The beginning of the following NY Times Op-Ed article caught my
"For a provocative look at the emergence of Christianity two
millenniums ago, skip Mel Gibson's "Passion of the Christ" and
examine instead some of the fascinating recent scholarship on the
Interest in the early church has blossomed because of "Passion" and
the "Da Vinci Code" thriller. But "Passion" and especially "The Da
Vinci Code" take great liberties with history, while serious research
has gotten much less attention."
Nicholas Kristof writes an article concentrating on the role of
women, but at least he offers a bit of different perspective
tangential to the recent, popular "passion"-ridden debate. And, he
introduces a few scholarly ideas, mentions a few extracanonical
writings, and doesn't get into an allegorical/mythological vs.
literal debate. He offers hopefully just enough, without getting
bogged down in details, to whet the appetite of those who might want
to explore further.
Well, I can always hope anyway...