A New Book on Orthodoxy and Heresy in Early Christianity

1934 was a big year for Germany.  It was the year that Adolf Hitler became the Führer and complete head of the German nation and the Nazi party.  And, as we all know, it wasn’t long after that time, that Germany invaded Poland and began World War II.

But 1934 was a significant year for another reason.  Very quietly, behind the scenes, a book was published that would change the landscape of early Christian studies for years to come.  Walter Bauer published his now famous monograph, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity.   Compared to Hitler’s rise, this was not very newsworthy.  And Bauer’s book did not have much of …

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Baur vs. Bauer: Is the New Testament Really Filled with Contradictory Theologies?

Perhaps no book in the history of the world has received as much scrutiny and criticism as the Bible.  For generations, scholars have picked apart every aspect of this book: its history, its transmission, its veracity, its theology, its morality, etc.  It has been criticized, ridiculed, mocked and condemned.  However, in their haste to heap criticism on the Bible, occasionally critics offer arguments that actually prove to be inconsistent with one another.  They make accusations against the Scripture that are mutually exclusive—they cannot all be true.  Of course, such inconsistencies are rarely noticed.  If a scholar is intent to find contradictions in the Bible, he will rarely find contradictions in …

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10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #7: “Christians Had No Basis to Distinguish Heresy from Orthodoxy Until the Fourth Century.”

This is the seventh installment of a blog series announced here.

Ever since Walter Bauer published his now famous Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity there has been a widespread obsession amongst modern scholars with the theme of early Christian diversity.  Study after study has explored how different, contradictory, and divergent early Christian beliefs were.  And it is on this basis that the terms “heresy” and “orthodoxy” are declared to be unintelligible prior to the fourth century.  After all, we are told, there was no Christianity (as we know it) prior to this time period, but only a variety of different Christianities (plural) all claiming they are the true …

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10 Misconceptions about the NT Canon: #5: “Early Christians Disagreed Widely over the Books Which Made It into the Canon”

This is the fifth installment of a blog series announced here.

1934 was a big year for Germany.  It was the year that Adolf Hitler became the Führer and complete head of the German nation and the Nazi party.  And, as we all know, it wasn’t long after that time, that Germany invaded Poland and began World War II.

But 1934 was a significant year for another reason.  Very quietly, behind the scenes, a book was published that would change the landscape of early Christian studies for years to come.  Walter Bauer published his now famous monograph, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity.   Compared to Hitler’s rise, this …

Continue reading...