Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Gnostic

I realize this is the first time I have posted in quite awhile. Hopefully, I can get some thoughts going again. Funny I always say that.

Anyways in my Christianity (public university) class we have been talking a little about Gnostic and how this sect may have been suppressed by the orthodox church at the beginning of Christianity. After looking at some of the stuff from the Gospel of Thomas it is no wonder they would be suppressed. Some of the information we have read mentions that it was an attempt by the church to gain power and the Gnostic gospels were a threat to the institution of the church. The suggestion is that there might be some useful things that were written and the church was scared so they crushed their existence.

Me I don't buy it. There are too many things that strike me as odd about the Gnostic gospels and I get quite the weird feeling when I read some things in them. The feeling is akin to the one I get when I have read things in the Book of Mormon. Here are some of the things I find disturbing about them.

  1. They claim to be "secret" this really was not the goal of Jesus
  2. In them a man can essentially become his own god and there is no dependence on Jesus or grace
  3. For some reason they did not survive. If so many people knew they were true this would not even be a topic of discussion 2000 years later.
I really do not know a lot about these "secret gospels". There is nothing of value to be found in them so I would not want to spend too much time with them other than being able to refute them if asked. If anyone has any thoughts I would definitely welcome them.

3 comments:

Theophilus said...

Two more problems with the gospel of Thomas:

The early church fathers essentially operated under the premise of, "when in doubt, throw it out" as it pertained to the inclusion of scripture. At the Synod of Hippo, where the Old and New Testament came together, (306 A.D.?) the church leaders nearly threw out another 1/3 of the New Testament, including, among others, Revelation, Jude, and James. Yeah, they were that selective.
A second major problem- Dating. Most scholars have dated the gnostic gospels to 150 plus years after Christ, as compared to the synoptic gospels from 30-90 years after the time of Christ's death. The gospel of Mary, for example, was written in the 300's... not something any reasonable person finds authentic. Most material from the synoptic gospels was written under the auspices of major Christian identities- although totally frauds. It would be like me publishing work as C.S. Lewis- clever, but not too many who would put much stock in what I had to say.

Bob Waters said...

Gnosticism, actually.

Hey. It's a different religion than what is taught by the canonical Gospels, and a different Jesus.

Joe Fremer said...

Gnosticism never really went completely away. Like spiritual herpes, it comes back at the oddest times. You'll see it on the big screen in a month with the film edition of "The Davinci Code." It was around in the '70s in/with/under a lot of the New Age mysticism.

"Suppressed"? More like "exposed." Jesus warned us to watch out for false prophets, and the Church listened. Hope it's listening still.