Opera Evangelica: A Lost Collection of Christian Apocrypha

Within the holdings of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto there is a curious, rarely examined handwritten book entitled Opera Evangelica, containing translations of several apocryphal works in English. It opens with a lengthy Preface that provides an antiquarian account...

Full description

Saved in:
Bibliographic Details
Published in:New Testament studies
Authors: Burke, Tony 1968-; Fewster, Gregory Peter
Format: Electronic Article
Language:English
Check availability: HBZ Gateway
Journals Online & Print:
Drawer...
Published: Cambridge Univ. Press 2021
In:New Testament studies
Year: 2021, Volume: 67, Issue: 3, Pages: 356-387
Standardized Subjects / Keyword chains:B Christianity / Apocrypha / English language / Translation / Pressure
Further subjects:B English
B print
B Translation
B Manuscript
B Gospel
B Apocrypha
B Scholarship
Online Access: Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
Volltext (lizenzpflichtig)
Description
Summary:Within the holdings of the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library at the University of Toronto there is a curious, rarely examined handwritten book entitled Opera Evangelica, containing translations of several apocryphal works in English. It opens with a lengthy Preface that provides an antiquarian account of Christian apocrypha along with a justification for translating the texts. Unfortunately, the book's title page gives little indication of its authorship or date of composition, apart from an oblique reference to the translator as ‘I. B.’ But citations in the Preface to contemporary scholarship place the volume around the turn of the eighteenth century, predating the first published English-language compendium of Christian apocrypha in print by Jeremiah Jones (1726). A second copy of the book has been found in the Cambridge University Library, though its selection of texts and material form diverges from the Toronto volume in some notable respects. This article presents Opera Evangelica to a modern audience for the first time. It examines various aspects of the work: the material features and history of the two manuscripts; the editions of apocryphal texts that lie behind its translations; the views expressed on Christian apocrypha by its mysterious author; and its place within manuscript publication and English scholarship around the turn of the eighteenth century. Scholars of Christian apocrypha delight in finding ‘lost gospels’ but in Opera Evangelica we have something truly unique: a long-lost collection of Christian apocrypha.
ISSN:1469-8145
Contains:Enthalten in: New Testament studies
Persistent identifiers:DOI: 10.1017/S0028688521000096