Alternative Lives of Jesus: Noncanonical Accounts through the Early Middle Ages

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McFarland, Jun 3, 2003 - Religion - 208 pages
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There is a body of religious literature, most of which was written centuries after the New Testament, that attempts to provide supplemental or alternative accounts of the life of Jesus Christ. The most exhaustive surviving alternative versions to the New Testament come from orthodox circles and are often creative "imaginings" that try to fill holes in the canonical gospel accounts of Jesus' life. This work investigates the origins and nature of noncanonical retellings in detail--both orthodox and heretical as well as Roman and traditionalist Jewish ones. Extensive summaries of the text as well as substantial verbatim extracts of key incidents and assertions are provided to give the reader a "feel" for the character and intents of the various sources. A concise introduction to a much neglected area of Bible-related study that should be of potential use to students of Biblical literature, comparative religion, and early medieval thought.
 

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Contents

Detailed Surviving Gospels
11
History of Joseph the Carpenter
19
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
21
PseudoMatthew
24
Arabic Infancy Gospel
27
Gospel of the Nativity of Mary
28
Gospel of Peter
29
Gospel of Nicodemus consisting of Acts of Pilate and Christs Descent into Hell
32
Jesus Is Commissioned to Preach at Age Twelve
116
Death of Joseph
117
Jesus Starts to Hide His Miraculous Abilities
119
Jesus Childhood Receipt of the Holy Spirit
120
A Jewish Alternative Version of Jesus Birth and Adolescence
121
Jesus Adult Life and Teaching Ministry
124
Roman Allusions to Jesus Life and Death
127
Jesus Baptism by John
129

Fragmentary Surviving Gospels
36
Gospel of the Ebionites
37
Egerton Gospel Papyrus Egerton 2
38
Unidentified Gospel Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 840
40
Surviving Acts and Other Documents
47
Pistis Sophia
48
Epistle of the Apostles Epistula Apostolorum
49
The Life of Jesus
51
Mary and Joseph Before Jesus Birth
53
Betrothal of Mary to Joseph Infancy Gospel of James
57
Annunciation of Jesus Coming Birth to Mary Infancy Gospel of James
61
Mary Visits Mother of John the Baptist Infancy Gospel of James
63
Joseph Blamed for Marys Pregnancy Infancy Gospel of James
65
Birth of Jesus
68
Visit of the Magi
74
Slaughter of the Bethlehem Children
76
Egyptian Exile
79
Flight into Egypt and Life While There
80
Return to Palestine from Egypt
86
Miracles of Healing and Protection While Still a Baby
87
Youthful Years in Palestine
92
Childhood Miracles of SelfProtection
93
Playful Childhood Miracles
94
Childhood Miracles to Benefit His Parents
97
Childhood Healings
98
Childhood Resurrections
100
Childhood Duplication of Food
101
Childhood Protection of Others from Dangerous Animals
102
Hurtful and Injurious Childhood Miracles
103
Supernatural Childhood Executions
104
Jesus Supernatural Brilliance as a Childhood Student
107
Jesus Relationship to His Parents
111
Death of John the Baptists Mother
112
Jesus Jerusalem Pilgrimage at Age Twelve
114
Jesus Forty Days of Temptation
131
Jesus Physical Appearance
133
Jesus Unique Physical Inability
134
Appointment of Apostles
135
Every Meal a Miracle
136
Jesus Second Egyptian Stay
137
The Second Transfiguration
138
A Rich Man Seeking Divine Acceptance Stumbles Over His Own Riches
139
Healing of Contagious Leprosy
140
A Challenge to Jesus Ritual Purity in the Temple
141
Jesus Final Passover with the Disciples
143
Betrayal Arrest and Trial
144
Defenses of Jesus before Pilate by Friendly Witnesses
145
Roman Subordinates and Standards Give Honor to Jesus
147
Pilates Challenge to the Jewish Leaders
148
Crucifixion of the Wrong Man
149
Place of Crucifixion
150
Earthquake at Jesus Death
152
Pilates Reaction to the Phenomena at Jesus Death
153
Joseph Asking for the Body of Jesus
154
Punishment of Joseph for Burying Jesus
155
Triumph Over Death
157
The Decision to Hush Up the Guards Report
161
Appearance to Women at the Tomb
163
Departure of the Apostles to Galilee
164
Instruction to All the Apostles to Verify the Physical Reality of the Resurrection
165
Appearance to James to Convince Him to Break His Fast
166
PostResurrection Period of Teaching
167
The Imposture of Resurrection Exposed
169
Notes
171
Bibliography
185
Index
193
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About the author (2003)

Roland H. Worth, Jr., is the author of many books. He lives in Richmond, Virginia.

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