- Mar 15, 2017
If you don't mind 19th century theology books on Gnosticism Archive Library has quite a few.I plan to watch the videos you've linked. You've posted them oh...20 TIMES before... they must be good lol.
I came across some amazing facts on the subject of Gnosticism. Yeah I know, silly wikipedia again but I swear it's not a terrible launching pad into truth:
"The earliest origins of Gnosticism are obscure and still disputed... 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. The Gnostic belief was widespread within Christianity until the proto-orthodox Christian communities expelled the group in the second and third centuries (C.E.). Gnosticism became the first group to be declared heretical... "
"No gnostic texts have been discovered that pre-date Christianity, and pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all."
"Contemporary scholarship largely agrees that Gnosticism has Jewish Christian origins, originating in the late first century AD in nonrabbinical Jewish sects and early Christian sects."
"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. The mortal body belonged to the world of inferior, worldly powers (the archons), and only the spirit or soul could be saved. The term gnostikos may have acquired a deeper significance here."
"The Shepherd of Hermas is a Christian literary work considered as canonical scripture by some of the early Church fathers such as Irenaeus. 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."
"Jesus is identified by some Gnostics as an embodiment of the supreme being who became incarnate to bring gnōsis to the earth, while others adamantly denied that the supreme being came in the flesh, claiming Jesus to be merely a human who attained divinity through gnosis and taught his disciples to do the same."
"Three periods can be discerned in the development of Gnosticism:
1)Late first century and early second century: development of Gnostic ideas, contemporaneous with the writing of the New Testament;
2)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";
3)end of second century to fourth century: reaction by the proto-orthodox church and condemnation as heresy, and subsequent decline."
"A wisdom tradition developed, in which Jesus' sayings were interpreted as pointers to an esoteric wisdom, in which the soul could be divinized through identification with wisdom. Some of Jesus' sayings may have been incorporated into the gospels to put a limit on this development. The conflicts described in 1 Corinthians may have been inspired by a clash between this wisdom tradition and Paul's gospel of crucifixion and arising."
"The movement spread in areas controlled by the Roman Empire and Arian Goths, and the Persian Empire. 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."
"Modern scholarship notes that early Christianity was very diverse, and Christian orthodoxy only settled in the 4th century, when the Roman Empire declined and Gnosticism lost its influence. Gnostics and proto-orthodox Christians shared some terminology. Initially, they were hard to distinguish from each other."
"According to Walter Bauer, "heresies" may well have been the original form of Christianity in many regions. 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." 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."
"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." The Johannine material reveals debates about the redeemer myth. The Johannine letters show that there were different interpretations of the gospel story, and the Johannine images may have contributed to second-century Gnostic ideas about Jesus as a redeemer who descended from heaven."
"Tertullian calls Paul "the apostle of the heretics", 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."
"According to Clement of Alexandria, the disciples of Valentinus said that Valentinus was a student of a certain Theudas, who was a student of Paul, and Elaine Pagels notes that Paul's epistles were interpreted by Valentinus in a gnostic way, and Paul could be considered a proto-gnostic as well as a proto-Catholic. Many Nag Hammadi texts, including, for example, the Prayer of Paul and the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul, consider Paul to be "the great apostle". 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. The Naassenes, Cainites, and Valentinians referred to Paul's epistles."
More recently published ones are more of a mixed bag, but almost anything there is better than GCB's video cluster.