Canonical vs. Gnostic: Which of the gospels are the true Word of God?

in Holy Scriptures & Ancient Texts/Latest

“For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will mislead many. “Then if anyone says to you, ‘Behold, here is the Christ,’ or ‘There He is,’ do not believe him. “For false Christs and false prophets will arise and will show great signs and wonders, so as to mislead, if possible, even the elect.” (Matthew 24:5-26)

How can one recognise from the many manuscripts which one is the true Word of God? 

The earliest canonical gospels were written in the first century, Matthew was the first one in about 70 AD, followed by Mark, Luke and John. These Holy scriptures are the cornerstone of the New Testament and to all Christian faith. At the council of Nicaea in 325 AD the Church bishops included in the Bible only these ones because of their historical credibility showing the places, people and events of that time  and especially Jesus’ life as a man who walked the earth.

It was Peter, James, John, Andrew, Bartholomew or Nathanael, James the Lesser, Judas the Iscariot (replaced by Matthias), Judas son of James, Matthew, Phillip, Simon the Zealot, Thomas, recruited by Jesus as His disciples who lived and walked with Him until He was crucified. They preached exactly what Jesus’ taught them. But as it is in human nature,  something that sounds mysterious and secretive catches the interest a lot more than just a plain and simple Truth.

Why weren’t Gnostic gospels included in the Bible? 

Why there are only four gospels in the Bible is because they are the earliest ones providing reliable evidence about Jesus. In reality there has never been any gospel excluded from the Bible because Gnostic texts have never even been accepted as reliable documents.

Orthodoxy which means ‘right thinking’ prevailed over the Gnostic gospels ‘secret knowledge’, this is because they are historically credible and it persuaded more people and were written a century or more before the Gnostic books. All the non canonical gospels exclude themselves from the bible by simply stating that they are the only one true teachings of Jesus. Whereas all the four gospels can be put alongside each other, though showing some differences, they all tell the same story which proves that they are more authentic. Gnostic gospels on the other hand focuses only on the Divine Jesus and they say nothing of Him as a person.  Almost all of the Gnostic texts were written in the second and later centuries which raised  suspicion to their credibility.

The Gospel of Thomas was rediscovered among 13 other ancient books in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, a village in Egypt. This discovery created a lot of questions as to why it was not included in the Bible. Even though the gospel of Dydimus Thomas does not count as a Gnostic text, it is believed by many scholars to be written in the first century by some philosophical movement groups, now regarded as Gnostics. These Gnostics interpreted the text through the eyes of philosophy inspired by the popular Greek philosopher Plato. The Thomas gospel obviously excludes itself because it was written after all the canonical gospels, not to mention that some of the material has been copied from the Matthew, Mark and Luke gospels. It takes only one weird saying from the Thomas’ gospel to see why the early Church rejected these strange texts.

Legion 114.

Simon Peter said to Jesus, “Mary should leave us, for women are not worthy of Life. Jesus answered: This is how I will guide her so that she becomes Man. She, too, will become a living breath like you Men. Any woman who makes herself a Man will enter into Kingdom of Heaven.”

The one that takes the crown in all this controversy is the Gnostic gospel of Judas, written between 2nd-4th century. It changes the role of Judas from being Christ’s betrayer into a disciple that Jesus entrusted with secret instructions, unknown to the other disciples. Jesus instructs Judas to hand him over to the authorities to be put to death. In essence by sacrificing Him, Judas becomes the saviour of God. In this gospel Jesus is not the Saviour who comes down from Heaven to save us from sin and it does not show Him as a historical Jesus. This is a collection of sayings which Jesus supposedly has said and it does not represent any earlier form of Christianity.

The Gospel of Mary contains a lot of her visions and dialogues between her, Jesus, and the apostles. Even though Jesus was asexual some gnostic gospels brings suspicion on Mary and Jesus having had more than a spiritual relationship.

1  Peter said to Mary:
2  “Sister we know Teacher loved you
3  differently from other women.
4  Tell us whatever you remember
5  of any words he told you
6  which we have not yet heard.”


In the gnostic gospel of Phillip a passage shows Jesus was often kissing Mary but unfortunately we don’t know where because of  the missing fragments from the original manuscript.

As for Wisdom who is called “the barren”, she is the mother [of the] angels. And the companion of the […] Mary Magdalene. [… loved] her more than [all] the disciples [and used to] kiss her [often] on her […]. The rest of [the disciples…] They said to him, “Why do you love her more than all of us?” The Savior answered and said to them, “Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in the darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness.

There can be all sorts of ancient scripts claiming to be true teachings of Yeshua, but only a true believer who completely surrenders to Christ will ‘know’ which book is the true Word of God by the revelation of the Holy Spirit.


The Apostle Paul preached to the Galatians warning them about other teachings.

But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse! (Galatians 1:8-9)



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