Persistent Myths about the Origins of the New Testament

Are the NT manuscripts corrupted?  Have scribes irreparably changed the text?  Were Christian scribes competent to copy the text reliably?

How many “other” gospels were there in early Christianity? Were these gospel suppressed by “orthodox” groups? Were these lost gospels as popular as the canonical ones?

Don Carson and I answer these questions for a TGC video:

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Seven Lessons for Evangelical Scholars in the Secular Academy

Over the last couple of weeks, many evangelical scholars (including myself) attended the annual conferences of the Evangelical Theological Society and the Society of Biblical Literature (not to mention, the Institute for Biblical Research).

Many good papers were delivered (and heard), old friendships were rekindled, and everyone was asked the same question over and over: “So, what are you working on right now?”

While such conferences remind me of the joys of scholarship, they also remind me of the challenges.  Sadly, there are many stories of well-intended evangelical scholars who set out to influence the academy, and the academy ends up influencing them. Some end up abandoning the very …

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Some Recent Interactions with My Book on Second Century Christianity

I’ve been pleased this year to see so many encouraging responses to my new book, Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (IVP Academic, 2018). Who would’ve thought people would be interested in the second century?

For those who haven’t picked up a copy yet, this book highlights what is really a forgotten century of sorts in the history of Christianity. Much attention is paid to the first century (for obvious reasons!), and by the time the third and fourth centuries roll around, the church is more established (which means more sources for scholars to study).

In between sits the “Cinderella Century” (as …

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Was Gnosticism Tolerant and Inclusive? Debunking Some Myths about “Alternative” Christianities

In the world of biblical studies, at least among some critical scholars, Gnosticism has been the darling for sometime now.  Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity.

Gnosticism  was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money.  And it seems that some scholars look back and wish that the Gnostics had prevailed.

After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving.  Given …

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It’s Here! My Book on Christianity in the Second Century is Now Available in the USA

Last year (2017) my book on second-century Christianity was released with SPCK in the UK:  Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church.

For my American colleagues and friends however, this book has not been easy to get.  Since it is a dual publication between SPCK and IVP Academic, and since it was released by SPCK first, it has thus far only been (technically) available if ordered from the UK.

I am pleased to say that it is now available in the USA.  No more need to get bootleg copies!

Although Amazon is showing the book is not available till February 25th, our …

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