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In: Crossing Boundaries in Early Judaism and Christianity

Abstract

One expects that ancient Gnostic sources would be hostile towards Moses as the ignorant prophet of the deficient demiurge. While some ancient Gnostic sources uphold this perspective, others indicate greater ambivalence, as they both rely upon and resist Moses’s authority. Other sources cite Moses positively and present him as a prophet of true, spiritual realities, even to the point of portraying Moses as a proto-Gnostic. This variety of attitudes, moreover, follows exegetical patterns stemming from New Testament writings, especially Matthew, and social patterns, providing an index to how Gnostics viewed themselves vis-à-vis other Christians and other Christian Gnostics.

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In: Gnosis: Journal of Gnostic Studies