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Apocryphon of John
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A noncanonical, pseudonymous tractate preserved in Nag Hammadi codices I, III, and VIII and in the Berlin Codex. Also known as the Secret Book of John. Extant versions are preserved in the Coptic language, but the work was likely originally written in Greek. The Apocryphon of John claims to present a secret revelation of the risen Jesus to John, son of Zebedee. It contains the gnostic creation story known as the “Sethian myth.” The Apocryphon of John was never widely authoritative in the early church period, and premises of the work were used by the church father Irenaeus to argue against Gnosticism, suggesting that, if he indeed knew the work, he viewed it as heretical (Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 1.29).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Apocryphon of John
Apocryphon of John A noncanonical, pseudonymous tractate preserved in Nag Hammadi codices I, III, and VIII and in the Berlin Codex. Also known as the Secret Book of John. Extant versions are preserved in the Coptic language, but the work was likely originally written in Greek. The Apocryphon of John
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
John, Apocryphon of
JOHN, APOCRYPHON OF (NHC II,1; III,1; IV,1; and BG 8502,2). This is the clearest and therefore the most important text representing mythological Gnosticism. The tractate was originally written in Gk and survives in three independent translations into Coptic. BG 8502,2 and NHC III,1 represent a short
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
John, Apocryphon Of
John, Apocryphon of (III, 1; IV, 1; BG, 2)An early gnostic text, likely of the Sethian variety, concerning a vision of the Apostle John. The tractate provides an elaborate version of a gnostic mythical system. The first part emphasizes the origination of the divine and the spiritual beings, both in
Eerdmans Bible Dictionary
John, Apocryphon of (Writing)
John, Apocryphon of. †An early Gnostic apocryphal book detailing a vision of the apostle John. Although attested by the Church Fathers (cf. Irenaeus Adv. haer. i.29–31), little was known about this book until the discovery of the Nag Hammadi library in Egypt in 1946. A fifth-century papyrus (Berolinensis
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
John, Apocryphon of
John, Apocryphon of. A Coptic document known from a Berlin MS since 1896, but first pub. in 1955. It was at first claimed as the source of *Irenaeus’ account of the ‘Barbelognostics’ (Adv. Haer. 1. 29), with which it has parallels; but there are also differences. Three further copies were found at
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 3, H–L
John, Apocryphon of (Writing)
John, Apocryphon of. A Gnostic treatise, also known as the Secret Book of John, that purports to preserve a revelation from the risen Christ to the apostle John. Originally written in Greek (prob. in the 2nd cent. A.D.), it has survived in four Coptic mss. One of them (BG 8502, 2) was discovered in 1896;
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
JOHN, APOCRYPHON OF
JOHN, APOCRYPHON OF OR SECRET BOOK OF. This text is widely considered to be the most important representative of mythological Gnosticism. It was originally written in Greek but survives only in Coptic translation. Two independent translations of a shorter version are extant (NHC III, 1 and BG 8502, 2)