Comparing: Patristic / Pseudepigrapha

The Christian Patristics and the Pseudepigrapha

Many of the writings deemed “apocryphal” and “pseudepigraphical” were in circulation in the early centuries of Judaism and Christianity. Their influences and impacts on the development of early communities, and the development of Jewish and Christian thoughts, have not yet been sufficiently examined. While this judgment is especially true for the so-called Christian Apocrypha, it applies also for other writings that were not included in the Jewish and Christian Bibles and also not in other sacred collections of Scripture, like Rabbinics and Patristics.

Most of these ancient writings functioned, to some degree, as sacred texts or scripture—sacra scriptura—in the communities in which they were produced and in others to which they circulated. Our focus in what follows is on how they functioned in the communities that heard and welcomed their voices ... Did the apostles quote apocryphal texts? And would Christians today pro t from reading these documents? Gallagher answers these by tracing the appearances of the word “apocrypha” in the writings of early Christians (notably, Athanasius, Origen, and Augustine) and addresses the terminological significance of the word “apocrypha” itself.