Discerning Witnesses: First and Second Century Textual Studies in Christian Authority, the M.A. thesis that I wrote while at Wake Forest University, has been uploaded to my Academia.edu page. If you’re interested in reading more about the use of sources of authority (written, oral, etc) by early Christians like Clement of Rome and Ignatius of Antioch, and heretic Marcion of Sinope, this might be the thesis for you. I plan on expanding and expounding upon this work here and elsewhere in the future, but if you’re interested in the PDF monograph, I’d love to hear your thoughts on my work.
Christians have long been called “People of the Book” and placed a great deal of importance upon the Bible. No matter the denomination, the Bible holds a place of reverence and authority (though, of course, the emphasis and interpretation vary). For some of us, how and why the Bible came to hold this place of importance as “scripture” and “authority” for followers of Christ remains a topic worthy of holding our attention. Questions abound: Who wrote the books of the Bible? How were they collected? How are they interpreted? How should they be interpreted? How did the writings of the Bible become considered authoritative? What does it mean if something is scriptural? How was the Bible transmitted? How do we translate the Bible? How do we know that we have the right books in the Bible? Is the Bible trustworthy? What is the relationship of the Bible to other institutions and authorities? And so on. Continue reading