Scholar Bart Ehrman, in his book Misquoting Jesus, documents that not only were many alternative Gospels destroyed and denied reproduction but that the sanctioned Gospels are inaccurate. Ehrman shows that in the process of oral transmission over decades, followed by translations from Coptic and Greek into Latin, many original accounts were lost or changed. Contributing to the problem of authenticity, he notes that no one has ever found an original copy of any of the books in the bible. Also, different scribes entered variations and also added their own beliefs or wishful thinking to the contents.
Although alternative Gospels may be appealing, convincing, inspiring, or may even reflect actual historical facts, they have had virtually no impact on what Christians believe; the New Testament "facts" have had almost exclusive impact.
But, as I argue in Jesus Uncensored, the "functional facts" of the canonical Gospels and the rest of the New Testament have been misread and misinterpreted. Moreover, the distortions were driven by Christian and Jewish leaders who were intent on imposing wedges to distance the two faiths as separate religions. In that process Jesus, the authentic dedicated practicing Jew, was lost. Restoring Jesus' Jewish identity sets a firm foundation for Christians and Jews to celebrate a shared heritage despite differences.
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