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After The Gospel Of Judas: Reassessing What We Have Known To Be True About Cain And Judas

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Chapter Summary

The discovery of the Gospel of Judas after almost two thousand years is nothing less than miraculous.The late fifth-century testimony of Theodoret, preserved in Greek, appears to be transmitting an abstract of Irenaeus based on Irenaeus original Greek. An examination the Gnostic literature itself shows that the Sethians left a rich tradition about Cains relationship to a higher Power, but a power distant from the Pleroma. In Epiphanius, Cain is counted as the father of the Gnostics, and Esau, Korah, and the Sodomites are said to be Cains relatives. The Gnostics are proud of being related to Cain, the Sodomites, Esau, and Korah who are from the perfect gnosis on high. Judas too is their kinsman. Pseudo-Tertullian, presumably dependent on the lost Syntagma of Hippolytus (which Epiphanius also shared), is the earliest author to provide any substantial details about the Cainites.

Keywords: Cainites; Gnostic literature; Gospel of Judas; Pseudo-Tertullian

10.1163/ej.9789004189973.i-730.145
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