We have recently been treated
to exposition of the so-called
Gnostic gospels, without any
announced purpose for their review.
All we laymen know about them is that
a rather large number of early Christians
wrote sayings attributed to Jesus that
never made it into the New Testament.
It is easy to see why, in that their
efforts are obviously made up and
wholly lacking the clarity and majesty
of the included passages in the bible.
That still leaves the question as to
why the sudden interest in them.
Could it be inspired by a resistance
to the present contents of the bible?
It is well-known that the bible is
not kind to persons who prefer a
lightweight Christianity which
makes no demands in their lives.
Episcopalians partly solve this
problem by deleting verses from
the daily lectionary that are not
in sync with modern secular mores.
They cannot rewrite the bible,
but perhaps they can add excerpts
from the ancient writings that are
more acceptable to their congregants.
If so, playing up the wisdom of the
Gnostic gospels, and other sources
continues the drive to refashion a
religion far from its origin.