Apocrypha as Texts that Had No Future? Reflections on Christian Texts of the Past
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In contemporary Biblical Hermeneutics, the perception of a gulf between past and present mind-set has led scholars to seek for a transcending and universal moment within authoritative scriptures of Christianity (Schneiders, Bieringer). While authoritative texts are broadly accepted within Christianity on the basis of the conception of revelation and inspiration, the multitude of Early Christian Apocrypha has been broadly neglected in hermeneutical considerations so far. However, Apocryphal texts deserve our attention not only because of the quantitative aspect of the bulk of preserved Early Christian apocryphal literature but also because these scriptures reflect a certain dialogue with other texts, probably including texts that are regarded as canonical today. By this mirrored dialogue and commit- ment to Christian faith, a future perspective of hope and salvation is documented, which unites Christians of the past and today. Therefore, as testimonies of faith, Early Christian Apocrypha are necessarily relevant and crucial to hermeneutical attempts to bridge the gap between past and present.
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