- Over the years numerous so-called “gospels” have been touted by skeptics as being secret or lost gospels that were intentionally or mistakenly left out of the New Testament canon. Some of the more famous examples are the gospels of Thomas, Philip, Judas, and the secret gospel of Mark.
- These so called “secret” and “lost” gospels were neither secret, lost, nor truly gospels. They were books known to the early church which were rejected for a variety of legitimate reasons.
- First, most of these books were rejected outright because they lacked any connection to the biblical apostles or their associates.
- Second, many of these “secret” gospels were actually heretical works promoting the unbiblical philosophy of Gnosticism. Their errors were readily apparent and thereby rightly rejected by the early church.
- Third, all of these “secret” and “lost” gospels date from the mid-second to fourth centuries. Thus, they were written well after the accepted New Testament gospels, which were completed by the end of the first century.
- Christians can be confident that the gospels we have in our New Testament today are the true and authentic gospels inspired by the Holy Spirit and recognized by the early church.
For more information on the history and integrity of the biblical canon, please check out the new CSB Apologetics Study Bible for Students available in our online store.