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. Continue reading “Nag Hammadi Library and the Return of Gnosticism”