More on Bardaisan

Bardaisan is really growing on me – an intriguing Edessan local, and a man who brewed his own blend of early Christianity, paganism, neoplatonism, and anthropology. From F. W. Norris’ entry on Bardaisan, in the Encyclopedia of Early Christianity;

The teaching of Bardaisan has Gnostic elements, such as a dualism of darkness and light and the view that the material world was created by beings lesser than the one God. Yet he seems to have been a convinced monotheist who avoided a physical dualism. Bardaisan evidently was much interested in astrology and the ways that customs and tradition influenced people’s thoughts, but he had some sense of the importance of human freedom. Although good and evil beset men and women, each person who is in Christ can choose, because Christ countermands the force of the planets. Little is known, however, of Bardaisan’s doctrines concerning the body and the soul, positions that would clearly specify how much he represented Gnostic views.


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