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The Heresy of Orthodoxy

The Heresy of Orthodoxy

$22.99

Paperback
Evaluating historical evidence, this book defends early Christian orthodoxy from the legacy of New Testament criticism: the modern "orthodoxy of diversity."

^^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 Kostenberger and Kruger engage Ehrman and others in this polemic against a dogged adherence to popular ideals of diversity.

^^Kstenberger 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.^

^Endorsements
^^ ^^^"In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old 'orthodox' people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes. I am grateful to Andreas Kstenberger and Michael Kruger for patiently, carefully, and politely exposing this shameful nakedness for what it is."^
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School^

^^^"The Bauer thesis, taken up in many university circles and popularized by Bart Ehrman and through TV specials, has long needed a thorough examination. The Heresy of Orthodoxy is that work. Whether looking at Bauer's thesis of diversity, at contemporary use made of the theory to argue for the early origin of Gnosticism, at the process that led to the canon, or what our manuscript evidence is, this study shows that Bauer's theory, though long embraced, is full of problems that need to be faced. What emerges from this study is an appreciation that some times new theories are not better than what they seek to replace, despite the hype that often comes from being the new kid on the block. It is high time this kid be exposed as lacking the substance of a genuinely mature view. This book does that well, and also gives a fresh take on what the alternative is that has much better historical roots."^
Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

^^^^"In recent times, certain media darlings have been telling us that earliest Christianity knew nothing of the 'narrowness' of orthodox belief. Now the authors of The Heresy of Orthodoxy have provided a scholarly yet highly accessible rebuttal, showing that what is actually 'narrow' here is the historical evidence on which this old thesis is based. In a culture which wants to recreate early Christianity after its own stultifying image, this book adds a much-needed breath of balance and sanity."^
Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies Associate Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College; author, Lost in Transmission? What We Can Know about the Words of Jesus^



- Publisher "The Heresy of Orthodoxy will help many to make sense of what is happening in early Christian studies today. It explains, critiques, and provides an alternative to, the so-called 'Bauer Thesis,' an approach which undergirds a large segment of scholarship on early Christianity. The 'doctrine' that Christianity before the fourth century was but a seething mass of diverse and competing factions, with no theological center which could claim historical continuity with Jesus and his apostles, has become the new 'orthodoxy' for many. The authors of this book do more than expose the faults of this doctrine, they point the way to a better foundation for early Christian studies, focusing on the cornerstone issues of the canon and the text of the New Testament. Chapter 8, which demonstrates how one scholar's highly-publicized twist on New Testament textual criticism only tightens the tourniquet on his own views, is alone worth the price of the book. Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have done the Christian reading public a real service." - Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary"The Bauer thesis, taken up in many university circles and popularized by Bart Ehrman and through TV specials, has long needed a thorough examination. The Heresy of Orthodoxy is that work. Whether looking at Bauer's thesis of diversity, at contemporary use made of the theory to argue for the early origin of Gnosticism, at the process that led to the canon, or what our manuscript evidence is, this study shows that Bauer's theory, though long embraced, is full of problems that need to be faced. What emerges from this study is an appreciation that some times new theories are not better than what they seek to replace, despite the hype that often comes from being the new kid on the block. It is high time this kid be exposed as lacking the substance of a genuinely mature view. This book does that well, and also gives a fresh take on what the alternative is that has much better historical roots." - Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary"This is an admirably lucid and highly convincing rebuttal of the thesis that the earliest form of Christianity in many places was what would later be judged as 'heresy' and that earliest Christianity was so diverse that it should not be considered as a single movement-a thesis first presented by Walter Bauer but most recently advocated by Bart Ehrman. As Kouml;stenberger and Kruger show with such clarity and compelling force, this still highly influential thesis simply does not stand up to scrutiny. By looking at a whole range of evidence-early Christian communities in different regions in the Roman Empire, the New Testament documents themselves, the emergence and boundaries of the canon and its connection to covenant, and the evidence for Christian scribes and the reliable transmission of the text of the New Testament-they show step by step that another view of early Christianity is much more in keeping with the evidence. That is, that there is a unified doctrinal core in the New Testament, as well as a degree of legitimate diversity, and that the sense of orthodoxy among New Testament writers is widespread and pervasive. They also unmask the way contemporary culture has been mesmerized by diversity and the impact this has had on some readers of the New Testament. In this astute and highly readable book-a tour de force-Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have done us all a great service. It is essential reading for all who want to understand the New Testament and recent controversies that have arisen in New Testament Studies." - Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand"Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have written a book which not only introduces the reader to the

- Publisher

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About "The Heresy of Orthodoxy"

Evaluating historical evidence, this book defends early Christian orthodoxy from the legacy of New Testament criticism: the modern "orthodoxy of diversity."

^^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 Kostenberger and Kruger engage Ehrman and others in this polemic against a dogged adherence to popular ideals of diversity.

^^Kstenberger 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.^

^Endorsements
^^ ^^^"In the beginning was Diversity. And the Diversity was with God, and the Diversity was God. Without Diversity was nothing made that was made. And it came to pass that nasty old 'orthodox' people narrowed down diversity and finally squeezed it out, dismissing it as heresy. But in the fullness of time (which is of course our time), Diversity rose up and smote orthodoxy hip and thigh. Now, praise be, the only heresy is orthodoxy. As widely and as unthinkingly accepted as this reconstruction is, it is historical nonsense: the emperor has no clothes. I am grateful to Andreas Kstenberger and Michael Kruger for patiently, carefully, and politely exposing this shameful nakedness for what it is."^
D. A. Carson, Research Professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School^

^^^"The Bauer thesis, taken up in many university circles and popularized by Bart Ehrman and through TV specials, has long needed a thorough examination. The Heresy of Orthodoxy is that work. Whether looking at Bauer's thesis of diversity, at contemporary use made of the theory to argue for the early origin of Gnosticism, at the process that led to the canon, or what our manuscript evidence is, this study shows that Bauer's theory, though long embraced, is full of problems that need to be faced. What emerges from this study is an appreciation that some times new theories are not better than what they seek to replace, despite the hype that often comes from being the new kid on the block. It is high time this kid be exposed as lacking the substance of a genuinely mature view. This book does that well, and also gives a fresh take on what the alternative is that has much better historical roots."^
Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary

^^^^"In recent times, certain media darlings have been telling us that earliest Christianity knew nothing of the 'narrowness' of orthodox belief. Now the authors of The Heresy of Orthodoxy have provided a scholarly yet highly accessible rebuttal, showing that what is actually 'narrow' here is the historical evidence on which this old thesis is based. In a culture which wants to recreate early Christianity after its own stultifying image, this book adds a much-needed breath of balance and sanity."^
Nicholas Perrin, Franklin S. Dyrness Chair of Biblical Studies Associate Professor of New Testament, Wheaton College; author, Lost in Transmission? What We Can Know about the Words of Jesus^


- Publisher

"The Heresy of Orthodoxy will help many to make sense of what is happening in early Christian studies today. It explains, critiques, and provides an alternative to, the so-called 'Bauer Thesis,' an approach which undergirds a large segment of scholarship on early Christianity. The 'doctrine' that Christianity before the fourth century was but a seething mass of diverse and competing factions, with no theological center which could claim historical continuity with Jesus and his apostles, has become the new 'orthodoxy' for many. The authors of this book do more than expose the faults of this doctrine, they point the way to a better foundation for early Christian studies, focusing on the cornerstone issues of the canon and the text of the New Testament. Chapter 8, which demonstrates how one scholar's highly-publicized twist on New Testament textual criticism only tightens the tourniquet on his own views, is alone worth the price of the book. Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have done the Christian reading public a real service." - Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament, Reformed Theological Seminary"The Bauer thesis, taken up in many university circles and popularized by Bart Ehrman and through TV specials, has long needed a thorough examination. The Heresy of Orthodoxy is that work. Whether looking at Bauer's thesis of diversity, at contemporary use made of the theory to argue for the early origin of Gnosticism, at the process that led to the canon, or what our manuscript evidence is, this study shows that Bauer's theory, though long embraced, is full of problems that need to be faced. What emerges from this study is an appreciation that some times new theories are not better than what they seek to replace, despite the hype that often comes from being the new kid on the block. It is high time this kid be exposed as lacking the substance of a genuinely mature view. This book does that well, and also gives a fresh take on what the alternative is that has much better historical roots." - Darrell L. Bock, Research Professor of NT Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary"This is an admirably lucid and highly convincing rebuttal of the thesis that the earliest form of Christianity in many places was what would later be judged as 'heresy' and that earliest Christianity was so diverse that it should not be considered as a single movement-a thesis first presented by Walter Bauer but most recently advocated by Bart Ehrman. As Kouml;stenberger and Kruger show with such clarity and compelling force, this still highly influential thesis simply does not stand up to scrutiny. By looking at a whole range of evidence-early Christian communities in different regions in the Roman Empire, the New Testament documents themselves, the emergence and boundaries of the canon and its connection to covenant, and the evidence for Christian scribes and the reliable transmission of the text of the New Testament-they show step by step that another view of early Christianity is much more in keeping with the evidence. That is, that there is a unified doctrinal core in the New Testament, as well as a degree of legitimate diversity, and that the sense of orthodoxy among New Testament writers is widespread and pervasive. They also unmask the way contemporary culture has been mesmerized by diversity and the impact this has had on some readers of the New Testament. In this astute and highly readable book-a tour de force-Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have done us all a great service. It is essential reading for all who want to understand the New Testament and recent controversies that have arisen in New Testament Studies." - Paul Trebilco, Professor of New Testament Studies, Department of Theology and Religion, University of Otago, Dunedin, New Zealand"Kouml;stenberger and Kruger have written a book which not only introduces the reader to the
- Publisher

Meet the Author

Michael J Kruger

Michael J. Kruger (Ph.D., University of Edinburgh) is associate professor of New Testament and academic dean at Reformed Theological Seminary, and the author of a number of articles and books on early Christianity.

He is the author of The Gospel of the Savior (E.J. Brill, 2005), co-author of Gospel Fragments (Oxford University Press, 2009) and The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture's Fascination with Diversity has Reshaped Our Understanding of Early Christianity (Crossway, 2010).

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Product Details

Product Details
  • Catalogue Code 305182
  • Product Code 9781433501432
  • ISBN 1433501430
  • EAN 9781433501432
  • Pages 256
  • Department Academic
  • Category Theology
  • Sub-Category General
  • Publisher Crossway
  • Publication Date Jun 2010
  • Sales Rank #67095
  • Dimensions 215 x 139 x 16 mm
  • Weight 0.318kg

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