Three Steles Of Seth (NHC VII, 3)


A Sethian Gnostic writing consisting of three sets of prayers invoking and praising the three members of the Sethian divine triad in ascending order: the Son Adamas, the Barbelo, and the transcendent Father. Each “stele” is demarcated in the text before and after (“The First Stele of Seth,” etc.). At the end of the third stele is the title “The Three Steles of Seth.” These prayers are associated with a Gnostic ascent ritual.

They are introduced as “The of Dositheos about the three steles of Seth, of the living and unshakable race.” The title reflects a first-century Jewish legend according to which antediluvian lore transmitted from Adam to was preserved on stone steles. The text, which shows no influence, is heavily influenced by second- and early third-century Platonism. Extant only in Coptic, Three Steles of was originally composed in Greek, probably in third-century Egypt.