The Dead Sea Scrolls, the Book of Esther, and the Argument from Silence

When we want to know how the New Testament canon developed, we have a number of sources at our disposal. Most fundamentally, we have patristic sources—the writings of the church fathers—which can show us when books were known, read, and cited.

We also have archaeological evidence at our disposal. We continue to find manuscripts of the New Testament, particularly at the site of Oxyrhynchus among other places, showing that early Christians knew and used these books in some fashion.

But what do we do when a particular book is missing from either of these sources? For example, Irenaeus does not mention (or quote from) the book of Philemon. Should we …

Continue reading...

Next Week I’m Headed to San Antonio for ETS and SBL—Here’s What I’ll Be Up To

Next week I’m headed to San Antonio, TX, for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)—two of the largest gatherings for biblical scholars in the world. In addition to the normal meals, gatherings, and meeting with old friends, here’s a little preview of what I will be up to.

1. Time with the Executive Committee.  As a former president of ETS (2019), I am still serving on the Executive Committee (though this is my final year) which now consists of Al Mohler, D.A. Carson, Timothy George, Gregg Allison, Craig Keener, Karen Jobes, and Craig Blomberg.  And I should not forget

Continue reading...

What I’ll Be Up to at the TGC National Conference

Next week, Sept 25-27 th , I’ll be headed to Indianapolis to participate in The Gospel Coalition National  Conference entitled, “Hope in the Wilderness.”

The conference this year is unique because TGC is partnering with other organizations to offer “micro events.” These are sort of like smaller conferences within the larger conference. So, while TGC has invited plenary speakers, and even sponsored some of their own breakout sessions, each of these organizations have invited their own speakers.

On that note, Reformed Theological Seminary has a micro event with a number of speakers including myself, James Anderson, Greg Beale, Scott Swain, Leigh Swanson, Nancy Guthrie, Melissa Kruger, and Ligon Duncan.

In …

Continue reading...

I’m Headed Off to ETS and SBL–Here’s What I’ll be Up To

Today, I am headed to Denver, CO, for the annual meetings of the Evangelical Theological Society (ETS) and Society of Biblical Literature (SBL)—two of the largest gatherings for biblical scholars in the world. In addition to the normal meals, gatherings, and meeting with old friends, here’s a little preview of what I will be up to.

1. Speaking at Colorado Christian University. On Monday, I will be speaking on the topic of “Hidden Gospels: Our Culture’s Quest to Rewrite the Story of Jesus” to the staff, faculty and students of Colorado Christian. My friend Don Sweeting is the Chancellor there and was kind enough to invite me. I …

Continue reading...

Here’s What I’ve Been Up to Academically

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 (or text). 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 books or articles I have been working on 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 …

Continue reading...