Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament

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Oxford University Press, Oct 2, 2003 - Religion - 352 pages
27 Reviews
We may think of the twenty-seven books of the New Testament as the only sacred writings of the early Christians, but this is not at all the case. Lost Scriptures 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, Paul's 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 Apocalypes and Secret Books, and several Canon lists. Ehrman has included a general introduction, plus brief introductions to each piece. Lost Scriptures gives readers a vivid picture of the range of beliefs that battled each other in the first centuries of the Christian era. It is an essential resource for anyone interested in the Bible or the early Church.
  

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LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mldavis2 - LibraryThing

I don't know how to rate this book since there is minimal, but appropriate, comment by the author. It is essentially a representative collection of documents written around the time of the Christ ... Read full review

Review: Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into the New Testament

User Review  - Erneilson - Goodreads

A good beginning introduction to extra-canonical works, mostly Gnostic. Some of it is pretty "out there" but some resonates well with canonical literature. Read full review

Contents

General Introduction
1
The Gospel of the Nazareans
9
The Gospel According to the Hebrews
15
The Unknown Gospel
29
The Gospel of Mary
35
The Gospel of Truth
45
The Gospel of the Savior
52
The ProtoGospel of James
63
The Acts of Peter
135
The Third Letter to the Corinthians
157
NONCANONICAL APOCALYPSES AND REVELATORY
249
The Apocalypse of Peter
280
The Apocalypse of Paul
288
The Secret Book of John
297
On the Origin of the World
307
The First Thought in Three Forms
316

The Epistle of the Apostles
73
The Second Treatise of the Great Seth
82
The Acts of John
93
The Acts of Paul
109
The Acts of Thomas
122
The Hymn of the Pearl
324
The Muratorian Canon
331
The Canon of Eusebius
337
Copyright

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About the author (2003)

Bart D. Ehrman chairs the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. An authority on the early Church and the life of Jesus, he has appeared on A&E, the History Channel, CNN, and other television and radio shows. He has taped several highly popular lecture series for the "Teaching Company" and is the author of The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings (Third Edition, OUP, 2003) and Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium (OUP, 1999).

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