No heretics, but who were the Gnostics?
The page I created today - There were no heresies - should interest my Australian friend, Pete, who has devoted years to developing his argument that Gnostic texts post-date Constantine I and the New Testament. I have already demonstrated how the purported history of this emperor is mythological, belonging to the Christian textual tradition, that the original New Testament is pre-Christian (it mentions no Jesus or Christ), now I have gone a step further.
Many of the texts termed (by Christians) as heretical are also Gnostic:
Writings of creative and redemptive mythology, including Gnostic alternative versions of creation and salvation: The Apocryphon of John; The Hypostasis of the Archons; On the Origin of the World; The Apocalypse of Adam; The Paraphrase of Shem. (For an in-depth discussion of these, see the Archive commentary on Genesis and Gnosis.)
Observations and commentaries on diverse Gnostic themes, such as the nature of reality, the nature of the soul, the relationship of the soul to the world: The Gospel of Truth; The Treatise on the Resurrection; The Tripartite Tractate; Eugnostos the Blessed; The Second Treatise of the Great Seth; The Teachings of Silvanus; The Testimony of Truth.
Liturgical and initiatory texts: The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth; The Prayer of Thanksgiving; A Valentinian Exposition;The Three Steles of Seth; The Prayer of the Apostle Paul. (The Gospel of Philip, listed under the sixth category below, has great relevance here also, for it is in effect a treatise on Gnostic sacramental theology).
Writings dealing primarily with the feminine deific and spiritual principle, particularly with the Divine Sophia: The Thunder, Perfect Mind; The Thought of Norea; The Sophia of Jesus Christ; The Exegesis on the Soul.
Writings pertaining to the lives and experiences of some of the apostles: The Apocalypse of Peter; The Letter of Peter to Philip; The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles; The (First) Apocalypse of James; The (Second) Apocalypse of James, The Apocalypse of Paul.
Scriptures which contain sayings of Jesus as well as descriptions of incidents in His life: The Dialogue of the Saviour;The Book of Thomas the Contender; The Apocryphon of James; The Gospel of Philip; The Gospel of Thomas.
One implication for that concerns dating: they could well belong to any time after the the end of the 3rd Jewish-Roman War in 136 CE, when the only Jewish messiah in recorded history led the Jewish army:
The revolt erupted as a result of religious and political tensions in Judaea province. Simon bar Kokhba, the commander of the revolt, was regarded by many Jews as the Messiah, a heroic figure who could restore Israel. Initial rebel victories established an independent state of Israel over parts of Judea for over two years, but a Roman army made up of six full legions with auxiliaries and elements from up to six additional legions finally crushed it.This was when the repaired Qmran was finally abandoned and Judea became Roman Palestine. The Chrestians were then free to write whatever they wanted of James and his followers, and Saul's Church - led by local, Chrestian nobility, was growing across Greece and Asia Minor.
The Bar Kokhba revolt resulted in genocide and almost complete depopulation of Judea and is considered to have a much more critical impact on Jews and Judaism than the Great Revolt of Judea of 70 CE.