History has one hell of a chronic problem when it comes to keeping some of the greatest triumphs in human achievement safe from the triumphs of greater assholes. As a result, a whole lot of the most important stuff humans have ever created has been destroyed or lost.
Here are a few of the works of art, literature and science that would have been some of the most influential in history, had they lasted long enough.
7The (Supposed) Lost Sayings of Jesus
The Q Document, if it exists, is probably the single most influential thing recorded, like, in the history of ever.
This is because the Q Document supposedly contains the lion's share of the collected teachings of Rabbi Jesus of Nazareth, and is the suspected source for many of his quotes in the Gospels of Matthew and Luke.
The Gospel according to Q.
Basically, the Gospels of Matthew and Luke were written apart from each other, but there are certain sections to them that are nearly identical, right down to identical phrasing. So, some scholars think that means both books were referencing the same document. A document that apparently contained Jesus' teachings. A document that has never been found.
But if it's out there, somewhere, holy crap. The parts they used from it are the really important sections: the Golden rule, the Beatitudes, the Lord's Prayer, a bunch of parables... literally enough stuff to found an entire religion with. And that's only the parts they used.
What else was in there? We'll never know.
Red means Q wrote it.
So What Happened?
The mere existence of the document is the subject of heated discussion (as is, well, everything having to do with the subject of where the Bible came from). This has nothing to do with whether or not you believe in Christianity, by the way. The point is, the Gospels seem to be borrowing from a collection of sayings of someone who was, at the very least, one of the most influential teachers in human history. And we don't have the document they were referencing.
Keep in mind, working with what wound up in the Bible alone, we only have a few hours' worth of information on the life of Jesus of Nazareth. The dude was a freaking rabbi. There had to have been more to his teachings, never mind conversations, jokes and witticisms. Think of how the evolution of Western culture would have changed if we had more specific writings from Jesus on, say, slavery, or homosexuality, or abortion, or women's rights.
Or gun control.
Scholars arguing against the existence of the Q Document rightfully point out that this would have been a hell of a thing for the early church to lose. And it would have been lost a long, long time ago. We can't even find records of people referring to the document, no matter how far back we go.
Either way, if the Q Document ever existed, it is likely gone forever; buried in the middle of the desert, or even worse... erased from memory.