Back

Non-canonical Readings - The Witness Statements

Lab.

"They [non-canonical Christian literature] record the imaginations, hopes, and fears of the men who wrote them; they show what was acceptable to unlearned Christians of the first ages, what interested them, what they admired, what ideals of conduct they cherished for this life, what they thought they would find in the next".

M. R. James. The Apocryphal New Testament. Oxford: Clarendon Press. 1924:xiii 

"It may be that the greatest contribution of the 'other', non-canonical gospels is to throw light on the period after the time of the writing of the canonical gospels and to enable us to see something of their ways in which early Christians used and developed their traditions and beliefs about Jesus in this period. Even if they tell us little about the figure of Jesus himself, they may be far from interesting and fascinating for the light they throw on the later periods of Christian history, in some cases (e.g. in the second century) when other sources are sadly lacking."

Christopher Tuckett. 'Forty other Gospels' In. The Written Gospel. Markus Bockmuehl and Donald Hagner (eds.) Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 2005:253.

Used with permission of the publisher

Back

Lab.