The Gnostic Gospels Test | Lesson Plans Mid-Book Test - Hard

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Mid-Book Test - Hard

Name: _________________________ Period: ___________________

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

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?

Essay Topic 2

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?

Essay Topic 3

The Gnostic gospels seem to state that it's not that becoming a martyr will lead to Heaven each time, but that the awareness of the teachings of Christ is the reward.

Part 1: Do you think that Heaven should be seen as the ultimate reward in the Christian life? Why or why not?

Part 2: Do you believe that the awareness of Christ is something that is more important than what happens when you die? Why or why not?

Part 3: How do you think Christianity might change if there was no idea of Heaven or Hell?

(see the answer keys)

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