Bauer Thesis Examined the Geography of Heresy in the Early Christian Church

Author: Robinson, Thomas
Challenges the adequacy of the reconstruction of primitive Christianity advanced by Walter Bauer in Orthodoxy and Heresy in Earliest Christianity. The theory that so-called heretical movements were early, widespread, and strong. By citing the lack of data extensive enough to warrant such conclusions.


". . . raises good points . . . . argues effectively that the crucial data from Revelation and Ignatius can be explained in quite different fashion. . . . In his book, R[obinson] has mounted a worthy challenge to Bauer's perspective." - The Catholic Biblical Quarterly ". . . careful, almost painstaking . . . . presents the most substantial response since H. E. W. Turner's The Pattern of Christian Truth (1954) to one of the most influential books written in this century in the field of primitive Christianity. . . . This is a very welcome work." _ The Evangelical Quarterly

"Robinson has tested the Bauer thesis and found it wanting for Asia Minor: heresy in that region is neither early nor strong. It remains to be seen whether those working in the tradition of Bauer will be convinced . . . that `the failure of the thesis in the only area where it can be adequately tested casts suspicion on other areas of Bauer's investigation.' Certainly they cannot afford to ignore the challenge." - Studies in Religion - Sciences Religieuses

". . . concludes that Bauer's thesis extrapolates too much from too little data. The heart of the book is devoted to what Robinson considers to be the most important and best attested area of early Christianity, Ephesus and Western Asia Minor . . . ." - Religious Studies Review

". . . places significant question marks against the Bauer thesis. . . . clearly outlined and argued, well-researched and documented . . . a significant contribution to the discussion . . . ." - Interpretation