Folks who have read ricoblog for a long time know I’m no fan of Bart Ehrman’s popular-level books.
But like him or hate him, I think Bart shines in translations and editions of ancient texts. I’m a fan of his Apostolic Fathers edition (though I do like Holmes’ better) and have said on the blog before he should stick to translations and critical editions.
So when I paged through my recently-received Oxford Press “Religion” catalog, I smiled when I saw Bart Erhman and Zlatko Plese, The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations (amazon.com). I’d heard rumors he was up to something along these lines, and I’m glad to see it’s in print (or, soon to be in print). This is on my must-have list (have I mentioned my birthday is in less than a month?). Amazon gives it a Feb 2011 date in spite of the 2010 the Oxford catalogue ascribes to it. If anyone out there wants to send along a review copy, I’d love to dig into it before then. I have hope beyond hope I can get a copy at ETS/SBL in Atlanta in November.
Here’s the blurb (from Amazon):
Bart Ehrman—the New York Times bestselling author of Misquoting Jesus and a recognized authority on the early Christian Church—and Zlatko Plese here offer a groundbreaking, multi-lingual edition of The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com), one that breathes new life into the non-canonical texts that were once nearly lost to history.
In The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com), Ehrman and Plese present a rare compilation of over 40 ancient gospel texts and textual fragments that do not appear in the New Testament. This essential collection contains Gospels describing Jesus's infancy, ministry, Passion, and resurrection, as well as the most controversial manuscript discoveries of modern times, including the most significant Gospel discovered in the 20th century—the Gospel of Thomas—and the most recently discovered Gospel, the Gospel of Judas Iscariot. For the first time ever, these sacred manuscripts are featured in the original Greek, Latin, and Coptic languages, accompanied by fresh English translations that appear next to the original texts, allowing for easy line by line comparison. Also, each translation begins with a thoughtful examination of key historical, literary, and textual issues that places each Gospel in its proper context. The end result is a resource that enables anyone interested in Christianity or the early Church to understand—better than ever before—the deeper meanings of these apocryphal Gospels.
The Apocryphal Gospels (amazon.com) is much more than an annotated guide to the Gospels. Through its authoritative use of both native text and engaging, accurate translations, it provides an unprecedented look at early Christianity and the New Testament. This is an indispensable volume for any reader interested in church history, antiquity, ancient languages, or the Christian faith.