Identifying Authentic Pieces


Identifying the artist of a lost (and found) piece of art is not always easy—several factors go into authenticating whether a piece is truly from a specific artist. Take this case of a lost Van Gogh: it required historical verification through letters, as well as a stylistic comparison. In other words, the authenticators had to identify whether this piece was consistent with the rest of Van Gogh’s work. In the end, these authenticators confirmed the piece as a Van Gogh (“New Vincent van Gogh Painting Identified,” BBC, September 9, 2013, In a similar way, the early Christians identified whether a Gospel or writing about Christ was consistent with the rest of Scripture, and only then did they accept it as authoritative. Indeed, all the Scriptures, while unique in genre, dates, and so on, come from God’s own hand; it was the work of the early church to recognize this.