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Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way Paperback – December 5, 2002
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
"One of the many services of Mr. Jenkins's fine, carefully argued book is to put discussion about what happened in Palestine 2,000 years ago on more reliable ground."--George Sim Johnston, The Wall Street Journal
"Jenkins explains his thesis in language that is both clear and fair. Hidden Gospels is admirably evenhanded."--Frederica Mathewes-Green, Los Angeles Times
"A quite absorbing book."--Clergy Journal
"A sober, and sobering, account of how some scholars have enthusiastically embraced 'new' or 'hidden' gospels which just happen to support certain currently fashionable ideologies--and of just how unwarranted such claims actually are."--N.T. Wright DD, Canon Theologian of Westminster Abbey
"Jenkins has brilliantly identified the mythic dimension of the recent fascination with hidden gospels and alternative Christianities."--Luke Timothy Johnson, author of The Real Jesus
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Top Customer Reviews
In "Hidden Gospels" Philip Jenkins ably shows how these type of conspiracy stories help to explain the ongoing appeal of the possibility of hidden gospels. For many Americans, today and yesterday, the possibility that there is a hidden gospel in which the "real Jesus" will finally be revealed -- free from all the alleged distortions of St. Paul, the Evangelists, ecumenical councils and historic Christianity, especially the Catholic Church -- is too seductive to relinquish.
Jenkins successfully shows that the discoveries of Qumran & Nag Hammadi and the subsequent body of scholarship produced on account of them do not represent a significant contribution to that which was already known. For example, Jenkins shows how many of the Nag Hammadi texts were already well-known and popularly disseminated in the 19th Century.
Having dealt with the question of their relative novelty, Jenkins then considers the reasons for their ongoing appeal.Read more ›
While the texts do reveal much about the early Christian movement, they do not tell us anything new about the times of Jesus. They tell us about the life and times of second and third century 'Christians'. Rather than an orthodox Church suppressing a 'true' Christianity, it is more likely the other way around: these groups splintered from a Church already in existence. And the texts we have reveal this -- not the early days of The Way.
Mr. Jenkins does a good, and in my opinion objective, job reporting the realities of the entire industry (and it is truly a powerhouse of an industry). There is an agenda and the results of their scholarly findings look remarakbly similar to the current popular beliefs of our age.
Showing the other side of the coin, this book reveals just what is misleading, even wrong, about the claims. For a long time I too was immersed in these texts and I too wanted to believe they were more representative and that the Church as we have it today in its various splinters was in fact a religious mechanism for political control (though I do believe there are some truths in this). But the reality is that these texts are not 'all that'. They, and the methodologies used in studying and presenting them to the mainstream, are flawed.
This is a book that lucidly and without sensationalism lays bare the facts.Read more ›
The best part of the this book is its comprehensive nature. Prof. Jenkins places this question in theological, biblical, historical and sociological perspective. As he shows, there is nothing new about the claims that the non-Canonical gospels preserve other sayings of Jesus. Long before anyone heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, some had argued that Jesus was an Essene. But the pace has accelerated.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Not all the way through but thoroughly enjoying the book. It helps to have a dictionary handy while reading.Published 1 month ago by Jackson
This book comments on recent archeological discoveries of documents about Jesus that were written in the early Christian centuries and their importance compared to the canonical... Read morePublished 14 months ago by World Enthusiast
The main theme of this is a debunking of the claims made for the so-called "new gospels" included in archeological finds of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Read morePublished 16 months ago by proud paleoconservative
Philip Jenkins (born 1952) teaches at Penn State University and Baylor University; he has written many other books such as Pedophiles and Priests, The Next Christendom: The Coming... Read morePublished on February 19, 2014 by Steven H Propp
This book is more of a defense of established Christianity and how it's seemingly lost its appeal than an open-minded discussion of the impact on recently unearthed, hidden gospels... Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by Suntan
While receiving my Pastoral Theology degree at Moody Bible Institute I decided to go above the minimum class requirements on a book report and choose more of a graduate level... Read morePublished on July 12, 2013 by G. Haas
Philip Jenkins (born 1952) teaches at Penn State University and Baylor University; he has written many other books such as Pedophiles and Priests, The Next Christendom: The Coming... Read morePublished on June 19, 2013 by Steven H Propp
"Hidden Gospels," by Philip Jenkins, is a devastating critique of the view that certain fairly recently-discovered writings discredit the portrayal of Jesus found in the canonical... Read morePublished on April 6, 2013 by Doug Erlandson