Gnostic and Apocryphal Books


Hi Everyone,

I’ve always been interested in the early history of the Church. There were many different Gospels, Acts, Books, and Letters that aren’t considered canonical today. Has anyone on here by any chance ever read any of these texts?


I find Songs of the Sabbath Sacrifice interesting which goes back to ancient Judaism and and not Christanity. Its a good thing to mention it because much of the book is very similar to visions in Ezekiel.


With that in mind, aside from being interesting to read every now and then, I’d also like to ask if we can still learn something from them even if they aren’t canonical. Do they contain any sort of Truth?


What do you mean by ‘truth’?

Well, obviously, you could learn something by reading these literature. Scholars read these texts in order to understand the ideas that these people had, and to gain some sort of insight into what the situation was in Second Temple period Judaism or early Christianity.


If they’re not canonical then they have been rejected by the Church for good reason. They might make interesting reading, but I would disregard them as source of scriptural truth, as the Church has.


Yes I have. They are interesting however it is important to keep in mind that these books were not written by the person who claims to have wrote it (reason why they were left out of the cannon), some of them have direct contradictions with the Gospels (again another reason why they were left out) and they were just written by Christians many years later to reflect their beliefs at the time. They can be good to know the beliefs held at the time but you have to be very careful to know that they have errors.


Back in the 1980’s I had a volume called: “The Lost Books of the Bible”. The non-cannonical books were interesting and one - which I can’t remember the name of - was kinda funny. It had the parents of children living in Nazareth asking Jospeh and Mary not to let Jesus play with thier kids because Jesus would vaporize them with a look if he got angry and they didn’t like it when he made sparrows out of mud balls.


I think I remember hearing about a Gospel like that, but it’s name escapes me, too.


I read a good portion of the Gospel of Thomas at one point.


That’s the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.


When the Catholic bishops put together the Bible in the late 4th century they evaluated all of the known books. Some books were considered Approved because they were considered inspired by God and could be directly linked to an apostle, these become the New Testament. Some books were considered Rejected although they contained good solid teachings they could not be directly liked to an apostle, such as the Didache and the Shepherd of Hermas. Other books were Comdemned because not only could they not be linked to an apostle they also contain false teachings, such as the Gnostic heresy. Comdemned gnostic books include the Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Thomas, Gospel of Truth, the Gospel of Judas, etc.

When you read a Gnostic book you must remember that you are reading Heresy! When you read the lies in the Gnostic books remember who is the father of lies.



Am I wrong, or are some of the canonical Gospels written by someone other than whose name it’s attributed to? IOW, were the Gospels really written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John?


There is actually enough evidence that shows the canonical gospels.where written by them, that is, between other reasons, one of the main reasons.why the church who is extremely prudent and investigates things to exhaustion, included these as canonical gospels.




Yah I own M.R. James New Testament Apocrypha. However after the dead sea scrolls were found some other books were found such as the gospel of Thomas. They actually are regarded more as pseudographical books than apocryphal. Idk why they call it apocrypha. Apocrypha means hidden things and Protestants believe quite a few books in Catholic and Orthodox bibles are apocryphal. The reason they weren’t included was mainly because they were written by others much later such as the acts of Peter or the infancy gospels etc and some are just weird like a talking cross in the gospel of Peter. I believe the only New Testament books which a almost made the cut but didn’t are the Distance, 1 Clement, and a section of the acts of Paul called “the acts of Paul and Thecla.”. However we almost must remember that even books in our bibles were once fought over yet did make the cut such as 2 Peter, Jude, 2 and 3 John, and Revelation.


Correction. It was 1 Clement and The Shepard of Hermas which were in many early Christian new testament. I believe they were viewed as authoritative until the second council on the canons. I can’t remember which one this was however. I believe these two books which are fascinating books had some heresies and the Shepard of Hermas has an unorthodox view of the afterlife and how to obtain it which some church leaders didn’t feel went with the teachings in the gospels.


So you’re saying that it really was Matthew,Mark, Luke and John who wrote the Gospels?


To save time, I am going to quote from my own post so you can see whats in some of those gnostic and apocryphal books:eek: “Infancy Gospel of Thomas” and “Protoevangelium of James” were foolishly used to support JB Bro’s “3 James’ Theory” in a thread of that name in this subforum. This is from page 4 of that debate. Using apocryphal books to explain Holy Scripture should NOT be done. Its crazy!

Protoevangelium of James:mad:???

This one is disgusting. Anyone can read this online and see it is VASTLY different from anything you read in the gospel or the catechism. Its a whole 'nother kind of book!! It will tickle the ears of the inquiring minds, though! Wow, you can read a GRAPHIC DESCRIPTION of how the alleged Salome! A midwife! came to see the baby, heard he was born of a virgin, and this just got to her sensibility as a midwife! So she just HAD to invade a MOST private part of Our Lady’s body, after the birth of Jesus, because she just could not believe Mary could still be a virgin, and she needed to check! and make sure! to satisfy her curiosity! So she did! This was apparently fine with the Blessed Mother and just St. Joseph, who apparently had nothing else to do just after the birth of Our Lord except to satisfy vain curiosities. Really, sick. And, drat! Why is there no icon for throwing up?

My husband refers to this as “a prurient, unwholesome interest in the anatomy of Mary and gives no glory to God.”


The idiotic drivel continues, when later, on the way to Egypt, Our Lady and Our Lord had many miracles to do! Including the 3 crying woman! Who had a MULE dressed in silk! In their living room! With an ebony collar! It was their brother! Who had met some giddy women, who did this to him! Yes! They changed him into a MULE! Mary felt SO SORRY for the crying woman that she immediately put baby Jesus on the mule’s back! And she asked baby Jesus to change the mule BACK into their BROTHR! And baby Jesus instantly did! [he must have then fell on the floor!]. And now their brother was a person again! And not a mule!

Okay, this is the drivel you are using to support the “3 James Theory!”, which seems to be about as much drivel as “Protoevangelium of James”.

Infancy Gospel of Thomas:mad:???

Here is what is said of that: “… the young Christ displays all the precociousness, cleverness, and even destructiveness of the child-gods in pagan mythology. In the early passages of the story, Jesus shows a disturbing tendency to kill off his playmates when they displease him. He eventually learns to channel his divine abilities in more constructive ways and realizes his calling before his coming of age at the Temple…”

Do you want to read “The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, not to be confused the with Gospel of Thomas”, now??

I sure don’t!


As me and the other poster said, if it wouldn’t have been written by them the church would not have had them included in the cannon. Only the books that the church had the certainty of its origin were included in the cannon.


The act of Paul and Tecla was rejected because it has teaching contrary to the canonical books. In fact I am pretty sure that there are a few agnostic ideas in there.

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