In response to:
Le Diable au Coeur from the September 21, 1995 issue
To the Editors:
Norman Cohn’s review of my book, The Origin of Satan [NYR, September 21], contains many insights that I appreciate, as I have appreciated his books for many years.
As his review shows, our interests differ, but I am not writing to discuss these differences, obvious to a reader who compares our two respective recent books.
I am writing to correct a misstatement, which reads as if attributed to me, which says that “the only gospel of Gentile origin, John,…was probably composed around 100 C.E.” I am not certain what Dr. Cohn has in mind, since Luke, not John, is the only gospel probably written by a Gentile; but the dating he cites applies to John. In the following passage, again attributed to John, he discusses and then quotes a passage from Luke (Luke 10: 17–20).
Thank you for correcting this.
Harrington Spear Paine Professor of Religion
Norman Cohn replies:
Elaine Pagels is of course absolutely right. I apologize to her and to your readers for my unaccountable lapse.