Apocrypha and Christian tradition - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 10 Old 04-10-2004, 04:51 PM - Thread Starter
 
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So I was watching this show on the History channel last night called Banned from the Bible. It talked about a number of unauthorized Gospels and what the high points of each was and why each was probably not included in the Cannon.

It was a real eye-opener. Having grown up Catholic there are many things that are a part of that belief system that are not supported by the Cannon (for which some other Christians tend to cluck their tongues at Catholics.) It was fascinating to me how many of these traditions, some of which are actual articles of faith, are essentially the very reason that particular books were not included in the Cannon. So basically, the Church suppressed these texts because of their controversial content and then quietly embraced an awful lot of that very content.
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#2 of 10 Old 04-11-2004, 01:44 AM
 
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For the first couple hundred years, there wasn't any cannon, churches and followers used what they thought was inspired. There are some interesting stories from the other gospels though, and you can see why they weren't included. The Gospel of Thomas has Jesus as a child killing birds so he can bring them back to life. Much of what we think of as the Christmas story actually comes from noncannonical stories, like the names of the wisemen. There is also a Gospel of Mary Magdalen, which I can't really remember text from - its been a while since college! Catholics use the apocrapha but Protestants do not, so that is where some differences come from.
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#3 of 10 Old 04-11-2004, 02:48 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think it was that He was making birds out of clay on the Sabbath and when He got busted He blew on them and they flew away... "Who me? Create something on the Sabbath?" And He resurrected a playmate.

The gospel of Mary contains the idea of her perpetual virginity. It also says that Joseph was a widower with older children to explain all the siblings of Jesus mentioned in the more mainstream Gospels.

The gospel of the Magdellene had a bunch of stuff that would indicate she was not only first among the women who followed Jesus but that she (not Peter) was His right hand and chosen by Him to carry on His ministry.

Can anyone tell me what is in the gospel of Niccodemus? I recall it was really intersting but it was also getting late and I guess I was simply no longer absorbing information at that point.

And yeah, Catholics have a few books called Apocraphal by other Christians, but only a few.. and none of these.
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#4 of 10 Old 04-11-2004, 11:47 AM
 
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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.
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#5 of 10 Old 04-11-2004, 03:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Right! The Nicodemus stuff makes it into The Apostles Creed, I think. Yes... Infancy Gospel V Gospel of Thomas.. I will try to remember that distinction. Enoch... now I've forgotten what was in Enoch, too. But I remember Jubilee. Paradise Lost, etc...

I loved the one guy (I think it was the Rabbi) who talked about how the difficulty of the inconcistencies or sort of offhand comments that go unexplained is that your mind gets so wrapped up on THAT detail it is difficult or impossible for you to go past the logical blip and get to the real meat of the scripture in question. I also love that one Catholic Priest with the Irish acent who seems to pop up in a lot of these kind of History channel programs. He always has something good to say and I can just tell it would be a gas to take him to a pub and throw back a few pints with him.
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#6 of 10 Old 04-11-2004, 04:18 PM
 
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Good morning kama. Happy Easter.

--Enoch... now I've forgotten what was in Enoch, too.

Enoch is the guy who has one line in the Tanakh. "He walked with God and then was no more b/c God took him."

One line. People were too tempted by this mystery and wrote a whole book about what he saw in heaven when god took him. Psst... it wasn't all good up there...


---I also love that one Catholic Priest with the Irish acent who seems to pop up in a lot of these kind of History channel programs. He always has something good to say and I can just tell it would be a gas to take him to a pub and throw back a few pints with him.

I think his name was Crossan? Yes, it would be fun to pick his brain in a more, um, casual setting.

T There is a priest comes into our flower shop. Well, he seems like a big gay teddy bear and he loves to get flrs for his church and for his dinner parties. Yesterday he was in and chose a lovely selection of things and one of the workers told him his choice was so good he should get a part time job with us. He revealed he used to "do flowers" at the seminary yrs ago. I want to go see him preach! :LOL
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#7 of 10 Old 04-13-2004, 05:03 PM
 
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What station was that show on? I find info about the apocrypha very interesting.

Re: the apocrypha......IMO they are lacking prophetic element. Their teachings also contradict the canonical books and are even contradictory within themselves. They are full of historical and geographic inaccuracies. The writers are even falsely representing their "works" as those of earlier inspired writers. Two of the writers even imply they were not inspired (Prologue to EcclesiastiCUS, 2 maccabees 2:24-32, 2 maccabees 15:38-40 dy). The exact time of their being written is unknown BUT the evidence points to NO earlier than the second or third century BCE.

I personally dont accept them as part of the Bible cannon for those reasons but its interesting to learn about.

Desiree

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#8 of 10 Old 04-13-2004, 10:55 PM
 
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Their teachings also contradict the canonical books and are even contradictory within themselves. They are full of historical and geographic inaccuracies
I don't think I'm a very advanced scholar, but I think this could be said of the canonical gospels, as well, if they are examined critically.
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#9 of 10 Old 04-14-2004, 02:55 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Tracy beat me to it!
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#10 of 10 Old 04-14-2004, 07:57 AM
 
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Originally posted by kama'aina mama
. I also love that one Catholic Priest with the Irish acent who seems to pop up in a lot of these kind of History channel programs. He always has something good to say and I can just tell it would be a gas to take him to a pub and throw back a few pints with him.
Found out, he has not been a priest for a long time.

Quote:
John Dominic Crossan is professor emeritus of biblical studies at DePaul University in Chicago. A native of Ireland, and ordained as a priest in the United States, he left the priesthood in 1969. Crossan is a founding member of the Jesus Seminar, a group of scholars who meet to determine the authenticity of Jesus' sayings in the Gospels. Crossan wrote the books Jesus: A Revolutionary Biography, The Historical Jesus and Who Killed Jesus? Exposing the Roots of Anti-Semitism in the Gospel Story of The Death of Jesus.
Listen to him talk about crucifixion here:

http://freshair.npr.org/day_fa.jhtml...ate=04/01/2004
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