"He received glory and power there. / And thus he came upon the water." This refrain is a common motif throughout the most analyzed section of The Apocalypse of Adam. This section is that of the 13 kingdoms, in which each kingdom explains where the illuminator came from. Each ends with a common form of the refrain above. The meaning of these 13 kingdoms will be discussed later. In this paper, many different aspects of The Apocalypse of Adam will be looked at in an attempt to better understand the implications this text has for its readers. This text is the fifth and last tractate in Nag Hammadi Codex V. The Nag Hammadi library was found in August 1945 in Egypt. When looked at in comparison with other texts found, The Apocalypse of Adam more closely follows the traditions of Jewish apocalyptic literature (Parrott, 67). There has been much debate about the effect of redactors on this text, so there has been a claim that the 13 kingdoms section was added in later by an editor (ibid). The text recovered is in Coptic, the common language around Nag Hammadi, Egypt at that time. However, much of the text is not readable, with tops or bottoms of pages missing. Therefore, there has been a lot of reconstruction of the text, but there are still places in which lacunae have been inserted because it is not clear what the author intended to say. The text can be broken down into three sections that are identifiable by a change in topic. The first section (,22-,7) talks about a special race of men that come "from the knowledge of the great eons and the angels" (Hedrick, 29). This part also discusses their "conflict" with god. God then tries to wipe them out, and their survival is ensured by "divine intervention" (ibid). The second...
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...ebates about its intended audience, it's intended purpose, and the significance of the hymnic or 13 Kingdom section. The Apocalypse of Adam is a most interesting piece of literature that leaves itself open to many different interpretations.
Carroll, Scott T. "The Apocalypse of Adam and pre-Christian Gnosticism [dating of tractate by analysis of Solomonic legend]." Vigiliae Christianae: A Review of Early Christian Life and Language 44 (1990): 263-279.
Hedrick, Charles W. The Apocalypse of Adam: a literary and source analy[s]is. Chico, Calif: Scholars Press, 1980.
Linder, Per-Arne. The Apocalypse of Adam: Nag Hammadi Codex V,5 considered from its Egyptian background. Loberod: Plus Ultra, 1991.
Parrott, Douglas. "The 13 Kingdoms of the Apocalypse of Adam: origin, meaning and significance." Novum Testament 31 (Jan 1989): 67-87.
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