Humanity And The Divine : A Gnostic View On The Creation Story

1512 Words Dec 7th, 2016 7 Pages
Humanity and the Divine: A Gnostic View on the Creation Story
The Gnostics were a second century Christian community whose spiritual home was Alexandria in Egypt. They believed that salvation could only come through knowledge and that ignorance was part of the sin of man. Hans Jonas in his book The Gnostic Religion: The Message of the Alien God and the Beginnings of Christianity believed there were five main tenants of the gnostic faith system – Theology, Cosmology, Anthropology, Eschatology, and Morality. In Anthropology, the Gnostics dealt with the creation of man and his/her place among the divine beings of their Theology and Cosmology. Jonas states that in gnostic traditions, “Man…is composed of flesh, soul, and spirit… Not on the body but also the ‘soul’ is a product of the cosmic powers, which shaped the body in the image of the divine Primal (or Archetypal) Man.” Jonas goes on to say that “enclosed in the soul is the spirit, or ‘pneuma’ (called also the ‘spark’), a portion of the divine substance from beyond which has fallen into the world… In its unredeemed state the pneuma thus immersed in soul and flesh is unconscious of itself.” In their quest to present humanity as divine, the Gnostics use the Apocryphon of John to highlight sin as the loss of knowledge of humanity’s own divinity through a modified creation story stressing the work of a jealous demogue upset that humanity was more perfect than he due to the imbuing of the godly spirit known as the Holy…

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