‘Lost Christianities The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We never knew’ by Bart D. Ehram
The Lost Scriptures
The Gospels that came to be included in the New Testament were all written anonymously; only at a later time were they called by the names of their reputed authors, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. But at about the time these names were being associated with the Gospels, other Gospel books were becomming available, sacred texts that were read and revered by different christian groups throughout the world; a Gospel, for example, claiming to be written by Jesus’ closest disciples, simon peter; another by his apostle Phillips; a Gospel allegedly written by Jesus female disciple Mary Magdalene; another by his twin brother, Didymus Judas Thomas.(alleged twin brother)
Someone decided that four of these early Gospels, and no others, should be accepted as part of the canon-the collection of sacred books of Scripture. But how did they make their decision? When? How can we be sure they were right? And whatever happened to other books?
When the New testament was finally gathered together, it included Acts, an account of the activities of the disciple after Jesus death. But there were othe r Acts written in the early years of the church: the acts of Peter and of John, the Acts of Paul, the acts of Paul’s female companion Thecla, and others. Why were these not included as parts of scripture?
Our new testament today contains a number of epistles, that is, letter written by Christian leaders to other Christians, thirteen of them allegedly by Paul. Scholars debate whether Paul actually wrote all these letters. And there are other letters not in the new testament that also claim to be written by Paul, for example, several letters sent by “Paul” to the Roman philosopher Seneca, and a letter written to the church Laodicea, and Paul’s third Corinthians )the new testament has first and second corinthians). Moreover, there were letters written in the names of other apostles as well, including one allegedly written by Simon Peter to jesus brother james and another by Paul’s Companion barnabas. Why were these excluded?
To be continued….