Some teachings identified with gnosticism may have emerged before Christianity did. Others may have developed apart from Christianity, in heterodox Jewish circles, and then been adapted by groups that considered themselves to be Christian.
Origins. The origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed. The proto-orthodox Christian groups called Gnostics a heresy of Christianity, but according to the modern scholars the theology's origin is closely related to Jewish sectarian milieus and early Christian sects.
Gnostics were dualists and worshipped two (or more) gods; Christians were monists and worshipped one God. Gnostics focused on eradication of ignorance; Christian concern was the eradication of sin.
A.D. 350-400. But scholars sharply disagree about the dating of the original texts. Some of them can hardly be later than c. A.D. 120-150, since Irenaeus, the orthodox Bishop of Lyons, writing C.
The designation gnosticism is a term of modern scholarship. It was first used by the English poet and philosopher of religion Henry More (1614–87), who applied it to the religious groups referred to in ancient sources as gnostikoi (Greek: “those who have gnosis, or 'knowledge' ”).
These four essential differences between the canonical or biblical Gospels and the Gnostic Gospels are a clear indication that the Gnostic Gospels are not authentically apostolic in their authorship, message and frame of time. The Gnostic Gospels are not reliable sources for the life and teachings of Jesus.
Gnostic gospels differ from the canonical gospels of the New Testament. They often lack a narrative or a story and consist of simply the teachings of Jesus in elucidating the existence of the true God.
To the extent that the Buddha taught the existence of evil inclinations that remain unconquered, or that require special spiritual knowledge to conquer, Buddhism has also qualified as Gnostic.
The texts were written mainly in Hebrew. The Nag Hammadi Codices is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts, mostly translated from Greek into Coptic, originally written between the 2nd and 4th centuries AD.
Mandeans are the only surviving traditional Gnostics, with no more than 20,000 adherents living in southern Iraq and south-western Iran.
Irenaeus and other Christian theologians dismissed gnosticism as pretentious but dangerous nonsense. Along with Irenaeus and others, the writers of the later New Testament books seem to have opposed early gnosticism.
Gnosticism from its origins constituted a rival religion to both Judaism and Christianity. There were indeed Jewish Gnostics, and a bewildering array of Christian Gnostic sects, but there were also pagan Gnostics. Gnosticism was both a tendency within other religions, and an eclectic but authentic religion in itself.
Modern scholars do not consider Apostle Thomas the author of this document and the author remains unknown. Because of its discovery with the Nag Hammadi library, it was widely thought that the document originated within a school of early Christians, proto-Gnostics.
Agnosticism is the idea (or philosophy) that something (such as the Deity) cannot or should not be known. Gnosticism (from 'gnosis:' knowledge) is the idea (or philosophy) that something (such as human or even divine spirit) can and should be known: it is a synonym for epistemology.
The Dead Sea Scrolls contain nothing about Jesus or the early Christians, but indirectly they help to understand the Jewish world in which Jesus lived and why his message drew followers and opponents.
Two archaeological discoveries from the 1940s irrevocably changed the study of early Christianity and ancient Judaism: the unearthing of the Gnostic codices found near Nag Hammadi (Upper Egypt) in 1945, and of the Dead Sea Scrolls, the first of which turned up at Qumran (Israel-Palestine), in 1947.
Early Christian writings discovered over the past century, however, go further. The gospel of Philip, one of the Nag Hammadi texts, describes Mary Magdalene as a “companion” of Jesus “whom the Savior loved more than all the other disciples and [whom] he kissed often on the mouth.”
The Matrix offers up a stew of aspects from other religious traditions, particularly Buddhism. Dailey says it's not surprising that the film combines aspects of Buddhism with Gnosticism. "They pose humanity's fundamental problem and solution in the same terms -- ignorance and enlightenment," she says.
While the Matrix may not be an exact equivalent of maya and Keanu Reeve's character Neo may not be a bodhisattava, the Wachowski brothers did deliberately incorporate aspects of Buddhism into their story because they believe that Buddhism has something to say to us about our world and how we conduct our lives.
Early Christians used the fish as a secret code to identify meeting places, tombs, and even other Christians. Legend has it that if an early Christian met a stranger, he or she could draw half of the Ichthys on the ground. If the stranger completed the sketch, they would both know they were Christians.
The discovery of 13 books containing 52 texts in the Nile River valley of Egypt in 1945 called Nag Hammadi opened the door for the history of early Christianism and the teachings of four Gnostic gospels called; the secret book of James, the gospel of Thomas, the book of Thomas and secret book of John.
As mentioned previously, if the date of composition comes before or during that of the canonical gospels, then the argument that Thomas is heretical because it was composed after the canonical gospels is de-legitimized.
Therefore, although Gnostics, like other Christians, find salvation through the messages of Jesus, Gnostics seek salvation not from sin but from "the ignorance of which sin is a consequence." The gnostics believe that the evil creator God and his angels cause this ignorance.
The Gospel of Mary is an early Christian text deemed unorthodox by the men who shaped the nascent Catholic church, was excluded from the canon, and was subsequently erased from the history of Christianity along with most narratives that demonstrated women's contributions to the early Christian movement.
Definition of gnosticism
: the thought and practice especially of various cults of late pre-Christian and early Christian centuries distinguished by the conviction that matter is evil and that emancipation comes through gnosis.