Back to Home Page or Contents Page or Past and present beliefs or Index
Anthropos, literally translated "humanity," was a term used by the Gnostic teacher Valentinus in his teachings to describe the archetypical or spiritual essence of humanity, which was opposite of the collective meaning of the term humanity. Valentinus stated the church consists of the portion of humanity that recognizes and celebrates its divine origin. This could refer to the followers of Valentinus who "considered (themselves) more skillful" than the rest and agreed with the teacher Colorbasus, who said when God revealed himself, He revealed himself in the form of Anthopos. Still others maintained that
that the primal father of the whole, the primal beginning, and the primal incomprehensible, is called Anthropos and that is the great and abstruse mystery, namely, that the power which is above all others, and contains all others in its embrace, is called Anthopos.
This is the reason that those Gnostics believing in the concept of Anthropos explained, the Savior called himself "Son of Man" (that is, Son of Anthropos). A.G.H.
Pagels, Elaine, The Gnostic Gospels, New York: Vintage
Books, 1979, pp. 122-123