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REL 1350 gnosticism montanism july 2008

REL 1350 gnosticism montanism july 2008 - Rejected...

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Rejected Boundaries of the Faith: Gnosticism and Montanism Heresy and Orthodoxy Heresy : Incorrect belief, false doctrine Orthodoxy : Correct belief Gnosticism Gnosticism is considered the most influential heresy of early Christianity o Gnosticism was an attempt to make elements of Christianity compatible with Greek culture and thought o An elitist system o Widespread second and third centuries; very influential in Egypt Meaning of Gnosis o To know – a secret divine knowledge o Salvation achieved through gnosis General characteristics o Syncretistic – combination of Jewish, Hellenistic, Christian thought; Scripture only one source of revelation. (Bring everything together) o Continuing Revelation – God spoke through New Testament writings as well as other writings that Jesus alleged revealed secretly to Gnostics E.g., Gospel of Judas o Diversity (Esotericism) – not one Gnostic group The knowledge (gnosis) not intended for all Only those few who have been initiated into this special knowledge can be saved o Radical Dualism – the world (matter) is evil; soul (spirit) is good, but trapped in the body Mind, Soul, Consciousness OVER Body Matter God and the world o God is separated (transcendent) from creation by a vast complex of heavenly powers. o The unity of God (Pleroma - full ) broken by a cosmic “fall” o Sophia (Wisdom) falls and produces the Demiurge o Humanity and this World The creator of this imperfect world is the demiurge, Yahweh of the Old Testament Humans have a spirit trapped inside the evil body (dualism!) The Father (not the same as the Demiurge) wants spirit to return to him.
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