You updated your password.

Reset Password

Enter the email address you used to create your account. We will email you instructions on how to reset your password.

Forgot Your Email Address? Contact Us

Reset Your Password

SHOW
SHOW

Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication

Discover myriad works of early Christianity that failed to make the official canon and become part of the Bible in this course by best-selling author and Professor Bart D. Ehrman.
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication is rated 4.7 out of 5 by 144.
  • y_2024, m_7, d_13, h_6
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_12, tr_132
  • loc_en_CA, sid_6593, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getAggregateRating, 18.65ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Professor is an agnostic atheist While there is some interesting historical context here, it is important to understand that the professor is an agnostic atheist and it is through this lens that he teaches.
Date published: 2024-07-05
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Good content but very repetitive style The Professor clearly knows his subject matter and is devoted to it but I only need to be told something once, or at most twice, and I've suspended watching this course for now because of the constant repetition. I've only gotten a few lectures into the course so I may be judgng unfairly, but for now I'm going to read the guidebook and skip the lectures - maybe get back to them later. Beginnings of Judaism before this series is a good intro to this one anyway - setting the historical stage, as it were, and to my mind better presented. I hate to say I don't recommend this course because others seem to like it more than I do and perhaps it gets better later.. I would maybe recommend it with a caveat at this point?
Date published: 2024-03-29
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Read the book ... ...and enjoyed seeing the video which reiterated what I had learned from the book.
Date published: 2024-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great, BUT Stops in the middle of the Beginnings of Orthodoxy and will not proceed
Date published: 2024-01-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fascinating view of early church history Full disclosure-- I think Bart Ehrman is brilliant. I've read many of his works and watched many appearances on various shows and podcasts. Ehrman does a great job in explaining there were quite a few different "Christian" groups out there. He goes in to deep detail about four of these groups. I walked away with a greater interest in studying the "losers" in the battle and would love a full lecture series on each of them. Just excellent.
Date published: 2024-01-19
Rated 1 out of 5 by from inaccurate I got a bunch of dvds like this as a gift, mostly religious studies, and my comments here apply to the other titles as well, to be reviewed separately. Im a theology graduate and this class presents early Christianity as a political power struggle between competing beliefs instead of as a battle between the Church’s authority to proclaim what Christ actually taught through the apostles and Church fathers versus those who reject that teaching. The class title gives this anti antichristian bias away. There are history professors like Mr.Noble and Mr. Harl that dont focus on religion, per se, but give a more honest perspective on these issues from a neutral secular perspective. That doesn't mean i agree with everything they say, but they do a more honest job trying not to be biased against the Church’s position, which is what i expect from a secular company giving a secular interpretation of religious matters. I expect a secular company to do its best to be as unbiased as possible, which means they either shouldn't sell a class like this or sell another one with a teacher from a university like Christendom or franciscan university who takes Christianity seriously. If I'm going to study a religion, mine, or someone else's I want to hear from the people who take it seriously, not just the non-believers. If I hear only one side of the debate I am being ideologically manipulated, ant's a waste of my money. Since this is the same song for several other classes, this class specifically treats heresies as if they are just losers in a political struggle while overlooking their real problems. I'll give an example. Teacher talks about the gospel of thomas, a gnostic gospel rejected by the Church for good reason. Its common, for instance in this political climate for women to be drawn to this gospel as pro women, but the gospel says something terrible about women at the end. It says women have to become men to be saved. The Church actually teaches men and women are both loved by God as they are, they were both punished for disobedience at the beginning of time, and they are both eligible equally for salvation. There are many other flaws that this series does not honestly evaluate. If you're interested in the truth, don't waste your money on this unless they come out with a rebuttal by someone who takes Chrisyan beliefs seriously.
Date published: 2023-11-18
Rated 4 out of 5 by from One of Dr. Ehrman’s Better TGC Courses This is one of the better courses by Dr. Ehrman among those he presented for The Great Courses (TGC). It examines alternatives to that set of beliefs that became “orthodox” or “catholic” Christianity. It should be noted that when Dr. Ehrman speaks of “Christianities,” he takes a very broad view of what “Christianity” means. For example, he includes the Latter-Day Saints (Mormans) and Jehovah Witnesses as expressions of modern Christianity. The course is organized by examining writings that were circulated in the first three centuries of the Christian Era but were not included in the Christian Bible. • Lecture 1 lays the foundation. He describes the prevailing culture and he depicts how there was a broad spectrum of belief systems that vied for the Christian mainstream. • Lectures 2-5 describes Ebionite, Marcionite, and Gnostic belief systems. The Ebionites and Marcionites left us no documents; what we know about them is limited to what their critics said. • Lectures 6-18 discuss various early writings that were excluded from the Christian Bible. • Lectures 19-24 discuss how the dominant part of Christianity, which Dr. Ehrman calls the “proto-orthodox,” decided which documents should be included in the Christian Bible and which documents should be excluded. Dr. Ehrman is a critical scholar, i.e., one who approaches the Christian Scriptures as simply literature rather authoritative religious documents. This makes little difference when he discusses the Ebionites, the Marcionites, the Gnostics, and the books that were excluded from the Christian Bible. His presentation generally reflects the thinking of both critical scholars and traditional Christian scholars for these books and systems of thought. However, it does make a difference when he discusses the formation of the Christian Bible, that is, the “canon.” Here, Dr. Ehrman teaches critical scholarship and he does not mention traditional Christian scholarship. For example, Dr. Ehrman asserts as “undisputed” that Paul did not write the letters to Timothy and Titus. He also asserts as fact that the Second Letter of Peter was written in the Second Century and that it was not written by Peter. In short, someone who takes this course to learn what Christians believe will learn only what critics think, not what adherents think. The course guide is written in paragraph form as opposed to outline or bullet form as other course guides are written. There are very few graphics in the course guide and they add virtually no value. The appendix includes a timeline, a glossary (which contains a one-sentence summary of each apocryphal book addresses by the course), extensive biographical notes of key people mentioned in the course, and a bibliography. I used the video version but the video added very little. The audio-only version is just about as good. The course was published in 2002.
Date published: 2022-11-28
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Area of current interest for me. Like the Professor, as a fellow historian, I like his approach and clarity. Have taken other Great Courses with him.
Date published: 2022-09-07
  • y_2024, m_7, d_13, h_6
  • bvseo_bulk, prod_bvrr, vn_bulk_3.0.42
  • cp_1, bvpage1
  • co_hasreviews, tv_12, tr_132
  • loc_en_CA, sid_6593, prod, sort_[SortEntry(order=SUBMISSION_TIME, direction=DESCENDING)]
  • clientName_teachco
  • bvseo_sdk, p_sdk, 3.2.1
  • CLOUD, getReviews, 4ms
  • REVIEWS, PRODUCT

Overview

In the first centuries after Christ, there was no "official" New Testament. In fact, many Christians held beliefs that today would be considered bizarre, including the belief that Christ's death and resurrection had nothing to do with salvation. What did these "other" Scriptures say? Do they exist today? If such beliefs were once common, why do they no longer exist? These are just a few of the many provocative questions you explore in Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication.

About

Bart D. Ehrman

After his crucifixion, Jesus' disciples came to believe he'd been raised from the dead and made a divine being. What had seemed like defeat became for them the ultimate cosmic victory.

INSTITUTION

The University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dr. Bart D. Ehrman is the James A. Gray Distinguished Professor at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed his undergraduate work at Wheaton College and earned his M.Div. and Ph.D. from Princeton Theological Seminary. Professor Ehrman has written or edited 27 books, including four best sellers on The New York Times list: Misquoting Jesus: The Story behind Who Changed the Bible and Why; God's Problem: How the Bible Fails to Answer Our Most Important Question-Why We Suffer; Jesus, Interrupted: Revealing the Hidden Contradictions in the Bible (and Why We Don't Know about Them);and Forged: Writing in the Name of God-Why the Bible's Authors Are Not Who We Think They Are. Professor Ehrman also served as president of the Society of Biblical Literature, Southeastern Region; book review editor of the Journal of Biblical Literature; editor of the Scholars' Press monograph series The New Testament in the Greek Fathers;and coeditor-in-chief for the journal Vigiliae Christianae. Professor Ehrman received the John William Pope Center Spirit of Inquiry Award, the UNC Students' Undergraduate Teaching Award, the Phillip and Ruth Hettleman Prize for Artistic and Scholarly Achievement by Young Faculty, and the Bowman and Gordon Gray Professorship (awarded for excellence in undergraduate teaching).

By This Professor

How Jesus Became God
854
The New Testament
854
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication
854
The Triumph of Christianity
854
Lost Christianities: Christian Scriptures and the Battles over Authentication

Trailer

The Diversity of Early Christianity

01: The Diversity of Early Christianity

Modern Christianity is widely diverse in its social structures, beliefs and practices, but this diversity is mild compared to the first three centuries A.D., when Christians disagreed on such basic issues as how many gods there were, or whether Jesus was human, divine, both, or neither.

32 min
Christians Who Would Be Jews

02: Christians Who Would Be Jews

This begins by considering key terms used in the course, such as orthodoxy and heresy, followed by an introduction to the Ebionites, who maintained Jewish practices while believing that Jesus was the messiah.

31 min
Christians Who Refuse To Be Jews

03: Christians Who Refuse To Be Jews

This lecture examines the Marcionites, a group of heretics diametrically opposed to the Ebionites. Using the apostle Paul as his source, their leader, Marcion, insisted that true Christianity had nothing to do with Judaism.

31 min
Early Gnostic Christianity-Our Sources

04: Early Gnostic Christianity-Our Sources

The Gnostics believed that special knowledge brought salvation to souls trapped in the evil, material world. Before 1945 and the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library, information about this widespread group of Christian sects came almost solely from the writings of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and other church fathers who opposed them.

30 min
Early Christian Gnosticism-An Overview

05: Early Christian Gnosticism-An Overview

This lecture provides an overview of the Gnostic religions. It considers their possible origins within a Judeo-Christian tradition that maintained that God had created the world and controlled it. This was hard for some Jews and/or Christians to accept.

31 min
The Gnostic Gospel of Truth

06: The Gnostic Gospel of Truth

One of the most intriguing documents from the Nag Hammadi library is the Gnostic Gospel of Truth. It does not relate stories about the life of Jesus, but instead celebrates the "good news" that Jesus brought. The views of God, the world, Christ, and salvation here stand in stark contrast with those that became orthodox within Christianity.

31 min
Gnostics Explain Themselves

07: Gnostics Explain Themselves

This lecture considers two writings that attempted to explain the Gnostic system to outsiders. Ptolemy tries to show that neither the one true God nor the Devil could have inspired the Old Testament. In the Treatise on the Resurrection, the anonymous author insists that, contrary to the claims of proto-orthodox Christians, the resurrection is of the spirit, not the flesh.

31 min
The Coptic Gospel of Thomas

08: The Coptic Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas is the most significant Nag Hammadi document. It consists of 114 sayings attributed to Jesus, with no reference to his miracles, death, or resurrection.

31 min
Thomas' Gnostic Teachings

09: Thomas' Gnostic Teachings

Understanding the Gnostic story can help explain the teachings in the Coptic Gospel of Thomas. Rather than the savior who dies for the sins of the world, Jesus is portrayed as the divine teacher who reveals the truth necessary for salvation.

31 min
Infancy Gospels

10: Infancy Gospels

The Gospels of the New Testament say very little about Jesus' life as an infant and young boy. This "lost period" is the subject of several early Gospels, however, including the Proto-Gospel of James, and the Infancy Gospel of Thomas.

31 min
The Gospel of Peter

11: The Gospel of Peter

A fragment is all that remains of the Gospel allegedly written by Jesus' disciple Peter. Early writings proclaim it a forgery. This description of Jesus' trial, crucifixion, and resurrection is both similar to, and strikingly different from, canonical accounts.

31 min
The Secret Gospel of Mark

12: The Secret Gospel of Mark

In 1958 at the Mar Saba library near Jerusalem, scholar Morton Smith found a fragment of a letter supposedly written by the 2nd-century church father Clement. It indicated that a second edition of Mark's Gospel existed, and was intended only for the spiritually elite. Is this letter authentic or a modern forgery?

31 min
The Acts of John

13: The Acts of John

To some extent, the noncanonical Acts are modeled on the Book of Acts in the New Testament. They differ, however, in that each is about only one of the major apostles in early Christendom: John, Peter, Paul, Andrew, and Thomas.

31 min
The Acts of Thomas

14: The Acts of Thomas

The Apocryphal Acts resembled the ancient romances (novels). While the Christian Acts use many of these conventions, their goal is to counteract the views that the romances embraced.

31 min
The Acts of Paul and Thecla

15: The Acts of Paul and Thecla

One of the most popular apocryphal accounts from Christian antiquity involved the conversion and exploits of Thecla of Asia Minor, an aristocratic woman who converts to the Christian faith through the preaching of Paul.

30 min
Forgeries in the Name of Paul

16: Forgeries in the Name of Paul

A number of letters survive that are credited to the apostle Paul, but which were clearly fabricated. This lecture considers two sets of such correspondence. Evidently forged in the fourth century, these letters were meant to portray Paul as equal to the greatest minds of his day.

31 min
The Epistle of Barnabas

17: The Epistle of Barnabas

The Epistle of Barnabas is not considered forged. Although later attributed to Paul's traveling companion Barnabas, it is actually anonymous. This is one of the most virulently anti-Jewish treatises of Christian antiquity.

31 min
The Apocalypse of Peter

18: The Apocalypse of Peter

This lecture examines an Apocalypse of Peter completely unrelated to the one previously discussed. This is a proto-orthodox composition that represents the first surviving narrative of a guided tour of heaven and hell, a forerunner of Dante's Divine Comedy.

31 min
The Rise of Early Christian Orthodoxy

19: The Rise of Early Christian Orthodoxy

The standard definition of orthodoxy was proffered by the 4th-century church father Eusebius. He maintained that orthodoxy was the view taught by Jesus and his apostles.

31 min
Beginnings of the Canon

20: Beginnings of the Canon

Christianity was unique among religions of the Greco-Roman world in emphasizing the importance of belief instead of cultic practice, and in its insistence that it was the only true religion. The formation of the New Testament canon can be seen as a development among Christians to root their beliefs in the teachings of Jesus and his apostles.

31 min
Formation of the New Testament Canon

21: Formation of the New Testament Canon

Contrary to popular belief, the canon of the New Testament's 27 books did not emerge at the very beginning of the Christian movement. Although written during the 1st century, or soon thereafter, it took 300 years before these books were declared to be canonical.

31 min
Interpretation of Scripture

22: Interpretation of Scripture

Deciding which books to include in the canon was not enough to ensure the proto-orthodox understanding of the Christian faith. There were numerous ways to interpret the books of Scripture, and the early Christian centuries saw numerous debates over interpretation.

31 min
Orthodox Corruption of Scripture

23: Orthodox Corruption of Scripture

Of the nearly 5,400 copies of New Testament writings that survive today (in the original Greek), no two are exactly alike. All of the available texts were copied by hand. Some of the discrepancies appear to have been intentional.

31 min
Early Christian Creeds

24: Early Christian Creeds

The final lecture considers the formation of the Christian creeds: statements of faith to determine what was true (orthodox) and what was false (heretical). The well-known creeds of the 4th century, such as the Nicene Creed, developed from earlier formulations known as the "Rule of Faith," and from confessions by converts before baptism.

31 min