The New Testament is the core of the Christian concept and covers part of the life of Jesus, and the actions and writings of some of his followers, after his death. Only two of his apostle’s detailed descriptions of his life are included and two more wrote letters.
The debate over the authorship and authenticity of the accepted books of the New Testament is endless and it is not the intent of this work to enter into this debate. We begin, therefore with the premise that the books now included in the New Testament of King James Bible, were read and accepted by the original church Jesus established through his Apostle Peter and that these books were written by men, who were strongly influenced by the Spirit of God. It is the other books that were written by men inspired by the Spirit of God, and read and accepted by the original church, which are not included in the current New Testament that this work explores.
Most people believe King James decided the content of the New Testament but, he was only translating books the had the approved status in the Catholic Church. It was not his intent to introduce new text, but to use existing text to solidify the “divine right of kings”. He needed that right in order to justify making the English crown head of the new break-away church he was forming. What most do not know, is that 15 of the books found in the original King James Bible, known as the Apocrypha; do not even appear in the “Authorized” King James Bible the modern Protestant Church opproves. The books found in the original King James Bible were not decided by King James, but by a close confident of the Emperor Constantine, who created the first Universal, AKA, Roman Catholic Church. That church was, on one hand, a blending of pagan and Christian beliefs to unite those two opposing religions and, on the other hand, a complete reformation of existing Christian beliefs, by declaring all those beliefs as illegal.
The First Theologian
Eusebius, a little known figure in the Christian reality, was the first court-appointed Christian theologian in the service of the Emperor Constantine. Constantine commissioned Eusebius, personally, to produce fifty excellent copies of the sacred scriptures but gave no instruction what books Eusebius should include or, on what authority or criteria that decision should be made. He was given sole authority over this project and, therefore, became the first editor of the Bible we have today.
The entire basis of belief for the Christian Church allegedly comes from the Bible, although simple research proves the reality to be otherwise. However, this concept is accepted by most Catholics and Protestants. There are actually surviving copies of that original Bible called the Codex Sinaiticus. This Bible, produced by Eusebius, is the same as that produced by King James with the exception of the New Testament Epistle of Barnabas, and the book of Hermas, which, though widely regarded as inspired, were purged before the 1611 translation.
The religion created by Constantine was formed by the “opinions” of Eusebius and there is no record of any reference to standards of historical research or textual criticism. He did not form his idea of what was accepted by using the books that existed as the foundation for that acceptance, but first created the religious beliefs and accepted only the books that matched those beliefs. Eusebius stated that the only standard he used in deciding which texts to call “recognized” is to accept only books that were recognized by orthodox authors he knew. Merriam-Webster defines “orthodox” as: “conforming to established doctrine especially in religion”. Eusebius determined the doctrine of the religion and therefore became the sole judge of what was “orthodox”.
The result of Eusebius’ final judgment of biblical canon, the books of the New Testament to be included in that original Bible, was the division of all known and accepted books into three categories:
Recognized – Those books accepted by others that mirrored his specific beliefs
Those books generally make up the modern New Testament.
Recognized but Disputed – Those books accepted by most others that held his beliefs but disputed by some that also followed his concept of orthodox beliefs.
Those books included the Acts of Paul, the Book of the Shepherd of Hermas, the Apocalypse of Peter, the Epistle of Barnabas, the Teachings of the Apostles, and the Gospel of the Hebrews.
Heretical – Those universally regarded as heretical by those adhering to his idea of orthodoxy.
Those books included, but were not restricted to, the Gospel of Peter, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Matthias, as well as other gospel accounts not specified, and the Acts of Andrew and the Acts of John.
So, if Eusebius accepted the authority that recognized the book as orthodox, the book was accepted. If Eusebius did not consider the authority that recognized the book as orthodox the book was rejected. It should be noted that the sole reason Eusebius uses to reject all but the four gospels now found in the New Testament was that he considered them to be a “holy quaternion” of books that could not be changed. Later in church history, the divine nature of this specific group of four books being the only possible gospels to be used was justified because there were only four directions, and four pillars of the Earth, to name a few. Hardly a proper reason to exclude all other gospels without consideration.
We know, which New Testament books he accepted because those books are in the King James Bible. It should be noted that James, Jude, 2 Peter, 2 John, and 3 John were considered “Recognized but Disputed” books but were included in the original King James Bible. The Shepherd of Hermas and the Epistle of Barnabas are in Eusebius’ original Bible known as the Codex Sinaiticus. This leaves nine New Testament books that were used and accepted prior to this change, but excluded solely on the original judgment of one man, Eusebius and two books on his “disputed” list that were eventually purged. Those few books we actually know were purged, at this time, are: The Acts of Andrew
The Acts of John
The Acts of Paul,
The Apocalypse of Peter
The Epistle of Barnabas
The Gospel of Hebrews
The Gospel of Matthias
The Gospel of Peter
The Gospel of Thomas
The Shepherd of Hermas
The Teachings of the Apostles
(There are several other “Gospels” rejected but not specifically named by Eusebius)
An “Inspired” Theologian?
Who was this man that determined the basis for almost all the beliefs of a religion, which is accepted by over 2 billion people under the control of churches claiming the title, Christian? No single person had more influence over those beliefs than the original editor of the “Bible” and the first theologian, who determined the doctrines of the first Universal / Catholic Church, from which come, most of the beliefs of the Protestant Church. There is no dispute that Eusebius was completed dedicated to the divine authority and reform agenda of the Emperor Constantine, and that he was trusted to shape that agenda into a religion by Constantine. It is most curious that there was never any pronouncement by any central authority, such as the Pope, in all of Christian history concerning, which books belonged in the Bible, until 1443 AD at the conclusion of the Council of Florence.
As a church historian, Eusebius receives very low marks and has even been characterized by the noted Swiss historian, Jacob Burckhardt, as “the first thoroughly dishonest historian of antiquity”. Eusebius openly displays his lack of integrity in his Ecclesiastical History by stating “We shall introduce into this history in general only those events which may be useful first to ourselves and afterwards to posterity.”
As a theologian he directly affirmed his total disregard for honesty, in his Evangelical Preparation, by declaring “How it may be lawful and fitting to use falsehood as a medicine, and for the benefit of those who want to be deceived.”, as well as “it is necessary sometimes to use falsehood as a medicine for those who need such an approach”, and “falsehood is something even more useful”. Here we have the very first theologian clearly stating that it was proper to use deception to achieve an end. To put in different terms; the ends justify the means, no matter how deceptive those means are.
This man, who has sole authority over what is doctrine in the Christian religion, and, who lacks moral integrity, decided that, at least, 33% of all the commonly accepted books considered to be “New Testament” by the earlier church, should be purged.