The Lost Way

The Lost Way

How Two Forgotten Gospels Are Rewriting the Story of Christian Origins

Book - 2014 | First edition
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In this rigorously researched and thoughtful study, a leading Jesus Seminar scholar reveals the dramatic story behind the modern discovery of the earliest gospels, accounts that do not portray Jesus exclusively as a martyr but recover a lost ancient Christian tradition centered on Jesus as a teacher of wisdom.

The church has long advocated the Pauline view of Jesus as deity and martyr, emphasizing his death and resurrection. But another tradition also thrived from Christianity's beginnings, one that portrayed Jesus as a teacher of wisdom. In The Lost Way, Stephen Patterson, a leading New Testament scholar and former head of the Jesus Seminar, explores this lost ancient tradition and its significance to the faith.

Patterson explains how scholars have uncovered a Gospel that preceded at least three of those in the Bible, which is called Q. He painstakingly demonstrates how historical evidence points to the existence of this common source in addition to Mark--recognized as the earliest Gospel--that both Matthew and Luke used to write their accounts. Q contained a collection of Jesus's teachings without any narrative content and without accounts of the passion, though being the earliest version shared among his first followers--scripture that embodies a very different orientation to the Christian faith.

Patterson also explores other examples of this wisdom tradition, from the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas; to the emergence of Apollos, a likely teacher of Christian wisdom; to the main authority of the church in Jerusalem, Jesus's brother James. The Lost Way offers a profound new portrait of Jesus--one who can show us a new way to live.

Publisher: New York, NY : HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollinsPublishers, ©2014
Edition: First edition
ISBN: 9780062330482
Branch Call Number: 229.8 PAT 2014
Characteristics: vii, 264 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm


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Dec 22, 2016

Patterson, who is a wonderful, clear, and sometimes humorous writer, provides the history of the "other gospels" and the people who followed them in the early decades after the death of Jesus, before the New Testament gospels were written. He is very much a scholar, member of the Jesus Seminar and author of multiple books and articles. This particular book is written for interested lay people who want to know what the first decades and centuries of the Way of Jesus' followers was like. Patterson is very clear that evangelicals will disagree with his conclusions. So, I would add, will atheists. But both groups, if open-minded, could benefit from this book. Strongly recommended.

Sep 06, 2016

A nice clear explanation of the two gospels, complete with translations, that fits them into the larger context of early Christianity.

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