One and Many Gospels
The gospels canonized in the Christian Bible according Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, each derive from the lineage of the experience of their namesake. As in any eyewitness testimonies to this day, there are contradictions. But for gnostics of our tradition, the authority of the gospels is not weakened, but strengthened by their contradictions. Their parallels and differences texture and enrich the larger dynamism of the story of Yeshua.
Rather, the different views of the life and teachings of Yeshua reflect the unique experience of each evangelist. Incorporating gospels that the canon excluded— the evangelical lineages of Thomas, Phillip, or Mary Magdalene—sophisticates the teachings of Yeshua. Gnostics of our tradition find that the dynamism between esoteric, inner gospels and exoteric, outer gospels, in no way contradict, but complete an integral message of deliverance. We need all of these evangelists’ experiences to inform how we hear that we are free.
Hearing the Gospel
Centuries of Christian religion have obscured the hidden histories of the Hebrew and Greek words for “good tidings” or “gospel.” In Hebrew, the word for “good tidings”—basar—is the exact word for “flesh.” Our tradition is fond of combining these two definitions together: We must embody good tidings. Something happened very early in Christian history, when the word for “gospel” became a text, quite the opposite of its actual meaning in Greek. Euaggelion is the word we’d long to hear if we were people fearing the assault of an advancing enemy. But here he comes, out of breath, a messenger running to us with the euaggelion —the gospel—to tell us we’ve been spared. The enemy was defeated! We will live! The origin of this word—gospel—means news of our deliverance from oppression and death.
Hearing Your Gospel
As our tradition makes no separation between canonical and gnostic gospels, neither would it separate the gospel from your gospel. There’s the gospel and its revelation to you as your gospel. Each will have their own knowledge, understanding, and wisdom of the gospel. This is because we hear the gospel through our life’s context. Whoever we are in our experience of our sex, gender, race, place, or class, will shape how we hear our deliverance. As we hear differently one to another, then so will be our deliverance.
Hearing the word of the Holy Spirit in an anointed person shifts our consciousness. Hearing more deeply is receiving the same word in our hearts. Hearing our gospel—our deliverance—with our whole heart might come as an overwhelming transmission of light, fire, and awareness. One's entire identity suddenly thaws and evaporates into something so much more transcendental, yet familiar. For one who all their life felt inferior or marginalized, this deliverance will inexpressibly embrace; for one who felt unloved, love will flood; for one who only felt darkness, ineffable light will dawn.
The liberative nature of your gospel is the healing and integration of your experience. To embody your gospel, is to live by a new, higher demand revealed to you from within. Living into the truth and light revealed to you as your gospel will integrate and require every part of you. Your gospel is your purpose.