They are first mentioned by Irenaeus, who connects them with the Valentinians.
11.9, and was used by the Valentinians.
We learn further that Anicetus as a mark of special honour allowed Polycarp to celebrate the Eucharist in the church, and that many Marcionites and Valentinians were converted by him during his stay in Rome.
There are many indications early in the 2nd century of a tendency towards the recognition of a single Gospel; for instance, there are the local Gospels according to Hebrews, according to Egyptians; Marcion had but one Gospel, St Luke, the Valentinians preferred St John and so on; Tatian reduced the Four Gospels to one by means of a Harmony, and it is possible that something of the kind may have existed before he did this.
The demiurge of the Valentinians always clearly bears the features of the Old Testament creator-God.
Most scholars, it is true, following an old tradition, reckon Bardesanes among the Valentinians.
As we have already intimated, Gnosticism had such a power 1 For the disciples of Valentinus, especially Marcus, after whom was named a separate sect, the Marcosians, with their Pythagorean theories of numbers and their strong tincture of the mystical, magic, and sacramental, see Valentinus And Valentinians.
When the Christians in the eastern part of the empire destroyed a Jewish synagogue and a church belonging to the Valentinians, Theodosius gave orders for the offenders to make reparation.
The treatise is divided into five books: of these the first two contain a minute and well-informed description and criticism of the tenets of various heretical sects, especially the Valentinians; the other three set forth the true doctrines of Christianity, and it is from them that we find out the theological opinions of the author.
In the work Against Valentinians, chap. xxxix., he speaks of the " great sacrament of the name," here rendering the Greek word µvo riipcov, mystery.
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).
Though conspicuously uniting faith in Christ with spiritual maturity, there are evidences that, like other Valentinians, Heracleon did not sufficiently emphasize abstinence from the moral laxity and worldliness into which his followers fell.
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