我都唔排除一些靈知概念係來自很早時期, 不過事實就係, 世上並唔存在早過基督教的靈知文獻. 例如, 研究pre-Christian Gnosticism的Edwin M. Yamauchi咁講:
...Even the most ardent proponents of a Gnosticism earlier than or contemporary with the New Testament acknowledge that there are no Gnostic texts which date with certainty from the pre Christian era.
J. M. Robinson declared at the congress at Yale in 1978, 'At this stage we have not found any Gnostic texts that clearly antedate the origin of Christianity'. In his 1981 presidential address to the Society of Biblical Literature Robinson conceded, 'pre-Christian Gnosticism as such is hardly attested in a way to settle the debate once and for all'. In a similar fashion G. W. MacRae declares, 'And even if we are on solid ground in some cases in arguing that the original works represented in the (Nag Hammadi) library are much older than the extant copies, we are still unable to postulate plausibly any pre-Christian dates'.
Nevertheless there seems to be no lack of scholars who, undeterred by the lack of pre-Christian Gnostic documents, proceed to interpret the New Testament against a backdrop of a developed or developing Gnosticism. The view that Gnosticism is an essential element in the hermeneutical circle to understand the New Testament is maintained by MacRae, Rudolph, Koester, and Schmithals.