Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bart Ehrman: Lost Scriptures

Lost Scriptures: Books That Did Not Make It Into the New Testament

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Like I said in another review, Ehrman doesn't pretend to be Christian. He's not a Christian. But that shouldn't stop Christians from seeing how ludicrous (and even humorous) some of the alleged "lost scriptures" were. I really enjoyed this book even though I don't trust Ehrman's "professional" opinions at all. 

Ehrman implicitly shows how desperate unbelievers (like him) are to present convincing evidence against the Canon of Scripture. There are obvious, self-evident reasons for judging these "lost scriptures" as uninspired, non-canonical, and non-authoritative. The most memorable references come from the alleged "lost" Apocalypse of Paul, which claims that, in Hell, people who "break their fast before the appointed hour" are tortured and hung for all eternity "over a channel of water, and their tongues were very dry, and many fruits were placed in their sight, and they were not permitted to take of them." (p. 295). Also, allegedly, some pastors who do not perform their ministry well are tortured in hell "by Tartaruchian angels, having in their hands an iron instrument with three hooks" with which they pierce the pastor's bowels (p. 294). Other pastors get off easier, and are simply pushed into a pit of fire up to their knees and stoned in the face by angels. 

Similar examples are found in the alleged Apocalypse of Peter, which claims that in hell there is a very deep pit reserved for those who cause premature births, and that pit is filled with "all manner of torment, foulness, and excrement." Opposite to that pit is a place where children sit and shoot lightning bolts from their eyes at fornicators within the pit (see p. 284). Hell also, allegedly, contains places where liars have their lips cut off, people who lust with their eyes get their eyes burned out with red-hot irons, idolaters are chased by demons up and down "high places" for all eternity, and people hang from their eyebrows (!) for all eternity in order to "unceasingly pay the proper penalties" (p. 296).

Almost every one of these "lost scriptures" is just as ludicrous as the examples above. I am grateful that a popular unbelieving critic of Christianity took the time to publish this pathetic attempt to combat the inspired Scriptures of God.

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