Valentinian

Heracleon

HERACLEON A pupil of Valentinus the Gnostic who was active during the mid-second century. He was referred to by Clement of Alexandria as “the most esteemed member of the school of Valentinus.” He wrote an important commentary on the Gospel of John that was excerpted by Origen in his own commentary on John. Although he …

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Valentinus

VALENTINUS A Christian Gnostic teacher active in Alexandria in the early second century. Born in the Egyptian Delta, he was educated in Alexandria. He is reported by Irenaeus to have adapted the teachings of the Gnostic sect in creating his own system, which conformed to a greater degree to traditional Christian doctrine. Around 140 he …

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Gnosticism In Egypt

GNOSTICISM IN EGYPT The term “Gnosticism” was first coined in the 17th century to refer to an early Christian heresy described by the Church Father Irenaeus of Lyon in his five volumes Against Heresies (ca. 185). Historians of religions use the term to refer to a religion that probably developed around the turn of the …

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Dayr Al-Baramus

DAYR AL-BARAMUS History This monastery is farthest to the northwest in the monastic colony of Wadi al-Natrun (ancient Scetis). The topographic allusions in ancient literature lend some credence to the statement by the author of the Coptic Life of Saint Macarius (probably of the eighth century; cf. Guillaumont, 1968-1969, pp. 182-83) that Dayr al-Baramus evolved …

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Theodotus

THEODOTUS A pupil of Valentinus the Gnostic who was active during the mid-second century. Some of his writings were excerpted by Clement of Alexandria, including an account of the Valentinian myth close to that of another Valentinian teacher, Ptolemy. Nothing is known of his life, but it is likely that Theodotus taught in Alexandria. GAWDAT …

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Gospel Of Philip (NHC II, 3)

GOSPEL OF PHILIP (NHC II, 3) A Valentinian Gnostic anthology of statements on aspects of Valentinian theology and ritual life, including 17 sayings attributed to Jesus. The subscript title, “The Gospel According to Philip,” probably derives from the fact that Philip is the only Apostle named in the text. Extant only in Coptic, the Gospel …

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Nag Hammadi Codices

NAG HAMMADI CODICES A group of 12 papyrus codices plus eight leaves dating from the fourth century and inscribed in Coptic. The manuscripts were discovered in a buried storage jar by fellahin (farmers) in 1945 some 10 kilometers from Nag Hammadi, and are now housed in the Coptic Museum in Old Cairo. Publication of the …

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