The Egyptian Foundations of Gnostic Thought by Daniel Richard McBride

By Daniel Richard McBride

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It only means the beginning 62 This need not be viewed as the “grossly sensual” onanism as Morenz would have it, Egyptian Religion, 163. Morenz attempts to ameliorate this image by showing that the verb msi may mean “to bring forth” in various applications; however the Heliopolitan view of creation clearly emphasises the sexual pairing of male and female powers above all else. See Tobin, Theological Principles, 65, for a more convincing discussion on the employment of the verb msi “to beget” or “to bear” in Egyptian thought.

By James H. Breasted, Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (1912; reprint, Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1972), 200-201. ” 34 See Erich Hornung, Der Ägyptische Mythos von der Himmelskuh (Freiberg: Universitätsverlag, 1982). 35 Hieroglyphic transcription from James Henry Breasted, “The Philosophy of a Memphite Priest,” ZÄS 39 (1902): plate II, column 59. 36 this positioning of intelligence, a priori, above nature. This forms a compelling link between Egyptian thought and the Hermetic doctrine of the celestial inspiration of 37 matter.

Voiceless) as a de facto consort. Atum is on par with the Gnostic figure of Autogenes in Valentinian thought, who likewise is “self-begetting”. 47 A coffin text from the Bubastite period, gives a first-person account of this process: “I am one [Atum] who became two [Shu-Tefnut]. I am two who became four [Shu-Tefnut-GebNut]. I am four who became eight [Shu-Tefnut-Geb-Nut-Osiris-Isis-Seth-Nephythys],” From the coffin of a priest of Amun in the 22nd Dynasty: Hermann Kees, Der Götterglaube im alten Ägypten (1941; reprint, Berlin, 1956), 171.

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