A Brief History of Communion: Apostolic Fathers

This post is part of an ongoing series on the history of communion. The Apostolic Fathers The earliest non-canonical references to Communion come in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers, namely Ignatius of Antioch (c. 108 CE) and the Didache (c. 110 CE). Ignatius, much like Paul in 1 Corinthians, indicates that he is veryContinue reading “A Brief History of Communion: Apostolic Fathers”

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Ep22: What Is Baptism?

In this episode of the Church Debates series, we look at the important questions surrounding Baptism which influence how Christians understand the “washing of water” differently.

Book Review: The Ancient Path (Talbot)

When you want to understanding something, you look for information. When you want to make sense of a story, you ask people to explain things from the beginning. When you want to comprehend a complex event, you consult eyewitnesses and experts. In an age of self-help, independence, internet “research”, and self-sufficiency, however, fewer people takeContinue reading “Book Review: The Ancient Path (Talbot)”

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”

Book Review: The Didache (O’Loughlin)

“There are two ways: one is the Way of Life, the other is the Way of Death; and there is a mighty difference between these two ways.” (Didache 1.1) Thus begins the Didache, that early Christian text also called the “Teaching of the Lord Given to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles.” Since its rediscoveryContinue reading “Book Review: The Didache (O’Loughlin)”

In the Mail: February 4

I am grateful to Baker Academic, InterVarsity Press, B&H Academic, and Zondervan for providing me with my “spring reading” selections, including The Didache (Baker), Why Church History Matters  (IVP), Lukan Authorship of Hebrews (B&H Academic), Encountering the New Testament (Baker), and Believe (Zondervan). Look for reviews of these books to being appearing in the next couple of weeks.

ECA: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

This post is part of our ongoing series considering Early Christian Authority. The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (hereafter, the Didache, it’s more common name) is one of the earliest non-canonical extant texts of the Christian tradition. Almost certainly a praxis oriented church “manual,” the Didache has two main sections: an exposition on the PathContinue reading “ECA: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”

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”