That’s right, you heard me: I gnose. It’s the verb I’ve recently made up to describe my active interest in gnosticism. Since the word “gnosis” or knowledge is pronounced NO-sis, I believe that the verb “to gnose” should be pronounced with the long o sound rather than the short. I gnose, we gnose, you gnose; you get the idea.
Anyhoo, as I worked through Ms. Pagels’s The Gnostic Gospels, I came across (or was reminded of) The Gospel of Judas, and have simultaneously been reading Bart Ehrmann’s The Lost Gospel of Judas Iscariot: A New Look at Betrayer and Betrayed. It’s actually been working well, because both books make many references to the Bible in comparison with the Gnostic Gospels, so I’ve been reading books of the Bible at the same time so that I have some idea of what they’re talking about. I read John last week, and next up is Mark and Matthew.
I don’t have anything intelligent to say about the differences between the canon and the books that were not included in the Bible, because Pagels and Ehrman obviously are better qualified and have written on the subject already. But I am curious about what people think of this sort of thing. What do you think about the Gnostic Gospels? What does it mean to you that there were gospels from the early Christian era that were not included in the Bible ultimately? If you’re not Christian, is there any comparable situation, say that relates to the Koran or the Book of Mormon?