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Review of Biblical Literature Blog

Infancy Gospels: Stories and Identities
Clivaz, Claire, editor

Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2011 pp. xxx + 755. €149.00

Series Information
Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 281

Description: Even though the canonical Jesus’ infancy stories have always provoked great interest in popular culture and in the arts, they have been neglected in research during the last decades due to the relatively late date of their redaction. Since the monograph by Raymond Brown, The Birth of the Messiah , the researchers working on this topic have not attempted to consider its historical impact. In this volume, an international team of scholars proposes firstly a reconsideration of the historical background of these stories in terms of early Jewish and Christian identity quests. Secondly, they deal with early Christian questions on Jesus’ infancy and childhood through canonical and apocryphal Gospels including information from Patristic and documentary literature. On the theological level, this volume illustrates the impact that these apocryphal texts, recognized as “useful for the soul” (a phrase coined by François Bovon), have had on the Christian faith.

Subjects: Bible, New Testament, Synoptic Gospels, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha, New Testament Apocrypha, Gospels, Literature

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Review by Tony Burke
Published 2/1/2014
Citation: Tony Burke, review of Claire Clivaz, ed., Infancy Gospels: Stories and Identities, Review of Biblical Literature [http://www.bookreviews.org] (2014).


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