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The Origin of the Recently Discovered Apocryphon Jacobi

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Chapter Summary

The origin and early growth of Christianity in Egypt are still wrapped in darkness. It is most remarkable, that neither that invaluable source of information, the Acts of the Apostles, nor the New Testament (NT) in general yields any positive evidence which can be connected with certainty with Egypt. The Apocryphon Jacobi belongs to a manuscript with material from genuine Gnostic sources, the presumption that it has the same origin, in the school of Valentinus, does not seem too hazardous. It is beyond reasonable doubt that the second treatise is the Evangelium Veritatis of the great gnostic doctor mentioned by Irenaeus, and the great part of the fourth treatise, called by the editors On the three natures, shows so many affinities with the teaching of Heracleon and the pupil of Valentinus that there is a good case to be made out for its deriving from the same school.

Keywords: Apocryphon Jacobi; Christianity; Egypt; Gnostic sources; Heracleon; Irenaeus; Valentinus



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