“The word apocrypha is from the Greek word for “obscure” or “hidden.” The apocryphal gospels are so named since they were not prominent in the early church.” (What are the apocryphal gospels?)
I. The earliest
II. The only ones with a credible connection to the apostles
III. Lack the legendary embellishments of the later gospels
IV. Recognized as authoritative from a very early date
Minute-14 “The only gospels written in the first century are Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.”
~”When those gospels were published, there were other people still alive who had seen those things take place.”
Apocryphal gospels mentioned (the lost gospels) — all written much later:
Gospel of Thomas
Infancy Gospel of Thomas: much later, nightmarish Jesus
Gospel of Peter: Late 2nd, early 3rd century
Gospel of Phillip
Gospel of Mary
Gospel of the Twelve
“Why does our culture love lost gospels, because they don’t want there to be one way. … You can just pick the Jesus you happen to prefer.”
21:30 How we know John wrote John: Irenaeus states John wrote John, which he got from Polycarp (his mentor), who was mentored by John himself.
Not one example of these lost gospels being included in a codex with any of the canonical gospels, or a list containing both.
We have 5,700 manuscripts of the New Testament, and several thousand copies of the canonical gospels. Compare to three copies of the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Mary
Matthew, Mark, Luke and John were the only gospels that were read, valued and appreciated by the early church fathers.