Tomas Bokedal Reviews “The Question of Canon”

Michael J. Kruger

Posted on

April 8, 2015

Tomas Bokedal, Lecturer in New Testament at King’s College, University of Aberdeen, has recently reviewed my book The Question of Canon (IVP Academic, 2013) in the latest issue of the journal Theology (118:65-66).

I have only briefly met Tomas on few prior occasions, but I know through his publications that he is a bright scholar who himself has done some very solid work in the area of the NT canon. You can see his list of publications here.

Given Tomas’ own good work on canon, I was grateful for what was a very positive review.  He writes:

This second full-length monograph on the New Testament canon by Michael Kruger (President and Professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Charlotte, North Carolina) will not disappoint the reader. From first to last page the argumentation is scholarly solid, intense and challenging…

Kruger here makes some constructive suggestions. In addition to the understanding of canon as a fixed and closed list of books (A. C. Sundberg’s ‘exclusive definition’) and canon as encompassing the entire process by which the formation of the Church’s sacred texts took place (Brevard S. Childs’s ‘functional definition’), Kruger adds a dimension that he labels ‘the ontological definition of canon’ (p. 40), which serves as a reminder that ‘books do not just become authoritative because of the actions of the church – they bear authority by virtue of what they are, books given by God’ (p. 43). This theological approach towards biblical canonicity, it is argued, complements the ‘exclusive’ and ‘functional’ definitions…

This book is not only an updated treatment of the emergence of the New Testament, it also contributes towards a new agenda in canon studies. I hope it will be widely read and received.

You can read the whole review here.