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The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts Paperback – January 1, 1982


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The Other Gospels: Non-Canonical Gospel Texts + Jesus: Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium + The Gnostic Gospels
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 191 pages
  • Publisher: Westminster John Knox Press; 1st edition (January 1, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0664244289
  • ISBN-13: 978-0664244286
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.4 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #814,315 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Ron Cameron is Professor of Religion at Wesleyan University in Middletown, Connecticut.

Customer Reviews

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27 of 28 people found the following review helpful By "mrsfaganselves" on August 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
For anyone interested in a rather different perspective of Christian views of Jesus, the non-canonical Gospels can be an eye-opening experience. Non-canonical refers to texts not accepted as part of the New Testament, for a variety of reasons. They aren't necessarily subversive, though some paint rather conflicting views of Jesus and his teachings. But mostly what they provide is simply more material, much of it subject to further interpretation. Some of the material is known as Gnostic material; some is not. Author Ron Cameron has broken the 16 non-canonical works into two broad categories: Traditions of the Sayings of Jesus and Traditions of Stories About Jesus. He gives us extended quotations of such material as the Gospel of Thomas or the Secret Gospel of Mark. In all cases, Cameron then uses the material to shed further light on how Christian thinking about Jesus and his teachings developed beyond the material admitted to the canon. This book assumes a certain knowledge, though not extensive, of early Christian writings. It's a worthy companion to other readings about the Gospels. Particularly worth noting is Cameron's assessment that the cited material, rather than developing out of established canonical works, may well have predated the material we're most familiar with. If the assessment of Cameron and other scholars is correct, the writings are especially worth reading because they could alter our views of the teachings of Jesus.
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17 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Mark Mills on December 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
To simplify a complicated story, the Roman Emperor Constantine made Christianity the empire's official religion late in the 4th century. To clarify what this meant, he asked his Christian friends to identify the best Christian literature. The result of their efforts are now sold in every book store as 'the Bible'.
'The Other Gospels' pulls together what we know about the Jesus stories that got left out. Since making copies of paper was an expensive and time consuming activity, little of 'the other stuff' remained in circulation. Some of it was 'suppressed', but book burning gets more playing time than it deserves. Most of this material was probably just forgotten. And, most of it is suitably forgettable.
Cameron pulls together the pieces archeologists have discovered in the last 200 years, and tried to interest the reader in the 'trajectory' of Jesus stories. He finds it interesting to note how oral story telling traditions tend to elaborate source material and add features addressing interests of the story teller. Detailed arguments about these trajectories are omitted, though. The commentaries prior to each 'omitted' gospel fragment are brief and disconnected from each other. Perhaps Cameron wished to avoid contention and argument.
I wished he had offered a more detailed and coherent argument regarding 'trajectories.' In particular, I would have liked information on how these documents were used. Were they memorized? Were they used in ritual? Were they given to children as literature lessons?
The best of the material (Gospels of Thomas and Miriam) can be found in books devoted entirely to themselves. The rest is somewhat harder to find (especially in one place).
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4 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Gerald P. Themens on May 13, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The book contains material that I have wanted to get my hands on for a long long time. It is unfortunate that many of the words are missing because of the age of the found manuscripts. It confirms the issues that the early Church had with the different ways of preentin Christ to the world. Through the many studies that have disected the present Popular Gospel I now understand that the early Church Fathers knew what they were doing by letting themselves be guided by the Holy Spirit and not selecting these writings or gnostic Gospels in the complete texts of the present Gospel.
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0 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Donna Taggart on June 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
probably accurate. too much text missing from the orginals to make good sense in most cases. for my son anyway
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