Pyrite aka fool's goldThe gospel of Philip is part of a collection of books known as Gnostic gospels and the New Testament apocrypha. It was purported to be authored by the apostle Philip, one of the twelve disciples, when it was first discovered written in the Coptic language in Egypt in 1945, but the date of the writing (between 150-350 AD) means that Philip could not have written it and the author is unknown. The gnosticism that birthed this writing infiltrated the church toward the end of the 1st century AD, which spawned the Nicolaitanism Jesus warned the seven churches about in Revelation. Gnostics in the Christian church believed faith in the Lord Jesus did not bring salvation. Their belief is that a person must free themselves from the material world by uncovering secret revelations psychically or spiritually. So the gospel of Philip is filled with false doctrines, such as the following:

● Verses 6, 16 and 18 of the gospel of Philip teach that the Holy Spirit is female, a Mother, and therefore could not have been responsible for impregnating Mary with Jesus since females don’t make females pregnant. Throughout the Bible, the Holy Spirit is referred to as male and it is emphasized that Mary, a virgin, did indeed have Jesus conceived in her by the Holy Ghost (Matthew 1:18-20; Luke 1:34-35).

●Verse 22 of the gospel of Philip claims that people are wrong if they think Jesus died first and then arose when he arose first, then died. The whole New Testament makes it clear that Jesus died first, then arose. If he died after he arose, he would not have power over sin and death to save us like he does.

● In v. 98, the “apostle Philip” says that Joseph was responsible for making the cross from a grove of trees he planted, then Jesus was hung on it. The New Testament does not say where the cross came from, but it is highly unlikely that Joseph made it.

● V. 106 says that “we shall receive for ourselves the perfect man” when we drink the communion wine. Matthew 26:27-28 and 1 Corinthians 11:25 imply we take communion in remembrance of our Lord Jesus, the perfect man, because we have already received him for our salvation.

● V. 91 refers to Adam’s fall in this way: “There are two trees growing in Paradise. The one bears animals, the other bears men. Adam ate from the tree which bore animals. He became an animal and he brought forth animals. For this reason the children of Adam worship animals.” In Genesis 1, God established the law of kinds. Plants bear plants after their kind and animals bear animals after their kind. He fell because he ate fruit (a plant) from a tree God told him not to eat from. No tree has ever birthed any animal or a human. Romans 1 tells us why pagan people worship animals and it has to do with rejecting God because they prefer their sin nature inherited from Adam, not because Adam ate from a tree that bears animals.

This is just a sample of the strange, Gnostic nonsense one finds in the gospel of Philip and why true Christians have rejected it as a false gospel.