Sunday, January 28, 2018

5 books not included in the Bible (sort of)

YOU'RE GONNA NEED A BIGGER BIBLE: 5 Books That Are Not Included in the Bible. The Bible once looked very different (Stephanie Hertzenberg, Beliefnet). I don't think that "the Bible once looked very different" quite captures the issue. There was a time when there was a still imperfectly-defined set of prophetically-inspired scriptures. As these settled down into fixed canons of scripture at various times and various places, the resulting "Bibles" had overlapping but somewhat different contents. This is still true today for the Jewish, Protestant, Catholic, and Orthodox Bibles. This is pretty much what the article says, and the author should not be held responsible for the sub-heading.

The Book of Enoch (1 Enoch) is actually part of the Bible for the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. None of the other four are in any major formal canon. That said, as the article observes, many people today prefer to mix and match from inside and outside the canons to form their own personal set of scriptures.

I could quibble over some of the other details in the article. But I fully agree that everyone interested in the Bible (not just Christians) should read all five of these books: the Gospel of Thomas, 1 Enoch, the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Mary, and the Acts of Paul and Thecla.

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