Dating the gnostic gospels
A material resurrection would be counterproductive and only recapitulate the original problem. It was even claimed that Jesus left no footprints behind him when he walked on the sand.Jesus displays a positive attitude toward the Creation throughout the Gospels. Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father” (Matt. These and many other examples presuppose the goodness of the material world and declare care by a benevolent Creator. If Jesus recommends fasting and physical self-denial on occasion, it is not because matter is unworthy of attention or an incorrigible roadblock to spiritual growth, but because moral and spiritual resolve may be strengthened through periodic abstinence (Matt. From a biblical view, materiality is not the problem, but disharmony with the Maker.A mere spiritual apparition would mean an abdication of material responsibility.As Norman Geisler has noted, “Humans sin and die in material bodies and they must be redeemed in the same physical bodies.In the teaching of Valentinus and followers, the death of Jesus is movingly recounted, yet without the New Testament significance. The resurrected Jesus for the Gnostics is the spiritual Revealer who imparts secret wisdom to the selected few.The tone and content of Luke’s account of Jesus’ resurrection appearances is a great distance from Gnostic accounts: “After his suffering, he showed himself to these men and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive.
Yet, in biblical reasoning, if Jesus is to conquer sin and death for humanity, He must rise from the dead in a physical body, albeit a transformed one.
He is viewed as a Redeemer in both cases, yet his nature as a Redeemer and the way of redemption diverge at crucial points. For Valentinus, Christ descended on Jesus at his baptism and left before his death on the cross.
Much of the burden of the treatise written by the early Christian theologian Irenaeus, was to affirm that Jesus was, is, and always will be, the Christ.
The Gnostic Jesus alerts us to this and helps rekindle the divine spark within.
In the biblical teaching, the problem is ethical; humans have sinned against a good Creator and are guilty before the throne of the universe. Yet, the message of the gospel is that the One who can rightly prosecute His creatures as guilty and worthy of punishment has deigned to visit them in the person of His only Son — not just to write up a firsthand damage report, but to rectify the situation through the Cross and the Resurrection.