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The Gnostic Paul

The Gnostic Paul is a book by Elaine Pagels, a scholar of gnosticism and professor of religion at Princeton University. In the work, Pagels considers each of the non-pastoral Pauline epistles, and questions about their authorship. The core of the book examines how the Pauline epistles were read by 2nd century Valentinian gnostics and demonstrates that Paul could be considered a proto-gnostic as well as a proto-Catholic.

Her treatment involves reading the Pauline corpus as being dual layered between a pneumatic, esoteric Christianity and a psychic, exoteric Christianity.

Publication dataEdit

  • The Gnostic Paul: Gnostic Exegesis of the Pauline Letters (1975), Fortress Press, ISBN 0-8006-0403-2.

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