Lost Christianities The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew

ISBN-10: 0195182499

ISBN-13: 9780195182491

Edition: 2005

Authors: Bart D. Ehrman
List price: $19.99 Buy it from $8.73
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Description: The early Christian Church was a chaos of contending beliefs. Some groups of Christians claimed that there was not one God but two or twelve or thirty. Some believed that the world had not been created by God but by a lesser, ignorant deity. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human. In Lost Christianities, Bart D. Ehrman offers a fascinating look at these early forms of Christianity and shows how they came to be suppressed, reformed, or forgotten. All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus's own followers. Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. Ehrman's discussion ranges from considerations of various "lost scriptures"--including forged gospels supposedly written by Simon Peter, Jesus's closest disciple, and Judas Thomas, Jesus's alleged twin brother--to the disparate beliefs of such groups as the Jewish-Christian Ebionites, the anti-Jewish Marcionites, and various "Gnostic" sects. Ehrman examines in depth the battles that raged between "proto-orthodox Christians"-- those who eventually compiled the canonical books of the New Testament and standardized Christian belief--and the groups they denounced as heretics and ultimately overcame. Scrupulously researched and lucidly written, Lost Christianities is an eye-opening account of politics, power, and the clash of ideas among Christians in the decades before one group came to see its views prevail.

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Book details

List price: $19.99
Copyright year: 2005
Publisher: Oxford University Press, Incorporated
Publication date: 9/15/2005
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 320
Size: 6.00" wide x 9.25" long x 1.00" tall
Weight: 0.220
Language: English

New Testament scholar Bart D. Ehrman grew up in Lawrence, Kansas and graduated from Wheaton College in 1978. He earned his Masters of Divinity and PhD from Princeton Theological Seminary and has taught at Rutgers University and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor. He has published more than 20 scholarly and popular books, including three New York Times bestsellers, plus numerous articles and book reviews.

Preface
Major Christian Apocrypha Discussed, Dates and Contents
Introduction: Recouping our Losses
Forgeries and Discoveries
The Ancient Discovery of a Forgery: Serapion and the Gospel of Peter
The Ancient Forgery of a Discovery: The Acts of Paul and Thecla
The Discovery of an Ancient Forgery: The Coptic Gospel of Thomas
The Forgery of an Ancient Discovery? Morton Smith and the Secret Gospel of Mark
Heresies and Orthodoxies
At Polar Ends of the Spectrum: Early Christian Ebionites and Marcionites
Christians "In the Know": The Worlds of Early Christian Gnosticism
On the Road to Nicaea: The Broad Swath of Proto-orthodox Christianity
Winners and Losers
The Quest for Orthodoxy
The Arsenal of the Conflicts: Polemical Treatises and Personal Slurs
Additional Weapons in the Polemical Arsenal: Forgeries and Falsifications
The Invention of Scripture: The Formation of the Proto-orthodox New Testament
Winners, Losers, and the Question of Tolerance
Notes
Bibliography
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