Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Gnostics Of The Serpent

I found this information on an interesting group called the Ophite Gnostics ('Gnostics of the Serpent') in Anthony Nuttall's Shakespeare The Thinker (2007).

The Ophite (Greek for serpent) Gnostics "thought that God the Father was the evil party and the serpent good." "...as Gnostics, they thought knowledge was a good thing. As soon as the Ophites read that God told Adam and Eve that they were not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge, they said, in effect, 'You see? Anyone who forbids knowledge is an oppressor. Jehovah is a jealous tyrant.' Meanwhile the serpent, against the orders of the tyrant, leads Adam and Eve to knowledge."

"After telling them they won’t fall down dead, the serpent adds that the real consequence of their rebellious action will be that their eyes will be opened and they will become as gods, knowing good and evil (Gen. 3:5)."

"[For the Ophite Gnostic] ...God is a jealous, punitive figure and the snake his noble antagonist, the champion of humanity." "For the Ophites the Trinity is a dysfunctional family; the Son is the antagonist of the Father." (p263-4)

A very interesting bent on the Christian story. Anthony also found this quote from William Blake:

"Thinking as I do that the Creator of this World is a very Cruel being and being a Worshipper of Christ I cannot help saying the Son O how unlike the Father."

B

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