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The Gospel of Philip and Clement of Alexandria

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

It is the purpose* of this article to study in more detail than has been done the parallelism between saying 23 of the Gospel of Philip (Codex III Nag Hammadi, 104,26-105,19) and three passages from Clement of Alexandria's Pedagogue (1,38,1-3 ; 43,2-3 ; 2,19,3-20,1). This parallelism remained unnoticed in the two main existing commentaries on Ev.Phil., the one by R. M. Wilson (1962), and the other by J. E. Ménard (1967).1 We shall first deal at some length with Ev.Phil. 23, and pay special attention to what it has to say on the resurrection and the Eucharist, drawing parallels with other sayings of this Gospel, and also with the writings of theologians of the Great Church. We shall then turn to the relevant passages from Clement's Pedagogue, and try to take away some obstacles which have hindered the understanding of Clement's allusive language in these passages. Finally, we shall make some remarks on the "demarcation-lines" that are usually drawn between the various kinds of theology in the second and third century.


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