Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: a question for me, not FAQ
- Thank you, Cari, that was very helpful!loveannie----- Original Message -----From: lady_caritasSent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 7:23 AMSubject: [Gnosticism2] Re: a question for me, not FAQ
--- In firstname.lastname@example.org, "Annie" <annielu38@z...> wrote:
> Hi all
> I encountered a term I have never heard, epignosis. Can anyone
shed any light on such a thing? I know what epi means and supposedly
gnosis, too. But what meaning do they take on beside the literal
interpretation found via semantics?
Hi, Annie. "Epignosis" is found in Paul's writings, among others.
If you plug "epignosis" in a search engine, you'll come up with a lot
of hits from modern Christian apologetic sites about how epignosis is
superior to the Gnostic "gnosis."
Here is one such webpage:
"Peter had in view here the pseudo-Christian gnostic cults that were
beginning to spring up. John dealt with them as well in his first
Epistle. Paul did too in 1 Cor. 15 and in Colossians. Gnostics
blended Christianity with Greek philosophy. Like Plato, they taught
that matter was corrupt, and that salvation entailed escaping the
material creation and reaching the Pleroma (Fullness). Christ came to
show us the way to the Pleroma, not to die in our place. Because of
their low regard for the material creation, they also had a low
regard for the human body. They taught that the things done by the
flesh are of no real consequence to the inner man, who consists
of "soul." The body was viewed as merely the temporary dwelling place
of the soul. Therefore, fornication was no big deal, since it
concerned the material body, not the soul. These groups were
called "Gnostics" (the Greek word for "knowledge"), because they
taught that salvation ultimately was achieved through learning the
secret "mysteries" of Christ. Some Christians were leaving the true
Apostolic churches and following these preachers of perversion and
In this book, Peter intentionally chose the Greek word, "epignosis" —
the Greek word for full or intimate knowledge — in order to contrast
real Christianity with Gnosticism (gnosis meaning
merely "understanding" or "knowledge"). Believers already had escaped
the corruption of the world and flesh through "epignosis" (intimate
knowledge of Christ)."
So, "epignosis" as used by modern Christians clearly does not
separate "faith" and "gnosis":
"I would also add that there may be some overlap in meaning between
GNWSIS and EPIGNWSIS. The
overall use of GNWSIS is wide-range and EPIGNWSIS seems to indicate a
narrowing of the idea of
knowledge to more than "recognize, acquainted" to that of "personal
acquaintance, i.e., objective truth that is personally experienced
and believed. This
corresponds with OT usage and is against the gnostic idea of
separating "faith and knowledge."
This discussion also brings out the possibility that "epignosis" is
one of those terms that replaced what were considered "heretical"
Gnostic ones by those following orthodox doctrine.