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A Wholly Reluctant Blog

A blog by someone who prefers writing to writing about writing, but treats blogging like bad-tasting vitamins.

Currently reading

The Phantom Tollbooth
Jules Feiffer, Norton Juster
Walter Scott
Cloud Atlas
David Mitchell
Ishmael: An Adventure of the Mind and Spirit
Daniel Quinn
Bulfinch's Mythology
Thomas Bulfinch
Stars in Their Courses: The Gettysburg Campaign, June-July 1863
Shelby Foote
A History of Mathematics, Second Edition
Carl B. Boyer, Isaac Asimov
The Lost Books of the Bible (Dover Value Editions) - This work gets all its stars simply for providing me with insight on what was purportedly excised from the Bible during the assembly process over the course of several ecumenical councils in the early centuries CE. Whether these books were not included because they are fallacious or because they didn't fit the narrative the early church sought likely depends on the depth of your belief.

Most interesting and horrifying of the stories in this compilation was the depiction of Child Jesus as a violent toddler vested with the powers of life and death that he wielded as recklessly and carelessly as one might expect from a child of that age who has been told he is the son of God: arrogant, pitiless, selfish, and shockingly devoid of any value for life considering his destiny. Everyone is rightly terrified of him, and it's no surprise early church leaders decided to remove this episode of his existence. Who would believe God was just and loving to send down his only son to Earth and have that child turn out to be a nightmarish and unstoppable warlock?

If you never read another thing about Jesus, this is what you would expect him to become by age 30.

Much of the other material was less noteworthy and probably removed because it didn't fit well with the narrative or because it was so steeped in symbolism as to be impenetrably ponderous--made moreso because the narrator not only pointed out the symbols, but went on to explain them, which is rather indicative of a poor symbol. The best example of this would be the vast allegory in which a castle is constructed during an apostolic vision supplanted by Revelations in the New Testament, and absolutely everything has some meaning, from the different materials bricks are made of to the color of the workers' clothing. In a word: exhausting.

"Every element in this image means something. We'll start at the top left and work our way to the bottom right."
--The Apocryphal Bible

This is by no means an omnibus of all the works the various councils decided not to include, but it is a good collection, and it includes excerpts that denote exactly why these stories were not included as well as approximate dates of authorship and guesses at authors as well.