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(53 pages long, 14,000+ words).
On the Origin of the World (Codex II) of the Nag Hammadi Library, is dominated by a compendium of influences including Manichaean, Valentinian, Sethian, Ophite, Egyptian, Hermetic (Pagan Gnosis), Jewish apocalyptic apocrypha (Enoch and Jubilees), magic and astrology, and last but not least, and as the primary focus of this paper, the Orphic and Hellenistic mysteries. Yet, despite the variety of different influences, it still retains a particular Gnostic flavor—written persuasively as an academic essay, to not only attract potential adherents to the Gnostic religion but also to defend the Gnostic world-view in a distanced and factual manner. The author writes the text not as a receiver of revelation but as a scholar who quotes his multitude of sources. These references and allusions to other, non-Gnostic works are employed to lend weight to the author’s message. Because of the juxtaposition of eclectic influences and even the citation of other texts, which are now lost to us, for the most part, they seem to point to a school in Alexandria, Egypt as a place of origination.