On my desk: Heimola on the Gospel of Philip

One of the joys of being in academia is the opportunity to do book reviews. What was once the bane of an undergrad’s (and seminarian’s) existence becomes the salivating anticipation of those uber-geeks called Phd students. Getting free books is never a bad thing, and getting a small publication to paste on your CV is also nice. There is also the intellectual exercise of trying to discern an argument’s weak points, and strengths. Last, one always can use practice in grace and tact, which are important interpersonal skills to be cultivated in biblical scholarship.

I have a few books lying on my desk currently waiting to be reviewed. Here is the first:

Minna Heimola, Christian Identity in the Gospel of Philip (Helsinki: Finnish Exegetical Society, 2011)

This book is a publication of Heimola’s 2010 PhD dissertation. She examines the topic of Christian identity according to the Gospel of Philip, one of the texts recovered from the Nag Hammadi library in Egypt in 1945. It comes second only to the Gospel of Thomas in the amount of attention it has received from scholars. Heimola offers a fresh perspective on the text by employing various methods of social scientific study, including boundary-marking and social history. These are followed by a theological analysis. I’m looking forward to reviewing this book, particularly because I have been keen to familiarise myself with more Gnostic texts. Heimola’s work appears at first glance to be well-written and thoroughly studies, so I hope to learn much from her. Thanks to RBL for the opportunity to review this book!

Heimola’s book can be purchased here.


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