Was Gnosis Necessary to the Gnostic after His Death? A Few Remarks on NHC V, 3: 32,28–35,26 from The First Apocalypse of James

Słowa kluczowe: posthumous ascent of soul, Gnosticism, gnosis, mythical narrative


In this paper I would like to examine whether the Gnostic should demonstrate, in his posthumous ascent, knowledge of gnosis. The basic source of my analysis is The First Apocalypse of James (NHC V, 3) but also another Gnostic text, The Apocalypse of Adam (NHC V,5) as well as the polemical evidences: the Against Heresies by Irenaeus of Lyon and The Excerpta ex Theodoto by Clement of Alexandria. The answer to the title question is important because, among others, the sources and the scholars often emphasize the significance of magical and ritual means during the ascent of the Gnostic through individual heavenly spheres.