These Coptic Gnostic manuscripts dating back to around AD350 were discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi in Egypt and were translated into English in 1977. The Nag Hammandi discoveries generated much enthusiasm. The overriding but misleading assumption was that these documents contained the “lost books of the Bible”, putting them at least on par with the New Testament books. The title of Gospel given to these documents sparked much interest, the connotation being that as a gospel it presented the life of Jesus is the same way as the canonical gospels found in the New Testament, in particular the gospels of Thomas, Philip, Mary, the Egyptians, and the Gospel of Truth.
These texts do not form part of the New Testament and they reveal the dualistic and polytheistic worldview of the Gnostics of the first and second century. The early church had to deal with the heresy of Gnosticism so it is not surprising that the Gnostic gospels are not contained in the New Testament. No doubt the promoters of anti-biblical New Age Gnosticism have a different view. We believe that God has spoken to man through the Bible both in the Old and New Testaments. We also believe that God has not only inspired the writers of the Bible, He has also ensured that only the God inspired texts such as the gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John form part of the Bible (2 Timothy 3:16).