Gnosticism – 3. The Gnostic Crux

3. The Gnostic crux.

The collision of Christian and Gr. assumptions directed attention to the origin of evil in the world. For those reared on Gr. assumptions this might be formulated as, How does the divinely originated soul become imprisoned in matter, and how can it escape? For teachers believing in the love and goodness of God these posed particular problems. The general answer is to give a mythological scheme, in which redemption becomes a drama played out among cosmic forces—the “principalities and powers” of the NT—the astral forces in a good deal of contemporary religion.

4. The revision of Christian theology.

The central Christian tradition represented in the apostles maintained the peculiar features of the Jewish faith in which it had been born: monotheistic, historical, eschatological, ethical, and exclusive. The Redeemer continued to be styled “Christ,” a direct tr. of the Heb. “Messsiah.” The Jewish concern with God’s interventions in human history was retained and enlarged—preaching concentrated, indeed, on the historical events of the life and death and resurrection of Jesus. Though the law was abandoned, the idea of a moral commitment directly watched over by God remained. The peculiarly Jewish belief in the resurrection and last judgment was retained, and the Jewish Scriptures continued to be read. And though the idea of a people of God defined by physical descent disappeared, the solidarity of a single “Israel of God,” in continuity with the OT Israel, meant the continuing consciousness of a single worshiping community, a “third race” alongside Jew and Gentile. Gnostic reformulation was bound to collide with all these elements.

Copied from: Gnosticism – Encyclopedia of The Bible – Bible Gateway

[Summary: Whence comes evil into our world?  The Gnostics devise mythological schmes whereas the Christians continue and add to the Jewish answer already given in Old Testament Scripture, all of which are rooted in historical events.]

About Robert Coss

I was made in America by God. I hope you will see the quality of that workmanship.
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