Markus Bockmuehl on Apocryphal Gospels

I just saw that Markus Bockmuehl’s volume Ancient Apocryphal Gospels is soon to be out. I’ve read some parts of it and it really is good. In particular, I like Bockmuehl’s notion of some apocryphal Gospels and fragments as “para-textual” rather than “apocryphal” or “heterodox” as categories. It will be one to get, probably not available at SBL, but out in the new year.

In this reader-friendly guide, Markus Bockmuehl offers a sympathetic account of the ancient apocryphal Gospel writings, showing their place within the reception history and formation of what was to become the canonical fourfold Gospel. Bockmuehl begins by helping readers understand the early history behind these noncanonical Gospels before going on to examine dozens of specific apocryphal texts. He explores the complex oral and intertextual relationships between the noncanonical and canonical Gospels, maintaining that it is legitimate and instructive to read the apocryphal writings as an engagement with the person of Jesus that both presupposes and supplements the canonical narrative outline. Appropriate for pastors and nonspecialists, this work offers a fuller understanding of these writings and their significance for biblical interpretation in the church.

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