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. ... facie, various trends in Jewish thought and literature of the Second Commonwealth appear to have been potential factors in Gnostic origins. He is not interested in the material pleasures of the world, and is unaffected by its glamour. [60], In late antiquity some variants of Gnosticism used the term archon to refer to several servants of the demiurge. 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. Here, in 762, Manicheanism became the state religion of the Uyghur Empire. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (AD). Other names or identifications are Ahriman, El, Satan, and Yahweh. He rejected the Old Testament, and followed a limited Christian canon, which included only a redacted version of Luke, and ten edited letters of Paul. [40][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".[44]. 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. 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. [note 20] This figure is also called "Yaldabaoth",[47] Samael (Aramaic: sæmʻa-ʼel, "blind god"), or "Saklas" (Syriac: sækla, "the foolish one"), who is sometimes ignorant of the superior god, and sometimes opposed to it; thus in the latter case he is correspondingly malevolent. Thomas? Here is a partial list of the Gnostic Gospels, along with an approximate date during which each was composed: 1. Prior to the discovery at Nag Hammadi, a limited number of texts were available to students of Gnosticism. 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". 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… Justin Martyr identifies Menander of Antioch as Simon Magus' pupil. [33] Hans Heinrich Schaeder (1896–1957) and Hans Leisegang saw Gnosticism as an amalgam of eastern thought in a Greek form. Nearly every group possesses one or more of them, or some modified version of them. Genesis was reinterpreted in Jewish milieus, viewing. [108] Valentinianism flourished after mid-second century. "[81] 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. Those of the medieval Cathars, Bogomils, and Carpocratians seem to include elements of both categories. In the 1880s Gnostic connections with neo-Platonism were proposed. "[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. This thesis is most notably put forward by Gershom Scholem (1897–1982) and Gilles Quispel (1916–2006). Persian Gnosticism possesses more dualist tendencies, reflecting a strong influence from the beliefs of the Persian Zurvanist Zoroastrians. 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. ", 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. The text is not closely related to the canonical gospels and is not accepted as canonical by the Christian church. 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. [131][132] However, according to Islam and unlike most Gnostic sects, not rejection of this world, but performing good deeds leads to the heaven. 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. [81] According to Raymond Brown, the Gospel of John shows "the development of certain gnostic ideas, especially Christ as heavenly revealer, the emphasis on light versus darkness, and anti-Jewish animus. 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. [1][18][note 14][19] Scholars debate Gnosticism's origins as having roots in Neoplatonism and Buddhism, due to similarities in beliefs[citation needed], but ultimately, its origins are currently unknown. [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. [71][92], The Persian Schools, which appeared in the western Persian province of Babylonia (in particular, within the Sassanid province of Asuristan), and whose writings were originally produced in the Aramaic dialects spoken in Babylonia at the time, are representative of what is believed to be among the oldest of the Gnostic thought forms. [note 30] Hippolytus (170–235) wrote the ten-volume Refutation Against all Heresies, of which eight have been unearthed. [76] This theme was further developed by Elaine Pagels,[77] who argues that "the proto-orthodox church found itself in debates with gnostic Christians that helped them to stabilize their own beliefs. Hans Jonas discerned two main currents of Gnosticism, namely Syrian-Egyptian, and Persian, which includes Manicheanism and Mandaeanism. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, initially completed i… [67] Still other traditions identify Mani and Seth, third son of Adam and Eve, as salvific figures. Matter-dwelling spirits. [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. [25], Many of the Nag Hammadi texts make reference to Judaism, in some cases with a violent rejection of the Jewish God. [note 2], By the Hellenistic period, it began also to be associated with Greco-Roman mysteries, becoming synonymous with the Greek term musterion. The Nag Hammadi library [note 31] is a collection of Gnostic texts discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi, Upper Egypt. They are the only surviving Gnostics from antiquity. [64] Most of the literature from this category is known to us through the Nag Hammadi Library. It was an intellectually vibrant tradition, [ 54 ] who is also a western Gnostic tradition, [ ]... Steps through spiritual knowledge and contemplation texts discovered in 1945 near Nag Hammadi, Upper,. 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