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Who was Josephus?
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Texts to note

THE JEWISH WAR
War, Volume 1
War, Volume 2
War, Volume 3
War, Volume 4
War, Volume 5
War, Volume 6
War, Volume 7

ANTIQUITIES
Ant. Jud., Bk 1
Ant. Jud., Bk 2
Ant. Jud., Bk 3
Ant. Jud., Bk 4
Ant. Jud., Bk 5
Ant. Jud., Bk 6
Ant. Jud., Bk 7
Ant. Jud., Bk 8
Ant. Jud., Bk 9
Ant. Jud., Bk 10
Ant. Jud., Bk 11
Ant. Jud., Bk 12
Ant. Jud., Bk 13
Ant. Jud., Bk 14
Ant. Jud., Bk 15
Ant. Jud., Bk 16
Ant. Jud., Bk 17
Ant. Jud., Bk 18
Ant. Jud., Bk 19
Ant. Jud., Bk 20
OTHER
Vs Apion, Bk 1
Vs Apion, Bk 2
Life/Autobiog.


Apocrypha
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Introduction

Gospel of--
-- Nicodemus
-- Peter
-- Ps-Matthew
-- James (Protevangelium)
-- Thomas (Infancy)
-- Thomas (Gnostic)
-- Joseph of Arimathea
-- Joseph_Carpenter
Pilate's Letter
Pilate's End

Apocalypse of --
-- Ezra
-- Moses
-- Paul
-- Pseudo-John
-- Moses
-- Enoch

Various
Clementine Homilies
Clementine Letters
Clementine Recognitions
Dormition of Mary
Book of Jubilees
Life of Adam and Eve
Odes of Solomon
Pistis Sophia
Secrets of Enoch
Tests_12_Patriarchs
Veronica's Veil
Vision of Paul
Vision of Shadrach

Acts of
Andrew
Andrew & Matthias
Andrew & Peter
Barnabas
Bartholomew
John
Matthew
Paul & Perpetua
Paul & Thecla
Peter & Paul
Andrew and Peter
Barnabas
Philip
Pilate
Thaddaeus
Thomas in India

Whole Year

SUNDAYS
Advent
Christmastide
Lenten Sundays
Sundays of Easter
Ordinary Time (A)
Sundays, 1-34, Year A
Ord.Time (Year B)
Sundays, 1-34, Year B
Ord.Time (Year C)
Sundays, 1-34, Year C

WEEKDAYS
Advent
Lent
Eastertide
Ordinary Time
Weeks 1-11 (Year 1)
Weeks 1-11 (Year 2)
Wks 12-22 (Year 1)
Wks 12-22 (Year 2)
Wks 23-34 (Year 1)
Wks 23-34 (Year 2)

OTHER
Solemnities
Funerals
Weddings


Patristic
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Clement of Rome

Ignatius of Antioch

Polycarp of Smyrna

Barnabas,(Epistle of)

Papias of Hierapolis

Justin, Martyr

The Didachë

Irenaeus of Lyons

Hermas (Pastor of)

Tatian of Syria

Theophilus of Antioch

Diognetus (letter)

Athenagoras of Alex.

Clement of Alexandria

Tertullian of Carthage

Origen of Alexandria



Introduction to the Apocrypha

What are the Apocryphal Writings?

The Pseudo Gospels:

Gosp. of Nicodemus

Gosp. of Peter

Gosp. of Ps-Matthew

Gospel of James

Gosp. of Thomas (Infancy)

Gosp. of Joseph of Arimathea

Gosp. of Joseph the Carpenter

Pilate's Letter

Pilate's End

Acts of :

Acts of Andrew

Andrew & Matthias

Andrew & Peter

Acts of Barnabas

Acts of Bartholomew

Acts of John

Acts of Matthew

Paul & Perpetua

Paul & Thecla

Acts of Peter & Paul

Andrew and Peter

Barnabas

Philip & Bartholomew

Pilate

Thaddaeus

Thomas in India

Apocalypses

Apocalypse of Ezra

of Moses

of Paul

of Pseudo-John

of Moses

of Enoch

Other Apocrypha

Clementine Homilies

Clementine Letters

Clementine Recognitions

Dormition of Mary

Book of Jubilees

Life of Adam and Eve

Odes of Solomon

Pistis Sophia

Secrets of Enoch

Tests_12_Patriarchs

Veronica's Veil

Vision of Paul

Vision of Shadrach


What are the Apocryphal Writings?

This large text collection contains several sets of late Jewish and early Christian writings that are classified as "Apocryphal", that is, falsely claiming to be written by some Biblical figure, whose authority was revered at the time the work was written. It was presumably to lend greater importance to their own ideas that the actual authors – now anonymous to us – signed their work with the names of important prophetic or apostolic figures, like Enoch, Moses, Clement, James, Peter, Paul and even the twelve sons of Jacob (Testaments of the Patriarchs).

Many of the Apocryphal Writings are nowadays to be found online, and the Gnostic texts are well presented on the Gnostic Society website www.gnosis.org. See in particular the documents from Nag Hammadi at www.gnosis.org/naghamm/nhl.html

These works of apocryphal literature were intended by their authors either to supplement or to supplant existing canonical literature. In general, the apocryphal gospels provide a devotional, imaginative version of otherwise unreported aspects of Jesus' life – during his early years or after his resurrection. Sometimes they attempt to support early Christian theological convictions – both orthodox and heretical. Whether the information in the apocryphal literature is factually correct or not cannot be determined a-priori, although much of it seems to emerge from devotional imagination rather than from distinct memories. At any rate, these documents give us some fascinating insights into what some religious people in the early Christian centuries believed about Jesus' background and his powers, even from his infancy. Some of them, such as the Protevangelium of James or the Gospel of Mary's Nativity have influenced the Marian devotion and festal calendar of the Catholic and Orthodox Churches. Then too, some of these texts are written in the apocalyptic style - i.e., they purport to be special revelations to a major biblical character, about what is to come at the end of time.

Apocryphal writings are especially difficult to date, since their actual authors were at such pains to remain anonymous, and sought to gain acceptance by simulating the tone and circumstances of the purported authors. Therefore these works are not  credited to their actual authors even by people like Eusebius, Jerome and Sozomenos, who otherwise furnish such useful information about who wrote what, in the early centuries of the church. The earliest of the Apocrypha probably come from the second century, but many of them may have originated around the turn between 3rd and 4th centuries.

If their authorship is anonymous and their content is a mixture of naive piety and inventive propaganda, what value do these writings have for us today? Well, while they prove that literary fancy and pious invention were factors within early Christian culture, they also show that the leaders of mainstream Christianity resisted their inclusion in the Church's official canon of Holy Scripture. At the same time, the Apocryphal writings provide many valuable insights into the spiritual outlook and ideals of various groups in the post-apostolic age. Detailed observations about the outlook and provenance of many of these apocryphal works can be found in Walter Bauer's learned study of Orthodoxy and Heresy In Earliest Christianity.

A number of Apocryphal Gospels were written in the second century AD. or later. There are 22, of which 10 are written in Greek and 12 in Latin. These can be divided into three categories: those relating to the history of Mary and Joseph, the infancy of Christ, and the history of Pilate. Most of these appear to have been based on three fairly early texts: the Protevangelium of James, the Gospel of Thomas, and the Acts of Pilate. For a well-edited collection of Apocryphal Gospels see http://wesley.nnc.edu/ noncanon.htm See also The Complete Gospels ed. by Miller/Funk published by Harper Collins, 1992.

The book Mary: Glimpses of the Mother of Jesus. Fortress, 1995. (by Beverly Gaventa, professor of New Testament at Princeton Theological Seminary) is one of the few written from a Protestant perspective. It focuses on the biblical Mary, as described in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke and John, noting how briefly she is treated by the three evangelists, and yet with what subtle differences - in sharp contrast to the central role Mary occupies in the Protevangelium of James, a non-canonical 2nd century text that tells of her life from before her conception to her becoming the mother of Jesus. Out of the four texts, Gaventa extracts three qualities they all assign to Mary: vulnerability, reflectivity, and witness to Christ.