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The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with…

by Andreas J. Kostenberger, Michael J. Kruger

Other authors: I. Howard Marshall (Foreword)

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338459,915 (4.4)None
Beginning with Walter Bauer in 1934, the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman. Spreading from academia into mainstream media, the suggestion that diversity of doctrine in the early church led to many competing orthodoxies is indicative of today's postmodern relativism. Köstenberger and Kruger's accessible and careful scholarship not only counters the "Bauer Thesis" using its own terms, but also engages overlooked evidence from the New Testament. Their conclusions are drawn from analysis of the evidence of unity in the New Testament, the formation and closing of the canon, and the methodology and integrity of the recording and distribution of religious texts within the early church. --from publisher description.… (more)
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living in an age of skepticism every christian must read this book especially since Christmas is around the corner and with all the skeptical specials on TV ( )
  Teddy37 | Jun 9, 2021 |
"Early Christianity was a mess with scores of contradicting gospels and different beliefs about who Jesus was. It wasn't until hundreds of years later that the orthodox squashed out opposing views and rewrote the NT manuscripts". Such is the charge that Köstenberger and Kruger tackle in this short work. They argue (I) early Christianity was remarkably United around the core identity and actions of Jesus, (II) the disagreement on the NT canon was localized to peripheral books and the 4 Gospels enjoyed widespread privileged status as early as the beginning of the 2nd century and (III) the textual reliability of the NT collection far and away outsrips any contemporary work.

It's important to go into this book with the right expectation. Essentially, this is a condensed summary of the authors' work in three controversial areas of Christian origins: plurality of beliefs in the early church, origin of the NT canon, and textual criticism. I did not know this and having already read Kruger's work on the canon and Daniel Wallace's work on textual criticism, the arguments came off as surface level. DO NOT GET ME WRONG, it's a great overview book, but if you are already familiar with Kruger or Köstenberger's work in these areas, I would not recommend it. If you are looking for a starting place in these controversies, I would absolutely recommend it and further, follow the rigorous footnotes for detailed discussion on every point made.

With the caveat that this is not an extremely detailed work, I found many of the arguments to be a little rushed. To their credit, the authors would often cite a more detailed discussion in the footnotes. The form of some of the arguments were not overly persuasive to me even though I agree with the conclusions; however, as mentioned in my previous review on "Is There A Synoptic Problem?", I think that if you are going to make a probability claim, it needs to include a properly justified p-value.

Overall 3.8/5 ( )
  ZacharyTLawson | Jul 10, 2019 |
Well written book that gives an in-depth critique of the Bauer-Ehrman Thesis and the inconsistencies of the thesis. ( )
  Aaron.Andrews | Aug 9, 2016 |
This is not an easy book. The topic is complicated and the scholarly approach required in response may be inaccessible (or just uninteresting) to many. But I believe the book is a very important one.

The authority and reliability of the Bible is under attack from all sides. Pastors and Elders, particularly, must understand the ideologies (and poor scholarship) behind many of these attacks. This requires a study of the history of Biblical scholarship over the last two centuries. This is not an easy or exciting study, but an essential one for anyone who needs to be able to defend the authenticity of the Christian Scriptures.

The book is well-written, the claims are well-documented, and the topic is critically important. This is worth the time it takes to read it. ( )
  PaulM | Sep 22, 2010 |
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added by Christa_Josh | editJournal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Jason B. Hood (Mar 1, 2011)
 

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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kostenberger, Andreas J.primary authorall editionsconfirmed
Kruger, Michael J.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Marshall, I. HowardForewordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
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Beginning with Walter Bauer in 1934, the denial of clear orthodoxy in early Christianity has shaped and largely defined modern New Testament criticism, recently given new life through the work of spokesmen like Bart Ehrman. Spreading from academia into mainstream media, the suggestion that diversity of doctrine in the early church led to many competing orthodoxies is indicative of today's postmodern relativism. Köstenberger and Kruger's accessible and careful scholarship not only counters the "Bauer Thesis" using its own terms, but also engages overlooked evidence from the New Testament. Their conclusions are drawn from analysis of the evidence of unity in the New Testament, the formation and closing of the canon, and the methodology and integrity of the recording and distribution of religious texts within the early church. --from publisher description.

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