Apostolic Transgression (The New York Times)

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New York TimesIn a review of Garry Wills’ new book Why Priests?, Randall Balmer, chair of the Department of Religion, writes that the author’s “quarrel is not with priests but with the specious notion of the priesthood, which, he argues, finds no precedent in the early church and precious little warrant in the New Testament.”

Balmer, the Mandel Family Professor of Arts & Sciences, writes, “Using his linguistic skills and his impressive command of both secondary literature and patristic sources, Wills raises doubts aplenty about ‘the Melchizedek myth,’ and the priestly claims for Jesus in the ‘idiosyncratic’ Epistle to the Hebrews. He notes as well the linguistic anomalies of the Genesis passage and even questions the inclusion of Hebrews in the canon of Scripture.”

Read the full book review, published 2/15/13 in The New York Times.