NASSCAL Member Publication: Second Edition of J. K. Elliott’s Synopsis of the Apocryphal Infancy Narratives

J. K. Elliott, A Synopsis of the Apocryphal Nativity and Infancy Narratives. 2nd ed. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2016.

elliottCongratulations to NASSCAL member J. K. Elliott on the new edition of this useful resource for studying the various infancy traditions. Keith is well-known as the editor/translator of The Apocryphal New Testament (Oxford, 1993) and as an active contributor to the Society of Biblical Literature Christian Apocrypha Section. The new edition incorporates texts not available in English translation for the first edition: the Armenian Infancy Gospel, the Ethiopic translation of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Revelation of the Magi, the Legend of Aphroditianus, and two Sahidic extracts. Also new is the inclusion of the Greek S recension of the Infancy Gospel of Thomas and extracts from the Liber Flavus. For more information, see the catalog page at Brill’s web site. The abstract is reproduced below:

Early Christians built on the stories of Jesus’ and Mary’s birth and childhood. Their later accounts, many of them found nowadays among collections of non-canonical (‘apocryphal’) texts, are important and interesting. They give insights into the growth of Christian theology, especially concerning the role and status of Mary, and also the way in which the earliest stories were elaborated and interpreted in popular folk religion.
A range of the earliest accounts is presented here in fresh translations. This second edition contains some texts originally in a variety of different languages such as Armenian, Ethiopic, Coptic and Irish, not available at the time of the first edition. The texts are arranged in small units and synoptically, in order to permit readers to compare texts and to see the differences and similarities between them.
J.K. Elliott has selected and arranged the texts, and he provides introductory and concluding chapters. He also includes a full and helpful bibliography to benefit readers who may wish to pursue this comparative study more deeply.