By contrasting scripture and writings from the early church fathers with Gnostic writings, the author delineates what early Christianity looked like, what Gnosticism is, and theories of where it came from. Many Gnostic texts are illuminated by short in-text vignettes describing their content, impact and provenance, along with longer articles bringing out the true content of these often heretical writings. A thorough refutation of Walter Bauer and the 'new school of early church interpretation' answers many questions raised by these deconstructionists, and Bock does this all with masterful skill, making the text accessible to those without familiarity of the Gnostic teachings.
Darrell L. Bock, Ph.D., is Research Professor of New Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. Bock is the Professor for Spiritual Development and Culture for the Center for Christian Leadership, as well as the editor at large for Christianity Today. He also served as a past president of the Evangelical Theological Society.