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.
Donald T. Williams Ph.D., is R. A. Forrest Scholar at Toccoa Falls College. He is the author of eleven books, most recently Deeper Magic: The Theology Behind the Writings of C. S. Lewis (Square Halo Books, 2016) and An Encouraging Thought: The Christian Worldview in the Writings of J. R. R. Tolkien (Christian Publishing House, 2018). He is a member of University Church, an interdenominational house church in Athens, Georgia.
calling all readers
"There are magazines worth reading but few worth saving . . . Touchstone is just such a magazine."
—Alice von Hildebrand
"Here we do not concede one square millimeter of territory to falsehood, folly, contemporary sentimentality, or fashion. We speak the truth, and let God be our judge. . . . Touchstone is the one committedly Christian conservative journal."
—Anthony Esolen, Touchstone senior editor
more on bible from the online archives
• Subscribers: Manage your subscription account here.
• Not a subscriber or wish to renew your subscription? Subscribe to Touchstone today for full online access. Over 30 years of publishing!
Transactions will be processed on a secure server.
Order Touchstone subscriptions in bulk and save $10 per sub! Each subscription includes 6 issues of Touchstone plus full online access to touchstonemag.com—including archives, videos, and pdf downloads of recent issues for only $29.95 each! Great for churches or study groups.
OR get a subscription to Touchstone to read on your Kindle for only $1.99 per month! (This option is KINDLE ONLY and does not include either print or online.)
Your subscription goes a long way to ensure that Touchstone is able to continue its mission of publishing quality Christian articles and commentary.
more from the online archives