This is a good opportunity to mention two New Books of seasonal interest, both from Wiqf and Stock (Cascade Imprint):
The Protevangelium of JamesCross-file under New Testament Apocrypha Watch.
BY Lily C. Vuong
The Protevangelium of James tells stories about the life of the Virgin Mary that are absent from the New Testament Gospels: her miraculous birth to Anna and Joachim, her upbringing in the temple, and her marriage at the age of twelve to the aged widower Joseph. The text also adds significant details to the well-known stories of Jesus’ conception, birth, and escape from the slaughter of innocents perpetrated by Herod the Great. Despite its noncanonical status, the Protevangelium of James was extremely influential in churches of the East, and since its publication in the West in the sixteenth-century has captured the imagination of readers all over the world. This study edition presents a fresh, new translation of the text with cross-references, notes, and commentary. The extensive introduction makes accessible the most recent scholarship in studies on Mary in Christian apocrypha, offers new insights into the text’s provenance and relationship to Judaism, and discusses the text’s contributions to art and literature.
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary
BY Brandon W. Hawk
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is one of the most important witnesses in Western Europe to apocryphal stories about the lives of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim. This apocryphon was also used as the basis for another, the Nativity of Mary, which gained equal popularity. As bestsellers of medieval Christianity, these Latin apocrypha are major witnesses to the explosion of extra-biblical literature in the Western Middle Ages. Despite their apocryphal status, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary proved influential throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, as their popularity and influences may be traced in Christian literature, visual arts, liturgy, and theological perspectives still revered by Roman Catholic theologians. These apocrypha also remain significant works for considering the history of monasticism and the cult of the Virgin Mary. This book draws upon a range of manuscript sources to present comprehensive English translations of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary with full introductions and commentaries, as well as translations of related works with accompanying commentaries.
For posts of Christmas past, see my 2018 Christmas post and links. A Christmas-related post from the last year is here.
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