A Review of the film "Lost Gospels or False Gospels?"
Lost Gospels or False Gospels as presented by Father Mitch Pacwa, seeks to prove that the four Gospels written by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John that we have in our Bibles today are the only correct Gospels, furthermore, any other book claiming to be a divine gospel is patently false. The importance of understanding this truth cannot be underestimated, for the Gospels we hold to be true affect the daily lives of evangelical Christians and present the Good News of Salvation to unbelievers the world over.
Most people have heard of “lost gospels.” Some say that they fill in the gaps that the four Gospel writers left. They are considered “lost” because they weren’t preserved by the church when the canon was created. Many of these were not known of until a large number of Gnostic manuscripts called “Nag Hammadi Library” was discovered buried under a cliff. Quite a few of them speak of Jesus or Neo-Platonic ideas. Because these documents are Gnostic in nature, they support the belief that one must separate himself from the ordinary in order to experience the divine.
The film gives a basic history of Gnosticism and an outline of the belief system. Father Pacwa asserts that the Nag Hammadi Library may even have been put in the ground by early monks that wanted to rid their monasteries of Gnostic materials. The Gospel of Thomas was found among them; a collection of sayings by Jesus that contains no passion narrative or birth story. According to the film, the information found in it would never be found among the true Gospels and also has anti-woman polemic. It also presents clear pantheism which would not have been accepted by any good Jew.
I found it very interesting that the Gospel of Thomas acknowledges the other four Canonical Gospels; clearly it is a newer document. Also, I had never heard of the Gospel of Judas. I was not only surprised to find that one existed but even more surprised to find that people can take it seriously. The Gospel of Judas is a testimony to the fact that man is sinful and often wants to turn the antagonist around and into a hero so that they can exalt their own wicked lifestyle. I was also fascinated to learn that not all apocryphal literature has a Gnostic slant.
I thought this film was very interesting. It was encouraging to be reminded that the four Gospels I find in my Bible are the only four accurate Gospels. Also, I think it is important to understand the arguments against the New Testament Canon that the world often presents. Lost Gospels or False Gospels? does just that. The format makes the information easy to digest and review. It gives an easy to understand explanation of why we have the four Gospels that we have and why the false gospels are, in fact, false. I enjoyed the wide array of scholars who lent credibility to the information that was presented. All in all, this was a very educational and helpful documentary.