Join Date: Aug 2002
Location: Under a Chimpocracy
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Hi guys. Finally released from flower land.
I watched that show too. (I thought the title sounded like the Band from the Bible.)
So, I read and reffed the gospel of Nicodemus as per Sean's rec when we were on the "are Catholics Xtian" thread a month ago. But I also quit watching the show when it got to that point and went to bed.
But from my reading, I remember it contains the info about how Christ went down to Hades abode after his death and released the patriarchs (oh, maybe a matriarch or two also). This story is revealed by 2 sons of Nicodemus who were dead but came up out of their graves when Christ died. That phenomenon (dead coming out of graves) is related in one of the canonical gospel narratives, I forget which one.
Sean called this event the harrowing of hell.
It is the Infancy Gospel of Thomas that had the bird story. As opposed to the Gospel of Thomas, which is a list of Jesus' sayings.
The show did not quite go into all the reasons why the Church Fathers chose the canon they did. (Not to mention how they rewrote and redacted the letters of Paul, and wrote more in his name, to make him seem more orthodox and less gnostic.) Nor did it describe what the punishment eventually was for using these and other "heretical" books. I did think it was interesting how the Church of Ethiopia kept using them in their isolated country down the Nile, out of the reach of Rome.
The other banned books the show described were the Book of Jubilees (or the little Genesis) and The Book of Enoch.
The popular in its day Shepherd of Hermas got a mention, but no description.