This book is a new edition and translation of the Nag Hammadi tractate,
The Concept of Our Great Power, with introduction and commentary.
It suggests that the tractate is composite, and that its basis was a non-Christian Gnostic apocalyptic work whose background may have been Samaritan, and which emanated from a breakaway Simonian group who, unlike other Simonians, believed in celibacy. The tractate later received Christian additions. The last of these may refer to the career of Julian the Apostate.
This is a fresh approach to the interpretation of this puzzling tractate.
Frances E. Williams D.Phil. (1961), Oxford University, is a former instructor in the Religious Studies Program at the University of Texas at El Paso. He is contributor to
The Nag Hammadi Library in English (Brill, 1988) and has published translations of
The Panarion of Epiphanius of Salamis, Book (Brill, 1987) and
The Panarion, Books II and III (Brill, 1994).
This is an important contribution to ongoing scholarship on the Nag Hammadi "Library".'
Birger A. Pearson,
Religious Studies Review, 2002.
All those interested in Nag Hammadi studies, Gnosticism, Apocalyptic studies, Coptology, Christian origins, the history of religion, New Testament studies, Judaism, church history, ancient history.