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

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

3. Marion concluded that there were ___________ because of the brutal God in the Old Testament and the compassionate God in the New Testament.

4. The Gospel of the Egyptians from the Gnostic texts highlights the Great, Invisible ___________ in its lines.

5. According to some of the Gnostic gospels, the Creator does not precede mankind at all - there is an immortal __________ that precedes him.

Short Essay Questions

1. What does Pagels speculate united the Gnostics, as diverse as they were in the world?

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

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

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

5. What made the idea of there only being a strict and narrow path to God so attractive to the orthodox?

6. What did a letter attributed to the Bishop of Rome around 90 to 100 AD create in official language for the first time?

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

8. What did the Valentinians come to believe about the idea of God? What was He supposed to be?

9. What are the two occasions described in the Bible in which the reappearance of Jesus might be called into question?

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

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 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

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?

(see the answer keys)

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