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 Gnostics called the orthodox view the faith of ___________, according to the text presented in the chapter.

2. Tertullian wrote: "...this flesh, suffused with blood, built up with bones, interwoven with nerves.....was born and dies, undoubtedly _________."

3. A letter to the Bishop of Rome stated the difference between ________ and priesthood, defining the reality of the Roman church.

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

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

Short Essay Questions

1. 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?

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

3. What are some of the explanations that the Gnostics offered for the resurrection stories of Jesus?

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

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

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

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

10. What is a possible explanation for the burial of the sacred texts in the jar that Mohammed 'Ali found?

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The belief in the resurrection was one that spread because of its political power, according to Pagels.

Part 1: Why do you think the idea of the resurrection was so effective in politics?

Part 2: Do you think that a person has to choose whether they believe the resurrection happened or not? Why?

Part 3: Does it matter to you what faith your elected officials are? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

At one point in time, the Romans considered the Christians to be heretics as they were not pagan in nature as the rulers were.

Part 1: Why do you think the the Romans felt they needed to punish the Christians?

Part 2: Why do you think that some Christians feel it's okay to punish those who consider themselves to be pagan?

Part 3: How do you think that religions should treat each other?

(see the answer keys)

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