Friday, 17 May 2019
Piotr Ashwin-Siejkowski: Clement of Alexandria and the riddle of the Gospel of the Egyptians.
Clement of Alexandria preserved several unique quotations and references to Christian works which later were labelled as apocryphal and now are lost. In his polemic Clement used various literary sources to support his arguments. Clement’s legacy provide us with the intriguing case of a quote (Strom., 3.13.92) from the Gospel of Egyptians which closely echoes two Sayings from the Gospel of Thomas(22 and 37) and one passage from 2 Clem. 12. The paper explores some similarities and differences in asceticism and background of these two documents. It reconstructs the possible philosophical affiliations of both narratives. It proposes that the Gospel of the Egyptians was used as an authoritative narrative in competition with other ascetic Christian groups. This paper also re-examines the relationship between the Gospel of the Egyptians and the Gospel of Thomas.