E. Cobham Brewer 18101897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
The knowers, opposed to believers, various sects in the first ages of Christianity, who tried to accommodate Scripture to the speculations of Pythagoras, Plato, and other ancient philosophers. They taught that knowledge, rather than mere faith, is the true key of salvation. In the Gnostic creed Christ is esteemed merely as an eon, or divine attribute personified, like Mind, Truth, Logos, Church, etc., the whole of which eons made up this divine plerma or fulness. Paul, in several of his epistles, speaks of this Fulness (pleroma) of God. (Greek, Gnosticos.) (See AGNOSTICS.)