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Ophites
(159 words)

[German Version]

The Ophites, a Gnostic Christian sect, are first mentioned in Clement of Alexandria’s Stromata (VII 17.108[2]). The name probably derives from their worship of the serpent in paradise, which conveys salutary knowledge of the transcendent God. Origen (Cels. VI 24–38) attributes to the group the diagram cited by Celsus, but doubts that Ophites still exist (Hippolytus ignores the sect in Haer. VIII 20.3). Their spiritual father is said to have been Euphrates (called Perat in Hipp. Haer. V 13.9); they would curse Jesus. According to Theodoret, who equates the…

Cite this page
Holzhausen, Jens, “Ophites”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 21 March 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/1877-5888_rpp_SIM_024253>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013



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