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Zostrianos is a 3rd-century Sethian Gnostic text from the New Testament apocrypha. The main surviving copies come from the Nag Hammadi library, but it is heavily damaged.[1]


Like Marsenes and Allogenes, the text concerns a vision received by a man named Zostrianos and explains and enumerates, in great detail, the emanations that the Gnostics said are produced by God (the true, highest God as opposed to the demiurge), in the Gnostics' esoteric cosmology. Similarly to other gnostic literature, Zostrianos says, "Flee from the madness and the bondage of femaleness and choose for yourselves the salvation of maleness. You have not come to suffer; rather, you have come to escape your bondage. Release yourselves, and that which has bound you will be dissolved. Save yourselves so that your soul may be saved." Within the text there are indications that the Sethians had developed ideas of monism, an idea from Neoplatonism which is thought to have become part of Sethianism towards the end of the 3rd century.


  1. ^ John D. Turner of the University of Nebraska writes concerning its date: "... one may date Allogenes around 200 C.E., with Zostrianos coming a bit later around 225 C.E. (Porphyry certainly recognized it as a spurious and recent work)." Turner, John D. "Sethian Gnosticism: A Literary History". Archived from the original on 2012-12-11. Retrieved 12 November 2012.

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