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image of Vigiliae Christianae

Justin's Gnostic system, as described in Hippolytus, Refutatio V, 23-27, deviates in many aspects from those of the great Gnostic teachers of the second century. One of the most interesting features of his doctrine is the idea that the creation of the world and the procreation of human beings preceded the origin of evil and are fundamentally good. Another is the view that Jesus was a prophet, who finally brought the message that should already have been proclaimed by the Jewish prophets. This study focuses on Justin's use of Gospel traditions and the role of Jesus in the process of salvation. An analysis of the allusions to Gospel traditions in the section about Jesus shows that Justin most probably knew the Gospels of Luke and John and borrowed from them what was suitable to his own myth. It is argued that Justin most probably came from a Jewish-Christian background, since his interpretation of Jesus as the last prophet and his positive ideas about the creation and marriage have their closest parallels in Jewish Christianity and some religious groups related to it.


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