Gnostic Gospels

Each coloured link within the article will lead you to a related topic on a different page of this site. However while the text is part of the original article, the links are not. The author of this article may, or may not, agree with the views expressed on those pages, or anything else on this site.. The Claim of the Critics. Some radical critics of the New Testament claim that the Gnostic Gospel of Thomas is equal or superior to the New Testament and that it does not support the resurrection of Christ, which is hardly surprising considering that it is primarily a sayings source rather than historical narration. Both stances are serious challenges to the historic Christian faith. This manuscript contains sayings attributed to Jesus. Other sayings were unknown until their discovery or even run counter to what is written in the four Gospels.

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According to Hippolytus, this view was inspired by the Pythagoreans , who called the first thing that came into existence the Monad, which begat the dyad, which begat the numbers, which begat the point , begetting lines , etc. The Sethian cosmogony as most famously contained in the Apocryphon “Secret book” of John describes an unknown God, very similar to the orthodox apophatic theology , but different from the orthodox teachings that this God is the creator of heaven and earth.

Orthodox theologians often attempt to define God through a series of explicit positive statements: The Sethian hidden transcendent God is, by contrast, defined through negative theology: In the Apocryphon of John , this god is good in that it bestows goodness.

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The traditional Christian interpretation of the sayings and teachings of Jesus are now being challenged, not by a new system of thought, but by the system of thought and practice that were in place before the rise of Christianity. While early Christians were dedicated to destroying all vestiges of competing religions during their rise to dominance in the fourth through the sixth centuries, some remnants of the earlier foundation, upon which Christianity was ultimately based, have now surfaced.

Christianity has focused primarily on the teachings of Paul. The teachings of Paul are clear and unambiguous, stated in plain language, un-obscured by parable and hidden meanings. While Jesus is raised to the position of God, Redeemer and Messiah, the actual sayings and teachings of Jesus have languished in the halls of religious academia, their actual meaning relegated to polite debate between scholars of different faiths, but of common Christian heritage.

The people of the Christian faith have learned little of the actual teachings of Jesus and even less about the life changing impact the teachings of Jesus portend for the average individual. For over years Gnosticism was the pinnacle of spiritual teaching available to the public. People traveled from all over the known world to study the teaching and practice of Gnosticism, centered in the world capital of culture, science and the arts, Alexandria, Egypt.

Does the Gospel of Thomas belong in the New Testament?

The groups conventionally classified as gnostic did not constitute a single movement with relatively homogeneous organization, teachings, and rituals. Even the self-designation gnostic is problematic, since it is attested for only some of the traditions conventionally treated as gnostic, and its connotations are ambiguous. Whereas some researchers argue that the term gnostic should be restricted to the sects or schools that called themselves by that name, others extend the category to include additional religious movements that allegedly shared various distinctive features.

Still others treat gnosticism as a world religion that existed from antiquity to early modern times—surviving, for example, in the mythology and ritual of the Mandaeans of Iraq and Iran see below Influence. Many of the so-called gnostic groups are characterized by a mythology that distinguishes between an inferior creator of the world a demiurge and a more transcendent god or order of being. Another frequently encountered theme is that there is a special class or race of humans that is descended from the transcendent realm and is destined to achieve salvation and to return to its spiritual origins.

Gnostic Gospels – Introduction The Gnostic gospels are a product of Gnosticism. Gnosticism, broadly construed, recognizes two deities: the Demiurge-flawed and wicked creator of a flawed and wicked material world-who is often equated with the God of the Old Testament; and the “good God,” the Father of Jesus, who sent his Son to show humans the.

Masters of Learning Iraniologists have found the problem of the Magi to be one of the most compelling, as well as one of the most difficult, in the history of the ancient world. Iraniologists consider the problem of the Magi to be one of the most compelling, as well as one of the most difficult, in the history of the ancient world. I maintain that the problem can be elucidated, although not entirely solved, by distinguishing the Magians who remained committed to education and enlightenment from those who became involved in statecraft and social management —those later to be known as the Illuminati.

The Parsi word zoatar is the origin of the Greek word soter, “savior. Redemptive religion, based on a superhuman agent who implements the will of the paternal deity, is termed soteriological. In Hebrew religion, this agent is the messiah, conceived either as a human person, the King of the Jews, or a superhuman entity such as Melchizedek Zaddikim cult. In Christianity, it is Jesus as the incarnation of Christ, the only-begotten son of God, following the hybrid theology of Saint Paul.


Blumenthal and Conway P. Henderson, Life and Principate of Nero, f. Herrenschneider, Tentamen Apocalypseos illustrandae Strassburg: Hort, The Apocalypse of St. Macmillan, ; and Judaistic Christianity London: Gould and Newman,

Introduction. This article examines the results of the comparitively recent radiocarbon dating tests performed on fragments sourced from an ancient book or codex containing the .

Download eBook For all those readers curious to read the actual texts of the Gnostic Gospels, here is the definitive collection of all the Gnostic Gospels and Gospel—like texts. He includes his latest translations of not only the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, the Gospel of Mary, but other texts such as the Secret Book of John, which some scholars regard as the second part of the New Testament Gospel of John. The material is largely from the discovery at Nag Hammadi, freshly translated and introduced, but also includes texts found elsewhere.

The texts, especially taken together, present an image of Jesus as the ultimate wisdom teacher, a kind of mysterious Jewish Zen master, who scandalized listeners by his radical egalitarianism regarding women, slaves, the poor, the marginalized as of equal status, or more, with establishment male believers and his insistence on living the message, spiritual experience, vs. This book provides the definitive next book for those looking for expert presentation of the alternative Gnostic stream of Christianity, in which there is no talk of crucifixion and Mary Magdalene is presented as the disciple that Jesus loved best.

All of his research on the Nag Hammadi texts is having an incredible impact on our knowledge of early Christian history——it is virtually redefining it. Elaine Pagels, Princeton University Category:

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Elaine Pagels , born in , has taught at Barnard College, Columbia University after she received her doctorate from Harvard University in and chaired the department of religion at Barnard from She joined the Princeton faculty in as a professor of early Christian history, shortly after receiving a MacArthur Fellowship. She has published widely on Gnosticism and early Christianity, and continues to pursue research interests in late antiquity and writes about the theological shifts and battles within earlier Christianity.

This book is a provocative study of the gnostic gospels and the world of early Christianity as revealed through the Nag Hammadi texts.

Dating. 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. The Gospel of Thomas is held by most to be the earliest of the “gnostic” gospels composed. The Gnostic Gospels.

Proto-Gnosticism in Colossae and Hymenaeus and Philetus The philosophy of Gnosticism existed before Christianity, dating back to the last centuries before Christ, as a philosophy incorporating the Greek philosophy of Plato and others along with the Persian philosophy of Zoroaster. It did not take long after the Hellenistic world was exposed to Christianity for many groups of Gnostics to begin to incorporate Christ into their philosophy. The first such example may have been in the church of Colossae, to which Paul writes the following in Colossians 2: Take heed lest there shall be any one that maketh spoil of you through his philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ: Many Gnostic groups, following after the dualism of flesh and spirit of Plato, accepted the idea of Christ but not that He came to Earth in the form of a man.

They believed that He came in the appearance of a man, what we would call today a hologram, but could not have possibly humiliated Himself to the point of becoming human. We see, however, that Paul affirms this very thing, here and also in other places, especially Philippians 2: But shun profane babblings: It could very well be that Hymenaeus and Philetus accepted this belief and left the faith for a form of Gnosticism.

This is made evident by the large number of references to the bodily existence of Jesus John 1:

Christian History Magazine #96 – Gnostics

What is the Nag Hammadi library? Nag Hammadi is a town in northern Egypt where a collection of ancient writings was discovered in The collection of writings has since been titled the Nag Hammadi library, or the Nag Hammadi scrolls, or the Nag Hammadi codices.

Gnostics, Gnostic Gospels, & Gnosticism. A one-sentence description of Gnosticism: a religion that differentiates the evil god of this world (who is identified with the god of the Old Testament) from a higher more abstract God revealed by Jesus Christ, a religion that regards this world as the creation of a series of evil archons/powers who wish to keep the human soul trapped in an evil.

These ideas presented a way of salvation that dealt with the other-worldly and contained a transcendent conception of God. They also maintained a radical dualism of the realms of being — such as God and the world, spirit and matter, soul and body, light and darkness, good and evil, life and death, etc. While much of the gnostic literature associates itself with Christian symbolism, this form of salvation was considered a heresy within the Christian movement.

Recently, modern research has broadened the concept of Gnosticism by arguing a pre-Christian Jewish and a Hellenistic pagan Gnosticism — referring to Mandaean sources. It involves knowledge of God, the order and history of the upper worlds, and how man can achieve salvation. To know oneself at the deepest level was to know God. As gnostic teacher, Monoimus, said: 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.

He took the books home, where his mother unsuspectingly burned several to kindle the fire, as he and his brothers continued their quest for revenge. Once the murder was completed, Muhammad feared the police would come looking for him, so he gave the books to a local priest for safe keeping. A local history teacher named Raghib got word of the books and soon they were sold on the black market through antiquities dealers in Cairo.

How I Stopped Being Agnostic… and Became a Gnostic

How accurate are carbon-dating methods? All methods of radioactive dating rely on three assumptions that may not necessarily be true: Rate of Decay It is assumed that the rate of decay has remained constant over time. This assumption is backed by numerous scientific studies and is relatively sound.

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What is Christian Gnosticism? There is actually no such thing as Christian Gnosticism, because true Christianity and Gnosticism are mutually exclusive systems of belief. The principles of Gnosticism contradict what it means to be a Christian. Therefore, while some forms of Gnosticism may claim to be Christian, they are in fact decidedly non-Christian.

Gnosticism was perhaps the most dangerous heresy that threatened the early church during the first three centuries. Influenced by such philosophers as Plato, Gnosticism is based on two false premises. First, it espouses a dualism regarding spirit and matter. Gnostics assert that matter is inherently evil and spirit is good.

As a result of this presupposition, Gnostics believe anything done in the body, even the grossest sin, has no meaning because real life exists in the spirit realm only. Gnostics see themselves as a privileged class elevated above everybody else by their higher, deeper knowledge of God. To discredit the idea of any compatibility between Christianity and Gnosticism, one has only to compare their teachings on the main doctrines of the faith. On the matter of salvation, Gnosticism teaches that salvation is gained through the acquisition of divine knowledge which frees one from the illusions of darkness.

Although they claim to follow Jesus Christ and His original teachings, Gnostics contradict Him at every turn. Jesus said nothing about salvation through knowledge, but by faith in Him as Savior from sin.

The Yellow Book, a book by Samael Aun Weor

Are they the real history of Jesus? In a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. Fifty-two copies of ancient writings, called the Gnostic gospels were found in 13 leather-bound papyrus codices handwritten books. They were written in Coptic and belonged to a library in a monastery.

The gnostic gospels were named after the Greek word gnosis which means “knowledge” and is often used in Greek philosophy in a manner more consistent with the English “enlightenment”. Some scholars continue to maintain traditional dating for the emergence of .

The page manuscript, written in Coptic, purportedly surfaced in Geneva in and has only been translated now. We asked Legionary Father Thomas D. Williams, dean of theology at the Regina Apostolorum university in Rome, to comment on the relevance of the discovery. What is the “Gospel of Judas”? Though the manuscript still must be authenticated, it likely represents a fourth- or fifth-century text, and is a copy of an earlier document produced by a Gnostic sect called the Cainites.

The document paints Judas Iscariot in a positive light, and describes him as obeying a divine ordinance in handing over Jesus to the authorities for the salvation of the world.

Case for Christ: Gnostic Gospels vs Synoptic Gospels

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