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The Lost Gospels of the Desert Fathers: Codex II...The Apocryphon of John

  • The Apocryphon of John (Gnostic Society Library)

    • The Aprocryphon of John (Wikipedia)
    • Early Christian Writings: Apocryphon of John
      The Apocryphon of John is an important work of mythological Gnosticism. Using the framework of a revelation delivered by the resurrected Christ to John the son of Zebedee, this tractate offers a remarkably clear description of the creation, fall, and salvation of humanity; the mythological description is developed largely in terms of the early chapters of Genesis. Reports of the church fathers indicate that some of them were familiar with the contents of The Apocryphon of John: the teachings of certain Gnostics described by Irenaeus are very similar to the cosmological teachings of the present tractate. Though Irenaeus apparently did not know The Apocryphon of John in its present form, it is certain that the main teachings of the tractate existed before 185 C.E., the date of Irenaeus' work Against Heresies. The Apocryphon of John was still used in the eighth century by the Audians of Mesopotamia.

      The Secret Book of John is considered by scholars to be the locus classicus for the Gnostic mythological system and is the subject of Logan's book Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy
    • Gnostic Cosmogony
      ...The Sethian cosmogony as most famously contained in the Apocryphon ("Secret book") of John describes an unknown God, very similar to the orthodox apophatic theology, although very different from the orthodox credal teachings that there is one such god who is identified also as creator of heaven and earth. In describing the nature of a creator god associated with Biblical texts, orthodox theologians often attempt to define God through a series of explicit positive statements, themselves universal but in the divine taken to their superlative degrees: he is omniscient, omnipotent and truly benevolent. The Sethian conception of the most hidden transcendent God is, by contrast, defined through negative theology: he is immovable, invisible, intangible, ineffable; commonly, "he" is seen as being hermaphroditic, a potent symbol for being, as it were, "all-containing". In the Apocryphon of John, this god is good in that it bestows goodness. After the apophatic statements, the process of the Divine in action are used to describe the effect of such a god.

      An apophatic approach to discussing the Divine is found throughout gnosticism, Vedanta, and Platonic and Aristotelian theology as well. It is also found in some Judaic sources.
    • The Secret Book of Meera Lester
      The Apocryphon (Secret Book) of John offers a Gnostic mythological story of the creation, fall, and salvation of humankind. The text exists in three versions translated from the original Greek into Coptic — two similar versions plus a shorter text found at Nag Hammadi. Another Coptic version from the original Greek was part of the Berlin Codex 8502.
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