The Lost Gospels

Posted: August 4, 2011 in Bible Related, Conspiracy Theories
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The conspiracy theory of the Lost Gospels and the Nag Hammadi Library are ones often used by skeptics to disprove the authenticity of the Bible, but yet so easy to refute. The conspiracy theory is that there are dozens upon dozens of early manuscripts floating around when the Bible was put together and that Christians chose (with bias) only particular ones to put in the Bible. This is actually historically correct, but where the skeptics get it wrong is in the motivation for the bias selection. The skeptics portray the early church fathers selecting scripture that would progress their status or agenda. When in truth, scripture was selected based on its accuracy and proximity to the lifetime of Christ. I recommend seeing my other articles that go into more detail on this subject named “How Can We Know Who Really Wrote the Gospels?” and “The Corrupt Early Church,” which can be found in my “Conspiracy Theory” category.


Here I’d like to list all the gospels accounts not selected to be incorporated into the Bible and the reasons for their rejection; which is more often than not their lack of proximity to the lifetime of Christ and their inconsistency with those gospels that are written much closer to the lifetime of Christ which are found in greater numbers. A few of the Lost Gospels are simply no longer in existence or only exist in a few fragments, so we are limited as to know exactly why there were excluded from the New Testament, though we do know their proximity wasn’t too close to the lifetime of Jesus. See below:


v     Acts of John, written in the late 100s AD. Retelling of events from the life of the apostle John. Seems to deny Christ was human.

v     Acts of Peter and the Twelve; written AD 150-250. Jesus is a pearl merchant.

v     Apocalypse of Adam; written AD 160-300. Adam tells Seth how he and Eve became more powerful than God.

v     Allogenes; written AD 300-350. Refers to Gnostics[1] as members of the race of Seth.

v     Apocalypse of James 1, written AD 200-300. Dialogue between Jesus and his brother James.

v     Apocalypse of James 2, written AD 150-180. More dialogue between Jesus and his brother James, though this scripture ends with James becoming a martyr.

v     Apocryphon of James written AD 140-160. Mildly Gnostic, claimed to have been authored by James the brother of Jesus.

v     Apocryphon of John, written AD 160-200. God of the Old Testament is written as an evil demigod.

v     Asclepius, date of original authorship is unknown. Greek philosophies.

v     Authoritative Teachings, written AD 150-200. Gnostic philosophies.

v     Book of Thomas the Contender, written AD 150-225. Supposed “secrets,” that Jesus only gave to Thomas, as recorded by Matthias.

v     Concept of Our Great Power, written AD 300-390. Gnostic version of salvation and end of the world.

v     Coptic Apocalypse of Paul, written AD 160-260. Describes Paul’s ascension through various levels of heaven.

v     Coptic Apocalypse of Peter, written AD 250-300. Jesus has no physical body.

v     Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians, written AD 200-300. Jesus is the reincarnation of Seth, third son of Adam and Eve.

v     Dialogue of the Savior, written AD 150-200. Very negative view towards sex and women (only found in small fragments).

v     Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth, written 150-200. A Gnostic guide on how to experience the mystical realm.

v     Epistle of Peter to Philip, written 180-220. A Gnostic view of the nature of Jesus.

v     Eugnostos the Blessed, date of original authorship unknown. Contains Gnostic cosmology.

v     Exegesis on the Soul, written AD 200-250. Gnostic myth of the soul’s fall from heaven.

v     Fayyum Fragment, written around the mid 100s AD. Fragment writing of Jesus’ prediction that Peter would betray him which parallels the New Testament gospels.

v     Gospel of the Ebonites, written in the mid 100s AD or later. A rewritten version of the Gospel of Matthew made to conform to a Jewish sect known as the Ebonites.

v     Gospel of the Egyptians, written in the mid 100s AD. Speaks of self-denial and parallels many Gnostic teachings.

v     Gospel of Hebrews, written AD 100-150. The gospel itself is no longer in existence and we only know of it because a church leader quoted it briefly.

v     Gospel of Judas, written AD 150-200. Retelling of the actions and fate of Judas Iscariot. Speculated to have originated from the Cainite Gnostics.

v     Gospel of the Lord, written around the mid 100s AD. Rewritten gospel of Luke made to conform to the teachings of a sect lead by Marcion who believed the God of the OT was a different God than the one in the NT. Jesus was also not considered human.

v     Gospel of Mary, written AD 150-200. A Gnostic gospel about Mary (which many assume is Mary Magdalene despite the gospel not stating this at all).

v     Gospel of the Nazoreans, written AD 100-150. Rewritten Gospel of Matthew made to fit the theology of a Jewish sect known as the Nazoreans.

v     Gospel of Peter, written AD 100-150. Only existing in fragments, this gospel depicts another account of Jesus’ death and resurrection. Not enough is known of it to determine whether or not it parallels the other gospel accounts.

v     Gospel of Philip, written AD 160-250. A collection of Gnostic sayings.

v     Gospel of the Savior (AKA Vision of the Savior), written around the late 100s AD. Fragments of a Gnostic account that mixes stories from the new Testament with stories from the Gospel of Peter.

v     Gospel of Thomas, written AD 100-150. A list of sayings from Jesus. Some match up with sayings from the accepted four gospels of today. However, other sayings are determined to have been fabricated.

v     Gospel of Truth, written AD 150-180. Gnostic version of the Creation and the ministry of Jesus.

v     Hypostatis of the Archons, written AD 250-350. Gnostic mythologies and cosmology.

v     Hypsiphrone, date of original authorship is unknown. Talks about the descent of a heavenly figure (only exists in fragments).

v     Infancy Gospel of James, written AD 150-200. A text of Christian fiction imagining the early years of Jesus.

v     Infancy Gospel of Thomas, written AD 150-200. A text of Christian fiction imagining the early years of Jesus.

v     Interpretation of Knowledge, written AD 160-200. Valentinian reinterpretation of the teachings of Jesus and Paul.

v     Marsanes, written AD 200-300. Gnostic rituals.

v     Melchizedek, written AD 200-300. Gnostic reinterpretation of the story of Melchizedek from the OT.

v     Origin of the World, written AD 290-330. Gnostic theology.

v     Papyrus Egerton 2, written AD 100-150. Four stories of Jesus, three of which parallel the stories from the NT. This unfortunately only exists in a few fragments.

v     Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 840, written AD 150-200. A fragment of an unknown gospel that has many errors in it suggesting it was written far removed ofJudahandJerusalem.

v     Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1224, written AD 100-150. Some teachings (only exists in a few fragments).

v     Paraphrase of Shem, date of original authorship is unknown. A very negative view of sexuality (only exists in small fragments).

v     Prayer of Thanksgiving, written AD 150-250. A brief prayer of thankfulness for receiving gnosis (knowledge).

v     Prayer of the Apostle Paul, written AD 160-300. Brief prayer very similar to the gospel of Philip and the Stele of Seth.

v     Republic (Plato), date of original authorship unknown. Gnostic version of Plato’s famous work.

v     Secret Book of James, written around the mid 100s AD. Heavily influenced by Gnosticism.

v     Secret Gospel of Mark, written AD 1958. A hoax b Morton Smith.

v     Sentences of Sextus, date of original authorship is unknown. A list of wise sayings.

v     Sophia of Jesus Christ, date of original authorship is unknown but scholars speculate it could have been written in the late first century or earlier second century. It contains a list of questions asked by the apostles, to which James provides Gnostic answers.

v     Teachings of Silvanus, written AD 160-220. Speaks of spiritual growth through self-denial (not a Gnostic text).

v     Testimony of Truth, written AD 180-220. Polemic against competing Gnostic groups.

v     Thought of Norea, written AD 180-240. Depicts a feminine savior, the counterpart of Seth.

v     Three Steles of Seth, written AD 220-260. Gnostic hymns and prayers.

v     Thunder, Perfect Mind, date of original authorship unknown. Hymns of a divine female figure named Thunder.

v     Treatise of the Great Seth, date of original authorship unknown. Words of Jesus to Gnostic followers, which states that Simon of Cyrene was crucified in place of Jesus.

v     Treatise on the Resurrection, written AD 180-200. Letter denying the physical resurrection of believers.

v     Trimorphic Protennoia, written AD 160-200. Gnostic description of God’s “first thought” which descended to the world.

v     Tripartite Tractate, written AD 200-250. Gnostic version of salvation and cosmology.

v     Valentinian Exposition on Baptism, Anointing, and the Eucharist, written AD 150-180. Gnostic reinterpretation of Christian rituals.

v     Zostrianos, written 260-300. Gnostic cosmology.

[1] You may notice that there are many references to the “Gnostics.” Also known as Gnosticism, it stems from the Greek work ginosko for “I have knowledge.” The Gnostics emerged during the same time that Christianity was growing in the first and second centuries, though many scholars write that they may have been in existence prior to the lifetime of Christ. The Gnostics claimed to have knowledge about God unavailable to others. The OT God and the physical world was considered evil, and Jesus was never human, His intentions being to free people from the bondage of the physical world. The vast majority of scholars consider the Gnostics an illegitimate spin off of the popular expanding growth of Christianity as it spread into the Greek culture.


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