Sunday, May 30, 2010

The Influence of Irenaeus

It is an interesting question and I do not intend to provide any solution. First of all, I do not agree with Bauer's model of radical diversity won over by overbearing Roman influence, nor do I find myself in agreement with the modern flag-bearers of this thesis such as Pagels and her often questionable interpretation of Irenaeus.

But what do you make of of P.Oxy 3.405? It is a late second/early third century roll fragment containing Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses 3.9, 2-3. How far was his influence? How do we explain its presence? What does this tell us about Irenaeus' influence and authority abroad? Does it necessitate orthodoxy or dominant heresy?

Personally, I would argue against dominant heresy as the manuscript record of Egypt certainly isn't representative of such a trajectory. Maybe that'll be my next post?

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