Saturday, November 07, 2015

More on Jenkins, The Many Faces of Christ

NEW TESTAMENT APOCRYPHA WATCH: Baylor scholar shows ‘Lost Gospels’ not actually lost (CARL HOOVER, Waco Tribune).
Scholars and writers who believe Christianity has its present shape because of suppression of “lost gospels” by church leaders in the early centuries of the faith, which is a premise of Dan Brown’s novel “The Da Vinci Code,” simply haven’t looked hard for those gospels, according to a Baylor University historian.

If they had, they would have realized that alternative or extra-canonical accounts of the life of Jesus Christ lived on in many Christian churches for more than a thousand years, Baylor distinguished professor of history Philip Jenkins said.

In his new book “The Many Faces of Christ,” Jenkins finds that writings such as the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Gospel of James, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary survived for centuries in churches in Ethiopia, Central Asia, the British Isles and the Middle East.

Though falling outside what was considered canonical, those lost scriptures still influenced Christian tradition by filling in stories where Old and New Testament accounts were thin or absent: the Harrowing of Hell, Christ’s visit to Hell after his death; the conception, childhood and death of the Virgin Mary; Satan, not the serpent, in the garden of Eden; the life of Adam and Eve; and accounts of angels and saints.

There's more on the book here.