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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

EUGNOSTOS THE BLESSED (III,3 AND V,1) and THE SOPHIA OF JESUS CHRIST (III,4 AND BG 8502,3)

SALAMI-Taktik

GNOSIS- religious madness or evidence of GOD?

EUGNOSTOS THE BLESSED (III,3 AND V,1)
and
THE SOPHIA OF JESUS CHRIST (III,4 AND BG 8502,3)

Introduced and translated by

Douglas M. Parrott

Eugnostos begins as a formal letter written by a teacher to his disciples and subsequently shifts to take on qualities of a revelation discourse. It is without apparent Christian influence. With some minor omissions and one major one, it was used by a Christian gnostic editor as he composed The Sophia of Jesus Christ. In form, Soph. Jes. Chr. is a revelation discourse given by the risen Christ in response to the questions of his disciples. Thus the placing of the two tractates together in the present edition allows one to see the process by which a non-Christian tractate was modified and transformed into a Christian gnostic one. On the basis of the model provided by these two tractates, scholars have conjectured that the same process may have been responsible for other Christian gnostic writings, such as The Gospel of the Egyptians and The Apocryphon of John.

Eugnostos seems to be directed to a general audience interested in certain religious-philosophical problems. Soph. Jes. Chr. was directed to an audience for whom Christianity was an added element in their religious environment. The audience may have been made up of non-Christian Gnostics who already knew the tractate Eugnostos. By connecting Christ, in Soph. Jes. Chr., with the prediction at the end of Eugnostos (90, 6–11), the editor may have hoped to persuade them that Christ was the latest incarnation of the gnostic savior. Or the audience may have consisted of non-gnostic Christians, and the editor may have wanted to persuade them that the religion revealed by Christ was gnostic Christianity. Perhaps the editor had both groups in mind.

The main intent of Eugnostos appears to have been to assert and describe the existence of an invisible, supercelestial region beyond the visible world — a region not reflected in the speculations of philosophers (whose views, as they are described, resemble those of Stoics, Epicureans, and Babylonian astrologers). Ruling that region is a hierarchy of five principal divine beings: Unbegotten Father; his reflection, called Self-Father; Self-Father’s hypostatized power, Immortal Man, who is androgynous; Immortal Man’s androgynous son, Son of Man; and Son of Man’s androgynous son, the Savior. The names of the female aspects of the last three include the term Sophia. These divine beings each have their own sphere or aeon, and numerous attendant and subordinate beings. A special group, called “the generation over whom there is no kingdom among the kingdoms that exist,” has its origin and true home with Unbegotten Father (75, 12–19). A second group of six divine beings spring from the first five. These are said to resemble the first. Ineffable joy and unutterable jubilation characterize existence in the supercelestial region; and from there come patterns or types for subsequent creations. Following a summary passage (85, 9–21), the tractate concludes with an appendix dealing with the realm of Immortal Man, which is our aeon. Eugnostos shows the influence of the transcendent realm upon this world. With one brief exception (85, 8), which is probably an editorial addition, the influence is benign. Eugnostos, then, cannot be considered gnostic in any classic sense.

In the Soph. Jes. Chr. the following major points are added: the Savior (Christ) came from the supercelestial region (III 93, 8–10; 94, 10–14; 107, 11–14; 118, 15–16). Sophia is the one responsible for the fall of drops of light from the divine realm into the visible world (III 107, 16–17; III 114, 13/BG 119, 9). Furthermore, a god exists who, with his subordinate powers, directly rules this world to the detriment of those who come from the divine realm (III 107, 3–11; BG 119, 2–121, 13). Sex, it is suggested, is the means by which enslavement to the powers is perpetuated (III 108, 10–14). But the Savior (Christ) broke the bonds imposed by the powers, and taught others to do the same (III 107, 15–108, 4; BG 121, 13–122, 3; III 118, 3–25). Two classes of persons will be saved: those who know the Father in pure knowledge (that is, as described in Soph. Jes. Chr.), who will go to him; and those who know the Father defectively (III 117, 8–118, 2), who will go to the Eighth. In addition, it should be noted that the disciples named in Soph. Jes. Chr., Philip, Matthew, Thomas, Bartholomew, and Mary, reflect a tradition within Gnosticism of disciples who are distinctively gnostic, and who are contrasted with some regularity, and in various ways, with “orthodox” or “orthodox turned gnostic” disciples (principally, Peter and John).

The notion of three divine men in the heavenly hierarchy appears to be based on Genesis 1–3 (Immortal Man = God; Son of Man = Adam [81,12]; Son of Son of Man, Savior = Seth). Because of the presence of Seth (although unnamed in the tractate), Eugnostos must be thought of as Sethian, in some sense. However, since it is not classically gnostic and lacks other elements of developed Sethian thought, it can only be characterized as proto-Sethian. Egyptian religious thought also appears to have influenced its picture of the supercelestial realm. The probable place of origin for Eugnostos, then, is Egypt. A very early date is suggested by the fact that Stoics, Epicureans and astrologers are called “all the philosophers.” That characterization would have been appropriate in the first century B.C.E., but not later. Eugnostos and Soph. Jes. Chr. may have influenced the Sethian-Ophites, as described by Irenaeus. Some have proposed an influence by Eugnostos on Valentianism. Because of the dating of Eugnostos, it would not be surprising if Soph. Jes. Chr. had been composed soon after the advent of Christianity in Egypt — the latter half of the first century C.E. That possibility is supported by the tractate’s relatively nonpolemical tone.

The two versions of Eugnostos differ from each other at significant points, attesting a long period of usage. The two versions of Soph. Jes. Chr. are very close. The translation which follows is based on the versions of Codex III; the other versions have been employed in instances where pages are no longer extant and where the text has required restoration.

EUGNOSTOS THE BLESSED THE SOPHIA OF JESUS CHRIST
III 70, 1–90, 12; III 90, 1–119, 18
Supplemented by V 7, 23–9, 9 Supplemented by BG 107, 1-11l, 1 and 118, 13–112, 9
Eugnostos, the Blessed, to those | who are his. The Sophia of Jesus Christ.

After 15 he rose from the | dead, his twelve | disciples and seven | women continued to be his followers and | went to Galilee onto the mountain 91 called “Divination | and Joy.” When they gathered together | and were perplexed about the underlying reality | of the universe and the plan and 5 the holy providence and | the power of the authorities and about | everything that the Savior is doing | with them in the secret | of the holy plan, 10 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. 15 No mortal flesh | could endure it, but only | pure (and) perfect flesh, like | that which he taught us about on the mountain | called 20 “Of Olives” in Galilee. And | he said: “Peace be to you (pl.)! My peace | I give | to you!” And they all marveled | and were afraid.

The Savior 92 laughed and said to them: “What | are you thinking about? (Why) are you perplexed? | What are you searching for?” | Philip said: “For the underlying reality 5 of the universe and the plan.” |

Rejoice in this, | that you know (V [1], 3–4: Greetings! I want [you to know]) that all men | born from the foundation 5 of the world until now are | dust. While they have inquired about God, | who he is and what he is like, | they have not found him. The wisest | among them have speculated about the truth from the ordering 10 of the world. | And the speculation has not reached | the truth. For the ordering | is spoken of in three (different) opinions | by 15 all the philosophers, (and) hence | they do not agree. For some | of them say | about the world that it was directed | by itself. Others, 20 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 71 is true. The Savior said to them: | “I want you to know | that all men born | on earth from the foundation of 10 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 15 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 20 by all the philosophers, | (and) hence they do not | agree. For some of | them say about the world | that it is directed by itself. 93 Others, | that it is providence (that directs it). Others, | that it is fate. | But it is none of these. 5 Again, of the three voices I have | just mentioned, none | is close to the truth, and (they are) from | man. But 1, who came | from Infinite Light, 10 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 an empty | life; it is self-made. Providence | is foolish. (And) fate 5 is an undiscerning thing. For whatever is from | itself is a polluted life; | it is self-made. Providence 15 has no wisdom in it. And | fate does not discern.
Whoever, then, is able | to get free of | these three voices | I have just mentioned and come by means | of another voice to confess the 10 God of truth and agree | in everything concerning him, he is | immortal, dwelling in the midst— | of mortal men. But to you | it is given to know; | and whoever is worthy of knowledge | will receive (it), whoever has not been 20 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 [9]4 to him: “Lord, | no one can find the truth except | through you. Therefore teach us | the truth.” The Savior

He Who | Is is ineffable. 15 No principle knew him, no authority, | no subjection, nor any creature | from the foundation of the world, | except he alone. said: 5 “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 10 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, 20 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. No one rules 72 over him. He has no name; for whoever has | a name is the creation of another. | He is unnameable. He has no | human form; for whoever has 5 human form is the creation | of another. He has his own semblance — | not like | the semblance we have received and seen, | but a strange semblance 10 that surpasses all things | and is better than the totalities. It looks | to every side and sees itself | from itself. | He is infinite; he is incomprehensible. 15 He is ever imperishable | (and) has no likeness (to anything). He is | unchanging good. He is | faultless. He is everlasting. | He is blessed. He is unknowable, 20 while he (nonetheless) knows | himself. He is immeasurable. | He is untraceable. He is | perfect, having no defect. 73 He is imperishably blessed. | He is called “Father | of the Universe.” For he 15 is immortal and eternal. | Now he is eternal, | having no birth; for everyone | who has birth will perish. He is unbegotten, | having no beginning; 20 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 9[5] of his own — not like | what you have seen and | received, but a strange semblance | that surpasses all things 5 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 anyting). 10 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 15 untraceable. He is perfect, | having no defect. He is imperishably blessed. | He is called | ‘Father of the Universe.’”

Philip said: “Lord, 20 how, then, did he appear to the perfect ones?” | The perfect Savior said

Before anything is | visible among those that are visible, 5 the majesty and the authorities that | are in him, he embraces the | totalities of the totalities, and nothing | embraces him. For he | is all mind, thought 10 and reflecting, considering, | rationality and power. | They all are equal powers. | They are the sources of the totalities. | And their whole race <from first> to last 15 is in the foreknowledge | of Unbegotten, | to him: | “Before anything is visible | of those that are visible, the | majesty and the authority are [9]6 in him, since he embraces the whole of the totalities, | while nothing embraces | him. For he is | all mind. And he is thought 5 and considering | and reflecting and | rationality and power. They | all are equal powers. | They are the sources of the totalities. 10 And their whole race from | first to last was | in his foreknowledge, (that of) the infinite | Unbegotten | Father.”
Thomas said to him: 15 “Lord, Savior, | why did these come to be, and why | were these revealed?” | The perfect Savior said: | “I came from the Infinite 20 that I might tell you all | things. Spirit Who Is was the begetter, | who had | the power <of> a begetter [97] and form-[giver’s] nature, that | the great | wealth that was hidden in him might be revealed. Because of | his mercy and his love 5 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 10 body and fruit, glory and | honor in imperishableness and | his infinite grace, | that his treasure might be revealed | by Self-begotten God, 15 the father of every imperishableness and | those
for they had not yet come to visibility. | that came to be afterward. | But they had not yet come to visibility.
Now a difference existed | among the imperishable aeons. 20 Let us, then, consider (it) this way. | Now a great difference | exists among the imperishables.” He called 20 out saying: “Whoever | has ears to hear about | the infinities, let him hear”; | and “I have addressed those who are awake.” | Still he continued [98] and said:
Everything that came from the perishable will perish, since it came | from the perishable. Whatever came 74 from imperishableness will not | perish but will become | imperishable, since it came from | imperishableness. So, 5 many men went astray | because they had not known this difference; that | is, they died. “Everything that came | from the perishable will perish, | since it came from | the perishable. But whatever came 5 from imperishableness does not perish | but becomes imperishable (BG 89, 16–17 adds: since it is from imperishableness). So, many men | went astray because they had not known this | difference and they died.”

Mary said to him: 10 “Lord, | then how will we know that?” | The perfect Savior said: |

But this much is | enough, since it is impossible for anyone | to dispute the nature of the words 10 I have just spoken about the blessed, | imperishable, true God. | Now, if anyone | wants to believe the words | set down
(here), let him go 15 from what is hidden to the end of what is visible, | and this Thought | will instruct him how faith | in those things that are not visible was | found in what is visible. This is a 20 knowledge principle. ”Come (pl.) from invisible | things to the end of those that are visible, 15 and the very emanationof | 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 20 Unbegotten Father. | Whoever has ears to hear, | let him hear.
The Lord | of the Universe is not rightly | called “Father” but “Forefather.” | For the Father is the beginning (or principle) 7[5] of what is visible. For he (the Lord) is | the beginningless | Forefather. He sees himself | within himself, like a 5 mirror, having appeared in his | likeness as Self-Father, that is, | Self-Begetter, and as Confronter, | since he confronted | Unbegotten First Existent. 10 He is indeed of equal age with the one who is before | him, but he is not equal to him | in power. | The Lord of the Universe | is not called ‘Father’ | but ‘Forefather.’ <For the Father is> the beginning (or principle) of 25 those that will appear, but he (the Lord) 99 is [the] beginningless Forefather. | Seeing himself | within himself in a mirror, he appeared | resembling himself, 5 but his likeness appeared | as Divine | Self-Father | and <as> Confronter ‘over the confronted ones,> | First Existent Unbegotten 10 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, 15 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 20 in whom you yourselves have appeared | from
And the whole multitude 20 of the place over which there is no | kingdom is called | “Sons of Unbegotten | Father.” these | men.’ And that whole multitude | over which there is no | kingdom is called 100 ‘Sons of Unbegotten | Father, God, [Savior], | Son of God,’ | whose likeness is
Now the Unknowable 7[6] [is] ever [full] of imperishableness [and] ineffable joy. | They all are at rest | in him, 5 ever rejoicing in ineffable joy | over the unchanging glory | and the measureless jubilation | that was never heard or | known among all the aeons 10 and their worlds. But | this much is enough, lest we | go on endlessly. | This is another knowledge principle from | <Self->begotten. with you. Now he 5 is the Unknowable, | who is full of ever imperishable glory | and ineffable joy. | They all are at rest | in him, 10 ever rejoicing in ineffable joy | in his unchanging glory | and measureless jubilation; | this was never heard | or known 15 among all the aeons and their worlds | until now.”
Matthew said | to him: “Lord, | Savior, how was Man revealed?” | The perfect 20 Savior said: “I
The First 15 who appeared before the universe | in infinity is Self-grown, | Self-constructed Father, | and is full of shining, ineffable light. | In the beginning, he decided 20 to have his likeness become | a great power. | Immediately, the principle (or beginning) of that Light | appeared as Immortal Androgynous Man. want | you to know that he who appeared before the universe in | infinity, Self-grown 101 Self-constructed Father, being full | of shining light | and ineffable, | in the beginning, when he decided to have his 5 likeness become a great power, | immediately the principle (or beginning) | of that Light appeared as Immortal | Androgynous Man, | that through that Immortal 10 Man they might attain | their salvation and awake | from forgetfulness through the interpreter | who was sent, who | is with you until the end 15 of the poverty of the robbers.
His male name [77] is | “[Begotten,] Perfect [Mind].” | And his female name (is) “All-wise | Begettress Sophia.” It is also said 5 that she resembles her | brother and her consort. | She is uncontested truth; | for here below error, which exists with truth, | contests it.
“And his | consort is the Great Sophia | who from the first was destined in him | for union by |
Through 10 Immortal Man | appeared the first designation, | namely, divinity | and kingdom, for the Father, who is | called “Self-Father Man,” 15 revealed this. | He created a great aeon for his own majesty. He gave him | great authority, and he ruled | over all creations. He created 20 gods and archangels | and angels, myriads | without number for retinue. Self-begotten Father, from 20 Immortal Man ‘who appeared | as First and divinity and kingdom,’ | for the Father, who is 102 called ‘Man, Self-Father,’ | revealed this. | And he created a great aeon, | whose name is Ogdoad, 5 for his own majesty.

“He was given | great authority, and he ruled | over the creation of poverty. | He created gods | and angels <and> archangels, 10 myriads without number | for retinue from that Light | and the | tri-male Spirit, which is that of

Now through that Man | originated divinity [78] [and kingdom]. Therefore he was | called “God of gods,” “King | of kings.”

First Man | is “Faith” for those who will come 5 afterward. He has, within, | a unique mind (and) thought — just as | he is it (thought] md; (and) reflecting | and considering, rationality and power. All the attributes 10 that exist are perfect and immortal. | In respect to imperishableness, they | are indeed equal. (But) in respect to power, there is a difference, | like the difference between father | and son, and son and thought, 15 and the thought and the remainder.

Sophia, | his consort. 15 For from this God originated | divinity | and kingdom. Therefore he | was called ‘God of | gods,’ ‘King of kings.’

20 First Man has | his unique mind, | within, and thought | — just as he is it (thought) — (and) considering, | reflecting, rationality, 103 power. All the attributes that exist | are perfect and | immortal. In respect to | imperishableness, they are indeed equal. (But) in respect to 5 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, The dyad | follows it, and the triad, | up to the tenths. Now the tenths 20 rule the hundredths; the hundredths | rule the thousandths; the thousand<th>s rule | the ten thousand<th>s. This is the pattern <among the> | immortals. First Man | is like this: His monad “As | I said earlier, among | the things that were created, the monad is 10 first.
(Pages 79 and 80 are missing. They are replaced here with the corresponding section from Eugnostos — Codex V, the beginning of which is somewhat different from the final partial sentence of III 78.)
V [7] 23 Again it is this pattern | [that] exists among the immortals: the monad 25 and the thought are those things that belong to [Immortal] Man. | The thinkings [are] for | <the> decads, and the hundreds are [the teachings,] | [and the thousands] are the counsels, | [and] the ten thousands [are] the powers. [Now] those [who] 30 come [from the …] | exist with their […] | [in] every aeon […] | […] [8] [… In the beginning, thought] | and thinkings [appeared from] mind, | [then] teachings [from] | thinkings, counsels 5 [from teachings], (and) power
[from] | [counsels]. And after all [the attributes,] | all that [was revealed] | appeared from [his powers.] | And [from] what [was] 10 created, what was [fashioned] appeared. And | what was formed appeared | from what was [fashioned.] | What was named appeared | from what was formed, 15 while the difference among begotten things | appeared from what was [named], | from beginning to end, by | power of all the aeons. Now Immortal Man | is full of every 20 imperishable glory and ineffable | joy. His whole kingdom | rejoices in | everlasting rejoicing, those who never | have been heard of or known 25 in any aeon that | [came] after [them and | its [worlds]. And after everything, | all that was revealed | appeared from his power. And from what | was created, | all that was fashioned 15 appeared; from | what was fashioned | appeared what was formed; | from what was formed, | what was named. Thus 20 came the difference among the unbegotten ones | from beginning to end |
Then Bartholomew | said to him: “How (is it that) <he> was designated in 104 the Gospel ‘Man’ | and ‘Son of Man’? | To which of | them, then, is this Son related?” The Holy One 5 said to him:

“I want you | to know that First Man | is called | ‘Begetter,

Afterward [another] | [principle] came from Immortal [Man], | who is [called] “Self-perfected 30 [Begetter.]” | [When he received the consent] of his [consort,] | [Great Sophia, he] revealed | [that first-begotten androgyne,] [9] [who is called] | “First-begotten [Son] | [of God].” His female aspect | [is “First-] begotten Sophia, 5 [Mother of the Universe],” whom some | [call] “Love.” | [Now] First-begotten, since he has | [his] authority from | his [father], III [81] He created angels, | myriads [without] number, | for retinue. The whole multitude | of those angels are called 5 “Assembly of the | Holy Ones, the Shadowless Lights.” | Now when these greet | each other, their embraces | become angels 10 like themselves. Self-perfected | Mind.’ 10 He reflected with Great | Sophia, his consort, and revealed | his first-begotten, | androgynous son. His | male name 15 is designated ‘First Begetter | Son of God’; his female | name, ‘First | Begettress Sophia, Mother of the Universe.’ | Some call her 20 ‘Love.’ Now First- | begotten is called | ‘Christ.’ Since he has authority | from his father, he created | a multitude of angels 105 without number for retinue | from Spirit and Light.” |
His disciples | said to him: “Lord, reveal to us 5 about the one | called ‘Man’ that | we also may know his glory exactly.” | The perfect | Savior said: “Whoever has 10 ears to hear, let him | hear.
First Begetter | Father is called | “Adam of the Light.” First Begetter | Father is called ‘Adam, | Eye of Light,’ because he came | from shining Light, 15 [and] his holy angels, who are ineffable | (and) shadowless, | ever rejoice with joy | in their reflecting, | which they received from their
And the kingdom | of Son of Man is | full of ineffable joy 15 and unchanging jubilation, (they) ever rejoicing | in ineffable joy | over their imperishable | glory, which has | never been heard nor has it been revealed 20 to all the aeons that came to be | and their worlds. Father. The whole kingdom 20 of Son of Man, | who is called ‘Son | of God,’ is full of | ineffable and shadowless joy, | and unchanging jubilation, (they) rejoicing 25 over his imperishable 106 glory, which has never been heard until | now, nor has it been revealed | in the aeons that came | afterward and their worlds. 5 I came from Self- | begotten and First | Infinite Light that | I might reveal everything to you.” |

Again, his disciples said: 10 “Tell us clearly | how (it is that) they came down from the | invisibilities, | from the immortal (realm) to the world | that dies?”

Then Son | of Man consented with | Sophia, his consort, and | revealed a great androgynous light. [82] [His] masculine name | is [designated] “Savior, | Begetter of All things.” His feminine name | is designated 5 “Sophia, All-Begettress.” Some | call her “Pistis.” | The perfect 15 Savior said: “Son of | Man consented with Sophia, his | consort, and revealed | a great androgynous light. | His male name 20 is designated ‘Savior, | Begetter of All Things.’ His | female name is designated ‘All-Begettress Sophia.’ | Some call her | ‘Pistis.’
Then Savior consented with | his consort, Pistis Sophia, | and revealed six androgynous spiritual beings 10 who are the type | of those who preceded them. | Their male names are these: first, “Unbegotten”; | second, “Self- | begotten”; third, 15 “Begetter”; fourth, | “First Begetter”; fifth, | “All-Begetter”; sixth, | “Arch-Begetter.” Also the names | of the females are these: first, 20 “All-wise Sophia”; second, | “All-Mother Sophia”; third, | “All-Begettress Sophia”; | fourth, “First Begettress | Sophia”; fifth, “Love Sophia”; [83] [sixth], “Pistis Sophia.” |
[From the] consenting | of those I have just mentioned, thoughts appeared | in the aeons that exist. 5 From thoughts, reflectings; | from reflectings, | considerings; from considerings, | rationalities; from rationalities, | wills; from 10 wills, words.
Then the twelve | powers, whom I have just discussed, | consented with each other. | <Six> males (each) (and) <six> females (each) were revealed, | so that there are seventy- 15 two powers. Each one of the seventy-two | revealed | five spiritual (powers), | which (together) are the three hundred sixty | powers. The union of them all is 20 the will.
Therefore our aeon came to be as the type | of Immortal Man. | Time came to be as | the type of First Begetter, [84] his son. [The year] came to be as | the type of [Savior. The] twelve | months came to be as the type | of the twelve powers. The three 5 hundred sixty days of the year | came to be as the type of the three hundred | sixty powers who appeared | from Savior. Their hours | and moments came to be as the 10 type of the angels who came | from them (the three hundred sixty powers) (and) who are without number. |
All who come 25 into the world, like 107 a drop from the Light, | are sent by him | to the world of Almighty, | that they might be guarded 5 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 10 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; 15 I have cut off the work of the | robbers; I have wakened that drop | that was sent from Sophia, | that it | might bear much fruit 20 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 25 defect, that her 108 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 5 you | were sent by | the Son, who was sent | that you might receive Light and | remove yourselves from the forgetfulness of 10 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. 15 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 20 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, 25 he [provided]

(Pages 109 and 110 are missing. They are replaced here with the corresponding section from the Berlin Gnostic Codex [no. 8502], the beginning of which is somewhat different from the final partial sentence of III 108.)

And when those whom I have discussed appeared, | All-Begetter, their father, very soon | created 15 twelve aeons | for retinue for the twelve | angels. BG 107 Now when | those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, | Self-Begetter | Father very soon created 5 twelve | aeons for retinue | for the twelve | angels.
And in | each aeon there were six (heavens), | so 20 there are seventy-two heavens of the seventy-two | powers who appeared | from him. And in each of the heavens | there were five firmaments, | so there are (altogether) three hundred sixty [85] [firmaments] of the three hundred | sixty powers that appeared | from them.

When the firmaments | were complete, they were called 5 “The Three Hundred Sixty Heavens,” according to the name of the | heavens that were before them.

And all these | are perfect and good. And in this | way the defect | of femaleness appeared. All | these are perfect 10 and good. | Thus | the defect | in the female appeared.”

And <he> said | to him: “How many are the 15 aeons of the immortals, | starting from the infinities?” | The perfect Savior said: | “Whoever has | ears to hear, let

The first 10 aeon, then, is that of Immortal Man. | The second aeon is that of Son of | Man, who is called | “First Begetter,” ( V 13, 12–13 adds here: The third is that of son of Son of Man), who | is called “Savior.” 15 That which embraces these is the aeon | over which there is no kingdom, (the aeon) of the | Eternal Infinite God, the | aeon of the aeons of the immortals | who are in it, (the aeon) above the Eighth 20 that appeared in | chaos. him 108 hear. The first aeon | is that of Son of Man, | who is called | ‘First Begetter,’ 5 who is called | ‘Savior,’ | who has appeared. | The second aeon (is) that of | Man, who is called 10 ‘Adam, Eye | of Light.’

That which embraces | these is the aeon | over which there is no kingdom, | (the aeon) of the Eternal 15 Infinite God, | the Self-begotten aeon | of the aeons | that are in it, (the aeon) of the immortals, | whom I described earlier, 109 (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 everyone [86] who [appeared from] him | to make [whatever they desire] | until the days that are above chaos. | For these consented with each other 5 and revealed | every magnificence, even from spirit, | multitudinous lights | that are glorious and without number. These | received names in the beginning, that 10 is, the first, the middle, <and> the perfect; | that is, the first aeon and | the second and the third. | The first was called | “Unity and Rest.” 15 Since each one has its (own) | name, the | <third> aeon was designated “Assembly” | from the great multitude that | appeared in the multitudinous one. 20 Therefore, when the multitude | gathers and comes to a unity, | they are called “Assembly,” | from the Assembly that surpassed | heaven. Therefore, the Assembly of [87] the [Eighth was] revealed | as [androgynous] and was named | partly as male and partly | as female. The male was called “Assembly,” 5 the female, “Life,” that | it might be shown that from | a female came the life | in all the aeons. Every name was received, | starting from the beginning. “Now 5 Immortal Man revealed | aeons | and powers and kingdoms | and gave authority | to all who appear 10 in him that they might | exercise their desires until | the last things that are above | chaos. For these | consented with each 15 other and revealed | every magnificence, even | from spirit, | multitudinous lights that are glorious | and without number. These 110 were called | in the beginning, that is, | the first aeon | and <the second> and <the third>. 5 The first <is> called | ‘Unity | and Rest.’ Each one has | its (own) name; for 10 the <third> aeon | was designated ‘Assembly’ | from the | great multitude that | appeared: 15 in one, a multitude revealed themselves | Now because | the multitudes 111 gather III 111 and come to a unity, (BG 111, 2–5 adds here: therefore <they> are called ‘Assembly,’ from that Assembly that surpasses heaven) we call | them ‘Assembly | of the Eighth.’ It appeared | as androgynous and was named 5 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 10 a female came the life for | all the aeons. And every name was | received, starting from the beginning.
From his 10 concurrence with his thought, | the powers appeared who were called | “gods”; and the gods | from their considerings revealed | divine gods; 15 and the gods from their | considerings revealed lords; | and the lords of the lords from | their words revealed lords; | and the lords from 20 their powers revealed | archangels; the archangels | revealed angels; from | <them> the semblance appeared [88] with structure [and form] for naming | [all] the aeons [and] their worlds. | “For from | his concurrence with his thought, the powers | very soon appeared who 15 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 20 the lords from their thinkings revealed lords; | and the lords from | their power revealed archangels; | the archangels | from their words revealed angels; 112 from them | semblances appeared with structure and form | and name for all the aeons | and their worlds.
All the immortals, whom | I have just described, have authority — all of them — 5 from the power of | Immortal Man and Sophia, | his consort, who was | called “Silence,” (and) who was named | “Silence” because by reflecting 10 without speech she perfected her | own majesty. Since the imperishabilities had | the authority, each provided | great kingdoms in all the immortal heavens 15 and their firmaments, | thrones, (and) temples, | for their own majesty. “And the immortals, 5 whom I have just described, all have | authority from | Immortal Man, ‘who | is called ‘Silence’ | because by reflecting without 10 speech all her own majesty was perfected.’ | For since the imperishabilities had | the authority, each created | a great kingdom | in the Eighth 15 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 20 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
Some, indeed, | (who are) in dwellings and in chariots, | being in ineffable glory 20 and not able to be sent into any creature, | provided for themselves | hosts of angels, myriads | without number for retinue [89] and glory, even virgin | spirits, the ineffable lights. | They have no sickness | nor weakness, but it is only will: 5 it comes to be in an instant. | Thus were completed | the aeons with their heavens and firmaments | for the glory of Immortal | Man and Sophia, his consort: 10 the area which <contained the pattern of> every aeon and | their worlds and those that came | afterward, in order to provide | the types from there, their | likenesses in the heavens of chaos and 15 their worlds.

And all natures | from the Immortal One, from Unbegotten | to the revelation of | chaos, are in the light that shines without shadow | and (in) ineffable joy 20 and unutterable jubilation. | They ever delight themselves | on account of their glory that does not change | and the rest that is not measured, | which cannot be described 90 or conceived | among all the aeons | that came to be and their powers. | But this much is enough. All 5 I have just said to you, | I said in the way you might | accept, until the one who need not be taught | appears among you, | and he will speak all these things to you 10 joyously and in | pure knowledge. |

| about them.” The perfect 113 Savior said: “If you ask | about anything, I will tell you. | They created hosts of | angels, myriads without number 5 for retinue and their glory. They created | virgin spirits, the | ineffable and unchangeable lights. | For they have no sickness | nor weakness, 10 but it is will. (BG 115, 14 adds here: And they came to be in an instant.)

“Thus the aeons were completed | quickly with the heavens | and the firmaments in the glory | of Immortal Man and Sophia, | his consort: the area from which 15 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, 20 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 25 delight themselves on account of their unchanging glory 114 and the immeasurable rest, | which cannot be described | among all the aeons that | came to be afterward and all their 5 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, 10 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, 15 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 20 unimaginable goodness might be revealed, | he created that curtain | between the immortals | and those | that came afterward, 25 that the consequence might follow

(Pages 115 and 116 are missing. They are replaced here with the corresponding section from the Berlin Gnostic Codex [no. 8502].)

BG 118 every aeon | and chaos, 15 that the defect of the female | might <appear>, and it might come about that | Error would contend with | her. And these became 119 the curtain | of spirit. From <the> aeons | above the emanations | of Light, as 5 I have said already, a | drop from Light | and Spirit came down to the lower regions | of Almighty 10 in chaos, that | their molded forms might appear | from that drop, | for it is a judgment | on him, Arch-Begetter, 15 who is called | ‘Yaldabaoth.’ | That drop revealed | their molded forms | through the breath, as a 120 living soul. It was withered | and it slumbered in the ignorance | of the soul. When it | became hot from the breath 5 of the Great Light | of the Male, and it took | thought, (then) | names were received by all who | are in the world of chaos 10 and all things that are in | it through that | Immortal One, when the breath | blew into him. | But when this came about 15 by the will of Mother | Sophia — so that Immortal Man | might piece together 121 the garments there | for a judgment | on the robbers — | <he> then welcomed the blowing 5 of that breath; | but since he was soul-like, | he was not able to take | that power for himself | until 10 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 15 Man and have loosed | the bonds of the robbers | from him. | I have broken the gates of 122 the pitiless ones in their presence. | I have humiliated their | malicious intent, and they all have been shamed | and have risen 5 from their ignorance. Because | of this, then, I came here, | that they might be joined with | that Spirit and | Breath, III 117 that […] and Breath, and might | from two become one, just as from | the first, that you might yield much fruit | and go up to 5 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 10 [will depart] to the Father | [and repose in] Unbegotten | [Father]. But [whoever knows] [him defectively] will depart | [to the defect] and the rest 15 [of the Eighth. Now] whoever knows | Immortal [Spirit] | of Light in silence, through reflecting | and consent in the truth, | let him bring me signs 20 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 118 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 5 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] 10 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] 15 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 20 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 25 about the God who is above the universe. 119 Therefore, tread upon their | graves, humiliate their malicious intent | and break their yoke | and arouse my own. I have given 5 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,] 10 [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 15 [the] Gospel of God, | [the] eternal, imperishable [Spirit]. | Amen. |

EUGNOSTOS, THE BLESSED THE SOPHIA OF JESUS

| Small strokes above the line indicate line divisions. Every fifth line a small number is inserted in place of a stroke; the frequency of these numbers, however, may vary in tractates which are quite fragmentary. A new page is indicated with a number in bold type. When the beginning of a new line or page coincides with the opening of a paragraph, the line divider or number is placed at the end of the previous paragraph.

( Parentheses indicate material supplied by the editor or translator. Although this material may not directly reflect the text being translated, it provides useful information for the reader.

[ Square brackets indicate a lacuna in the manuscript. When the text cannot be reconstructed, three dots are placed within the brackets, regardless of the size of the lacuna; a fourth dot, if appropriate, may function as a period. An exception to this rule is the occasional use of a different number of dots to estimate the extent of the missing portion of a proper noun. In a few instances the dots are used without brackets to indicate a series of Coptic letters which do not constitute a translatable sense unit. A bracket is not allowed to divide a word, except for a hyphenated word or a proper noun. Other words are placed entirely inside or outside the brackets, depending on the certainty of the Coptic word and the number of Coptic letters visible.

< Pointed brackets indicate a correction of a scribal omission or error. The translator has either inserted letters unintentionally omitted by the scribe, or replaced letters erroneously inserted with what the scribe presumably intended to write.

Robinson, James McConkey ; Smith, Richard ; Coptic Gnostic Library Project: The Nag Hammadi Library in English. 4th rev. ed. Leiden; New York : E.J. Brill, 1996, S. 220

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