The Bible is the most famous book in the world, read by a countless number of Christians and others over the centuries. Even those who aren't Christian or remotely religious can rattle off Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John as the first four gospels of the New Testament, and books like Genesis and Exodus include some of the most famous stories in human history.
Of course, the Bible is composed of dozens of different texts that collectively combined to form it. The process of establishing which texts were canonical and included in the Bible took centuries of fierce debate among early Christians. Even today, not every branch of the Christian church agrees on which writings should be regarded as "canonical" and which are "apocryphal", even though some apocryphal texts often have noticeable links with books regarded as "canonical". It was only in the late fourth century AD that a proposed list of texts for the Bible was even put forward.
The New Testament Apocrypha refers to texts written by early Christians that were not included in the Bible used by the main branches of Christianity today. These texts vary in subject matter, with some being accounts of Jesus, others being about the nature of God, and still others being accounts and teachings of Jesus' apostles. What makes them fascinating is not just the history behind why they are considered non-canonical, but what they tell us about the early Church and early Christianity. Moreover, they offer insight into what sources were used to write them, and whether they shared the same sources as the texts that comprise the Bible today. Given their historical and religious importance, there is still a fierce debate over the authenticity of many of these texts.
©2012 Charles River Editors (P)2015 Charles River Editors
I have been searching for an audio copy of the Apocryphal books for over a year. Unfortunately this book does not have the 14 other books that were taken out of the bible. It is good for historical reference, I guess.
This book was the explanation of the books instead of the actual writings of the books. the book should have been named "My explanation of the lost books"
I was looking for an interesting hour from Charles River Editors on a subject that interests me. If you are looking for a truly in depth deposition, this is not it. What we have instead, is a discourse on numerous texts which have surfaced over time and a brief on their authenticity and place in history. What made it entertaining? Well, how about an incident where John the Apostle gave orders to some annoying bedbugs, and they obeyed? No? Okay, how about an incident where this same John baptized a lion? Of course this book was someone's thesis, but it is certainly the most interesting one I have come across in ages. Certainly there is lots of scholarly referencing and I was surprised and pleased to become aware of texts which are totally unfamiliar to me. The tone of this work is as professional as one would expect but for a few enjoyable zingers.
Narrator Jack has given his usual professional performance, and even delivered the aforementioned lines with the audio equivalent of a straight face.
Appreciated the historical information highly. Comparative analogy of the authors by their writings seems sound. The adjectives used to describe some of the passages that were referenced could be mistaken as a defensive stance to the original reasons said passages were ousted from the Holy Bible. Lastly, I have always wondered why only four disciples witnessed, and not twelve. This helps clear some of that up. They likely did.
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