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Synopsis of the Apocryphon of John [69–83] (SOTAOJ_5)

(9,800 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  Synopsis 69 III 33,12—34,3TranslationBG 65,15—66,17TranslationII 25,31—26,10TranslationIV 40,6-24Translationⲭⲱ13[ⲣⲓⲥ ⲫⲑⲟⲛⲟⲥ ϩ]ⲓ̣ ⲉⲡⲓⲑⲩⲙⲓⲁ 13 without (χωρίς) jealousy (φθόνος) or desire (ἐπιθυμία) ϩⲓ̈  ϩⲟⲧⲉ ϩⲓ̈  16ⲉⲡⲓⲑⲩⲙⲓⲁor fear, or16 desire (ἐπιθυμία).<ϩ>ⲓ ⲫⲑⲟ32ⲛⲟⲥ ϩⲓ ⲉⲡⲓⲑⲩⲙⲓⲁ6 or jealousy (φθόνος) 32 or desire (ἐπιθυμία) ϩ͡ⲓ ⲫⲑⲟⲛⲟⲥ 7ϩ͡ⲓ ⲉⲡⲓⲑ̣[ⲩ]ⲙⲓⲁ·2ϩⲓ ⲡⲗⲏⲥⲙⲟ14[ⲛⲏor gratification (πλησμονή)ϩⲓ̈  ⲥⲓor gratification.ⲁⲩⲱ ⲧⲙ̅ⲛ̅ⲧⲁⲧⲥⲓ ⲛ̅ⲧⲉ 33ⲡⲧⲏⲣϥand greed of 33 anything.ⲁⲩ[ⲱ ⲧ]ⲙ̣̅ⲛ̅ⲧ̕ⲁⲧⲥⲓ ⲛ̅8ⲧⲉ ⲡⲧⲏ[ⲣϥ]ϩⲛ ⲛⲁ]ⲉⲓ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲉⲛⲥⲉⲁⲙⲁϩⲧⲉ 15[ⲙⲙⲟⲟⲩ ⲁⲛ 14 [By] all these …

The Content (TC)

(5,957 words)

Contributor(s): Böhlig, Alexander | Wisse, Frederik
The so-called Gospel of the Egyptians is a typical work of mythological Gnosticism. In spite of the basic work of Hans Jonas,1 writings of this kind still do not receive their due appreciation. They too have a situation in life ( Sitz im Leben) — indeed, a situation in intellectual life. To view ourselves only as the heirs of the classical period of Greek philosophy, to devaluate other ancient ways of thought, and to discard what is different is too easy a solution. It is not the task of a historian to become a Gnostic himself, but he m…

Appendix 2: Numerical Scheme of Yaldabaoth’s World (A2NSOYW)

(383 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  III and BG: Synopsis 26,16–27,9Translation TranslationII: Synopsis 26,16-18; 30,9-12Translation Translationⲁϥⲛⲟⲩϩ̅ⲃ ⲙ̅ⲛ ⲧⲙ̅ⲛⲧⲁⲧⲥⲟⲟⲩⲛ ⲉⲧ̅ⲛⲉⲙⲁϥHe copulated with Ignorance, who is with him,ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥⲛⲟⲩϩ̅ⲃ ⲙ̅ⲛ ⲧⲁⲡⲟⲛⲟⲓⲁ ⲉⲧⲛⲙ̅ⲙⲁϥAnd he copulated with Arrogance (ἀπόνοια), who is with him,ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥⲧⲱⲙⲧ⸌ ϩⲛ̅ ⲧⲉϥ⸌ⲁⲡⲟⲛⲟⲓⲁ 27ⲧⲁⲓ̈ ⲉⲧϣⲟⲟⲡ⸌ ϩⲣⲁⲓ̈And he was amazed in his arrogance (ἀπόνοια), which is in him,2ⲁϥϫⲡⲟ ⲛ̅ⲛⲉⲝⲟⲩⲥⲓⲁ ⲉⲧϩⲁⲣⲟϥand begot the authorities (ἐξουσία) who are under him,ⲁϥϫⲡⲟ ⲛ̅ⲛⲉⲝⲟⲩⲥⲓⲁ ⲉⲧϩⲁⲣⲟϥand begot the authorities (ἐξουσία) who are under him,ⲛ̅ϩⲏⲧϥ⸌ ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥϫⲡⲟ ⲛ̅28ϩⲉⲛ…

Appendix 6: Bala’izah Fragment 52 (A6BF52)

(656 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
The following fragment resembles the Apocryphon of John in several respects. Jesus interprets selected passages of Genesis in dialogue with John; the phrase, “seal the five powers” resembles, “I sealed him in the light of the water with five seals” ( Apocryphon of John II 31,23-24) etc. Text and translation following Paul E. Kahle, Bala’izah: Coptic Texts from Deir El-Bala’izah in Upper Egypt (2 vols.; Oxford: Oxford University, 1954) 1.473-477. Fragment firstpublished by W. E. Cram, “A Gnostic Fragment,” JThS 44 (1943) 176-179. One complete parchment leaf with pagination ⲙ̅ⲁ̅=41 (i…

Synopsis of the Apocryphon of John [18–34] (SOTAOJ_2)

(10,951 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  Synopsis 18 III 11,3-16TranslationBG 32,3-21TranslationII 7,15-32TranslationIV 11,6 - 2,4 Translation 3ⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ⲛ̣̅[ϭⲓ] ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲛ̅ⲁϩⲟⲣⲁⲧⲟⲛ 4ⲙ̅ⲡ̅ⲛ̅ⲁ 3And the mighty invisible (ἀόρατον) Spirit (πνεῦμα) completedⲁ̣ϥ̣[ϫⲱⲕ] 4ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲓ̈ⲧⲟⲧϥ ⲙⲡⲉⲡ̅ⲛ̅ⲁ3 And4 he completed by the Spirit (πνεῦμα) ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥϫⲱⲕ⸌ 16ⲉⲃⲟⲗ⸌ ⲛ̅ϭⲓ ⲡⲉⲡ̅ⲛ ̅ⲁ ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃAnd the holy 16 Spirit (πνεῦμα) completed 6ⲁⲩⲱ ⲁϥϫⲱⲕ ⲉⲃ]ⲟⲗ [ⲛϭⲓ ⲡⲉⲡⲛⲁ 7ⲉⲧⲟⲩⲁⲁⲃ8 Irenaeus 2<ⲙ> ⲡⲁⲩⲧⲟ[ⲅⲉⲛ]ⲏ̣ⲥ ⲛ̅ⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ 4 the divine Self-Generated (αὐτογενής),ⲙⲡⲁ̣[ⲛϯ] 5ⲛⲁⲩⲧⲟⲅⲉⲛⲏⲥ ⲛϣⲁ ⲉⲛⲉϩ 5 the eternal divine Self-Generated (αὐτογενής),         ⲙ̅…

The title (TT)

(2,436 words)

Contributor(s): Böhlig, Alexander | Wisse, Frederik
Ever since Jean Doresse’s brief description of III, 2 in “Trois livres gnostiques inédits: Évangile des Égyptiens, Épître d’Eugnoste, Sagesse de Jésus Christ”1 the tractate has been known as “The Gospel of the Egyptians”. This is the name given to the tractate at the beginning of the scribal colophon in III 69, 6. The formal title of the tractate as stated at the end of the colophon III 69, 16-17 and again, with the usual decorations, directly below the colophon (III 69, 18-20) reads ⲧⲃⲓⲃⲗⲟⲥ ⲧϩⲓⲉⲣⲁ ⲙ̅ⲡⲛⲟϭ ⲛ̅ⲁϩⲟⲣⲁⲧⲟⲛ ⲙ̅ⲡⲛⲉⲩⲙⲁ (69, 17 ⲡ̅ⲛ̅ⲁ) ϩⲁⲙⲏⲛ.2 The title “The Holy Book of the Great…

The Concept of Our Great PowerVI,4:36,1–48,15 (TCOOGP)

(6,754 words)

Author(s): Wisse, Frederik | Williams, Francis E.
Böhlig-Labib., Gnostische und hermetische Schriften . Pp. 48-52, 150-65. K. M. Fischer, ‛Der Gedanke unserer grossen Kraft (Noema): Die vierte Schrift aus Nag-Hammadi Codex VI’ , ThLZ 98 ( 1973 ) , 170-75. Tröger (ed.), Gnosis und NT . Pp. 50-52. This tractate is titled both in superscription and subscription. The initial title seems to be an expansion of the latter, intended to explain it, and may well be the work of another writer. “Our great Power” is the document’s Supreme Being, he who is “above all powers” (47,33-34). His “though…

Introduction to Codex XII (intro_V_XXVIII_codex_XII)

(1,893 words)

Author(s): Wisse, Frederik
Bibliography: Krause, “Zum koptischen Handschriftenfund,” 111-13; Krause-Labib, Gnostische und hermetische Schriften, 10-12; Facsimile Edition: Codices XI, XII, XIII, pp. XIII-XV; pl. 85-102. Codex XII was part of one of the groups of codices acquired by the antiquities dealer Phocion J. Tano during 1946-48. It was put in safekeeping at the Department of Antiquities in 1949, transferred to the Coptic Museum on 9 June 1952, declared national property by court action in 1956, and given the inventory number 10555 in 195…

The Letter of Peter to Philip (TLOPTP)

(6,667 words)

Author(s): Meyer, Marvin W. | Wisse, Frederik
Bibliography Bethge, “Brief des Petrus an Philippus”; Bethge, “Der sogennante Brief”; Koschorke, “Eine gnostische Paraphrase”; Koschorke, “Eine gnostische Pfingstpredigt”; Koschorke, Die Polemik der Gnostiker; Luttikhuizen, “The Letter of Peter to Philip”; Ménard, La Lettre de Pierre à Philippe; Ménard, “La Lettre de Pierre à Philippe”; Ménard, “Pierre à Philippe: sa structure”; Meyer, The Letter of Peter to Philip; Meyer, “The Light and Voice on the Damascus Road”; Parrott, “Gnostic and Orthodox Disciples”; Tröger, “Doketistische Christologie in Nag-…

Appendix 5: Apocalypse of John According to Theodore Bar Koni (A5AOJATTBK)

(511 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
Theodore bar Koni quotes a list of the creators of the human body from an Apocalypse of John used by Audius. There are some parallels with the Apocryphon of John, but the differences are sufficient to make identification of the two texts doubtful. Bar Koni considers the list magical lore, “Now he took this from the Chaldeans” (see below). Text following Addai Scher, ed., Theodore bar Konai, Liber Scholiorum, SCSO 69,319,29-320,26. Translation by Joseph Amar, University of Notre Dame. For the sixth member of the series, (“Anger made the flesh” sic all manuscr.) Scher proposes reading…

Abbreviations (abbr_II_IV)

(72 words)

Contributor(s): Böhlig, Alexander | Wisse, Frederik
A Achmimic A2 Subachmimic B Bohairic II J The Second Book of Yeu PS The Pistis Sophia S Sahidic sa The Sahidic version of the New Testament U Untitled Treatise from Codex Brucianus

Appendix 1: Two Sets Of Names (A1TSON)

(476 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  III and BG: Synopsis 28,13–9,4Translation TranslationII: Synopsis 33,3–12Translation Translationⲟⲩⲛ̅ⲧⲁⲩ ⲙⲉⲛ ⲛ̅ϩⲉⲛⲕⲉⲣⲁⲛOn the one hand (μέν) they have one set of namesⲟⲩⲛ̅ⲧⲟⲩ ϩⲛ̅ⲕⲉⲣⲁⲛ ⲇⲉ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲙⲙⲁⲩAnd (δέ), they all have one set of names2ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩ̅ⲛ ⲛⲉⲡⲓⲑⲩⲙⲓⲁ ⲙ̅ⲛ <ⲛ>ⲟⲣⲅⲏfrom the desires (ἐπιθυμία) and the wraths (ὀργή).ⲉⲃⲟⲗ ϩⲛ ⲧⲉⲡⲓⲑⲩⲙⲓⲁ ⲙ̅ⲛ ⲧⲟⲣⲅⲏfrom desire (ἐπιθυμία) and wrath (όργή).ⲛⲁⲓ̈ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ϩⲁⲡⲗⲱⲥ(On the other hand), to put it simply (ἁπλώς),ⲛⲁⲓ̈ ⲇⲉ ⲧⲏⲣⲟⲩ ⲟⲩⲛ̅ⲧⲟⲩ ϩⲛ̅ⲕⲉⲣⲁⲛ ⲉⲩⲕⲏⲃBut (δέ) they (also) have another set of names,4ⲛⲉⲩⲣⲁⲛ ⲥⲉⲕⲏⲃ· ⲉϣⲁⲩⲙⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲉⲣⲟⲟⲩ ⲛ̅ϩⲏⲧⲟⲩthe names …

Synopsis of the Apocryphon of John [35–51] (SOTAOJ_3)

(7,330 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  Synopsis 35 III ...(19/20)...TranslationBG 45,6—46,7TranslationII 13,18-31TranslationIV 21,4-21Translation......ⲡⲉⲭ̅ⲥ ⲟⲩ 7ⲡⲉ ⲉⲡⲓⲫⲉⲣⲉ“Christ, what (does it mean that)7 she ‘moved to and fro’ⲡϫⲟⲉⲓⲥ ⲟⲩ ⲡⲉ ⲁⲥϣⲉⲉⲓ·“Lord, what (does it mean that) ‘she moved to and fro’?”[ⲡϫⲟⲉⲓ]ⲥ̣ ⲟⲩ ⲡⲉ ⲁⲥϣⲉ[ⲉ]ⲓ̣· Irenaeus 2......ⲛⲧⲟϥ ⲇⲉ ⲁϥⲥⲱ8ⲃⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ϫⲉ (ἐπιφέρεσθαι)?” And (δέ) he smiled 8 and said,ⲛ̅ⲧⲟϥ ⲇⲉ 19ⲁϥⲥⲱⲃⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ⸌ ϫⲉAnd (δέ) he 19 smiled and said, 5[ⲛ]ⲧ̣ⲟϥ ⲇ̣[ⲉ ⲁϥⲥⲱⲃ]ⲉ ⲡⲉϫⲁϥ ϫⲉ......ⲉⲕⲙⲉⲉⲩⲉ ϫⲉ 9ⲕⲁⲧⲁ ⲑⲉ ⲛ̅ⲧⲁϥϫⲟⲟⲥ ⲛ̅ϭⲓ ⲙⲱ10ⲩ̈ⲥⲏⲥ ϫⲉ“Are you thinking that it is, 9 as (κατά) 10 Moses said,ⲙ̅ⲡⲣ…

The Presentations of Praise (TPOP)

(4,781 words)

Contributor(s): Böhlig, Alexander | Wisse, Frederik
Presentations of praise and prayers play an important role in the development of the narrative in GEgypt. The same phenomenon can be observed in ApocryJn and the Manichaean literature.1 In these acts of worship the whole pantheon is recounted as far as it has been developed at that point in the narrative. In order to consider these mythological figures and their characteristics in greater detail and to simplify the discussion in the commentary, the relevant material has been brought together into one chapter. The presentations of praise in III, 2 are introduced by †ⲛ̅ⲟⲩⲥⲙⲟⲩ 2 and once b…

Editorial Policy and Sigla (EPAS_II_XXXIII)

(599 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
Parallel or equivalent Coptic texts of all four manuscripts and of all three English translations are placed, wherever possible, on the same line. Any given Synopsis double page and line number refers thus to seven items simultaneously: to parallel text in the four Coptic manuscripts and to the corresponding English translations. The placement of the English translations is less precise, since English syntax does not always allow a one-to-one alignment of sense-lines with the Coptic. The user sh…

Appendix 3: Synopsis of the Allogenes Parallel (A3SOTAP)

(1,214 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
  Apocryphon of John, BG 24,9-19TranslationApocryphon of John, III 5,5-14TranslationAllogenes XI 62,27-63,12TranslationApocryphon of John II 3,20-25Translationⲟⲩⲇⲉ ⲛⲟⲩ10ⲙ̅ⲛ̅ⲧⲧⲉⲗⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉHe is neither (οὐδέ) 10 perfection (τέλειος),ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲛ]ⲧ̇ⲧⲉⲗⲓⲟⲥ 6[ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉHe is not] perfection (τέλειος); 62 27ⲟⲩ28ⲧⲉ ⲛ̅ⲛⲟⲩⲙ̅ⲛ̅ⲧ̕ⲛⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉ 62 28He is neither (οὔτε) divinity,ϩⲛ̅ ⲟⲩ[ⲙⲛⲧⲧⲉⲗⲓⲟⲥ ⲁⲛ 20 (He is) [not] in perfection (τέλειος),2ⲟⲩⲇⲉ ⲛⲟⲩ11ⲙ̅ⲛ̅ⲧⲛⲁⲓ̈ⲁⲧϥ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉnor (οὐδέ) 11 blessedness,ⲛⲟⲩⲙⲛⲧ]ⲙ̣[ⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲟ]ⲥ ⲁⲛ ⲡⲉ 6 he is not [blessedness (μακάριος)]; 29ⲟⲩⲧⲉ ⲟⲩⲙ̅ⲛ̅ⲧ̕ⲙⲁⲕⲁⲣⲓⲟⲥ 29 nor (οὔ…

Fragmentary Tractate1A – 1B; 2A – 2B (FT)

(775 words)

Author(s): Wisse, Frederik
Fragments 1A-1B and 2A-2B have been assigned to the same tractate for the sake of convenience. There is no evidence to support or refute their belonging to the same tractate. All that can be said is that neither fragment belongs to the Sentences of Sextus or the Gospel of Truth. Both fragments contain parts of the bottom margin of the page. Since they do not contain the first line of the page, line numbers have been assigned on the assumption that the pages had a total of 29 lines, the average for the extant pages in the Sentences of Sextus and the Gospel of Truth. With no title and only one substa…

Preface (Preface_II_XXXIII)

(601 words)

Author(s): Wisse, Frederik | Waldstein, Michael
Originally two volumes had been planned for the Apocryphon of John in the Coptic Gnostic Library edition in the Nag Hammadi Studies series. Frederik Wisse was to prepare a synoptic edition of NHC II,1 and IV,1, the two witnesses to the Coptic translation of the longer Greek version. Michael Waldstein took over from Peter Nagel the task of preparing a synoptic edition of NHC III,1 and BG 8502,2, the two independent Coptic translations of the shorter Greek version. In 1992, however, it was decided…

Introduction (intro_II_XXXIII)

(7,160 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
The four copies of The Apocryphon of John (AJ) presented in this edition in synoptic form represent two independent Coptic translations from the original Greek of a shorter version of AJ, and two copies of a Coptic translation of a longer version of the same tractate. This multiple attestation allows us observe this important Christian-Gnostic text through several stages of redaction and transmission. The relationship between the shorter and longer version and the transmission history as reflected in t…

Part One. The Greek Papyri — Codex VII (Codex_Part_I_VII)

(9,399 words)

Contributor(s): Waldstein, Michael | Wisse, Frederik
62. Deed of Sale VII 1c 4.2 × 15 cm. late 3rd-4th cent. Virtually all details of the sale recorded on this fragment have been lost, but lines 4-5 present a puzzle of some interest. To judge from the structure of such documents as P. Cair. Isid. 92 and 104, either a regnal year or a consular date is expected in this position. Among the imperial and consular names that occurred during the period in which the papyrus can be placed on palaeographic grounds, the traces preserved would suit a Greek transliteration…
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