Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

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Justice
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Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by Justice »

When looking at the oldest Bible ever found, extra Gospels outside of the main canon can be found such as St Barnabas and various other Gospels are cut in later Bibles. Is it because the Bible would have been to long? or is there another reason.
d9popov
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by d9popov »

Dear Justice,

The oldest Bibles (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and others) never had extra Gospels, other than the four authentic Gospels. Other "gospels" were, of course, written, but none of them was even close to being accepted into the Christian Bible. Not one of the "extra gospels" that survive can be proven to be from the first century. Several of these other, later gospels are Gnostic; and Gnosticism is really a different religion. If there ever was a first-century Gospel of Thomas, the Coptic manuscript and Greek fragments that survive are later in date and are corrupted in doctrine (as the Holy Fathers tell us). Two texts that were very highly revered and included in some Biblical manuscripts were First Clement and the Shepherd of Hermas, but they were not accepted into the New Testament, ultimately, because they came after the Holy Apostles. The Proto-Gospel of James has some material that is accepted in the Orthodox Church. The Letter of Barnabas was also honored by some, but the Gospel of Barnabas is very far from being authentic. There is a lot of false propaganda about "lost gospels" in the media. Some "gospels" have been proven to be modern forgeries, such as the Secret Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife. Often the publishers (who want to make a profit) and, especially, the media (who want click-bait), make claims that the scholars themselves do not make (because they are false). The four authentic Gospels were recognized shortly after they were written and distributed. There was also a corpus (body) of Pauline letters very early. The 27 New Testament books (and only those 27 books) were listed, probably for the first time, by Saint Athanasius the Great in 367 and a council in North Africa in 397. Greek, Latin, and Slavonic Bibles had and have some differences in the Old Testament books. There are a lot of serious, scholarly works on the New Testament canon, but there are also a lot of myths in the media (that scholars do not support) that cannot be taken seriously.

In Christ,
D. Popov
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Maria
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by Maria »

Thanks, and welcome to the forum, D. Popov
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by Agios_Irineos »

D Popov's response is excellent. The Four Gospels have NEVER been questioned in the Church, even before the canon was formalized. The Church has never accepted and the Bible has never contained any other Gospels. That is modernist, mostly Gnostic, propaganda that should be dismissed out of hand as simply unhistorical.
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by Maria »

HieromonkIrineos wrote:D Popov's response is excellent. The Four Gospels have NEVER been questioned in the Church, even before the canon was formalized. The Church has never accepted and the Bible has never contained any other Gospels. That is modernist, mostly Gnostic, propaganda that should be dismissed out of hand as simply unhistorical.
Thanks, again, Father Irineos for all your comments. It is so important to have forum participation by our True Orthodox Priests, especially when inquirers ask very good questions.
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by Justice »

d9popov wrote:Dear Justice,

The oldest Bibles (Vaticanus, Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and others) never had extra Gospels, other than the four authentic Gospels. Other "gospels" were, of course, written, but none of them was even close to being accepted into the Christian Bible. Not one of the "extra gospels" that survive can be proven to be from the first century. Several of these other, later gospels are Gnostic; and Gnosticism is really a different religion. If there ever was a first-century Gospel of Thomas, the Coptic manuscript and Greek fragments that survive are later in date and are corrupted in doctrine (as the Holy Fathers tell us). Two texts that were very highly revered and included in some Biblical manuscripts were First Clement and the Shepherd of Hermas, but they were not accepted into the New Testament, ultimately, because they came after the Holy Apostles. The Proto-Gospel of James has some material that is accepted in the Orthodox Church. The Letter of Barnabas was also honored by some, but the Gospel of Barnabas is very far from being authentic. There is a lot of false propaganda about "lost gospels" in the media. Some "gospels" have been proven to be modern forgeries, such as the Secret Gospel of Mark and the Gospel of Jesus's Wife. Often the publishers (who want to make a profit) and, especially, the media (who want click-bait), make claims that the scholars themselves do not make (because they are false). The four authentic Gospels were recognized shortly after they were written and distributed. There was also a corpus (body) of Pauline letters very early. The 27 New Testament books (and only those 27 books) were listed, probably for the first time, by Saint Athanasius the Great in 367 and a council in North Africa in 397. Greek, Latin, and Slavonic Bibles had and have some differences in the Old Testament books. There are a lot of serious, scholarly works on the New Testament canon, but there are also a lot of myths in the media (that scholars do not support) that cannot be taken seriously.

In Christ,
D. Popov
Welcome to the forum d9popov! And thank you for your response.
d9popov
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Re: Why was the Gospel of St Barnabas cut?

Post by d9popov »

Thank you, all of you, for the kind words of welcome. Allow me to follow up on the four-gospel canon. I came across a posting by biblical scholar Larry Hurtado. His posting is an example of a critical, non-Orthodox scholar providing well-evidenced and well-reasoned support for what Orthodox Christians believe. Another scholar to whom he refers in a footnote, C. E. Hill, is a conservative protestant who is a serious scholar. He also provides evidence in his scholarship for Orthodox beliefs about the Holy Gospels and evidence against some of the wild conspiracy theories that one finds today in the media.


Hurtado writes:
… in one crucial statement in Justin’s Apology (66:3), he refers explicitly to “the memoirs [ἀπομνημονεύματα, apomnemoneumata] which are called gospels.” So, this suggests that Justin’s “memoirs” are what he and fellow Christians of his time knew as “gospels,” not some other kind of text. That is, this statement suggests that “memoirs of the apostles” was simply a particular term that Justin used to refer to what he and fellow believers called “gospels.”
… if we examine Justin’s references to these “memoirs of the apostles,” he often quotes from them, and what he quotes is recognizable, most often from the Gospel of Matthew, but also sometimes from Luke and (less obviously) the other familiar Gospels. Indeed, these references include narrative material, including references to the narratives of Jesus’ trial, crucifixion and resurrection (e.g., Dialogue with Trypho 101:3; 102:3; 103:6; 104:1; 105:1, 5-6; 106:1, 3, 4; 107:1). So, we’re not dealing with something like a sayings-collection, but narratives of Jesus’ birth, ministry, passion and resurrection. Looks like Gospels to me!
… Justin refers to these writings as read in churches along with the “writings of the prophets,” which is his reference to the OT (which Justin viewed as primarily prophetic of Jesus). So, again, these “memoirs” aren’t some sort of rough collection of this and that, or an informal crib sheet, but texts suitable to be read as part of corporate worship and on a par with the OT writings, which he unquestionably regarded as scripture.
studies of Justin’s citations of these “memoirs” confirm that he knew and used at least the Synoptic Gospels, and quite likely the Gospel of John as well.[1]
… a number of recent scholars have found converging evidence that a “fourfold” Gospel comprised of the four familiar NT Gospels was operative by/in the early decades of the second century, decades earlier than Justin’s major writings
.[2]


[1] Oskar Skarsaune, “Justin and His Bible,” in Justin Martyr and His Worlds, ed. Sara Parvis and Paul Foster (Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2007), 53-76; and arguing for Justin’s use of GJohn in particular, C. E. Hill’s essay in the same volume, “Was John’s Gospel Among Justin’s Apostolic Memoirs?” (88-94); and C. E. Hill, Who Chose the Gospels: Probing the Great Gospel Conspiracy (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2010), 132-43.
[2] Martin Hengel, “The Four Gospels and the One Gospel of Jesus Christ,” in The Earliest Gospels, ed. Charles Horton (London: T&T Clark International, 2004); Charles E. Hill, “A Four-Gospel Canon in the Second Century? Artifact and Arti-Fiction,” Early Christianity 4 (2013): 310-33; G. N. Stanton, “The Fourfold Gospel,” New Testament Studies 43 (1997): 317-46; James A. Kelhoffer, Miracle and Mission: The Authentication of Missionaries and Their Message in the Longer Ending of Mark, WUNT 2/112 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2000).
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