Did Papias Know the Apostle John?

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I just received in the mail the latest issue of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.  And I noticed that it contained my review of Monte Shanks’ recent volume, Papias and the New Testament (Pickwick, 2013). (I can’t keep track of when my book reviews appear!).

Seeing this review reminded me of one of the key debates in discussions of the emerging New Testament canon, namely whether Papias, the bishop of Hierapolis in the early second century, knew the apostle John.  This is a key question simply because Papias provides one of the earliest explicit references to the gospels of Mark and Matthew.

So, where did Papias get …

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Is the Existence of the NT Canon Incompatible with Claims of New Revelation?

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“God has spoken to me.”

There are few statements that will shut down debate more quickly than this one.  If Christians disagree over a doctrine, a practice, or an idea, then the trump card is always “God has spoken to me” about that.  End of discussion.

But, the history of the church (not to mention the Scriptures themselves) demonstrates that such claims of private, direct revelation are highly problematic. Of course, this doesn’t mean that God doesn’t speak to people. The Scripture is packed with examples of this.  But, these were typically individuals with a unique calling (e.g., prophet or apostle), or who functioned at unique times in redemptive history …

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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

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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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