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Ptolemaeus And The Valentinian Exegesis Of John's Prologue

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Chapter Summary

This chapter argues that Ptolemaeus adopted his way of using the Fourth Gospel's prologue as a proof-text for Valentinian theology from an anti-Marcionite Roman discourse from the 150s. This means that the Roman congregations had already accepted the Fourth Gospel by the time Ptolemaeus wrote, and that consequently, Valentinus himself was probably well aware of the gospel. The picture drawn here of Ptolemaeus' use of the Fourth Gospel is based primarily on his authentic Letter to Flora, preserved by Epiphanius, and secondarily on the Ptolemaean commentary on John's prologue preserved by Irenaeus, whose ascription to Ptolemaeus himself, however, is only stated in the Latin translation of Irenaeus' text, and is missing from the Greek fragment preserved by Epiphanius. Other examples of Valentinian use of the prologue are discussed alongside these two primary "Ptolemaean" cases.

Keywords: Fourth Gospel; John's prologue; Ptolemaeus; Valentinian theology



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