- 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
Categories of heresy and orthodoxy created by heresiologists led to many of the apocryphal gospels being variously given labels such as ‘docetic’, ‘gnostic’, or ‘Jewish–Christian’, which have had the effect of marginalizing their religious concerns. Rather than treat these narratives about Jesus and sayings attributed to him as generated by theological opposition to the orthodoxy of the canonical gospels, this essay treats them as examples of ‘rewritten scripture’ which presume familiarity with the canon. They reflect rich imaginative explorations of the heavenly Saviour, whose manifestation on earth, defeat of the powers, and triumphant return in glory, have enabled the divinization of believers.
Pheme Perkins is Professor of Theology (New Testament) at Boston College.
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