Title: The Meaning of the Death of Christ in Valentinian Gnosticism
The thesis of this paper is that although Valentinian Gnosticism, the earliest and the most successful of all the Gnostic schools of thought, talks about the death of Christ and His work on the cross using NT terminology, in the final analysis, it ascribes an overly-spiritualized and mythological meaning to these events, meanings that are foreign to NT authors. Furthermore, there seems to be a demonstrable progression in the Valentinian interpretation of the death of Christ from a more historical interpretation with the earliest writings to more mythological interpretations in the latter treatises. Methodologically, the argument of the paper is advanced through a careful examination of the relevant Valentinian texts, progressing from the earliest to the latest. These include (but are not limited to) The Gospel of Truth (NHC I,3), The Gospel of Philip (NHC II,3), The Tripartite Tractate (NHC I,5), The Interpretation of Knowledge (NHC XI,1), A Valentinian Exposition (NHC XI,2) and the Treatise on Resurrection [the Epistle to Rheginos] (NHC I,4).
 The numberings follow the standard numbering method used in the Nag Hammadi Scriptures (International Edition).