65 GNOSTICISM AND THE NEW TESTAMENT* BY G. QUISPEL When we consider the problem of Gnosticism and Christianity, we must take into account certain facts about the history of the Church. Paul's opponents in Palestine did not disappear without leaving any trace. Their views were inherited and developed by a group of Jewish Christians existing somewhere in Syria; it was this group who were largely responsible for the views expressed in the Pseudo- Clementine writings. It is, of course, exceedingly difficult to assess just to what extent the older views are present in these later writings. But there is no doubt that some continuity does exist. Attempts to deny this continuity or to explain it away by citing parallels from Gnosticism should be dismissed as apologetics. The Pseudo-Clementine writings may be somewhat fantastic, but certainly are not gnostic. They are moreover valuable to the his- torian of the Church, both for the concept which we find there of Jesus as the promised prophet and because they show us that animosity towards Paul continued to persist in certain Jewish Christian quarters. Nor should we assume that the Christian community of Jerusalem - that recognized Paul, but did not accept
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1965
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