Go beyond the Bible with this simple introduction to apocrypha
Whether they were lost, cut, or censored, the various apocryphal stories offer unique opportunities to learn about the histories of Judaism and Christianity while broadening spiritual understanding. But exploring this vast canon of texts alone can be daunting. Apocrypha for Beginners makes it simple by offering a guided experience, helping explain each piece’s importance and contextualize its place in history.
The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is one of the most important witnesses in Western Europe to apocryphal stories about the lives of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim. As a bestseller of mainstream medieval Christianity, this Latin apocryphon is a keystone in the explosion of apocryphal literature in the Middle Ages. Despite its apocryphal status, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew remained both popular and influential throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, as its popularity and influences may be traced in Christian literature, visual arts, liturgy, and theological perspectives still revered by Roman Catholic theologians. The gospel is also a significant work for considering the history of monasticism and the cult of the Virgin Mary. This book presents the first English translation of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew with a full introduction and commentary, as well as translations of related works with accompanying commentaries.
Preaching Apocrypha in Anglo-Saxon England is the first in-depth study of Christian apocrypha focusing specifically on the use of extra-biblical narratives in Old English sermons. The work contributes to our understanding of both the prevalence and importance of apocrypha in vernacular preaching, by assessing various preaching texts from Continental and Anglo-Saxon Latin homiliaries, as well as vernacular collections like the Vercelli Book, the Blickling Book, Ælfric’s Catholic Homilies, and other manuscripts from the tenth through twelfth centuries.