Antilegomena, a direct transliteration of the Greek ἀντιλεγόμενα, refers to written texts whose authenticity or value is disputed.Eusebius in his Church History, written around 325 used the term for those Christian scriptures that were “disputed,” literally “spoken against,” in Early Christianity before the closure of the New Testament canon. It is a matter of categorical discussion whether Eusebius divides his books into three groups of homologoumena (“accepted”), antilegomena, and ‘heretical’; or four, by adding a notha (“spurious”) group. The antilegomena or “disputed writings” were widely read in the Early Church and included the Epistle of James, the Epistle of Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, the Book of Revelation, the Gospel of the Hebrews, the Epistle to the Hebrews, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Acts of Paul, the Shepherd of Hermas, the Epistle of Barnabas and the Didache. The term “disputed” should therefore not be misunderstood to mean “false” or “heretical.” There was disagreement in the Early Church on whether or not the respective texts deserved canonical status.
With that said, is it wrong to question the decision of what is in our New Testament? Sometimes I wonder why say, the Shepherd of Hermas is not included yet 2 Peter is. I feel guilty of feeling this way but at the same time it seems like interests wanting to maintain a certain type of Christianity came into which books made it and which didn’t. For example, the Shepherd of Hermas could be interpreted to mean further revelation is possible. Acts of Paul and Thecla could promote female priests. Apocalypse of Peter could promote a viewpoint in universal salvation. Am I the only one who is confused about this at times?