What If Our Bibles Don’t Have the Right Words? with Michael Kruger


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If you like talking about ancient objects, this episode is for you. And, by "ancient objects," we don't mean things like typewriters, printed telephone books, and those AOL compact discs that used to show up in your mailbox every week.

We're talking about items that are really old.

Like, older than Keith Richards and Willie Nelson.

And so, if ancient artifacts are your thing, join Garrick Bailey and Timothy Paul Jones on this exhilarating episode in which the dynamic duo discusses ancient texts, ancient abbreviations, ancient chains … and an ancient pelvis.

Yes, an ancient pelvis.

The episode begins with a battle between the chains of St. Paul and the pelvis of St. Nicholas—and by “St. Nicholas” we mean St. Nicholas of Myra, better known as “Santa Claus.” As it turns out, the pelvis of St. Nicholas is no longer connected to the rest of St. Nicholas, and one portion of his pelvis is thought by some to reside in a relic repository in the Chicago suburb of Morton Grove, Illinois.

In Raiders of Church History, Timothy brings this intimate artifact into battle, certain that nothing could possibly defeat the pelvis of Santa Claus. (Also: “St. Nïck's Pëlvïs” would be a great name for a punk band that plays Christmas carols.) But then Garrick brings the chains that bound St. Paul, and the battle between your intrepid cohosts spins completely out of control.

And that’s when Dr. Michael Kruger shows up to save the day.

That’s right: Michael Kruger, president of the Charlotte campus of the Reformed Theological Seminary and preeminent scholar of early Christianity, joins us to talk about the reliability of the copies and the canon of the New Testament. While considering the ancient text of the New Testament, Dr. Kruger deals with some of the claims made by Bart Ehrman in his best-selling books Forged: Writing in the Name of God—Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are and Misquoting Jesus: The Story Behind Who Changed the Bible and Why. Along the way, we also learn about an ancient pattern of abbreviations known as “nomina sacra” and the greatness of U2.


Michael J. Kruger, Ph.D., serves as the President and Samuel C. Patterson Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at the Charlotte campus of Reformed Theological Seminary. He earned his Ph.D. under one of the world’s leading text-critical scholars, Larry W. Hurtado, at the University of Edinburgh. Dr. Kruger is one of the world's leading scholars of the origins of the New Testament and the development of the New Testament canon. He is the author of twelve books, most recently Christianity at the Crossroads: How the Second Century Shaped the Future of the Church (2018).

Timothy Paul Jones, Ph.D., is C. Edwin Gheens Professor of Christian Ministry at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He teaches in the areas of family ministry and applied apologetics. He has authored or edited more than a dozen books, including Why Should I Trust the Bible?, The God Who Goes Before You, Perspectives on Family Ministry, and Christian History Made Easy.

Garrick Bailey is a Ph.D. student in systematic theology at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, studying Herman Bavinck and Roman Catholicism under the supervision of Gregg Allison.


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