Get the CD Now!

Apocalypse of Adam

First to Fourth Century A.D.

Discuss this text or ask a question on the official Early Writings forum. Anyone can post.

Online Text for Apocalypse of Adam

Online Resources for Apocalypse of Adam

Offline Resources for Apocalypse of Adam

Information on Apocalypse of Adam

James Charlesworth writes: "The Apocalypse of Adam, which is extant in Coptic and is one of the Nag Hammadi Codices edited by A. Böhlig and P. Labib (no. 529), has been translated into English by R. McL. Wilson, with reference to M. Krause's German (no. 536). While there is general agreement that the work is non-Christian and dates either from the first or second century, there is considerable debate over A. Böhlig's suggestion that the original is a pre-Christian product of a Syrian-Palestinian baptist sect (no. 528). This attractive hypothesis, which has been supported with modifications by J. Robinson (no. 542, p. 234), K. Rudolph (TLZ 90 [1965]), G. W. MacRae (no. 539), and R. Kasser (no. 534), opens the way for the inclusion of the Apocalypse of Adam within the Pseudepigrapha. As 1 Enoch, Jubilees, the Odes of Solomon, and the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs disclose the interrelationships between the Pseudepigrapha and the Dead Sea Scrolls, the Apocalypse of Adam reveals the rich influence of the Pseudepigrapha upon the gnostic codices. The Apocalypse is a revelation by Adam to Seth and includes a lengthy section on the origin of the Illuminator." (The Pseudepigrapha and Modern Research, p. 72)

George W. MacRae writes: "The most notable feature of this work is the absence of any explicit or clear borrowings from the Christian tradition. This has led several interpreters to see in it a witness to a non-Christian Gnosticism which contains an already well developed redeemer myth. On the other hand, its close dependence on Jewish apocalyptic tradition suggests that it may represent a transitional stage in an evolution from Jewish to gnostic apocalyptic. In this case the document may be a very early one, perhaps first or second century A.D., but no clera indications of its date have been perceived. Apoc. Adam is a Sethian work in the sense that Seth and his posterity are the tradents of the saving knowledge; it does not have any uniquely close affinities to the description of the Sethians found in Hipp. Ref. V.19-21 or Epiph. Pan. 39. Within the Nag Hammadi collection it has a great deal in common with Gos. Eg. (III, 2), which seems to suppose a christianized version of the story. Using as a key the three sets of angel names, which are not common in the gnostic writings (Abrasax, Sablo, and Gamaliel, 75, 22-23; Micheu, Michar, and Mnesinous, 84, 5-6; Iesseus Mazareus Iessedekeus, 85, 30-31), we find that Apoc. Adam is related to the untitled work of Cod. Bruc., to Gos. Eg., to Zostrianos (VIII, 1), and to Trim. Prot. (XIII, 1). In addition several of these works share an interest in the personage of Seth and some concern with the interpretation of baptism, thus reflecting at least a remote connection with (Jewish) baptist circles." (The Coptic Gnostic Library, vol. 11, pp. 152-153)

Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!

Early Jewish Writings is copyright © 2001-2013 Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

Get the CD Now!

Kirby, Peter. Early Jewish Writings. <>.