It is likely the actual authors of the gospels were Christians in the early church who invented the idea of the resurrection and divinity of Jesus to suit their agenda of gaining converts. This manipulation of the New Testament occurred progressively and begin in the 1st century .
Books of the New Testament
The next 13 books, Romans through Philemon, are letters (epistles) supposedly written by the apostle Paul to various churches. Note that a large part of Christian teachings are from Paul rather than Jesus.
Of the 13 epistles only 7 are considered authentic by most biblical and secular scholars. The list of Pauline epistles below have dates ascribed to the authentic, the rest are pseudepigraphical.
- Romans (55-58 CE)
- First Corinthians (53-54 CE)
- Second Corinthians (55-56 CE)
- Galatians (55 CE)
- Philippians (52-54 CE)
- First Thessalonians (51 CE)
- Second Thessalonians
- First Timothy
- Second Timothy
- Philemon (52-54 CE)
The next 8 books, Hebrews through Jude, are letters written by other members of the early church.
There are a number of apocryphal gospels — that is, gospels that were excluded from the canon for various reasons. Decisions over which books to include and which to exclude were sometimes based more on political than theological reasons. The Book of Revelation was frequently not considered authentic in ancient times. Below is a list of some of the apocryphal books.
- Chrishna of India
- The Shepherd of Hermas
- Epistles of Clement
- Acts of Paul
- Third Epistle to the Corinthians
- Gospel of Barnabas
- ↑ Peter Cresswell, The Invention of Jesus: How the Church Rewrote the New Testament, 2013
- Wikipedia:New Testament apocrypha
- Liturgies, councils, apocrypha, and writings of the church fathers (text with commentary)