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Re: [Gnosticism2] Re: a question for me, not FAQ

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  • Annie
    Thank you, Cari, that was very helpful! love annie ... From: lady_caritas To: gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 7:23 AM Subject:
    Message 1 of 3 , Nov 3, 1998
      Thank you, Cari, that was very helpful!
      ----- Original Message -----
      Sent: Wednesday, November 03, 2004 7:23 AM
      Subject: [Gnosticism2] Re: a question for me, not FAQ

      --- In gnosticism2@yahoogroups.com, "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?
      > love
      > annie

      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
      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
      recognition and
      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.


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