ISBN : 9780199236947
This Very Short Introduction offers a clear, accessible, and concise account of the apocryphal gospels - exploring their origins, their discovery, and discussing how the various texts have been interpreted both by the Church and beyond.
Looking at texts from the Gospels from Nag Hammadi to the Dialogues with the Risen Saviour, Paul Foster shows how the apocryphal gospels reflect the diversity that existed within early Christianity, and examines the extent to which they can be used to reconstruct an accurate portrait of the historical Jesus. Including discussions of controversies and case-studies such as the alleged hoax surrounding the discovery of Secret Mark, Foster concludes that the non-canonical texts, considered in the correct context, offer us an important window on the vibrant and multi-faceted face of early Christianity.
1: The Apocryphal Gospels - What's in a Name?
2: The 'Gospels' from Nag Hammadi
3: The Infancy Gospels
4: Gospels set during the Earthly Life of Jesus
5: Secret Revelations and Post-Resurrection Dialogues
6: Insights from the Non-Canonical Gospels
""Very Short" could just as truthfully be described as "Very Informative"... Illuminating and accessible." - Methodist Recorder
"He writes with elegance and clarity, and presents... complex arguments... with simplicity and grace." - John Drane, Baptist Times
"Fascinating reading." - David Sexton, Evening Standard