History quiz

Exercises on Irenaeus of Lyon against Gnosticism

question 1

St Irenaeus, or Irenaeus of Lyon (AD 130-202), wrote one of the main works of early Christianity in which Gnostic doctrines are described and refuted. The name of this work is Adversus Haereses (Against Heresies). The Gnostic sect refuted in this work by Irenaeus is:

a) Freemasonry

b) Pythagoreanism

c) Valentinianism

d) Zoroastrianism

e) the cabal

question 2

Among the doctrinal theses of Valentine's gnosis criticized by Irenaeus was:

a) the idea that there were three persons constituting the figure of the Christian God, the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

b) the idea that Jesus Christ was just a spiritual master, like Buddha and Zarathustra.

c) the idea that Christians should get closer to Greek philosophy, which was not the case at that time.

d) the idea that Satan was the true redeemer of humanity.

e) the idea that there was a place of Fullness, the Pleroma, inhabited by divine beings, the Aeons.

question 3

One of the problems of Valentinian Gnosticism, according to Irenaeus of Lyon, was in the fact that his conceptions destroyed one of the pillars of Christianity, which is:

a) the Trinity

b) its Manichean character

c) the figure of the avenging God

d) the divinity of Mary, mother of Jesus

e) the divinity of angels

question 4

Knowledge (gnosis), for the Valentinians, was considered the way to reach fullness. The practitioner of gnosis therefore possessed, in the eyes of Irenaeus' orthodox perspective:

a) the privileged faculty of knowing God in a direct way.

b) the sin of pride, for the fact of judging a being "enlightened" by knowledge.

c) the secrets to inhabit Paradise.

d) more intelligence and virtue than the average Christian.

e) more chances to be saved.

answers Question 1

Letter C

St Irenaeus wrote Adversus Heareses to combat the doctrines of Valentinianism, that is, the Gnostic sect that followed the precepts of Valentine (AD 100-160), a 2nd century intellectual who mixed the doctrines of the Gospels with Neoplatonic Gnosticism.

Question 2

Letter E

Valentine, inspired by gnosis, that is, by traditional esoteric wisdom that contrasted the figures of a good divine being and a bad one, conceived the idea of ​​the Pleroma and the Aeons. Christ, for Valentine, would have been instructed by a good Aeon in order to free men from the suffering caused by the bad Aeon.

Question 3

Letter A

The Valentinians conceived the existence of more than one God and attributed positive or negative characteristics to them. The doctrine of the Trinity, on the contrary, conceives of the idea of ​​one God in three coexisting and eternal persons, the Father, the Son and the Spirit.

Question 4

Letter B

For Irenaeus, the Valentinians and other Gnostics committed the sin of pride, of the sapiential pride of judging themselves capable of understanding all things and all the mysteries of the universe through gnosis.