Tuesday, May 30, 2017

The Apocalypse of Adam

READING ACTS: Apocalypse of Adam. Again, a pretty good summary of the text. It is a Gnostic text of the demiurgic-myth variety, with a lot of Christian, Jewish, and pagan ideas mixed in.

My reading of the section on the thirteen kingdoms is different from Phil Long's reading.

The illuminator of knowledge is Jesus, who at his third coming performed miracles and his flesh was punished by the powers and their god. The angels and the generations of the powers erred concerning him. They asked where the errors came from. The listing of the various contradictory views of the thirteen kingdoms (of Ham and Japeth) follow immediately after this question and it appears to be answering the question by listing the error of each kingdom. The correct answer is then given by "the generation without a king over it."

"Holy baptism," looks like a Christian phrase. I know of no Jewish text that used it. The various hints about virgin birth are also likely based on the Christian belief about Jesus. The writer was implying that the thirteen kingdoms had distorted bits of correct knowledge about the "illuminator." And "Yesseus Mazareus" who is the "[Living?] Water" looks like a word play on "Jesus of Nazareth."

That's how it looks to me. I blog, you decide.

These points come from notes I made many years ago in the margins of MacRae's translation of the Apocalypse of Adam in Robinsons The Nag Hammadi Library. I probably got the ideas from somewhere else, but I don't remember where.

For past posts in Phil's recently revived series on the OTP, see here and here and links.