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. Pagels talks about three different interpretations of the Divine - as the _______, as the Holy Spirit, and as Wisdom.

2. Pagels points out that it was __________ that ultimately expelled the Valentinians who strove to maintain their membership.

3. What does Jesus eat before the eyes of his disciples after he has risen from the death, according to some accounts?

4. In the Hypostasis of the Archons, ________ is elevated to being the spiritual mother of Adam, even though other stories contradict this.

5. Who did Professor Giles Quispel persuade to try to buy the codices in order to study them further?

Short Essay Questions

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

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

3. What does Pagels give as an explanation as to why the story of the story of the resurrection seems to be so important to the faithful?

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

5. What does the idea of the laughing of Jesus during his torture and flogging seem to imply to those who read it?

6. What did Mohammed and his brothers do to the man who was responsible for killing their father?

7. What did the Roman Empire seem to think of the new following of Jesus and the development of Christianity?

8. Why does Pagels state that the retelling of the story of Eden becomes problematic for those who consider themselves to be Christian?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

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?

Essay Topic 2

At a certain point in time, the idea of Martyrdom become something that was accepted in the Christian world.

Part 1: Why do you think the being a martyr is so acceptable?

Part 2: Do you believe that being a martyr for your faith is an honorable thing? Why or why not?

Part 3: Do you think that martyrdom is something which should be celebrated? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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