The Heresy of Orthodoxy Paperback
How contemporary culture's fascination with diversity has shaped our understanding of early Christianity
by Andreas J. Kostenberger; Michael J. Kruger;
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The Heresy of Orthodoxy
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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. 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.
The Heresy of Orthodoxy by Andreas J. Kostenberger; Michael J. Kruger was published by IVP in July 2010 and is our 27581st best seller. The ISBN for The Heresy of Orthodoxy is 9781844744466.
Reviews of The Heresy of Orthodoxy
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The Heresy of OrthodoxyTim Leffler, via The Good Book Stall
In the postmodern era of diversity and pluralism where truth is in the beholder’s eyes and access to a plethora of theologians who aim to debunk traditional standpoints with attractive sounding conspiracy theories, under-pinned by pseudo-theology and hyper-selective or poorly researched history, it is a welcome pleasure to recommend The Heresy of Orthodoxy as a brilliant repost.
Pontius Pilate’s “What is Truth” (John 18:38) still has incredible resonance today and this book crafts a devastating and forensic counter to the more liberal / pluralist theology espoused by Walter Bauer in the early 20th Century and expanded by today’s theologians Bart Ehrman and the Jesus Seminar cohort. The strength of the Bauer-Ehrman thesis is that it co-ordinates with much of today’s contemporary philosophies but The Heresy of Orthodoxy will provide any evangelically orthodox minded Christian with powerful reasons why contemporary liberal theology is such a sham and found wanting logically, historically and theologically. Easy to read and understand, extensively foot-noted and well laid out this book will be a useful tool to student, pastor and mature Christian alike. Once read, it will be a book to quote from, lend out and use on any occasion that controversy is encountered.
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"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 Köstenberger 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 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. Köstenberger 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
"Köstenberger and Kruger have produced a volume that is oozing with common sense and is backed up with solid research and documentation. This work is a comprehensive critique of the Bauer-Ehrman thesis that the earliest form of Christianity was pluralistic, that there were multiple Christianities, and that heresy was prior to orthodoxy. Respectful yet without pulling any punches, The Heresy of Orthodoxy at every turn makes a convincing case that the Bauer-Ehrman thesis is dead wrong. All those who have surrendered to the siren song of postmodern relativism and tolerance, any who are flirting with it, and everyone concerned about what this seismic sociological-epistemological shift is doing to the Christian faith should read this book."
Daniel B. Wallace, Professor of New Testament Studies, Dallas Theological Seminary
Details for The Heresy of Orthodoxy
|Page last updated||7th September 2016|
|Author / Artist||Andreas J. Kostenberger; Michael J. Kruger|
|Publisher||IVP (July 2010)|
|Number of Pages||224|