Valentinian Christianity (Hardcover)

Texts and Translations

By Geoffrey S. Smith (Translated by)

University of California Press, 9780520297463, 320pp.

Publication Date: April 7, 2020

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Valentinus, an Egyptian Christian who traveled to Rome to teach his unique brand of theology, and his followers, the Valentinians, formed one of the largest and most influential sects of Christianity in the second and third centuries. But by the fourth century, their writings had all but disappeared suddenly and mysteriously from the historical record, as the newly consolidated imperial Christian Church condemned as heretical all forms of what has come to be known as Gnosticism. Only in 1945 were their extensive original works finally rediscovered, and the resurrected “Gnostic Gospels” soon rooted themselves in both the scholarly and popular imagination.

Valentinian Christianity: Texts and Translations brings together for the first time all the extant texts composed by Valentinus and his followers. With fresh, carefully annotated translations throughout and new transcriptions of the original Greek, Latin, and Coptic on facing pages, Geoffrey S. Smith provides an illuminating, balanced overview of Valentinian Christianity and its formative place in Christian history.

About the Author

Geoffrey S. Smith is Assistant Professor of Biblical Greek and Christian Origins and Fellow of the Nease Endowment in the Institute for the Study of Antiquity and Christian Origins in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the author of Guilt By Association: Heresy Catalogues in Early Christianity.