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

Readers interested in the ongoing debate over the reliability of the New Testament texts will find this new book to be an excellent contribution to the defense of those texts. Authors Köstenberger and Kruger are both allied personally and professionally with the contemporary movement that defends the inerrancy of scripture. Andreas J. Köstenberger is Professor of New Testament and Greek and director of PhD and ThM studies at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina. He is the editor of the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society and is the author of books and articles on biblical texts and theology. Michael J. Kruger is Associate Professor of New Testament and academic dean at the Charlotte campus of the Reformed Theological Seminary, which is explicitly and institutionally committed to “The Chicago Statement on Biblical Inerrancy.”

Over the last half century, the academic battle over Christian origins and the historical Jesus has focused increasingly on diverging characterizations of the New Testament texts and other related texts from the early Christian centuries. Ironically, some of the most determined critics of traditional Christian understandings are themselves former Evangelicals. An outsider watching these developments over the last half century could easily conclude that the evangelical passion for biblical inerrancy has spawned many of the Bible scholars who are engaged most passionately on the two sides of this war. It seems bright young Evangelicals who commit themselves to a life of Bible study arrive at leading graduate programs, where they quickly discover a wide range of textual discrepancies and changes that are hardly deniable. Some seem to react by saying something like, “I should have recognized this all along, and it is probably not an unsolvable problem for biblical faith.” Others, like Bart Ehrman, feel that they have been lied to all their lives. And, like Professor Ehrman, they react by compiling and promoting every conceivable criticism of the texts and the traditional Christian self-understanding.

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