Sunday, October 21, 2018

Those lost books weren't so lost?

THE ANXIOUS BENCH: Three Gnostic Books (Philip Jenkins).
Here’s my main problem. Very little in the “lost scriptures” was ever really lost, and was pretty well known through texts preserved – accurately, and at great length – by various Church Fathers. More to the point, the great age of rediscovering original heretical and alternative texts occurred long, long, before the 1970s, or 1940s. If there was a turning point in the process of rediscovery, it occurred closer to 1890 than 1980. We have forgotten a century or so when all these insights were well known, and were in fact thoroughly absorbed into popular culture.
Professor Jenkins's point is valid and he spells out the details in this post.

That said, there are still many, many books from antiquity — scriptures and otherwise — which are now lost. We know some only from their title or from brief quotations. Doubtless not even that much survives of many more.

For past PaleoJudaica posts on Lost Books, see here, here and here and keep following those links.

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