Christian Apocrypha Sessions at 2014 SBL

The program for the 2014 Annual Meeting of the SBL is now available. This year the Christian Apocrypha Section is offering four sessions (up from one last year!). One of these is a panel on presenting Christian Apocrypha to popular audiences, and another is a joint session with the Gospel of Luke Section honoring François Bovon. We had a large number of proposals this year and, while we would like to accept every paper, alas we cannot. Our thanks to all those who sent in proposals. We hope to see you in San Diego. S22-118: Christian Apocrypha 11/22/2014 ~ 9:00 […]

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Christopher Skinner reviews Secret Scriptures Revealed

Christopher Skinner has published a review of my book Secret Scriptures Revealed on the Crux Sola blog (HERE). He concludes: Several features of this book stand out in my mind. First, the material Burke covers is grouped by subject matter, an arrangement that will likely prove useful for non-specialists. Second, his writing style is clear, engaging, and at times, even humorous in places. Third, at the end of each major section there is a textbox providing information for further study. What I most appreciate about this book is that Burke writes with the skill of an expert and the communicative ability […]

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Christian Apocrypha at the 2014 CSBS/CSPS: A Report

The Annual Meetings of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies and the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies took place last weekend (May 23-26) at Brock University in St. Catharines, Ontario. Both societies are modest-sized groups of scholars; their gatherings are nothing on the scale of SBL or NAPS—the CSBS meeting, the larger of the two, regularly features 60-70 papers. But the gatherings are no less valuable and, in my opinion, far more friendly and collegial (they’re full of Canadians after all). They provide a welcome opportunity for Canadians living near and far to reconnect with one another. For the past […]

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Syriac Perspectives on Late Antiquity and Early Islam, University of Toronto

I will be presenting a paper on Syriac Apocrypha at the University of Toronto conference "Hidden Treasures of the Eastern Church: Syriac Perspectives on Late Antiquity and Early Islam" November 15, 2014. The one-day event also features papers by Adam Lehto, Kyle Smith, Amir Harrak and others. I will post further details when the program is finalized.

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New book on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas

Congratulations to Stephen Davis on the publication of his new book, Christ Child: Cultural Memories of a Young Jesus (Yale University Press). I had a chance to read the book in manuscript form before publication but I'm excited to hear my complimentary copy is in the mail. From the testimonials: "Stephen Davis's Christ Child is as theoretically important as it is fascinating. Davis takes the reader on an engaging journey through the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and its surprisingly rich afterlives in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. In the process, Davis challenges us to grapple with broader theoretical questions about transmission, […]

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Has Philip Jenkins found a “new source” for Secret Mark?

Philip Jenkins, author of The Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way (2001) and frequent contributor to the Patheos blog, has published a short article in Books and Culture magazine with the tantalizing title “Alexandrian Attitudes: A new source for the ‘Secret Gospel of Mark.’” Unfortunately, Jenkins is not talking about a manuscript source, but a source of inspiration. Jenkins’ previous contribution to the debate on the authenticity of Secret Mark was the claim that Morton Smith was inspired to forge the gospel after reading James Hogg Hunter’s 1940 novel The Mystery of Mar Saba, in which […]

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Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Declared Authentic

The biblioblogs are abuzz this morning with the news that the promised scientific tests on the Gospel of Jesus' Wife fragment indicate that the papyrus and the ink are ancient, not modern. Here are the links to the discussion so far: Harvard Magazine: "The Jesus' Wife Fragment: The Scientific Evidence" The New York Times: "Papyrus Referring to Jesus' Wife is More Likely Ancient Than Fake, Scientists Say" by Laurie Goodstein Harvard Theological Review 107:2 (2014): published online, with the original article by Karen L. King and a response by Leo Depuydt. Paleojudaica: "GJW Tests Finally In"  Jim Davila at Paleojudaica […]

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Christian Apocrypha at the 2014 CSBS/CSPS

For a few years now I have been organizing an informal session at the annual meeting of the Canadian Society of Biblical Studies on Christian Apocrypha. This year's session is in partnership with the Canadian Society of Patristic Studies. The annual meetings for both societies take place May 24 to 26 at Brock University in St. Catherines, Ontario. Here are the details: Sunday 8:30-11:45 (Rm 211) APOCRYPHA – A Co-Sponsored Session with the Canadian Society of Patristics Presided by: Timothy Pettipiece (Carleton University) 8:30-9:00 Anna Cwikla (University of Toronto) “The Dialogue of the Saviour and the Synoptic Gospels” Other than […]

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Assessing BBC2’s The Bible Hunters

The two-part BBC2 documentary “The Bible Hunters” has generated some discussion among bloggers recently, due particularly to participating-scholar Larry Hurtado’s criticisms of the show. I was finally able to watch the series over the last few days (it has not yet aired in North America) and thought I would make some comments, particularly about the second episode in the series, “The Search for Lost Gospels.” “The Bible Hunters” is hosted by Jeff Rose, described in his  profile as “an archaeologist and anthropologist specializing in the prehistory, palaeoenvironments, genetics, and religious traditions of the Middle East.” Throughout the series he visits […]

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Peter Kirby Expands Early Christian Writings

If you have ever needed a fast and handy source for an early Christian text, chances are you have come across Peter Kirby’s popular site Early Christian Writings. To celebrate ECW’s recent expansion, I asked Kirby some questions about the origins of the site and the challenges it has posed for him over the years. Early Christian Writings describes itself as “the most complete collection of Christian texts before the Council of Nicaea in 325 AD.” At last count, the site features 226 entries, arranged in chronological order from the hypothetical Passion Narrative in 30-60 to the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies in […]

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Returning to the Funeral of Jesus

Several years ago I came across a text described in a manuscript catalog as “On the Funeral of Jesus.” I worked up an edition and translation of the text for the 2010 workshop in Winnipeg on Acta Pilati traditions. At the time, several sentences in the text were difficult to reconstruct and translate; so I put it aside, expecting someday to get back to it. The years went by, but now I have finally returned to the text and solved most of the remaining problems. The text is an untitled, two-page excerpt found in a fourteenth/fifteenth-century Greek manuscript. It appears […]

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