Gospel of Judas

Gospel of Judas
Datebefore 180, mentioned by Irenaeus
Attributionno attribution
LocationEl Minya, Egypt near Beni Masar,
Sourcesno academic consensus
ManuscriptsCodex Tchacos, references in early Christian writings
AudienceCainites / Sethians - Gnostic sects
ThemeJudas as the chosen disciple, Gnostic cosmology
The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel. The document is not claimed to have been written by apostle Judas Iscariot himself, but rather by Gnostic followers of Jesus Christ. It exists in an early fourth century Coptic text, though it has been proposed, but not proven, that the text is a translation of an earlier Greek version. The Gospel of Judas is probably from no earlier than the second century, since it contains theology that is not represented before the second half of the second century, and since its introduction and epilogue assume the reader is familiar with the canonical Gospels. The original document has been carbon dated to plus or minus 50 years of 280 AD.

According to the canonical Gospels of the New Testament, (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John), Judas betrayed Jesus to Jerusalem's Great Sanhedrin, which officiated over the crucifixion of Jesus with the endorsement of representatives of the occupying power, the Roman Empire. The Gospel of Judas, on the other hand, portrays Judas in a very different perspective than do the Gospels of the New Testament, according to a preliminary translation made in early 2006 by the National Geographic Society: the Gospel of Judas appears to interpret Judas's act not as betrayal, but rather as an act of obedience to the instructions of Jesus. This assumption is taken on the basis that Jesus required a second agent to set in motion a course of events which he had preplanned in advance. In that sense Judas acted as a catalyst. The action of Judas, then, was a pivotal point which interconnected a series of simultaneous pre-orchestrated events. This portrayal seems to conform to a notion, current in some forms of Gnosticism, that the human form is a spiritual prison, and that Judas thus served Christ by helping to release Christ's spirit from its physical constraints. Christ played to certain rules which he had to stay in tune with at a personal level. The action of Judas allowed him to do that which he could not do directly. The Gospel of Judas does not claim that the other disciples knew gnostic teachings. On the contrary, it asserts that the disciples had not learned the true Gospel, which Jesus taught only to Judas Iscariot.

Background

Part of a series on
Gnosticism
History of Gnosticism
Gnosticism
History of Gnosticism
Mandaeism
Manichaeism
Syrian-Egyptic Gnosticism
Sethians
Thomasines
Valentinians
Basilideans
Bardaisanites
Proto-Gnostics
Philo
Simon Magus
Cerinthus
Basilides
Fathers of Christian Gnosticism
Theudas
Valentinus
Marcion of Sinope
Early Gnosticism
Ophites
Cainites
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Paulicianism
Tondrakians
Bogomilism
Bosnian Church
Catharism
Gnosticism in modern times
Gnosticism in popular culture
Gnostic texts
Nag Hammadi library
Codex Tchacos
Gnosticism and the New Testament
Gnostic Gospels
Related articles
Gnosis
Pythagoreanism
Neoplatonism and Gnosticism
Esoteric Christianity
Theosophy
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During the 1970s, a Coptic papyrus [1] was discovered near Beni Masah, Egypt. This has been translated and appears to be a text from the 2nd century A.D. describing the story of Jesus's death from the viewpoint of Judas. The conclusion of the text refers (in Coptic) to the text as "the Gospel of Judas" (Euangelion Ioudas).

According to a 2006 translation of the manuscript of the text, it is apparently a Gnostic account of an arrangement between Jesus and Judas, who in this telling are Gnostically enlightened beings, with Jesus asking Judas to turn him in to the Romans to help Jesus finish his appointed task from God.

During the second and third centuries AD, various Christian sects composed texts which are loosely labeled New Testament Apocrypha; these texts are usually but not always “pseudonymous”, i.e. falsely attributed to a notable figure, such as an apostle, of an earlier era.

The text is extant in only one manuscript, a fourth century Coptic manuscript known as the Codex Tchacos, which surfaced in the 1970s, after about sixteen centuries in the desert of Egypt as a leather-bound papyrus manuscript. The existing manuscript was radiocarbon dated "between the third and fourth century", according to Timothy Jull, a carbon-dating expert at the University of Arizona's physics centre. Only sections of papyrus with no text were carbon dated.

The papyri on which the Gospel is written is now in over a thousand pieces, possibly due to poor handling and storage, with many sections missing. In some cases, there are only scattered words; in others, many lines. According to Rodolphe Kasser, the codex originally contained 31 pages, with writing on front and back; but when it came to the market in 1999, only 13 pages, with writing on front and back, remained. It is speculated that individual pages had been removed and sold.

It has been speculated, on the basis of textual analysis concerning features of dialect and Greek loan words, that the current Coptic fourth century text may be a translation from an older Greek manuscript dating to approximately AD 130–180.[1] Cited in support is the reference to a “Gospel of Judas” by the early Christian writer Irenaeus of Lyons, who, in arguing against Gnosticism, called the text a "fictitious history" (Refutation of Gnosticism, bk. 1 ch. 31). However, it is uncertain whether this text mentioned by Irenaeus is in fact the same text as the Coptic “Gospel of Judas” of the extant fourth century text, and there remains no solid evidence for an early Greek version.[2]

A. J. Levine, who was on the team of scholars responsible for unveiling the work, emphatically stated that the Gospel of Judas tells nothing historical concerning Jesus or Judas.[3] However, the text is helpful in reconstructing the history of Gnosticism, especially in Coptic-speaking areas.

Content

Ancient controversy

Irenaeus mentions a Gospel of Judas in his anti-Gnostic work Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies), written in about 180. He writes there are some who:

declare that Cain derived his being from the Power above, and acknowledge that Esau, Korah, the Sodomites, and all such persons, are related to themselves. . .They declare that Judas the traitor was thoroughly acquainted with these things, and that he alone, knowing the truth as no others did, accomplished the mystery of the betrayal; by him all things, both earthly and heavenly, were thus thrown into confusion. They produce a fictional history of this kind, which they style the Gospel of Judas. [4]


This is in reference to the Cainites, an alleged sect of Gnosticism that especially worshipped Cain as a hero. Irenaeus alleged that the Cainites, like a large number of Gnostic groups, were semi-maltheists believing that the god of the Old Testament — Yahweh — was evil, and a quite different and much lesser being to the deity that had created the universe, and who was responsible for sending Jesus. Such Gnostic groups worshipped as heroes all the Biblical figures which had sought to discover knowledge or challenge Yahweh's authority, while demonizing those who would have been seen as heroes in a more orthodox interpretation.

The Gospel of Judas belongs to a school of Gnosticism called Sethianism, a group who looked to Adam's son Seth as their spiritual ancestor. As in other Sethian documents, Jesus is equated with Seth: "The first is Seth, who is called Christ" although this is in part of an emanationist mythology describing both positive and negative aeons.

For metaphysical reasons, the Sethian Gnostics authors of this text maintained that Judas acted as he did in order that mankind might be redeemed by the death of Jesus' mortal body. For this reason, they regarded Judas as worthy of gratitude and veneration. The Gospel of Judas does not describe any events after the arrest of Jesus.

By contrast, the canonical Gospel of John, unlike the synoptic gospels, asserts that Jesus said to Judas, as the latter left the Last Supper to set in motion the betrayal process, "Do quickly what you have to do." (John 13:27) (trans. The New English Bible). Interpretations include: this was a direct command to Judas to do what he did; Jesus was speaking to Satan rather than to Judas (thus "Satan entered into Judas"); or Jesus knew what Judas was secretly plotting.

Some two centuries after Irenaeus' complaint, Epiphanius of Salamis, bishop of Cyprus, criticized the Gospel of Judas for treating as commendable the person whom he saw as the betrayer of Jesus, and as one who "performed a good work for our salvation." (Haeres., xxxviii).

Modern rediscovery

The initial translation of the Gospel of Judas was widely publicized but simply confirmed the account that was written in Irenaeus and known Gnostic beliefs, leading some scholars to simply summarize the discovery as nothing new.

However, it is argued that a closer reading of the existent text, as presented in October 2006, shows that Judas may have been set up to actually betray Jesus out of wrath and anger:

"Truly [I] say to you, Judas, [those who] offer sacrifices to Saklas [... exemplify ...] everything that is evil. But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. Already your horn has been raised, your wrath has been kindled, your star has shown brightly, and your heart has [been hardened...]"


The initial translators might have been misled by Irenaeus' summary, which although an exciting idea was not necessarily accurate. Their theory is now in dispute.

According to Elaine Pagels, Bible translators have mistranslated the Greek word for "handing over" to "betrayal".[2] There is a different Greek word for "betrayal", so the original "handing over" should have been applied to make the text read correctly. The Greek word for "handing over" is used in the original texts of the bible in the letters of Paul and the Gospel of Mark. This means that the whole idea of Jesus dying for the sins of humanity doesn't correspond with the theology of Paul and Mark.

Like many Gnostic works, the Gospel of Judas claims to be a secret account, specifically "the secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot."

Over the ages many philosophers have contemplated the idea that Judas was required to have carried out his actions in order for Jesus to have died on the cross and hence fulfill theological obligations. The Gospel of Judas, however, asserts clearly that Judas' action was in obedience to a direct command of Jesus himself.

The Gospel of Judas states that Jesus told Judas "You shall be cursed for generations" and then added, "You will come to rule over them" and "You will exceed all of them, for you will sacrifice the man that clothes me." [5]

Unlike the four canonical gospels, which employ narrative accounts of the last year of life of Jesus (in the case of John, three years) and of his birth (in the case of Luke and Matthew), the Judas gospel takes the form of dialogues between Jesus and Judas, and Jesus and the twelve disciples, without being embedded in any narrative or worked into any overt philosophical or rhetorical context. Such "dialogue gospels" were popular during the early decades of Christianity, and indeed the four canonical gospels are the only surviving gospels in narrative form. The New Testament apocrypha contains several examples of the dialogue form, an example being the Gospel of Mary Magdalene.

Like the canonical gospels, the Gospel of Judas portrays the scribes as approaching Judas with the intention of arresting him, and Judas receiving money from them after handing Jesus over to them. But unlike Judas in the canonical gospels, who is portrayed as a villain, and excoriated by Jesus ("Alas for that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed. It would be better for that man if he had never been born," Mark 14:21; Matthew 26:24, trans. The New English Bible), the Judas gospel portrays Judas as a divinely appointed instrument of a grand and predetermined purpose. "In the last days they will curse your ascent to the holy (generation)."

Elsewhere in the manuscript, Jesus favours Judas above other disciples by saying, "Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom," and "Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star."

In the New Testament, Judas is said to have died by hanging himself in the Gospel of Matthew, Matthew 27:3-10|, and by bursting open after a fall in the Book of Acts, Acts 1:16-19|). The Gospel of Judas does not agree with the account, but claims rather that Judas was stoned to death by the remaining eleven disciples.

Rediscovery

Origins

Enlarge picture
"The Kiss of Judas" is a traditional depiction of Judas by Giotto di Bondone, c. 1306. Fresco in the Scrovegni Chapel, Padua.
The content of the gospel had been unknown until a Coptic Gospel of Judas turned up on the antiquities "grey market," in Geneva in May 1983, when it was found among a mixed group of Greek and Coptic manuscripts offered to Stephen Emmel, a Yale Ph.D. candidate commissioned by Southern Methodist University to inspect the manuscripts. How this manuscript, Codex Tchacos, was found, in the late 1970s, has not been clearly documented. However, it is believed that a now-deceased Egyptian "treasure-hunter" or prospector discovered the codex near El Minya, Egypt, in the neighbourhood of the village Beni Masar, and sold it to one Hanna, a dealer in antiquities resident in Cairo.

Around 1980, the manuscript and most of the dealer's other artifacts were stolen by a Greek trader named Nikolas Koutoulakis, and smuggled into Geneva. Hanna, in collusion with Swiss antiquity traders, recovered the manuscript and introduced it to experts who recognized its significance.

Sale and study

During the following two decades the manuscript was quietly offered to prospective buyers, but no major library felt ready to purchase a manuscript that had such questionable provenance. In 2003 Michel van Rijn started to publish material about these dubious negotiations, and eventually the 62-page leather bound codex was purchased by the Maecenas Foundation in Basel, a private foundation directed by lawyer Mario Jean Roberty. The previous owners now claimed that it had been uncovered at Muhafazat al Minya in Egypt during the 1950s or 1960s, and that its significance had not been appreciated until recently. It is worth noting that various other locations had been alleged during previous negotiations.

The existence of the text was made public by Rodolphe Kasser at a conference of Coptic specialists in Paris, July 2004. In a statement issued March 30, 2005, a spokesman for the Maecenas Foundation announced plans for edited translations into English, French and German, once the fragile papyrus has undergone conservation by a team of specialists in Coptic history to be led by a former professor at the University of Geneva, Rodolphe Kasser, and that their work would be published in about a year. A. J. Tim Jull, director of the National Science Foundation Arizona AMS laboratory, and Gregory Hodgins, assistant research scientist, announced that a radiocarbon dating procedure had dated five samples from the papyrus manuscript from 220 to 340 in January of 2005 at the University of Arizona.[6] This puts the Coptic manuscript in the third or fourth centuries, a century earlier than had originally been thought from analysis of the script. In January 2006, Gene A. Ware of the Papyrological Imaging Lab of Brigham Young University conducted a multi-spectral imaging process on the texts in Switzerland, and confirmed their authenticity.[7]

Over the decades, the manuscript had been handled with less than sympathetic care: some single pages may be loose on the antiquities market (one half page turned up in Feb. 2006, in New York City<ref name="HeraldLeader" />); the text is now in over a thousand pieces and fragments, and is believed to be less than three-quarters complete. "After concluding the research, everything will be returned to Egypt. The work belongs there and they will be conserved in the best way," Roberty has stated.[8]

In April of 2006, an Ohio bankruptcy lawyer claimed to possess several small, brown bits of papyrus from the Gospel of Judas, but he refuses to have the fragments authenticated and his claim is being viewed with skepticism by experts.[9]

Responses and reactions

Scholarly debates

Professor Kasser revealed a few details about the text in 2004, the Dutch paper Parool reported.[10] Its language is the same Sahidic dialect of Coptic in which Coptic texts of the Nag Hammadi Library are written. The codex has four parts: the Letter of Peter to Philip, already known from the Nag Hammadi Library; the First Apocalypse of James, also known from the Nag Hammadi Library; the first few pages of a work related to, but not the same as, the Nag Hammadi work Allogenes; and the Gospel of Judas. Up to a third of the codex is currently illegible.

A scientific paper was to be published in 2005, but was delayed. The completion of the restoration and translation was announced by the National Geographic Society at a news conference in Washington, D.C. on April 6, 2006, and the manuscript itself was unveiled then at the National Geographic Society headquarters, accompanied by a television special entitled The Gospel of Judas on April 9, 2006, which was aired on the National Geographic Channel.

Terry Garcia, an executive vice president for Mission Programs of the National Geographic Society, asserted that the codex is considered by scholars and scientists to be the most significant ancient, non-biblical text to be found since the 1940s. However, James M. Robinson, one of America's leading experts on ancient religious texts, predicted that the new book would offer no historical insights into the disciple who betrayed Jesus, since the third-century manuscript seems to derive from an older document. Robinson suggests that the text will provide insights into the religion situation during the second century rather than into the biblical narrative itself.

One scholar on the National Geographic project believes the document shows that Judas was "fooled" into believing he was helping Jesus.[11]

Religious responses

In his 2006 Easter address, Rowan Williams, the Archbishop of Canterbury, strongly denied the historical credibility of the gospel, saying, "This is a demonstrably late text which simply parallels a large number of quite well-known works from the more eccentric fringes of the early century Church." He went on to suggest that the book's publicity derives from an insatiable desire for conspiracy theories:

"We are instantly fascinated by the suggestion of conspiracies and cover-ups; this has become so much the stuff of our imagination these days that it is only natural, it seems, to expect it when we turn to ancient texts, especially biblical texts. We treat them as if they were unconvincing press releases from some official source, whose intention is to conceal the real story; and that real story waits for the intrepid investigator to uncover it and share it with the waiting world. Anything that looks like the official version is automatically suspect."

Later the same year, Biblical scholar Louis Painchaud argued that the text suggests Judas was actually possessed by a demon.[12]

The uniqueness of the codex

The president of the Maecenas Foundation, Mario Roberty, suggested the possibility that the Maecenas Foundation had acquired not the only extant copy of the Gospel, but rather the only known copy. Roberty went on to make the suggestion that the Vatican probably had another copy locked away, saying:

"In those days the Church decided for political reasons to include the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible. The other gospels were banned. It is highly logical that the Catholic Church would have kept a copy of the forbidden gospels. Sadly, the Vatican does not want to clarify further. Their policy has been the same for years – 'No further comment.'<ref name"Schutten">"The hunt for the Gospel of Judas", unknown. Retrieved on 2006-04-22. 

Roberty provided no evidence to suggest that the Vatican does, in fact, possess any additional copy and the contents of one part of the Vatican library have been catalogued and have long been available to researchers and scholars. The remainder of the library is, however, without a public catalogue, and though researchers may view any work within, they must first name the text they require, a serious problem for those who do not know what is contained by the library. The Pope responded on April 13, 2006<ref name"vatican1">"Vatican: Pope Banishes Judas' Gospel", Agenzia Giornalistica Italia, 2006-04-13. Retrieved on 2006-04-21. -

The Vatican, by word of Pope Benedict XVI, grants the recently surfaced Judas' Gospel no credit with regards to its apocryphal claims that Judas betrayed Jesus in compliance with the latter's own requests. According to the Pope, Judas freely chose to betray Jesus: "an open rejection of God's love". Judas, according to Pope Benedict XVI "viewed Jesus in terms of power and success: his only real interests lied with his power and success, there was no love involved. He was a greedy man: money was more important than communing with Jesus; money came before God and his love". According to the Pope it was due to these traits that led Judas to "turn liar, two-faced, indifferent to the truth", "losing any sense of God", "turning hard, incapable of converting, of being the prodigal son, hence throwing away a spent existence".


Spokespersons say the Vatican does not wish to suppress the Gospel of Judas; rather, according to Monsignor Walter Brandmuller, president of the Vatican's Committee for Historical Science, "We welcome the [manuscript] like we welcome the critical study of any text of ancient literature".[13] Even more explicitly, Father Thomas D. Williams, Dean of Theology at the Regina Apostolorum university in Rome, when asked:

Is it true that the Catholic Church has tried to cover up this text [Gospel of Judas] and other apocryphal texts?


answered as follows:

These are myths circulated by Dan Brown and other conspiracy theorists. You can go to any Catholic bookstore and pick up a copy of the Gnostic gospels. Christians may not believe them to be true, but there is no attempt to hide them.[14]


In AD 367, the bishop of Alexandria did urge Christians to “cleanse the church from every defilement” and to reject “the hidden books.”[15] It is possible that, in response to letters such as this one, some Christians destroyed non-canonical gospels.

According to the Gospel, Judas was the only of Jesus’ followers to fully understand the Gnostic teachings: "Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him: Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the Kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal. For someone else will replace you, in order that the twelve disciples may again come to completion with their God."

The Gospel of Judas goes even further, showing Jesus in various instances criticizing the other disciples for their ignorance and their followers of immorality.

When they tell Jesus about a vision, he points out its true meaning as follows: "Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar — that is who you are. That is the God you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you saw brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray before that altar. (. . .) will stand and make use of my name in this way, and generations of the pious will remain loyal to Him."

Notes

1. ^ For example, see H.-C. Puech and Beate Blatz, New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 1, p. 387.
2. ^ Ben Witherington III, What have they done with Jesus (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2006), pp. 7-8.
3. ^ Ben Witherington III, What have they done with Jesus (San Francisco: Harper Collins, 2006), pp. 7-8.
4. ^ Against Heresies I.31.1
5. ^ "Text might be hidden 'Gospel of Judas'", CNN, April 6, 2006
6. ^ UA team verifies age of Gospel of Judas
7. ^ "Time line since discovery of Gospel of Judas", Lexington Herald-Leader, 2006-04-07. Retrieved on 2006-04-09. 
8. ^ The hunt for the Gospel of Judas
9. ^ "Lawyer Says He's Got 'Gospel of Judas' Papyrus Fragments", FoxNews.com (AP), 2006-04-20. Retrieved on 2006-04-21. 
10. ^ The Mysteries, The Official Graham Hancock Website
11. ^ CBC News. Judas no hero, scholars say. 4 December 2006.
12. ^ À PROPOS DE LA (RE)DÉCOUVERTE DE L’ÉVANGILE DE JUDAS
13. ^ "Another Take on Gospel Truth About Judas: Manuscript Could Add to Understanding of Gnostic Sect", Washington Post, 2006-02-25. Retrieved on 2006-04-21. 
14. ^ "Interview With Father Thomas Williams", Zenit News Agency, 2006-04-05. Retrieved on 2006-05-06. 
15. ^ Athanasius, Festal Epistles, 39.

References

  • The Gospel of Judas. Trans. and Eds. Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006. [English Translation], ISBN 1-4262-0042-0
  • The Gospel of Judas. Eds. Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst. Washington, D.C.: National Geographic Society, 2006. [Coptic Transcription]
  • James M. Robinson, The Secrets of Judas : The Story of the Misunderstood Disciple and His Lost Gospel (2006 HarperSanFrancisco)
  • Gregory A. Page, Diary of Judas Iscariot of the Gospel According to Judas (1912, reprinted 1942, Kessinger Publishing)
  • Lars Gyllensten, Testament of Cain (1963 Bonnier, Stockholm, Sweden; English translation in 1982, Persea)
  • Elaine Pagels and Karen L. King, Reading Judas: The Gospel of Judas and the Shaping of Christianity (2007), ISBN 978-0670038459

See also

External links

The Codex Tchacos is an ancient Egyptian Coptic papyrus containing early Christian Gnostic texts from approximately 300 C.E.,:
  • The Gospel of Judas
  • The First Apocalypse of James
  • The Letter of Peter to Philip

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The Cainites, or Cainians, were a Gnostic and Antinomian sect who were known to worship Cain as the first victim of the Demiurge Jehovah, the Old Testament God, who was identified by many groups of gnostics as evil.
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Sethians were a group of ancient Gnostics, that date their existence before Christianity. [1] Their influence spread throughout the Mediterranean into the later systems of the Thomasines, the Basilideans and the Valentinians.
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Gnosticism (from Greek gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit, the demiurge,
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Cosmology, from the Greek: κοσμολογία (cosmologia, κόσμος (cosmos) order + λογος (logos) word, reason, plan) is the quantitative (usually mathematical) study of the Universe in
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The term gnostic gospels (pronunciation: naws-tik) refers to gnostic collections of writings about the teachings of Jesus, written around the 2nd century AD.[] These gospels are not accepted by the Church as part of the standard Biblical canon.
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Christianity

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Books Canon Apocrypha
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Gnosticism (from Greek gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit, the demiurge,
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Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[2] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, and is also an important figure in several other religions.
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Writing system: Coptic alphabet
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New Testament (Greek: Καινή Διαθήκη, Kainē Diathēkē) is the name given to the final portion of the Christian Bible, written after the Old Testament.
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The Gospel of Matthew is a synoptic gospel in the New Testament, one of four canonical gospels. It narrates an account of the life and ministry of Jesus. It describes his genealogy, his miraculous birth and childhood, his baptism and temptation, his ministry of healing and
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    The Gospel of Mark, anonymous[1] but traditionally ascribed to Mark the Evangelist, is a synoptic gospel of the New Testament. It narrates the life of Jesus from John the Baptist to the Ascension (or to the empty tomb in the shorter recension), but it concentrates
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    The Gospel of Luke is a synoptic Gospel, and the third and longest of the four canonical Gospels of the New Testament. The text narrates the life of Jesus, with particular interest concerning his birth, ministry, death, and resurrection; and it ends with an account of the
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    Jesus (8–2 BC/BCE to 29–36 AD/CE),[2] also known as Jesus of Nazareth, is the central figure of Christianity, and is also an important figure in several other religions.
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    Gnosticism (from Greek gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit, the demiurge,
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    In Christianity, the disciples were the students of Jesus during his ministry. Though often restricted to the Twelve Apostles, the gospels refer to varying numbers of disciples.
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    Gnosticism (from Greek gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit, the demiurge,
    ..... Click the link for more information.
    The History of Gnosticism is subject to a great deal of debate and interpretation. The complex nature of Gnostic teaching and the fact that much of the material relating to the schools comprising Gnosticism has traditionally come from critiques by orthodox Christians make it
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    Gnosticism (from Greek gnōsis, knowledge) refers to a diverse, syncretistic religious movement consisting of various belief systems generally united in the teaching that humans are divine souls trapped in a material world created by an imperfect spirit, the demiurge,
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    The History of Gnosticism is subject to a great deal of debate and interpretation. The complex nature of Gnostic teaching and the fact that much of the material relating to the schools comprising Gnosticism has traditionally come from critiques by orthodox Christians make it
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