Archive for the 'Gnosticism' Category

Sin & Gnosis

Gospel of Thomas

Around the turn of the 20th century, archaeologists who were digging in Upper Egypt found a few fragments of a text that was written on a piece of papyrus.

Papyrus is a type of paper that was traditionally prepared from the stalks of a plant that grew in Egypt during the time of Jesus.

On the site in which they were digging, had once stood Oxyrhynchus, the third largest city in ancient Egypt. In its prime, the citizens of Oxyrhynchus would dump their trash in the desert nearby. When the dumps gradually covered over with sand, they were forgotten.[i]

In 1945, the teenaged sons of an Arab peasant rode out to a cliff to dig for fertilizer, near a town in Upper Egypt called Nag Hammadi. While he was digging, one of the boys discovered a large clay jar that held thirteen ancient leather-bound books.

It was soon discovered that these thirteen books contain translations of ancient manuscripts. In one of the books, titled Gospel of Thomas, the text matches the text that is written on the ancient papyrus reed, which was found at the site of Oxyrhynchus. When they were sold illegally through antiquities dealers, twelve of the books were confiscated by the Egyptian government and deposited in the Coptic Museum in Cairo. The thirteenth book was smuggled out of Egypt and purchased by Carl Jung of the Jung Foundation in Switzerland.[ii]

These thirteen books are now collectively referred to as the Gnostic Gospels. Just as the word agnostic means ‘without wisdom,’ the word gnostic means ‘with wisdom’. And, in the Gospel of Thomas, the opening line reads, ‘These are the secret words which the living Jesus spoke, and which his brother, Judas Thomas, wrote down’.

The Knowledge of the secrets of the kingdom of heaven has been given to You, but Not to them. Matthew 13:11

Gospel of Thomas

The first Christians in Egypt were mainly Alexandrian Jews. Ideas from the Greek movement then merged with those of early Christianity to form a philosophy called Christian Gnosticism. The Gnostic Gospels formed the basis of the teachings of these Jewish Gnostic Christians.[iii]

But, rather than seeking salvation from sin, these Christians sought to achieve salvation from the ignorance of which sin is a consequence. These Gnostic Christians sought to purify their mind and acquire self-knowledge through the use of the alchemical practices found in ancient Hermeticism.

Do you define yourself as a victim of the World, or as the World?  Alan Watts

When the texts in the Old Testament were eventually translated into English, the Greek word metanoia was translated as ‘repentance’. However, this word actually signifies much more than simply asking for forgiveness of sins. It literally means ‘to change your mind’. Furthermore, the word hamartia was translated as ‘to sin’. But the word actually originated with the sport of archery.  It means ‘to miss the mark’.[iv]

Later, the title of Christ was interpreted as the man named Jesus, who was God incarnate in a physical body.  At that time, Christians began to worship Jesus as the deliverer of their sins.  But Jesus was actually a deliverer of a message.  He was a messenger.  And his message is that we are also God incarnate in a physical body.  And if we want to go where only Love can exist, we need to attain the Christ state of mind, not the anti-Christ state of mind.  And there is only one way to do that – by adopting a new paradigm.

The second coming is the raising of our consciousnessto that of the Christ. But, as we make an effort to change our minds, it is expected that, occasionally, we will miss the mark. Christ is the way, the truth and the life. No man comes to the Father but by Christ.

Gnosticism is about to become the 21st century world religion. Prof. Gilles Quispel



[i] The Gospel of Thomas: The Hidden Sayings of Jesus, Marvin Meyer, HarperOne; 2nd edition, 1992
[ii & iv] The Gnostic Gospels, Elaine Pagels, Vintage Books, 1989
[iii] Two Thousand years of Coptic Christianity, Otto F.A. Meinardus


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