Hence there is much dispute by modern orthodox writers as to the dating of any Gnostic gospels before the second century.(Elaine Pagels argues that the creation of the Nag Hammadi codex was in fact a reaction to the persecution and destruction of Gnostic communities during the 4 which is a collection of sayings attributed to Jesus and has been dated as early as 50ad. A true Word is coming forth from the Father to the abyss, in silence with a flash of lightning, giving birth’.” Within the corpus is a complete account of the century Gnostic (about 150 ad) Valentinus.
The intellectual movement known as Gnosticism incorporated Christian, Jewish and pagan belief systems and existed from the early first century to the end of the fourth century The Nag Hammadi codex is a collection of non-orthodox writings (52 separate texts in total) dating from the 1 century ad.
Apart from texts relating to Christian Gnosticism, the other Nag Hammadi texts include discussions of Jewish Gnosticism (usually referred to as Sethian Gnosticism – Seth being the third son of Adam and Eve after Cain and Abel), Gnostic criticisms of Neo-Platonism (the late Platonic movement – 3), the occult tradition of late antiquity incorporating elements of alchemy and astrology.
Sethian Gnosticism is often thought to predate Christian Gnosticism and may have been influenced the Jewish philosopher, Philo of Alexandria (25 bce – 50 ce).
For the first forty years of the movement, the records of Christ’s life and the acts of the apostles were primarily verbal ones, but after the destruction of Jerusalem in 70ad the first gospels were committed to writing.
The gospel of Mark was written at this time and over the next twenty years (to 90ad), Mathew and Luke were written, followed by John (95ad).