Where do you suppose Gnosticism came from?

Okay, so Jesus came, sent his Apostles, Gospel is spread throughout the Old World,
suddenly these Gnostic groups pop up mysteriously, but where did they come from?

There were and are various groups like the Archontics, Bardaisanites, Basilideans, Sethians, Thomasenes, Valentinians, Borborites, Cainites,
Carpocratians, Marcosians, Ophites, Bogomilism, Catharism, Paulicianism, Manichaeism, Mandaeanism (the last true ancient Gnostics who
survive to this very day).

Most of them contain similar mythologies, such as the Great Evil Demiurge (craftsman
god), the Fallen Sophia (and various other Divine emanations called “Aeons”), and very
extensive cosmologies, which makes it hard for me to suppose that it all came out of a
void or from the personal insights of individuals.

We can understand how Marcionism came up, when Marcion of Sinope at Rome was
unable to reconcile the Old and New Testament therefore came to the false conclusion
that the God of the Old Testament was some evil force and that Jesus was the only true
God, etc etc etc…

But how did all the other crazy Gnostic cults come to be?

Ultimately…Satan. But I bet you were hoping for a more historically interesting answer.

Different interpretation of Scripture? :confused:

Surely Gnosticism came directly from satan, and was an attempt to pervert and subvert Christianity?

Sounds like a sci-fi plot (e.g., Stargate SG-1 – the Ancients and their evil counterparts) aka wild imaginations of the mind

I guess all those heresies are like a child attempting to figure out quantum mechanics – trying to fit limited understanding onto something vastly more significant and difficult.

The Neo-Platonic philosophy in which Gnosticism finds its roots pre-dated Christianity (and perhaps Gnosticism itself pre-dates us, as it had a mythos associated with it). It was then applied to Christianity, which had several themes which fit in with the Gnostic Redeemer Myth. It was sort of like if Christianity came into being today, and the vague, not-totally-unified, sort of common outlook of “New Age Spirituality” were applied to Christianity.

So Gnosticism was a popular and pervasive part of the pagan philosophy in which Christianity emerged. As pagans began to become part of The Church some of them tried to apply their former Gnostic tradition to Christianity, and you get the gnostic heresies.

tsss. yeah.
I bet also because the Church was young, it had a hard time maintaining every land in Christendom, so something must have happened while the See of Rome wasn’t looking…something…like what happened?

I suspect already possibly some platonic philosophy.

Platonic greek thought and an attraction to the novelty of Christianity? I think personally it started at Corinth when there were those who denied Christ having risen from the dead. They continued to deny Christ had risen from the dead.

Gnosticism generally sprouts from the syncretic application of the various Mystery Religions of the Hellenic world to Christianity. By and large these religions predate Christianity, and not all Gnostic religions were necessarily mingled with Christianity. Mandaeism, for example is a Judaic-Gnostic belief system which doesn’t hold any belief in the existence of Christ.

Oh…I might be incorrect in interpreting what you mean by that, but there was in fact a dialogue between a Yayha (John the Baptist) and “Yeshu Messiah”. Mandaeans do certainly reject Jesus as Christians hold him to be, True Messiah and Son of God and God himself, but they do believe in someone named Jesus Christ whom their greatest prophet had met on one occasion.

Where do you suppose Gnosticism came from?

Gnostics :D:D

From Saint Paul. Saint Paul to Theodus and from Theodus to Valentinus. It came from the Bible, from the same scriptures which orthodox Christians believe in.

Wow, had no idea that Gnosticism could be
traced so close to St. Paul ( not calling him
a Gnostic ), like in terms of time/place, prac-
tically side by side. :eek:

Really surprises me how soon the Gnostics
sprang up onto the religious scene.

Don’t be surprised to know that Paul was all by himself an initiated Gnostic.

The Gnostic Paul - Elaine Pagels - full pdf

The evidence is right out there.

I was unaware, thank you for correcting me.

Is that why all the core teachings of gnosticism come from extra-canonical books?

I take it from your name that you consider yourself gnostic.

There wasn’t a canon of scripture at that time, so Gnostic and Proto-Orthodox Christians were using a lot of the same books – some of which made it into the Bible, and some didn’t. Many Gnostic writings are actually exegeses on pre-existing scripture, theology, and the sacraments.

Because the Gnostic texts were deemed as unauthentic
writings, to not become part of the Canon of Scripture, as
inspired by the Holy Spirit.

The Canon of Scripture wasn’t formalized until relatively late, but that doesn’t mean they were all using the same books. There are lists of canon dating back to the second century. Even back then people knew how to distinguish heresy from orthodoxy.

Yes but the idea that in the absence of a church backed Canon everyone was just picking up whatever books they could find that mentioned Jesus is absurd.

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