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Posted April 28, 2011

Book: The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations
Authors: Bart Ehrman and Zlatko Plese
Oxford University Press. New York. 2011. Pp. 611

An Excerpt from the Jacket:

In The Apocryphal Gospels, Ehrman and Plese present a rare compilation of over 40 ancient gospel texts and textual fragments that do not appear in the New Testament. This essential collection contains Gospels describing Jesus’s infancy, ministry, Passion, and resurrection, as well as the most controversial manuscript discoveries of modern times, including the most significant Gospel discovered in the 20th century — the Gospel of Thomas — and the most recently discovered Gospel, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot. For the first time ever, these sacred manuscripts are featured in the original Greek, Latin, and Coptic languages, accompanied by fresh English translations that appear next to the original texts, allowing for easy line by line comparison. Also, each translation begins with a thoughtful examination of key historical, literary, and textual issues that places each Gospel in its proper context. The end result is a resource that enables anyone interested in Christianity or early Church to understand-better than ever before — the deeper meanings of these apocryphal Gospels.

An Excerpt from the Book:

The Gospel According to Thomas

These are the hidden sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymus Judas Thomas wrote down:

1. And he said, "Whoever finds the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."

2. Jesus said, "The one who seeks should not cease seeking until he finds? And when he finds he will be disturbed; and when he is disturbed, he will marvel. And he will rule over the all."

3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, ‘Look, the kingdom is in the sky, then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, ‘It is in the sea, then the fish will precede you. But the kingdom is within you, and it is outside you. When you come to know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are the children of the living Father. But if you will not know yourselves, then you are in poverty, and it is you who are the poverty."

4. Jesus said, "A person advanced in days will not hesitate to ask a little child of seven days about the place of life, and that person will live. For many who are first will be last and so become the single one."

5. Jesus said, "Know what is before your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed.

6. His disciples questioned him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? And how should we pray? Should we give alms? And what kind of diet should we observe?" Jesus said, "do not tell lies and do not do what you hate, for they are all disclosed before heaven. For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and nothing that is covered will remain undisclosed."

7. Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion that the human will eat so that the lion becomes human. And cursed is the human whom the lion will eat, and the lion will become human."

Table of Contents:

Infancy Gospels

Ministry Gospels

Resurrection/post resurrection Gospels