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Documents for the Study of the Gospels: Revised and Enlarged Edition

David R. Cartlidge (Editor) David L. Dungan (Editor)
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This collection of freshly translated texts leads to a new appreciation of the richness and variety of the religious world within which Christianity emerged as a powerful new force. Bringing together for the first time under a single cover documents from Jewish, Greek, Roman, Egyptian, Syrian, and little-known early Christian sources, the material is arranged to bring out as clearly as possible the ways in which early Christian worship of Jesus Christ as Savior and God both echoed contemporary worship of other savior gods and at the same time stood in sharp contrast to such worship.

This revised and enlarged edition contains a new introduction on texts and traditions in late antiquity, a reworked translation of The Gospel of Peter, selections from Ovid's Metamorphoses, plus such documents as Papyrus Egerton 2, Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 840, and The Apocryphon of James. In addition, the table of contents has been expanded to allow easier access to the documents contained herein.

Release date: 
February 17, 1994


"Cartlidge and Dungan have assembled a valuable body of primary sources. An imaginative and judicious use of these readable translations will help teachers and students to place the Gospels in their cultural milieu and to raise questions of interpretation."
— Leander E. Keck, Dean and Winkley Professor of Biblical Theology, Yale Divinity School.

Table of Contents

    Preface to the Revised and Enlarged Edition
    Note on the Translations


    Part 1: The Christian Savior

    The Coptic Gospel of Thomas
    The Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas
    Jesus after the Resurrection
    The Gospel of Philip
    The Gospel of Peter
    Fragment of an Uncanonical Gospel
    A Letter from Pilate to Claudius and The Trail of Pilate in Rome
    Jesus' Medical Correspondence with King Abgar
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
    The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
    The Birth of Jesus
    Fragments of an Unknown Gospel
    The Gospel of James
    The Apocryphon of James

    Part 2: Greek, Jewish, and Roman Parallels Illustrating the Milieu of the Gospels

    The Sacred History of Asklepios
    Twh Prefaces from Arrian

    Birth and Youth
    The Birth of Plato (1)
    The Birth of Plato (2)
    The Birth of Alexander the Great
    The Birth of Augustus
    The Birth and Childhood of Phthagoras
    The Birth of Herakles

    Aesop's Fables
    Rabbinic Parables
    Sayings of Thales, Aristippos, And Aristotle
    Sayings of Alexander and Others
    Two Stories from Epictetus

    A Syrian Exorist
    Chanina ben Dosa
    A Jewish Boy Calms the Sea
    The Rabbis Reject Miracles
    The Murder of Julius Caesar
    The Wine Miracle of Dionysos

    The Salvation of Lucius
    The Messianic Banquet at Qumran

    Apocalyptic Predictions
    2 Esdras
    A Roman "Messianic" Prophecy Virgil
    The Footsteps of the Messiah

    Rabbi Akiba

    Ascensions and Epiphanies
    The Dream of Scipio
    Apotheosis of Antinous

    Part 3: Greek and Jewish "Gospels"

    The Life of Apollonios of Tyana
    The Life of Moses
    Alexander the False Prophet