Gnosticism and the New Testament

Gnosticism and the New Testament

Gnosticism and the New Testament

Gnosticism and the New Testament

Excerpt

This book began as a graduate seminar at the Boston University School of Theology. At the time, I did not expect to write a book on the topic, but Adela Yarbro Collins, now at the University of Chicago, suggested that I undertake it. When the original plans for a series were discarded, she recommended the project to Marshall Johnson of Fortress Press. Dr. Johnsons enthusiastic support has certainly been instrumental in the completion of the project. I had the opportunity to complete most of the first draft while I was Rachel Rebecca Kaneb Visiting Professor of Roman Catholic Studies at Cornell University. Al Kaneb and the Near Eastern Studies Department at Cornell should also be warmly thanked for their support.

Like most scholars working in the field of Nag Hammadi studies today, I remain deeply indebted to the late George W. MacRae, S.J. No one could summarize the importance of research into gnostic origins for our understanding of early Christianity better than Prof. MacRae.

Since the publication of the full corpus of gnostic writings from the discovery at Nag Hammadi, scholarly work on Gnosticism has been a growth industry. Yet it has been over two decades since any single scholar has attempted to survey the significance of such study for understanding the New Testament and early Christianity. This volume certainly lacks the elegance of Robert McL. Wilsons Gnosis and the New Testament (1968). The individual chapters are divided into specific topic areas so that those who wish to catch up on what scholars are saying today about a particular area can read the sections of interest to them. Although much work remains at a preliminary stage . . .

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