I recently received a copy of a book by David A. Croteau, Urban Legends of the New Testament: 40 common Misconceptions (B & H Academic, 2015) He covers some of the common ones that we’ve heard about for years, like did Paul really say money is evil or the love of money is evil? (No, the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil.) and were there really 3 wise men or were they kings, or sorcerers? And some others that a little more obscure.
Croteau deals with each of the legends in just a few pages, offering a look at the legend (The Legendary Teaching), then an introduction to his a rebuttal, followed by a consideration of applicable passages. Many chapters close with an application for the reader to use in his own faith journey. Most if not all of the chapters include a brief annotated bibliography.
Many of the legends are ones that I’ve heard before, (and tried to debunk) myself, but there were a few that really made me stop and think. Not sure I agree with 100% of Croteau’s logic, but at least he pointed me back to scripture. And as Douglas Moo pointed out in his endorsement. “Perhaps just as importantly, he encourages all of us to be more careful and attentive readers of Scripture.”
Hopefully this is a book which will challenge more people to go to the source when it comes to their scriptural knowledge, but it is not, from my perspective, a book which is likely to be read and then passed on to a whole group of friends with a “You gotta read this book…” type of endorsement.
I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for my review.