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.
Did you know the original King James Bible had the Apocrypha in it, though it did say words to the effect of "not to be relied upon for your salvation"?
Yes, I have the KJV version of it in a separate hardback volume by Cambridge. I am speaking more positively of the deuterocanon/apocrypha than I am of the Gnostic gospels. The Deuterocanon are not soul-destroying heretical books as many Protestant fundamentalists claim, just not inspired. On the other hand, the Gnostic gospels, which are touted by the media as containing 'suppressed knowledge' proving the church was conspiring to hide the truth, are in fact used by non-believers and skeptics to either teach that the canonical bible is a a myth, or by new agers to teach the 'real' Jesus.
Holy Spirit of Truth will verify what truth is in the Gnostic gopsels, or anywhere else that may contain truth. May have to read a whole gospel just to find one truth. But any one truth can open a door of more truths. It's like finding a diamond in the rough. IMHO, there are many diamonds in the Gnostic gospels.
Sure. But honestly, I think there's likely more truth in agreement with Christianity in the Analects of Confucius than there are in the Gnostic scriptures. The only reason the gnostic gospels have any 'truth' most of the time is because works like The Gospel of Thomas plagiarize a large portion of the canonical inspired gospels and then insert crazy stuff like the idea that women have to become spirit male beings to enter heaven.
Then you have silly stuff that tries to sound like Jesus, but is in no way part of the gospels, such as:
Jesus said, "Blessed is the lion which becomes man when consumed by man; and cursed is the man whom the lion consumes, and the lion becomes man."
This comes very close to heresy... In Anglican theology the Holy Ghost speaks only through the approved means of revelation, those being,
-special revelation (his holy word),
-and general revelation (science, truth, and such)
It is extremely dangerous to imagine that we could receive our own revelations, or to propose the notion that any bit of writing could potentially be of the Holy Ghost
Right. As much as I liked reading Confucius, I would be wrong to say everything he held to is equal to the gospel in truth or inspiration. Where he agrees with Christian doctrine counts as general revelation, not that he is another prophet. However, since God can use even flawed people to mold or shape a culture or person to the revelation of Christ that would follow, I can see that Confucius carried a foretaste of Christian morality in Asian culture, which is now very receptive to the gospel and growing in believers. One major thing that Confucianism got wrong is obviously its acceptance of Chinese pagan spirituality (including ancestor worship) and the idea of whether man is inherently good or not, though Confucius did say something along the lines that no one really loves virtue or good enough to be doing the right thing all the time. He said he had not known or seen anyone who did, only that some people were better at living up to what they believed than others.
As I said, there are diamonds in the rough.
Who is to say that Jesus did not say the above.
Jesus must have said much more than what is written in the New Testament. Besides, Jesus Christ saw life differently to others. He referenced life from the spiritual perspective instead of the worldly perspective. He was largely misunderstood, and he often expressed his dissappointment to those that could not hear what he was saying.
Lion, is also known as (aka) wild, man aka tamed, and consumed is takes over.
Blessed is the lion which becomes tamed when taken over by the man/tamed. Cursed is the tamed whom the wild takes over, and the wild becomes man (or man becomes wild).
The lion/wild can be seen as self-will-run-riot. Tamed man is one who follows God's will.
The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth and our Counsellor. Discernment is the ability to be still to be counselled, to hear and know the Truth, or God's will for us. Spirit of Truth loves the truth, and we often feel that love in our heart when we hear the truth. Is this not a personal revelation. Is it a sin to feel love for the truth which cannot be anything other than the truth.