Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Dictionary

A modern dictionary of Catholic terms, both common and obscure. Find accurate definitions of words and phrases.

Search:

Or browse the dictionary by selecting a letter!
A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

GOSPELS, APOCRYPHAL

Spurious narratives of the life of Christ, written between the first and third centuries. Many of these exist, and new manuscripts of some of them have been discovered in the twentieth century. These apocrypha are of different types. Some may embody at least a few trustworthy oral traditions, e.g., the Gospel of Peter, and According to the Hebrews. Others are openly heretical and sought to expound erroneous, especially Gnostic views, e.g., the Gospels of Thomas, Marcion, the Twelve Apostles, and Philip. A third group of writings are pious tales, composed to satisfy popular curiosity, and deal mainly with the childhood of Christ; such as the Childhood Gospel of Thomas, the History of Joseph the Carpenter, and the Departure of Mary. There is record of twenty-one apocryphal Gospels, some available in their full narrative text.

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

Subscribe for free
Click here to advertise on CatholicCulture.org

Recent Catholic Commentary

Round Trip to the present moment: a Catholic jazz artist's latest offering April 22
Easter with the Pope April 21
Smaller Church, Bigger Faith, 3: Ecclesiastical Discipline April 17
The Holy Spirit and Evangelization: A Primer April 16
Journey to the Sun: A Strange Biography of Junípero Serra April 16

Top Catholic News

Most Important Stories of the Last 30 Days
Pope Francis: Easter Vigil homily (full text) CWN - April 20
Pope Francis's Easter Message 'Urbi et Orbi' (To the City and the World): full text, link to video CWN - April 20