Skip to content

Book review: Hidden Gospels, by Philip Jenkins

In addition to the "canonical" texts of the New Testament there are numerous "apocryphal" writings that contain otherwise unknown sayings of Jesus or descriptions of his activities while alive. Some of these texts have been known for a long time, while others have come to light fairly recently. A notable example was the unearthing of the Nag Hammadi library in Egypt in 1945. Among the 52 mostly Gnostic texts found there was the gospel of Thomas, which is not a narrative of Jesus's life but contains sayings attributed to him.

Many scholars believe that the Gnostic texts, especially the gospel of Thomas, provide an alternative view of the early years of Christianity that is a valuable corrective to the mainstream teaching. Early Christianity, it is suggested, was much more diverse than what emerged later. It is often said that it was the influence of the Emperor Constantine that led to an "official" formulation of Christian belief and to the proscription of alternative views as heretical. Much of value is thought to have been lost at this time. [More]

Trackbacks

No Trackbacks

Comments

Display comments as Linear | Threaded

No comments

Add Comment

Enclosing asterisks marks text as bold (*word*), underscore are made via _word_.
E-Mail addresses will not be displayed and will only be used for E-Mail notifications.
How many legs do snakes have?
Form options