Definition for GNOS'TIC

GNOS'TIC, n. [nostic; L. gnosticus; Gr. γνωστικος, from γινωσκω, to know.]

The Gnostics were a sect of philosophers that arose in the first ages of Christianity, who pretended they were the only men who had a true knowledge of the Christian religion. They formed for themselves a system of theology, agreeable to the philosophy of Pythagoras and Plato, to which they accommodated their interpretations of Scripture. They held that all natures, intelligible, intellectual and material, are derived by successive emanations from the infinite fountain of Deity. These emanations they called æons, αιωνες. These doctrines were derived from the oriental philosophy. Encyc. Enfield.

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