Secret Gospels: Essays on Thomas and the Secret Gospel of Mark

Overview

Marvin Meyer is one of the leading experts on the secret gospels—Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospel of Mark, and others—who has changed forever how we read the canonical gospels and understand early Christianity. In this new collection of his work, Meyer looks at these revolutionary texts in original and illuminating ways.

He writes, for example, about the naked youths in the villa of the Mysteries. On the walls of a villa in Pompeii, a famous mural depicts a naked male reading ...

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Overview

Marvin Meyer is one of the leading experts on the secret gospels—Gospel of Thomas, Secret Gospel of Mark, and others—who has changed forever how we read the canonical gospels and understand early Christianity. In this new collection of his work, Meyer looks at these revolutionary texts in original and illuminating ways.

He writes, for example, about the naked youths in the villa of the Mysteries. On the walls of a villa in Pompeii, a famous mural depicts a naked male reading from a scroll, a look of wonder on his face. A naked youth again appears in the Gospel of Mark, abandoning his garment and fleeing naked when apprehended during Jesus' arrest. A similar youth appears in the Secret Gospel of Mark. These youths, Meyer proposes, serve as an image of religious initiation, candidates for the mysteries of Dionysus or of Christ.

This is one of the many aspects of the secret gospels that Meyer examines with expert insight and creativity. Topics range from gender and infancy stories to discipleship and the relationship of the Gospel of Thomas to Islamic literature. Meyer's spellbinding readings of these materials offer fresh understandings of the canonical gospels.

Marvin Meyer is Griset Professor of Bible and Christian Studies, and Director of the Albert Schweitzer Institute at Chapman University, Orange, California. He is author of The Secret Teachings of Jesus: Four Gnostic Gospels and The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, and co-editor of Jesus Then and Now (Trinity Press International).

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Meyer (Bible & Christian studies, Chapman Univ.; director, Albert Schweitzer Inst.) is one of our most notable scholars on the extracanonical mystery literature associated with the New Testament-the Gospel of Thomas, the Secret Gospel of Mark, and the Gnostic Gospels. His new book deals principally with the enigmatic appearances of a naked or near-naked young man both in canonical and extracanonical writings dealing with Jesus. His book includes a respectful review of existing primary and secondary sources and culminates in a thoughtful comparison of the Mark fragments with the apparent mystery-initiation depicted at the Villa of the Mysteries in Pompeii-without, however, directly dealing with the potentially disturbing implications of that comparison regarding Jesus' own role in religious initiation practices. Still, his book is a capably written and thought-provoking discussion of a perennial puzzle in New Testament studies. For most collections. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781563384097
  • Publisher: Bloomsbury Academic
  • Publication date: 2/1/2003
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 208
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.44 (d)

Meet the Author

Marvin Meyer is Professor of Religious Studies at Chapman College.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments
Introduction 1
Pt. 1 Gospel of Thomas
1 Albert Schweitzer and the Image of Jesus in the Gospel of Thomas 17
2 The Beginning of the Gospel of Thomas 39
3 Seeing or Coming to the Child of the Living One? More on Gospel of Thomas Saying 37 54
4 "Be Passersby": Gospel of Thomas Saying 42, Jesus Traditions, and Islamic Literature 59
5 Making Mary Male: The Categories "Male" and "Female" in the Gospel of Thomas 76
6 Gospel of Thomas Saying 114 Revisited 96
Pt. 2 Secret Gospel of Mark
7 The Youth in the Secret Gospel of Mark 109
8 The Youth in Secret Mark and the Beloved Disciple in John 135
9 The Naked Youths in the Villa of the Mysteries, Canonical Mark, and Secret Mark 149
10 Taking Up the Cross and Following Jesus: Discipleship in the Gospel of Mark and Secret Mark 168
Bibliography 179
Index 191
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