August 05, 2006

GNOSTIC GOSPELS ETCETERA

In recent months, the mainstream media have reported on Gnostic texts, particularly the one called “The Gospel of Thomas.”

The media reports speak of the Gnostics and Gnostic texts as being part of first-century Christianity. Such reports then claim that the Church arbitrarily threw out the Gnostic texts; therefore the Church has misled all of history since with the false claim that earliest Christianity was not Gnostic.

The fact is that the latest or last to be written texts of the Christian Bible are from between the years A.D. 90 and 100. However, what seems to be the earliest known Gnostic text is the “Gospel of Thomas” that directly quotes the latest texts of the Christian Bible. In order to do so, the “Gospel of Thomas” would have to have been written AFTER the texts of the Christian Bible had come into being.

Gnostics and their texts were in fact NEITHER contemporaries NOR aspects of the first-century of Christianity and its texts.

A Beliefnet.com article explains the strong differences between the authentic Christian texts and the Gnostic texts.
The character of Gnostic documents reflects a reaction, indeed an over-reaction, to the strongly Jewish flavor of all the New Testament documents, which in my judgment were all written by Jews, or perhaps in the case of Luke-Acts by a Jewish sympathizer (a God-fearer). These Gnostic characteristics include:

— strong matter-spirit dualism
— often, very strong asceticism
— no positive use of the Old Testament
— an anti-Semitic and anti-creation theology bias

The Gnostic documents seem to have been written almost exclusively by Gentiles. Perhaps this is why the Jewishness of the historical Jesus gets almost completely lost in the Gnostic documents.

Read the complete article at Beliefnet.com.
Click HERE for it.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Salome said...

That is very interesting. I watched the National Geographic's documentary about The Gospel of Judas (which I found highly amusing and no threat to my faith whatever), in which they tried to make out that the canonical gospels kept giving increasingly bad press to Judas because they had to turn him into the bad guy because he was Jewish--as if just about everybody else in the story (apart from Pontius Pilate and his wife) wasnt! It seems that the gnostic texts are of such variety that anything can be made from them.

9:59 PM  

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