Gnostic Jesus

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Gnostic writings of Jesus portray him as a heavenly redeemer made less of flesh than of spirit. The emphasis of Jesus' importance is not on his physical humanness but rather, on his ability to show people the way to the kingdom. Jesus put on flesh in order to give people gnosis and reveal to them where they come from and where they will eventually return. When it is time for Jesus to return to his heavenly home, he is crucified and resurrected before he finally ascends. His body's lack of importance in some Gnostic texts gives this series of events a different connotation than other versions of the story more common today. The Gnostic understanding of Jesus gives us better knowledge of what will happen to us when we leave the body and world in which we are currently trapped. This understanding also gives us insights into the realm in which we belong. The lack of concern for the body is also connected with the Gnostic view that anything that happens on this earth or in this realm is irrelevant. I will argue that the issue of flesh is very significant in some Gnostic views of Jesus, citing examples from selected Gnostic texts including, the Gospel of Thomas, the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, Hypostasis of the Archons, the Gospel of Mary, the Gospel of Truth, the Treatise on the Resurrection and the Hymn of the Pearl. Most Gnostic books show Christ to be of heavenly origin. The books either explicitly say that he is from the father and heaven above or imply it by saying that he descended into earth. He is part of the " ¦heavenly triad with the Father and the Mother ¦"(Franzmann, 39). In the Second Treatise of the Great Seth, the author who is supposedly Christ says, "I am from above the heavens" (Ehrman, 231). He is also sometimes described as a heavenly light, "I am the light which is above all of them: I am All. The All came forth from me and the All reached me" (G of Th., v.77). Many people, however, look at Christ's incarnation

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