Gnostic Christians

  • gymbob2015

    Posts: 6

    Jun 09, 2013 3:04 PM GMT
    What religion was Jesus? He was Gnostic. So if you follow Jesus why aren't you Gnostic instead of whatever religion you claim to be? I thought spirituality was simple??? icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif (Couldn't resist the devil me me -lol)
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jun 11, 2013 1:59 AM GMT
    gymbob2015 saidWhat religion was Jesus? He was Gnostic. So if you follow Jesus why aren't you Gnostic instead of whatever religion you claim to be? I thought spirituality was simple??? icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif (Couldn't resist the devil me me -lol)


    Let's hear some of the reasons Jesus was a Gnostic.

    Tell us about Nazarenes and Gnostics.
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Jul 22, 2013 7:06 PM GMT
    Well, it's difficult to say whether or not Jesus was a 'gnostic' as we understand the term today. It's relatively clear from a cross-examination of scripture that he did give outward teachings in the forms of parables to the majority of people and the apostles he gave a separate set of teachings that could be considered apocalyptic. Similarly, the Pauline scriptures definitely indicate an apocalyptic and ecstatic vision that are very similar to what we could consider gnostic.

    The Gospel of Thomas, though arguably more proto-gnostic than Gnostic proper, likwise indicates this and was written in the same general time period following the authorship of the other gospels, likely being written sometime between Matthew and Luke, if one is to accept the Markian primacy hypothesis. The other Gnostic gospels follow around between 90CE and 200CE.

    I doubt, personally, that Jesus (or any of the other Gnostics) would have considered themselves Gnostic in any meaningful way and it's relatively clear, if one does accept that Jesus was a living person, that Jesus' sayings aren't anywhere near as demiurgical as the later Gnostic traditions would become. That said, from the perspective of a mystery religion (yes, Christianity is one), the continued revelations of the Living Christ to the select group of apostles and followers makes for an interesting speculation.

    Also, I am clergy in a modern Gnostic church with valid apostolic succession. I make no pretenses that modern Gnosticism dates not much earlier than 1821 with the foundation of l'Église Johannites des Chretiens Primitif or the Church of Christ by B.R. Fabre-Palaprat, but the real take off happened in 1890 with the Gnostic Restoration, a fascinating fusion of Theosophy, Freemasonry, Esoteric Christianity and Spiritism. While Modern Gnosticism does share many of the ideas with earlier Gnostics, it's really its own thing.

  • MikeW

    Posts: 6061

    Jul 22, 2013 7:21 PM GMT
    @Sebastian: Stunning post! Long time ago I used to know the publisher of Gnosis magazine and a couple of the contributors.

    So, tell us more about contemporary Gnosticism, please!
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Jul 22, 2013 7:23 PM GMT
    Ummm Jesus was Jewish QUOTE GOES HERE


    Yes, this is also true. Although Jewish identity was wrapped up with religion at the time. Many of the early Gnostics as many of the early Christians were also Jewish by culture and ethnicity and may have considered themselves as representing a variant strain of Judaism. It's similar in a way that one who was Roman was Roman, religio romana was merely assumed in the same way as a Greek was understood to follow Hellenismos or, at least at this time, one of the variant strains of Neoplatonism.
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Jul 22, 2013 7:29 PM GMT
    @MikeW

    I'm a member of the Apostolic Johannite Church which is a global network of communities inspired by Saint John the beloved disciple of Jesus, rooted in the tradition of John the Baptist and guided by direct, experiential contact with Godhead. We consider ourselves part of the "catholic" (“universal”) Tradition as it was understood by the early Christian churches.

    You can find out more about us here at http://johannite.org/index.html

  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 22, 2013 7:34 PM GMT
    Christians believe Jesus was God. As God Jesus had no need for religion as religion is man's way of worshiping and giving honor and glory to his deity. Jesus had no need to worship himself.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 22, 2013 7:36 PM GMT
    Sebastian18 said@MikeW

    We consider ourselves part of the "catholic" (“universal”) Tradition as it was understood by the early Christian churches.


    And what was that understanding?
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Jul 22, 2013 7:50 PM GMT
    UndercoverManChristians believe Jesus was God. As God Jesus had no need for religion as religion is man's way of worshiping and giving honor and glory to his deity. Jesus had no need to worship himself.


    You are correct, Christians currently do believe that Jesus was God, however that came about over many hundreds of years of bickering and amazing philosophical discussions. It's unclear how the early Christian communities viewed him from a Christological perspective, but it's clear they definitely thought that he was the messiah.

    What we can say scripturally is that the New Testament does indicate that Jesus engaged in the required religious practices of the time and that he did pray to what appears to be an outside construct of deity, if one were to view it from a strictly 'by the book' interpretation. I think it's also possible that Jesus the man did have a mystical experience where he believed or did (no judgements on perception here) become one with his understanding of Godhead. This is very common in nearly all mystical tradictions.

    It's also possible, knowing the degree of Hellinization of Palestine in that time period, that Jesus may also have engaged in some of the philosophical pursuits or was at least aware of Neoplatonism.

    UndercoverManAnd what was that understanding?


    Before the great schism which resulted in the Eastern and Western Churches, the early Christian community identified itself by a degree of theological agreements and mutual recognition of liturgy, especially the reality of the sacraments, for that reason a Christian from Palestine could be welcomed by brothers and sisters in Gaul (France) and still be understood to be a Christian by virtue of baptism and any subsequent sacramental effects.

    In a similar way, we practice the sacraments and share valid apostolic sucession meaning that we believe we can trace our origins in a nearly unbroken line to the original apostles as part of our insitutional narrative, in a similar way as the Roman Catholic Church believes to trace itself back to St. Peter and the Patriarchate of Constantinope believes they can trace themselves back to St. Andrew.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Jul 22, 2013 8:09 PM GMT
    The original poster's argument is specious. Religious reforms are complex, paradoxical phenomena. Regardless of Jesus' religious background, the point of reform is to reframe revelation for the contemporary context. Followers change at the reformer's instigation; they do not emulate the reformer's prior states, whether they shared in this state or not.

    The scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a reformer of the Jewish mainstream.

    The moral teachings expounded in the canonical gospels align with early Rabbinical Judaism, though some scholars have suggested Jesus' eschatology may have been influenced by the Essenes.

    None of the earliest Christian documents (canonical or otherwise) could be characterized as particularly Gnostic. Even the Gospel of Thomas isn't very explicitly Gnostic, though I suppose this depends in part on what one means by "Gnostic." In exegetical scholarship, Gnosticism has something of a construct definition; it is an amalgamation of particular emphases -- on a kind of soteriology of knowledge, and also on a hierarchy of supernatural agents.
  • Sebastian18

    Posts: 255

    Jul 22, 2013 8:28 PM GMT
    Akhuan saidThe original poster's argument is specious. Religious reforms are complex, paradoxical phenomena. Regardless of Jesus' religious background, the point of reform is to reframe revelation for the contemporary context. Followers change at the reformer's instigation; they do not emulate the reformer's prior states, whether they shared in this state or not.

    The scholarly consensus is that Jesus was a reformer of the Jewish mainstream.

    The moral teachings expounded in the canonical gospels align with early Rabbinical Judaism, though some scholars have suggested Jesus' eschatology may have been influenced by the Essenes.

    None of the earliest Christian documents (canonical or otherwise) could be characterized as particularly Gnostic. Even the Gospel of Thomas isn't very explicitly Gnostic, though I suppose this depends in part on what one means by "Gnostic." In exegetical scholarship, Gnosticism has something of a construct definition; it is an amalgamation of particular emphases -- on a kind of soteriology of knowledge, and also on a hierarchy of supernatural agents.


    YES! All this. icon_biggrin.gif
  • nperson91

    Posts: 29

    Aug 10, 2013 10:01 PM GMT
    gymbob2015 saidWhat religion was Jesus? He was Gnostic. So if you follow Jesus why aren't you Gnostic instead of whatever religion you claim to be? I thought spirituality was simple??? icon_twisted.gificon_twisted.gif (Couldn't resist the devil me me -lol)


    Wasn't Jesus a Jew? Not that it matters to me since all of the miracle claims are unproven....
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2013 10:12 PM GMT
    Jesus was not a Gnostic.

    If there is one religion in the history of mankind that is incompatible with Gnosticism (and Neo-Platonism), it is Christianity.

    /end thread
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 10, 2013 10:58 PM GMT
    gymbob2015 saidWhat religion was Jesus? He was Gnostic.

    Wrong. You don't know your Jesus history. Jesus was a Jew through and through.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 11, 2013 3:44 PM GMT
    Sorry gymbob, Christ was jewish. icon_wink.gif
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 11, 2013 4:27 PM GMT
    UndercoverMan saidChristians believe Jesus was God. As God Jesus had no need for religion as religion is man's way of worshiping and giving honor and glory to his deity. Jesus had no need to worship himself.

    But, I learned it different...I was told that he was the son of god, only a messenger.

    Anyhow
    To this thread; what's the point of discussing about Jesus, when everyone ignores his teachings.
    His teachings are very simple truths which not even an atheist can argue & can be understood even by illiterates.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
    Log in to view his profile

    Aug 11, 2013 4:27 PM GMT
    Is this something you just dreamed up one day, or is it based on thoughtful research?