The Nag Hammadi writings are of “Gnostic” origin which were written during the first to fourth century A.D. The Gnostic heretics did cherish both the Old and New testament Scripture, but re-interpreted them in terms of a mythological Gnostic Redeemer. Gnosticism gave rise to the writings of a number of totally spurious apocalyptic books, false gospels and epistles that incorporated their own mysticism. Gnosticism was a movement that vigorously contended with Orthodox Christianity for supremacy. Writings by the early Church Fathers show how widespread and influential Gnosticism was; and it was combatted as a lethal threat to the proclamation of the Gospel. The bishops pointed out the great gulf between BiblicalChristianity and Gnosticism, even though the Gnostics made use of Biblical text. It is obvious that Paul, the Apostle, knew of the false ideas of Gnosticism, and spoke out against such doctrines several times in the Scriptures.
The Gnostics believed in the supreme being as an undescribable God. He is invisible, incomprehensible, and dwells unbegotten in eternal peace. Some names used to describe God and to stress His transcendence were “Father of All”, “The Unapproachable God”, “The Unknowable”. Such a God could not possibly have direct contact with the material world; therefore, He does so through intermediates, each one answerable to the other. Each intermediate in descending order is less divine and more earthy as the chain nears the material world.
Mr. Erickson spellbinds his listeners when he tells them that the Nag Hammadi writings confirm the Mormon doctrine of the Heavenly Mother! What he fails to tell them is that this Mother God of the Nag Hammadi is the “Holy Spirit.” Certainly this is in direct conflict with the Mormon concept of a Mother God, because in Mormon doctrine, the Holy Spirit is a male. The supreme being has a female counterpart which emanates from Him.She is known as “Mother of All” or “The Holy Spirit.” Other emanations that come forth from the Supreme Being in pairs are called AEONS; the lowest Aeon being “Sophia Akhamoth”, she was so full of passion to understand or know God that she fell and was placed outside the Pleroma, God’s heavenly dwelling. Because of her desire, she becomes fertile with a formless monster. This monster (Yaldabaoth, Samael or SATAN) is the Demiurge or inferior god who created this material world and brought forth man upon it.
According to the Gnostic, all matter is evil; therefore, only an inferior being could have created it. Satan is the creator-god of this earth and of man, and is an evil god. To the Gnostics, Satan is Jehovah of the Old Testament! After Jehovah (Satan) creates man and breathes life into him, he creates Eve. The demonic forces see the beauty of Eve, and proceed to rape her. Through this act, she conceives Cain and Abel. Mr. Erickson often refers to the Hypostasis of the Archons of the Nag Hammadi and being direct parallel to the Garden of Eden scene of the Mormon Temple Ceremony. However, he fails to inform his listeners that the Hypostasis of the Archeons tells of the demons raping Eve! Nor does he point out that the serpent in the garden is really the Holy Spirit coming to give Adam and Eve the “true knowledge.”
He neglects to mention to his listeners that the “god” who comes into the garden to ask Adam and Eve what they have done is not the “Heavenly Father” but is Satan the arrogant Archon, the evil god. In this instance, Mr. Erickson is, at best, mistaken about the facts – a fault which reappears throughout his lectures and tapes. The authors of the Nag Hammadi writings taught a form of re- incarnation, and that marriage was evil, because it is of the earth. They believed the begetting of children was from Satan, since it merely increases the number subjected to the evil angels. Resurrection of the flesh is denied by these Gnostics, since earthly flesh is in itself evil, and can have no part in the spiritual scheme of God. All of these concepts are not confirmations of Mormon doctrine, but are direct contradictions of it!
Mrs. Melaine Layton entitled: The Truth About the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Nag Hammadi Writings in Reference to Mormonism