The Gospel of Philip.
Translated from the Coptic text, with an Introduction and Commentary

Wilson R.Mcl.



The Gospel of Philip belongs to the same collection of Gnostic documents as the more famous Gospel of Thomas, but has not as yet received the same attention. Many of the sayings in Thomas are parallel to, yet not identical with, sayings long familiar from the canonical Gospels, and the suggestion that this document goes back at least in part to a tradition independent of our Gospels at once aroused a lively interest. Philip, on the other hand, has never been considered as anything but a Gnostic document. It is not, however, for that reason unimportant. The original Gnostic documents at our disposal are not so numerous that we can afford to neglect any addition to their number, and this new gospel has in several respects an interest of its own. It provides a striking confirmation for some aspects of the account of Valentinianism supplied by Irenaeus, and to this extent attests the su_bstantial reliability of the early Father’s report. If we may date the Greek original, as has been suggested, in the second century, Philip is one of the earliest documents for some of the then1es which figure in later apocryphal literature. And by no means least, it is significant for Valentinian exegesis of the New Testament, as evidence of the ways in which the Gnostics took over and adapted New Testament language and ideas for purposes of their own.