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The Johannine Literature And Gnosticism

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Chapter Summary

Throughout early Christianity, the Gospel of John held a special attraction for Gnostics. This chapter examines several aspects of the Gospel that are often thought to reflect Gnostic thought and to compare the Johannine view with similar features found in Gnosticism. Gnosticism as an overall phenomenon is notoriously difficult to define and the Nag Hammadi documents demonstrate well the considerable variety of forms that it can take. The author calls attention to the view of specialists in the study of Gnosticism that the origins of Gnosticism lay in the re-interpretation of Jewish materials. The chapter provides a clearer perspective on the Gospel and its relation to Gnosticism.

Keywords: Gnosticism; Johannine literature; Nag Hammadi documents



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