- Unknown Binding: 208 pages
- Publisher: Tyndale Press; 1st Printing edition (1973)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0802834299
- ISBN-13: 978-0802834294
- Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #6,176,215 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Pre-Christian Gnosticism: A survey of the proposed evidences, Unknown Binding – 1973
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Top Customer Reviews
Could any scholar be more balanced? Yamouchi is simply wonderful in his careful discussion of all the evidence. Without exception, he is fair to each scholar's opinion.
Indeed, he scarcely gives his opinion until the last few chapters. Then, after a careful weighing of the various arguments, he finds:
"An impressive array of scholars both in the past and in more recent times have come to the conclusion that the Gnostic Redeemer figure as described by Reitzenstein and Bultmann, and as attested in the Hymn of the Pearl, the Manichaean and the Mandaean tests is simply a post-Christian development dependent upon the figure of Christ, rather than a pre-Christian myth upon which the New Testament figure of Christ depends" (p 165).
And again, "As Wilson states: 'The myth of the Urmensch-Redeemer has been adequately examined by others, and the view that such a myth, if it ever existed, exercised a formative influence on the early Church is now generally rejected" (p 166).
Many scholars now argue that the evidence suggests that the Gnostics borrowed ideas from Christianity, not the other way around.
In conclusion, Yamouchi writes:
"In the case of the New Testament texts we have not Gnostic texts which are older, and the evidences which have been adduced to prove the priority of Gnosticism over Christianity have been weighed in this study and found wanting" (p 186).
Anyone interested in this topic should also read the other famous study on Gnosticism, "A Separate God, The Origins and Teachings of Gnosticism" by Simone Petrement.