Gospel of James??

Hi,

I just have a question for you…
I just been reading into subjects out of Christian histroy and I stumbled upon a few things that did look rather strange.
One of them is the so-called Gospel of James (a.k.a. Protoevangelium of James).
This so-called Gospel is not canonical and still there are quite a few things derived from this one, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and a few other so-called Gospels.
Things like the “history” of Mary’s parents, her immaculate conception, her perpetual virginity, presenting her as the new Eve, the veneration of Mary, etc.
How come that these writings are non-canonical but their ideas are prevalent in the RCC and are being taught with flimsy arguments on the biblical scale?
What are your thoughts on these so-called gospels?
Why are “Saint Anne” and “Saint Joachim” being venerated while only the non-canonical books mention them at all?

In Him,
Janet

I am not too familiar with the Gospel of James, however your premise is flawed. Simply because something is not canonical does not mean that everything in it is flawed. For instance, if the Gospel of James really does speak about the immaculate conception or Mary’s perpetual virginity, this does not mean that these things are untrue simply because the Gospel of James as a whole was not accepted as canon. I am sure there were good reasons for the Gospel of James to be rejected, none of which necessarily need to be because of what it says about Mary.

There are many great writings from the Early Church Fathers which are not canonical. Should we abandoned all reading of their writings because of this?

God bless you

Good answer RomanCatholic but in all fairness to Janet she wasn’t putting forth a ‘flawed premise’ she was merely asking a set of questions and asking for people’s ideas on her very valid question. Most of us have wondered about these questions before.

Thanks,

Rove

Some of the NT apocrypha - like that - have been very influential; especially in art. Being influential need not imply being true or orthodox or approved.

I think those writings are interesting as evidence of past cultures & of how people thought. As for the parents of the BVM: she was a human being, so presumably she was born through the normal channels - IOW, by sexual intercourse between two human parents; in which case, she must have had human parents. Who must have had names; & those are as good names as any. :slight_smile:

Always possible Rove.

Thank you and God bless you

One reason that the New Testament was compiled was that these were scriptures that were being used in the mass (or divine liturgy). Some other writings from the post apostolic times weren’t chosen because they were fictitious, some were inaccurate, some may have told what we would today call ‘urban legends’. Others may have had good information that just wasn’t relevant to being read at mass, or had not been written by an apostle or an eyewitness to what had taken place.

Certainly we are curious about how the details of Mary’s early life, when and how St. Joseph died, how John the Baptist grew up, what Jesus did as a child, where Mary was and what she was doing when the angel appeared to her, when and where Mary died (or appeared to do so), etc. Some of this was known by the apostles and friends and relatives of Jesus and may have been spoken about or written down somewhere. But it just wasn’t important to the gospel that the apostles preached.

Not only the writing of the bible but the process by which the canon was developed was guided by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps Jesus’ physical description isn’t given because God wants us to really envision Jesus as a man like ourselves. So we see pictures of him with black skin or blond hair or oriental features.

I don’t know if there’s any record of why certain writings didn’t make the cut.

These are just my speculations.

One reason that the New Testament was compiled was that these were scriptures that were being used in the mass (or divine liturgy). Some other writings from the post apostolic times weren’t chosen because they were fictitious, some were inaccurate, some may have told what we would today call ‘urban legends’. Others may have had good information that just wasn’t relevant to being read at mass, or had not been written by an apostle or an eyewitness to what had taken place.

Certainly we are curious about the details of Mary’s early life, when and how St. Joseph died, how John the Baptist grew up, what Jesus did as a child, where Mary was and what she was doing when the angel appeared to her, when and where Mary died (or appeared to do so), etc. Some of this was known by the apostles and friends and relatives of Jesus and may have been spoken about or written down somewhere. But it just wasn’t important to the gospel that the apostles preached.

Not only the writing of the bible but the process by which the canon was developed was guided by the Holy Spirit. Perhaps Jesus’ physical description isn’t given because God wants us to really envision Jesus as a man like ourselves. So we can think of him with black skin or blond hair or oriental features.

I don’t know if there’s any record of why certain writings didn’t make the cut.

These are just my speculations.

There are many things that are not recorded in the Bible that we will never know. But what we do know what isn’t is called tradition. Think about how long a year is, then maybe three years,….what about 10 years? A Bible was not recorded until roughly 350 years after Christ. Yet without this Bible, how did the Church deal with Arianism, Manichaeism, and Donatism and other local heresies? Go to the Bible when there wasn’t any?

They took it to the Church, but then if there was no Bible, why did they act that way? Gnotstics and Arians were led by smart clergy, (maybe like others a 1000 years later), but the Church and the power of the Holy Spirit prevailed.

The Gospel of James is a great example why tradition is also a powerful component of the Church.

:slight_smile:

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