Category: church history

You Want Ancient Jewish and Christian Documents, Start Here

Instead of spending money on another half-baked Lost Gospel (None of the Above), aim your browser at this link and drown in legitimate texts. Be sure to click the links at the top left.

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Jesus: The Prequels and Sequels

Christmas and Easter got you down? Tired of the same old stories? Just not impressed with feeding thousands and raising the dead anymore? Oblivious to the profundity of the Sermon on the Mount?

I’ve got the book for you! It that fan favorite, “the same thing but different”.

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Bat Ehrman and Zlatko Plese have extracted the English portion of their multi-language scholarly book The Apocryphal Gospels to make The Other Gospels, a collection of forty noncanonical gospels of Jesus that are all the rage among early Christian scholars, but often inaccessible to the general public. Now you can read what people are all excited by on the Internet and the documentary TV channels for yourself.

Available at reasonable prices in paperback and ebook.

Multiple Choice Christmas…

In Greek, no less!

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(Swanson’s New Testament Greek Manuscripts, Luke)

Bible Secrets Revealed Episodes Online

The new History Channel show, the first episode of which I watched last night, is available for internet viewing here.

I repeat, the show is just a fast review of controversial aspects of the Bible that have been pondered by believers and scholars and skeptics for a very long time. It is a good way to become acquainted with biblical scholarship and see some current scholars of note in the flesh, as it were. It raises questions without really giving full answers, as television usually does, by nature.

Recommended.

HT: Bob Cargill

Bibles with Paragraph Headings…

…almost make up for some of the awful traditional verse divisions. Done in a moving coach, indeed.

The Easter Saturday Story, aka The Harrowing of Hell

Not terribly well-known in modern evangelical circles, the belief that Christ after His death went to the land of the dead and freed the righteous dead and/or announced His victory over sin and death is an ancient one, and still affects many believers today. You can read the Wiki article just to get a sense of the widespread effect of the belief.

The earliest known account of the event is found in the Gospel of Nicodemus, which also recounts the Acts of Pilate.  You can read translations of the story here as M.R. James’ Acts of Pilate Part 2 and Roberts-Donaldson’s translation.

Noncanonical Bible Writings

DSC00753After a discussion of my latest Logos download ( Apocryphal Gospels: Texts & Translations from Rick Brannan) with a deacon this morning, I decided it would be smart to add links to the simplest web sites for the books that didn’t make it into the Bible for whatever reason. So check the right sidebar for Early Christian Writings and Early Jewish Writings.

A few of my favorites are:
Didache, Gospel of Thomas, Diognetus, Odes of Solomon, Sirach, Tobit