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Showing posts from August, 2011

The Four Faces of Jesus

One of the great theological debates about the New Testament is ‘why four gospels?’ We know that many more were written, including the famous Nag Hammadi scripts with writings by the disciples Philip and Thomas and even one accredited to Mary Magdalene. These were Gnostic gospels which had a very different ‘take’ on the world – believing in the idea of ‘external evil’ as opposed to the ‘all creation is good’ teachings of Genesis and of Jesus’ time.However, there were other non-Gnostic gospels that were also rejected including The Infancy Gospel of Thomas, The Gospel of the Egyptians and the Gospel of the Hebrews.
It is very unlikely that the four Gospels selected for the New Testament were picked at random. There had to be a rhyme and reason – and something that would be useful for us to understand today. Irenaeus writes in Adversus Haereses: The Gospels could not possibly be either more or less in number than they are. Since there are four zones of the world in which we live, and four …