The Apocryphal books

Over seventy different versions of gospels, acts, and epistles by various Christians appeared in the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but they did not make it into the official canonical Bible.  They are often referred to as the apocryphal, hidden, or lost books of the Bible.  Scholars have been interested in these books to help them understand what some Christian people were thinking about at that time.  These writings tell us more about the author’s attitude about Jesus.

Different points of view

The New Testament references the Hebrew Bible that came to be known as the Old Testament.  The New Testament books were not referred to until the second century of the common era.  Consensus on its contents did not occur until the late fourth century.  There is nothing wrong with different points of view or inconsistencies.  The first two chapters of Genesis are not contradictory.  The synoptic gospels give different versions of the Baptism of Jesus.  Most of us just say “so what?”  We understand different points of view.  The Bible had different authors over a considerable amount of time.  The Old Testament took hundreds of years to complete.  The New Testament took thirty to sixty years to finish.  Very few could write, so that oral tradition dominated in that society.  The texts themselves were rewritten, so that we say that the texts we have, with all its corrections, is the one that God wants us to have.