This book review is different than some I have done recently. There are many reasons for this, but the main reason is this volume consists of a collection apocryphal literature. This volume consists of thirty works, many of which are not very well known. The book is edited by scholars Tony Burke and Brent Landau and was published by Eerdmans in December 2016.
Over the past few years there have been many books published that boast to contain the “lost” gospels, and other apocryphal works. Those volumes almost undoubtedly contain the gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Peter, etc. This volume is different as it contains lesser known volumes such as On the Priesthood of Jesus, The Legend of the Thirty Pieces of Silver, and The Epistle of Christ from Heaven.
The work is a good collection, and is recommended for those who have an interest in studying Christian origins. These works contain ideas that some may have had early in Christianity, and even though they may not be orthodox, are important to understand as some of these ideas are making a comeback.
In the introduction (page xx) the editors state, “Based upon the best current scholarly understandings of the canonization process, a great many writings present in the volume came into being long after a canonical New Testament had solidified (roughly in the fourth century).” This volume breaks the mold of the others who published works from the second and third centuries.
In addition to the works, this volume boasts a superb introduction to each book. The introductions begin with an overview, a breakdown of the contents, how the work was originally transmitted, the timeframe in which it was written, and its theological importance. These introductions are worth the price of the volume alone.
[Note: This books was received free of charge from Eerdmans publishing in exchange for an honest review.]
If interested, you can purchase the book here.