By Philip Jenkins
This incisive critique completely and convincingly debunks the claims that lately stumbled on texts reminiscent of the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, or even the useless Sea Scrolls undermine the ancient validity of the hot testomony. Jenkins locations the hot controversies surrounding the hidden gospels in a huge old context and argues that, faraway from being progressive, such makes an attempt to discover an alternate Christianity date again no less than to the Enlightenment. by means of using the suitable scholarly and old methodologies, he demonstrates that the texts alleged to symbolize pristine Christianity have been in reality composed lengthy after the canonical gospels present in the Bible. Produced via imprecise heretical events, those texts have attracted a lot media cognizance mainly simply because they appear to help radical, feminist, and post-modern positions within the glossy church. certainly, Jenkins indicates how best-selling books at the "hidden gospels" were taken up via an uncritical, drama-hungry media because the foundation for a social move which can have robust results at the religion and perform of up to date Christianity.
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Additional resources for Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way
Such texts were regarded as possible building blocks of the canonical gospels, conceivably as remnants of first-century Christianity. 17 34 Hidden Gospels Also widely publicized was the ancient Gospel According to Peter, a fragment of which was found in Egypt in 1886. A few scholars still believe that Peter dates from the beginnings of Christian literary activity, and that portions of the work might predate the canonical gospels, though this is a minority view today. A hundred years ago, though, Peter received much wider scholarly respect, and it aroused popular hopes reminiscent of those stirred by Thomas in recent years.
The Gnostics Again Some newly found texts shed light on Gnosticism and other ancient heresies, and caused scholars to redraw the frontiers of the early Christian movement. In 1842, the long-lost Refutation of All Heresies was found in a monastic house on Mount Athos. This text was written by the early third-century Bishop Hippolytus, a pupil of that great foe of heresy, Irenaeus. Published in English in 1868, the Refutation vastly expanded available knowledge about the Gnostics because of the author's long quotations from the works of several heretical schools, and his elaborate retelling of Gnostic celestial mythologies.
The visceral, mythical power of these notions can be appreciated by a hypothetical exercise. Let us imagine the commercial fate of a scholarly project which announced the goal of publishing a collection of Biblical and doctrinal texts by a separatist Jewish sect from the intertestamental period, probably from the first two centuries before the Christian era. The idea sounds utterly lacking in popular appeal, and unlikely to interest a nonspecialist public. Of course, the collection in question does exist under the celebrated title of the Dead Sea Scrolls, and the story of its concealment and discovery is known in broad outline to most literate people.