The “Wild Child” Jesus: Tales from the Apocryphal Literature

| Past

Those of us who call ourselves Christian, or at least have respect and reverence for the figure of Jesus of Nazareth, generally know this man from a very serious, upstanding and ethical perspective. Jesus the man is usually characterized as kind, compassionate, gentle, wise, courageous, obedient to God, a healer, a teacher, and an innocent […]

Images of Mary in Christian Apocryphal Art

| Past

In previous posts (Trinities; When Early Christians Revered a Female Deity; Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2; and The Feminine/Androgynous Jesus), we have dealt to some extent with Mary, the mother of Jesus (also known in Christian tradition as the Virgin Mary or the Mother of God). We have seen that, although there is […]

The Feminine/Androgynous Jesus

| Past

Jesus was a man, right? In the New (Christian) Testament of the Bible he certainly was. However, in the first few centuries of the Common Era (CE), images of Jesus were not limited to male. During this era, a great deal of Christian literature, generally called “apocryphal” or “extra-canonical,” circulated but did not make it […]

Trinities: Historical Alternatives to “Father, Son and Holy Ghost”

| Past,Present

The concept of God as Father resonates well with many religious Jews and Christians. The all-male Trinity – Father, Son and Holy Ghost/Holy Spirit – is so ingrained for Christians that our faith without it seems somehow heretical or false. In recent years, however, the idea of God as Father, for many people whose human […]

The Trials and Tribulations of Translating Scripture 2: Pitfalls and Challenges

| Past,Present

In Trials and Tribulations 1, we presented an overview of the history of the Bible and the various ancient manuscripts that scholars have used over the centuries to translate Biblical texts from the original languages into other languages. We noted that translating from ancient languages and incomplete manuscripts copied centuries later present challenges to translators […]

When Early Christians Revered a Female Deity

| Past

Current research reveals that some early Christians revered God in female form. Let’s take a look at the evidence, which starts with an overview of the context out of which Christianity emerged. Christianity emerged in the Graeco-Roman era when people worshipped many gods and goddesses – Zeus, Athena, Dionysos, Apollo, the Great Mother, Sylvanus; this […]