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Lost Scriptures

Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament

Bart D. Ehrman

Publication Date - September 2005

ISBN: 9780195182507

352 pages
Paperback
6-1/8 x 9-1/4 inches

In Stock

Retail Price to Students: $19.99

A companion volume to Bart Ehrman's Lost Christianities--An anthology of long-lost Christian writings that did not make it into the New Testament

Description

While 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 Ehrman's 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, 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 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.

Features

  • This book offers an anthology of up-to-date and readable translations of many non-canonical writings from the first centuries after Christ.
  • Readers will find Gospels supposedly authored by the apostle Philip, James the brother of Jesus, Mary Magdalen, and others.
  • 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.

About the Author(s)

Bart D. Ehrman is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings and Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.

Reviews

"The author of more than ten books on New Testament history and early Christian writings, Ehrman has established himself as an expert on early Christianity. These two works should soundly solidify his stature, as they illuminate the flavor and varieties of early Christian belief."--Library Journal (on Lost Christianities and Lost Scriptures)

"History, it's often said, is written by the victors. Bart Ehrman argues in a pair of intriguing new books that the same could be said of the Bible's New Testament.... Will shock more than a few lay readers."--The Boston Globe

"Lost Scriptures provides a good sample of the literature and illustrates nicely the complex and often exotic world of second- and third-century Christianity."--America

"Fresh authoritative translations of the texts that fell outside in the canon."--Christian Science Monitor

Table of Contents

    General Introduction
    NON-CANONICAL GOSPELS
    The Gospel of the Nazareans
    The Gospel According to the Ebionites
    The Gospel According to the Hebrews
    The Gospel According to the Egyptians
    The Coptic Gospel of Thomas
    Papyrus Egerton 2: The Unknown Gospel
    The Gospel of Peter
    The Gospel of Mary
    The Gospel of Philip
    The Gospel of Truth
    The Gospel of the Savior
    The Infancy Gospel of Thomas
    The Proto-Gospel of James
    The Epistle of the Apostles
    The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter
    The Second Treatise of Great Seth
    The Secret Gospel of Mark
    NON-CANONICAL ACTS OF THE APOSTLES
    The Acts of John
    The Acts of Paul
    The Acts of Thecla
    The Acts of Thomas
    The Acts of Peter
    NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS
    The Third Letter to the Corinthians
    Correspondence of Paul and Seneca
    Paul's Letter to the Laodiceans
    The Letter of 1 Clement
    The Letter of 2 Clement
    The "Letter of Peter to James" and its "Reception"
    The Homilies of Clement
    Ptolemy's Letter to Flora
    The Treatise of the Resurrection
    The Didache: The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles
    The Letter of Barnabas
    The Preachings of Peter
    Pseudo-Titus
    NON-CANONICAL APOCALYPSES AND REVELATORY TREATISES
    The Shepherd of Herman
    The Apocalypse of Peter
    The Apocalypse of Paul
    The Secret Book of John
    On the Origin of the World
    The First Thought in Three Forms
    The Hymn of the Pearl
    CANONICAL LISTS
    The Muratorian Canon
    The Canon of Origen of Alexandria
    The Canon of Eusebius
    The Canon of Athansius of Alexandria
    The Canon at the Third Synod of Carthage