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Allogenes, the Stranger

At a Glance
Treatise
Genre:
(5/5) *****
Reliability of Dating:
(5/5) *****
Length of Text:
Greek
Original Language:
Ancient Translations:
Modern Translations:

Estimated Range of Dating: 150-350 A.D.

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Information on Allogenes, the Stranger

Birger A. Pearson writes, "The name 'Allogenes' means 'another race' or 'stranger.' It is a Sethian name, based on an interpretation of 'another seed' in Genesis 4:25, of which more will be said later (in chapter 4). As we noted in our discussion of Epiphanius's treatment of the (Sethian) Archontics, Allogenes is an epithet of Seth. The same name is given to Seth's sons, according to the same account (Panarion 40.7.1). Moreover, Epiphanius reports that the Sethians and the Archontics make use of books called 'Allogenes' (Panarion 39.5.1; 40.2.2). The tractate Allogenes may have been one of them. It can certainly be identified with the apocalypse of Allogenes cited by Porphyry in his Life of Plotinus (ch. 16)." (Ancient Gnosticism, pp. 89-90)

Marvin Meyer writes, "On the pages within the Book of Allogenes that may now be read with comprehension, three scenes are evident. The text may open with a vocative, 'My son' (59,4), and if so, this use of the first-person singular possessive pronoun may relate to the resumption of the first person in 62,10. This evidence, limited as it is, could imply that the first three and a half pages of the Book of Allogenes are words addressed to a recipient of the tractate, and that the use of the third-person masculine singular finds its place within the address of the speaker, who is Allogenes the Stranger. Conversely, it is also feasible that a transition to a first-person account occured somewhere on the top of page 62 in the lines currently missing from the tractate. In the first scene (59,4-26), certain people, most likely the disciples of the Stranger, go up on Mount Tabor and pray for a spirit of knowledge. ... In general, the second scene seems to function as a Gnostic version of the temptation story also known from the New Testament synoptic gospels (Matthew 4:1-11; Mark 1:12-13; Luke 4:1-13). ... The Book of Allogenes is a Sethian Gnostic text that thus seems to portray Jesus as the Stranger during his lifetime, before his passion and crucifixion. It was most likely composed in Greek, perhaps in the second century, but the circumstances of composition, like the text itself, remain obscure." (The Nag Hammadi Scriptures, pp. 772-773)


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Kirby, Peter. "Allogenes, the Stranger." Early Christian Writings. <http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/allogenes.html>.