Catholic Myth 6 – The Catholic Church Rejected Books from the Bible that Disagreed with Them

Catholic Church BibleThis myth postulates that the Catholic Church chose only certain books to go into the Bible; namely, ones which already agreed with their own doctrines.  Moreover, they destroyed any other book that threatened their power.  Some of the books they burned were the Gnostics Gospels because they spoke about Jesus and Mary Magdalene being married.   While this is a popular myth, it’s not actually true historically.

First,  Gnostics weren’t Christians, and they didn’t believe in the Christian God.  Rather, they believed in two different gods; an evil god who created this material world and a good god who created the world to come.  Since our material world was the creation of an evil god, Gnostics reason that everything material is evil (i.e. everything made of matter).  This would include our bodies and pretty much everything else in the world we live.  For this reason, Gnostics hated marriage.  After all, marriage unions only bring more babies into the world which is just more matter.

Conversely, everything spiritual is good, and the higher spiritual self is only found in the world to come – the afterlife.  Therefore, Gnostics spent their whole lives seeking a higher “knowledge” or “gnosis,” which frees their inner spirits (good) from their outer bodies (evil).

Consequently, Gnostics didn’t seek to write accurate historical accounts of anything because history was of this world and evil.  Proceeding from this line of reasoning, their beliefs vary drastically from Christianity even though they use some of the same Christian language.  Thus, they did not seek to write a real, historical account of Jesus.  Their Jesus wasn’t even a real person (since matter is evil).  Rather, they considered Jesus as a phantom or a ghost.  In Gnosticism, Jesus was one of the higher Aeons of the Pleroma.  And people wonder why the Gnostic Gospels didn’t make into the Bible.

Let’s one up their odd beliefs with a quote from, “The Gospel of Thomas” which says: “Simon Peter said to them, ‘Let Mary leave us, for women are not worthy of life.’  Jesus said, ‘I myself shall lead her in order to make her a male, so that she may too become a living spirit resembling you males; for every women who will make herself male will enter into the kingdom of heaven’” (vs. 114).

So to sum it up, women all have to become men in order to enter heaven.  I think a rational person can see why the Catholic Church excluded these books from the Bible.  They weren’t a “threat,” they just weren’t the authentic teachings of Jesus.

Another reason that these Gospels were omitted from Sacred Scripture is because they were written hundreds of years later by people who didn’t even know Jesus or His successors.  In stark contrast, the people who wrote the Biblical Gospels knew Jesus personally.  They walked with Him and learned from Him for three straight years… or they knew Apostles and other people who did.  Therefore, logic dictates that these people would have known the real Jesus versus those who came hundreds of years later.

Under the inspiration and guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Catholic Church carefully and methodically chose the books of Sacred Scripture that accurately described the life and teachings of Jesus Christ.  Most people don’t realize that to even be considered for the Bible canon (list of books in the Bible), every book had to match up to three criteria:

#1. The book had to be written in the first century (in the time of eye witnesses).  That discards the Gnostic Gospels.

#2.  The author of the book had to be known and authenticated.  This meant that it couldn’t just claim to be written by an Apostle as later books did, but the early Church and eye-witnesses had to verify these facts.

#3. The book had to teach and verify the same truth that was handed down by Jesus and the Apostles.  Women turning into men doesn’t make the cut.  Neither does the Infancy Gospel of Thomas which states that Jesus turned clay into a bids as a five year old boy; or the Gospel of Barnabas which states that Jesus was never crucified, and so on.

As a side note:  There is no Gnostic Gospel that ever mentions that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.  No Gospel does… ever!   This is a myth which was invented in a book from the 1980’s called, Holy Blood, Holy Grail and popularized by The Da Vinci Code.  However, when the author Michael Baigent was interviewed, he was asked whether he had any evidence for his odd claims.  He responded by saying: “There’s none whatsoever.  It’s purely hypothesis, but a good one we think.”

Even though Holy Blood, Holy Grail has been debunked by scholars, the book, “The Da Vinci Code,” sloppily used their work to popularize the myth of the Gnostic Gospels and the myth that Jesus and Mary Magdalene were married.  Thankfully, scholars and historians have debunked these claims again and again showing that there is no truth to them.

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About Bryan Mercier

Bryan Mercier is a thirty-eight year old speaker and retreat leader. He has spoken to adults and teens for the last fifteen years on a wide variety of topics; ranging from catechetics and faith formation, to morality, spirituality, and apologetics. He has spoken at youth and adult retreats, workshops, seminars, Catholic schools, parish missions, local, regional and national conferences. He has spoken in front of crowds ranging from thirty to three-thousand and has been aired on both TV and radio in different states. Bryan also runs the R.O.C.K. (Revival Of Catholic Kids) Ministry Team that puts on all-day retreats for teens. He is going for his Masters in theology and working on writing numerous books and tracts.
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