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12984Jewish Gnostics

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  • bicyclesophie
    Feb 20, 2007
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      I've seen Jewish Gnostics mentioned here before and I would like
      someone's input on the subject.

      When I first started to look at Kabbalah some concepts struck me as
      Gnostic. I found this interesting. For my reading selections on
      Jewish mysticism and Kabbalah, I went directly to the source and
      purchased only material by Jewish authors and strictly avoided all
      else, since they seemed a bit diluted, their foundations seemed

      Almost across the board, I discovered an angry streak regarding
      a "Jewish Gnosticism". A few of the books even made it clear that
      they were intended only for Jewish readers and did not appreciate
      being co-opted by Christians. After my initial shock, I ignored
      these sentiments and continued with my study.

      I read a count by count list of the reasons why nothing Jewish can be
      Gnostic, but I am not sold. I fully appreciate that to the Jewish
      worshiper, Gnosticism can be construed as an afront to their
      tradition. If we call Jehovah the demiurge, we are saying that the
      basis for their beliefs are all lies, they are not worshipping the
      true God.

      However, as a person who was once a mainstream Christian, I faced the
      same issue, and I still think that there is a great deal of
      Gnosticism in Kabbalah. This long post is my apologetic way of
      saying that where I respect Jewish mysticism, I still think that
      there is a Gnostic hand in it.

      Could someone who is knowledgeable on this subject please comment and
      offer some perspective, and maybe some reading material? I have a
      small library on Kabbalah, but I always have room for more
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