Lost Books of the Bible For Dummies is your one-stop guide to once-hidden works that add a new dimension to Biblical teachings. Most people have heard about the discovery of strange ancient religious writings that are not part the Hebrew Bible or the New Testament, such as the Gnostic Gospels. Now, you will find new insights and a fresh perspective on long-lost works that may have once been in the running for Biblical inclusion, but didn't make the final cut.
This easy-to-understand guide examines the sometimes weird, provocative, and profoundly moving texts that have been "lost" as well as those hotly debated works that are in some Bibles and not others. You will come away with a clearer understanding of the Judeo-Christian religion and the development of the Biblical canon. You’ll learn about the origins of the Bible, explore early scriptures, and understand why translations affect the meanings of texts. You’ll even learn how the Greek influenced early Biblical writing. Find out how to:
- Explain what the term “lost books” means
- Understand the definition of “canon”
- Take translation differences into consideration
- Divide early writings into style categories
- Take another look at scripture with the Dead Sea Scrolls
- See how the Greeks influenced early scripture
- Decode apocalyptic visions
Complete with a list of ten of the weirdest Jewish lost books, ten of the weirdest Christian lost books, ten sayings of Jesus NOT in the Bible, and ten “lost books that every student of the Bible should read, Lost Books of the Bible For Dummies is your one-stop guide to understanding and reading the Biblical lost books.
About the Author
Dr. Daniel L. Smith-Christopher was recently named Undergraduate Theology Teacher of the Year by Augsburg Fortress Press.
Stephen Spignesi is the author or coauthor of over 40 books, including Native American History For Dummies.
Table of Contents
Part I: Setting the Stage.
Chapter 1: How to Lose Books of the Bible: A Hands-On Guide.
Chapter 2: Tracing the History of the Jewish and Christian Biblical Canons.
Chapter 3: The Different Categories of Ancient Religious Writing.
Part II: Ancient Jewish Lost Books.
Chapter 4: The Controversial Apocrypha.
Chapter 5: The Dead Sea Scrolls.
Chapter 6: The Strange Story of the Book of Enoch.
Chapter 7: Plays, Poets, and Other Ideas Borrowed from the Greeks.
Chapter 8: Apocalyptic Literature (a.k.a. Really Strange Books).
Chapter 9: Popular Legends and Expansions of Older Hebrew Traditions.
Part III: Lost Books about Jesus.
Chapter 10: Ancient Writings on the Youth and Infancy of Jesus.
Chapter 11: Lost Gospels and Sayings of Jesus.
Part IV: Lost Early Christian Books.
Chapter 12: The Gnostic Christian Writings.
Chapter 13: Christian Books That Were Strongly Considered.
Chapter 14: Traditions about St. Paul.
Chapter 15: Even More “Acts”: Writings of Other Early Christian Leaders.
Chapter 16: Early Christian Apocalyptic Visions.
Part V: The Part of Tens.
Chapter 17: Ten Weirdest Jewish Lost Books.
Chapter 18: Ten Weirdest Christian Lost Books.
Chapter 19: Ten Sayings of Jesus You Won’t Find in the Bible.
Chapter 20: Top Ten “Lost” Books Every Student of the Bible Should Read.
Appendix: Resources for Those Who Are Really into This “Lost Books” Thing.