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The Rhino

Lost Gospels

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I know that a lot of books were rejected in the 4th century canon but I don't know much about them, other than they were largely destroyed or lost.

 

My question is, does anything remain from the books so many early Christians thought of as holy? If not what do we know about them?

 

Any knowledge in this area would be greatly appreciated.

 

R

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Off the top of my head I can think of "The Gospel of Thomas","The Gospel of Phillip" and ,"The Gospel of Mary Magdelene.The only one I have is The Gospel of Thomas . It's available at any bookstore. The other two are fragments ,I think.

 

 

Mow

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There are also books quoted within the bible, which presumably people referred to at that time or why else mention them, that we have no modern knowledge of. Have a look at this Wikipedia link:

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-canonical_books_referenced_in_the_Bible

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Thank you, kay, for that reference. I just checked out one of Pagels' books, and it is fascinating.

 

But... it also makes me angry. John was chosen to be included in the Bible, while many other gospels were not. Yet, many of the "losers" in the political battle of canonization have important perspectives on Jesus.

 

I hate censorship.

 

Also, it seems odd to me that so many Christians claim to love Jesus, yet they don't want to learn as much as they can about him. You would think that they'd want to read all of the gospels, not just the ones some 4th century politicians approved of.

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Thank you, kay, for that reference. I just checked out one of Pagels' books, and it is fascinating.

 

But... it also makes me angry. John was chosen to be included in the Bible, while many other gospels were not. Yet, many of the "losers" in the political battle of canonization have important perspectives on Jesus.

 

I hate censorship.

 

Also, it seems odd to me that so many Christians claim to love Jesus, yet they don't want to learn as much as they can about him. You would think that they'd want to read all of the gospels, not just the ones some 4th century politicians approved of.

I suppose its because they belive these chaps to have been guided by the holy spirit. It is strange that there is so much faith put into this canon yet so much division over who has the right idea of Christianity for virtualy if not all centuries since.

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My personal favorite is the Book of Enoch

 

http://www.hiddenbible.com/enoch/online2.html

 

It was widely circulated during Jesus' time. The Watchers is perhaps the most interesting section. It is quite apocalyptic in nature. The letter of Jude even quotes from it:

 

Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” -Jude 1: 14-15

 

This book was ejected from both the Jewish and Christian canons. I suspect because of all the sex with angels and humans. I have read somewhere (Elaine Pagels, I think) that Enoch was the inspiration for the book of Revelation.

 

It was found with some of the Dead Sea Scrolls and is dated:

 

The older sections (mainly in the Book of the Watchers) are estimated to
date from about 300 BC, and the latest part (Book of Parables) probably
was composed at the end of the 1st century BC. - source: Fahlbusch E., Bromiley G.W. The Encyclopedia of Christianity: P–Sh page 411, ISBN 0-8028-2416-1 (2004)

 

NORM

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Rom,

 

Great resource. Thanks for those links

Joseph

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Creating a viable and cohesive body of writings would certainly require the elimination of the extreme. A Gospel in which two angelic beings exited the tomb and whose height was nearly to the sky, followed by a risen Jesus whose height was higher still with this procession completed by an also heightened and mobile singing cross; such a scene could not be admitted and therefore the Gospel it self was not included. The existing Canon contains significant extremes as they are. Birth stories are unique only to Matthew and Luke. The Jesus in Mark is absent in the Christ of John. Paul, the earliest contributor, seems to have set the standard by which all else is bound. The Letter of James, always troublesome, is the only real counter to this in the Works/Faith/Law arena. To organize something always requires a guideline that is in keeping with the dominant power. The Canon is no different.

 

What concerns me most is not the content but the Administration. The Pharisaic mindset has been at the helm since the 4th Century via the roman formula superimposed over the movement. It is about earning a ticket to a then via 'belief' rather than a 'following' now toward a better world (on earth as in heaven). The Christology has all but obliterated the message.

Edited by DrDon

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The 'Jesus-cult' has overtaken Jesus' message so to speak, Don?

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Much depends on how one defines 'gospel'. Anyone interested in searching out the gospels should consult The Complete Gospels by the Jesus Seminar (Scholars Version).

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PaulS!!!

 

Exactly! This little shift (not so little) reintroduces the 'Us and Them' of the Pharisaic mindset. Inclusivity just can't be manipulated if left alone. Redefine the whole enchilada, especially with the use of extra-biblical terminology like 'inerrant and infallible' and you have handles to steer the movement.

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