Friday, June 06, 2014

Heracleon on John: Bibliography

Heracleon wrote the earliest surviving commentary on any portion of the New Testament, and is an important witness to the state of the text of John in the second century. Here is some bibliography to get you started:

A. E. Brooke, The Fragments of Heracleon: Newly Edited from the MSS. With an Introduction and Notes (T&S vol. 1, No. 4; Cambridge: CUP, 1891).

C. Blanc, Origène: Commentaire sur S. Jean: Introduction, Text Critique, Traduction et Notes (5 vols.; SC 120, 15, 222, 290, 385; Paris: Cerf, 1966–1992)

ET: W. Foerster, Gnosis: A Selection of Gnostic Texts (trans. R. McL. Wilson; 2 vols.; Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1972-1974), 1:162-83.

R.E. Heine, Origen, Commentary on the Gospel of John (Fathers of the Church 80 & 89; Washington: Catholic University of America Press, 1989, 1993).

J. A. McGuckin, ‘Structural Design and Apologetic Intent in Origen’s Commentary on John’ in Origeniana Sexta (ed. G. Dorival et al.; BETL 118; Louvain: Peeters, 1995), 441–457.

R. P. C. Hanson, Allegory and Event: A Study of the Sources and Significance of Origen's Interpretation of Scripture (Richmond VA: John Knox, 1959)

B. Aland, ‘Erwählungstheologie und Menschenklassenlehre: Die Theologie des Herakleon als Schlüssel zum Verständnis der christlichen Gnosis?’ in Gnosis and Gnosticism (ed. Martin Krause; NHS 8; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1977), 148-81.

H. W Attridge, ‘Heracleon and John: Reassessment of an Early Christian Hermeneutical Debate’ in Biblical Interpretation: History, Context, Reality (ed. C. Helmer; Atlanta, Ga.: Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), 57–72; reprinted in  Essays on John and Hebrews (WUNT 264; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2010), 193-207.

H.W. Attridge, ‘Invention, Rewriting, Usurpation: The Case of the Johannine Gospel in the Second Century’ Invention, Rewriting, Usurpation: discursive fights over religious traditions in Antiquity (eds. J. Ulrich, A.-C. Jacobsen, D. Brakke; ECCA 11; Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang, 2012), 1-17.

C.P. Bammel, ‘Herakleon’, TRE XV (1986) 54-57 = ‘Herakleon’ in Tradition and Exegesis in Early Christian Writers (Ashgate, Hampshire: Variorum, 1995), 1-8.

A. Bastit, ‘Form et méthode du Commentaire sur Jean d’Héracléon’ Adamantius 15 (2009), 150-176.

P.F. Beatrice, ‘Greek Philosophy and Gnostic Soteriology in Heracleon’s “Hypomnemata”’ Early Christianity 3 (2012), 188-214.

D. Domenico, ‘Remarques sur l’anthropologie d’Héracléon: les psychiques’ Studia Patristica XVI (ed. E.A. Livingstone; Berlin: Akademie-Verlag, 1985), 143-151.

B.D. Ehrman, ‘Heracleon and the “Western” Textual Tradition’ NTS 40 (1994), 161-179.

B.D. Ehrman, ‘Heracleon, Origen, and the Text of the Fourth Gospel’ Vig. Chr. 47 (1993), 105-118.

C. E. Hill, The Johannine Corpus in the Early Church (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2004), 207-211.

Y. Janssens, ‘Héracléon: Commentaire sur l’Évangile selon S. Jean’ Le Muséon 72 (1959), 101-151; 277-299.

Y. Janssens, ‘L’Épisode de la Samaritaine chez Héracléon’ Sacra Pagina: Miscellanea Biblica Congressus Internationalis Catholici de Re Biblica (ed. J. Coppens; BETL 17-18; Paris: J. Gabalda, 1959) 77-85.

K. Keefer, The Branches of the Gospel of John: The Reception of the Fourth Gospel in the Early Church (LNTS 332; London: Continuum, 2006), 32-43.

J. Mouson, ‘Jean-Baptiste dans les fragments d’ Héracléon’ ETL 30 (1954), 301-322.

E. Mühlenberg, ‘Wieviel Erlösungen kennt der Gnostiker Herakleon’ ZNW 66 (1975), 170-93.

T. Nagel, Die Rezeption des Johannesevangeliums im 2. Jahrhundert: Studien zur vorirenäischen Aneignung und Auslegung des vierten Evangeliums in christlicher und christlich-gnostischer Literatur (ABG 2; Leipzig: Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, 2000), 315-341.

E. Pagels, The Johannine Gospel in Gnostic Exegesis: Heracleon's commentary on John (SBLMS 17; Nashville, Tenn: Abingdon, 1973).

S.R. Pickering, ‘Recovering Second-Century Readings of the Gospel of John: Heracleon’s Text as Quoted by Origen’ New Testament Textual Research Update 2 (1994), 52-56.

Jean-Michel Poffet, La méthode exégétique d’Héracléon et d’Origène, Commentateurs de Jn 4: Jésus, la Samaritaine et les Samaritains (Fribourg: Universitaites Fribourge Suisse, 1985).

M. Simonetti, ‘Eracleone e Origene’ Vetera Christianorum 3 (1966), 111-141 & 4 (1967), 23-64.

E. Thomassen, ‘Heracleon’ in The Legacy of John: Second-Century Reception of the Fourth Gospel (ed. Tuomas Rasimus; NovTSup 132; Leiden: Brill, 2009), 173-210.

J.A. Trumbower, ‘Origen’s Exegesis of John 8:19-53: The Struggle with Heracleon over the idea of Fixed Natures’ Vig. Chr. 43 (1989), 138-154.

A. Wucherpfennig, Heracleon Philologus: Gnostische Johannesexegese im zweiten Jahrhundert (WUNT 142; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2002).


  1. Is there anything recent that replaces Brooke? Perhaps an appendix in one of the other items in the above bibliography?

  2. I don't think there is anything Eric. Of course the excerpts are simply lifted from Origen's commentary.