Friday, April 20, 2007

Early Christian Writings

Have you ever thought, "It would sure be interesting to read those alternate books that didn't make it into the Bible!"? Or have you pondered in quiet moments, "When were these books written, anyway?" Well, wait and wonder no more! The website Early Christian Writings is a wonderful and free resource with links and information on everything from The Gospel of Thomas to the Anti-Marcionite Prologues, and the writings of early church fathers such as Irenaeus, Polycarp and Origen. Witness the birth of specific concepts, such as the Trinity (Theophilus, and later, Tertullian), Satan as the snake in the Garden (Justin Martyr), or purgatory (wait, no, that was invented much later). Get a better feel for the order in which the books of the New Testament were written, and how they fit in with alternate accounts.

I particularly recommend reading The Infancy Gospel of James (how would Caravaggio have depicted the tale of Mary's fiery vagina in Chapter 20?) and The Infancy Gospel of Thomas (Jesus was quite the enfant terrible in his youth!), both written circa 140-170.

No comments: