More Christian Apocrypha vol. 1: Update

As some of the readers of Apocryphicity are aware, Brent Landau (University of Texas) and I are working on assembling a new collection of Christian Apocrypha in English entitled New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures. The project is a mirror of the More Old Testament Pseudepigrapha volumes under preparation by Jim Davila and Richard Bauckham (University of St. Andrews). These volumes collect material that is not included in the edition of Old Testament Pseudepigrapha assembled by James Charlesworth in the 1980s. Where Charlesworth’s volumes focused on early texts of Jewish provenance, the MOTP project seeks to include also medieval and Christian works, as well as new texts and new sources for texts that have surfaced since Charlesworth’s day. The first volume of the MOTP was released just a few months ago; it is available for purchase from Eerdmans. To read more about the project, visit THIS PAGE and see this previous POST.

The MCA project (which has been initiated with Davila and Bauckham’s consent) similarly seeks to collect neglected apocryphal texts. Where MOTP is conceptualized as a supplement to Charlesworth, MCA is an enlargement of the most recent English-language CA collection (but now almost two decades old): J. K. Elliott’s The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford 1991). There is no need to duplicate Elliott’s work, nor is there utility in presenting texts that have been published in other collections (e.g., the Nag Hammadi Library) or recent editions (e.g., Abraham Terrian’s 2008 edition of the Armenian Gospel of the Infancy). However, several of the texts in Elliott do need to be updated (e.g., the Dormition of Mary, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas) and there are numerous texts that are simply not included, primarily because they hail from a more recent time than those texts typically included in such collections. Many of these have scarcely been examined in over a century and are in dire need of new editions and translations.

The MCA volumes are to be similar in arrangement as the MOTP volumes. The selection of texts is limited to those in evidence before the scholarly publication of Christian Apocrypha in the Enlightenment and are to be grouped together by subject matter (e.g., texts dealing with Jesus’ infancy, texts dealing with particular apostles) rather than genre (gospels, letters, acts). For each text, contributors will provide an introduction detailing such matters as the text’s origins (date, language, and provenance), its sources, and its literary and theological importance. The English translation will incorporate the latest scholarship on the text and will be based on the full range of available manuscripts (rather than simply a new translation of an antiquated edition). For more information on the project see my article in the Bulletin for the Study of Religion (41.3).

Brent and I have been slowly editing the contributions over the past several months and now have a clear idea of the shape of the first volume. Here are the texts that will be included:

A. Gospels and Related Traditions of New Testament Figures

A Latin Life of Mary, Mary Dzon (University of Tennessee)
Coptic Life of Mary, Brice Jones (Concordia University, Montréal)
The Legend of Aphroditianus, or The Narrative of Events Happening in Persia on the Birth of Christ, falsely attributed to Julius Africanus, by Katharina Heyden (University of Göttingen)
Pseudo-Eusebius, On the Star, Brent Landau (University of Texas)
The Revelation of the Magi (summary), Brent Landau (University of Texas)
The Story of the Good Thief, by Mark Bilby (University of Virginia)
Armenian Infancy Gospel (summary), by Abraham Terian (St. Nersess Armenian Seminary, New Rochelle, New York)
The Syriac Version of the Childhood of Jesus (aka Infancy Gospel of Thomas), by Tony Burke (York University, Toronto)
The Priesthood of Jesus, by Bill Adler (North Carolina State University)
Gospel of the Savior (New translation) and related texts, by Alin Suciu (Universität Hamburg) and Paul Dilley (Pennsylvania State University)
Dialogue of the Paralytic with Christ, by Brad Rice (McGill University, Montréal)
Toldoth Yeshua (update), by F. Stanley Jones (California State University)
History of the Thirty Silver Pieces, by Tony Burke (York University, Toronto) and Slavomír ?éplö (Comenius University, Slovakia)
The Death of Judas according to Papias, by Geoff Smith (Princeton University)
Life of John the Baptist by Serapion, by Slavomír ?éplö (Comenius University, Slovakia)
Life and Martyrdom of John the Baptist by Mark the Evangelist, Andrew Bernhard (University of Oxford)
The Invention of John the Baptist’s Head, by Paul Dilley (Pennsylvania State University)
Encomium of Mary Magdalene, by Christine Luckritz Marquis (Duke University)

B. Apocryphal Acts and Related Traditions
Teaching of the Apostles, by Witold Witakowski (University of Uppsala)
Acts of Barnabas, Glenn Snyder (Harvard Divinity School)
Acts of Cornelius the Centurion, by Tony Burke (York University, Toronto) and Witold Witakowski (University of Uppsala)
Acts of Peter (Epitome), by F. Stanley Jones (California State University)
Acts of Timothy, by Cavan Concannon (Duke University)
Acts of Titus, by Richard Pervo (Independent Scholar)
Acts of Xanthippe and Polyxena, by David Eastman (Ohio Wesleyan University)

C. Epistles
Epistle of Christ from Heaven, by Calogero A. Miceli (Université Laval, Quebec City)
Letter of Ps.-Dionysius the Areopagite to Timothy on the Death of Peter and Paul, by David Eastman (Ohio Wesleyan University) Catechesis of Ps.-Basil of Caesarea/Letter of Luke, by Paul Dilley (Pennsylvania State University)

D. Apocalypses
Latin Apocalypse of John, by Charles Wright (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign)
Apocalypse of the Virgin, by Stephen Shoemaker (University of Oregon)
The Testament of Our Savior, by Maria Doerfler (Duke University)The Tiburtine Sibyl by Stephen Shoemaker (University of Oregon)
Enthronement of Abbaton, by Alin Suciu (Universität Hamburg) and Ibrahim Saweros (Leiden University)

Thought the first volume is still some distance away from completion, we are beginning to get a sense of what texts may be included in a second volume. Here is what we are considering so far:

A. Gospels and Related Traditions of New Testament Figures

Selected stories from Solomon of Basra, the Book of the Bee
Syriac Infancy Gospel
Six-Books Transitus of Mary
Vision of Theophilus
Homily on the Life of Jesus (and other Coptic fragments)
Apocryphal Gospel of John
Book of the Cock
Life of Mary Magdalene
The Beheading of John the Baptist by Euriptus, the Disciple of John
Encomium of John the Baptist
The Rood-Tree Legend

B. Apocryphal Acts and Related Traditions
Acts of James
Ascents of James (Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions 1.27–71) 
Martyrdom of Mark
History of Philip in the City of Carthage (Syriac)

C. Apocalypses
Questions of James (3 Apocalypse John)
4 Apocalypse of John
Mysteries of John (aka Coptic Apocalypse of John)

We have made every effort to contact scholars in the field with the expertise to contribute to the project, but if we have somehow left you out of this process, don't hesitate to contact us and let us know what text you would be interested in working with. For a list of possible candidates, visit my More Christian Apocrypha page.

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One Response to More Christian Apocrypha vol. 1: Update

  1. Brent says:

    This looks absolutely amazing. I’ll gladly sign up as the first buyer when the time to do so is upon us.

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