According to DeConick, the Gospel of John shows a "transitional system from early Christianity to gnostic beliefs in a God who transcends our world. Gnosticism used a number of religious texts that are preserved, in part or whole, in ancient manuscripts, or lost but mentioned critically in Patristic writings. , In 1966, at the Congress of Median, Buddhologist Edward Conze noted phenomenological commonalities between Mahayana Buddhism and Gnosticism, in his paper Buddhism and Gnosis, following an early suggestion put forward by Isaac Jacob Schmidt.  One offshoot was in turn headed by Dositheus, Simon Magus, and Menander. These writings had an antagonistic bias towards gnostic teachings, and were incomplete. In, Smith, Richard. The Nag Hammadi texts demonstrated the fluidity of early Christian scripture and early Christianity itself. The demiurge creates the physical universe and the physical aspect of humanity. Further traces of Gnostic ideas can be found in Sufi anthropogenic. Prior to the discovery at Nag Hammadi, only the following texts were available to students of Gnosticism.Reconstructions were attempted from the records of the heresiologists, but these were necessarily … [note 11] The term Gnosticism was derived from the use of the Greek adjective gnostikos (Greek γνωστικός, "learned", "intellectual") by St. Irenaeus (c. 185 AD) to describe the school of Valentinus as he legomene gnostike haeresis "the heresy called Learned (gnostic). Pre-Christian Gnosticism in the Nag Hammadi Texts? Valentinian Gnosticism is a form of monism, expressed in terms previously used in a dualistic manner. Gnosticism definition is - the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is … [note 2], By the Hellenistic period, it began also to be associated with Greco-Roman mysteries, becoming synonymous with the Greek term musterion. Regarding the angel Christology of some early Christians, Darrell Hannah notes: [Some] early Christians understood the pre-incarnate Christ, ontologically, as an angel. In time it will turn around to return to the One (epistrophe), retracing its steps through spiritual knowledge and contemplation. Some scholars continue to maintain traditional dating for the emergence of Gnostic philosophy and religious movements. While in Alexandria, where he was born, Valentinus probably would have had contact with the Gnostic teacher Basilides, and may have been influenced by him. Jewish Gnosticism with a focus on Sophia was active by 90 AD. Pages in category "Gnostic Gospels" The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total. Brill 1978, sfn error: no target: CITEREFVerardi1997 (, Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, Clare Goodrick-Clarke, sfn error: no target: CITEREFPerkins1987 (, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFDillon2016 (, sfn error: multiple targets (2×): CITEREFBroek2013 (, Bentley Layton, The Gnostic Scriptures (SCM Press, London, 1987). There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic gospels and the true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. John the Baptist is a key figure in the religion, as an emphasis on baptism is part of their core beliefs. , In Gnostic tradition, the term Sophia (Σοφία, Greek for "wisdom") refers to the final and lowest emanation of God. Other names or identifications are Ahriman, El, Satan, and Yahweh.  The Naassenes, Cainites, and Valentinians referred to Paul's epistles. Three periods can be discerned in the development of Gnosticism:, During the first period, three types of tradition developed:. 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. Dat was min of meer gelijktijdig met andere religieuze bewegingen waarin gnosis centraal stond, zoals het hermetisme, het mandeïsme en het derde-eeuwse manicheïsme. This list may not reflect recent changes (). Valentinus' students elaborated on his teachings and materials, and several varieties of their central myth are known. Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism includes Sethianism, Valentinianism, Basilideans, Thomasine traditions, and Serpent Gnostics, as well as a number of other minor groups and writers.  According to Helmut Koester, this is because the Thomas-sayings are older, implying that in the earliest forms of Christianity Jesus was regarded as a wisdom-teacher. 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. Returning in 242, he joined the court of Shapur I, to whom he dedicated his only work written in Persian, known as the Shabuhragan. John the Evangelist is claimed as a Gnostic by some Gnostic interpreters, as is even St. The gnostic awaits the ginān from the heavens, the life-giving water that the True Guide brings. 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.  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.. The Gospel of Peter (second centur… The positive or negative depiction of materiality thus resides a great deal on mythic depictions of Sophia's actions. , Carsten Colpe (b. Category:Gnostic Gospels. , The Mandaeans are an ancient Gnostic sect that have survived to this day and are found today in Iraq. Gospel of Philip(Nag Hammadi Library) 5. Genesis was reinterpreted in Jewish milieus, viewing. According to the majority of scholars, the solution to the synoptic problem of similar content and dependence is the two-source hypothesis - that the three synoptic gospels are not totally independent but derive from two source texts, one being the Markan priority, the other being a hypothetical lost collection of logia (saying…  Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. The site includes the Gnostic Library, with the complete Nag Hammadi Library and a large collection of other primary Gnostic scriptures and documents. The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths, and the Persian Empire. Jon Ma.  Similarly to the Mithraic Kronos and Vedic Narasimha, a form of Vishnu, Ialdabaoth had a head of a lion.. A 1st- or 2nd-century date of composition for the lost Greek originals has been proposed, though this is disputed; the manuscripts themselves date from the 3rd and 4th centuries. Robinson: "At this stage we have not found any Gnostic texts that clearly antedate the origin of Christianity." For centuries, most scholarly knowledge of Gnosticism was limited to the anti-heretical writings of orthodox Christian figures such as Irenaeus of Lyons and Hippolytus of Rome.  The Syrian–Egyptian school derives much of its outlook from Platonist influences. While there are many Gnostic texts in the Nag Hammadi Library, not all of them share this perspective. Late-first century and early second century: development of Gnostic ideas, contemporaneous with the writing of the New Testament; mid-second century to early third century: high point of the classical Gnostic teachers and their systems, "who claimed that their systems represented the inner truth revealed by Jesus"; end of the second century to the fourth century: reaction by the proto-orthodox church and condemnation as heresy, and subsequent decline. Reconstructions were attempted from the records of the heresiologists, but these were necessarily coloured by the motivation behind the source accounts. "[note 12], The origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed. The school was popular, spreading to Northwest Africa and Egypt, and through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east, and Valentinus is specifically named as gnostikos by Irenaeus.  In the early third century, Sethianism was fully rejected by Christian heresiologists, as Sethianism shifted toward the contemplative practices of Platonism while losing interest in their primal origins.  Valentinianism flourished after mid-second century.  It created a religion, "Gnosticism", from the "gnosis" which was a widespread element of ancient religions,[note 33] suggesting a homogeneous conception of gnosis by these Gnostic religions, which did not exist at the time. 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. , In late antiquity some variants of Gnosticism used the term archon to refer to several servants of the demiurge.  This theme was further developed by Elaine Pagels, who argues that "the proto-orthodox church found itself in debates with gnostic Christians that helped them to stabilize their own beliefs.  Conversion to Islam, and the Albigensian Crusade (1209–1229), greatly reduced the remaining number of Gnostics throughout the Middle Ages, though a few Mandaean communities still exist. The Syrian–Egyptian traditions postulate a remote, supreme Godhead, the Monad. , Hans Jonas (1903–1993) took an intermediate approach, using both the comparative approach of the Religionsgeschichtliche Schule and the existentialist hermeneutics of Bultmann. Gnostic Association of Anthropological, Cultural and Scientific Studies; Gnostic church; Category:Gnostic deities; Gnostic Gospels; Gnostic Mass; Gnostic Society; Template:Gnosticism; Gnosticism in modern times; Category:Gnostics; God as Chad "Broseph" Huntington; Great Architect of the Universe; Jump to navigation Jump to search.  In the late third century, Sethianism was attacked by neo-Platonists like Plotinus, and Sethianism became alienated from Platonism. When people speak about the gnostic gospels, they are almost always referring to a collection of ancient writings (in Coptic) that were discovered near the upper Nile village of Nag Hammadi, in Egypt, in 1945. 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. , According to the Westar Institute's Fall 2014 Christianity Seminar Report on Gnosticism, there actually is no group that possesses all of the usually-attributed features.  The usual meaning of gnostikos in Classical Greek texts is "learned" or "intellectual", such as used by Plato in the comparison of "practical" (praktikos) and "intellectual" (gnostikos). [note 14] Gershom Scholem once described Gnosticism as "the Greatest case of metaphysical anti-Semitism". In most Gnostic systems, the sufficient cause of salvation is this "knowledge of" ("acquaintance with") the divine. In many Gnostic systems, the aeons are the various emanations of the superior God or Monad.  Muslim theologists countered this accusation by the example of a repeating sinner, who says: "I laid, and I repent"; this would prove that good can also result out of evil. , In the east, Rudolph relates, Manicheanism was able to bloom, because the religious monopoly position previously held by Christianity and Zoroastrianism had been broken by nascent Islam. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic cosmology. Likewise, they believed some kind of secret knowledge (“gnosis”) was essential to ensuring one’s salvation. 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. , Sophia, emanating without her partner, resulted in the production of the Demiurge (Greek: lit. According to Layton, "the lack of uniformity in ancient Christian scripture in the early period is very striking, and it points to the substantial diversity within the Christian religion.  Adolf von Harnack (1851–1930), who belonged to the School of the History of Dogma and proposed a Kirchengeschichtliches Ursprungsmodell, saw Gnosticism as an internal development within the church under the influence of Greek philosophy.  Jules Doinel "re-established" a Gnostic church in France in 1890, which altered its form as it passed through various direct successors (Fabre des Essarts as Tau Synésius and Joanny Bricaud as Tau Jean II most notably), and, though small, is still active today. Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism. , Ginan, which literally translates to gnosis, refers to a collection of literature that is respected by the Ismailis. This gospel consists of 114 sayings of Jesus: wisdom sayings, prophetic sayings and parables. She is occasionally referred to by the Hebrew equivalent of Achamoth (this is a feature of Ptolemy's version of the Valentinian gnostic myth). Here is a partial list of the Gnostic Gospels, along with an approximate date during which each was composed: 1.  Later Sethian texts continue to interact with Platonism. The Paulicians, an Adoptionist group which flourished between 650 and 872 in Armenia and the Eastern Themes of the Byzantine Empire, were accused by orthodox medieval sources of being Gnostic and quasi Manichaean Christian. What the other Isrealite Camps and Babylon Christian Religions and the rest of the world dont want you to know. Manichaeism conceives of two coexistent realms of light and darkness that become embroiled in conflict. First published in 1979 to critical acclaim, winning the National Book Award and the National Book Critics Circle Award, The Gnostic Gospels has continued to grow in reputation and influence over the past two decades. Thomas?  Roelof van den Broek notes that "Sethianism" may never have been a separate religious movement, and that the term refers rather to a set of mythological themes which occur in various texts. [note 18] God is the high source of the pleroma, the region of light. The so-called "Codex XIII" is not a codex, but rather the text of Trimorphic Protennoia, written on "eight leaves removed from a thirteenth book in late antiquity and tucked inside the front cover of the sixth." Fifty-two copies of ancient writings, called the Gnostic gospels were found in … , According to Ioan Culianu, gnosis is made possible through universal operations of the mind, which can be arrived at "anytime, anywhere".  Such Gnostic anthropogenic can be found frequently among Isma'ili traditions.  However, Ismailism were often criticised as non-Islamic. For instance, every sect of Christianity on which we have any information on this point, believed in a separate Logos who created the universe at God’s behest. After the apophatic statements, the process of the Divine in action is used to describe the effect of such a god. [note 17]. 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. Gnostic writings flourished among certain Christian groups in the Mediterranean world until about the second century, when the Fathers of the early Church denounced them as heresy. According to Petrement, Valentinus represented a moderation of the anti-Judaism of the earlier Hellenized teachers; the demiurge, widely regarded as a mythological depiction of the Old Testament God of the Hebrews (i.e. , According to Kurt Rudolph, the decline of Manichaeism that occurred in Persia in the 5th century was too late to prevent the spread of the movement into the east and the west.  Sethianism attributed its gnosis to Seth, third son of Adam and Eve and Norea, wife of Noah, who also plays a role in Mandeanism and Manicheanism.  The aeons as a totality constitute the pleroma, the "region of light".  It seems that Gnostic ideas were an influential part of early Islamic development but later lost its influence. In a religious context, gnosis is mystical or esoteric knowledge based on direct participation with the divine.  According to James M. Robinson, no gnostic texts clearly pre-date Christianity,[note 15] and "pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all. Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora describes a general asceticism, based on the moral inclination of the individual.  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.  Mandaeans revere Adam, Abel, Seth, Enos, Noah, Shem, Aram, and especially John the Baptist. : What would Christianity be like if gnostic texts had made it into the Bible? Gospel of Truth(Nag Hammadi Library) 4. , According to Magris, Samaritan Baptist sects were an offshoot of John the Baptist. Typologies, "a catalogue of shared characteristics that are used to classify a group of objects together. , The Mandaeans are Semites and speak a dialect of Eastern Aramaic known as Mandaic. The name of the group derives from the term Mandā d-Heyyi, which roughly means "Knowledge of Life". A human being captured by its animal desires, mistakenly claims autonomy and independence from the "higher God", thus resembling the lower deity in classical gnostic traditions. It is now generally believed that the evidence suggests that Gnosticism was a Jewish movement which subsequently reacted to Christianity or that Gnosticism emerged directly in reaction t… However the Gnostic light metaphorics and the idea of unity of existence still prevailed in later Islamic thought. Het evangelie van Thomas is een van de apocriefe evangeliën.In de Proloog wordt gesteld dat het door Judas Thomas geschreven zou zijn, met wie de apostel Tomas bedoeld wordt.. Het Thomas-evangelie werd in 1945 door twee boeren bij Nag Hammadi gevonden in een kruik, tezamen met een aantal andere koptische geschriften, de meeste met een gnostische inslag. This "Christian Gnosticism" was Christocentric, and influenced by Christian writings such as the Gospel of John and the Pauline epistles. To one degree or another, the Gnostic Gospels reflect these teachings. According to Origen's Contra Celsum, a sect called the Ophites posited the existence of seven archons, beginning with Iadabaoth or Ialdabaoth, who created the six that follow: Iao, Sabaoth, Adonaios, Elaios, Astaphanos, and Horaios. of thought, somehow identifiable with the Gnostic Monad. In normative early Christianity the Church administered and prescribed the correct behaviour for Christians, while in Gnosticism it was the internalised motivation that was important.  The writings in these codices comprised fifty-two mostly Gnostic treatises, but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation/alteration of Plato's Republic.  According to April DeConick, such a change occurred when the end time did not come, and the Thomasine tradition turned toward a "new theology of mysticism" and a "theological commitment to a fully-present kingdom of heaven here and now, where their church had attained Adam and Eve's divine status before the Fall. Gospel of Thomas (versions found in Oxyrhynchus, Egypt in 1898, and again in the Nag Hammadi Library) 3. J. M. Robinson, "Jesus: From Easter to Valentinus (Or to the Apostles' Creed)", Understanding Jewish History: Texts and Commentaries by, Schenke, Hans Martin. 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. Manicheanism inherits this dualistic mythology from Zurvanist Zoroastrianism, in which the eternal spirit Ahura Mazda is opposed by his antithesis, Angra Mainyu. The Gospel of Truth (second century CE) 3.  Efforts to destroy these texts proved largely successful, resulting in the survival of very little writing by Gnostic theologians. , Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah.  Recent research into the origins of Gnosticism shows a strong Jewish influence, particularly from Hekhalot literature. The gnostic too, would prefer death if it cannot obtain this precious nourishment.  Among the Syrian-Egyptian schools and the movements they spawned are a typically more Monist view.  Some of these groups existed into the Middle Ages.  The inferiority of the demiurge's creation may be compared to the technical inferiority of a work of art, painting, sculpture, etc. 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. In the early- to mid-fourth century, Sethianism fragmented into various sectarian Gnostic groups such as the Archontics, Audians, Borborites, and Phibionites, and perhaps Stratiotici, and Secundians. Jehova), is depicted as more ignorant than evil. As we have seen, Epiphanius is one of the witnesses for the existence of a special sect called 'the gnostics', and yet Epiphanius himself seems to distinguish between these people and 'the Sethians' (Pan 40.7.5), whereas Layton treats them as both under the 'classic gnostic' category. Greek Gospel of the Egyptians was a Gnostic gospel from around the period of 120-150 A.D. that has only been mentioned three times as existing. In the Gnostic Christian tradition, Christ is seen as a divine being which has taken human form in order to lead humanity back to the Light.  Gnostics borrowed significant ideas and terms from Platonism, using Greek philosophical concepts throughout their text, including such concepts as hypostasis (reality, existence), ousia (essence, substance, being), and demiurge (creator God). According to Layton, texts which refer to this myth can be called "classical Gnostic". The Nag Hammadi library (less accurately known as the Gnostic Gospels) are a collection of Coptic Christian and philosophical writings discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi, Egypt.The papyrus itself is generally dated to the 3 rd or 4 th century CE at the time of burial, though each individual codex has different dates of original composition..  Gnostics and proto-orthodox Christians shared some terminology. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, initially completed i… The pseudepigraphical Christian text Ascension of Isaiah identifies Jesus with angel Christology: [The Lord Christ is commissioned by the Father] And I heard the voice of the Most High, the father of my LORD as he said to my LORD Christ who will be called Jesus, 'Go out and descend through all the heavens..., The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian literary work considered as canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. Basilides claimed to have been taught his doctrines by Glaucus, a disciple of St. Peter, but could also have been a pupil of Menander. [note 25], According to Bentley Layton "Classical Gnosticism" and "The School of Thomas" antedated and influenced the development of Valentinus, whom Layton called "the great [Gnostic] reformer" and "the focal point" of Gnostic development. In 1945 a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. Pleroma is also used in the general Greek language, and is used by the Greek Orthodox church in this general form, since the word appears in the Epistle to the Colossians. ", Williams: "On the other hand, the one group whom Irenaeus does explicitly mention as users of this self-designation, the followers of the Second Century teacher Marcellina, are not included in Layton's anthology at all, on the grounds that their doctrines are not similar to those of the "classic" gnostics.  In the Isma'ili Shia work Umm al Kitab, Azazil's role resembles whose of the Gnostic demiurge. , This definition has now been abandoned. Gnosticism (from Ancient Greek: γνωστικός, romanized: gnōstikós, Koine Greek: [ɣnostiˈkos], 'having knowledge) is a collection of religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. 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