Many adherents of traditional Christianity regard the canonical volumes that make up their holy book to be the be-all-and-end-all of divine revelation and infallible truth, and consider the extra-canonical texts associated with the tome to be literary dare-deviltry. For an orthodox Christian to even risk peeking into this controversial area of study can be for them an affair on par with flirting with heterodoxy, and possibly a path leading to eternal enlightenment.
Much has been made of the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls but not enough about those ancient papyri that were found inside of earthenware jars in the mid-20th century, by a peasant of Egyptian heritage; a find known as the Nag Hammadi codices.
Kenneth Hanson’s erudite and prodigious “Secrets From The Lost Bible” (2004) ought to be frequently cited and referenced by every pulpit homilist and required reading for every self-professing Messiah disciple, as it provides additional and important information pertaining to Christ and other biblical characters.
Mr. Hanson’s book makes for an excellent introduction to the extracanonical material (the Apocrypha and their companion literature) that exists outside of mainstream Holy Writ. It is immensely readable and exoteric enough for the layperson to appreciate.
There are entire chapters or pages devoted to such texts as the Gospel of Judas and the Book of Enoch, among several others. It emphasizes how much of Church orthodoxy – if one is to regard these supplementary and suppressed booklets as equally valid as their accepted counterparts – is in error.
As one who has for some time now intuitively sensed Bible-believing churchgoers to be generally somewhat misguided in their religious beliefs, due in large part to their literal-minded natures and their absence of an inquiring mind, the educational content contained in the Lost Bible only confirms what I have suspected for years. I would also guess that it is unlikely that the majority of traditional Christians will ever take the time to delve into this material, predominantly out of fear of allegories and of what they would find that might undo their faith-centric moorings and lead to their becoming temporarily disillusioned lapsers.
Yet, the Lost Bible does not work to diminish faith but rather promotes the gaining of a larger and deeper meaningfulness grounded in a wider and truer scriptural context.
Consider just some of the lore that a reader is introduced to in his examination of the Lost Bible:
- There is the teaching of human pre-existence.
- It is taught that humans are neither born good nor evil but, morally speaking, a blank slate.
- That self-discovery is where it’s at. That is to say: In order to become known to God, one must first know himself and therefore be worthy of being known.
- The key to salvation lies in knowledge, or gnosis, and that it requires effort of one to attain an afterlife.
- Adam was forgiven of his sins and transported to heaven. (Hooray!)
- Judas was exonerated and also declared righteous. (Hurrah!)
- Lilith was Adam’s first wife, created from the earth and not from his ribcage. (Curiously, there are hints that this Lilith may have been viewed by some in the distant past as a succubus and an instigator of wet dreams!)
- The concept of Original Sin is re-defined.
- It tells of Jesus during his adolescent years, as a quasi-delinquent who had a dark side and possessed a mischievous nature and how he sometimes would take to misusing his superhuman powers prior to his becoming a godlike role model.
- It speaks of our earthplane as an illusory and fallen world, one solidified in base matter.
The Lost Bible is not without its edifying aspects, also. Lust, and the desire for power, wealth, and prestige – as most spiritual traditions teach – are denounced as sinful, in the sense that these earthy passions serve as hindrances, keeping one from spiritually progressing and subsequently from attaining higher states of consciousness.
In keeping with the spirit of Christ, there’s also a few passages that honor the weak ones, in praise of their soft-hearted souls. As in order for one to experience compassion and empathy, he or she must first be tender-hearted enough in order to experience these admirable human qualities.