Secret Scriptures Revealed: A New Introduction to the Christian Apocrypha

Tony Burke. Wm. B. Eerdmans, $18 trade paper (176p) ISBN 978-0-8028-7131-2
Students of the Bible are aware that the biblical texts, as deep and satisfying as they are, nonetheless seem to lack details about the lives and institutions described in that book. Scholars have long enjoyed access to extra-biblical works that attempt to fill in some of that detail. Of course, much of it is fanciful, a product of the vibrant imaginations of its writers. But these chronicles reflect so much the times and thoughts of the primitive Christians, and thus provide a rich tapestry of legend and lore that has generally been overlooked by general readers. In this fine work, Burke offers a wonderfully readable and accessible introduction to the Christian Apocrypha, non-canonical ancient Christian texts. Following the general outline of the gospel story, the author surveys the many writings that, for various reasons, never made it into the canon. The author wonders if their exclusion was deliberate on the part of the church. Whatever the case, this excellent volume is a welcome addition to the existing literature, and is highly recommended. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/25/2013
Release date: 12/01/2013
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Hardcover - 192 pages - 978-0-281-06845-6
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