christ before God. Everything we do, beloved, is for the sake of building you up. 20 For I fear that when I come, I may find you not as I wish, and that you may find me not as you wish; ....

The first person singular is used throughout most of this passage so the three plural verbs in 12:18b and 12:19 require explanation. Who is the 'we' in 2 Cor 18:18-19?

18 παρεκάλεσα Τίτον καὶ συναπέστειλα τὸν ἀδελφόν: μήτι ἐπλεονέκτησεν ὑμᾶς Τίτος; οὐ τῷ αὐτῷ πνεύματι περιεπατήσαμεν; οὐ τοῖς αὐτοῖς ἴχνεσιν;
19 Πάλαι δοκεῖτε ὅτι ὑμῖν ἀπολογούμεθα; κατέναντι θεοῦ ἐν Χριστῷ λαλοῦμεν: τὰ δὲ πάντα, ἀγαπητοί,ὑπὲρ τῆς ὑμῶν οἰκοδομῆς.

The plural in 2 Cor 12:18
In 2 Cor 12:18 the 'we' of περιεπατήσαμεν must be Paul and Titus (see Harris p891). Paul's point here is that Titus had been no more of a burden to the Corinthians than he (Paul) had been. 2 Cor 12:18b is NOT a comment on Paul's behavior in Corinth, because the Corinthians already accept that Paul had not been a burden to them. The Corinthians believed that Paul had been self-supporting in Corinth to win their trust in order to exploit them through envoy(s). Paul's point in 2 Cor 12:18b must therefore be that his envoy, Titus, had shown the same integrity as he had: "Did we (Titus and I) not conduct ourselves in the same spirit".

However, there is a problem. How were the original hearers expected to know that the 'we' here is Paul and Titus? Would not the recipients of the letter assume that subject of the verb is the co-senders of the letter, Paul and Timothy? Paul's text here seems hopelessly ambiguous.

The problem is solves, of course, when we realize that Titus was Paul's co-sender, Timothy. Except in the cases where the Corinthians would have known that Titus-Timothy could not be included, "we" in 2 Corinthians refers to Paul and Titus-Timothy by default. With the Titus-Timothy hypothesis we can translate:

18 I urged Timothy to go, and sent the brother with him. Timothy did not take advantage of you, did he? Did we (Timothy and I) not conduct ourselves with the same spirit? Did we not take the same steps?

The plural in 2 Cor 12:19
Here Paul refers the composition of the letter, so the 'we' naturally comprises the co-senders, Paul and Timothy. The problem is that the inclusion of Timothy here seems abrupt and unanticipated by anything in the preceding verses. Why would Paul use the plural here after using the singular exclusively since 11:21? Any why does he then return the singular in 2 Cor 12:20? Many suppose that Paul uses epistolary plurals in 2 Cor 12:19, but this is an arbitrary solution and should be used only as a last resort.

The problems are solved by equating Titus with Timothy. The letter brings Paul's co-sender, Titus-Timothy, back into view in 2 Cor 12:18 and includes him in the 'we' there. The text has countered the view that Paul has used Titus-Timothy to exploit the Corinthians. The Corinthians might see this as an attempt by Paul and his co-sender, Titus-Timothy, to defend themselves to them, so it is natural that Paul (and Titus-Timothy) should clarify their motives in 2 Cor 12:19.

The singular in 2 Cor 12:20
Paul uses the singular in 2 Cor 12:20, as indeed wherever his future visit to Corinth is mentioned (2 Cor 9:4; 12:14-15; 12:20-13:2; 13:10). Why does he not include his co-sender, Timothy, in his travel plans? We know that Timothy was with Paul when 2 Corinthians was written (2 Cor 1:1) and was also with him later in Corinth (Rom 16:21). So why does Paul in 2 Corinthians completely ignore Timothy's future visit to Corinth? Since he prepares the Corinthians for his own visit, why does he not prepare them for Timothy's or at least acknowledge poor Timothy's existence by using a plural or two?

Again Titus-Timothy solves the problems. He carried 2 Corinthians so was not a part of Paul's future journey to Corinth. Much of 2 Corinthians is devoted to preparing the Corinthians for his visit.


In a future posts I will argue that the change in tone from 2 Cor 10:1 is explained by the Titus-Timothy hypothesis and that partition theories are unnecessary.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

"Timothy" as Titus's other name

I have argued that we should expect to find Titus mentioned under another name in Acts, and in Romans and perhaps 1 Corinthians. So who can he be? Since he was from the east (Gal 2:1-3), the only options are Luke/Lucius and Timothy. Now, Titus cannot have been Luke/Lucius because a) there would be no reason for Titus to have two Latin Praenomina (first names), and b) Luke/Lucius was probably a Jew, whereas Titus was a Greek. Therefore Titus was probably Timothy.

In this post I will present two arguments that confirm that Titus was Timothy.

The meaning of the name "Timothy"
Titus was a Gentile believer at a time when the presence of uncircumcised Gentiles in the church was controversial (Gal 2:1-5; Acts 15:1-2). At about this time Philo of Alexandria wrote:
the "proselyte" is one who circumcises not his foreskin but his pleasures and desires and the other passions of the soul. ... But what is "the soul of the proselyte," if not alienation from the polytheistic belief and familiarity with the honoring (ΤΙΜΗΣ) of the one God and Father of all. (Questions and answers on Exodus 2.2).
Paul and Barnabas, who favored the inclusion of Gentiles, no doubt presented Titus as someone who, while not circumcised, nevertheless honored God and should therefore be accepted. So, what better name to give to Titus than "Timothy", which means "honoring God"?

A close parallel to the case of Titus-Timothy can be found in Ignatius. He, like Titus, was an early Gentile believer from Antioch. He took the name "Theophorus", which means "bearer of God". The name relates to the carrying of images of gods in religious processions to honor the deity. A Theophorus is therefore one who honors God. "Timothy" and "Theophorus" are therefore almost synonyms.

Phonetic similarity
The names "Titus" and "Timothy" in the first century were closer in pronunciation than they are in the English speaking world today. It seems that the ι in each name had the same pronunciation ("ee" as in "feet"). Furthermore the θ of "Τιμόθεος" echoes the second τ of "Τίτος", since the two letters were sometimes interchangeable. An example of this is known from Masada where the name "Δωσίθεος" was written "Δωσίτεος".

It was common for Jews to be given a new name that had a phonetic similarity to the old name. In the Old Testament we have Abram-Abraham, Sarai-Sarah, and Hoshea-Joshua. In the New we have Paul-Saul, Silvanus-Silas, Jesus-Justus, Joseph-Justus, Simeon-Simon, and Mary-Magdalene. Note also the case of Jesus-Jason (Josephus Ant 2.5.1) and Bar Kosiba who was named, "Bar Kokhba". Other cases of near-homophonic naming include Amelius-Amerius, and perhaps Peregrinus-Proteus-Phoenix.

The similarity in sound of the names "Titus" and "Timothy" therefore increases the probability that they were held by the same person.

"Timothy" is therefore a very fitting name for Titus. I challenge anyone to find a name that works better.

In my next post I hope to present new evidence that Titus was the co-sender of 2 Corinthians.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

The illusive Titus and the anonymous brothers

W.M.Ramsay described Titus as "the most enigmatic figure in early Christian history", and with good reason. He first appears in Gal 2:1-3 as a subordinate of Paul during his Jerusalem visit of A.D. 48/49. He then disappears from view, being absent from the Thessalonian letters, 2 Cor 1:19, Philippians, and 1 Corinthians. But he mysteriously reappears in A.D. 55/56 in 2 Cor 2:12-13; 7:6, 13-15; 8:6, 16-17, 23; 12:18 in connection with visits to Corinth to organize the collection. He then disappears again. All this is surprising.
  • Why the 7 year absence?
  • When Titus is sent back to Corinth Paul stresses his close relationship to both the Corinthians and himself (2 Cor 8:23). It is his relationship of trust that he has established with both parties that makes him the ideal choice of envoy. But what about Titus's 'first' visit to Corinth? On the usual assumption about Titus's identity, he succeeded in reconciling the Corinthians to Paul after visits by both Paul and Timothy had failed. If we suppose that Titus was already a trusted co-worker of both Paul and the Corinthians, it becomes hard to explain his absence from 1 Corinthians, 2 Cor 1:19, and 1 Thess. If, on the other hand, we suppose that he had no prior relationship to the Corinthians, and had not worked closely with Paul since 48/49, it is hard to explain why Paul chose him as an envoy and how he was able to succeed where Paul and Timothy had failed.
  • In 2 Cor 8:23 Paul describes Titus as his partner. This would be a strange claim to make if Titus had recently rejoined Paul’s team after an absence of several years and was expected to leave before the end of the travel season. 2 Cor 8:23 seems to imply an extensive association between Titus and Paul, which is hard to reconcile with the absence of Titus from Romans, 1 Corinthians, etc..
  • Paul sent Titus back to Corinth (2 Cor 8:6, 16-17) to organize the collection, so it is a little strange that his name does not appear in Romans 16:21-23, which was written a few months later from Corinth. I have argued here that Paul sent greetings from all his prominent co-workers who were in Corinth at that time.
The strange absence of the name "Titus" from texts such as 1 Corinthians, Romans, and Acts raises the possibility that he is known in those texts by a different name. In my next post I hope to start to build the case that his other name was "Timothy".

But the theory that "Titus" was known by another name, is persuasive only if there is a plausible reason why Paul would switch to using the name "Titus" when he does. I will now argue that Paul called him "Titus" in 2 Corinthians to hide his identity from those who might have stolen or confiscated the collection.

It is a remarkable fact that Paul no-where names anyone who helped with the collection. Indeed, in 2 Cor 8:18-24 Paul mentions two collection helpers and leaves them strangely anonymous. It is very surprising that Paul should not name the men, whom he praises so highly. No parallel example has ever been proposed. Furthermore, we also must reckon with the anonymity of the brother of 2 Cor 12:18. As Thrall (p854) points out, Paul gives this man no description that might substitute for a name, and he was certainly known to the Corinthians. Why are the three brothers not named? The explanation becomes apparent when we realize that there was a risk that the collection would be stolen by bandits or intercepted by Jews or Roman authorities. I have argued in detail here that the Jews did indeed have the collection outlawed and that Paul delivered it anyway. For the protection of the collection it was necessary to prevent the identities of the helpers from becoming public knowledge. It is a mistake to think that 2 Corinthians would be heard or read only by Paul's trusted friends. Outsiders could be present when the letter was read (1 Cor 14:23) and there was a danger of "false brothers" (2 Cor 11:26), and the letter was to be circulated throughout Achaia (2 Cor 1:1). The anonymity of all three brothers therefore served to conceal their identity from outsiders. I am surprised that this has not been proposed before.

Since the name "Titus" appears in 2 Corinthians only in connection with his two missions to Corinth to organize he collection, his identity is concealed (from outsiders) by the use of that name. I suggest that Paul calls him "Titus" here precisely because he was not known publicly by that name.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Was the famine visit historical?

In Gal 1:18-19 Paul mentions his Jerusalem visit of Acts 9:26-30, and in Gal 2:1-10 he refers to his Jerusalem visit of Acts 15:2-22. However, Paul makes no mention of the famine visit of Acts 11:27-30; 12:25. Many conclude that the famine visit did not happen. This view is based on the assumption that Paul would have been obliged to mention every visit that he made to Jerusalem, and this in turn is based on certain assumptions about Paul's line of argument in Gal 1-2.

Now, Debbie Hunn has shown that the conventional assumptions about Gal 1-2 are wrong, and that there is therefore no reason to reject the famine visit. She writes,
Paul argues that he received the gospel from God by showing that he did not learn it from the apostles. Therefore, his evidence must include a record of any visit to Jerusalem. But when Paul adduced witnesses to the fact that he was preaching the gospel to Gentiles while unknown by sight in Judea in 1,22-24, he finished his proof that he had not gone to the apostles for his message.
While Paul argues in Gal 1:16-24 that he had preached his gospel before he had had much contact the Judean church, he does not do the same thereafter. In Gal 2:1-10 Paul does not say that he did not meet many believers in Jerusalem, and nor does he say that he spent little time there. In Gal 2:1-10 Paul provides different arguments to show that his motive for preaching Gentile liberty was not to ingratiate himself with the Jerusalem church leaders.

Many assume that Paul mentioned the interval of 14 years (Gal 2:1) to show that there was a long interval before he returned to Jerusalem. However, Paul is arguing that he did not preach Gentile liberty out of a desire to please the Jerusalem church, so he mentions the 14 years to show that it was a long time before he bothered to ascertain the Jerusalem church's position on the issue. This says nothing about whether he had made a visit to Jerusalem in the interval.

If Paul really had not been back to Jerusalem until the visit of Gal 2:1-10, as many suppose, he surely would have said so to strengthen his case. Surely he would have written something like, "When I departed for Jerusalem 14 years later, I was still unknown by face to the churches there". In fact Paul makes no claim about the duration of time in which he was unknown to the believers in Judea (Gal 1:22-24).

It seems to me that the name "Agabus" also supports the historicity of the famine visit. The name probably means, "Locust" and would therefore be a very appropriate nickname for this OT-style prophet who predicted the famine. Locust were associated with food shortages in OT prophecies (Exodus 10:4-19; Deut 28:38,42; 1 Kings 8:38; 2 Chron 7:13; Psalm 78:46; Psalm 105:34; Joel 1:4; 2:25; Amos 4:9; 7:1). Nicknames were quite common in Palestine at this time, perhaps because so many people had a name that was so common that an additional name was needed to distinguish them from others. Tal Ilan (Lexicon of Jewish Names in Late Antiquity part I Palestine 330 BCE-200CE) identifies 2826 people and 188 probable cases of nicknames (7%). The name "Agabus" is either unattested elsewhere or virtually so. For these reasons we should assume that "Agabus" was his nickname. Now, the name is Hebrew, so it is unlikely that Luke invented it. The historicity of Luke's account is therefore supported by the fact the the name "Agabus" is so appropriate for this predictor of famine.

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Debbie Hunn on Gal 1-2

The latest edition of Biblica has a new paper on-line by Debbie Hunn: "Pleasing God or Pleasing People? Defending the Gospel in Galatians 1-2".

This is a very important paper and everyone who has an interest in Paul should read it. Scholarship on Gal 1-2 has been confused an confusing, but Hunn shows great clarity of thought. She immediately gets to the heart of the problem: how does Gal 1:13-2:21 substantiate Paul's claim that his gospel is from God (Gal 1:11-12)?

The most common view is that Paul is arguing in Gal 1:13-2:21 that he has apostolic authority and that the authenticity of that authority confirms the truth of his gospel. Hunn, however, points out that in both Gal 1:8 and Gal 2:6 Paul is clear that truth does not derive from apostolic rank.

Hunn then notes that Gal 2:2 and Gal 2:10 are in tension with the view that Paul is responding to the accusation that he was dependent on Jerusalem. She then convincingly critiques the view that Paul is presenting himself as an example for the Galatians to follow.

The key to understanding Gal 1:11-2:21, Hunn tells us, is in Gal 1:10:
The distance Paul kept from the apostles also illustrates that he did not seak to mingle with them with an eye to prominence among them, and this answers his question in v. 10: "Do I now seek to please people or God?" Paul argues for the devine origin of his gospel on the basis that he has sought to please God, not human beings, after his conversion.
In Gal 1:14-19 Paul says that, in contrast to his earlier life, after is conversion he no longer sought to gain status among humans:
Paul's brief association with the Jerusalem apostles - of whom he met only two - is evidence that he did not ingratiate himself with them or seek to rise through their ranks.
I think Hunn's thesis is essentially correct, but I would go further. She does not explain what was different about the situation in Galatia that made Paul argue in Gal 1-2 that he was not a pleaser of men. She does not discuss the specific circumstances that made Paul's line of argument particularly necessary. I have argued here, here, and here, that the Galatians suspected that Paul had preached Gentile liberty to please the authors of the Jerusalem decree. This, I think, explains why Paul must prove that he had not been motivated by a desire to please the Jerusalem church leaders in particular. This also explains why Paul does not claim complete independence from the Jerusalem church leaders, but rather shows that his gospel of Gentile liberty in particular was independent of them. Hunn, correctly points out that Gal 2:2 shows that Paul is not claiming general independence from Jerusalem, but this verse does show that the gospel that he preached among the Gentiles was independent of them, for he makes it clear that he had not known how it would be received. On page 45 Hunn correctly summarizes Paul's point in Gal 2:6-10:
He was no junior partner they could take the liberty to instruct, ...
Gal 2:10 is surely part of Paul's argument here. In the ancient world it was unthinkable that clients would be able to instruct benefactors, so by reminding the Galatians that the pillars had asked Paul to remember their poor, Paul further reinforces his point that the Jerusalem church had not told him what to preach: they had recognized him as an equal. Hunn (page 28) is right that Gal 2:10 shows that Paul is not arguing that he was completely independent from Jerusalem. However, Paul is saying that he had not received his message from them.

Hunn may well be right that Paul argues that he had not tried to gain prominence among the apostles. The rumor in Galatia could then have been: "Paul believes in circumcision, but he preached non-circumcision to gain a high standing among the church leaders." This nuanced version of my thesis might make better sense of Gal 1:13-24.

Finally, I think Hunn could have made more use of Gal 5:2-12 and 6:11-17 to shed further light on Gal 1:1-10 in view of the parallels between these passages.

Do read Hunn's paper. It breaks new ground, and clearly exposes the weaknesses of conventional interpretations of Gal 1-2, while pointing towards the way forward.