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Rise of Gnosticism October 3 2001 In the beginning of the second century the early church was forced to take a stance so as to justify their very existence With Gnosticism on the rise and already posing as a threat that would confuse the public as to who the Church was and what they stood for the Church had some decisions to make Their decision about creating criteria a canon a creed and justifying that they had authority because of apostolic succession would separate them from similar religions such as Gnosticism which was the defining moment of the early Church To understand why the Church took the position that it did we must first under stand the threat that it was posed This threat was an unorganized band of people who were called Gnostics The word Gnostic is from the Greek word gnosis which means knowledge The Gnostics believed that a human being is in reality an eternal spirit that somehow has been imprisoned in a body and since the body is a prison to the spirit and since it misguides us as to our true nature it is evilGonzalez 59 Since our guide is evil we must therefore try to get out of our body and find our spirit which can guide us out of our exile into salvation They see the world as an obstacle to the salvation of the spiritgon 59 Another belief of the Gnostics was that the Supreme Being did not intend to create a material world just a spiritual world This means that we need to be set free from the material world by means of salvation Gnostics believed that the only way that salvation was obtained was through a messenger of the spirit world that would intervene and allow you to know about the spiritual realm For the Christian Gnostics this messenger was Jesus but he did not have the same form as humans on the
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