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. To Iranaeus, the monotheism of the Valentianians was a kind of ________, a hoax that would allow them to participate in the orthodox church.

2. Some Gnostic authors see Sophia as the ___________ benevolently having provided the gift of self-awareness to Adam and to Eve.

3. The Romans believed in divine authority for __________, which eventually led to Inanaeus' death sentence for treason.

4. ___________ was the issue of the day for the orthodox church, according to Pagels' findings in this chapter.

5. A __________ tourist in 1769 bought a Coptic codex near Thebes, which helped to explain more about the time period of the gospels.

Short Essay Questions

1. What are the three Gnostic interpretations of the divine that Pagels speaks of in this section of the book?

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

3. What happened when a Roman soldier expressed his contempt for the Jews?

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

5. What did Iranaeus think about the idea of monotheism of the Valentinians and its place in the faith?

6. What did Tertullian find so horrible about those who claimed the secret gnosis?

7. What did Hippolytus, great enemy of the agnostics, accuse Callistus of?

8. What was the debate the gnostic teachers had about the idea of the Dyad in the relationship of God?

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

10. What are some of the roles that a masculine God might have in the prayers of Christians, Jews, and Muslims?

Essay Topics

Essay Topic 1

The Gnostics seem to lean toward a dualistic form of God, with one being lighter and another being darker.

Part 1: Do you think the dualistic views of God are important? Why or why not?

Part 2: How does having more than one view of God change a belief system?

Part 3: Do you think that it's easier or better to have one God? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

At some point, someone writes that Jesus was actually laughing when he was put to death on the the cross.

Part 1: How do you feel about the image of Jesus laughing as he is put to death?

Part 2: Why do you think the accounts of the crucifixion vary so widely?

Part 3: Do you think the crucifixion actually occurred? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

In the beginning, those that found the jar with the gospels in it did not want to break the jar, lest they cause harm or they have bad luck befall them.

Part 1: Why do you think that superstition still thrives?

Part 2: Do you think you would have broken the jar more quickly than those of the story did? Why or why not?

Part 3: Do you think that breaking open the jar was a good idea? Why or why not?

(see the answer keys)

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