Um, I’m guilty. I made an empty post and titled it “Everything I know about Gnosticism”. I then password protected it. It was a tongue in cheek joke because gnosticism is fundementally concerned with “hidden knowledge”, and I had hid the “knowledge”. I thought it hilarious but I’ve received enough emails to show that not everyone caught it and even fewer were ROFL (Rolling On the Floor, Laughing). Basically I just confused an audience.
So to make amends here is a definition, a few interesting facts and one or two links.
Gnosticism is really a broad grouping of individual cults, linked by a common goal to combine elements from different systems. They general teach the little god gospel (humans, ultimately, are divine), shun the material and exult spiritualism. They profess to teach a hidden knowledge, a deaper truth, not known to most believers, which sets them apart.
My favorite author is John, the writer of the Gospel that bears his name, 3 epistles and the Book of Revelation. He had a mannerism about him. Firstly I love the way that he presents Jesus Christ, the way he describes the signs and wonders that accompanied the savior and how he refuted false teaching. And it’s the refutation of false teaching that relates to this posting. Remember the Gnostics shunned the physical, material existence we live in; well John spent much of his time describing the physical features and realities of our Christ. Remember Thomas touching Jesus’ hands and side after He was raised from the dead? Remember Jesus eating fish on the beach with the disciples? Consider the great introduction to 1 John 1:
It’s believed that the beginnings of Gnosticism were right there, at the beginning of the Church, and John even was already having to devote much of his time and writings to refute and correct it.
Much is now made of the Gnostic gospels, the accounts of Peter, Thomas and even Judas Iscariot. Before I run out of word count: these were written by this religious cult removed from the facts of Christianity by time, place and Theological construct.
Read any of the Gnostic Gospels? How about other extra Biblical material? The Apocrypha?