Madonna with the book, Sandro Botticelli  (Public Domain Image)
The Lost Books of the Bible
edited by Rutherford H. Platt, Jr.
This is a collection of New Testament Apocrypha, including many works which were admired and read by the early Christians, but which were later excluded from the canonical Bible. It includes accounts of the young Jesus, particularly the Gospel of Mary and the Protevangelion, which provides additional folklore about the birth and youthful adventures of Jesus. Of note are the letters of Paul and Seneca, and the letters of Herod and Pilate, which are most likely a forgery, but add more depth to the question of the historicity of Jesus. There are also a number of non-canonical epistles, such as Laodiceans. Also worth a close read are the three books of the Shepherd of Hermas, which uses apocalyptic and symbolic imagery. This collection is an invaluable selection of portions of the New Testament which illustrates the fluid nature of the early Biblical canon, and provides access to all of the 'spare parts.'--J.B. Hare, August 12, 2009.
Although not attributed, the initials of the editor, Rutherford H. Platt, Jr., appear on the Preface. He also edited the companion volume The Forgotten Books of Eden, a collection of Old Testament apocrypha.