Thomas and the Other Gospels

One of the benefits of teaching at a research university with a graduate program is that – at least where I am – there are periodic reading groups with other faculty members and graduate students. I go to a couple of these a month, including one that I organize. As it turns out, last week I went to two. The first was mine, the (other ) CIA, in which we typically read someone’s work-in-progress. That week’s presentation was a paper ...

Continue Reading →
20

Lost Gospels That Are Still Lost 4: Q

Several respondents on the blog have asked me whether I would consider Q to be a lost Gospel that is still lost. My answer is direct and emphatic: yes I do! And to the question, also asked several times, if I had one lost Christian writing that I could have turn up tomorrow, what would it be? – again, unless someone imagines that there was once something like Jesus’ lost autobiography (!), my answer is: Q!

Some members of ...

Continue Reading →
27

Lost Gospels That Are Still Lost 3: The Greater Questions of Mary

I have been discussing some of the Gospels that we know about because they are mentioned, or even quoted, by church fathers, but that no longer survive. Another, particularly intriguing, Gospel like this – one that I desperately wish we had, for reasons that will soon become clear — is known as “The Greater Questions of Mary” (i.e., of Mary Magdalene). My following comments on it are more or less lifted from my Introduction in the recent Apocryphal Gospels volume.

One ...

Continue Reading →
7

Lost Gospels That Are Still Lost 2: The Gospel of Basilides

In my previous post I started a mini-series on Gospels that we know about but that are still lost. One of the early Gnostic figures mentioned by the late-second century heresy-hunter Irenaeus was a man named Basilides. As with the Cainites, we do not have any writings from Basilides or any of his followers, and so all we know about these people and their writings is what authors like Irenaeus tell us. That is somewhat like asking Karl Rove ...

Continue Reading →
12

Lost Gospels That Are Still Lost 1

QUESTION:

Are there any lost gospels mentioned by early Christian authors that have not been discovered yet?

RESPONSE:

Ah, this is a great question. The answer is definitely yes. But I don’t think I know all of them, and it would be worth while compiling a list. Maybe someone has compiled one already. In fact, someone probably has! I just don’t recall ever seeing one.

But there are indeed Gospels mentioned by Christian authors that we no longer have. I think ...

Continue Reading →
28

The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations

I mentioned in my previous post that by a matter of serendipity, I decided to produce a bi-lingual edition of the Apocryphal Gospels. My idea was to make available to scholars who wanted easy access to (virtually all) the non-canonical Gospels in the original language a one-volume edition, and to make available to everyone, whether scholars or not, solid and new English translations of all these works. The original idea was to include all the early and important Gospels (up ...

Continue Reading →
11

Serendipity 3: The Apocryphal Gospels Volume

I mentioned in previous posts that a good deal of my career has developed because of serendipitous moments. As I look back on it (from this halfway point ), most of the good things that have happened to me seem to have come about by pure chance. Of course, I took advantage of the chances as they came along. But still, no one can deny that a major chunk of life is all by chance.

In those two earlier posts, I ...

Continue Reading →
7

The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife: Another New Development

In earlier posts I talked about the “discovery” of the tiny credit-card sized fragment of a Coptic Gospel, with several lines of text on it, in one of which Jesus is recorded as speaking the words “my wife.” The text has been named “The Gospel of Jesus’ Wife.” As I mentioned in a previous blog, there are heated discussions of the fragment’s authenticity, with a large number of experts contending that it is a modern forgery. We will probably not ...

Continue Reading →
22

Peter, The Smoked Tuna, and the Flying Heretic

IN MY BIBLE INTRODUCTION I INTRODUCE STUDENTS TO NON-CANONICAL LEGENDARY ACCOUNTS ABOUT THE APOSTLES, INCLUDING THIS LITTLE GEM ABOUT PETER.

Among the pseudepigrapha connected with the apostle Peter, none is more interesting than the apocryphal Acts of Peter, a document that details Peter’s various confrontations with the heretical magician Simon Magus (cf. Acts 8:14-24). The narrative shows how Peter outperforms the magician by invoking the power of God. Consider the following entertaining account, in which Peter proves the divine ...

Continue Reading →
17

Is the New Gospel Fragment a Modern Forgery?

The so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife” has been publicly available for only three days now, and already New Testament scholars and scholars of Coptic and Gnosticism are hard at work on it. Most of the effort so far has been in deciding whether it is authentic or forged. And it ain’t lookin’ good for those who think it’s authentic!

Some have pointed out that the fragment looks too neat around the edges to be believable; others have noted that ...

Continue Reading →
23
Page 13 of 14 «...1011121314