Review of a “New New Testament”: Part 1

There has been much chatter recently about the new book by Hal Taussig called A New New Testament (Houghton Mifflin, 2013).  It intends to combine the traditional 27 books of the New Testament along with 10 apocryphal writings from early Christianity.  As I observed in a prior post, there is nothing particularly “new” about this sort of project—it has been tried again and again since the time of Marcion.

This post is the first installment of my review of this book, with many more to come.  We will focus here just on the promotional description on the inside cover flap.  This is an unusual place to begin a book …

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The Complete Series: Ten Basic Facts About the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize

For the last month or so, I have been working through a new series on the NT canon designed to help Christians understand ten basic facts about its origins.  This series is designed for a lay-level audience and hopefully could prove helpful in a conversation one might have with a skeptical friend.

Given that there are already four installments in this series, I thought would be helpful to have them listed all in one spot.  Thus, I will list the current installments below, and plan to update this list as the series progresses.  Also, note that the bottom left of my website has a link to all my blog series.…

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Ten Basic Facts about the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: #4: “Some NT Writers Quote Other NT Writers as Scripture”

Note: This is the fourth installment of a new blog series announced here.

One of the most controversial issues in the study of the New Testament canon is the date when these books were regarded as Scripture.  When were these books first used as an authoritative guide for the church?   Critical scholars will argue that these books were not written to be Scripture and were not even used as Scripture until the end of the second century.

But one of the most basic facts that Christians should know is that some New Testament writers actually quote other New Testament writers as Scripture.  This demonstrates that the concept of a …

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Ten Basic Facts about the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: #3: “The New Testament Books Are Unique Because They Are Apostolic Books”

Note: This is the third installment of a new blog series announced here.

One of the most basic facts about the New Testament canon that all Christians should understand is that the canon is intimately connected to the activities of the apostles.

Jesus had commissioned his apostles “so that they might be with him and he might send them out to preach and have authority” (Mark 3:14–15).  When Jesus sent out the twelve, he reminds them that “For it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father speaking through you” (Matt 10:20).  Thus, he is able to give a warning to those who reject the apostles’ …

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Ten Basic Facts about the NT Canon that Every Christian Should Memorize: #2: “Apocryphal Writings are All Written in the Second Century or Later”

Note: This is the second installment of a new blog series announced here.

In the prior post, we discussed the first basic fact about the New Testament canon, namely that the New Testament writings are the earliest Christian texts we possess.  We were careful to make clear that the early date of these books does not make them canonical, but the early date does show that these books were written during a time period when eyewitnesses of Jesus were still alive.

In this current post, we address the issue of “apocryphal” New Testament writings.  These are writings that were not included in the New Testament, but have a similar …

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