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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).
©2002 The Teaching Company, LLC (P)2002 The Great Courses
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Customer Reviews

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By Michael on 08-16-13

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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17 of 17 people found this review helpful


By Patrick on 08-05-15

Fascinating Review of Alternative Christian Books

Would you consider the audio edition of Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication to be better than the print version?

I did not reads the print version.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Interesting question for a course review. Um, Eucibius? Seriously, Professor Ehrman did a wonderful job of giving biographies of the various historical figures who were involved in both the creating of these books (where thay are known) and in those who criticized them. It gives a lot of insight into why various writing did or did not make it into the Christian canon.

Have you listened to any of Professor Bart D. Ehrman’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Yes, he is an excellent scholar and an entertaining lecturer. I can't say that it is any better than any other, nor any worse. They are all excellent.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Fascinating question. At times, it did make me laugh, but it also helped me to understand some facits of Christianity that I have always found puzzling. Professor Ehrman is a true scholar and a wonderful lecturer.

Any additional comments?

If I were still attending college and had the opportunity to sign up for one of Prfoessor Ehrman's classes, I do it in a heartbeat.

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4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By Ed on 07-05-17

as always full of insights

this course expands on a theme that is often referred to in histories of early Cgristianity; variations frim orthodoxy.

I paired it with a history if Judaism in the late Second Temple Period which worked well fir me.

I have tried to find fault with Professor Ehrman's logic many times and inly occasionally made it as far as raised eyebrows.

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By Rev. David B. Smith on 07-25-17

Highly informative, but ...

A well-crafted and comprehensive series of lectures that are full of insights. Even so, the professor doesn't appear to be a friend of the church. He is less than generous towards conservative Christian scholarship

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