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Marytrdom And Its Discontents In The Tchacos Codex

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Chapter Summary

This chapter offers some first thoughts about the possibility of reading the works Gospel of Judas, Letter of Peter to Philip and First Apocalypse of James, as offering what might be called "preparation for martyrdom". Its suggests that these works illumine some aspects of early Christian debates not only over how to understand the violent death of Jesus, but also over how believers should prepare themselves to face suffering and death, especially in face of persecution. First, it is necessary to address the question of whether these works in Tchacos Codex can be said to belong to the phenomena of "martyrdom". How one addresses this problem depends of course upon how "martyrdom" is defined. The chapter proposes a capacious understanding of category of martyrdom, one that does not presume any particular predetermination of the meaning of Jesus's death or deaths of his followers - for that is precisely what was at issue.

Keywords: First Apocalypse of James; Gospel of Judas; Jesus's death; Letter of Peter to Philip; martyrdom; persecution; Tchacos Codex

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