Five Views on the New Testament Canon

Was the selection of books in the New Testament inspired by God or shaped by the decisions of men? Five theological variations on the spectrum of “yes.” . . .

Stanley E. Porter and Benjamin Laird, eds. Five Views on the New Testament Canon. 304p., $24.99, Kregel Academic.

What historical, political, and ecclesial realities drove the canonization of the New Testament?

How are the doctrines of Early Christianity related to the formation of the New Testament?

Should the New Testament differ in authority from other early Christian texts?

As these questions demonstrate, the enduring influence of the New Testament does not lessen the dispute over the events and factors leading to its adoption. Five Views on the New Testament Canon presents five distinct ways of understanding how the New Testament came to be:

  • A Conservative Evangelical Perspective—Darian R. Lockett
  • A Progressive Evangelical Perspective—David R. Nienhuis
  • A Liberal Protestant Perspective—Jason David BeDuhn
  • A Roman Catholic Perspective—Ian Boxall
  • An Orthodox Perspective—George L. Parsenios

Each contributor addresses historical, theological, and hermeneutical questions related to the New Testament canon, such as what factors precipitated the establishment and recognition of the New Testament canon; the basis of any authority the New Testament has; and what the canon means for reading and interpreting the New Testament. Contributors also include a chapter each responding to the other views presented in the volume. The result is a lively exchange suitable for both undergraduate and graduate students seeking to grasp the best canon scholarship in biblical studies.


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2 Responses to Five Views on the New Testament Canon

  1. jed1108 says:


    I loved seeing the FB pictures you posted from your recent hike. That journey looked amazing, extra steps and all. This past year has been quite a journey for you without Marion. I miss her vibracy. I see a piece of her Scherenschnitte from my reading chair each morning. I’m trying to recall what you named the air bnb you two opened, but it’s not coming to me.

    I just finished reading your review of *Five Views on the New Testament Canon. *I’m always looking for material that will help me expand my understanding of how Christianity managed to fracture into so many denominational and non-denominational churches and thought these five authors might help me develop a broader picture of the Christian movement. Before I order a copy, in your estimation, is this written in a manner that I, as a lay person, would understand?

    Sincerely, Judy

  2. Hey Judy, 1) Darla’s Loft; 2) It’s definitely a bit scholarly/esoteric in places, but it also definitely provides a good sense of how each tradition approaches the way the canon was put together. (And a few of them agree that one guy in particular has the best argument—I won’t tell you which one. :))

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