Ignatius Catholic Study Bible Old Testament

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Old Testament

Is it true there are lost books of the bible?

Is it true there are lost books of the bible but the "church fathers" deemed them not holy enough for the bible? Why are none of the books in the bible written by women?
I never said we should drop it all together.
I just asked if there were lost books and why are there no women authors. I did not know I Billy Graham would be reading my question. Thought this was Yahoo "quiestions" no need to be snarky although I guess that is you right as I asked a question and you gave an answer, but I was not saying I don't like the bible I just wanted to know about the early writers.

I forgot to address the 'books by women' part. There is good evidence to suggest that parts of the Bible were written by women. Some scholars, for example, maintain that a good part of Genesis was written by a woman. Church tradition maintains that Mary (mother of Jesus) dictated much of the Gospel of Luke, and may have had a hand in some of the Catholic Epistles of John. Other "Lost" books (that were never really lost) were supposedly written, or at least influenced, by women. Example include the Acts of Paul and Thecla, and the Protoevangelion of James. The New testament mentions many prominant women in the early Church, including Phoebe (listed as a Deacon, or Minister) and Priscilla (listed as an Apostle!) The early history of the Church abounds with stories of female saints. One of the greatest Christian martyrs in the early Church was a 12 year old girl who endured sustained torture at the hands of the Romans over a two week period. Eusebius of Caesarea says that she endured persecution better than any man. The Empress Irene is venerated as one of the greatest saints of the Orthodox Church for her stand against Iconoclasm. Hellena is also venerated as a great saint, and is credited with liberating Christianity from Roman tyranny by convincing Constantine to issue the Edict of Toleration.

The books of the Bible were selected in the early 4th century. Far from leaving out some books, the bishops of the Church included every single book that was read publicly in any congregation known to man, and then some. In printed editions, they went ahead and included several non-Biblical books for good measure (i.e. the Shepherd of Hermas, letters of Clement, letters of Ignatius, Apocalypse of John, etc.)!

Many other books were still read and studied by the Churches, especially in the eastern half of the Roman Empire.

The myth of "Lost Books" comes from several misconceptions. One is a volume called the "Lost Books of the Bible" compiled by William Hone. None of the Books in the volume were 'lost' to begin with - every single one of them were (and are) read in Churches and seminaries across the world.

Another problem was the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls. Before scholars dated the scrolls to the 1st century BC, many people (of dubious education) assumed that they were the remnats of a "lost Christianity." The truth is that they were Jewish works produced decades before the advent of Christianity. "Scholars" like Barbara Theiring and Robert Eisenman perpetuate this myth with new books every few years.

Yet another problem was the discovery of the Nag Hamadi library, a collection of Gnostic documents uncovered in Egypt in the 40's. As with the Dead Sea Scrolls, scholars like Hans Jonas and Elaine Pagels immediately touted the documents as remnants of a lost (and possibly 'original') form of Christianity. On the contrary, many of the documents were simply the product of Coptic paganism, and have no connection to Christianity. Those that do use Christian terminology have little or nothing to do with the Christian religion, and simply put pagan doctrines in the mouths of prominant Christian figures. The earliest manuscripts in the Nag Hamadi Library were written centuries after the development of the Christian lectionary, and were never read (or even heard of) in Christian circles.

Another problem is the Protestant denial of the Catholicity of the early Church. In an attempt to prove that the early Church was NOT Catholic, Protestant scholars ascribed late dates to early manuscripts, and carefully omitted any reference to the pre-Augustinian writings of the early Church. This prompted many Protestants to assume that Constantine (or Theodosius, or some other figure) had deliberately "Catholisized" the early Church. Unfortunately, this 'black hole' in the history of Christianity has created an urban myth suggesting that the nature of early Christianity is essentially a mystery, and that what we know of the ancient Church was fabricated in the later centuries of the Roman Empire. The truth is that the birth of Christianity, its early history, its doctrines, its practices, and its rituals were heavily documented by contemporary witnesses (both Christian and non-Christian), and fill volumes. Just the highlights of Christian writings spanning the first 1000 years of the Church fill over 30 volumes in Schaff's Early Church Fathers!

Finally, another problem is the new Protestant view of the Bible. In the ancient Church, doctrine was ALWAYS established by two criteria: 1) What do the other Churches think about this issue? and 2) Can your Church provide a list of bishops going back to an Apostle? The Bible was consulted as a reference work, or as a means of substantiating pre-existing doctrines. It would have never occured to the early Church to alter Scripture as a means of substantiating one doctrine over another. In the last few centuries, Protestant denominations have abandoned ecclesiaology as the arbiter of orthodoxy, and instead tout Scripture as the sole source of faith and doctrine. If you could slip a change into modern Bibles, you could justify a change in doctrine in many Protestant Churches. But that was certainly not the case in the ancient Church. You could have pulled out a Scriptural reference supporting any doctrine on earth - the ancient Church would have subjected the doctrine to the opinion of the Church, not to the Bible. There was literally no motivation whatsoever to add or subtract controversial passages of Scripture prior to the Reformation. The opinion of a well-established theologian or an obscure canon would have carried infinitely more weight than an overt Scriptural reference.

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