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Italian versus Eastern Valentinianism?

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Three ancient texts seem to attest to a division between eastern and western Valentinians. Closer analysis of these three texts suggests that such a conclusion would be too hasty. The first text, the title to one of Clement of Alexandria's works, is either unreliable or so specific that it calls into doubt the division. Hippolytus's testimony, the second text, is so laden with problems that it reliably attests to merely the existence of the Eastern Teaching, and possibly to its distinctive doctrinal position concerning the body of Jesus. The third text, by Tertullian, is vague and seems not to refer to an eastern-western division. In sum, the three texts have so many problems that any future efforts to develop a taxonomy of Valentinianism should not begin with this alleged geographical division.


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