17_Apocryphal Gospels

17_Apocryphal Gospels - What do we learn about Jesus...

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Unformatted text preview: What do we learn about Jesus outside the canonical Gospels Greco-Roman Sources Pliny (Letter to Trajan [110 CE]) Reports that Christians sing hymns to Christ as God Seutonius (Life of Claudius 25.4 [120 CE]) Mentions the Edict Claudius that refers to a dispute among Jews over "Chrestus." Tacitus (Annuls 15.44 [115 CE]) "Christus from whom their name was derived was executed at the hands of the procurator Pontius Pilate in the reign of Tiberius" Only independent attestation of Jesus not derived from Jewish/Christian sources or preaching. Jewish Sources Talmud (Jerusalem/Babylonian [4th-7th c.]) Four references. Sanh. 43a (2 references) referring to a tradition that Jesus had 5 disciples and to Jesus' crucifixion at the time of Passover. Josephus (Ant. 18.3.3 [c. 90 CE]) Now about that time, a wise man, if it be lawful to call him a man, for he was a doer of wonderful works -- a teacher of such men as receive the truth with pleasure. He drew over to him both many of the Jews, and many of the Gentiles. He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of principal men amongst us, has condemned him to the cross, those that loved him at the first did not forsake him, for he appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning him. Christian Sources Agrapha 300-400 sayings attributed to Jesus not found in a connected Gospel narrative Apocryphal Gospels Secondary sources written after the canonical Gospels and often depending on them. They mainly reveal something about the communities who wrote them. Conclusions Taken together the sources confirm the historicity of Jesus' existence and some key information about his life found in the canonical Gospels. The canonical Gospels are our earliest and primary sources for learning about Jesus. Apocryphal Gospels Typology Each type of Gospel has distinctive understanding of the divine presence in or with Jesus. Collections of miracle stories Infancy Gospel of Thomas Miracles an indication of the divine presence through POWER Coptic Gospel of Thomas The divine presence demonstrated through TEACHING ON VIRTUE Epistle to the Apostles, Apocryphon of John, Letter of Peter to Philip, Sophia of Jesus Christ The divine presence discovered through KNOWLEDGE OF HEAVENLY SECRETS Protoevangelium of James, Gospel of Peter Collection of sayings Revelation type gospels Gospels that expand on some part of Jesus' life First-century Prototypes of These Gospels None of these prototypes (except Revelation) is extant. They are hypothetical conjectures. Semeia source Q (Quelle) / dominical sayings Revelation / Eschatological discourse Pre-Gospel passion narrative How do the apocryphal gospel differ from the canonical Gosples? The four canonical Gospels are composite gospels. They contain all 3 types + a passion narrative Divine presence in and deity of Jesus demonstrated by power to perform miracle, virtue in his teaching, knowledge of heavenly things, and ability to forgive sins. To include or focus on only one type is reductionistic and distorts the picture of Jesus as well as the nature of salvation Why are the apocryphal gospels not in the NT canon? They are late, written in the 2nd and 3rd centuries. The canonical Gospels were all written in the 1st century during the apostolic period. They are reductionistic and did not confirm the universal Christian experience of the risen Christ. They are not orthodox e.g., Serapion, bishop of Antioch, and his opinion on the Gospel of Peter ...
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