According to Irenaeus, the Valentinians believed that at the beginning, there was a pleroma. At the center of the pleroma, lived the perfect Father who projected thirty aeons, Sophia was the youngest. Sophia was flawed with curiosity, weakness and error. These flaws led to the creation of Christ, the Holy Spirit, the world and eventually, man. Valentinians view both the physical world and humankind as flawed.
Valentinians believe that Sophia was the demiurge; she was associated with the “deficient” God of the Old Testament. The Valentinians taught that the individuals in their religion had to learn and recognize the Father as the depth of all things; the true source of divine power. By recognizing this, the Valentinian Gnostic was able to achieve gnosis. This was the key to salvation.
The Valentinians also taught that the role of Christ was to bring unity and wholeness to humanity, despite His creation by the demiurge. Valentinian Gnostics also held that the great creative power (commonly called Eve) was the Mother of all Living things.
Despite the fact that Sophia was the demiurge, wisdom was brought forth from her. This wisdom was essential to understanding the double nature of Jesus. The Valentinians taught that Jesus was both human and divine. While he was human, Jesus was the “Son of Man”. During this time, he suffered and died, much like the rest of humanity will. When Jesus was divine, he became the “Son of God”. During this state, the divine spirit within him could not die, so he was able to transcend suffering and death.