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In the early centuries of Christianity (first to fourth century), the composition of the Bible was not fixed, as letters and manuscript were often kept separate, and different communities had different collections of texts. Many letters and sermons of the nascent Christian church in the first few centuries were persevered, even though they were not included in the New Testament. 

The most prominent of these historical documents are included in this collection by William Wake (d. 1737). The collection includes the following works:

  1. The Gospel of the Birth of Mary
  2. The Gospel Called the Protevangelion
  3. The First Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
  4. The Second, or St. Thomas’ Gospel of the Infancy of Jesus Christ
  5. The Gospel of Nicodemus, formerly called The Acts of Pontius Pilate
  6. The Epistles of Jesus Christ and Abgarus King of Edessa
  7. The Epistle of St. Paul the Apostle to the Laodiceans
  8. The Epistles of St. Paul the Apostle to Seneca, with Seneca’s to Paul
  9. The Acts of St. Paul and Thecla
  10. The First Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
  11. The Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
  12. The General Epistle of Barnabas
  13. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Ephesians
  14. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Magnesians
  15. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Trallians
  16. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Romans
  17. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Philadelphians
  18. The Epistle of Ignatius to the Smyrnaeans
  19. The Epistle of Ignatius to Polycarp
  20. The Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians
  21. The Book of Hermas
  22. The Apostles’ Creed