THE GNOSTIC GOSPEL OF PETER 4
TheGnostic Gospel of Peter
TheGnostic Gospel of Peter
Gnosticismtaught many things such as only spirit is good and matter (bodilyaspect) is evil. Therefore, the world as a realm of materialistic isevil. However, in the realm of Divinity, God is a spirit and thus,did not create the earth. The principles of the Gnosticism were themost significant impediments to the views held by the developedchurches. According to the Gnostic point of view, salvation existsamongst those who hold close Jesus’ spiritual teaching and thus,Jesus came into the world only to have a body. Gnostic teachingscontradict the teachings of the New Testament that holds close thatsalvation is a result of crucifixion of Jesus, and thus Jesus was areal human with body and blood. In Christian forms Gnosticism, Christis the Divine redeemer who came from the above to deliver the gnosisfor salvation. Therefore, this paper’s objective is to discuss thegospel of peter as a Gnostic gospel in the New Testament.
TheGospel of Peter as a Gnostic Gospel
Itis highly debated that the gospel of peter embraces some of teachingsof the Gnosticism in the way it unfolds some episodes encountered byJesus, the divine redeemer. One of the teachings of the Gnosticism isthat only spirit is good and other materialistic things such body andworldly aspects are evil. Therefore, Gnosticism viewed Jesus as onlya spirit sent from above to the world, who had only a phantom bodywith a spark of divine power (aeon). For example, Peter 4: 10discusses the crucifixion of Jesus. The verse says that Jesus heldhis peace as though He was not in any pain. This verse is veryastonishing since no human beings can appear comfortable while nailspierce through the flesh. Therefore, this verse is a reflection ofthe teachings of Gnosticism that envisaged Jesus as a mere spiritdisguised in the human body. This is expressed by Jesus when Heseemed as though not feeling any pain on the cross (Lester, 2007).
Additionally,the bible verse, Peter 5:19, describes the death cry of the Jesus onthe cross. This was when Jesus was shouting and asking why His powerthou hast forsaken Him. This is a reference to the Gnostic teachingthat view the episode as a divine power departing from the bodilyshell of Jesus. According to the teachings of the Gnosticism, peoplewith divine power (aeon), which is trapped in evil human bodies, havea tendency of leaving the world. Therefore, the reaction of Jesusbefore He died on the cross is not an accident that it coincided withthe teaching of the Gnosticism. This verse confirms that the Gospelof Peter is a Gnostic Gospel. Moreover, Peter 4:4 confirmed thatJesus is the divine redeemer. This verse says that when Jesus wascrucified along with the two criminals, one of them said that theywere suffering for the evil they had done, but regarded Jesus as asavior of humanity who had done nothing wrong to deserve suchpunishment. According to the Gnosticism teaching, Jesus is the divineredeemer for Christians (Lester, 2007).
Inconclusion, Gospel of Peter is Gnostic as it doubts on the reality ofthe Jesus’ sufferings, and by upshot upon the reality of his humanbody. In other words, the Gospel of Peter is of docetic character.This is because His reactions during crucifixion contradicted thoseof normal human being, and thus, Jesus was a mere spirit disguised inthe physical body.
Lester,M. (2007). Theeverything gnostic gospels book: A complete guide to the secretgospels.Avon, Mass: Adams Media.