All the Jewish apocalypses are pseudonymous, and all the Christian with the exception of the Shepherd of Hermas.
The chief ground for resorting to pseudonymous authorship in Judaism was that the belief in prophecy was lost among the people.
Moreover, the chief ground for the development of a pseudonymous literature was absent in the early Christian church.
It seems on the whole most probable that 2 Peter is not a genuine work, but that it came from the same factory of pseudonymous Petrine writings as the Apocalypse which bears the same name, though the one has, and the other has not, obtained a place within the Canon.
An adequate monograph on ancient pseudonymous literature remains to be written; meantime, further reference may be made to the older essays of Mosheim (Dissertatio de caussis suppositorum librorum inter Christianos saeculi primi et secundi, 1 733); Bentley's Dissertation on Phalaris, pp. 80 seq.; K.
Pseudonymous epistles were especially numerous under the early Roman empire, and mainly attached themselves to the names of Plato, Demosthenes, Aristotle and Cicero.
ARISTEAS, the pseudonymous author of a famous Letter in which is described, in legendary form, the origin of the Greek translation of the Old Testament known as the Septuagint.
The question whether the writing as a whole is pseudonymous, or only the superscription a mistaken conjecture by the scribe of Jude 1 is of secondary importance.
From this standpoint it may be argued that every apocalypse is in a certain sense pseudonymous; for the materials are not the writer's own, but have come down to him as a sacred deposit - full of meaning for the seeing eye and the understanding heart.