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Pseudo-Cyril of Jerusalem's Coptic homily On the Life and the Passion of Christ is in fact a collection of apocryphal stories. Roelof van den Broek offers a critical edition of this text, with introduction, translation and notes. The text provides information about the worldly crafts of the apostles and Jesus' external appearance; it also contains a peculiar chronology of Holy Week (implying that Jesus was arrested on Tuesday evening) and a long story about Pilate’s role in the trial of Jesus. The latter contains, int. al., letters by Pilate and Herod, discussions between Pilate and Jesus during a dinner they had together, and a description of the dreams of Pilate and his wife Procla and their explanation by Jesus.
The discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library (1945) has given an enormous impetus not only to the study of ancient Gnosticism but also to that of early Christianity in general. Most of the studies contained in this volume deal with mythological conceptions and theological ideas found in various Nag Hammadi writings.
The gnostic views on the nature of God and on creation and salvation receive particular attention, ranging from Philo to the medieval Cathars. The Nag Hammadi Library also shed new light on the development of early Alexandrian Christianity and its theology. The book contains six studies which explicitly deal with these topics. This volume is of interest to students of Gnosticism, early Christianity and Graeco-Roman religious and philosophical ideas in general.