This may seem strange, but what is interesting is that for liberal Christians, these gospels may speak freedom, and for evangelical Christians it may support their faith as a living, vital relationship with Christ. Maybe, these gospels can speak to both. Whichever one likes best, the Gnostics gift is a call that faith is more than having "the" answers. Of course, we all have answers, but with them, the Gnostics suggest a dose of humility. For too long, the road to judgment has prevailed, and the Gnostics who were some of the first to suffer this fare, now remind us that the spiritual dimension of faith is what should ground us, as they say, in the living Christ.
This Site is about being Inspired by the Gnostics, not becoming Gnostics
This is what the back cover of my book asks.
Are you a person who thinks, beyond the twenty-seven books in the New Testament, chosen by early Bishops, that other early gospels ought to be heard? Are you one who questions certain beliefs or "articles" of faith in the Apostles' Creed, such as the virgin birth or a bodily resurrection? Are you one who thinks religions other than Christianity may have validity? Do you believe women have the right to be clergy? Are you one who thinks your own relationship with God and Christ is more important than what a church tells you must believe? Is your style of faith honestly seeking what is true about the world and God rather than blind belief? If you answered "yes" to most of these questions, you could be interested in learning more about these powerful early Christian resources that were suppressed until 1945.
(These manuscripts now can be purchased in several translations including a paperback collection called, The Nag Hammadi Library in English, edited by James M. Robinson.)
This different way to believe is inspired by those we now know as GNOSTICS --pronounced "Naw-stics." Surprisingly, at least, at first, the Gnostics were actually members of early Christian churches and not an organized denomination or even a church unto themselves.
Gnostics were given the severest of attacks among the heretics, because as members of the church, they were like a cancer within. Nevertheless, they have been portrayed as not even being Christians, believed only in myths (as if the apostolic church had none), and that Jesus wasn't a real person. Now that these gospels can speak for themselves, such charges are not that simple, and there is a new story and evidence about their strong faith and belief in a real Jesus. In spite of their faith in him as Savior, the elimination of writings judged "heretical," "false," and "impure," was almost successful. But thanks to some monks, who most likely hid the forbidden works in a mountain cliff in Egypt, near a village called Nag Hammadi, the Gnostic Gospels and writings can now speak for themselves.
In 1945, fifty-two texts (including such titles as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth were found in Egypt at the base of a high mountain ridge having at least 150 caves. Interestingly, a farmer named Muhammad Ali (al-Samman), looking for softer soil for fertilizer in the talus below one of the caves, found a large jar filled with thirteen books written on papyrus, bound in leather. Muhammad's mother actually burned some pages to kindle a fire, but thankfully, he decided to take them to an antiquities dealer. As had long been rumored, we now know indeed there were other Christian gospels written as well as those in the Bible in the early development of Christianity. Careful research has declared them authentic. Finally, after fifty years of study and translation by scholars, they are available to the general public. They raise questions, which have the potential to free Christianity from centuries of simple answers, and for many, unacceptable positions and beliefs, allowing all truth to be a part of the process of faith.
To register yourself as one who believes seeking God is more important than finding God by a certain dogma or belief, click on the "Contact Us" button, where you may sign on for the free Seeking Christians Newsletter. This seeking way of faith is also expounded in other files accessed above.
Gnosticschristians.com is a web site for those who are interested in learning about a different way to be Christian that was literally suppressed because it held that Jesus' message was more spiritual than establishing a set of required beliefs about him.
They were a fairly diverse group of the earliest Christians, who accepted the gospels that would become biblical, but also they were those who found value in other gospels. This was not acceptable to one form of the church led by bishops who declared any gospels that did not directly support their beliefs were false. Around 200 C.E., Bishop Irenaeus insisted there were only four true gospels and all others were worthless. This little known Bishop became extremely powerful in silencing other gospels and declaring only the beliefs of his church were precisely those of Jesus. Almost single-handily in his Against Heresies (Five Volumes of Books), he established it was a sin and "heretical" to question any of the church's teachings.
In contrast, those vilified as Gnostics (a term they did not call themselves but was what the bishops called them), believed other early disciples of Christ should be heard and also that Jesus' message was more than establishing hard-core beliefs. Further, as they believed that Christian beliefs could be open to change, particularly with new knowledge, they were seen as a threat to "true" Christianity. This judgment was made primarily by bishops who were organizing themselves as the "apostolic church." Only the beliefs of this church were true because they were exactly those of the apostles. Who better could know the truth?
An important point to repeat is that now it is known that some apostles like Mary Magdalene, Philip, and Thomas were overlooked, and dismissed. Now they can be heard by you and me. The Gnostic Gospels expand the way to be Christian, and almost ironically against their portrayal and image in history, they can broaden our vision of faith.