It continued to develop in the Mediterranean and Middle East before and during the 2nd and 3rd centuries, but decline also set in during the third century, due to a growing aversion from the Catholic Church, and the economic and cultural deterioration of the Roman Empire. Bentley Layton proposed to categorize Gnosticism by delineating which groups were marked as gnostic in ancient texts. Dat was min of meer gelijktijdig met andere religieuze bewegingen waarin gnosis centraal stond, zoals het hermetisme, het mandeïsme en het derde-eeuwse manicheïsme. What the other Isrealite Camps and Babylon Christian Religions and the rest of the world dont want you to know. Likewise, they had a dualist view of the cosmos, in which the lower world was corrupted by meddling divine beings; and the upper world’s God was awaiting a chance to destroy it and start over, and help humanity to escape its corrupt bodies and locations by fleeing into celestial ones. Valentinus (also spelled Valentinius; c. AD 100 – c. 160) was the best known and, for a time, most successful early Christian gnostic theologian. [note 16] The influence of Buddhism in any sense on either the gnostikos Valentinus (c. 170) or the Nag Hammadi texts (3rd century) is not supported by modern scholarship, although Elaine Pagels (1979) called it a "possibility"..  J. Horn and Ernest Anton Lewald proposed Persian and Zoroastrian origins, while Jacques Matter described Gnosticism as an intrusion of eastern cosmological and theosophical speculation into Christianity. The proto-orthodox Christian groups called Gnostics a heresy of Christianity,[note 13] but according to the modern scholars the theology's origin is closely related to Jewish sectarian milieus and early Christian sects.  Some of these groups existed into the Middle Ages. " According to DeConick, John may show a bifurcation of the idea of the Jewish God into Jesus' Father in Heaven and the Jews' father, "the Father of the Devil" (most translations say "of [your] father the Devil"), which may have developed into the gnostic idea of the Monad and the Demiurge. Modern scholarship notes that early Christianity was diverse, and Christian orthodoxy only settled in the 4th century, when the Roman Empire declined and Gnosticism lost its influence.  The aeons as a totality constitute the pleroma, the "region of light". Gnosis (γνῶσις) is het Oudgriekse woord voor 'kennis'. And according to the Islamic belief in strict Oneness of God, there was no room for a lower deity; such as the demiurge. The Demiurge, one of those Aeons, creates the physical world.  Many Nag Hammadi texts, including, for example, the Prayer of Paul and the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul, consider Paul to be "the great apostle". Cohen & Mendes-Flohr: "Recent research, however, has tended to emphasize that Judaism, rather than Persia, was a major origin of Gnosticism. It exists in two Coptic translations, a Subakhmimic rendition surviving almost in full in the first Nag Hammadi codex (the "Jung Codex") and a Sahidic in fragments in the twelfth codex.  Most of the literature from this category is known to us through the Nag Hammadi Library. It was in this milieu that the idea emerged that the world was created by ignorant angels.  The Samaritan leaders were viewed as "the embodiment of God's power, spirit, or wisdom, and as the redeemer and revealer of 'true knowledge'". According to Hippolytus, Simonianism is an earlier form of the Valentinian doctrine..  Alfred North Whitehead was aware of the existence of the newly discovered Gnostic scrolls. The Gnostic Gospels: Are they the real history of Jesus? Likewise, they believed some kind of secret knowledge (“gnosis”) was essential to ensuring one’s salvation. Reconstructions were attempted from the records of the heresiologists, but these were necessarily coloured by the motivation behind the source accounts. Pleroma (Greek πλήρωμα, "fullness") refers to the totality of God's powers. , In the late 1980s scholars voiced concerns about the broadness of "Gnosticism" as a meaningful category. Jesus is identified with angel Christology in parable 5, when the author mentions a Son of God, as a virtuous man filled with a Holy "pre-existent spirit".. , Carsten Colpe (b. "public builder"), who is also referred to as Yaldabaoth and variations thereof in some Gnostic texts. Part of a vast collection of materials dealing with Gnosis and Gnosticism, both ancient and modern. Gnostic and pseudo-gnostic ideas became influential in some of the philosophies of various esoteric mystical movements of the 19th and 20th centuries in Europe and North America, including some that explicitly identify themselves as revivals or even continuations of earlier gnostic groups.  In response, the Godhead emanates two savior aeons, Christ and the Holy Spirit; Christ then embodies itself in the form of Jesus, in order to be able to teach man how to achieve gnosis, by which they may return to the pleroma.. [note 26] Karen L. King notes that "Thomasine Gnosticism" as a separate category is being criticised, and may "not stand the test of scholarly scrutiny". E.J. The Sethian hidden transcendent God is, by contrast, defined through negative theology: he is immovable, invisible, intangible, ineffable; commonly, "he" is seen as being hermaphroditic, a potent symbol for being, as it were, "all-containing". The lowest regions of the pleroma are closest to the darkness; that is, the physical world, Two of the most commonly paired æons were Christ and Sophia (Greek: "Wisdom"); the latter refers to Christ as her "consort" in A Valentinian Exposition. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment..  Marcion held that the heavenly Father (the father of Jesus Christ) was an utterly alien god; he had no part in making the world, nor any connection with it. This gospel consists of 114 sayings of Jesus: wisdom sayings, prophetic sayings and parables. In the 1880s Gnostic connections with neo-Platonism were proposed. Part of the Gnostic Society Library, which includes the entire Nag Hammadi Library. The Gospel of Truth is one of the Gnostic texts from the New Testament apocrypha found in the Nag Hammadi codices ("NHC"). The text is not closely related to the canonical gospels and is not accepted as canonical by the Christian church. "Nag Hammadi and the New Testament". To one degree or another, the Gnostic Gospels reflect these teachings. However, since the goal is not to abandon the created world, but just to free oneself from ones own lower desires, it can be disputed whether this can still be Gnostic, but rather a completion of the message of Muhammad. The Cathars (Cathari, Albigenses or Albigensians) were also accused by their enemies of the traits of Gnosticism; though whether or not the Cathari possessed direct historical influence from ancient Gnosticism is disputed.  Gnostics are "those who are oriented toward knowledge and understanding – or perception and learning – as a particular modality for living". The Gospel of Judas is a Gnostic gospel.The content consists of conversations between Jesus and Judas Iscariot.Given that it includes late 2nd century theology, it is thought to have been composed in the 2nd century by Gnostic Christians, rather than the historic Judas himself. It depicts creation in a series of emanations from a primal monadic source, finally resulting in the creation of the material universe. Many of these movements used texts related to Christianity, with some identifying themselves as specifically Christian, though quite different from the Orthodox or Roman Catholic forms. Gospel of Philip(Nag Hammadi Library) 5. Radical dualism, or absolute dualism, posits two co-equal divine forces, while in mitigated dualism one of the two principles is in some way inferior to the other.  Celia Green has written on Gnostic Christianity in relation to her own philosophy. The gnostic awaits the ginān from the heavens, the life-giving water that the True Guide brings.  Still other traditions identify Mani and Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, as salvific figures. [note 7][note 8][note 9] The term "Gnosticism" does not appear in ancient sources,[note 10] and was first coined in the 17th century by Henry More in a commentary on the seven letters of the Book of Revelation, where More used the term "Gnosticisme" to describe the heresy in Thyatira.  Efforts to destroy these texts proved largely successful, resulting in the survival of very little writing by Gnostic theologians. Restricting Gnosticism, "identifying which groups were explicitly called gnostics", Deconstructing Gnosticism, abandoning the category of "Gnosticism", This page was last edited on 26 December 2020, at 14:51. Here is a partial list of the Gnostic Gospels, along with an approximate date during which each was composed: 1. Gnosticism became the first group to be declared heretical.  The study of Gnosticism and of early Alexandrian Christianity received a strong impetus from the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library in 1945. ", Markschies: "something was being called "gnosticism" that the ancient theologians had called 'gnosis' ... [A] concept of gnosis had been created by Messina that was almost unusable in a historical sense. "The Modern Relevance of Gnosticism" in The Nag Hammadi Library, 1990, sfn error: no target: CITEREFFrekeGandy2005 (, Learn how and when to remove this template message, On the Detection and Overthrow of Knowledge Falsely So Called, Hymn of Jude Thomas the Apostle in the Country of Indians, The Book of Thomas: The Contender Writing to the Perfect, "The Pair (Syzygy) in Valentinian Thought", "The Gnostic World View: A Brief Summary of Gnosticism", "Jesus′ Origin and Identity – Theodotus [of Byzantium]", "The Jesus Puzzle: Pieces in a Puzzle of Christian Origins", "Dualism Religion – Definition – Dualistic Cosmology – Christianity", Iraqi minority group needs U.S. attention, "Symphony of Gnosis: A Self-Definition of the Ismaili Ginan Literature", Lessons from the Kabbalah and Jewish history By Josef Blaha, Jewish mysticism: an introduction By J. H. Laenen, "Gnosis: The Nature and History of Gnosticism", Contact Made Vision: The Apocryphal Whitehead, "Fall 2014 Christianity Seminar Report on Gnosticism", "Gnosticism Theorized: Major Trends and Approaches to the Study of Gnosticism". [verification needed]. The Nag Hammadi texts demonstrated the fluidity of early Christian scripture and early Christianity itself. . Tertullian (c. 155–230) from Carthage wrote Adversus Valentinianos ('Against the Valentinians'), c. 206, as well as five books around 207–208 chronicling and refuting the teachings of Marcion. Similarly, the gnostic lives in the physical world, but is not of this world. These codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367. The Gospel of Philip is one of the Gnostic Gospels, a text of New Testament apocrypha, dated to around the 3rd century but lost in medieval times until rediscovered by accident, buried with other texts near Nag Hammadi in Egypt, in 1945.. This "Christian Gnosticism" was Christocentric, and influenced by Christian writings such as the Gospel of John and the Pauline epistles. At ages 12 and 24, Mani had visionary experiences of a "heavenly twin" of his, calling him to leave his father's sect and preach the true message of Christ. Just like how the lotus flower would prefer death over drinking from the dirty swamp, the pure soul is unable to survive without the ginān from the True Guide. Thomas?  Among the Mandaeans, Jesus was considered a mšiha kdaba or "false messiah" who perverted the teachings entrusted to him by John the Baptist.  Their namesake owes to their following John the Baptist and in that country, they have about five thousand followers. Their baptismal ritual removed the consequences of sin, and led to a regeneration by which natural death, which was caused by these angels, was overcome. The Gospel of Truth (second century CE) 3. The Christian ecclesia (i. e. congregation, church) was of Jewish–Christian origin, but also attracted Greek members, and various strand of thought were available, such as "Judaic apocalypticism, speculation on divine wisdom, Greek philosophy, and Hellenistic mystery religions.". These schools tend to view evil in terms of matter that is markedly inferior to goodness and lacking spiritual insight and goodness rather than as an equal force. Beginning in certain Gnostic texts with the hermaphroditic aeon Barbelo, the first emanated being, various interactions with the Monad occur which result in the emanation of successive pairs of aeons, often in male–female pairings called syzygies. The Bogomils, emerged in Bulgaria between 927 and 970 and spread throughout Europe. Scholars have acknowledged the influence of sources such as Hellenistic Judaism, Zoroastrianism, and Platonism, and some have noted possible links to Buddhism and Hinduism, though the evidence of direct influence from the latter sources is inconclusive. Islam also integrated traces of an entity given authority over the lower world in some early writings: Iblis is regarded by some Sufis as the owner of this world, and humans must avoid the treasures of this world, since they would belong to him. Their religion has been practised primarily around the lower Karun, Euphrates and Tigris and the rivers that surround the Shatt-al-Arab waterway, part of southern Iraq and Khuzestan Province in Iran. The name of the group derives from the term Mandā d-Heyyi, which roughly means "Knowledge of Life". Complete ancient text and explanatory material.  In the late third century, Sethianism was attacked by neo-Platonists like Plotinus, and Sethianism became alienated from Platonism. Sethian texts such as Zostrianos and Allogenes draw on the imagery of older Sethian texts, but utilize "a large fund of philosophical conceptuality derived from contemporary Platonism, (that is, late middle Platonism) with no traces of Christian content. However the Gnostic light metaphorics and the idea of unity of existence still prevailed in later Islamic thought. [note 14], Many heads of gnostic schools were identified as Jewish Christians by Church Fathers, and Hebrew words and names of God were applied in some gnostic systems. Judge for yourself whether it is shared by the Gospel of Thomas. Reconstructions of incomplete Gnostic texts were attempted in modern times, but research on Gnosticism was coloured by the orthodox views of those heresiologists.  According to Wilhelm Bousset (1865–1920), Gnosticism was a form of Iranian and Mesopotamian syncretism, and Richard August Reitzenstein (1861–1931) most famously situated the origins of Gnosticism in Persia. Though there are many documents that could be included among the gnostic gospels, the term most commonly refers to the following: 1. It was, however, almost exclusively limited to Egypt, though according to Sulpicius Severus it seems to have found an entrance into Spain through a certain Mark from Memphis. Excerpt from: The Gnostic Gospels by Elaine Pagels. The heavenly pleroma is the center of divine life, a region of light "above" (the term is not to be understood spatially) our world, occupied by spiritual beings such as aeons (eternal beings) and sometimes archons. From Wikimedia Commons, the free media repository. In many Gnostic systems, the aeons are the various emanations of the superior God or Monad. It would be impossible that both light and darkness were created from one source, since they were regarded as two different eternal principles. In time it will turn around to return to the One (epistrophe), retracing its steps through spiritual knowledge and contemplation.  The Apocryphon of John contains a scheme of three descendants from the heavenly realm, the third one being Jesus, just as in the Gospel of John. Genesis was reinterpreted in Jewish milieus, viewing.  Irenaeus (died c. 202) wrote Against Heresies (c. 180–185), which identifies Simon Magus from Flavia Neapolis in Samaria as the inceptor of Gnosticism. In 240–41, Mani travelled to the Indo-Greek Kingdom of the Sakhas in modern-day Afghanistan, where he studied Hinduism and its various extant philosophies. , Within early Christianity, the teachings of Paul and John may have been a starting point for Gnostic ideas, with a growing emphasis on the opposition between flesh and spirit, the value of charisma, and the disqualification of the Jewish law. Justin Martyr (c. 100/114 – c. 162/168) wrote the First Apology, addressed to Roman Emperor Antoninus Pius, which criticising Simon Magus, Menander and Marcion. It does not appear in ancient sources at all", Pearson: "As Bentley Layton points out, the term Gnosticism was first coined by, This occurs in the context of Irenaeus' work. , The Thomasine Traditions refers to a group of texts which are attributed to the apostle Thomas. The Sethian cosmogony as most famously contained in the Apocryphon ("Secret book") of John describes an unknown God, very similar to the orthodox apophatic theology, but different from the orthodox teachings that this God is the creator of heaven and earth. De gnostiek was een religie die in de eerste eeuwen na Chr. Orthodox theologians often attempt to define God through a series of explicit positive statements: he is omniscient, omnipotent, and truly benevolent. 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