THE GOSPELS OF ISLAM

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I have been tracking the ancient “lost gospels” through the Middle Ages, when these alternative scriptures continued to exercise a remarkably wide influence. This was especially true in the cultures of Islam, which emerged in a largely Christian world fascinated by apocryphal writings. Even in the fifth century, Arabia was proverbially haeresium ferax: the breeding [Read More...]

CANONS OF SCRIPTURE

I’ve noted recently how thin the lines between canonical and non-canonical scriptures were in many churches through history, and especially the millennium or so of the Middle Ages. But beyond raising an interesting point about different attitudes prevailing in the past, what does that tell us about Christian history more generally? Why does it matter?  [Read More...]

THE FIRST ENGLISH BIBLE

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I have been writing about the Other texts that shaped Christian thought through the long Middle Ages, all the alternative gospels and apocryphal texts that literate people read with almost the same veneration that they paid to the canonical scriptures. One problem with finding such materials is that we often don’t know exactly the point [Read More...]

POPULAR GOSPELS

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I have been posting recently about the apocryphal gospels, remarking on their vast influence on the lived Christian faith over many centuries. The amount of modern scholarship on these “Other” gospels is immense, but I find one earlier historian makes some excellent points about just why these texts became as popular as they did. He [Read More...]


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