WHAT IS A GOSPEL?

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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...]

THE CAVE OF TREASURES

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Throughout history, both Jews and Christians have been extraordinarily prolific in producing alternative scriptures, which we conventionally divide into Old and New Testament apocrypha (or pseudepigrapha). Some texts, though resist such neat divisions. While apparently expanding on Old Testament events and personalities, they actually present Christian doctrines so strongly that they certainly belong alongside New [Read More...]

THE PASSING OF MARY

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And, behold, the archangel Michael rolled back the stone from the door of the tomb; and the Lord said: Arise, my beloved and my nearest relation; thou who hast not put on corruption by intercourse with man, suffer not destruction of the body in the sepulchre. And immediately Mary rose from the tomb, and blessed [Read More...]

JAMES THE GREAT

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I want to share an enthusiasm. I’d also like to point to some very useful resources that are now readily available on the Internet. Last year, I posted on the work of the English scholar Montague Rhodes James (1862-1936), whose work I have been quite unintentionally shadowing for much of my life. Since my teenage [Read More...]

HOW MANY GOSPELS?

In a post last year, I remarked how definitions of the Biblical canon had changed through the centuries. I’ve recently been working on the history of lost and alternative gospels, and how such texts continued to be available through the Middle Ages and the Early Modern period. Contrary to popular legend, the mainstream churches did [Read More...]

REMEMBER JAMES!

Not long since, there was the Gospel of Judas, then there was Jesus’s Wife, and pretty soon, no doubt, we’ll have claims about another new gospel and its explosive revelations concerning early Christianity. When you wonder how to respond to those claims, I would like to offer you a very powerful rhetorical weapon. Remember the [Read More...]


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