Discussion in 'Church History' started by Aidan, May 20, 2018.
An fully aware that these are not orthodox but is there any benefit in reading them?
I read some of them back in the 80's. Interesting, from an historical perspective, and I can see where biblical scholars might find them worth studying to understand what was going on in the early days of the Church, what with competing sects, etc. My impression is that most of them are so different in message and structure from the canonical writings as to be obviously false.
My impression also tells me that they were ignorant of how the Hebrew culture really worked and thought. This influenced a lot of their erroneous interpretations of the canonical writings when dealing with hebrew symbolism or typology, for instance.
I've come to a realization that these writings were written centuries after their events.. it is like someone today who tried to write a fictitious history of the American revolution as if from the hand of George Washington... if he had actually written it, it would be worth something, but someone today trying to claim they're George Washington and creating this fictional narrative... it is deceitful, sinful, and calumnious at best, and certainly not in the same galaxy as studying Scripture
I get sick of people sensationalizing not only the gnostic gospels but also the deuterocanon apocrypha. Considering that some churches value the apocrypha while not considering it canonical at all, people are really in the dark over something that in truth, are relatively innocent writings. You cannot even start an intelligent conversation or discourse without someone else telling you to shut up and that you're a sheep, because he is caught in the sudden hype about how the church 'suppressed' them, and thinks he's found some earth-shattering secret. It amazes me how, in spite of all the access to technology, people are so deluded about fact vs. fiction. Some myths die hard. There is so much sensationalism in the media that it is not even funny.
Gnostic Gospels are not canonical for a reason, they are heterodox at their best and heretical at their worst,I merely wonder are they of any historical value or interest.
They might have some value if you find cult literature to be funny. I used to study cults for the humor.
"Simon Peter said to them, ‘Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life.’ Jesus said, ‘Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of heaven.’ " -- The Gospel of Thomas
This parallels some Buddhist teachings which claim that a woman must be reincarnated as a man in able to attain enlightenment. Not a popular teaching with today's Buddhists, nor universal in Buddhism itself, but it can be found in several of the Buddhist writings.
It's good for us that the early Church wasn't taken in by these gospels. Especially with the "gospel" of Thomas being discarded, it helps to dispel that "sexist Christianity" myth.