Gnosticism is an ancient religion that pre-dates Christianity and the heresy based on that religion. The religion of Gnosticism is often compared to the modern New Age movement and Pantheism. As a heresy, Gnosticism is any belief system based on salvation through "universal secret knowledge" rather than faith through the deity and resurrection of Christ.
The core belief that brought Gnostics into conflict with early Christians was that a personal relationship with Sophia through knowledge of the universe could lead to salvation. That knowledge, known as Gnosis, is the origin of the name "Gnosticism". Gnosticism entails a variety of spiritual beliefs far different from widely accepted Christian beliefs. Gnostics hold that the universe was crafted by an evil, flawed artisan-like entity called a Demiurge, and that the true god is a pantheistic life force known as the Monad. The impersonal Monad, Gnostics claimed, came in various forms called Æons, including the embodiment of wisdom Sophia. Gnosticism is also a very pessimistic religion because its adherents believe that the universe was created by an evil being and therefore that the world is inherently evil without enlightenment.
The gnostics do hold the belief that the Old Testament creator God was evil while the New Testament God was considered a different, and good God.
A major difference between the gnostic apocryphal gospels and the NT gospels is when they were written. The gnostic apocryphal gospels were written in the second century and beyond, while the NT gospels were completely written before the end of the first century AD.
The major gnostic gospels generally referred to are;