Gnosticism. Analysis and understanding of Codex III

Term Paper, 2022

16 Pages

Abstract or Introduction

Stephen Robinson states that the term 'Gnostic' comes from the Greek word for knowledge (gnosis). Fundamental to Gnosticism was the belief that the principle of knowledge is the principle of salvation, and that it is impossible for a man to be saved in ignorance. Personal revelation was crucial. The knowledge necessary for salvation consisted, according to many Gnostic writings, of higher teachings and ordinances taught by Jesus and his disciples and transmitted in oral traditions which were most often too secret and sacred to be written down or to be discussed with any who were not worthy of them.

On those occasions when they were written down, they appear to have been closely held and committed to writing only in an effort to preserve them for future generations. Although orthodox Christianity has emphatically denied that any such esoteric teachings ever existed, Gnosticism insisted not only that they were an important part of earliest Christianity, but also that they were the most important part.

Even if Gnosticism has been known to scholars in a less complete form with the aid of the writings of the church fathers and by an occasional manuscript, usually it has been treated as a form of devious Christianity having only secondary significance. The discovery of the Nag Hammadi library has reemphasized the fact that Gnosticism was the church and not merely the heretic fringe of the universal church.

According to Michael Kaler, Gnosticism was a religious movement which denigrated this cosmos and awaited a saviour figure who would rescue the gnostic believers from it, and the Valentinianism is regarded to be one of the two main branches of Gnosticism, along with Sethianism, so that insofar as the Apocalypse of Paul is Valentinian, it is also gnostic by default.


Gnosticism. Analysis and understanding of Codex III
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gnosticism, analysis, codex
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Dr. Lovewell Mwansa (Author), 2022, Gnosticism. Analysis and understanding of Codex III, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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