What is gnosticism?

How do you define gnosticism. What do gnostics believe in ? Was this declared a heresy or something like that ?
Thanks !

Does this answer need to be in essay form? Haha, just messing with you. Just seems we are getting a lot of questions lately on these forums that sound suspiciously like homework assignments.


Gnostics believe you attain salvation via a secret knowledge reservedh for elect knowers. It is a very early heresy, maybe the earliest…?

It has been popularized in recent years in “rebel” circles by author Elaine Pagels.

Carl Jung loves the Gnostics.


haha not at all, I only posted two questions today. These are questions I’m asking myself.

Ok thanks. Do they believe that truth is not found in God but in people ?

God, through a special knowledge of him. EDIT: I’m not actually sure about this because now I remember reading that their knowledge is of the “truth”, which may refer to God.

They also believe in the dualism of matter and spirit, matter being evil and spirit being good.

Thanks a lot ! I’ll keep searching.

Google helps :wink:

If I didn’t know that Gmosticism was a heresy, and didn’t believe in the Church I may have studied it more as a student.

ok thanks.

Yes, it’s one of the earliest heresies. St. John the Apostle writes against it in his Epistles (1, 2 & 3 John). Like a bad cold, it crops up in various forms through the centuries (Manichaeism, Albigensianism etc.). The Church has fought it from the beginning and probably will until judgement day.


I’ve had a few discussions with them online and it was always the same. each post is a WALL OF TEXT which ends up being smoke and mirrors.

The gnostics believed that man’s nature was basically good, and not fallen. It was however trapped by the world. They used the image of nuggets of gold caked in mud to describe the human condition.

All that was needed to wash off the mud of the world was secret knowledge (gnosis) which, naturally, only they possessed.

At University my tutor pointed out to me that this is extremely similar to the socialist view. Man is basically good but trapped by bourgeois society. All that is needed is re-education to free the human spirit…

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Do they believe that Truth is subjective and that knowledge comes trough experiences ?

the last one i talked with was saying crazy stuff like accepting Jesus but rejecting God the Father. so i made my point that they are one and you can’t have one without the other. the response was walls of text basically stating opinion with just random Bible quotes that held no relevance.

ok interesting…

Gnosticism, as in secret knowledge?

I’m sorry - I can’t tell you.


said something about Jesus is the teacher but you yourself are your own highest authority.

Ok that may be why they deny the authority of the Church…

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There were multiple gnostic beliefs. If you want to familiarize yourself with them I would suggest buying a copy of the Nag Hamadi. FWIW there are some particularly hard reads

Peace and God Bless

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And all animals are equal. Except that some animals are more equal than others.

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