Wednesday, February 22, 2006

The Gospel according to Professor McGonigle

Apparently, to learn everything I need to know about Theology and the Church, I'm going to need a little more than an NIV bible and a borrowed copy of the BCP that accidentally became stolen property when my "visit" to Austin turned permanent. Whoops.

I came to this startling conclusion after my class on Early Christianity where Professor McGonigle mentioned about three thousand different texts that didn't make it into the Bible because…get this…"they didn't flow" That's right. We could be missing hugely integral parts of our spiritual heritage because the editors thought these things lacked pizzazz (p.s. how cool is it that I'm learning from a Professor McGonigle? I'm just like Harry Potter! Except…you know, not a magical, fictional pubescent British boy)

So I got a little amazon happy and bought a whole mess of books on the early Christian texts. Some were recommended, some merely interesting. Hardest to find? Ye Are The Body, an out of print 1950's text book that comes highly recommended from both P. McG. and my Rector who says it's used by seminary students for cram sessions.

  • The Q Document (a novel about the legendary Q --quelle-- document)
  • Westminster Dictionary of Theological Terms
  • The Writings of Justin Martyr
  • The Didache
  • The Lost Books of the Bible (Gnostic writings)
  • The Close: A Young Woman's First Year of Seminary

Interesting reading and reference, no?

this post was brought to you by almost irreversible eye strain


Blogger Marshall said...

It's a good start. There were several publications, too, making reference to "Early Christian Fathers" (including one of that title). You'd enjoy, I think, the letters of Clement of Rome and of Polycarp (whose feast day is today, actually). You probably wouldn't enjoy the Shepherd of Hermas, but then that's not its purpose, so read it anyway.

My favorite, from back when I studied this as an undergraduate, was the Apocalypse of Peter. It appears to be where Dante got a lot of his ideas of hell.

Blessings. And thanks for stopping by my place, as well.

3:11 PM  
Blogger Rhiannon said...

It's funny that you mention Polycarp today. Part of my evening ritual is to read the daily entry from Butler's Lives of the Saints each night (I even have a little theme song "saint-saint-saint, saint of the daay-ay, saint-saint-saint saaaaint), and I got all excited last night when I saw that today's saint was someone I actually knew.

11:03 AM  
Blogger Marshall said...

Ah, for the blessings of "Lesser Feasts and Fasts." And for the varied biographies prepared by James Kieffer (

4:33 PM  
Blogger lfspansyliz said...

Have you found Ye are the Body yet? i am hunting for my reference....but i have purchased them in the last 5 years. email me if interested and i find it

pansyliz [at] juno [dot] com

LFS, liz

3:17 PM  

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