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In December 1945, Gnostic books containing many secrets of the early Christian religion was found near the town of Nag Hammadi in upper Egypt. Undisturbed since their concealment almost two thousand years ago, these manuscripts from rank in importance with the Dead Sea Scrolls. The first extensive translation into English did not appear until 1977. These writings changed the world's understanding of the doctrines of the early church immediately after the death of Christ and shed some light on . The following are some of the secrets revealed from this amazing discovery.When writing about it is very difficult to present an objective view of this system of belief or its participants. The reason for this is that there are very few exhibits of first hand copies of their writings. These writings were burned by the orthodox Christians from the first century onward. was considered heretical and Gnostics heretics. So, until the find of Nag Hammadi in 1945 little was known of and the Gnostics except from the writings of their adversaries.
One of the main things which separated the Gnostics from orthodox Christians was the mysticism of their beliefs. It began with their views of God and creation. They viewed the One which they called the true God as having a feminine part which was the Spirit. In accord, they also held that Jesus came from God and the Spirit to form the Trinity.
In the Gnostic version of creation of the world the Spirit of God is referred to as the Wisdom of God or Sophia who is also a feminine creative force. It seems she wished to give birth to a creature like herself. She did so without the permission of her partner. She was able to do this by the power within her. The fruit of her desire was something imperfect and different from her in appearance. She was ashamed of it, threw it outside of the heavenly realm and hid it in a cloud so none of the Immortals would see it. According to the Gnostics this horrible child became the one they called the Demiurge. Unbeknown to him his mother gave him some of her power which contained the Spirit. The Demiurge thought the power which his mother gave him was his own, and with it he started creating the physical world. In doing this the Gnostics believed the Demiurge entrapped the Spirit in matter. They viewed the Demiurge as being the Christian God, the creator, basing their belief on the statement, "I am God, and there is no one besides me."
Also, the Gnostic differed with the orthodox Christians on two other major issues: the salvation of man and the person of Jesus. They disagreed with the theory that man was sinful by nature, but believed man erred through ignorance; by knowledge man could correct his ways and gain salvation. The special knowledge which the Gnostics subscribed to was known as "gnois." Gnois was not a logical type of knowledge as one might gain in the study of mathematics or chemistry, but it was an intuitive or reflexive type of knowledge which comes from the study of man's inner self or soul. Any other knowledge did not concern the Gnostics. They called this gnois illuminated Logos because they believed it led to man's salvation.
For them the principle teacher of gnois was Jesus; a special person who did not come from the Demiurge but had come directly from God and the Holy Spirit. The Gnostics claimed Jesus taught them secret knowledge which he did not share with the general congregation of the Church. This sort of claim did not set too well with the Church at a time when it was striving to gain strength and power. Another point concerning Jesus which caused discord was that the Gnostics did not accept that Jesus was born of a virgin. Holding that Jesus specially came from God and the Spirit, they said he entered a body brought about by sexual intercourse between Mary and Joseph. Many Gnostics scoffed at the idea of an Immaculate Conception which other Christians held.
Within this gnois, or secret teaching, were beliefs for escaping the clutches of the Demiurge. Since it was held that the Demiurge had entrapped the Spirit in matter, especially in man, through creation, it was therefore believed that not to prolong or propagate life was the best way to ultimately free the Spirit. Such a belief led to a schism among the Gnostic community. The majority formed sects practicing almost total monasticism, while a minority had sects which practiced libertinism. Where marriage was permitted within the monastic sects, sexual intercourse was absolutely forbidden. Many types of sexual acts and perversions were permitted in the libertine sects. One, the Ophites -- a name which honored the snake or serpent -- was known for its love feasts. The purpose of all the sects on both sides of the schism was the same, to liberate the Spirit by stopping the propagation of life. The Gnostics took Jesus' answer to his disciple Solame's question, "How long will death reign?" literally when he responded, "As long as you women bear children." Also to disobey the laws of the Demiurge, who was evil himself, was justified to the Gnostics. Therefore, to them the ...

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Keywords: gnosticism definition, gnosticismo, gnosticism today, gnosticism pronunciation, gnosticism heresy, gnosticism in the bible, gnosticism vs christianity, gnosticism sophia

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