This PhD Candidate in New Testament at the prestigious Duke University, just tweeted this:
It is a notorious fact that Churches in the main do not discuss the issues raised by New Testament scholars that cast doubt on traditional Christian views, such as the apostolic authorship of New Testament books 1 and 2 Timothy and Titus (the so-called Pastoral Epistles).
In reaction to mainstream critical scholarship we have seen the rise of a vocal anti-critical movement in the churches, which its detractors call ‘fundamentalism’. This movement rejects any scholarly position that conflicts with the inerrancy of the Bible. So if 1 Timothy says it is authored by the apostle Paul (which it does), then the letter is certainly by him.
Critical scholarship however, does not assume inerrancy but attempts to look at ancient texts without assuming questions of authorship. It looks at the genre of a text, its literary style and vocabulary, and compares it with other texts from the period that claim to be by the same author. These, and other considerations, convince nearly all mainstream scholars that Paul did not author the three letters in question.
Notice that adherents of biblical inerrancy reject a priori any historical or literary considerations that can lead away from inerrantist positions on the Bible. Historians however are not constrained by this presupposition and are free to follow wherever the evidence leads them.
Fundamentalist apologists typically malign NT scholars who reach the wrong conclusions as ‘liberal’ or ‘anti-supernatural’ or otherwise biased. Indeed everyone has his or her biases, even fundamentalists as I have shown. But scholars reach their conclusions in ways that any reasonable student would accept if they did not start from a position of inerrancy. Even conservative evangelical scholars who are highly regarded by their colleagues have been convinced that traditional Christian beliefs about authorship are occasionally mistaken. The late great British professor FF Bruce for example taught that the internal evidence of the Book of Isaiah suggests at least three distinct authors, only one of whom was Isaiah himself.
Other highly regarded evangelical NT scholars such as professor Richard J. Bauckham have also reached uncomfortable conclusions. He acknowledged that 2 Peter is not by the apostle Peter, despite the text claiming to be by the apostle.
So the Church fails in its moral obligation to discuss the truth about the Bible by ignoring historical findings with its congregations.