- The Oxford Handbook of Early Christian Apocrypha
- List of Figures
- List of Contributors
- Introduction: What is Early Christian Apocrypha?
- Texts about Jesus: Non-canonical Gospels and Related Literature
- Apocryphal Texts about Other Characters in the Canonical Gospels
- Narratives about the Apostles: Non-canonical Acts and Related Literature
- Non-canonical Epistles and Related Literature
- Non-canonical Apocalypses and Prophetic Works
- The Influence of Jewish Scriptures on Early Christian Apocrypha
- Who Read Early Christian Apocrypha?
- The Formation of the New Testament Canon and Early Christian Apocrypha
- ‘Useful for the Soul’: Christian Apocrypha and Christian Spirituality
- Christology and Soteriology in Apocryphal Gospels
- Christology and Soteriology in Apocryphal Acts and Apocalypses
- The <i>Gospel of Thomas</i> and the Historical Jesus
- Other Apocryphal Gospels and the Historical Jesus
- Christian Apocrypha and the Developing Role of Mary
- The Apocryphal Mary in Early Christian Art
- The Role of the Apostles
- Judaism and Anti-Judaism in Early Christian Apocrypha
- Eschatology and the Fate of the Dead in Early Christian Apocrypha
- Liturgy and Early Christian Apocrypha
- Roman Imperialism: The Political Context of Early Christian Apocrypha
- Encratism, Asceticism, and the Construction of Gender and Sexual Identity in Apocryphal Gospels
- Encratism and the Apocryphal Acts
- Early Christian Apocrypha in Popular Culture
- Early Christian Apocrypha in Contemporary Theological Discourse
- Index of Modern Authors
- Index of Subjects and Ancient Texts
Abstract and Keywords
The motley collection of texts known as apocryphal acts and apocalypses offers varied perspectives on Christology and soteriology. These are two of the key areas of thought in Christian theology. Many of the insights offered from such texts in relation to these topics arise from vivid narrative accounts that seek to satisfy the pious curiosity of believers in the second and third centuries. Frequently, the Christological or salvific stance of each of these writings is a secondary concern and may be reflected in an allusive manner. In the apocryphal acts and some of the apocalypses, the extended title ‘Lord Jesus Christ’ is prominent. This diversity of perspectives may in part illustrate why the quest for clarity, concerning Christology and soteriology beliefs, became such an important and pressing concern in the early church.
Paul Foster is Professor of New Testament Language, Literature and Theology at the University of Edinburgh.
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