Short Book Review: Kruger’s The Question of Canon


the archives near Emmaus

Michael J. Kruger, The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate (Downers Grove: IVP Academic, 2013). (Amazon.com)

In The Question of Canon: Challenging the Status Quo in the New Testament Debate Michael J. Kruger does not discuss what books should be included in the canon of Scripture, but instead asks a more fundamental question: Why is there a New Testament at all? Most scholars advocate what Kruger calls the extrinsic model of canon, i.e., the canon is not something intrinsic to Christianity but something imposed from the outside because of socio-political forces in the second through fourth centuries.

According to Kruger this model has value, but it doesn’t tell the full story. Kruger summarizes the five main tenets of the extrinsic model as (pp. 23-24):

(1) We must make a sharp distinction between Scripture and canon.

(2) There was nothing in earliest Christianity…

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