posted on May, 17 2011 @ 06:37 AM
First let me say I am no follower of religion in any form - man made traditions are evil. Second, I am a follower of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.
If you wonder what that last phrase means read the Gospel of John. My aim is to give another viewpoint, a historical one, and then at the end show
from the scriptures themselves that Gnosticism was considered a danger by the apostles John and Paul.
The earliest origins of Gnosticism are still obscure and disputed, but they probably include influence from Plato, Middle Platonism and
Neo-Pythagoreanism academies or schools of thought, and this seems to be true both of the more Sethian Gnostics, and of the Valentinian Gnostics.
Further, if we compare different Sethian texts to each other in an attempted chronology of the development of Sethianism during the first few
centuries, it seems that later texts are continuing to interact with Platonism. Earlier texts such as Apocalypse of Adam show signs of being
pre-Christian and focus on the Seth, third son of Adam and Eve. These early Sethians may be identical to or related to the Notzrim, Ophites or to the
sectarian group called the Minuth by Philo. The term "minim" in the Talmud often refers to gnostics, as Friedländer, and before him Krochmal and
Grätz, have pointed out. Later Sethian texts such as Zostrianos and Allogenes draw on the imagery of older Sethian texts, but utilize "a large fund
of philosophical conceptuality derived from contemporary Platonism, (that is late middle Platonism) with no traces of Christian content." Indeed the
doctrine of the "triple-powered one" found in the text Allogenes, as discovered in the Nag Hammadi Library, is "the same doctrine as found in the
anonymous Parmenides commentary (Fragment XIV) ascribed by Hadot to Porphyry [...] and is also found in Plotinus' Ennead 6.7, 17, 13-26." (Turner,
John (1986). "Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History" in Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism and Early Christianity. pp. 59.; Aufstieg Und Niedergang Der
Romischen Welt/Rise and Decline of the Roman World Bd 21/1 Volume 2; Volume 21 By Hildegard Temporini, Joseph Vogt, Wolfgang Haase Publisher: Walter
de Gruyter (December 31, 1983) Language: German ISBN 3-11-008845-2 ISBN 978-3-11-008845-8
At its core, Gnosticism formed a speculative interest in the relationship of the oneness of God to the ‘triplicity’ of his manifestations. It
seems to have taken Neoplatonic metaphysics of substance and hypostases [“being”] as a departure point for interpreting the relationship of the
“Father” to the “Son” in its attempt to define a new theology. The crisis of the later Roman Empire and move towards the east brought a “new
realism” which may have inclined Christians to accept the new theological doctrine A new theological vocabulary capable of explaining this doctrine
was created [e.g. homoousios=same essence]. Adopting an idea of Origen’s that easterners would appreciate in their own Sabellianism ( the
nontrinitarian belief that the Heavenly Father, Resurrected Son and Holy Spirit are different modes or aspects of one God, as perceived by the
believer, rather than three distinct persons in God Himself.) This would point to the infamous theological controversies by Arius against followers of
the Greek Alexandrian school, headed by Athanasius. Arius preached that, “before Christ, God was not yet a Father…there was when he [Jesus] was
not.” Since most of his works are lost, the accounts are based on reports of others. Alexandria had long been a hotbed of theological innovation and
debate where high ranking Christian thinkers used methods from Greek philosophy as well as Jewish and Christian sources for their teachings. “Was
the Lord’s prayer addressed only to the hypostasis of the Father as ‘our Father’ and the Father of the Son, or to the entire ousia of the
Godhead?” (Pelikan, Jaroslav. The Christian Tradition: A History of the Development of Doctrine. Vol. 1, the Emergence of the Catholic Tradition
(100-600). Chicago, University of Chicago Press, 1971.)
Gnosticism flourished in the second and third centuries AD. It was having its greatest popularity after the days of the apostles. However, early forms
of Gnosticism were creeping into the church in the first century. The apostle John addressed this early form of Gnosticism, often called "Incipient
Gnosticism," in I John 1:1: "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon,
and our hands have handled, of the Word of life."
John is telling us two important things about the Lord Jesus Christ. First, John is saying that Jesus Christ "was from the beginning." Gnostics
believe in several emanations of deity. They are called "aeons," emanations of being from the ultimate unknowable Being, God Himself. Gnostics
distinguish between an inferior god whom they felt was responsible for the creation, and the superior deity. They believe that there is the real God,
but also several emanations of deity, lower in rank and glory. But according to John, Jesus Christ was from "the beginning."
John makes the same point, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God"
But there is a second thing that John is saying in I John 1:1 and that is that Jesus Christ had a physical body. "That which was from the beginning,
which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled." Jesus was no phantom. He was no ghost.
The Apostle Paul also addressed the issue of Incipient Gnosticism. In Colossians 2:9 the apostle writes of Jesus and says, "For in him dwelleth all
the fullness of the Godhead bodily." The word "fullness" is a translation of the word pleroma. Significantly, this is the word that the Gnostics
used to describe the highest principle of Being, the infinite and unknowable God. But Paul says all of that fullness dwells in Jesus. That is quite a
statement. There is no higher being, no greater deity. Jesus is God.
So, yes, Gnosticism is addressed by the New Testament. The early church father Irenaeus, who died around AD 200, records that John wrote his Gospel to
deal with the heresies of the Gnostic heretic, Cerinthus.
Its easy to say that the bible is a forgery, its another to prove the forgery. The weight of evidence is against Gnostic theology. There are too
many witnesses against the Gnostic and their Greek philosophical derived theological error.