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Nag Hammadi

(1,016 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin (Berlin)
[German version] A. General An important accidental find in December 1945 of Coptic papyrus manuscripts with primarily Gnostic (Gnosis, Gnostics, Gnosticism) content is designated after the Upper Egyptian city of Nag Hammadi. The find-spot is situated on the right bank of the Nile, at the foot of the Ǧabal aṭ-Ṭārif, 10 km northeast of the Nile bridge of Nag Hammadi. The find consisted of 13 codices (and/or their remains), said to have been buried in a large jar, and now in the possession of the Copt…

Sethianism

(490 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin (Berlin)
[German version] Sethianism denotes a particular version of Gnosticism is denoted, after the role of Seth, the sone of Adam, within this doctrine and through the critical adoption of an old heresiological term. It is primarily documented in a group of texts that were found near Nag Hammadi. To this group belong the following: the Apocryphon of John, NHCod II,1, III,1, IV,1 (with codex Berolinensis Gnosticus 2 and Iren. Adv. Haereses 29); the Hypostasis of the Archons, NHCod II,4; the Gospel of the…

Pistis Sophia

(331 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin (Berlin)
[German version] (Πίστις Σοφία/ Pístis Sophía). Double proper name of a figure in Gnostic myth (representing Wisdom who distinguishes herself by belief and for this reason bears the (first) name 'Pistis'). This figure is acting in and has given the name to a Gnostic book translated from Greek into Coptic; it forms the content of the Codex Askewianus, a very well preserved parchment codex from the 4th cent. AD (named after a former owner A. Askew and in the possession of the British Library). The book…

Sethianismus

(453 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[English version] Mit S. wird nach der Rolle, die der Adamsohn Seth in dieser Lehre spielt, und unter kritischer Aufnahme einer alten häresiologischen Bezeichnung eine charakteristische Spielart der Gnosis bezeichnet. Sie findet sich vor allem bezeugt in einer Gruppe von bei Nag Hammadi gefundenen Texten. Zu dieser Gruppe gehören: das Apokryphon des Johannes, NHCod II,1, III,1, IV,1 (mit Cod. Berolinensis Gnosticus 2 und Iren. adv. haereses 29); die Hypostase der Archonten, NHCod II,4; das Ägypter…

Nag Hammadi

(925 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin (Berlin)
[English version] A. Allgemeines Nach der oberägypt. Stadt N.H. wird ein bed. Zufallsfund von kopt. Papyrus-Hss. mit hauptsächlich gnostischem Inhalt (Gnosis) vom Dezember 1945 bezeichnet. Der Fundort liegt auf dem rechten Nilufer am Fuße des Ǧabal aṭ-Ṭārif, 10 km nö der Nilbrücke von N.H. Der Fund bestand aus 13 Codices (bzw. den Resten von solchen), die in einem großen Krug vergraben gewesen sein sollen und sich jetzt im Besitz des Koptischen Museums zu Kairo befinden. Der kopt. Dialekt (Koptisch)…

Pistis Sophia

(276 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin (Berlin)
[English version] (Πίστις Σοφία). Doppelter Eigenname einer Gestalt des gnostischen Mythos (Bed.: eine Sophia, für die ihr Glaube typisch ist und die deswegen den (Vor-)Namen “Pistis” trägt). Diese Gestalt hat einem von ihr handelnden, aus dem Griech. ins Koptische übersetzten gnostischen Buch den Namen gegeben; es bildet den Inhalt des Codex Askewianus, eines vorzüglich erh. Pergamentcodex aus dem 4. Jh.n.Chr. (benannt nach seinem früheren Besitzer A. Askew und im Besitz der British Library). Das…

Apocalypse of James (Second)

(199 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (NHC V,4; 2 Apoc. Jas.) presents itself as an account by a priest to James's father, describing a temple sermon delivered by James in which, using Jesus' sayings, he speaks of Jesus from the Gnostic (Gnosis/Gnosticism) perspective and in particular describes his own Easter vision along with the revelation that has been imparted to him. There follo…

Pistis Sophia

(173 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[English Version] (PistSoph), Eigenname einer Gestalt des gnost. Mythos (Gnosis/Gnostizismus), die einem von ihr handelnden, aus dem Griech. ins Kopt. übers. gnost. Buch den Namen gegeben hat. Dies Buch liegt im Codex Askewianus vor. Das ganze Buch enthält zwei verschiedene gnost. Schriften: vorn eine dreigeteilte längere, deren eigentlicher Titel »Die (drei) Bücher des Erlösers« war, und am Schluß eine kürzere ungeteilte. Der Rahmen der Hauptschrift sind Unterredungen Jesu mit seinen Jüngern auf …

Allogenes

(272 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (NHC XI,3; Allog), an apocalypse emanating from philosophically oriented Sethian Gnosticism (Sethianism; Gnosis/Gnosticism). It is extant only in a Coptic (Sahidic) translation. The Greek original, possibly dating from c. 200 ce, could be identical with the ἀποκάλυψις ᾽Agr;λλογενοῦς καὶ Μέσου ( apokalypsis Allogenous kai Mesou), known only by title, from the library of the Gnostic opponents of Plotinus (Porph. Vita Plot. 16). The actual author presents the document as having been written by …

Pistis Sophia

(202 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[German Version] is the name of a figure of Gnostic myth (Gnosis), after whom a Gnostic book is named, that was translated from Greek into Coptic. This book is contained in the Codex Askewianus. The whole book contains two different Gnostic writings: first, a three-part longer work, which was actually called The (Three) Books of the Redeemer; then, at the end, a shorter piece with no subdivisions. The framework of the main work consists of conversations of Jesus with his disciples on the Mount of Olives in the 12th year after his resurrection. The Pistis Sophia part narrates not only the …

Apocalypse of James (First)

(192 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (NHC V,3; 1 Apoc. Jas.) is a Gnostic Christian – more specifically Valentinian (Valentinianism) – revelation dialogue between Jesus and James, the brother of the Lord, supposedly recorded by the apostle Addai/Thaddaeus. It is extant only in a Coptic (Sahidic) translation. A second Coptic version in a 4th-century papyrus codex is …

Philip, Gospel of

(281 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin
[German Version] (NHC II, 3), known to church authors by name and also from a citation (Epiph . Haer. 26.13, 2–3), is preserved as a complete text only in a Sahidic-Coptic translation (from Gk). Since the citation from Epiphanius does not occur in the Coptic text, it is not certain whether one and the same Gospel of Philip is involved. The Gospel of Philip, as it is preserved, resists structural analysis. Its text, permeated with Valentinian concepts (Valentinianism) and terms is erratic, probably simply a long chain of excerpts (from baptismal catecheses […

Pistorius

(358 words)

Author(s): Schenke, Hans-Martin | Decot, Rolf
[German Version] 1. Johannes (1502/1503, Nidda – Jan 25, 1583, Nidda), Reformer in Hesse, pastor in Nidda from 1526, from 1541 to 1580 also superintendent of Alsfeld. Throughout his life, Pistorius devoted himself to introducing and consolidating the Reformation in the church of Hesse. In 1538/1539 he participated in drawing up the Ziegenhain order of discipline and the Kassel church order, as well as a proposal – comparatively benign – on how to treat the Jews in Hesse. At the behest of landgrave P…