Two Very Different Books on the Reliability of the Gospels

Pitre

I have just finished reading Bart Ehrman’s Jesus Before the Gospels: How the Earliest Christians Remembered, Changed, and Invented Their Stories of the Savior (HarperOne, 2016), and Brian Pitre’s The Case for Jesus: The Biblical and Historical Evidence for Christ (Image, 2016).

And I can’t imagine two books about Jesus more different from one another.

Not surprisingly, in his new volume (released again right before Easter!) Ehrman continues his life-long campaign to attack the reliability of the canonical gospels and to raise doubts about their authorship and origins.  Time and time again he asserts that the gospels were late, anonymous productions, written by authors with no connections to the historical …

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My Review of “How the Bible Became Holy”

How the Bible Became Holy

This past week, my review of Michael Satlow, How the Bible Became Holy (Yale, 2014) appeared in the latest volume of Themelios.

As the title suggests, this is yet another book (in a long list of predecessors) that insists that the idea of an authoritative Scripture is a late invention of Christians.

According to Satlow, the Bible was not originally holy. It became holy. And that didn’t even happen until well into the third century or later.

Although Satlow’s volume covers both OT and NT issues, my review addressed some weaknesses on the NT side of things:

As for the development of the New Testament canon, Satlow provides a

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Off to the Annual Meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society

ETS2

Tomorrow I head to Atlanta for the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.  This is always a great occasion to catch up with old colleagues, meet new ones, and network with scholars from around the country.

In addition to a full slate of meetings, I will be involved in the following three sessions:

1. On 11/18 at 10:40AM I will be giving a paper in the Synoptic Gospels section (Hilton Grand Salon C) where I will review the recent book by Monte Shanks, Papias and the New Testament (Pickwick, 2013).  Afterwards there will be a panel discussion on Papias with me, Monte Shanks and Darrell Bock.

2. Also …

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Want to Understand the Transmission of the NT Text? Here is a Great New Resource

Fundamentals of NT TC

Whenever I teach textual criticism to my seminary students, I usually get two very different responses.  For some students, their eyes glaze over and they tune out as soon as they hear the word “paleography” for the first time.

For others, they find themselves fascinated by how texts were transmitted and copied in the ancient world.  And they are excited by the  fact that we can go to museums and see actual NT manuscripts–the earliest artifacts of Christianity. This archaeological component to textual criticism makes it a very tangible enterprise.

One thing that really helps teach students about this complex subject is finding the right text book.  But, admittedly, this …

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