Friday, May 12, 2006

A Point About the Gnostic Gospels

Let me ask you a question. Who could write a better biography about the man, Abraham Lincoln: me or his wife? His wife would certainly have the asset of knowing him personally, of sharing his life with him, and perhaps even knowing his deepest fears and concerns. What do I have? I know something of him, Abraham Lincoln, but it is all second hand. At best, I might get my hands on a diary or journal and hopefully I could glean something more from this. At the end however, I really don't know him as well as a contemporary of Lincoln's would actually know him.

What does this have to do with the Gnostic Gospels? The Gnostic Gospels are a series of writing proporting to tell the real story of Christianity, re-cast as a Gnostic cult. These are the works the DVC would like us to take seriously as competitors to the Canonical Gospels. Small problem, there, however: the earliest Gnostic Gospel dates from a hundred or more (give or take a decade) from the time of events it tries to describe. It would be like my writing a biography of Lincoln and claim that mine is more authoritative that the ones who knew and worked with the man. The time frame is about the same. I am as distant from Lincoln's time (about 140 years) as the Christian Gnostic was from Christ and the Apostles. Why would I find their material more credible?

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