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gnostic

gnostic

gnostic Sentence Examples

  • A Gnostic sect of the 2nd century was known by the name of Cainites.

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  • A Gnostic sect of the 2nd century was known by the name of Cainites.

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  • That the epistle implies as already existent a developed system of Gnostic thought such as only came into being in the 2nd century is not true, and such a date is excluded by the external evidence.

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  • The Gnostic recast Lipsius dates about the middle of the 3rd century.

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  • It seems to have arisen in Gnostic circles, and its tendency is wholly in favour of asceticism and celibacy.

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  • 2 Whether the myth of the creation of the first man by the angels, which recurs in many Gnostic systems, found a place also in the system of Basilides, cannot be determined with any certainty.

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  • The most convincing proof of this is that Origen (i) takes the idea of the immutability of God as the regulating idea of his system, and (2) deprives the historical "Word made flesh" of all significance for the true Gnostic. To him Christ appears simply as the Logos who is with the Father from eternity, and works from all eternity, to whom alone the instructed Christian directs his thoughts, requiring nothing more than a perfect - i.e.

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  • Harnack, who was the first to show that these Acts were Catholic in character and not Gnostic as had previously been alleged, assigns their composition to this period mainly on the ground that Hippolytus was not acquainted with them; but even were this assumption true, it would not prove the non-existence of the Acts in question.

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  • Gnostic sects approached the question in two ways.

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  • There exists, however, in a single MS. in Italian a longish gospel with this title, written from a Mahommedan standpoint, but probably embodying materials partly Gnostic in character and origin.

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  • It has been argued that the sacramental rites of the Christians were largely imitated from the pagan mysteries; but for the first two hundred years this is hardly true, except perhaps in the case of certain Gnostic sects whose leaders intentionally amalgamated the new faith with old pagan ideas and rites.

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  • It is most probably distinct from the 'Aran&Autkes 'Af3pa6 u used by the gnostic Sethites (Epiphanius, Haer.

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  • If, in the Gnostic systems, these become daemonic or semi-daemonic forces, this points to the fact that a stronger monotheistic religion (the Iranian) had gained the upper hand over the Babylonian, and had degraded its gods to daemons.

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  • Other Gospels Mainly Gnostic And Almost All Lost.

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  • It is plainly Gnostic and may perhaps have been composed by Bardaisan or his son Harmonius.0 Among recent editions of Apocrypha in Syriac may be mentioned those of the Apocalypse of Baruch, the Epistle of Baruch, ' For the later Monophysite versions, none of which attained much popularity, see Wright's Syr.

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  • Other Gospels Mainly Gnostic And Almost All Lost.

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  • Thus Hermas's comparatively mild censures on Gnostic teachers in Sim.

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  • On the one hand there were during the middle ages sects, like the Catharists and Albigenses, whose "opposition as a rule developed itself from dualistic or pantheistic premises (surviving effects of old Gnostic or Manichaean views)" and who "stood outside of ordinary Christendom, and while no doubt affecting many individual members within it, had no influence on church doctrine."

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  • trans., 1861-1862); the Gnostic and Manichaean heresies in the works of Mansel, Matter and Beausobre; the medieval heresies in Hahn's Geschichte der Ketzer im Mittelalter (1846-1850), and Preger's Geschichte der deutschen 111 - ystik (1875); Quietism in Heppe's Geschichte der quietistischen Mystik (1875); the Pietist sects in Palmer's Gemeinschaften and Secten Warttembergs (1875); the Reformation and 17th-century heresies and sects in the Anabaptisticum et enthusiasticum Pantheon and geistliches Ri st-Haus (1702).

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  • There are many references in Tertullian to the teaching of the Gnostic Marcion, whose breach with the Roman Church may be dated A.D.

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  • At Bethlehem also he found time to finish Didymi de spiritu sancto liber, a translation begun at Rome at the request of Pope Damasus, to denounce the revival of Gnostic heresies by Jovinianus and Vigilantius (Adv.

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  • According to Clement of Alexandria this was written prophetically to apply to the Carpocratians, an antinomian Gnostic sect of c. 150; but hyper-Paulinists had given occasion to similar complaints already in Rev. ii.

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  • Later Jewish and Christian speculation followed on the lines of the angelology of the earlier apocalypses; and angels play an important part in Gnostic systems and in the Jewish Midrashim and the Kabbala.

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  • According to the Gnostic Basilides, the world was created by angels.

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  • trans., 1861-1862); the Gnostic and Manichaean heresies in the works of Mansel, Matter and Beausobre; the medieval heresies in Hahn's Geschichte der Ketzer im Mittelalter (1846-1850), and Preger's Geschichte der deutschen 111 - ystik (1875); Quietism in Heppe's Geschichte der quietistischen Mystik (1875); the Pietist sects in Palmer's Gemeinschaften and Secten Warttembergs (1875); the Reformation and 17th-century heresies and sects in the Anabaptisticum et enthusiasticum Pantheon and geistliches Ri st-Haus (1702).

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  • There are many references in Tertullian to the teaching of the Gnostic Marcion, whose breach with the Roman Church may be dated A.D.

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  • CARPOCRATES, a Gnostic of the 2nd century, about whose life and opinions comparatively little is known.

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  • To the Gnostic the things of the world are worthless; they are to him matters of indifference.

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  • From this position it easily followed that actions, being merely external, were morally indifferent, and that the true Gnostic should abandon himself to every lust with perfect indifference.

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  • (1) If it represents a type of syncretism as definite as that known to have existed in the developed gnostic systems of the 2nd century, it is inconceivable that Paul should have passed it by as easily as he did.

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  • Speculations about the Perso-Hellenistic Mithras appear to have been transferred to the Gnostic Abraxas.

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  • This conception which is repeated in nearly every Gnostic system, of (seven) world-creating angels, is a specifically oriental speculation.

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  • From most of the other Gnostic sects, with the exception perhaps of the JewishChristian Gnosticism, he is distinguished by the fact that with him the figure of the fallen female god (Sophia Achamoth), and, in general, the idea of a fall within the godhead is entirely wanting.

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  • Christian teachers, especially those who had a leaning towards Gnostic speculations, took an interest in natural history, partly because of certain passages of Scripture that they wanted to explain, and partly on account of the divine revelation in the book of nature, of which also it was man's sacred duty to take proper advantage.

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  • The objects of religious knowledge are beyond the plane of history, or rather - in a thoroughly Gnostic and Neo-Platonic spirit - they are regarded as belonging to a supra-mundane history.

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  • At this point Origen succeeded in avoiding the heretical Gnostic idea of God by assigning to the Godhead the attributes of goodness and righteousness.

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  • Here the Gnostic and philosophical character of the system is particularly manifest.

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  • the Gnostic 13v06s, or more probably cf.

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  • This last name is evidently meant to be Hebrew, "Yahweh of the heavens," the God of the Jews being of a secondary rank in the usual Gnostic style.

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  • In the Gnostic basis itself it is not difficult to recognize the general features of the religion of ancient Babylonia, and thus we are brought nearer a solution of the problem as to the origin of Gnosticism in general.

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  • from 5th ed.), in which he carried scholasticism so far as "to revive the ancient Gnostic theory of the fall of man before all time, a theory which found no favour amongst his theological friends" (Otto Pfleiderer).

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  • Sometimes Clement discusses chronology, sometimes philosophy, sometimes poetry, entering into the most minute critical and chronological details; but one object runs through all, and this is to show what the true Christian Gnostic is, and what is his relation to philosophy.

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  • He thus becomes the true Gnostic, but he can become the true Gnostic only by contemplation and by the practice of what is right.

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  • The disciples of the Gnostic Prodicus boasted (Clem.

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  • 701-703.) But if we except the Zachariah and John group of legends, it is not necessary to assume the Gnostic recast of this work in the 3rd century as is done by Lipsius.

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  • Its present form is due to an orthodox revision which discarded, so far as possible, all Gnostic traces.

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  • Berlin (1896), pp. 839 sqq., this gospel gives disclosures on the nature of matter (An) and the progress of the Gnostic soul through the seven planets.

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  • of the Gnostic Acts.

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  • The gnostic sects and their writings were well known to him (viii.

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  • Among certain Gnostic sects Amen became the name of an angel, and in post-biblical Jewish works exaggerated statements are multiplied as to the right method and the bliss of pronouncing it.

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  • At this point Origen succeeded in avoiding the heretical Gnostic idea of God by assigning to the Godhead the attributes of goodness and righteousness.

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  • the Gnostic 13v06s, or more probably cf.

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  • from 5th ed.), in which he carried scholasticism so far as "to revive the ancient Gnostic theory of the fall of man before all time, a theory which found no favour amongst his theological friends" (Otto Pfleiderer).

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  • The Judaizing and the paganizing tendency were combined in Gnostic Ebionitism which was prepared for in Jewish Essenism.

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  • The importance of the work has, however, been much overrated; a close examination of the sources for the exposition of the Gnostic system which is con " tained in it has Proved that the information it gives is not always trustworthy.

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  • The real root of the difficulty to Platonist as to Gnostic was his sharp antithesis of form as good and matter as evil.

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  • It is of course easy to see that Celsus had no apprehension of the spiritual needs even of his own day which it was the Christian purpose to satisfy, that he could not grasp anything of the new life enjoyed by the poor in spirit, and that he underrated the significance of the Church, regarding it simply as one of a number of warring sections (mostly Gnostic), and so seeing only a mark of weakness.

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  • As to the internal evidence, if the Gospel typifies various imperfect or sinful attitudes in Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman and Thomas; if even the mother appears to symbolize faithful Israel: then, profoundly spiritual and forward-looking as it is, a type of the perfect disciple, not all unlike Clement's perfect " Gnostic," could hardly be omitted by it; and the precise details of this figure may well be only ideally, mystically true.

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  • In the latter sense it was chiefly used by the Gnostic sects to denote those eternal beings or manifestations which emanated from the one incomprehensible and ineffable God.

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  • A Gnostic sect took the name Sethians.

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  • Their existence was believed in, and they did actually exist, not only in the catholic congregations - if the expression may be used - but also in the Marcionite Church and the Gnostic societies.

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  • Philosophically considered, therefore, the Gnostic systems are very unlike the rigorous self-consistency of Neoplatonism; although they certainly contain almost all the elements which enter into the Neoplatonic theory of the universe.

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  • It is true that they do not include the whole even of the ecclesiastical literature of the sub-apostolic age, not to mention what remains of Gnostic and other minority types.

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  • The Philonic and Gnostic philosophies thus appear to be merely an historical anticipation of the Neoplatonic, without any real connexion.

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  • The influence of Christianity - whether Gnostic or Catholic - on Neoplatonism was at no time very considerable, although individual Neoplatonists, after Amelius, used Christian texts as oracles, and put on record their admiration for Christ.

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  • The Apotheosis and Hamartigenia are polemic, the first against the disclaimers of the divinity of Christ, the latter against the gnostic dualism of Marcion and his followers.

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  • Epiphanius still had the opportunity of making personal acquaintance with Gnostic sects.

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  • Numerous fragments and extracts from Gnostic writings are to be found in the works of the Fathers who attacked Gnosticism.

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  • Gnostic fragments are certainly also preserved for us in the Acts of Thomas.

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  • Here we should especially mention the beautiful and much-discussed Song of the Pearl, or Song of the Soul, which is generally, though without absolute clear proof, attributed to the Gnostic Bardesanes (till lately it was known only in the Syrian text; edited and translated by Bevan, Texts and Studies, 2 v.

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  • Generally also much Gnostic matter is contained in the apocryphal histories of the Apostles.

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  • is, of course, already permeated with the Catholic spirit, but has drawn so largely upon sources of a Judaeo-Christian Gnostic character that it comes to a great extent within the category of sources for Gnosticism.

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  • Complete original Gnostic works have unfortunately survived to us only from the period of the decadence of Gnosticism.

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  • 180), gives a detailed account of the Gnostic heresies.

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  • Here Hippolytus gave a second exposition supplemented by fresh Gnostic original sources with which he had become acquainted in the meanwhile.

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  • The truth of the matter must be that Hippolytus probably made use of a collection of Gnostic texts, put together by a Gnostic, in which were already represented various secondary developments of the genuine Gnostic schools.

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  • It is also possible that the compiler has himself attempted here and there to harmonize to a certain extent the various Gnostic doctrines, yet in no case is this collection of sources given by Hippolytus to be passed over; it should rather be considered as important evidence for the beginnings of the decay of Gnosticism.

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  • Especially important are the Excerpta ex Theodoto, the author of which is certainly Clement, which are verbally extracted from Gnostic writings, and have almost the value of original sources.

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  • If we wish to grasp the peculiar character of the great Gnostic movement, we must take care not to be led astray by the catchword " Gnosis."

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  • These little Gnostic sects and groups all lived in the conviction that they 1 See R.

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  • Kunze, De historiae Gnostic. fontibus (1894).

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  • The Gnostic religion is full of such sacraments.

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  • Much more material is to be found in the original Gnostic writings, especially in the PistisSophia and the two books of Ieu, and again in the Excerpta ex Theodoto, the Acts of Thomas, and here and there also in the pseudo-Clementine writings.

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  • Above all we can see from the original sources of the Mandaean religion, which also represents a branch of Gnosticism, how great a part the sacraments played in the Gnostic sects (Brandt, Mandciische Religion, p. 96 seq.).

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  • Finally, sacred formulas, names and symbols are of the highest importance among the Gnostic sects.

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  • We must now proceed to define more exactly the peculiar and distinctive character of the Gnostic system.

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  • The basis of the Gnostic religion and world-philosophy lies in a decided Oriental dualism.

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  • Thus the Gnostic systems make great use of the idea of a fall of the Deity himself; by the fall of the Godhead into the world of matter, this matter, previously insensible, is animated into life and activity, and then arise the powers, both partly and wholly hostile, who hold sway over this world.

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  • All these efforts at reconciliation show how clearly the problem of evil was realized in these Gnostic and half-Gnostic sects, and how deeply they meditated on the subject; it was not altogether without reason that in the ranks of its opponents Gnosticism was judged to have arisen out of the question, 7r60ev TO KaK6P; This dualism had not its origin in Hellenic soil, neither is it related to that dualism which to a certain extent existed also in late Greek religion.

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  • Another characteristic feature of the Gnostic conception of the universe is the role played in almost all Gnostic systems by the seven world-creating powers.

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  • And here the question arises, how it came about that in the Gnostic systems the Seven appear as subordinate, half-daemonic powers, or even completely as powers of darkness.

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  • We must also reject the theory that this degradation of the planetary deities into daemons is due to the influence of Hebrew monotheism, for almost all the Gnostic sects take up a definitely hostile attitude towards the Jewish religion, and almost always the highest divinity among the Seven is actually the creator-God of the, Old Testament.

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  • These Persian fancies can hardly be borrowed from the Christian Gnostic systems, their definiteness and much more strongly dualistic character recalling the exposition of the Mandaean (and Manichaean) system, are proofs to the contrary.

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  • They are derived from the same period in which the underlying idea of the Gnostic systems also originated, namely, the time at which the ideas of the Persian and Babylonian religions came into contact, the remarkable results of which have thus partly found their way into the official documents of Parsiism.

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  • Gnosticism is to a great extent dominated by the idea that it is above all and in the highest degree important for the Gnostic's soul to be enabled to find its way back through the lower worlds and spheres of heaven ruled by the Seven to the kingdom of light of the supreme deity of heaven.

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  • But names, symbols and formulas are not efficacious by themselves: the Gnostic must lead a life having no part in the lower world ruled by these spirits, and by his knowledge he must raise himself above them to the God of the world of light.

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  • We cannot here undertake to set forth and explain in detail all the complex varieties of the Gnostic systems; but it will be useful to take a nearer view of certain principal figures which have had an influence upon at least one series of Gnostic systems, and to examine their origins in the history of religion.

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  • But Gnostic speculation gives various accounts of the descent or fall of this goddess of heaven.

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  • The character of the great goddess of heaven is still in many places fairly exactly preserved in the Gnostic speculations.

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  • Hence we are able to understand how the Gnostic µirTrtp, the Sophia, appears as the mother of the Hebdomas (4360µas).

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  • The meaning of this cult is, of course, reinterpreted in the Gnostic sense: by this unbridled prostitution the Gnostic sects desired to prevent the sexual propagation of mankind, the origin of all evil.

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  • But the connexion is clear, and hence it also explained the curious Gnostic myth mentioned above, namely that the i carnip (the light-maiden) by appearing to the archontes (cipxovrES), the lower powers of this world, inflames them to sexual lusts, in order to take from them that share of light which they have stolen from the upper world.

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  • This is a Gnostic interpretation of the various myths of the great mother-goddess's many loves and love-adventures with other gods and heroes.

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  • And when the pagan legend of the Syrian Astarte tells how she lived for ten years in Tyre as a prostitute, this directly recalls the Gnostic myth of how Simon found Helena in a brothel in Tyre (Epiphanius, Ancoratus, c. 104).

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  • This figure of the Primal Man can particularly be compared with that of the Gnostic Sophia.

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  • The meaning of this figure in the Gnostic speculations is, however, clear.

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  • A parallel myth to that of the Primal Man are the accounts to be found in most of the Gnostic systems of the creation of the first man.

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  • And here it must be premised that, intimately as the conception of salvation is bound up with the Gnostic religion, the idea of salvation accomplished in a definite historical moment to a certain extent remained foreign to it.

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  • Indeed, nearly all the Christian Gnostic systems clearly exhibit the great difficulty with which they had to contend in order to reconcile the idea of an historical redeemer, actually occurring in the form of a definite person, with their conceptions of salvation.

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  • And this decision is not affected by the fact that in certain Gnostic sects figured historical personages such as Simon Magus and Menander.

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  • The Gnostic ideas of salvation were in the later schools and sects transferred to these persons whom we must consider as rather obscure charlatans and miracle-mongers, just as in other cases they were transferred to the person of Christ.

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  • This explains the laborious and artificial way in which the person of Jesus is connected in many Gnostic systems with the original Gnostic conception of redemption.

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  • And it was openly maintained that the Soter only existed for the Gnostic, the Saviour Jesus who appeared on earth only for the " Psychicus " (Irenaeus i.

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  • What drew these two forces together was the energy exerted by the universal idea of salvation in both systems. Christian Gnosticism actually introduced only one new figure into the already existing Gnostic theories, namely that of the historical Saviour Jesus Christ.

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  • This figure afforded, as it were, a new point of crystallization for the existing Gnostic ideas, which now grouped themselves round this point in all their manifold diversity.

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  • The Gnostic Marcion has been rightly characterized as a direct disciple of Paul.

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  • In nearly all the Gnostic systems the doctrine of the seven world-creating spirits is given an anti-Jewish tendency, the god of the Jews and of the Old Testament appearing as the highest of the seven.

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  • The conception of a resurrection of the body, of a further existence for the body after death, was unattainable by almost all of the Gnostics, with the possible exception of a few Gnostic sects dominated by Judaeo-Christian tendencies.

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  • The Gnostic religion also anticipated other tendencies.

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  • This freely-growing Gnostic religiosity aroused in the Church an increasingly strong movement towards unity and a firm and inelastic organization, towards authority and tradition.

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  • A part was also played in this movement by a free theology which arose within the Church, itself a kind of Gnosticism which aimed at holding fast whatever was good in the Gnostic movement, and obtaining its recognition within the limits of the Church (Clement of Alexandria, Origen).

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  • A particular branch of the " Gnostic " sects is represented by those systems in which the figure of Sophia sinking down into matter already appears.

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  • And here may best be included Bardesanes, a famous leader of a Gnostic school of the end of the 2nd century.

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  • By itself, on the other hand, stands the system preserved for us by Hippolytus in the Philosophumena under the name of the Naasseni, with its central figure of " the Man," which, as we have seen, is very closely related with certain specifically pagan Gnostic speculations which have come down to us (in the Poimandres, in Zosimus and Plotinus, Ennead ii.

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  • With the Naasseni, moreover, are related also the other sects of which Hippolytus alone gives us a notice in his Philosophumena (Docetae, Perates, Sethiani, the adherents of Justin, the Gnostic of Monoimos).

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  • With him, as far as we are able to conclude from the scanty notices of him, the manifold Gnostic speculations are reduced essentially to the one problem of the good and the just God, the God of the Christians and the God of the Old Testament.

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  • Thanks to the noble simplicity and specifically religious character of his ideas, Marcion was able to found not only schools, but a community, a church of his own, which gave trouble to the Church longer than any other Gnostic sect.

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  • Among these we must mention the JudaeoChristian Gnostic Cerinthus, also the Gnostic Ebionites, of whom Epiphanius (Haer.) gives us an account, and whose writings are to be found in a recension in the collected works of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies; to the same class belong the Elkesaites with their mystical scripture, the Elxai, extracts of which are given by Hippolytus in the Philos.

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  • Later evidence of the decadence of Gnosticism occurs in the Pistis-Sophia and the Coptic Gnostic writings discovered and edited by Schmidt.

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  • In these confused records of human imagination gone mad, we possess a veritable herbarium of all possible Gnostic ideas, which were once active and now rest peacefully side by side.

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  • None the less, the stream of the Gnostic religion is not yet dried up, but continues on its way; and it is beyond a doubt that the later Mandaeanism and the great religious movement of Mani are most closely connected with Gnosticism.

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  • These manifestations are all the more characteristic since in them we meet with a Gnosticism which remained essentially more untouched by Christian influences than the Gnostic systems of the 2nd century A.D.

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  • Mansel, The Gnostic Heresies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries (London, 18 75); K.

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  • See further among important monographs on the individual Gnostic systems, R.

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  • Thus Fichte, Spinoza, Jakob Boehme and the Mystics, and finally, the great Greek thinkers with their Neoplatonic, Gnostic, and Scholastic commentators, give respectively colouring to particular works.

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  • Tradition says that one of the Gnostic sects known as the Ophites caused a tame serpent to coil round the sacramental bread and worshipped it as the representative of the Saviour.

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  • To the second century also belong two gnostic uses.

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  • Mani, following the example of the gnostic Jewish Christians, appears to have held Adam, Noah, Abraham (perhaps zoroaster and Buddha) to be such prophets.

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  • Manichaeism indeed, though it applies the title "redeemer" to Mani, has really no knowledge of a redeemer, but only of a physical and gnostic process of redemption; on the other hand, it possesses in Mani the supreme prophet of God.

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  • Its adherents were recruited on the one hand from the old gnostic sects (especially from the Marcionites - Manichaeism exerted besides this a strong influence on the development of the Marcionite churches of the 4th century), on the other hand from the large number of the "cultured," who were striving after a "rational" and yet in some manner Christian religion.

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  • Not only was he master of the contents of the Bible: he also read carefully the works of Hermas, Justin, Tatian, Miltiades, Melito, Irenaeus, Proculus, Clement, as well as many Gnostic treatises, the writings of Marcion in particular.

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  • The elements of this Christian Latin language may be enumerated as follows: - (i.) it had its origin, not in the literary language of Rome as developed by Cicero, but in the language of the people as we find it in Plautus and Terence; (ii.) it has an African complexion; (iii.) it is strongly influenced by Greek, particularly through the Latin translation of the Septuagint and of the New Testament, besides being sprinkled with a large number of Greek words derived from the Scriptures or from the Greek liturgies; (iv.) it bears the stamp of the Gnostic style and contains also some military expressions; (v.) it owes something to the original creative power of Tertullian.

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  • They held the "Lord's Prayer" in high respect as the most 1 These betray their Gnostic (Marcianite) spirit by the antiJewish tone of the oldest MSS.

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  • 8 Asceticism was bound up with the gnostic depreciation of the body.

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  • 1 It is probable that the use of the term was often in Rabbinic writings polemical (against Jewish Christians or gnostic sects) .

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  • Chandler, 1873), and The Gnostic Heresies (ed.

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  • commending the Christian religion over against all non-Christian rivals or gnostic perversions.

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  • It was used by the Gnostic Heracleon and probably by the unknown writer of the epistle to Diognetus.

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  • Together with these somewhat gnostic ideas, Cerinthus, if we may trust the notices of Gaius the Roman presbyter (c. 290) and Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 340), held a violent and crude form of chiliasm.

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  • Cerinthus is a blend of judaizing christian and gnostic.

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  • HERACLEON, a Gnostic who flourished about A.D.

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  • According to the Gnostic Heracleon, quoted by Clement of Alexandria (Strom.

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  • ABRAXAS, or Abrasax, a word engraved on certain antique stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. The Basilidians, a Gnostic sect, attached importance to the word, if, indeed, they did not bring it into use.

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  • The efficacy of prayers for the dead, and indirectly the doctrine of purgatory, were denied by early Gnostic sects, by Aerius in the 4th century, and by the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses and Lollards in the middle ages.

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  • Most authorities believe that he was a Gnostic; but while it is certain that he was not a Christian, it is possible that he was simply a Sadducee, and thus an opponent not of Judaism but of Pharisaism.

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  • Gnostic. For he ascribed salvation, not to " knowledge " but to faith "; he appealed openly to the whole Christian world; and he nowhere consciously added foreign elements to the revelation given through Christ.

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  • It is true that in many features his Christian system - if we may use the expression - resembles the so-called Gnostic systems; but the first duty of the historian is to point out what Marcion plainly aimed at; only in the second place *have we to inquire how far the result corresponded with those purposes.

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  • In Rome he became acquainted with the Syrian Gnostic Cerdo, whose speculations influenced the development of the Marcionite theology.

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  • The word, according to his interpretation, signifies the baptism of Metis, or of fire, and is, therefore, connected with the impurities of the Gnostic Ophites.

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  • For traces of the wider sense of "apostle" in Gnostic, Marcionite and Montanist circles, see Monnier (as below).

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  • CERDONIANS, a Gnostic sect, founded by Cerdo, a Syrian, who came to Rome about 137, but concerning whose history little is known.

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  • Basing itself probably on a union of certain gnostic and ascetic doctrines, this sect pretended that its members were re-established in Adam's state of original innocency.

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  • The Syrian Gnostic Basilides held (according to Irenaeus i.

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  • 28) common to this and the Arabic Didascalia, where it occurs in an earlier form, and based in part upon the Gnostic " Acts of Peter ";"; the presbyter (i.

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  • They are " the wise," " the perfect," " sons of light "; but this somewhat Gnostic phraseology is not accompanied with any signs of Gnostic doctrine, and the work as a whole is orthodox in tone.

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  • It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the ' gnostic ' of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant.

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  • Hutton here gives a variant etymology for the word, which may be therefore taken as partly derived from &-yvwanros (the "unknown" God), and partly from an antithesis to "gnostic"; but the meaning remains the same in either case.

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  • We find that this antithesis, as exaggerated by some of the Gnostic sects of the and and 3rd centuries A.D., led, not merely to theoretical antinomianism, but even (if the charges of their orthodox opponents are not entirely to be discredited) to gross immorality of conduct.

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  • The apocryphal book, The Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is generally attributed to Leucius the Gnostic. It was edited and published by C. Tischendorf in the Ada Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821).

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  • With their assistanee he sets forth and upholds, in opposition to the gnostic dualism, i.e.

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  • At a comparatively early date, indeed, we read of various Gnostic sects calling in the fine arts to aid their worship; thus Irenaeus (Haer.

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  • Perhaps, Sanders does not believe that the Mandaeans are really followers of John the Baptist but are followers of a later gnostic sect.

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  • gnostic element declined sharply.

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  • gnostic literature from the second century.

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  • gnostic imagination, nor like some heretical construction of early or modern theologians.

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  • gnostic themes, Manichaean etc. Idea of exile, Malkuth, the Shekinah.

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  • The gnostic gospels date from about 250 350 AD.

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  • You consider the Gnostic heresy that is here in embryo in this book.

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  • That was the gnostic heresy - to say ' matter is bad or mistaken ' .

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  • They tell us the beliefs of the Gnostic sects declared heretical by the early church.

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  • At times she seemed inclined toward the position of docetism, a minority Gnostic position which denied the physical incarnation of Jesus altogether.

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  • How has the mysticism of the Gnostic Gospels affected her?

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  • And again this is a new gnostic pagan mysticism, dethroning reason, they say, so the soul can be free.

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  • recent years of the Gnostic gospels.

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  • It was the gnostic sects that believed in " secret " revelations.

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  • We see from the Epistle of John how mortally afraid of gnostic spiritualism were the founders of the historical fraud.

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  • He was diligent in the cure of souls, labouring hard and successfully for the conversion of the numerous Gnostic communities and other heretical sects which still maintained a footing within the diocese.

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  • CARPOCRATES, a Gnostic of the 2nd century, about whose life and opinions comparatively little is known.

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  • To the Gnostic the things of the world are worthless; they are to him matters of indifference.

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  • From this position it easily followed that actions, being merely external, were morally indifferent, and that the true Gnostic should abandon himself to every lust with perfect indifference.

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  • (1) If it represents a type of syncretism as definite as that known to have existed in the developed gnostic systems of the 2nd century, it is inconceivable that Paul should have passed it by as easily as he did.

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  • (See Hilgenfeld p. 205, note 337.) The most recent opinion tends to decide against the Philosophumena; for, in its composition, Hippolytus appears to have used as his principal source the compendium of a Gnostic author who has introduced into most of the systems treated by him, in addition to the employment of older sources, his own opinions or those of his sect.

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  • Speculations about the Perso-Hellenistic Mithras appear to have been transferred to the Gnostic Abraxas.

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  • This conception which is repeated in nearly every Gnostic system, of (seven) world-creating angels, is a specifically oriental speculation.

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  • If, in the Gnostic systems, these become daemonic or semi-daemonic forces, this points to the fact that a stronger monotheistic religion (the Iranian) had gained the upper hand over the Babylonian, and had degraded its gods to daemons.

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  • 2 Whether the myth of the creation of the first man by the angels, which recurs in many Gnostic systems, found a place also in the system of Basilides, cannot be determined with any certainty.

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  • From most of the other Gnostic sects, with the exception perhaps of the JewishChristian Gnosticism, he is distinguished by the fact that with him the figure of the fallen female god (Sophia Achamoth), and, in general, the idea of a fall within the godhead is entirely wanting.

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  • Christian teachers, especially those who had a leaning towards Gnostic speculations, took an interest in natural history, partly because of certain passages of Scripture that they wanted to explain, and partly on account of the divine revelation in the book of nature, of which also it was man's sacred duty to take proper advantage.

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  • The most convincing proof of this is that Origen (i) takes the idea of the immutability of God as the regulating idea of his system, and (2) deprives the historical "Word made flesh" of all significance for the true Gnostic. To him Christ appears simply as the Logos who is with the Father from eternity, and works from all eternity, to whom alone the instructed Christian directs his thoughts, requiring nothing more than a perfect - i.e.

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  • The objects of religious knowledge are beyond the plane of history, or rather - in a thoroughly Gnostic and Neo-Platonic spirit - they are regarded as belonging to a supra-mundane history.

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  • Here the Gnostic and philosophical character of the system is particularly manifest.

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  • This last name is evidently meant to be Hebrew, "Yahweh of the heavens," the God of the Jews being of a secondary rank in the usual Gnostic style.

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  • In the Gnostic basis itself it is not difficult to recognize the general features of the religion of ancient Babylonia, and thus we are brought nearer a solution of the problem as to the origin of Gnosticism in general.

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  • The term thus in time became full of dogmatic and political meaning, connoting, when applied to the church, a universal authoritative and orthodox society, as opposed to Gnostic and other " sects " (cf.

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  • That the epistle implies as already existent a developed system of Gnostic thought such as only came into being in the 2nd century is not true, and such a date is excluded by the external evidence.

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  • Sometimes Clement discusses chronology, sometimes philosophy, sometimes poetry, entering into the most minute critical and chronological details; but one object runs through all, and this is to show what the true Christian Gnostic is, and what is his relation to philosophy.

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  • He thus becomes the true Gnostic, but he can become the true Gnostic only by contemplation and by the practice of what is right.

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  • The disciples of the Gnostic Prodicus boasted (Clem.

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  • Gnostic gospels of Andrew, Apelles, Barnabas, Bartholomew, Basilides, Cerinthus and some seventeen others.

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  • Lipsius shows that in the present form of the book there is side by side a strange " admixture of intimate knowledge and gross ignorance of Jewish thought and custom," and that accordingly we must " distinguish between an original Jewish Christian writing and a Gnostic recast of it."

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  • The Gnostic recast Lipsius dates about the middle of the 3rd century.

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  • 701-703.) But if we except the Zachariah and John group of legends, it is not necessary to assume the Gnostic recast of this work in the 3rd century as is done by Lipsius.

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  • Its present form is due to an orthodox revision which discarded, so far as possible, all Gnostic traces.

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  • Berlin (1896), pp. 839 sqq., this gospel gives disclosures on the nature of matter (An) and the progress of the Gnostic soul through the seven planets.

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  • Lipsius discovers Gnostic traits in the story, but these are denied by Zahn (Gesch.

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  • Harnack, who was the first to show that these Acts were Catholic in character and not Gnostic as had previously been alleged, assigns their composition to this period mainly on the ground that Hippolytus was not acquainted with them; but even were this assumption true, it would not prove the non-existence of the Acts in question.

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  • of the Gnostic Acts.

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  • Gnostic sects approached the question in two ways.

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  • It seems to have arisen in Gnostic circles, and its tendency is wholly in favour of asceticism and celibacy.

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  • It is plainly Gnostic and may perhaps have been composed by Bardaisan or his son Harmonius.0 Among recent editions of Apocrypha in Syriac may be mentioned those of the Apocalypse of Baruch, the Epistle of Baruch, ' For the later Monophysite versions, none of which attained much popularity, see Wright's Syr.

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  • It is most probably distinct from the 'Aran&Autkes 'Af3pa6 u used by the gnostic Sethites (Epiphanius, Haer.

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  • There exists, however, in a single MS. in Italian a longish gospel with this title, written from a Mahommedan standpoint, but probably embodying materials partly Gnostic in character and origin.

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  • Thus Hermas's comparatively mild censures on Gnostic teachers in Sim.

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  • The Judaizing and the paganizing tendency were combined in Gnostic Ebionitism which was prepared for in Jewish Essenism.

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  • On the one hand there were during the middle ages sects, like the Catharists and Albigenses, whose "opposition as a rule developed itself from dualistic or pantheistic premises (surviving effects of old Gnostic or Manichaean views)" and who "stood outside of ordinary Christendom, and while no doubt affecting many individual members within it, had no influence on church doctrine."

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  • At Bethlehem also he found time to finish Didymi de spiritu sancto liber, a translation begun at Rome at the request of Pope Damasus, to denounce the revival of Gnostic heresies by Jovinianus and Vigilantius (Adv.

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  • According to Clement of Alexandria this was written prophetically to apply to the Carpocratians, an antinomian Gnostic sect of c. 150; but hyper-Paulinists had given occasion to similar complaints already in Rev. ii.

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  • It has been argued that the sacramental rites of the Christians were largely imitated from the pagan mysteries; but for the first two hundred years this is hardly true, except perhaps in the case of certain Gnostic sects whose leaders intentionally amalgamated the new faith with old pagan ideas and rites.

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  • Later Jewish and Christian speculation followed on the lines of the angelology of the earlier apocalypses; and angels play an important part in Gnostic systems and in the Jewish Midrashim and the Kabbala.

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  • According to the Gnostic Basilides, the world was created by angels.

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  • The real root of the difficulty to Platonist as to Gnostic was his sharp antithesis of form as good and matter as evil.

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  • The gnostic sects and their writings were well known to him (viii.

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  • It is of course easy to see that Celsus had no apprehension of the spiritual needs even of his own day which it was the Christian purpose to satisfy, that he could not grasp anything of the new life enjoyed by the poor in spirit, and that he underrated the significance of the Church, regarding it simply as one of a number of warring sections (mostly Gnostic), and so seeing only a mark of weakness.

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  • As to the internal evidence, if the Gospel typifies various imperfect or sinful attitudes in Nicodemus, the Samaritan woman and Thomas; if even the mother appears to symbolize faithful Israel: then, profoundly spiritual and forward-looking as it is, a type of the perfect disciple, not all unlike Clement's perfect " Gnostic," could hardly be omitted by it; and the precise details of this figure may well be only ideally, mystically true.

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  • Among certain Gnostic sects Amen became the name of an angel, and in post-biblical Jewish works exaggerated statements are multiplied as to the right method and the bliss of pronouncing it.

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  • The importance of the work has, however, been much overrated; a close examination of the sources for the exposition of the Gnostic system which is con " tained in it has Proved that the information it gives is not always trustworthy.

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  • It is true that they do not include the whole even of the ecclesiastical literature of the sub-apostolic age, not to mention what remains of Gnostic and other minority types.

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  • In the latter sense it was chiefly used by the Gnostic sects to denote those eternal beings or manifestations which emanated from the one incomprehensible and ineffable God.

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  • The idea of the apostolic appointment of church officers is as old as Clement of Rome (see 1 Clement 44), but the use of the theory to guarantee the apostolic character of episcopal teaching was due to the exigencies of the Gnostic conflict.

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  • Written sources from the 1st and 2nd centuries are relatively few, comprising, in addition to some scattered allusions by outsiders, the New Testament, the Apostolic Fathers, the Greek Apologists, Clement of Alexandria, the old Catholic Fathers (Irenaeus, Tertullian and Hippolytus) and a few Gnostic fragments.

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  • A Gnostic sect took the name Sethians.

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  • Their existence was believed in, and they did actually exist, not only in the catholic congregations - if the expression may be used - but also in the Marcionite Church and the Gnostic societies.

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  • Philosophically considered, therefore, the Gnostic systems are very unlike the rigorous self-consistency of Neoplatonism; although they certainly contain almost all the elements which enter into the Neoplatonic theory of the universe.

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  • The Philonic and Gnostic philosophies thus appear to be merely an historical anticipation of the Neoplatonic, without any real connexion.

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  • The influence of Christianity - whether Gnostic or Catholic - on Neoplatonism was at no time very considerable, although individual Neoplatonists, after Amelius, used Christian texts as oracles, and put on record their admiration for Christ.

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  • The Apotheosis and Hamartigenia are polemic, the first against the disclaimers of the divinity of Christ, the latter against the gnostic dualism of Marcion and his followers.

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  • Epiphanius still had the opportunity of making personal acquaintance with Gnostic sects.

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  • Numerous fragments and extracts from Gnostic writings are to be found in the works of the Fathers who attacked Gnosticism.

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  • Gnostic fragments are certainly also preserved for us in the Acts of Thomas.

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  • Here we should especially mention the beautiful and much-discussed Song of the Pearl, or Song of the Soul, which is generally, though without absolute clear proof, attributed to the Gnostic Bardesanes (till lately it was known only in the Syrian text; edited and translated by Bevan, Texts and Studies, 2 v.

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  • Generally also much Gnostic matter is contained in the apocryphal histories of the Apostles.

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  • is, of course, already permeated with the Catholic spirit, but has drawn so largely upon sources of a Judaeo-Christian Gnostic character that it comes to a great extent within the category of sources for Gnosticism.

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  • Complete original Gnostic works have unfortunately survived to us only from the period of the decadence of Gnosticism.

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  • 180), gives a detailed account of the Gnostic heresies.

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  • Here Hippolytus gave a second exposition supplemented by fresh Gnostic original sources with which he had become acquainted in the meanwhile.

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  • The truth of the matter must be that Hippolytus probably made use of a collection of Gnostic texts, put together by a Gnostic, in which were already represented various secondary developments of the genuine Gnostic schools.

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  • It is also possible that the compiler has himself attempted here and there to harmonize to a certain extent the various Gnostic doctrines, yet in no case is this collection of sources given by Hippolytus to be passed over; it should rather be considered as important evidence for the beginnings of the decay of Gnosticism.

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  • Especially important are the Excerpta ex Theodoto, the author of which is certainly Clement, which are verbally extracted from Gnostic writings, and have almost the value of original sources.

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  • If we wish to grasp the peculiar character of the great Gnostic movement, we must take care not to be led astray by the catchword " Gnosis."

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  • These little Gnostic sects and groups all lived in the conviction that they 1 See R.

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  • Kunze, De historiae Gnostic. fontibus (1894).

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  • The Gnostic religion is full of such sacraments.

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  • Much more material is to be found in the original Gnostic writings, especially in the PistisSophia and the two books of Ieu, and again in the Excerpta ex Theodoto, the Acts of Thomas, and here and there also in the pseudo-Clementine writings.

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  • Above all we can see from the original sources of the Mandaean religion, which also represents a branch of Gnosticism, how great a part the sacraments played in the Gnostic sects (Brandt, Mandciische Religion, p. 96 seq.).

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  • Finally, sacred formulas, names and symbols are of the highest importance among the Gnostic sects.

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  • Hence the Gnostic must above all things learn the names of the demons, and equip himself with the sacred formulas and symbols, in order to be certain of a good destiny after death.

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  • We must now proceed to define more exactly the peculiar and distinctive character of the Gnostic system.

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  • The basis of the Gnostic religion and world-philosophy lies in a decided Oriental dualism.

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  • Thus the Gnostic systems make great use of the idea of a fall of the Deity himself; by the fall of the Godhead into the world of matter, this matter, previously insensible, is animated into life and activity, and then arise the powers, both partly and wholly hostile, who hold sway over this world.

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  • All these efforts at reconciliation show how clearly the problem of evil was realized in these Gnostic and half-Gnostic sects, and how deeply they meditated on the subject; it was not altogether without reason that in the ranks of its opponents Gnosticism was judged to have arisen out of the question, 7r60ev TO KaK6P; This dualism had not its origin in Hellenic soil, neither is it related to that dualism which to a certain extent existed also in late Greek religion.

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  • Another characteristic feature of the Gnostic conception of the universe is the role played in almost all Gnostic systems by the seven world-creating powers.

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  • And here the question arises, how it came about that in the Gnostic systems the Seven appear as subordinate, half-daemonic powers, or even completely as powers of darkness.

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  • We must also reject the theory that this degradation of the planetary deities into daemons is due to the influence of Hebrew monotheism, for almost all the Gnostic sects take up a definitely hostile attitude towards the Jewish religion, and almost always the highest divinity among the Seven is actually the creator-God of the, Old Testament.

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  • These Persian fancies can hardly be borrowed from the Christian Gnostic systems, their definiteness and much more strongly dualistic character recalling the exposition of the Mandaean (and Manichaean) system, are proofs to the contrary.

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  • They are derived from the same period in which the underlying idea of the Gnostic systems also originated, namely, the time at which the ideas of the Persian and Babylonian religions came into contact, the remarkable results of which have thus partly found their way into the official documents of Parsiism.

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  • Gnosticism is to a great extent dominated by the idea that it is above all and in the highest degree important for the Gnostic's soul to be enabled to find its way back through the lower worlds and spheres of heaven ruled by the Seven to the kingdom of light of the supreme deity of heaven.

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  • But names, symbols and formulas are not efficacious by themselves: the Gnostic must lead a life having no part in the lower world ruled by these spirits, and by his knowledge he must raise himself above them to the God of the world of light.

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  • We cannot here undertake to set forth and explain in detail all the complex varieties of the Gnostic systems; but it will be useful to take a nearer view of certain principal figures which have had an influence upon at least one series of Gnostic systems, and to examine their origins in the history of religion.

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  • But Gnostic speculation gives various accounts of the descent or fall of this goddess of heaven.

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  • With this figure of the mothergoddess who descends into the lower world seems to be closely connected the idea of the fallen Sophia, which is so widespread among the Gnostic systems. This Sophia then is certainly no longer the dominating figure of the light-world, she is a lower aeon at the extreme limit of the world of light, who sinks down into matter (Barbelognostics, the anonymous Gnostic of Irenaeus, Bardesanes, Pistis-Sophia), or turns in presumptuous love towards the supreme God (Bu06s), and thus brings the Fall into the world of the aeons (Valentinians).

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  • The character of the great goddess of heaven is still in many places fairly exactly preserved in the Gnostic speculations.

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  • Hence we are able to understand how the Gnostic µirTrtp, the Sophia, appears as the mother of the Hebdomas (4360µas).

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  • The meaning of this cult is, of course, reinterpreted in the Gnostic sense: by this unbridled prostitution the Gnostic sects desired to prevent the sexual propagation of mankind, the origin of all evil.

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  • But the connexion is clear, and hence it also explained the curious Gnostic myth mentioned above, namely that the i carnip (the light-maiden) by appearing to the archontes (cipxovrES), the lower powers of this world, inflames them to sexual lusts, in order to take from them that share of light which they have stolen from the upper world.

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  • This is a Gnostic interpretation of the various myths of the great mother-goddess's many loves and love-adventures with other gods and heroes.

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  • And when the pagan legend of the Syrian Astarte tells how she lived for ten years in Tyre as a prostitute, this directly recalls the Gnostic myth of how Simon found Helena in a brothel in Tyre (Epiphanius, Ancoratus, c. 104).

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  • And finally, just as the mother-goddess of south-western Asia stands in particularly intimate connexion with the youthful god of spring (Tammuz, Adonis, Attis), so we ought perhaps to compare here as a parallel the relation of Sophia with the Soter in certain Gnostic systems (see below) .

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  • This figure of the Primal Man can particularly be compared with that of the Gnostic Sophia.

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  • The meaning of this figure in the Gnostic speculations is, however, clear.

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  • A parallel myth to that of the Primal Man are the accounts to be found in most of the Gnostic systems of the creation of the first man.

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  • And here it must be premised that, intimately as the conception of salvation is bound up with the Gnostic religion, the idea of salvation accomplished in a definite historical moment to a certain extent remained foreign to it.

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  • Indeed, nearly all the Christian Gnostic systems clearly exhibit the great difficulty with which they had to contend in order to reconcile the idea of an historical redeemer, actually occurring in the form of a definite person, with their conceptions of salvation.

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  • And this decision is not affected by the fact that in certain Gnostic sects figured historical personages such as Simon Magus and Menander.

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  • The Gnostic ideas of salvation were in the later schools and sects transferred to these persons whom we must consider as rather obscure charlatans and miracle-mongers, just as in other cases they were transferred to the person of Christ.

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  • This explains the laborious and artificial way in which the person of Jesus is connected in many Gnostic systems with the original Gnostic conception of redemption.

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  • And it was openly maintained that the Soter only existed for the Gnostic, the Saviour Jesus who appeared on earth only for the " Psychicus " (Irenaeus i.

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  • What drew these two forces together was the energy exerted by the universal idea of salvation in both systems. Christian Gnosticism actually introduced only one new figure into the already existing Gnostic theories, namely that of the historical Saviour Jesus Christ.

    0
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  • This figure afforded, as it were, a new point of crystallization for the existing Gnostic ideas, which now grouped themselves round this point in all their manifold diversity.

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  • The Gnostic Marcion has been rightly characterized as a direct disciple of Paul.

    0
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  • In nearly all the Gnostic systems the doctrine of the seven world-creating spirits is given an anti-Jewish tendency, the god of the Jews and of the Old Testament appearing as the highest of the seven.

    0
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  • The conception of a resurrection of the body, of a further existence for the body after death, was unattainable by almost all of the Gnostics, with the possible exception of a few Gnostic sects dominated by Judaeo-Christian tendencies.

    0
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  • The Gnostic religion also anticipated other tendencies.

    0
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  • This freely-growing Gnostic religiosity aroused in the Church an increasingly strong movement towards unity and a firm and inelastic organization, towards authority and tradition.

    0
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  • A part was also played in this movement by a free theology which arose within the Church, itself a kind of Gnosticism which aimed at holding fast whatever was good in the Gnostic movement, and obtaining its recognition within the limits of the Church (Clement of Alexandria, Origen).

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  • A particular branch of the " Gnostic " sects is represented by those systems in which the figure of Sophia sinking down into matter already appears.

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  • And here may best be included Bardesanes, a famous leader of a Gnostic school of the end of the 2nd century.

    0
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  • By itself, on the other hand, stands the system preserved for us by Hippolytus in the Philosophumena under the name of the Naasseni, with its central figure of " the Man," which, as we have seen, is very closely related with certain specifically pagan Gnostic speculations which have come down to us (in the Poimandres, in Zosimus and Plotinus, Ennead ii.

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  • With the Naasseni, moreover, are related also the other sects of which Hippolytus alone gives us a notice in his Philosophumena (Docetae, Perates, Sethiani, the adherents of Justin, the Gnostic of Monoimos).

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  • With him, as far as we are able to conclude from the scanty notices of him, the manifold Gnostic speculations are reduced essentially to the one problem of the good and the just God, the God of the Christians and the God of the Old Testament.

    0
    0
  • Thanks to the noble simplicity and specifically religious character of his ideas, Marcion was able to found not only schools, but a community, a church of his own, which gave trouble to the Church longer than any other Gnostic sect.

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  • Among these we must mention the JudaeoChristian Gnostic Cerinthus, also the Gnostic Ebionites, of whom Epiphanius (Haer.) gives us an account, and whose writings are to be found in a recension in the collected works of the Pseudo-Clementine Recognitions and Homilies; to the same class belong the Elkesaites with their mystical scripture, the Elxai, extracts of which are given by Hippolytus in the Philos.

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  • Later evidence of the decadence of Gnosticism occurs in the Pistis-Sophia and the Coptic Gnostic writings discovered and edited by Schmidt.

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  • In these confused records of human imagination gone mad, we possess a veritable herbarium of all possible Gnostic ideas, which were once active and now rest peacefully side by side.

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  • None the less, the stream of the Gnostic religion is not yet dried up, but continues on its way; and it is beyond a doubt that the later Mandaeanism and the great religious movement of Mani are most closely connected with Gnosticism.

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  • These manifestations are all the more characteristic since in them we meet with a Gnosticism which remained essentially more untouched by Christian influences than the Gnostic systems of the 2nd century A.D.

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  • Mansel, The Gnostic Heresies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries (London, 18 75); K.

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  • See further among important monographs on the individual Gnostic systems, R.

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  • Thus Fichte, Spinoza, Jakob Boehme and the Mystics, and finally, the great Greek thinkers with their Neoplatonic, Gnostic, and Scholastic commentators, give respectively colouring to particular works.

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  • Tradition says that one of the Gnostic sects known as the Ophites caused a tame serpent to coil round the sacramental bread and worshipped it as the representative of the Saviour.

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  • To the second century also belong two gnostic uses.

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  • In the 2nd century the writer who nearest approaches to the later idea of Transubstantiation is the gnostic Theodotus (c. 160): " The bread no less than the oil is hallowed by the power of the name.

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  • Mani, following the example of the gnostic Jewish Christians, appears to have held Adam, Noah, Abraham (perhaps zoroaster and Buddha) to be such prophets.

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  • This distinction agrees with that made by the gnostic Basilides no less strikingly than the Manichaean criticism of the Old Testament does with that propounded by the Marcionites (see the Acta Archelai, in which Mani is made to utter the antitheses of Marcion).

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  • Manichaeism indeed, though it applies the title "redeemer" to Mani, has really no knowledge of a redeemer, but only of a physical and gnostic process of redemption; on the other hand, it possesses in Mani the supreme prophet of God.

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  • Its adherents were recruited on the one hand from the old gnostic sects (especially from the Marcionites - Manichaeism exerted besides this a strong influence on the development of the Marcionite churches of the 4th century), on the other hand from the large number of the "cultured," who were striving after a "rational" and yet in some manner Christian religion.

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  • Not only was he master of the contents of the Bible: he also read carefully the works of Hermas, Justin, Tatian, Miltiades, Melito, Irenaeus, Proculus, Clement, as well as many Gnostic treatises, the writings of Marcion in particular.

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  • The elements of this Christian Latin language may be enumerated as follows: - (i.) it had its origin, not in the literary language of Rome as developed by Cicero, but in the language of the people as we find it in Plautus and Terence; (ii.) it has an African complexion; (iii.) it is strongly influenced by Greek, particularly through the Latin translation of the Septuagint and of the New Testament, besides being sprinkled with a large number of Greek words derived from the Scriptures or from the Greek liturgies; (iv.) it bears the stamp of the Gnostic style and contains also some military expressions; (v.) it owes something to the original creative power of Tertullian.

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  • They held the "Lord's Prayer" in high respect as the most 1 These betray their Gnostic (Marcianite) spirit by the antiJewish tone of the oldest MSS.

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  • 8 Asceticism was bound up with the gnostic depreciation of the body.

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  • 1 It is probable that the use of the term was often in Rabbinic writings polemical (against Jewish Christians or gnostic sects) .

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  • Chandler, 1873), and The Gnostic Heresies (ed.

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  • commending the Christian religion over against all non-Christian rivals or gnostic perversions.

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  • It was used by the Gnostic Heracleon and probably by the unknown writer of the epistle to Diognetus.

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  • Together with these somewhat gnostic ideas, Cerinthus, if we may trust the notices of Gaius the Roman presbyter (c. 290) and Dionysius of Alexandria (c. 340), held a violent and crude form of chiliasm.

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  • Cerinthus is a blend of judaizing christian and gnostic.

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  • HERACLEON, a Gnostic who flourished about A.D.

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  • According to the Gnostic Heracleon, quoted by Clement of Alexandria (Strom.

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  • ABRAXAS, or Abrasax, a word engraved on certain antique stones, called on that account Abraxas stones, which were used as amulets or charms. The Basilidians, a Gnostic sect, attached importance to the word, if, indeed, they did not bring it into use.

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  • The efficacy of prayers for the dead, and indirectly the doctrine of purgatory, were denied by early Gnostic sects, by Aerius in the 4th century, and by the Waldenses, Cathari, Albigenses and Lollards in the middle ages.

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  • Most authorities believe that he was a Gnostic; but while it is certain that he was not a Christian, it is possible that he was simply a Sadducee, and thus an opponent not of Judaism but of Pharisaism.

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  • For Manichaeism is an attempt to weld the doctrine of the Gospel and the doctrine of Zoroaster Manlchae- into a uniform system, though naturally not without lam, an admixture of other elements, principally Babylonian and Gnostic. Mani, perhaps a Persian from Babylonia, is said to have made his first appearance as a teacher on the coronation day of Shapur I.

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  • Gnostic. For he ascribed salvation, not to " knowledge " but to faith "; he appealed openly to the whole Christian world; and he nowhere consciously added foreign elements to the revelation given through Christ.

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  • It is true that in many features his Christian system - if we may use the expression - resembles the so-called Gnostic systems; but the first duty of the historian is to point out what Marcion plainly aimed at; only in the second place *have we to inquire how far the result corresponded with those purposes.

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  • In Rome he became acquainted with the Syrian Gnostic Cerdo, whose speculations influenced the development of the Marcionite theology.

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  • The word, according to his interpretation, signifies the baptism of Metis, or of fire, and is, therefore, connected with the impurities of the Gnostic Ophites.

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  • For traces of the wider sense of "apostle" in Gnostic, Marcionite and Montanist circles, see Monnier (as below).

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  • CERDONIANS, a Gnostic sect, founded by Cerdo, a Syrian, who came to Rome about 137, but concerning whose history little is known.

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  • Basing itself probably on a union of certain gnostic and ascetic doctrines, this sect pretended that its members were re-established in Adam's state of original innocency.

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  • The Syrian Gnostic Basilides held (according to Irenaeus i.

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  • 28) common to this and the Arabic Didascalia, where it occurs in an earlier form, and based in part upon the Gnostic " Acts of Peter ";"; the presbyter (i.

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  • They are " the wise," " the perfect," " sons of light "; but this somewhat Gnostic phraseology is not accompanied with any signs of Gnostic doctrine, and the work as a whole is orthodox in tone.

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  • It came into my head as suggestively antithetic to the ' gnostic ' of Church history, who professed to know so much about the very things of which I was ignorant.

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  • Hutton here gives a variant etymology for the word, which may be therefore taken as partly derived from &-yvwanros (the "unknown" God), and partly from an antithesis to "gnostic"; but the meaning remains the same in either case.

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  • At the same time we ought not to overlook the affinities between the doctrine of Plotinus and that remarkable combination of Greek and Hebrew thought which Philo Judaeus had expounded two centuries before; nor the fact that Neoplatonism was developed in conscious antagonism to the new religion which had spread from Judea, and was already threatening the conquest of the GraecoRoman world, and also to the Gnostic systems (see Gnosticism); nor, finally, that it furnished the chief theoretical support in the last desperate struggle that was made under Julian to retain the old polytheistic worship.

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  • We find that this antithesis, as exaggerated by some of the Gnostic sects of the and and 3rd centuries A.D., led, not merely to theoretical antinomianism, but even (if the charges of their orthodox opponents are not entirely to be discredited) to gross immorality of conduct.

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  • The apocryphal book, The Acts of Andrew, mentioned by Eusebius, Epiphanius and others, is generally attributed to Leucius the Gnostic. It was edited and published by C. Tischendorf in the Ada Apostolorum apocrypha (Leipzig, 1821).

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  • He is realistic and idealistic, individualistic and universalistic, monistic and dualistic, sensationalist and intellectualist, naturalist and supernaturalist, rationalist and mystic, gnostic and agnostic. He is the prince of the Vermittler in philosophy, ethics, religion and theology.

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  • With their assistanee he sets forth and upholds, in opposition to the gnostic dualism, i.e.

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  • At a comparatively early date, indeed, we read of various Gnostic sects calling in the fine arts to aid their worship; thus Irenaeus (Haer.

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  • Much has been made in recent years of the Gnostic gospels.

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  • It was the Gnostic sects that believed in " secret " revelations.

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  • The seven rays of the Chaldean god Heptaktis, or Iao, on the Gnostic stones indicate the same septenary of souls.

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  • We see from the Epistle of John how mortally afraid of Gnostic Spiritualism were the founders of the historical fraud.

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  • In 1986, she founded the Society of Novus Spiritus to promote her Gnostic Christian philosophy about paranormal functioning.

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