LOST SCRIPTURES: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament, by Bart D. Ehrman. Oxford University Press, 2003. 342 pp. (BS2932.E37).
This is a fascinating book to read, or browse, to get a feeling for sacred works that were lost, or neglected, for almost 2,000 years. Some competed for inclusion in our canon of twenty-seven New Testament books, from which we read every Sunday.
This anthology includes fifteen Gospels, five non-canonical Acts of the Apostles, thirteen Epistles, several Apocalypses and Secret Books. Ehrman, also introduces several Canonical Lists.
The author, Bart D. Ehrman, chairs the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. As an authority on the early Church, he has published scriptures, similar in spirit and style to our Bible. Two examples are, "I Clement," and "The Didache (literally, The Teaching) of the Twelve Apostles." Some early Church leaders considered the latter ancient document as "standing just on the borders of the canon." It is a very early scripture, but was lost from view, until a copy was discovered in 1873 in a monastery library in Constantinople. (P. 211). Even if it did not make it into our New Testament, the Didache is interesting, and helpful in spiritual formation.