Divine Authorship and Variations of Pseudepigraphy in the Second Discourse of the Great Seth and the Wisdom of Jesus Christ

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Abstract

This article explores pseudepigraphic and attributional practice in two largely ne-
glected texts from Nag Hammadi. It is argued that both of these documents – the
Second Discourse of Great Seth (NHC VII) and the Wisdom of Jesus Christ (NHC III and
BG) – can be identified with a stream of early Christianity bearing marks of the ex-
pansive category termed here Seth-related literature. These works demonstrate the
diverse ways in which Seth-related texts used pseudonymity and attribution. These
strategies were central to communicating the secretive nature of these texts and/or
the elevated spiritual knowledge of their readerships. In these two documents, names
(or a lack thereof ), terminology, and genre claims are used to create interplay be-
tween their main content and the titles they carry in the manuscripts, with the ul-
timate aim of emphasizing their audiences’ exclusive proximity to and understanding
of the divine.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)446-461
Number of pages16
JournalEarly Christianity
Volume14
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 4-Jan-2024

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