NASSCAL Members Publication: Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions

Tony Burke, ed. Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions: Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha. Proceedings from the 2015 York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017.

The York University Christian Apocrypha Symposium ran from 2011 to 2015. It was at the final session of the 2013 event that the creation of NASSCAL was first discussed, and the close of 2015 when it was officially announced. Future gatherings like the York Symposia will now take place under the NASSCAL banner (and watch for news on the 2018 conference soon). Virtually everyone involved with Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions is a NASSCAL member. See below for a list of its contents.


Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions examines the possible motivations behind the production of apocryphal Christian texts. Did the authors of Christian apocrypha intend to deceive others about the true origins of their writings? Did they do so in a way that is distinctly different from New Testament scriptural writings? What would phrases like “intended to deceive” or “true origins” even mean in various historical and cultural contexts? The papers in this volume, presented in September 2015 at York University in Toronto, discuss texts from as early as second-century papyrus fragments to modern apocrypha, such as tales of Jesus in India in the nineteenth-century Life of Saint Issa. The highlights of the collection include a keynote address by Bart Ehrman (“Apocryphal Forgeries: The Logic of Literary Deceit”) and a panel discussion on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife reflecting on what reactions to this particular text—primarily on biblioblogs—can tell us about the creation, transmission, and reception of apocryphal Christian literature. The eye-opening papers presented at  the panel caution and enlighten readers about the ethics of studying unprovenanced texts, the challenges facing female scholars both in the academy and online, and the shifting dynamics between online and traditional print scholarship. Read more at the Wipf & Stock web site.


Foreword by Andrew Gregory

1. Introduction — Tony Burke
2. Apocryphal Forgeries: The Logic of Literary Deceit— Bart D. Ehrman
4. What Has Pseudepigraphy to Do with Forgery? Reflections on the Cases of the Acts of Paul, the Apocalypse of Paul, and the Zohar — Pierluigi Piovanelli
5. Lessons from the Papyri: What Apocryphal Gospel Fragments Reveal about the Textual Development of Early Christianity — Stanley E. Porter
6. Under the Influence (of the Magi): Did Hallucinogens Play a Role in the Inspired Composition of the Pseudepigraphic Revelation of the Magi? — Brent Landau
7. Behind the Seven Veils, II: Assessing Clement of Alexandria’s Knowledge of the Mystic Gospel of Mark— Scott G. Brown
8. Pseudo-Peter and Persecution: (Counter-) Evaluations of Suffering in the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (NHC VII,3) and the Letter of Peter to Philip (NHC VIII,2) — Pamela Mullins Reaves
9. Paul as Letter Writer and the Success of Pseudepigraphy: Constructing an Authorial Paul in the Apocryphal Corinthian Correspondence — Gregory Peter Fewster
10. “Days of Our Lives”: Destructive Homemakers in the Passion of Andrew — Anne Moore
11. Manichaean Redaction of the Secret Book of John — Timothy Pettipiece
12. “Cherries at Command”: Preaching the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew in Anglo-Saxon England — Brandon W. Hawk
13. Apocrypha and Forgeries: Lessons from the “Lost Gospels” of the Nineteenth Century — Tony Burke
14. The Apocryphal Tale of Jesus’ Journey to India: Nicolas Notovitch and the Life of Saint Issa Revisited — Bradley N. Rice
15. Expanding the Apocryphal Corpus: Some “Novel” Suggestions — Eric M. Vanden Eykel

Gospel of Jesus’ Wife Panel

16. Gender and the Academy Online: The Authentic Revelations of the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife — Caroline T. Schroeder
17. Slow Scholarship: Do Bloggers Rush in Where Jesus’ Wife Would Fear to Tread? — James F. McGrath
18. Jesus’ Wife, the Media and The Da Vinci Code — Mark Goodacre
19. Responses to Mark Goodacre, James McGrath, and Caroline Schroeder on the Gospel of Jesus’ Wife — Janet E. Spittler