Dating the gnostic gospels dating model 70
The situation may be likened to putting together a jigsaw puzzle with numerous pieces missing; one is forced to recreate the pieces by using whatever context is available.Robinson adds that “when only a few letters are missing, they can be often filled in adequately, but larger holes must simply remain a blank.”Concerning translation, Robinson relates that “the texts were translated one by one from Greek to Coptic, and not always by translators capable of grasping the profundity or sublimity of what they sought to translate.” Robinson notes, however, that most of the texts are adequately translated, and that when there is more than one version of a particular text, the better translation is clearly discernible.The genre of this text is known as pseudepigrapha — writings falsely ascribed to noteworthy individuals to lend credibility to the material.Although interesting in explaining the development of Gnostic thought and its relationship to biblical writings, this letter shouldn’t be overtaxed as delivering reliable history of the events it purports to record.In the first installment of this two-part series, I outlined the stark contrasts between the gnostic Jesus and “the Word become flesh.” These respective views of Jesus are lodged within mutually exclusive world views concerning claims about God, the universe, humanity, and salvation. Do we have a clue as to what Jesus, the Man from Nazareth, actually did and said as a player in space-time history?Should such gnostic documents as the capture our attention as a reliable report of the mind of Jesus, or does the Son of Man of the biblical Gospels speak with the authentic voice?Christianity has always been a historical religion and any serious challenge to its legitimacy must attend to that fact.
The New Testament has been preserved in thousands of diverse and ancient manuscripts which enable us to reconstruct the original documents with a high degree of certainty. Before the discovery at Nag Hammadi, Gnostic documents not inferred from references in the church fathers were few and far between. The actual condition of the Nag Hammadi manuscripts varies considerably.
The text affirms that Luke was after nothing less than historical certainty, presented in orderly fashion and based on firsthand testimony.
If Christianity centers on Jesus, the Christ, the promised Messiah who inaugurates the kingdom of God with power, the objective facticity of this Jesus is preeminent.
In the Gnostic materials Jesus seems, in many cases, more of a lecturer on metaphysics than a Jewish prophet.
In the Such philosophical abstractions were never on the lips of the disciples — the fishermen, tax collectors, and zealots — of the biblical accounts.
THE RELIABILITY OF THE GNOSTIC DOCUMENTS Historicity is related to trustworthiness.