Some of them were clearly produced by Gnostic authors or members of other groups later defined as heterodox.
The Apocryphal Acts of Peter: Magic, Miracles and Gnosticism (Studies on Early Christian Apocrypha)
Many were discovered in the 19th and 20th centuries , and produced lively speculation about the state of affairs in early Christianity. Others deny this. See this link for details. Martin Luther considered the Epistle of James apocryphal, because he highly doubted its authorship by any of the several New Testament figures named James, and because it contains a statement that seemed to contradict his teachings of justification by faith alone: "a man is justified by works and not by faith alone" He had a similar feeling about the Epistle to the Hebrews , the Epistle of Jude and the Revelation , and relegated those four books to an appendix in his Bible.
Later Lutherans included these books as full parts in their New Testament, but kept them behind all the other books. The Lutheran New Testament at least in German is thus arranged slightly differently from that of most other Churches.
The New Testament apocryphal book that is most famous today is the Gospel of Thomas , the only complete text of which was found in Nag Hammadi along with other works, most of which were New Testament apocrypha. The entry on Gnosticism lists more recovered texts considered to be of Gnostic origin. While the New Testament apocrypha are not seen as divinely inspired, artists and theologians have drawn on them for such matters as the names of Dismas and Gestas and details about the Three Wise Men.
The first explicit expression on the perpetual virginity of Mary is found in the pseudepigraphical Infancy Gospel of James. An extensive online archive of New Testament Apocrypha is available at www. See also: New Testament Apocrypha , a listing of books rejected by most Christians. Main Article: Agrapha. Under the head of canonical sayings not found in the Gospels only one is found, i.
The uncanonical sayings have been collected by Preuschen Reste der ausserkanonischen Evangelien , , pp. The same subject is dealt with in the elaborate volumes of Resch Aussercanonische Paralleltexte zu den Evangelien , vols.
The papyrus, which is of the 3rd century, was discovered by Gustav Bickell among the Rainer collection, who characterized it Z. On the other hand, it has been contended that it is merely a fragment of an early patristic homily. See Zahn , Gesch. Kanons , ii. The Logia is the name given to the sayings contained in a papyrus leaf, by its discoverers Grenfell and Hunt. They think the papyrus was probably written about A.
According to Harnack, it is an extract from the Gospel of the Egyptians. The first edition of this work was translated into English by A. Streane Jesus Christ in the Talmud , In Hennecke 's NTliche Apok. Handbuch pp. This gospel is first mentioned by Clem.
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It circulated among various heretical circles; amongst the Encratites Clem. Only three or four fragments survive; see Lipsius Smith and Wace , Dict. With this pantheistic Gnosticism is associated a severe asceticism. The distinctions of sex are one day to come to an end; the prohibition of marriage follows naturally on this view. Hence Christ is represented as coming to destroy the work of the female Clem. Lipsius and Zahn assign it to the middle of the 2nd century.
It may be earlier. For various other designations see Tischendorf , Evang. The narrative extends from the Conception of the Virgin to the Death of Zacharias. Lipsius shows that in the present form of the book there is side by side a strange "admixture of intimate knowledge and gross ignorance of Jewish thought and custom," and that accordingly we must "distinguish between an original Jewish Christian writing and a Gnostic recast of it.
The Gnostic recast Lipsius dates about the middle of the 3rd century. From these two works arose independently the Protevangel in its present form and the Latin pseudo-Matthaeus Evangelium pseudo-Matthaei. The Evangelium de Nativitate Mariae is a redaction of the latter. See Lipsius in Smith's Dict. But if we except the Zachariah and John group of legends, it is not necessary to assume the Gnostic recast of this work in the 3rd century as is done by Lipsius.
Questions on the Miracles of Jesus
The author had at his disposal two distinct groups of legends about Mary. One of these groups is certainly of non-Jewish origin, as it conceives Mary as living in the temple somewhat after the manner of a vestal virgin or a priestess of Isis. The other group is more in accord with the orthodox gospels. The book appears to have been written in Egypt, and in the early years of the 2nd century. For, since Origen states that many appealed to it in support of the view that the brothers of Jesus were sons of Joseph by a former marriage, the book must have been current about A. From Origen we may ascend to Clem.
Finally, as Justin's statements as to the birth of Jesus in a cave and Mary's descent from David show in all probability his acquaintance with the book, it may with good grounds be assigned to the first decade of the 2nd century. So Zahn, Gesch. For the Greek text see Tischendorf, Evang. Grenfell, An Alexandrian erotic Fragment and other Papyri , , pp. Lewis, Studia Sinaitica , xi. See literature generally in Hennecke, NTliche Apok. Handbuch , seq. This title is first met with in the 13th century. It is used to designate an apocryphal writing entitled in the older MSS. This work gives an account of the Passion i.
Chapters i. The two Latin versions and a Byzantine recension of the Greek contain i. All known texts go back to A. But this was only a revision, for as early as Epiphanius Haer. In Eusebius H.
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But these references have been denied by Scholten, Lipsius, and Lightfoot. Recently Schubert has sought to derive the elements which are found in the Petrine Gospel, but not in the canonical gospels, from the original Acta Pilati , while Zahn exactly reverses the relation of these two works. Rendel Harris advocated the view that the Gospel of Nicodemus, as we possess it, is merely a prose version of the Gospel of Nicodemus written originally in Homeric centones as early as the 2nd century.
The question is not settled yet see Lipsius in Smith's Dict.
Death, Resurrection, and Legitimacy in the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles
Biography , ii. This gospel was cited by Ignatius Ad Smyrnaeos , iii. It was written in Aramaic in Hebrew letters, according to Jerome Adv. Both these translations are lost. This gospel was regarded by many in the first centuries as the Hebrew original of the canonical Matthew Jerome, in Matt.