Right now I have the “other” Gospels on my mind. It’s true, I often have them on my mind, since they have been a focus for a good deal of my research over the past few years, and will continue to be for some years to come. But just now, they are particularly on my mind even though the book I’m currently writing (How Jesus Became God) is about something else.
They’re on my mind for three reasons. First, I’ve agreed with Oxford Press, to produce, along with my colleague Zlatko Plese, an English-only edition of The Apocryphal Gospels, which came out in a Greek/Latin/Coptic-English edition last year; this new edition will include only the English translations with new introductions geared for a general audience. So I have to rewrite all the introductions, and the am bound by contract to do it by the end of January.
Second, I have agreed to write a brief (2000-word) article for Newsweek this week, to be published in a couple of weeks, about the birth of Jesus, and this has made me think about the other Gospels (from outside the New Testament) that tell alternative accounts of Jesus’ birth and young life. And third, just as I was about ready to start writing the article I learned that the Pope has published a book on the birth of Jesus, where he, among other things, dispels many of the myths that people subscribe to about the Christmas story.
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