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Gnostic reflection advanced research on this point: behind the mythological trappings and the tendency to multiply divine beings aeons in relation to their functions so that Valentinians divided Christ’s functions between five aeons: Nous, Logos, Man, Christ, Savior, we can see in the most Christianized forms of gnosis Valentinians, Chandler Metro Map Basilideans the concept of Logos, preexistent Christ, emanated by the Father and hence inferior to him, crafter of all later development and of the history of the divine and human worlds.

The dualistic mentality of the gnostics denied any possibility of salvation of the material world and hence to the human body. Consequently, on the basis of the conviction that Christ assumed only what he redeemed, the gnostics denied that he assumed a real body in the incarnation: some considered his body a mere appearance; others allowed it more substance the Valentinian economic Christ but ruled out any real materiality docetism.

The definition of Christ qua deus as Logos of God, put to such good use by the gnostics, was picked up by the various Catholic theologians active between 160 and the end of the 2nd c. And if Irenaeus, writing against the gnostics, voluntarily abstained from reckless speculations on the deity, Justin, Tatian, Theophilus and Athenagoras felt no such restraint and, while avoiding the mythologizing excesses of the gnostics, like them felt the influence of the Middle Platonism of the time, which put a minor deity sometimes several as intermediary between the supreme and transcendent God and the world. They conceived the divine Logos which is also the Wisdom and image of God: Pr 8:22-25; 1 Cor 1:24; Col 1:15 though, like the gnostics, Irenaeus and at times Theophilus identified Wisdom with the Holy Spirit as ab aeterno impersonally immanent in God and generated by him ante tempus to provide for the creation and government of the world.

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