Item description for The Lost Books of the Bible by William Hone...
Suppressed by the early church fathers who compiled the Bible, these apocryphal books have been shrouded in silence for centuries. Here are the Apostles' Creed, the girlhood and betrothal of Mary, the childhood of Jesus-told in all their warmth, intimacy and humanity. Translated from the Original Tongues, with 32 illustrations from Ancient Paintings and Missals.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.97 lbs.
Release Date Jun 30, 1988
Publisher RANDOM HOUSE #22
ISBN 0517277956 ISBN13 9780517277959
Reviews - What do customers think about The Lost Books of the Bible?
A Fascinating Companion to the Bible Itself Jan 12, 2007
This book contains many writings that were simply left out of the final version of the Bible. The inside flap notes that the church suppressed many of these documents. Nevertheless, these writings do not provide any information that is truly spectacular by 21st Century standards. These documents were likely omitted because they did not fit into the neat chronology of the Bible, showed women in a stronger role than was acceptable in medieval times, or suggested that Christ made mistakes as a youth.
"The Acts of Paul and Thecla" describe a woman who helped spread the word of God. The document clearly shows her as a strong woman and a true disciple. Church elders of the medieval period probably felt that a story of a strong female was inappropriate for women of that period. The events surrounding her persecution are filled with miracles. She survived attempts to kill her through burning and attacks by wild beasts. In the end, she disappeared into a crack in a rock that was created by God. God then closed the opening behind her.
The first part of the book describes the birth of the Virgin Mary and her marriage to Joseph. The book also contains writings that describe the adolescent years of Jesus and the magical powers of the cloth used to wrap him as a baby. Some events show Jesus in a less than perfect light. These writings nevertheless describe a part of the Gospel that is not widely known.
Some parts of the book flow easily while other writings are difficult to follow. The books of Hermas provide an example of easy reading and tedious reading. "The First Book of Hermas," tells an interesting story. He passes near a great beast, one hundred feet long with locusts coming out of its mouth. Hermas was not killed by the beast as he had faith that the Lord would protect him. The third book talks of mountains and stones that are used to build a tower. Only after struggling through this document does the reader learn that the tower is a metaphor for the house of God.
The end of the book contains multiple letters from Pontius Pilate and Herod. Herod talks about how he is paying the price for killing John the Baptist. Pilate sends letters to Tiberius Caesar, which recount his reasons for crucifying Jesus. His letters also discuss the miracles surrounding Jesus such as the raising of Lazarus, and the earthquake following the crucifixion. These documents note that Tiberius subsequently killed Pilate for his role in the crucifixion.
Like the Bible itself, this book is a compilation of ancient writings. Also like the Bible, the documents are presented in two vertical columns per page. This book is a fascinating companion to the Bible. It provides insight to events surrounding the New Testament that are mostly unknown. Bottom line: a semi tough read but well worth the effort.
Recommended mature Christian to read this Book """"" Sep 22, 2006
II. I was very excited about the book (The lost books of the Bible I consider this books I liked the I. Clement, II. Clement, Barnabus, Ephesians, Magnesians, Trallians, Romans, Philadelphians, Smyrnaeans, Polycarp, Philippians, I. Hermas-Visions, II. Herman-Commands, III. Hermas-Similitudes, Letters of Herod and Pilate, The III. Very interesting for early Christians writings some this are Gnostic influence like Infancy, Christ & Mary childhood so oblivious false IV. I Give this Bible 5 star Good translation Like this Book
Back to my roots Jul 27, 2006
I bought this back in college and just now got around to reading it. It's basically a collection of apocryphal and otherwise "unaccepted" texts regarding Jesus of Nazareth and his apostles.
Most of it was letters to various congregations, with messages such as "Be more patient with eachother. Infighting doesn't do us any good" and "Jesus still love you even though he's gone to Heaven". However, the parts I found interesting as a former Catholic were the books that filled in some of the blanks about Jesus' life, particularly as a child.
Apparently Jesus was not the nicest kid to be around. He was incredibly intelligent and confounded his teachers to no end because he already knew everything. However, what really got me was how he treated people who made him angry. On more than one occasion he killed his playmates if they made him made, transformed them into goats for the fun of it, or otherwise wreaked havoc til the neighbors complained and Joseph and Mary had to bring him inside. No wonder the early church fathers cut these out of the Bible! Not a very flattering picture!
However, there were some interesting "rest of the stories" about his adulthood, too. Apparently the robbers who were crucified next to him came from an incident in his childhood, and that was an intrguing tie-in. In fact, a lot of the folks from his childhood came back to play key roles as her got older; many of the apostles were children he healed of illnesses. I also thought the description of Jesus descending into Hell after the crucifixion and pulling Adam out of there was an appropriate story.
I like this because it makes the Christian mythos more complete. Some of it, to be sure, came about long after his death, but then again great figures in history and mythology often grow greater with the passing years.
To be sure, I'm still comfortable in my own (non-Christian) beliefs. However, this is a nice addition to the traditions I was raised in as a child, the stuff they don;'t teach you in Catholic school.
Not Really Lost Books of the "Bibleth" Jul 8, 2006
These do not seem to be any "Lost Books of the Bible." Many of them were most likely composed after the 2nd century and in the third and fourth. In the Protoevangelion the story of Mary's immaculate conception is told and could have been an influence on the Church's Mariology. In other books, people may have wanted to fill in some of Jesus' life. In the Infancy several times Mary uses the clothes or bathe water of Jesus to heal people. This also contains the story about Jesus speaking even while in the cradle, which I believe found its way into the Koran. Jesus kills several people as a child and later on takes over and teaches his teachers. Of last interest was the writer's claims that Jesus studied the law until aged 30. Nicodemus gives more information on the trial of Jesus and then switched to the story of Jesus's descension into hell and victory. I never knew that Beelzebub, the Prince of Hell, was different from Satan.
Some of these books are said to have been written by some early church fathers. These don't necessarily have to be in the Bible. One important thing was to speak against schism and to strengthen the authority of the bishops, presbyters, and etc... I believe the best written was I Clement. The rest were really boring. From what I can tell, Hermas and other books did not conflict the doctrines of Christianity. They could be as lesson books, but many just did not seem as well elevated in writings style as the books of the NT, and I don't they they belong in the Bible. Most were a stuggle to get through because they were boring. Some people get the idea that a verse in Hermas about the archangel Michael indicates that he was Jesus. I think the closest book to the NT was the epistle of Barnabas. The writings style seemed close to the NT style. I believe Barnabas has the strongest claim to being part of the canon, out of this selection, but I am no expert. Some letters of Seneca, Paul, Pilate, and Herod are probably not authentic and quite ridiculous.
Lastly, I thought the little table of early writers on the catologue of the NT books was very interesting. It starts with Origen in 210 A.D. and goes to the Council of Carthage in 390 A.D. For the most part they all agreed on the same books, yet some noted that people doubted James and Jude. Revelation seems like the most disputed of books, but most seemed to have agreed to it. The more I read of these book not considered canonical, the more I think these people did a good job in the selection. And as some people note, not all these books are considered as bad, they just are not considered as canonical. There are plenty of books written since those early days which are given high importance, yet not considered as scripture and Christian fiction still continues to be written today. (OMG It's all Fiction /heretic) And this is the end of my poorly written and probably boring review, but I really wanted to review this book. Despite the low rating, I'd still recommend this book, if you are Really into this topic.
Buy this book! May 26, 2006
As an avid reader of scripture and one seeking all potential sources of God's word, whether directly from his being, or inspired, I take this reading very seriously. I always read the customer reviews before I buy the book. I have noticed an overwhelming pessimist or sometimes athiest attitude being prevelant in the reviews of many of the religiously based writings. I have this to say, that I am an intelligent person, I don't believe in force feeding religion to the people, we all must come to our own conclusion, and we are justified in having a backbone, but let us not attack each others standpoints in a battle which we will gain nothing. Now, if you're still reading, you might be interested in this book. In my personal opinion this is a great book with the possibility of some of the contents being of divine inspiration. Whether it is of divine inspiration is always up to the individual and this has been since the beginning and applies to any religious text. Every person must investigate and form their own beliefs. Some of the text in this book contains great verses, as well as all sorts of un-biased reflections, however unusual or contradictory they may be. I believe the contradictions contained show a sense of sincerity. If you are truly searching for every last word of God or even possibly history, this book will raise your faith, or lower it depending on your reasoning. It honestly raised my faith and is definately interesting. Buy it and add it to your library and you will not be dissapointed.