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The word gnosticism comes from the Greek word for knowledge, gnosis (γνῶσις), referring to the idea that there is special esoteric knowledge, a key to transcendent understanding, that only a few may possess. The occult nature of Gnostic teaching and the fact that much of the evidence for that teaching has traditionally come from attacks by orthodox Christians made it difficult to be precise about early Christian Gnostic systems. Irenaeus (Adversus Haereses) in particular described several different schools of 2nd century gnosticism in disparaging and often sarcastic detail while contrasting them with Christianity, to their detriment. Then, a chance discovery of a cache of 4th-century Gnostic texts was made at Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1945, and Gnosticism could be studied at first hand.
The word "Gnosticism" is also applied to many modern sects where only initiates have access to arcana. However, there has always been a great deal of diversity within gnosticism and modern gnostic doctrines sometimes have little to do with ancient Gnosticism.
Many elements of gnosticism are pre-Christian, and it is generally accepted that orthodox Christianity and its canonical texts do not predate the Gnostic movement, but grew up alongside it, out of some of the same sources. Many of today's scholars are convinced that the Gospel of Thomas was used by 1st Century gnostics as well as by writers in the Johannine tradition whose interpretation of the person and meaning of the Christ led to the developed doctrine of the 3rd and 4th-century Christian church. Other gnostic texts make no mention of Jesus Christ or other Christian figures.
Many Gnostic sects were Christians who embraced mystical theories of the true nature of Jesus and/or the Christ which were out of step with the teachings of orthodox Christian faith. For example, Gnostics generally taught docetism, the belief that Jesus did not have a physical body, but rather his apparent physical body was an illusion, and hence his crucifixion was not bodily.
There is really no universal symbol for the variant Gnostic movements, whether ancient or modern
Thelemic Gnosticism part of our Lifestyle and have average installs from 1000 to 5000. Last Update April 14, 2015. Google play rating is 84.2105. Current verison is 1.0. Actual size 1.9 MB.
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