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date: 21 July 2019

Abstract and Keywords

The Gnostics primarily engaged in ‘rewritten Bible’: they retold and augmented the stories of Genesis and the Gospels, sometimes seeming to replace the biblical book as much as to explicate it. Valentinus practised a highly allusive form of biblical interpretation, in which the Bible and other literature enabled him to express a vision that was personal and biblical. The students of Valentinus participated fully in the emerging ‘academic’ culture of Christian biblical interpretation that arose in the second and third centuries, using the techniques of literary criticism. It was the results of their methods as much as the methods themselves that the critics of the Gnostics and Valentinians, such as Irenaeus and Origen, attacked in their responses.

Keywords: Gnostics, Valentinus, Valentinians, Irenaeus, Origen

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