The Apocryphal Jesus: Legends of the Early Church

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Overview


This accessible selection of the most important and significant of the remarkable and often bizarre apocryphal stories surrounding the life of Jesus and the Early Church has established a reputation as an invaluable introduction to the genre of Christian apocryphal literature.

J. K. Elliott clearly explains the scholarly importance of the genre and introduces each section of texts with reference to biblical texts and later church history. Stories found in this selection include Jesus' birth in a cave, his childhood escapades, his secret sayings, and his descent to the underworld; the torments in Hell; Saint Paul baptizing a lion; the death of Pontius Pilate and Saint Peter being crucified upside down. These all come from early Christian legends which did not get into the Bible, yet have had a profound influence on art, literature, and theology from the second century through the Middle Ages and even modern times. Some of the stories included here, especially those involving the Virgin Mary, have affected matters of doctrine; others have influenced the church's teaching on the after life, whilst from the apocryphal Acts there are some of the best examples of accounts of the lives of Christianity's earliest saints.

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Editorial Reviews

Michael Penn
...[T]argets the educated lay person as opposed to the scholar of early Christianity....Although polemical in tone and sometimes short on contextualization, The Apocryphal Jesus does make accessible some of Christianity's most fascinating texts. Especially for readers who might be daunted by Elliott's more extensive compilation of NT Apocrypha, this collection could be extremely helpful.
Society of Biblical Literature
Michael Penn
...[T]argets the educated lay person as opposed to the scholar of early Christianity....Although polemical in tone and sometimes short on contextualization, The Apocryphal Jesus does make accessible some of Christianity's most fascinating texts. Especially for readers who might be daunted by Elliott's more extensive compilation of NT Apocrypha, this collection could be extremely helpful.
Society of Biblical Literature
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780199544028
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Publication date: 10/15/2008
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 232
  • Product dimensions: 5.40 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Edited by J. K. Elliott, University of Leeds.

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
A Stories Relating To The Period Of The New Testament Gospels 7
1 Birth of Jesus 9
2 Childhood of Jesus 19
3 Jesus' Parents 31
4 The Ministry of Jesus 51
5 The Death and Resurrection of Jesus 66
6 Pilate 89
7 Jesus in the Underworld 97
8 Veronica 109
9 Zacharias 112
B Stories Relating To The Growth The Church 115
10 Peter 117
11 Paul 130
12 John 147
13 Thomas 161
14 Andrew 175
C Stories Relating To Life After Death 187
15 Heaven and Hell 189
16 The End Time 205
Epilogue 209
Index 1. Apocryphal Texts Cited 213
Index 2. General Index 214
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