What is at Stake? – Gnosticism Part 8

It might be well to consider the question whether or not the Gnostics actually believed their stories to be literally true.  Doubtless, many of them did.  But the real answer to this question is that it does not matter whether they believed them to be literally true or not.  The nature of mythology is that … Continue reading What is at Stake? – Gnosticism Part 8

The Gnostic Hall of Infamy – Gnosticism Part 7

We have mentioned several times that there were numerous Gnostic teachers, each of whom produced his own version of the Gnostic mythology.  This next series of articles will briefly describe the most important Gnostic personalities and their contributions to the heresy. Simon and Menander Simon the Samaritan (also known as “Simon the Sorcerer” or “Simon … Continue reading The Gnostic Hall of Infamy – Gnosticism Part 7

Three Kinds of Men – Gnosticism Part 6

As we have said, in Gnosticism, there are three kinds of substance: Material, Animal and Spiritual.  Everything that is material will perish – that is, pass out of existence.  Every animal substance, because it is neither material nor spiritual but has certain things in common with both, will pass to whichever side its inclination draws … Continue reading Three Kinds of Men – Gnosticism Part 6

The Demiurge – Gnosticism Part 5

As stated in the previous article, Gnosticism taught three kinds of existence brought forth by Achamoth: Material – formed from passion and evil;Animal – formed from her conversion;Spiritual – brought forth by Achamoth herself. Achamoth’s next task was to give form to these.  And as it turns out, she was unable to do this with … Continue reading The Demiurge – Gnosticism Part 5

A Not-So-Divine Tragedy – Gnosticism Part 4

This youngest was the feminine Aeon, Sophia.  She left her consort, Theletos, and resolved to know her unknown Father.  She gave herself unreservedly to this pursuit of knowledge, not understanding that her goal was impossible to attain.  In the midst of her passion, she gave birth.  But because she had left her consort, Theletos, and … Continue reading A Not-So-Divine Tragedy – Gnosticism Part 4

The Gnostic Pantheon – Gnosticism Part 3

The reader has been introduced in the previous article to the first four Gnostic Deities: Bythus, Sige, Nous and Aletheia. This is the Primary Tetrad. There are many more members of the Gnostic Pantheon. As it turns out, each of the Gnostic teachers had a desire to establish himself as a great teacher. Consequently, there … Continue reading The Gnostic Pantheon – Gnosticism Part 3

Bythus and His “Family” _ Gnosticism Part 2

The Gnostics taught that there is a perfect, eternal, invisible, incomprehensible, unknowable, transcendent Aeon[1].  They called him by several names including Proarche, Propator and Bythus (meaning “First Beginning,” “First-Father,” and “Profundity,” respectively). He is also called, The Unknown Father. There are other Aeons, emanating by means of thought directly or indirectly from Bythus, including Christ … Continue reading Bythus and His “Family” _ Gnosticism Part 2

Introduction to Gnosticism – Part 1

In the late second century, an elder in the Christian church in Lyons, Gaul, wrote five books for the purpose of describing and refuting Gnosticism. The pastor’s name was Irenaeus (A.D. 120 – 202). Other early Christian writers who took up the torch and defended the faith against the Gnostic heresies include Tatian, Tertullian, and … Continue reading Introduction to Gnosticism – Part 1