About the Canon of Scripture and church history

Canon Revisited, by Michael J. Kruger

Michael J. Kruger has some excellent books and a very informative web-site on the issues on the New Testament canon.

I recommend his book, Canon Revisited for people wanting to study the issue of the New Testament canon more accurately and deeply.

Professor Kruger has another book coming out later this year on the canon.

Also, he co-wrote another important book, the Heresy of Orthodoxy, with Andreas Kostenberger which deals with the whole Bauer-Pagels-Ehrman thesis that Gnostics and other heretical groups like Ebionites, Sabellians, Montanists, Arians, etc. were equally valid as expressions of early Christianity.  The thesis claims that it was the political power of Rome in the 4th and 5th Centuries that won the victory over them by force and persecution and the result was that “the victors wrote the history”, which is a common modern attack against orthodox Christian doctrine regarding the Deity of Christ, the Trinity, and the canon of Scripture.

The Heresy of Orthodoxy

Since polemicists for Islam make much out of the Bauer-Pagels-Ehrman thesis and other skeptical sources that attack the credibility of the Bible, the doctrines of the Deity of Christ, and the Trinity, these books and web-sites are helpful for research and study to equip oneself to be prepared to give an answer to the attacks.

In his most recent blog article on the canon,  Dr. Kruger points out that even someone as liberal and skeptical as Bart Ehrman agrees that the canon was not decided by a church council:

This raises an important fact about the New Testament canon that every Christian should know. The shape of our New Testament canon was not determined by a vote or by a council, but by a broad and ancient consensus.  Here we can agree with Bart Ehrman, “The canon of the New Testament was ratified by widespread consensus rather than by official proclamation.”[1]   (Lost Christianities, page 231)

One of the most serious problems of modern life is that writers like Dan Brown of the Da Vinci Code have printed lies and myths about the early church and the canon of Scripture and these lies and myths have been accepted by popular culture and had movies made spreading these lies and myths.  Another very sad thing was to see Dan Brown’s book translated into other languages.   When I was in the Atlanta airport years ago, I saw a Turkish couple both reading the Da Vinci Code in Turkish. (each of them had their own copy of the book, and they would stop every now and then and discuss what they were reading.)

Krugers’ books and web-site are a good place to start for Christians to prepare themselves in how to answer these questions that skeptics, atheists, modern Gnostics, Muslims, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Mormons, and other people bring up when we have spiritual conversations with them.

The web-blog, Triablogue also has lots of articles on church history and the canon and New Testament studies, especially articles by Jason Engwer, John Bugay, (especially on Roman Catholicism and church history) and Steve Hays, who writes on every subject imaginable, especially atheism and presuppositional apologetic approaches.)

Hopefully, more and more Muslims will also be interested in reading what conservative, scholarly, and believing Christians write on these subjects and be open to consider doing more research than the typical Da Vinci Code type popular lies and myths.

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About Ken Temple

I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a sinner who has been saved by the grace of God alone (Ephesians 2:8-9), through faith alone (Galatians 2:16; Romans 3:28; 4:1-16), in Christ alone (John 14:6). But a true faith does not stay alone, it should result in change, fruit, good works, and deeper levels of repentance and hatred of my own sins of selfishness and pride. I am not better than you! I still make mistakes and sin, but the Lord is working on me, conforming me to His character. (Romans 8:28-29; 2 Corinthians 3:16-18) When I do sin, I hate the sin as it is an affront to God, and seek His forgiveness in repentance. (Mark 1:15; 2 Corinthians 7:7-10; Colossians 3:5-16 ) Praise God for His love for sinners (Romans 5:8), shown by the voluntary coming of Christ and His freely laying down His life for us (John 10:18), becoming flesh/human (John 1:1-5; 1:14; Philippians 2:5-8), dying for sins of people from all nations, tribes, and cultures (Revelation 5:9), on the cross, in history, rising from the dead (Romans 10:9-10; Matthew 28, Mark 16:1-8; Luke 24; John 20-21; 1 Corinthians chapter 15). His resurrection from the dead proved that Jesus is the Messiah, the eternal Son of God, the word of God from eternity past; and that He was all the gospels say He was and that He is truth and the life and the way to salvation. (John 14:6)
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One Response to About the Canon of Scripture and church history

  1. Pingback: “Sola Scriptura”, the Canon, and Roman Catholicism | apologeticsandagape

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