A Review of 40 Questions About The Text and Canon of the New Testament.
It seems like every few months there is a new attack on the New Testament. From “finding the
historical Jesus” to evaluating other gospels, how do we know that the New Testament that we have today
is the actual full and closed canon and that it can be trusted? These are the questions that Charles L.
Quarles and L. Scott Kellum address in their latest addition to the “40 Questions” series by Kregel. The
book is excellent, though written at a slightly more technical level than most of the books in this series
(largely due to the technical nature of the subject matter).
Like each of the books in the series, this work is divided into forty chapters or “questions” about
the New Testament text. These chapters are divided into categories: the transmission of the text, the
manuscripts of the New Testament, textual criticism, the practice of textual criticism, definitions and
theories of canon, the physical evidence of canon, and the literary and theological dimensions of canon.
These categories give the reader a guide map if he is looking for information on a specific area of canon
studies and is not planning on reading the entire book.
In 40 Questions, Quarles and Kellum have done the church a great service. They answer questions
straightforwardly and succinctly while giving plenty of footnoted resources for further study in specific
areas. The authors help show the reliability of Scripture while interacting carefully with those who
disagree. They tackle wide-ranging questions and don’t hesitate to admit that certain historical questions
do not have definitive answers. I would highly recommend this book for anyone struggling with how to
understand the background of how we got our New Testament, or for students who are looking for an
introductory resource to answer basic questions and spur further study. A well-written book and a great
new addition to the world of New Testament studies.
In exchange for a fair and honest review, I received a free copy of this book from Kregel.