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Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament

Gnosticism

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Gnosticism (Gr. γνῶσις, ‘knowledge’) is the name of a syncretistic religion and philosophy which flourished more or less for four centuries alongside Christianity, by which it was considerably influenced, under which it sheltered, by which at last it was overcome. Gnosis is first used in the relevant specific sense in 1 Timothy 6:20; γνῶσις ψευδώνυμος-‘science falsely so-called.’ By Christian writers the word ‘Gnostics’ was at first applied mainly to one branch: the Ophites or Naasenes (Hippol. Philos. v. 2: ‘Naasenes who call themselves Gnostics’; cf. Iren. i. xi. 1; Epiphan. Haer. xxvi.). But already in Irenaeus the term has a wider application to the whole movement. Gnosticism rose to prominence early in the 2nd cent. though it is much older than that, and reached its height before the 3rd century. By the end of the latter century it was waning.

The above description will require justification. What may be termed the popular view of Gnosticism has been to regard it as a growth out of Christianity, an overdone theologizing on the part of Christians, who under foreign influences simply carried to extreme lengths what had been begun by apostles. Meantime it may be said that, in the view of the present writer, such a theory is an entire misconception, and historically untenable. Gnosticism and Christianity are two movements originally quite independent, so much so that it would scarcely be an exaggeration to say that, had there been no Christianity, there could still have been Gnosticism, in all essentials the Gnosticism we know.

1. Authorities.-Of the vast literature produced by Gnostics little has survived, and what has survived is almost entirely from the last stages of the movement. We may mention as survivals Pistis Sophia, the Coptic-Gnostic texts of the Codex Brucianus, the two Books of Jeu, and an unnamed third book described by C. Schmidt, ‘Gnost. Schriften in kopt. Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus’ (Texte and Untersuchungen viii. [1892]). Then we know something of works deeply tinged with Gnosticism, such as the Acts of Thomas. But our chief sources of knowledge are the writings of those Fathers who oppose Gnosticism, and who often give lengthy quotations from Gnostic works. These fragments have been carefully collected by Hilgenfeld in his Ketzer-geschichte. Most important of the Fathers for our purpose are Irenaeus (adv. Haer. i. 4), Hippolytus (Philosophoumena), Clement of Alexandria (Stromateis, Excerpta ex Theodoto), Tertullian (adv. Marcionem, adv. Hermogenem, adv. Valentinianos), Epiphanius (Panarion).

2. Main features of Gnosticism.-Gnosticism has often been described as a hopelessly tangled mass of unintelligible fantastic speculations, the product of imagination in unrestrained riot, irreducible to order. In its various, and especially its later forms, it shows a wealth of details which are fantastic, but, if we do not lose ourselves in too keen a search for minutiae, we shall find in it an imposing and quite intelligible system. Probably Gnostics themselves regarded as unessential those details which to us seem so fantastic (cf. Rainy, Ancient Catholic Church, p. 119). Gnostic schools generally were at one in holding a system the main features of which were as follows.

(1) A special revelation.-The word γνῶσις has misled many into thinking that Gnostics are essentially those who prize intellectual knowledge as superior to faith. By gnosis, however, we have to understand not knowledge gained by the use of the intellect, but knowledge given in a special revelation. Not greater intellectual power than the Christians possessed, but a fuller and better revelation, was what the Gnostics claimed to have. They took no personal credit for it; it had been handed down to them. Its author was Christ or one of His apostles, or at least one of their friends. In several cases they professed to be able to give the history of its transmission. Thus Basilides claims Glaukias, an interpreter of St. Peter (Strom. vii. 17 [766], 106f.), or Matthias (Hipp. vii. 20). Valentinus claims Theodas, an acquaintance of St. Paul’s (Strom. loc. cit.). The Ophites claim Mariamne and James (Hipp. v. 7). Or they appealed to a secret tradition imparted to a few by Jesus Himself (so Irenaeus frequently).

(2) Dualism.-This is the foundation principle of all Gnostic systems, and from it all else follows. In the ancient world we meet two kinds of dualism, one in Greek philosophy, the other in Eastern religion. Greek dualism was between φαινόμενα and νούμενα, between the world of sense-appearance and the realm of real being. The lower was but a shadow of the higher; still it was a copy of it. The contrast was not, to any great extent at least, between the good and the evil, but between the real and the empty, formless, unreal. Eastern dualism, on the other hand, drew a sharp distinction between the world of light and the world of darkness, two eternal antagonistic principles in unceasing conflict. In Gnosticism we have a primarily Eastern dualism combined with the Greek form. The world of goodness and light is the Pleroma (‘fullness’), i.e. the realm of reality in the Greek sense; the kingdom of evil and darkness is the Kenoma (‘emptiness’), the phenomenal world of Greek philosophy. Hence the Gnostic dualism comes to be between God and matter, two eternal entities, and the ὑλη (‘matter’) is essentially evil.

(3) Demiurge.-As the Gnostic surveyed the world of matter, he found patent traces of law and order ruling it. How did matter, in itself evil and lawless, come to be so orderly? The Gnostic took the view of Nature which J. S. Mill took, and argued that either the Creator was not all-good or He was not all-powerful. The Gnostic reasoned that the world which with all its order is yet so imperfect cannot be the work of God who is wholly good and all-wise; it must be the production of some far inferior being. The world, then, it was taught, was the work of a Demiurge-a being distinct from God. The character of this Demiurge was variously conceived by different schools; some, e.g. Cerinthus, made him a being simply ignorant of the highest God. The tendency became strong, however, to make him hostile to God, an enemy of Light and Truth (the blasphemia Creatoris). The God of the Jews was identified with this Demiurge. As to the origin of the Demiurge, some held him to belong ab initio to the realm of evil. But the characteristic view was that he was a much-removed emanation from the Pleroma. This theory of emanations is a prominent feature of most of the systems, and it is here that Gnosticism ran into those wild fancies that to some make the whole system so phantasmagoric. The view was that from God there emanated a series of beings called ‘aeons,’ each step in the genealogy meaning a diminution of purity; and the Demiurge was the creation of an aeon far down, indeed the very lowest in the scale. Nature and human nature, then, are productions of a Demiurge either ignorant of, or positively hostile to, the true God. While in a few schools there was only one Demiurge, most spoke of seven as concerned in cosmogony. The origin of this is clear. The seven are the seven astronomical deities of Perso-Babylonian religion. The fusion of Persian and Babylonian views resulted in those deities, originally beneficent, being conceived of as evil (Orig. c. Cels. vi. 22; Zimmern, KAT [Note: AT Zimmern-Winckler’s ed. of the preceding (a totally distinct work), 1902-03.] 3 [Note: Zimmern-Winckler’s ed. of the preceding (a totally distinct work), 1902-03.] ii. 620ff.).

(4) Redemption.-Christian and Gnostic agree in finding in this world goodness fettered and thwarted by evil. They differ entirely in their conception of the conflict. The familiar Christian view is that into a world of perfect order and goodness a fallen angel brought confusion and evil. The common Gnostic view is that into a world of evil a fallen aeon brought a spark of life and goodness. The fall of this aeon is variously explained in different systems, as due to weakness (the aeon furthest from God was unable to maintain itself in the Pleroma), or to a sinful passion which induced the aeon to plunge into the Kenoma. Howsoever the aeon fell, it is imprisoned in the Kenoma, and longs for emancipation and return to the Pleroma. With this longing the world of aeons sympathizes, and the most perfect aeon becomes a Redeemer. The Saviour descends, and after innumerable sufferings is able to lead back the fallen aeon to the Pleroma, where He unites with her in a spiritual marriage. Redemption is thus primarily a cosmical thing. But in redeeming the fallen aeon from darkness, the Saviour has made possible a redemption of individual souls. To the Gnostic, the initiated, the Saviour imparts clear knowledge of the ideal world to be striven after, and prompts him so to strive. The soul at all points, before and after death, was opposed by hostile spirits, and a great part of Gnostic teaching consisted in instructing the soul as to how those enemies could be over-come. Here comes in the tangle of magico-mystical teaching, so large an element of the later schools. All sorts of rites, baptisms, stigmatizings, sealing, piercing the ears, holy foods and drinks, etc., were enjoined. It was important also to know the names of the spirits, and the words by which they could be mastered. Some systems taught a multitude of such ‘words of power’; in other systems one master word was given, e.g. caulacau (Iren. i. xxiv. 5).

(5) Christology.-Gnosticism in union with Christianity identified its Saviour, of course, with Jesus. As to the connexion see below. All Christianized Gnostics held a peculiar Christology. Jesus was a pure Spirit, and it was abhorrent to thought that He should come into close contact with matter, the root of all evil. He had no true body, then, but an appearance which He assumed only to reveal Himself to the sensuous nature of man. Some, like Cerinthus, held that the Saviour united Himself with the man Jesus at the Baptism, and left him again before the Death. Others held that the body was a pure phantom. All agreed that the Divine Saviour was neither born nor capable of death. Such a view of Christ’s Person is Docetism, the antithesis of Ebionism.

(6) Anthropology.-Man is regarded as a microcosm. His tripartite nature (some had only a bipartism)-spirit, soul, body-reflects God, Demiurge, matter. There are also three classes of mankind-carnal (ὑλικοί), psychic (ψυχικοί), spiritual (πνευματικοί). Heathen are hylic, Jews psychic, and Christians spiritual. But within the Christian religion itself the same three classes are found; the majority are only psychic, the truly spiritual are the Gnostics. They alone are the true Church.

(7) Eschatology.-while Gnostics alone were certain of return to the Kingdom of Light, some at least were disposed to think charitably of the destiny of the psychics, who might attain a measure of felicity. Gnostics denied a resurrection of the body, as we should expect. The whole world of matter was to be at last destroyed by fires springing from its own bosom.

(8) Old Testament.-While there existed a Judaistic Gnosticism, represented by Essenes, Gnostic Ebionites, and Cerinthus (qq.v. [Note: v. quœ vide, which see.] ), who with various modifications accepted the OT, the great mass of Gnostics were anti-Judaistic, and rejected the OT. This followed logically from their identification of the God of the Jews with the Demiurge, an ignorant, and in some cases an evil, Being. No doubt they found also some plausible support in Pauline anti-legalism. We can see here what ground some schools could have for making heroes of the characters represented as wicked in the OT. If it was inspired by an ignorant or wicked Being, truth would be found by inverting its estimates.

Such in outline is Gnosticism as a system, though schools varied in detail under every heading (cf. Harnack, Dogmengeschichte; P. Wernle, Beginnings of Christianity, Eng. translation , London, 1903-04; Schaff, Church History, ‘Ante-Nicene Christianity’).

(9) Gnostic cultus and ethic.-The full development of these (as of the whole system), of course, lies outside our period, but of the latter we see the tendencies in the NT itself; and it is desirable to say something of the former, to make our sketch of the main features of Gnosticism complete.

(a) As to cultus, Gnosticism produced two opposite movements which are comparable with puritanism and ritualism respectively. The abhorrence of matter led some consistently to the utmost simplicity of worship. Some rejected all sacraments and other outward means of grace, and the Prodicians rejected even prayer (Epiphan. Haer. xxvi.; Clem. Alex. Strom. i. 15 [304], vii. 7 [722]). On the other hand, many groups, especially the Marcosians, went to the opposite extreme with a symbolic and mystic pomp in worship. This, while inconsistent with the Gnostic views of matter, is in line with the ideas of magico-mystical salvation indicated above. Sacraments were numerous, rites many and varied. It seems clear that they led the way in introducing features which became characteristic of the Catholic Church. They were distinguished as hymn-writers (Bardesanes, Ophites, Valentinians). The Basilideans seem to have been the first to celebrate the festival of Epiphany. The Simonians and Carpocratians first used images of Christ and others (see Church Histories of Schaff, Kurtz, etc.).

(b) The ethic also took two directions-one towards an unbridled antinomianism, the other towards a gloomy asceticism. Antinomian Gnostics (e.g. Nicolaitans, Ophites) held that sensuality is to be overcome by indulging it to exhaustion, and they practised the foulest debaucheries. The Ascetics (e.g. Saturninus, Tatian) abhorred matter, and strove to avoid all contact with flesh as far as possible. This led them to forbid marriage and indulgence in certain kinds of food. This ethic in both branches is the unfailing outcome of the primary dualism characteristic of Gnosticism. Wherever dualistic notions are influential, we find this twin development of antinomianism and asceticism. In the NT we find both kinds of error referred to (see below). It is to be remembered that neither by itself is sufficient to indicate Gnosticism. There are many sources conceivable, for asceticism especially.

3. Origins.-The older view was that Gnostics are Christian heretics, i.e. errorists within the Church who gradually diverged from normal Christianity, under an impulse to make a philosophy of their religion. To fill up the blanks of the Christian revelation, they adopted heathen (mainly Greek) speculations. Mosheim was among the first to perceive that the roots of what is peculiar in Gnosticism are to be sought in Eastern rather than in Greek speculation. In recent times there has taken place a thorough examination of all Gnostic remains, and knowledge of Eastern speculation has advanced. The result of the two-fold investigation has been to show that Gnosticism is far more closely in affinity with Eastern thought than had been imagined, not only in its deviations from Christianity, but as a whole.

It is well known that the age with which we deal was marked by nothing more strongly than by its syncretism. All the faiths and philosophies of the world met, and became fluid, so to say. Strange combinations resulted, and were dissolved again for lack of something round which they might crystallize. Alike in philosophy and religion, attempts were made to establish by syncretism a universal system out of the confusion. Gnosticism owes its being to that syncretism. In view of the lack of definite information, any attempt to trace or reconstruct its actual history must be made with diffidence. Probably we should regard its primary impulse as philosophical rather than religious. It was an answer to problem, Whence comes evil? (Tert. de Praesc. Haer. vii.; Historia Ecclesiastica (Eusebius, etc.)v. 27; Epiphan. Haer. xxiv. 6). This led to the other question, What is the origin of the world? Oriental thought identified the two questions. In the origin of the world was involved the existence of evil. A full explanation of the one included an explanation of the other.

In Perso-Babylonian syncretism, we take it, Gnosticism has its primary root, and from that alone many of its features may be plausibly derived. To this is to be added some influence of Judaism. There was a syncretistic Judaism of varied character. We know definitely of three forms: (l) Essenic (see article Essenes); (2) Samaritan, which had been going on for centuries b.c., and from which sprang the system of Simon Magus (with his predecessor Dositheus, and his successor Menander), who is distinguished by the Fathers as the parent of Gnosticism; (3) Alexandrian, represented mainly by Philo, who produced an amalgam of Judaism with Greek philosophy. Probably it would be justifiable to add as a fourth example the Jewish Kabbâlâ. It is a body of writings unfolding a traditional and, partly at least, esoteric doctrine. Its most characteristic doctrines are found also in the two Gnostic leaders, Basilides and Valentinus (A. Franck, La Kabbale, Paris, 1843, p. 350 ff.). It is difficult, however, to prove that the Kabbâlâ is not later than Gnosticism, though there is practical certainty that its history was a long one before it took final shape.

A third and very important element manifest in the fully developed Gnostic systems is Greek philosophy. Genetically, then, Gnosticism may be defined as largely a syncretistic system rising from Perso-Babylonian religion, modified to some extent, difficult to estimate, by Judaism, and in some particulars borrowing from, and as a whole clarified ay contact with, Greek philosophy. These elements might be effective in very varied degrees, and produced varied systems as this or that element predominated. But from those three sources, apart altogether from Christianity, Gnosticism in all essentials may be derived. And all three were in active interaction before the appearance of Christianity. An important consideration follows, viz. that it is absolutely no proof of a late date for any NT writing that it contains allusions to even a comparatively well-developed Gnosticism.

4. Connexion with Christianity.-How is this connexion to be conceived or explained? What did Gnosticism owe to Christianity? Before Christianity we picture Gnosticism as vague, fluid, unstable. When Christianity was thrown into the mass of floating opinions in the ancient world, it afforded the vague Gnostic movements a point round which they could crystallize and attain a measure of permanence and definiteness, so that out of more or less loose speculations systems could be built. Men imbued with Gnostic views (the loose elements of the system described) would easily find points of resemblance between themselves and Christianity. It dealt in a way with the very problems that interested the Gnostic. And in apostolic teaching, especially in St. Paul, there were many points which it took little ingenuity to transform into Gnostic views. The world was to be overcome; it lay in wickedness; the flesh was to be mortified; there was a law in the members warring against the spirit. Divorced from the general teaching of the apostles, this could be claimed as just the Gnostic position. It is, we take it, a misconception to regard such apostolic teaching as the starting-point of Gnosticism. In our view Gnosticism had already a considerable history, and had attained a considerable development as a system, before Christianity appeared. But in such teaching Gnosticism found points of attachment to Christianity, and other points might be adduced. Gnosticism then came to shelter within the Church, never learning her essential spirit, but going on its own evolution. Growing at first from distinct roots of its own, it twined itself about the Church and became a parasite.

It is not easy to answer the question, Is the soteriology of Gnosticism borrowed from Christianity, or is it too an independent thing? Some points are quite plain which may justify our accepting the latter alternative. It is clear that between the Gnostic Σωτήρ (Saviour) and the historical Jesus there is no discernible likeness. The redemption of the fallen aeon by the Soter has nothing to do with a historical appearance on earth and in time. The Gnostic redemption-story is a myth, an allegory, not a historical narrative. But under the influence of Christianity, laborious attempts were made to bring this soteriology into union with the Christian account of the historical Jesus. The attempt was not a success. ‘In this patchwork the joins are everywhere still clearly to be recognized’ (Encyclopaedia Britannica 11 xii. [1910] 157a). Indeed some Gnostics made no secret of the difference between their Soter and the Christ of ordinary Christians-the Soter was for Gnostics alone, Jesus Christ for ‘Psychics’ (Iren. i. vi. 1). The fact that one school required its members to curse Jesus is not without significance in the same direction. The most probable view is that Gnosticism in all its elements was independent of Christianity, but strove to put over itself a Christian guise, and represent itself as a fuller Christianity. But even the master minds which formulated the great systems of the 2nd cent. were baffled to conceal effectively what could not be hidden, the essentially alien nature and origin of their speculative flights.

5. Allusions in the NT.-In the NT there are several clear indications that the invasion of Christianity by Gnosticism is already in progress.

(1) We note regarding Simon Magus (Acts 8:9 f.) only this, that in the narrative we have an allegory of what we conceive the relation of Gnosticism to Christianity to have been. He was attracted to the apostles, was baptized, and still remained in the ‘bond of iniquity.’ For this alone he may well be named the father of the Gnostics (see article Simon Magus).

(2) There are some passages which seem not only to be designed to state the Christian position, but to be directed against errors characteristic of Gnosticism: (a) against Docetism; most striking is Hebrews 2:14-18; (b) against the demiurgic idea (John 1:3, Hebrews 1:2, Colossians 1:16 ff.).

(3) A definite polemic against errorists who are almost certainly Gnostics is found in the following passages:

(a) Colossians.-The errorists in question claim a superior knowledge (Colossians 2:8; Colossians 2:18), pay great regard to angels-beings intermediate between God and man (Colossians 2:18)-teach asceticism (Colossians 2:21; Colossians 2:23); and probably their demiurgic notion is refuted in Colossians 1:16. These are the elements of Gnosticism, and most likely the Colossian errorists are Judaistic Gnostics of the same type as Cerinthus.

(b) Pastoral Epistles.-The references to Gnosticism are so clear here that some find in them a main ground for assigning a late date to the Epistles. Gnosticism has already appropriated the name γνῶσις (1 Timothy 5:20). The errorists profess a superior knowledge (Titus 1:16, 2 Timothy 3:7). Their profane and vain babblings (2 Timothy 2:16), old wives’ fables (1 Timothy 4:7), foolish questions and genealogies (Titus 3:9), denial of the resurrection of the body (2 Timothy 2:18), asceticism and depreciation of ‘creatures’ (1 Timothy 4:3-4), and in other cases their antinomianism (2 Timothy 3:6, Titus 1:16)-all are tokens of Gnosticism.

(c) Peter and Jude.-The gross errorists denounced in 2 Peter 2 and Jude show close affinity with the Ophite sect, the Cainites (q.v. [Note: quod vide, which see.] ) (Hippol. viii. 20; Strom. vii. 17 [767]; Epiph. Haer. xxxviii.). They made Cain their first hero; and, regarding the God of the Jews as an evil being, and the Scriptures as, in consequence, a perversion of truth, honoured all infamous characters from Cain to Iscariot, who alone of the apostles had the secret of true knowledge. Naturally, they practised the wildest antinomianism, holding it necessary for perfect knowledge to have practical experience of all sins. The ‘filthy dreamers,’ who ‘speak evil of dignities’ and ‘go in the way of Cain,’ are certainly closely allied to this position.

(d) 1 John.-There is throughout a contrast between true knowledge and false. Beyond reasonable doubt the Epistle has mainly, if not exclusively, Cerinthus in view. He is interesting in the history of heresy for his combination of Ebionite Christology with a Gnostic idea of the Creator (see article Cerinthus). It is mainly the former that is in view in 1 John (1 John 2:22; 1 John 4:3 ff.), but 1 John 2:4; 1 John 2:9 are directed against Gnostic antinomianism.

(e) Revelation.-Here we have definite mention of a Gnostic sect, by name the Nicolaitans (Revelation 2:6; Revelation 2:15). They derived their name from Nicolas of Acts 6:5. ‘They lead lives of unrestrained indulgence, … teaching that it is a matter of indifference to practise adultery, and to eat things sacrificed to idols’ (Iren. Haer. i. xxvi. 3). Clem. Alex. (Strom. iii. 4 [436f.]) says that the followers of Nicolas misunderstood his saying that ‘we must fight against the flesh and abuse it.’ What Nicolas meant to be an ascetic principle, they took to be an antinomian one.

We have notice of another branch of antinomian Gnosticism in Revelation 2:20, where the ‘prophetess Jezebel’ in Thyatira is ‘teaching and seducing’ the faithful.

Gnosticism thus plays no inconsiderable part in the NT itself. It is, however, to exaggerate that, to find references to Gnosticism in verses where terms occur that afterwards became technical terms in Gnostic systems, viz. pleroma (e.g. Ephesians 1:23), aeon (e.g. Ephesians 2:2), gnosis (frequently). These had meaning before Gnostic systems made them peculiarly their own, and the passages in question may be understood without any reference to Gnosticism.

6. Concluding remarks.-If it be difficult to indicate accurately what Gnosticism owed to Christianity, it is no less difficult to determine to what extent Christianity was permanently influenced by Gnosticism. Theological prejudice will always affect the answer, and some will find in the Christological and other definitions of Œcumenical Councils a fruit of what Gnostics began. It is easy to see what indirect service Gnosticism rendered Christianity. In opposition to Gnosticism the Church was compelled (a) to develop into clear system her own creed; the true γνῶσις had to be opposed to the false; (b) to determine what writings were to be regarded as authoritative; against the Gnostic schools, each with its own pretended special revelation, the Church formed a canon of what were generally regarded as authentic apostolic writings; (c) to seek for a just view of the relation of Judaism to Christianity, and of the permanent value of the OT which Gnostics rejected. This is, it may be said, an unsolved problem still. In opposition to Gnosticism the Church was perhaps betrayed into the other extreme, as, to secure permanent authority for every part of the OT, a fanciful system of allegorizing was adopted.

As to direct influence, we have indicated above that Gnostics led the way in some developments of worship which found a permanent place in the Catholic Church. Probably also they led the way to the magical conception of Sacraments which became so prominent. The clearness with which the false character of Gnosticism was perceived, and the successful struggle against it, are among the most remarkable and praiseworthy things in the history of the early Church. It remains to be said that the various phenomena which constitute Gnosticism have appeared again and again in the history of the Church since then. Its speculative flights into regions where revelation does not guide and reason cannot follow; its special new revelations; its view of the world as essentially evil in itself; its stern asceticism or antinomian excess-all have appeared repeatedly.

Literature.-J. A. W. Neander, Die genetische Entwickelung der vornehmsten gnostischen Systeme, Berlin, 1818; F. C. Baur, Die christliche Gnosis, Tübingen, 1835; R. A. Lipsius, Gnosticismus, Leipzig, 1860; H. L. Mansel, Gnostic Heresies of the 1st and 2nd Centuries, London,1875; A. Hilgenfeld, Die Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums, Leipzig, 1884; W. Anz, Ursprung des Gnostizismus, do. 1897; R. Liechtenhahn, Die Offenbarung im Gnosticismus, Göttingen, 1901; E. de Faye, Introduction à l’étude du gnosticisme au iie et au iiie siècle, Paris, 1903; W. Bousset. Hauptprobleme der Gnosis, Göttingen, 1907; A. Harnack, History of Dogma, Eng. translation , London, 1894-99; F. Loofs, Leitf. zum Studium der Dogmengeschichte3, Halle, 1893; R. Seeberg, Lehrbuch der Dogmengeschichte, Leipzig, 1895-98: Church Histories of P. Schaff (Edinburgh, 1883-93), W. Moeller (Eng. translation , London, 1892-1900), G. P. Fisher (do. 1894), R. Rainy (Ancient Catholic Church, Edinburgh, 1902).

W. D. Niven.

 

 


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Bibliography Information
Hastings, James. Entry for 'Gnosticism'. Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/dictionaries/hdn/g/gnosticism.html. 1906-1918.

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