The New Testament Apocrypha—or better: non-canonical early Christian literature—has had a great impact on western culture despite attempts by mainstream Christianity to suppress it. Stories and ideas from these texts appear in literature, art, church doctrine, and even modern fiction such as Dan Brown’s The DaVinci Code. This course is designed to introduce students to a wide range of non-canonical Christian texts—from gospels, to acts of individual apostles, letters, and apocalypses. The goals will be to understand each text’s place in the development of Christian thought and to observe their use in modern scholarship. Particular emphasis will be placed on the work of the so-called “new school” in New Testament Studies that claims some of these texts may predate, and therefore may have influenced, the canonical gospels.Good stuff.
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