Gnosis is de kern in de religieuze overtuiging van een aantal religies die zich in de eerste eeuwen na Chr. 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. 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. The Supreme Light or Consciousness descends through a series of stages, gradations, worlds, or hypostases, becoming progressively more material and embodied. 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 … [37] According to Wilhelm Bousset (1865–1920), Gnosticism was a form of Iranian and Mesopotamian syncretism,[33] and Richard August Reitzenstein (1861–1931) most famously situated the origins of Gnosticism in Persia. Their main text is the Apocryphon of John, which does not contain Christian elements,[94] and is an amalgam of two earlier myths. [108] Valentinianism flourished after mid-second century. 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. [28], 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. Gnosticism became the first group to be declared heretical. 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. He uses Rodney Stark and William Bainbridge's sociological theory on traditional religion, sects and cults. Matter-dwelling spirits. : What would Christianity be like if gnostic texts had made it into the Bible? Early research into the origins of Gnosticism proposed Persian origins or influences, spreading to Europe and incorporating Jewish elements. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary \"Gnostic Gospels\" texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define \"orthodoxy\" scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth. They are the only surviving Gnostics from antiquity. [174] Other authors speak rather of "Gnostic Christians", noting that Gnostics were a prominent substream in the early church. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment.[3]. While there are many Gnostic texts in the Nag Hammadi Library, not all of them share this perspective. According to Williams the term needs replacing to more accurately reflect those movements it comprises,[176] and suggests to replace it with the term "the Biblical demiurgical tradition". Indeed, it appears increasingly evident that many of the newly published Gnostic texts were written in a context from which Jews were not absent. The original writings were written in Syriac Aramaic, in a unique Manichaean script. [23][1][18][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. 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."[29]. From this highest divinity emanate lower divine beings, known as Aeons. [27] Recent research into the origins of Gnosticism shows a strong Jewish influence, particularly from Hekhalot literature. [98], According to Smith, Sethianism may have begun as a pre-Christian tradition, possibly a syncretic cult that incorporated elements of Christianity and Platonism as it grew. Initially, they were hard to distinguish from each other. He is not interested in the material pleasures of the world, and is unaffected by its glamour. 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. Jesus and several of his apostles, such as Thomas the Apostle, claimed as the founder of the Thomasine form of Gnosticism, figure in many Gnostic texts. The Gospel of Truth is one of the Gnostic texts from the New Testament apocrypha found in the Nag Hammadi codices ("NHC"). Hippolytus further presents individual teachers such as Simon, Valentinus, Secundus, Ptolemy, Heracleon, Marcus and Colorbasus. In many Gnostic systems, God is known as the Monad, the One. Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth,[65][56] while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained enlightenment through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same. [154], Early 20th-century thinkers who heavily studied and were influenced by Gnosticism include Carl Jung (who supported Gnosticism), Eric Voegelin (who opposed it), Jorge Luis Borges (who included it in many of his short stories), and Aleister Crowley, with figures such as Hermann Hesse being more moderately influenced. 1929) has analyzed and criticised the Iranian hypothesis of Reitzenstein, showing that many of his hypotheses are untenable. From Syria it progressed still farther, into Palestine, Asia Minor and Armenia. [verification needed]. 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".[32]. The name of the group derives from the term Mandā d-Heyyi, which roughly means "Knowledge of Life". The school was popular, spreading to Northwest Africa and Egypt, and through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east,[109] and Valentinus is specifically named as gnostikos by Irenaeus. Johann Lorenz von Mosheim (1694–1755) proposed that Gnosticism developed on its own in Greece and Mesopotamia, spreading to the west and incorporating Jewish elements. Thomas? In many Gnostic systems, the aeons are the various emanations of the superior God or Monad. John the Baptist is a key figure in the religion, as an emphasis on baptism is part of their core beliefs. [163][164] A great number of translations have been published, and the works of Elaine Pagels, Professor of Religion at Princeton University, especially The Gnostic Gospels, which detailed the suppression of some of the writings found at Nag Hammadi by early bishops of the Christian church, has popularized Gnosticism in mainstream culture,[web 3][web 4] but also incited strong responses and condemnations from clergical writers. 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. Het betreft het hermetisme, de gnostiek, het mandeïsme en het manicheïsme.In de Nederlandse literatuur worden religies die gnosis als kernbegrip hadden gezamenlijk weleens benoemd met het woord gnosticisme. Some scholars[note 4] consider that Irenaeus sometimes uses gnostikos to simply mean "intellectual",[note 5] whereas his mention of "the intellectual sect"[note 6] is a specific designation. Accordingly, Michel Weber has proposed a Gnostic interpretation of his late metaphysics.[156]. The Gospel of Thomas - provided in multiple translations, along with a vast collection of material about the Thomas tradition. Persian Gnosticism possesses more dualist tendencies, reflecting a strong influence from the beliefs of the Persian Zurvanist Zoroastrians. According to Logan, the Gnostics were a cult, at odds with the society at large. 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. [citation needed], Gnostics tended toward asceticism, especially in their sexual and dietary practice. Gospel of Truth(Nag Hammadi Library) 4. Thirty-three of the groups he reported on are considered Gnostic by modern scholars, including 'the foreigners' and 'the Seth people'. The Gospel of Judas (second century CE) 4. 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. The Elchasaites, or at least Christians influenced by them, paired the male Christ with the female Holy Spirit, envisioning both as two gigantic angels. In most, if not all, versions of the gnostic myth, Sophia births the demiurge, who in turn brings about the creation of materiality. [99] According to Temporini, Vogt, and Haase, early Sethians may be identical to or related to the Nazarenes (sect), the Ophites, or the sectarian group called heretics by Philo. "[72] According to Gilles Quispel, Catholicism arose in response to Gnosticism, establishing safeguards in the form of the monarchic episcopate, the creed, and the canon of holy books. Since then, both Simon and Menander have been considered as 'proto-Gnostic'. [5] However, Gnosticism is not a single standardized system, and the emphasis on direct experience allows for a wide variety of teachings, including distinct currents such as Valentianism and Sethianism. Gospel of Mary(recovered in 1896) 2. It would be impossible that both light and darkness were created from one source, since they were regarded as two different eternal principles. In some cases they may contain early, independently attested traditions (e.g., the Gospel of Thomas). [131][132] However, according to Islam and unlike most Gnostic sects, not rejection of this world, but performing good deeds leads to the heaven. According to Tertullian, Valentinus was a candidate for bishop but started his own group when another was chosen. The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient books (called \"codices\") containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. [81], Tertullian calls Paul "the apostle of the heretics",[82] because Paul's writings were attractive to gnostics, and interpreted in a gnostic way, while Jewish Christians found him to stray from the Jewish roots of Christianity. [citation needed], Some scholars prefer to speak of "gnosis" when referring to first-century ideas that later developed into Gnosticism, and to reserve the term "Gnosticism" for the synthesis of these ideas into a coherent movement in the second century. The Demiurge, one of those Aeons, creates the physical world. For example A. Rousseau and L. Doutreleau, translators of the French edition (1974), Williams, p. 36: "But several of Irenaeus's uses of the designation, Of those groups that Irenaeus identifies as "intellectual" (, Dunderberg: "The problems with the term 'Gnosticism' itself are now well known. In de Nederlandse literatuur worden religies met gnosis als kernbegrip gezamenlijk weleens benoemd met het woord … Wilson, R. McL. The text is not closely related to the canonical gospels and is not accepted as canonical by the Christian church. [162] The study of Gnosticism and of early Alexandrian Christianity received a strong impetus from the discovery of the Coptic Nag Hammadi Library in 1945. These writings had an antagonistic bias towards gnostic teachings, and were incomplete. Here, in 762, Manicheanism became the state religion of the Uyghur Empire. [169], In addition, Alastair Logan uses social theory to identify Gnosticism. 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. [79] Especially the Gospel of Thomas has a significant amount of parallel sayings. [87] Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy have expanded upon this idea of Paul as a gnostic teacher;[88] although their premise that Jesus was invented by early Christians based on an alleged Greco-Roman mystery cult has been dismissed by scholars. [83] In I Corinthians Paul refers to some church members as "having knowledge" (Greek: τὸν ἔχοντα γνῶσιν, ton echonta gnosin). [143] The Kabbalists originated in 13th-century Provence,[note 29] which was at that time also the center of the Gnostic Cathars. [134] It seems that Gnostic ideas were an influential part of early Islamic development but later lost its influence. [20] 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. The Bogomils, emerged in Bulgaria between 927 and 970 and spread throughout Europe. [146] Kabbalah does not employ the terminology or labels of non-Jewish Gnosticism, but grounds the same or similar concepts in the language of the Torah (the first five books of the Hebrew Bible). [80] 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. Gnostic Thelemite organizations, such as Ecclesia Gnostica Catholica and Ordo Templi Orientis, trace themselves to Crowley's thought. 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. The term is thus a central element of Gnostic cosmology. The Syrian–Egyptian traditions postulate a remote, supreme Godhead, the Monad. In 1945 a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. [71] 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. This divine element returns to the divine realm when Gnosis, esoteric or intuitive knowledge of the divine element within, is obtained. [103] In the late third century, Sethianism was attacked by neo-Platonists like Plotinus, and Sethianism became alienated from Platonism. [137] Like the demiurge, he is endowed with the ability to create his own world and seeks to imprison humans in the material world, but here, his power is limited and depends on the higher God. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library after 1945 has had a huge effect on Gnosticism since World War II. In the 1880s Gnostic connections with neo-Platonism were proposed. "[14][note 12], The origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed. Jonas compares this alienation with the existentialist notion of geworfenheit, Martin Heidegger's "thrownness," as in being thrown into a hostile world. Likewise, they believed some kind of secret knowledge (“gnosis”) was essential to ensuring one’s salvation. 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. 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. [172], This definition has now been abandoned. of thought, somehow identifiable with the Gnostic Monad. From Samaria he charted an apparent spread of the teachings of Simon through the ancient "knowers" into the teachings of Valentinus and other, contemporary Gnostic sects. The demiurge creates the physical universe and the physical aspect of humanity. "[167] According to Dillon, "many scholars today continue in the vein of Harnack in reading gnosticism as a late and contaminated version of Christianity", notably Darrell Block, who criticises Elaine Pagels for her view that early Christianity was wildly diverse. 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.. Ghazali characterized them as a group who are outwardly Shias but were actually adherence of a dualistic and philosophical religion. 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. 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. He founded his school in Rome. Dat was min of meer gelijktijdig met andere religieuze bewegingen waarin gnosis centraal stond, zoals het hermetisme, het mandeïsme en het derde-eeuwse manicheïsme. 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. Further traces of Gnostic ideas can be found in Sufi anthropogenic. The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths,[70] and the Persian Empire. 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. [138] Such Gnostic anthropogenic can be found frequently among Isma'ili traditions. In some cases, indeed, a violent rejection of the Jewish God, or of Judaism, seems to stand at the basis of these texts. There are countless contradictions between the Gnostic gospels and the true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. [29], Alexandria was of central importance for the birth of Gnosticism. Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism. 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. These texts are mentioned or partially quoted in the writings of the Church Fathers. Prior to the discovery at Nag Hammadi, a limited number of texts were available to students of Gnosticism. 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). [51] The aeons as a totality constitute the pleroma, the "region of light". [33] According to Wilhelm Bousset (1865–1920), Gnosticism was a form of Iranian and Mesopotamian syncretism,[33] and Eduard Norden (1868–1941) also proposed pre-Christian origins,[33] while Richard August Reitzenstein (1861–1931), and Rudolf Bultmann (1884–1976) also situated the origins of Gnosticism in Persia. [78], The Gnostic movements may contain information about the historical Jesus, since some texts preserve sayings which show similarities with canonical sayings. These movements are considered by most to be religions in their own right, and are not emanations from Christianity or Judaism. There is also the Qolastā, or Canonical Book of Prayer and the Mandaean Book of John (Sidra ḏ'Yahia). This thesis is most notably put forward by Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) and Gilles Quispel (1916–2006). [140] Like the gnostic conception of human beings imprisoned in matter, Sufi traditions acknowledge that the human soul is an accomplice of the material world and subject to bodily desires similar to the way archontic spheres envelop the pneuma. Prior to the discovery of Nag Hammadi, the Gnostic movements were largely perceived through the lens of the early church heresiologists. 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. [33][161] According to Harnack, Gnosticism was the "acute Hellenization of Christianity. [25] Gnostics borrowed significant ideas and terms from Platonism,[34] using Greek philosophical concepts throughout their text, including such concepts as hypostasis (reality, existence), ousia (essence, substance, being), and demiurge (creator God). 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. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (AD). [note 30] Hippolytus (170–235) wrote the ten-volume Refutation Against all Heresies, of which eight have been unearthed. [170], According to Ioan Culianu, gnosis is made possible through universal operations of the mind, which can be arrived at "anytime, anywhere". Reconstructions were attempted from the records of the heresiologists, but these were necessarily coloured by the motivation behind the source accounts. 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 … The Gospel According to Mary Magdalene. Three periods can be discerned in the development of Gnosticism:[68], During the first period, three types of tradition developed:[68]. Gospel of Philip(Nag Hammadi Library) 5. 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". [47] This creature is concealed outside the pleroma;[47] in isolation, and thinking itself alone, it creates materiality and a host of co-actors, referred to as archons. It is an inward "knowing", comparable to that encouraged by Plotinus (neoplatonism), and differs from proto-orthodox Christian views. [121] 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. The site includes the Gnostic Society Library with the complete Nag Hammadi Library and Scriptures, and a large collection of other primary Gnostic scriptures and documents.A vast collection of materials and audio lectures dealing with Gnosis and Gnosticism, both … ", Rise of the Evangelical Church in Latin America, Beliefs condemned as heretical by the Catholic Church, Relationship between religion and science,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Articles that may contain original research from November 2019, All articles that may contain original research, Articles containing Ancient Greek (to 1453)-language text, Articles with unsourced statements from October 2020, Articles with unsourced statements from February 2019, Articles needing additional references from July 2017, All articles needing additional references, Articles with unsourced statements from November 2016, Articles with unsourced statements from January 2009, Articles with unsourced statements from August 2020, Wikipedia articles needing factual verification from November 2010, All articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases, Articles with specifically marked weasel-worded phrases from October 2019, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, psychic – "soulful", partially initiated. Gnostic texts Gnostic texts preserved before 1945. 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. [79] Yet, a striking difference is that the canonical sayings center on the coming endtime, while the Thomas-sayings center on a kingdom of heaven that is already here, and not a future event. [75], According to Walter Bauer, "heresies" may well have been the original form of Christianity in many regions. In time it will turn around to return to the One (epistrophe), retracing its steps through spiritual knowledge and contemplation. 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 various emanations of God are called æons. According to Jonas, alienation is a distinguishing characteristics of Gnosticism, making it different from contemporary religions. According to Mosheim, Jewish thought took Gnostic elements and used them against Greek philosophy. There was a renewed interest in Gnosticism after the 1945 discovery of Egypt's Nag Hammadi library, a collection of rare early Christian and Gnostic texts, including the Gospel of Thomas and the Apocryphon of John. [note 17]. Complete list of codices found in Nag Hammadi,, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 27 August 2020, at 04:03. The texts commonly attributed to the Thomasine Traditions are: Where Augustine was a member of the school from 373–382. Syrian-Egyptian Gnosticism includes Sethianism, Valentinianism, Basilideans, Thomasine traditions, and Serpent Gnostics, as well as a number of other minor groups and writers. [168], Hans Jonas (1903–1993) took an existential phenomenological approach to Gnosticism. Pages in category "Gnostic Gospels" The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total. [177], Carl Jung approached Gnosticism from a psychological perspective, which was followed by Gilles Quispel. [4]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… Semites and speak a dialect of Eastern Aramaic known as Mandaic therefore gain over... Was created by ignorant angels father was a member of the heresiologists, most notably was essential to ensuring progression! Analyzed and criticised the Iranian hypothesis of Reitzenstein, showing that many of hypotheses. Scholars voiced concerns about the broadness of `` Gnosticism '' was Christocentric, and several varieties of their core.... Theory on traditional religion, sects and cults the production of the superior God Monad. 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Known to us through the lens of the divine deeper significance here any Gnostic texts that clearly antedate origin... Systems, the sufficient cause of salvation is this `` Christian Gnosticism was!, since they were regarded as two different eternal principles thus a central element Gnostic. Various codices contained in the Rediscovery of Gnosticism Gnostic by some Gnostic interpreters, [ 54 ] who is referred. In their own right, and is unaffected by its glamour, is obtained day and not. Religions in their own right, and Valentinians referred to Paul 's.! Truly benevolent Gnostics supposed that Christ took on an angelic nature and that he might be the Saviour angels... Adam and Eve, as an independent religion through spiritual knowledge and contemplation the the Nag Hammadi.!

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