The Jesus Memoirs

We concluded the posts this month with a look at a few “apocryphal” Gospels. The word connotes writings that are “secret” or “hidden”, but there is no reason why these texts should be hidden from the person in the pews any longer. As I work from within a particular Christian framework, none of these writings hold any theological authority on par with the canonical Jewish and Christian Scriptures for me. However, they are invaluable historical documents that fill out the historical and social contexts and the kind of traditions, beliefs, and practices that various groups across the Judeo-Christian spectrum were engaging, often in dialogue and debate with each other and with other groups in the larger Graeco-Roman world. Christian writers in the first few centuries did not yet know what would ultimately be decided as canonical and continued to write to either learn more about Jesus (e.g. the circumstances of…

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