Kostenberger, Andreas J. and Michael J. Kruger. The Heresy of Orthodoxy: How Contemporary Culture’s Fascination with Diversity has Reshaped our Understanding of Early Christianity. Wheaton: Crossway Books, 2010. $19.99. Purchase at Amazon and for Kindle for less.
Andreas Kostenberger is professor of New Testament at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary and has written a number of books. Micheal Kruger is President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary. HE blogs at Canon Fodder.
Divided into three parts, the authors begin with a look at the origins of the New Testament and how today’s understanding of diversity and pluralism are impacting our view on early Christian tradition.
The second part traces the development of the New Testament Canon. Here they spend three chapters explaining the historical evidence as understood by the historical time and place of the actual occurrences of the formation of the Bible.
The third part explains how the Bible was copied through the years before the printing press and now, the digital age. Throughout this section, they offer an apologetic for a right understanding of textual criticism and the importance of ones presuppositions.
This book is not going to be for everyone. It is fairly technical in its jargon and study. It predominantly takes on the Bart Ehrman and is a solid response to his work Misquoting Jesus. Ultimately, The Heresy of Orthodoxy is yet another book that seeks to answer the challenges of the validity and authenticity of the Bible.
Sadly, there is nothing new under the sun. This conversation will never end as long as Christ tarries. I found that this work was extremely concise and and informational as to the nature of the argument in denying the authenticity of Scripture. The author’s make the case that it boils down to one’s worldview. The effects of higher criticism notwithstanding, Kostenberger and Kruger successfully show how one can be critical of the Bible while maintaining an orthodox view of its writing. Furthermore, they detail with great accuracy the historical context from which it was written and came to be accepted as the final 27 books of the New Testament.
Again, this work is heavy on technical language, but is necessitated by the technical language espoused by those who profess to be scholars.
If you are questioning the authenticity of the Bible, specifically the New Testament, then this book is for you. If you are a pastor or a budding theologian, then you ought to read this book. We must be able to engage the charges leveled at the Bible especially when there are “innocent bystanders” in the cross-hairs.