Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the NT

Catches your attention, doesn’t it? 

This was the title Bart Ehrman gave to a compendium of early Christian texts which he published in 2003 (Lost Scriptures: Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament). In the introduction, Ehrman explains that after the death of Jesus, there were intense debates in the church over fundamental doctrinal issues, such as the deity of Christ. “Eventually – by about the end of the third Christian century – the views of one group emerged as victorious. ... This group promoted its own collection of books as the only true and authentic ones.” The books from the other groups were deemed heretical and excluded from the New Testament. 

All of this is true, but Ehrman fails to mention something rather important. He fails to mention that the victorious group was right! Their texts did have the strongest claim to authenticity.

The following table shows the books of the NT, followed by the “Lost Scriptures” which Ehrman has included in his collection. The dates shown in the table are not my own – they are the dates given by Ehrman.
In conclusion, Ehrman no doubt made a wise marketing move when he entitled his collection, “Books that Did Not Make It into the New Testament.” However, the collection could just as well have been entitled, “Books that Were Written after the New Testament.”

See also:  A Simple Response to Bart Ehrman