I heard from someone that the "originial" christians were gnostics, and that the Roman empire essentially slaughtered  them all to establish their own version of christianity, from which the orthodox faith arose.  So essentially if this is true, what is now considered Christianity is really the antithesis to what it originally was, and gnostics have a right to call modern Christians believers in the antichrist.  I do not know if this is actually true but it wouldn't surprise me.  What do you guys think/know? 

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I find these groups interesting for the sole purpose of hearing people actually argue about them. Talking about their history, and plot events... it's like hearing someone describe a comic book. I especially love letting the conversation go for about ten minutes then piping in with, "you realize none of that ever happened, right? It's just myth and legend passed around as oral tradition for thousands of years before some random individual decided to write it down the way he heard it."

 

All that being said, anti-christ is a term used to describe someone to be the ultimate evil by Christian believers. I don't think there is such a thing as "ultimate evil" but I do think Ratzinger is pretty damn malevolent, as were 90% of the popes. No argument here.

Oh if there were to be an Anti-Christ any Pope would be a forerunner for sure...don't get me started lol
Well the Christ figure himself is just a myth and legend, but it is interesting to learn how these legends came to be.  I am interested in the gnostic antichrist, because although such a term in and of itself is rather redundant, it essentially declares christianity to be an "anti-sprituality".  And depending on your conceptualization of spirituality, I think this statement has a lot of philosophical value.  Very socratic actually.  Perhaps the ultimate evil is to believe in God?  idk but its fun to think about
I tend to think of antichrist by a more broad definition of a single person or thing that brings great suffering to the entire world. To me there have been many and that includes all of the popes and religion in general.
There were numerous schools of thought in early Christianity (1st, 2nd, 3rd centuries CE), mostly defined by how they viewed the nature of Jesus. Some of these views were:

Marcionism – Christ was a purely spiritual entity
Nestorianism – Jesus and Christ were two different entities
Docetism – Jesus appeared physical, but he was really incorporeal
Apollinarism – Jesus had a human body and human soul, but a divine mind
Arianism- Jesus was the son of God, not God himself
Catholicism – Jesus was fully human and fully divine, both God and the son of God
(info from http://www.stumbleupon.com/su/5K0Tw1/rationalrevolution.net/article...)

Gnosticism was not limited to Christianity. It was actually an entirely separate religious idea which had a large impact on some early Christian groups (see the wikipedia article for more info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gnosticism).

The Catholics just happened to be the group that won out when Christian dogma was being decided upon. So, to answer the original question, pope=/=antichrist, but rather, pope=dude with funny hat and supposed connection to skydaddy
great! thanks for the links

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