The Apocryphal Jesus: Legends of the Early Church

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Overview

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 are among the fascinating stories found in this present selection. They all come from early Christian legends which are not found in the Bible, but yet have had a profound influence on art, literature, and theology from the second century through the Middle Ages and even to 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 afterlife - whilst from the apocryphal Acts are some of the best examples of accounts of the lives of Christianity's earliest saints. In this book Dr Elliott provides introductions to each of the most important and significant of these remarkable and often bizarre apocryphal texts.
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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
From the Publisher

"This is an excellent collection..."--Professor Keith A. Burton, Oakwood College

"A well selected series of texts from a widely neglected body of early Christian literature. This book will serve as a useful introduction to the New Testament apocrypha for anyone interested in popular spirituality during the time in which the New Testament canon took shape."--Frank Thielman, Associate Professor of the New Testament, Beeson Divinity School

"A convenient selection of excerpts from his erudite and invaluable The Apocryphal New Testament. A nice handbook for students, as well as an invitation to the larger work."--Roy D. Wells, Professor of Religion, Birmingham Southern College

"...informative and well designed to introduce someone to a broad sampling of Apocryphal literature."--Gary Derickson, Western Baptist College

"An excellent low-cost collection."--Michael T. McEwen, St. Gregory's College

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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

J. K. Elliott is Reader in Textual Criticism for the Department of Religious Studies and Theology at the University of Leeds. He also edited The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in an English Translation (OUP, 1994).

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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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