Gospel of Phillip

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This is another document found with the Nag Hammadi collection dug up in 1945 in Egypt. This document was bound up with the Gospel of Thomas but is not a sayings document, more a collection of Gnostic teachings. We do not know the name of the document, but since Phillip is the only disciple mentioned in the text, that is where the attribution comes from. It is dated anywhere between 180-250AD.

Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion

  1. It is not of the apostolic period
    1. Phillip is said to have died 80AD
  2. It is bound up with Gnostic writings and texts
  3. Expresses the Gnostic style of Valentinus who was denounced by Irenaeus in 170AD, Tertullian in the early 200’s and by Epiphanius of Salamis 374-377AD
  4. It doesn’t appear in any canonical list
  5. It quotes several New Testament books as a reference, likely due to an already established collection of books (Gospels, Paul’s letters and Peter’s letters)

Useful external attestation details

  1. Jesus is the “Christ”, Saviour, Nazorean, Messiah, Son of Man, the “Word”
  2. Possesses the wisdom of God
  3. Jesus’ followers were called “Christians”
  4. Disciples and Apostles existed
  5. Jesus laid down his life as a ransom to save and redeem
  6. Jesus died a sacrificial death on the cross
  7. Jesus rose from the dead
  8. Mary and Joseph are mentioned
  9. Mary Magdalene is mentioned
  10. Phillip is mentioned
  11. Quotes New Testament 
    1. Matthew 6:6
    2. John 8:34
    3. 1 Corinthians 8:1
    4. 1 Peter 4:8
    5. Matthew 3:10
    6. John 8:32
    7. Matthew 15:13


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