John among the Orthodox, <i>c</i>. <span class="smallCaps">ad</span> 170–200

Charles E. Hill

in The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church

Published in print March 2004 | ISBN: 9780199264582
Published online January 2005 | e-ISBN: 9780191602085 | DOI:
 John among the Orthodox, c. ad 170–200

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As the period c. 170–200 is acknowledged by the proponents of the OJP to be the time in which the Fourth Gospel was quickly gaining acceptance among the orthodox (except in Rome), our study of the sources begins with this period. The 14 recognizably orthodox writers reviewed in this section indeed show this Gospel being used with ease and regularity and in an authoritative manner. It is linked with the three canonical Gospels and used as scripture by Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, Tertullian, and the Muratorian Fragment. But remarkably, while there were, as there were with other Christian writings, battles over interpretation, there are no signs that Irenaeus or anyone else was engaged in an effort to wrest this Gospel from heterodox groups, including the Valentinians, who might have had a monopoly on it. Moreover, John’s Gospel is disproportionately well attested in surviving papyri of the early period, and this is strikingly paralleled by the high representation of its scenes among the images adorning the earliest Christian catacombs in Rome, the very city that was, according to Bauer, the stronghold of orthodox Johannophobia.

Keywords: catacomb; Clement; Irenaeus; Muratorian Fragment; Papyri; Rome; Tertullian

Chapter.  51936 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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