Can’t Touch This – Part 10

The Da Vinci Code

The Da Vinci Code (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Gnostic “Gospels”

In the early 2000’s, popular books like The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown lead people to doubt the Bible. These books teach that the early church leaders and Emperor Constantine intentionally took certain books out of the Bible in order to consolidate power and to omit things about Jesus that they wanted to conceal. Many of the reasons this is a faulty historical argument are outside of the scope of this article. However, The Da Vinci Code asserts that books such as the “gospels” of Philip and Thomas should be included in the Biblical canon. This is false for many reasons.

These books are known as the Gnostic gospels, because they teach a set of beliefs called Gnosticism. Among other things, Gnosticism taught that Jesus did not have a physical body, which directly contradicts biblical books like 1 John and the first chapter of the Gospel of John. The Gnostic gospels present two clear problems. The first problem is dating. They are believed to be written in the second or third centuries AD, whereas it is widely accepted that Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John were written in the first century AD. The biblical canon was completed during the first century. So no one believes that the gospels of Peter and Thomas etc. were written by Peter or Thomas. These books were written, or at least completed, after the alleged authors had died.[1]

The second problem is that they include odd writings that are not reflected, or alluded to, in any other reputable writings. For example, the gospel of Thomas ends with the statement, “Simon Peter said to them: ‘Let Mary go away from us, for women are not worthy of life.’ Jesus said: ‘Lo, I shall lead her, so that I may make her a male, that she too may become a living spirit, resembling you males. For every woman who makes herself a male will enter the kingdom of heaven.’”[2] Statements like this are both odd and completely inconsistent with the Bible, therefore they should not be included as part of scripture.

[1] Darrell Bock, The Missing Gospels (Nashville, 2006), 4-9.

[2] Wayne Grudem, Systematic Theology (Grand Rapids, 1994), 67.

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