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”

The Divine Quest, East and West (Part III)

This post concludes a brief series of reflections on Jay Ford’s The Divine Quest, East and West. The Divine Quest: East and West provides an engaging, insightful, and balanced approach to considering the Ultimate in three (or four) major religious traditions. From the perspective of one most familiar with Christianity, I especially appreciated the wayContinue reading “The Divine Quest, East and West (Part III)”

Book Review: Who Made Early Christianity? (Gager)

Contemporary readers of the New Testament are often struck by the overwhelming influence of the Apostle Paul. After not appearing at all in the gospels and barely appearing in the first half of Acts, he comes to dominate most of the rest of the New Testament canon. Despite his popularity, however, Paul remains a controversialContinue reading “Book Review: Who Made Early Christianity? (Gager)”

Book Review: Lord Jesus Christ (Hurtado)

Magnum opus remains a term best reserved for the crowning achievement of a scholar’s life and work, the pinnacle at the top of decades of research, writing, and sharpening arguments. These great works comprehensively examine and engage their field of work and, at their best, even redefine the field for years to come. Such isContinue reading “Book Review: Lord Jesus Christ (Hurtado)”

The Marcion Problem: Canon Formation (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence of the formation of the New Testament canon. Adolf von Harnack The great Adolph von Harnack was a forerunner in both general canonical studies as well as specific considerations of Marcion, with his works setting the tone for the yearsContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Canon Formation (Part I)”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. From Tertullian’s writings emerge several implications for Marcion’s conceptions of scripture, canon, and authority. First, from his Prescription against Heresies it seems that Marcion in some way undermined the existing authority structuresContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part II)”

The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In comparison to all other extant ancient works, the writings of Tertullian of Carthage against Marcion remain the fullest and most precise rejection of Marcion’s theology. Tertullian composed as least six worksContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Tertullian (Part I)”

New Testament/Early Christianity Timeline

One of my academic projects includes working toward a historical G.U.T. (Grand Unified Theory) of the early history of Christianity. This type of project is by no means a new endeavor, though this doesn’t stop me from pouring over timelines and historical reconstructions to appropriate information for my own work. As a starting point forContinue reading “New Testament/Early Christianity Timeline”

Reflections on “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ Threat”

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. In her chapter “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ threat” of Anti-Judaism and Christian Orthodoxy: Ephrem’s Hymns in Fourth Century Syria (CUA Press, 2008), Christine Shepardson compares the anti-Arian rhetoric of these two great defenders of Nicene Christology, arguing thatContinue reading “Reflections on “Ephrem, Athanasius, and the ‘Arian’ Threat””

The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Marcion of Sinope and his influence on the development of the New Testament canon. In some ways Marcion was a rather popular figure among Christians during the mid to late second century, as numerous writers and apologists made reference to his beliefs and churches. These treatmentsContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Irenaeus”