Pliny the Younger
our earliest non-Christian witness to Christians
Martyrdom of Polycarp
One of the earliest martyrdoms from circa 156 CE
Acts of the Scillitan Martyrs
An early martyrdom, which gives the basic structure of a martyrdom.
Infancy Gospel of James
A fascinating attempt to stress the divinity of Jesus and the virginity of Mary.
Infancy Gospel of Thomas
What was Jesus like as a youngster? Curious minds want to know.
Martyrdom of Perpetua and Felicitas
A fascinating account of two women, including the diary ofone of the martyrs
Gospel of Mary
A fascinating document which suggests a put-down of regular Christian leadership, and a special role for women leaders
Plato's Allegory of the Cave
Sallustius, a 4th century pagan writer, gives a sense of an educated pagan's view of the world
Fascinating synagogue and Christian Church in Dura-Europos on the Euphrates, from the mid- third century CE
Lucian of Samosata
Lucian's satiric account of the death of Peregrinus is both a take-off of a holy man becoming immortal, and also in passing mentions that Peregrinus was a Christian at one time.
Gospel of Truth
Attributed to a Christian named Valentinus who lived in the first half of the second century CE. Note the biblical references, but also the changes.
Apocryphon of John
A classic example of an alternative way of looking at this cosmos and its creation, as it re-interprets Genesis
Ptolemy's Letter to Flora
Ptolemy argues how Christians should read the Hebrew Scriptures.
Augustine On Grace and Free Will
The Martyrdom of Pionius and his Companions