A Companion to Second-Century Christian ‘Heretics’

Petri Luomanen & Antti Marjanen (eds), Leiden: Brill, 2008


The book illuminates “the other side” of early Christianity by examining thinkers and movements that were embraced by many second-century religious seekers as legitimate forms of Christianity, but which are now largely forgotten, or are known only from the characteristics attributed to them in the writings of their main adversaries. The collection deals with the following teachers and movements: Basilides, Sethianism, Valentinus’ school, Marcion, Tatian, Bardaisan, Montanists, Cerinthus, Ebionites, Nazarenes, Jewish-Christianity of the Pseudo-Clementines, and Elchasites. Where appropriate, the authors have included an overview of the life and significant publications of the “heretics,” along with a description of their theologies and movements. Therefore, this volume can serve as a handbook of the second-century “heretics” and their “heresies.” Since all the chapters have been written by specialists who wrestle daily with their research themes, the contributions also offer new perspectives and insights stimulating further discussion on this fascinating—but often neglected—side of early Christianity.

(Text from the publisher)

Table of contents

Basilides the Gnostic

Author: Birger A. Pearson

Pages: 1–31


Author: Michael A. Williams

Pages: 32–63

The School of Valentinus

Author: Ismo Dunderberg

Pages: 64–99


Author: Heikki Räisänen

Pages: 100–124

Tatian the Assyrian

Author: William L. Petersen

Pages: 125–158

Bardaisan of Edessa

Author: Nicola Denzey

Pages: 159–184

Montanism: Egalitarian Ecstatic “New Prophecy”

Author: Antti Marjanen

Pages: 185–212


Author: Matti Myllykoski

Pages: 213–246


Author: Sakari Häkkinen

Pages: 247–278


Author: Petri Luomanen

Pages: 279–314

Jewish Christianity of the Pseudo-Clementines

Author: F. Stanley Jones

Pages: 315–334

Elchasaites and Their Book

Author: Gerard P. Luttikhuizen

Pages: 335–364

Notes on Contributors

Editors: Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen

Pages: 365–367

Index of Modern Authors

Editors: Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen

Pages: 369–373

General Index

Editors: Antti Marjanen and Petri Luomanen

Pages: 374–385



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