The Language of Grace: Valentinian Reflection on New Testament Imagery

Judith L. Kovacs

in Radical Christian Voices and Practice

Published in print January 2012 | ISBN: 9780199599776
Published online May 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191738340 | DOI:
The Language of Grace: Valentinian Reflection on New Testament Imagery

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Among the earliest interpreters of Paul were followers of Valentinus, whose teachings are known from several texts discovered at Nag Hammadi (including the Gospel of Philip and the Tripartite Tractate) and the polemical reports of church fathers such as Irenaeus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. This chapter explores these teachers’ radical understanding of Paul’s message of divine grace. Valentinian exegetes were especially attuned to Paul’s insistence that salvation is pure gift, not a reward for human ‘works’ (Romans: 3–4), and they paid particular attention to his language of election and his images of kinship (father, son, child, slave, brother, seed). The chapter argues that the influence of Paul on Valentinian teaching extends far beyond the explicit quotations from his letters.

Keywords: Paul; Valentinian; grace; election; kinship; son; slave; seed; Gospel of Philip; Tripartite Tractate; Romans

Chapter.  7805 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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