Are there any lost gospels mentioned by early Christian authors that have not been discovered yet?
Ah, this is a great question. The answer is definitely yes. But I don’t think I know all of them, and it would be worth while compiling a list. Maybe someone has compiled one already. In fact, someone probably has! I just don’t recall ever seeing one.
But there are indeed Gospels mentioned by Christian authors that we no longer have. I think I’ll spend a few posts talking about some of them, starting in this post with the best known instance – one that no longer applies since it has now been found. This of course is (not the Gospel of Jesus’ wife – which is never mentioned by any ancient source – but) the Gospel of Judas, mentioned by the church father Ireanaeus as used by the Gnostic sect known as the Cainites, but until just a few years ago, completely unknown.
I was involved with the publication of the Gospel of Judas – National Geographic wanted me to help them authenticate it and to explain why it mattered – and so I have some stake in the matter. I discuss the whole business in my book The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot, one of the funnest books to write that I’ve ever produced.
I won’t go into all the ins and outs of the discovery, delays in recognizing the Gospel’s very existence (many years!), eventual “coming to light”, authentication, and publication – unless lots of people want me to post on this (it’s all in my book). But I will say something about how we knew about the Gospel before it turned up, because there are certainly other Gospels like this that we know of only from a reference to it in an ancient writing, that we, however, unfortunately no longer have.
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