Rediscovered in modern times, these "non-canonical" gospels, epistles, and other pieces were excised from the standard Bible by various church councils in the first four centuries of the Christian era. Here, among other texts, are writings describing the girlhood and betrothal of Mary and her life before Christ's birth; the childhood of Jesus, as described by Peter and Nicodemus; and the appearance of Christ before the gates of Hell, from whence he leads Adam and the saints to Paradise. Translated from the original languages, with 32 illustrations from ancient paintings and missals, The Lost Books of the Bible, helps give depth to the historical characters of Jesus, Mary, the apostles, and other figures of the New Testament. Presented without argument or commentary, these apocryphal texts are fascinating, often provocative, reading. An essential resource for the study of biblical history and theology, this authentic presentation of the "lost" Scriptures can be enjoyed for its beauty and directness, while also adding to one's understanding of life in Judea during the first century A.D.