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Adam, Other Books of


ADAM, OTHER BOOKS OF , apocryphal books which contain Christian reworkings of the Jewish Adam legend, some of which include valuable ancient traditions. These books are in addition to the Life of Adam and Eve (see Book of the Life of *Adam and Eve). In early lists several works, presumably in Greek, are mentioned. The most prominent of these are Apocalypse, Penitence, Testament, and Life. The Apocalypse, quoted in Epistle of Barnabas 2:10, deals with Adam's penitence. A horarium and some other texts, also connected with repentance and cited by Georgius Cedrenus (Historiarum compendium 1:18), appear in a second Greek form, as well as in Syriac (R. Graffin (ed.), Patrologia Syriaca, 2, pt. 1 (1907), 1319–37), where they are quoted as being from the Testament. This Syriac version mentions the Cave of Treasures, connecting it with various Eastern books. A long passage attributed to the Life of Adam is preserved by Georgius Syncellus (ed. Dundorff, p. 5 ff.). This passage is related to material found in Jubilees 3:1–11. The Cave of Treasures, a Syriac work, also deals with the story of Adam. A central feature of this work is a cave of treasures, in which Adam lived and was buried, and from which he was taken into the Ark by Noah to be reburied at Golgotha. The book also exists in Arabic (D.M. Gibson, Apocrypha Arabica (1901), Eng. and Arab.).

The Ethiopic Book of Adam and Eve is also a Christian composition, having much in common with the Cave of Treasures, including the burial tradition. Armenian books connected with the Adam story include The Death of Adam, History of Adam's Expulsion from Paradise, History of Cain and Abel, Adam's Sons, and Concerning the Good Tidings of Seth. Other unpublished Adam books also exist. These writings are certainly not Gnostic, as Preuschen maintained. They are early although it is impossible to give a precise date. There are Georgian translations of the Cave of Treasures, the Life, and other Adam books. There are also some texts in Arabic, including an Arabic version of the Ethiopic Adam book. Epiphanius (Panarion 26) quotes a Gnostic composition, and a Gnostic Coptic Adam Apocalypse is found among the Nag Hammadi texts.


idb, 1 (1962), 44f.; M.R. James, Lost Apocrypha of the Old Testament (1920), 1–8; Charles, Apocrypha, 2 (1913), 127 ff.; C. Bezold, Die Schatzhoehle (1883); Buttenwieser, in: uje, s.v.; S.C. Malan, Book of Adam and Eve (1882), from the Ethiopic; Luedtke, in: zaw, 38 (1919–20), 155–68 (Ger. about Georgian text); J. Issaverdens, Uncanonical Writings of the Old Testament (1900), 85–89; Preuschen, in: Festgruss… B. Stade (1900), 165–252; Stone, in: htr, 59 (1966), 283–91 (Eng. about Armenian text); P. Prigent, L'Epître de Barnabé… (1961), 43 ff.; A. Dillmann, Das christliche Adambuch des Morgenlandes (1853); Cardona, in: U. Bianchi (ed.), Le Origini dello Gnosticismo (1962), 645–8; A. Boehlig and P. Labb, Koptisch-Gnostische Apokalypsen (1963).

[Michael E. Stone]

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