Glossary

Glossary of Gospels

There are more than 4 Gospels. By my count, there are almost 40, not taking into account the ones written after 1000 C.E. I’m almost certain there are more than this but different people used different names to refer to the same ones, so it’s hard to be sure. A lot of them are fragmentary (at best) and some of just weird. But they are significant and important to the history of the religion. Here’s a glossary of gospels, well, most of them.

GospelDescriptionOther Names
Coptic Gospel of the EgyptiansA Sethian Gnostic text that centers around three powers: The Father, Mother, and Son, as well as other spiritual powers and the creation of the earth. .Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit
Dialogue of the SaviorA fragmentary, coptic, Gnostic dialogue between Jesus, Matthew, Judas, and Mary Magdalene. Conversations focus on light, the universe’s origin, and the importance of seeking truth. Jesus emphasizes understanding the root of all things and achieving spiritual purity by seeking inner harmony and abandoning transient things.
Egerton Gospelfragmentary text containing teachings and parables of Jesus, sharing some content with canonical gospels, but also include at least one story not in the canonThe Unknown Gospel
Gospel of Andrew and MatthiasFocuses on the apostles Andrew and Matthias, emphasizing their missionary work and martyrdom, providing additional details of their ministry and teachings.
Gospel of BarnabasThis one is weird. Initially it’s a gospel harmony that combines Mathew and Luke, but then it diverges. Instead Jesus being crucified, Judas is transofrmed to look like him and crucified in his place. It also contains several criticisms of Paul.
Gospel of Bartholomewanother missing text, listed as an apocryphal Gospel. May have been considered heretical.
Gospel of CerinthusAssociated with the Gnostic teacher Cerenthus. Allegedly it’s the same as the Gospel of the Ebionites
Gospel of Evealmost entirely lost and only known from fragments
Gospel of Judasportrays Judas as the only disciple who truly understands Jesus’s teachings on spiritual matters and cosmology. It also condemns the practice of communion, divides humans into those who are able to understand truth and those who can’t, and views salvation as being through connection to the divine inside.
Gospel of Manithe Manichean Gospel, dealing with the nature of, presumably, Jesus. The King of the World of Light.living gospel, Great Gospel, Gospel of the Living
Gospel of MarcionAssociated with Marcion, an early Christian “heretic”, this gospel is usually considered a modified version of the Gospel of LukeGospel of the Lord, Gospel
Gospel of MaryThe parts of it that we have largely consist of a dialog between Jesus and his followers, which leads to the followers being disturbs and Mary comforting them by telling them about a conversation she had with Jesus
Gospel of NicodemusContains accounts of the trial, crucifixion, and resurrection of Jesus, as well as the harrowing of Hell.Acts of Pilate
Gospel of Perfectionthought to be a text of the Ophites and may be the same as the Gospel of Ever
Gospel of PeterOnly partially preserved and known, it contains an alternative account of the Passion, where Herod Antipas is responsible for the crucifixion instead of Pontius Pilate
Gospel of the 12lost, known only from a list of works considered heretical
Gospel of the Birth of MaryFocuses on Mary’s miraculous birth and upbringing. 9th century, we think.
Gospel of the EbionitesConnected to the Ebionites, an early Jewish-Christian sect, it survives only as fragmented quotes in works by the early church fathers
Gospel of the HebrewsLost and exisitng today only in quoted fragments. Has a somewhat unique christology in that is sees the Holy Spirt as the Divine Mother of Jesus and places a lot of importance on James
Gospel of the Pseudo-MatthewFocuses a lot on Mary, including her parents, birth, life, relationship with Joseph, and the divine conception of Jesus(Infancy Gospel of Matthew, The Book About the Origin of the Blessed Mary and the Childhood of the Savior
Gospel of the SaviorA fragmentary coptic Gnostic text that describes the crucifixion as being part of a spiritual journey, a very gnostic view, and includes dialogues with Jesus and his apostles.
Gospel of the Seventya lost text presumably about the 70 disciples sent by jesus to preach
Gospel of the Twelve ApostlesSummarizes the cononical gospels, the granting of the apostles the spiritual power, and ends with three apocalypses
Gospel of Thomasa “sayings gospel” consisting of short fialogues and parables, 13 of which appear in cannonical works.Coptic Gospel of Thomas
Gospel of Truth
A very gnostic work focusing on the creation of the world, destruction of ignorance, reunification with the Father, and predestination
Infancy Gospel of ThomasA separate text from the Gospel of Thomas, it narrates stories of Jesus’ childhood and miracles during his early years.
Secret Gospel of MarkAttributed to Mark, contains additional stories and details not found in the canonical Gospel of Mark, subject to scholarly debate on its authenticity.Mystic Gospel of Mark, longer gospel of Mark
Syriac Infancy Gospelpartly based on the Infancy Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of James, and the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew. A Syriac text focusing on the childhood of Jesus, containing stories of Jesus’ miracles and extraordinary abilities during his early years.
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