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Synopsis

North American study of the Christian Apocrypha is known principally for its interest in using noncanonical texts to reconstruct the life and teachings of Jesus, and for its support of Walter Bauer’s theory on the development of early Christianity. The papers in this volume, presented in September 2013 at York University in Toronto, challenge that simplistic assessment by demonstrating that U.S. and Canadian scholarship on the Christian Apocrypha is rich and diverse. The topics covered in the papers include new developments in the study of canon formation, the interplay of Christian Apocrypha and texts from the Nag Hammadi library, digital humanities resources for reconstructing apocryphal texts, and the value of studying late-antique apocrypha. Among the highlights of the collection are papers from a panel by three celebrated New Testament scholars reassessing the significance of the Christian Apocrypha for the study of the historical Jesus. Forbidden Texts on the Western Frontier demonstrates the depth and breadth of Christian Apocrypha studies in North America and offers a glimpse at the achievements that lie ahead in the field.

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