Alternative Scriptures: A Bit Of Bible Long Lost

How an American poet popularized the Gospel of Thomas [Read more…]

Alternative Scriptures: Beyond the New Testament

Many believe that only in recent times have we rediscovered the extraordinary breadth and complexity of early Christianity, with all the alternative gospels and apocalypses, all the heretical movements that vanished before the rise of the Great Church. As I have tried to show, that perception is just not correct. In fact, the great age [Read More…]

Alternative Scriptures and Necessary Amnesia

It is difficult to think of a modern “radical” theory about Christian origins that was not pretty standard and mainstream in the decades before the First World War. [Read more…]

WHAT IS A GOSPEL?

I have been working on the fate of alternative scriptures in the millennium or so following the early Christian era – say, between 500 and 1600. My argument is that, in that long period, many or most of the old alternative texts that were so popular in the early church continued to thrive and to [Read More…]

IDLE TALES AND EMPTY SLANDERS

I am rethinking my attitude to paranoia. For many years, I have written on the demonization of out-groups, the way in which similar charges are deployed against marginal minorities. Seemingly, the same sort of bogus allegations surface in widely different cultures around the world. Some such groups actually existed, even if they never committed the [Read More…]

THE HIRED HAND

I recently posted on oddly profound theological currents in Western films. This past February, Scottish novelist and screenwriter Alan Sharp died. Among his many scripts was the 1971 film The Hired Hand, directed by Peter Fonda, a film that includes one of the oddest religious moments in cinema. Hired Hand is typical of its era [Read More…]

WHY THE LOST GOSPELS WERE NEVER LOST

In recent years, lost or hidden gospels have generated huge public interest, and every few years brings some new discovery: the Gospels of Mary and Judas, even (questionably) the tale of “Jesus’s Wife.” But the whole narrative of those alternative scriptures is based on a false assumption, or rather a myth. According to the common [Read More…]