Scripture in the Early Church: The 2017 Ligonier Winter Conference

A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to join R.C. Sproul, Michael Haykin, and Stephen Nichols for the Ligonier 2017 Winter Conference.  The theme was “Scripture in the Early Church.”

There were a number of great sessions on a variety of topics related to early Christianity, such as “Preaching God’s Word in the Early Church,”  “Living God’s Word in the Early Church,” and “Heresy in the Early Church.

My session was on “God’s Word in the Early Church,” where I explored the unique qualities of our four gospels over against apocryphal texts like the Gospel of  Thomas.  You can watch here:…

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Was the Divinity of Jesus a Late Invention of the Council of Nicea? Probing Into What the Earliest Christians Really Believed

council of Nicea

One of the most common objections to Christianity is that the divinity of Jesus was “created” by later Christians long after the first century.  No one in primitive Christianity believed Jesus was divine, we are told.  He was just a man and it was later believers, at the council of Nicea, that declared him to be a God.

A classic example of this in popular literature can be found in the book The Da Vinci Code:

“My dear,” Teabing declared, “until that moment in history [council of Nicea], Jesus was viewed by His followers as a mortal prophet… a great and powerful man, but a man nonetheless. A mortal.”

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How Diverse Was Early Christianity? Clearing Up a Few Misconceptions

For some critical scholars, the most important fact about early Christianity was its radical theological diversity. Christians couldn’t agree on much of anything, we are told. All we have in the early centuries were a variety of Christian factions all claiming to be original and all claiming to be apostolic.

Sure, one particular group–the group we now know as “orthodox” Christianity–won those theological wars.  But why (the argument goes) should we think this group is any more valid than the groups that lost? What if another group (say the Gnostic Christians) had won?  If they had, then what we call “Christianity” would look radically different.

Thus, according to these critics, …

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Did Jesus Even Exist? Responding to 5 Objections Raised by @rawstory

Well, it’s that time of year.  Christmas is almost a week away and we are already seeing various media channels releasing stories, articles, and documentaries on Jesus.  And when the dust settles, they all make the same point: the real Jesus is a lot different than you think.

As some might recall, this same sort of thing happened last Christmas with Kurt Eichenwald’s Newsweek article, “The Bible: So Misunderstood It’s a Sin.”  You can read my two part response here and here.

This Christmas it is happening again with an article by Valerie Tarico, “Here are Five Reasons to Suspect Jesus Never Existed.”  But she …

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Tomas Bokedal Reviews “The Question of Canon”

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

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