Eschatology, Androgynous Thinking, Encratism, and the Question of Anti-Gnosticism in 2 Clement 12 (Part One)

in Vigiliae Christianae
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  • 1 Professor of New Testament Exegesis, Faculty of Theology, Uppsala University, Box 511, Sweden

Abstract

This article problematizes the widespread use of an untenably broad definition of Gnosticism to support claims that 2 Clement 12 is antignostic. Several conclusions about the writing’s aims and opponents must therefore be reconsidered. It is argued that 2 Clement 12 is not polemical and does not censure any distinctively gnostic views or praxes. By shedding both the supposedly gnostic background of the dominical logion about “the two” becoming “one,” about the “outside” being like the “inside,” and about “neither male nor female” (12:2b, 6b) and an antignostic agenda for the interpretations of the logion (12:3-5), scholarship has a better chance of opening up promising avenues for interpreting this saying of Jesus and its interpretation in 2 Clement 12.