What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus – The Gnostics were in agreement with the “proto-orthodox” Christians of their time – the group of Christians who would later give rise to the Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Protestant churches – on many issues concerning Jesus Christ. They saw him as an extension of God who existed before the world was created, and who came to earth on a divine mission to bring salvation to mankind. That mission began in earnest with the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan by John the Baptist, involved the delivery of many oral teachings about the mysteries of the world and heaven, and culminated in a dramatic, meaning-drenched death by crucifixion and subsequent miraculous resurrection.

But the Gnostics and the proto-orthodox disagreed vehemently with each other on several other points about Christ, which they considered indispensable to their theology and identity. These disagreements fell into four broad categories: the content of Christ’s message, the nature of his being, the meaning of his death and resurrection, and the degree to which he was a unique being rather than a model for others to follow.

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

The Gnostics placed considerably more weight on the teachings of Jesus than the proto-Orthodox. The proto-Orthodox certainly did not reject or neglect the teachings of their savior – far from it – but the difference in emphasis is clear in the writings of the two groups about Jesus.

Gnosticism: What Is It And What Role Did It Play In The Writing Of The First Epistle Of John?

The extreme example is the Gospel according to Thomas, which consists almost entirely of sayings that Jesus allegedly spoke and contains almost no narrative.

It may or may not have been a truly Gnostic text, but at least it was a prognostic text that the Gnostics liked.) The narrative elements in the Gnostic texts tend to come in two forms: sparse “frame stories” that depict Jesus answering pressing questions from his disciples, or stories delivered by Jesus himself, usually regarding the creation of heaven and earth in a way that sheds light on the human condition.

Of the four gospels that would later come to be included in the New Testament (which had not yet been established during the heyday of Gnosticism in the second and third centuries AD), the Gnostics particularly liked and drew inspiration from the Gospel of John, which, as their own gospels, mostly consist of Jesus giving long, eloquent, revelatory speeches.

The proto-Orthodox thought of Christ’s teachings as ends in themselves. The Son of God told men what they should believe and how they should act; what more did anyone need to know? They thought about being a Christian – a follower of Christ – in terms of relatively simple and clear external criteria. Does a person profess to be a Christian? Is he or she willing to suffer martyrdom? Was he or she baptized? Does he or she submit to the (proto-orthodox) clergy in their beliefs and deeds? If so, then he or she is a Christian.

The Pleroma And The Aeons

The Gnostics passionately disagreed. They saw the teachings of Jesus not primarily as ends in themselves, but rather as means to another end: the inner mystical transformation they called “gnosis”, the root of the word “gnostic”. The whole purpose of Christ’s coming to earth was to give gnosis to people by awakening them to their true, divine nature, which was covered by the material world and forgotten.

And when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said: The kingdom of God does not come with observation; nor will they say: ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”[7]

And in Mark 4:10-11, Jesus says that his teachings have “secret” inner meanings that most of his listeners do not understand:

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

When he was alone, those who were around him together with the twelve [disciples] asked him about the parables. And he said to them: “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables.”[8]

The Body Of Jesus, Prioritism, And Holism

Consequently, the Gnostics believed that someone who perceived only the outer shell of Jesus’ teachings and not his inner heart was at best an immature Christian. As the Gnostic Gospel of Philip says, many people “go down into the water [of baptism] and come up without receiving anything.”

A mature Christian was someone who had gnosis, not just the ability to recite a creed taught to him or her by a clergyman.

Equally important, the Gnostics believed that the proto-Orthodox not only overemphasized the outer shell of Christ’s message; they even misunderstood and misinterpreted that outer shell itself – an accusation that was, of course, thrown right back at the Gnostics by the proto-orthodox.

Irenaeus of Lyons, a proto-orthodox polemicist who wrote extensively against the Gnostics, said that because the teachings of Jesus as recorded in scripture are often ambiguous, “a rule of faith” (

Nag Hammadi: The Secret Library

) handed down by the church hierarchy provided the only sure means of obtaining the correct interpretation. The thinking went that the bishops and presbyters, having obtained their “rule of faith” from the apostles and finally from Jesus himself, were the true owners of the pure doctrine of Christ.

(Since only proto-Orthodox clergy counted as legitimate, that reasoning was circular; it amounted to “our theology is correct because it is our theology.”)

While the “rule of faith” never reached a precise formulation until the Apostles’ Creed and Nicene Creed of the fourth century, there were several factors that remained constant from the second century onwards. Bart Ehrman summarizes them:

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

Typically included in the various formulations of the regulation was a belief in only one God, the creator of the world, who created everything from nothing; faith in his Son, Jesus Christ, foretold by the prophets and born of the Virgin Mary; belief in his miraculous life, death, resurrection and ascension; and belief in the Holy Spirit, who is present on earth until the end, when there will be a final judgment, in which the righteous will be rewarded and the unrighteous condemned to eternal torment.[11]

Gnosticism: Heresy Or Paganism?

About it, but they did disagree with parts of it, and they would have objected to its emphases and ultimately found it too superficial to do much good. In their own writings about Christ and his teachings, they objected that Christ taught that the true God who sent him to earth did not create the earth. Creation instead was the work of a lesser, foolish, and mostly evil being. That being, the demiurge, inadvertently mixed a few bits of divinity with his otherwise absurd creation. God the Father sent Christ the Son into the world to fix the disaster caused by creation. The world and its demonic rulers crucified Jesus, but the Son of God rose again and thereby defeated the world. The work of Christ was continued whenever someone attained gnosis, not whenever someone recited a list of merely verbal creeds or performed a set of merely physical actions.

To justify their views, the Gnostics, like the proto-Orthodox, insisted that their views were transmitted to them by the apostles of Jesus and ultimately by Jesus himself.

Needless to say, the proto-orthodox found this as unconvincing as the Gnostics found the claims of the proto-orthodox.

Proto-Orthodox Christians believed that Jesus Christ was both fully human and fully divine, and that these two natures were inextricably intertwined in him. As we will soon explore in more depth, the proto-orthodox justified this view by arguing that it was necessary for Jesus to suffer fully as a man in order for his crucifixion and resurrection to be effective in bringing salvation to mankind.

An Anti Gnostic Tendency In Lucan Christology

The Gnostics – and some other early Christians as well – opposed this view. It implied that the spirit of Christ was under the power of matter and that it suffered because of matter, which seemed to them ridiculous and even blasphemous. How could a perfect spirit – the spirit of God, no less – suffer? For the Gnostics, the proto-orthodox view mocked the perfection and power of Christ.

How then, the Gnostics asked, could Christ come into the world for his mission without being compromised by the world?

For a minority of Gnostics, the answer to that question was the theological position that modern scholars call “docetism,” from the Greek.

What Did The Gnostics Believe About Jesus

To be a flesh-and-blood man, but in reality he was a spirit who had only a phantom body.

The Everything Gnostic Gospels Book Ebook By Meera Lester

Such Gnostics would have agreed with the portrayal of Jesus in the (non-Gnostic) early Christian text called the

John indicates that Jesus appeared to different people in different aspects at the same time (eg, as an old man and as a young man, at the same time to different people), that he never blinked, that sometimes his chest felt smooth and tender but sometimes. hard as stone As John later says, “Sometimes, when I intended to touch him, I encountered a material and solid body; another time I felt him again, the substance was immaterial and incorporeal and as if it did not exist at all” (chap. 93). One time, John indicates, he noticed that Jesus never left any footprints—literally God walking on the earth.[17]

Has a material body, but that his body and his spirit were

What did jesus believe, what did gnostics believe about jesus, what do the mormons believe about jesus, did jesus believe he was the messiah, what do gnostics believe, what did the gnostics believe, did buddha believe in jesus, what do gnostics believe about jesus, what muslims believe about jesus, what christians believe about jesus, did jesus believe in the old testament, what mormons believe about jesus

About meki

Check Also

What Did People Eat In Ancient Egypt

What Did People Eat In Ancient Egypt – Evidence of some unique Egyptian foods still …

What Year Did Bill Clinton Become President

What Year Did Bill Clinton Become President – Bill Clinton’s Disgusting Presidency: Thomas Frank Tells …

Electronic Human Resource Management System

Electronic Human Resource Management System – Electronic Human Resource Management System (E-HRMS) is a modern …