Christian Gnostic

Basilides

BASILIDES A Christian Gnostic teacher who was active in Alexandria in the 130s and probably before that. He is reported by Irenaeus to have brought his heresy from Antioch to Alexandria. An elaborate cosmogonic myth is attributed to him by Irenaeus, and a rather different one by Hippolytus. Irenaeus also attributes to him a doctrine …

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Carpocrates

CARPOCRATES A Christian Gnostic teacher active in Alexandria in the early second century. His teachings are summarized by Irenaeus and other Church Fathers. According to them, he taught a typical Gnostic cosmogony according to which the world was created and is governed by inferior creator angels. The soul of Jesus was able to escape their …

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Valentinus

VALENTINUS A Christian Gnostic teacher active in Alexandria in the early second century. Born in the Egyptian Delta, he was educated in Alexandria. He is reported by Irenaeus to have adapted the teachings of the Gnostic sect in creating his own system, which conformed to a greater degree to traditional Christian doctrine. Around 140 he …

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Gnosticism In Egypt

GNOSTICISM IN EGYPT The term “Gnosticism” was first coined in the 17th century to refer to an early Christian heresy described by the Church Father Irenaeus of Lyon in his five volumes Against Heresies (ca. 185). Historians of religions use the term to refer to a religion that probably developed around the turn of the …

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Codex Bruce Untitled Text

CODEX BRUCE UNTITLED TEXT A Christian Gnostic treatise describing the unfolding of the transcendent world and the material creation. It is usually regarded as the latest extant treatise of Sethian Gnosticism. A divine being called Setheus plays a demiurgic role in the text, and references are made in it to two Gnostic prophets, Nicotheus, whose …

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