CH101 - The Second CenturyThe Persecuted Church, 90 - 202 A.D.
The New Testament Canon, Part 4
It is important to understand that many ancient texts have some bizarre passages - the NT has some strange passages as well, and one must be ready to admit this before launching an attack against strange gnostic texts. For example,
"I tell you, on that night two people will be in one bed; one will be taken and the other left. Two women will be grinding grain together; one will be taken and the other left."
"Where, Lord?" they asked. He replied, "Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather." Luke 17:34-37
Early in the morning, as he was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, "May you never bear fruit again!" Immediately the tree withered. Matthew 21:18-19
I know there are many who have given explanation for these passages - I have just read 2-3 explanations for both of these, and none satisfy me 100% - my point is simply to say that we must admit that there are some strange passages in our NT documents that cannot be easily explained. I could list many more. And if you read the early fathers you will find many strange passages as well. One can give some explanation for the strange gnostic passages, but even with the proper historical context bizarre is...well, bizarre. The gospel contained in the New Testament is powerful because it is profound - taking the complicated and making it exceedingly simple to understand. These gnostic texts are just not easy to grasp.
Gospel of Thomas
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Early Church Martyrs - Roman Empire
Second Repentance - Hermas, Tertullian
Apostolic Fathers - Justin, Ignatius, Barnabas
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Gnosticism - Nag Hammadi Texts
Intro to Gnostic Writings
Gnostic Writings - Nag Hammadi
New Testament Canon - NT Canon
Apostolic Fathers and Heresies
Early Church Heresies
Tertullian, Justin Martyr, Clement of Alexandria,
Questions 2nd Century Church History
How the NT was Formed
New Testament Canon, Canonized
Questions regarding Christian Issues
Early Church Heresies
Gnosticism in the 1st Century Early Church
Early Church History of Galations
Early Christianity War and Conflict
Early Christianity Constantine and War
Important Issues in Early Christianity