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E-Clavis Christian Apocrypha

I recently joined the North American Society for the Study of Christian Apocryphal Literature (NASSCAL). The society has created a comprehensive bibliographic resource called E-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha for the academic study of this literature. It is a collection of Gospels, narratives about the Apostles, letters, theological treatises, and apocalypses that are included under the somewhat pejorative title “Apocrypha” (meaning “hidden books”). Of course, these writings were perceived to fall short of the criteria for making it into the New Testament and thus do not possess scriptural authority for the Protestant, Catholic, and Eastern Orthodox Christian communities that subscribe to the biblical canon. However, they are valuable for the historian who is interested in understanding the worldviews and social formation of diverse Christian factions and in tracing how certain beliefs and practices developed over time.

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