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The Stories That Were Deleted From Biblical History

Thursday, December 25 at 9 pm ET/PT on The History Channel

NEW YORK, Dec. 19 /PRNewswire/ -- When Jesus was a boy, did he kill

another child? Was Mary Magdalene a prostitute -- or an apostle? Did Cain

commit incest? Will there be an apocalypse or is this God's trick to scare us?

The answers to these questions aren't found in the Bible as we know it, but

they exist in scriptures banned when powerful leaders deemed them unacceptable

for reasons both political and religious. BANNED FROM THE BIBLE reveals some

of these alternative tales and examines why they were "too hot for

Christianity." The two-hour world premiere BANNED FROM THE BIBLE airs on

Christmas, Thursday, December 25 at 9 pm ET/PT.

The Life of Adam and Eve, The Book of Enoch, The Book of Jubilees, The

Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of Mary, The Apocalypse of Peter...these

are just a few of the books that were left out of the Bible. The reasons why

they were excluded provide astonishing insight into the concerns of church

leaders and scholars responsible for spreading the faith an illuminating look

at early Christian and religious history.

One hundred and fifty years after the birth of Jesus, a man named Marcion

decided that a Christian Bible was needed to replace the Hebrew Bible. Church

leaders opposed Marcion's banning of the Hebrew books, but they did agree that

Christians should have a Bible to call their own. After Constantine the Great

converted to Christianity in the 4th century, a serious effort was made to

compile a Christian Bible, one that included both the Hebrew scriptures (the

Old Testament) and Christian manuscripts (the New Testament). It took another

40 years before a final list of New Testament books was officially canonized

by the church. Many of the most popular were excluded. Upon examination today,

many of these writings attempt to resolve inconsistencies and questions raised

from reading the Bible.

BANNED FROM THE BIBLE examines the stories in some of these books, how

they were rediscovered and what they might mean to us today. Included are:

* The Life of Adam and Eve: A more detailed story of creation than what

is found in Genesis, this book includes jealous angels, a more devious

serpent, and more information about Eve's fall from grace from her

point of view.

* The Book of Jubilees: This obscure Hebrew text offers an answer to a

question that has vexed Christians for centuries -- if Adam and Eve

only had sons, and if no other humans existed, who gave birth to

humanity? This text reveals that Adam and Eve had nine children and

that Cain's younger sister Awan became his wife. The idea that humanity

was born of incest would have been radical -- and heretical.

* The Book of Enoch: This scripture reads like a modern day action film,

telling of fallen angels, bloodthirsty giants, an earth that had become

home to an increasingly flawed humanity and a divine judgment to be

rendered though denied a place in most Western Bibles; it has been used

for centuries by Ethiopian Christians. Large portions of this book were

found as part of the Dead Sea Scrolls.

* The Infancy Gospel of Thomas: The only book that deals with young

Jesus, it indicates that Jesus was a strong-willed child who one

historian describes as "Dennis the Menace as God." The book reveals

that at age five, Jesus may have killed a boy by pushing push him off a

roof and then resurrected him. Perhaps too disturbing for inclusion in

the Bible, this book seems to contain traditions, also known to the


* The Protovangelion of James: This book offers details of the life of

the Virgin Mary, her parents, her birth and her youth, stories not

found in the New Testament Gospels but was beloved by many early


* The Gospel of Mary: This Gnostic Text reveals that Mary Magdalene may

have been an apostle, perhaps even a leading apostle, not a prostitute.

While some texts in the Bible seem to deny women a voice in the

Christian community, this texts helps spark the debate about the role

of women in the church.

* The Gospel of Nicodemus: This is the story of Jesus's trial and

execution and his descent into hell. According to this gospel the

Savior asserts his power over Satan by freeing patriarchs such as Adam,

Isaiah and Abraham from Hell.

* The Apocalypse of Peter: Peter's apocalypse suggests that there is a

way out of punishment for evildoers and implies that the threat of the

apocalypse is a way for God to scare people into living a moral life,

and committing fewer sins.

These books are just a sampling of the hundreds that were never included

in the Holy Bible. Perhaps there are more to be found. Whether one believes

these alternative stories or not, they do provide an interesting perspective

of the religious culture and propensities of the time.

BANNED FROM THE BIBLE features commentary from Bible experts and

historians including Marvin Meyer, PhD, Professor of Bible and Christian

Studies, Chapman University; Daniel Smith-Christopher, Ph.D, Professor of

Religious Studies, Bluffton College; Anthea Butler, Ph.D, Department of

Theological Studies Loyola Marymount University; and John Dominic Crossan,

Ph.D, Professor Emeritus, DePaul University.

Margaret Kim is the executive producer of BANNED FROM THE BIBLE for The

History Channel. BANNED FROM THE BIBLE was produced for The History Channel by


Now reaching 86 million Nielsen subscribers, The History Channel,(R)

"Where the Past Comes Alive,(R)" brings history to life in a powerful manner

and provides an inviting place where people experience history personally and

connect their own lives to the great lives and events of the past. The History

Channel received the prestigious Governor's award from the Academy of

Television Arts & Sciences for the network's "Save Our History(R)" campaign

dedicated to historic preservation and history education. The History Channel

web site is located at

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โˆ™ 2009-04-14 00:17:44
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Q: What Books were banned from the Bible?
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