When a faithful Gnostic from Nag Hammadi buried his favorite sacred scriptures in order to prevent their destruction by the fires of the early Christian Church, they must have dreamed that one day in the far, far distance future someone would dig up their sacred scripture and expose them for all of the world to see.
In 1945, the papyrus texts were discovered, in an age of archaeological enlightenment, where the books would not be destroyed but celebrated as a look into an ancient world and worldview few in the 20th century could hope to observe.
When Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer edited their collection of The Gnostic Bible: Gnostic Texts of Mystical Wisdom from the Ancient and Medieval Worlds, they were exposing these texts, which were God-breathed (in the eyes of some), for the education and enlightenment of the modern world. Robert M. Price, editor of The Pre-Nicene New Testament: Fifty-four Formative Texts, no doubt sought to disclose many ancient texts viewed by modern Biblical studies as apocryphal, but where studied devoutly by ancient Christians.
Did these men write the texts they included in this works? Of course not. Did these men learn of these texts from sources outside of themselves? Of course. they did.
When I was writing the Next Testament, I sought to write a work that was God-breathed. For the Crusadic Testament, I sought another path that was equally profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works (2 Tim. 3:16-17). I wanted to bring to light the letters and documents written by eyewitnesses to and participants of the Crusades. Eyewitness accounts no longer read but by the most hardened of historians.
What if (again the great What If) these documents had been compiled into a Crusadic Testament and published simultaneously with the Holy Bible? Then any Bible-schoolchild would know of the epistles of Fulcher of Chartres, Albert of Aix, Raymond d’Aguilders, Stephen of Blois, Anselm of Ribemont, and the crusading Princes.
I found two great sources for the First Part of the Crusadic Testament: Translations and reprints from the original sources of European history by University of Pennsylvania. Dept. of History and Dana Carleton Munro, and The first crusade; the accounts of eyewitnesses and participants by August C. Krey. Both works are wonderfully thorough, expertly researched, and excitedly fallen into the public-domain.
A third source was of great importance: The Crusades: A Documentary History, translated by James Brundage. In an age of derision for plagiarism, I must note that Mr. Brundage himself claims the copyright was not renewed on his 1962 work. Therefore the use of his translations in this work are not illegal and do not constitute copyright infringement nor plagiarism. While I have not expressly sought permission to reprint these translations, I wish to extend my thanks to Mr. Brundage for translating these important eyewitness accounts into English, and hopefully not objecting to their use.