Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship

Studies in the Bible and Antiquity


Gaye Strathearn


The Gospel of Philip, a Valentinian tractate found in the Nag Hammadi library, has sparked the interest of some Latter-day Saints because of its numerous references to a bridal chamber associated with the holy of holies in the temple (Gospel of Philip 69.14-70.4), such as to a "mirrored bridal chamber" (Gospel of Philip 65.12) and a sacred kiss (Gospel of Philip 59.1-5). The purpose of this paper is to examine the bridal chamber references within their Valentinian context. While there may be some interesting parallels with LDS teachings about eternal marriage, it is imporant to understand that the Valentinians understood these references in substantially different ways.