Spartacus Review

Volume 31: 22nd March, 2009


Title: The Forgotten Gospels

Author: Tim Newton


Publisher: Constable & Robinson

Price: £12.99

Bookshop: Amazon

Spartacus Website: Religious Studies Websites


"The Forgotten Gospels" shows how the creation of the canon that we now take for granted excluded many important, informative and illuminating writings about the life, death and teachings of Jesus. Here are texts newly translated from their original Greek, Latin, Hebrew, Slavonic and Coptic, and accompanied by clear, concise explanations of their origins and relevance. Together, they form a supplement to the New Testament that will set the record straight. The materials have survived in fragments and snippets, some only discovered in modern times (the Gospel of Thomas turned up in 1945), others via the writings of early Christians. Many will challenge: the gospel of the Hebrews introduces an alternative account of the resurrection; Clement of Alexandria writes of and quotes from a secret gospel of Mark; Celsus claims that Mary had an adulterous affair with Panthera and the result was Jesus - all will be of intense interest. No text of any consequence from the earlier period relating to the historical Jesus has been omitted. They provide one last, unexpected window onto his life and teachings.