When I was exploring the Patristic traditions about John for my last book, I also got to learn more about the traditions about John’s alleged opponent Cerinthus. I summarized the different portraits of Cerinthus in the Patristic literature in a blog post from 2017. I have now researched the scholarship on Cerinthus further and published my article “Classifying Cerinthus’s Christology” for the Journal of Early Christian History. Here is my abstract for anyone who is interested:
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.