✪✪✪ Explain What Happened To Gnosticism

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Explain What Happened To Gnosticism

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Gnosticism and the Early Church

Mani considered Jesus the greatest of the prophets and his religion spread to Central Asia, becoming the official religion of the Uighur Empire in what is now western China until The last of the major Christian Gnostic movements was the Cathar Church in southern France beginning in the 12th century. It flourished in the civilized culture of Provence and the Languedoc, with support from the rulers of cities such as Toulouse and Carcassonne. Its leaders were admired even by local Catholic clergy because of their simple lives and dedication to helping others. The popularity of this rival church, however, stirred jealousy and, with the support of the king who controlled northern France, Pope Innocent II declared a crusade in the only one against fellow Christians.

By the time the final phase was over in , an estimated one million Cathars and their sympathizers had been killed. The Inquisition was formed to root out these heretics across Europe. Mainstream Christians today read the Bible through the lens of their very similar Catholic, Protestant, and Orthodox traditions. They also contain significant factual and historical mistakes, including failed prophecies. These are not merely minor differences or varying perspectives on the same events, but narratives that are difficult to reconcile. The Gospels also disagree about what happened after the crucifixion there is a scholarly consensus that the last 12 verses of Mark in the New Testament were tacked on centuries later, the original text ending with the discovery of the empty tomb.

After the Gospels provide varying accounts of which women meet the resurrected Jesus at the tomb, Mark says they were told to tell the disciples to meet him in Galilee and the disciples went there immediately. Yet the book of Acts claims they waited 50 days in Jerusalem. Matthew, on the other hand, reports that three days after the crucifixion, the women inform the disciples of his resurrection and he shortly appears to all of them in Jerusalem. Luke asserts that the women conveyed the message that the disciples were to remember what Jesus had told them in Galilee, that he would die and rise again, and they should remain in Jerusalem.

Jesus soon appears to two of them and later the entire group, after which he ascends to heaven. These discrepancies would not be too important in an ordinary history, but if the key events of the central narrative are confused, how much reliance can we put on what it claims Jesus taught? How can the average spiritual seeker know whether the Bible is any more reliable than the Koran or the Bhagavad Gita? This also raises the question of why, as mainstream Christians claim, we should have to accept Christ as our savior to avoid hell Jesus never makes clear why his death would save his followers.

Most people throughout history were not literate and did not have easy access to a printed Bible. If they did read one, they might be put off by a God who seems like a capricious and violent egomaniac. Furthermore, does not God have some responsibility for the nature of those he created? Their ability to discern the truth is largely due to the biology of the brain and individual upbringing.

And why would the perfect Creator even want to bring such imperfect creatures into a world where the truth is so hard to know, then send them to hell if they made the wrong choice? Several years ago, another Gnostic gospel, the Gospel of Thomas, was all the rage in the scholarly community. Its opening lines also emphasize this secret knowledge: "These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded. And [Jesus] said, 'Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death. It contains nothing about salvation coming through one's relationship with God or even about living a godly life.

In this Gnostic gospel, eternal life comes from the secret knowledge that will explain the obscure sayings. Not only were the Gnostic gospels written long after the fact, but they are also full of statements that oppose the text of the Bible. For example, in the Gospel of Thomas , Jesus allegedly says, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits. In another place in the Gospel of Thomas , Jesus is quoted as saying, "[Blessed is] the one who came into being before coming into being. Thus, they understand that "Jesus" implies that the spirit could come into being before the flesh. Many Gnostics were followers of docetism , the belief that Jesus and Christ were two separate beings in one body.

Docetists believed that the man Jesus was born, and that the pre-existing god Christ entered into Him when He was baptized and left again before He was crucified. This, then, is an example of coming into being before coming into being. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come? You see, the end will be where the beginning is. Again, knowing something is shown as the antidote of death. In this case, another element of dualism is that every person has a little spark of God in him or her, and that we have an eternal spirit or soul that is trapped or imprisoned within a body of flesh. Gnostics generally believed that all spirit was inherently stable and good overlooking the fact that Satan and his demons are spirit andyet also unstable and evil , while all matter and flesh was inherently evil contradicting God's statement in Genesis that everything God had made was "very good".

Plato reinforced this belief, writing, "The soul is the very likeness of the divine—immortal, and intelligible, and uniform, and indissoluble, and unchangeable. The Gnostic goal was to learn the secret knowledge that would allow the inner spirit to be released from the confines of the flesh, enabling it to rejoin God in the spirit realm.

Thus, the Gnostics linked the beginning and end often depicted in the figure of a snake swallowing its tail , because if a person could figure out how the divine spark was infused into the flesh in the first place, he could then reverse it and release the spirit. We find the same basic tenet in the modern doctrine of the immortality of the soul , and the widespread belief that our "home" is in heaven, and that we go to this home when we die.

Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven. If we ever encounter someone who teaches that a woman must become a man to enter God's Kingdom, the source of his doctrine should be apparent! Ironically, despite this incendiary verse, the modern feminist movement actually leans heavily on various Gnostic texts to substantiate their ideas. While they do not care much for this line in the Gospel of Thomas , they typically pass it off by saying that, as an allegory of the inner transformation every woman must go through in order to find herself, it should not be taken too literally.

From these texts springs the idea of the "divine feminine" or "feminine divine" , and many liberal Christian churches rely on them as historical "proof" of female apostles, supporting the argument that women can and should hold any church position. Philip Jenkins, in Hidden Gospels: How the Search for Jesus Lost Its Way , notes: "Gnostic believers practiced 'equal access, equal participation and equal claims to knowledge,' to the extent of allocating clerical functions by lot at their ceremonies. No add-ons or extensions required, just login and start chatting!

Access to private conversations with other members. We hope to see you as a part of our community soon! Top Posters. I read a thread by a gnostic, and looked up the web page referred to, as an overview. I then looked at a couple of other pages on Gnosticism, and found that virtually each page on the subject was contradictory. One page implied a strong Christian tie, one gave a hint at a link to Judaism, whilst another pointed to pagan ways of looking at things. Can anyone explain why? Is gnosticism actually very wide ranging, with many 'sections'? Just because a belief has foundations in many faiths, does that make it contradictory? Did you ever consider that all religions might come from the same root.

Halcyon Lord of the Badgers. Like x 1. James the Persian Dreptcredincios Crestin. Michel, Part of your problem stems from the fact that the Gnostic religions are syncretistic and pre-date Christianity. When Christianity came along pre-existing Gnostics appear to have adopted certain aspects of the faith most commonly Christ as a great teacher, but there were some that did believe He was a god, but not Incarnate. The ancient Gnostic sects, those that were Christian, disagreed with one another at least as much as they did with the mainstream Church, so it's probably better to think of Gnosticism as a group of different movements sharing some similarities rather than a religion per se. How the position of the neo-Gnostics compares to any of the groups of antiquity I couldn't really say, though I hope for some clarification so that I can participate in one of Halcyon's other threads which appears to be based on a faulty premise regarding our soteriology.

For those who are interested, this is a link to a study of the history and beliefs of Christian Gnostics. Although there are some minor points within it that i would debate, it should give the reader the essential basics of Christian Gnosticism.

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