Eusebius of Caesarea (263-339 CE), who was the Bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, and one of the most influential forces at the first Council of Nicea, called the Gospel of Thomas “the fictions of heretics”, and left it and other Gospels with historic Christian significance on the editing room floor when he was working to assemble the basis of what later would become the first organized Christian Church system. Never mind that none of the gospels of the disciples were written during a time that the disciples were actually alive, and that most all of the gospels were handled and discussed with suspicion during the early days of Christianity (there were even dissenters against utilizing Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in the Bible). Nevertheless, some texts made the cut, and some didn’t. Mysteriously, the ancient Gnostic texts that didn’t make the cut then disappeared from existence (destroyed?, hidden?), removing the ability of researchers and scholars to study and review them for content later.
Then in 1947, another set of these texts were found in Nag Hammadi in a set of urns, amongst a number of other scrolls and books relating to the life of Jesus Christ. These included not only the missing Gospel of Thomas, but the Gospel of Philip, the Apocryphons of James and John, the Gospel of Truth, and The Sophia (or “The Wisdom”) of Jesus Christ (another book consisting of nothing but sayings from Jesus). These among many others were found. And when these texts were discovered, it again opened up the discussion of what could be considered divine texts, but more importantly, offered to the world the opportunity to decide for themselves.
So you’d think that religious leaders would be starving to dive in and add these texts to their religious repertoire. right? You think they would be jumping to support the Bible’s authenticity with the discovery of additional texts that support the same messages? Nope. Even after 60+ years post-rediscovery, and after countless historians and archeologists vouched for their authenticity, it’s as if our religious leaders knew Eusebius of Caesarea personally and trusted his judgement on matters of what is Christian and what isn’t. It’s as if they trust one guy who lived 1700 years ago to say, “these sayings of Jesus are the good ones, and you should ignore these sayings of Jesus… because they don’t really match with the message of the Church.” Thus, numerous religious figureheads still are all but ignoring the existence of these texts when preaching to people about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ. But here’s the real secret behind their ignorance: They don’t understand the teachings and sayings of these new gospels, which is why they don’t want to (or can’t) teach them. Which is… in reality… the same reason that they were originally left on the editing room floor back in 300 CE. by Bishop Eusebius.
As it turns out, the sayings of Jesus as recorded in these Gnostic Gospels teach of lessons and parables that cannot be understood or explained by an unenlightened mind, and thus they seem to be contradictory or confusing when compared to the popularly accepted Gospels. But the fact is that they are not contradictory or confusing when explored from the right perspective. Subsequently, it is best that you yourself (especially if you’re a Christian) read and study these texts with your own eyes, and not get the Cliff Notes version from some unenlightened preacher somewhere. It is important that you approach these historical records of the life and sayings of Jesus with unprejudiced innocence. Read them. Consume them. Do not judge them. But add them to your knowledge.
Later, if you are interested, I will help provide my thoughts of these Gnostic Gospels from a post-Enlightenment perspective. I will share with you the potential secret meanings of the sayings of Jesus that jump out at you when discussed from the divinely conscious perspective. You may even be amazed at how many things you may have missed within the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John when we complete this exercise (even if you’ve read those gospels hundreds of times).
But that’s coming later. For now, pick up a good book on the Nag Hammadi texts or find them online for free. If you get a book, don’t get one written from an overly critical perspective, that looks to judge the validity of the works from an existing doctrinal discipline, or that provides a lot of opinion on the meaning of the text. Same with the websites. Look for sources with factual translations presented in a non-opinion historical context. I would suggest to you a couple of sources, but I do not want to be accused of unduly influencing my audience.
We will have fun with these soon, and hopefully you will see some of the forgotten secret meanings in many of Jesus’ teachings as we move forward. Peace for now.
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