The flower is above the polluted swamps, rather than feeding from it, it waits for the clean, pure rain. [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. This dualistic teaching embodied an elaborate cosmological myth that included the defeat of a primal man by the powers of darkness that devoured and imprisoned the particles of light. It depicts creation in a series of emanations from a primal monadic source, finally resulting in the creation of the material universe. [47] The inferiority of the demiurge's creation may be compared to the technical inferiority of a work of art, painting, sculpture, etc. "public builder"),[54] who is also referred to as Yaldabaoth and variations thereof in some Gnostic texts. [37], In the 1880s, Gnosticism was placed within Greek philosophy, especially neo-Platonism. The Nag Hammadi library [note 31] is a collection of Gnostic texts discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt. Some Valentinian Gnostics supposed that Christ took on an angelic nature and that he might be the Saviour of angels. According to this approach, Gnosticism is a map for the human development in which an undivided person, centered on the Self, develops out of the fragmentary personhood of young age. Wilson, R. McL. [169], In addition, Alastair Logan uses social theory to identify Gnosticism. [134] Muslim theologists countered this accusation by the example of a repeating sinner, who says: "I laid, and I repent";[135] this would prove that good can also result out of evil. [75], According to Walter Bauer, "heresies" may well have been the original form of Christianity in many regions. 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. [134] It seems that Gnostic ideas were an influential part of early Islamic development but later lost its influence. As Christianity developed and became more popular, so did Gnosticism, with both proto-orthodox Christian and Gnostic Christian groups often existing in the same places. [96] Later Sethian texts continue to interact with Platonism. (Robinson, NHLE, p. 10) Only a few lines from the beginning of Origin of the World are discernible on the bottom of the eighth leaf. [61] Similarly to the Mithraic Kronos and Vedic Narasimha, a form of Vishnu, Ialdabaoth had a head of a lion.[47][62][63]. [24] The cosmogonic speculations among Christian Gnostics had partial origins in Maaseh Bereshit and Maaseh Merkabah. Moral judgements of the demiurge vary from group to group within the broad category of Gnosticism, viewing materiality as being inherently evil, or as merely flawed and as good as its passive constituent matter allows. [176] The early church heresiologists created an interpretive definition of Gnosticism, and modern scholarship followed this example and created a categorical definition. 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. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (AD). [107] Basilidianism survived until the end of the 4th century as Epiphanius knew of Basilidians living in the Nile Delta. Cohen & Mendes-Flohr: "Recent research, however, has tended to emphasize that Judaism, rather than Persia, was a major origin of Gnosticism. [136] In the Isma'ili Shia work Umm al Kitab, Azazil's role resembles whose of the Gnostic demiurge. [168], Hans Jonas (1903–1993) took an existential phenomenological approach to Gnosticism. The demiurge creates the physical universe and the physical aspect of humanity. [citation needed], Sophia, emanating without her partner, resulted in the production of the Demiurge (Greek: lit. Orthodox theologians often attempt to define God through a series of explicit positive statements: he is omniscient, omnipotent, and truly benevolent. Pre-Christian Gnosticism in the Nag Hammadi Texts? It was an intellectually vibrant tradition,[110] with an elaborate and philosophically "dense" form of Gnosticism. Many core Gnostic ideas reappear in Kabbalah, where they are used for dramatically reinterpreting earlier Jewish sources according to this new system. The Valentinians argued that such codes were intrinsic in gnosticism, secrecy being important to ensuring proper progression to true inner understanding. ", 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. J. M. Robinson, "Sethians and Johannine Thought: The Trimorphic Protennoia and the Prologue of the Gospel of John" in, The idea that Gnosticism was derived from Buddhism was first proposed by the Victorian gem collector and numismatist. 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. [105] The Samaritan leaders were viewed as "the embodiment of God's power, spirit, or wisdom, and as the redeemer and revealer of 'true knowledge'". of thought, somehow identifiable with the Gnostic Monad. In 1945 a discovery was made in Upper Egypt, near the town of Nag Hammadi. [46] In other areas of morality, Gnostics were less rigorously ascetic, and took a more moderate approach to correct behaviour. [53], In Gnostic tradition, the term Sophia (Σοφία, Greek for "wisdom") refers to the final and lowest emanation of God. [80] 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. [170], According to Ioan Culianu, gnosis is made possible through universal operations of the mind, which can be arrived at "anytime, anywhere". [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. [104][35] Some of these groups existed into the Middle Ages. "[35][note 23], According to John D. Turner, German and American scholarship views Sethianism as "a distinctly inner-Jewish, albeit syncretistic and heterodox, phenomenon", while British and French scholarship tends to see Sethianism as "a form of heterodox Christian speculation". [33], Carsten Colpe (b. "[14][note 12], The origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed. If their critics are reliable the basic conceptions of Gnostic cosmology are to be found in Cathar beliefs (most distinctly in their notion of a lesser, Satanic, creator god), though they did not apparently place any special relevance upon knowledge (gnosis) as an effective salvific force. [55] 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. [7] 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). The Ismaili Pīr Ḥasan Kabīr al-Dīn writes that the gnostic can be compared to the lotus flower (kamal), a delicate flower with white petals that blooms in dirty swamps, and is commonly associated with beauty and purity. Genesis was reinterpreted in Jewish milieus, viewing. [23] Quispel sees Gnosticism as an independent Jewish development, tracing its origins to Alexandrian Jews, to which group Valentinus was also connected. [153] 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. [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. 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. 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. While there are many Gnostic texts in the Nag Hammadi Library, not all of them share this perspective. [79] Especially the Gospel of Thomas has a significant amount of parallel sayings. 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. [80] An alternative hypothesis states that the Thomas authors wrote in the second century, changing existing sayings and eliminating the apocalyptic concerns. 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. [145] On the other hand, scholars such as Scholem have postulated that there was originally a "Jewish gnosticism", which influenced the early origins of gnosticism. 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 Gnostic Gospels is a landmark study of the long-buried roots of Christianity, a work of luminous scholarship and wide popular appeal. [38] Nevertheless, Geo Widengren (1907–1996) argued for the origin of (Mandaean) Gnosticism in Mazdean (Zoroastrianism) Zurvanism, in conjunction with ideas from the Aramaic Mesopotamian world. Pages in category "Gnostic Gospels" The following 22 pages are in this category, out of 22 total. [165], According to Matthew J. Dillon, six trends can be discerned in the definitions of Gnosticism:[166], The 1966 Messina conference on the origins of gnosis and Gnosticism proposed to designate, ... a particular group of systems of the second century after Christ" as gnosticism, and to use gnosis to define a conception of knowledge that transcends the times, which was described as "knowledge of divine mysteries for an élite. Asgeirsson, April D. DeConick and Risto Uro (editors), sfn error: no target: CITEREFPerkins11987 (, Deutsch, Nathaniel. [116][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". [33] 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. This "Christian Gnosticism" was Christocentric, and influenced by Christian writings such as the Gospel of John and the Pauline epistles. The author of De Centesima and Epiphanius' "Ebionites" held Christ to have been the highest and most important of the first created archangels, a view similar in many respects to Hermas' equation of Christ with Michael. [64] Many Nag Hammadi texts, including, for example, the Prayer of Paul and the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul, consider Paul to be "the great apostle". Intellectuals who were heavily influenced by Gnosticism in this period include Lawrence Durrell, Hans Jonas, Philip K. Dick and Harold Bloom, with Albert Camus and Allen Ginsberg being more moderately influenced. Significant amounts of original Mandaean Scripture, written in Mandaean Aramaic, survive in the modern era. [142], Gnostic ideas found a Jewish variation in the mystical study of Kabbalah. 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. 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". "[33], The Religionsgeschichtliche Schule ("history of religions school", 19th century) had a profound influence on the study of Gnosticism. 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." Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism. Jesus is interpreted as an intermediary aeon who was sent from the pleroma, with whose aid humanity can recover the lost knowledge of the divine origins of humanity. Certain elements of the light became entrapped within darkness, and the purpose of material creation is to engage in the slow process of extraction of these individual elements. 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. Early research into the origins of Gnosticism proposed Persian origins or influences, spreading to Europe and incorporating Jewish elements. [105] One offshoot was in turn headed by Dositheus, Simon Magus, and Menander. Manichaeism conceives of two coexistent realms of light and darkness that become embroiled in conflict. 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. It is an inward "knowing", comparable to that encouraged by Plotinus (neoplatonism), and differs from proto-orthodox Christian views. [37] 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. Jump to navigation Jump to search. 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 … 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. In many Gnostic systems, God is known as the Monad, the One. The adjective is not used in the New Testament, but Clement of Alexandria[note 3] speaks of the "learned" (gnostikos) Christian in complimentary terms. Accordingly, Michel Weber has proposed a Gnostic interpretation of his late metaphysics.[156]. [citation needed], Gnostics tended toward asceticism, especially in their sexual and dietary practice. 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. In qualified monism the second entity may be divine or semi-divine. Reconstructions of incomplete Gnostic texts were attempted in modern times, but research on Gnosticism was coloured by the orthodox views of those heresiologists. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, initially completed i… like and subscribe [113], The followers of Valentinius attempted to systematically decode the Epistles, claiming that most Christians made the mistake of reading the Epistles literally rather than allegorically. [85] The fact that he claimed to have received his gospel directly by revelation from God appealed to the gnostics, who claimed gnosis from the risen Christ. 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. The site includes the Gnostic Library, with the complete Nag Hammadi Library and a large collection of other primary Gnostic scriptures and documents. [25], Many of the Nag Hammadi texts make reference to Judaism, in some cases with a violent rejection of the Jewish God. 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. The term gnostikos may have acquired a deeper significance here. The ascription by Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and others of a connection between schools in their time and the individual in Acts 8 may be as legendary as the stories attached to him in various apocryphal books. 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. [166] 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. Thirty-three of the groups he reported on are considered Gnostic by modern scholars, including 'the foreigners' and 'the Seth people'. Manicheanism inherits this dualistic mythology from Zurvanist Zoroastrianism,[124] in which the eternal spirit Ahura Mazda is opposed by his antithesis, Angra Mainyu. Three periods can be discerned in the development of Gnosticism:[68], During the first period, three types of tradition developed:[68]. In, Smith, Richard. J. Horn and Ernest Anton Lewald proposed Persian and Zoroastrian origins, while Jacques … 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. [3] Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. Mandaeanism is still practiced in small numbers, in parts of southern Iraq and the Iranian province of Khuzestan, and there are thought to be between 60,000 and 70,000 Mandaeans worldwide.[129]. [118][7] Like the Gnostics, Marcion argued that Jesus was essentially a divine spirit appearing to men in the shape of a human form, and not someone in a true physical body. [26] Professor Steven Bayme said gnosticism would be better characterized as anti-Judaism. [50] The numbers of these pairings varied from text to text, though some identify their number as being thirty. 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