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Who Chose the Gospels?: Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy

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The Bible contains four Gospels which tell the story of Jesus of Nazareth. And yet, many more Gospels once existed. Who, then, determined which Gospels would, for the next two thousand years, serve as the main gateways to Jesus and his teaching?
Recent books and films have traced the decision to a series of fourth-century councils and powerful bishops. After achieving victory over their rivals for the Christian name, these key players, we are now told, conspired to 'rewrite history' to make it look like their version of Christianity was the original one preached by Jesus and his apostles: the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John became the prime tools for their re-sculpting of the Christian story, leading to the destruction of previously treasured writings like the Gospels of Judas, Mary, and Thomas. Are the four canonical Gospels, then, in the Bible as the result of a great, ecclesiastical conspiracy? Or does this explanation itself represent another 'rewriting of history', this time by a group of modern academics?
Who Chose the Gospels? takes us to the scholarship behind the headlines, examining the great (and ongoing) controversy about how to look at ancient books about Jesus. How the four Biblical Gospels emerged into prominence among their competitors is a crucial question for everyone interested in understanding the historical Jesus and the development of the Christian church.

295 pages, Hardcover

First published September 30, 2010

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C.E. Hill

2 books1 follower

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 47 reviews
Profile Image for Samuel Kassing.
329 reviews9 followers
October 7, 2021
This book is a display of excellent and careful scholarship. If you want to see what's wrong with Bauer's and Ehrman's scholarship start here.

Profile Image for Lance Crandall.
75 reviews3 followers
February 13, 2022
Excellent book. Academic while remaining captivating, thorough and well-reasoned scholarship, witty and clever at points. I got slightly bogged down closer to the end, but came away with more confidence in why we have four, and only these four, Gospels as canon
Profile Image for Mitchell Dixon.
107 reviews8 followers
January 22, 2023
This book was simply fantastic. D.A. Carson’s comment that “Not many books that are so informed are such a pleasure to read.” Holds very true. Hill is a vey engaging author and speaks against critics is a very winsome and charitable way while masterfully showing the weakness of their claims.

I was both impressed and saddened while reading this. Impressed by how much evidence is there to show a very early, possibly as early as 100 AD, date for a recognized canon of the 4 gospels. I was saddened because misinformation abounds in regards to this. I remember watching the Da Vinci Code as a boy and thinking Constantine has chosen the gospels.

This book has given me so much confidence in the text we have. No secret conspiracy was concocted to squash other Christian groups in the 2nd century, it was a self authenticating canon which was handed from the apostles.

I think this is a must read for anyone doubting the reliability of the Bible.
Profile Image for Jacob O'connor.
1,393 reviews16 followers
October 9, 2014
How do we know there are only 4 Gospels? After all, aren't there other Gospels written around the same time, like the Gospel of Thomas or the Gospel of Judas? Why not slap them into the New Testament with Mathew, Mark, Luke, and John?

Hill tackles this question, and he does a heck of a job. Liberal textual critics believe that those "other" gospels should be on equal footing with the big four. They also teach that the big four weren't decided upon until the 4th century. Hill points out that the early church fathers were unanimous that the 4 canonical gospels were the exclusive set. Cyprian of Carthage, Tertullian, Hippolytus of Rome and Origen all wrote of "the four". Hill says, "‘By the time Irenaeus wrote in about 180 AD, the fourfold Gospel was very well established". (I've read many of these quotes myself.)

The most exciting part of the book comes toward the end. Hill cites two early church traditions, one from Papias, and one from Origen. Both say the apostle John himself certified the fourfold Gospel within the first century. Taking all this into account, the conclusion that the orthodox four-fold Gospel is correct is hard to deny.
Profile Image for Todd Stone.
4 reviews3 followers
August 20, 2012
first book of Seminary. its short, only about 250 pages, but dense. I'd recommend it for anyone who wants to seriously deal with the historical origins of scripture, specifically the Gospels.

for an academic book it is an easier read, actually enjoyable at times.
Profile Image for Robert Murphy.
278 reviews20 followers
November 7, 2013
What an excellent, enjoyable destruction of the stupid Da Vinci Code arguments. Thoroughly enjoyable read, fact-filled and winsome. Highly recommend to all.
Profile Image for Jose Ovalle.
67 reviews5 followers
November 15, 2020
Anyone interested in why Christians have & continue to stake their entire lives on words written 2,000 years ago needs to read this book. If you’re doubting the authenticity of scripture, read this book.

If you’ve ever heard history channel historians (which should be a paradox at this point) ever make the case that the Bible became the Bible through political maneuverings or the CoUnCiL of NiCaEa- read this book.

It is hilarious in it’s satirizing of these armchair historians, methodical in how it tears apart janky scholarship, detailed in its defense of the Gospels, and loving towards those curious or struggling with unbelief. Seriously, this book is a must read.
262 reviews19 followers
May 21, 2012
The fictional claims of Dan Brown, the sensationalized claims of Bart Ehrman, and the more scholarly arguments of Lee Martin McDonald, Ehrman, and others have promoted the idea of an early Christian movement notable for theological diversity. According to this storyline, the imposition of orthodoxy and a church-dictated canon of Scriptures stifled the creative diversity of the early church. Hill challenges this view by demonstrating that it is based on faulty methodology, overstatements, and sloppy handling of the evidence.

For instance, one scholar claims that "gospels were breeding like rabbits" (2). Yet that scholar finally lists only nine non-canonical gospels that have been discovered. This scholar calls his listing "partial." Hill notes, "It is not unlikley that more Gospels might have circulated before 175. But if they once existed, they have left no record, even in later lists of books to be avoided" (8).

Since Irenaeus provides an early testimony to the four-gospel canon, scholars promoting a late canon must marginalize him as an aberration (and not very nice, to boot). But Hill documents at least eight theologians (some of note) close to the time of Irenaeus who share his four gospel canon (Hill also argues that Irenaeus wasn't as mean as some people make him out to be).

Having established that Irenaeus and the church of his era did have a four-gospel canon, Hill then works his way back by looking the citations of the four gospels and non-canonical works in the church fathers, gospel harmonies, and even the writings of the non-orthodox to demonstrate that evidence for the four gospel canon extends back to the early second century. Hill is fair in his interpretations of the evidence, noting when some of it is not as clear or a certain as other evidence.

So, to restate the title question, Who chose the Gospels? Hill's answer to that question toward the end of the book is worth quoting at length:

"Who, then, first chose the Gospels, if it wasn't anybody in the fourth century? It wasn't Origen, Tertullian, or Hippolytus in the first half of the third century, or Clement of Alexandria or Serapion at the end of the second. It wasn't even Irenaeus or anyone writing in the last quarter of the second century. All these had inherited the same four Gospels from previous generations.

"It wasn't Tatian in Rome or Syria or Theophilus in Antioch. . . . It wasn't Justin Martyr, who by the early 150s in Rome was using the same four Gospels, and treating evidently only these four as 'Memoirs of the Apostles,' composed by the apostles and their followers . . .

"The evidence brings us, then, to an earlier time. But how much earlier? While the date prior to 150 are not quite so clear, the four Gospels are known as authoritative sources in the Epistle of the Apostles and the Apocryphon of James in the 140s. Papias, probably in the 120s, knows all four; Aristides, at about the same time, knows 'the Gospel' in multiple individual written expression, including Luke and John, and a decade earlier Ignatius knows at least Matthew and John. And sometime around the year 100 Papias' elder discusses the origins of Matthew and Mark, and, if the argument summarized in chapter 10 is near the mark, Luke and John as well.

"How is it that these four Gospels came to be known so widely from such an early time? There was certainly no great council of Christian churches before 150 which laid down the law on which Gospels to use. No single bishop, not even the bishop of Rome, should he ever have made such a proclamation (and there is no reason to think he did), had the clout to make it stick. If there was any authoritative figure who endorsed the four Gospels, the most viable option would have to be, as a tradition known to Origen and possibly Papias' elder said, the aged apostle John. Such a story is a long, long way from historical verification, though that fact in itself does not make it impossible.

"But if we set aside that story as likely to be legendary, our search appears to have reached a dead-end. We cannot find who chose the Gospels. It looks like nobody did. They almost seem to have chosen themselves through some sort of 'natural selection.' And this at least concurs with the conclusion of Bruce Metzger, one of the last generation's premier scholars of the New Testament canon, who wrote, 'neither individuals nor councils created the canon; instead they came to recognize and acknowledge the self0authenticating quality of these writings which imposed themselves as canonical upon the church" (227-29).

The idea of self-authenticating Scriptures may not sit well with some, but Hill notes that this best with the way the early Christians spoke about the gospels: "Christian writers of the second century do not speak of choosing the Gospels or of the criteria they might have created for making such choices. This is not the way they thought. When speaking of the church's part in the process they instead use works like 'receive,' recognize,' 'confess,' 'acknowledge,' and their opposites" (231).

In sum, Hill's believing stance, tight argumentation, and engaging writing style made this one of the best books I've read this year. As an added benefit, I think it makes a marvelous case study in presuppositional apologetics that makes good use of evidences (though I must admit that I do not know how Hill would self-identify in terms of apologetic method).
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Profile Image for Rex Blackburn.
146 reviews8 followers
May 24, 2020
Great treatment of the title question: "Who chose the Gospels?"
Hill basically tackles the notion that the 4-fold Gospel canon was the product of some sort of mysterious and nefarious cabal, only interested in using the Gospels to gain political power. He backtracks through the early centuries of the Church, demonstrating how Christians into even the early second (and possibly first) centuries understood that they had 'received' these Gospels from authoritative, eyewitness, and apostolic sources.

Great job, I look forward to referencing this in the future as these sorts of questions are raised.
Profile Image for Eddie Mercado.
189 reviews4 followers
October 12, 2021
Very good book. A worthwhile read for those who question whether the Biblical Canon (in particular the New Testament books) were compiled by a group of people with ulterior motives, or if the books of the Bible were organically adopted by the Church from a very early stage, thus being recognized as canon (to the exclusion of other books).
Profile Image for Derek Woodall.
4 reviews1 follower
December 2, 2022
This book is extremely helpful in understanding the development of the canon; specifically, the four fold Gospel corpus. Questions like "how can we be confident the four Gospels we have are authoritative? How can we know they are the intended accounts of the Gospel God has given in the canon?", "how can we know there are only these four?", and more are answered in detail. After reading Hill's work, my understanding and confidence in the canonicity of the four Gospels in the New Testament has grown much stronger.
35 reviews2 followers
September 29, 2013
An excellent scholarly approach to the Gospels. The book is short and engaging, yet makes very compelling arguments backed up with solid research.

The fundamental premise is that the final selection of the Gospels was not necessarily the result of power politics pushing our more common writings representing alternative views - but was rather a more inevitable selection of dominant teachings.

The author builds the case steadily and offers a good counter-balance to more popular (or conspiratorial) views regarding the ultimate canon of the Gospels.

He saves the answer for the end - but it is interesting that it may have in fact been the author of the Gospel of John that brought the 4 main Gospels together for the ages.

Very interesting read for those seeking the historical view of Christianity.
Profile Image for Carolyn.
83 reviews30 followers
October 18, 2016
An accessible book compared to a lot of academic texts, but one that isn't lacking in well-researched information. It is presented as an answer to the conspiracy theories that have abounded over the choosing of the canonical gospels, and as such can be slightly combative in places. However, that said, it both points to holes in the arguments of those who hold to a 4thC choosing of the gospels by 'the winners', and argues very ably for a well-attested use of the four canonical gospels right through the 2ndC, not only in use, but in use in a way that other gospels were not. I feel the book is let down a little by his last chapter, which while a theory that fits his argument throughout the book, is pure conjecture and unlikely to ever be provable. I like it though - but as a 'what if, it could just be...'

Oh, now don't you want to know what he suggests at the end?
Profile Image for Steve.
630 reviews2 followers
March 10, 2013
I would like to have rated this book higher, as the author has much good information and reasoned scholarship on the origin of the canonical gospels. However, there is a lot of bile expressed toward "some scholars", who seemingly have argued in favor of a supposed "conspiracy" by 4th-5th century politicians and churchmen to have "chosen" the gospels. One cannot help feeling after reading this book--including the footnotes--that the real problem for this author (and a few other conservative schilars I have recently read) is that Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels have been much more successful in reaching the general public with their writings and that they have sold a lot more books!
Profile Image for Rudolph P. Boshoff.
21 reviews1 follower
March 27, 2013
A must read for any Biblical Scholar & Christian. The central theme Dr Hill postulates was to research ancient history and especially the way in which the earliest Church Fathers perceived and viewed the four canonical Gospels. The central axis resolves the whole idea that the Four Gospels were a later collection of biographies and seemingly dictates that it was a know idea that the four distinct from all other "pseudepigraphal Gospels" were seen as uniquely divinely inspired as well as collectively authoritative! A must read!
Profile Image for John.
6 reviews1 follower
November 22, 2014
Hill provides a solid set of arguments for the historicity and canonicity of the four Gospels. He sometimes leans a little too much on conjecture as he brings the book to a conclusion. Nevertheless the book, as a whole, if full of useful information for those wanting a more solid foundation on the canonicity of the Gospels.
48 reviews10 followers
February 2, 2021
In Who Chose the Gospels? C. E. Hill tackles the question of the formation of the four-Gospel canon of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. More specifically, he addresses the pushback from scholars of early Christianity who claim the four-Gospel canon was only established in the fourth century, and that before then there existed a multitude of Gospels (representing radically different visions of the Christian faith) all up for consideration as authoritative in the Church. He claims this understanding of early Christianity is not only unsupported by the facts, but also relies on fanciful speculation.

Hill begins with papyri discoveries of early Christian texts: in both the second and third century, “remnants of canonical Gospels outnumber remnants of non-canonical ones at least somewhere between two (plus) to one and three (plus) to one, and perhaps closer to four to one” (p. 18). But in addition to content, the form of these papyrus discoveries sheds light on canon formation. “It is a curious fact that all of our early copies of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written on codices,” not scrolls (p. 26). The popularity of the codex among early Christians supports a four-Gospel canon. Because codices were able to hold more material than scrolls, Christians were able to keep the four canonical Gospels packaged together, as well as produce gospel harmonies and synopses (additional evidence). While there is strong evidence for four-Gospel codices in the early centuries, there is no evidence of canonical gospels being bound together with non-canonical ones (p. 116-17, 121).

He examines the work of Irenaeus in the second century, considered by many scholars of early Christianity to be a “bold innovator” in his recognition of a four-Gospel canon. What Hill shows, however, is that the “conspiracy” alleged of him, to weed out the proliferance of possible Gospels into the modest modern canon, is one that goes back even further in time. Hill moves backward, examining other sources which support a four-Gospel canon, from Clement of Alexandria, Serapian of Antioch, and the Muratorian Fragment (ch. 4), Tatian’s Diatessaron (ch. 5), Justin Martyr (ch. 6-7), the authors of The Apocryphon of James and the Epistle to the Apostles and Aristides of Athens (ch. 8), the Apostolic Fathers and the Didache (ch. 9), and finally to a couple passages from Eusebius in the early fourth century, quoting Papias from the early century, speaking of a tradition from even earlier, which tantalizingly suggests an “arch-conspirator”: the apostle John himself (ch. 10). Along the way, argues each source (with the exception of the apostle John) minimally knew of a four-Gospel canon, and maximally, possessed a copy, either because these sources mention the four Gospels by name, or seem to quote material from them.

Hill ultimately concludes that the question of who chose the gospels might actually be misguided, because it seems just as likely that the Gospels chose themselves: the teachings of the apostles that they passed on were immediately recognized as authoritative and incorporated into the life of the Church due to their self-attesting qualities (p. 231, 241-46). But his earlier suggestion, that the apostle John himself knew of the three other Gospels, authorized them, and supplemented them with his own account, and that therefore the apostles were understood to have the authority to choose the Gospel canon, is never totally taken off the table. Indeed, Hill mentions the report of Papias found in Eusebius’ Gospel According to the Hebrews and a passage from Origen’s Homilies on the Gospel of Luke, which “assign the ‘canonization’ to John [who] ‘welcomed’ or ‘recognized’” the other three Gospels (p. 224). One is left to wonder which answer to the original question should be emphasized: did the four Gospels choose themselves? Were they chosen by the apostles, or even the apostle John in particular? Or is it somehow both?

Hill’s overall argument is solid: reasonable, drawn from the sources themselves, relying on only minimal and modest guesswork. He shows how the arguments of those who wish to assert the late (fourth century) formation of a four-Gospel canon rely on much less likely hypothetical scenarios, and that a look at the bare facts can lead one rather quickly into supporting a much earlier date. It is an invaluable resource for those who are unsettled by the common assertions that the four canonical gospels were just four among many, that there was an elaborate “Gospel conspiracy” to weed them down, and that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John represent, not true eyewitness accounts of the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus, but merely the accounts which those in power wished to platform and authorize. These assertions do not stand up to scrutiny.

But it is perhaps his final step--arguing that the Gospels must in the end be taken as a “primary premise” or “first principle” (p. 242)--that is least likely to work in a secular university religion class. It is an argument that only those who are convinced (or who at the very least wish to be convinced) would be willing to accept. But all the reasoning leading up to this final leap is strong, and adds much support to the early formation of a four-Gospel canon. At the very least, it leads one (even one uncommitted to the Christian faith) to concede that the four-Gospel canon was fairly widely known at the beginning of the second century, and possibly formed toward the end of the first (shortly after the Gospel of John was composed). With this case made, a reader would do well to take Hill’s (and Augustine’s) advice: “tolle lege, take up and read” (p. 246).

Profile Image for Zach Barnhart.
159 reviews14 followers
March 21, 2023
Conspiracy is entertainment. Netflix continues to find profitability in producing multiple documentaries and shows that pride themselves on suspicion, helping viewers “see through things.” Video clips go viral, tweets begin trending, and memes become social media fodder. Couple our penchant for conspiracy with matters of religion, and we have ourselves something sensational.

However, C.E. Hill’s interest in Who Chose The Gospels? is not to tell a riveting story, but to tell a true story (and remarkably, the truth is quite riveting itself!). Hill does not set out to invite the reader into further speculation and suspicion, but to square the “conspiracy theories” against the evidential truth. His goal is to ask the question, “On what bases do scholars such as Ehrman, Petersen, and Pagels make their cases?” and “test them against the evidence” to determine his answer (4). The central question at hand concerning these Gospels is when they attained their canonical status, to which Hill devotes the rest of his book in search of (6).

Perhaps the most convincing part of Hill’s arguments is how he lets the evidence speak for itself. As the first chapter title indicates, “the proof is in the papyri.” The way he explains the ratios that favor the canonical Gospels compared to the non-canonical Gospels proves convincing (17-18). Perhaps the most lopsided victory for the canonical Gospels are the findings in codex form, which is nearly ten-to-one (28). Hill rightly contends that one cannot play the “conspiracy” card in light of the papyrus discoveries, as “the papyri are, in this sense, ‘conspiracy killers’” (21).

Evidence aside, it is the people behind the evidence that are often subjected to critical suspicion, and every conspiracy needs a good scapegoat. A notable example is Irenaeus, who is lambasted as an “axe-happy frontiersman” who set out to create his own four-pillar Gospel canon (42). Hill demonstrates that is quite a leap and “logically uncompelling” to critique Irenaeus for his attention to the harmony of a four-fold Gospel, and that he is far from the only voice who ascribes authority to a four-fold Gospel. The rise of the four-fold Gospel is not owing to one’s pushing his agenda to “compel…believers to subject themselves to the four-fold Gospel,” based on the witness of other men like Hippolytus, Tertullian, Origen, Euplus, and more (44-51). Interestingly, even someone like Clement, who expresses more toleration of apocraphyl Gospels and might be considered opposed to Irenaeus, clearly shows in his writing that there are only four canonical Gospels (74). I personally found Chapter 7 on Justin Martyr and his “co-conspirators” to be one of the most fascinating in the book. Justin Marytr’s engagement with opponents in his writings actually shows a convincing embrace of the Gospels as four-fold, for both the believer and the unbeliever. In Hill’s words, “These books were so well known that an outside had no problem ascertaining which ones they were and then finding copies of them” (157).

After spending a great deal of time looking the evidence in the face, and then considering the important players in church history, Hill finally circles back to his original question. Who chose the Gospels? Hill’s answer is fitting. “It looks like nobody did” (229). Perhaps the one area that I experienced some confusion was at Hill’s suggestion of John as the “earliest canonizer” of the four Gospels (224), though later he concludes we have nothing but “inability to find an ultimate ‘chooser’” (231).

Regardless, Hill’s prevailing point is important. The self-attestation of the four-fold Gospels is enough and stands on its own. “What set the four Gospels apart for most was…the contents of these Gospels that commended them” (235). The four evangelists, shoulders above any other contemporary, preach and teach a real Jesus Christ who has really come, fully human and fully divine, who has really died and really risen again. Hill recognizes it does not make for a great Hollywood script, or a conspiracy theory to occupy the talking heads. But his parting exhortation to read the works for oneself is the best defense he can provide.

For a book that gets into the weeds with ancient papyrus fragments and stuffy theological treatises, Hill’s writing style is laced with humor, light-heartedness, and refreshing simplicity. Hill is not out to be his own “axe-happy frontiersman” of sorts, nor does he write with a kind of distant, uninvolved criticism that fails to actually enter the current conversation. Hill’s assessment of the issue at hand makes for a balanced, fair, and well-researched contribution to the question of canon.
Profile Image for Pig Rieke.
155 reviews
July 8, 2020
The title is deceptive and provocative; however, the contents are orthodox and plain. Hills book consists of a strong historical (and partially theological) defense for orthodoxy in regards to the Church receiving the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the Word of God. The issue that this book centrally addresses is the Church’s reception of the Gospels from their origin to the 3rd Century. Hill proves persuasively that the Gospels we have with us today are not the result of conspiracy theory, natural selection, a council, or the like; rather, the Church has always received (and not chosen) them as the very Word of God.

Furthermore, Hill proves that although other gospels existed, the Church has always held these four as the apostolic witness to Christ and that none of these other gospels ever were significantly used or circulated among followers of Christ. Again, Hill explains and persuasively defends that this is not because the Church exercised its right to chose which texts to use; rather, just as children must receive their God given parents, God’s people have always acknowledged the four fold Gospel as God speaking through the Apostles and their close associates.

As far as recommending the book, it’s target audience is very very limited. It is extraordinary well written, but again, the only person I would hardly recommend this book to is those interested in how the Church came to receive the Gospels as Scripture.
Profile Image for Drew Martin.
118 reviews35 followers
March 20, 2018
I’m no fan of organized religion, but I’m a fan of the history behind organized religion. I’m interested in how and why these beliefs came into being and spread. As is, I don’t read religious books so much as I read books about religion. The Easter season, while loaded with documentaries and films, also gives rise to an inspiration to read. Searching through my collection of eBooks, I picked C.E. Hill’s 2010 work, Who Chose the Gospels?: Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy. I made it through, barely, as there were many points I came close to putting it down for good. Not because it’s “so bad,” but boring...

To read the rest of this review go to https://drewmartinwrites.wordpress.co...
Profile Image for Braley Chambers.
45 reviews2 followers
August 31, 2017
The most entertaining read I have read in seminary thus far. Hill does a great job of showing why there are only 4 gospels and why their "selection" wasn't arbitrary. The four Gospels weren't "chosen" by the early church but "received" by the church fathers likely from the apostles themselves. If you love books that crush conspiracy theories, this is for you.
Profile Image for Jeremy Mueller.
197 reviews34 followers
April 11, 2022
3.5 stars: This book seemed like it had a target audience of exactly 64 people (or however many scholars engage in the work of gospel-critical studies). “Who Chose the Gospels?” was well written, deftly researched, and persuasive, but I’m not sure how helpful of a book it will be for anyone except those who think Irenaeus (and/or another church father) chose the gospels.
Profile Image for Ken.
8 reviews1 follower
March 8, 2023
Excellent read especially for the conservative Christian to reinforce their trust in the NT.

He combats the theories of liberal scholarship that elevates the gnostic gospels (Thomas, Judas, Peter, etc) as equally valid as Matthew Mark Luke and John

My confidence in the NT and the choice of the early church in the 4 canonical gospels has been strengthened.

Highly recommend
Profile Image for Eric Fults.
70 reviews5 followers
August 28, 2017
Great biblical cover of the topic. The arguments in this book are extremely logical but also accessible. I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who has wondered about this question or who longs for a thorough (and enjoyable) treatment on the topic.
Profile Image for Matt Mangum.
158 reviews
September 16, 2022
An outstanding work by Hill. Biting at times (and deservedly so) in his criticism of people who promote conspiracies surround the canon, Hill makes a convincing case for who chose the Gospels: no one. They are what the church received and handed down.
Profile Image for Caleb Batchelor.
102 reviews10 followers
September 24, 2018
I think D.A. Carson gives the best recommendation for this book. He says, "Not many books that are so informed are such a pleasure to read."
Profile Image for Claude.
64 reviews18 followers
January 18, 2019
Compelling scholarship and history that makes a important and convoluted topic accessible. Found the Chapters on Irenaeus and Justin to be the most helpful/important, along with the final chapter.
403 reviews1 follower
October 22, 2019
Solid scholarship mixes with a lively writing style in this interesting book about why we have four Gospel—and only four—in the New Testament canon.
938 reviews4 followers
November 6, 2020
Nice attempt, but his writing is so sardonic that I had trouble reading it. Would have been a good book if it had just dealt with the facts and no editorializing as such
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