This year's York Christian Apocrypha Symposium, “Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier: The Christian Apocrypha in North American Perspectives,” is now only three weeks away (September 26–28, 2013). If you are interested in attending, please register as soon as possible (remember, it's free for students, but you should register if you want to receive the papers ahead of time). For more information, see the Symposium's web page (HERE).
Mark Glen Bilby, “Backstories of the Bandits: The Emergence, Submersion and Re-emergence of the Cult of Dysmas”
Mark Bilby is Lecturer of Religious Studies at the University of San Diego, where he teaches courses in the Jewish and Christian scriptures. His PhD dissertation (University of Virginia), forthcoming (Nov. 2013) in the Brepols series Cahiers de Biblia Patristica, is entitled As the bandit will I confess you: Luke 23, 39-43 in early Christian interpretation. It comprises the first book-length, critical investigation of the early reception history of this Lucan story about the two co-crucified criminals. Bilby has contributed an introduction and translation of a Byzantine story (BHG 2119y) about the so-called Good Thief, Dysmas, to the More Christian Apocrypha project.
Bilby is also the author of the forthcoming (2014) Luke through the Centuries in the Blackwell Bible Commentary series. He is contributing various articles to the Encyclopedia of the Bible and Its Reception that deal with the reception history of Luke, including apocryphal legends about Luke the Evangelist. His other scholarly interests include patristic homililes, historical exchanges and inter-faith dialogue among the Abrahamic religions, and Greek and Latin paleography.
His presentation at this September’s York Christian Apocrypha Symposium will draw on more than fifteen apocryphal texts so as to trace the initial rise of the cult of Dysmas in Syro-Palestine, its transfiguration in allegedly Egyptian legends in which the bandit encounters the Holy Family during their sojourn in Egypt, and the surge in popularity of the cult of Dysmas in the Latin West starting around the 12th or 13th century.