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Adam's Apocalypse: Cg V/5 As Testament And Jewish Revelation

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Chapter Summary

It is unfortunate that opinions concerning Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd) (CG V/5), and most of all as regards its date and basic character, so strikingly continue to vary. This chapter argues that the work has features which suggest a well-defined place in the development of "apocalyptic"-biblical interpretation, that it has a genuinely apocalyptic structure, and that it can be understood without allusion to Gnostic theologoumena. At the same time, it is clear that some of the tensions normal within apocalyptic and similar models to which it relates are here intensified even to breaking-point, in a way which does suggest the beginnings of a more vehement, Gnostic departure from the Jewish framework. The emergence of the distinctive "testamentary" documents with a series of recognisable features seems therefore to indicate a particular stage in the attempt, in certain Jewish circles, to reconcile with biblical authority apocalyptic and related forms of esoteric knowledge.

Keywords:Apocalypse of Adam (ApocAd); Gnostic theologoumena; Jewish circles; Testament



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