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The Lost Books of the Bible

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  756 ratings  ·  40 reviews
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.
Hardcover, Gramercy Books Edition, 293 pages
Published June 8th 1988 by Gramercy Books (first published 1820)
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Average rating 3.92  · 
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 ·  756 ratings  ·  40 reviews

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Aug 09, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: religion, reference
The debate over which books should be included in the Bible raged on for over fifteen hundred years, with various religious traditions including different texts. In The Lost Books of the Bible, many of the disputed texts which were not included in any version of the Bible are presented.

The texts are organized as are books of the Bible: by book, chapter and verse. This makes them easier to read, since they are placed in a familiar context.

Many of the stories are alternative versions of ones in t
The Once and Future King
Mar 02, 2011 marked it as to-read
A fascinating book showing all of the ancient texts that were censored by the Emperor Constantine and his fanatical and Militaristic version of the Catholic Church which is still corrupted by his teachings today.

This book shows many of the ancient beliefs, concepts, and knowledge Constantine tried to destroy
Sep 19, 2007 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religous
Very interesting. Tom Hanks in "The Davinci Code" says that they weren't inculuded because they paint Jesus and Mary in a bad light. Dr. Moore says they weren't included because they are preposterous. I like this version because it paints Jesus in a more humanistic light.
Sean DeLauder
Mar 08, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This work gets all its stars simply for providing me with insight on what was purportedly excised from the Bible during the assembly process over the course of several ecumenical councils in the early centuries CE. Whether these books were not included because they are fallacious or because they didn't fit the narrative the early church sought likely depends on the depth of your belief.

Most interesting and horrifying of the stories in this compilation was the depiction of Child Jesus as a violen
Mary Beth
Jul 10, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Even religious history was written by the winners. It's good to get the rest of the story.
Cherry Thomas
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
I thought there was a lot of information in here that I'd need to know. Turns out not all of it was my quest continues :)
Roy Russell Jr
May 21, 2013 rated it really liked it
Very interesting how the church council decided what books to accept or not accept as authentic.
Jan 14, 2009 rated it really liked it
It should be noted that 4 stars does not mean that I like it like it. I just say that it is a good read for a solid Christian. One ought not read this book as a reference as one does the Bible or a commentary or such as this. One ought only read this book if they are a solid Christian who might be able to make out the reasons these books were not included in the canon of Scripture by reading it. It will strengthen the strong Christian but confuse the weak.

Jan 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Very interesting....There are some things in this book that explains with elaboration some things in the Bible. For example this book adds depth to Mary and tells of the childhood of Jesus. Interesting. It also has letters from Pontius Pilate that give a pretty good argument for his innocent plea. Christians, there is no need to fear this book IF you have studied the Bible well enough, in fact I'd recommend it for a brain exercise.
Jun 05, 2012 rated it really liked it
I found this book to be an interesting glimpse into the early days of Christianity.It covers the apocrypha and various books that some followers of Christ considered to be scripture in the past, but which were not included in the canonical Bible used by many Christians today.
Not the most user/reader friendly print, so while it takes some extra focus to actually read the pages, it is well worth the effort.
Rock Rockwell
Oct 09, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: bibliology
If you want to know what books are NOT inspired, then read this one! I like the one when Jesus was a kid and got mad at a boy for scaring him, so he shrunk the boys arms and legs in anger. The town was upset and complained to Mary and Joseph, so Jesus restored one arm and one leg only in order to teach him never to do that again! Again, obviously not an inspired gospel!
Skylar Burris
Jan 10, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: christianity
I have an older version of this. It was a good collection of extrabiblical Christian writings of the early centuries after Christ, which helped me to appreciate the uniqueness and quality of the actual canon all the more.
Madeleine McLaughlin
Well, this book of gospels that were used during the middle ages and before allow a person to see how the bigotries towards Jews began and other historical attitudes. Some people find scripture boring and it was a bit perplexing, like I find the Bible itself to be, but I'm glad I read it.
Mormon Heretic
Nov 06, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I am loving this book so far. Infancy Gospels of Jesus are super cool to read. I will definitely be blogging about these ancient books.
Jul 24, 2011 rated it really liked it
This is an excellent companion to the 'approved & edited' Bible. One needs to be open to the perspectives provided by the 'other' books that were xcluded from the Bible. ...more
S. Willett
Feb 07, 2018 rated it really liked it
I try to read scripture daily, but only a chapter or page a day. This book took a while to read with those parameters. The books of this scripture were written soon after Christ’s crucifixion. But when the Bible was compiled these were not included.

I found this book to be extremely interesting. You will find out more about Mary and Joseph, the thoughts and fate of Pilate and many other eye-opening scriptures. Study to show yourself approved.
Jul 19, 2020 rated it liked it
Apocryphal books of the New Testament. 'Lost Books of the Bible' might suggest some recent discovery, for example the Dead Sea Scrolls, but that is not what this is. It is books which have been around for a long time but were not deemed canonical by the church fathers.

The part of this I found most interesting were the three books of Hermas, which I'd never heard of before.

Worth reading, but do the real Bible first...
K. Counihan
Oct 09, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good Collection Overall

This collection is from earlier than 1820. I purchased the paperback version in 1980 and this kindle edition is a smoother read. This is not newly discovered material. Some is interesting and some is boring drivel. I thought most of the material was interesting.
So many stories that whether they should be a part of canon or not, is very compelling and insightful.
David L. Sherill
A translation without elaborating comment on items omitted from the bible. The book is old and does not address "new " finds.Difficult and boring reading.
Sasha Ruggiero
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is the back story you didn’t know you needed that gives a broader understanding of the Bible as we know it.
Nov 02, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2020
Not really finished,this is a continuous read throughout the year for myself.
Oct 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I read this book many years ago around 1995. I was doing a lot of bible study back then. I am no longer interested in doing that so I'm passing it on to someone else through

From the dustjacket: "The documents in the book were written soon after Christ's Crucifixion, during the early spread of Christianity. But when the bible was compiled in the end of the fourth century, these texts were not among those chosen. They were suppressed by the church, and for over 1500 years were
Daniel Swanger
Mar 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: all, esp the faithful
Recommended to Daniel by: art history and book catalogue
For years I searched university libraries for the iconographically-illuminating (Old Master subjects explained) GOSPEL OF THE BIRTH OF MARY also called the Book of Mary, explaining Our Lady's Presentation and youth to the Nativity, including the parents of Mary, Joachim and Anna and the betrothal and flowered staff of Joseph. Along with this book is the PROTEVANGELION which tells of Zecharius and St Elizabeth, parents of St John the Baptist; the two Gospels of the INFANCY OF CHRIST, which may di ...more
Oct 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mark Woodland
Jul 28, 2011 rated it really liked it
I wish someone would come out with a definitive book on the lost books, but I suppose it won't happen, as everyone discounts some. This is one of several books like it that I own. For anyone interested in the Bible or its history, this is interesting reading. Here you have a lot of books that the Council of Nicea chose not to include (and some of them ARE completely bogus). Doesn't include the newest finds, either, like the Gospels of Judas & Mary Magdalene, which are also worth reading. This is ...more
Sep 24, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I actually have a First Edition of William Hone's Apocryphal New Testament printed in 1820. This is a fascinating read for anyone interested in Biblical history. I admit it is clear to see why some of these books were not included in current versions of the Bible and seem quite far-fetched for those looking for truths. But there are some parts that are quite profound and have a spiritual aspect to them. It is at the very least, an entertaining and enlightening read.
Aug 03, 2012 rated it liked it
I've been slowly making my way through this for a few years.
Some of the passages seem as much like the Bible as a fairy tale. In these cases it is easy to see why they were not canonized.
Other passages contribute to a better understanding of Scripture or of the culture at the time of Scripture and the earliest Christians.
Aug 02, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed it. again, not recognized scripture, but still an interesting read.
Erica Christy
Apr 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
No commentary, just the texts.
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William Hone (3 June 1780 – 8 November 1842) was an English writer, satirist and bookseller. His victorious court battle against government censorship in 1817 marked a turning point in the fight for British press freedom.

Hone was born at Bath, and had a strict religious upbringing. The only education he received was to be taught to read from the Bible. His father moved to London in 1783, and in 17

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