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

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

Andreas J. Köstenberger, Michael J. Kruger

| Crossway | 2010

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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. Scholars 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.

Author Bio

Andreas J. Köstenberger (PhD, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School) is senior research professor of New Testament and biblical theology and director of PhD studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the author or coauthor of several books, including Encountering the Gospel of John, The Book Study Concordance of the Greek New Testament, and The Missions of Jesus and the Disciples according to the Fourth Gospel. He also translated Adolf Schlatter's two-volume New Testament Theology, and editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society.