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Chapter Summary

This introductory chapter presents on an overview of the key concepts discussed in this book, which provides one of the most coherent and comprehensive narrations of the revelatory account traditionally labeled as 'Gnostic'. The author and place of composition of the Apocryphon of John are unknown. The work is a piece of pseudepigraphy, falsely attributed to John the son of Zebedee, one of Jesus original disciples. Significant divergences between the longer version and the shorter versions have elicited conflicting interpretations about the stages in the evolution of the Apocryphon of John. The Apocryphon of John is commonly regarded as an example of Sethian Gnosticism, characterized by a distinct type of cosmography, a focus on Seth, the son of Adam, as a divine revealer and redeemer, an apocalyptic view of history, specific imagery, and a distinct cast of characters.

Keywords: Sethian Gnosticism; Apocryphon of John; pseudepigraphy



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