Looking for More Than Blog Posts? Here are Some Recent Academic Articles on the Origins of the NT Canon

Michael J. Kruger

Posted on

July 31, 2017

For those reading this blog, I trust you’ve benefited from the variety of posts that deal with issues related to the origins of the NT canon. I have written those posts with a wide audience in mind, hoping they are helpful for just about anybody who wants to learn more.

At the same time, I know some of you may be interested to know of some more academic articles I have written over the last few years that deal with the NT canon, or NT manuscripts, on a more technical level.  Those kinds of articles, because they are not “blog” articles, tend to get lost in the shuffle.  And even if a person knows about them, sometimes they are very hard to find!

But, here are a few examples over the last five years (starting with most recent) along with a few comments from me about what the article is about:

“Miniature Codices in Early Christianity,” in Paratextual Features in Early New Testament Papyri and Manuscripts, eds. Stanley Porter, Chris Stevens, David Yoon (TENT; Leiden, E.J. Brill, forthcoming).   Here I explore the characteristics of miniature codices, a few examples that are contested, and probe into their function within early Christianity.

 “First Timothy 5:18 and Early Canon Consciousness: Reconsidering a Problematic Text,” in The Language and Literature of the New Testament: Essays in Honor of Stanley E. Porter’s 60th Birthday, eds. Lois K. Fuller Dow, Craig Evans, and Andrew W. Pitts (Leiden: E.J. Brill, 2016), 680-700.  For years, I have found this passage to be both perplexing and promising in terms of its relevance for the origins of the NT canon.  Is Paul quoting Jesus tradition?  The Gospel of Luke?  Whatever the answer, there are significant implications for canon.

“The Reception of the Book of Revelation in the Early Church,” in Book of Seven Seals: The Peculiarity of Revelation, Its Manuscripts, Attestation and Transmission, ed. Thomas Kraus and Michael Sommer (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2016), p. 159-174. The book of Revelation has long been known as a book that struggled to make into the canon.  That is partially true.  What is often overlooked, however, is that it started out with a bang–it had an early, strong, and widespread reception in the first few centuries.

“Heresy: New Testament” in The Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception (Berlin: De Gruyter, 2015), vol. 11, 845-848. I have written elsewhere on the issue of heresy and orthodoxy in early Christianity (see The Heresy of Orthodoxy with my friend Andreas Köstenberger) and this brief article is designed to summarize the state of “heresy” in the time of the New Testament writings.

“Origen’s List of New Testament Books in Hom. Josh. 7.1: A Fresh Look,” in Chris Keith and Deiter T. Roth, eds., Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado (T&T Clark, 2014), 99-117.  It has often been stated that the earliest complete “list” of NT books is the one by Athanasius in c.367.  However, I argue that there is a complete list nearly a century earlier in the writings of Origen that has too often been overlooked.

“The Definition of the Term ‘Canon’: Exclusive or Multi-Dimensional?,” Tyndale Bulletin 63 (2012): 1-20. There has been a lot of chatter over the years about the precision definition of the term “canon.”  What counts as a “canon” and how do we know it when we see it in the historical record?  I tackle this question and suggest that a multiplicity of angles on the definition is the most helpful way to proceed.

“Deconstructing Canon: Recent Challenges to the Origins and Authority of the New Testament Writings,” in Did God Really Say?, ed. David B. Garner (Phillipsburg, NJ: P&R, 2012), 49-70. For those wanting a basic overview of what is happening in the world of NT canon studies, particularly as it pertains to the authority and reliability of the New Testament, this article provides a general survey.

“The Date and Content of P. Antinoopolis 12 (0232),” New Testament Studies 58 (2012): 254-271.  This little manuscript (P.Ant. 12) is a fascinating miniature codex of 2 John that has stumped scholars for years in terms of its original content.  I argue for not only a new date, but make the case that its reconstructed content likely held the Catholic letters and the book of Hebrews.

Of course, I wish I could post all of these articles on my website for free, but the publishing world doesn’t work that way.  But, if you are interested in digging them up at your local university library, I am sure you will be able to find them!

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