From a Virgin Womb: The Apocalypse of Adam and the Virgin by Andrew Welburn

By Andrew Welburn

Scholarly researches at the virgin delivery have frequently focussed really narrowly at the theological and old problems it has a tendency to elevate. The Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Adam, even if, presents for the 1st time a glimpse into the broader history of principles and myths to which it belonged. Prophecies there touching on a common 'Illuminator' point out his delivery 'from a virgin womb'. a number of of the tales, drawn from Iranian and different assets , additionally look in apocalyptic and testamental literature modern with Christian origins. The booklet centrally analyses a physique of terribly specific narrative parallels among a cluster of reports within the Apocalypse and the infancy narratives of Mt. 1-2, concluding that those tales serve to spot Jesus because the actual Prophet who's the fulfilment of background - even though now not as Son of God. The query of Mt.'s distinct culture and its relation to Lk. is additionally solid in a brand new mild.

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Adam’s apocalypse 39 of the Illuminator that “every birth of their ruler is a word, and this word received a mandate” in him. This statement of the Thirteenth Kingdom about the “word”, as I have shown elsewhere, should be understood as an expression of the Enochic theology of the hidden name of the Messiah,20 and certainly requires no Christian reference to the Johannine Logos. The reference to the “voice” and the water in Test. Levi likewise more probably simply shares the same background in syncretistic and eschatological ideas.

Dan. 12,3; I Enoch 104,2. Associated with restoration to paradisal status, 18,10. 19 Hultgård, vol. II, p. 249; and further discussion in his vol. I p. 270n1. M. Shellrude, “The Apocalypse of Adam” in M. ), Gnosis and Gnosticism (Leiden 1981), pp. 82–91 builds heavily on the basis of references to the water in the passage 77,27–82,19, assuming that there must be a Christian allusion. M. Black, “The Messiah in the Testament of Levi 18”, ET 60(1949), 321–322 argued a Christian intrusion from the allusion of the “voice” to the binding of Isaac: but the allusion must have been intended to appeal, at the very least, to existing Jewish expectations?

2 The Seleucid, Parthian and Sasanian Periods (Cambridge 1983) pp. ; Widengren, Iranisch-semitische Kulturbegegnung p. 52; for Mithraic elements in ApocAd, which are however in my view exaggerated by Böhlig, see my comments op. cit. pp. 4773–4774 and cf. below, p. 71. 24 introduction ing tale is plausibly regarded as the model for the pre-Matthaean third episode, the Magi’s visit in Mt. 2,9–11. The influence on Mt. ’s own. ’s community, but had already woven the stories together. With these resemblances in theme and narrative structure, the possibility of understanding the virgin birth theme in ApocAd is accordingly brought much closer to the question of understanding the Gospel.

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