Coptic Apocalypse of Paul

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The Coptic Apocalypse of Paul is one of the texts of the New Testament apocrypha found among the Nag Hammadi library. The text is not to be confused with the Apocalypse of Paul, which is unlikely to be related.

It was mentioned by Epiphanius as having been the work of the Cainites, who viewed Cain as the Messiah (since, in their view, the Old Testament God, whom they named Yaltabaoth, was evil.)

The Gnostic text describes the ascent of Paul through various stages of Heaven, with Yaltabaoth (described as an old man on a throne) attempting to prevent further ascent. A soul that fails to have the knowledge (gnosis) required to defeat Yaltabaoth here, is sent back, in the vision, to be reincarnated.


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