Religion Past and Present

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(153 words)

[German Version]

"Barbelo" is the name or epithet of a female entity who appears in Gnostic texts as the first emanation of the (androgynous) supreme being and as the cause for the appearance of the pleroma (including the heavenly Christ). The meaning of the Semitic/Aramaic name is uncertain ("God is in the four," "daughter of the lord," "mighty through God"). Barbelo comes from a semi-Jewish wisdom tradition. Irenaeus calls one Gnostic group "Barbelo Gnostics" (Haer. I, 29; possibly from a gloss); the same group appears again in Epiphanius under the name "Barbeliots" or "Borborians." B…

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Rudolph, Kurt, “Barbelo/Barbeliots”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 27 June 2022 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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