Tripartite Tractate (NHC I, 5)

TRIPARTITE TRACTATE (NHC I, 5)

A lengthy theological treatise divided into three parts (divisions indicated by scribal decorations) for which no title is preserved in the manuscript. Tripartite Tractate contains a comparatively late, highly developed Valentinian Gnostic system, somewhat comparable in its arrangement to Origen‘s treatise On First Principles. The first part deals with the transcendent Father and His principle emanations, the Son and the Church, and then describes the fall of the Logos, which results in the creation of the cosmos.

The brief second part is an elaborate interpretation of Genesis 1-3 and the creation of Adam. The third part deals with the process of salvation and concludes with a trinitarian doxology. Preserved only in Coptic, Tripartite Tractate was originally composed in Greek, probably sometime in the third century. Its provenience is unknown, but it could have been composed in Egypt.

GAWDAT GABRA

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