I sometimes wonder whether it is conceivable that Gnosticism emerged out of and in response to the imposition of monotheism in the post-exilic period, among Jews clinging to elements of the earlier form of their religion, who adopted a negative view of the God who was being promoted to them as the only one, even going so far as to mock his ignorance in claiming to be the only God. In certain respects, the connection seems plausible. But it also seems to require either that we date the origins of Gnosticism earlier than seems likely, or the imposition of monotheism later. Nonetheless, when we consider that pre-exilic forms of Judaean religion persisted in some places, such as at Elephantine in Egypt, for quite some time, it is perhaps not inconceivable that some Jews in Egypt or Mesopotamia maintained their earlier religious beliefs and practices for quite some time, and when Judaism in its ‘Scriptural’ (or Scripturized?) form reached their region and began to be imposed, perhaps they integrated into the community, while cultivating their own esoteric and subversive versions and interpretations of stories.
Anyway, below is the text of Haran Gawaita. I also happened across a piece by Şinasi Gündüz on “The problems of the nature and date of Mandaean sources” which is worth sharing.