Published online by Cambridge University Press: 27 January 2022
In his Foreword to this volume, Kevin J. Vanhoozer has helpfully drawn attention to Francis Watson’savowedly theological work in the 1990s and 2000s. My aim here is to take up the story from there and focus in particular on his more recent work, on canonical and noncanonical Gospels. This field is evident most magnificently in his monograph Gospel Writing, but has continued to be discussed in a number of edited volumes and essays: a fascinating conference hosted by Francis in Durham, for example, produced the book Connecting Gospels.1 Its subtitle has been something of a motto for Francis’ recent work: Beyond the Canonical/Non-Canonical Divide. Francis’ comparative work on canonical and noncanonical Gospels can also be seen as a study of reception, as for example in his analysis of the Apocalypse of Peter’s rewriting and development of Matthew’s Olivet discourse.2 In that spirit, I will in this Afterword take the Gospel of Philip as a case study of Gospel reading – first, as a text that engages in Gospel reading; second, as it is read as Gospel in antiquity; and finally, how it might affect our reading of canonical Gospels.