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Gnostic Religion in Antiquity
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Book description

Gnostic religion is the expression of a religious worldview which is dominated by the concept of Gnosis, an esoteric knowledge of God and the human being which grants salvation to those who possess it. Roelof van den Broek presents here a fresh approach to the gnostic current of Late Antiquity within its historical and religious context, based on sources in Greek, Latin and Coptic, including discussions of the individual works of preserved gnostic literature. Van den Broek explores the various gnostic interpretations of the Christian faith that were current in the second and third centuries, whilst showing that despite its influence on early Christianity, gnostic religion was not a typically Christian phenomenon. This book will be of interest to theologians, historians of religion, students and scholars of the history of Late Antiquity and early Christianity, as well as specialists in ancient gnostic and hermetic traditions.


"...This is a trustworthy, nuanced guide to recent scholarship.... Recommended..."
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Greek and Latin authors

Foerster, W., Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts, trans. and ed. R. McL. Wilson, vol. i,Patristic Evidence (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972; = Die Gnosis, vol. i,Zeugnisse der Kirchenväter (Zurich: Artemis Verlag, 1969, rev. edn 1995)).
Holl, K. (ed.), Epiphanius (Ancoratus und Panarion), vol. i,Ancoratus und Panarion haer. 1–33, GCS 25 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1915), vol. ii,Panarion haer. 34–64, GCS 31, 2nd rev. edn, ed. J. Dummer (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1980), vol. iii,Panarion haer. 65–80. De fide, GCS 37, 2 bearbeitete Aufl., herausgegeben vom J. Dummer (Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1985).
Marcovich, M. (ed.), Hippolytus. Refutatio omnium haeresium, Patristische Texte und Studien 25 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 1986).
Quispel, G. (ed.), Ptolémée: Lettre à Flora, SC 24 bis (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1966).
Rousseau, A. and L. Doutreleau (eds.), Irenée de Lyon. Contre les Hérésies, 10 vols., SC 263, 264 (Livre i), 293, 294 (Livre ii), 210, 211 (Livre iii), 100(1), 100(2) (Livre iv), 152, 153 (Livre v) (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1952–82).
Sagnard, F. (ed), Clément d’Alexandrie: Extraits de Théodote, SC 23 (Paris: Les Éditions du Cerf, 1948, 1970).
Völker, W. (ed.), Quellen zur Geschichte der christlichen Gnosis, Sammlung ausgewählter kirchen- und dogmengeschichtlicher Quellenschriften, Neue Folge, 5 (Tübingen: J. C. B. Mohr [Paul Siebeck]), 1932).
Wendland, P. (ed.), Hippolytus. Refutatio omnium haeresium, Hippolytus’ Werke, vol. iii, GCS 26 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1916).

Coptic gnostic texts

The Codex Askewianus and the Codex Brucianus

Baynes, C. A. (ed.), A Coptic Gnostic Treatise Contained in the Codex Brucianus (Cambridge University Press, 1933).
Foerster, W., Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts, trans. and ed. R. McL. Wilson, vol. ii,Coptic and Mandaean Sources (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1974; = Die Gnosis, vol. ii,Koptische und mandäische Quellen (Zurich: Artemis Verlag, 1971, rev. edn 1995)).
MacDermot, V. (ed.), The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex, NHS 13 (Leiden: Brill, 1978), reprint of Schmidt’s 1892 edn, trans. and notes by MacDermot.
Schmidt, C., Pistis Sophia, NHS 9 (Leiden: Brill, 1978), reprint of Schmidt’s 1925 edn, trans. and notes by MacDermot.
Schmidt, C. (ed.), Gnostische Schriften in koptischer Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus, TU 8, 1–2 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1892).
Schmidt, C., Koptisch-gnostischen Schriften, vol. 1, Die Pistis Sophia, Die beiden Bücher des Jeû, Unbekanntes altgnostisches Werk, GCS 13 (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1905, rev. edns in 1925, 1954 (by W. C. Till) and 1981 (by H.-M. Schenke)).
Schmidt, C., Pistis Sophia, neu herausgegeben mit Einleitung nebst griechischem Wort- und Namenregister, Coptica 2 (Copenhagen: Gyldendalske Boghandel-Nordisk Forlag, 1925).

Berlin Gnostic Papyrus 8502 (BG)

Parrot, D. M. (ed.), Nag Hammadi Codices III, 3–4 and V, 1 with Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 3 and Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1081: Eugostus and The Sophia of Jesus Christ (NHS 27 (Leiden: Brill, 1991).
Pasquier, A. (ed.), L’Évangile selon Marie (BG 1), BCNH-T. 10 (Quebec: Presses de l’Université Laval, 1983, with the Greek fragment.
Till, W. C. (ed.), Die gnostischen Schriften des koptischen Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, TU 60 (Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1955; 2nd rev. edn H.-M. Schenke, 1972).
Waldstein, M. and F. Wisse (eds.), The Apocryphon of John. Synopsis of Nag Hammadi Codices II, 1; III, 1; and IV, 1 with BG 8502, 2, NHMS 33 (Leiden: Brill, 1995).
Wilson, R. McL. and G. W. MacRae (eds.), The Gospel According to Mary, BG, 1: 7,1–19,5, in D. M. Parrott (ed.), Nag Hammadi Codices v,2–5 andviwith Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 1 and 4, NHS 11 (Leiden: Brill, 1979), pp. 453–71, with the Greek fragment.

The Nag Hammadi library

Bibel der Häretiker. Die Gnostische Schriften aus Nag Hammadi, Introduction, trans. and commentary G. Lüdemann and M. Janssen (Stuttgart: Radius-Verlag, 1997).
Bibliothèque Copte de Nag Hammadi, Section ‘Textes’ (Quebec: Presses de l’Université de Laval; Louvain and Paris: Éditions Peeters, 1977–2010), more than 30 vols. published, with French translations and extensive commentaries.
Concordance des textes de Nag Hammadi, BCNH, Section ‘Concordances’, 8 vols. (Quebec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Louvain and Paris: Éditions Peeters, 1992–2006).
The Coptic Gnostic Library, General Editor J. M. Robinson, NHS 4, 15, 11, 20, 21, 22, 23, 26, 28, 31 and NHMS 30, 33 (Leiden: Brill, 1975–96; paperback edn 2000), complete edition of the Nag Hammadi codices, with English translations and (mostly brief) commentaries.
Écrits gnostiques. La Bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi, General Editors J.-P. Mahé and P.-H. Poirier (Paris: Gallimard, 2007), annotated French translation.
The Facsimile Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices, ed. J. M. Robinson, 13 vols. (Leiden: Brill, 1972–84).
The Nag Hammadi Library in English, trans. and introduced Members of the Coptic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont, CA, General Editor J. M. Robinson, 4th rev. edn (Leiden: Brill, 1996).
The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. The International Edition, ed. M. Meyer (San Francisco: HarperOne, 2007).
Nag Hammadi Deutsch, ed. H.-M. Schenke, H-G. Bethge and U. U. Kaiser, 2 vols., GCS, Neue Folge, 8 and 12 (Berlin and New York: Walter de Gruyter, 2001, 2003).

Codex Tchacos

The Gospel of Judas together with The Letter of Peter to Philip, James, and a Book of Allogenes from Codex Tchacos. Critical Edition, Coptic text ed. R. Kasser and G. Wurst, introductions, translations and notes R. Kasser, M. Meyer, G. Wurst and F. Gaudard (Washington, DC: National Geographic, 2007).
Brankaer, J. and H.-G. Bethge (eds.), Codex Tchacos. Texte und Analysen, TU 161 (Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 2007).
Krosney, H., M. Meyer and G. Wurst, ‘Preliminary Report on New Fragments of Codex Tchacos’, Early Christianity 1 (2010), 28294.
Wurst, G., ‘Addenda et corrigenda to the Critical Edition of the Gospel of Judas’, in DeConick (ed.), The Codex Judas Papers, pp. 503–7.


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Bianchi, U. (ed.), Le origini dello gnosticismo / The Origins of Gnosticism. Colloquium of Messina 13–18 April 1966, SHR 12 (Leiden: Brill, 1967).
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Brach, J.-P., ‘Number Symbolism’, Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 874–83.
Brakke, D., The Gnostics. Myth, Ritual, and Diversity in Early Christianity (Cambridge, MA and London: Harvard University Press, 2010).
Brashear, W., ‘Seth-Gebet’, Archiv für Papyrusforschung und verwandte Gebiete 42 (1996), 2634.
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Broek, R. van den, ‘Archontics’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 89–91.
Broek, R. van den, ‘The Gnostic Christ’, in O. Hammer (ed.), Alternative Christs (Cambridge University Press, 2009), pp. 16–32.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Gnosticism i: Gnostic Religion’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 403–16.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Gnosticism ii: Gnostic Literature, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 417–32.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Gospel Tradition and Salvation in Justin the Gnostic’, VC 57 (2003), 363388.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Hermes Trismegistus i: Antiquity’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 474–8.
Broek, R. van den, ‘The Hermetic Apocalypse and other Greek Predictions of the End of Religion’, in van den Broek and van Heertum (eds.), From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme, pp. 97–113.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Hermetic Literature i: Antiquity’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 487–99.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Hermetism’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 558–70.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Justin the Gnostic’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 656–8.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Manichaean Elements in an Early Version of the Virgin Mary’s Assumption’, in A. Houtman, A. de Jong and M. Misset-van de Weg (eds.), Empsychoi Logoi. Religious Innovations in Antiquity. Studies in Honour of Pieter Willem van der Horst, Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity 73 (Leiden: Brill, 2008), pp. 293–316.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Monoimus’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 800–1.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Naassenes’, in Dictionary of Gnosis, pp. 820–2.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Religious Practices in the Hermetic ‘Lodge’: New Light from Nag Hammadi’, in van den Broek and van Heertum (eds.), From Poimandres to Jacob Böhme, pp. 77–95.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Sexuality and Sexual Symbolism in Hermetic and Gnostic Thought and Practice (Second to Fourth Centuries)’, in Hanegraaff and Kripal (eds.), Hidden Intercourse, pp. 1–21.
Broek, R. van den, ‘Spiritual Transformation in Ancient Hermetism and Gnosticism’, in R. A. Gilbert (ed.), Knowledge of the Heart. Gnostic Movements and Secret Traditions, Canonbury Papers 5 (London: Lewis Masonic, 2008), pp. 30–43.
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