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originally posted by: Raggedyman
originally posted by: Akragon
a reply to: Raggedyman
Don't ya hate when things are stupid...
There there, you hate my faith and I think yours is silly, do we want to do this again?
There are some very stupid saying in the book of Thomas
It was left out because Many scholars didn’t think it was valid
It’s also not a gospel, just a collection of quotes
That’s not just my opinion
Go have a cookie
Internal evidence confirms the clear division made between the inspired and the spurious works. The apocryphal writings are much inferior and often fanciful and childish. They are frequently inaccurate. Note the following statements by scholars on these noncanonical books:
“There is no question of any one’s having excluded them from the New Testament: they have done that for themselves.”—M. R. James, The Apocryphal New Testament, p. xii.
“We have only to compare our New Testament books as a whole with other literature of the kind to realise how wide is the gulf which separates them from it. The uncanonical gospels, it is often said, are in reality the best evidence for the canonical.”—G. Milligan, The New Testament Documents, p. 228.
“Much of the Gospel of Thomas is plainly later and untrustworthy tradition . . . of no use for determining what Jesus said and did.”—F. V. Filson, The Biblical Archaeologist, 1961, p. 18.
“There is no known extra-cononical Gospel material which is not (when it can be tested at all) in some way subject to suspicion for its genuineness or orthodoxy.”—C. F. D. Moule, The Birth of the New Testament, p. 192.
“It cannot be said of a single writing preserved to us from the early period of the Church outside the New Testament that it could properly be added today to the Canon.”—K. Aland, The Problem of the New Testament Canon, p. 24.
“They have become a tremendous success. They have inspired films that cost millions . . . and best sellers . . . Christian sects have adopted them. They have given rise to religions and conspiratorial theories.”—SUPER INTERESSANTE, A BRAZILIAN NEWS MAGAZINE.
WHAT was all the excitement about? The magazine was commenting on the recent popular interest and activities centered on a collection of pseudo gospels, epistles, and apocalypses discovered in the mid-20th century in Nag Hammadi and elsewhere in Egypt. These and other documents of this type have generally been referred to as Gnostic or Apocryphal writings. *
Was There a Conspiracy?
In an age when people generally are cynical about the Bible and orthodox religions, the Gnostic or Apocryphal writings seem to have struck a responsive chord. These writings have had a great influence on the way many view the teachings of Jesus Christ and Christianity itself. As one magazine stated: “The Gospel of Thomas and other apocryphal [works] speak to the heart of a group of people that continues to grow in modern times: those who are eager for spirituality but distrust religion.” It has been calculated that in Brazil alone “there are at least 30 groups whose beliefs are based on the Apocrypha.”
The discovery of these documents has popularized the theory that in the fourth century C.E., the Catholic Church conspired to cover up the truth about Jesus, that some accounts of his life presented in the Apocryphal writings were suppressed, and that the four Gospels found in modern Bibles were altered. Elaine Pagels, professor of religion, put it this way: “We now begin to see that what we call Christianity—and what we identify as Christian tradition—actually represents only a small selection of specific sources, chosen from among dozens of others.”
In the opinion of scholars like Pagels, the Bible is not the only source of Christian faith; there are other sources, such as the Apocryphal writings. For example, a BBC program entitled Bible Mysteries, “The Real Mary Magdalene” observed that the Apocryphal writings present Mary Magdalene as “a teacher and spiritual guide to the other disciples. She’s not just a disciple; she’s the apostle to the apostles.” ...