Recently the world-renowned text critic J. K. Elliott delivered a guest lecture in the Ph.D. seminar I am teaching this semester on Current Issues in New Testament Studies. Elliott is also the author of The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford: Clarendon, 1993; paperback edition 2005), which is the standard compilation of NT apocryphal literature in the field. What follows is a succinct digest of this lecture in order to highlight the significance of the study of the NT apocrypha for NT studies.
Elliott provided an eminently sober-minded assessment of the value of this highly amorphous body of... Read More
The release of the text of the so-called “Gospel of Judas” has been reported with considerable enthusiasm by the media. At the center of this gospel is Judas Iscariot, known from the biblical Gospels as the betrayer of Judas. Yet from the Gospel of Judas, a different figure emerges. In private conversation, Jesus tells Judas he will share with him alone “the mysteries of the kingdom” and asks him to hand him over to the authorities so that his body can be sacrificed. Why would Jesus want to be betrayed and crucified?
The answer is found in another enigmatic statement in the... Read More