Michael J. Kruger on The DaVinci Code and How We Got the New Testament

Mike Kruger is a distinguished New Testament scholar, whose research interests include Christians origins, and whose PhD. advisor was Larry Hurtado.  Kruger’s specialty is the New Testament canon – that is, the study of how the writings we call the New Testament came to be collected and so labeled.

The DaVinci Code is a mystery-detective novel written by Dan Brown which has sold millions of copies (Wikipedia article on the book).  I have not read it, but apparently it gave many readers the idea that writings we have in the New Testament were chosen by Emperor Constantine or church councils.  Both these ideas are utterly inconsistent with history.  Nonetheless, because the book had a much wider readership than those of New Testament historians, his notion stirred up much angst.  Kruger’s response to that controversy is:

“The DaVinci Code phenomenon said a lot more about Christians than it did about the book. It revealed how little the average Christian knows about the origin of the Bible.”

Kruger’s work shows that the New Testament books were recognized widely believers as authoritative from the time they were written and that subsequent generations merely recognized that authority rather than conferred it.

Michael J. Kruger has written several books.  You can learn more about him and the books at his blog Canon Fodder.

The interview from which this quote was taken can be found at this James White YouTube site.  (h/t John Bugay at this post on Triablogue)  Kruger speaks about the interview in advance at this post on his blog.



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