How to use Valentinus in a sentence
The list recognized four Gospels, Acts, thirteen epistles of Paul, two epistles of John, Jude, Apocalypse of John and (as the text stands) of Peter; there is no mention of Hebrews or (apparently) of 3 John or Epistles of Peter, where it is possible - we cannot say more - that the silence as to t Peter is accidental; the Shepherd of Hermas on account of its date is admitted to private, but not public, reading; various writings associated with Marcion, Valentinus, Basilides and Montanus are condemned.
The same is true of Valentinus, who also placed an unnameable being at the apex of his system, and regarded matter, not as a second principle, but as a product of the one divine principle.
It must be added that the dependence of Basilides and Valentinus on Zeno and Plato is beyond dispute.
But were the oldest Neoplatonists really acquainted with the speculations of Philo, or Justin, or Valentinus, or Basilides?
The systems of Valentinus and his disciples must be considered as a further development of what we have just characterized as the popular Gnosticism, and especially of that branch of it to which the figure of Sophia is already known.Advertisement
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.
This is important as bearing upon the connexion between Simon and Valentinus.
The St Valentinus who is spoken of as the apostle of Rhaetia, and venerated in Passau as its first bishop, flourished in the 5th century.
Amongst these were Valentinus, Bardesanes, Basilides, Tatian and their followers.
Among the Gnostics we meet with the hypothesis of emanation, as, for example, in the curious cosmic theory of Valentinus.Advertisement
A still more remarkable parallel to the later Neoplatonism is afforded by the Christian Gnostics of Alexandria, especially Valentinus and the followers of Basilides.2 Like the Neoplatonists, the Basilidians believed, not in an emanation from the Godhead, but in a dynamic manifestation of its activity.
At one time the Primal Man, who sank down into matter, has freed himself and risen out of it again, and like him his members will rise out of darkness into the light (Poimandres); at another time the Primal Man who was conquered by the powers of darkness has been saved by the powers of light, and thus too all his race will be saved (Manichaeism); at another time the fallen Sophia is purified by her passions and sorrows and has found her Syzygos, the Soter, and wedded him, and thus all the souls of the Gnostics who still languish in matter will become the brides of the angels of the Soter (Valentinus).