Missing from Scripture
Lent Lectures 2012 by Alan Garrow, Vicar Theologian, Bath Abbey
Just twenty years after the Resurrection, Jesus’ brother, James, along with his fellow apostles, wrote a letter. It marked the moment when non-Jews were officially allowed to join the Jesus movement – ‘Christianity’ was born. Despite the high status of its authors and the significance of its content, this document wasn’t included in the New Testament. It was lost.
In 1873 a monk named Philotheos Bryennios discovered a text calling itself The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles or Didache. This little document describes how non-Jews may join the Jesus movement. Could it be that James’ letter is embedded in Bryennios’ extraordinary find?
These lectures identify the Didache as containing four texts mentioned in the New Testament that have since been lost. This intriguing journey of discovery provides extra depth to our understanding of the Christian story – where it came from, and where it might be going.
Alan Garrow is Bath Abbey’s Vicar Theologian. His publications include Matthew’s Dependence on the Didache (T&T Clark, 2004). A documentary about an earlier stage in his research was broadcast on BBC Radio 4.
If you missed the lectures, or would like to listen to them again, follow the link at the foot of this page.
1. Laying the foundations
2. The Apostolic Decree
3. Paul’s Lost ‘Scripture’
4. ‘Q’ – a source for the Gospels
5. The Fourth Epistle of John
Recordings available: lectures archive.