Lost Christianities. The Battles for Scripture and the Faiths We Never Knew. Bart D. Ehrman. Shows how early forms of Christianity came to be. These are just a few of the many provocative questions you explore in Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication. From Publishers Weekly. What if Marcion’s canon-which consisted only of Luke’s Gospel and Paul’s letters, entirely omitting the Old Testament-had become.

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He just grew quicker than most and God sent him to learn. Return to Book Page. I would give the book 3. This is an okay introduction to the history of the construction of the Christian canon, and a discussion of some of the theological ideas held by various ancient Christian sects which didn’t survive christianitjes.

Lost Christianities – The Bart Ehrman Blog

Cults and New Religions: Ebionites, Marcionites, and Gnostics. No trivia or quizzes yet. Discover what to read next. What we have nowadays, he makes plain, is the result of a sort of last-man-standing war of attrition. Certain sects maintained that Jesus was human but not divine, while others said he was divine but not human. He forces the reader to consider the possibility that their understanding of Bible along with their particular brand of faith might be rooted in something other than the Truth.

Modern archaeological work has recovered a number of key texts, and as Ehrman shows, these spectacular discoveries reveal religious diversity that says much about the ways in which history gets written by the winners. The Forgery of an Ancient Discovery?


Most of these “varieties” are not so much lost Christianities as dead Christianities. View all 10 comments. They would have kept what is now our Gospel of Matthew but maybe not any of the other Gospels.

Ehrman writes from the perspective of a historian, not a All of these groups insisted that they upheld the teachings of Jesus and his apostles, and they all possessed writings that bore out their claims, books reputedly produced by Jesus’s own followers. Most obscure academic terms are spelled out and I never found myself getting bogged down in any of the explanations of things.

The broad array of Christian sects that immediately sprouted up after Jesus Another excellent book by Bart Erhman. Whether you’re a Catholic, a mainline Protestant, an Evangelical, or, like me, a secularist, it’s an interesting read.

While he pursued these credentials he was actively serving in different churches, from being a youth pastor at an Evangelical Covenant church to serving a year as interim senior pastor of the Princeton Baptist Church. I know from my own book, which dedicates several chapters to religious beliefs and how these deep ideologies shaped the minds and actions of many great- and also evil -leaders. Ehrman leaves the reader with the impression that the “proto-orthodox” are but one group of Christians among many, no more likely to have grasped a true understanding of Christ and his teachings than any other group of self-labeled Christians.

I particularly enjoyed the discussion on textual differences- those that happened by accident and those that were inspired by a need to bring the text into line with non-heretical philosophy, and the detective work done by scholars to distinguish which is which.


With the founding fathers aware of this they began to have their creeds written to give the church strength which it was for at least 50 years. The New Ehramn is a collection of writings that support a particular set of views of Christianity.

Lost Christianities

My only hesitation in recommending this post is for those who have read some of Ehrman’s other works. It depends on which of the other sides had won. Jul 23, Lee Harmon rated it it was amazing. The process did not take a few months or years. Books of the Week.

But those people don’t read anything anyway, so it’s really a superfluous hundred pages. Mar 19, Ken Robert rated it really liked it. What if orthodox Christianity didn’t win out?

Ehrman, a recognized authority of early christianity also is a skilled writer, making this a fine introduction to the early chaos that in time coalesced into the christian orthodoxy. Theology students are no doubt familiar with this history, but seldom does christiajities make its way past the pulpit.

However, in spite of this repetion, there is enough new information here to make “Lost Christianities” worth reading.