I am attempting to write one coherent essay discussing questions three and two.

I propose to first characterize the opposing views of the savior in Gnosticism
and in Orthodoxy. Secondly, I will compare the Valentinian and classic Gnostics
in how they differ and how the Gospel of Truth exemplifies the features of
Valentinian Gnosticism. The Orthodox view the church as a necessary medium
between the laity and god; they argued that without the church and the hierarchy
of clergy, the congregation would not be able to attain god on their own. They
saw the coming of god’s kingdom as a literal event. They also saw it
preposterous thought to separate the body from human life. That is, they saw
Jesus as both flesh and spirit that were inseparable. The Orthodox considered
the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical account. They viewed Jesus as a martyr
that sacrificed his life so that we may live. It was believed that the martyrdom
of Jesus allows for the forgiveness of sins and ensures resurrection and our
life everlasting; this sacrifice allowed us to release our guilt and receive
forgiveness for our sins. On the matter of what Jesus was, the Gnostics
vehemently disagreed with the Orthodox Church. Gnostics believed that Jesus was
more than a human martyr; Gnostics believed that the Holy Spirit (Christ) and
Jesus of Nazareth were two separate entities. They felt that Jesus was a man of
flesh who, at baptism, received the Holy Spirit and became Christ. They looked
at it as though the spirit of Christ was occupying the body of Jesus until the
crucifixion, where the spirit was transfigured and released so that we may
attain salvation. Gnostics and the Orthodox Church also argued over the point of
the suffering, or the passion of Jesus. Gnostics felt that Christ only appeared
to suffer and die, it was the body that suffered and when Jesus passed, the
spirit was transfigured and released. Gnostics and the Orthodox also disagreed
on the point of the existence of God. The Gnostics rationalized that the god of
the old testament-a god of creation and punishment was clearly a separate entity
from the god of Jesus, who was a loving and forgiving god. How could such a
loving god reach out to us with salvation and forgiveness be the same god who
created pain, punishment and suffering. The Orthodox believed in “one god,
the father almighty creator of heaven and earth.” In fact this was the
major claim of the creed that the orthodox Christians proclaimed as part of
their faith. Another point of argument was how to attain salvation. Orthodox
Christians felt it was necessary to proclaim, out loud, their belief in one god.

This was the discerning factor that allowed them to separate themselves from the
Gnostics-who were now considered heretics and a threat to the church. Gnostics
believed that as long as one lived in faith and held good conduct throughout
their entire life they would achieve salvation. Gnostics felt their approach was
superior to that of the Orthodox Christians because even hypocrites could
proclaim the creed, not believe in it and still reach life eternal and
salvation. After Jesus died, both Orthodox Christians and Gnostics claimed to
witness the resurrection of Christ. The orthodox claimed that they saw the
physical reappearance of Jesus Christ and expressed the importance of this type
of sighting as the truth. Gnostics had the belief that the relationship between
salvation and themselves was on a more personal level. Gnostics insisted that it
was merely an encounter between the witness and the spirit of Christ that had
been transformed. This follows the Gnostics belief that religious enlightenment
came from introspect and self-knowledge. Once one had achieved this gnosis they
were considered to be of mature knowledge and a member of an elite group ready
to receive the secret knowledge of the spirit. Gnostics believed that they
belonged to the “true church” of an elect few who were worthy; the
orthodox Christians would not be saved because they were blind to the truth.

Ignatus took the idea of “the father, son and the Holy Spirit” to an
extreme. He felt that this same hierarchy was represented on earth by the
procession of bishop, priest and deacon. And only by worshiping the bishop as a
stand-in for god would they be saved. The Orthodox Church was adamant about the
importance of the clergy as the medium to god. The Valentinians were a branch of
Gnosticism that often were not recognized as heretics. They rode a fine line
between the orthodox and the Gnostics. The Valentinians were different from the
rest of the Gnostics because they, like the Orthodox Church, proclaimed belief
in one god. The orthodox believed that once the Valentinians were in seclusion
that they entertained the thought of a conflict between the popular image of god
as the source of all being. The Orthodox Church was soon more threatened by the
Valentinians because they were heretics who’s teachings were comparable to that
of the Orthodox in what they said-but what they meant was blasphemous. The
Valentinians were like the classic Gnostics because they disagreed with the
Orthodox Church on the matter of the importance of clergy in the matter of
attaining a relationship with god. They both viewed the discussion of god as an
overlying issue to the question of spiritual authority. They stated that the
Orthodox Church was more concerned with the matters of who had more power than
focusing on the real matters. The Orthodox stressed the importance of the
relationship between the succession of clergy and the connection to the father,
son and the Holy Spirit. Clement, of the Orthodox Church decreed that any person
who disobeyed the power of the bishop was blasphemous and should be condemned to
death. The Gnostics expressed the importance of equality in the worship. They
argued that by considering each other as equals, there would be less
concentration on the fight for power and more focus on attaining knowledge and
salvation. The Gnostics took a radical position for the time and it still
emanates today-the position of women in the church. The Gnostics allowed women
to participate in all aspects of the worship; in fact, any one at any time was
allowed to assume the position of bishop. This way, there was no arguments over
who held more power. The Orthodox Church thought this was total and complete
blasphemy. They felt that women had no place in the leadership of the church.

Part of the reason that Gnostics expressed their belief in equality was because
of the way that they viewed the relationship between Jesus and his disciples.

They did not see Jesus as a superior to the apostles. Rather, they saw Jesus not
as a prophet with all of the answers, but as a messenger of the information that
should be used as a resource and a jumping-off point on their search for gnosis.

The Gospel of Truth is a Christian Gnostic text linked to the Valentinian
School. It is a reflection of the life and work of Jesus. It reflects the
significance of Jesus and his works. This work is exemplary of the basis of the
Valentinian Gnostic movement. This text expressed the Valentinian principle that
the knowledge of god destroys ignorance. It spells out the mythical account of
the fall of Sophia and calls it the description of error. This script talks of
Jesus’ work as a revealer and a teacher. It expresses the point about the
significance of his death and resurrection of his spirit and its connection to
our salvation. It interprets the event of Jesus’ death as a revelation of the
essence of the Father and the Origins of humanity within him. Through this
insight, the powers are overcome. It describes the authentic human experience as
one attained through knowledge-it introduces the contrast between this life of
knowledge and that of the hell of living in ignorance. The account spells out
how the revelation permits the eventual return to the Father. It states that the
ultimate goal was to eventually return to the Father. This was made possible
through the teachings of Christ as enlightenment to our knowledge. The Gospel of
Truth says that we should recognize where we come from and embrace our destiny
to return to the father through the salvation of enlightenment and knowledge.

The Orthodox Christians and the Gnostics seemed to be at opposite poles when it
came to the discussion of religion, the origin and composition of Jesus and god
and the relationship of these figures to the importance of authority in the
church. The Orthodox took a more strict position on these points of debate-God
was only one god and the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
and its analogy to the hierarchy of leaders in the church. They tried to impress
upon their members the importance of respecting the authority of the bishops.

The Gnostics felt that neither the church, nor the bishops did have such an
important role in the matter of attaining salvation. They also argued that a
punishing god of the Old Testament and the forgiving god of the New Testament
were different entities. Valentinians seemed to be positioned somewhere in the
middle. They agreed with the Orthodox Church, at least out loud, on the point
that there was only one god. On the other hand, they disagreed with the Orthodox
and agreed with the Gnostics on the lack of importance over the debate of who
held authority over the worship. The Gospel of Truth was a Valentinian account
of their position and where they stand on these ideas and about the matter of
salvation through knowledge. I am attempting to write one coherent essay
discussing questions three and two. I propose to first characterize the opposing
views of the savior in Gnosticism and in Orthodoxy. Secondly, I will compare the
Valentinian and classic Gnostics in how they differ and how the Gospel of Truth
exemplifies the features of Valentinian Gnosticism. The Orthodox view the church
as a necessary medium between the laity and god; they argued that without the
church and the hierarchy of clergy, the congregation would not be able to attain
god on their own. They saw the coming of god’s kingdom as a literal event. They
also saw it preposterous thought to separate the body from human life. That is,
they saw Jesus as both flesh and spirit that were inseparable. The Orthodox
considered the crucifixion of Jesus as a historical account. They viewed Jesus
as a martyr that sacrificed his life so that we may live. It was believed that
the martyrdom of Jesus allows for the forgiveness of sins and ensures
resurrection and our life everlasting; this sacrifice allowed us to release our
guilt and receive forgiveness for our sins. On the matter of what Jesus was, the
Gnostics vehemently disagreed with the Orthodox Church. Gnostics believed that
Jesus was more than a human martyr; Gnostics believed that the Holy Spirit
(Christ) and Jesus of Nazareth were two separate entities. They felt that Jesus
was a man of flesh who, at baptism, received the Holy Spirit and became Christ.

They looked at it as though the spirit of Christ was occupying the body of Jesus
until the crucifixion, where the spirit was transfigured and released so that we
may attain salvation. Gnostics and the Orthodox Church also argued over the
point of the suffering, or the passion of Jesus. Gnostics felt that Christ only
appeared to suffer and die, it was the body that suffered and when Jesus passed,
the spirit was transfigured and released. Gnostics and the Orthodox also
disagreed on the point of the existence of God. The Gnostics rationalized that
the god of the old testament-a god of creation and punishment was clearly a
separate entity from the god of Jesus, who was a loving and forgiving god. How
could such a loving god reach out to us with salvation and forgiveness be the
same god who created pain, punishment and suffering. The Orthodox believed in
“one god, the father almighty creator of heaven and earth.” In fact
this was the major claim of the creed that the orthodox Christians proclaimed as
part of their faith. Another point of argument was how to attain salvation.

Orthodox Christians felt it was necessary to proclaim, out loud, their belief in
one god. This was the discerning factor that allowed them to separate themselves
from the Gnostics-who were now considered heretics and a threat to the church.

Gnostics believed that as long as one lived in faith and held good conduct
throughout their entire life they would achieve salvation. Gnostics felt their
approach was superior to that of the Orthodox Christians because even hypocrites
could proclaim the creed, not believe in it and still reach life eternal and
salvation. After Jesus died, both Orthodox Christians and Gnostics claimed to
witness the resurrection of Christ. The orthodox claimed that they saw the
physical reappearance of Jesus Christ and expressed the importance of this type
of sighting as the truth. Gnostics had the belief that the relationship between
salvation and themselves was on a more personal level. Gnostics insisted that it
was merely an encounter between the witness and the spirit of Christ that had
been transformed. This follows the Gnostics belief that religious enlightenment
came from introspect and self-knowledge. Once one had achieved this gnosis they
were considered to be of mature knowledge and a member of an elite group ready
to receive the secret knowledge of the spirit. Gnostics believed that they
belonged to the “true church” of an elect few who were worthy; the
orthodox Christians would not be saved because they were blind to the truth.

Ignatus took the idea of “the father, son and the Holy Spirit” to an
extreme. He felt that this same hierarchy was represented on earth by the
procession of bishop, priest and deacon. And only by worshiping the bishop as a
stand-in for god would they be saved. The Orthodox Church was adamant about the
importance of the clergy as the medium to god. The Valentinians were a branch of
Gnosticism that often were not recognized as heretics. They rode a fine line
between the orthodox and the Gnostics. The Valentinians were different from the
rest of the Gnostics because they, like the Orthodox Church, proclaimed belief
in one god. The orthodox believed that once the Valentinians were in seclusion
that they entertained the thought of a conflict between the popular image of god
as the source of all being. The Orthodox Church was soon more threatened by the
Valentinians because they were heretics who’s teachings were comparable to that
of the Orthodox in what they said-but what they meant was blasphemous. The
Valentinians were like the classic Gnostics because they disagreed with the
Orthodox Church on the matter of the importance of clergy in the matter of
attaining a relationship with god. They both viewed the discussion of god as an
overlying issue to the question of spiritual authority. They stated that the
Orthodox Church was more concerned with the matters of who had more power than
focusing on the real matters. The Orthodox stressed the importance of the
relationship between the succession of clergy and the connection to the father,
son and the Holy Spirit. Clement, of the Orthodox Church decreed that any person
who disobeyed the power of the bishop was blasphemous and should be condemned to
death. The Gnostics expressed the importance of equality in the worship. They
argued that by considering each other as equals, there would be less
concentration on the fight for power and more focus on attaining knowledge and
salvation. The Gnostics took a radical position for the time and it still
emanates today-the position of women in the church. The Gnostics allowed women
to participate in all aspects of the worship; in fact, any one at any time was
allowed to assume the position of bishop. This way, there was no arguments over
who held more power. The Orthodox Church thought this was total and complete
blasphemy. They felt that women had no place in the leadership of the church.

Part of the reason that Gnostics expressed their belief in equality was because
of the way that they viewed the relationship between Jesus and his disciples.

They did not see Jesus as a superior to the apostles. Rather, they saw Jesus not
as a prophet with all of the answers, but as a messenger of the information that
should be sed as a resource and a jumping-off point on their search for gnosis.

The Gospel of Truth is a Christian Gnostic text linked to the Valentinin School.

It is a reflection of the life and work of Jesus. It reflects the significance
of Jesus and his works. This work is exemplary of the basis of the Valentinian
Gnostic movement. This text expressed the Valentinian principle that the
knowledge of god destroys ignorance. It spells out the mythical account of the
fall of Sophia and calls it the description of error. This script talks of
Jesus’ work as a revealer and a teacher. It expresses the point about the
significance of his death and resurrection of his spirit and its connection to
our salvation. It interprets the event of Jesus’ death as a revelation of the
essence of the Father and the Origins of humanity within him. Through this
insight, the powers are overcome. It describes the authentic human experience as
one attained through knowledge-it introduces the contrast between this life of
knowledge and that of the hell of living in ignorance. The account spells out
how the revelation permits the eventual return to the Father. It states that the
ultimate goal was to eventually return to the Father. This was made possible
through the teachings of Christ as enlightenment to our knowledge. The Gospel of
Truth says that we should recognize where we come from and embrace our destiny
to return to the father through the salvation of enlightenment and knowledge.

The Orthodox Christians and the Gnostics seemed to be at opposite poles when it
came to the discussion of religion, the origin and composition of Jesus and god
and the relationship of these figures to the importance of authority in the
church. The Orthodox took a more strict position on these points of debate-God
was only one god and the relationship between the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
and its analogy to the hierarchy of leaders in the church. They tried to impress
upon their members the importance of respecting the authority of the bishops.

The Gnostics felt that neither the church, nor the bishops did have such an
important role in the matter of attaining salvation. They also argued that a
punishing god of the Old Testament and the forgiving god of the New Testament
were different entities. Valentinians seemed to be positioned somewhere in the
middle. They agreed with the Orthodox Church, at least out loud, on the point
that there was only one god. On the other hand, they disagreed with the Orthodox
and agreed with the Gnostics on the lack of importance over the debate of who
held authority over the worship. The Gospel of Truth was a Valentinian account
of their position and where they stand on these ideas and about the matter of
salvation through knowledge.


Religion