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The Books That Didn't Make It Into The Bible...


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#1 JoyfulLife

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 05:43 PM

Hello,

I was wondering about the books that didn't make it into the Bible. Does the Church consider them to be *completely* false, or *some* truth in them?

Is it at all helpful or harmful to read any of them?

Thank you.

God bless you.

#2 CatherineM

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Posted 27 January 2011 - 07:39 PM

Hello,

I was wondering about the books that didn't make it into the Bible. Does the Church consider them to be *completely* false, or *some* truth in them?

Is it at all helpful or harmful to read any of them?

Thank you.

God bless you.

It depends on which writings you are talking about. During the early Christian era, there were scores of manuscripts which purported to be Holy Scripture but were not. Many have survived to the present day, like the Apocalypse of Peter and the Gospel of Thomas, which all Christian churches regard as spurious writings that don't belong in Scripture.

The Gospel of Thomas was accepted by the followers of Mani called the Manicheans. Saint Cyril of Jerusalem, in his Catechesis in 348 A.D. states, "Let none read the gospel of Thomas, for it is the work, not of one of the twelve apostles, but one of Mani's three wicked disciples." Manichaeanism is a heretical idea that has persisted down the centuries just like the Gnostics. They just go by different names now. They now call it New Age.

There were other books that arenít heretical, that are considered important to the church, but werenít included in the Canon. Many of them were written by early Popes. The book of 1 Clement was considered inspired by most in the early Church, but Revelation made it into the canon and 1 Clement didn't. That's because the Church set the canon of Scripture, and she did so under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Just as God worked infallibly through men in writing the Bible, He worked infallibly through the Church in communicating exactly which books should be included.

Please do read Clement's writings. They are excellent. I suspect though you are talking about the "Lost Books of the Bible" as many call them. I have read Thomas and Mary, but with the knowledge that they are not inspired. If you are going to read them, make sure that you are doing so out of curiosity, or so that you can properly debate their merits, and not in the hope of finding truth. Find out where the writing came from, for which community, before you read.




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