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The Johannine Legacy: The Gospel And Apocryphon Of John

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores the possibility of an intertextual dialogue and a shared history-of-religions background and context for two late first and early second century sectarian movements: Johannine Christianity and Sethian Gnosticism, an early Gnostic movement presently attested in no less than eleven of the fifty-two treatises contained in the fourth-century Coptic codices from Nag Hammadi as well as in several patristic sources. In particular, it suggests that both movements may have originated as non-Christian baptismal sectarian movements that became Christianized during the second half of the first century and gradually came to sustain an increasingly polemical relationship to one another throughout the second century. The chapter sketches the nature and history of the Sethian movement and discusses the Apocryphon of John and the Trimorphic Protennoia as the two Sethian treatises that most clearly sustain close literary contacts with the Johannine gospel and letters.

Keywords: Apocryphon of John; Johannine Christianity; Nag Hammadi; Sethian Gnosticism; Trimorphic Protennoia



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