Sep 4, 2022
Unlike the Sethian Gnostics, the Valentinian Gnostics are clearly rooted in Christianity. They were founded by Valentinus, an Egyptian who may have stood for the bishopric of Rome. Valentinus founded a popular crusade that borrowed from the Sethians and the apostle Paul. The movement produced a copious literature: the apocalypse of Paul, the apocalypse of Peter, the apocalypse of Adam, the gospel of Mary, the gospel of Phillip, and the gospel of truth. All of these books were recovered only in the 20th century. The Valentinians formed a parallel church to the orthodox, one much more inviting to women. They attended orthodox services, but operated separate elite clubs. They were only suppressed in the fourth century, after the Roman state granted a monopoly to the orthodox.