Since entering college, some ten years ago (wow! I’m feeling old just typing that!), I have been especially interested in issues related to New Testament canon development. In the course of my study through undergrad, graduate school, and now in the
midst of PhD research, I have read many helpful books on the canon. For instance, there are classics by F.F. Bruce and Bruce Metzger seemingly available on demand. Newer works by Lee Martin McDonald, James Sanders, and Philip Comfort have further provided valuable insights. I was excited to see Michael Kruger’s Canon Revisited published by Crossway but I wondered what would set it apart from the aforementioned resources. So, what does, if anything, make Kruger’s book worthwhile?
In a general sense, much of what is covered in Canon Revisited is standard fare for canon study. However, even the standard material is up-to-date with the latest findings of prominent researchers. Yet, what sets Kruger’s volume apart from others has less to do with the content of his research and more to do with the application of his methodology. Early on, Kruger presents his case for understanding the New Testament canon as self-attesting. Realizing that such a claim is highly controversial in both theology in general and in bibliology specifically, Kruger carefully nuances his definition in a manner that is both well argued and winsome. Frankly, it was this section on self-attestation that caused me to fall in love with Canon Revisited. The remainder of the text approaches issues of canonicity through this lens and does so in a fashion that takes well established data and presents it in a new and theologically satisfying fashion.
In conclusion, Canon Revisited is an excellent book and a must-read for anyone doing canon research. If you can get past the less than attractive color combination (burnt orange, gold, and carolina blue? really?) on the front cover, you will find an informative and enjoyable foray New Testament canon development.