New Blog Series:10 Common Misconceptions About the NT Canon

Over the next month or so I plan to write a new blog series on 10 common misconceptions (or misunderstandings) about the origins and development of the NT Canon.   These are misconceptions that are not only held by the average layman, but are often shared by those in the academic community as well.

It is always difficult to know how such misunderstandings develop and are promulgated.   Sometimes they are just ideas that are repeated so often that no one bothers (anymore) to see if they have merit.  In other cases, these ideas have been promoted through popular presentations of the canon’s origins (e.g., The Da Vinci Code).  And in …

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Did Early Christians Believe that Jesus Would Return in Their Lifetime? Implications for the Canon

One of the most-oft repeated ideas about the earliest Christians is that they believed that the Kingdom of God would come (apocalyptically) within their own lifetime.  In fact Schweitzer famously argued that Jesus himself thought the world would end in his own lifetime; of course the world didn’t end and Jesus died disillusioned on the cross saying, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).

In recent years, some have suggested that this belief in early Christianity would even have affected the development of the canon.   If Christians thought the world would end in their own lifetime, then, it is argued, they would not have been interested …

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‘Hoist with His Own Petard’: Keener Turns the Tables on the Academic Elite

I recently wrote a review of Craig Keener’s wonderful (and lengthy!) new book, Miracles: The Credibility of the New Testament Accounts (Eerdmans, 2011).  Although the review will soon be available on the Themelios webpage, I thought I would mention one particular positive here.  As one might expect, Keener devotes a substantial portion of the book refuting Hume’s well known argument against the possibility of miracles.  The problem, as he so deftly points out, is that Hume’s argument is fallaciously circular.

Keener observes, “[Hume] argues, based on ‘experience,’ that miracles do not happen, yet dismisses credible eyewitness testimony for miracles (i.e., others’ experience) on his assumption that miracles do not happen” …

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