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Page viii of Four hitherto unpublished gospels : a series of character studies cast in the form of personal memoirs of John the Baptist, Andrew the brother of Simon Peter, Judas Iscariot, James the brother of Jesus / by William E. Barton.

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PREFACE Nevertheless, it is undeniable that there were other men who knew Jesus, some of whom were members of the apostolic group, who, if they had written of the life and ministry of Jesus as they saw it, would have told us some things which the four Gospels have omitted, just as each of our four gos)els contains something which is omitted by all three of the others, and we have no reason to doubt that they would have done this truthfully and that, whether such books ever became a part of the New Testament or not, they would have had genuine value for us. In the following chapters no considerable attempt is made to reconstruct incidents which the Gospels do not record, or to imagine scenes which these men witnessed in which the others did not have a share. Such a literary method would involve more of modern imagination than seems 1)rofitable. But it is in order to recall the events in which we know these particular men participated and to endeavour to discover how they would have appeared in their eyes. Such a method cannot seem irreverent, and it may be pursued with profit. Our four Gospels might have been eight or twelve; each of the apostles might have written one; and so might others who like Mark and Luke had never been apostles. Viii