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p. 11. The apocryphal gospels – what’s in a name?locked

  • Paul Foster


During the late 19th century, archaeologists and scholars were engaged in large-scale investigations into ancient Egyptian culture. Long-buried and forgotten manuscripts emerged and became known as the apocryphal gospels, which has become a highly contested label. ‘The apocryphal gospels — what's in a name?’ considers why the terms ‘apocryphal’ and ‘gospels’ are important and controversial. The term ‘gospel’ traditionally denoted an oral proclamation of an event of significance. When did it become associated with written documents? The word ‘apocyphal’ can be said to have negative associations. Should the texts be called ‘non-canonical’ instead? These texts should be viewed as a glimpse into the theological battles fought during the 2nd and 3rd centuries amongst Christians.

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