The contention that ancient writers didn't mention Jesus' marriage and offspring for fear of Jewish persecution doesn't really hold up because John's Gospel and much of the apocryphal literature
were written after the fall of Jerusalem in the year 70, when there would have been nothing to fear from Jewish authorities.
Chapters four through six concentrate on apocryphal literature
, especially Pseudo-Philo and Enoch.
The early poems contain a host of ideas and motifs that are very rare or even totally unknown in Rabbinic sources, although many of these ideas are attested in apocryphal literature
or in Christian sources.
However, if studied carefully, Lefevre's placing of the apocryphal writings within the various works and the views he expresses on their status in his prefaces - and indeed the type of work in which he chooses to publish such and such a piece of apocryphal literature
- would show that Lefevre's ends cannot be reduced to just a simple desire to promulgate the piety of the apostolic age.
In his Histoire critique de Manichee et du manicheisme (Amsterdam, 1734-1739), the Hugenot scholar Isaac de Beausobre, the true founder of Manichaean studies, had already recognized the paramount importance of Jewish apocryphal literature
in the immediate background of Manichaeism.
The impression given by the apocryphal literature
, meaning early Christian writings not included in the New Testament, was that the siblings of Jesus were much older.
The problem engendered a rich crop of apocryphal literature
, especially Acts of apostles - Andrew, John, Paul, Peter, and Thomas - where the central message proclaimed celibacy.
Lutherans generally pay too little attention to the apocryphal literature
, even though Luther included the books in his complete German translation.