“Without Paul you would have the religion that Jesus proclaimed instead of the religion that proclaims Jesus.” - Prof. Bart D. Ehrman
What books were left out of the Bible and why? FIND OUT!
In the year 367 AD, Marcion came up with a list of 27 books that he felt Christianity, or by then "the Holy Roman Catholic Church", should have as part of its official cannon. Despite his "excommunication" as a Heretic, a few years later, his list of New Testament Biblical texts is what we have today.
But what about the many books and scrolls were not included? What books, views, ideas and opinions that existed, even at the time of Christ, that we know about today that were excluded and possibly destroyed by the new Catholic Orthodoxy?
You will find many answers to these and other questions concerning the advent of Christianity in this Spring 2013 class at OLLI, Prescott, as we view and discuss Professor Bart D. Ehrman's series of Teaching Company videos, titled, "Lost Christianities".
THIS CLASS FEATURES
Discover the OTHER Christianities of Jesus' day - ignored by Roman Christianity!
You are invited to view and discuss this series of video lectures by Bart D. Ehrman, PhD, with your OLLI friends
MORE INFORMATION AT: the Prescott OLLI office at (928) 717-7634
... the bible came into being and eventually evolved out of the infighting of the various factions of early Christianity. You basically had the factions and the followers of Peter and Paul (Pauline Christianity) against the Jewish Christians headed by James (Jesus' brother), and then you also had the Gnostic influence, with various Gnostics in both camps. It wasn't until the late fourth century and early fifth century that the basic structure of the Catholic Bible took place, and it has been honed and polished ever since.
Early Christianity was really not organized under one banner. You had many churches in different areas that belonged to different "divisions" of Christianity, and each had its own favored Christian writings. You had the Armenian, Assyrian Church of the East, Byzantine, Coptic, Eastern Orthodox, Ethiopian, Oriental Orthodox, and Syrian, to name just the main ones. All had different slants on how the Christian religion should be practiced and how it should be run. Emperor Constantine wanted to put an end to that and put them all under one roof, which evolved to be the (Roman) Catholic Church.
Author and history professor Richard Carrier puts forth this description of how the early Catholic church was formed in the opening paragraph of his essay "The Formation of the New Testament Canon," which follows:
"Contrary to common belief, there was never a onetime, truly universal decision as to which books should be included in the Bible. It took over a century(s) of the proliferation of numerous writings before anyone even bothered to start picking and choosing, and then it was largely a cumulative, individual and happenstance event, guided by chance and prejudice more than objective and scholarly research, until priests and academics began pronouncing what was authoritative and holy, and even they were not unanimous. Every church had its favored books, and since there was nothing like a clearly-defined orthodoxy until the fourth century, there were in fact many simultaneous literary traditions. The illusion that it was otherwise is created by the fact that the church that came out on top simply preserved texts in its favor and destroyed or let vanish opposing documents. Hence what we call "orthodoxy" is simply "the church that won."
The above is quoted from the book, "The Two Marys" by Silvia Brown
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