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


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


Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

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.


Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-287) and index.

About the Author

Bart D. Ehrman is Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the author of The New Testament: A Historical Introduction to the Early Christian Writings and Jesus, Apocalyptic Prophet of the New Millennium.

Table of Contents

1. Setting the scene: 1945

2. Investigating Wittgenstein

3. The Oxford Movement

4. The American point of view

5. Understanding Language

6. Exploring the possibilities

7. The scientific paradigm

8. Natural Doubts

9. Aspects of Mind

10. Questions of Value

11. The End of Philosophy?

References and Further Reading

Product Details

The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew
Ehrman, Bart D
Ehrman, Bart D.
null, Bart D
Oxford University Press
New York
Church History
Theology | History of Christianity | Early Church
Religion and Theology | History of Christianity | Early Church
Religion & Theology | History of Christianity | Early Church
Series Volume:
Publication Date:
Grade Level:
12 halftones
6.25 x 9.53 x 1 in 1.394 lb

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Related Subjects

» Religion » Christianity » Apocrypha
» Religion » Christianity » Bibles » History and Criticism
» Religion » Christianity » Church History » General

Lost Christianities: The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew Used Book Club Hardcover
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Product details 320 pages Oxford University Press - English 9780195141832 Reviews:
"Synopsis" by , Includes bibliographical references (p. 259-287) and index.
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