Saturday, September 29, 2012

Fistbump of the Day: Yes, We Are Still Fighting Gnosticism

The past several weeks I've head of a manuscript fragment that people are suggesting sheds light on the early history of Christianity. It's just a scrap of papyrus written in coptic but what is putting the world up in arms is one of the phrases written on it:

Jesus said to them, my wife,

This is basically making people remember that some people believe that Jesus was married. Before people tried to use the gnostic text "Gospel of Thomas" to substantiate the claim but the text itself does not explicitly say that Jesus was married to Mary Magdalene people infer it. The interesting thing is that neither this scrap of papyrus or the Gospel of Thomas have either the historical evidence or validity of the four canonical gospels Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. There are people who don't see the Gospels as historical true or that there is historic and identifiable Christianity and they seem to want to give alternate gospels and texts equal weight.

[Dr Karen] King said that it was not until around 200 A.D. that claims started to surface, via the theologian known as Clement of Alexandria, that Jesus did not marry.

"This fragment suggests that other Christians of that period were claiming that he was married" but does not provide actual evidence of a marriage, she said.

"Christian tradition preserved only those voices that claimed Jesus never married. The 'Gospel of Jesus's Wife' now shows that some Christians thought otherwise." [Source]

Dr King and others are clear in telling that this does not prove that Jesus did indeed have a wife. However they think that there were Christians [the Gnostics] who did think that Jesus had wife and the reason why traditional Christianity does not is because the poor Gnostics were silenced. It's amazing to me that people would even try to make Gnostics Christians. The Mormons have more in common with historic traditional Christianity than the Gnostics did!  I mean really. The only way you could really think that the Gnostics would have been recognized as Christians by Peter, James, John, Paul, and the other first century Christians is if you don't know what the Bible teaches and/or what the many Gnostic flavors taught.

Added to this Dr Dan Wallace has posted the following piece of information:

Dan Wallace just posted this:

“News flash: Harvard Theological Review has decided not to publish Karen King¹s paper on the Coptic papyrus fragment on the grounds that the fragment is probably a fake.” This from an email Dr. Craig Evans, the Payzant Distinguished Professor of New Testament at Acadia University and Divinity College, sent to me earlier today. He said that Helmut Koester (Harvard University), Bentley Layton (Yale University), Stephen Emmel (University of Münster), and Gesine Robinson (Claremont Graduate School)–all first-rate scholars in Coptic studies–have weighed in and have found the fragment wanting. No doubt Francis Watson’s comprehensive work showing the fragment’s dependence on the Gospel of Thomas was a contributing factor for this judgment, as well as the rather odd look of the Coptic that already raised several questions as to its authenticity.
It's a forgery. 

What I find interesting is that while we have people trying to water down Christianity and say things about Jesus that they cannot prove over a forgery and no Christian killing over the situation, we have three countries protesting and killing over a movie on YouTube  that insult Muhammad based on Islamic sources! God is straight up showing us a difference between those who follow Christ and those who follow Muhammad.

It's nothing but the hand of God. The best thing is that God has called up brothers in Christ in every generation for when this kind of crap gets raised up. Here is a list of links regarding the way Dr James White, Mariano Grinbank, and Matthew Dowling have addressed this issue. Fistbumps to them all.

The Gospel of Jesus' Wife and Update: The Gospel of Jesus' Wife by Matthew Dowling

Was Jesus married? Manuscript says yes by Mariano Grinbank

Check these out by Dr James White
Get Ready for A Wave of Gnostic Looniness Once Again
A Note to the Secular World: Do Your History
Calling the MSM---Anyone Home?

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Tim McGrew's Recommended Apologetics Reading - Apologetics 315

 Remember that lecture Dr Timothy McGrew did on educating yourself in Apologetics posted on Apologetics 315 by Brian Auten? Well Brian Auten posted a follow up that contains a Bibliography of the books and resources he discussed in the lecture. Check it out!

Tim McGrew's Recommended Apologetics Reading - Apologetics 315
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