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Gnosticism
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A variety of second-century ad religions whose participants believed that people could only be saved through revealed knowledge, or γνῶσις (gnōsis). Gnostics also held a negative view of the physical or material world. Early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, deemed Gnosticism heretical.
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Gnosticism
Gnosticism A variety of second-century ad religions whose participants believed that people could only be saved through revealed knowledge, or γνῶσις (gnōsis). Gnostics also held a negative view of the physical or material world. Early church fathers, such as Irenaeus, deemed Gnosticism heretical.
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Gnosticism
GNOSTICISM. The term “gnosticism” (from the Gk word for “knowledge,” gnōsis) was first used in the 18th century to refer to a current in the religious life of late antiquity which had direct bearing on the development of the belief and practice of the early church. The term has traditionally functioned
Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible
Gnosticism
Gnosticism. Religious thought distinguished by claims to obscure and mystical knowledge, and emphasizing knowledge rather than faith. Until the mid-20th century Gnosticism was regarded as a Christian heresy which developed through the interweaving of Christian experience and thought with Greek philosophy.
Tyndale Bible Dictionary
Gnosticism
GNOSTICISM* Religious thought distinguished by claims to obscure and mystical knowledge, and emphasizing knowledge rather than faith. Until the mid-20th century, Gnosticism was regarded as a Christian heresy that developed through the interweaving of Christian experience and thought with Greek philosophy.
The HarperCollins Bible Dictionary (Revised and Updated)
Gnosticism
Gnosticism (nos´tuh-siz-uhm), a generic term for a variety of religious movements that flourished during the second to fourth centuries ce. Although the theology, ritual practice, and ethics of these groups differed, all purported to offer salvation from the oppressive bonds of material existence through
The Wycliffe Bible Encyclopedia
Gnosticism
GNOSTICISM. A name applied to (1). broad religious movement, basically dualistic and syncretistic, which spread throughout the ancient Near East immediately before and after the time of Christ; and (2) the religious systems exemplified by the “Great Gnostics” which flourished from the 2nd to the 4th
The New Bible Dictionary, Third Edition
Gnosticism
GNOSTICISM. A term derived from Gk. gnōsis, ‘knowledge’. Until modern times it was applied exclusively to a body of heretical teaching denounced by the church Fathers in the early Christian centuries. But in 20th-century scholarship it has often been applied more loosely to any form of religious belief
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Gnosticism, Gnosis
Gnosticism, GnosisGnosticism as a term originated in the 18th century and has functioned as the label for an ill-defined category in history of religions research. Both the term and the modern category today are under heavy criticism. The prior Greek terms gnṓsis (“knowledge”) and gnṓstēs (“knower”)
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
Gnosticism
Gnosticism [nŏsˊtə sĭz əm].† A diverse religious and theosophical movement of the first three centuries A.D. The name derives from the means of salvation: the Gnostic is saved through possessing a special knowledge (Gk.. gnṓsis). Gnosticism best refers to the organized expressions of the second
Dictionary of Paul and His Letters
Gnosis
Gnosis, gnosticismThe Gnostics were followers of a variety of religious movements which stressed salvation through gnōsis, or “knowledge,” that is, of one’s origins. Cosmological dualism was an essential feature of Gnosticism—an opposition between the spiritual world and the evil, material world. Gnosticism
Catholic Bible Dictionary
Gnosticism
GNOSTICISM (Greek gnōsis, “knowledge”) A system of religious thought that emphasized secret knowledge. Christian Gnosticism first evolved out of pre-Christian pagan religious currents, influenced by Neoplatonists and pagan philosophers. It was found initially in numerous Christian schools, became increasingly
Key passages
1 Ti 6:20

O Timothy, guard what has been entrusted to you. Turn away from pointless empty talk and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge,

See also
Topics & Themes