Even More (and the last) Fun Facts About the New Testament

This week we finish up with three final things taken from a pop quiz that New Testament Professor Bart Ehrman gives his University of North Carolina students at the beginning of the school year. 

  • Name four gospels not in the New Testament
    • Gospel of Peter. Containing a detailed account of the resurrection.
    • Infancy Gospel of Thomas. Jesus could be a brat if he wasn’t picked first for the kickball team.
    • Proto-Gospel of James. About Mary’s birth and conception.
    • Gospel of Thomas. A collection of sayings of Jesus. No narrative.
    • Gospels of Philip, Mary, and Judas. These are all Gnostic gospels.
  • What does the term “Gospel” mean? It’s an old English term for good news, or evangelical books. The significance here is that they are not called histories or biographies, and were not intended to be read that way.
  • Who carried Jesus’ cross? It depends. Mark, Matthew and Ike say that Simon of Cyrene carried it. John says that Jesus himself carried it all the way. In one of the movie versions (Greatest Story Ever Told) the producers resolve the problem by having both Simon and Jesus carry it. Ok, then. But that’s not in the gospels.

Well, that was fun. We’ll return to Paul next week.

And if you want to see what the Chief Editor wrote about Gnosticism, check this out (it’s short and fairly interesting for a topic on Gnosticism):

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