This collection provides a rich, multilayered analysis of a long-neglected branch of early Christian apocryphal literature that examines the relationship between tradition and redaction, uses of language, and the fluid border between literary criticism and motif analysis. The introduction takes the reader on the journey of editing, translating, and interpreting apocryphal and hagiographic narratives on the apostles and the first Christians. The volume concludes with the critical edition of two previously unpublished Greek texts: a version of the Martyrdom of Ananias and a memoir on John the Evangelist.
The fact that the chief editor and main contributor [of this book] is one of the world masters in the study of what he prefers to call 'early Christian apocryphal literature' adds to [its] authority...this book can be warmly recommended as a valuable guide to a little known and little worked area of early Christian history, literature and doctrine.
The collection of essays succeeds in increasing our understanding of early Christianity in the diversity of its communities, but also in its unity...Teachers who would like to orient their students to the methodology of editing early Christian manuscripts, particularly the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles, will find a prize in Bovon's opening essay. Also, this collection should inspire others to follow Bovon's example: turn a doctoral seminar into a publishing house.
- Center for the Study of World Religions
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