The History Of The New Testament:
Not The "Accepted View"

My new book, "THE MAGDALENE GOSPEL: a Journey Behind the New Testament" is now available. Click here for details.

Yes, there are many surprises out there, in these books so well read throughout the 20 centuries of Christianity...

Fishers - Roman Mosaic from Tunisia

articles by Yuri Kuchinsky posted to various academic biblical mailing lists

Here's the general introduction to this page (added early in 1998, and updated in April, 2000). Basically, this is where I was before I discovered the Hebrew Matthew and the Magdalene Gospel. Some of my views have changed since that time, to be sure, because of all the new evidence I've found in these two gospels.

Here's some of my latest research, that I've been uploading here starting in September 2002. Much of this has already been presented on the Loisy-List, and elsewhere. At this time, I'm especially focusing on the ancient Aramaic gospels (the Old Syriac Aramaic), which, curiously enough, are still almost completely unknown to the current generation of New Testament scholars. And now, it turns out that great many passages in the Magdalene Gospel readily find parallels in these ancient Aramaic texts... And, often enough, these parallels are completely unique!

And here is a section that deals with some of these scandals, deceptions, and cover-ups in the NT profession. The more I study this area, the more I'm shocked and amazed at the sorts of things that I'm seeing.

Here I'm now presenting (August 2003) my new research about the Secret Gospel of Mark. All those many scholars who have studied this mysterious document for the last 30 years or so still somehow managed to miss some important details in it that indicate very clearly that this is INDEED A VERY ANCIENT DOCUMENT!

In January of 2000 I have created a new academic discussion mailing list, Loisy-L. This was prompted by my recent investigation of a very interesting but unfortunately almost completely unknown Hebrew Gospel of Matthew. In my view, understanding what this gospel is all about may change the whole field of New Testament studies. Yes, indeed, many common academic assumption about NT history may have to be revised if indeed this Hebrew gospel goes back substantially to the 1st century CE. So why is the Hebrew Matthew still getting so little attention from biblical scholars?

Here you can find out more about the Hebrew Gospel of Matthew, and about this whole debate.

And then, while investigating the Hebrew Mt, while looking far and wide for some parallels to it, I've come across yet another very interesting early Christian document. It's really quite incredible, and in some respects it is rather close to the Hebrew Mt in spirit, as well as textually. This is the Magdalene Gospel (also known as "Pepys Gospel", or the "Pepysian Gospel Harmony"), a unique document, written in medieval English. Its existence has already been known for about 100 years, but hardly anyone has studied it as yet, it seems. Certainly very little has been published about it until recently. Only a very few biblical scholars have investigated it so far, but those who did certainly liked it a lot. And more recently, M-E Boismard, a highly respected French biblical scholar, has taken an interest in it, and published the first book dedicated to this Gospel. But, strange as this may seem, none of these scholars paying attention to MG have been British or American!

In any case, I'm now confident that this is the earliest Christian gospel we have in any language! And my new book, that came out in 2002, includes this whole rather long document, in my translation. Also, in my extensive commentary, I demonstrated conclusively that this gospel is indeed prior to our Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.

Here you can find a lot of my previous research on the Magdalene Gospel -- a document that is likely to change the whole course of biblical history. There are about 45 articles linked to this file already -- quite a lot of reading! Most of this is the research I've done before my book was published in early 2002. But you will also find there some newest research that isn't even in my book.

Click here to visit Loisy-L discussion archives at Yahoogroups. For the latest list discussions, click here.

To subscribe to Loisy-L, send blank email to

Alfred Loisy was one of the greatest French biblical scholars of all times. I consider him as my main mentor, who really helped me to find my way in these often tricky labyrinths of New Testament history. Here you will find two of Loisy's most important books, in English translation. They can be read in their entirety at Peter Kirby's excellent early Christian history website,

The Birth of the Christian Religion (1933),

The Origins of the New Testament (1936),

These files below had been added here at the end of 2000.

The following three items provide some information about how Alfred Loisy saw the origins of the earliest Christian gospels. In his analysis, they were a lot more Jewish in character than most scholars think,

Presuppositions & History (reply to Rick: 14 Jul 2000),

Presuppositions & History (the Jewishness of early Christianity: 16 Jul 2000),

Loisy on early proto-gospels (22 Jul 2000),

This article is about the evolution of primitive views about the birth of Jesus.

You want to see some real radicalism in biblical studies? Here's some radicalism for you,

-- Three Big Lies of NT Scholars (27 Nov 2000)

The following is about the Gospel Of Thomas, and how it may relate to other primitive Christian gospels. A tongue-in-cheek view of how Dominic Crossan, and some other "early daters", may have gone wrong in their analysis,

-- Gospel Of Thomas and its historical context (3/15/2000),

My reconstruction of earliest Christian theology,

-- Early Christology (10 Aug 2000),

These files were added in October, 1999.

Scholars of the history of the New Testament know just how valuable is the testimony of Papias of Hierapolis for understanding the early Christian views about gospel history. The testimony of Papias about how gospels were composed is the earliest we have, and its somewhat ambiguous meaning has been debated by scholars at great length. So here's my essay about THE TESTIMONY OF PAPIAS.

How did the canon of the four gospels develop during the second century of Christianity? Were there really two large factions in the early Church, the Synoptic, and the Johannine? Here's my essay about these CANONICAL RIVALRIES. (Part 1)

And here's Part 2 of my essay about the CANONICAL RIVALRIES.

And this is my review of Prof. Michael Goulder's book TALE OF TWO MISSIONS, and it is quite relevant to the three preceding articles. Goulder is of the opinion that the earliest Christians were for the most part Adoptionists, and you can read more about this subject further on on this webpage.

Baptism of Christ

Here's an essay I wrote dealing with how certain important events in the life of the Historical Jesus were seen in those unusual books discovered in 1940's in Nag Hammadi, Egypt. (based on Majella Franzmann's "JESUS IN THE NAG HAMMADI WRITINGS").

What to make of the rather mysterious Sign of Jonah that is mentioned in the Synoptic gospels? Not an easy matter at all, but I tried to deal with it anyway. This subject is very important for understanding the chronology of the events surrounding the death of Jesus.

In this subsection, I'm bringing together some of my research about the Historical Paul, and about the Pauline literature. First, the three articles that have been available here already for some time, followed by newer material.
Woman and Apple Tree -- Ancient Rome The following files were added in March, 1999.

Here are some articles dealing with the origins of gnosticism, and with the recent book by Williams RETHINKING GNOSTICISM.

A brief earlier review of RETHINKING "GNOSTICISM" by Williams.

When did gnosticism originate? Was it originally a Jewish tradition, before becoming also a Christian one? I think so. Here are some more details.

In this file I take issue with the view (a minority view among scholars, it needs to be said) that gnosticism was a specifically Christian movement without clear Jewish roots. This view is argued especially by Simone Petrement, and also by James Davila on Crosstalk.

As cited in this article, Williams replies to Petrement very well. Also some general remarks about Williams' book are found here.

Another reply to Davila.

And here's a review of William's book by Didymus to which I reply.

And this is a review of RETHINKING GNOSTICISM by Michael Allen Williams as posted on the website at online bookstore.

This file was added in Nov, 1998, and it looks sceptically at the very nature of the Synoptic problem as it is commonly defined. Also proto Mark gospel is considered in this article.

Here are some files (added in August, 1998) with some of my recent research.

Here's a long article I wrote dealing with the Secret Gospel of Mark fragments as discovered by Prof. Morton Smith in 1958, and the circumstances of this discovery.

This is my review of HIDDEN WISDOM: ESOTERIC TRADITIONS AND THE ROOTS OF CHRISTIAN MYSTICISM, by Guy G. Stroumsa, E. J. Brill, 1996. Stroumsa focuses on the elements of secrecy as can be discerned in earliest Christianity. A very interesting book.

This is an article about early Christian Adoptionism. It is my belief that Adoptionism was the earliest Christian faith that was current among the followers of Jesus shortly after the Crucifixion.

Among the subjects I've researched over the winter of 97/98 are the following. The Eucharist, the history of the Book of Acts, of the Gospel of Mark, and the history of composition of the Pauline literature. Also I've researched the historicity of the Tomb Burial of Jesus as it was portrayed in the four Gospels of the NT. And the subject of gnosticism and of the Gospel of Thomas is never too far from my interests (see files dealing with this on my other page).

Feast - Ancient Greek Vase

I will gradually upload more posts here. But first, the files dealing with the Eucharist.

Next, come the posts dealing with the history of the composition of the Book of the Acts of the Apostles. Much of this material is based on the work of Alfred Loisy.

Loisy had a very unusual theory about the history of composition of both of the Gospel of Luke, and of the Book of Acts, its companion volume. This theory is based on the idea that there once existed a very short early "proto-Lk" gospel, and a similar "proto-Acts". These were later re-edited, and substantially expanded. The basis for his views was provided by his reading of the prologues to both documents.

Here come the posts. I've tried to abridge them as much as possible in order to keep only the most essential parts.

Bird - Roman Mosaic from Tunisia

And here are parts of the discussions dealing with the history of the composition of the Gospel of Mark, the earliest of the NT gospels.

The following posts deal with the question of how should we interpret the NT tomb burial narratives. These narratives disagree with each other to a very significant extent, which should make them rather suspect. Was Jesus really buried in a tomb that was somehow "miraculously" available right near the place of crucifixion? And these are some other assorted interesting posts. More interesting files will be uploaded here eventually.

7 Deities of the Week, part of the Zodiac - Roman Mosaic from Tunisia

Please drop me a note and tell me what you think about any of this stuff. My address is "yuku [at]"

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