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Bible Books: Lost Books of the Bible (Meridian) [Paperback]

2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

1 Dec 1996 Meridian
First issued in 1926, this is the most popular collection of apocryphal and pseudepigriphal literature ever published. Here, in one place, are the infancy gospels, the letter of Jesus to Abgarus, the Gospel of Nicodemus, the Legends of Paul and Thecla, the Epistles of Clement and Barnabus, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Books of Adam and Eve, the Secrets of Enoch, the Psalms and Odes of Solomon, the many Testaments of the Patriarchs, and many more ancient books which were highly revered, but ultimately left out of the Bible.
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Product details

  • Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin; Reissue edition (1 Dec 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0452009448
  • ISBN-13: 978-0452009448
  • Product Dimensions: 3.5 x 13.4 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,432,122 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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THE blessed and ever glorious Virgin Mary, sprung from the royal race and family of David, was born in the city of Nazareth, and educated at Jerusalem, in the temple of the Lord. Read the first page
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars didnt get it 17 Jun 2010
i didnt get the book. it reported to have been damaged in transit. i got a full refund
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not in the Canon, this book offers insight... 23 July 1998
By A Customer
Having read this book and seeing why it is not in the Canon, I must admit it was worth getting into the mind of these writers. It's like the people who say "I saw Elvis..." only in the first few centuries of Christianity and early Judaism. The Star,Globe and Enquirer entertain our fantasies in 1998. In much the same way you will find this book fascinating.Good for a rainy day with nothing much to do.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  54 reviews
78 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Documents; other texts have more detailed notes. 28 May 1998
By Steven Augart - Published on Amazon.com
This text is a reprinting of two books (written in 1926 and 1927) containing "pseudepigrapha" -- books which some considered to be scripture in the past, but which were not included in the canonical Bible that almost all Christian churches use, nor in the Bible that almost all Jews use. Some of these books were quoted in books in the Christian New Testament; St. Paul quotes from 1 Enoch. The "Forgotten Books of Eden" half of this book will be of interest to students of the Jewish scriptures, and is available by itself through Amazon. Anybody who takes Bible scholarship seriously and who can afford to spend $10 should have a copy of these pseudepigrapha.

The original publication dates are important here, because biblical archaeology and textual studies have progressed substantially in the past seventy years. For example, this book predates the discovery of the apocryphal Gospel of Thomas, and accordingly does not include it.

The paperback edition of this book is the most economical way I know to get all of this material together. Some critical notes describing the origins of these texts are included. If you have a larger budget, the current standard editions of these texts (also available through AMAZON.COM) are Charlesworth's "Old Testament Pseudepigrapha" and Schneemelcher's "New Testament Apocrypha."

You can pre-read a chapter of this book by searching for the words "Infancy Gospel" on the web. The "Infancy Gospel", included in this book, tells stories of the early days of Jesus' life. It presents Jesus as divine, yet also having the personality of a five-year-old boy. For example, one of his playmates maltreats him, so: "When the Lord Jesus was coming home in the evening with Joseph, he met a boy who ran so hard against him, that he threw him down; To whom the Lord Jesus said `As thou hast thrown me down, so shalt thou fall, nor ever rise.' And that moment the boy fell down and died." (I infancy, Ch. XIX, vv. 22-24)

A good book to put some of this in context is James Kugel's "The Bible as it Was" (also available through AMAZON.COM).
24 of 24 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another View of History, or What Might Have Been 11 April 2006
By C. J. Hardman - Published on Amazon.com
A good variety and collection of books which, for whatever reason, were excluded by the early Church (Catholic) councils from what became the Old Testament and New Testament. Initially published in 1926, each one of the "Lost Books" includes a brief introduction giving background and history. Like the editors of this two-part volume, I do not feel it is necessary to share my opinion of the historicity of these works, each reader can decide for him or herself what is shadow and what is reality, and consider the debate which at one time engulfed some of these books.

This volume is divided into two sections. The first is called "Lost Books of the Bible", and includes works which deal with Jesus & company, and may at one time have been considered part of the New Testament Gospel. Includes are the following 26 "lost" books:

Mary, Protevangelion, I. Infancy, II. Infancy, Christ and Abgarus, Nicodemus, The Apostles' Creed, Laodiceans, Paul and Senica, Paul and Thecla, 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 Last Gospel of Peter

Part the Second is titled "The Forgotten Books of Eden", and includes works which are suited to the Hebrew Bible, or Old Testament. They too were excluded by Jewish (and some Christian) councils due to doubts about their age and origins. Includes are the following 20 books:

The First Book of Adam and Eve, The Second Book of Adam and Eve, The Secrets of Enoch, The Psalms of Solomon, The Odes of Solomon, The Letter of Aristeas, The Fourth Book of Maccabees, The Story of Ahikar, The Testament of Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Joseph, Benjamin

This affordable book offers a thought provoking read for those with a general interest "outside of the box". While the translations are somewhat dated, they are not difficult to understand.
42 of 50 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gaps Are Filled In 8 July 2000
By Kathleen Bryan - Published on Amazon.com
Being raised Southern Baptist with a strong emphasis on the KJV of the Bible and later converting to Catholicism because my husband was Catholic and then spending many years working for a Jewish law firm, I was exposed to many different religious beliefs, customs, traditions and aspects. When I became older, I wanted to know "more". Just from a purely logical standpoint, there had to be a beginning, a middle and an "end"...yet there were too many gaps in the "history" depicted by the Bible. Yet I do believe in God and I am in Christian in that I believe in Jesus being the only son of God, but there were parts of the story missing. This book fills in all those gaps. It is beautifully written. It is easy to read. It is comprehensive. It is rational. It is direct. I do not dare to believe that one religion is the "perfect" religion and I think anyone in this modern day and time who does think that way has a lot to learn. This book fills in the gaps from where Adam and Eve left the garden, how their bodies transformed into their "animal" state, and explains many, many, many other details that make the bible really make SENSE to those of us who need that little boost of logic sometimes to help edge that faith on just a bit. It is a wonderful book and I highly recommend it to anyone who would like to fill in all those gaps and empty spots that are left by the beautifully written, yet very incomplete KJV of the bible. Even the Catholic version of the bible which has more books than the KJV does not do justice to these beautiful books that were left out. I am appalled that in the 21st Century these books are still not included. But not so very long ago, women could not vote, blacks were segregated from whites, illegitimacy was a social tabu, women had no rights to own a business, get a phone, or even get a credit card...so why am I not surprised that these beautiful books are still "not included" in our modern day bibles? I think it is time for people to wake up, know what all the facts are, and then they will find plausible explanations for things that make it even "easier" to confirm their faith...rather than the 2,000 years of being led by a select few in determining what we "need to know".
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking 23 July 1998
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
This book contains insight into the minds of the people of the early Christian church and earlier. Although not accepted as Scripture it serves to give you an idea of how people thought about things back then.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Nice collection, but not anything you can't find elsewhere 13 Sep 2001
By Hal A. Kramer - Published on Amazon.com
The book contains a nice variety of works from early Christianity and to some extent the old testament era. If you are a beginer of the study of such works this is a nice starting book as you can see a small sampling of each of the many types of works that were written and the very different messages these books sometimes gave (part of why they aren't widely studied today in Churchs). However, every book contained in this work is to be found in other collections and I know of single collective books that contain most of these works and more with better translations. A nice starting point but not something that is really valuable to someone who has been already been studying other works from the time of the formation of the cannon.
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