The Marcion Problem: Canon and Literature 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. We now turn to the Canon and Literature Formation school, which understands Marcion not only to have been formed the notion of a Christian canon, but also to have influenced the majorContinue reading “The Marcion Problem: Canon and Literature Formation (Part I)”

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Book Review: After Acts (Liftin)

Many readers of the New Testament are both fascinated and perplexed by the book of Acts, the earliest “history of Christianity” put to papyrus. Acts begins to tell the story of the church, following the miracles, lives, and journeys of Peter, the Jerusalem Church, and the Apostle Paul. But Acts also ends abruptly—with Paul underContinue reading “Book Review: After Acts (Liftin)”

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)”

Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Ephrem the Syrian and early Syrian Christianity. Central to Ephrem’s scriptural presentation of Christ as beyond investigation (i.e., of the same order as the Father) is the relative simplicity of his arguments. Instead of constructing complex metaphysical arguments, Ephrem relies upon the re-presentation of narratives fromContinue reading “Ephrem’s Scriptural Simplicity”

Jesus and Crossan (Part I)

Around Easter, various theories about the life, death, and (non) resurrection of Jesus tend to find their way onto various media outlets. Sometimes these theories are outlandish and little more than attempts at attention; other times claims about Jesus come from more respectable sources. In today’s and tomorrow’s posts, I examine one of the moreContinue reading “Jesus and Crossan (Part I)”

Book Review: Encountering the New Testament (Elwell and Yarbrough)

First impressions matter. Whether at a job interview, social function, or classroom, the initial picture people paint tends to color all subsequent interactions with that person. To a large degree, this is true of non-personal interactions as well, with institutions, places, and subject matter. And while a bad first impression can be overcome (often throughContinue reading “Book Review: Encountering the New Testament (Elwell and Yarbrough)”

What Day Did Jesus Die?

This post also  appears this morning at Conciliar Post. “When students are first introduced to the historical, as opposed to a devotional, study of the Bible, one of the first things they are forced to grapple with is that the biblical text, whether Old Testament or New Testament, is chock full of discrepancies, many ofContinue reading “What Day Did Jesus Die?”

Deaths of the Apostles

It’s Holy Week for Christians, the week we remember the last days, Passion, Death, and (ultimately) the Resurrection of Jesus of Nazareth. The vast majority of all Christian knowledge about the death and resurrection of Jesus comes from the four canonical gospel accounts, each of which records in some detail the events leading up to Jesus’Continue reading “Deaths of the Apostles”

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”

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.