Besides questions related to the milieu in which orthodox Christianity asserted itself, at least one other major issue needs to be introduced at this point. Earlier, we briefly mentioned differences among contemporary scholars with regard to the dating of the original Gnostic treatises. One particular case perhaps needs to be mentioned, both because of its crucial nature in the present discussions and as an actual example of the importance of these dating concerns. The case in point here

5 Wisse’s essay is included in Charles Hedrick and Robert Hodgson, eds., Nag Hammadi, Gnosticism, and Early Christianity(Peabody: Hendrickson, 1986). For an insightful critique, see James L. Jaquette’s review in the Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, Vol. 32, No. 1, March, 1989, pp. 120–122.