In this chapter, it will be necessary to be selective in the subtopics that will be addressed. Accordingly, we will state and evaluate several of the stronger claims on behalf of these Gnostic texts, since these are the ones that purport to most directly affect New Testament teachings about Jesus. Although there are many other areas we could investigate,^2 our criteria for discussion will be to center on assertions which challenge the orthodox understanding of the historicity of Jesus.

Challenges from the Gnostic Texts