Pistis Sophia

does not venture an opinion on either the date or author.

1887. Amelineau (E.). Essai sur le Gnosticisme egyptien, ses Developpements et son Origine egyptienne, in Annales du Musee Guimet (Paris), xiv.

See the third part for system of Valentinus and of P.S., pp. 166-322.

1887. Lipsius (R. A.). Art. ‘Pistil Sophia,’ in Smith and Wace’s Dict. of Christ. Biog. (London), iv. 405-415.

A still valuable study. “We may regard ourselves as justified in assigning (with Petermann and Kostlin) the book Pistis Sophia to one of the large groups of Ophite sects, though nevertheless the system it contains is not identical with any one of the other Ophite systems known to us.” Of importance is L.’s suggestion that P.S. may be indirectly one of the sources of the Manichaean religion. In any case,

[p. lvii] [paragraph continues] “it may be assumed as probable that the book Pistis Sophia was written before the time of the Manichaean system, and therefore before A.D. 270. Moreover, as the system contained in it is evidently more recent than the other Ophitic systems known to us, we shall have, with Kostlin, to assign its composition to the first half of the 3rd cent.” (p. 414b).

1888. Hyvernat (H.). Album de Paleographie Copte (Paris-Rome).

Pl. ii. is a reproduction of a page of our Codex, showing the work of the second scribe. H. dates it “about the end of the 6th cent.,” but without a word of justification for this ascription.

1889. Harnack (A.). Crit. of Amelineau’s Essai (above, 19), in Theolog. Literaturzeitung (Leipzig), viii. 199-211.

1890. Amelineau (E.). Art. ‘Les Traites gnostiques d’Oxford; Etude critique,’ in the Revue de l’Histoire des Religions (Paris), xxi. no. 2. 178-260.

Practically the Introduction to his publication of the Text and Translation of the Bruce Codex (24, below). In it A. sets forth the results of “the researches and studies, the hypotheses and convictions of seven years” of labour (p. 4 offprint).

1891. Amelineau (E.). Notice sur le Papyrus gnostique Bruce, Texte et Traduction, in Notices et Extraits des Manuscripts de la Bibliotheque Nationale et Autres Bibliotheques (Paris), xxix. pt. i. 65-305.
These views have been severely criticized, especially by Schmidt (below, 28; also 25-27). 24a. 1891. Harnack (A.). Uber das gnostische Buch Pistis-Sophia (Leipzig). (Texte u.

Untersuch. vii. 2.)

A study (144 pp.) of the first importance, in which this high authority on the history and chronology of early Christian literature and the history of the development of dogma submits the contents of the Latin version of Schwartze to a careful analysis, and gives 8/9 reasons for placing the P.S. in the second half of the 3rd cent. H. is mainly valuable in his analysis of the Biblical references in the P.S., especially the uses it makes of the N.T., and in his estimate of the stage of development of the general Christian and Catholic elements in P.S. H. thinks that Div. iii. should be called ‘Questions of Mary’ (pp. 94, 108). Unknown to H., Renan (Marc Aurele, p. 120) had already hazarded the suggestion that the whole P.S. might be identical with the Little Questions

[p. lviii]

‘Ophites’ in the narrower meaning, for here, as elsewhere often in the use of the name,

of Mary, mentioned by Epiphanius. But R. shows (p. 145) that he has no direct acquaintance with the subject. H. assigns the P.S. to an ‘Ophitic’ sect, but not the

no sign of the worship of the serpent is found (p. 110). He brings the P.S. sect into close connection with the Syrian Ophitic group, which had offshoots in Egypt, and opens up those investigations into the statements of Epiphanius which Schmidt has surveyed in greater detail in his edition of the Codex Brucianus (below, 28). In fact these two scholars have been in close touch with one another in their work on the P.S. as to its origin, date and place. The concluding remark of H. on the general religious status of the P.S.–that is to say, its bearing on Early Christian and Catholic religion, in other words its place within the general history of Christianity–is noteworthy. He writes (p. 114): “In this respect the P.S. is a document of first rank, for we possess no second work which brings before our eyes so clearly the previous history of Catholic sacramentism. What we meet with here more sharply brought out and at one stroke among the Gnostics of the end of the third century, was accomplished by the Catholic Church toilsomely and gradually in the following century. This Gnosticism is not the father of Catholicism, but rather an elder brother who gained by assault what the younger brother attained subsequently amid a thousand exigencies.”

1891. Schmidt (C.). Gotting. Gelehrte Anzeigen (Gottingen), Nr. xvii. 640-675. A very damaging review of Amelineau’s edition of the Bruce Codex (above, 23).
1891. Amelineau (E.). Art. ‘Le Papyrus Bruce: Reponse aux Gottingische Gelehrte Anzeigen,’ in Revue de l’Histoire des Religions (Paris), xxiv. no. 3. 376-380.

A.’s reply to Schmidt’s criticisms.

1892. Schmidt (C.). Gotting. Gelehrte Anzeigen (Gottingen), Nr. 6. 201-202. S.’s further rejoinder to A.
1892. Schmidt (C.). Gnostische Schriften in koptischer Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus (Leipzig), 692 pp. (T. u. U. viii.)

S.’s masterly edition entirely supersedes that of Amelineau, who worked on Woide’s copy of the confused heap of leaves preserved in the Bodleian. His minute examination of the

[p. lix]

original discovered that the chaos could first of all be sorted out into two totally different MSS. The larger work is entitled The Book of the Great Logos according to the Mystery. The contents fall naturally into two divisions, which S. calls respectively ‘The First’ and ‘The Second Book of Jeu.’ The system is closely related to that of the

P.S. miscellany. S. devotes pp. 334-538 to a penetrating study of this relation-ship, in which he makes a most valuable contribution to the analysis of the contents of the

Books of Yew,’ mentioned twice in the P.S., are said to have been dictated to Enoch by

P.S. His labours here are practically an Introduction to his subsequent translation of the P.S. in 1905 (below, 45). Among much else of the greatest value he gives us a minutely detailed investigation of the system of the P.S., which supersedes Kostlin’s pains-taking pioneer effort (1854). S. is rightly of opinion that P.S. is a more or less happy compilation from other works (p. 318), as Kostlin had already pointed out (p. 344). He seems to think little of the possible objection that, whereas the ‘Two

Jesus before the Flood and hidden away, the contents of the first document of the C.B. are revealed by Jesus himself to the disciples (p. 343). The statement in the P.S. is in keeping with common apocalyptic claims, and in any case the sect as a matter of fact did possess two Yew Books, and the contents of C.B. I. are what we should expect from the references in the P.S., while the intimate relationship between P.S. Div. iv. and

C.B. I.b is patent to the most casual reader. He agrees with Harnack as to the date of

the P.S.–namely, the latter half of the 3rd cent. for Divv. i.-iii., and a few decades earlier for Div. iv. C.B. I. is thus to be placed in the first half of the 3rd cent. (pp. 540, 598). C.B. II. is a work without a title, the contents of which have roused

S. to enthusiasm (pp. 34, 35). It is plainly of an earlier date, and so S. here conjectures for it about 160-200 A.D. (p. 542); but he has subsequently changed his view as to date (see 47, below).

statements of Epiphanius to a searching criticism, S. thinks that everything points to

After a close methodical investigation, in which in particular he submits the

the Severians as being most probably the sect to which the writings contained in P.S.

and C.B. I. can be attributed (p. 596). C.B. II., he concludes, may be assigned to Sethian-Archontics (p. 659). But the whole question bristles with difficulties when precise names are in question. It is to be noted that in his researches

[p. lx]

S. lays under contribution as very pertinent to the inquiry his prior labours on the puzzling problem of the Gnostics of Plotinus, in his treatise Plotin’s Stellung zum Gnosticismus und kirchlichen Christentum (Leipzig), 1900, 168 pp. (T. u. U. N.F. v. 4.). There is much criticism of Amelineau’s work and views scattered throughout this

C.B. volume.

1892. Schmidt (C.). De Codice Bruciano seu de Libris gnosticis qui in Lingua coptica extant Commentatio (Leipzig), Pars i., 30 pp.

No other part has been published, and there is nothing in it, as far as I am aware, which has not appeared in C.’s larger works.

1893. Crum (W. E.). Coptic Manuscripts brought from the Fayyum by W. M. Flinders Petrie (London).

C. seems almost to allow that the copy of P.S. might have been made in the 4th cent. (p. 24).

1893. Legge (G. F.). Art. ‘Some Heretic Gospels’ in The Scottish Review (London),
xxii. 133-162.

Pp. 134-157 are devoted to P.S., the rest to the documents of the Bruce Codex. L.’s Forerunners (1915) gives his maturer views (see below, 57).

1893. Harnack (A.). Geschichte der altchristlichen Literatur bis Eusebius (Leipzig), I. i. 171 f.

A summary description of the contents of the P.S. and Cod. Bruc. from his important study, Uber d. gnost. Buch P.S. (above, 24a), based on Schwartze’s Latin version.

1894. Preuschen (E.). Rev. of Schmidt’s Gnostische Schriften in k. S. aus d. Cod. Bruc. (1892), in Theolog. Literaturzeitung (Leipzig), Nr. vii. 183-187.

P.’s main criticism is that S.’s identification of the two parts of the first treatise of the Bruce Codex with ‘The Books of Yew’ mentioned in P.S. is mistaken.

1894. Schmidt (C.). ‘Die in dem koptisch-gnostischen Codex Brucianus enthaltenen “Beide Bucher Jeu” in ihrem Verhaltnis zu der Pistis Sophia,’ in Zeitschr. f. wissenschaft. Theolog. (Leipzig), xxxvii. 555-585.

S.’s reply to P.’s criticism.

1895. Amelineau (E.) Pistis-Sophia, Ouvrage gnostique de Valentin, traduit du copte en francais, avec une Introduction (Paris), xxxii +204 pp.

A. advocates strongly the Valentinian origin of the treatise, [p. lxi]

is fatigued; no longer is it the beautiful writing of the Egyptian scribes of the great

and leans almost exclusively to an Egyptian origin of the ideas. These views have been severely criticized, especially by Schmidt. The MS. itself, however, A. places very late, writing on page xi of his Introduction as follows:–“After an examination of the enormous faults which the scribe has committed, I cannot attribute to the MS. which has preserved the Pistis-Sophia to us, a date later than the ninth or tenth century, and that too the minimum. For this I have several reasons. Firstly, the MS. is written on parchment, and parchment was hardly ever commonly used in Egypt before the sixth or seventh century. Secondly, the writing, which is uncial, though passable in the first pages of the MS., becomes bastard in a large number of leaves, when the scribe’s hand

periods, but slack, inconsistent, almost round and hurried. Thirdly, the faults of

orthography in the use of Greek words evidently show that the scribe belonged to a period when Greek was almost no longer known.”

In a footnote Amelineau says that he is perfectly aware that this opinion of his will ‘raise a tempest,’ and begs for a suspension of judgment till he has published his reasons, especially as to the late use of parchment, at greater length. The storm broke, and no one has accepted A.’s arguments. Among other things he failed to notice that in the first place the Askew Codex is the work of two scribes, and not of one, and that the various portions of their common task can be unquestionably assigned to each. The parchment argument has never seen the light, as far as I am aware.

1896. Mead (G. R. S.). Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Gospel (with Extracts from the Books of the Saviour appended), originally translated from Greek into Coptic and now for the first time Englished from Schwartze’s Latin Version of the only known Coptic MS. and checked by Amelineau’s French Version (London).

The first edition of the present work.

1898. Schmidt (C.). Gotting. Gelehrte Anzeigen (Gottingen), Nr. vi. 436-444. A severely critical review of Amelineau’s Introduction to his Translation of P.S.
(above, 35).

1899. Crum (W. E.). Egyptian Exploration Fund, Archaeological Reports, 1897/1898 (London), p. 62.

Description of MS. of P.S., which is, however, improved upon below (46). [p. lxii]

1900. Mead (G. R. S.). Fragments of a Faith Forgotten: Some Short Sketches among the Gnostics (London), 1st ed. (2nd ed. 1906), ‘The Gnosis according to its Friends.’ pp. 451-602.

‘The Askew and Bruce Codices’ (pp. 453-458); ‘Summary of the Contents of the So-called Pistis Sophia Treatise’ (pp. 459-506); ‘Summary of the Extracts from the Books of the Saviour’ (pp. 507-517); ‘Selections from the Untitled Apocalypse of the Codex Brucianus’ (pp. 547-566); ‘Notes on the Contents of the Bruce and Askew Codices’ (pp. 567-578); ‘The Akhmim Codex’ [now called the Berlin Codex] (pp. 579-592).

1901. Rahlfs (A.). Die Berliner Handschrift des sahidischen Psalters (Berlin). Abhandl. d. konigl. Gesellschaft d. Wissenschaft zu Gottingen. Philol. hist. Kl. N.F. Bd. iv. Nr. 4.

On p. 7 R. calls attention to a remarkable difference in the versions of the Psalms quoted in the P.S. While the citations in pp. 53-82 and 111-181 (Schw.-Pet. ed.) vary relatively only slightly from the usual Sahidic version, those in pp. 86-110 are so totally different that they must be an independent translation from the Greek. If this is so, we are confronted by the high probability that Repentances 8-13 are a later addition, and that there were thus originally only 7 Repentances. If this hypothesis stands, it is of great importance for the internal analysis of the literature. R.’s view is criticized by Rendel Harris (below, 60).

1901. Liechtenhan (R.). ‘Untersuchungen zur koptisch-gnostischen Literatur,’ in Zeitschr. f. wissenschaft. Theologie, Bd. xliv. H. ii. 236-253.

In his analysis of the composition of the P.S., L. introduces a novelty. He thinks that pp. 128 (ch. 64)-175 (end of ch. 80), subsequent to the thirteen Repentances, are a later insertion in the Sophia-episode, and regards the opening lines of ch. 81 (“It came to pass after all this”) as a redactor’s connecting paragraph.

Epiphanius among the books of a group of sects to which the Church Father ascribes the

With regard to the appropriateness of the suggested title, ‘The Questions of Mary,’ for Div. iii., and of ‘The Gospel of Philip’ (P.S. ch. 42) as a possible title for Divv. i. and ii.,–he tries to get over the difficulty that those two titles are mentioned by

most filthy, blasphemous and obscene rites, in the following conjecture (p. 242):–” A

Gnostic sect in Egypt possessed a rich, apocalyptic [p. lxiii]

literature, among which was to be found a Gospel of Philip and Questions of Mary. This sect was divided into an ascetic and a libertinist branch, and each group worked over the sacred literature which had come down to them.” Epiphanius (Haer. xxvi.) got hold of the libertinist redaction; the ascetic is preserved for us in P.S., Divv. i.-iii. Div. iv. is an earlier stratum. ‘The Books of Yew’ mentioned in P.S. are said to have been revealed to Enoch; accordingly, like Preuschen, he thinks that these cannot be the treatise of the Bruce Codex to which Schmidt has assigned this title, for the latter is revealed to the Disciples (p. 251).

1904. Harnack (A.). Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur (Leipzig), II.
ii. 193-195, ‘Die Pistis Sophia and die in Papyrus Brucianus Saec. V. eel. VI. enthaltenen gnostischen Schriften.’

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