Tips for Reading Early Christian Exegesis

IVP Academic, over the past number of years, is producing accessible and invaluable resources for the modern church. Among these sources are collected in the Ancient Christian Texts series. In 2013, David Maxwell translated Cyril of Alexandria’s Commentary on John. The … Continue reading

Moving Trinitarian Discussions Forward

(1) Give attention to Historical Methodology: It would be helpful to have someone offer helpful comments on how to use historical data. “Augustine says this…” Followed by, “Tertullian mentions this…” Rounded off with “According to Calvin…” The geographical separation and the temporal separation … Continue reading

Personal Study Schedule: Academic Languages, Early Christian Literature, and Study Habits

After talking with close friends, academic mentors, and other scholars in the field, I attempted to compile a quasi-“best practices” to undergird my Early Christian discipline and language acquisition. Some of what follows is a result of these conversations. Continue reading

Martin Hengel on a Young Discipline in Crisis: An Appraisal for the New Testament and Early Christian Discipline

The following is a summary and personal reflection on Martin Hengel, “A Young Theological Discipline in Crisis,” in Earliest Christian History: History, Literature, and Theology, Essays from the Tyndal Fellowship in Honor of Martin Hengel, WUNT, ed. Michael F. Bird and Jason … Continue reading

A Study in Ancient Christianity and Call for Paper Submissions

On April 17, there will be an academic gathering in Louisville, KY on the topic of Ancient Christianity. Attached are the flyer, details, and schedule. The 1892 Club and RDS offices will host such gathering. See Academic Event Flyer Register and Call for … Continue reading

Why Evangelicals Need to Pay Attention to Michael Kruger

Question of Canon

Michael Kruger (blog: Canon Fodder) currently resides as campus president and professor of New Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary in Charlotte, NC. The Question of Canon, his sixth book, was published this past week through InterVarsity Press.  Kruger is establishing himself as a conservative voice in canonical and text-critical scholarship. One would think the “canon issue” has been settled throughout the past 1700–1800 years? But as history informs us, each generation produces men articulating new answers to old questions and so, history has brought us Kruger.

As Kruger’s canon books articulate, the canon conversation is alive and seems to progresses with each generation. He seeks to demonstrate how early Christianity and the Scripture organized rather quickly, as opposed to the view that the Scriptures formed later in the midst of theological and ecclesiological diversity. Kruger brings refreshing scholarship to the Patristic value within the NT discipline.

Here is the chapter division to his new book: Continue reading

The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians

Didache

Thomas O’Loughlin, professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, presents a wonderful contribution to Διδαχἠ literature after 25 years of academic teaching and study of its contents. This introduction, The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians, is highly recommended both for its simplicity yet rich insight in the Didachist’s message.

My review will appear shortly in the SBTS Journal.

The Didache Pt. 4: Date, Place, and Use of Scripture

In preparation for the SBTS Greek Reading Group (Click here and here for more details), I wrote a basic introduction highlighting elementary information about the Didache. Over the past two weeks, I have been posting portions of that text. Here is the final post of Didache introduction. Later this week, there will be a list of bibliographic resources.

The Didache Pt. 1: Why Read the Didache

The Didache Pt. 2: Modern Discovery and Textual Status

The Didache Pt. 3: Canon and the Didache

For more information about the Didache reading group email swilhite at sbts dot edu

I may be in the minority in this, but the following arguments claim a 1st or 2nd generation date (AD80–AD100) after the composition of three Gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke) and Pauline literature because there are a few places in the Didache where there appear to be Pauline influence. I’d enjoy hearing your thoughts (either in agreement or disagreement).

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Date and Place

Modern scholarship is divided on dating the Didache. Some opt for an early date, thereby depicting a primitive church; while others prefer a late date, consequently having the Didache portray an archaic faction.[1] It was assumed that the Didache dated from AD 80 to AD 100 prior to any historical investigation. Until 1912, no real solution to dating the Didache had been provided and is still contested.[2]
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The Didache Pt. 1: Why Read the Didache

For the past month, I have immersed myself in the text and literature of the Didache (AD 70–100). Anticipating leading a group of men at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (Click here and here for more details) through its teachings, ethics, and grammatical organization, I have forced myself to become familiar with its material. My fascination with Patristic literature continues to increase as I’m pressed with the thinking, compositional style, and liturgical usefulness of these early generations.

I have been a skeptic of church history and historical theology spawning from a sense of chronological and modernistic snobbery, but have now jettisoned my former ways. Reading primary literature of early Christians aid the interpretation of Scripture, compel us to modify hermeneutical presuppositions, and create a world much larger than we have ever imagined. Thomas O’Loughlin, Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham, has provided three reasons why Christians should read early Christian texts, including the Didache, in The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians.
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