The Noncanonical Sayings of Jesus

In 1889 a German scholar named Alfred Resch caused a minor stir in the world of biblical scholarship with the publication of his book Agrapha: Aussercanonische Evangelienfragmente (Agrapha: Extracanonical gospel fragments). For his book, Resch had drawn together and classified, from patristic authors, variant readings of New Testament manuscripts, apocryphal books, and elsewhere literally hundreds of sayings or variations on those sayings attributed to Jesus of Nazareth but not found in the New Testament Gospels. Until that time, almost no one had been aware of the large number of such noncanonical sayings that had been preserved, and most had subscribed in one degree or another to the principle of non in thora, non in mundo, that is, if it is not contained in the canonical Gospels, Jesus did not say it.

Purchase this Issue