Photo Celene Lillie


My introduction to the concept of a canon, an authoritative collection, came through my 24 CD case back in the Walkman days. A CD could be included in my canon if it met the criteria of either being a new release or an album that I decided best reflected my taste, on the off chance that someone asked to see my CD case. My most beloved CDs were mainstays but a good portion of my case was ever-rotating.

One of the best-known canons is the Bible. However, for many seekers including many Christians, their library of spiritual resources is not contained within the binding of the Bible. There is nourishment to be found within poetry, literature, and the recently discovered writings of early Christians that didn’t make the cut for the Bible.

The extra-canonical texts of the 1st – 4th century represent the lost voices of early Christianity. In distressing times, we can benefit from the insights found in this ancient wisdom that still resonate with our situations. For example, the Gospel of Mary and the Letter of Peter to Phillip focus on endurance and resistance in the face of an empire. When we explore the voices beyond the Biblical canon, not only do we get a fuller picture of the early Christian world, but we gain resources for navigating the contemporary world.

~John Rogers

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