This anthology of ancient nonbiblical Christian literature presents informed introductions to and readable translations of a wide range of little-known apocryphal texts, most of which have never before been translated into any modern language.
An introduction to the volume as a whole addresses the most significant features of the writings included and contextualizes them within the contemporary study of the Christian Apocrypha. The body of the book comprises thirty texts that have been carefully introduced, copiously annotated, and translated into English by eminent scholars. With dates of composition ranging from the second century CE to early in the second millennium, these fascinating texts provide a more complete picture of Christian thought and expression than canonical texts alone can offer.
In this masterful volume we find that greatest of rarities—a collection of ancient texts scarcely known (let alone studied) by scholars of Christian antiquity. With these fresh translations of some thirty apocryphal works, each with a gratifyingly full introduction and bibliography, Burke, Landau, and all the contributors have provided us with a rigorous but highly accessible volume that will long prove to be a scholarly vade mecum.
—Bart D. Ehrman, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
A treasure trove of early Christian writings dating from the second century onward. Created by Tony Burke and Brent Landau as a supplement to more traditional collections of apocryphal literature, this book contains amazing stories from the Christian imagination about Jesus and other biblical characters whose legends were popular witnesses to the Christian faith in late antiquity and the Middle Ages. Many of the texts introduced and translated here are being made available to us for the first time. A must-have collection.
—April D. DeConick, Rice University
Magnificent. . . . The thirty writings brought together here present a fascinating snapshot of the concerns, interests, and piety of various early believers expressed in the form of literary texts. This volume will become a standard work in the field; serious scholars of early Christianity and interested readers will learn much while being entertained and captivated by these enigmatic ancient texts.
—Paul Foster, University of Edinburgh
This fine collection brings together thirty recently published or long known but often neglected Christian texts, variously inspired by or responding to characters or events presented in the books of the New Testament, together with one Jewish parody of the life of Jesus. Editors and contributors alike are to be congratulated on their achievement, which paves the way for a wider appreciation and understanding of these varied, fascinating, and sometimes surprising texts, some of which may at times have been more popular than their biblical counterparts.
—Andrew Gregory, University College, Oxford
Brent Landau is lecturer in religious studies at the University of Texas at Austin; he previously taught at the University of Oklahoma, Harvard Divinity School, and Boston University. His other books include Revelation of the Magi: The Lost Tale of the Wise Men’s Journey to Bethlehem.
Tony Burke is associate professor of religious studies at York University in Toronto and founding president of the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature. He is also the author of Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the Christian Apocrypha.