John and ‘the Gnostics’

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 and ‘the Gnostics’

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Investigates the chief empirical basis for the OJP, the use of the Fourth Gospel among ‘gnostic’ and Valentinian authors and groups that can be plausibly dated to the second century. The works of individual teachers and surviving texts, including a number of texts from the Nag Hammadi library, are examined to determine not only their knowledge of the Fourth Gospel (along with the Johannine Letters and Apocalypse) but also the ways in which they used it. The most striking discovery of this study is that the Fourth Gospel was seen by many of these writers not chiefly as an ally but as a text, which simply had to be reckoned with, adapted, and sometimes contradicted. Surprisingly, the only Johannophobia of the period is found not in orthodox writers, but in heterodox works such as the Trimorphic Protennoia, the Second Apocalypse of James, the Apocryphon of James, the Acts of John, Gospel of Truth, and perhaps the Gospel of Thomas.

Keywords: Acts of John; Apocryphon of James; Gospel of Thomas; Gospel of Truth; OJP; Second Apocalypse of James; Trimorphic Protennoia; Valentinian

Chapter.  51257 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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