Part of Christianity. Introduced 100 CE.
Gnosticism (derived from the Greek term 'Gnosis' meaning 'knowledge') began during the second century. Gnostics held that Jesus was an apparition from the world of spirit who came to show humans the way to knowledge and union with the supreme being.
A tiny gnostic community, a people known as Mandeans, currently exists in Southern Iraq.
World Religions: A Historical Approach (4th ed.), S. A. Nigosian (Boston: Beford / St. Martin's, 2008), p.388.