Just started reading The Gnostic Gospels today. Couple of months ago, while browsing in library, I came across The Lost Gospel and after reading that I am kind of hooked on Early Christianity books. After “The Lost Gospel”, I also read Secret of Judas. Now The Gnostic Gospels will be the third one in the series. I am not a religious person by any measure but I love reading about religions. There few things that are interesting…
- How we see Christianity today was very different from how it was 2000 years ago.
- The way Gnostic gospels talk, they very much sounds like Buddhist/Zen/Hindu philosophy.
- The way think about god is very much similar to my father talked about God.
I just started reading this so not much to write about. One interesting thing is learned is that word Gnostic comes from Greek word Gnosis which means knowledge. So now word Agnostic makes sense to me. It is also interesting that Greeks distinguish between rational knowledge (Science/Mathematics) and Intuitive knowledge. Gnosis is the term for second. Gnostic essentially believe that knowledge is what needs to be worshipped and knowledge is what will free you. Now the word Buddha in Sanskrit means “One who knows the ultimate knowledge”. Buddha in Sanskrit means Intelligence. Similar to Buddhism, Gnostics ask Christians to understand themselves.
I wonder if this is what it means. Now word used for ‘Gospel’ in coptic was evanglion that coptic borrowed from Greek. English word evangelism comes from the same. This was funny for me because we have a title called “Technical Evangelist”. There was this movie few years ago, My Fat Greek Wedding, which had a character who was obsessed about proving that all the words in the world are originated from Greek. It was pretty funny. anyway…. Some of these gospels say things which are as controversial today as they were 2000 years ago.
DaVinci code definitely talks about part of these gospels where they say Mary Magdalene was loved more than all other disciples. Jesus often used to kiss her on mouth. But there are lot more fundamental things that are different about these gospels than Jesus’s love life. E.g. Gospel of Thomas (Apparently Thomas, full name Judas Thomas, who claims to be twin of Jesus. There were three judas so typically they have extra names to identify which judas. E.g. Judas Iscariot was the one who ‘betrayed’ Christ.) mentions the story about Adam and eve from the perspective of serpent where God does not Adam and eve to eat the fruit because he does not want them to get the knowledge. Cane and Able story also have interesting perspective where they ask why God did not like gift of former, if it was true god then would have do that? I remember a similar thing happened at my native place.
Gospel of Judas is written from perspective of Judas where it claims that Judas did not really betray Jesus but he did what Jesus asked him to do. Jesus says to Judas…
“You will exceed all of them because you will sacrifice the man that clothes me”
Anyway, this is a fascinating subject and Gnostic Text have lot of sayings attributed to Jesus which are very interesting. They sound very Zen like such as…
“If you bring forward what is within you
What is within you will save you.
If you don’t bring forward what is within you
What is within you will destroy you.”
What does it mean exactly? Have to think more…