Gospel Thrillers: Conspiracy and the Bible in U.S. Popular Culture

Behind the Gospel Thrillers: "Discovering" the Bible

Gospel Thrillers confront and contain many of the fears and desires surrounding the vulnerability of the (White, U.S., Protestant) Bible by projecting them into a closed, fictional space. Key among these anxieties are possibilities of "discovery" that have animated modern biblical criticism since the 19th century. The possibility that older versions of the Bible might be "found," or entirely new texts that inform our understanding of the Bible might emerge, contribute to a key facet of biblical studies: that "the Bible" is subject to constant and theoretically unending revision in the quest for the "authentic" Bible. The possibility of "discovery" raises some key themes I explore in the book and delve into in this section: colonialism and the construction of a "western" Bible out of "eastern" antiquities; Israel, Zionism, and the "Jewishness" of Christian origins; and heresy, apocrypha, and the allure of alternative "early Christianities."

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