Saturday, 11 April 2015

Steven Payne: Wedding Difference: The Bridal Chamber and Early Christian Diversity

Scholars of early Christianity often assume that the occurrence of bridal chamber terminology in an early Christian text more often than not indicates its so-called Valentinian provenance. This paper presents over-whelming evidence to the contrary to make the case that bridal chamber terminology characterizes a common inheritance in second- and third-century Christianity. Due to the scope of this paper, only two or three of the dozens of examples from early Christian texts not commonly associated with so-called Valentinianism will be chosen for in-depth discussion. In the end, I suggest that this wide-spread and diverse early Christian usage of bridal chamber terminology might be a more helpful context in which to place the occurrence of these terms even in presumably Valentinian material.

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