Wilderness in the Apostolic Fathers

In “The Wilderness Narrative in the Apostolic Fathers,” Clayton Jefford outlines the references to wilderness traditions and narratives set in Israel’s wilderness found in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers. His central contention is that the uncertainty of the ancient Israelite motif of wilderness wandering appealed little to non-Jewish, second-generation Christians who were more interestedContinue reading “Wilderness in the Apostolic Fathers”

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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”

Book Review: Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Crossan)

In Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, John Dominic Crossan writes what he calls a “startling account of what we can know about the life of Jesus.” [1] Crossan, who currently holds a Professor Emeritus of Religious Studies position at DePaul University in Chicago, was co-chair of the Jesus Seminar from 1985 until 1996, and has writtenContinue reading “Book Review: Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography (Crossan)”