If the Nag Hammadi texts had not been discovered, it is more than probable that the correct renewal of interest in Gnosticism would not have taken place. There will always be those who do not see eye to eye with mainstream ideas, so it is highly unlikely that Gnostic thought would have died out altogether. However, the texts that were found give new impetus to research into the early Gnostics. …
“The perennial questions of life needed answering. ‘How can a good God ________? What if for instance an A-bomb does destroy” Where do you go when you are dead?’ When this is added to the existence of a new freedom, both financial and moral, there was a need for a different way of thinking. … One of the core beliefs of Gnosticism became more prevalent. The only hope for humanity was to acquire the information it needed so that it could perfect itself and evolve out of its current physical state. … People began to realize that we had let the knowledge of our own Christ Consciousness pass us by.” ~Bernard Simon
Nag Hammadi Library
Almost everyone who has the slightest interest in spiritual matters has heard of the Dead Sea Scrolls, but before the discovery of those scrolls, another important library of ancient Gnostic writings was found: the Nag Hammadi Library. Like the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Nag Hammadi books were found in Egypt in 1945. Some of the books include the Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of Philip. These and other books found were thought to have been completely destroyed by the orthodox Christian church. They are controversial because they contradict many things commonly believed by Christians at that time, and even today despite this finding. They include, for example, a statement that the belief that Mary, mother of Jesus, was a virgin.
The library is a collection of Coptic translations written about 1,500 years ago of even older documents. This puts them among the oldest copies of these gospels and other scriptural writings. But as Mr. Simon notes, their importance may be that they help reawaken interest in Gnostic teachings which help answer so many of the common questions of Christians and others that are not answered in the Bible. Of course, just as with the Dead Sea Scrolls, you need to understand the allegory used or much of the meaning will be lost.
How Can God
Mr. Simon says that the Nag Hammadi library and other Gnostic literature can answer the common question asked by Christians and others: “How can God ________?”. For example, “How can God allow evil in the world?” and “Why does God create death and disease?”. Those questions, and similar ones, are usually answered in the traditional Christian churches with the vague non-answers, “Who are we to understand God?” or “Who are we to question what God does?” While those answers do make a valid point, they don’t satisfy the curious and leave them disappointed. Gnostic scripture does have an answer, and it isn’t vague. The Gnostic answer is that the True God, the God of Spirit, did not create the physical world of matter. The realm of matter was created by the fallen angels known in Gnostic literature as the Demiurge. While there is some difference between various Gnostic sects and schools, they generally do not talk about the Demiurge as a truly evil being or group of beings, but simply beings who made a bad choice, an egotistical choice.
The A-bomb Question
While this question is open to interpretation, I think what Simon means is: “If an atomic bomb goes off and kills millions of innocent people, where do they go after death?” The mainline churches might give complicated answers such as, “The truly innocent such as small children will go to limbo, those guilty of minor sins will go to purgatory, those who are free of sin will go to heaven,” or something similar to that. The Gnostic answer is quite different.
We have all heard of the ancient Mystery Schools and Spiritual Schools. Thousands were members of such schools and remained in them for many years, generally all their lives. Why? While that answer also answers the A-bomb question. They studied to awaken and develop their spiritual faculties because they learned that those who did so were able to go on into eternal life in spirit after they died, while those who did not awaken those faculties could not continue. Their souls continued, but separated from that after death and returned to heaven without them. That is the Gnostic answer and it really matters very little how you died.
Yes, we needed the information that was found in the Nag Hammadi books and in other Gnostic writings that were largely forgotten until these ancient books were discovered buried in the desert. Why were they buried? If the owners were afraid of being caught with forbidden books, they could have simply destroyed them, burned then in a fire. But they didn’t do that. They buried them specifically so they could be rediscovered in the future when the time was right, and that time is now. We are at the dawn of the New Golden Age of Enlightenment, and these ancient Gnostic books can help us get there. But it is not just what is in the Nag Hammadi library that matter, it is all Gnostic teachings which were reawakened by this discovery and that of the Dead Sea Scrolls.
The real important information (Knowledge) is not what is found in these books, but that which is revealed only directly to the awakened Soul. The purpose of the books and other Gnostic teachings is to awaken the Soul so it can gain that divine Knowledge they called Gnosis. The attainment of that Knowledge and truth was the purpose of all the ancient mystery schools, philosophy schools, and Gnostic groups. The Essenes, to which Jesus and his family belonged, was such a group. And some of what is now being revealed by the Nag Hammadi books and other Gnostic literature is what Jesus was actually teaching his Apostles and Disciples. So the return—or rebirth, if you prefer—of Gnosticism at this time would be welcomed by Jesus and his true apostles.