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date: 23 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

When the publication of Christian Apocrypha began in the Renaissance, readers responded by claiming that the texts either changed our understanding of Christian origins, or were legitimately censured by the church. The same arguments continue today, particularly since the publication of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code (2003). The surge of interest in the Christian Apocrypha, and in some of the more sensational claims made by scholars of the texts, occasioned by the novel, were countered by popular-market apologetic books aimed at steering the faithful away from the Christian Apocrypha and back to the canonical texts that represent a ‘true’ account of Jesus’ life. Christian Apocrypha scholars have shown little interest in engaging with the apologists; consequently, the two sides communicate only with their respective audiences. While this state of affairs helps retain the interest of their established readerships, it does nothing to encourage fruitful discussion of the texts.

Keywords: apologetics, Da Vinci Code, Jesus Seminar, Gospel of Judas, Christian Apocrypha, Walter Bauer, Bart Ehrman, Secret Mark

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