Another Look at the Earliest Complete List of the Canon of the New Testament

Last year I posted an article entitled “What Is The Earliest Complete List of the Canon of the New Testament?”  In that post I argued, contrary to common opinion, that the earliest (nearly complete) list is not Athanasius’ Festal Letter in 367.  Instead, the earliest complete list occurs more than a century earlier in the writings of Origen (see picture).

My blog post was based off a fuller academic piece I wrote for the recent festschrift for Larry Hurtado, Mark Manuscripts and Monotheism (edited by Chris Keith and Dieter Roth; T&T Clark, 2015), entitled, “Origen’s List of New Testament Books in Homiliae on Josuam 7.1: A Fresh Look.”…

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The Likely Forger Behind the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

It has been a while since the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has been in the headlines.  It was originally unveiled by Karen King at Harvard (here), but quickly exposed as a likely forgery. I have also written on the fragment (here and here).

While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain (until now) is the identity of the forger.  Who was the person who created this document and convinced King and others to promote it?

The forger must have had some Coptic abilities.  But, the abilities would have had limits–as demonstrated by the mistakes in the Coptic text.

What …

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New Book on Early Christian Apocrypha

Over the last number of years, scholarly (as well as popular) interest in Christian apocryphal works has continued to grow. Folks just can’t seem to get enough of “lost” Gospels and other books that did not make it into the New Testament.

My own interest in this area goes back to my thesis at the University of Edinburgh under Larry Hurtado on the apocryphal gospel fragment P.Oxy. 840.  That was published later as The Gospel of the Savior: An Analysis of P.Oxy. 840 and its Place in the Gospel Traditions of Early Christianity (Brill, 2005).

Because of my own interest in the subject, I was pleased that yesterday in the …

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A New Book on Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity

1934 was a big year for Germany.  It was the year that Adolf Hitler became the Führer and complete head of the German nation and the Nazi party.  And, as we all know, it wasn’t long after that time, that Germany invaded Poland and began World War II.

But 1934 was a significant year for another reason.  Very quietly, behind the scenes, a book was published that would change the landscape of early Christian studies for years to come.  Walter Bauer published his now famous monograph, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity.   Compared to Hitler’s rise, this was not very newsworthy.  And Bauer’s book did not have much of …

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A Christmas Gift from the Mainstream Media: Newsweek Takes a Desperate Swipe at the Integrity of the Bible (Part 2)

On Christmas Eve, I wrote part one of my review of Kurt Eichenwald’s piece (see here), and highlighted not only the substantive and inexcusable litany of historical mistakes, but also the overly pejorative and one-sided portrait of Bible-believing Christians. The review was shared by a number of other evangelical sites and thinkers—including the Gospel Coalition, Tim Challies, Denny Burk, Michael Brown, and others—and ever since I have been digging out from under the pile of comments. I appreciate that even Kurt Eichenwald joined the discussion in the comments section.

But the problems in the original Newsweek article were so extensive that I could not cover them in a single …

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