Originally posted by AdamsMurmur
reply to post by adjensen
The Nag Hammadi Library was buried around the time of the Council of Nicaea and because of that council. This means it's at least 1600 years old and
at least as old as what's in most Bibles today. The main point of that council was to expunge those texts and ones like it. My numbers were valid
No, they aren't. That's like going up the lottery commission with a ticket that says "10-23-25-32-40" and saying that it's "valid enough" to
merit the prize won by ticket "11-24-26-33-41". The texts in the Nag Hammadi archive are Fourth Century Coptic translations of Greek texts which
date back to about 150AD. They are not Coptic translations of Greek texts which date back to 50AD. When one is talking about historical facts, a 100
year error is not "valid enough."
Besides, what makes men the deciding factor on what he said or didn't say? Or what he taught or didn't teach?
What was considered Canonical was generally subjected to the tests of:
1) Is the text consistent with other accepted texts?
2) Is the text generally accepted and in common use in the Christian community?
3) Does the text have an Apostolic connection?
As noted, even by critics of Christianity, Gnostic texts are not consistent with other scripture. In addition, they were not generally accepted, and
had no connection to the Apostles. Contrary to some beliefs, texts such as The Treatise on the Resurrection
were NEVER considered for
inclusion in the New Testament, because it fails all three of these tests, many others, and failing one is enough to reject it.
The book of Revelations was also almost made non-canon as well (and quite possibly other books that are in the current Bible).
Yes, there has been controversy regarding pretty much everything, apart from the four Gospels and most of the Epistles of Paul. The authorship of the
other Epistles has been called into question, and the Revelation of John is viewed by some to be a Jewish apocalyptic text, which meant something
different then than it does today. But, despite the controversy, they are accepted as being Canonical.
It is an Orthodox Christian Bible, so us Orthodox Christians reserve the right to say what's appropriate to be in it. If you want to go off and
create your own bible, with your own approved texts, knock yourself out, no one is going to stop you (though no one will likely listen to you,
I don't like the idea of human hands trying to rape something just because they didn't agree with it. It's fine to not accept, but it's not
fine for mankind to decide what or what is not acceptable for others.
Ignore, for the moment, Christendom post Constantine. At the time of the peak of the Gnostic Christians, heresy was treated very simply -- the
heretics were denounced and kicked out of the church. No burning at the stake, no banning of books, just a simple "this is not Christianity, and if
you want to be a follower of Christ, steer clear of these guys." Even today, no one is telling you not to read the Gnostic texts (heck, I actively
encourage people to do so, if for no other reason than hardly anyone seems to understand what they were on about,) we're just saying that,
historically and theologically, the Gnostic world view is not congruent with the person of Jesus Christ, so claiming that Christ was the Divine
Messenger, the bringer of gnosis, is not an accurate statement.