Why Bother with Noncanonical Gospels?

Rick Brannan

Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha Greek Apocryphal Gospels, Fragments, and Agrapha

Working on my paper for SBL, I just wrote the below. Dunno if it’ll make the final draft. I write to think through things, mostly. But I wanted to share this.

If you have a reaction, or think I’m off, please comment and let me know!

I was (and am) increasingly intrigued with noncanonical gospel material, especially that of the early fragments, the infancy gospels, and the Gospel of Nicodemus/Acts of Pilate/Descent of Christ to Hades. What struck me most wasn’t their fantastic nature or any sort of claim to canonicity. What struck me was the wrestling with what faith told the authors and readers to be true against what they themselves knew of reality. Several parts of these documents, at least as I read them, show the struggle between faith and knowledge. In addition, there is a curiosity about unknowable things.
To…

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