n Journal of Early Christian History - Classifying Cerinthus’s Christology

Volume 9 Number 1
  • ISSN : 2222-582X



In the academic study of Christian origins, scholars have classified various christological systems of thought as “gnostic,” “docetic,” “adoptionist,” or “separationist.” This article will explore to what extent each of these taxonomic categories or ideal types corresponds to Cerinthus’s postulation of the temporary union of the human Jesus with the divine Christ. It will further defend the accuracy of Irenaeus’s description of Cerinthus’s theological and christological positions and how they differed from those of the Jewish-Christian Ebionites on the one hand and a demiurgical theologian such as Carpocrates on the other.

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