Sunday, June 07, 2009

Selected Timeline: Modern era to Nag Hammadi publication. Part One: 18th-19th Centuries

Eighteenth Century
  • 1735   Isaac de Beausobre publishes the first modern monograph on Manicheism (Rudolph, 1983, p. 30).
  • 1738   Papal Bull In eminenti apostolatus specula issued by Pope Clement XII, banning Roman Catholics from becoming Freemasons.
  • 1769   The Bruce Codex was brought to England from Upper Egypt by the famous Scottish traveller Bruce, and subsequently bequeathed to the care of the Bodleian Library, Oxford (Mead, 1900, p. 426).
  • <1785   The Askew Codex was bought by the British Museum from the heirs of Dr. Askew (Mead, 1900, p. 426).
Nineteenth Century
  • 1835   Die Christliche Gnosis (The Christian Gnosis) by Ferdinand Christian Baur. According to Kurt Rudolph (1983, p. 31), Baur is "the real founder of research into gnosis."
  • 1851   Pistis Sophia text and Latin translation of the Askew Codex by M. G. Schwartze.
  • 1864   The Gnostics and Their Remains by Charles William King, an expert on, and the largest collector of, ancient gems. In it King puts forward the theory of the Eastern origins of Gnosticism, common to the period.
  • 1875   The Theosophical Society founded by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky and Col. Henry Steel Olcott.
  • 1877   Isis Unveiled by Helena Petrovna Blavatsky. Gnostics are one of the spiritual traditions mentioned favorably. King's the Gnostics and Their Remains repeatedly cited as a source and quoted.
  • 1884   Encyclical Humanum Genus of Pope Leo XIII against Freemasonry. This inspires the writer known as Léo Taxil to engage in an elaborate hoax claiming that Freemasonry was satanic.
  • 1887   The Gnostics and Their Remains (Second edition) by Charles William King. Expanded, including account of the Pistis Sophia.
  • 1886   Lerhrbuch der Dogmengeschichte (The History of Dogma) by Adolph von Harnack. According to Rudolph, Harnack "laid the basis for an assessment of Gnosis from the point of view of church history" (1983, p. 31).
  • 1890   l'Église Gnostique (the Gnostic Church) established after discovery of Cathar documents and a series of spiritual experiences by archivist Jules-Benoît Stanislas Doinel du Val-Michel (aka Jules Doinel), becoming patriarch under the name Tau Valentin II. Teachings are based on extant Cathar documents and the Gospel of John with a strong influence of Simonian and Valentinian cosmology. The church having both male and female Clergy, such as, male bishops and female "sophias." Liturgical services are based on Cathar rituals.
        -   through 1891   Mead publishes a serial article on Pistis Sophia in the Theosophical magazine Lucifer, the first English translation of the Askew Codex.
  • 1891   The Bruce Codex text and French translation with a brief introduction by E. Amélineau. Text was based on a century old copy, without knowing that it consisted of two manuscripts whose leaves were intermixed.
        -      The Martinist Order founded by Gérard Encausse, primarily known by his nome du plume "Papus."
  • 1892   The Bruce Codex critical text and German translation by Carl Schmidt. First critical edition.
  • 1895   Pistis Sophia French translation of Schwartze's text by E. Amélineau.
        -      Jules Doinel resigns and converts to Roman Catholicism (apparently one of many duped by Léo Taxil's anti-masonic hoax) writing Lucifer Unmasked against freemasonry.
  • 1896   Pistis Sophia by G. R. S. Mead. Translation of the Askew Codex.
        -      The Coptic Berlin Codex (aka. the Akhmim Codex), unearthed in Akhmim, Egypt, wrapped in feathers, in a niche in a wall at a Christian burial site.
        -   through 1898   Mead publishes another serial article, "Among the Gnostics of the First Two Centuries," that laid the foundation for his monumental compendium Fragments of a Faith Forgotten.
  • 1897   "The Acts of John" by M. R. James in Apocrypha Anecdota II. A long fragment of the Acts of John, much of which was previously unpublished.
        -      Two Lectures on the 'Sayings of Jesus' Recently Discovered at Oxyrhynchus by Walter Lock and William Sandy. Text, translation and lecture commentaries on first fragments of the Gospel of Thomas discovered earlier that year (fragments of logion 26 through 33).
  • 1898   The Oxyrhynchus Papyri: Part 1 by Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt. Begins with unidentified fragment of the Gospel of Thomas.

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