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THE THREE L IVES OF JAMES:

FROM JEWISH-CHRISTIAN TRADITIONS TO A VALENTINIAN

REVELATION , PRESERVED IN TWO LATE ANTIQUE

ATTESTATIONS



BY



ROBERT M ICHAEL EDWARDS





THESIS SUBMITTED TO THE FACULTY OF GRADUATE

AND POSTDOCTORAL STUDIES IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT

OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE PHD DEGREE

IN RELIGIOUS STUDIES







© Robert Michael Edwards, Ottawa, Canada, 2015

Page 2

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Acknowledgements

This project would not have been possible without the support and encouragement of

many people. I would like to thank my doctoral supervisor, Pierluigi Piovanelli, for his

guidance, support, and patience throughout this process. His insight into my research has been

absolutely invaluable. I would also like to thank my professors at the University of Ottawa who

played an integral role in my doctoral formation. In particular, I would like to thank Theodore

de Bruyn for his help at the beginning of my research, as well as Jitse Dijkstra, for his immense

contribution to my understanding of Coptic. I would also like to thank Greg Bloomquist of Saint

Paul University for allowing me to attend his seminar on Socio-Rhetorical Analysis.

I owe a debt of gratitude to all of my friends and colleagues who supported me

throughout my studies. In particular, I would like to thank my close friend and colleague Rajiv

Bhola for taking the time throughout our studies together to act as a sounding board for ideas. I

would also like to acknowledge colleagues and mentors who have passed on in recent years.

Carl Kazmierski, who I was fortunate to have as a professor throughout the course of my

undergraduate studies, played an integral role in my decision to pursue graduate work in

religious studies. I am also indebted to Jane Schaberg, with whom I studied at the University of

Detroit Mercy, for always forcing me to think more critically. I would also like to acknowledge

the role of John Kevin Coyle, late of Saint Paul University, who, as the organizer of the Ottawa

Early Christianity Group, fostered a strong sense of community among colleagues in Ottawa.

I would also like to thank my family for their help and encouragement throughout the

course of my education. And finally, I would like to thank my wife Alyssa for her patience,

advice, and encouragement. Without her help I would not have completed this. My dissertation

is dedicated to my daughter Emily. She is my reason for wanting to be a better person.

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n%Te n%nat`eime erok an · Jekaas ei SanT maein

nak eime auw sw!tm% (NHC V, 24, 11-19).



I have given a

sign of these things to you James, my brother. For it is not without reason that I

have called you my brother, since you are not my brother in materiality. I am not
306





While there are minor differences in tone between the two texts at the outset, particularly

4 Ezra 16:35 which

307
This short inclusion may also be a

NIV). The opening passage of Isaiah concerns the

vision of Judah and Jerusalem as seen by Isaiah. There may also be a reference to Isaiah 52:6

ity in relation to Jerusalem. The connection is further evidenced by the

repeated references to Jerusalem that occur in the revelatory sequences of the First Apocalypse



306
My translation, 3 The First Apocalypse of James, 69,

and the edition of Veilleux, La première apocalypse de Jacques, 22-23.

307
Translation by Bruce ok of Ezra (Late First Century A.D.) with the Four Additional

Chapters: A New Translation and Introduction, The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha, Volume I: Apocalyptic

Literature and Testaments (ed. James H. Charlesworth; Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson, 2009), 517-560 at 558. For

an analysis of 4 Ezra, see Jones, Jewish Reactions to the Destruction of Jerusalem, 39-78.

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of James.
308

There are five references to Jerusalem in the Al Minya codex and three extant in the

Nag Hammadi version.
309

These serve to set the stage for the battle between the forces of light

and darkness that the text envisions. In many ways this is reminiscent of the type of eschatology

envisioned in texts like the War Scroll (1QM; 4Q 491-497) from Qumran. The War Scoll

describes the final battle between the sons of light (the Levites) and the sons of darkness

(everyone else). The First Apocalypse of James uses similar imagery to describe the conflict

between its intended readership, in this case n[i]Shre n%te petS[oop] sons

3)
310



n%n%Shre n%te pouoein (NHC 25, 17-

18).
311

These references are being made in relation to the fall of Jerusalem, which is alluded to

in the text. Of interest for our discussion is the fact that, while the text offers a dichotomy

the material world, represented by the archons, the imagery is in many ways very close to what

we see in the larger apocalyptic genre. Instead of the text only being concerned with the cosmic

(and often internal) spiritual battle, the First Apocalypse of James describes conflicts that have

either been fought or will be fought in a real manner in the material world, affecting a larger

portion of the population, and not necessarily just the individual receiving the revelation. In this



308
For a discussion of the Jewish apocalyptic responses to the fall of the Jerusalem and the destruction of the

temple, particularly 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch, and the Apocalypse of Abraham, see George W.E. Nickelsburg, Jewish

Literature Between the Bible and the Mishna (2
nd

ed.; Minneapolis: Fortress Press, 2005), 263-94.

309
NHC 25, 15-19; 36, 16-19; 37, 10-12 // AMC 11, 23-12, 3; 23, 13-19; 24, 10-11; 24, 16; 25, 1-2.

310
n%Shre m%petSoo?p (AMC 11, 5-6).

311
n%n%Shre m%pouoein (AMC 12, 1-2).

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Vielhauer, Philip, and Georg Strecker. -Christian Gospels, pp. 134-178 in

New Testament Apocrypha, Revised Edition: I Gospels and Related Writings. Edited by

Wilhelm Schneemelcher. Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1991.

Vielhauer, Philip and Georg Strecker. , pp. 542-638 in New

Testament Apocrypha II Writings Related to the Apostles, Apocalypses and Related

Subjects. Rev. ed. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher and Robert McL. Wilson.

Louisville: Westminster John Knox Press, 1992.

Wace, Henry and Philip Schaff. eds. A Select Library of Nicene and Post-Nicene Fathers of the

Christian Church, Volume I. Eusebius: A Church History, Life of Constantine the Great,

and Oration in Praise of Constantine. New York: Parker and Company, 1890.

Whiston, William. The New Complete Works of Josephus: Revised and Expanded Edition.

Edited by Paul L. Maier. Grand Rapids: Kregel Publications, 1999.

Williams, Michael A. Collections, pp. 1-50 in the

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Painchand and Anne Pasquier. Québec: les Pres

Williams, Michael A. Rethinking Gnosticism: An Argument for Dismantling a Dubious

Category. Princeton, New Jersey: Princeton University Press, 1996.

Williamson, G.A. trans. Eusebius: The History of the Church from Christ to Constantine. New

York: New York University Press, 1966.

Wintermute, O.S. First Century

A.D.) pp. 497-507 in The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume One Apocalyptic

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Literature and Testaments. Edited by James H. Charlesworth. Peabody, Massachusetts:

Hendrickson Publishers, 1983.

Wise, Michael O., Martin G. Abegg Jr. and Edward M. Cook. The Dead Sea Scrolls: A New

Translation. New York: Harper San Francisco, 2005.

Wurst, Gregor. d

zu Corpus Hermeticum XIII, pp. 1-12 in Judasevangelium und Codex Tchacos. Studien

zur religionsgeschichtlichen Verortung einer gnostischen Schriftensammlung.

Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 1/297. Edited by Enno Edzard

Popkes and Gregor Wurst. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2012.

Yadin, Yigael. Bar-Kokhba: The Rediscovery of the legendary hero of the Second Jewish Revolt

against Rome. New York: Random House, 1971.

Zamagni, Claudio. que des questions et

pp. 81-98 in Erotapokriseis: Early Christian

Question and Answer Literature in Context. Contributions to Biblical

Exegesis and Theology 37. Edited by Annelie. Volgers and Claudio Zamagni. Leuven:

Peeters, 2004.

Zuchschwerdt, Ernst Herrenbruders Jacobus nach Hegesipp (Euseb,

h.e.II.23.5-6). Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 68 (1977): 276-287.

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