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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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. […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

2014 New Testament Apocrypha Course

I have posted my syllabus for this Fall's course on the New Testament Apocrypha (yes, yes, I know "NTA" is not the term I should be using anymore, but prospective students understand it better than "Christian Apocrypha"). This is my fourth time teaching the course. The syllabus is posted on my parent site (HERE). New this year is the adoption of my book Secret Scriptures Revealed as the course's primary text. I previously used Klauck's Apocryphal Gospels: An Introduction, which is an excellent book, but it is somewhat expensive and in the past the York bookstore has had difficulty ordering […]

Read More...

Read Article →

Call for Papers: 2015 York Christian Apocrypha Symposium

CONFERENCE ANNOUNCEMENT AND CALL FOR PAPERS York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium Series 2015 “Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions” Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha September 24-26, 2015 We are pleased to announce the third of a series of symposia on the Christian Apocrypha hosted by the Department of the Humanities at York University in Toronto, Canada and taking place September 24 to 26, 2015. The 2015 symposium will examine the possible motivations behind the production of Christian apocrypha from antiquity until the present day. Have authors of the Christian apocrypha intended to deceive others about the true origins of their writings? […]

Read More...

Read Article →

New in Print: Infancy Gospel of Thomas Reader

Hadavas, Constantine T. The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: An Intermediate Ancient Greek Reader (Beloit, WI: CreateSpace, 2014). Hadavas is Chair of the Department of Classics at Beloit College. I'm interested in seeing what Greek text he is using (likely it is Tischendorf's Greek A with variants from Greek B and D). Here is the abstract: The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (c. 150 CE) is an excellent text for students who have completed the first year of college-level Ancient Greek. Its length is short, its syntax is generally straightforward, and its narrative is inherently interesting, for it is the only account […]

Read More...

Read Article →

Robert Conner on the Secret Gospel of Mark

Robert Connor graciously passed along to me a draft of his forthcoming book, The "Secret" Gospel of Mark: Morton Smith, Clement of Alexandria, and Four Decades of Academic Burlesque, to be published by Mandrake of Oxford. Mandrake's web page provides the following abstract: While cataloging material in the library of the monastery of Mar Saba in 1958, Morton Smith discovered a quotation from a letter of Clement of Alexandria copied in the end pages of a 17th century collection of the letters of Ignatius. After more than a decade of collaborative analysis of the find, Smith published his conclusions in […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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 […]

Read More...

Read Article →

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.

Read More...

Read Article →

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, […]

Read More...

Read Article →