Apocryphal Gospels and the Mainstream Media

the-four-gospels

One thing that I have observed over the years is that major media outlets love apocryphal gospels.  Whenever the person of Jesus is discussed–usually at Easter and Christmas–there is always a discussion about how the real story of Jesus has been suppressed and can only now be found in these lost gospels.   Sweeping claims are then made about how there was no agreement on much of anything in the first four centuries of the faith and that other stories of Jesus circulated by the thousands. Only after Constantine came along does the church decide which books to accept (and then subsequently denies all other books admission to the club).

When …

Continue reading…

The Complete Series: 10 Misconceptions About the NT Canon

New Testament

For the last 3-4 months I have been working through a blog series entitled “10 Misconceptions About the New Testament Canon.”  This series exams some common beliefs out there in the academic (and lay-level) communities that prove to be problematic upon closer examination.

Although the series is not quite finished (two more to go), I have received several requests to have it all one place.  So, here is the list.  I will update this list as we go along.  Also, there will be a link to this list under the “Blog Series” heading in the left margin of my website.

  1. The Term “Canon” Can Only Refer to a Fixed, Closed
  2. Continue reading…

10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #8: “Early Christianity was an Oral Religion and Therefore Would Have Resisted Writing Things Down”

Paul writing

Note: this is the eighth installment of a blog series announced here.

Recent years have seen a flurry of scholarly activity focused on the oral transmission of Jesus material within early Christianity.   Scholars (ranging from Gerhardsson to Dunn to Bauckham) have explored different models for how this oral tradition would have been preserved and delivered to each new generation.

Out of this discussion, however, a new objection to the origins of the New Testament canon has arisen.  The earliest Christians are now portrayed as being so committed to oral modes of delivery that they would have had an aversion to the written text.  Indeed, this entrenched resistance to the …

Continue reading…

Review of New Book, Did God Really Say?

apple

In a prior blog post, I mentioned the publication of a new book edited by David Garner entitled, Did God Really Say?: Affirming the Truthfulness and Trustworthiness of Scripture.  This book is a compilation of papers originally given at the 2011 PCA General Assembly by scholars from Reformed Theological Seminary, Westminster Theological Seminary, and Covenant Theological Seminary.   Participants included Scott Oliphint, Michael Williams, Robert Yarbrough, Vern Poythress, John Frame, and myself.  David Garner also included a summary chapter.

I noticed in the Aquila Report today that there was a helpful review of the book by Aimee Byrd.  In particular, she notes a thread running through a number of …

Continue reading…