BBC Documentary: ‘The Lost Gospels’

BBC Documentary: ‘The Lost Gospels’

Sep 20


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THE LOST GOSPELS

The Lost Gospels, presented by Anglican priest Pete Owen Jones, is a fascinating exploration into the huge number of ancient Christian texts that didn’t make it into the New Testament. Shocking and challenging, these were works in that presented a Jesus who didn’t die, who took revenge on his enemies and who kissed Mary Magdalene on the mouth. This Jesus is unrecognizable from that found in the traditional books of the New Testament.

Pete travels through Egypt and the former Roman Empire looking at the emerging evidence of a Christian world that’s very different from the one we know. He discovers that in addition to the gospels of Mark, Matthew, Luke and John, there were over 70 gospels, acts, letters and apocalypses circulating in the early Church.

Through these lost Gospels, Owen Jones reconstructs the intense intellectual and political struggles for orthodoxy that were fought in the early centuries of Christianity, a battle involving different Christian sects, each convinced that their gospels were true and sacred.

The worldwide success of Dan Brown’s The Da Vinci Code has sparked new interest about the origins of the Christian faith. Pete Owen Jones sets out the context in which heretical texts like the Gospel of Mary emerged. He also strikes a cautionary note: if these lost Gospels had been allowed to flourish, Christianity may well have faced an uncertain future, or perhaps not survived at all.

The documentary, although a great feat of scholarship, falls short of exploring some other important manuscripts such as the Gospel of Judas and the Gospel of Barnabas. It also fails to eplore the evidences in the gospels of the other possibility of Christ’s nature: that he was entirely human.

However, the question that really needs to be asked is: isn’t God himself supposed to decide what comprises of His book?

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Pulse on Jesus

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3 comments

  1. Wisdom

    The Holy Bible clearly states in Revelation that “He who added or takes away any part of the scriptures the plaques be added unto”

  2. Reality

    The “Holy Bible” was clearly written by men at the decree of Emperor Constantine in 325 A.D. So who cares?

  3. Of the non-included texts, the Gospel of Thomas has always been for me the greatest challenge to the common portrayal of Jesus, because it predates the four Gospels. Consequently, its claim to authenticity in that portrayal seems to me to be roughly equivalent, despite the fact that Jesus comes across in a very different way in that text, in a way that challenges most of our assumptions about who he was and what his life was about. It is curious to me that most of the writers I know who see themselves as objectively attempting to find and honor the historical Jesus seem to end up writing off, discounting, or minimizing the Jesus portrayed in that work. Why?

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