3Cary W = "An interesting point is made here about a battle in the early church, between those who believe we each should have a very real, direct and intimate connection to the only wise God, and the orthodox church wanting to bring believers into submission of church authority and hierarchy. Seems that battle continues."
4Cary W = "Another dividing point of the Gnostic and the early Christian church is the role of women. Paul, for example, continually taught women to be silent, heads covered, and to submit to their husbands, while the Gospel of Mary, reveals how Jesus placed great responsibility and honor upon Mary to lead His church. "
5Cary W = "How many Christians know about the research that shows the four Gospels of the Bible were most likely not written by the Apostles for which they were named, but hundreds of years after their passing, by their loyal followers?"
6Sarah R = "Actually, Cary, the evidence points to the contrary! There is lots of research showing that the gospels were in fact written and in circulation during the lifetimes of the apostles and other eyewitnesses of Jesus. Internal evidence includes that while the gospels mention Jesus' prophecy that the Jewish temple would be destroyed, none of them mentioned that it happened, suggesting they were written before the temple's destruction in 70AD. While we don't have any original manuscripts, we have early manuscripts that also show us evidence. One of the oldest fragments we have of the gospels has verses from John 18, which is dated to 110AD. We have a copy of almost the entire book of John dated to 175AD. There's another of a piece of Mark's gospel that some think can be dated as early as 50AD, though others say the date is probably later. We have copies of all four gospels and Acts dating to 200-250 AD. We also have early church fathers, like Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp and Justin Martyr, quoting the gospels in letters as early as 115 AD and on through the early second century. Would be hard to have all this if the gospels had not yet been written!! The Gnostic gospels, on the other hand, such as the gospel of Thomas, Peter, Mary (Magdalene), etc., are dated to the 2nd century to the 4thcentury. This is a large part of the reason (combined with Gnostic theology mixed into the texts) that these accounts were not considered authentic to include in the Bible, and why most Christians do not consider them inspired by God, though they are interesting to read. I especially like the talking cross in the gospel of Thomas.For more info on the evidence, pick up The Case for Christ by Lee Stroebel, and/or check out the videos here: https://www.deily.org/video/the-case-for-christ-with-lee-stroebelhttps://www.deily.org/video/lee-stroebel-on-richard-dawkins"