Bruce Codex

Bruce Codex
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The Bruce Codex (also called the Codex Brucianus) is a gnostic manuscript acquired by the British Museum. In 1769, James Bruce purchased the codex in Upper Egypt. It was transferred to the museum with a number of other Oriental texts in 1842. It currently resides in the Bodleian Library (Bruce 96), where it has been since 1848.


The Bruce Codex was bound when it was in the possession of the British Museum - in a random order, with some pages upside-down, since no one involved spoke Coptic. It was edited in 1893 by Carl Schmidt, who also translated it into German; it has since been rebound in Schmidt's ordering. Violet Macdermot translated it into English as The Books of Jeu and the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex in 1978.

Schmidt found two texts in the Codex, both Gnostic mystery texts; he concluded that the first (in two books) was identical with the Books of Jeu mentioned in the Pistis Sophia; the other had no title. He associated two small fragments (a hymn and a prose passage on the progress of a soul through the "Archons of the Midst") with the second Book of Jeu, which is incomplete.

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