Another cause of the lack of source material relevant to the early years of Christianity, in Jerusalem, after the death of Yeshua, stems from the facts that though Jewish scholars had written at length about the long succession of Hebrew kings from Saul, David, Solomon and the assortment of claimant-kings through the centuries of Roman rule, they were not culturally interested in collecting other cultures’ artefacts for the sake of creating depositories in which to house them.
Once Rome fell to the Barbarians and the population of Ancient Israel was deprived of its own leadership and fell into even harder times, the scholars, as well as the people turned inward to their own, rich and ancient spiritual system, one that had been sparked by Moshe’s (Moses) conversations with God and the subsequent handing down of the Tablets – some 1300 years earlier.
Although the Temple libraries were brimming, the Temple Priests in office circa 34 AD and beyond did not appear greatly interested in what the ‘neighbors’ were getting up to – at least not in regards to their budding Christian spirituality.
When, in 70 AD, Rome finally destroyed Jerusalem in yet another attempt to quell yet another (provoked) Jewish rebellion, the massive Temple, known as the second Temple, the marvel of its time, was totally gutted by fire.
And if this combined state of affairs did not constitute enough peril for frail papyrus and thin parchment ‘classics’, along came 476 AD!
Rome finally fell and it fell under the might of the Barbarian tribes. Acting as the proverbial ‘barbarians’ that they were, they promptly ransacked libraries and places of worships, everyone’s, destroying all manner of cultural significance – not out of any intellectual retribution, but more likely out of an intellectual void.
To that ever growing pile of vanishing seminal documents, let us add the fifty-two Gnostics texts rejected by the Church. The early Gnostics were a Jewish movement and the texts they wrote between the 2nd and the 4th centuries were based on the philosophies of various ancient prophets. It is said that some of their reflections included were on or about Yeshua/Jesus.
As modern-day writers of Apocalyptic Christian fantasy would like to suggest, who knows what original manuscripts, thought to have been long ago lost forever, have been resting in the impregnable innermost coffers of Vatican City! It is safe to assume that whatever documents are there, under a many century-long house arrest, must be have been considered detractors of the party line.
Be that as it may, one has to marvel at the amazingly rich posthumous life that has been crafted for Yeshua, one scroll at a time – one gospel at a time, one synod at a time – beginning some fourteen years after his death and spanning the millennia.