The Beliefs Of Gnosticism And The Church's Response

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Gnosticism was one of the movements that grew out of Christianity. It would challenge the beliefs of the church in a way that would put the two at odds. This case study will discuss the beliefs of Gnosticism and the Church’s response to it using research from scholarly printed text and on-line resources. The term Gnosticism originates from the word gnosis, which means knowledge. It is a religious movement that became popular during the first and second centuries. The school of thought behind the Gnostic movement has not been able to be traced to its exact origin. However, some of the influences on this movement go as far back as the second and first centuries BCE. Among those influences would be the early treatises of the corpus Hermeticum and the Jewish Apocalyptic writings. The greatest source for the movement came through the Platonic philosophy and the Hebrew Scriptures (Moore). The movement is a controversial one with scholars being unable to put it in a definitive category. In one instance it is called “the label for an ill-defined category” that is “under heavy criticism” (Olsen). A major problem with Gnosticism lies in the fact that there are very few absolutes where questions and answers are concerned. This makes it problematic to have a dialogue that can bring everyone into agreement on the subject. Clues can be drawn from the texts but even those prove to be both inconsistent and inconclusive. Many of the Nag Hammadi texts are some form of Christian texts,

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