Apostolic Delivery by Donald T. Williams

Quodlibet

Apostolic Delivery

by Donald T. Williams

Jude wants us to "contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints" (1:3). In much New Testament scholarship today, you will find an unquestioned and unsupported assumption underlying the whole enterprise: that Jesus brought no theology with him at all, but his followers, in a long process, evolved many understandings of him which were reduced to one by arbitrary power at the Council of Nicaea in 325. Yet here is a voice from the 60s of the first century saying that the faith was not evolved from scratch but that there was a substantial and recognizable core of it that was delivered to the saints.

Now, who is likely to have a better understanding of what actually happened in the early Church: a scholar speculating about it two thousand years later or someone who was actually there? Maybe it's just me, but I trust Jude more than I do Bart Ehrman on this point.