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Sophia of Jesus Christ

At a Glance
Gospel
Genre:
(2/5) **
Reliability of Dating:
(3/5) ***
Length of Text:
Greek
Original Language:
Ancient Translations:
Modern Translations:

Estimated Range of Dating: 50-200 A.D.

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The Sophia of Jesus Christ is clearly dependent on Eugnostos the Blessed, both of which were unearthed at Nag Hammadi (in two differing copies for each). The Sophia of Jesus Christ transforms Eugnostos into a dialogue with Jesus. Douglas M. Parrott places the two side by side in his translation for the book The Nag Hammadi Library in English edited by Robinson.

Parrott writes: "The notion of three divine men in the heavenly hierarchy appears to be based on Genesis 1-3 (Immortal Man = God; Son of Man = Adam [81,12]; Son of Son of Man, Savior = Seth). Because of the presence of Seth (although unnamed in the tractate), Eugnostos must be thought of as Sethian, in some sense. However, since it is not classically gnostic and lacks other elements of developed Sethian thought, it can only be characterized as proto-Sethian. Egyptian religious thought also appears to have influenced its picture of the supercelestial realm. The probable place of origin for Eugnostos, then, is Egypt. A very early date is suggested by the fact that Stoics, Epicureans and astrologers are called "all the philosophers." That characterization would have been appropriate in the first century B.C.E., but not later. Eugnostos and Soph. Jes. Chr. may have influenced the Sethian-Ophites, as described by Irenaeus. Some have proposed an influence by Eugnostos on Valentinianism. Because of the dating of Eugnostos, it would not be surprising if Soph. Jes. Chr. had been composed soon after the advent of Christianity in Egypt - the latter half of the first century C.E. That possibility is supported by the tractate's relatively nonpolemical tone."


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Kirby, Peter. "Sophia of Jesus Christ." Early Christian Writings. <http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/sophia.html>.