Gnostic Writings of Jesus Essay

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Gnostic Writings of Jesus

Gnostic writings of Jesus portray him as a heavenly redeemer made less of flesh than of spirit. The emphasis of Jesus' importance is not on his physical humanness but rather, on his ability to show people the way to the kingdom. Jesus put on flesh in order to give people gnosis and reveal to them where they come from and where they will eventually return. When it is time for Jesus to return to his heavenly home, he is crucified and resurrected before he finally ascends. His body's lack of importance in some Gnostic texts gives this series of events a different connotation than other versions of the story more common today. The Gnostic understanding of Jesus gives us better knowledge of what will happen to us
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The All came forth from me and the All reached me" (G of Th., v.77). Many people, however, look at Christ's incarnation in different ways. According to some Gnostic thought Christ comes to our earth and puts on Jesus' human body so that he may walk among us. "I visited a bodily dwelling" (Ehrman, 231). Some of the Gnostic writings show Jesus as an earthly being with a heavenly nature, while others show Jesus as a purely heavenly being with a lack of earthly context. In the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, Christ's incarnation was into Jesus' body in which he cast out the original occupier (Franzmann, 75). Christ's arrival on earth in the Gospel of Thomas is described in a docetistic way, "I stood in the midst of the world, and I appeared to them in flesh" (G. of Th, v.28). He is said to appear to them in flesh only in outward appearance (Franzmann, 78). The Gospel of Truth describes Jesus as "a fruit of knowledge" that when eaten gives people gnosis (Ehrman, 161). This Gnostic text shows Christ as a revealer. He is referred to as the book or logos, which reveals to us all that is unknown (Ehrman, 162). He put on the book, was nailed to a tree and published the edict of the father on the cross (Ehrman, 162). These actions say that by dying on the cross, which in this text is not in flesh, he is helping people receive gnosis. Many Gnostic views have implied a hatred of the body. The body is what is keeping people from realizing their origin (G.