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Gospel of the Egyptians
Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary, the most advanced Bible dictionary.
A non-canonical gospel no longer extant. Content is only known from quotations by church father Clement of Alexandria, who quotes from it to demonstrate the beliefs of those he views as heretics (Stromata III.9.63; III.13.93). The Gospel of the Egyptians was never widely authoritative in the early church period. This article addresses the Gospel of the Egyptians referenced by Clement of Alexandria, which seems to be a different work than the Gnostic Gospel of the Egyptians.Clement of Alexandria, when arguing against those he views as heretical, notes that these groups use a “Gospel according to the Egyptians,” but the quotes from Clement do not align with the extant portions of the Gospel of the Egyptians found at Nag Hammadi. This indicates that Clement is almost certainly referring to a different “Gospel according to the Egyptians,” but he could also be quoting from a source with a different title, as he does express doubt about the title that his quotation comes from. Clement says:• “Those who are opposed to God’s creation, disparaging it under the fair name of continence, also quote the words to Salome which we mentioned earlier. They are found, I believe, in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. They say that the Saviour himself said ‘One came to destroy the works of the female,’ meaning by ‘female’ desire, and by ‘works’ birth and corruption” (Stromata III.9.63).• “On this account [Cassia, a heretical leader] says: ‘When Salome asked when she would know the answer to her questions, the Lord [Jesus] said, ‘When you trample on the robe of shame, and when the two shall be one, and the male with the female, and there is neither male nor female.’ … we [Clement of Alexandria and others] have not got the saying in the four Gospels that have been handed down to us, but in the Gospel according to the Egyptians” (Stromata III.13.93).Based on the connection with the character of Salome, it appears that Clement of Alexandria quotes from the work in two other places:• “Next we may destroy their case on the ground that they pervert the sense of the books they quote, as follows. When Salome asked the Lord: ‘How long shall death hold sway?’ he answered: ‘As long as you women bear children.’ Her words do not imply that this life is evil and the creation bad, and his reply only teaches the ordinary course of nature. For birth is invariably followed by death” (Stromata III.6.45; compare Stromata III.9.64).• “But why do they not go on to quote the words after those spoken to Salome, these people who do anything rather than walk according to the truly evangelical rule? For when she says, ‘I would have done better had I never given birth to a child’ suggesting that she might not have been right in giving birth to a child, the Lord replies to her saying: ‘Eat of every plant, but eat not of that which has bitterness in it’ ” (Stromata III.9.66).
Dictionaries
The Lexham Bible Dictionary
Gospel of the Egyptians
Gospel of the Egyptians A non-canonical gospel no longer extant. Content is only known from quotations by church father Clement of Alexandria, who quotes from it to demonstrate the beliefs of those he views as heretics (Stromata III.9.63; III.13.93). The Gospel of the Egyptians was never widely authoritative
Gospel of the Egyptians, Gnostic
Gospel of the Egyptians, Gnostic Also known as the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit. A noncanonical, gnostic text that is part of the collection of writings found in 1945 near Nag Hammadi. Not to be confused with the Gospel of the Egyptians mentioned by Clement of Alexandria. The Gnostic Gospel
The Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary
Egyptians, Gospel of the
EGYPTIANS, GOSPEL OF THE (NHC III,2 and IV,2). This gnostic tractate bears no relationship to the encratite Gospel of the Egyptians, of which a few quotations survive in the writings of Clement of Alexandria. The gnostic Gos. Eg. is extant in two independent Coptic translations from Greek found among
Eerdmans Dictionary of the Bible
Egyptians, Gospel
Egyptians, Gospel According to the (III, 2; IV, 2)An apocryphal gnostic Gospel probably created in Egypt in the mid-2nd century c.e. Although frequently referred to by the church fathers of the 2nd and 3rd centuries, all that remains of the work are a few allusions and paraphrases. Those references
The Oxford Dictionary of the Christian Church
Egyptians, Gospel according to the
Egyptians, Gospel according to the. An apocryphal gospel, probably written in Egypt in the first half of the 2nd cent., which seems to have circulated widely since it was known to *Clement of Alexandria, *Theodotus (his *Gnostic adversary), and *Origen. Its standpoint is markedly ascetic (apparently
The Zondervan Encyclopedia of the Bible, Volume 2, D–G
Egyptians, Gospel of the (Writing)
Egyptians, Gospel of the. Origen (Hom. Luc. 1; text in NTAp, 1:44–46) makes mention of a Gospel of the Egyptians among other apocryphal books, but two distinct works are known under this title.(1) Clement of Alexandria quotes from such a work in Stromateis 3, where he is concerned with questions of
The New Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volumes 1–5
EGYPTIANS, GOSPEL OF THE
EGYPTIANS, GOSPEL OF THE. The Gospel of the Egyptians, sometimes referred to as the Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, is the scholarly title given to two untitled tractates from the Nag Hammadi Library (Codex III, 2:40, 12–69, 20 and Codex IV, 2:50, 1–81, 2). The text comprises four sections: