- 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
This chapter discusses general issues concerned with seeking to define a/the genre of an ‘apocalypse’, as well as the question of how far such texts are ‘Christian’, ‘Jewish’, or non-Christian texts valued and read by Christans. It describes apocalypses of three types: (1) revelations of the course of history and the end of history; (2) revelations of the other world, including the places of the dead; (3) revelations in answer to questions. It also describes prophetic works of two types: (1) those modelled on Old Testament prophecy; (2) Sibylline Oracles. More detailed discussion is devoted to four major examples of early Christian apocalypses: the Ascension of Isaiah and the apocalypses of Peter, Paul, and Thomas.
Richard Bauckham was until 2007 Professor of New Testament Studies and Bishop Wardlaw Professor in the University of St. Andrews, Scotland, and is now Professor Emeritus at St Andrews and Senior Scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge. He taught historical and contemporary theology for fifteen years at the University of Manchester, before moving to St Andrews in 1992. His many publications range over many areas of biblical studies and theology.
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