Christian Apocrypha at the 2016 CSBS/CSPS

Since 2013 the Annual Meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies has included a session on Christian Apocrypha. In 2014 the session became a joint presentation with the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies. This year the meeting takes place at the University of Calgary from March 27-30 (CSBS) and March 29-31 (CSPS). The joint session this year is a book review panel for the forthcoming collection New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures, edited by me (Tony Burke) and Brent Landau. I am contributing also to a CSPS book review panel dedicated to Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources (Second through Fourth Centuries) by Lincoln Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment. The CSBS program includes also a few other Christian Apocrypha papers. The full program for CSBS is available HERE (with a link to page-proofs of the contents and introduction to MNTA); the CSPS program will soon follow. Details below.

Saturday, May 28: Gospel Studies

10:45-11:15 Emily Laflèche (University of Ottawa) ~ Mary Magdalene: The Companion of Jesus”

The Gospel of Philip defines Mary Magdalene as Jesus’ companion (koin?nos–companion or partner) it also defines the relationship developed through the bridal chamber as joining (koinone?n–to have in common with or join with another) two people together as companions or consorts (Gos. Phil. 65.1-26). The use of the Copticized Greek verb koinone?n and its nominalization koin?nos in the Gospel of Philip shows that there may be a connection in these two descriptions of companions and the joining of companions. Building on the work of Antti Marjanen (1996), I will analyse Mary Magdalene’s role as the companion of Jesus, looking to other apocryphal texts to aid in understanding her role. I will also address whether there is evidence to link Mary’s companionship with Jesus, to the union developed in the bridal chamber.

11:15-11:45 Bill Richards (College of Emmanuel & St Chad) ~ “Hidden Words – Re-parsing What Thomas Overheard”

In this paper I examine several key sentences in the Coptic text of the Gospel of Thomas, starting with the opening invitation to ponder its sayings under a promise of “not tasting death”. In each case I propose an alternate grammatical analysis of the sayings this book’s Thomas is credited with overhearing and writing down. This reparsing of particular lines will, I hope, encourage a fresh translation of the text as a whole, as well as contribute to a thicker description of the faith community that valued and transmitted its “hidden words.”

Sunday, May 29, 1-3 pm

Book Panel: Lincoln Blumell and Thomas A. Wayment. Christian Oxyrhynchus: Texts, Documents, and Sources (Second through Fourth Centuries) (Baylor University Press, 2015).

Panelists: Steven Muir, Tony Burke

Monday, May 30, 9-11 am

Tony Burke and Brent Landau, eds. New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures (Eerdmans, 2016)

While collections of non-canonical Christian texts have been published in the past, these volumes are usually restricted to texts originating in the first few centuries of the Christian Era. Unfortunately, this approach has tended to omit the large number of apocryphal writings from the late antique and early medieval periods, many of which have had a considerable influence on Christian piety. This new volume of translations, edited by Tony Burke (York University) and Brent Landau (University of Texas), will give scholars and interested readers access to a much larger array of ancient Christian material, many of them never before published. As such, this book panel will provide an initial appraisal of the volume and its potential implications for the study of non-canonical Christian literature.

Panelists: Robert Kitchen (Knox Metropolitan), Alicia Batten (Waterloo), John Kloppenborg (Toronto), Timothy Pettipiece (Ottawa)
Respondent: Tony Burke (York)

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