Did Gnosticism try and Usurp Christianity or is it the Real Message of Christ.

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posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:59 AM
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Originally posted by 547000
I think Gnosticism tried to give a different explanation for things because some people found the idea of the Hebrew God being the true God, the idea of sin, and the idea that someone had to die for them unpalatable. Basically, they couldn't believe, so they invented alternate explanations.


Exactly. Gnosticism did not come out of the Jewish part of the early church, as one would assume if it really reflected the truth about Christ, but it came out of the Greek Gentiles, who came later (with the ministry of Paul.) Dualism is contrary to Jewish beliefs, but is core to the Platonic school of philosophy. So it seems likely that not only the nature of Gnostic beliefs, but the entirety of their view of reality, arose out of some early Christian converts thinking that Jesus was cool and all, but being unwilling to depart from long held core beliefs.

The fact that Gnosticism preceded Christianity, and that there were Gnostic sects even post-Christianity that were not Christian and did not view Jesus as the Divine Messenger should fly up enough warning flags to make one question the validity of texts which represent God, Christ and reality as something far different, contrary, in fact, than they were held.

If nothing else, a reasonable understanding of Judaism and Hellenistic philosophy would immediately lead one to the conclusion that, if Christ was who the Gnostics claimed him to be, he couldn't possibly have been a faithful Jew.




posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:46 AM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


The ministry of Paul is what Roman and Orthodox Christianity are based on, not Gnosticism. Duality is emphasized by these two churches.

Gnosticism is not very dualistic. What Gnosticism rejects is the idea of a jealous god who demands to be worshiped.
edit on 23-12-2010 by poet1b because: missing a letter



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 12:30 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by adjensen
 


The ministry of Paul is what Roman and Orthodox Christianity are based on, not Gnosticism.


Yes. My point was that Gnosticism arose, after the establishment of the church, from Gentiles that Paul and his cohorts brought the Gospel to. Not from his teachings, of course -- one can read condemnation of proto-Gnosticism in several of Paul and John's epistles. But if the church had remained solely Jewish, there never would have been a Christian Gnosticism.


Gnosticism is not very dualistic. What Gnosticism rejects is the idea of a jealous god who demands to be worshiped.


You are either very confused, or you know very little of Gnosticism. The dualist relationship of spirit and matter, good and evil, is the core of Gnosticism. It is nothing BUT dualistic.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 12:47 PM
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reply to post by defcon5
 


Well if he read Professor Morton Smith's (Harvard) book "Jesus the Magician" he may see a different view. What abuot the depiction of Jesus in the Gospel of Timothy and other apocryphal books. The problem is one of which books do you choose? Just before Constantine came to the throne of Rome Xtianity was a mass of milling and conflicting sects of which women headed a significant number of organisations. The religion was a lot more ecstatic. As I have mentioned elsewhere even Xtianity has an esoteric or gnostic side to it. Gnosis is not one particular school but a natural movement to seek deeper knowledge behind a religion but has an infinite number of approaches.

I have no particular ax to grind on this one. I think the answer depends on the individual.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 01:08 PM
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reply to post by tiger5
 


There is a huge difference between "mystery religions", of which there are plenty, both Abrahamic or not, and Gnosticism, which is a concrete set of beliefs that arose from Platonic views on the nature of spirit and matter. The Gnostics were a specific group -- applying anything that was viewed as heretical by the early church to them is not valid.

The death of Christ on the cross, for example, which is refuted by conspiracists, as seen in this thread, was not disputed by the Gnostics. Rather, they argued against the resurrection of his body, because that was the component of Jesus that was so opposed to their beliefs that it clearly could not have happened.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 01:28 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I disagree If you hold that Gnosticism is a perspective that views the material world as the creation of an evil demiurge than the Gnostics as so defined were never a threat.

If you define the Gnostics as the seekers after deeper knowledge mostly obtained by direct revelation than you come to my perspective of a hotbead of Gnosticism just before Constantine tidied things up for Xtianity. And endorsed the Church of Rome. This is my line of reasoning. I see gnosois as a form of mysticism.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 01:57 PM
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Originally posted by tiger5
reply to post by adjensen
 


I disagree If you hold that Gnosticism is a perspective that views the material world as the creation of an evil demiurge than the Gnostics as so defined were never a threat.

If you define the Gnostics as the seekers after deeper knowledge mostly obtained by direct revelation than you come to my perspective of a hotbead of Gnosticism just before Constantine tidied things up for Xtianity. And endorsed the Church of Rome. This is my line of reasoning. I see gnosois as a form of mysticism.


I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with in that first paragraph, but regardless of what sort of "hidden knowledge" you are talking about, the term Gnosticism is applied to a very specific set of beliefs and can't be just arbitrarily appropriated for something else, because to do so is confusing, as you've demonstrated.

Mystery religion, Christian mysticism, whatever. If it doesn't ascribe to the views central to Gnosticism, such as the dualistic nature of spirit and matter, or the separate realms, or the path to salvation being through Gnosis (delivered by Christ, an Archon, or some random "master",) it is not Gnosticism. Apart from wanting to claim more basis than the mysticism in question might have, I don't see the point of wanting to call it Gnosticism, particularly as time has demonstrated that Christian Gnosticism cannot possibly be the truth.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 02:07 PM
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Oh, and contrary to popular belief and Dan Brown novels, Biblical canon was established long before the Council of Nicaea, and Gnosticism was declared heresy and, effectively, eliminated as an active religion before Constantine was even born. Tertullian wrote one of the definitive treatises on Gnostic Christian heresy around the year 200AD and St. Irenæus produced a series of five books against it prior to then.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 04:03 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Do you have any links to back up your claims in Gnosticism, because they have nothing to do with the religion I came to know.

The Gnosticism I learned teaches that we all have a tiny piece of God in us, and so we all have a touch of the divine.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 04:22 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by adjensen
 


Do you have any links to back up your claims in Gnosticism, because they have nothing to do with the religion I came to know.


Well, here's one of... uh... 288,000 pages that come back from a google search on the topic of Gnostic dualism. mb-soft.com... I have no beefs with wikipedia as a source, though some do. I also have no beef with the Catholic Church, either.


The Gnosticism I learned teaches that we all have a tiny piece of God in us, and so we all have a touch of the divine.


Well, sort of, but not entirely. They believed that there were three types of people -- "animals", effectively, who stood no chance of anything other than this life, "Christians", who could have something more beyond life if they were good enough, and "Gnostics", who had "the Divine Spark" (pieces of a deity that had been torn apart and scattered, imprisoned, really, into people) in them and could return to the divine realm by gaining the secret knowledge (I've heard it in terms of passwords that you give to the Archons that are "prison wardens" of the Realm of Light, I'm not sure how prevalent that was, though.)



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 05:39 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


Basically then, your perspective of Gnosticism is purely Catholic, If you want to understand Gnosticism, then you should go to the source, and see how those who embrace the beliefs express their beliefs.

www.gnosis.org...

Dualism is a label applied by those who are not Gnostic.


The dualist relationship of spirit and matter, good and evil, is the core of Gnosticism. It is nothing BUT dualistic.


Umm, no, you have been mislead, Dualism is not about good and evil, nor a major part of Gnosticism, and is not about spirit and matter, but the divine and the physical psychic component. Gnostics view the nature of man as material and spiritual, but in truth, they see three forms of human beings.

www.gnosis.org...


Human nature mirrors the duality found in the world: in part it was made by the false creator God and in part it consists of the light of the True God. Humankind contains a perishable physical and psychic component, as well as a spiritual component which is a fragment of the divine essence. This latter part is often symbolically referred to as the “divine spark”. The recognition of this dual nature of the world and of the human being has earned the Gnostic tradition the epithet of “dualist”.

Not all humans are spiritual (pneumatics) and thus ready for Gnosis and liberation. Some are earthbound and materialistic beings (hyletics), who recognize only the physical reality. Others live largely in their psyche (psychics). Such people usually mistake the Demiurge for the True God and have little or no awareness of the spiritual world beyond matter and mind.

In the course of history, humans progress from materialistic sensate slavery, by way of ethical religiosity, to spiritual freedom and liberating Gnosis. As the scholar G. Quispel wrote: “The world-spirit in exile must go through the Inferno of matter and the Purgatory of morals to arrive at the spiritual Paradise.” This kind of evolution of consciousness was envisioned by the Gnostics, long before the concept of evolution was known.


Catholicism is much more dualistic with its almost complete obsession with good and evil, heaven and hell, sin and salvation.

If anything, the Apostle Paul usurped the Gospel of Jesus and twisted his teachings into something they were not. Why in the world do you need to confess your sins to a priest when you can speak directly to God through Jesus Christ?

Oh, and from everything I have read, Christ was not a faithful Jew, as the religion is and was practiced.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 08:13 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by adjensen
 


Basically then, your perspective of Gnosticism is purely Catholic,


No, I'm not Catholic. I'm closest to Anglican, though I'm a practicing Methodist for lack of Anglican churches in the United States. But I accept Catholic refutations of Gnosticism, since they are the ones who declared it a heresy. It would be a bit of a struggle to find writings by John Wesley that denounce it.


If you want to understand Gnosticism, then you should go to the source, and see how those who embrace the beliefs express their beliefs.

Dualism is a label applied by those who are not Gnostic.


Unfortunately, what you are likely referring to are latter day (mostly 20th century, post-Nag Hammadi, but there were some in the 19th century) reinterpretations of Gnostic teachings. I have never read an actual historian or scholar who was familiar with ancient Gnosticism who did not view them as dualistic. Original Gnostic writings clearly demonstrate a belief that matter is evil and spirit is good, and the goal of acquiring Gnosis is to escape the plane of matter and return to the realm of spirits. If you have scholarly references that contradict that, I'd appreciate the education ("gnosis.org" is not scholarly. Something like this is: www.earlychurch.org.uk...)

Not that it matters. Christian Gnosticism, as it was practiced in the days of the early church, cannot be correct, as it misappropriates a Jewish derived faith and attempts to shoehorn it into a perspective that is anti-Judaic. In addition, any "divine knowledge" has obviously long been lost, so the seeker of Gnosis is left with making do with their own interpretations of the ancient writings, hoping for insights that are not there, or taking the word of someone who believes that they have, indeed, found the truth.

Gnosticism is intended to appeal to those who fancy themselves clever, claiming a salvation that is only granted to those smart enough to figure it out, or to those who hand themselves over to a "master" who grants the knowledge. Contrasted with Christianity, which preaches salvation to all, clever or not, rich or poor.


Why in the world do you need to confess your sins to a priest when you can speak directly to God through Jesus Christ?


The Bible does not say "confess to a priest." The suggestion is that believers confess to one another. Why? Because it encourages accountability, openness, forgiveness and unity. But perhaps your disdain for Paul is misplaced:


Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.
-- James 5:16


Oopsies.


Oh, and from everything I have read, Christ was not a faithful Jew, as the religion is and was practiced.


That explains a lot. By definition, Christ was the ONLY faithful Jew.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 08:17 PM
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I believe Jesus was a Gnostic. In fact i could be wrong since i didn't even know him. I would also like to point out that I completely discredit the fathers of Christianity because in my eyes they could have said whatever they wanted to misinform the public.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 09:01 PM
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Originally posted by drkid
I believe Jesus was a Gnostic. In fact i could be wrong since i didn't even know him. I would also like to point out that I completely discredit the fathers of Christianity because in my eyes they could have said whatever they wanted to misinform the public.


Could have, sure. But... they all, to a one (save John) died as martyrs from either Roman or Jewish execution. What motivation would a Jew have to lie about the Messiah, which would damn them in God's eye, and send them to a horrible death (stoning, crucifixion, starring at "feed a Christian to a lion day" in the colosseum, take your pick) when all that would be needed to save them would be to say "sorry, I was wrong about the whole 'Jesus' business."

If Jesus was the Divine Messenger, the first thing that he would have done once he was old enough to do so would have been to renounce Judaism and the "god" the Jews worshiped. If you don't know that, you either need to brush up on your knowledge of Gnosticism or Judaism.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:23 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


And you don't see the Apostle Paul version of Christianity as dualistic?

Sorry, but the work of a mainstream Paulian Christian on Gnosticism isn't exactly credible either. I have a copy of the Gospel according to Thomas and it is not dualistic at all. I reject mainstream Paulian Christianity myself, so your rejection mean nothing to me. The record of the Catholic Church on honesty, or just about anything, is poor at best.

I have attended a Gnostic Church, and their history goes back to the days of Christ, and many of these Churches survived, they just had to go underground. In today's more open world, these teaching are coming out of hiding, and the superiority of their beliefs systems is attracting more followers.

It isn't a matter of being clever, it is a matter of opening your mind, which is exactly the opposite of what main stream Paulism requests, whose main goal is the subjugation of the people, the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ preached.

The Catholic Church does confessions and absolution, and insists that you go to a Priest.

Who do you think you are fooling. That is where your beliefs come from.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:42 PM
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Indeed Gnosticism in its original purity was the true teachings of Christ. The traditional gospels are even laced with it "for those who have ears to hear and eyes to see . Also Revelations is indeed a gnostic book that has nothing to do with the end of the world as most modern traditional Christians believe it does. It is simply a veiled road map for the disciple on his journey within to the Kingdom of God. As Christ said the Kingdom is within in Luke 17.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 10:48 PM
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Originally posted by poet1b
I have a copy of the Gospel according to Thomas and it is not dualistic at all.


Taken out of context, not really. Placed into the time and belief system that it was written it, considerably. That's the trouble with late interpretation -- it anticipates the problems and attempts to address them.


The record of the Catholic Church on honesty, or just about anything, is poor at best.


As regards heresy, probably so. Reviewing documents such as those left by Ignatius by the light of the documentary evidence of Nag Hammadi, one recognizes areas where the church seems to be off the mark, and yet the overall description is fairly accurate. I will accept a third century definition of Gnostic beliefs, supported by their own writings over your 2010 prognostications, which not only refute commonly held beliefs, but refute actual Gnostic writings.


I have attended a Gnostic Church, and their history goes back to the days of Christ, and many of these Churches survived, they just had to go underground. In today's more open world, these teaching are coming out of hiding, and the superiority of their beliefs systems is attracting more followers.


Sorry, but basic conflicts between Hellenistic and Judaic views makes your beliefs unsupportable. But I'll give you the opportunity... explain how Christ, a Jew, was able to reconcile the demiurge portrayal of the God of Israel with his own statements that the Law of the Jewish God was valid, righteous, everlasting and indisputable?


It isn't a matter of being clever, it is a matter of opening your mind, which is exactly the opposite of what main stream Paulism requests, whose main goal is the subjugation of the people, the exact opposite of what Jesus Christ preached.


To the contrary, the religion of the Gnostics is the religion of the elite, by their own definition. Once again, if you don't realize that, you are woefully ignorant of actual Gnostic claims (as opposed to later claims of non-Gnostics who attempted to appropriate the system.)


The Catholic Church does confessions and absolution, and insists that you go to a Priest.

Who do you think you are fooling. That is where your beliefs come from.


I guess that you missed my earlier statement -- I am not Catholic, so no, my beliefs are not derived from the Catholic Church.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 11:03 PM
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Originally posted by hawkiye
Indeed Gnosticism in its original purity was the true teachings of Christ


You honestly believe that the true teachings of Christ are:

1) The Judaic God is one of many divine entities
2) Said Judaic God is actually a flawed divinity who "screwed up" while creating the world
3) A separate divine being was broken apart, which resulted in certain humans containing a "divine spark"
4) Said divine sparks have been imprisoned in the "evil" material plane, as human beings
5) With the proper knowledge, those beings are allowed to return to the "good" spiritual realm
6) Lacking that, these few (numbers vary, but it probably doesn't include you) will be reincarnated over and over until they figure out of the truth
7) There is no resurrection of the body, there is only release of the spirit, because the body is inherently evil, and the only good comes from that which is spirit? Despite all claims to the contrary, Jesus, post crucifixion, was a ghost, and all claims to the contrary are lies.

These are a few of the teachings of the "original purity" Gnostics. Do you honestly believe that a Jew would claim ANY of them to be true, when they are all complete blasphemy to a first century Jew (apart from #7, which is a little iffy)?

If so, I guess that the "Dan Brownization" of America is complete. People will believe anything, so long as it is contrary.



posted on Dec, 23 2010 @ 11:12 PM
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reply to post by adjensen
 


I have a attended a Gnostic church, but I don't embrace their teachings either.

No, I don't believe that we were created by a flawed God.

But I don't see Gnosticism as a religion for elites.

Even mainstream Christianity believes that only a small part of humanity will go on to heaven. Most will inherit the new Kingdom of Earth.

I don't see the physical plane as inherently evil, and that is basically a Zoroastrian belief, from which, in my opinion, the whole Christ concept came.

From what I have read, Jesus Christ did not see eye to eye with mainstream Judaism of his time.



posted on Dec, 24 2010 @ 07:55 AM
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Originally posted by poet1b
reply to post by adjensen
 


I have a attended a Gnostic church, but I don't embrace their teachings either.

No, I don't believe that we were created by a flawed God.

But I don't see Gnosticism as a religion for elites.


It is, inherently. Not elite in the sense that one might see today, as in "high society", but elite in the sense that the Gnostics not only believed that only they had the truth, but that few people were even capable of understanding the truth, and even it you did, if you lacked the Divine Spark, you were damned anyway, now amount of knowledge was going to save you. They could give you the revelation directly, but it would mean nothing to you, because it wasn't for you, it was for them.

In other words, a bit like Calvinist predestination, where some are predestined for salvation, some are predestined for damnation. Personally, I find both concepts repugnant, though when one thinks Calvinism through, there is a certain twisted logic that works -- I just don't like it.

Unlike what your Gnostic church may teach, today in 2010, the founders of the Gnostic faith did not believe that the way was for everyone, or that the truth was for everyone, or that anyone but a small group was capable of being saved. That is elitism, defined.


Even mainstream Christianity believes that only a small part of humanity will go on to heaven.


But you miss the point -- mainstream Christianity doesn't believe only a small part of humanity CAN go to heaven, we believe that everyone can, but most will choose not to. They make decisions that lead them away from God, but that is what free will is all about.

Christianity is amazingly simple -- love God, love everyone else -- and it is open to all, rich or poor, young or old, smart or not so smart. God loves you every bit as much as he loves me, and every bit as much as he loves the holiest saint or the vilest sinner. All you need to do is respond to him with love, that is the grace offered by Christianity.


From what I have read, Jesus Christ did not see eye to eye with mainstream Judaism of his time.


As I said, Jesus was the ONLY true adherent to the Law, by definition. His beef was with the manner in which the Law was being observed and manipulated, not with the word itself. If Christ came round today, he would almost certainly act the same way toward the way some people abuse and manipulate the Christian faith, but he obviously wouldn't renounce Christianity!





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