Theodotus The Gnostic

Theodotus The Gnostic

▪ Gnostic philosopher

flourished 2nd century AD

      a principal formulator of Eastern Gnosticism, a system of religious dualism (belief in rival deities of good and evil) with a doctrine of salvation by gnōsis, or esoteric knowledge.

      From the scant data available, Theodotus is known to have taught Gnosticism in Asia Minor c. 160–170, elaborating on the principles of the early-2nd-century Gnostic leader Valentinus. Theodotus' teachings, of primary importance for the study of primitive Gnosticism, survive in Excerpta ex Theodoto (“Extracts from Theodotus”), actually a scrapbook that the 2nd–3rd-century Christian philosophical theologian Clement of Alexandria appended to his Stromata (“Miscellanies”). Certain passages integrate the comments of Clement; thus, the unsystematic arrangement of the material causes problems of interpretation.

      Essentially, the Gnosticism of Theodotus affirmed that the world is the product of a process of emanations, or radiations, from an ultimate principle of unconditioned being or eternal ideas. Intermediate beings in this hierarchy of perfection include God the creator of matter and Christ the redeemer, who united himself to the man Jesus at his baptism to bring men gnōsis. Salvation, he concluded, is reserved for Gnostic believers infused with pneuma (“spirit”).

      Theodotus further developed the role of the inferior spiritual beings, or angels, and their relation to Christ. He mentions a Eucharist of bread and water and anointing as a means for release from the domination of the evil power.

* * *


Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Gnostic texts — Gnosticism used a number of religious texts that are preserved, in part or whole, in ancient manuscripts or are lost but mentioned critically in Patristic writings.Gnostic textsFull or fragmentaryThese texts exist in surviving manuscripts. *Acts… …   Wikipedia

  • Greek Gospel of the Egyptians — The Greek Gospel of the Egyptians is a Gnostic religious text. Its title is adopted from its opening line. Dating The suppressed Greek Gospel of the Egyptians, (which is quite distinct from the later, wholly Gnostic Coptic Gospel of the… …   Wikipedia

  • Gospel of the Hebrews — Part of a series on Jewish Christianity …   Wikipedia

  • patristic literature — Body of literature that comprises those works (excluding the New Testament) written by Christians before the 8th century. It refers to the works of the Church Fathers. Most patristic literature is in Greek or Latin, but much survives in Syriac… …   Universalium

  • Hellenistic religion — Introduction       any of the various systems of beliefs and practices of eastern Mediterranean peoples from 300 BC to AD 300.       The period of Hellenistic influence, when taken as a whole, constitutes one of the most creative periods in the… …   Universalium

  • Fathers of Christian Gnosticism — The Church Fathers or Fathers of the Church is a term used in Catholic and Orthodox forms of Christianity to refer to the early and influential theologians and writers in the Christian Church. The study of the Fathers is known as Patristics.… …   Wikipedia

  • Alogi — The Alogi (ἄλογοι, also called Alogians ) were a group of Christian heretics in Asia Minor that flourished around 170 CE. [“Alogi,” in The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church , [ ODCC ] Edited by F. L. Cross. (New York: Oxford University… …   Wikipedia

  • Gnosticism — • History of Gnosticism from its pre Christian roots through its developed doctrines concerning cosmogony, the Sophia myth, soteriology, and eschatology. Includes information on rites, schools, and literature Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • KABBALAH — This entry is arranged according to the following outline: introduction general notes terms used for kabbalah the historical development of the kabbalah the early beginnings of mysticism and esotericism apocalyptic esotericism and merkabah… …   Encyclopedia of Judaism

  • Monarchians — • The so called Dynamic Monarchians were actually a form of adoptionism. Monarchianism, properly speaking, refers to the Modalists. Denial of the Trinity, assertion that there is only one Divine Person, who appears in three different roles.… …   Catholic encyclopedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”