Electricity is the set of physical phenomena associated with the presence and motion of matter that has a property of electric charge. In early days, electricity was considered as being unrelated to magnetism​

Through their embracing of and respect for technology, the Japanese have avoided some aspects of the existential unhappiness gripping the West. Technology, computers, mobiles, and algorithms are simply a fact of modern life and have transformed our interactions. Naturally there comes a need to redefine our increasingly dependent relationships with machinery. Either we embrace the robot’s uniqueness, or we continue with our human-first agenda lest we confront our own place in the universe.


I. Incipit introducing the Savior, Thomas and Mathaias (138,1-4)

The secret sayings that the savior spoke to Judas Thomas which I, even I, Mathaias, wrote down, while I was walking, listening to them speak with one another.

II. Dialogue between Thomas and the Savior (138,4-142,21)

Ignorance versus Self-Knowledge (138,4-138,21)

The savior said, “Brother Thomas while you have time in the world, listen to me, and I will reveal to you the things you have pondered in your mind.

“Now, since it has been said that you are my twin and true companion, examine yourself, and learn who you are, in what way you exist, and how you will come to be. Since you will be called my brother, it is not fitting that you be ignorant of yourself. And I know that you have understood, because you had already understood that I am the knowledge of the truth. So while you accompany me, although you are uncomprehending, you have (in fact) already come to know, and you will be called ‘the one who knows himself’. For he who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself has at the same time already achieved knowledge about the depth of the all. So then, you, my brother Thomas, have beheld what is obscure to men, that is, what they ignorantly stumble against.”

Visible versus Invisible Reality (138,21-139,12)

Now Thomas said to the lord, “Therefore I beg you to tell me what I ask you before your ascension, and when I hear from you about the hidden things, then I can speak about them. And it is obvious to me that the truth is difficult to perform before men.”

The savior answered, saying, “If the things that are visible to you are obscure to you, how can you hear about the things that are not visible? If the deeds of the truth that are visible in the world are difficult for you to perform, how indeed, then, shall you perform those that pertain to the exalted height and to the pleroma which are not visible? And how shall you be called ‘laborers’? In this respect you are apprentices, and have not yet received the height of perfection.”

Now Thomas answered and said to the savior, “Tell us about these things that you say are not visible, [but are] hidden from us.”

The savior said, “[Every human] body, [like] the the beasts, is begotten [irational]. Doesn’t it appear like [a creature erect] [among other creatures? For] this very reason, those that are above [do not appear among] things that are visible, but they are visible in their own root, and it is their fruit that nourishes them. But these visible bodies survive by devouring creatures similar to them with the result that the bodies change. Now that which changes will decay and perish, and has no hope of life from then on, since that body is bestial. So just as the body of the beasts perishes, so also will these formations perish. Do they not derive from intercourse like that of the beasts? If it, too derives from intercourse, how will it beget anything different from beasts? So, therefore, you are babes until you become perfect.”

The Illumination of the Invisible by the Savior’s Light (139,12-31)

And Thomas answered, “Therefore I say to you, lord, that those who speak about things that are invisible and difficult to explain are like those who shoot their arrows at a target at night. To be sure, they shoot their arrows as anyone would – since they shoot at the target – but it is not visible. Yet when the light comes forth and hides the darkness, then the work of each will appear. And you, our light, enlighten, O lord.”

Jesus said, “It is in light that light exists.”

Thomas, spoke, saying, “Lord, why does this visible light that shines on behalf of men rise and set?”

The savior said, “O blessed Thomas, of course this visible light shines on your behalf – not in order [that] you remain here, but rather that you might come forth – and whenever all the elect abandon bestiality, then this light will withdraw up to its essence, and its essence will welcome it, since it is a good servant.”

The Wise Flee while the Ignorant Succumb to Bodily Passions (139.31-141,2)

Then the savior continued and said, “O unsearchable love of the light! O bitterness of the fire that blazes in the bodies of men and in their marrow, kindling in them night and day, and burning the limbs of men and [making] their minds become drunk and their souls become deranged. [And that which is imprisoned] in them (bodies)—within males and females [by day and] night—and that moves them [powerfully, burns] secretly and visibly. For the males [move; they move upon the females] and the females upon [the males. Therefore it is] said, “Everyone who seeks the truth from true wisdom will make himself wings so as to fly, fleeing the lust that scorches the spirits of men.” And he will make himself wings to flee every visible spirit.”

And Thomas answered, saying, “Lord, this is exactly what I am asking you about, since I have understood that you are the one who is beneficial to us, as you say.”

Again the savior answered and said, “Therefore it is necessary for us to speak to you, since this is the doctrine of the perfect. If, now, you desire to become perfect, you shall observe these things; if not, your name is ‘Ignorant’, since it is impossible for an intelligent man to dwell with a fool, for the intelligent man is perfect in all wisdom. To the fool, however, the good and bad are the same—indeed the wise man will be nourished by the truth and (Ps.1:3) “will be like a tree growing by the meandering stream”—seeing that there are some who, although having wings, rush upon the visible things, things that are far from the truth. For that which guides them, the fire, will give them an illusion of truth, [and] will shine on them with a [perishable] beauty, and it will imprison them in a dark sweetness and captivate them with fragrant pleasure. And it will blind them with insatiable lust and burn their souls and become for them like a stake stuck in their heart which they can never dislodge. And like a bit in the mouth, it leads them according to its own desire. And it has fettered them with its chains and bound all their limbs with the bitterness of the bondage of lust for those visible things that will decay and change and swerve by impulse. They have always been attracted downwards; as they are killed, they are assimilated to all the beasts of the perishable realm.”

Thomas answered and said, “It is obvious and has been said, ‘[Many are those who cry [out] to those who do not know [the repose of] [their] soul.'”

And [the savior] answered, saying, “[Blessed is] the wise man who [sought after the truth, and] when he found it, he rested upon it forever and was unafraid of those who wanted to disturb him.”

The Inevitable Reincarnation of Non-ascetic Christians (141,2-18)

Thomas answered and said, “It is beneficial for us, lord, to rest among our own?”

The savior said, “Yes, it is useful. And it is good for you, since things visible among men will dissolve: for the vessel of their flesh will dissolve, and when it is brought to naught it will come to be among visible things, among things that are seen. And then the fire which they see gives them pain on account of love for the faith they formerly possessed. They will be gathered back to that which is visible. Moreover, those who have sight among things that are not visible, without the first love they will perish in the concern for this life and the scorching of the fire. Only a little while longer, and that which is visible will dissolve; then shapeless shades will emerge, and in the midst of tombs they will forever dwell upon the corpses in pain and corruption of soul.”

Infernal Punishment and Reincarnation for the Merely Well-intentioned (141,19-142,21)

Thomas answered and said, “What have we to say in the face of these things? What shall we say to blind men? What doctrine should we express to these miserable mortals who say, “We came to [do] good and not to curse,” and yet [claim], “Had we not been begotten in the flesh, we would not have known [iniquity]”?”

The savior said, “Truly, as for [those], do not esteem them as men, but regard them [as] beasts, for just as beasts devour one another, so also men of this sort devour one another. On the contrary, they are deprived of [the kingdom] since they love the sweetness of the fire and are servants of death and rush to the works of corruption. They fulfill the lust of their fathers. They will be thrown down to the abyss and be afflicted by the torment of the bitterness of their evil nature. For they will be scourged so as to make them rush backwards, whither they do not know, and they [will recede] from their limbs not patiently, but with despair. And they rejoice over [their] [involvement with life in] madness and derangement, since they are [fools]. [They] pursue this derangement without realizing [their madness, thinking] that they [are] wise. [They love] [the beauty] of their body […] Their mind is directed to their own selves, for their thought is occupied with their deeds. But it is the fire that will burn them.”

And Thomas answered and said, “Lord, what will the one thrown down to them do? For I am most anxious about them; many are those who fight them.”

The savior answered and said, “What is your own opinion?”

Judas – the one called Thomas – said, “It is you, lord, whom it befits to speak, and me to listen.”

The savior replied, “Listen to what I am going to tell you and believe in the truth. That which sows and that which is sown will dissolve in the fire – within the fire and the water – and they will hide in tombs of darkness. And after a long time they shall show forth the fruit of the evil trees, being punished, being slain in the mouth of beasts and men at the instigation of the rains and winds and air and the light that shines above.”

How to Preach these Misunderstood Sayings (142,21-26)

Thomas replied, “You have certainly persuaded us, lord. We realize in our heart, and it is obvious, that this [is so], and that your word is sufficient. But these sayings that you speak to us are ridiculous and contemptible to the world since they are misunderstood. So how can we go preach them, since we are [not] esteemed [in] the world?”

III. Monologue of the Savior [Secret Sayings] (142,26-145,16)

The Imprisonment of the Scoffers in Hades (142,26-143,7)

The savior answered and said, “Truly I tell you that he who will listen to [your] word and turn away his face or sneer at it or smirk at these things, truly I tell you that he will be handed over to the ruler above who rules over all the powers as their king, and he will turn that one around and cast him from heaven down to the abyss, and he will be imprisoned in a narrow dark place. Moreover, he can neither turn nor move on account of the great depth of Tartaros and the [heavy bitterness] of Hades that is steadfast. [And] they [are drawn] into it [so that they will not] [escape]. They will not put away [their madness. And] [the people that will] persecute you will be handed over [to the] angel Tartarouchos [who bears whips of] fire, pursuing them [as] fiery scourges cast a shower of sparks into the face of the one who is pursued. If he flees westward, he finds the fire. If he turns southward, he finds it there as well. If he turns northward, the threat of seething fire meets him again. Nor does he find the way to the east so as to flee there and be saved, for he did not find it in the day he was in the body, so that he might find it in the day of judgment.”

Twelve Woes against the Scoffers (143,8-145,1)

Then the savior continued, saying,

“Woe to you, godless ones, who have no hope, who rely on things that will not happen!

“Woe to you who hope in the flesh and in the prison that will perish! How long will you be oblivious? And how long will you suppose that the imperishables will perish too? Your hope is set upon the world, and your god is this life! You are corrupting your souls!

“Woe to you within the fire that burns in you, for it is insatiable!

“Woe to you because of the wheel that turns in your minds!

“Woe to you within the grip of the burning that is in you, for it will devour your flesh openly and rend your souls secretly, and prepare you for your companions!

“Woe to you, captives, for you are bound in caverns! You laugh! In mad laughter you rejoice! You neither realize your perdition, nor do you reflect on your circumstances, nor have [you] understood that you dwell in darkness and [death]! On the contrary, you are drunk with the fire and [full] of bitterness. Your mind is deranged on account of the [burning that is in] you, and sweet to you are the poison and the blows of your enemies! And the darkness rose for you like the light, for you surrendered your freedom for servitude! You darkened your hearts and surrendered your thoughts to folly, and you filled your thoughts with the smoke of the fire that is in you! And your light [has hidden] in the cloud [of darkness] and the garment that is put upon you, you [pursued] [with deceit]. And [you] were seized [by the hope that] does not exist. And whom is it [you have] believed? Do you [not know that you] all dwell among those who […] [… and you boast] as though [you had hope]. You baptized your souls in the water of darkness! You walked by your own whims!

“Woe to you who dwell in error, heedless that the light of the sun which judges and looks down upon the all will circle around all things so as to enslave the enemies. You do not even notice the moon, how by night and day it looks down, looking at the bodies of your slaughters!

“Woe to you who love intimacy with womankind and polluted intercourse with them!

And woe to you in the grip of the powers of your body, for they will afflict you!

Woe to you in the grip of the forces of the evil demons!

Woe to you who beguile your limbs with fire! Who is it that will rain a refreshing dew on you to extinguish the mass of fire from you along with your burning? Who is it that will cause the sun to shine upon you to disperse the darkness in you and hide the darkness and polluted water?

“The sun and the moon will give a fragrance to you together with the air and the wind (spirit) and the earth and the water. For if the sun does not shine upon these bodies, they will wither and perish just like weeds or grass. If the sun shines on them, they prevail and choke the grapevine; but if the grapevine prevails and shades those weeds [and] all the other brush growing alongside, and [spreads] and flourishes, it alone inherits the land in which it grows; and every place it has shaded it dominates. And when it grows up, it dominates all the land and is bountiful for its master, and it pleases him even more, for he would have suffered great pains on account of these plants until he uprooted them. But the grapevine alone removed them and choked them, and they died and became like the soil.”

Then Jesus continued and said to them,

“Woe to you, for you did not receive the doctrine, and those who are […] will labor at preaching […]. And [you] are rushing into … […] […] will send [them] down … […] you kill them daily in order that they might rise from death.

Three Macarisms (145,1-8)

“Blessed are you who have prior knowledge of the stumbling blocks and who flee alien things.

“Blessed are you who are reviled and not esteemed on account of the love their lord has for them.

“Blessed are you who weep and are oppressed by those without hope, for you will be released from every bondage.

Pray to Exit the Body and Find Rest with the King (145,8-16)

“Watch and pray that you not come to be in the flesh, but rather that you come forth from the bondage of the bitterness of this life. And as you pray, you will find rest, for you have left behind the suffering and the disgrace. For when you come forth from the sufferings and passions of the body, you will receive rest from the good one, and you will reign with the king, you joined with him and he with you, from now on, for ever and ever, Amen.”

IV. Subscript Title

The Book of Thomas The Contender Writing To the Perfect

V. Colophon

Remember me also, my brethren, [in] your prayers:

Peace to the saints and those who are spiritual.


Translated by John D. Turner




My son Rheginos, some people want to become learned. That is their purpose when they begin to solve unsolved problems. If they succeed, they are proud. But I do not think they have stood in the word of truth. Rather, they seek their own rest, which we have received from our savior and our lord, the Christ. We received rest when we came to know the truth and rested on it.

Since your pleasant question concerns what is the truth about the resurrection, I am writing you today to tell you. Many do not believe in it, but a few find it. So let us see.


How did the lord proclaim things while he was in flesh and after he had revealed himself to be the son of god? He lived in this world that you live in, speaking about the law of nature, which I call death. And more, Rheginos, the son of god became a human son. He embraced both qualities, possessing humanity and divinity so he could, by being the son of god, conquer death, and, by being the human son, restore the pleroma. At the beginning he was above as a seed of truth, which was before the cosmos came into being. In the cosmic structure many dominions and divinities have come into being.


I know that I am presenting the problem in difficult words, but there is nothing in the word of truth that is difficult. After the solution appeared, to ensure that nothing be hidden and everything be openly revealed, there are two essentials: the destruction of evil and the revelation of the elect. This solution entails the emanation of truth and spirit, and of grace bestowed by truth.


The savior swallowed death. You must know this. He laid aside the perishable world and made himself into an imperishable aeon, raised himself up, and swallowed the visible with the invisible. Thereby he gave us our immortality. Then, as the messenger Paul said of him, “We suffered with him, we rose with him, and we entered heaven with him.” Now, since we are seen in this world, we wear it like a garment. From the savior we radiate beams, and we are held in his arms until our own sunset, our death in this life. We are drawn to heaven by him, like beams, by the sun, and nothing holds us down. This is the resurrection of the spirit, which swallows up the soul and the flesh.


If you cannot believe, you cannot be persuaded. My son, these matters belong to the domain of faith, and not to persuasive argument, in asserting that the dead will rise. Among the philosophers in the world there may be one who believes. Certainly that philosopher will rise. And let that philosopher here on earth not believe that he is returning to the self by himself, and because of faith. We have known the human son, and we believe that he rose from among the dead. We say of him, “He is the destroyer of death.”

The goal as well as its believers is great. And the thinking mind of believers will not disappear, nor will the mind of those who know. We are chosen for salvation and redemption, since from the beginning we were predestined not to fall into the folly of the ignorant. We shall enter into the wisdom of those who have known the truth. Those who have wakened to the truth cannot abandon it. The system of the pleroma is strong. A small part of it is what broke loose to make up the world. What encompasses everything, the realm of all, did not come into being. It was. So never doubt the resurrection, my son Rheginos.


If you did not exist in flesh, you took on flesh when you entered the world. Why is it, then, that you will you not take your flesh with you when you rise into the aeon? What is better than flesh is what animates. What came into being because of you, is it not yours? Doesn’t it exist with you? But while you are in the world, what are you missing? That is precisely what you have attempted to learn.

After the birth of the body comes old age, and you exist in corruption. But what you lack is a gain. You will not give up the better part when you leave. The inferior part suffers, but it finds grace. Nothing redeems us from this world, but we are members of the realm of all and are saved. We have received salvation from start to finish. Let us think in this way, let us comprehend in this way.


Some ask whether one will be saved immediately, if the body is left behind. Let no one doubt. The visible parts of the body that are dead will not be saved. Only the living parts that exist inside will rise. What is the resurrection? It is the revelation of those who have risen. If you remember reading in the gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not suppose that the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion. It is truth. It is more proper to say that the world is illusion, rather than the resurrection that is because of our lord the savior, Jesus the Christ.


What am I telling you now? The living will die.

How do they live in illusion?

The rich become poor and kings are overthrown.

All changes. The world is an illusion.

Why do I seem to shout?

The resurrection has nothing of this character.

It is truth standing firm. It is revelation of what is,
and the transformation of things,
and a transition into freshness.

Incorruptibility floods over corruption.

Light rivers down upon the darkness, swallowing obscurity.

The pleroma fills the hollow.

These are the symbols and images of resurrection.

They establish its goodness.


O Rheginos, do not lose yourself in details, nor live obeying the flesh for the sake of harmony. Flee from being scattered and being in bondage, and then you already have resurrection. If you know what in yourself will die, though you have lived many years, why not look at yourself and see yourself risen now? You have the resurrection, yet you go on as if you are to die when it is only the part destined to die that is moribund. Why do I put up with your poor training? Everyone finds a way, and there are many ways, to be released from this element and not to roam aimlessly in error, all with the end of recovering what one was at the beginning.


These words I have received from the generosity of my lord, Jesus the Christ. I have taught you and your brothers and sisters, who are my children, about them, and have omitted nothing that may strengthen you. If there is anything among these written words that is obscure, ask and I will explain.

Do not be worried about consulting anyone in your circle who can help. Many await what I have written to you. I say peace and grace be among them.

I greet you and whoever loves you with the love of family.

Translated by Willis Barnstone


The Secret Book of John

The teaching of the savior, and the revelation of the mysteries and the things hidden in silence, things he taught his student John.


One day when John the brother of James, the sons of Zebedee, went up to the temple, it happened that a Pharisee named Arimanios came up to him and said to him, Where is your teacher, whom you followed?

I said to him, He has returned to the place from which he came.

The Pharisee said to me, This Nazarene has deceived you badly, filled your ears with lies, closed your minds, and turned you from the traditions of your parents.

When I, John, heard this, I turned away from the temple and went to a mountainous and barren place. I was distressed within, and I said,

How was the savior selected?

Why was he sent into the world by his father?

Who is his father who sent him?

To what kind of eternal realm shall we go?

And what was he saying when he told us,
This eternal realm to which you will go is modeled
after the incorruptible realm,
but he did not teach us what kind of realm that one is?

At the moment I was thinking about this, look, the heavens opened, all creation under heaven lit up, and the world shook. I was afraid, and look, I saw within the light a child standing by me. As I was staring, it seemed to be an elderly person. Again it changed its appearance to be a youth. Not that there were several figures before me. Rather, there was a figure with several forms within the light. These forms appeared through each other, and the figure had three forms.

The figure said to me, John, John, why are you doubting? Why are you afraid? Are you not familiar with this figure? Then do not be fainthearted. I am with you always. I am the father, I am the mother, I am the child. I am the incorruptible and the undefiled one. Now I have come to teach you what is, what was, and what is to come, that you may understand what is invisible and what is visible; and to teach you about the unshakable race of perfect humankind. So now, lift up your head that you may understand the things I shall tell you today, and that you may relate them to your spiritual friends, who are from the unshakable race of perfect humankind.


I asked if I might understand this, and it said to me, The One is a sovereign that has nothing over it. It is god and father of all, the invisible one that is over all, that is incorruptible, that is pure light at which no eye can gaze.

The One is the invisible spirit. We should not think of it as a god or like a god. For it is greater than a god, because it has nothing over it and no lord above it. It does not exist within anything inferior to it, since everything exists within it alone. It is eternal, since it does not need anything. For it is absolutely complete. It has never lacked anything in order to be completed by it. Rather, it is always absolutely complete in light. The One is

illimitable, since there is nothing before it to limit it,
unfathomable, since there is nothing before it to fathom it,
immeasurable, since there was nothing before it to measure it,
invisible, since nothing has seen it,
eternal, since it exists eternally,
unutterable, since nothing could comprehend it to utter it,
unnamable, since there is nothing before it to give it a name.

The One is the immeasurable light, pure, holy, immaculate. The One is unutterable and is perfect in incorruptibility. Not that it is part of perfection or blessedness or divinity: it is much greater.

The One is not corporeal and is not incorporeal.

The One is not large and is not small.

It is impossible to say,

“How much is it?
What kind is it?”

For no one can understand it.

The One is not among the things that exist, but it is much greater. Not that it is greater. Rather, as it is in itself, it is not a part of the eternal realms or of time. For whatever is part of a realm was once prepared by another. Time was not allotted to it, since it receives nothing from anyone: what would be received would be on loan. The one who is first does not need to receive anything from another. Such a one beholds itself in its light.

The One is majestic and has an immeasurable purity.

The One is a realm that gives a realm, life that gives life, a blessed one that gives blessedness, knowledge that gives knowledge, a good one that gives goodness, mercy that gives mercy and redemption, grace that gives grace.

Not as if the One possesses all this. Rather, it is that the One gives immeasurable and incomprehensible light.

What shall I tell you about it? Its eternal realm is incorruptible, at peace, dwelling in silence, at rest, before everything.

It is the head of all realms, and it sustains them through its goodness.

We would not know what is ineffable, we would not understand what is immeasurable, were it not for what has come from the father. This is the one who has told these things to us alone.


Now, this father is the One who beholds himself in the light surrounding him, which is the spring of living water, and provides all the realms. He reflects on his image everywhere, sees it in the spring of the spirit, and becomes enamored of his luminous water, for his image is in the spring of pure luminous water surrounding him.

The father’s thought became a reality, and she who appeared in the presence of the father in shining light came forth. She is the first power who preceded everything and came forth from the father’s mind as the forethought of all. Her light shines like the father’s light; she, the perfect power, is the image of the perfect and invisible virgin spirit.

She, the first power, the glory of Barbelo, the perfect glory among the realms, the glory of revelation, she glorified and praised the virgin spirit, for because of the spirit she had come forth.

She is the first thought, the image of the spirit. She became the universal womb, for she precedes everything,

the mother-father,
the first human,
the holy spirit,
the triple male,
the triple power,
the androgynous one with three names,
the eternal realm among the invisible beings,
the first to come forth.

Barbelo asked the invisible virgin spirit to give her foreknowledge, and the spirit consented. When the spirit consented, foreknowledge appeared and stood by forethought. This is the one who came from the thought of the invisible virgin spirit. Foreknowledge glorified the spirit and the spirit’s perfect power, Barbelo, for because of her, foreknowledge had come into being.

She asked again to be given incorruptibility, and the spirit consented. When the spirit consented, incorruptibility appeared and stood by thought and foreknowledge. Incorruptibility glorified the invisible one and Barbelo. Because of her they had come into being.

Barbelo asked to be given life eternal, and the invisible spirit consented. When the spirit consented, life eternal appeared, and they stood together and glorified the invisible spirit and Barbelo. Because of her they had come into being.

She asked again to be given truth, and the invisible spirit consented. Truth appeared, and they stood together and glorified the good invisible spirit and its Barbelo. Because of her they had come into being.

This is the father’s realm of five. It is:

the first human, the image of the invisible spirit, that is, forethought, which is Barbelo, and thought,
along with foreknowledge,
life eternal,

This is the androgynous realm of five, which is the realm of ten, which is the father.


The father gazed into Barbelo, with the pure light surrounding the invisible spirit, and its radiance. Barbelo conceived from it, and it produced a spark of light similar to the blessed light but not as great. This was the only child of the mother-father that had come forth, its only offspring, the only child of the father, the pure light. The invisible virgin spirit rejoiced over the light that was produced, that came forth first from the first power of the spirit’s forethought, who is Barbelo. The spirit anointed it with its own goodness until it was perfect, with no lack of goodness, since it was anointed with the goodness of the invisible spirit. The child stood in the presence of the spirit as the spirit anointed the child. When the child received this from the spirit, at once it glorified the holy spirit and perfect forethought. Because of her it had come forth.

The child asked to be given mind as a companion to work with, and the spirit consented. When the invisible spirit consented, mind appeared and stood by the anointed, and glorified the spirit and Barbelo.

All these beings came into existence in silence.

Mind wished to create something by means of the word of the invisible spirit. Its will became a reality and appeared, with mind and the light, glorifying it. Word followed will. For the anointed, the self-conceived god, created everything by the word. Life eternal, will, mind, and foreknowledge stood together and glorified the invisible spirit and Barbelo, for because of her they had come into being.

The holy spirit brought the self-conceived divine child of itself and Barbelo to perfection, so that the child might stand before the great, invisible virgin spirit as the self-conceived god, the anointed, who honored the spirit with loud acclaim. The child came forth through forethought. The invisible virgin spirit set the true, self-conceived god over everything, and caused all authority and the truth within to be subject to it, so that the child might understand everything, the one called by a name greater than every name, for that name will be told to those who are worthy of it.


Now, from the light, which is the anointed, and from incorruptibility, by the grace of the spirit, the four luminaries that derive from the self-conceived god gazed out in order to stand before it. The three beings are:


The four powers are:


Grace dwells in the eternal realm of the luminary Harmozel, who is the first angel. There are three other realms with this eternal realm:


The second luminary is Oroiael, who has been appointed over the second eternal realm. There are three other realms with it:


The third luminary is Daveithai, who has been appointed over the third eternal realm. There are three other realms with it:


The fourth eternal realm has been set up for the fourth luminary, Eleleth. There are three other realms with it:


These are the four luminaries that stand before the self-conceived god; these are the twelve eternal realms that stand before the child of the great self-conceived, the anointed, by the will and grace of the invisible spirit. The twelve realms belong to the child of the self-conceived one, and everything was established by the will of the holy spirit through the self-conceived one.


Now, from the foreknowledge of the perfect mind, through the expressed will of the invisible spirit and the will of the self-conceived one, came the perfect human, the first revelation, the truth. The virgin spirit named the human Geradamas and appointed Geradamas to the first eternal realm with the great self-conceived, the anointed, by the first luminary, Harmozel. Its powers dwell with it. The invisible one gave Geradamas an unconquerable power of mind.

Geradamas spoke and glorified and praised the invisible spirit by saying,

“Because of you everything has come into being, and to you everything will return.

“I shall praise and glorify you, and the self-conceived, and the eternal realms,
the three—father, mother, child, the perfect power.”

Geradamas appointed his son Seth to the second eternal realm, before the second luminary, Oroiael.

In the third eternal realm were stationed the offspring of Seth, with the third luminary, Daveithai. The souls of the saints were stationed there.

In the fourth eternal realm were stationed the souls of those who were ignorant of the fullness. They did not repent immediately but held out for a while and repented later. They came to be with the fourth luminary, Eleleth, and they are creatures that glorify the invisible spirit.


Now, Sophia, who is the wisdom of afterthought and who constitutes an eternal realm, conceived of a thought from herself, with the conception of the invisible spirit and foreknowledge. She wanted to bring forth something like herself, without the consent of the spirit, who had not given approval, without her partner and without his consideration. The male did not give approval. She did not find her partner, and she considered this without the spirit’s consent and without the knowledge of her partner. Nonetheless, she gave birth. And because of the invincible power within her, her thought was not an idle thought. Something came out of her that was imperfect and different in appearance from her, for she had produced it without her partner. It did not resemble its mother and was misshapen.

When Sophia saw what her desire had produced, it changed into the figure of a snake with the face of a lion. Its eyes were like flashing bolts of lightning. She cast it away from her, outside that realm so that none of the immortals would see it. She had produced it ignorantly.

She surrounded it with a bright cloud and put a throne in the middle of the cloud so that no one would see it except the holy spirit, who is called the mother of the living. She named her offspring Yaldabaoth.


Yaldabaoth is the first ruler, who took great power from his mother. Then he left her and moved away from the place where he was born. He took control and created for himself other realms with luminous fire, which still exists. He mated with the mindlessness in him and produced authorities for himself:

The name of the first is Athoth, whom generations call the reaper.
The second is Harmas, who is the jealous eye.
The third is Kalila-Oumbri.
The fourth is Yabel.
The fifth is Adonaios, who is called Sabaoth.
The sixth is Cain, whom generations of people call the sun.
The seventh is Abel.
The eighth is Abrisene.
The ninth is Yobel. The tenth is Armoupieel.
The eleventh is Melcheir-Adonein.
The twelfth is Belias, who is over the depth of the underworld.

Yaldabaoth stationed seven kings, one for each sphere of heaven, to reign over the seven heavens, and five to reign over the depth of the abyss. He shared his fire with them, but he did not give away any of the power of the light that he had taken from his mother. For he is ignorant darkness.

When light mixed with darkness, it made the darkness shine. When darkness mixed with light, it dimmed the light and became neither light nor darkness, but rather gloom.

This gloomy ruler has three names: the first name is Yaldabaoth, the second is Sakla, the third is Samael.

He is wicked in his mindlessness that is in him. He said, I am god and there is no other god but me, since he did not know where his own strength had come from.

The rulers created seven powers for themselves, and the powers created six angels apiece, until there were 365 angels. These are the names and the corresponding appearances:

The first is Athoth and has the face of sheep.
The second is Eloaios and has the face of a donkey.
The third is Astaphaios and has the face of a hyena.
The fourth is Yao and has the face of a snake with seven heads.
The fifth is Sabaoth and has the face of a snake.
The sixth is Adonin and has the face of an ape.
The seventh is Sabbataios and has a face of flaming fire.

This is the sevenfold nature of the week.

Yaldabaoth has many faces, more than all of these, so that he could show whatever face he wanted when he was among the seraphim. He shared his fire with them and lorded it over them because of the glorious power he had from his mother’s light. That is why he called himself god and defied the place from which he came.

In his thought he united the seven powers with the authorities that were with him. When he spoke, it was done. He named each of the powers, beginning with the highest:

First is goodness, with the first power, Athoth.
Second is forethought, with the second power, Eloaios.
Third is divinity, with the third power, Astaphaios.
Fourth is lordship, with the fourth power, Yao.
Fifth is kingdom, with the fifth power, Sabaoth.
Sixth is jealousy, with the sixth power, Adonin.
Seventh is understanding, with the seventh power, Sabbataios.

Each has a sphere in its own realm.

They were named after the glory above for the destruction of the powers. While the names given them by their maker were powerful, the names given them after the glory above would bring about their destruction and loss of power. That is why they have two names.

Yaldabaoth organized everything after the pattern of the first realms that had come into being, so that he might create everything in an incorruptible form. Not that he had seen the incorruptible ones. Rather, the power that is in him, that he had taken from his mother, produced in him the pattern for the world order.

When he saw creation surrounding him, and the throng of angels around him who had come forth from him, he said to them, I am a jealous god and there is no other god beside me.

But by announcing this, he suggested to the angels with him that there is another god. For if there were no other god, of whom would he be jealous?


Then the mother began to move around. She realized that she was lacking something when the brightness of her light diminished. She grew dim because her partner had not collaborated with her.

I said, Master, what does it mean that she moved around?

The master laughed and said, Do not suppose that it is as Moses said, above the waters. No, when she recognized the wickedness that had occurred and the robbery her son had committed, she repented. When she became forgetful in the darkness of ignorance, she began to be ashamed. She did not dare to return, but she was agitated. This agitation is the moving around.

The arrogant one took power from his mother. He was ignorant, for he thought no one existed except his mother alone. When he saw the throng of angels he had created, he exalted himself over them.

When the mother realized that the trappings of darkness had come into being imperfectly, she understood that her partner had not collaborated with her. She repented with many tears. The whole realm of fullness heard her prayer of repentance and offered praise on her behalf to the invisible virgin spirit, and the spirit consented. When the invisible spirit consented, the holy spirit poured upon her some of the fullness of all. For her partner did not come to her on his own, but he came to her through the realm of fullness, so that he might restore what she lacked. She was taken up not to her own eternal realm, but to a position above her son. She was to remain in the ninth heaven until she restored what was lacking in herself.


A voice called from the exalted heavenly realm,

The human exists
and the human child.

The first ruler, Yaldabaoth, heard the voice and thought it had come from his mother. He did not realize its source.

The holy perfect mother-father,
the complete forethought,
the image of the invisible one,
being the father of everything,
through whom everything came into being,
the first human—
this is the one who showed them, and appeared in human shape.

The entire realm of the first ruler quaked, and the foundations of the abyss shook. The bottom of the waters above the material world was lighted by this image that had appeared. When all the authorities and the first ruler stared at this appearance, they saw the whole bottom as it was illuminated. And through the light they saw the shape of the image in the water.


Yaldabaoth said to the authorities with him, Come, let us create a human being after the image of god and with a likeness to ourselves, so that this human image may give us light.

They created through their respective powers, according to the features that were given to them. Each of the authorities contributed a psychical feature corresponding to the figure of the image they had seen. They created a being like the perfect first human and said, Let us call it Adam, that its name may give us power of light.

The powers began to create:

The first one, goodness, created a soul of bone.
The second, forethought, created a soul of sinew.
The third, divinity, created a soul of flesh.
The fourth, lordship, created a soul of marrow.
The fifth, kingdom, created a soul of blood.
The sixth, jealousy, created a soul of skin.
The seventh, understanding, created a soul of hair.

The throng of angels stood by and received these seven psychical substances from the authorities in order to create a network of limbs and trunk, with all the parts properly arranged.

The first one, who is Raphao, began by creating the head,
Abron created the skull,
Meniggesstroeth created the brain,
Asterechme the right eye,
Thaspomocha the left eye,
Yeronumos the right ear,
Bissoum the left ear,
Akioreim the nose,
Banen-Ephroum the lips,
Amen the teeth,
Ibikan the molars,
Basiliademe the tonsils,
Achcha the uvula,
Adaban the neck,
Chaaman the vertebrae,
Dearcho the throat,
Tebar the right shoulder,
N——the left shoulder,
Mniarchon the right elbow,
——e the left elbow,
Abitrion the right underarm,
Euanthen the left underarm,
Krus the right hand,
Beluai the left hand,
Treneu the fingers of the right hand,
Balbel the fingers of the left hand,
Krima the fingernails,
Astrops the right breast,
Barroph the left breast,
Baoum the right shoulder joint,
Ararim the left shoulder joint,
Areche the belly,
Phthaue the navel,
Senaphim the abdomen,
Arachethopi the right ribs,
Zabedo the left ribs,
Barias the right hip,
Phnouth the left hip,
Abenlenarchei the marrow,
Chnoumeninorin the bones,
Gesole the stomach,
Agromauma the heart,
Bano the lungs,
Sostrapal the liver,
Anesimalar the spleen,
Thopithro the intestines,
Biblo the kidneys,
Roeror the sinews,
Taphreo the backbone,
Ipouspoboba the veins,
Bineborin the arteries,
Aatoimenpsephei the breaths in all the limbs,
Entholleia all the flesh,
Bedouk the right buttock,
Arabeei the left buttock,
. . . the penis,
Eilo the testicles,
Sorma the genitals,
Gormakaiochlabar the right thigh,
Nebrith the left thigh,
Pserem the muscles of the right leg,
Asaklas the muscle of the left,
Ormaoth the right leg,
Emenun the left leg,
Knux the right shin,
Tupelon the left shin,
Achiel the right ankle,
Phneme the left ankle,
Phiouthrom the right foot,
Boabel its toes,
Trachoun the left foot,
Phikna its toes,
Miamai the toenails,
Labernioum. . . .

Those who are appointed over all these are seven in number:


Those who activate the limbs are, part by part:

the head, Diolimodraza,
the neck, Yammeax,
the right shoulder, Yakouib,
the left shoulder, Ouerton,
the right hand, Oudidi,
the left one, Arbao,
the fingers of the right hand, Lampno,
the fingers of the left hand, Leekaphar,
the right breast, Barbar,
the left breast, Imae,
the chest, Pisandraptes,
the right shoulder joint, Koade,
the left shoulder joint, Odeor,
the right ribs, Asphixix,
the left ribs, Sunogchouta,
the abdomen, Arouph,
the womb, Sabalo,
the right thigh, Charcharb,
the left thigh, Chthaon,
all the genitals, Bathinoth,
the right leg, Choux,
the left leg, Charcha,
the right shin, Aroer,
the left shin, Toechtha,
the right ankle, Aol,
the left ankle, Charaner,
the right foot, Bastan,
its toes, Archentechtha,
the left foot, Marephnounth,
its toes, Abrana.

Seven have been empowered over all these:


Those who are over the senses are Archendekta,

the one who is over perception is Deitharbathas,
the one who is over imagination is Oummaa,
the one who is over arrangement is Aachiaram,
the one who is over all impulse to action is Riaramnacho.

The source of the demons that are in the entire body is divided into four:


The mother of them all is matter.

The one who is lord over heat is Phloxopha,
the one who is lord over cold is Oroorrothos,
the one who is lord over what is dry is Erimacho,
the one who is lord over wetness is Athuro.

The mother of all these, Onorthochras, stands in the midst of them, for she is unlimited and mingles with them all. She is matter, and by her they are nourished.

The four principal demons are:

Ephememphi, the demon of pleasure,
Yoko, the demon of desire,
Nenentophni, the demon of grief,
Blaomen, the demon of fear.

The mother of them all is Esthesis-Ouch-Epi-Ptoe.

From the four demons have come passions:

From grief come jealousy, envy, pain, trouble, distress, hardheartedness, anxiety, sorrow, and others.
From pleasure comes an abundance of evil, vain conceit, and the like.
From desire come anger, wrath, bitterness, intense lust, greed, and the like.
From fear come terror, servility, anguish, and shame.

All these are like virtues and vices. The insight into their true nature is Anaro, who is head of the material soul, and it dwells with Esthesis-Z-Ouch-Epi-Ptoe.

This is the number of angels. In all they number 365. They all worked together until, limb by limb, the psychical and material body was completed. Now, there are others over the remaining passions, and I have not told you about them. If you want to know about them, the information is recorded in the Book of Zoroaster.


All the angels and demons worked together until they fashioned the psychical body. But for a long time their creation did not stir or move at all.

When the mother wanted to take back the power she had relinquished to the first ruler, she prayed to the most merciful mother-father of all. With a sacred command the mother-father sent five luminaries down to the place of the angels of the first ruler. They advised him so that they might recover the mother’s power.

They said to Yaldabaoth, Breathe some of your spirit into the face of Adam, and then the body will arise.

He breathed his spirit into Adam. The spirit is the power of his mother, but he did not realize this, because he lives in ignorance. The mother’s power went out of Yaldabaoth and into the psychical body that had been made to be like the one who is from the beginning.

The body moved and became powerful. And it was enlightened.

At once the rest of the powers became jealous. Although Adam had come into being through all of them, and they had given their power to this human, Adam was more intelligent than the creators and the first ruler. When they realized that Adam was enlightened, and could think more clearly than they, and was stripped of evil, they took and threw Adam into the lowest part of the whole material realm.

The blessed, benevolent, merciful mother-father had compassion for the mother’s power that had been removed from the first ruler. The rulers might be able to overpower the psychical, perceptible body once again. So with its benevolent spirit and great mercy the mother-father sent a helper to Adam, an enlightened afterthought who is from the mother-father and who was called life. She helped the whole creature, laboring with it, restoring it to its fullness, teaching it about the descent of the seed, teaching it about the way of ascent, which is the way of descent.

Enlightened afterthought was hidden within Adam so that the rulers might not recognize her, but that afterthought might be able to restore what the mother lacked.


The human being Adam was revealed through the bright shadow within. And Adam’s ability to think was greater than that of all the creators. When they looked up, they saw that Adam’s ability to think was greater, and they devised a plan with the whole throng of rulers and angels. They took fire, earth, and water, and combined them with the four fiery winds. They wrought them together and made a great commotion.

The rulers brought Adam into the shadow of death so that they might produce a figure again, from earth, water, fire, and the spirit that comes from matter, that is, from the ignorance of darkness, and desire, and their own false spirit. This is the cave for remodeling the body that these criminals put on the human, the fetter of forgetfulness. Adam became a mortal being, the first to descend and the first to become estranged.

The enlightened afterthought within Adam, however, would rejuvenate Adam’s mind.

The rulers took Adam and put Adam in paradise. They said, Eat, meaning, do so in a leisurely manner. But in fact their pleasure is bitter and their beauty is perverse. Their pleasure is a trap, their trees are a sacrilege, their fruit is deadly poison, their promise is death.

They put their tree of life in the middle of paradise.

I shall teach you the secret of their life, the plan they devised together, the nature of their spirit: The root of their tree is bitter, its branches are death, its shadow is hatred, a trap is in its leaves, its blossom is bad ointment, its fruit is death, desire is its seed, it blossoms in darkness. The dwelling place of those who taste of it is the underworld, and darkness is their resting place.

But the rulers lingered in front of what they call the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, which is the enlightened afterthought, so that Adam might not behold its fullness and recognize his shameful nakedness.

But I was the one who induced them to eat.

I said to the savior, Master, was it not the snake that instructed Adam to eat?

The savior laughed and said, The snake instructed them to eat of the wickedness of sexual desire and destruction so that Adam might be of use to the snake. This is the one who knew Adam was disobedient because of the enlightened afterthought within Adam, which made Adam stronger of mind than the first ruler. The first ruler wanted to recover the power that he himself had passed on to Adam. So he brought deep sleep upon Adam.

I said to the savior, What is this deep sleep?

The savior said, It is not as Moses wrote and you heard. He said in his first book, He put Adam to sleep. Rather, this deep sleep was a loss of sense. Thus the first ruler said through the prophet, I shall make their minds sluggish, that they may neither understand nor discern.


Enlightened afterthought hid herself within Adam. The first ruler wanted to take her from Adam’s side, but enlightened afterthought cannot be apprehended. While darkness pursued her, it did not apprehend her. The first ruler removed part of Adam’s power and created another figure in the form of a female, like the image of afterthought that had appeared to him. He put the part he had taken from the power of the human being into the female creature. It did not happen, however, the way Moses said: Adam’s rib.

Adam saw the woman beside him. At once enlightened afterthought appeared and removed the veil that covered his mind. He sobered up from the drunkenness of darkness. He recognized his counterpart and said, This is now bone from my bones and flesh from my flesh.

For this reason a man will leave his father and his mother and will join himself to his wife, and the two of them will become one flesh. For his partner will be sent to him, and he will leave his father and his mother.

Our sister Sophia is the one who descended in an innocent manner to restore what she lacked. For this reason she was called life, that is, the mother of the living, by the forethought of the sovereignty of heaven and by the afterthought that appeared to Adam. Through her have the living tasted perfect knowledge.

As for me, I appeared in the form of an eagle on the tree of knowledge, which is the afterthought of the pure enlightened forethought, that I might teach the human beings and awaken them from the depth of sleep. For the two of them were fallen and realized that they were naked. Afterthought appeared to them as light and awakened their minds.


When Yaldabaoth realized that the humans had withdrawn from him, he cursed his earth. He found the woman as she was preparing herself for her husband. He was master over her. And he did not know the mystery that had come into being through the sacred plan. The two of them were afraid to denounce Yaldabaoth. He displayed to his angels the ignorance within him. He threw the humans out of paradise and cloaked them in thick darkness.

The first ruler saw the young woman standing next to Adam and noticed that the enlightened afterthought of life had appeared in her. Yet Yaldabaoth was full of ignorance. So when the forethought of all realized this, she dispatched emissaries, and they stole life out of Eve.

The first ruler defiled Eve and produced in her two sons, a first and a second: Elohim and Yahweh.

Elohim has the face of a bear,
Yahweh has the face of a cat.

One is just, the other is unjust.

He placed Yahweh over fire and wind,
he placed Elohim over water and earth.

He called them by the names Cain and Abel, with a view to deceive.

To this day sexual intercourse has persisted because of the first ruler. He planted sexual desire in the woman who belongs to Adam. Through intercourse the first ruler produced duplicate bodies, and he blew some of his false spirit into them.

He placed these two rulers over the elements so that they might rule over the cave.

When Adam came to know the counterpart of his own foreknowledge, he produced a son like the human child. He called him Seth, after the manner of the heavenly race in the eternal realms. Similarly, the mother sent down her spirit, which is like her and is a copy of what is in the realm of fullness, for she was going to prepare a dwelling place for the eternal realms that would come down.

The human beings were made to drink water of forgetfulness by the first ruler, so that they might not know where they had come from. For a time the seed remained and helped so that when the spirit descends from the holy realms, it may raise up the seed and heal what it lacks, that the entire realm of fullness may be holy and lack nothing.


I said to the savior, Master, will all the souls then be led safely into pure light?

He answered and said to me, These are great matters that have arisen in your mind, and it is difficult to explain them to anyone except those of the unshakable race.

Those upon whom the spirit of life will descend and whom the spirit will empower will be saved and become perfect and be worthy of greatness and be cleansed there of all evil and the anxieties of wickedness, since they are anxious for nothing except the incorruptible alone, and concerned with that from this moment on, without anger, jealousy, envy, desire, or greed for anything.

They are affected by nothing but being in the flesh alone, and they wear the flesh as they look forward to a time when they will be met by those who receive them. Such people are worthy of the incorruptible, eternal life and calling. They endure everything and bear everything so as to finish the contest and receive eternal life.

I said to him, Master, will the souls of people be rejected who have not done these things, but upon whom the power and the spirit of life have descended?

He answered and said to me, If the spirit descends upon them, by all means they will be saved and transformed. Power will descend upon every person, for without it no one could stand. After birth, if the spirit of life grows, and power comes and strengthens that soul, no one will be able to lead it astray with evil actions. But people upon whom the false spirit descends are misled by it and go astray.

I said, Master, where will their souls go when they leave their flesh?

He laughed and said to me, The soul in which there is more power than the contemptible spirit is strong. She escapes from evil, and through the intervention of the incorruptible one she is saved and is taken up to eternal rest.

I said, Master, where will the souls go of people who have not known to whom they belong?

He said to me, The contemptible spirit has grown stronger in such people while they were going astray. This spirit lays a heavy burden on the soul, leads her into evil, and hurls her down into forgetfulness. After the soul leaves the body, she is handed over to the authorities who have come into being through the ruler. They bind her with chains and throw her into prison. They go around with her until she awakens from forgetfulness and acquires knowledge. This is how she attains perfection and is saved.

I said, Master, how can the soul become younger and return into its mother’s womb, or into the human ?

He was glad when I asked him about this, and he said to me, You are truly blessed, for you have understood. This soul will be made to follow another in whom the spirit of life dwells, and she is saved through that one. Then she will not be thrust into flesh again.

I said, Master, where will the souls go of people who had knowledge but turned away?

He said to me, They will be taken to the place where the angels of misery go, where there is no repentance. They will be kept there until the day when those who have blasphemed against the spirit will be tortured and punished eternally.

I said, Master, where did the contemptible spirit come from?

He said to me, The mother-father is great in mercy, the holy spirit, who in every way is compassionate, who sympathizes with you, the afterthought of enlightened forethought. This one raised up the offspring of the perfect generation and raised their thought and the eternal light of the human. When the first ruler realized that these people were exalted above him and could think better than he, he wanted to grasp their thought. He did not know that they surpassed him in thought and that he would be unable to grasp them.

He devised a plan with his authorities, who are his powers. Together they fornicated with Sophia, and through them was produced bitter fate, the final, fickle bondage. Fate is like this because the powers are fickle. To the present day fate is harder and stronger than what gods, angels, demons, and all the generations have encountered. For from fate have come all iniquity and injustice and blasphemy, the bondage of forgetfulness, and ignorance, and all burdensome orders, weighty sins, and great fears. Thus all of creation has been blinded so that none might know the god that is over them all. Because of the bondage of forgetfulness, their sins have been hidden. They have been bound with dimensions, times, and seasons, and fate is master of all.

The first ruler regretted everything that had happened through him. Once again he made a plan, to bring a flood upon the human creation. The enlightened greatness of forethought, however, warned Noah. Noah announced this to all the offspring, the human children, but those who were strangers to him did not listen to him. It did not happen the way Moses said, They hid in an ark. Rather, they hid in a particular place, not only Noah, but also many other people from the unshakable race. They entered that place and hid in a bright cloud. Noah knew about his supremacy. With him was the enlightened one who had enlightened them, since the first ruler had brought darkness upon the whole earth.

The first ruler formulated a plan with his powers. He sent his angels to the human daughters so they might take some of them and raise offspring for their pleasure. At first they were unsuccessful. When they had proved unsuccessful, they met again and devised another plan. They created a contemptible spirit similar to the spirit that had descended, in order to adulterate souls through this spirit. The angels changed their appearance to look like the partners of these women and filled the women with the spirit of darkness that they had concocted, and with evil.

They brought gold, silver, gifts, copper, iron, metal, and all sorts of things. They brought great anxieties to the people who followed them, leading them astray with many deceptions. These people grew old without experiencing pleasure and died without finding truth or knowing the god of truth. In this way all creation was forever enslaved, from the beginning of the world until the present day.

The angels took women, and from the darkness they produced children similar to their spirit. They closed their minds and became stubborn through the stubbornness of the contemptible spirit until the present day.


Now I, the perfect forethought of all, transformed myself into my offspring. I existed first and went down every path.

I am the abundance of light,

I am the remembrance of fullness.

I went into the realm of great darkness and continued until I entered the midst of the prison. The foundations of chaos shook, and I hid from them because of their evil, and they did not recognize me.

Again I returned, a second time, and went on. I had come from the inhabitants of light—I, the remembrance of forethought.

I entered the midst of darkness and the bowels of the underworld, turning to my task. The foundations of chaos shook as though to fall upon those who dwell in chaos and destroy them. Again I hurried back to the root of my light so they might not be destroyed before their time.

Again, a third time, I went forth—

I am the light dwelling in light,
I am the remembrance of forethought—

so that I might enter the midst of darkness and the bowels of the underworld. I brightened my face with light from the consummation of their realm and entered the midst of their prison, which is the prison of the body.

I said, Let whoever hears arise from deep sleep.

A person wept and shed tears. Bitter tears the person wiped away, and said, Who is calling my name? From where has my hope come as I dwell in the bondage of prison?

I said,

I am the forethought of pure light,
I am the thought of the virgin spirit, who raises you to a place of honor.

Arise, remember that you have heard
and trace your root,
which is I, the compassionate.

Guard yourself against the angels of misery,
the demons of chaos and all who entrap you,
and beware of deep sleep
and the trap in the bowels of the underworld.

I raised and sealed the person in luminous water with five seals, that death might not prevail over the person from that moment on.


Look, now I shall ascend to the perfect realm. I have finished everything for you in your hearing. I have told you everything for you to record and communicate secretly to your spiritual friends. This is the mystery of the unshakable race.

The savior communicated this to John for him to record and safeguard. He said to him, Cursed be anyone who will trade these things for a gift, for food, drink, clothes, or anything like this.

These things were communicated to John in a mystery, and at once the savior disappeared. Then John went to the other students and reported what the savior had told him.

Jesus the anointed


Translated by Marvin Meyer


The Testimony of Truth

The Testimony of Truth

I will speak to those who know to hear not with the ears of the body but with the ears of the mind. For many have sought after the truth and have not been able to find it; because there has taken hold of them the old leaven of the Pharisees and the scribes of the Law. And the leaven is the errant desire of the angels and the demons and the stars. As for the Pharisees and the scribes, it is they who belong to the archons who have authority over them.

For no one who is under the Law will be able to look up to the truth, for they will not be able to serve two masters. For the defilement of the Law is manifest; but undefilement belongs to the light. The Law commands (one) to take a husband (or) to take a wife, and to beget, to multiply like the sand of the sea. But passion, which is a delight to them, constrains the souls of those who are begotten in this place, those who defile and those who are defiled, in order that the Law might be fulfilled through them. And they show that they are assisting the world; and they turn away from the light, who are unable to pass by the archon of darkness until they pay the last penny.

But the Son of Man came forth from Imperishability, being alien to defilement. He came to the world by the Jordan river, and immediately the Jordan turned back. And John bore witness to the descent of Jesus. For it is he who saw the power which came down upon the Jordan river; for he knew that the dominion of carnal procreation had come to an end. The Jordan river is the power of the body, that is, the senses of pleasures. The water of the Jordan is the desire for sexual intercourse. John is the archon of the womb.

And this is what the Son of Man reveals to us: It is fitting for you (pl.) to receive the word of truth, if one will receive it perfectly. But as for one who is in ignorance, it is difficult for him to diminish his works of darkness which he has done. Those who have known Imperishability, however, have been able to struggle against passions […]. I have said to you, “Do not build nor gather for yourselves in the place where the brigands break open, but bring forth fruit to the Father.”

The foolish – thinking in their heart that if they confess, “We are Christians,” in word only (but) not with power, while giving themselves over to ignorance, to a human death, not knowing where they are going nor who Christ is, thinking that they will live, when they are (really) in error – hasten towards the principalities and authorities. They fall into their clutches because of the ignorance that is in them. For (if) only words which bear testimony were effecting salvation, the whole world would endure this thing and would be saved. But it is in this way that they drew error to themselves. …
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… they do not know that they will destroy themselves. If the Father were to desire a human sacrifice, he would become vainglorious.

For the Son of Man clothed himself with their first-fruits; he went down to Hades and performed many mighty works. He raised the dead therein; and the world-rulers of darkness became envious of him, for they did not find sin in him. But he also destroyed their works from among men, so that the lame, the blind, the paralytic, the dumb, (and) the demon-possessed were granted healing. And he walked upon the waters of the sea. For this reason he destroyed his flesh from […] which he […]. And he became […] salvation […] his death …
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… everyone […] how many they are! They are blind guides, like the disciples. They boarded the ship; at about thirty stadies, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. These are empty martyrs, since they bear witness only to themselves. And yet they are sick, and they are not able to raise themselves.

But when they are “perfected” with a (martyr’s) death, this is the thought that they have within them: “If we deliver ourselves over to death for the sake of the Name we will be saved.” These matters are not settled in this way. But through the agency of the wandering stars they say they have “completed” their futile “course”, and […] say, […]. But these […] they have delivered themselves …
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… but they resemble […] them. They do not have the word which gives life.

And some say, “On the last day we will certainly arise in the resurrection.” But they do not know what they are saying, for the last day is when those belonging to Christ […] the earth, which is […]. When the time was fulfilled, he destroyed their archon of darkness […] soul(s) …
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… he stood […] they asked what they have been bound with, and how they might properly release themselves. And they came to know themselves, who they are, or rather, where they are now, and what is the place in which they will rest from their senselessness, arriving at knowledge. These Christ will transfer to the heights, since they have renounced foolishness (and have) advanced to knowledge. And those who have knowledge …
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… the great […] resurrection […], he has to come to know the Son of Man, that is, he has come to know himself. This is the perfect life, that man know himself by means of the All.

Do not expect, therefore, the carnal resurrection, which is destruction; and they are not stripped of it (the flesh) who err in expecting a resurrection that is empty. They do not know the power of God, nor do they understand the interpretation of the scriptures, on account of their double-mindedness. The mystery which the Son of Man spoke about, […], in order that […] destroy …
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… man who […] book, which is written […] for they have …
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… blessed […] within them, and they dwell before God under the light yoke. Those who do not have the life-giving word in their heart will die; and in their thought they have become manifest to the Son of Man, according to the manner of their activity and their error […] of this sort. They […] as he divides the […], and they do not understand that the Son of Man is coming from him.

But when they have come up to […] sacrifice, they die in a human way, and they deliver themselves …
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… a death …
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… those who […], they are many […], each one […] pervert […] gain […] their mind. Those who receive him to themselves with uprightness and power and every knowledge are the ones whom he will transfer to the heights, unto life eternal.

But those who receive him to themselves with ignorance, the pleasures which are defiled prevail over them. It is those people who used to say; “God created members for our use, for us to grow in defilement, in order that we might enjoy ourselves.” And they cause God to participate with them in deeds of this sort; and they are not steadfast upon the earth. Nor will they reach heaven, but […] place will […] four …
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… unquenchable …
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… word […] upon the Jordan river, when he came to John at the time he was baptized. The Holy Spirit came down upon him as a dove […] accept for ourselves that he was born of a virgin and he took flesh; he […] having received power. Were we also begotten from a virginal state or conceived by the word? Rather, we have been born again by the word. Let us therefore strengthen ourselves as virgins in the […].

The males dwell […] the virgin, by means of […] in the word […]. But the word of […] and spirit …
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… is the Father […] for the man …
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… like Isaiah, who was sawed with a saw, (and) he became two. So also the Son of Man divides us by the word of the cross. It divides the day from the night and the light from the darkness and the corruptible from incorruptibility, and it divides the males from the females. But Isaiah is the type of the body. The saw is the word of the Son of Man, which separates us from the error of the angels.

No one knows the God of truth except solely the man who will forsake all of the things of the world, having renounced the whole place, (and) having grasped the fringe of his garment. He has set himself up as a power; he has subdued desire in every way within himself. He has […] and he has turned to him […], having also examined […] in becoming […] the mind. And he […] from his soul […] there […] he has …
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… in what way […] the flesh which […] in what way […] out of it, and how many powers does he have? And who is the one who has bound him? And who is the one who will loose him? And what is the light? And what is the darkness? And who is the one who has created the earth? And who is God? And who are the angels? And what is soul? And what is spirit? And where is the voice? And who is the one who speaks? And who is the one who hears? Who is the one who gives pain? And who is the one who suffers? And who is it who has begotten the corruptible flesh? And what is the governance? And why are some lame, and some blind, and some […], and some […], and some rich, and some poor? And why are some powerless, some brigands? …
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… he having […] as he again […], fighting against thoughts of the archons and the powers and the demons, not giving them a place in which to rest. But he struggled against their passions […], he condemned their error. He cleansed his soul from the transgressions which he had committed with an alien hand. He stood up, being upright within himself, because he exists in everyone, and because he has death and life within himself, and he exists in the midst of both of them. And when he had received the power, he turned towards the parts of the right, and he entered into the truth, having forsaken all things pertaining to the left, having been filled with wisdom, with counsel, with understanding, and with insight and an eternal power. And he broke open his bonds. Those who had formed the whole place, he condemned. But they did not find […] hidden within him.

And he gave command to himself; he began to know himself and to speak with his mind, which is the father of the truth, concerning the unbegotten aeons, and concerning the virgin who brought forth the light. And he thinks about the power which flowed over the whole place, and which takes hold of him. And he is a disciple of his mind, which is male. He began to keep silent within himself until the day when he should become worthy to be received above. He rejects for himself loquacity and disputations, and he endures the whole place; and he bears up under them, and he endures all of the evil things. And he is patient with every one; he makes himself equal to every one, and he also separates himself from them. And that which someone wants, he brings to him, in order that he might become perfect (and) holy. When the […], he grasped him, having bound him upon […], and he was filled with wisdom. He bore witness to the truth […] the power, and he went into Imperishability, the place whence he came forth, having left the world, which has the appearance of the night, and those that whirl the stars in it. This, therefore, is the true testimony: When man comes to know himself and God, who is over the truth, he will be saved, and he will crown himself with the crown unfading.

John was begotten by the World through a woman, Elizabeth; and Christ was begotten by the world through a virgin, Mary. What is (the meaning of) this mystery? John was begotten by means of a womb worn with age, but Christ passed through a virgin’s womb. When she had conceived, she gave birth to the Savior. Furthermore, she was found to be a virgin again. Why, then do you (pl.) err and not seek after these mysteries, which were prefigured for our sake?

It is written in the Law concerning this, when God gave a command to Adam, “From every tree you may eat, but from the tree which is in the midst of Paradise do not eat, for on the day that you eat from it, you will surely die.” But the serpent was wiser than all the animals that were in Paradise, and he persuaded Eve, saying, “On the day when you eat from the tree which is in the midst of Paradise, the eyes of your mind will be opened.” And Eve obeyed, and she stretched forth her hand; she took from the tree and ate; she also gave to her husband with her. And immediately they knew that they were naked, and they took some fig-leaves (and) put them on as girdles.

But God came at the time of evening, walking in the midst of Paradise. When Adam saw him, he hid himself. And he said, “Adam, where are you?” He answered (and) said, “I have come under the fig tree.” And at that very moment, God knew that he had eaten from the tree of which he had commanded him, “Do not eat of it.” And he said to him, “Who is it who has instructed you?” And Adam answered, “The woman whom you have given me.” And the woman said, “It is the serpent who instructed me.” And he (God) cursed the serpent, and called him “devil.” And he said, “Behold, Adam has become like one of us, knowing evil and good.” Then he said, “Let us cast him out of paradise, lest he take from the tree of life, and eat, and live forever.”

But what sort is this God? First he maliciously refused Adam from eating of the tree of knowledge, and, secondly, he said “Adam, where are you?” God does not have foreknowledge? Would he not know from the beginning? And afterwards, he said, “Let us cast him out of this place, lest he eat of the tree of life and live forever.” Surely, he has shown himself to be a malicious grudger! And what kind of God is this? For great is the blindness of those who read, and they did not know him. And he said, “I am the jealous God; I will bring the sins of the fathers upon the children until three (and) four generations.” And he said, “I will make their heart thick, and I will cause their mind to become blind, that they might not know nor comprehend the things that are said.” But these things he has said to those who believe in him and serve him!

And in one place, Moses writes, “He made the devil a serpent <for> those whom he has in his generation.” Also, in the book which is called “Exodus,” it is written thus: “He contended against the magicians, when the place was full of serpents according to their wickedness; and the rod which was in the hand of Moses became a serpent, (and) it swallowed the serpents of the magicians.”

Again it is written (Nm 21:9), “He made a serpent of bronze (and) hung it upon a pole …
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… which […] for the one who will gaze upon this bronze serpent, none will destroy him, and the one who will believe in this bronze serpent will be saved.” For this is Christ; those who believed in him have received life. Those who did not believe will die.

What, then, is this faith? They do not serve …
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… and you (pl.) […] we […] and you do not understand Christ spiritually when you say, “We believe in Christ”. For this is the way Moses writes in every book. The book of the generation of Adam is written for those who are in the generation of the Law. They follow the Law and they obey it, and …
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… together with the …

pp. 51-54 of codex almost completely missing

… the Ogdoad, which is the eighth, and that we might receive that place of salvation.” But they know not what salvation is, but they enter into misfortune, and into a […] in death, in the waters. This is the baptism of death which they observe …
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… come to death […] and this is […] according to …
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… he completed the course of Valentinus. He himself speaks about the Ogdoad, and his disciples resemble the disciples of Valentinus. They on their part, moreover, […] leave the good, but they have worship of the idols …
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… he has spoken many words, and he has written many books […] words …
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… they are manifest from the confusion in which they are, in the deceit of the world. For they go to that place, together with their knowledge, which is vain.

Isidore also, his son, resembled Basilides. He also […] many, and he […], but he did not […] this […] other disciple(s) […] blind […], but he gave them […] pleasures …
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… they do not agree with each other. For the Simonians take wives (and) beget children; but the […] abstain from their […] nature […] a passion […] the drops of […] anoint them …
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… which we […] they agree with each other […] him […] they …
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… judgment(s) […] these, on account of the […] them […] the heretics […] schism(s) […] and the males […] are men […] will belong to the world-rulers of darkness …
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… judge them […]. But the […] word(s) of …
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… speak, while they […] become […] in a fire unquenchable […] they are punished.

But these who are from the generation of the Son of Man have revealed to the […] in all of the affairs …
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… But it is difficult to […] to find one […] and two …
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… For the Savior said to his disciples, […] one in …
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… and he has […] wisdom, as well as counsel and understanding and intelligence and knowledge and power and truth. And he has some […] from above […], the place where the Son of Man …
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pp. 63-64 of codex missing

… in a dream […] silver […]. But […] becomes wealthy […] among the authorities …
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… But the sixtieth […], thus […] world […] they […] gold …
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… they think …
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… we have been released from the flesh. …
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… to find from […] defilement which …
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… they do not blaspheme […] them not, neither is there any pleasure nor desire, nor can they control them. It is fitting that they should become undefiled, in order that they might show to every one that they are from the generation of the Son of Man, since it is about them that the Savior bore witness.

But those who are from the seed of Adam are manifest by their deeds, which are their work. They have not ceased from desire which is wicked […]. But some […] the dogs […] the angels for […] which they beget […] will come […] with their …
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… move as they […] on the day when they will beget children. Not only that, but they have intercourse while they are giving suck.

But others are caught up in the death of […]. They are pulled <every> which way, (and) they are gratified by unrighteous Mammon. They lend money at interest; they waste time; and they do not work. But he who is father of Mammon is (also) father of sexual intercourse.

But he who is able to renounce them shows that he is from the generation of the Son of Man, (and) has power to accuse them. […] he restrains […] part(s) in a […] in wickedness, and he makes the outer like the inner. He resembles an angel which …
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… power […] said them. But the one …
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And having withdrawn […], he became silent, having ceased from loquacity and disputations. But he who has found the life-giving word, and he who has come to know the Father of Truth, has come to rest; he has ceased seeking, having found. And when he found, he became silent. But few are the things he used to say to those that […] with their intellectual mind the […].

There are some, who upon entering the faith, receive a baptism on the ground that they have it as a hope of salvation, which they call the “seal”, not knowing that the fathers of the world are manifest (in) that place. But he himself knows that he is sealed. For the Son of Man did not baptize any of his disciples. But […], if those who are baptized were headed for life, the world would become empty. And the fathers of baptism were defiled.

But the baptism of truth is something else; it is by renunciation of the world that it is found. But those who say only with the tongue that they are renouncing it are lying, and they are coming to the place of fear. Moreover, they are humbled within it. Just as those to whom it was given to have been condemned, they shall get something!

They are wicked in their behavior! Some of them fall away to the worship of idols. Others have demons dwelling with them, as did David the king. He is the one who laid the foundation of Jerusalem; and his son Solomon, whom he begat in adultery, is the one who built Jerusalem by means of the demons, because he received power. When he had finished building, he imprisoned the demons in the temple. He placed them into seven waterpots. They remained a long time in the waterpots, abandoned there. When the Romans went up to Jerusalem, they discovered the waterpots, and immediately the demons ran out of the waterpots, as those who escape from prison. And the waterpots remained pure thereafter. And since those days, they dwell with men who are in ignorance, and they have remained upon the earth.

Who, then, is David? And who is Solomon? And what is the foundation? And what is the wall which surrounds Jerusalem? And who are the demons? And what are the waterpots? And who are the Romans? But these are mysteries …
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… victorious over […] the Son of Man […] undefiled …
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… and he […] when he […]. For […] is a great …
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… those that […] all in a […] blessed, and they […] like a salamander. It goes into the flaming fire which burns exceedingly; it slithers into the furnace …
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… the boundaries […], that they might see […] and the power […] sacrifice. Great is the sacrifice …
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…, but in a […] aside […]. And the Son of Man […], and he has become manifest through the bubbling fountain of immortality. …
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… he is pure, and he is […]. A free man is not envious. He is set apart from everyone, from every audacity and envy the power of which is great […] is (a) disciple […] pattern of law […] these […] only …
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… they placed him under a […] a teaching …
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… his teaching, saying, “Even if an angel comes from heaven, and preaches to you beyond that which we preached to you, may he be anathema,” (Gal 1:8) not letting the […] of the soul which […] freedom […]. For they are still immature […] they are not able to keep this law which works by means of these heresies – though it is not they, but the powers of Sabaoth – by means of the […] the doctrines […] as they have been jealous of some […] law(s) in Christ. Those who will […] power […] they reach the […] the twelve judge […] them […] the fountain of immortality …
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… good […] the whole place. […] there the enemies. He baptized himself, and the […] he became divine; he flew up, (and) they did not grasp him. […] there the enemies […], since it was not possible for them to bring him down again. If every […] grasps him with ignorance, attending to those who teach in the corners by means of carved things and artful tricks, they are not able […].

pp. 75-76 of codex missing

Translated by Søren Giversen and Birger A. Pearson


Apocalypse of PETER

Apocalypse of Peter

As the Savior was sitting in the temple in the three hundredth (year) of the covenant and the agreement of the tenth pillar, and being satisfied with the number of the living, incorruptible Majesty, he said to me, “Peter, blessed are those above belonging to the Father, who revealed life to those who are from the life, through me, since I reminded they who are built on what is strong, that they may hear my word, and distinguish words of unrighteousness and transgression of law from righteousness , as being from the height of every word of this Pleroma of truth, having been enlightened in good pleasure by him whom the principalities sought. But they did not find him, nor was he mentioned among any generation of the prophets. He has now appeared among these, in him who appeared, who is the Son of Man, who is exalted above the heavens in a fear of men of like essence. But you yourself, Peter, become perfect in accordance with your name with myself, the one who chose you, because from you I  have established a base for the remnant whom I have summoned to knowledge. Therefore be strong until the imitation of righteousness – of him who had summoned you, having summoned you to know him in a way which is worth doing because of the rejection which happened to him, and the sinews of his hands and his feet, and the crowning by those of the middle region, and the body of his radiance which they bring in hope of service because of a reward of honor – as he was about to reprove you three times in this night.”

And as he was saying these things, I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die.

And he said to me, “Peter, I have told you many times that they are blind ones who have no guide. If you want to know their blindness, put your hands upon (your) eyes – your robe – and say what you see .”

But when I had done it, I did not see anything. I said “No one sees (this way).”

Again he told me, “Do it again.”

And there came in me fear with joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day. Then it came down upon the Savior. And I told him about those things which I saw.

And he said to me again, “Lift up your hands and listen to what the priests and the people are saying.”

And I listened to the priests as they sat with the scribes. The multitudes were shouting with their voice.

When he heard these things from me he said to me, “Prick up your ears and listen to the things they are saying.”

And I listened again, “As you sit, they are praising you”.

And when I said these things, the Savior said, “I have told you that these (people) are blind and deaf. Now then, listen to the things which they are telling you in a mystery, and guard them, Do not tell them to the sons of this age. For they shall blaspheme you in these ages since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you in knowledge.”

“For many will accept our teaching in the beginning. And they will turn from them again by the will of the Father of their error, because they have done what he wanted. And he will reveal them in his judgment, ie, the servants of the Word. But those who became mingled with these shall become their prisoners, since they are without perception. And the guileless, good, pure one they push to the worker of death, and to the kingdom of those who praise Christ in a restoration. And they praise the men of the propagation of falsehood, those who will come after you. And they will cleave to the name of a dead man, thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into a name of error, and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma, and they will be ruled without law.”

“For some of them will blaspheme the truth and proclaim evil teaching. And they will say evil things against each other. Some will be named: (those) who stand in (the) strength of the archons, of a man and a naked woman who is manifold and subject to much suffering. And those who say these things will ask about dreams. And if they say that a dream came from a demon worthy of their error, then they shall be given perdition instead of incorruption.”

“For evil cannot produce good fruit. For the place from which each of them is produces that which is like itself; for not every soul is of the truth, nor of immortality. For every soul of these ages has death assigned to it in our view, because it is always a slave, since it is created for its desires and their eternal destruction, in which they are and from which they are. They love the creatures of the matter which came forth with them.”

“But the immortal souls are not like these, O Peter. But indeed, as long as the hour is not yet come, it (the immortal soul) shall resemble a mortal one. But it shall not reveal its nature, that it alone is the immortal one, and thinks about immortality, having faith, and desiring to renounce these things.”

“For people do not gather figs from thorns or from thorn trees, if they are wise, nor grapes from thistles. For, on the one hand, that which is always becoming is in that from which it is, being from what is not good , which becomes destruction for it and death. But that which comes to be in the Eternal One is in the One of the life and the immortality of the life which they resemble.”

“Therefore all that which exists not will dissolve into what exists not. For deaf and blind ones join only with their own kind.”

“But others shall change from evil words and misleading mysteries. Some who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of the truth is theirs alone. And in haughtiness they shall grasp at pride, to envy the immortal soul which has become a pledge. For every authority, rule, and power of the aeons wishes to be with these in the creation of the world, in order that those who are not, having been forgotten by those that are, may praise them, though they have not been saved, nor have they been brought to the Way by them, always wishing that they may become imperishable ones. For if the immortal soul receives power in an intellectual spirit -. But immediately they join with one of those who misled them.”

“But many others, who oppose the truth and are the messengers of error, will set up their error and their law against these pure thoughts of mine, as looking out from one (perspective) thinking that good and evil are from one (source) . They do business in my word. And they will propagate harsh fate. The race of immortal souls will go in it in vain, until my Parousia. For they shall come out of them – and my forgiveness of their transgressions, into which they fell through their adversaries, whose ransom I got from the slavery in which they were, to give them freedom that they may create an imitation remnant in the name of a dead man, who is Hermas, of the first-born of unrighteousness, in order that the light which exists may not believed by the little ones. But those of this sort are the workers who will be cast into the outer darkness, away from the sons of light. For neither will they enter, nor do they permit those who are going up to their approval for their release.”

“And still others of them who suffer think that they will perfect the wisdom of the brotherhood which really exists, which is the spiritual fellowship of those united in communion, through which the wedding of incorruptibility shall be revealed. The kindred race of the sisterhood will appear as an imitation. These are the ones who oppress their brothers, saying to them, “Through this our God has pity, since salvation comes to us through this,” not knowing the punishment of those who are made glad by those who have done this thing to the little ones whom they saw, (and) whom they took prisoner.”

“And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals.”

But I said ” I am afraid because of what you have told me, that indeed little (ones) are, in our view, the counterfeit ones, indeed, that there are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes of living ones, and destroy them among themselves. And when they speak your name they will be believed.”

The Savior said, “For a time determined for them in proportion to their error they will rule over the little ones. And after the completion of the error, the never-aging one of the immortal understanding shall become young, and they (the little ones) shall rule over those who are their rulers. The root of their error he shall pluck out, and he shall put it to shame so that it shall be manifest in all the impudence which it has assumed to itself. And such ones shall become unchangeable, O Peter.”

“Come therefore, let us go on with the completion of the will of the incorruptible Father. For behold, those who will bring them judgment are coming, and they will put them to shame. But me they cannot touch. And you, O Peter , shall stand in their midst. Do not be afraid because of your cowardice. Their minds shall be closed, for the invisible one has opposed them.”

When he had said those things, I saw him seemingly being seized by them. And I said “What do I see, O Lord? That it is you yourself whom they take, and that you are grasping me? Or who is this one, glad and laughing on the tree? And is it another one whose feet and hands they are striking?”

The Savior said to me, “He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame , the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me.”

But I, when I had looked, said “Lord, no one is looking at you. Let us flee this place.”

But he said to me, “I have told you, ‘Leave the blind alone!’. And you, see how they do not know what they are saying. For the son of their glory instead of my servant, they have put to shame .”

And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. And he was <filled> with a Holy Spirit, and he is the Savior. And there was a great, ineffable light around them, and the multitude of ineffable and invisible angels blessing them. And when I looked at him, the one who gives praise was revealed.

And he said to me, “Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Savior, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence , while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit.”

“These things, then, which you saw you shall present to those of another race who are not of this age. For there will be no honor in any man who is not immortal, but only (in) those who were chosen from an immortal substance, which has shown that it is able to contain him who gives his abundance. Therefore I said, ‘Every one who has, it will be given to him, and he will have plenty.’ But he who does not have, that is, the man of this place, who is completely dead, who is removed from the planting of the creation of what is begotten, whom, if one of the immortal essence appears, they think that they possess him – it will be taken from him and be added to the one who is. You, therefore, be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail unto you. Peace be to you, Be strong!”

When he (Jesus) had said these things, he (Peter) came to himself.

Translated by James Brashler and Roger A. Bullard




I am first thought, the thought that is in light. I am movement that is in all, she in whom the realm of all takes its stand, the firstborn among those who came into being, she who exists before all. She is called by three names, although she exists alone, since she is perfect. I am invisible within the thought of the invisible one. I am revealed in the immeasurable, ineffable things. I am intangible, dwelling in the intangible. I move in every creature.

I am the life of my afterthought that is within every power and every eternal movement, and in invisible lights, and within the powers and angels and demons and every soul in Tartaros, and in every material soul. I live in those who came into being. I move in everyone and I enter them. I walk upright, and those who sleep I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.

I am the invisible one in all. I counsel those who are hidden, since I know the whole realm of all that exists in it. I am numberless beyond everyone. I am immeasurable, ineffable, yet whenever I wish, I shall reveal myself. I am the head of all. I am before all, and I am all, since I am in everyone.

I am a voice speaking softly. I am from the beginning. I am in the silence that surrounds every one of them. And the hidden voice is in me, in intangible, immeasurable thought, in the immeasurable silence.

I descended into the underworld and shone down on the darkness. I poured water. I am hidden in radiant waters. I gradually dawn on all by my thought. I am weighed down with the voice. Through me knowledge comes. I am in the ineffable and unknowable. I am perception and knowledge, uttering a voice by means of thought. I am the real voice. I cry out in everyone, and they recognize it, since a seed lives in them. I am the father’s thought, and through me came the voice: the knowledge of everlasting things. I am as thought for all. I am joined to unknowable and intangible thought. I revealed myself in all who know me, for I joined everyone in hidden thought and exalted voice, and in a voice from the invisible thought.

It is immeasurable, since it is in the immeasurable one. It is a mystery, unrestrained by the intangible. It is invisible to all who are visible in the realm of all. It is light in light.

We also have left the visible world since we are saved by hidden wisdom mediated by the ineffable, immeasurable voice. And the one who is hidden within us pays a tribute of fruit to the water of life.

The son is perfect in every respect. He is the word who originated through that voice, who came from on high, who has within him the name, who is light. The son revealed the everlasting, and all the unknown was known. He revealed what is hard to interpret and what is secret, and he preached to those who live in silence with first thought, and he revealed himself to those who are in darkness, and he clarified himself to those in the abyss. To those in the hidden treasuries he told ineffable mysteries, and he taught unspeakable doctrines to all those who became children of the light.

Now the voice that came from my thought exists as three permanences: the father, the mother, the son. The voice is perceptible speech containing a word rich in every glory. It has three masculinities, three powers, and three names. They are in the manner of the triad of three [shapes], which are quadrangles, secretly in silence of the ineffable one.

He alone came into being as the anointed. I anointed him with goodness as the glory of the invisible spirit. I established these three alone in glory over the eternal realms in living water: glory surrounding him who first appeared to the light of the exalted aeons and realms. He persists in light. And he stood in a light surrounding him who is the eye of light gloriously shining on me. He gave aeons for the father of all aeons, I the thought of the father, first thought, Barbelo, the perfect glory and the immeasurable invisible hidden one. I am the image of the invisible spirit. Through me all took shape. I am the mother as well as the light whom she appointed as virgin, she who is called Meirothea, the intangible womb, the unrestrained and immeasurable voice.

Then the perfect son revealed himself to his aeons who came through him. He revealed, glorified, and enthroned them, and stood in the glory made for himself. They blessed the perfect son, the anointed, the god who came into being by himself. And they gave glory, saying, “He is! He is! God’s son! God’s son! He is! The being of eternal beings! He sees the eternal beings that he conceived. For you have conceived by your own desire! So we glorify you: MA! MO! You are O, O, O. You are A. You are being! The eternal realm of the eternal realms! The eternal realm he gave!”

Then the god who was conceived gave the eternal realms a power of life for them to rely on, and he established them. The first eternal realm he established over the first—Armedon, Nousanios, Harmozel; the second he established over the second eternal realm—Phaionios, Ainios, Oroiael; the third over the third eternal realm—Mellephaneus, Loios, Daveithai; the fourth over the fourth: Mousanios, Amethes, Eleleth. Now, those eternal realms are the ones conceived by the god who was conceived—the anointed—and these eternal realms received and gave glory. They were the first to appear, exalted in their thought, and each eternal realm gave ten thousand glories in great unsearchable lights, and as one they blessed the perfect son, the god who was conceived.

Then came a word from the great light Eleleth, and said, “I am king! Who is of chaos and who is of the underworld?” And suddenly his light appeared, shining forth, given afterthought. The powers of the powers asked nothing of him. Suddenly there appeared the great demon who rules over the lowest part of the underworld and chaos. He has no form or perfection. Rather, he has the form of the glory of those conceived in darkness. Now, he is called Sakla, Samael, Yaldabaoth, he who took power, who stole it away from innocent Sophia. Originally he overpowered her; she is the light’s afterthought who descended, from whom the great demon came from the beginning.

The afterthought of light knew the great demon had begged Eleleth for another order, though he was lower than afterthought, and she said, “Give me another order so that you may be a place for me to live, so I will not fall into endless disorder.” And the order of the entire house of glory agreed with her word. She was blessed, and the higher order yielded to her.

Now the great demon began to make aeons in the likeness of the real eternal realms, except that he produced them out of his own power.

I too revealed my voice secretly, saying, “Stop, stop, you who walk on matter. Look, I am coming down to the world of mortals for my portion that was there from the time when the innocent Sophia was conquered. She descended so that I might counter their plan, which was determined by the one who reveals himself through her.” Everyone in the house of the ignorant light was disturbed, and the abyss trembled.

The chief creator of ignorance reigned over chaos and the underworld and produced a human being in my likeness. But he didn’t know that his creation would be a decree of his annulment, nor did he recognize the power in him.

But now I have come down and reached chaos. I was there with my own. I am hidden in them, empowering them, and giving them shape. From the first day until the day I grant enormous power to those who are mine, I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, the children of light.

I am their father, and I shall tell you an utterly ineffable and unspeakable mystery: I tore off from you the bonds and broke the chains of the underworld demons, the same restraints that bound me. I overthrew the high walls of darkness, and I broke the secure gates of those pitiless ones and smashed their bars. And I spoke of the evil force and the one who beats and harms you, the tyrant, the adversary, the king, and the real enemy. I informed all who are mine, who are children of light, how to nullify the enemies, be free of bonds, and return to where they first were.

I am the first who descended for my portion of what was left behind: the spirit in the soul, which came from the water of life and the immersion of the mysteries. I spoke and the archons and authorities spoke. I went under their language and spoke my mysteries to my own—a hidden mystery—and the bonds and eternal oblivion were nullified. And I bore fruit in them, the thought of the unchanging eternal realm, and my house, and their father. And I went down to those who were mine from the first, and reached them and broke the first strands that enslaved them. Then everyone in me shone, and I made a pattern for those lights that are ineffably in me. Amen.


I am the voice that appeared through my thought. I am one joined to another. I am called the thought of the invisible one. Because I am called the unchanging speech, I am called she who is joined to another.

I am alone and undefiled. I am the mother of the voice, speaking in many ways, completing all. Knowledge is in me, a knowledge of things everlasting. I speak in every creature, and I was known by all. I lift up the speech of the voice to the ears of those who have known me, the children of light.

Now, I have come the second time in the likeness of a female and have spoken with them. And I shall tell them of the coming end of this realm and teach them of the beginning of the eternal realm to come, the one without change, the one in which our appearance will be changed. We shall be purified in those eternal realms from which I revealed myself in the thought of the likeness of my masculinity. I settled among those who are worthy in the thought of my changeless eternal realm.

I shall tell you a mystery of this realm and of its forces. Birth cries out; hour gives birth to hour, and day gives birth to day. Months reveal months, time follows time. This realm was completed in this fashion, and as quickly, it is thought, as a finger releases a finger and a joint separates from a joint. When the great authorities knew that the time of fulfillment had appeared—just as the time of the birth pangs came, the time of destruction approached—the elements trembled, and the foundations of the underworld and the ceilings of chaos shook, and a great fire shone in their midst, and rocks and earth were shaken like a reed by the wind.

And a great thunder disturbed the allotments of fate and those who apportion the houses. The thrones of the powers were disturbed because they were overturned, and their king was afraid. And those who follow fate paid their allotment of visits to the path, and said to the powers, “What is this disturbance and this shaking we have felt through the voice of exalted speech? And our entire world has been shaken, the entire circuit of our path of ascent has been destroyed, and our way up to the chief creator of our birth no longer exists for us.”

Then the powers answered, saying, “We too are at a loss about it because we did not know what caused it. But get up and let’s go to the chief creator and ask him.” And the powers gathered and went up to the chief creator. They said to him, “What kind of boasting is this? Didn’t we hear you say, ‘I am god, and I am your father and it is I who produced you, and there is no other god but me’? Now look, the aeon’s voice of invisible speech has appeared. We don’t recognize the voice, nor to whom we belong, for the voice that we heard is foreign and its origin unknown. It came and terrified and weakened our arms. So let’s weep and mourn bitterly! And let us fly away before we are forcibly imprisoned and taken down to the bowels of the underworld. Already the slackening of our bondage is near, and time is short, and the days are brief, and our time fulfilled. The weeping of our destruction is near and we may be taken to the place we recognize. The tree from which we grew has fruit of ignorance. Death is in its leaves, and darkness under the shadow of its boughs. In deceit and lust we harvested the tree through which ignorant chaos became our home. For look, even the chief creator of our birth, about whom we boast, did not know this speech.”

O children of thought, hear me, hear the speech of the mother of your mercy. You have earned the right to own the mystery hidden from eternity. Now accept it. And the end of this realm and of the life of injustice is near, and the beginning of the coming eternal realm dawns and will never change.

I am androgynous. I am mother and father. I copulate with myself. I copulate with myself and with those who love me, and through me alone all are standing firm. I am the womb that gives shape to all by bearing light shining in splendor. I am the coming eternal realm. I am the fulfillment of all, Meirothea the glory of the mother. I cast the voice’s speech into the ears of those who know me.

I invite you into the high perfect light. When you enter light, you will be glorified by those who give glory, and those who enthrone will enthrone you. You will receive robes from those who give robes, the baptizers will baptize you, and you will become exceedingly glorious, the way you first were when you were light.

I hid in everyone and revealed myself in them, and every mind seeking me longed for me, for I gave shape to the full realm when it had no form. I transformed their forms into other forms until the time when form is given to everyone. The voice came through me. I created breath in my people. And I cast the eternally holy spirit into them, and I ascended and entered my light. I got on my branch and sat among the children of holy light. And I withdrew to where they lived. Amen.


I am the word in the ineffable voice. I am in undefiled light, and thought came clearly through the great speech of the mother, though a male offspring is my foundation. Speech exists from the beginning in the foundations of the full realm.

But a light hides in silence, and it was first to appear. Whereas the mother alone exists as silence, I alone am the ineffable, incorruptible, immeasurable, and inconceivable word. The word is hidden light bearing fruit of life, pouring living water from the invisible, unpolluted, immeasurable spring. The source is the inimitable voice of the mother’s glory, the glory of god’s offspring, the male virgin in hidden intellect, silence hidden from everyone, inimitable, immeasurable light, the full source and root of the whole eternal realm. It is the foundation of every movement of the eternal realms that are of mighty glory. It is the base of every foundation, the breath of powers. It is the eye of the three permanences, which are a voice in thought. It is a word in speech. It was sent to illumine those in darkness.

Look, I will reveal my mysteries because you are my brothers and sisters, and you will know them. I told them about my mysteries that exist in the ineffable, inexpressible eternal realms. I taught them the mysteries through the voice of perfect intellect, and I became a foundation for all and I strengthened them.

The second time I came as my voice’s speech. I shaped those who took shape before their completion.

The third time I revealed myself in their tents as the word. I revealed myself in the likeness of their shape. I wore everyone’s garment. I hid in them, and they didn’t know who strengthens me. For I am in all dominions and powers and among angels and in every movement in matter. I hid in them until I revealed myself to my brothers and sisters. None of the powers knew me, though I work in them. They thought they created everything, because they are ignorant. They didn’t know the root and source of their growth.

I am light illumining all. I am light happy in my brothers and sisters. I came down to the world of mortals because of the spirit in what descended and came from the innocent Sophia. I came and delivered . . . and went . . . that which he once had. I gave him some of the living water, which strips him of chaos in uttermost darkness, in the whole abyss, which is corporeal and psychical thought. All these I put on. And I stripped him of inferior thought and clothed him in shining light: knowledge of the thought of fatherhood.

I delivered him to those who give robes—Yammon, Elasso, Amenai —and they covered him with a robe from the robes of the light; I delivered him to the baptizers and they baptized him—Micheus, Michar, Mnesinous —and they immersed him in the spring of the water of life. I delivered him to those who enthrone—Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai—and they enthroned him from the throne of glory. I delivered him to those who glorify—Ariom, Elien, Phariel—and they glorified him with the glory of the fatherhood. And those who snatch away, snatched away—Kamaliel . . . Samblo, the servants of the great holy luminaries—and they took him into the place of the light of his fatherhood. And he received the five seals from the light of the mother, first thought, and it was granted him to partake of the mystery of knowledge, and he became a light in light.

So, now… I was in them, in each one’s form. The rulers thought I was their anointed. Actually, I dwell in everyone. Indeed, within those in whom I revealed myself as light, I eluded the rulers. I am their beloved, for in that place I clothed myself as the son of the chief creator, and I was like him until the end of his regime, which is the ignorance of chaos. And among the angels I revealed myself in their likeness, and among the powers as if I were one of them, but among the human children as if I were a human child, even though I am father of everyone.

I hid in them all until I revealed myself among my members, which are mine, and I taught them about the ineffable ordinances, and about the brothers and sisters. But they are inexpressible to every sovereignty and every ruling power except to the children of light, decreed by the father. These are the glories that are higher than every glory, that is, the five seals, complete by virtue of intellect. One who possesses the five seals with these names has stripped off the garments of ignorance and put on shining light. And nothing will appear to one who belongs to the powers of the rulers. In them darkness will dissolve and ignorance die. And thought of the scattered creature will have a single appearance, and dark chaos will dissolve . . . until I reveal myself to my brothers and sisters and gather all my brothers and sisters in my eternal kingdom. I proclaimed the ineffable five seals to them so that I might live in them and they in me.

I wore Jesus. I carried him from the cursed wood and set him in his father’s house. And those who guard their houses didn’t recognize me. My seed and I are unrestrained. My seed is mine. I shall place it in holy light in intangible silence. Amen.

Translated by Willis Barnstone




Since everyone—the gods of the world and people—says that nothing existed prior to chaos, I shall demonstrate that they all are mistaken, since they do not know the origin of chaos and its root. Here is the demonstration.

How agreeable it is to all people to say that chaos is darkness! But actually chaos comes from a shadow that has been called darkness. The shadow comes from something existing from the beginning. So it is obvious that something in the beginning existed before chaos came into being, and that chaos came after what was in the beginning.

Now let us consider the facts of the matter, and in particular what was in the beginning, from which chaos came. In this way the truth will be clearly demonstrated.


After the nature of the immortals was completed out of the infinite one, then a likeness called Sophia flowed out of Pistis, with the wish that something should come into being like the light that first existed. Immediately her wish appeared as a heavenly likeness with an incomprehensible greatness. This came between the immortals and those who came into being after them, like what is above. It was a veil separating people from the things above.

Now, the eternal realm of truth has no shadow within it because the immeasurable light is everywhere within it. Outside it, however, is a shadow, and it was called darkness. From it appeared a power over the darkness. And the powers that came into being afterward called the shadow the limitless chaos. From it every kind of deity was brought forth, one after another, along with the whole place. Consequently, the shadow too is subsequent to what was in the beginning. The shadow appeared in the abyss, which is derived from Pistis, whom we have mentioned.

The shadow perceived that there was one stronger than it. It was jealous, and when it became self-impregnated, it immediately bore envy. Since that day the principle of envy has appeared in all of the aeons and their worlds. But envy was found to be an aborted fetus without any spirit in it. It became like the shadows in a great watery substance.

Then the bitter wrath that came into being from the shadow was cast into a region of chaos. Since that day a watery substance has appeared. What was enclosed in the shadow flowed forth, appearing in chaos. Just as all the useless afterbirth of one who bears a little child falls, likewise the matter that came into being from the shadow was cast aside. Matter did not come out of chaos, but it was in chaos, existing in a part of it.


Now, after these things happened, Pistis came and appeared over the matter of chaos, which was cast off like an aborted fetus, since there was no spirit in it. For all of that is a boundless darkness and water of unfathomable depth. And when Pistis saw what came into being from her deficiency, she was disturbed. And the disturbance appeared as something frightful, and it fled to her in the chaos. She turned to it and breathed into its face in the abyss, which is beneath all of the heavens.

Now, when Pistis Sophia wanted to cause the thing that had no spirit to be formed into a likeness and rule over matter and over all its powers, a ruler first appeared out of the waters, lionlike in appearance, androgynous, with great authority within himself but ignorant of whence he came into being.

When Pistis Sophia saw him moving in the depth of the waters, she said to him, “Youth, pass over here,” which is interpreted as “Yaldabaoth.” Since that day, the first principle of the word that referred to the gods and angels and people has appeared. And the gods and angels and people constitute that which came into being by means of the word. Moreover, the ruler Yaldabaoth is ignorant of the power of Pistis. He did not see her face, but he saw in the water the likeness that spoke with him. And from that voice he called himself Yaldabaoth. But the perfect ones call him Ariael because he was like a lion. And after he came to possess authority over matter, Pistis Sophia withdrew up to her light.


When the ruler saw his greatness, he saw only himself; he saw nothing else, except water and darkness. Then he thought that he alone existed. His thought was made complete by means of the word, and it appeared as a spirit moving to and fro over the waters. And when that spirit appeared, the ruler separated the watery substance to one region and the dry substance to another region. From matter he created a dwelling place for himself and called it heaven. And from matter the ruler created a footstool and called it earth.

Afterward the ruler thought, according to his nature, and he created an androgynous being by means of the word. He opened his mouth and cooed to him. When his eyes were opened, he saw his father and said to him, “Eee.” So his father called him Yao. Again he created the second son and cooed to him. He opened his eyes and said to his father, “Eh.” So his father called him Eloai. Again he created the third son and cooed to him. He opened his eyes and said to his father, “Asss.” So his father called him Astaphaios. These are the three sons of their father.


Seven appeared in chaos as androgynous beings. They have their masculine name and their feminine name. The feminine name of Yaldabaoth is forethought Sambathas, which is the week. His son is called Yao, and his feminine name is lordship. Sabaoth’s feminine name is divinity. Adonaios’s feminine name is kingship. Eloaios’s feminine name is envy. Oraios’s feminine name is wealth. Astaphaios’s feminine name is Sophia. These are the seven powers of the seven heavens of chaos. And they came into being as androgynous beings according to the immortal pattern that existed before them and in accord with the will of Pistis, so that the likeness of what existed from the first might rule until the end.

You will find the function of these names and the power of the males in the Archangelic Book of Moses the Prophet. But the feminine names are in the First Book of Noraia.

Now since the chief creator Yaldabaoth had great authority, he created for each of his sons, by means of the word, beautiful heavens as dwelling places, and for each heaven great glories, seven times exquisite. Each one has within his heaven thrones, dwelling places, and temples, as well as chariots and spiritual virgins and their glories, looking up to an invisible realm, and also armies of divine, lordly, angelic, and archangelic powers, myriads without number, in order to serve.

The report concerning these you will find accurately in the First Account of Noraia.

Now, they were completed in this way up to the sixth heaven, the one belonging to Sophia. And the heaven and its earth were disrupted by the troublemaker, who was beneath all of them. The six heavens trembled, for the powers of chaos knew who it was who disturbed the heaven beneath them. And when Pistis knew of the harm caused by the troublemaker, she blew her breath, and she bound him and cast him down to Tartaros.


Since that day, the heaven has been consolidated along with its earth by means of Sophia, the daughter of Yaldabaoth, who is beneath them all. After the heavens and their powers and all of their government set themselves aright, the chief creator exalted himself and was glorified by the whole army of angels. And all the gods and their angels gave him praise and glory.

And he rejoiced in his heart, and he boasted continually, saying to them, “I do not need anything. I am god and there is no other god but me.” But when he said these things, he sinned against all of the immortal imperishable ones, and they kept their eyes on him.

Moreover, when Pistis saw the impiety of the chief ruler, she was angry. Without being seen, she said, “You’re wrong, Samael,” that is, “blind god.” “An enlightened, immortal human exists before you and will appear within your fashioned bodies. The human will trample upon you as potter’s clay is trampled. And you will go with those who are yours down to your mother, the abyss. For in the consummation of your works, all of the deficiency that appeared in the truth will be dissolved. It will cease, and it will be like something that never existed.”

After Pistis said these things, she revealed the likeness of her greatness in the waters. And so she withdrew up to her light.


When Sabaoth, the son of Yaldabaoth, heard the voice of Pistis, he worshiped her. He condemned his father and mother on account of the word of Pistis. He glorified her because she informed them of an immortal human and the light of the human. Then Pistis Sophia stretched forth her finger and poured upon him light from her light for a condemnation of his father. When Sabaoth received light, he received great authority against all of the powers of chaos. Since that day he has been called “the lord of the powers.” He hated his father, the darkness, and his mother, the abyss. He loathed his sister, the thought of the chief creator, the one who moves to and fro over the water.

On account of his light, all of the authorities of chaos were jealous of him. And when they were disturbed, they made a great war in the seven heavens. Then when Pistis Sophia saw the war, she sent seven archangels from her light to Sabaoth. They snatched him away up to the seventh heaven. They took their stand before him as servants. Furthermore, she sent him three other archangels and established the kingdom for him above everyone so that he might dwell above the twelve gods of chaos.

When Sabaoth received the place of rest because of his repentance, Pistis also gave him her daughter, Zoe, with great authority, so that she might inform him about everything that exists in the eighth heaven. And since he had authority, he first created a dwelling place for himself. It is huge, magnificent, seven times as great as all those that exist in the seven heavens.

Then in front of his dwelling place he created a great throne on a chariot with four faces, called cherubim. And the cherubim throne has eight shapes on each side of the four corners—forms of lions and bulls and humans and eagles—so that all of the forms total sixty-four forms. And seven archangels stand before him. He is the eighth, having authority. All of the forms total seventy-two. For from this chariot the seventy-two gods took shape; they took shape so that they might rule over the seventy-two languages of the nations. And by that throne he created other dragon-shaped angels called seraphim, who glorify him continually.


Afterward he created an angelic assembly —thousands, myriads without number belong to it—that was like the assembly in the eighth heaven, and a first-born called Israel, that is, the one who sees god, and also another called Jesus Christ, who is like the savior above in the eighth heaven and who sits at his right upon an excellent throne. But at his left the virgin of the holy spirit sits upon a throne praising him. And the seven virgins stand before her, with thirty lyres and harps and trumpets in their hands, glorifying him. And all of the armies of angels glorify him and praise him. But he sits on a throne concealed by a great light-cloud. And there was no one with him in the cloud except Sophia, the daughter of Pistis, teaching him about all those that exist in the eighth heaven, so that the likeness of those might be created, in order that his kingdom might continue until the consummation of the heavens of chaos and their powers.

Now, Pistis Sophia separated him from the darkness and summoned him to her right, but the chief creator she put at her left. Since that day right has been called justice, but left has been called injustice. Moreover, because of this they all received a realm in the assembly of justice, and injustice is set over all their creations.


When the chief creator of chaos saw his son Sabaoth, and that the glory in which he dwells is more exquisite than all the authorities of chaos, he was jealous of him. And when he was angry, he conceived death from his own death. It was set up over the sixth heaven; Sabaoth had been snatched away from there. And thus the number of the six authorities of chaos was completed.

Then, since death was androgynous, he mixed with his nature and conceived seven androgynous children. These are the names of the males: envy, wrath, weeping, sighing, mourning, lamenting, tearful groaning. And these are the names of the females: wrath, grief, lust, sighing, cursing, bitterness, quarrelsomeness. They had intercourse with one another, and each one conceived seven, so that the children total forty-nine androgynous demons.

Their names and their functions you will find in the Book of Solomon.

In the presence of these, Zoe, who dwells with Sabaoth, created seven good androgynous powers. These are the names of the males: not-jealous, blessed, joyful, true, not-envious, beloved, trustworthy. And these are the names of the females: peace, gladness, rejoicing, blessedness, truth, love, faith. And many good and guileless spirits come from these.

Their accomplishments and their functions you will find in the Configurations of the Fate of Heaven beneath the Twelve.


But when the chief creator saw the likeness of Pistis in the waters, he grieved, especially when he heard her voice, which was like the first voice that called to him out of the water. When he knew that this was the one who named him, he groaned and was ashamed on account of his transgression. And when he actually knew that an enlightened, immortal human existed before him, he was greatly disturbed, because previously he had said to all the gods and their angels, “I am god and there is no other god but me.”

For he had been afraid that they might know that another existed before him and condemn him. But he, like a fool, despised the condemnation and acted recklessly, and said, “If something exists before me, let it appear so that we might see its light.” And immediately, look, light came out of the eighth heaven above and passed through all the heavens of the earth.

When the chief creator saw that the light was beautiful as it shone forth, he was amazed and very much ashamed. When the light appeared, a human likeness, which was very wonderful, was revealed within it; and no one saw it except the chief creator alone and the forethought who was with him. But its light appeared to all the powers of the heavens. Therefore they were all disturbed by it.


Then when forethought saw the messenger, she became enamored of him, but he hated her because she was in darkness. Moreover, she desired to embrace him, but she was not able. When she was unable to quench her love, she poured out her light upon the earth. From that day, that messenger was called Adam of light, which is interpreted the enlightened man of blood. And the earth upon which the light spread was called holy Adamas, which is interpreted as “the holy steel-like earth.” At that time, all the authorities began to honor the blood of the virgin, and the earth was purified because of the blood of the virgin. But especially the water was purified by the likeness of Pistis Sophia, who appeared to the chief creator in the waters. Rightly, then, has it been said, “through the waters.” Since the holy water gives life to everything, it purifies it too.


Out of this first blood Eros appeared, being androgynous. His masculine nature is Himeros, because he is fire from the light. His feminine nature is that of a soul of blood and is derived from the substance of forethought. He is very handsome in his beauty, having more loveliness than all the creatures of chaos. Then when all the gods and their angels saw Eros, they became enamored of him. But when he appeared among all of them, he made them inflamed. Just as many lamps are kindled from a single lamp and the light shines but the lamp is not diminished, so also Eros was scattered in all the creatures of chaos but was not diminished. Just as Eros appeared out of the midpoint between light and darkness, and in the midst of the angels and people the intercourse of Eros was consummated, so too the first sensual pleasure sprouted upon the earth.

The woman followed the earth, and marriage followed the woman, and reproduction followed marriage, and death followed reproduction.

After Eros, the grapevine sprouted up from the blood that was shed upon the earth. Therefore those who drink the vine acquire the desire for intercourse. After the grapevine, a fig tree and a pomegranate tree sprouted up from the earth, together with the rest of the trees, according to their kind, their seed deriving from the seed of the authorities and their angels.


Then justice created the beautiful paradise. It is outside the circuit of the moon and the circuit of the sun in the luxuriant earth, which is in the east in the midst of stones. And desire is in the midst of trees, since they are beautiful and appealing. And the tree of immortal life, as it was revealed by the will of god, is in the north of paradise to give life to the immortal saints, who will come out of the fashioned bodies of poverty in the consummation of the age. Now, the color of the tree of life is like the sun, and its branches are beautiful. Its leaves are like those of the cypress, and its fruit is like clusters of white grapes. Its height rises up to heaven. And next to it is the tree of knowledge, possessing the power of god. Its glory is like the moon shining forth brilliantly, and its branches are beautiful. Its leaves are like fig leaves, and its fruit is like good, delicious dates. And this tree is in the north of paradise to raise up the souls from the stupor of the demons, so they might come to the tree of life and eat its fruit and condemn the authorities and their angels.

The effect of this tree is described in the Holy Book as follows:

You are the tree of knowledge, which is in paradise, from which the first man ate and which opened his mind, so that he loved his female partner, and condemned other alien likenesses, and loathed them.

Now, after this there sprouted up the olive tree, which was to purify kings and chief priests of justice, who will appear in the last days. The olive tree appeared in the light of the first Adam for the sake of the anointing that they will receive.


But the first Psyche loved Eros, who was with her, and poured her blood upon him and upon the earth. Then from that blood the first rose sprouted upon the earth out of the thorn bush, for a joy in the light that was to appear in the bramble. After this the beautiful, fragrant flowers sprouted up from the earth according to their kind from the blood of each of the virgins of the daughters of forethought. When they had become enamored of Eros, they poured out their blood upon him and upon the earth. After these things every herb sprouted up in the earth according to its kind, having the seed of the authorities and their angels. After these things the authorities created from the waters all species of beasts and reptiles and birds according to their kind, having the seed of the authorities and their angels.

But before all these things, when Adam of light appeared on the first day, he remained upon the earth about two days. He left the lower forethought in heaven and began to ascend to his light. And immediately darkness came upon the whole world. Now, when Sophia, who is in the lower heaven, wanted to receive authority from Pistis, she created great luminaries and all the stars, and put them in the heaven to shine upon the earth and to perfect chronological signs and seasons and years and months and days and nights and seconds, and so on. And thus everything up in the sky was ordered.

Now, when Adam of light wanted to enter his light, that is, the eighth heaven, he was unable because of the poverty that had mixed with his light. Then he created a great eternal realm for himself; in that eternal realm he created six realms and their worlds, six in number, which are seven times better than the heavens of chaos and their worlds. But all these realms and their worlds exist within the infinite region that is between the eighth and chaos beneath it, and they are reckoned with the world that belongs to the poverty.

If you wish to know the arrangement of these, you will find it written in the Seventh Cosmos of Hieralias the Prophet.


Before Adam of light withdrew in the chaos, the authorities saw him. They laughed at the chief creator because he lied, saying, “I am god and there is no other god but me.” When they came to him, they said, “Is this not the god who ruined our work?” He answered and said, “Yes, but if you wish that he not be able to ruin our work, come, let’s create a human being from the earth according to the image of our body and according to the likeness of this being, to serve us, so that whenever this being sees his likeness, he may become enamored of it. Then he will no longer ruin our work, but we shall make those who are born from the light our servants through all the time of this age.”

Now, all this came to pass according to the forethought of Pistis in order that humankind might appear after this likeness and condemn them on account of their fashioned bodies. And their fashioned bodies became fences for the light.

Then the authorities received knowledge necessary to create people. Sophia Zoe, who is with Sabaoth, anticipated them and laughed at their decision because they were blind—in ignorance they created him against themselves. They do not know what they do. Because of this she anticipated them. She created her human being first in order that he might tell their fashioned body how to scorn them and thus to escape them.

Now, the birth of the instructor occurred in this way. When Sophia let a drop of light fall, it floated on the water. Immediately a human being appeared, being androgynous. She molded that drop first as a female body. Afterward she molded it, with the body, in the likeness of the mother who appeared, and she finished it in twelve months. An androgynous human being was conceived, whom the Greeks call Hermaphrodite, while the Jews call his mother Eve of life, that is, the instructor of life. Her child is the creature who is lord. Afterward, the authorities called it the beast in order to lead their fashioned bodies astray. The meaning of the beast is the instructor, for it was found to be wiser than all beings. Moreover, Eve is the first virgin who gave birth without a man. She is the one who functioned as her own midwife.


On account of this it is said concerning her that she said,

I am part of my mother, and I am the mother.

I am the wife, I am the virgin.

I am pregnant. I am the midwife.

I am the one who comforts during labor pains.

My husband produced me, and I am his mother,

and he is my father and my lord.

He is my potency; what he desires he speaks with reason.

I am becoming, but I have borne a lordly man.

Now these things were revealed by the will of Sabaoth and his Christ to the souls who will come to the fashioned bodies of the authorities. Concerning these the holy voice said, “Multiply and flourish to rule over all the creatures.” And these are the ones who are taken captive by the chief creator according to their destinies, and thus they were locked in the prisons of the fashioned bodies until the consummation of the age.


At that time the chief creator then expressed his opinion about humankind to those who were with him. Then each of them cast his seed into the midst of the navel of the earth. Since that day, the seven rulers have formed humankind with his body like their body, but his likeness is like the human who appeared to them. His fashioned body came into being one part at a time, and their chief created the brain and nervous system. Afterward the person appeared like the one before him. He became a person with soul, and he was called Adam, that is, father, after the name of the one who was before him.

Now, after Adam was made, he left him as a lifeless vessel, since he had taken form like an aborted fetus, with no spirit in him. Regarding this, when the chief ruler remembered the word of Pistis, he was afraid that the true human might come into his fashioned body and rule over it. Because of this, he left this fashioned body forty days without soul. And he withdrew and left him.

But on the fortieth day Sophia Zoe sent her breath into Adam, who was without soul. He began to move upon the earth, but he could not stand up. Now, when the seven rulers came and saw him, they were very much disturbed. They walked up to him and seized him, and the chief ruler said to the breath within him, “Who are you? And from where have you come here?” It answered and said, “I came through the power of the human for the destruction of your work.” When they heard, they glorified him because he gave them rest from their fear and concern. Then they called that day the day of rest, because they rested themselves from their troubles. And when they saw that Adam could not stand up, they rejoiced. They took him and left him in paradise and withdrew up to their heavens.


After the day of rest, Sophia sent Zoe, her daughter, who is called Eve, as an instructor to raise up Adam, in whom there was no soul, so that those whom he would produce might become vessels of the light. When Eve saw her male partner cast down, she pitied him, and she said, “Adam, live! Rise up on the earth!” Immediately her word became an accomplished deed. For when Adam rose up, immediately he opened his eyes. When he saw her, he said, “You will be called the mother of the living, because you are the one who gave me life.”


Then the authorities were informed that their fashioned body was alive, and had risen, and they were very much disturbed. They sent seven archangels to see what had happened. They came to Adam, and when they saw Eve speaking with him, they said to one another, “What is this enlightened woman? For truly she resembles the likeness that appeared to us in the light. Now come, let us seize her and cast our seed into her, so that when she is polluted she will not be able to ascend to her light, but those whom she bears will serve us. But let us not tell Adam, because he is not from us. Rather, let us bring a stupor upon him, and suggest to him in his sleep that she came into being from his rib, so that the woman may serve and he may rule over her.”

Then Eve, since she existed as a power, laughed at their false intention. She darkened their eyes and secretly left her likeness there with Adam. She entered the tree of knowledge and remained there. They pursued her, and she revealed to them that she had entered the tree and had become the tree. And when the blind ones fell into a great fear, they ran away.

Afterward, when they sobered up from the stupor, they came to Adam. And when they saw the likeness of that woman with him, they were troubled, thinking that this was the true Eve. And they acted recklessly, and came to her and seized her and cast their seed upon her. They did it deceitfully, defiling her not only naturally but also abominably, first defiling the seal of her voice, which had spoken with them, saying, “What is it that exists before you?” They meant to defile those who might say at the consummation of the age that they had been born of a true human by means of the word. And they were deceived, not knowing that they had defiled their own body. It was the likeness that the authorities and their angels defiled in every way.


First Eve conceived Abel from the first ruler; and she bore the rest of the sons from the seven authorities and their angels. Now, all this came to pass according to the forethought of the chief creator, so that the first mother might bear within herself every seed, mixed and joined together with the fate of the world and its configurations and justice. A plan came into being because of Eve, so that the fashioned bodies of the authorities might become fences for the light. Then the light will condemn them through their fashioned bodies.

The first Adam of light is spiritual and appeared on the first day. The second Adam is a person with soul and appeared on the sixth day, called Aphrodite. The third Adam is earthly, that is, a man of law, who appeared on the eighth day, after the rest of poverty, which is called Sunday. Now, the progeny of the earthly Adam multiplied and was completed and produced within itself all the technical skill of the Adam with soul. But all were in ignorance.


Next, let me continue. When the rulers saw him and the woman who was with him erring in ignorance like beasts, they rejoiced greatly. When they learned that an immortal human was not going to pass them by, but that they would even have to fear the woman who had turned into a tree, they were troubled and said, “Is this, perhaps, the true human, who blinded us and taught us about this defiled woman who is like him, that we might be conquered?”

Then the seven took counsel. They came to Adam and Eve timidly, and they said to him, “The fruit of every tree created for you in paradise may be eaten, but beware, don’t eat from the tree of knowledge. If you do eat, you will die.” After they gave them a great fright, they withdrew up to their authorities.

Then came the one who is wiser than all creatures, who was called the beast. When he saw the likeness of their mother, Eve, he said to her, “What is it that god said to you? ‘Don’t eat from the tree of knowledge’?” She said, “He said not only ‘Don’t eat from it’ but also ‘Don’t touch it, lest you die.’” He said to her, “Don’t be afraid! You certainly shall not die. For he knows that when you eat from it your mind will be sobered and you will become like gods, knowing the difference between evil and good people. For he said this to you because he is jealous, so that you would not eat from it.”

Now, Eve believed the words of the instructor. She looked at the tree and saw that it was beautiful and appealing, and she desired it. She took some of its fruit and ate, and she gave to her husband also, and he ate too. Then their minds opened. For when they ate, the light of knowledge shone for them. When they put on shame, they knew that they were naked with regard to knowledge. When they sobered up, they saw that they were naked, and they became enamored of one another. When they saw that their makers had beastly forms, they loathed them. They understood a great deal.


Then when the rulers knew that Adam and Eve had transgressed their commandment, they entered paradise and came to Adam and Eve in an earthquake and a great threat, to see the result of the help that was given. Then Adam and Eve were very much disturbed and hid under the trees in paradise. The rulers did not know where they were and said, “Adam, where are you?” He said, “I am here. But because of fear of you I hid after I became ashamed.” But they said to him, in ignorance, “Who is the one who spoke to you of the shame that you put on—unless you ate from the tree?” He said, “The woman whom you gave me, she is the one who gave to me, and I ate.” Then they said to that woman, “What is this you have done?” She answered and said, “The instructor is the one who incited me, and I ate.” Then the rulers came to the instructor. Their eyes were blinded by him so they were not able to do anything to him. They merely cursed him, since they were powerless. Afterward they came to the woman, and they cursed her and her offspring. After the woman they cursed Adam and the earth and the fruit because of him. And everything that they created they cursed. There is no blessing from them. Good cannot come from evil.

Since that day the authorities knew that truly there was something stronger than they. They would not have known except that their commandment was broken. They brought a great envy into the world only because of the immortal human.

Now, when the rulers saw that their Adam had acquired a different knowledge, they wanted to test him. They gathered all the domestic animals and wild beasts of the earth and the birds of the heaven, and brought them to Adam to see what he would call them. When he saw them, he gave names to their creatures. They were troubled because Adam had sobered up from all ignorance. They gathered together and took counsel and said, “Look, Adam has become like one of us, so that he understands the difference between light and darkness. Now perhaps he will be deceived as with the tree of knowledge and will come to the tree of life and eat from it and become immortal and rule and condemn us and regard us and all our glory as folly. And then he will pass judgment on us and the world. Come, let’s cast him out of paradise down to the earth, the place from where he was taken, so that he will no longer be able to know anything better than we can.” And so they cast Adam and his wife out of paradise.

And what they had done did not satisfy them. Rather, they were still afraid. They came to the tree of life and they set great terrors around it, fiery living beings called cherubim; and they left a flaming sword in the midst, turning continually with a great terror, so that no one from among earthly beings might ever enter that place.

After these things, when the rulers had become jealous of Adam, they wanted to diminish the human lifetimes, but they were unable because of fate, which was established since the beginning. For their lifetimes were determined: for each of the people one thousand years according to the circuit of the luminaries. But although the rulers were not able to do this, each of the evildoers took away ten years. So all of the remaining time amounts to nine hundred thirty years, and these are spent in grief and weakness and in evil distractions. Thus life has gone, from that day until the consummation of the age.


Then when Sophia Zoe saw that the rulers of darkness cursed her companions, she was angry. And when she came out of the first heaven with every power, she chased the rulers from their heavens, and she cast them down to the sinful world, that they might dwell there as evil demons upon the earth. She sent the bird that was in paradise so that, until the consummation of the age, it might spend the thousand years in the rulers’ world: a vital living being with soul, called the phoenix, which kills itself and reanimates itself for a witness to their judgment, because they dealt unjustly with Adam and his race.

There are three human beings and their descendants in the world until the consummation of the age: the spiritual and the psychical and the earthly. This is like the three kinds of phoenixes of paradise: the first is immortal; the second attains one thousand years; as for the third, it is written in the Holy Book that it is consumed. Likewise three baptisms exist: the first is spiritual, the second is by fire, the third is by water.

Just as the phoenix appears as a witness for the angels, so too the water serpents in Egypt have become a witness to those who go down for the baptism of a true person. The two bulls in Egypt, insofar as they indicate the sun and the moon as a mystery, exist for a witness to Sabaoth, that Sophia of the world has been exalted above the sun and the moon, from the day when she created them and sealed her heaven until the consummation of the age. And the worm that is brought forth from the phoenix is also a human being. It is written of it, “The just will sprout like the phoenix.” The phoenix first appears alive, and dies, and rises again, as a sign of what appears at the consummation of the age. These great signs appeared only in Egypt, not in other lands, signifying that it is like the paradise of god.


Let us come back to the rulers of whom we spoke, that we might present an explanation of them. For when the seven rulers were cast from their heavens down upon the earth, they created for themselves angels, many demonic angels, to serve them. But these demons taught humankind many errors with magic and potions and idolatry, and shedding of blood, and altars, and temples, and sacrifices, and libations to all the demons of the earth, having as their co-worker fate, who came into being according to the agreement by the gods of injustice and justice. And thus when the world came into being, it wandered astray in distraction throughout all time. For all the people who are on the earth served the demons from the creation until the consummation of the age—both the angels of justice and the people of injustice. Thus the world came to be in distraction and ignorance and stupor. They all erred, until the appearance of the true human.

Enough for you to this point. Next we shall consider our world so that we might complete the discussion of its structure and its government in a precise manner. Then it will be clear how belief in hidden things, which have been apparent from the foundation to the consummation of the age, came about.


Now I come to the main points about immortal humankind. I shall explain why the beings belonging to the immortal human are here. When a multitude of people came into being through Adam, who was fashioned, and from matter, and when the world was filled, the rulers reigned over it, that is to say, they held it in ignorance. What is the cause? It is this. Since the immortal father knows that deficiency of truth came into being among the eternal realms and their worlds, when he wanted to bring to naught the rulers of destruction by means of their fashioned creatures, he sent your likenesses, namely, the blessed little guileless spirits, down to the world of destruction. They are not strangers to knowledge. For all knowledge is in an angel who appears before them, who stands in front of the father and is not powerless to give them knowledge. Immediately, whenever they appear in the world of destruction, they will first reveal the pattern of incorruptibility for condemnation of the rulers and their powers. Moreover, when the blessed ones appeared in the fashioned bodies of the authorities, they were envied. And because of envy, the authorities mixed their seed with them to defile them, but they were not able. Moreover, when the blessed ones appeared in their light, they appeared distinctively. And each one of them from their land revealed their knowledge to the assembly that appeared in the fashioned bodies of destruction. The assembly was found to have every seed because of the seed of the authorities that was mixed with it. Then the savior made all of them one. And the spirits of these appeared, being superior and blessed but varying in election, and many others are kingless and superior to everyone who was before them. Consequently, four races exist. There are three that belong to the kings of the eighth heaven. But the fourth race is kingless and perfect, above them all. For these will enter into the holy place of their father, and they will reside in rest, and eternal, ineffable glory, and ceaseless joy. They are already kings, immortal within the mortal realm. They will pass judgment on the gods of chaos and their powers.


Now, the word, who is more exalted than anyone, was sent for this work only, to announce what is unknown. He said, “There is nothing hidden that will not appear, and what was unknown will be known.” Now these were sent so they might reveal what is hidden and expose the seven authorities of chaos and their impiety. And they were condemned to be killed. So when all the perfect ones appeared in the fashioned bodies of the rulers and revealed incomparable truth, they put to shame every wisdom of the gods, and their fate was discovered to be condemnable, their power dried up, their dominion was destroyed, and their forethought and their glory became empty.


Before the consummation of the age, the whole place will be shaken by great thunder. Then the rulers will lament, crying out on account of their death. The angels will mourn for their human beings, and the demons will weep for their times and seasons, and their people will mourn and cry out on account of their death. Then the age will begin, and they will be disturbed. Their kings will be drunk from the flaming sword and will make war against one another, so that the earth will be drunk from the blood that is poured out. And the seas will be troubled by that war. Then the sun will darken and the moon will lose its light. The stars of the heaven will disregard their course, and great thunder will come out of great power that is above all the powers of chaos, the place where the firmament of the woman is situated. When she has created the first work, she will take off her wise flame of afterthought and will put on irrational wrath. Then she will drive out the gods of chaos, whom she had created together with the chief creator. She will cast them down to the abyss. They will be wiped out by their own injustice. For they will become like the mountains that blaze out fire, and they will consume one another until they are destroyed by their chief creator. When he destroys them, he will turn against himself and destroy himself until he ceases to be. And their heavens will fall upon one another and their powers will burn. Their realms will also be overthrown. And the chief creator’s heaven will fall and split in two. Likewise, his stars in their sphere will fall down to the earth, and the earth will not be able to support them. They will fall down to the abyss, and the abyss will be overthrown.


The light will cover the darkness and obliterate it. It will become like something that never existed. And the source of the darkness will be dissolved. The deficiency will be plucked out at its root and thrown down to the darkness. And the light will withdraw up to its root, and the glory of the unconceived will appear, and it will fill all the eternal realms, when the prophetic utterances and the writings of those who are rulers are revealed and are fulfilled by those who are called perfect. Those who were not perfected in the unconceived father will receive their glories in their realms and in the kingdoms of immortals. But they will not ever enter the kingless realm.

For it is necessary that everyone enter the place from which he has come. Each one by his deeds and his gnosis will reveal his nature.

Translated by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer



The Sophia (Wisdom) of Jesus Christ

After he rose from the dead, his twelve disciples and seven women continued to be his followers, and went to Galilee onto the mountain called “Divination and Joy”. When they gathered together and were perplexed about the underlying reality of the universe and the plan, and the holy providence, and the power of the authorities, and about everything the Savior is doing with them in the secret of the holy plan, the Savior appeared – not in his previous form, but in the invisible spirit. And his likeness resembles a great angel of light. But his resemblance I must not describe. No mortal flesh could endure it, but only pure, perfect flesh, like that which he taught us about on the mountain called “Of the Olives” in Galilee.

And he said: “Peace be to you, My peace I give you!” And they all marveled and were afraid. The Savior laughed and said to them: “What are you thinking about? Are you perplexed? What are you searching for?”

Philip said: “For the underlying reality of the universe and the plan.”

The Savior said to them: “I want you to know that all men are born on earth from the foundation of the world until now, being dust, while they have inquired about God, who he is and what he is like, have not found him. Now the wisest among them have speculated from the ordering of the world and (its) movement. But their speculation has not reached the truth. For it is said that the ordering is directed in three ways, by all the philosophers, (and) hence they do not agree. For some of them say about the world that it is directed by itself. Others, that it is providence (that directs it). Others, that it is fate. But it is none of these. Again, of the three voices I have just mentioned, none is close to the truth, and (they are) from man. But I, who came from Infinite Light, I am here – for I know him (Light) – that I might speak to you about the precise nature of the truth. For whatever is from itself is a polluted life; it is self-made. Providence has no wisdom in it. And fate does not discern. But to you it is given to know; and whoever is worthy of knowledge will receive (it), whoever has not been begotten by the sowing of unclean rubbing but by First Who Was Sent, for he is an immortal in the midst of mortal men.”

Matthew said to him: “Lord, no one can find the truth except through you. Therefore teach us the truth.”

The Savior said: “He Who Is is ineffable. No principle knew him, no authority, no subjection, nor any creature from the foundation of the world until now, except he alone, and anyone to whom he wants to make revelation through him who is from First Light. From now on, I am the Great Savior. For he is immortal and eternal. Now he is eternal, having no birth; for everyone who has birth will perish. He is unbegotten, having no beginning; for everyone who has a beginning has an end. Since no one rules over him, he has no name; for whoever has a name is the creation of another.”

(BG 84, 13-17 adds: He is unnameable. He has no human form; for whoever has human form is the creation of another).

“And he has a semblance of his own – not like what you have seen and received, but a strange semblance that surpasses all things and is better than the universe. It looks to every side and sees itself from itself. Since it is infinite, he is ever incomprehensible. He is imperishable and has no likeness (to anything). He is unchanging good. He is faultless. He is eternal. He is blessed. While he is not known, he ever knows himself. He is immeasurable. He is untraceable. He is perfect, having no defect. He is imperishability blessed. He is called ‘Father of the Universe'”.

Philip said: “Lord, how, then, did he appear to the perfect ones?”

The perfect Savior said to him: “Before anything is visible of those that are visible, the majesty and the authority are in him, since he embraces the whole of the totalities, while nothing embraces him. For he is all mind. And he is thought and considering and reflecting and rationality and power. They all are equal powers. They are the sources of the totalities. And their whole race from first to last was in his foreknowledge, (that of) the infinite, unbegotten Father.”

Thomas said to him: “Lord, Savior, why did these come to be, and why were these revealed?”

The perfect Savior said: “I came from the Infinite that I might tell you all things. Spirit-Who-Is was the begetter, who had the power <of> a begetter and a form-giver`s nature, that the great wealth that was hidden in him might be revealed. Because of his mercy and his love, he wished to bring forth fruit by himself, that he might not <enjoy> his goodness alone, but (that) other spirits of the Unwavering Generation might bring forth body and fruit, glory and honor, in imperishableness and his infinite grace, that his treasure might be revealed by Self-begotten God, the father of every imperishableness and those that came to be afterward. But they had not yet come to visibility. Now a great difference exists among the imperishables.”

He called out, saying: “Whoever has ears to hear about the infinities, let him hear!”; and “I have addressed those who are awake.” Still he continued and said: “Everything that came from the perishable will perish, since it came from the perishable. But whatever came from imperishableness does not perish but becomes imperishable. So, many men went astray because they had not known this difference and they died.”

Mary said to him: “Lord, then how will we know that?”

The perfect Savior said: “Come (you) from invisible things to the end of those that are visible, and the very emanation of Thought will reveal to you how faith in those things that are not visible was found in those that are visible, those that belong to Unbegotten Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!

“The Lord of the Universe is not called ‘Father’, but ‘Forefather’, the beginning of those that will appear, but he (the Lord) is the beginningless Forefather. Seeing himself within himself in a mirror, he appeared resembling himself, but his likeness appeared as Divine Self-Father, and <as> Confronter over the Confronted ones, First Existent Unbegotten Father. He is indeed of equal age <with> the Light that is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.

“And afterward was revealed a whole multitude of confronting, self-begotten ones, equal in age and power, being in glory (and) without number, whose race is called ‘The Generation over Whom There Is No Kingdom’ from the one in whom you yourselves have appeared from these men. And that whole multitude over which there is no kingdom is called ‘Sons of Unbegotten Father, God, Savior, Son of God,’ whose likeness is with you. Now he is the unknowable, who is full of ever-imperishable glory and ineffable joy. They all are at rest in him, ever rejoicing in ineffable joy in his unchanging glory and measureless jubilation; this was never heard or known among all the aeons and their worlds until now.”

Matthew said to him: “Lord, Savior, how was Man revealed?”

The perfect Savior said: “I want you to know that he who appeared before the universe in infinity, Self-grown, Self-constructed Father, being full of shining light and ineffable, in the beginning, when he decided to have his likeness become a great power, immediately the principle (or beginning) of that Light appeared as Immortal Androgynous Man, that through that Immortal Androgynous Man they might attain their salvation and awake from forgetfulness through the interpreter who was sent, who is with you until the end of the poverty of the robbers.

“And his consort is the Great Sophia, who from the first was destined in him for union by Self-begotten Father, from Immortal Man, who appeared as First and divinity and kingdom, for the Father, who is called ‘Man, Self-Father’, revealed this. And he created a great aeon, whose name is ‘Ogdoad’, for his own majesty.

“He was given great authority, and he ruled over the creation of poverty. He created gods and angels, <and> archangels, myriads without number for retinue, from that Light and the tri-male Spirit, which is that of Sophia, his consort. For from this, God originated divinity and kingdom. Therefore he was called ‘God of gods’ and ‘King of kings’.

“First Man has his unique mind, within, and thought – just as he is it (thought) – (and) considering, reflecting, rationality, power. All the attributes that exist are perfect and immortal. In respect to imperishableness, they are indeed equal. (But) in respect to power, they are different, like the difference between father and son <, and son> and thought, and the thought and the remainder. As I said earlier, among the things that were created, the monad is first.

“And after everything, all that was revealed appeared from his power. And from what was created, all that was fashioned appeared; from what was fashioned appeared what was formed; from what was formed, what was named. Thus came the difference among the unbegotten ones from beginning to end.”

Then Bartholomew said to him: “How (is it that) <he> was designated in the Gospel ‘Man’ and ‘Son of Man’? To which of them, then, is this Son related?”

The Holy One said to him: “I want you to know that First Man is called ‘Begetter, Self-perfected Mind’. He reflected with Great Sophia, his consort, and revealed his first-begotten, androgynous son. His male name is designated ‘First Begetter, Son of God’, his female name, ‘First Begettress Sophia, Mother of the Universe’. Some call her ‘Love’. Now First-begotten is called ‘Christ’. Since he has authority from his father, he created a multitude of angels without number for retinue from Spirit and Light.”

His disciples said to him: “Lord, reveal to us about the one called ‘Man’, that we also may know his glory exactly.”

The perfect Savior said: “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. First Begetter Father is called ‘Adam, Eye of Light,’ because he came from shining Light, and his holy angels, who are ineffable (and) shadowless, ever rejoice with joy in their reflecting, which they received from their Father. The whole Kingdom of Son of Man, who is called ‘Son of God,’ is full of ineffable and shadowless joy, and unchanging jubilation, (they) rejoicing over his imperishable glory, which has never been heard until now, nor has it been revealed in the aeons that came afterward, and their worlds. I came from Self-begotten and First Infinite Light, that I might reveal everything to you.”

Again, his disciples said: “Tell us clearly how they came down from the invisibilities, from the immortal to the world that dies?”

The perfect Savior said: “Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous light. His male name is designated ‘Savior, Begetter of All Things’. His female name is designated ‘All-Begettress Sophia’. Some call her ‘Pistis’.

“All who come into the world, like a drop from the Light, are sent by him to the world of Almighty, that they might be guarded by him. And the bond of his forgetfulness bound him by the will of Sophia, that the matter might be <revealed> through it to the whole world in poverty, concerning his (Almighty’s) arrogance and blindness and the ignorance that he was named. But I came from the places above by the will of the great Light, (I) who escaped from that bond; I have cut off the work of the robbers; I have awakened that drop that was sent from Sophia, that it might bear much fruit through me, and be perfected and not again be defective, but be <joined> through me, the Great Savior, that his glory might be revealed, so that Sophia might also be justified in regard to that defect, that her sons might not again become defective but might attain honor and glory and go up to their Father, and know the words of the masculine Light. And you were sent by the Son, who was sent that you might receive Light, and remove yourselves from the forgetfulness of the authorities, and that it might not again come to appearance because of you, namely, the unclean rubbing that is from the fearful fire that came from their fleshly part. Tread upon their malicious intent.”

Then Thomas said to him: “Lord, Savior, how many are the aeons of those who surpass the heavens?”

The perfect Savior said: “I praise you (pl.) because you ask about the great aeons, for your roots are in the infinities. Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, he provided ….

[pages 109 and 110 are missing in NHC III, replaced here by the corresponding section in the Berlin Gnostic Codex, the beginning of which is somewhat different from the final partial sentence of NHC III 108 (the broken off sentence)]

[BG 107]: “Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, Self-begetter Father very soon created twelve aeons for retinue for the twelve angels. All these are perfect and good. Thus the defect in the female appeared.”

And <he> said to him: “How many are the aeons of the immortals, starting from the infinities?”

The perfect Savior said: “Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The first aeon is that of Son of Man, who is called ‘First Begetter’, who is called ‘Savior’, who has appeared. The second aeon (is) that of Man, who is called ‘Adam, Eye of Light’. That which embraces these is the aeon over which there is no kingdom, (the aeon) of the Eternal Infinite God, the Self-begotten aeon of the aeons that are in it, (the aeon) of the immortals, whom I described earlier, (the aeon) above the Seventh, that appeared from Sophia, which is the first aeon.

“Now Immortal Man revealed aeons and powers and kingdoms, and gave authority to all who appear in him, that they might exercise their desires until the last things that are above chaos. For these consented with each other and revealed every magnificence, even from spirit, multitudinous lights that are glorious and without number. These were called in the beginning, that is, the first aeon and <the second> and <the third>. The first <is> called ‘Unity and Rest’. Each one has its (own) name; for the <third> aeon was designated ‘Assembly’ from the great multitude that appeared: in one, a multitude revealed themselves. Now because the multitudes gather and come to a unity we call them ‘Assembly of the Eighth.’It appeared as androgynous and was name partly as male and partly as female. The male is called ‘Assembly’, while the female is called ‘Life’, that it might be shown that from a female came the life for all the aeons. And every name was received, starting from the beginning.

“For from his concurrence with his thought, the powers very soon appeared who were called ‘gods’; and the gods of the gods from their wisdom revealed gods; <and the gods> from their wisdom revealed lords; and the lords of the lords from their thinkings revealed lords; and the lords from their power revealed archangels; the archangels from their words revealed angels; from them, semblances appeared, with structure and form and name for all the aeons and their worlds.

“And the immortals, whom I have just described, all have authority from Immortal Man, who is called ‘Silence’, because by reflecting without speech all her own majesty was perfected. For since the imperishabilities had the authority, each created a great kingdom in the Eighth, (and) also thrones and temples (and) firmaments for their own majesties. For these all came by the will of the Mother of the Universe.”

Then the Holy Apostles said to him: “Lord, Savior, tell us about those who are in the aeons, since it is necessary for us to ask about them.”

The perfect Savior said: “If you ask about anything, I will tell you. They created hosts of angels, myriads without number, for retinue and their glory. They created virgin spirits, the ineffable and unchangeable lights. For they have no sickness nor weakness, but it is will. [BG 115,14 adds here: And they came to be in an instant.]

“Thus the aeons were completed quickly in the heavens and the firmaments in the glory of Immortal Man and Sophia, his consort: the area from which every aeon and the world and those that came afterward took (their) pattern for their creation of likenesses in the heavens of chaos and their worlds. And all natures, starting from the revelation of chaos, are in the Light that shines without shadow, and joy that cannot be described, and unutterable jubilation. They ever delight themselves on account of their unchanging glory and the immeasurable rest, which cannot be described among all the aeons that came to be afterward, and all their powers. Now all that I have just said to you, I said that you might shine in Light more than these.”

Mary said to him: “Holy Lord, where did your disciples come from, and where are they going, and (what) should they do here?”

The Perfect Savior said to them: “I want you to know that Sophia, the Mother of the Universe and the consort, desired by herself to bring these to existence without her male (consort). But by the will of the Father of the Universe, that his unimaginable goodness might be revealed, he created that curtain between the immortals and those that came afterward, that the consequence might follow … [BG 118:] … every aeon and chaos – that the defect of the female might <appear>, and it might come about that Error would contend with her. And these became the curtain of spirit. From <the> aeons above the emanations of Light, as I have said already, a drop from Light and Spirit came down to the lower regions of Almighty in chaos, that their molded forms might appear from that drop, for it is a judgment on him, Arch-Begetter, who is called ‘Yaldabaoth’. That drop revealed their molded forms through the breath, as a living soul. It was withered and it slumbered in the ignorance of the soul. When it became hot from the breath of the Great Light of the Male, and it took thought, (then) names were received by all who are in the world of chaos, and all things that are in it through that Immortal One, when the breath blew into him. But when this came about by the will of Mother Sophia – so that Immortal Man might piece together the garments there for a judgment on the robbers – <he> then welcomed the blowing of that breath; but since he was soul-like, he was not able to take that power for himself until the number of chaos should be complete, (that is,) when the time determined by the great angel is complete.

“Now I have taught you about Immortal Man and have loosed the bonds of the robbers from him. I have broken the gates of the pitiless ones in their presence. I have humiliated their malicious intent, and they all have been shamed and have risen from their ignorance. Because of this, then, I came here, that they might be joined with that Spirit and Breath, [NHC III continues:] and might from two become one, just as from the first, that you might yield much fruit and go up to Him Who Is from the Beginning, in ineffable joy and glory and honor and grace of the Father of the Universe.

“Whoever, then, knows the Father in pure knowledge will depart to the Father and repose in Unbegotten Father. But whoever knows him defectively will depart to the defect and the rest of the Eighth. Now whoever knows Immortal Spirit of Light in silence, through reflecting and consent in the truth, let him bring me signs of the Invisible One, and he will become a light in the Spirit of Silence. Whoever knows Son of Man in knowledge and love, let him bring me a sign of Son of Man, that he might depart to the dwelling-places with those in the Eighth.

“Behold, I have revealed to you the name of the Perfect One, the whole will of the Mother of the Holy Angels, that the masculine multitude may be completed here, that there might appear in the aeons, the infinities and those that came to be in the untraceable wealth of the Great Invisible Spirit, that they all might take from his goodness, even the wealth of their rest that has no kingdom over it. I came from First Who Was Sent, that I might reveal to you Him Who Is from the Beginning, because of the arrogance of Arch-Begetter and his angels, since they say about themselves that they are gods. And I came to remove them from their blindness, that I might tell everyone about the God who is above the universe. Therefore, tread upon their graves, humiliate their malicious intent, and break their yoke and arouse my own. I have given you authority over all things as Sons of Light, that you might tread upon their power with your feet.”

These are the things the blessed Savior said, and he disappeared from them. Then all the disciples were in great, ineffable joy in the spirit from that day on. And his disciples began to preach the Gospel of God, the eternal, imperishable Spirit. Amen.

Translated by Douglas M. Parrott


Especially resales great Faithful years ago and my wife was so happy that she had acquired a lot of thousands more in world oil and water.

thought and the mind of the father. This is the one who is called the savior, since that

thought and the mind of the father. This is the one who is called the savior, since that


The gospel of truth is joy for those who have received from the father of truth the grace of knowing him by the power of the word, who has come from the fullness and who is in the thought and the mind of the father. This is the one who is called the savior, since that is the name of the work that he must do for the redemption of those who have not known the father. For the name of the gospel is the revelation of hope, since that is the discovery of those who seek him, because the realm of all sought him from whom it came. You see, all was inside of him, that illimitable, inconceivable one, who is better than every thought.


This ignorance of the father brought about terror and fear. And terror became dense like a fog, so no one was able to see. Because of this, error became strong. But she worked on her material substance vainly, because she did not know the truth. She assumed a fashioned figure while she was preparing, in power and in beauty, the substitute for truth.

This, then, was not a humiliation for the illimitable, inconceivable one. For they were as nothing, this terror and this forgetfulness and this figure of falsehood, whereas established truth is unchanging, unperturbed, and completely beautiful.

For this reason, do not take error too seriously.

Since error had no root, she was in a fog regarding the father. She was preparing works and forgetfulnesses and fears in order, by these means, to beguile those of the middle and to make them captive. The forgetfulness of error was not revealed. It did not become light beside the father. Forgetfulness did not exist with the father, although it existed because of him. What exists in him is knowledge, which was revealed so that forgetfulness might be destroyed and that the father might be known. Since forgetfulness existed because the father was not known, if the father comes to be known, from that moment on forgetfulness will cease to exist.


That is the gospel of him whom they seek, which he has revealed to the perfect through the mercies of the father as the hidden mystery, Jesus the anointed. Through him he enlightened those who were in darkness because of forgetfulness. He enlightened them and gave them a path. And that path is the truth that he taught them. For this reason error was angry with him, so she persecuted him. She was distressed by him, and she was made powerless. He was nailed to a tree. He became a fruit of the knowledge of the father. He did not, however, destroy them because they ate of it. He rather caused those who ate of it to be joyful because of this discovery.

And as for him, he found them in himself, and they found him in themselves, that illimitable, inconceivable one, that perfect father who made all, in whom the realm of all is, and whom the realm of all lacks, since he retained in himself their perfection, which he had not given to all. The father was not jealous. What jealousy, indeed, is there between him and his members? For, even if the eternal being had received their perfection, they would not have been able to approach the perfection of the father, because he retained their perfection in himself, giving it to them as a way to return to him and as a knowledge unique in perfection. He is the one who set all in order and in whom all existed and whom all lacked. As one of whom some have no knowledge, he wants them to know him and love him. What did they lack, if not the knowledge of the father?


Jesus became a guide, quiet and at leisure. In the middle of a school he came and spoke the word, as a teacher. Those who were wise in their own estimation came to put him to the test. But he discredited them as empty-headed people. They hated him because they really were not wise. After all these came also the little children, those who possess the knowledge of the father. When they became strong they were taught the aspects of the father’s face. They came to know and they were known. They were glorified and they gave glory.


In their heart, the living book of the living was manifest, the book that was written in the thought and in the mind of the father and, from before the foundation of all, is in that incomprehensible part of him.

This is the book that no one found possible to take, since it was reserved for him who will take it and be slain. No one could appear among those who believed in salvation as long as that book had not appeared. For this reason, the compassionate, faithful Jesus was patient in his sufferings until he took that book, since he knew that his death meant life for many. Just as in the case of a will that has not yet been opened, the fortune of the deceased master of the house is hidden, so also in the case of all that had been hidden as long as the father of all was invisible and unique in himself, in whom every space has its source. For this reason Jesus appeared. He put on that book. He was nailed to a cross. He affixed the edict of the father to the cross.

Oh, such great teaching! He abases himself even unto death, though he is clothed in eternal life. Having divested himself of these perishable rags, he clothed himself in incorruptibility, which no one could possibly take from him. Having entered into the empty territory of fears, he passed before those who were stripped by forgetfulness, being both knowledge and perfection, proclaiming the things that are in the heart of the father, so that he became the wisdom of those who have received instruction. But those who are to be taught, the living who are inscribed in the book of the living, learn for themselves, receiving instructions from the father, turning to him again.

Since the perfection of all is in the father, it is necessary for all to ascend to him. Therefore, if one has knowledge, he gets what belongs to him and draws it to himself. For one who is ignorant is deficient, and it is a great deficiency, since he lacks that which will make him perfect. Since the perfection of all is in the father, it is necessary for all to ascend to him and for each one to get the things that are his. He wrote these things first, having prepared them to be given to those who came from him.


Those whose names he knew first were called last, so that the one who has knowledge is one whose name the father has pronounced. For one whose name has not been spoken is ignorant. Indeed, how shall one hear if a name has not been uttered? For whoever remains ignorant until the end is a creature of forgetfulness and will perish with it. If this is not so, why have these wretches no name, why have they no voice? Hence, whoever has knowledge is from above. If called, that person hears, replies, and turns toward him who called. That person ascends to him and knows how he is called. Having knowledge, that person does the will of him who called. That person desires to please him, finds rest, and receives a certain name. Those who thus are going to have knowledge know whence they came and whither they are going. They know it as someone who, having become intoxicated, has turned from his drunkenness and, having come to himself, has restored what is his own.

He has turned many from error. He went before them to their own places, from which they departed when they erred because of the depth of him who surrounds every place, whereas there is nothing that surrounds him. It was a great wonder that they were in the father without knowing him and that they were able to leave on their own, since they were not able to contain him and know him in whom they were, for indeed his will had not come forth from him. For he revealed it as a knowledge with which all its emanations agree, namely, the knowledge of the living book that he revealed to the eternal beings at last as his letters, displaying to them that these are not merely vowels or consonants, so that one may read them and think of something void of meaning. On the contrary, they are letters that convey the truth. They are pronounced only when they are known. Each letter is a perfect truth like a perfect book, for they are letters written by the hand of the unity, since the father wrote them for the eternal beings, so that they by means of his letters might come to know the father.


His wisdom contemplates the word,

his teaching expresses it,

his knowledge has revealed it,

his honor is a crown upon it,

his joy agrees with it,

his glory has exalted it,

his image has revealed it,

his rest has received it,

his love has embodied it,

his trust has embraced it.

Thus the word of the father goes forth into all, being the fruit of his heart and expression of his will. It supports all. It chooses them and also takes the character of all and purifies them, causing them to return to the father, to the mother, Jesus of the utmost sweetness. The father opens his bosom, and his bosom is the holy spirit. He reveals his hidden self, which is his son, so that through the compassion of the father the eternal beings may know him, end their wearying search for the father, and rest themselves in him, knowing that this is rest. After he had filled what was incomplete, he did away with its form. The form of that which was incomplete is the world, which it served.

For where there is envy and strife, there is an incompleteness; but where there is unity, there is completeness. Since this incompleteness came about because they did not know the father, from the moment when they know the father, incompleteness will cease to exist. As one’s ignorance disappears when one gains knowledge, and as darkness disappears when light appears, so also incompleteness is eliminated by completeness. Certainly, from that moment on, form is no longer manifest but will be dissolved in fusion with unity. Now their works lie scattered. In time unity will make the spaces complete. By means of unity each one will understand himself. By means of knowledge one will purify himself from multiplicity into unity, devouring matter within himself like fire and darkness by light, death by life.


Certainly, if these things have happened to each one of us, it is fitting for us, surely, to think about all so that the house may be holy and silent for unity. Like people who have moved from a house, if they have some dishes around that are not good, they are broken. Nevertheless, the householder does not suffer a loss but rejoices, for in the place of these defective dishes there are those that are completely perfect. For this is the judgement that has come from above and that has judged every person, a drawn two-edged sword cutting on this side and that. When the word appeared, who is in the heart of those who pronounce it—it was not merely a sound but has become a body—a great disturbance occurred among the dishes, for some were emptied, others filled; some were provided for, others were removed; some were purified, still others were broken. All the spaces were shaken and disturbed for they had no composure nor stability. Error was disturbed, not knowing what she should do. She was troubled, she lamented, she was beside herself because she did not know anything. When knowledge, which is the abolishment of error, approached her with all her emanations, error was empty, since there was nothing in her. Truth appeared; all its emanations recognized it. They greeted the father in truth with a power which is complete and which joins them with the father.


Each one loves truth because truth is the mouth of the father. His tongue is the holy spirit. Whoever touches truth touches the mouth of the father by his tongue at the time when one will receive the holy spirit.

This is the manifestation of the father and his revelation to his eternal beings. He revealed what is hidden in him and explained it. For who is it who exists if it is not the father himself? All the spaces are his emanations. They knew that they stem from him as children from a perfect man. They knew that they had not yet received form, nor had they yet received a name, every one of which the father produces. If they at that time receive the form of his knowledge, though they are truly in him, they do not know him. But the father is perfect. He knows every space that is within him. If he pleases, he reveals anyone whom he desires by giving him a form and by giving him a name; and he does give a name and cause to come into being. Those who do not yet exist are ignorant of him who created them. I do not say, then, that those who do not yet exist are nothing. But they are in him who will desire that they exist when he pleases, like an event that is going to happen. On the one hand, he knows, before anything is revealed, what he will produce. On the other hand, the fruit that has not yet been revealed does not know anything nor is anything either. Thus each space that, on its part, is in the father comes from the existent one, who, on his part, has established it from the non existent. For whoever has no root has no fruit, but although thinking, “I have come into being,” that one will perish. For this reason, whoever does not exist at all will never exist.


What, then, is that which he wants such a one to think? “I am like the shadows and phantoms of the night.” When morning comes, this one knows that the fear that had been experienced was nothing.

Thus they were ignorant of the father; he is the one whom they did not see. Since there had been fear and confusion and a lack of confidence and double-mindedness and division, there were many illusions that were conceived by them, as well as empty ignorance—as if they were fast asleep and found themselves a prey to troubled dreams.

Either they are fleeing somewhere, or they lack strength to escape when pursued. They are involved in inflicting blows, or they themselves receive bruises. They are falling from high places, or they fly through the air with no wings at all. Other times, it is as if certain people were trying to kill them, even though there is no one pursuing them; or they themselves are killing those beside them, and they are stained by their blood. Until the moment when they who are passing through all these things—I mean they who have experienced all these confusions—awaken, they see nothing because the dreams were nothing. It is thus that they who cast ignorance from them like sleep do not consider it to be anything, nor regard its properties to be something real, but they renounce them like a dream in the night and they consider the knowledge of the father to be the dawn. It is thus that each one has acted, as if asleep, during the time of ignorance, and thus a person comes to understand, as if awakening. And happy is the one who comes to himself and awakens. Indeed, blessings on one who has opened the eyes of the blind.

The spirit came to this person in haste when the person was awakened. Having given its hand to the one lying prone on the ground, it placed him firmly on his feet, for he had not yet stood up. This gave them the means of knowing the knowledge of the father and the revelation of his son. For when they saw it and listened to it, he permitted them to take a taste of and to smell and to grasp the beloved son.


The son appeared, informing them of the father, the illimitable one. He inspired them with that which is in the mind, while doing his will. Many received the light and turned toward him. But material people were alien to him and did not discern his appearance nor recognize him. For he came in the likeness of flesh and nothing blocked his way because what is incorruptible is irresistible. Moreover, while saying new things, speaking about what is in the heart of the father, he proclaimed the faultless word. Light spoke through his mouth, and his voice brought forth life. He gave them thought and understanding and mercy and salvation, and the spirit of strength derived from the infinity and sweetness of the father. He caused punishments and scourgings to cease, for it was they that caused many in need of mercy to stray from him in error and in chains—and he mightily destroyed them and derided them with knowledge. He became a path for those who went astray and knowledge for those who were ignorant, a discovery for those who sought, and a support for those who tremble, a purity for those who were defiled.


He is the shepherd who left behind the ninety-nine sheep that had not strayed and went in search of that one which was lost. He rejoiced when he had found it. For ninety-nine is a number expressed with the left hand. The moment he finds the one, however, the whole number is transferred to the right hand. Thus it is with him who lacks the one, that is, the entire right hand, which attracts that in which it is deficient, seizes it from the left side, and transfers it to the right. In this way, then, the number becomes one hundred. This is the symbol of the sound of the numbers. It is the father.

He laboured even on the Sabbath for the sheep that he found fallen into the pit. He saved the life of that sheep, bringing it up from the pit that you may understand fully what that Sabbath is, you who are the children of the understanding of the heart. It is a day in which it is not fitting that salvation be idle, so that you may speak of that heavenly day that has no night and of the sun that does not set because it is perfect. Say then in your heart that you are this perfect day and that in you lives the light that does not fail.


Speak concerning the truth to those who seek it and of knowledge to those who, in their error, have committed sins. Make sure-footed those who stumble, and stretch forth your hands to the sick. Nourish the hungry, and set at ease those who are troubled. Raise up and awaken those who sleep. You are this understanding that seizes you. If the strong follow this course, they are even stronger. Turn your attention to yourselves. Do not be concerned with other things, namely, that which you have cast forth from yourselves, that which you have dismissed. Do not return to them to eat them. Do not be moth-eaten. Do not be worm-eaten, for you have already shaken it off. Do not be a place of the devil, for you have already destroyed him. Do not strengthen your last obstacles, because that is reprehensible. For the lawless one is nothing. He harms himself more than the law. For that one does his works because he is a lawless person. But this one, because he is a righteous person, does his works among others. Do the will of the father, then, for you are from him.


For the father is sweet and his will is good. He knows the things that are yours, so that you may rest yourselves in them. For by the fruits one knows the things that are yours, that they are the children of the father, and one knows his aroma, that you originate from the grace of his countenance. For this reason, the father loves his aroma; and it manifests itself in every place; and when it is mixed with matter, he gives his aroma to the light; and into his rest he causes it to ascend in every form and in every sound. For it is not ears that smell the aroma, but it is the spirit that possesses the sense of smell and draws it for itself to itself and sinks into the aroma of the father. Thus the spirit cares for it and takes it to the place from which it has come, the first aroma, which has grown cold. It is in a psychical form, resembling cold water that has sunk into soil that is not hard, of which those who see it think, “It is earth.” Afterward, it evaporates if a breath of wind draws it, and it becomes warm. The cold aromas, then, are from division. For this reason, faith came and destroyed division and brought the warm fullness of love, so that the cold may not return, but the unity of perfect thought may prevail.


This is the word of the gospel about finding the fullness for those who wait for the salvation that comes from above. When their hope, for which they are waiting, is waiting—they whose likeness is the light in which there is no shadow—then at that time the fullness is about to come. The deficiency of matter, however, is not because of the infinity of the father, who came to give time to deficiency. In fact, it is not right to say that the incorruptible one will come in this manner. The depth of the father is profound, and the thought of error is not with him. It is a matter of falling down and a matter of being readily set upright at the discovery of the one who has come to what he would bring back.

This bringing back is called repentance. For this reason, incorruption has breathed. It followed one who has sinned, in order that he may find rest. Forgiveness is that which remains for the light in the deficiency, the word of the fullness. For the doctor hurries to the place where there is sickness, because that is the doctor’s wish. The sick person is in a deficient condition but does not hide, because the doctor possesses what the patient lacks. In this manner the deficiency is filled by the fullness, which has no deficiency, and which was given in order to fill the one deficient, so that the person may receive grace. For while deficient, this person had no grace. Because of this a diminishing occurred where there is no grace. When the diminished part was restored, the person in need revealed himself as fullness. This is what it means to find the light of truth that has shone toward the person: it is unchangeable.


For this reason they who have been troubled speak about Christ in their midst so that they may receive restoration and he may anoint them with the ointment. The ointment is the pity of the father, who will have mercy on them. But those whom he has anointed are those who are perfect. For filled vessels are usually coated with sealing wax. But when the coating is ruined, the vessel may leak, and the cause of its defect is the lack of coating. For then a breath of wind and the power that it has can make it evaporate. But from the jar that is without defect no seal is removed, nor does it leak. But what it lacks is filled again by the perfect father.

The father is good. He knows his plantings because he is the one who has planted them in his paradise. And his paradise is his place of rest.


Paradise is the perfection in the thought of the father, and the plants are the words of his reflection. Each one of his words is the work of his will alone, in the revelation of his word. Since they were in the depth of his mind, the word, who was the first to come forth, caused them to appear, along with an intellect that speaks the unique word by means of a silent grace. It was called thought, since they were in it before becoming manifest. It happened, then, that the word was the first to come forth at the moment pleasing to the will of him who desired it; and it is in the will that the father is at rest and with which he is pleased. Nothing happens without him, nor does anything occur without the will of the father. But his will is incomprehensible. His will is his footstep, but no one can know it, nor is it possible for them to concentrate on it in order to possess it. But that which he wishes takes place at the moment he wishes it—even if the view does not please people before god: it is the father’s will. For the father knows the beginning of them all as well as their end. For when their end arrives, he will greet them. The end, you see, is the recognition of him who is hidden, that is, the father, from whom the beginning came forth and to whom will return all who have come from him. For they were made manifest for the glory and the joy of his name.


The name of the father is the son. It is he who, in the beginning, gave a name to him who came from him, while he remained the same, and he conceived him as a son. He gave him his name, which belonged to him—he, the father, who possesses everything that exists around him. He possesses the name; he has the son. It is possible for the son to be seen. The name, however, is invisible, for it alone is the mystery of the invisible about to come to ears completely filled with it through the father’s agency. Moreover, as for the father, his name is not pronounced but is revealed through a son. Thus, then, the name is great.

Who, then, has been able to pronounce a name for him, this great name, except him alone to whom the name belongs and the children of the name, in whom the name of the father is at rest, and who themselves in turn are at rest in his name, since the father has no beginning? It is he alone who conceived it for himself as a name, in the beginning before he had created the eternal beings, that the name of the father should be supreme over them—that is, the true name, which is secure by his authority and by his perfect power. For the name is not drawn from lexicons, nor is his name derived from common name-giving. It is invisible. The father alone gave the son a name, because he alone saw him and because he alone was capable of giving him a name. For he who does not exist has no name. For what name would one give him who did not exist? Nevertheless, he who exists exists also with his name, and he alone knows it, and to him alone the father gave a name. He is the father, his name is the son. He did not, therefore, keep it secretly hidden, but it came into existence, and the son himself disclosed the name. The name, then, is that of the father, just as the name of the father is the beloved son. For otherwise, where would he find a name except from the father? But someone will probably say to a friend, “Who would give a name to someone who existed before himself, as if, indeed, children did not receive their name from one of those who gave them birth?”

Above all, then, it is fitting for us to think this point over: what is the name? This is the true name, the name that came from the father, for it is he who owns the name. He did not, you see, get the name on loan, as in the case of others, who receive names that are made up. This is the proper name. There is no one else to whom he has given it. It remained unnamed, unuttered, till the moment when he who is perfect pronounced it himself; and it was he alone who was able to pronounce his name and to see it. When it pleased the father, then, that his son should be his pronounced name, and when he who has come from the depth disclosed this name, he divulged what was hidden, because he knew that the father was absolute goodness. For this reason, indeed, the father brought this particular one forth, that he might speak concerning the realm and his place of rest from which he had come forth, and that he might glorify the fullness, the greatness of his name and the sweetness of the father.


Each one will speak concerning the place from which they have come forth, and to the region from which they received their essential being they will hasten to return once again and receive from that place, the place where they stood before, and they will taste of that place, be nourished, and grow. And their own place of rest is their fullness. All the emanations from the father, therefore, are fullnesses, and all his emanations have their roots in the one who caused them all to grow from himself. He assigned their destinies. They, then, became manifest individually that they might be perfected in their own thought, for that place to which they extend their thought is their root, which lifts them upward through all heights to the father. They reach his head, which is rest for them, and they remain there near to it as though to say that they have touched his face by means of embraces. But they do not make this plain. For neither have they exalted themselves nor have they diminished the glory of the father, nor have they thought of him as small, nor bitter, nor angry, but as absolutely good, unperturbed, sweet, knowing all the spaces before they came into existence and having no need of instruction.

Such are they who possess from above something of this immeasurable greatness, as they strain toward that unique and perfect One who exists there for them. And they do not go down to Hades. They have neither envy nor moaning, nor is death in them. But they rest in him who rests, without wearying themselves or becoming confused about truth. But they, indeed, are the truth, and the father is in them, and they are in the father, since they are perfect, inseparable from him who is truly good. They lack nothing in any way, but they are given rest and are refreshed by the spirit. And they listen to their root; they are busy with concerns in which one will find his root, and one will suffer no loss to his soul.

Such is the place of the blessed; this is their place. As for the others, then, may they know, in their place, that it does not suit me, after having been in the place of rest, to say anything more. It is there I shall dwell in order to devote myself, at all times, to the father of all and the true friends, those upon whom the love of the father is lavished, and in whose midst nothing of him is lacking. It is they who manifest themselves truly, since they are in that true and eternal life and speak of the perfect light filled with the seed of the father, which is in his heart and in the fullness, while his spirit rejoices in it and glorifies him in whom it was, because the father is good. And his children are perfect and worthy of his name, because he is the father. Children of this kind are those whom he loves.

Translated by Willis Barnstone and Marvin Meyer


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