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The Teachings of Silvanus: A Little-Known Gem from Nag Hammadi

TitleThe Teachings of Silvanus: A Little-Known Gem from Nag Hammadi
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2023
AuthorsNewton, Dennis
JournalInterpreter: A Journal of Latter-day Saint Faith and Scholarship
KeywordsEarly Christianity; Nag Hammadi Library; Silvanus

Scholars have recently suggested that The Teachings of Silvanus, a text from Nag Hammadi Codex VII, is the product of several authors with the earliest portion dating to the late first or early second century and the latest portion to the third or early fourth century. Silvanus’ provenance, therefore, allows this single document to serve as a potential microcosm evidencing the change and alteration of early Christian thought and doctrine. Latter-day Saints have long contended that the Restored Gospel is more closely aligned with the earliest strains of Christianity vis-à-vis the creedal form. Through the lens of Silvanus, Latter-day Saint and Calvinist positions are evaluated relative to the early and late Silvanus authors and are found to be most compatible with the early and late portions of the text, respectively.