Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into the New Testament by Bart D. EhrmanWhile most people think that the twenty-seven books of the New Testament are the only sacred writings of the early Christians, this is not at all the case. A companion volume to Bart Ehrmans Lost Christianities, this book offers an anthology of up-to-date and readable translations of many non-canonical writings from the first centuries after Christ--texts that have been for the most part lost or neglected for almost two millennia.
Here is an array of remarkably varied writings from early Christian groups whose visions of Jesus differ dramatically from our contemporary understanding. Readers will find Gospels supposedly authored by the apostle Philip, James the brother of Jesus, Mary Magdalen, and others. There are Acts originally ascribed to John and to Thecla, Pauls female companion; there are Epistles allegedly written by Paul to the Roman philosopher Seneca. And there is an apocalypse by Simon Peter that offers a guided tour of the afterlife, both the glorious ecstasies of the saints and the horrendous torments of the damned, and an Epistle by Titus, a companion of Paul, which argues page after page against sexual love, even within marriage, on the grounds that physical intimacy leads to damnation.
In all, the anthology includes fifteen Gospels, five non-canonical Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles, a number of Apocalypses and Secret Books, and several Canon lists. Ehrman has included a general introduction, plus brief introductions to each piece. This important anthology gives readers a vivid picture of the range of beliefs that battled each other in the first centuries of the Christian era.
5 Books that Didn't Make it Into the Bible - Cathlist #28
No “Lost” Books
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Luke Stone , Updated June 18, The New Testament of the Christian Bible is one of the most influential works of the last two millennia. As the key work of the largest religion in the western world, it has shaped our world in many subtle ways. But the list of 27 books we know today as the New Testament came together gradually through a series of councils and general usage until the books became the standard for most of Christianity. This list is about 10 of the most interesting books not included in the New Testament. Some were excluded for obvious reasons, some likely never had wide readership until found in an obscure library thousands of years later and some just barely missed the cut to being included.
Sometimes important religious discoveries are literally unearthed, giving us previously unavailable artifacts and texts -- such as the discovery of the so-called Gnostic Gospels in or the discovery of the Gospel of Judas more recently. At other times modern readers re-discover texts that have long been available, documents, for example, known all along to scholars, but not in wide circulation.
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Has archaeology unearthed ancient biblical texts that cast doubt on the current canon of Scripture? Branded as spurious by early church leaders, they were discredited and destroyed. Luckily, a handful of copies survived. The Gospel of Thomas [image attached to email], unearthed in the Nag Hammadi library in Upper Egypt in , would be an example. Invariably, this sends a jolt through the system of the conscientious Christian. Could it be that archaeology has unearthed ancient biblical texts that cast doubt on the current canon of Scripture? Is it possible the Bible that Christians have is incomplete?
The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden is a collection of 17th-century and 18th-century English translations of some Old Testament Pseudepigrapha and New Testament Apocrypha , some of which were assembled in the s, and then republished with the current title in The translations were first published, under this title, by an unknown editor in The Lost Books of the Bible Cleveland , but the translations had previously been published many times. The book is, essentially, a combined reprint of earlier works. The first half, Lost Books of the Bible , is an unimproved reprint of a book published by William Hone in , titled The Apocryphal New Testament , itself a reprint of a translation of the Apostolic Fathers done in by William Wake , who later became the Archbishop of Canterbury, and a smattering of medieval embellishments on the New Testament, from a book by Jeremiah Jones , posthumously published in In the three centuries since these were originally published, a great deal more is known about the Apostolic Fathers including a good deal of the original text that was not available in and New Testament apocrypha. The second half of the book, The Forgotten Books of Eden , includes a translation originally published in of the "First and Second Books of Adam and Eve", translated first from ancient Ethiopic to German by Ernest Trumpp and then into English by Solomon Caesar Malan , and a number of items of Old Testament pseudepigrapha, such as reprinted in the second volume of R.