Gospel of Truth
Dated to the mid to late second century (140-180AD), the Gospel of Truth was discovered in the Nag Hammadi library with other Gnostic texts in 1945. The Gospel of Truth is connected with Valentinus, a gnostic teacher who lived 100-160AD wrote this poetic homily, so it’s not really a gospel as we would identify it.
Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion
- Written outside the apostolic era
- Irenaeus identified this word as heretical almost immediately as it came into existence
- Not an eyewitness to the life of the apostles
- Was a form of Valentinian Gnosticism
- Gnosis was the way of salvation, contradicting Christian doctrine
- After not becoming Bishop, Valentinus separated and formed this separate belief and it was clear at the time of the intent, reasoning behind it and why it would so easily be ruled out.
- Talks about a god before God which is illogical and contradicts Christian doctrine also
Useful external attestation details
- Presumes the existence of Canonical letters and Gospels
- The Gospel of Truth references many of Paul’s letters (such as 1 Corinthians, 2 Corinthians, Galatians, Ephesians, and Colossians), many letters from other New Testament writers (such as 1 John, Revelation and Hebrews) and some of the canonical Gospels (such as the Gospel of John and the Gospel of Matthew).
- Jesus was a wise teacher unlike any of his day
- Jesus is referred to as “The saviour”
- Jesus came to redeem those who did not know the Father
- Refers to parable of the lost sheep nd describes Jesus as the shepherd.
- Jesus was nailed to a cross