Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication : The Great Courses: Christianity

  • by The Great Courses, Bart D. Ehrman
  • Narrated by Professor Bart D. Ehrman
  • Series: The Great Courses: Christianity
  • 12 hrs and 28 mins
  • Lecture

Publisher's Summary

What did the "other" Scriptures followed by early Christians say? Do they exist today? How could such outlandish ideas ever be considered Christian? If such beliefs were once common, why do they no longer exist?
These are just a few of the many provocative questions that arise from these 24 thrilling lectures. Join the dramatic search for lost Christianities and learn why it's considered such an appealing subject to study.
These lectures focus on the remarkable fact that many of the struggles of early Christians were not against pagans or other nonbelievers but against other Christians. Professor Ehrman will introduce you to these fascinating groups, including the Ebionites (Jewish Christians who accepted a non-divine Jesus as the Messiah), the Marcionites (who believed the God of the Old Testament and the God of Jesus were different), and the Gnostics (who believed in other deities aside from the one true God).
The fascinating heart of this lecture series is its exploration of the Scriptures that were read and considered authoritative by these Christian sects. They provide a fascinating opportunity to study little known and sometimes controversial Scriptures that might have become part of the Bible. You'll explore the Gnostic Gospel of Truth (one of the most powerful and moving expositions of the joy of salvation to survive from Christian antiquity), the Infancy Gospels (which describe events leading up to Jesus' birth and during his young childhood), and the Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (which provide legendary, imaginative, and entertaining accounts of the activities of Jesus' closest followers).

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Finally Understanding Bart Ehrman

The guided reviews are simply unsuited to reviewing the great courses series.

Ehrman has written books on the subject, but hearing him go through the material in the style of a lecture really helped me to understand early gnostic and heretical/non proto-orthodox beliefs.

If you're interested in the early formation of Christianity before the establishment of the orthodox canon, this is the way to go. Great work, great explanations, just plain great. Well worth the listen, fully recommended.
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- Michael

Wow! A+ Scholarly account of early Christianity.

This lecture series is one of the most interesting I've come across. Prof Ehrman does an excellent job of demonstrating the historical evolution of canon Christianity, and of other forms of Christian belief that are not canonical, but are unbelievably fascinating.

This lecture discusses what did and didn't make it into the New Testament...

I think it may surprise some Christians. I am certainly amazed.
This may not be a book for everyone. I don't believe it's offensive in any way. However, it may make those sensitive and defensive of their faith a little uncomfortable. On the other hand, if you are interested in the historical roots of Christianity and of the many gospels and letters excluded from the Christian bible, this is an OUTSTANDING EXPERIENCE.

While I don't agree with a few of Prof Ehrman's arguments, he makes a point to show all sides of the issue. The listener can make up their own mind. His work opens the door to so much historical discussion and debate in a great way. It's fascinating. I plan to seek out some of the books he discusses. There are really shocking tidbits in this lecture!!

I want to emphasize that this is not an attack against Christianity. Just an historical study of early Christian ideas that don't find their way to the bible. Very very interesting!


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- Benoibe "audio addict! Mostly interested in history and some historical fiction. Will Durant is my all time favorite. Loving the Great Courses too."

Book Details

  • Release Date: 07-08-2013
  • Publisher: The Great Courses