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 considered themselves to be ____________, not believers and were despised by orthodox theologians.

2. Gnosticism, based on direction, immediate _________, in visions and on dreams, challenged the orthodox believers.

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

4. Theologians from many Western religions do contend that God is beyond ____________, according to Pagels.

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

Short Essay Questions

1. When one looks at the gnostic groups, what is the one thing which remains certain, according to the author?

2. In the Testimony of Truth, what does the Gnostic author offer as components of a holy life?

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

4. When Paul is writing in his letters, he refers to something that is 'whether it is in the body or out of the body I do not know.' What is he referring to?

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

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

7. When Jesus tells Peter that he will lead her in order to make her male so that she too may become a living spirit, to whom is he referring?

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

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

Essay Topics

Write an essay for ONE of the following topics:

Essay Topic 1

The scrolls themselves became scattered around the world once people realized they were of value and began to sell them to the highest bidders.

Part 1: Why do you think that people wanted the money more than the information?

Part 2: If you were living in that time and found these scrolls, what would you have done with them? Why?

Part 3: Do you think it's a good idea to get money for priceless objects? Why or why not?

Essay Topic 2

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 3

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?

(see the answer keys)

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