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Old 11-28-2005, 05:53 PM   #1
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BANNED from the Bible

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The Stories That Were Deleted From Biblical History

Thursday, December 4 at 9 pm ET/PT on The History Channel

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- When Jesus was a boy, did he kill
another child? Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute -- or an apostle? Did Cain
commit incest? Will there be an apocalypse or is this God's trick to scare us?
The answers to these questions aren't found in the Bible as we know it, but
they exist in scriptures banned when powerful leaders deemed them unacceptable
for reasons both political and religious. BANNED FROM THE BIBLE reveals some
of these alternative tales and examines why they were "too hot for
Christianity." The two-hour world premiere BANNED FROM THE BIBLE airs on
Christmas, Thursday, December 25 at 9 pm ET/PT.
The Life of Adam and Eve, The Book of Enoch, The Book of Jubilees, The
Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, The Apocalypse of Peter...these
are just a few of the books that were left out of the Bible. The reasons why
they were excluded provide astonishing insight into the concerns of church
leaders and scholars responsible for spreading the faith an illuminating look
at early Christian and religious history.
One hundred and fifty years after the birth of Jesus, a man named Marcion
decided that a Christian Bible was needed to replace the Hebrew Bible. Church
leaders opposed Marcion's banning of the Hebrew books, but they did agree that
Christians should have a Bible to call their own. After Constantine the Great
converted to Christianity in the 4th century, a serious effort was made to
compile a Christian Bible, one that included both the Hebrew scriptures (the
Old Testament) and Christian manuscripts (the New Testament). It took another
40 years before a final list of New Testament books was officially canonized
by the church. Many of the most popular were excluded. Upon examination today,
many of these writings attempt to resolve inconsistencies and questions raised
from reading the Bible.
BANNED FROM THE BIBLE examines the stories in some of these books, how
they were rediscovered and what they might mean to us today. Included are:

* The Life of Adam and Eve: A more detailed story of creation than what
is found in Genesis, this book includes jealous angels, a more devious
serpent, and more information about Eve's fall from grace from her
point of view.

* The Book of Jubilees: This obscure Hebrew text offers an answer to a
question that has vexed Christians for centuries -- if Adam and Eve
only had sons, and if no other humans existed, who gave birth to
humanity? This text reveals that Adam and Eve had nine children and
that Cain's younger sister Awan became his wife. The idea that humanity
was born of incest would have been radical -- and heretical.

* The Book of Enoch: This scripture reads like a modern day action film,
telling of fallen angels, bloodthirsty giants, an earth that had become
home to an increasingly flawed humanity and a divine judgment to be
rendered though denied a place in most Western Bibles; it has been used
for centuries by Ethiopian Christians. Large portions of this book were
found as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

* The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: The only book that deals with young
Jesus, it indicates that Jesus was a strong-willed child who one
historian describes as "Dennis the Menace as God." The book reveals
that at age five, Jesus may have killed a boy by pushing push him off a
roof and then resurrected him. Perhaps too disturbing for inclusion in
the Bible, this book seems to contain traditions, also known to the
Koran.

* The Protovangelion of James: This book offers details of the life of
the Virgin Mary, her parents, her birth and her youth, stories not
found in the New Testament Gospels but was beloved by many early
Christians.

* The Gospel of Mary: This Gnostic Text reveals that Mary Magdalene may
have been an apostle, perhaps even a leading apostle, not a prostitute.
While some texts in the Bible seem to deny women a voice in the
Christian community, this texts helps spark the debate about the role
of women in the church.

* The Gospel of Nicodemus: This is the story of Jesus's trial and
execution and his descent into hell. According to this gospel the
Savior asserts his power over Satan by freeing patriarchs such as Adam,
Isaiah and Abraham from Hell.

* The Apocalypse of Peter: Peter's apocalypse suggests that there is a
way out of punishment for evildoers and implies that the threat of the
apocalypse is a way for God to scare people into living a moral life,
and committing fewer sins.

These books are just a sampling of the hundreds that were never included
in the Holy Bible. Perhaps there are more to be found. Whether one believes
these alternative stories or not, they do provide an interesting perspective
of the religious culture and propensities of the time.
BANNED FROM THE BIBLE features commentary from Bible experts and
historians including Marvin Meyer, PhD, Professor of Bible and Christian
Studies, Chapman University; Daniel Smith-Christopher, Ph.D, Professor of
Religious Studies, Bluffton College; Anthea Butler, Ph.D, Department of
Theological Studies Loyola Marymount University; and John Dominic Crossan,
Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, DePaul University.
Margaret Kim is the executive producer of BANNED FROM THE BIBLE for The
History Channel. BANNED FROM THE BIBLE was produced for The History Channel
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:09 PM   #2
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Sounds like something I'd expect to see on Fox.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:21 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Sounds like something I'd expect to see on Fox.
ditto, although I've always been intrigued by the Gospel of Thomas.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:48 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader
Sounds like something I'd expect to see on Fox.
it looks like this was first broadcast in 2003

it aired twice last night on the History Channel

i did tivo it

i am sure you have a better understanding of how "The Bible" came into existence than many,
if not most

i watched the first hour

I believe there are stories left out of the OT

I did not watch the Book of Thomas part yet.

I think people who say the Bible is the inerrant word of God

have no idea how it came to be.


here is the only site i could find
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:49 PM   #5
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Isn't the Protestant Bible stilll missing the books of the Apocrypha?
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:51 PM   #6
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Alot of those are collectively called the "Psuedepigrapha," literally "false writings." They aren't recognized by any canon, so it's actually unfair to say they were too hot for Christianity--the Hebrews didn't recognize them either. The way I understood it, they are just too convinent, they fit in all the missing pieces a little too well and were obviously "extra-biblical."

They were very influential--Enoch is quoted in Jude, and is the source of the heavenly battle of the angels in Revelations. Most of the concepts of angels, demons, heavenly battles, etc. come from them. As far as I know, Enoch has been lost and the only fragments are what is quoted in other books. I wouldn't be surprised if extra books turned up in ancient Christian communities though.

The Gospels I'm willing to believe were probably chosen with a particular agenda...but then again, the so-called embarressment factor of many Jesus traditions suggests they didn't do alot of editing.
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Old 11-28-2005, 06:53 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Isn't the Protestant Bible stilll missing the books of the Apocrypha?
Oh yes, it's too Catholic for their tastes.

I admit, I was disappointed when I finally read it, it was so shrouded in mystery I thought it was all the lost stuff the church didn't want you to know!!
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:20 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by anitram
Isn't the Protestant Bible stilll missing the books of the Apocrypha?
Yes, we like the KJV, NIV, and NRSV w/o Apocrypha. Although, I go to a school from a Protestant tradition (Dutch Christian Reformed) and in all of my classes on theology or the Bible, the professors know Hebrew and Scripture is read by them from the Hebrew. Just today in my intercultural communication class we were looking at some aspect of the creation story and skipped using any English translation of the Bible altogether. The Hebrew texts have been translated so many times, and meanings have been changed, included, or excluded for purposes not related to the text itself, it's hardly worth looking at any of the modern versions anymore.

We don't typically study the Aprocrypha b/c there's nothing in it that changes our theology or has any real influence on the interpretation of the rest of the cannonized New Testament.
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Old 11-28-2005, 07:33 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
Just today in my intercultural communication class we were looking at some aspect of the creation story and skipped using any English translation of the Bible altogether. The Hebrew texts have been translated so many times, and meanings have been changed, included, or excluded for purposes not related to the text itself, it's hardly worth looking at any of the modern versions anymore.
How do you then feel about the Septuagint, which has had the most influence on shaping the Christian Bible (both Protestant and Catholic), and not the Hebrew writings?
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Old 11-28-2005, 08:42 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
Alot of those are collectively called the "Psuedepigrapha," literally "false writings." They aren't recognized by any canon, so it's actually unfair to say they were too hot for Christianity--the Hebrews didn't recognize them either. The way I understood it, they are just too convinent, they fit in all the missing pieces a little too well and were obviously "extra-biblical."
Well, that's kind of a rather interesting argument, considering the Hebrews would never have recognized New Testament texts anyway.

The two Hebrew-era texts in there that I recognize, the Book of Jubilees and the Book of Enoch, were both found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which imply that they were part of the Essenes' canon, at the very least. By the time the official Jewish canon appeared, though, they had already merged with the Pharisees. It is, mostly, evidence that the scriptures did evolve, rather than remain static, over time.

On a side note, these extra-Biblical writings do venture their way into modern Christianity, in some ways. The Book of Jubilees, for instance, is the source of the anti-gay interpretation of Sodom and Gomorrah. Having been written in the second century B.C., it explains why Old Testament mentions of the event have nothing to do with sex, but, rather, mentions of inhospitality towards strangers. Modern Bibles generally insert their biases in translating those Biblical passages, and are incorrect from a scholarly POV.

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Old 11-28-2005, 08:45 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
The Hebrew texts have been translated so many times, and meanings have been changed, included, or excluded for purposes not related to the text itself, it's hardly worth looking at any of the modern versions anymore.
Indeed! That's probably why Muslims discourage translating the Koran into different languages. They feared exactly what happened to the Bible.

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Old 11-29-2005, 12:12 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by LivLuvAndBootlegMusic
The Hebrew texts have been translated so many times, and meanings have been changed, included, or excluded for purposes not related to the text itself, it's hardly worth looking at any of the modern versions anymore.
That is not exactly true to the degree that some of the most recent English translations are based on the earliest available Hebrew transcripts.

A common misconseption is that current translations, such as the NIV, are translations from earlier English translations.
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Old 11-29-2005, 01:23 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by nbcrusader


That is not exactly true to the degree that some of the most recent English translations are based on the earliest available Hebrew transcripts.

A common misconseption is that current translations, such as the NIV, are translations from earlier English translations.
Yes, you're right. Although, the Dead Sea Scrolls revealed that the Greek texts were more accurate than some of the Hebrew

I dunno, sometimes I want to go to sem if for nothing more than learning Hebrew and Greek. At my school, you can't really be part of any intelligent conversation, especially on the Old Testament, if you can't read from the Hebrew or Greek texts. So, that leaves me with no choice but to trust the professors' lecture materials. But so far, all of the profs I've had that have done this were/are ordained Presbyterians and not Christian Reformed. Kinda funny to me since the school is rooted in the Dutch Christian Reformed tradition and technically, all faculty have to be professing members of the Christian Reformed Church.
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:02 AM   #14
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Revealing as this documentary might be, it still fails to include the story of Lilith (see: The Life of Adam and Eve).
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Old 11-29-2005, 03:06 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally posted by AvsGirl41
Alot of those are collectively called the "Psuedepigrapha," literally "false writings." They aren't recognized by any canon, so it's actually unfair to say they were too hot for Christianity--the Hebrews didn't recognize them either.
Right. Some weren´t included, not because they were too hot, but because one can´t include anything and everything; they tried to include the parts that seemed most authentic to them. (Still, apparently other parts were left out because they were too hot.)
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