>Classics & Religious Studies
 

JOHN D. TURNER

Cotner Professor of Religious Studies 
Charles J. Mach University Professor of Classics and History 
 
 
 
 

Department of Classics and Religious Studies 
238 Andrews Hall 
Lincoln, Nebraska 
University of Nebraska-Lincoln 68588-0337 

Voice: (402) 472-7008 
FAX: (402) 472-9771 
E-Mail: jturner2@unl.edu
 

                

Education

  • 1960     A.B., Dartmouth College, (Philosophy, Mathematics)
  • 1962-6  B.D., Th.M., Union Theological Seminary in Virginia
  • 1970     Ph.D. with Highest Distinction, Duke University (Religion)

Professional History

  • 1968-9  Research Associate, Institute for Antiquity and Christianity
  • 1970-1  Assistant Dean, Claremont Graduate School
  • 1971     Visiting Assistant Professor, Claremont Graduate School
  • 1971-5 Assistant Professor, University of Montana
  • 1976-   Cotner College Professor of Religion, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 1978-   Chair, Program in Religious Studies
  • 1984     Professor of Classics and History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 1991     Visiting Research Professor, Faculté de Théologie, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • 1994     Visiting Research Professor, Faculté de Théologie, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • 1997     Visiting Research Professor, Faculté de Théologie, Université Laval, Quebec, Canada
  • 2003     Charles J. Mach University Professor of Classics and History, University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • 2004-   Graduate Chair, Department of Classics and Religious Studies

Some Memberships and Offices held


Interests

My principal areas of interest are biblical studies, especially New Testament; Hellenistic and Graeco-Roman religion and philosophy; Gnosticism; later Platonism and Neoplatonism; and Coptic language and literature.

Teaching

At Nebraska, I regularly teach courses in Religious Studies:
    Ways of Western Religion [CLAS/RELG 206G],
    Early Christianity [CLAS/HIST/RELG 307/807],
    Comparative Religion [CLAS/HIST/RELG 308],
    Religions and Philosophies of Late Antiquity [CLAS/HIST/RELG 409/809],
    Gnosticism[CLAS/RELG 410/810];
and in Classical Greek:
    Plato[GREK 372],
    Seminar in Greek Philosophical Prose [GREK 961/2];
 and in Biblical languages:
    New Testament Greek [GREK 373],
    Introduction to Coptic [CLAS 300E].

Publications:

A few of my more important publications are:

A. My dissertation:

The Book of Thomas the Contender from Codex II of the Cairo Gnostic Library from Nag Hammadi (CG II,7): The Coptic Text with Translation, Introduction and Commentary (Revised text and translation 1975; Society of Biblical Literature Dissertation Series 23; Missoula, MT: Scholar's Press), 1975.

B. English Translations and Introductions of various treatises from the Nag Hammadi Codices discovered in Egypt, December 1945:

"The Book of Thomas the Contender," "The Interpretation of Knowledge," "A Valentinian Exposition," "Allogenes," "Hypsiphrone," and "The Trimorphic Protennoia," in The Nag Hammadi Library in English (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1977; paperback edition 1984; San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1977, paperback edition 1981); third, completely revised edition, R. Smith and J. M. Robinson, eds. (San Francisco: Harper & Row and E. J. Brill, 1988; paperback edition San Francisco: HarperCollins, 1990; unaltered fourth revised edition, Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1996).

From Codex II:


From Codex VII:


From Codex VIII:


From Codex X:


From Codex XI:


From Codex XIII:


Critical text editions:
  • "The Book of Thomas the Contender: Introduction, Edited Coptic Text, Fresh English Translation, Critical Apparatus to All Other Editions." Pp. 171-205 in Nag Hammadi Codex II.2 -7, together with XIII,2*, Brit. Lib. Or. 4926(1) and P. Oxy. 1, 654, 655. Vol. 2: On the Origin of the World, Exegesis on the Soul, Book of Thomas, Indexes. Edited by. B. Layton. Nag Hammadi Studies 21. Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1989. Reprinted in Vol. 2 of The Coptic Gnostic Library:  A Complete Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices.

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  • Nag Hammadi Codices XI, XII and XIII (ed. C.W. Hedrick; The Coptic Gnostic Library Edited with English Translation, Introduction and Notes; Nag Hammadi Studies 28; Leiden: E.J. Brill, 1990). Reprinted in Vol. 5 of The Coptic Gnostic Library:  A Complete Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices.

  • This contains:
    • Introduction to Nag Hammadi Codex XI, pp. 1-22.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XI, 1: The Interpretation of Knowledge: 1,1-21,35: Coptic Text and English Translation, pp. 33-75.

    • NHC XI, 1: The Interpretation of Knowledge: Notes to Text and Translation, pp. 76-90.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XI, 2: A Valentinian Exposition: 22,1-44,38: Coptic Text and English Translation, pp. 106-151.

    • NHC XI, 2: A Valentinian Exposition: Notes to Text and Translation, pp. 153-172.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XI, 3: Allogenes: 45,1-69,22: Coptic Text and English Translation, pp. 192-240.

    • NHC XI, 3: Allogenes: Notes to Text and Translation, pp. 243-267.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XI, 4: Hypsiphrone, 69,23-72,35: Introduction, pp. 269-270.

    • Nag Hammadi Codex XI, 4: Hypsiphrone, 69,23-72,35: Coptic Text and Translation, pp. 272-279.
      NHC XI, 4: Hypsiphrone: Notes to Text and Translation, p. 280.
    • Codex XI: Fragments, pp. 283-287.
    • Introduction to Codex XIII, pp. 363-373.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XIII, 1*: Trimorphic Protennoia, 35*, 1-50,24: Introduction, pp. 374-405.

    • Nag Hammadi Codex XIII, 1 *: Trimorphic Protennoia, 35*,1-50*,24: Coptic Text and English Translation, pp. 406-437.
      NHC XIII, 1*: Trimorphic Protennoia: Notes to Text and Translation,pp. 439- 458.
    • Nag Hammadi Codex XIII, 2*: On the Origin of the World: 50,23-38: Introduction, p. 459.

    • Nag Hammadi Codex XIII, 2*: On the Origin of the World: Coptic Text and English Translation, pp. 460-461. NHC XIII, 2*: On the Origin of the World: Notes to Text and Translation, p.463.
      Nag Hammadi Codices XI, XII and XIII: Indices of Coptic, Greek and Proper Names, 467- 551.

     
  • "Introduction" and "Commentaire," in C. Barry, W.-P. Funk, P.-H. Poirier, J. D. Turner, Zostrianos (NH VIII, 1). (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, section « Textes; »  24; Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Leuven-Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2000).

  •  
  • "Introduction" in W.-P. Funk, P.-H. Poirier, J. D. Turner, Marsanès  (NH X,1).  (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, section « Textes » 25;  Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Leuven-Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2000).

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  • "Introduction" in W.-P. Funk, P.-H. Poirier, M. Scopello, J. D. Turner, Allogène (NH X1,3).  (Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, section « Textes » 32;  Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Leuven-Paris: Éditions Peeters, 2003).


C.  Books and articles dealing mostly with the relation between Gnosticism and Platonism, and with the nature of a religious movement of the first three centuries CE, known as "Gnostic Sethianism":
  • D. Projects Underway:
     
  •  "Introduction aux traités séthiens," "Introduction et annotations au traité « Zostrien »," "Introduction au traité « Marsanès »," "Introduction et annotations au traité « Hypsiphroné », in Les Écrits gnostiques (2 vols., ed. P.-H. Poirier and J.-P. Mahé; Bibliothèque de la Pléiade; Paris: Gallimard, forthcoming 2006).

  •  
  • “Introduction” and “Commentaire,” in W.-P. Funk and J. D. Turner, Hypsiphrone (NH XI,4). Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi, section “Textes” 41; Québec: Presses de l’Université Laval; Louvain /Paris: Éditions Peeters, planned for 2005.

  •  
  • La gnose séthienne et les orignes du néoplatonisme. Séries de l’Âne d’Or. Paris: Les Belle Lettres, jointly with Yale University Press (Sethian Gnosticism and the Origins of Neoplatonism), planned for 2005

  •  
  • Fresh translations of "The First Thought in Three Forms" ("Trimorphic Protennoia"), "The Three Steles of Seth," "Zostrianos," "Marsanes," and "Allogenes" and introductions to "The Secret Book of John," "The Book of Thomas," "The Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit" ("The Egyptian Gospel"), "The Three Steles of Seth," "Zostrianos," "The Thought of Norea," "Marsanes," "Allogenes," "Hypsiphrone," and "The First Thought in Three Forms" ("Trimorphic Protennoia") for The Nag Hammadi Scriptures: The International Edition, Edited by Marvin Meyer (HarperSanFrancisco, forthcoming 2006).

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    Paul-Hubert Poirier, John Turner, and Pierre Hadot during the colloquium "La Bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi et la philosophie grecque" held in Paris at the Séminaire des missions étrangères September 26-27, 2002 on the occasion of the 340th anniversary of the founding of the Séminaire de Québec and the 150th anniversary of Queen Victoria's granting of Université Laval's royal charter, at which time Université Laval awarded Pierre Hadot, Professeur honoraire au Collège de France, its honorary doctorate.

                                         

    Dennis Smith, President of the University of Nebraska, John Turner, and Harvey Perlman, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska-Lincoln on the occasion of John Turner's receipt of the University of Nebraska's system-wide Outstanding Research and Creative Activity Award, April 21, 2003.

    Related Stories:
        UN-L College of Arts and Sciences Feature, August 2002
        University of Nebraska-Lincoln - The Scarlet, April 2003
        Lincoln Journal-Star Values Feature, August 2003
        Appointment as Distinguished University Professor, University of Nebraska-Lincoln - The Scarlet, April 2003

                            

    John Turner and James M. Robinson at the Colloquium on "L'Evangile selon Thomas et les textes de Nag Hammadi: Traditions et Convergences," Université Laval, May 29-31, 2003.

                           

    Just prior to his June 24, 2004 lecture at the Collège de France on "The Sethian Platonizing Apocalypses," John Turner confers with his host, Michel Tardieu, Professeur au Collège de France.