The Lost Gospels

My apologies, first it seems as though it is not a series but a one off, which is disappointing. Secondly it was a rather superficial overview of the Gospels of Thomas, Mary and Philip which did little more than say they existed and the texts they were found on pre-date the texts upon which the 4 canons that made it into the bible date at. They hinted at the probability that Jesus was the leader of a gnostic cult where only the initiated would be able to understand the meanings of his sayings as opposed to what Christianity became, a religion for all. They also hint that Mary of Magdala was a disciple and was in a relationship with Jesus, and that women played a bigger, more equal, role in the church back then. In other words the program said nothing I didn't already know.

Tao
 
TV coverage is often overly-populist and shallow.

The real question is why some texts made it into the Canon of Scripture, and some didn't.

The Epistle of Clement, for example, or better yet, The Shepherd of Hermas, which was held in high esteem. Eusebius says it was publicly read in the churches, and that while some denied it to be canonical, others "considered it most necessary". St. Athanasius speaks of it as uncanonical yet recommended for the reading of catechumens. Rufinus similarly says that the ancients wished it to be read, but not to be used as an authority as to the Faith. It is found with the Epistle of Barnabas at the end of the New Testament in the great Siniatic Bible Aleph (fourth century), and between the Acts of the Apostles and the Acts of Paul in the stichometrical list of the Codex Claromontanus.

St. Irenæus and Tertullian (in his Catholic days) cite the "Shepherd" as Scripture. Clement of Alexandria constantly quotes it with reverence, and so does Origen, who held that the author was the Hermas mentioned by St. Paul, Romans 16:14.

Thomas
 
For what its worth, some people would find it convenient for Jesus to have been the leader of a gnostic culture, but that idea remains just an idea. It requires gnosis to insist that he was a gnostic. Even Helen Pagels stopped short of insisting either Paul or Jesus was gnostic, although she entertained the idea a lot. Just because you have secret knowledge it doesn't make you Gnostic. Gnosis is when you insist that you know, because you 'Just know'. That doesn't sound like Jesus to me.
 
For what its worth, some people would find it convenient for Jesus to have been the leader of a gnostic culture, but that idea remains just an idea. It requires gnosis to insist that he was a gnostic. Even Helen Pagels stopped short of insisting either Paul or Jesus was gnostic, although she entertained the idea a lot. Just because you have secret knowledge it doesn't make you Gnostic. Gnosis is when you insist that you know, because you 'Just know'. That doesn't sound like Jesus to me.

Even the traditional beliefs espoused in the New Testament bestow on Jesus a gnosis. To call oneself the son of God implies as much.

Tao
 
Hi Dream —

For what its worth, some people would find it convenient for Jesus to have been the leader of a gnostic culture ...
Yes, it's often simpler and easier, and invariably removes the moral and communal dimension ... I emphasise 'often' but that is not the case in every instance.

It requires gnosis to insist that he was a gnostic. Even Helen Pagels stopped short of insisting either Paul or Jesus was gnostic, although she entertained the idea a lot.
Sadly, she is wedded to her thesis for personal reasons. The New Testament refers to 'gnosis' no less than 29 times, over 20 of those Pauline references. If one was looking for an authentic Christian 'gnosis', that's where I'd start.

Whatever one says, we have more evidence about the provenance of Scripture than we have about 'gnostic texts' ... and yet people will accept a gnostic text as authentic and genuine simply because it's got 'gnostic' tagged to it.

Scholars, from what I've heard, largely agree that The Gospel of Thomas should not be called a gnostic text, it shares little in common with gnostic cosmology and theogony

1 Corinthians 13:2.
"And if I should have prophecy and should know all mysteries (musterion) and all knowledge (gnosis), and if I should have all faith (pistis), so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity (agape), I am nothing."

Christian gnosis is not knowing, but being... in Christianity one is judged for who one is, not what one knows.

Just because you have secret knowledge it doesn't make you Gnostic.
So true ... but in the absence of true being, "the aura of mystery" is usually enough to mislead most people.

Its the difference between 'glamour' and 'charism'

Thomas
 
Hi Tao
Even the traditional beliefs espoused in the New Testament bestow on Jesus a gnosis. To call oneself the son of God implies as much.
Absolutely ... but this gnosis differs radically from what the 'gnostics' believed.

Thomas
 
Even the traditional beliefs espoused in the New Testament bestow on Jesus a gnosis. To call oneself the son of God implies as much.

Tao
I can certainly understand why you might take an omniscient Jesus as the working model for your gnostic theorys since that's a popular opinion of Jesus. Somehow it just doesn't reach me, but Ok. Mainly I just think that its really good for us now to find out there's a lot we didn't know about that era -- especially now in this period of time where we have freedom to speak. Everything unearthed in the last few centuries is being recorded in a billion minds, hopefully faster than it is being lost. It's the new Helenism. Suddenly knowledge flows so freely! Computers make modern information exchange analogous to the great exchange of culture available in the old Roman empire, with its paved roads that went everywhere.
 
I can certainly understand why you might take an omniscient Jesus as the working model for your gnostic theorys since that's a popular opinion of Jesus. Somehow it just doesn't reach me, but Ok. Mainly I just think that its really good for us now to find out there's a lot we didn't know about that era -- especially now in this period of time where we have freedom to speak. Everything unearthed in the last few centuries is being recorded in a billion minds, hopefully faster than it is being lost. It's the new Helenism. Suddenly knowledge flows so freely! Computers make modern information exchange analogous to the great exchange of culture available in the old Roman empire, with its paved roads that went everywhere.
Dream, if omniscient Jesus just does not "reach" you, then why are you posting in the Christian forum? Please, do not call me a guinea pig...I'll have you for breakfast.

You by your own volition, know the strength of the faith of many of the Christians posting here. Do you think you can set us assunder and break our spirits on Christ and our faith? Do you thnk you can break mine? Or perhaps your intent is to make us the fool? I am a fool for Jesus already. So is about 300 others here that are professing Christians.

It is one thing to ask questions, question answers. It is another to consider Christians morons (whether admitted or implied). I think you might find yourself a bit overwhelmed with the logical intelligence you'll find here. Here my friend, Jesus is all. Accept that and I'm sure everyone with talk with you until the cows come home. Drop Jesus a notch below God, and you and Mee can talk till the cows come home...in the spirituality forum. ;)

v/r

Q
 
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