Definition of Gnosticism
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Question: What is Gnosticism and its relationship to the Bible?
Answer: Gnosticism was a religious and philosophical movement that came to life around 100 A.D. in the Roman Empire. It believed that secret esoteric (which means only understood by a few) knowledge was the source for salvation. Only those considered special were to have it. I don't believe in this theory, since Christians are to proclaim the Gospel to everyone, even when the people hearing it don't accept it (see Matthew 28:18-20, Philippians 1:15-18, Romans 10:12-15). Also, some version of reincarnation or the transmigration of souls is involved in Gnostic theorizing, which I reject since the dead are dead and don't know anything since there's no immortal soul. Eternal life is only gained through a resurrection (see Ecclesiastes 9:5-6, 10; 1Corinthians 15:16-19). We did not have any prior lives so life is a single one-way trip.
Gnostics were radical dualists, and believed matter was intrinsically evil and spirit good. This goes way too far. The author C.S. Lewis observed that God likes matter since He created it. The flesh is only evil if we choose to violate God's law, such as concerning having sex outside of marriage.
The Gnostics believed that the Old Testament's God was evil since He created the world as per Genesis 1. No Christian could accept such a view, since Jesus was that Creator God, as per John 1:1-3 and Ephesian 3:9. The New Testament builds upon the Old Testament's authority (2Timothy 3:16-17; 1Corinthians 10:4, 11), and so the two are not opposed to each other foundationally as Gnostics believed. This is a big subject, but I hope this brief description will give you a start to study this topic further.