"I was born of the brilliant and magnificent egg, and my substance is of the same nature as that which composes light."
"I was born of the brilliant and magnificent egg, and my substance is of the same nature as that which composes light."

Who Was Christ Part Two

Yeshua said,
“I have thrown fire upon the world,
and look, I am watching till it blazes.”

– The Gospel of Thomas, Saying 10

While the Gnostics had their own way of interpreting the canonical gospels as I pointed out in Part One of this topic, the various Gnostic sects also had their own gospels and scriptures pertaining to the character of Christ as well. One of the most popular of these gospels that people with an interest in Gnosticism read today is the Gospel of Thomas. This gospel is very unique in nature as it is a sayings gospel. That is, it’s a gospel that contains 114 sayings that are attributed to Christ in a way that’s similar to Proverbs, yet it does not contain any narration about the life of Christ (i.e. his supposed virgin birth, his ministry, no mention of his crucifixion, his resurrection, or the final judgment). Many of the sayings found in this gospel parallel those found in the Synoptic Gospels (Matthew, Mark, & Luke), but researchers suggest the version found in the Gospel of Thomas is closer to the source. Along with the fact that this gospel also contains 31 sayings that are unique to it, many have concluded that this gospel was written before or as a contemporary to the canonical gospels. In Gnostic tradition, Christ is presented through these sayings as a wise teacher of gnosis, rather than a messianic figure who came to die for people’s sins.

Another gospel that is popular amongst Gnostic groups was the Gospel of Phillip. This is also not a traditional gospel that narrates the life and death of Christ but rather is a sacramental catechesis containing gnostic aphorisms, parables, narrative dialogues, and sayings of Christ that heavily center around the Initiation within the Bride Chamber. The Gospel of Phillip is often times said to be the source of where the New Age theory that Christ married Mary Magdalene came from, though this is not outright said within the text. Under the heading “Three Marys” in the gospel, it is written:

“Three Marys walked with the lord: his mother, his sister, and Mary of Magdala, his companion.

The word companion is translated from variants of the Greek word “koinônos” which in the Bible is used to refer to a spouse, (Mal 2:14; Macc 4:6), but is also used to refer to a “companion” in faith (Phlm 17), a co-worker in proclaiming the Gospel (2 Cor 8:23), or a business associate (Luke 5:10). Due to how Mary is treated later in the text – having being often kissed by Christ and suggested as being more loved than the other disciples – it is clear that she indeed held a special place within Christ’s life and circle. However, being that the text also uses the regular Coptic word for “wife” to directly refer to people who are clearly spouses within the text, it is unlikely koinônos is referring to Mary as being the wife of Christ. Rather koinônos is reserved for a specific meaning within the Gospel of Philip. Considering the fact that early Christianity started as a Mystery School with theurgic rites and initiations, it’s very possible that Mary’s special role as “companion” was really the role of the High Priestess with Christ himself being the High Priest within their coven of disciples. The Initiation within the Bride Chamber could possibly be interpreted as being the performing of the Great Rite, though I admit this is my own personal speculation on the matter.

One final Gnostic gospel I’ll touch on is the Gospel of Judas. This gospel flips what everyone thought they knew about Judas upside down. Here he is not presented as being the betrayer of Christ but rather as a disciple who was being obedient to the instructions Christ had given him. It is suggested that none of the other disciples had learned the true gospel, and that Christ only taught it to Judas. In a way that’s similar to the narration within the Gnostic text “the Apocryphon of John”, Christ goes on to explain the Gnostic cosmology revealing to Judas (instead of John) that the true God is a luminous cloud of light who exists in an imperishable realm (the Monad and Pleroma respectively), Adamas was the spiritual Father of all whose physical body was created by the lower gods and angels (the Demiurge and his Archons creating the body of Adam), and that over time humanity forgot about its Divine origins, thinking the imperfect physical world was the totality of all things. It was Christ’s mission then to come into the world in order to remind humanity about their connection to God within. The text goes on to critique the practices of animal sacrifice and a communion ceremony based around cannibalism and condemns them as being abhorrent. The Gospel also denies that Christ had to die in order to atone for the sins of humanity, saying that the true God is gracious and would not demand such a sacrifice.

These gospels give a glimpse into how many different myths, interpretations, and viewpoints existed in the early days of Christianity concerning who exactly was Christ. There are a few more Gnostic gospels I did not mention, but also take note that there exist still even more gospels that did not make it into the Bible that aren’t Gnostic in nature, yet still give their own ideas on the character of Christ. It is said that there were around at least 30 different gospels in circulation during early Christianity before the Church canonized the four we’re familiar with today and burned the rest. With so many different and often times conflicting accounts, it’s hard to show and prove that a historical Christ ever existed. Regardless, there had to be some sort of inspiration for early Christianity to have formed, and for there to be such a strong dedication to it that its followers were willing to die at the persecution of the Romans. To the Gnostics, the lessons within the myths is what’s important and is enough to satisfy them without worrying about historical accuracy; but perhaps even the early Christians who were not Gnostics worried little about historical accuracy and were inspired enough by the myth’s spiritual truths to defend the cause with their lives and stand against the religious and political oppression of the day.


Peace, Love, & Balance


Enjoyed reading this article? Subscribe now to get updates sent directly to your email when new articles are published. If you would like to further support The Gnostic Dread, you can donate using Cashapp or PayPal