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What Is Esoteric Christianity and How Does It Differ From Gnosis Christianity?

This one is complicated because even the definitions are relatively loose, which is why you’re gonna get various answers to this question. “Gnosticism” derives from the root word “gnosis” which can probably be best described as “knowledge of spiritual mysteries”. Theologians and scholars created the term Gnostics to separate and identify the early mystical Christian sect from the traditional orthodox sect who later took the mantle of “Christians” but they never identified themselves as “Gnostics”. You also had the “Essenes” and the “Valentinians”. 

The term Gnosticism is generally used to describe this “Gnostic” school of thought, but it’s more of an umbrella term that isn’t limited to one sect, but a general school of mystical thought. Even the Egyptians had their fundamentalists and forms of Gnosticism. “Esoteric” simply means knowledge intended to be reserved and understood by a small number of people. So esoteric Christianity is a loose term we use to identify with the spiritual knowledge or aspect of the Hebrew Scriptures, yet do not dismiss the level of gnosis from other cultures. The red dot (gnosis) is where they all connect.

Gnostics generally believed that all matter was the property of the Demiurge ( a satin-like character) and therefore irredeemable and corrupt. In contrast, Christianity generally believes that Christ redeemed matter by entering into it.  This difference is a big one and leads to many other differences, like beliefs about the resurrection of the dead at the last judgment. 

Esoteric just means hidden. Gnosticism is esoteric but not all esoterics are gnostic. It's possible to perceive the hidden teachings of scripture to be in general harmony with traditional Christian belief.

On her website On Gnosticism; Prof. April D. DeConick quote:

“… These do not refer to religion as Judaism and Christianity do.

While there are Gnostic religions, there is not a Gnostic religion.

...It is a concept with ideal features including direct contact with a transcendent God through initiatory rites, a belief in an innately spiritual nature that is consubstantial with God, a transgressive take on the religions of the world and their scriptures, and a seekers outlook that spans vast philosophical and religious territories to negotiate a new identity across them. Gnostic spirituality emerges in different religious and social contexts in the ancient world... “

Gnosticism is a religious-spiritual philosophy that isn't exclusively about esoteric Christianity. Although they're Gnostic Christians, not all esoteric Christians are Gnostics. There is no monolithic thing called Esoteric Christianity, that would be almost an oxymoron. I see the term as an umbrella term.

I guess that’s why esoteric means “only understood by a small number of people with a specialized interest.” So here’s the deal, many claim gnosis because they want to sound intelligent, but they do not know what words mean and this causes them to throw opinions around as facts, and facts as opinions, truly believing themselves to sound intelligent and impressive, but when a dictionary is brought out they get fighting mad and continue to defend misplaced words instead of letting themselves be corrected.

This creates a smokescreen for gnosis.

Although, Sometimes the literal meaning of something can not convey the true essence of philosophical ideas. But usually, that means a person will use a parable or proverb or some kind of comparison rather than just spouting out an emotion-based opinion response that appears to me to look like a broken reed being thrown around in the wind.

To put it simply... Gnosticism is the Esoterica of Exoteric Christianity.

Just as Kabbalah is the Esoterica of Exoteric Judaism. 

Content created and supplied by: VictorAhonsi (via Opera News )

Christianity Egyptians Esoteric Gnosticism Gnostics


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