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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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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 ...

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The Gospel of Jesus’s Wife

The new Gospel “discovery,” the fragment of the so-called “Gospel of Jesus’s Wife”: I’m afraid I don’t have anything much to add to the conversations going on among experts and available to you by a simple Internet search. If you’re really interested, read around on the net. But I should say a few things, perhaps, from where I sit.

First and most important for this post.  The big initial question is whether or not it is authentic.  I am not ...

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BREAKING NEWS! A Significant New Non-Canonical Gospel Fragment

There is potentially exciting news just out this afternoon. Karen King, scholar of Coptic and Gnosticism at Harvard Divinity School, an expert on the Gnostic Gospels, has just released information about a newly discovered papyrus manuscript – a small fragment the size of a credit card. It is a Gospel fragment of only eight lines. But they are significant lines. On them, Jesus appears to refer … to his wife!!

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