The term Gnosticism comes from the Greek word: (Î³Î½á¿¶ÏƒÎ¹Ï‚gnÅsis,) meaning knowledge. The time of the origin of this heresy is unknown and many scholars assume it predates Christianity. Gnostics believed in a salvation that required special knowledge from God, that is, one cannot be saved unless he/she receive a special knowledge revealed to him/her.
Gnostics viewed matter as evil and created by a demiurge god, their salvation is to be saved from the defects of the material world and the evil god who created it. Gnosticism is dualistic;they posit the existence of many gods. The God of the Old Testament is said to be this evil and jealous god and is separated from the God of the New Testament whom Gnostics say is loving and forgiving. They deny the incarnation which means they denied the redemptive work of Christ's atoning sacrifice for the believers (Jesus's sacrifice cannot atone for our since unless He is God incarnate.)
The Gnostics gospels were composed by this group and never made their way into the biblical cannon, some people think that these gospels were taken out of the bible whereas they were never part of the bible. The most popular ones are: the gospel of Judas, the Gospel of Thomas and many more.
A popular gnostic teacher whom history records is Valentinus. Ireneous and many other Church Fathers wrote many documents refuting this heresy and most of the information we know today about Gnosticism comes from this documents.
Soli Deo Gloria
1.Â ^ http://www.merriam-1. webster.com/dictionary /Gnosticism Gnosticism – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism 23 of 33 2/11/2013 4:03 PM
2.Â ^ Adolf von Harnack (1885) defined it as “the acute Hellenization of Christianity”. Moritz Friedlnder
3.Â (1898) advocated Hellenistic Jewish origins, and Wilhelm Bousset (1907) advocated Persian origins.
4.Â ^ Karen L. King, What is Gnosticism? (2005) “Bousset held that Gnosticism was a pre-Christian religion, existing alongside of Christianity. It was an Oriental product, anti-Jewish and un-Hellenic… “
5.Â ^ a b “An Introduction to Gnosticism and The Na Hammadi Library” (http://www.gnosis.org /gnintro.htm) . The Gnostic Society Library. http://www.gnosis.org/gnintro.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-02.
6.Â ^ Macuch, Rudolf (1965). Handbook of Classical and Modern Mandaic. Berlin: De Gruyter & Co.Â pp. 61 fn. 105.