“Aye aba impumelelo enkulu. Aye afaka abenzi bamabhayisikobho ugqozi futhi kwachithwa imali eningi ngawo . . . ; kuye kwabhalwa nezincwadi eziningi ngawo. Amaqembu ezinkolo zamaKristu aye awamukela. Aye enza ukuba kusunguleke izinkolo eziningi nemibono okuthiwa iwubuqili.”—I-SUPER INTERESSANTE, UMAGAZINI WEZINDABA WASEBRAZIL.

LO MAGAZINI wawukhuluma ngani? Wawukhuluma ngesasasa elikhulu elikhona muva nje nezinto eziningi esezenziwa ngenxa yeqoqo lamavangeli-mbumbulu nezincwadi zeBhayibheli zeTestamente Elisha ezatholakala maphakathi nekhulu le-20 eNag Hammadi nakwezinye izindawo eGibhithe. Lezi zincwadi nezinye ezalolu hlobo ngokuvamile zibizwa ngokuthi imibhalo yobuGnosticism noma ye-Apocrypha. *

Ingabe Kunomkhonyovu Owenziwa?

Imibhalo yobuGnosticism noma ye-Apocrypha kubonakala iye yabathakazelisa abantu benkathi esiphila kuyo abangalethembi iBhayibheli nezimfundiso zobuKristu. Iye yaba nethonya elikhulu endleleni abaningi abazibheka ngayo izimfundiso zikaJesu Kristu nenkolo yobuKristu uqobo. Omunye umagazini wathi: “IVangeli likaTomase nezinye [izincwadi] ze-Apocrypha zilihlaba umxhwele iqembu labantu abasalokhu bethungatha: abantu abasalangazelela ukuba nobuhlobo noNkulunkulu kodwa abangayethembi inkolo.” Lapho kubalwa, kuye kwatholakala ukuthi eBrazil kuphela, “kunamaqembu angaba ngu-30 anezinkolelo ezisekelwe emibhalweni ye-Apocrypha.”

Ukutholakala kwalezi zincwadi kuye kwandisa inkolelo yokuthi ngekhulu lesine C.E., iSonto LamaKatolika lenza umkhonyovu wokugqiba iqiniso ngoJesu, kwashatshalaliswa okunye ukulandisa kokuphila kwakhe okusemibhalweni ye-Apocrypha, kwashintshwa nokulandisa kwamaVangeli amane atholakala emaBhayibhelini  anamuhla. U-Elaine Pagels, uprofesa wenkolo uthi: “Manje sesiyabona ukuthi lokho esikubiza ngokuthi ubuKristu—nalokhu esikuchaza ngokuthi isiko lamaKristu—eqinisweni kususelwe emithonjeni embalwa ekhethwe phakathi kweminingi.”

Ngokombono wezazi ezinjengoPagels, akulona iBhayibheli kuphela eliwumthombo wokholo lobuKristu; kuneminye imithombo, njengemibhalo ye-Apocrypha. Ngokwesibonelo, uhlelo olubizwa ngokuthi i-Bible Mysteries olwasakazwa esiteshini sethelevishini i-BBC olwalukhuluma ngesihloko esithi “The Real Mary Magdalene” lwathi imibhalo ye-Apocrypha ithi uMariya Magdalena “wayefundisa futhi eluleka abanye abafundi ngezinto eziphathelene noNkulunkulu. Wayengeyena nje umfundi; wayengumphostoli ophambili.” Ekhuluma ngalo msebenzi okuthiwa wawenziwa uMariya Magdalena, nakhu okwashiwo uJuan Arias engosini yephephandaba laseBrazil i-O Estado de S. Paulo: “Namuhla yonke into isenza sikholelwe ukuthi inkolo yokuqala yobuKristu eyasungulwa uJesu yayilawulwa abantu “besifazane” ngokuyinhloko, kwazise amasonto ayeba sezindlini zabesifazane, lapho babegcotshwa khona ukuba babe abefundisi kanye nababhishobhi.”

Abantu abaningi bethemba kakhulu imithombo yemibhalo ye-Apocrypha kunemithombo yeBhayibheli. Nokho, lokhu kukhetha kwabo imibhalo ye-Apocrypha kuphakamisa imibuzo ebalulekile: Ingabe imibhalo ye-Apocrypha iwumthombo oyiqiniso wokholo lobuKristu? Lapho le mibhalo ingqubuzana nezimfundiso ezicacile zeBhayibheli, kufanele sethembe kuphi—iBhayibheli noma izincwadi ze-Aprocrypha? Ingabe ngempela ukhona umkhonyovu owenziwa ngekhulu lesine wokushintsha nokuguqula amaVangeli amane ukuze kukhishwe ukwaziswa okubalulekile ngoJesu, uMariya Magdalena kanye nabanye? Ukuze siphendule le mibuzo, ake sicabangele elinye lamaVangeli eBhayibheli amane, iVangeli likaJohane.

Ubufakazi ObuseVangelini LikaJohane

Isiqeshana esibalulekile seVangeli likaJohane satholakala eGibhithe ekuqaleni kwekhulu lama-20 leminyaka, futhi manje sesaziwa ngokuthi i-Papyrus Rylands 457 (P52). Siqukethe lokho emaBhayibhelini anamuhla okuwumBhalo kaJohane 18:31-33, 37, 38 futhi sigcinwe eJohn Rylands Library, eManchester, eNgilandi. Lona umbhalo wesandla omdala kakhulu wemiBhalo YamaKristu YesiGreki osekhona. Izazi eziningi zikholelwa ukuthi wabhalwa cishe ngo-125 C.E., okuyisikhathi esingaba yiminyaka engu-25 ngemva kokufa kukaJohane. Okumangazayo ukuthi okubhalwe kuleso siqeshana kuvumelana nalokho okubhalwe emibhalweni yesandla yamuva. Iqiniso lokuthi ikhophi yeVangeli likaJohane endala kangaka yayisihambe yaze yafika eGibhithe, khona kanye lapho kwatholakala khona lesi siqeshana, lisekela isiphetho sokuthi izindaba ezinhle ezilandiswa uJohane ngempela zalotshwa ngekhulu lokuqala C.E. futhi zilotshwa nguye uqobo, njengoba iBhayibheli libonisa. Ngakho-ke, uJohane wazibonela ngawakhe izinto azibhala.

Ngakolunye uhlangothi, yonke imibhalo ye-Apocrypha yabhalwa kusukela ngekhulu lesibili, sekudlule iminyaka eyikhulu noma ngaphezulu izinto ezibhalwe kuyo zenzeka. Ezinye izazi ziyakuphika lokhu, zithi imibhalo ye-Apocrypha isekelwe emibhalweni yokuqala noma endleleni yokuphila yakudala, kodwa abukho ubufakazi obuphathekayo balokho. Ngakho, lo mbuzo uyafaneleka, Ikuphi wena ongakwethemba—ubufakazi bomuntu owazibonela noma  obabantu abaphila ngemva kweminyaka eyikhulu kwenzeka okulotshiwe? Impendulo isobala. *

IPapyrus Rylands 457 (P52), isiqeshana seVangeli likaJohane sangekhulu lesibili C.E., sabhalwa ngemva kwamashumi eminyaka embalwa ngemva kwesokuqala

Kuthiwani ngenkolelo ethi amaVangeli eBhayibheli ashintshwa ukuze abantu bangazazi izinto ezithile ngokuphila kukaJesu? Ngokwesibonelo, ingabe bukhona ubufakazi bokuthi iVangeli likaJohane lashintshwa ngekhulu lesine ukuze kuhlanekezelwe amaqiniso? Ukuze siphendule lo mbuzo, kudingeka sikhumbule ukuthi umbhalo wesandla wangekhulu lesine obizwa ngokuthi yi-Vatican 1209 ungomunye wemithombo eyinhloko yeBhayibheli esilisebenzisayo namuhla. Uma iBhayibheli lethu liqukethe ukwaziswa okwashintshwa ngekhulu lesine, khona-ke lezo zinguquko beziyobonakala nakulo mbhalo wesandla. Okujabulisayo ukuthi kunomunye umbhalo wesandla oqukethe ingxenye enkulu kaLuka noJohane, obizwa ngokuthi i-Bodmer 14, 15 (P75), owabhalwa cishe ngo-175 C.E. kuya ku-225 C.E. Ngokusho kwezazi, lo mbhalo wesandla ucishe ufane noweVatican 1209. Ngamanye amazwi, akunazinguquko ezitheni ezenziwa emaVangelini eBhayibheli futhi iVatican 1209 iyakufakazela lokhu.

Abukho nhlobo ubufakazi, kungaba obubhaliwe noma obunye, obufakazela ukuthi umbhalo kaJohane—noma obamanye amaVangeli—washintshwa phakathi nekhulu lesine leminyaka. Ngemva kokuhlola iqoqo lezingxenyana zemibhalo yesandla eyatholakala e-Oxyrhynchus, eGibhithe, uDkt. Peter M. Head waseCambridge University, wabhala: “Empeleni, le mibhalo yesandla ifakazela imibhalo eyabhalwa ngezinhlamvu ezingofeleba ngekhulu lesine eyasetshenziswa ekubhaleni izincwadi zanamuhla ezibaluleke kakhulu. Ayikho into entsha kule mibhalo yesandla; konke kusafana nalokho okwakusembhalweni wokuqala weTestamente Elisha.”

Umbhalo wesandla wangekhulu lesine, iVatican 1209, oboniswe ngenhla, ubonisa ukuthi luncane ushintsho olwenziwa emaVangelini

Singaphetha Ngokuthini?

AmaVangeli amane ayingxenye yeBhayibheli—elikaMathewu, elikaMarku, elikaLuka nelikaJohane—abelokhu amukelwa yiwo wonke amaKristu emhlabeni wonke kusukela maphakathi nekhulu lesibili leminyaka. Incwadi kaTatian esetshenziswa kabanzi i-Diatessaron (igama lesiGreki elisho ukuthi “amaVangeli amane ahlanganiswe akha elilodwa”), eyabhalwa futhi yahlanganiswa phakathi kuka-160 no-175 C.E., yayisekelwe emaVangelini eBhayibheli amane kuphela; “amavangeli” obuGnosticism awasetshenziswanga nakancane. (Bheka ibhokisi elithi  “Ukuvikelwa KwamaVangeli Ngekhulu Lokuqala.”) Okunye okuphawulekayo yilokho okwashiwo u-Irenaeus owaphila ngasekupheleni kwekhulu lesibili C.E. Wagomela ngokuthi kumelwe kube namaVangeli amane, njengoba nje umhlaba unamagumbi amane. Nakuba abanye bengase bayingabaze le ndlela yakhe yokuqhathanisa, kodwa iphuzu lakhe lisekela iqiniso lokuthi amaVangeli eBhayibheli ayemane kuphela ngaleso sikhathi.

Abonisani wonke la maqiniso? Abonisa ukuthi imiBhalo YamaKristu YesiGreki—kuhlanganise namaVangeli amane—esinayo namuhla, ayikaze ishintshe kusukela ngekhulu lesibili kuqhubeke. Asikho isizathu esizwakalayo sokukholelwa ukuthi kunomkhonyovu owenziwa ngekhulu lesine wokushintsha noma wokufihla noma iyiphi ingxenye yemiBhalo ephefumulelwe uNkulunkulu. Ngokuphambene, isazi seBhayibheli,  uBruce Metzger, sabhala: “Ekupheleni kwekhulu lesibili leminyaka, . . . amabandla amakholwa ahlukahlukene asezindaweni eziningi zaseMedithera naseBrithani kuze kuyosho eMesophothamiya avumelana ngengxenye enkulu yeTestamente Elisha.”

Umphostoli uPawulu noPetru babeyizingqalabutho zeqiniso leZwi likaNkulunkulu. Bobabili bawaxwayisa ngokuqinile amaKristu ababekanye nawo ngokwamukela noma ukukholelwa noma yini ngaphandle kwalokho ayekufundisiwe. Ngokwesibonelo, uPawulu wabhalela uThimothewu: “O Thimothewu, kuqaphe ophathiswe kona, uzifulathele izinkulumo ezingenangqondo ezingcolisa okungcwele, nokuphikisana ngalokho okubizwa ngokungeyikho ngokuthi ‘ulwazi.’ Ngokugabisa ngolwazi olunjalo abanye baye baphambuka okholweni.” UPetru wahamba emagameni kaPawulu: “Ukunijwayelanisa kwethu namandla nokuba khona kweNkosi yethu uJesu Kristu akubanga ngokulandela izindaba ezingamanga eziklanywe ngobuciko, cha, kodwa kwaba ngokuba siye saba ofakazi bokuzibonela bobukhazikhazi bakhe.”—1 Thimothewu 6:20, 21; 2 Petru 1:16.

Emakhulwini eminyaka amaningi adlule, umprofethi u-Isaya waphefumulelwa ukuba athi: “Utshani obuluhlaza bomile, imbali ibunile; kodwa izwi likaNkulunkulu wethu lona, liyokuma kuze kube nini nanini.” (Isaya 40:8) Singaqiniseka ngendlela efanayo ngokuthi Lowo owaphefumulela imiBhalo Engcwele waphinde futhi wayilondoloza phakathi nayo yonke iminyaka ukuze “zonke izinhlobo zabantu zisindiswe futhi zifinyelele olwazini olunembile lweqiniso.”—1 Thimothewu 2:4.

^ isig. 3 Igama elithi “ubuGnostic” nelithi “Apocryphal” avela emagameni esiGreki angase asho “ulwazi oluyimfihlo” noma “okuthukuswe ngokucophelela.” La magama asetshenziswa lapho kuchazwa imibhalo engamanga noma engekho ohlwini lwezincwadi zeBhayibheli. Le mibhalo izama ukulingisa amaVangeli, izEnzo, izincwadi ezazibhalelwe amabandla athile nezambulo—izincwadi ezakha imiBhalo yamaKristu yesiGreki.

^ isig. 11 Enye into eyindida ngemibhalo ye-Apocrypha ukuthi ambalwa kakhulu amakhophi ayo asekhona. Ngokuqondene neziqeshana ze-Vangeli LikaMariya Magdalena okukhulunywe ngalo ngaphambili, zintathu sezizonke; kukhona ezimbili ezincane neyodwa ende enengxenye yombhalo wokuqala owalahleka. Ngaphezu kwalokho, kunokungqubuzana okukhulu phakathi kwale mibhalo yesandla ekhona.