A Conversation for Gnosticism and the Lost Texts of Nag Hammadi

Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 1

GuitarNinja

To begin, I would just like to say that I'm not just another Christian trying to tell everyone else that they are wrong (though I am a Christian.) I just want to point out a few things I've noticed that don't seem right to me about Gnosticism. Maybe I just don't know enough about the religon, but, hey, that's what's so great about hootoo, right? Learning new things!

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The author mentioned in the article that, "Jesus is an important figure to Gnostics not because they believed him to be the Son of God,"

If you read the definitive history of Jesus, which (luckly for us) has been written down in the most published and available book in history (The Bible), you may notice that it mentions that if you believe anything about Jesus, it is that he is the Son of God. Check out Mark 1:1 or John 8:58, even, where Jesus even straight-up called himself "I Am", which is a powerful Hebrew expression for God.

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"but rather because of the information they believed him to hold."

This is where I'm confused. If Gnostics don't believe Jesus was the Son of God, how can they listen to anything else he says? If he isn't who he says he is, then he's a liar, and how can one take into account anything someone says if they also claim to be God's Son? (Confuse you? For example: ) If I didn't believe Jesus is who he says he is, I would call him a fool and an idiot even if everything else he said was good. Would I be wrong in thinking that way?

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"Gnostics argue that Jesus descended from heaven for a very specific reason - not to 'die for our sins' as most Christians believe,"

I actually laughed, here. Not in scorn, but because the author said, "most". To set this straight, no one has the right to call themselves a Christian unless they believe that Christ came to be the living sacrifice for our humanistic tendancies to fall away from God (commonly known as sin.) It's the centrifuge of the entire faith. If anyone claims the name 'Christian' but doesn't believe that Christ is their died-and-revived savior, then they're kidding themselves.

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"but to show humanity the way to ascend to self-perfection."

Again, I'm confused, because if Gnostics believe that all matter is fundamentaly evil, then the only way to 'self-perfection' is death.

Anyway, if anyone has anything to say about any of that, feel free! Like I said, I'm always open to new thoughts and ideas. If you have anything to personally say to me, just message me to keep the forum clean of clutter. Otherwise, I expect a slough of responces from the all-knowing hootoo community by morning... or evening, depending on which side of the world you're situated on.

Pez,
GN


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 2

Gnomon - time to move on

Hi GN! I think you totally missed the point of the entry on Gnosticism.

1. It never said that the Gnostics believed that Jesus wasn't the Son of God. What it said is that that is not important. The important thing is what he said, not what he was. That seems reasonable to me.

2. Any follower of Jesus Christ could be said to be a Christian. Although all current Christians believe that Jesus died so that we would be forgiven our sins, this was not always the case, as the entry clearly shows.

3. "if Gnostics believe that all matter is fundamentaly evil, then the only way to 'self-perfection' is death." - you have obviously not learnt the Gnostics' way to self-perfection, but this does not necessarily mean that it does not exist.

smiley - smiley G
(I'm an atheist, by the way).


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 3

jedi-widge

I'm an Essene, which is what Jesus was.

It is my understanding that The Bible differs greatly from the texts found at Nag Hammadhi and also The Dead Sea, along with many documents found in the Vatican library. The reason for this may be that the bible has undergone much revision in its history.

I believe that Jesus was in many ways a gnostic, infact, it is almost certain he was. His people, the essenes, practiced many things esoteric yet natural. It is also pretty clear he was a vegetarian and one of his teachings discovered at Nag Hammadhi explicitly states along with baptism, the non-eating of meat was a precept for becoming one of his followers.

It is clear that Jesus IS the son of God, but as this isnt a religious rant i wont mention that again. smiley - smiley He is also the alpha and the omega, he is the blueprint, the archetype for man and his teachings show us the way to becoming 'the evolved man' as do the teachings of zoroaster, or buddha or muhammed or those teachings from india and elsewhere through history.

The idea that Jesus died on the cross to save us is a foolish one. To think that the innocent blood of someone against violent bloodshed, someone against the harming of others, including all animals, would absolve all your sins makes no sense at all. The idea certainly wouldnt fit with his teachings.

Jesus claimed to be the way, the door. His teachings, his yoke, are the way. There are other ways, this is one way. A course in personal development put simply.

That isnt to say that Jesus didnt die on the cross for a reason. He died so he could take care of business.

Self-perfection is simply evolving, becoming all that you can be and finding that God is within, aswell as without. Like many other religions the early christian gnostics, and indeed Jesus himself, considered Earth to be a hell realm and reincarnation a truth. The teachings of Jesus are similar to that of the The Eight Fold path aswell as the Jewish Kaballah in that they are concerned with rekindling that inner spark through a means of self exploration, self development, and human evolution.

That wasnt an attempt at conversion, you can believe what you want or choose whatever path you want, just throwing my twopennies into the pot. :P


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 4

jedi-widge

Almost certainly he was a Jedi Master smiley - smiley


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 5

AhymsaKali

"Jesus and the Goddess" by Timothy Freke and Peter Gandy.
Potentially an interesting addition to this discussion.
I'd say more but I have to get offline now!
AK xx


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 6

Gnomon - time to move on

The Bible may have undergone much revision during its history, but there's no evidence to support that view. The Nag Hammadi gospels are different from the normal gospels because they were written later, in the 4th Century AD. The gospels we have were written at the end of the 1st Century AD. We haven't got the originals, but we have copies that were made less than a hundred years later and they agree with the gospels that are printed in every Bible today. So they don't appear to have been changed since, other than being translated from the original Greek into Latin and then into other languages. Some versions in other languages were translated from the Latin rather than from the original Greek.

The Gnostic Gospels read like "secret society" initiation rituals. THey talk about secret knowledge which you can only get from other Gnostics. This is the main difference between Gnosticism and Christianity. The latter says that salvation is open to everyone while the former says that you only get it by being one of a secret society.


Christianity and the Gnostics

Post 7

filibust

I consider myself to be a Gnostic. Not a Christian gnostic, or any other kind of Gnostic, just a Gnostic. If being a 'G' means that I must have a God, then I name him,her,it, the God of Knowledge. My natural inclination is to explore the depths and heights of my soul and its relation to my body, and the souls about me. I am not very good at it but I have had a number of experiences that have helped me with my assumptions and conclusions. However, such assumptions are not built on rock. I reserve the right to adjust them according to any further discoveries I may make. The conclusions I reach are often answers to questions I may ask myself. Such answers become my Gnosis, or Knowledge. I consider such answers to be subject to modification if I find it necessary. I am pleased to find that these 'modifications' (which are still based on experience) are invariably positive and forward moving.I have raised certain very distinct and specific memories of previous lives, and I have a strong impression that I was/am being taken through a learning process by a higher part of me; a part with which I am not in very regular contact,nor am I a particularly co-operative pupil, but we get along pretty well! I am happy in the thought that I,he,it, is there. Perhaps I once called me God. Who knows ? It seems to have some contact with a number of other people's 'Gods'.


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Christianity and the Gnostics

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