The Gnostic Gospels Test | Mid-Book Test - Hard

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This test consists of 5 short answer questions, 10 short essay questions, and 1 (of 3) essay topics.

Short Answer Questions

1. The resurrection, Pagels speculates, helps to _____________ the authority of those who believed literally in the resurrection.

2. It is the mixing of the _________________ with normal humanity that engenders the interpretation of the birth of Jesus.

3. What did Muhammad and his brothers embark on in order to avenge the death of their father?

4. In a newly discovered Nag Hammadi text, it says, "I am __________. I am both Mother and Father since I copulate with myself. I am the Womb, the All."

5. Tertullian noted the way that _______ were so eagerly accepted in all facets of church society with great horror.

Short Essay Questions

1. What has created a lot of controversy when it comes to discussions between scholars of biblical texts?

2. Why did the orthodox preserve Christianity, according to the logic of Pagels?

3. To whom did one's real allegiance belong, according to the ideas of Valentine?

4. What is the idea that Marcion concluded about God since he found a brutal God in the Old Testament and a compassionate God in the New Testament?

5. What kind of suffering was focused on in the Gnostic path and the belief system?

6. What made the idea of there only being a strict and narrow path to God so attractive to the orthodox?

7. How do the Gnostic texts portray the God that is present in the story of Adam and Eve in the tale of creation?

8. The Gnostics did not stress the idea of obedience to authority, so what did they choose to stress in their communities?

9. What do most people agree about in terms of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ?

10. What does Pagels point out as being the key building block of Christianity?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

Pagels also points out that at times, beliefs that weren't logical became preeminent.

Part 1: Do you think it's dangerous for illogical beliefs to be powerful? Why or why not?

Part 2: Does it matter whether a belief is logical? Why or why not?

Part 3: How do you think society would change of all accepted beliefs were logical? Why?

Essay Topic 2

The Gnostics seem to have several different versions of the story of what happened to Jesus after he hung on the cross.

Part 1: Why do you think the Gnostics are fine with having multiple and varying stories?

Part 2: Do you think it's a good idea to have as many different sorts of stories as possible or to have one story? Why?

Part 3: How do you think the Gnostic person interprets the idea of the resurrection? Why?

Essay Topic 3

There is also some debate that the Gnostic gospels were not necessarily written by the actual apostles to whom they are ascribed, but rather that they are written in the spirit of these apostles.

Part 1: Why do you think that some felt it necessary to point out the possible difference in the authors?

Part 2: Do you think it matters who wrote the gospels which were found? Why or why not?

Part 3: How do you think the Gnostic viewpoint might change if it were proven that none of the gospels were written by the actual apostles? Why?

(see the answer keys)

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