Concept

Ophites

Summary
The Ophites, also called Ophians (Greek Ὀφιανοί Ophianoi, from ὄφις ophis "snake"), were a Christian Gnostic sect depicted by Hippolytus of Rome (170–235) in a lost work, the Syntagma ("arrangement"). It is now thought that later accounts of these "Ophites" by Pseudo-Tertullian, Philastrius and Epiphanius of Salamis are all dependent on the lost Syntagma of Hippolytus. It is possible that, rather than an actual sectarian name, Hippolytus may have invented "Ophite" as a generic term for what he considered heretical speculations concerning the serpent of Genesis or Moses. Apart from the sources directly dependent on Hippolytus (Pseudo-Tertullian, Philastrius and Epiphanius), Origen and Clement of Alexandria also mention the group. The group is mentioned by Irenaeus in Adversus Haereses (1:30). Pseudo-Tertullian Pseudo-Tertullian (probably the Latin translation of Hippolytus's lost Syntagma, written c. 220) is the ea
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