Gnosticism claims that people tended to take the scriptures literally, which is wrong. According to Gnostics, the scriptures were written more like parables, with concealed meanings in the words and passages, not intended to be taken literally. Based on this, the writings of Paul are irrelevant and would require the interpretation of a Gnostic for their true meaning.
1. Isn't Gnosticism a more complex ideology than explaining things in parables. 2. In any case, Paul used illustrations, metaphors, similes, to my knowledge he is not known for his parables. 3. I think Paul was a very open, cards on the tables kind of guy. There is nothing hidden, or secret about him or what he said, in the least. Are there writings in existence that are an attempt to be as open and honest than Pauls letters? Peace, x
Some would argue that the writings of Paul simply uphold what the other apostles said and it boils down to the basics: God sent his son, Son was crucified, Son was risen, Son will return, etc. Others may read more into it and pick up of the Gnostic ideas that actually Jesus was very much in line with when he did preach. The problem with Christianity and these books is that people want other people to agree with them when they come to a conclusion about something. However, I think it's more important for the individual to take what they get and use it to their benefit in their personal life. It's not about how many people agree with you, it's about getting the right message across.
When you read these writings, everyone will read it and take it in a different way. I do not think however that this is the way that the author meant for it to be taken. But if you read it, and interpret to be in a Gnosticism way, then you could be right.
No, Gnosticism is not a more valid readings of the writings of Paul, because was very enthusiastic about living his faith. In fact, that he has so many writings and letters to the various churches demonstrates this. Many of his works centered around church building. Paul was very insistent that the churches live for Christ, which is not a Gnostic point of view.
In relation to how to view the religion, all are pretty much equal in how to read into things since the religious books were chosen by committee hundreds of years ago and hundreds of years after they were written - how could people really know which were truly valid anyway.