Archive

Posts Tagged ‘Michael J. Kruger’

Did the Gospel Authors Think They Were Writing Scripture?

March 23, 2017 2 comments

by Michael Kruger

One of the most common misconceptions about the New Testament canon is that the authors of these writings had no idea that they were writing Scripture-like books. I dealt with this misconception on a general level here, showing that there was a clear apostolic self-awareness amongst the New Testament authors.

While this apostolic self-awareness may be easy to show for authors like Paul, what about the gospels which, technically speaking, are formally anonymous? Do their authors exhibit awareness that they were writing something like Scripture? To explore this further, let us just consider just one of our gospels, namely the Gospel of Matthew.

The first step is to get our expectations clear. We should not expect that Matthew would say something like, “I, Matthew, am writing Scripture as I write this book.” Gospels are a very different genre than epistles, and we would not expect the authors to provide the same type of direct and explicit statements about their own authority…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Stream for Free: 2017 Winter Conference at Reformation Bible College

January 30, 2017 2 comments

You can now stream all the messages from last week’s Winter Conference at Reformation Bible College for free on Ligonier.org, the Ligonier app, and YouTube.

Preaching God’s Word in the Early Church by Michael Haykin

Living God’s Word: The Life of Augustine by Stephen Nichols

God’s Word in the Early Church by Michael Kruger

Questions & Answers with Haykin, Kruger, Nichols, and Sproul

Generosity in the Early Church by David Briones

Heresy in the Early Church by Keith Mathison

The Reformation & the Early Church by John Tweeddale

We’re thankful for the partnership of Ligonier Ministries in hosting this conference at Reformation Bible College. We encourage you to learn more about their numerous upcoming conferences and study opportunities in 2017.

Source [Ligonier Ministries]

Five Myths About the Ancient Heresy of Gnosticism

by Michael J. Kruger

In the world of biblical studies, at least among some critical scholars, Gnosticism has been the darling for sometime now. Especially since the discovery of the so-called “Gnostic Gospels” at Nag Hammadi in 1945, scholars have sung the praises of this alternative version of Christianity.

Gnosticism was a heretical version of Christianity that burst on the scene primarily in the second century and gave the orthodox Christians a run for their money. And it seems that some scholars look back and wish that the Gnostics had prevailed.

After all, it is argued, traditional Christianity was narrow, dogmatic, intolerant, elitist, and mean-spirited, whereas Gnosticism was open-minded, all-welcoming, tolerant and loving. Given this choice, which would you choose?

While this narrative about free-spirited Gnosticism being sorely oppressed by those mean and uptight orthodox Christians might sound rhetorically compelling, it simply isn’t borne out by the facts. So, here are five claims often made about Gnosticism that prove to be more myth than reality:

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Is the Bible Foundational to Christianity? Engaging with Andy Stanley

September 27, 2016 Leave a comment

by Michael J. Kruger

One of the most profound challenges for Christians as we live in an ever-more-hostile world is how to properly defend the faith against the incessant attacks against it. And these attacks have taken their toll. We have seen far too many casualties over the years as people leave the church because they had doubts or questions that were never answered.

It is precisely this issue that is behind Andy Stanley’s recent sermon, “The Bible Told Me So” (preached Aug 28, 2016). Stanley, son of well-known Atlanta pastor, Charles Stanley, is the senior pastor of Northpoint Community Church in Alpharetta, GA.

Stanley’s concern in this sermon is for those who have experienced what he calls “deconversions”—people who went to church as a child but have drifted away from the faith as they have reached adulthood. They drifted away because they went to a church that refused to answer their difficult questions and insisted that they were “just supposed to have faith.”

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

A Serious Challenge to the New Perspective on Paul

by Michael Kruger

As most readers know, there has been a long scholarly debate over what is known as the New Perspective(s) on Paul (NPP). This approach argues that “justification” in Paul does not mean what many Christians (especially Reformed folks) have always believed.

In short, NPP advocates (e.g., N.T. Wright, James D.G. Dunn) argue that (a) first-century Judaism was not a works-oriented religion, and (b) “justification by faith” is not referring to the acquisition of a righteous status before God, but instead refers to the fact that membership in the covenant community can be obtained without the standard Jewish boundary markers laid out in the law of Moses (inset is a picture of Mt. Sinai).

One of the major flash points in this debate is the term “righteousness of God.” Paul uses this phrase in a number of places…

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

The Likely Forger Behind the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife

by Michael J. Kruger

It has been a while since the so-called Gospel of Jesus’ Wife has been in the headlines. It was originally unveiled by Karen King at Harvard (here), but quickly exposed as a likely forgery. I have also written on the fragment (here and here).

While this document’s status as a forgery is relatively certain, what has been uncertain (until now) is the identity of the forger. Who was the person who created this document and convinced King and others to promote it?

The forger must have had some Coptic abilities. But, the abilities would have had limits–as demonstrated by the mistakes in the Coptic text.

What is remarkable is that King herself has not undertaken a rigorous investigation of the document’s origins and provenance. Who discovered this document? Who owned it? And how was it passed along? If the authenticity of a document is in doubt,….

 

 

 

Read the entire article here.

Were the Stories of Jesus Radically Changed Before They Were Written Down? My Review of Bart Ehrman’s Latest

by Michael J. Kruger

If one accepts the dating of some modern scholars, the earliest canonical gospel–the Gospel of Mark–was not written until 70 AD or later.

This means there was a gap of time of about 40 years between the life of Jesus and our earliest Gospel that records his words and deeds.

What happened to the stories of Jesus during this period of time? Since such stories were largely passed down orally, can this process be trusted? Did Christians change the stories along the way? Is it reasonable to think that Christians could have even remembered the details accurately?

These are the questions raised in Jesus Before the Gospels, Bart Ehrman’s latest Easter-timed book attacking the reliability and historical integrity of the New Testament.

Prior installments in Ehrman’s “you can’t trust the Bible” series include Forged in 2011, Jesus, Interrupted in 2009, God’s Problem in 2007, and Misquoting Jesus in 2005.

Each of these books, though different in the specific topic, tells the same overall story: Ehrman, once an evangelical who attended Moody Bible Institute and Wheaton College, has now discovered, along with the consensus of modern scholarship, that the New Testament, and the Gospels in particular, do not provide a trustworthy account of the historical Jesus.

Instead, what we have (according to Ehrman) are books that are forgeries, contain contradictions, have morally-questionable teachings, and have been edited and changed throughout the centuries.

My full-length review of Ehrman’s new volume has just been published over at the Gospel Coalition website. See here.

In addition, you can listen to my hour-long interview about Ehrman’s book on the nationally-syndicated radio program, Stand to Reason with Greg Koukl. Download here.

 

 

Source [Canon Fodder]