The proposition that the human mind lives in a largely self-created world of illusion from whence only the enlightenment of a kind of Gnosis can rescue it finds powerful analogues in the two great religions of the East, i.e., Hinduism and Buddhism. The following statement from the Upanishads could easily have been written by Valentinus or another Gnostic: “This (world) is God’s Maya, through which he deceives himself.” According to the teachings of Buddha, the world of apparent reality consists of ignorance, impermanence, and the lack of authentic selfhood. Valentinus is in very good company indeed when he establishes the proposition of the wrong system of false reality that can be set aright by the human spirit.
Archon (Gr. ἄρχων, pl. ἄρχοντες) is a Greek word that means “ruler” or “lord,” frequently used as the title of a specific public office. It is the masculine present participle of the verb stem ἀρχ-, meaning “to rule,” derived from the same root as monarch, hierarchy, and anarchy.
In ancient Greece the chief magistrate in various Greek city states was called Archon. The term was also used throughout Greek history in a more general sense, ranging from “club leader” to “master of the tables” at syssitia.
In Athens a system of nine concurrent Archons evolved, led by three respective remits over the civic, military, and religious affairs of the state: the three office holders being known as the Eponymos archon (Ἐπώνυμος ἄρχων; the “name” ruler, who gave his name to the year in which he held office), the Polemarch (“war ruler”), and the Archon Basileus (“king ruler”). The six others were the Thesmothétai, Judicial Officers. Originally these offices were filled from the wealthier classes by elections every ten years. During this period the eponymous Archon was the chief magistrate, the Polemarch was the head of the armed forces, and the Archon Basileus was responsible for some civic religious arrangements, and for the supervision of some major trials in the law courts. After 683 BC the offices were held for only a single year, and the year was named after the Archōn Epōnymos. (Many ancient calendar systems did not number their years consecutively.)
After 487 BC the archonships were assigned by lot to any citizen and the Polemarch’s military duties were taken over by new class of generals known as stratēgoí. The ten stratēgoí (one per tribe) were elected, and the office of Polemarch was rotated among them on a daily basis. The Polemarch thereafter had only minor religious duties, and the titular headship over the strategoi. The Archon Eponymos remained the titular head of state under democracy, though of much reduced political importance. The Archons were assisted by “junior” archons, called Thesmothétai (Θεσμοθέται “Institutors”). After 457 BC ex-archons were automatically enrolled as life members of the Areopagus, though that assembly was no longer extremely important politically at that time. (See Archons of Athens.)………cont’d at the link
What is a Johannite? Are they representatives of a continuous tradition that began with John the Baptist? Are they instead a group that began at a later date spontaneously as did the Mormons? Are there actually both or several types of Johannites? What do they believe? Do they think that the Baptist was Christ and Jesus was not? Do they believe that they were both Christs? Do they believe that John the Baptist was something more like a prophet or an apostle? Are there a range of different beliefs among different Johannite groups?
In general I think we can define Johannites as people who disagree with the Christian mainstream about the importance of John the Baptist. As to when they began or what they believe we need historical references.
The Mandaeans often called the “Christians of Saint John’ because they claim to be followers of John the Baptist. They seem to follow an ancient form of Gnosticism, which practices initiation and some rituals that have been said to resemble those of the Freemasons. Their allegiance is to John the Baptist and not at all to Jesus.
…The religious ideas of the Mandæans show some remarkable similarities to the ancient doctrines, whether pagan or Christian. In the Ginza “Treasury”, perhaps the best known of the Mandaic sacred books, we find at least seven different accounts of the origins of the cosmos, each with features most difficult to reconcile. The Mandæans hold on the immense shoulders of Ur, an enormous serpent-like sea monster of the abyss. Most of the stories about the language and religion of the Mandæans were collected by Catholic missionaries, who acknowledged that great uncertainties surrounded them. First, the name; it is not certain what Mandæan means but it is thought that it came from their own claim of being Mandaiia, which is related to madda, meaning “knowledge”. The most sacred Mandæan ceremonies are performed by the priests, who are called tarmidia “disciple,” inside a fenced-off area called a mandi with a building inside this area called manda or bimanda (from bet manda, “house of knowledge”. Second, it is thought that the name came from Manda d-Hiia, meaning “Knowledge of Life”. What is certain is the name their Arab neighbors gave them: Subba, “baptizers,” “those who immerse [themselves in water]. Baptism and submersion in the flowing water of a river is the principle religious practice. For Mandæans, flowing water is considered life-creating force of the world…..