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Ancient writings or gospels?

Discussion in 'Books, Music and Television' started by dUmPsTeR, Nov 13, 2014.

  1. I know there are other gospels not included in the canonized bible; as well as writings from that era.

    Are there, or is there any that you've looked into or read that you would suggest for study/reading.
  2. I have not read any of them.. I always wanted to read writings of Josephus..
  3. Not a one. But, up I've decided I'd like to read about all the church fathers before 290 AD to see what they believed. With all the heresy going on today, I'd like to see their point of view.
  4. A while back I had done some research into writings on Simon the sorcerer who was mentioned in the book of Acts. I had done searching in the Christian Classics Ethereal Library ( www.ccel.org ).

    My main reason was to find out if Simon was the one to distort the gospel and start false churches; of which there are many warnings about. I did find writings that put him, Simon, working with the roman government during the occupation of Israel. Those writings may have even been secular; I need to further investigate it.
  5. It's worthwhile to read some of the extra-biblical stuff out there as a way to learn about history, language, and the thinking of people at the time.

    For example - Josephus has a ton of context and insight that's valuable... although non-scriptural... For me, it provided some insight on a lot of things Jesus said and warned about... like, say WHY Jesus preached nonviolence against Civil authorities....

    The danger in it is that it's NOT canonical... Not inspired for a variety of reasons.... Like, for example - a book may have started inspired, then ended up being "Edited" by heretics.. Or, it may have just been uninspired to begin with - but managed to hang in there for a *LONG* time... OR... There may be no way to ensure the continuity of the original text - through 2,000+ years of transcription.

    As such - you REALLY have to be on your guard, because so many of them are so subtly crafted...

    For example - I read an early Christian writing called the "Didache".. It *Seems* like good and spiritual information at first, and then you think about it.... Subtle commands that would ensure you would mistreat or reject a true Apostle or Prophet.. Subtle direction that ends up having you turn out Godly men.. An overemphasis on legalism and moralism, etc...

    The trouble we run into is that we do not learn how to detect error by studying nonscriptural and heretical works... but rather we learn to detect error by becoming intimately familiar with The Genuine Article.

    Grant Melville and dUmPsTeR say Amen and like this.
  6. I wouldn't really want to look in any great detail at the writings of the early fathers or anything like. I think there's a danger of being confused by them. The warning was given to believers at the outset of the rapid appearance of "grevious wolves" and that "from among your own selves shall rise up men speaking perverted things to draw away the disciples after them." (Acts 20:29-30). However, history, on the other hand, is useful - particularly the history of the church. In terms of Jewish history, and as @JohnC says, Josephus is a good contemporary, as is Mr Ironside's 'The 400 Silent Years' about the period between the records of the old and new testaments is full of interest, and some touches of good teaching from the writer. My favourite general history of the church is Mr T.W. Carron's unrivalled 'The Christian Testimony Through The Ages', an excellent account. Mr Knight's history is also good, and I can recommend Mr Miller's 'Concise History of the Church' as a good short read.

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