JUDEO-CHRISTIAN PSEUDOGRAPHICAL WRITINGS
There is a large collection of scripts and texts that have been deemed as non-genuine or pseudographical writings. These writings are self proclaimed to be from specific authors or to be biographies of some Church official, but are in fact fictitious writings. These writing s are presumed to have been clever fabrications that used the name of a Church official in order to pose as the author in order to favor a particular message. Sometimes these fraudulent documents did successfully in misguiding some groups of Jews and/or Christians, but have over the centuries proved to be inconsistent forgeries of fraudulent writers. Most of the pseudo graphical work began after Christianity was established. Many of the works claiming to be of Jewish origin, however where forgeries written after the first century a.d.
Christians of the first century where already aware of many of those trying to deceive the Church with their so called ‘ secrets,’ or ‘alternate’ documents, as we see in Book of Revelation; but others of you in Thyatira have not followed her teaching. You have not learned the things they call ‘Satan’s deep secrets.’ This is what I say to you: I will not put any other burden on you. – Revelation 2.24 Those posing as having sacred or secret knowledge outside of God’s word are typically doing so to lure people away, by using their curiosity, and catch them in a trap of deceit.
Among the groups and individuals posing as authentic writers, the most prevalent group known where the Gnostics.
One of the groups that rivaled Christianity at the time where the Gnostics. The Gnostics claimed to have ‘secret’ knowledge, but most were actually involved in occultic philosophies or beliefs. It is believed that Gnosticism did exist before Christianity, there is no hard evidence for it, but after the Messiah many of the Gnostic groups adopted some of the Christian doctrines and mixed it wit their own.
Gnosticism was typically defined as the belief in two different gods, and each was represented in one of the two different Biblical testaments, an evil god of this world in the old testament and a good, more abstract yet higher god in the new testament. They believed that all material or matter was evil and all spirit was good, and that salvation was for those that obtained the ‘secret’ knowledge of the Gnostics and who learned how to escape form this world. They believed in Jesus but state he did not have a real physical body, but instead had a ‘phantom’ body. This is in direct violation as the Bible warns against those who deny Christ came in the body (2 John 1.17). Some of the works known to be Gnostic or pseudographical in origin are as follows:
- The Gospel of Thomas
- The Secret Book of James
- Naassene Fragment
- Gospel of Mary
- Dialogue of the Savior
- Gospel of the Savior
- Ophite Diagrams
- Gospel of Truth
- Excerpts of Theodotus
- Acts of Peter
- Acts of Thomas
IMPORTANCE OF PSEUDO WRITING
It is important to be aware of occultic writings and other writings that seek to deceive believers by presenting information that is close to the truth but far enough off to lead someone astray. It is this kind of deceit has been going on since the first century after Christianity formed, in which deceivers and members the occult continually employ in attempts to keep believers in disarray or to try and make believers question their faith.
It is important to also note that some pseudographical works contain an echo or essence of truth from earlier manuscripts or from authentic writings. Even though it may be difficult or even impossible to weed out the fallacies in the texts, it is important to know that some of these text did derive, yet have been perverted, form earlier truths or previously accurate texts. This fact can be used to authenticate specific historic claims about other texts, even if the pseudographical work itself contains no other value.
Von Fritz, Kurt, ed. Pseudepigraphica.; Geneva:Foundation Hardt – Contributions on pseudopythagorica
Metzger, B.M. “Literary forgeries and canonical pseudepigrapha”, Journal of Biblical Literature, 1972