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Creation and Epiphany? Theological Symbolism in the Creation Narrative of On the Origin of the World (NHC II 5)

Ötvös, Csaba (2017) Creation and Epiphany? Theological Symbolism in the Creation Narrative of On the Origin of the World (NHC II 5). In: The First Two Centuries; Apocrypha and Gnostica. Studia Patristica XCIII, 19 (93). Peeters Publishers, Leuven; Paris; Bristol, pp. 325-333. ISBN 978-90-429-3589-1

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Abstract

In the creation narrative of The Tractate without Title on the Origin of the World there is a short passage (108.28-109.1) that gives an unusual interpretation of the creation of the world. The relevant sentences belong to the unit of the appearance and effect of Pistis Sophia’s likeness after the vain claim of the first archon, Jaldabaoth, and refer to the purification of earth and of water. In order to explain what happened in the creation story, the author quotes a semi-logion from an unknown source and says: ‘‘the holy water’, since it gives life to all and purifies it’. The purpose of this article is to find answers for two questions: why does the author use this symbolic language and how does he adapt it to the theological system of the tractate. To achieve this twofold aim I examine first the passage and then I turn to the symbols of the text and make an attempt to show the possible Christian sources and parallels. The questions that I raise are not entirely new, distinguished scholars have commented to various extent on the presence of baptismal imagery in the tractate. I do not attempt to fully reconstruct the concept of baptism of the tractate, but like to demonstrate the centrality of baptismal imagery in this sentences.

Item Type: Book Section
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BR Christianity / kereszténység > BR140-1510 History / egyháztörténet
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion / filozófia, pszichológia, vallás > BT Doctrinal Theology / dogmatika
Depositing User: Csaba Ötvös
Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2018 08:30
Last Modified: 07 Dec 2018 08:33
URI: http://real.mtak.hu/id/eprint/87047

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