More Christian Apocrypha Updates 14: Acts of Timothy

[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 Acts of Timothy recounts Timothy’s tenure as bishop of Ephesus. The Latin version of the text attributes its authorship to a certain presbyter named Polycrates. Timothy is said to have been born to a Greek father and a Jewish mother in Lystra. He was converted by Paul and traveled with him until he […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 13: Life of John the Baptist by Serapion

[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 Life of John the Baptist is told through the voice of Serapion, an Egyptian bishop of the fourth century, on the occasion of an unspecified feast day for John. It begins with a harmony of details about John’s birth taken from the Gospel of Luke and the Infancy Gospel of James, finishing with […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 12: Gospel Fragments

[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]. Gospel fragments are an ubiquitous feature of Christian Apocrypha collections. These untitled, often mystifying fragmentary manuscripts tease the possibility of lost known or unknown gospels, but they can instead be extracts from harmonies or homilies, or evidence for the phenomenon of secondary orality (canonical gospel stories remembered from oral performance before secondarily attaining written […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 11: Acts of Titus

[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 Acts of Titus has three parts: his early life (chs. 1-3), his time as a companion of Paul, (chs. 4-6), and his time in office as bishop of Gortyna (chs. 7-12). The text is attributed to a certain “Zenas the lawyer” (from Titus 3:13). The author reveals that Titus grew up in a […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 10: The Life and Martyrdom of John the Baptist

[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]. Life Mart. Bapt. draws heavily on the New Testament Gospel information about John but adds some details. No details are given of his birth and childhood; after a bare mention of his birth, the action moves right to his adulthood when Gabriel instructs him on his mission of baptism and particularly the baptism of […]

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More Christian Apocrypha Updates 9: The Legend of the Thirty Silver Pieces

[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]. LTPS exists in two main forms: an Eastern recension in Syriac, Garshuni, and Armenian, and a Western recension in Latin and European vernaculars. Both forms relate the origin and transmission of the silver pieces paid to Judas to betray Christ. The story begins with the minting of the coins by Terah, then they are […]

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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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