Why did the Early Church Accept the Four NT Gospels and Reject the Gnostic Gospels?

by Christ Alone 58 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • PSacramento

    Why did the early church fathers ( and some will argue that the gospels, in particualr John were written to counter gnostic teachings that were rising up) reject Gnosticisim?

    Well, simply put, there was still LOTS of Jewish influence at the time and many of the core teachings of the Gnostics ( in particular that the material world was inferiour) went against the orthodox teachings that God created the world and it was Good.

    There were other issues too, but what we DO have as information about those writting AGAINST the gnostics is that what they preached was not inline with the direct teachings of CHrist and the apostles.

    Lets remember that the Apostolic fathers were direct students of the apostles OR 2nd generation.

  • designs

    The socalled Church Fathers were the Apostates.

  • Phizzy

    Dear Jgnat, what exactly are these manuscripts we have that date to about 120 years after Jesus' death?

    We have nothing of substance until Codex Sinaiticus. Even then, this is a copy of a copy of a copy etc, that contians known errors.

    The writers of all Gospels Gnostic, or otherwise , wrote far removed from the events, and with their own agenda. The Catholic (Roman) church that decided on what was canonical in 381AD (from memory, or was it 382?) any way, they had an agenda in deciding what was left out or included, and most of the motivation seems to have been political at this time.

  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    designs and Cagefighter, do you have some references? So far you've made claims that have majorly been debunked. Especially the Horus/Jesus comparissons. I can only assume you are getting your info from Zeitgiest which is a huge joke from a scholarship standpoint.

  • PSacramento

    Only when the Church had enough infulence ( and money) ere the ALREADY authorized books and letters put into a formal "canon", of which the oldest are the codexs sinaiticus and vaticanus ( both from about 300-350 CE).

    In regards to manuscripts and fragments, the oldes is dated to early 2nd century ( 100-35 CE) with most being later:

    ca. A.D. 200 250 300 350 450 Matthew P45 B Sin. Mark P45 B in. A Luke P4,P45,P75 B Sin. A John P66 P45,P75 B Sin. A Acts P45 B Sin. A Romans-Hebrews P46 B Sin. A James-Jude P72,B Sin. A Apocalypse P47 Sin. A
  • PSacramento

    Sorry about the formating:

    The Earliest Extant Manuscripts

    Fortunately, textual critics and paleographers have a large number of ancient manuscripts at their disposal, many of which have been found within the last century. Nearly the entire New Testament exists in manuscripts dated to before 300 AD. Other important manuscripts date to the fourth and fifth centuries.

    The manuscripts dating from 100 to 300 AD are almost entirely papyrus fragments. These fragments are named with a "P" followed by a number. The vast majority of them were found in Egypt in the twentieth century, and are now kept in various museums and libraries throughout the world, including at Dublin, Ann Arbor, Cologny (Switzerland), the Vatican and Vienna.

    The earliest manuscript of the New Testament was discovered about 50 years ago. P52 is a small papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John (18:31-33 on the front; 18:37-38 on the back), and it has been dated to about 125 AD. This makes it a very important little manuscript, because John has been almost unanimously held by scholars to be the latest of the four gospels. So if copies of John were in circulation by 125, the others must have been written considerably earlier. Moreover, the Gospel of John's greater theological development when compared with the other three gospels has led some scholars to conclude it was written as late as 120 or even 150 AD. The P52 fragment seems to make such late dates impossible. {4}

    In addition to the early papyrus fragments, a large number of parchment manuscripts have been found that date from 300 AD onward. These are usually named for the place in which they were discovered and are abbreviated by a letter or sometimes a number. The manuscripts A/02 (Codex Alexandrinus), B/03 (Codex Vaticanus), and Sin./01 (Codex Sinaiticus) contain nearly complete sets of the New Testament. By comparing these to the earlier papyrus fragments, they have been shown to be quite reliable.

    Codex Vaticanus (B), the earliest of the great parchment manuscripts at about 300 AD, has resided in the Vatican since the middle ages and remains there today. It is one of the most important manuscripts for textual criticism.

    Codex Sinaiticus (Sin.) dates to about 350 AD. It was discovered in 1844 in a monastery on Mount Sinai by a Russian. After some resistance, he persuaded the resident monks to allow him to take it to St. Petersburg. On Christmas Eve, 1933, the Soviet government sold it to the British Museum for 100,000 pounds. It was put on permanent display in the British Library, where it still resides, along with other early biblical manuscripts. {5}

    Codex Alexandrinus (A), dating to circa 450 AD, was transferred from the Christian library in Alexandria to the British Library in the seventeenth century, where it still resides today. The Catholic Encyclopedia details its history

  • james_woods

    I have read this twice now, and I simply do not see that a convincing case has been made that the "early church" - (whatever that is) - rejected the gnostic writings.

  • PSacramento
    I have read this twice now, and I simply do not see that a convincing case has been made that the "early church" - (whatever that is) - rejected the gnostic writings.

    You don't feel that the writings of the early church AGAINST gnostic teachings isn't evidence of that?

  • Christ Alone
    Christ Alone

    James Woods, they rejected the gnostics all together! That was one of the ante-nicene fathers wrote what they did. They were writing against the heresies of the Gnostics.

    Where can you find ANY evidence that they accepted the Gnostic Gospels? And by the early church I am referring to all the evidence and writings we have from the early church fathers: Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Ignatius, etc.

    Again, many of these Gnostic Gospels were not even around during the time some of these men were writing. Perhaps I should've worded my thread title better and wrote it as "Why did the early church accept the four NT gospels and reject the Gnostics".

  • botchtowersociety
    I have read this twice now, and I simply do not see that a convincing case has been made that the "early church" - (whatever that is) - rejected the gnostic writings.

    Paul letters wrote about it in the first century. 1 Timothy 6:20-21 for example. The word he uses there is gnosis.

    Justin Martyr and Origen wrote about it in the second. There are others.

Share this