The Pros And Cons Of Gnostics

Orthodox Christians rejected Gnostics teachings to the point of declaring them heretical. The question most ask is why? Does it have to do with the suppression of women or is it something that actually goes hand in hand with other? Orthodox Christians description of their god mirrored how they treated women in society. They feared women and their power over men, believing that they would challenge the officials of the church. They also often opposed the open attitude toward women that Gnostics and their gospel advocated. Orthodox Christians held the belief that women were to be subordinate to men (Pagels, pg. 152). The wife of the bishop in the church was to be submissive to him in every way – it was seen as a way to prove that he could keep order in “God’s Church” (Pagels, pg. 152). Parts of the Orthodox scripture even stated that “women were are not worthy of life,” they had to be accompanied by men to be considered whole or a “living spirit” (Pagels, pg. 142). This only proves that men were the heart of the community, were women were mere participants (Pagels, pg. 142). …show more content…
There were also differences that could be seen in the treatment of women in Judaism and the cult of the Egyptian goddess Isis. Gnostics believed that god was a dyad or androgynous being – having both masculine and feminine elements, therefore they saw masculine and feminine as equals. This showed in their social and political behaviors as they welcomed women in religious and community appointments – even if they were miniscule roles. Orthodox Christians, however, did not allow women to speak in the church much less take up any function that was masculine (Pagels, pg. 149). There were some exceptions that appointed women as equals but they were cast out as heretics. One such example was Marcion, who appointed women as priests and bishops (Pagels, pg.

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