Talk:Gnosticism and the New Testament

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Why I edited what I edited[edit]

Changed references to "the Mithras version" of "the mystery religions" to "the Mithraic Mysteries." The previous way was like refering to Judaism as "the Jewish version" of "the Abrahamic religions."

"No ancient gnostic text explicitly refers to an original document of sayings.[citation needed]" - Citation tag removed, someone needs to find evidence that there is indeed a gnostic text explicitly refering to an original document of sayings.

"Gnostic scholars" -> "Scholars of Gnosticism" because the scholars are not necessarily religiously Gnostic, just folks that study Gnosticism.

Deleted the question and answer bit in "Sayings in Matthew and Luke attributed to Q" because there is better evidence that this was a rabbinical (or rather proto-rabbinical) practice. [1]

Deleted the bit about the Q1, Q2, Q3. Those are far more concerned with the Q document, which has to do with Early Christianity in general. It would make as much sense if you read "Catholic" instead of "Gnostic."

In the Gospel of Mark section, Barabbas is refered to as "Jesus Barabbas" in some older manuscripts of the Gospel of Mark (he is just refered to as Barabbas in most translations done until the last century or so to avoid confusion) (see: , even though its theories are inaccurate it does point out that even Origen accepted that it said Jesus Barabbas). There is no evidence the Gnostics got anything out of the Barabbas bit, and Jesus was an extremely common name at the time. Also removed the part about "well there are miricles in it that don't fit in with Gnosticism so it shouldn't be interpreted as Gnostic" - the Gnostics were a later group that cherry picked, much like how many modern Christians cherry pick bits to support mass consumerism, salvation by works, exclusion of different people instead of charity, salvation by faith, and love thy neighbor -- they wouldn't care if there are bits that don't match up.

"For the gnostics in Mark, Jesus is often portrayed to refer" -> "For the Gnostics, Jesus in Mark is viewed as refering" - clarified and NPOV.

In the Gospel of John section, pretty much any Christian (Gnostic or otherwise) familiar with Greek philosophy views the Logos as the Logos and not as a three toed sloth (so I deleted the connection with Heraclitus, as the Stoics view was more comparable to his than Plato's). Also, the reverse psychology bit ("Many theologians therefore believe that John states positions in order to invert them and counter-assert one of the positions that later became orthodox") doesn't make sense. In the last paragraph, I deleted the first word ("Though") for grammatical reasons.

In the Pauline Epistles section, I deleted "(the Christian Saint Paul)" after Paul of Tarsus is mentioned. This part in particular gives me the feeling that much the article was written by someone (or some folks) without a whole lot about Christianity and Gnosticism and assumes that everyone else knows less (there's only so much you can simplify stuff before you become redundant). In the Terminology adopted by Paul section I deleted the first two sentences because Paul wrote before the Gnostics came about - the Gnostics would have adopted Pauline terminology for their purposes (just like many modern Christians take "saved by grace" to mean "saved by grace if you behave like I do") - and because the second sentence is just a justification for the first (plus, dexontextually is a made up word). Also got rid of overdone italization. In the Paul and the early church section, I deleted the part about the Book of Acts criticizing Paul. Its part of the justification for Matthias replacing Judas. Cherry picking, cherry picking, cherry picking. In Gnostic interpretations of Paul's teachings, I changed "The followers of Valentinius systematically" to "attempted to systematically," because their decoding of Paul's work is debatable. Ian.thomson (talk) 17:19, 10 April 2009 (UTC)

Clement of Rome[edit]

Moved this here from the main article:

Clement of Rome, who lived at the end of the first century, and is considered by the early Christian church a saint, vigourously attacked Paul's teachings, going so far as to state that the vision Paul is alleged to have had, on the way to Damascus, originated from a demon. Clement was the 3rd/4th pope, and was strongly anti-gnostic, in his homilies even asserting his opinion that Paul is a dangerous heretic who should be expelled from the church. Other early christians, such as Justin Martyr, chose not to mention Paul at all.

Frankly, I think this paragraph is a bald-faced lie. Based on a conversation with CheeseDreams on my Talk page, this is probably based on the "Clementinian Homilies and Remembrances", documents that are generally dated to the late second or early third centuries and not genuinely authored by Clement of Rome. (See Clementine literature.) Further, they specifically tell about Peter debating Simon Magus, not Paul of Tarsus; to get them to attack Paul, one has to first figure out that "Simon" is a code word for "Paul." Wesley 06:20, 17 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Cutting the haircut[edit]

I'm deleting the bit about Paul cutting his hair, as it seems highly unlikely that Jews were prohibited from cutting their hair outside of Jerusalem, and no background is given for this unlikely assertion.

Dispute: The oath of the Nazarite cannot so blithely be dismissed. It was of Torah (Pentetuch) derivation and makes no hard and fast rule regrading its completion. It merely says that a nazarite oath was associated with abstainence from alcohol and the cutting of hair. The oath very well could have included the place for the hair-cutting being in Jerusalem. Although we are not told, it has been suggested, considering the importance with which Paul considered the provision of alms for the Jerusalem church, that the oath was to safely deliver the money to the church in Jerusalem and only then to cut his hair.

Cutting the Lilith example[edit]

I removed the example because it appears that even pagans reject the connection between Lilith and the Isaiah passage. See

The word in the hebrew in the Isaiah passage is Lilitu. ~~~~ 16:01, 19 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Merge with Paul and Gnosticism[edit]

These articles should be merged, as they both cover the same ground and duplicate a lot of material between them. Now let's see if I can do the tag right. Wesley 05:46, 16 Feb 2005 (UTC)

Dispute: There seems to be no discussion of the timeline for this gnostic input.

As it is the actual documentary material is widely separated in time. The presumption that these were contemporaneous is bogus. Gnostic writting were only as early as the early 3rd century while the earliest actual canonical gospels are reliably dated to the early second century to perhaps as early as 90AD. Moreover, large portions of the gospels and the epistles are quoted in private letters in the early 2nd century.

The question is not then whether Paul borrowed from the Gnostics, which would be impossible, but rather whether they borrowed from him, which they admit.

Major Factual Errors[edit]

I came across this article on a POV scan... I'm not going to attempt to edit it b/c there are already people on both sides who've invested time and energy, but someone please do a fact check. For example:

Of the four gospels, the Gospel of Mark has often been connected with Gnosticism. Thus, it may not have been intended as historical material of Jesus, reducing its value as evidence for his existence. Furthermore, the other synoptic gospels (Matthew and Luke) are believed by many scholars to have been based on Mark. The Gospel of John is not generally viewed as Gnostic.

This passage has major fact problems. Matthew and Luke are considered to be descendants of Mark (and also Q), but John is by far the most Gnostic-leaning Gospel. "In the beginning there was the Word".... "the Word was made flesh".... "I am the truth, the way, the light" etc.... are all extremely Gnostic ideas. John likely emerged from Syria, which was a Gnostic-leaning region. Feco 19:57, 16 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Certainly, the 19th Century neo-Gnostic churches deriving from Doinel considered the Gospel of John to be the most Gnostic-leaning, and extolled its virtues, some even going so far as to call it the "Gnostic Gospel." There appears to be no such consideration given to any of the Synoptic gospels.

This entire article is possibly the worst-written and most inaccurate piece I've seen on Wikipedia recently, and that's saying something. "Sentences" such as "Most scholars however have recently agreed that it was likely written sometime halfway into the 1st century." or "In which Charles Hill gives evidence that the Gospel of John was used between CE 90 and 130, the possible use of uniquely Johannine gospel material in several works which date from this period." are simply not English.

Moreover, claims such as that most scholars think that the Gospel of Thomas was written in the mid-first century, or that Arianism was a second-century sect (it was not a sect, and it was fourth-century) are ridiculous. I'm not even going to start on the stuff about the Logos and the opening of John's Gospel. The article was obviously written, or at least scrawled, by someone with very slight knowledge of the subject, and in my opinion is utterly beyond repair - someone vaguely competent should simply scrap it and start again. (talk) 09:26, 24 September 2008 (UTC)

What are your sources?[edit]

This text has many incredible and outrageous statements. But the fact that there are no references to scholarly works at all makes it very difficult to begin to refute it. Did the information come out of a book or was it channelled by a psychic? If we knew this, it would be a lot easier to discuss it and go into the finer details. Now it just sits there. --BirgerLangkjer 21:51, 19 Apr 2005 (UTC)

This seems like original research/analysis. It does not read like a summary of the state of the field. There is an additional viewpoint problem. Is the subject how gnosticism viewed the New Testament, or is it how teh New Testament shows traces of Gnosticism? It seems to be leaning towards the second, which suggests that it might be merged into "History of Gnosticism".Mangoe 04:09, 1 May 2006 (UTC)
It seems like 'original research' (albeit, the worst I have seen on WP in a long time) sourced from some modern day wannabe Gnostic website and an anti-Christian Graeco-Roman myth site. Because of this, the arguments are utterly flawed, factually wrong in almost every regard and even absurd at the most basic of definitional levels. The definition of 'gnostic' is by no means consistent nor is it factually correct a lot of time. They seem to use it as a synonym for every source-theory. --Ari89 (talk) 11:11, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

In need of clarification and perhaps some further study[edit]

Firstly Gnosticism came in several different varieties (Sethian, Valentinian, Ophite, Syrian-Egyptian etc.), not all of them Judeo-Christian, and this page could use some clarification on which group of Gnostics believed what about the Gospels.

As to the authors actual knowledge of the subject I have some qualms. Clearly the author has done quite a bit of research on the subject but apparently without an understanding of what is “Gnostic” and what is just Hellenistic/Roman period mystic speculation. ALL of the author’s comments on Galatians fall into this category.

Further the author’s understanding of Gnosticism itself is rather shaky. For instance the author says: "Gnostics also referred to the demiurge as the mediator between God..."

This is not true. The problem with it lies not in the concepts so much as a lack of nuanced understanding. The author of this sentence is referring to the enthronement of Sabaoth in which Sabaoth who (in this tradition but not in others) is the SON of the demiurge (Yaltabaoth). For further information on this particular tradition see: Fallon, Francis T., The Enthronement of Sabaoth: Jewish Elements in Gnostic Creation Myths. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1978. Nag Hammadi Studies, v. 10. ISBN 9-00405-683-1

The confusion of the author is understandable as in OTHER Gnostic traditions the demiurge is referred to as Sabaoth. Unfortunately such a mistake, one of many in this article, shows that the author is not as well versed in this subject as one might wish. The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

Bogus Greek[edit]

Charisma DOES NOT derive from Makar in Greek!!! It would be best if all the bogus Greek nonsense were ripped out of this article... AnonMoos 20:01, 10 November 2005 (UTC)

No Mention of Thomas![edit]

How can a discussion of gnosticism be considered complete, even by the layperson, with nary a a mention of the Secret Gospel of Thomas? Honestly... The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk • contribs) .

This article does not attempt to discuss gnosticism in general, just the relationship between gnosticism and the New Testament. The Gospel of Thomas isn't part of the New Testament, so it isn't mentioned here and shouldn't be. It is mentioned among other gnostic texts in the main Gnosticism article. Wesley 06:34, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

Additional problems with this article[edit]

Over half of this page is devoted to finding short phrases in the New Testament that have some connection with Gnosticism, either because the New Testament uses a term that Gnosticism also uses, or because some later author found a similarity between some New Testament theme and some Gnostic theme.

I think this is silly. Why not have an article on themes that appear both in Shintoism and Marxism? I'm sure there are many.

I suspect that the real reason the original author wrote this page is because they cared about the following interesting subject: When there are similarities between early orthodox Christianity (including the New Testament) and Gnosticism, how is this to be explained? There are several common explanations:

  1. The earliest Christianity was gnostic Christianity; orthodoxy started later as a deviation.
  2. The earliest Christianity was orthodox Christianity; Gnosticism started later as a deviation.
  3. The earliest Christianity was a diverse group with parts that looked like orthodoxy and parts that looked like gnosticism; eventually they split apart.
  4. The earliest Christianity didn't look much like orthodoxy or gnosticism; these both developed later.
  5. Gnosticism was a separate movement, originally unrelated to Christianity -- other than having some thematic elements in common with each other and with many other religions. Gnostic Christianity was created when some Gnostics chose to "Christianize" some of their writings.

(Of course there are other possibilities.) The Holy Blood Holy Grail types seem to believe # 1 or # 3, even though virtually no reputable scholars would claim this. Even the Jesus Seminar folks are asserting 4, if you read them carefully, even though the back covers of their books like to suggest that they are asserting 3.

This article does not put its statements in the context of these views. I suspect that the goal of this article is to defend thesis 3, but it never says so. Therefore the article (even if it contained no errors) lacks a thesis. I'm not saying that a Wikipedia article is supposed to argue for a controversial point, but it is supposed to have a point. Without that, this article is no more interesting than a list of words that appear in both King Lear and Moby Dick.

Of course, this author sometimes adds things that are completely off-topic. For example, As for himself, in 1 Corinthians, Paul considers he is a Steward of the mysteries of God, which was also the technical term for a priest in the Egyptian version of the mystery religions where the central figure is the god Serapis. Even if this is true (and without sources, who knows?), it has nothing to do with Gnosticism (which was not an Egyptian mystery religion). Lawrence King 08:14, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Keep or cut?[edit]

After reading all the criticisms of the article on this page, and then looking through the article again, I have to wonder how much of this article is worth keeping at all? Should the whole thing be submitted to Votes for Deletion? Wesley 06:44, 14 January 2006 (UTC)

I think that's probably a good idea. The subject of "how is Gnosticism connected to early Christianity" is one that hundreds, if not thousands, of reputable scholars have written books and articles about. If Wikipedia is to be taken seriously, an article about this subject must be a summary of the major views and trends in this scholarship.
Sure, there is room, in the "external links" section, to link to some iconoclast who wants to argue that "Everything that the Pope and Pat Robertson and the Jesus Seminar and the New Age movement are saying is a lie, let me tell you the truth!" But when the entire article is written from one person's point of view, this isn't an encyclopedia anymore. Lawrence King 08:06, 19 January 2006 (UTC)

Paul's View on Sexuality[edit]

"Paul also appears to many scholars to exhibit a strong distate for sexuality of any kind, supporting the principle of celibacy, which gnostics interpreted as due to the idea of the world as evil, though non-gnostics took it to be merely a rigid and strict adherence to the Old Testament."

A strong distaste for sexuality in general? No. A strong distaste for sexuality outside of the sacred confines of marriage? Yes.

Paul did advocate celibacy for those with the self-constraint to follow such a life. However, he clearly indicated that if your yearnings are too strong, you should marry so that you can satisfy your sexual appetite in a way that is not sinful. That's hardly a strong distaste for sexuality, I think.

A simple reading of Paul's epistles shows that he did not have some grudge against marriage or sex in general, on principle. Such an assertion, as made here, should really be stricken from the page all together. But from the looks of things, not much else about the article itself is right and it will be cut eventually, anyway. - Posted on 13:20 5 February 2006, by

Right on

i wholeheartedly agree with you on this. the claims that paul's texts on sexuality express hatred for sexuality stem from nothing more than the narrow, ignorant, pseudo intellectual, one-track minded, presumptuous, phobic and biased views from the traditionally prejudiced attitude against christian ideals. such asinine conclusions come from the same ilk of thought that give birth to such theories as "Paul's attitude to sexuality, his companionship with Timothy, and his statement that the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak has lead some commentators, including the Foundry Methodist Church [...] to argue that Paul was a self-hating homosexual." simple minds unfortunately abound in the world, spewing conclusions such as this. these brilliant minds should not even be allowed to debate as their drivel is prejudicial to everyone and we can start with the geniuses of the Foundry Methodist Church.

Lusitano Transmontano 02:26, 4 June 2006 (UTC)

Regardless of your personal opinion, the fact that a noteable group, such as the church used by an American President (/former president), holds an opinion is important enough for it to be mentioned. Wikipedia isn't a debate or a place to assert truths and present evidence, but an encyclopedia. The viewpoints of certain groups may be narrow minded, phobic, ignorant, and prejudiced, but the Southern Baptists, and Conservative Protestants, should be afforded the right to be represented as noteably as their opponents are. It doesn't matter if the viewpoint is morally abhorrant, it is still a noteable viewpoint held by noteable people, and should be mentioned in any self-respecting encyclopedia.

For example, the NAMBLA article contains viewpoints that support NAMBLA as well as those that attack it. NPOV requires that we represent noteable viewpoints fairly, no matter how much of an abomination we ourselves personally feel that those views are. Clinkophonist 20:53, 22 June 2006 (UTC)

There are two ideas here. The first is Paul's attitude about sexuality: any discussion of this needs to include 1 Corinthians, where he makes a number of pronouncements on adultery, homosexuality, prostitution & all of the other forms he knew about. (By this, I doubt his silence should be understood that he condoned, for example, bestiality.) My understanding of what he writes at 9:4 is that he, at best, tolerated even the idea of marriage; from what he writes elsewhere, it is clear that he'd prefer that all good Christians be celibate. The second idea is that the Gnostics had a monopoly on the practice of celibacy -- which is wrong. Peter Brown, The Making of Late Antiquity points out that there were a number of schools of thought that promoted celibacy that had nothing to do with either Gnosticism or Christianity. If we include this line of argument that Paul was gnostic, we should also include these other facts. BTW, a number of authorities read First Corinthians as a criticism of a gnostic circle who have gained influence in the Corinth church ( my source: Raymond E. Brown, An Introduction to the New Testament, pp.526ff.) -- llywrch 20:19, 18 April 2007 (UTC)

All Gnostics...[edit]

were Christian, as per 2nd line? News to me. Can someone cite before I change?--Mrdarcey 04:35, 21 April 2006 (UTC)

weasel words[edit]

sections Sayings in Matthew and Luke attributed to Q

"The Gospel of Thomas is generally regarded to be a gnostic work, and hence the sayings found in both Thomas and Q, i.e. in both Thomas and Matthew or in both Thomas and Luke."

"the other being a (now lost) collection of logia" There is no mention of this document historically."

"Of the four canonical gospels, the elements associated with Q show the clearest connection to Gnosticism." Gnosticism states the the universe, material or nature world was created by a fallen god the demiurge who is also treated as the devil or evil. How can this be the same as theology as the new testament.

"Elsewhere Paul refers to a god of this passing age, which non-gnostics interpret as referring to the devil, but gnostics considered (particularly since it clearly states god rather than some lesser creature) this to be a reference to the demiurge."

"It has been suggested by scholars from high reputation, such as Hyam Maccoby and Elaine Pagels - Professor of Religion at Princeton"

"However, over two thirds of scholars consider the pastoral epistles to be forgeries, and a clear (but smaller) majority consider the second epistle to the Thessalonians to also be forged, along with the epistles to the Ephesians, and to the Colossians."

"Amongst biblical scholars, the prevailing view is that Acts favours the Jewish Christian Jerusalem Church, in conflict with a Gentile Christian Paul, though advocates of the idea that Paul is gnostic often argue that it was Paul's gnosticism that Acts was criticising." LoveMonkey 05:36, 13 July 2006 (UTC)


The Cathars and Albigensians may have had some superficial similarities to the Gnostics of the first 3 centuries... but they were absolutely not a continuation of the Gnostic schools. The Gnostic schools were quite thoroughly exterminated by the Catholics once they had the force of arms after the Empire adopted Christianity. That first paragraph needs rephrasing, either to remove the mention of Cathars and Albigensians, or to clarify the fact that they are a separate religious movement which may be describable as gnosticism (lower case G) but not Gnosticism (capital G). I don't know if we should include the Cathars and Albigensians here, or create a separate article on the New Testament as used by medieval heterodoxies. If nothing else, the Cathars and Albigensians HAD a New Testament to use. The Gnostics existed before the formation of the canon, so at the time both heterodox and proto-orthodoxy had rather a large body of separate texts to read from. Even some of the proto-orthodox churches would've had a different "bible" than what a modern Christian would recognize as the New Testament. Murple 20:52, 24 December 2006 (UTC)

Neoplatonicism and Gnostisicism[edit]

Thanks LoveMonkey 12:27, 11 January 2007 (UTC)

Latest LoveMonkey edit[edit]

LoveMonkey added Though no gnostic text refers to any original document of exclusive sayings resembling Q. Examples of quotes attributed to Jesus like between "Gnostics believe that many of the sayings written in Matthew and Luke and attributed to Q have a distinctly koan-like obscurity, [*] for example Luke 17:33...[$] and Luke 13:30..." (the asterisk represents the placement of the text on the last revert, the dollar sign represents the initial placement).

Both of LoveMonkey's sentences are fragments (not even complete sentences). Perviously, the purpose of the two quoted Luke passages was to show "koan-like" sayings. LoveMonkey's changes make them no longer examples of koan-like saying, but instead simply quotes attributed to Jesus. Furthermore, there is no reason to add the POV commentary of the first sentence. There is NO source for this information. I'm going to remove the second fragment because it changes the meaning of the paragraph with no explanation or source. The first fragment I am going to edit it so it is a complete sentence and move it to the previous paragraph and fact tag it. Please assume good faith and don't accuse other editors of 'censuring' [sic].-Andrew c 14:35, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

POV as a policy does not mean to state the obvious. So tell me what nag hammadi text mentions a "sayings of Christ" gospel or letter or whatever. But I can source the comment you re-entered and the comment you removed. You should be careful about stating that there is NO source or sources to those edits. Just like you stating that none of Porphyry's works have survived [1]. You don't know what you are talking about. And if you at least don't have even a basic understanding of the subject please reframe from making general statements about the subject- Saccas and Porphyry included. So now tell me if the nag hammandi mentions a sayings gospel maybe one lost or something. If it doesn't then how could such a belief be validated as held by the group in question? Well you know the answer it can't. Speculation and conjecture are just guessing and guessing is not history. LoveMonkey 18:38, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

I'd ask you to please calm down, assume good faith, and refrain from personal attacks on me. When I said there was no source, what I was saying is that you did not provide a citation when you added content. This is a requirement for all new content per our attribution policy. While there may be a source out there that says these things, what matters on wikipedia is if that source is reliable, and if that source is cited. You did not cite a source. That is what was meant when I said There is NO source for this information. (i.e. there was no source provided for this information). Also, you should be more careful when inserting content. Make sure to check your spelling and grammar and make sure you are using complete sentences. If you would like help with copy editing your contribution, feel free to bring things to talk before inserting sloppy content into the article space. Finally, I do not know why you are trying to make this personal and bringing up things from another article 2 months ago (and when I said we don't have any original writings of Porphyry it was implied that I was referring to the writings that allegedly mentioned Ammonius.) Please focus on the article at hand. Thanks for your consideration.-Andrew c 22:23, 27 March 2007 (UTC)

NPOV and Accuracy Concerns[edit]

The section on the Gospel of John amounts to a theological argument, not a description. It contains pervasive bias and several errors.

  1. That fact that Arianism existed/exists, and that Arianism and trinitarianism diverged well after the Gospel of John was considered canonical (and parts appear in Arian texts, e.g. the Codex Argenteus and the Skeireins), demonstrates that it is at most non-obviously at variance with Arianism, if at variance at all.
  2. The Arian controversy began in the 4th century. Arianism and trinitarianism had not diverged before the 4th century, so both claimed to be the defense of the original Christian tradition. Jacob Haller 02:54, 18 July 2007 (UTC)
  3. The whole section requires the author to "refute" Arius centuries beforehand, it requires nobody to notice the "obvious" for centuries in the meantime, etc. Jacob Haller 20:07, 31 July 2007 (UTC)

language used for new testament[edit]

Is it really correct to talk about text as if it's a quote from Paul? For example, the article has things like: Paul states: "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared...." What is the earliest available text? What language was it really written in? Once that can be determined, a true translation can be made. These things should really be sourced correctly. Does a word of mouth/passed on translation fall under like WP:V#SELF? Jeff Carr (talk) 01:20, 23 June 2008 (UTC)

Oh, what an article![edit]

I don't know where to begin, but I'm not going to elevate this article to the sky. It's written like fantasy: f.ex. the recurring "gnostic scholars" who? And "gnostics think" who? First question:

Q1: what is a gnostic? A1: a member of any one of a number of disparate religions, the Manichaeans, the Cerinthians, the Basilideans, the Antiquity Christian sect of Valentinians, or the modern Ecclesia Gnosticans, who are some kind of odd Christians deeming from their Gnostic Catechism (search for "trinity").
Q2: what is a gnostic scholar? A2: it is a hypothetical theologican who has some degree in theology and is a gnostic him/her-self, a gnostic scholar is not any scholar that have written on gnosticism, that is a religion scholar specialized on gnosticism,
(I found one real gnostic scholar and that's Dr. Stephan Hoeller of Ecclesia Gnostica, he's a gnostic and a doctor)

the relation of New Testament towards gnosticism is not a topic to be proved in a wikipedia article, but we may refer to external scholars that claim this to be the case, f.ex. Pagels, but then the article should be oriented towards different theories connecting or contrasting New Testament towards the relevant gnosticism mentioned in the theory in question. I would wager the theories connecting this way or contrasting that way are varying greatly. It is not a good idea organizing the main structure of the article along the different gospels, unless they're mentioned under a specific theory. If the current structure remains, the whole article tends towards a whole bunch of WP:OR, and that ... (dramaturgical pause) ... is VERY-VERY Evil!! ... said: Rursus (bork²) 21:00, 11 March 2009 (UTC)


"Puffeth" means what? Sorry for my "auld English" not being that good. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 13:51, 21 August 2012 (UTC)

According to, "to puff" is "To breathe in a swelling, inflated, or pompous manner; hence, to assume importance." I assume that it meant the same in old English. The word is used in the King James Version.SDLarsen (talk) 05:03, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

Why is the "Ethics" section (under "The Pauline Epistles" section) even there?[edit]

There is no mention of gnosticism in that section. So how can it be relevant to the article?

The same can be asked of the subsection entitled "Paul and Hellenic influence." If that subsection is useful as an introduction to the following subsections, it should be "promoted" by one level of subsections. That is to say, it should be at the same level as "The Pauline Epistles."SDLarsen (talk) 05:03, 9 September 2013 (UTC)

1 Timothy 6:20[edit]

Seeing as this verse is quoted in the Greek title of Against Heresies, I would say that it strongly deserves to be included in this article. More broadly, the rest of the epistle also contains alleged references to Gnosticism, and reference should be made to the fact that various Gnostic sects rejected its canonicity. (talk) 18:31, 8 March 2015 (UTC)

On what grounds and in what context? Ian.thomson (talk) 18:33, 8 March 2015 (UTC)
    • ^ From: "We can also note that when Jesus taught he sat because this was the rabbinic custom–e.g. when he read the scroll in the synagogue in Nazareth "he sat down," "he sat in the boat," and he said of the Pharisees "they sit in Moses’ seat." His parents found him "sitting amongst the teachers, both listening to them and asking them questions." "Listening and asking questions!" Those who heard were amazed at his understanding and his answers. What answers? This is an accurate description of how rabbinic discourse took place in the first century for, in asking a question you were actually giving an answer. The rabbi would ask a question of his disciples. The disciple if he understood his teacher would respond with another question, and so on. In Hebrew this is called "question for question." When you send back a question you were in effect giving the answer."