CERINTHUS. So little is known of Cerinthus that there is nothing to place him in Egypt other than a reference to him in the Epistula apostolorum (Letter of the Apostles, which some believe originated in Egypt) and a statement by Hippolytus that Cerinthus was educated in the wisdom of the Egyptians. The Epistula apostolorum speaks of Cerinthus as a false apostle, and Irenaeus wrote of a
confrontation between Cerinthus and the Apostle John in a public bath at Ephesus, but there is little else preserved of his life. Irenaeus
stated that Cerinthus taught that the creation came about through a power far removed from God and that Jesus was born of Joseph and Mary. According to Irenaeus, Cerinthus taught that after Jesus' baptism, Christ descended in the form of a dove and remained with
Jesus until just before the Crucifixion. This description of Cerinthian DOCETISM cannot be proved or refuted, since no Cerinthian documents or sources are known to exist.
C. WILFRED GRIGGS
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