>>>>>>The biggest influence on Gnosticism and all other religious groups of Jesus' day had to have been the writing of the Torah and its translation into Greek. The Torah was a product of the ruling elite. At first it was probably well guarded and used for training fellow elites. However, with the "publication" of the Septuagint, the Torah gradually became more widely available.
The Torah as a stand-alone work became something like manna falling from heaven. It was gobbled up by educated people everywhere, especially Jews of the Diaspora (Hellenized or otherwize). The interpretive keys however remained the exclusive property of the ruling elite. Nevertheless, this did not prevent various groups from developing their own interpretations, a phenomenon that continues to this day.
Gnosticism represented one major stream of naive Torah speculation. Gnostics were already predisposed to the anti-kingship sentiments of the Torah. But many of them were prepared to go even further. They were ready to denounce the very God of the Torah. Such groups were not only disenchanted with kingship as a form of government, but also with the God who supposedly ordained the perpetual tyranny
Responses To This Message
© Charles N. Pope, US Library of Congress. All rights reserved.