Tomas Bokedal, Lecturer in New Testament at King’s College, University of Aberdeen, has recently reviewed my book The Question of Canon (IVP Academic, 2013) in the latest issue of the journal Theology (118:65-66).
I have only briefly met Tomas on few prior occasions, but I know through his publications that he is a bright scholar who himself has done some very solid work in the area of the NT canon. You can see his list of publications here.
Given Tomas’ own good work on canon, I was grateful for what was a very positive review. He writes:
This second full-length monograph on the New Testament canon by Michael Kruger
I was recently interviewed on the topic of the NT Canon by Matthew Barrett, editor of Credo Magazine. This magazine is excellent resource, committed to Christ, the authority of Scripture and the fundamental tenets of the Reformation. Here is their own description:
At its core, Credo Magazine strives to be centered on the gospel, confessing the substitutionary death and historical resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ for the salvation of sinners. In doing so, Credo Magazine not only draws upon the historic creeds and confessions of the faith, but especially the great pillars of the Reformation: sola scriptura, solus Christus, sola gratia, sola fide, and soli Deo gloria.
There are so many historical details to manage in the study of the NT and OT canon, that it is often difficult to step back and get the big picture. Scholarly energies are typically preoccupied with whether a certain church father cited a certain biblical book, and thus the entire biblical collection is rarely viewed as a completed whole.
In short, we tend to study the canon one book at a time. But, as Walter Brueggemann observed regarding this approach, “That is problematic because one never gets a sense of the whole of the Bible” (Creative Word, 5).
When we take that step back, and examine the overall …
The story of the New Testament canon is a fascinating one, with many twists and turns. There are books that were accepted very quickly, almost from the start (e.g., the four gospels), and there are other books that struggled to find a home (e.g., 2 Peter).