The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary

By Brandon W. Hawk

A meticulous commentary on two important apocryphal texts that enjoyed significant popularity and influence during the Middle Ages.

ISBN: 9780227177280


The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew is one of the most important witnesses in Western Europe to apocryphal stories about the lives of Mary, Joseph, Jesus, and Mary’s parents, Anna and Joachim. This apocryphon was also used as the basis for another, the Nativity of Mary, which gained equal popularity. As bestsellers of medieval Christianity, these Latin apocrypha are major witnesses to the explosion of extra-biblical literature in the Western Middle Ages. Despite their apocryphal status, the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary proved influential throughout the Middle Ages and into the early modern period, as their popularity and influences may be traced in Christian literature, visual arts, liturgy, and theological perspectives still revered by Roman Catholic theologians. These apocrypha also remain significant works for considering the history of monasticism and the cult of the Virgin Mary.

The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary draws upon a range of manuscript sources to present comprehensive English translations of the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary with full introductions and commentaries, as well as translations of related works with accompanying commentaries.

Additional information

Dimensions229 × 153 mm


Trade InformationJPOD

About the Author

Brandon W. Hawk is Assistant Professor of English at Rhode Island College. He is the author of Preaching Apocrypha in Anglo-Saxon England (2018).




1. Prefatory Letters (From manuscripts of the A-text)
     Prologue (From manuscripts of the P-text)
2. The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
3. The Pars altera (From manuscripts of the Q-text)
4. Later Additions (From Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, lat. 11867)
5. Trinubium Annae (From Cambridge, St. John’s College 35)
6. The Nativity of Mary

Index of Ancient Sources


Endorsements and Reviews

Hawk’s book offers a fascinating insight into the mercurial life of the apocryphal Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. Its informative introductions, lucid translations, and very useful notes reveal the richness and ever-changing character of this medieval bestseller. A must-read for anyone interested in ancient or medieval Christianity.
Zbigniew Izydorczyk, Professor, University of Winnipeg

In The Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew and the Nativity of Mary, Brandon Hawk provides authoritative translations – copiously and expertly annotated – of two major Latin apocryphal texts about the life of Mary and the infancy of Christ. Hawk’s lucid Introductions not only judiciously synthesize previous scholarship on each text, but also make original contributions concerning their sources, origins, and transmission as well as their influence in the Middle Ages and beyond.
Charles D. Wright, Emeritus Professor, University of Illinois