Archive for the ‘Secret Lives of Jesus’ Category

Post-Holiday Roundup: Apocrypha on TV

Thursday, January 11th, 2007

Apocryphicity has been on hiatus over the holidays. It's time now to catch up on a variety of material on the CA posted on the internet over the past few weeks.

For those of you who missed the CNN documentary After Jesus: The First Christians can read the transcript available on-line. See also Stephen Carlson’s critique on his blog Hypotyposeis.

A pre-Christmas article from USA Weekend inspired by the film The Nativity Story discusses the various portrayals of Joseph in canonical and non-canonical gospels. You can read Mark Goodacre’s review of the film at the SBL Forum.

Jim Davila at Paleojudaica excerpts a report linking singer Kylie Minogue and Juliette Binoche with a play called “Gnosis” which is reportedly “loosely inspired by the same apocrypha as The Da Vinci Code.”

The Times Online presents a discussion of the apocryphal texts covered in Channel 4’s Christmas Documentary “The Secret Family of Jesus.” Jim Davila discusses the article at Paleojudaica.


Secret Lives of Jesus (again)

Wednesday, December 20th, 2006

The National Geographic Channel’s “Secret Lives of Jesus” will be re-broadcast December 21 at 9pm. The NGC web site now has a page devoted to the show (see it HERE) with a clip showing a re-enactment of two episodes from the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

Allan Boyle, the Science Editor for MSNBC, discussed the show on his BLOG December 15 (read it HERE), providing a decent summary. His article prompted considerable feedback from both liberal and conservative readers. You can read their comments and Boyle’s response HERE.

Also, Tom Jennings, writer and producer of the show, posted on his own BLOG some comments about making the show (read it HERE). Appended are more of the same kind of comments from viewers. 

More on “The Secret Lives of Jesus”

Tuesday, December 12th, 2006

Catholic On-line ( offers a brief review of the National Geographic Channel’s special “The Secret Lives of Jesus” to be aired December 7. Read the review here.

Secret Lives of Jesus on National Geographic Channel

Friday, December 8th, 2006

The National Geographic Channel will air a special on December 17 at 9 PM (Eastern) titled “The Secret Lives of Jesus”. A press release describes it as follows:

More than 1,500 years ago, ancient writings were buried that offered alternative narratives about Jesus of Nazareth. There were many of these alternative gospels that rendered very different versions of the story and were considered scandalous and deemed heretical. Rediscovered within the last century, these texts offer more questions than answers. Secret Lives of Jesus examines these mysterious lost stories of Christ, exploring the fundamental questions surrounding the texts. Who wrote them and why? How do they compare to the accepted New Testament gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John? And why were the stories forgotten for so long? Secret Lives of Jesus deconstructs the forces at play during this time of radical religious ideals — and offers a tantalizing glimpse inside the logic behind some of the most bizarre stories ever told about Jesus Christ.

I heard about the special last month when a producer contacted me looking for images related to the Infancy Gospel of Thomas. I sent her some manuscript images, including an illumination from a fifteenth-century Ambrosian manuscript (L58) of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew (several images from the manuscript are featured in Elliott and Cartlidge’s Art and the Christian Apocrypha book). The channel will also air an encore presentation of their special on the Gospel of Judas December 18.