Panarion

Sarapion Of Tmuis, Saint

SARAPION OF TMUIS, SAINT, or Serapion A fourth-century bishop of Tmuis who supported the orthodox patriarch Saint ATHANASIUS I THE APOSTOLIC in the Arian controversy (feast day, 21 March). Apparently he received a good education because Saint Jerome claims that the epithet Scholasticus was added to his name because of his eloquence and erudition. He …

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Thought Of Norea

THOUGHT OF NOREA The second tractate from Codex IX of the NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY, the Thought of Norea (27.11-29.5), is untitled in the manuscript and has been given its present title on the basis of the phrase “the thought of Norea” found near the end of the document at 29.3. The protagonist in this short …

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Hieracas Of Leontopolis

HIERACAS OF LEONTOPOLIS A third-century heresiarch. Hieracas and his teachings are chiefly known from the notice devoted to the “Hieracites” by Epiphanius of Salamis in his Panarion (PG 42, chap. 67). It is very doubtful that Epiphanius ever met Hieracas himself, as reported by the Life of Epiphanius (PG 41, cols. 41, 57), the authenticity …

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Coptic Literature

COPTIC LITERATURE National literatures are defined not only by the language in which they are written but also by ethnic and cultural affinities that bind their authors. That is why we may distinguish an American literature in English from British literature or a Latin-American literature in Spanish from Spanish literature. The literature in the Coptic …

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Valentinus

VALENTINUS The founder of a Gnostic sect that bears his name. He was born at Phrebonis in the Nile Delta (c. A.D. 100) and educated in Alexandria. He was well trained in rhetoric and philosophy, perhaps including familiarity with some of the allegorical writings of Philo Judaeus (c. 20 B.C.-c. A.D. 50). After teaching for …

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First Apocalypse Of James

FIRST APOCALYPSE OF JAMES This Apocalypse of James is the first of two such apocalypses in the NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY, constituting the third tractate of Codex V. It is a revelation containing a dialogue between the Lord Jesus and James, the Lord’s brother. Here, however, James is not the Lord’s brother “materially” (24.15-16). The first …

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Allogenes

ALLOGENES The third tractate from Codex XI (45.1-69.20) of the NAG HAMMADI LIBRARY, is a “book” (68.21; cf. 69.17-18, where the plural is used) said to be written by a certain Allogenes (“stranger,” “one of another race”) for Messos (“middle one,” i.e., the one between the divine and the lower realms). The recipient of revelation, …

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Anomoeans

ANOMOEANS The name given to the radical group of Arians who emerged about 356 under the leadership of Eunomius, bishop of Cyzicus (360-364), and the “godless” deacon Aetius. It is based on the Greek word anomoios (unlike), referring to the relationship between the Father and Son within the Godhead. The Son was stated to be …

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Diocletian

DIOCLETIAN A Roman emperor (full name, Valerius Diocletianus; also called Diocles) from 20 November 284 to May 305. He was born in 245 of humble parents in the province of Dalmatia. He enlisted in the army and gained administrative experience in minor posts in Gaul under Aurelian (270-275), and in 282 became governor of Moesia …

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Hexapla And Tetrapla

HEXAPLA AND TETRAPLA Two editions of the Old Testament by ORIGEN. The Bible was the centre of Origen’s religion, and no church father lived more in it than he did. The foundation, however, of all study of the Bible was the establishment of an accurate text. Fairly early in his career (c. 220) Origen was …

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