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Connecting GospelsBeyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide$
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Francis Watson and Sarah Parkhouse

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198814801

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198814801.001.0001

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Praeparatio Evangelica in Early Christian Gospels

Praeparatio Evangelica in Early Christian Gospels

(p.15) 1 Praeparatio Evangelica in Early Christian Gospels
Connecting Gospels

Simon Gathercole

Oxford University Press

The novelty of the Christian message was a crucial point of discussion in the early church, a discussion reflected in both canonical and non-canonical gospels. In contrast to texts which saw the gospel events as fulfilling scripture, the Gospel of Thomas in particular is striking in presenting a virtually unqualified rejection of any antecedent revelation. Approaches are by no means confined to this binary contrast. In the Gospel of Truth, a protological myth is contained within the same work as an account of the activity of Jesus, such that praeparatio evangelica and evangelium are juxtaposed. The Nag Hammadi Gospel of the Egyptians undercuts scripture by means of the even more ancient Seth. According to the Gospel of Philip, Christian salvation has been symbolically presaged throughout history. This chapter reassesses the claim that Marcion is the only theologian truly to have claimed newness for the Christian good news.

Keywords:   newness, non-canonical gospels, Nag Hammadi, Gospel of Thomas, revelation, salvation, Marcion

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