Another Gory Account of the Afterlife: The Apocalypse of Paul

Yesterday I discussed the first surviving Christian account of a tour of heaven and hell, an apocalypse allegedly, but not really, written by Jesus’ disciple Peter.   Here is one other, this time allegedly, but not really, written by the Apostle Paul.   I have taken this description from my book Forgery and Counterforgery (which I have revised a bit to get rid of some of the scholarly jargon).

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Far more influential on the history of Christian thought than the Apocalypse of ...

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Touring Hell: The Apocalypse of Peter

I am about ready now (I think!) to dig more deeply into a thread on the Invention of the Afterlife – the tentative title of the book that I *hope* will be my next one.  I’ve been putting off starting the thread in earnest because, in fact, I don’t feel particularly ready for it.  I’m just at the preliminary stage of my reading and have many dozens of books I need to work through before I can even think about ...

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What About the Apocrypha?

What about the Apocrypha?  I have been talking about how we got the books of the Bible – both Old Testament and New Testament – and how other books came to be left out.  But what are the books of the Apocrypha, where did they come from, and why do some communities of faith (but not others) accept them as authoritative?

When someone refers to “The” Apocrypha they are speaking of the “Old Testament Apocrypha,” a set collection of books written ...

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York Symposium on Early Christian Apocrypha

 

I thought some of you might be interested to know about a symposium focusing on early Christian apocrypha that will be taking place in the fall.  The schedule for the event has just been sent.  If any of you is near there, you should think about going!  It looks terrific.   It is being organized principally by Tony Burke, along with Brent Landau; they are two very active scholars in the field of apocrypha studies.

 

Here’s what the lineup looks like.

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 3 of 3 – Christ Against the Jews

Here is the third of my Shaffer Lectures delivered almost exactly ten years ago.   This final one has to do with textual variants and apocryphal texts that show evidence of Christian anti-Judaism.  I call this one: Christ Against the Jews.   It is a topic that I continue to be interested in, and on which I plan to write a book for a general audience, at some time in the next few years (not about textual variants, but about ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 2 of 3 – Christ The Divine Man

As I indicated in a post last week, on October 12-14, 2004 I gave the three Shaffer lectures at Yale University,  on “Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal.” This is the second of those lectures, dealing with Christ as a Divine man.  (Again, the quality is not as high as we have come to expect over the past couple of years, because it was recorded originally on VHS.  But it’s been worked over to make it still ...

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Yale Shaffer Lectures 1 of 3 – Christ Come in the Flesh

Ten years ago now — October 12-14, 2004 — I delivered the Shaffer lectures at Yale University Divinity School. The central theme of the series was “Christ in the Early Christian Tradition: Texts Disputed and Apocryphal.” Among other things, I tried to show how early Christian groups tried to restrict readings of their sacred texts to suit their own purposes. This first lecture is entitled on “Christ Come in the Flesh.” (The video quality will not be ...

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