Which came first: heresy or orthodoxy? This question comes to a head when addressing several rather important contemporary issues: doctrine of Scripture (specifically canon issues in the New Testament); doctrine of Christ (especially as challenged by The Da Vinci Code), and the doctrine of the church. Walter Bauer (of Greek lexical fame) advanced a thesis in the 1930’s that heresy came first, and that the early church unnecessarily narrowed the field of orthodoxy from a much broader range that had existed before. This thesis has come under significant (and well-deserved!) fire. This book in particular is a very helpful discussion of this issue, and I highly recommend it, especially after having heard one of the authors, Dr. Michael Kruger, at GA this year. Dr. Kruger is an exceptionally articulate, engaging, logical, and orderly speaker. Köstenberger, of course, needs no real introduction to anyone even remotely current in New Testament studies. The importance of this volume for the person in the pew is that issues of canon formation are becoming more important, especially in Roman Catholic dialogue. How did we get our canon? And why does the church rest on the Scripture, rather than vice versa? There are many excellent answers in this book. Highly recommended!
A Book on the Early Christians