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Offline Doc

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Gnostic Gospels
« on: February 16, 2010, 03:14:36 PM »
I'm far from a Biblical scholar, but I've been long curious as to why these books were excluded from the Canon (ostensibly during the Council of Nicaea, in 325 AD).

First, many of these writings source from the Egyptian Coptic Church, which is recognized as being one of the earliest organized Christian churches.  It is theorized that this church was founded by Mary herself, when she fled to Egypt following the Crucifixion.

An excerpted discussion from Wiki:

Quote
The documents which comprise the collection of gnostic gospels were not discovered at a single time, but rather as a series of finds. The Nag Hammadi Library was discovered accidentally by two farmers in December 1945 and was named for the area in Egypt where it had been hidden for centuries. Other documents included in what are now known as the gnostic gospels were found at different times and locations, such as the Gospel of Mary, which was recovered in 1896 as part of the Akhmim Codex and published in 1955. Some documents were duplicated in different finds, and others, such as with the Gospel of Mary Magdalene, only one copy is currently known to exist.

Although the manuscripts discovered at Nag Hammadi are generally dated to the 4th century, there is some debate regarding the original composition of the texts. A wide range and the majority of scholars date authorship of the Gnostic gospel of Nag Hammadi to the second and third century. Scholars with a focus on Christianity tend to date the gospels mentioned by Irenaeus to the 2nd century, and the gospels mentioned solely by Jerome to the 4th century. The traditional dating of the gospels derives primarily from this division. Other scholars with a deeper focus on pagan and Jewish literature of the period tend to date primarily based on the type of the work.

The Gospel of Thomas is held by most to be the earliest of the Gnostic gospels composed. Scholars generally date the text to the early-mid second century. Some scholars including Nicholas Perrin argue that Thomas is dependent on the Diatessaron, which was composed shortly after 172 by Tatian in Syria. A minority view contends for an early date of perhaps 50, citing a relationship to the hypothetical Q document among other reasons.
 
The Gospel of the Lord, a non-gnostic but otherwise non-canonical heretical text, can be dated no later than the time of Marcion in the early 2nd century. The traditional view holds Marcion did not compose the gospel directly but, "expunged [from the Gospel of Luke] all the things that oppose his view... but retained those things that accord with his opinion"  The traditional view and dating has continued to be affirmed by the mainstream of biblical scholars, however, G. R. S. Mead and others have argued that Marcion's gospel predates the canonical Luke and was in use in Pauline churches.

The Gospel of Truth and the teachings of the Pistis Sophia can be unquestionably dated to the early 2nd century as they were part of the original Valentinian school, though the gospel itself is third century.
Documents with a Sethian influence (like the Gospel of Judas, or outright Sethian like Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians can be dated substantially later than 40 and substantially earlier than 250; most scholars giving them a 2nd century date. More conservative scholars using the traditional dating method would argue in these cases for the early 3rd century.
Some gnostic gospels (for example Trimorphic Protennoia) make use of fully developed Neoplatonism and thus need to be dated after Plotinus in the 3rd century.

Selected gospels:
Though there are many documents that could be included among the gnostic gospels, the term most commonly refers to the following:

Gospel of Mary (recovered in 1896)
Gospel of Thomas (versions found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1898, and again in the Nag Hammadi Library)
Gospel of Truth (Nag Hammadi Library)
Gospel of Philip (Nag Hammadi Library)
Gospel of Judas (recovered via the antiquities black market in 1983, and then reconstructed in 2006)]

I've read excerpts from several of these, and I have yet to determine what the early bishops found so controversial about them (other than chronological irregularities), as to exclude them from consideration in the New Testament.

I would be interested in the opinions of those of you of the faith regarding these writings, and their contents, as well as what would have been the effect on the church were they included in our modern scriptural study.

doc
« Last Edit: February 16, 2010, 03:48:26 PM by TVDOC »

Offline Chris

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #1 on: February 16, 2010, 03:20:45 PM »
I've read parts of those in addition to the Gospel of Nicodemus.  I don't get what the big deal was either, but I'm probably the last person you should ask about these kinds of things.
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #2 on: February 16, 2010, 03:45:36 PM »
From what I've read, these particular books were deemed heretical and didn't always show Christ in a positive light. In other words, even the media was biased way back when........ That's why I don't consider the bible an absolute as many Christians do.
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #3 on: February 16, 2010, 03:56:44 PM »
From what I've read, these particular books were deemed heretical and didn't always show Christ in a positive light. In other words, even the media was biased way back when........ That's why I don't consider the bible an absolute as many Christians do.

I would agree.......even the Vatican acknowledges that the earliest of the included Gospels was not committed to writing until 80 years after Christ's Crucifixion, the logical conclusion being that the story was passed by "word of mouth" until that time.......

Setting aside the "Divine Guidance" concept for a moment, I think that it would be naive to think that the Council of Nicaea, with 1800 bishops participating, would not have had a lot of political infighting.

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #4 on: February 16, 2010, 04:19:48 PM »
I would agree.......even the Vatican acknowledges that the earliest of the included Gospels was not committed to writing until 80 years after Christ's Crucifixion, the logical conclusion being that the story was passed by "word of mouth" until that time.......

Setting aside the "Divine Guidance" concept for a moment, I think that it would be naive to think that the Council of Nicaea, with 1800 bishops participating, would not have had a lot of political infighting.

doc

It's my understanding that the Gospel of Mark, one of the three Synoptic Gospels, was the first. It was written between A.D. 60 to 80, but probably not long after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 66.

I'd offer that the Gnostic Gospels were omitted from the Canon because in order to qualify for inclusion into what became the New Testament, the author had to be either an apostle or situated very close to one. Luke was not an apostle, but he qualifies as he was a very close associate of Paul's.
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #5 on: February 16, 2010, 04:27:38 PM »
It's my understanding that the Gospel of Mark, one of the three Synoptic Gospels, was the first. It was written between A.D. 60 to 80, but probably not long after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in A.D. 66.

I'd offer that the Gnostic Gospels were omitted from the Canon because in order to qualify for inclusion into what became the New Testament, the author had to be either an apostle or situated very close to one. Luke was not an apostle, but he qualifies as he was a very close associate of Paul's.

However, it has been established that none of the included gospels were actually written by the people for whom they are named (they were long dead by the time the account was written) , and the actual authors of most are completely unknown.......we draw the assumption that the origional account was related by the person for whom they are named, and later comitted to writing by someone else.

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #6 on: February 16, 2010, 04:31:26 PM »
However, it has been established that none of the included gospels were actually written by the people for whom they are named (they were long dead by the time the account was written) , and the actual authors of most are completely unknown.......we draw the assumption that the origional account was related by the person for whom they are named, and later comitted to writing by someone else.

doc

Are you saying that the Gospel of Luke was written by somebody other than Luke? Gospel of Mark written by somebody other than John Mark?

I'm not sure I'm following you here....
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #7 on: February 16, 2010, 04:36:31 PM »
Are you saying that the Gospel of Luke was written by somebody other than Luke? Gospel of Mark written by somebody other than John Mark?

I'm not sure I'm following you here....

That is correct.......inasmuch as "written" is literally interpreted as "committed to writing".......the Gospels were actually "written" between 80 and 250 AD, long after the demise of those that are named.  That is not to say that the oral history did not originate with the named apostle.......at least according to Vatican research.

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #8 on: February 16, 2010, 04:41:51 PM »
This gives a general analysis to authorship and timeframe:

http://protestantism.suite101.com/article.cfm/credibility_of_the_gospels

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #9 on: February 16, 2010, 04:42:17 PM »
That is correct.......inasmuch as "written" is literally interpreted as "committed to writing".......the Gospels were actually "written" between 80 and 250 AD, long after the demise of those that are named.  That is not to say that the oral history did not originate with the named apostle.......at least according to Vatican research.

doc

I know that scholars are still debating whether or not Matthew was written by Matthew or somebody else; and ditto with John. There's that whole business with Q, etc.

It's a fine point as to whether or not Luke actually put pen to paper/papyrus -- I'm satisfied that Luke's gospel and the book of Acts were "written" by him.
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Offline Celtic Rose

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #10 on: February 16, 2010, 04:49:23 PM »
Another point of consideration is that when the church "created" the New Testament, what they really did was compile the works that were widely recognized among Christians as being valid.  The gnostic gospels were excluded for various reasons.  Mainly, they didn't have a strong enough lineage (ie, the author did not have a strong enough connection to an apostle) or they weren't widely recognized.  Whether or not they have spiritual value likely depends on the specific writing in question.

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #11 on: February 16, 2010, 04:49:45 PM »
I know that scholars are still debating whether or not Matthew was written by Matthew or somebody else; and ditto with John. There's that whole business with Q, etc.

It's a fine point as to whether or not Luke actually put pen to paper/papyrus -- I'm satisfied that Luke's gospel and the book of Acts were "written" by him.

From the link above:

Quote
Who Wrote the Gospels?

The Gospels themselves are formally anonymous. Nevertheless, some deference should be given to those who lived during or close to the time period in which the Gospels were written. And it is due to these individuals, who lived near the area of the books' composition, that traditional attribution to Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John was made.



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Offline MrsSmith

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #12 on: February 16, 2010, 05:29:01 PM »
I'd like to point out, first, that the Gospels are attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by most Christian scholars. 

Quote
Since the times of the early church fathers, the apostle Matthew has always been accredited with the authorship of the first gospel (canonically). Even the title "According to Matthew" (KATA MAQQAION) is found in the earliest manuscripts, and was the most highly regarded and quoted of the gospels by the church fathers.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/matthew.cfm

Quote
Though the author does not directly identify himself, there is still strong evidence to attribute the Gospel to John Mark. In addition to Markan composition, church fathers also state that Mark was the interpreter of Peter, which would give reason to believe that he wrote his Gospel under the guidance or assistance of the apostle. [1] Like the other Gospels, the title "According to Mark" (KATA MARKON) is found in the earliest manuscripts.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/mark.cfm

Quote
Externally, even the earliest manuscripts support the title "According to Luke" (KATA LOUKAN). [2] Much of early church tradition also believed that Luke wrote this Gospel. [3]

The name Luke is only mentioned three times in the New Testament. From these three occurrences, it is evident that Luke was a physician (Col 4:14) and a companion of Paul
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/luke.cfm

Quote
he Apostle John is usually credited with the authorship of the fourth Gospel. First of all, the author had to have been an eyewitness of the ministry of Jesus (1:14; 19:35; 21:24). He would have also had a decent familiarity with Palestine before the destruction of the temple in AD 70, and would have been familiar with the Jewish way of life. John the Apostle does fit the description, but it is not exclusive to him. Early traditions help to identify the author as John. Irenaeus, a disciple of John's disciple Polycarp, is of the earliest extant sources to associate John with the fourth Gospel. [1] Like the other Gospels, the title "According to John" (KATA IWANNHN) is found in the earliest manuscripts.
http://www.blueletterbible.org/study/intros/john.cfm

Denying the authorship of Scripture is a very common way to try to muddy or deny the message.  Just as denying the accuracy of the OT has become very popular among so-called scholars...many of whom have been embarrassed by archeological evidence supporting the Biblical accounts.  In point of fact, despite the opinion of "scholars" today, no archeological evidence has been found that proves any Biblical account wrong. 

 
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Offline MrsSmith

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #13 on: February 16, 2010, 05:36:49 PM »
I asked my hubby about the objections to the Gnostic Gospels because I couldn't google what I thought I remembered...and, besides the association with an apostle, the books included had to get the basic Gospel correct.  If the author didn't understand how Salvation worked, then the writings could not have been divinely inspired.
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Offline Chris_

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2010, 05:43:37 PM »
I'd like to point out, first, that the Gospels are attributed to Matthew, Mark, Luke and John by most Christian scholars.

Denying the authorship of Scripture is a very common way to try to muddy or deny the message.  Just as denying the accuracy of the OT has become very popular among so-called scholars...many of whom have been embarrassed by archeological evidence supporting the Biblical accounts.  In point of fact, despite the opinion of "scholars" today, no archeological evidence has been found that proves any Biblical account wrong.   

No one has attempted to deny anything about the Gospels........merely pointing out the facts associated with what is known about them.

And the original topic was the "Gnostic Gospels".......there may be Christians that consider these writings "heresy", but IMO, broadening our scope, and continuing the quest for additional scriptural knowledge is never a bad thing.......

doc
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #15 on: February 16, 2010, 05:56:50 PM »
No one has attempted to deny anything about the Gospels........merely pointing out the facts associated with what is known about them.

And the original topic was the "Gnostic Gospels".......there may be Christians that consider these writings "heresy", but IMO, broadening our scope, and continuing the quest for additional scriptural knowledge is never a bad thing.......

doc

You HERETIC!!! You WILL abide by the Bible and what's in it!!! Nothing more!!! [/sarc]

The Catholic Church called a lot of them the "Apocrypha" (the Gnostic  Books)
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #16 on: February 16, 2010, 05:59:12 PM »
You HERETIC!!! You WILL abide by the Bible and what's in it!!! Nothing more!!! [/sarc]

The Catholic Church called a lot of them the "Apocrypha" (the Gnostic  Books)

Good grief....I created another monster.......all I can hope for now, is that this one doesn't go 22 pages......

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #17 on: February 16, 2010, 06:03:50 PM »
No one has attempted to deny anything about the Gospels........merely pointing out the facts associated with what is known about them.

And the original topic was the "Gnostic Gospels".......there may be Christians that consider these writings "heresy", but IMO, broadening our scope, and continuing the quest for additional scriptural knowledge is never a bad thing.......

doc
That would be true...if the knowledge is from divinely-inspired scripture.  But there were liars back then, just as there are now.  It is a bad thing to search for scriptural knowledge in writings that are NOT scripture...writings that have the basic message wrong.  The Bible reveals to us the mind of God, inasmuch as we can understand it, but that cannot be revealed from writings He didn't inspire.

And those "facts" aren't considered "facts" by most Christian scholars.
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #18 on: February 16, 2010, 06:05:52 PM »
The gnostics also believed something radically different from what today we would call traditional Christianity.  The essential doctrine which set the gnostics apart was a belief that there was a good God and an evil, insane creator god, the god who created the earth being the evil one.  This caused some rather radical theories about Jesus, such as, Jesus being the true Son of the good God was sent here to release us from the bondage of the insane creator god, Samael and therefore, not being a creation of Samael, Jesus could not have taken on flesh and therefore could not have died on the cross.

Furthermore, true salvation came from gnosis, or direct knowledge imparted by the True God and not from a church hierarchy and definitely not from the crucifixion for the reason stated above.

During the 12th and 13th century there was a resurgence of gnosticism starting with the Bogomils of the east influencing the Cathar movement in Occetania (today southern France) and led to the Albigensian crusade.  The society of the Cathars was one of believers and the Perfected.  When a believer was near death, a Perfecti was summoned who would impart a ritual to the dying believer that was supposed help them in the next life remember who they were and the true nature of the world and this ritual was supposed to shorten the length of time it took to be freed from Samael's false creation and united with the True God above the false creator God of this world.  Can't quite remember how this final transition was supposed to happen.

After the Albigensian Crusade, the Bogomils continued for a time in the east but finally the western church pressured the eastern church and they were somehow wiped out also.


Afterward, the gnostics disappear from history and not much thought of until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codex in, was it 1944?  So either they were all wiped out by the 14th century or learned to keep very, very quiet.
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #19 on: February 16, 2010, 06:16:38 PM »
That would be true...if the knowledge is from divinely-inspired scripture.  But there were liars back then, just as there are now.  It is a bad thing to search for scriptural knowledge in writings that are NOT scripture...writings that have the basic message wrong.  The Bible reveals to us the mind of God, inasmuch as we can understand it, but that cannot be revealed from writings He didn't inspire.

And those "facts" aren't considered "facts" by most Christian scholars.

If you'll review the first page, I think that you will find that I asked that the "Divinely Inspired" argument be set aside for a moment in consideration of these texts.

I suppose that one could argue that the 1800 bishops that made the decision in 325 AD were "Divinely Inspired", but in reality, logic might dictate that we cast a wider net.....so to speak......

doc
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #20 on: February 16, 2010, 06:23:16 PM »
The gnostics also believed something radically different from what today we would call traditional Christianity.  The essential doctrine which set the gnostics apart was a belief that there was a good God and an evil, insane creator god, the god who created the earth being the evil one.  This caused some rather radical theories about Jesus, such as, Jesus being the true Son of the good God was sent here to release us from the bondage of the insane creator god, Samael and therefore, not being a creation of Samael, Jesus could not have taken on flesh and therefore could not have died on the cross.

Furthermore, true salvation came from gnosis, or direct knowledge imparted by the True God and not from a church hierarchy and definitely not from the crucifixion for the reason stated above.

During the 12th and 13th century there was a resurgence of gnosticism starting with the Bogomils of the east influencing the Cathar movement in Occetania (today southern France) and led to the Albigensian crusade.  The society of the Cathars was one of believers and the Perfected.  When a believer was near death, a Perfecti was summoned who would impart a ritual to the dying believer that was supposed help them in the next life remember who they were and the true nature of the world and this ritual was supposed to shorten the length of time it took to be freed from Samael's false creation and united with the True God above the false creator God of this world.  Can't quite remember how this final transition was supposed to happen.

After the Albigensian Crusade, the Bogomils continued for a time in the east but finally the western church pressured the eastern church and they were somehow wiped out also.


Afterward, the gnostics disappear from history and not much thought of until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Codex in, was it 1944?  So either they were all wiped out by the 14th century or learned to keep very, very quiet.


I'm familiar with the Cathars........it would be interesting to compare their beliefs with those of the Coptic Church which is (I believe) from whence they came initially.......as well as the Nag Hammadi texts....

doc
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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #21 on: February 16, 2010, 07:10:11 PM »
An excerpt from a discussion of the Gnostic texts:

Quote
Why were these texts buried-and why have they remained virtually unknown for nearly 2,000 years? Their suppression as banned documents, and their burial on the cliff at Nag Hammadi, it turns out, were both part of a struggle critical for the formation of early Christianity. The Nag Hammadi texts, and others like them, which circulated at the beginning of the Christian era, were denounced as heresy by orthodox Christians in the middle of the second century. We have long known that many early followers of Christ were condemned by other Christians as heretics, but nearly all we knew about them came from what their opponents wrote attacking them. Bishop Irenaeus, who supervised the church in Lyons, c. 180, wrote five volumes, entitled The Destruction and Overthrow of Falsely So-called Knowledge, which begin with his promise to set forth the views of those who are now teaching heresy . . . to show how absurd and inconsistent with the truth are their statements . . . I do this so that . . . you may urge all those with whom you are connected to avoid such an abyss of madness and of blasphemy against Christ.

He denounces as especially "full of blasphemy" a famous gospel called the Gospel of Truth. Is Irenaeus referring to the same Gospel of Truth discovered at Nag Hammadi' Quispel and his collaborators, who first published the Gospel of Truth, argued that he is; one of their critics maintains that the opening line (which begins "The gospel of truth") is not a title. But Irenaeus does use the same source as at least one of the texts discovered at Nag Hammadi--the Apocryphon (Secret Book) of John--as ammunition for his own attack on such "heresy." Fifty years later Hippolytus, a teacher in Rome, wrote another massive Refutation of All Heresies to "expose and refute the wicked blasphemy of the heretics."

This campaign against heresy involved an involuntary admission of its persuasive power; yet the bishops prevailed. By the time of the Emperor Constantine's conversion, when Christianity became an officially approved religion in the fourth century, Christian bishops, previously victimized by the police, now commanded them. Possession of books denounced as heretical was made a criminal offense. Copies of such books were burned and destroyed. But in Upper Egypt, someone; possibly a monk from a nearby monastery of St. Pachomius, took the banned books and hid them from destruction--in the jar where they remained buried for almost 1,600 years.

But those who wrote and circulated these texts did not regard themselves as "heretics. Most of the writings use Christian terminology, unmistakable related to a Jewish heritage. Many claim to offer traditions about Jesus that are secret, hidden from "the many" who constitute what, in the second century, came to be called the "catholic church." These Christians are now called gnostics, from the Greek word gnosis, usually translated as "knowledge." For as those who claim to know nothing about ultimate reality are called agnostic (literally, "not knowing"), the person who does claim to know such things is called gnostic ("knowing"). But gnosis is not primarily rational knowledge. The Greek language distinguishes between scientific or reflective knowledge ("He knows mathematics") and knowing through observation or experience ("He knows me"), which is gnosis. As the gnostics use the term, we could translate it as "insight," for gnosis involves an intuitive process of knowing oneself. And to know oneself, they claimed, is to know human nature and human destiny. According to the gnostic teacher Theodotus, writing in Asia Minor (c. 140-160), the gnostic is one has come to understand who we were, and what we have become; where we were... whither we are hastening; from what we are being released; what birth is, and what is rebirth.

Yet to know oneself, at the deepest level, is simultaneously to know God; this is the secret of gnosis. Another gnostic teacher, Monoimus, says:

Abandon the search for God and the creation and other matters of a similar sort. Look for him by taking yourself as the starting point. Learn who it is within you who makes everything his own and says, "My God, my mind, my thought, my soul, my body." Learn the sources of sorrow:, joy, love, hate . . . If you carefully investigate these matters you will find him in yourself.

What Muhammad 'All discovered at Nag Hammadi is, apparently, a library of writings, almost all of them gnostic. Although they claim to offer secret teaching, many of these texts refer to the Scriptures of the Old Testament, and others to the letters of Paul and the New Testament gospels. Many of them include the same dramatic personae as the New Testament--Jesus and his disciples. Yet the differences are striking.

Orthodox Jews and Christians insist that a chasm separates humanity from Its creator: God is wholly other. But some of the gnostics who wrote these gospels contradict this: self-knowledge is knowledge of God; the self and the divine are identical.

Second, the "living Jesus" of these texts speaks of illusion and enlightenment, not of sin and repentance, like the Jesus of the New Testament. Instead of coming to save us from sin, he comes as a guide who opens access to spiritual understanding. But when the disciple attains enlightenment, Jesus no longer serves as his spiritual master: the two have become equal--even identical.

Third, orthodox Christians believe that Jesus is Lord and Son of God in a unique way: he remains forever distinct from the rest of humanity whom he came to save. Yet the gnostic Gospel of Thomas relates that as soon as Thomas recognizes him, Jesus says to Thomas that they have both received their being from the same source:

Jesus said, "I am not your master. Because you have drunk, you have become drunk from the bubbling stream which I have measured out.... He who will drink from my mouth will become as I am: I myself shall become he, and the things that are hidden will be revealed to him."


doc
If you want to worship an orange pile of garbage with a reckless disregard for everything, get on down to Arbys & try our loaded curly fries.

Offline rubliw

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #22 on: February 16, 2010, 07:21:54 PM »
The gnostics also believed something radically different from what today we would call traditional Christianity.  The essential doctrine which set the gnostics apart was a belief that there was a good God and an evil, insane creator god, the god who created the earth being the evil one.

One other novel and interesting thing about the Gnostics, was that they also believed that this evil God was, in fact, the God described by the Old Testament.

Offline MrsSmith

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #23 on: February 16, 2010, 08:02:38 PM »
If you'll review the first page, I think that you will find that I asked that the "Divinely Inspired" argument be set aside for a moment in consideration of these texts.

I suppose that one could argue that the 1800 bishops that made the decision in 325 AD were "Divinely Inspired", but in reality, logic might dictate that we cast a wider net.....so to speak......

doc
If you ignore the divine inspiration, then you've decided to consider anything at all to be scripture.  Without divine inspiration, it really is just something some guy wrote down.  It's not possible to learn about God if He isn't the originator.  That would be like trying to learn about Him by reading wilbur's posts.
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Offline Chris_

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Re: Gnostic Gospels
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2010, 08:25:57 PM »
If you ignore the divine inspiration, then you've decided to consider anything at all to be scripture.  Without divine inspiration, it really is just something some guy wrote down.  It's not possible to learn about God if He isn't the originator.  That would be like trying to learn about Him by reading wilbur's posts.

For sake of this discussion, I can learn about God by viewing the universe through a telescope, or by watching a sunset, or reading the elegant solution to a complex equation........God is not vested alone in Scripture, nor is Scripture the sole means of learning about God........

doc
If you want to worship an orange pile of garbage with a reckless disregard for everything, get on down to Arbys & try our loaded curly fries.