More Christian Apocrypha Updates 8: The Qasr el-Wizz Codex

[This is the latest in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. The tenth/eleventh-century Coptic Qasr el-Wizz codex contains two texts: the Discourse of the Savior and the Dance of the Savior. The first of these is a post-resurrection dialogue between Jesus and the apostles set four days before his ascension. Peter begins the dialogue by asking Jesus about the "mystery of the cross." Jesus responds […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 7: The Death of Judas

[This is the latest in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. The fourth book of Papias's lost Exposition of the Sayings of the Lord contains a tradition about the death of Judas that is different from what we find in both Matt 27:3-10 and Acts 1:18-20. This tradition, preserved in a long version and a short version in Greek catenae (collections of extracts from biblical […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 6: Dialogue of the Paralytic

[This is the latest in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. Dial. Paralytic is an elaboration of the story of Jesus and the paralytic from John 5:1–15, though here the encounter is situated after the resurrection, perhaps as late as the fourth century if the paralytic's mention of Arius (d. 336) is original to the text. Christ descends to earth and sees the paralytic. His […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 5: On the Priesthood of Jesus

[This is the latest in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. On the Priesthood of Jesus (aka, Confession of Theodosius, Apology of Theodosius) is an example of an embedded apocryphon—meaning, the text comes with a framing story, in this case a dispute between Jews and Christians in the reign of the emperor Justinian I (527–565) during which an account is brought forward that is said […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 4: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Syriac)

[This is the latest in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas is well-known; it's sometimes shocking portrayal of the young Jesus cursing the townspeople of Nazareth has contributed to its popularity. The text is featured prominently also in the various Christian Apocrypha collections and commentaries. So why include it in MNTA? One of our guiding principles in selecting texts for […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 3: The Hospitality of Dysmas

[This is the third in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is incorporated also into the information on the texts provided on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. Some of the texts included in the MNTA volume are free-floating stories incorporated into variations of previously-published texts. The tales of the "Good Thief" are prime examples of this phenomenon. This "Good Thief" is the bandit promised salvation by Jesus on the cross in Luke 23:40-43. Christian imagination provided additional information about this bandit […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 2: Revelation of the Magi

[This is the second in a series of posts on texts to be featured in New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures edited by Brent Landau and I. The material here is included also on my More Christian Apocrypha page]. The Revelation of the Magi has appeared recently in an English translation: Brent Landau, Revelation of the Magi: The Lost Tale of the Wise Men’s Journey to Bethlehem (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2010), based on his dissertation (to be published in CCSA) “The Sages and the Star-Child: An Introduction to the Revelation of the Magi, An Ancient Christian Apocryphon” (Ph. D. […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 1: Legend of Aphroditianus

Over the next few weeks I will be doing final edits of the contributions to the collection I am editing with Brent Landau called New Testament Apocrypha: More Noncanonical Scriptures. At the same time, I have to prepare a bibliography on Christian Apocrypha for the Oxford Online Bibliographies project. I thought I could combine those efforts with updates to my More Christian Apocrypha page and, to top it all off, throw in some blog posts on the texts as a preview to the volume. The first text in the collection is the Legend of Aphroditianus (aka “The Narrative of Events […]

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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 […]

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More Secret Scriptures 6: The Preaching of Simon Cephas in the City of Rome

(The latest in a series of posts about little-known Christian Apocrypha that could not be included in my recent book, Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the the Christian Apocrypha, now available in Europe and to be released in North America in November, 2013.) I have added to the More Christian Apocrypha page a little information on a seldom-read text known as the Preaching of Simon Cephas in the City of Rome. The text was published in 1864 by William Cureton from two manuscripts, but four more have become available since his day. Hopefully we will include the text […]

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More Secret Scriptures 4: The Martyrdom of Pilate and the Lament of the Virgin

(The latest in a series of posts about little-known Christian Apocrypha that could not be included in my recent book, Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the the Christian Apocrypha, now available in Europe and to be released in North America in November, 2013) Many readers of the Christian Apocrypha are aware of the large corpus of texts known as the Pilate Cycle—most prominent among these is the Acts of Pilate (also known as the Gospel of Nicodemus). There is one other text that describes Pilate's involvement in Jesus’ death, though this one is not discussed in connection to […]

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More Secret Scriptures 3: The Apocryphal Apocalypses of John

(The latest in a series of posts about little-known Christian Apocrypha that could not be included in my recent book, Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the the Christian Apocrypha, to be released later this month) The earliest Christian apocalypse is the canonical Book of Revelation ascribed to John. The focus of this text is the end-time battle between cosmic powers of good and evil, with Jesus leading the heavenly host against the forces of Satan and the Beast. With the victory of Jesus, Satan and his minions are thrown into a lake of fire, and the faithful are […]

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More Secret Scriptures 2: Letters from Jesus to Peter and Paul

(The second in a series of posts about little-known Christian Apocrypha that could not be included in my recent book, Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the the Christian Apocrypha, to be released later this month) While reading Bart Ehrman's latest book, Forgery and Counterforgery: The Use of Literary Deceit in Early Christian Polemics (Oxford 2013), I came across a reference to, apparently, lost letters of Jesus to Peter and Paul. These letters are not typically mentioned in studies of the Christian Apocrypha, though they should be part of the discussion of apocryphal letters of Jesus (particularly the Abgar […]

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More Secret Scriptures: John and the Young Bishop of Ephesus

In celebration of the release of my new book, Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the Christian Apocrypha, I am running a series of posts on texts that could not be included in the book due to space considerations (so many texts, so little room). The first of these is a story about the apostle John transmitted by Clement of Alexandria in his Quis dives salvetur (42.1-15). I only recently came across the story and I am surprised that it is not featured in the popular Christian Apocrypha collections, nor is it mentioned in the standard introductions to the […]

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More Christian Apocrypha

The latest issue of the Bulletin for the Study of Religion (41.3) features my article on the More Christian Apocrypha Project. The abstract for the article provides some details about the project: Scholars interested in the Christian Apocrypha (CA) typically appeal to CA collections when in need of primary sources. But many of these collections limit themselves to material believed to have been written within the first to fourth centuries CE. As a result a large amount of non-canonical Christian texts important for the study of ancient and medieval Christianity have been neglected. The More Christian Apocrypha Project will address […]

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