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date: 21 January 2021

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.

Keywords: baptism, docetism, Eusebius, gnostic, Gospel of Judas, Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Peter, Gospel of Thomas, heresy, Jewish Christianity

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