The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 10.2010 Tuesday, 16 November 1999.
Date: Tuesday, 16 Nov 1999 09:00:19 -0800
Subject: 10.2001 Apocryphal Gospels
Comment: Re: SHK 10.2001 Apocryphal Gospels
I want to thank John Velz and Brother Anthony for their helpful answers
to my questions about the influence of gnostic gospels on in English
Mystery Plays. I wonder if there isn't some confusion of language.
John, to my knowledge, the texts you refer to are certainly New
Testament apocryphal, but not necessarily gnostic. Yes, certainly the
story of Jesus descent into hell was a powerful influence, but not
particularly gnostic. I wonder if you used the word gnostic, but really
intended to say apocryphal? That would explain my confusion. I'll have
to print you message and take it home with me to check if any of them
are considered gnostic texts.
I think little real gnostic writing was available in the Middle Ages,
beyond a few fragments not recognized as gnostic.
For those who are curious about my reference, HarperCollins published a
book called The Other Bible. It is not exhaustive, alas, but it does
contain many examples of New Testament Apocrypha, gnostic texts,
pseudepigrapha from both testaments, and more, including some Dead Sea
Scrolls. It has a lot of material. Some of the texts make lively
reading, others are a real slog.
Texts not found in The Other Bible are available in other sources for
the completests amongst you.
Thanks again John and Brother Anthony.