Third, another major problem with the Gnostic thesis is the contention that the New Testament canon was in a state of flux until the late second century, allowing a variety of Gospels to circulate without any indication as to which ones were more authoritative. Pagels’ brief and undifferentiated treatment is quite simplistic in that

18 Joseph A. Fitzmyer, “The Gnostic Gospels According to Pagels,” America, February 16, 1980, p. 123.

19 Cf. Drane, Introducing the NT, chapter 11. Guthrie presents detailed overviews of the present critical discussions (pp. 43–53 [Matthew], pp. 81–84 [Mark], pp. 113–125 [Luke], pp. 252–283 [John]). See Habermas, Ancient Evidence for the Life of Jesus, p. 63 (and endnotes) for a lengthy list of some contemporary scholars who accept the traditional authors.