I have mentioned before that I just completed reading the whole of the Nag Hammadi Library collection. These are ancient writings from around the first to the fourth centuries. Some of the texts are considered Gnostic, some known by scholars in the early church, but none were included in the canon, or what we know as the Christian New Testament. I don’t know if any of them were at hand when the councils were considering which gospels and letters to include in the canon, but I can imagine why some were turned down. On the other hand, a few are quite interesting and I wish they were more known among Christians. I’d like to share a little passage from The Gospel of Philip that I think is really neat. I believe the words are attributed to Philip:
“Let each of us dig down after the root of evil within us and pull it out of our hearts from the root. It will be uprooted if we recognize it. But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us and produces fruit in our hearts. It dominates us. We are its slaves, and it takes us captive so that we do what we do not want and do not do what we want. It is powerful because we do not recognize it. As long as it exists, it stays active.” (The Gospel of Philip 83:18-30)
I found this passage so interesting because it is what we would say today. We can only change what we acknowledge, right? I also like it because it is clear. So many times I find the bible difficult to understand, difficult to apply, but this little piece seems so clear to me. Gotta love that Philip. Too bad his writings didn’t make the cut.