Roger Pearse wrote: andrewcriddle wrote:
What does seem new and controversial is the late dating of some of the Nag Hammadi texts. e.g.
While the Gospel of Philip has traditionally be considered a Christian writing from before the Council of Nicaea, Lundhaug argues that it reflects post-Nicene theology and discusses its context in later Christian theological controversies over baptism, Eucharist and resurrection.
That's interesting. But we know that these texts could be altered in transmission, because the Greek fragments of the Gospel of Thomas (2nd c.) do not contain some of the more overtly gnostic statements in the Nag Hammadi Coptic versions (4th c.). So is it possible that these elements are a later revision?
I haven't read Lundhaug's argument in detail, but IIUC I'm a bit dubious.
The Gospel of Philip seems to refer to post-baptismal chrismation (anointing) which is rare in mainstream Christian texts before the 4th century. However some scholars e.g. Lampe Seal of the Spirit
have argued that these additions to the rite of baptism are found among gnostic groups before they become widespread among main stream Christians. So the allusions to post-baptismal chrismation in a gnostic (or at least gnostic-influenced) text like Gospel of Philip need not imply a late date.