Scripture in 1 Clement: Introduction

Making sense of conceptions of scripture during the earliest years of Christianity is no easy task. The relative scarcity of evidence from this period is made even more difficult by the non-systematic form of many early Christian writings and the literary practices of the time, where authors used sources without formal (or clear) introductions, regularlyContinue reading “Scripture in 1 Clement: Introduction”

Book Review: Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (Allen)

Few queries surrounding the New Testament are as well known as the question regarding the authorship of Hebrews. Since the early centuries of Christianity—indeed, long before the New Testament canon was finalized—inquisitive readers have investigated who wrote the Epistle to the Hebrews. Origen, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, Eusebius, Augustine, Aquinas, Luther, Calvin, and Harnack (toContinue reading “Book Review: Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (Allen)”

Why “This” New Testament?

I am often asked some variation of “Where did we get the New Testament?” or “Why are these specific books included in the New Testament?” In conjunction with yesterday’s post on the Origins of the New Testament, today’s post seeks to address why the New Testament includes the writings which it contains. Most of usContinue reading “Why “This” New Testament?”

Origins of the New Testament

The two most common questions that I am asked are some variation of “Where did we get the New Testament?” or “Why are these specific books included in the New Testament?”1 Obviously complete answers to these questions are long, nuanced, and complex (i.e., scholarly discussions of dissertation length answer). But there are also relatively straight-forwardContinue reading “Origins of the New Testament”

NT Canon: What You Need to Know

Most Christians, and I would dare say most Americans, know some basic things about the Christian New Testament. But many people don’t know (or don’t want to know) how the New Testament came into being. Some people seem to think that Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation fell from the sky in a nicely leather boundContinue reading “NT Canon: What You Need to Know”

ECA: Lee McDonald on Early Christian Scripture

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. Over at Bible Odyssey, Lee Martin McDonald has offered a brief response to a question about when the writings of the New Testament became scripture: The New Testament (NT) writings were read in churches early on (Col 4:16), but were not generally calledContinue reading “ECA: Lee McDonald on Early Christian Scripture”

ECA: Shepherd of Hermas

This post is part of our ongoing series examining Early Christian Authority. Even after nearly 2000 years, the Shepherd of Hermas remains an intriguing set of apocalyptic writings from the early Church. The central concern of Hermas revolves around post-baptismal sin: What can Christians do if they have fallen into sin after their baptism? InContinue reading “ECA: Shepherd of Hermas”

ECA: First Clement

To “kick off” our Early Christian Authority Series, we begin with First Clement, which is the earliest non-canonical, specifically Christian, and still extant writing available to us today. First Clement claims to have been written from the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth, and seems to have been written around 95-96 CE (thoughContinue reading “ECA: First Clement”

NT Canon: Apostolic Fathers

This post is part of an ongoing series outlining the formation of the New Testament canon. Before any sort of canonization could take place, the Apostolic[1] writings now included in the New Testament had to become viewed with some form of authority. The sources that scholars utilize most in determining the authority granted to theContinue reading “NT Canon: Apostolic Fathers”

NT Canon: Definition of “Canon”

This post is part of an ongoing series outlining the formation of the New Testament canon. Of primary importance in discussing the development of the New Testament canon is determining precisely what constitutes a “canon.” Historically, three primary schools of thought have emerged concerning the definition of the term the “canon.” Theodor Zahn argued that,Continue reading “NT Canon: Definition of “Canon””