Secret Teachings of Jesus


#1

I know many new age people that tell me that the Catholic church is just the “exoteric” church but Jesus had the real teachings secret, the esoterics ones such as the gnostic texts talk about.

They claim that gnosticism or the secret teachings were just crushed because of the political power of the larger exoteric church.

Any suggestions on how to “prove” them wrong?

Pax,
David


#2

Jesus had secret teachings and then instructed his apostles to tell everyone about them? Okay that makes sense. :stuck_out_tongue:


#3

I think people who believe in gnosticism are self-centered pseudo-intellectuals who want to have a leg up on the “competition” in the race to heaven. How sad that they don’t want as many as possible in heaven with them.


#4

[quote=DJHohl]I know many new age people that tell me that the Catholic church is just the “exoteric” church but Jesus had the real teachings secret, the esoterics ones such as the gnostic texts talk about.

They claim that gnosticism or the secret teachings were just crushed because of the political power of the larger exoteric church.

Pax,
David
[/quote]

Yea, right. Bla, bla,bla,bla. Ask them to prove they are right. Have them bring historical proofs, biblical proofs, etc. I’ve spoken with these types before and they are long with speculation and short on collaborative proofs.


#5

I believe my reply would be…“Indeed, Jesus did have secret teachings. He taught that no gnostics would ever dine with Him at the heavenly banquet until they got their facts right…that there are no secrets!”:wink:


#6

[quote=DJHohl]Any suggestions on how to “prove” them wrong?
[/quote]

Read the writings of the early church fathers on the gnostics. Since they fought these guys for hundreds of years they have some pretty good arguments. It also helps to get a little more context on the issue as well.

ken


#7

It’s amazing to me that people even take the Gnostic gospels seriously, even thinking that they should have been part of the canon. In fact, they were written later than the canonical scriptures, by people who did not accept Christian teachings, and were never even considered comparable to the orthodox NT writings. When the Church eventually decided upon which writings were to be included in the canon, the criteria were apostolicity, orthodoxy, and continuous liturgical usage. The Gnostics fail on all counts.

JimG


#8

[quote=JimG]It’s amazing to me that people even take the Gnostic gospels seriously, even thinking that they should have been part of the canon. In fact, they were written later than the canonical scriptures, by people who did not accept Christian teachings, and were never even considered comparable to the orthodox NT writings. When the Church eventually decided upon which writings were to be included in the canon, the criteria were apostolicity, orthodoxy, and continuous liturgical usage. The Gnostics fail on all counts.

JimG
[/quote]

Didn’t the Gnostic texts say to be perfect, one had to be male? Think it was the Gospel of Thomas?


#9

114 Simon Peter said to them, “Make Mary leave us, for females don’t deserve life.” Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."
The “scholar’s version” of tommy’s Gospel states:[Saying added to the original collection at a later date:] Lame. When? Apparently the "scholars didn’t like it either.
Here’s a wise saying:7 Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human.“
But here is my fav. flav.:The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?” The whole codex reads like the magical myster tour. Some take this very seriously. I see historicity or Old Testament background of this nonsense. Indeed nothing that resembles 1st century palestinian Judaism. Who wants suma debo?


#10

An excellent somewhat scholarly work on this subject is Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way, by Philip Jenkins. Jenkins is Episcopalian as I recall (though he did write, The New Anti-Catholicism: The Last Acceptable Prejudice).

A distinguished professor of History and Religious Studies at Penn State, Jenkins, in a scholarly, moderate style, makes short work of revisionist Gnostic claims.


#11

Shhhh! What are you doing posting this! It’s supposed to be a secret! How did those New Age people find out about the secret!?:rolleyes:
Sorry. Read some of the other replies for a better answer.


#12

Thanks for all the great answers! One more question -if anyone knows:

Did any of the primary gnostic figures study with an apostle? Were any of them high up in Church structure, like a Bishop?

Happy 4th!

Pax,
David


#13

GNOSTICISM IS A HERESY and was declared such very early on. Shame on him who even considers the garbage! :tsktsk:


#14

[quote=DJHohl]Thanks for all the great answers! One more question -if anyone knows:

Did any of the primary gnostic figures study with an apostle? Were any of them high up in Church structure, like a Bishop?

Happy 4th!

Pax,
David
[/quote]

Naturally some who were gnostics claimed that their teaching was Apostolic in origin as it bolstered their claim to the “truth”, but I don’t know that its ever been shown that direct students of the twelve ever went into any form of heresy. The father of the gnostics I believe, and I’m no expert on this, was seen as Simon Magus (father of many heretical lies). Simon Magus was always opposed to and by the Apostles (particularly Peter, of course).

So it seems it was only after the Apostolic Age that people trained or ordained within the Church fell into heresy though that is not to say they were free from dispute as we see both in the New Testament and today.

In the History of the Church, Eusebius quotes the now lost work of Hegesippus from about the year 170 AD:
“In addition to these things the same man, while recounting the events of that period, records that the Church up to that time had remained a pure and uncorrupted virgin, since, if there were any that attempted to corrupt the sound norm of the preaching of salvation, they lay until then concealed in obscure darkness. But when the sacred college of apostles had suffered death in various forms, and the generation of those that had been deemed worthy to hear the inspired wisdom with their own ears had passed away, then the league of godless error took its rise as a result of the folly of heretical teachers, who, because none of the apostles was still living, attempted henceforth, with a bold face, to proclaim, in opposition to the preaching of the truth, the knowledge [gnosis] which is falsely so-called.”


#15

[quote=DianJo]GNOSTICISM IS A HERESY and was declared such very early on. Shame on him who even considers the garbage! :tsktsk:
[/quote]

Maybe so, but if I gave that answer to someone then they would forever be lost.

Pax,
David


#16

Thanks, great stuff!

David


#17

If you have access to The Faith of the Early Fathers: Volume 1, edited and translated by William A. Jurgens, refer to the section on St. Irenaeus (ca. 140-202 A.D.). His work, *Detection and Overthrow of the Gnosis Falsely So-Called or Against Heresies, *was specifically directed against Gnosticism as early as the 2nd century. The Jurgens translation includes several excerpts from St. Irenaeus’s writings. Also, St Hegesippus in the 2nd century also combatted Gnosticism. Unfortunately, very few of his actual writings survive. He is mentioned in Eusebius’s *History of the Church. *The important point to emphasize is that Christians confronted Gnosticism very early in Church history.


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