A Brief Book Summary from Books At a Glance
Editor’s Note: Today we continue our series of “bonus” summaries covering all thirty-six chapters of the monumental volume, The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures (D.A. Carson, ed.).
Chapter 14: “E Pluribus Unum? Apostolic Unity and Early Christian Literature”
by Simon Gathercole
(Summarized by Adam Jacobs)
In this essay, Simon Gathercole interacts with Walter Bauer’s famous work, Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity, as well as with those who follow in support of Bauer’s hypothesis. Gathercole’s purpose in this article is “to show that Walter Bauer’s argument is in its essentials wrong, even if the view that he is opposing cannot be sustained in all of its details.”
Gathercole offers a brief gloss of the works of Walter Bauer and those who follow in dependence upon his work, such as Helmut Koester and James Robinson, Elaine Pagels, and Bart Ehrman. Among his observations on these works are that the authors employ chronological sleight of hand, questionable mirror-readings, arguments from silence, and an intentionally limited presentation of detail, and thus their arguments appear to be stronger than they actually are.
The argument is threefold. First, Gathercole contends with the idea that there was not a general unity among Christian believers. . .
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The Enduring Authority of the Christian Scriptures