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The Heresy of Orthodoxy How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity Has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity

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. Authors Köstenberger and Kruger engage Ehrman and others in this polemic against a dogged adherence to popular ideals of diversity. 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. ~ Product Description

Table of Contents

    • Foreword: I. Howard Marshall   11
    • List of Abbreviations   13
    • Introduction: The Contemporary Battle to Recast the Origins of the New Testament and Early Christianity   15
  • Part 1: The Heresy of Orthodoxy: Pluralism and the Origins of the New Testament
    • 1. The Bauer-Ehrman Thesis: Its Origins and Influence   23
    • 2. Unity and Plurality: How Diverse Was Early Christianity?   41
    • 3. Heresy in the New Testament: How Early Was It?   69
  • Part 2: Picking the Books: Tracing the Development of the New Testament Canon
    • 4. Starting in the Right Place: The Meaning of Canon in Early Christianity   105
    • 5. Interpreting the Historical Evidence: the Emerging Canon in Early Christianity   125
    • 6. Establishing the Boundaries: Apocryphal Books and the Limits of the Canon   151
  • Part 3: Changing the Story: Manuscripts, Scribes, and Textual Transmission
    • 7. Keepers of the Text: How Were Texts Copied and Circulated in the Ancient World?   179
    • 8. Tampering with the Text: Was the New Testament Text Changed Along the Way?   203
    • Concluding Appeal: The Heresy of Orthodoxy in a Topsy-turvy World   233
    • General Index   237
    • Scripture Index   247