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NAG HAMMADI CODICES- THE DIALOGUE OF THE SAVIOR, by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

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Discipleship- now and then- apocryph GNOSIS- The dialogue of the saviour

NAG HAMMADI CODICES-

THE DIALOGUE OF THE SAVIOR (III,5)

by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

Introduced by

Helmut Koester and Elaine H. Pagels

Translated by

Stephen Emmel

The title The Dialogue of the Savior appears in the incipit and the explicit of the manuscript and is apparently a later addition. No specific author is indicated anywhere in the text. But the speaker is the “Savior” or the “Lord” (he is never called Jesus or Jesus Christ) in conversation with his disciples Judas, Mary, and Matthew. In this respect, the title “dialogue” is appropriate, except for the first section of the text (120, 3–124, 22) which is an uninterrupted monologue of the Savior. The text is preserved only in this somewhat fragmentary manuscript, and it is not referred to or quoted in any ancient source. Thus, no external attestation for the date of its composition is available.

The Dialogue of the Savior is a writing of considerable complexity, and its several parts exhibit a great variety in style and content. It is best seen as a compilation of various generations of Christianity and composed in its extant form, originally in Greek, some time during the 2nd century. Parallels to the author’s understanding of baptism in deutero-Pauline epistles suggest a date close to the turn of the first century.

The primary source was a dialogue between the Lord and three disciples. This source is preserved in the following sections of the extant work: 124, 23–127, 19; 128, 23–129, 16; 131, 19–133, 21(?); 137, 3–146, 20, i.e., in about 65% of the present text. These sections are characterized by brief questions, usually from one of the named disciples (sometimes by all disciples) and equally brief answers of the Lord. Sometimes these questions and answers are expanded into longer units discussing a particular topic. Traditional sayings of Jesus used in these questions and answers have parallels in the Gospels of Matthew, Luke, and John, and particularly in The Gospel of Thomas. However, a literary dependence upon any of these writings seems unlikely. Rather, the sayings tradition used here appears to be an independent parallel to the one used in The Gospel of Thomas and the Gospel of John.

The form of these brief dialogue units parallels the dialogues found in the Gospel of John. In contrast to some gnostic dialogues which are actually secondarily arranged theological discourses (such as The Sophia of Jesus Christ and Pistis Sophia), the dialogues of the Gospel of John and of The Dialogue of the Savior are not free compositions of an author, but elaborations and interpretations of traditional sayings. In some instances, the dialogical development of the sayings tradition in our document is less advanced and theologically less complex than the Johannine parallels. This would argue for a date of the original dialogue source of this document before the end of the first century.

The sequence of the topics explored in these dialogues has close parallels in sayings of The Gospel of Thomas, especially in its saying 2 about the seeking, finding, marvelling, ruling and resting. That saying presents an eschatological timetable which is further explored in the dialogues of this writing. The disciples have sought and found and marvelled, but their ruling and resting will come only in the future. At the present time, they still carry the burden of the flesh, i.e., the body and earthly labor or, in the words of this writing, of “the works of womanhood.” Mary who recognizes this receives the highest praise. This theme, the continuation of the works of the female, i.e., the continuation of the human race through childbirth, is prominent in the last portion of the dialogue. It deals with the role of the female in the process of salvation more explicitly than most other early Christian writings (close parallels can be found in The Gospel of the Egyptians, quoted by Clement of Alexandria), and it gives Mary a very high estimate as “a woman who had understood completely” (139, 11–13).

In the final form of the document, several other traditional pieces have been added to the original dialogue: 1) Fragments of a creation myth (127, 19–131, 18) which is based upon Gen 1–2. The myth relates how water, originally separated from the earth by a wall of fire, made the world fruitful. In 128, 1–129, 12, the author has interrupted the account of this myth in order to interpret the term spirit. 2) A cosmological wisdom list (133, 23–134, 24). The author has added comments about the root of wickedness and about baptism. 3) An apocalyptic vision of which fragments are still recognizable in 134, 24–137, 3. The vision, taking place on a high mountain from where the whole of heaven and earth can be seen, originally spoke about the rescue of a soul and its installation before God in a new garment. The process is explained by an angelic figure called “Son of Man,” a title which The Dialogue of the Savior never uses for Jesus.

The final author opened his compilation of these materials with an intriguing section (120, 2–124, 22), consisting of an exhortation, a prayer of thanksgiving and a gnostic discourse about the passage of the soul through the heavenly powers. This section employs established Christian soteriological language with allusions to passages from the New Testament epistles; it also contains a reference to the Gospel of John (Jn 1:18). With this introduction the entire dialogue is placed into a new context: baptismal initiation. The baptismal theology resolves the conflict between the “already” of a realized eschatology and the “not yet” of a futuristic eschatology. As baptism is understood in the same way as in Eph 2:1–6 and Col 3:1–4, those who are baptized have already passed through death into true life. Metaphorical and mythical language is thus related to a cultic act for the expression of realized eschatology.

Yet, receiving visions in the context of baptism is not the culmination of the experience of redemption. Instead, through the utilization and interpretation of the older dialogue used in the composition, the author presents a discussion of the complex eschatological situation of the disciples. Although the disciples have already sought and found and have marvelled at visions, have experienced the indwelling of the living God and passed through the powers in the experience of baptism, their final entry into ruling and resting is still to come. Their present existence is defined as work in behalf of the revelation, so that they, like their Lord, may save others and “reveal the greatness of the revealer,” while they are still wearing the flesh, carrying a burden just as the Lord himself. This also indicates that the “Lord” who is speaking in this dialogue is not the exalted Lord but the “earthly” Jesus. The “place of truth” is not defined in terms of otherworldly existence, but as the place where the Lord is. This emphasis upon the tasks of a Christian life in this world implies that the “dissolution of the works of womanhood” does not suggest a metaphysically motivated sexual asceticism, but speaks of the secret birth through the one who “is coming from the Father.” In spite of the evident employment of gnostic language in the description of the baptismal experience, The Dialogue of the Savior cannot be understood as the simple product of gnostic theology. Rather, it resembles the Gospel of John in its attempt to reinterpret the sayings of Jesus in the horizon of gnostic thought.

THE DIALOGUE OF THE SAVIOR

III 120, 1–147, 23

The Dialogue of the Savior |

(1) The Savior said to his disciples, | “Already the time has come, | brothers, for us to abandon 5 our labor and stand at | rest. For whoever stands | at rest will rest | forever. And I | say to you, [be] always 10 [above …] | time …[…] | … you […] | be afraid [of …] | … you … […] 15 … anger [is] fearful […] | arouse anger … [… is …] | but since you have … […] | … […] | they accepted these words [concerning it] with [fear] 20 and trembling, and it set | them up with governors, | for from it nothing was forthcoming. | But when I came, I | opened the path and I taught them about 25 the passage which they will traverse, | the elect and solitary, 121 [who have known the Father, having | believed] the truth and [all] the praises | while you offered praise.

(2) “So when you offer praise, do so like this: 5 Hear us, Father, just as | you heard your only-begotten | son and received him | [and] gave him rest from many … | […You are the one] whose power 10 [… your] armor … | [… is …] … light | […] … living | […] … touch … | […] … the word … 15 […] repentance … life | […] … you. You are | [the] thinking and the [entire] serenity | of the solitary. Again: [Hear] | us just as you heard 20 your elect. Through your [sacrifice | these] will enter; through their | [good] works these have saved | their souls from these | blind [limbs] so that they might exist 122 eternally. Amen.

(3) “I will | teach you. When | the time of dissolution arrives, | the first power of darkness will 5 come upon you. Do not be afraid | and say, ‘Behold! The time | has come!’ But when you see | a single staff … […] | … this … […] … […] 10 … […] | … […] | understand … […] | … the work … […] | and the governors … […] 15 come upon you … […]. | Truly, fear is the [power …] | … So if you are going to be [afraid] | of what is about to come upon [you], | it will engulf you. 20 For there is not one among them who will | spare you or show [you] mercy. | But in this way, look at [the …] in it, since you have mastered every word | on earth. It 123 [… take] you up to the … | [… place] where there is no rule | [… tyrant]. When you | [… you] will see those who 5 […] … and also … | [… tell] you … | […] … the reasoning power | […] reasoning power … | [… place] of truth 10 […] … but … | […]. But you | […] … truth, this | […] … living … | [… and] your joy 15 […]. So […] … in order that | […] your souls | […] lest it | […] the word [… | …] … raise … 20 […] … […] … | […] … […] … your … | […] … […] … For the crossing place 124 is fearful [before you]. | But you, [with a] | single mind, pass [it] by! | For its depth is great; [its] 5 height [is] enormous […] | a single mind … […] | and the fire … […] | … [… | all] the powers […] 10 … you, they … […] | and the [powers …] | they … […] | … […] | … soul … […] 15 … […] | in everyone [… you] | are the … […] | and … […] | forget … […] 20 … son … […] | and you […] … […] | you … […] … […].”

(4) [Matthew] said, “[How … |125 …]”

(5) The Savior said, | “[…] … the things inside you | […] … will remain, you | […].”

(6) Judas [said], “Lord, 5 […] … the works | [… these] souls, these | […] these little ones, when | […]where will they be? | […] … […] … the spirit 10 […].”

(7) The Lord [said], | “[…] … | [… receive] | them. These do not die, | […] … they are not destroyed, for they have known 15 [their] consorts and him who would [receive | them]. For the truth seeks | [out the] wise and the righteous.”

(8) The Savior [said], “The lamp | [of the body] is the mind. As long as 20 [the things inside] you are set in order, that is, | […] …, your bodies are [luminous]. | As long as your hearts | are [dark], the luminosity you 126 anticipate […] | I have … […] … | I will go …[…] | … my word … […] 5 I send … […].” |

(9) His [disciples said, “Lord], | who is it who seeks, and […] | reveals?”

(10) [The Lord said to them,] | “He who seeks […] 10 reveals … […].” |

(11) [Matthew said, “Lord, when] | I […] | and [when] I speak, who is it who … […] | … who listens”

(12) [The Lord] said, 15 “It is the one who speaks who also [listens], | and it is the one who can see who also | reveals.”

(13) [Mary] said, | “Lord, behold! | Whence [do I] bear the body [while I] 20 weep, and whence while I […]?”

(14) The Lord said, “[…] | weep on account of its works […] | remain and the mind laughs […] … [… 127 …] … spirit. If one does not | […] darkness, he will be able to see | […] So I tell you | […] light is the darkness 5 […] … stand in | […] not see the light | […] the lie […] … they brought them from | […] … […] … You will give | […] … and 10 [… exist] forever. | […] … | […] … | […] ever. Then | [all] the powers 15 which are above as well as those | [below] will […] you. In that place | [there will] be weeping and | [gnashing] of teeth over the end of [all] these things.”

(15) Judas [said], “Tell 20 [us, Lord], what was […] before | [the heaven and the] earth existed.”

(16) The Lord said, | “There was darkness and water and 128 spirit upon [water]. | And I say [to you, … | what] you seek [after …] | inquire after … […] 5 within you … […] | … the power and the [mystery …] | spirit, for from … […] | wickedness […] come … […] | mind … […] 10 behold … […] | … […].”

(17) […] said, “[Lord], | tell us | where [the … is established] and 15 where [the true mind] exists.”

(18) The Lord [said], “The fire [of the] | spirit came into existence … […] | both. On this account, the […] | came into existence, and 20 the [true] mind came into existence [within] them […]. | If someone [sets his soul] | up high, [then he will] | be exalted.”

(19) And Matthew [asked him 129 …] … took … | […] … it is he who … | […].”

(20) The Lord [said], | “[… stronger] than … 5 […] … you … | […] … […] … to follow | [you] and all the works | […] your hearts. For just as | your hearts […], so 10 […] the means to overcome the powers | [above] as well as those below | […]. I say to you, | let him [who possesses] power renounce | [it and repent]. And 15 [let] him who […] seek and find and [rejoice].”

(21) Judas [said], “Behold! | [I] see that all things exist | […] like signs upon | […]. On this account did they happen thus.” 20

(22) The Lord [said], “When the [Father | established] the cosmos, he | […] water from it | [and his] Word came forth from it 130 and it inhabited many … […]. | It was higher than the [path … surround] | the entire earth … […] | … the [collected] water […] 5 existing outside them. […] | … the water, a great fire [encircling] | them like a wall. … […] | … time once many things had become separated [from what] | was inside. When the […] 10 was established, he looked … […] | and said to it, ‘Go, and … […] | from yourself in order that … […] | be in want from generation to [generation, and] | from age to age.’ [Then it] 15 cast forth from itself [fountains] | of milk and [fountains of] | honey and oil and [wine] | and [good] fruits | and sweet flavor and 20 good roots, [in order that] | it might not be deficient from generation [to] | generation, and from age [to age].

(23) “And it is above … [… 131 …] standing | […] … its beauty … | […] … and outside | [there was a great] light, powerful 5 […] … resemble it, for it | […] … rules over [all] the aeons | [above] and below. | [… was] taken from the fire … | […] … it was scattered in the 10 […] … above and | [below. All] the works | [which] depend on them, it is they | […] over the heaven above | [and over] the earth [below]. 15 On them depend | all [the works].”

(24) [And] when [Judas] | heard these things, he bowed down and he | […] and he offered praise to the Lord.

(25) [Mary] hailed her brethren, 20 [saying], “Where are you going to put [these things] about which you ask the son … | […]?”

(26) [The Lord said] to her, “Sister, | […] will be able to inquire about these things [except | for someone who] has somewhere 132 to put them in his [heart …] | … to come [forth …] | and enter … […] … […] | so that they might not hold back … […] 5 this impoverished cosmos.”

(27) [Matthew] said, | “Lord, I want [to see] | that place of life […] | where there is no wickedness, [but rather] | there is pure [light]!”

(28) The Lord [said], 10 “Brother [Matthew], | you will not be able to see it [as long as you are] | carrying flesh around.”

(29) [Matthew] said, | “Lord, [even if I will] | not [be able] to see it, let me [know it]!” 15

(30) The Lord [said], “[Everyone] | who has known himself has seen [it in] | everything given to him to do […] | … and has come to […] | it in his [goodness].”

(31) [Judas] 20 responded, saying, | “Tell me, Lord, [how it is that …] | … which shakes the earth | moves.”

(32) The Lord picked up a [stone and] | held it in his hand, [saying, 133 “What] am I holding | [in] my [hand]?”

(33) He said, “[It is] a stone.”

(34) He [said] to them, “That which supports | [the earth] is that which supports the heaven. 5 When a Word comes forth | from the Greatness, it will come on what | supports the heaven and the earth. For the earth | does not move. Were it to move, it would | fall. But it neither moves nor falls, in order that the First Word might not 10 fail. For it was that which established | the cosmos and inhabited | it and inhaled fragrance from | it. For, … […] … which do not move I | […] … you, all the sons of [men. 15 For] you are from [that] place. | [In] the hearts of those who speak out of [joy] | and truth you exist. | Even if it comes forth in | [the body] of the Father among men 20 and is not received, still | it […] return to its place. Whoever [does not] know | [the work] of perfection [knows] | nothing. If one does not stand | in the darkness, he will not be able to see the light. 134

(35) “If [one] does not [understand | how] fire came into existence, | he will burn in it, because | he does not know the root of it. 5 If one does not first understand | water, he knows nothing. For what | use is there for him to be baptized | in it? If one does not understand | how blowing wind 10 came into existence, he will blow away | with it. If one does not understand | how body, which he bears, | came into existence, he will [perish] with | it. And how will someone who does [not] know [the Son] 15 know the [Father]? | And to someone who will not know the [root] | of all things, they remain hidden. Someone who | will not know the root of wickedness | is no stranger to it. Whoever 20 will not understand how | he came will not understand how | he will go, and he is no [stranger] | to this cosmos which [will …] | which will be humiliated.”

(36) Then he [… Judas] 25 and Matthew and [Mary 135 …] … […] … the edge of heaven | [and] earth. [And] when he placed his | [hand] upon them, they hoped that they might | […] … it. Judas raised his eyes 5 and saw an exceedingly high place, | and he saw the place of the abyss | below. Judas said to | Matthew, “Brother, who will | be able to climb up to such a height or down to the 10 bottom of the abyss? For there is a tremendous | fire there and something very fearful!” | At that moment, a Word came forth from | it. As it stood there, | he saw how it had come 15 [down]. Then he said to it, “[Why] | have you come down?”

(37) And the Son | of Man greeted them and said to them, | “A seed from a power was | deficient and it went down to 20 [the] abyss of the earth. And the Greatness | remembered [it] and he sent the [Word | to] it. It brought it up into | [his presence] so that 136 the First Word might not fail.” [Then his disciples] were | amazed at [all the things] | he had said to them, and they accepted them on [faith]. | And they concluded that it is useless 5 to regard wickedness.

(38) Then he said to | his disciples, “Have I not told | you that like a visible voice and flash of | lightning | will the good be taken up to 10 the light?”

(39) Then all his disciples | offered him praise and said, “Lord, | before you appeared | here, who was it who offered you praise? | For all praises exist on your account. 15 Or who is it who will bless [you]? | For all blessing derives [from] | you.”

(40) As they stood there, he saw | two spirits bringing a single soul | with them in a great flash of lightning. 20 And a Word came forth from | the Son of Man, saying, | “Give them their garment!” [And] | the small one became like the big one. They were […] … […] | … those who received 137 them. … […] each other. | Then … […] disciples, | [whom] he had … […]

(41) Mary [said, | “…] see 5 [evil …] … them from the | first […] each other.”

(42) The [Lord] said, “[…] … when you see | them … […] become huge, they | will … […] … But when you 10 see the Eternal Existent, that | is the great vision.”

(43) Then they all said to him, | “Tell us about it!”

(44) He said to them, | “How do you wish to see it? | [By means of a] transient vision or an 15 eternal [vision]?” He went on and said, | “[Strive] to save that | [which] can follow | [you], and to seek it out, and to | speak from within it, so that, 20 as you seek it out, [everything] | might be in harmony with you! For | I [say] to you, truly, | the living God […] … in you 138 … […] … in | him.”

(45) [Judas said, “Truly], I | want […].”

(46) The [Lord said] to him, “[…] living […] 5 dwells […] … entire | … the [deficiency …].”

(47) [Judas said], | “Who … […]?”

(48) The Lord said, “[…] all [the] works | which … […] the remainder, 10 it is they [which you …] … […] …”

(49) Judas said, “Behold! | The governors dwell above | us, so it is they who will rule | over us!”

(50) The Lord said, 15 “It is you who will rule over them! | But when you rid yourselves of | jealousy, then | you will clothe yourselves in light | and enter the bridal chamber.” 20

(51) Judas said, | “How will [our] garments be brought to us?”

(52) The Lord said, “There are | some who will provide for you, and | there are others who will receive […]. 139 For [it is] they [who will give you] your | garments. [For] who [will] be able to reach | that place [which] is [the] reward? | But the garments of life were given to 5 man because he knows the | path by which he will leave. And | it is difficult even for me to reach it!”

(53) Mary said, “Thus with respect to ‘the | wickedness of each day,’ and ‘the laborer 10 is worthy of his food,’ and | ‘the disciple resembles his teacher.’” | She uttered this as a woman who had understood | completely.

(54) The disciples said to him, | “What is the fullness and 15 what is the deficiency?”

(55) He said to them, | “You are from the fullness | and you dwell in the place | where the deficiency is. And lo! His light has poured [down] 20 upon me!”

(56) [Matthew] said, | ‘Tell me, Lord, | how the dead die | [and] how the living live.” 140

(57) The [Lord] said, “[You have] asked | me about a saying […] which | eye has not seen, [nor] have I heard it | except from you. But I say 5 to you that when | what invigorates a man is removed, | he will be called ‘dead.’ And when | what is alive leaves what is dead, | what is alive will be called upon.”

(58) Judas said, 10 “Why else, for the sake of truth, do they | <die> and live?”

(59) The Lord said, | “Whatever is born of truth | does not die. Whatever is born of woman | dies.”

(60) Mary said, 15 “Tell me, Lord, why | I have come to this place to profit | or to forfeit.”

(61) The Lord said, “You make clear | the abundance of the revealer!”

(62) Mary said to him, 20 “Lord, is there then a place which is …, | or lacking truth?”

(63) The Lord said, “The place where I | am not!”

(64) Mary said, | “Lord, you are fearful and [wonderful], 141 and … […] … | … those who do not know [you].”

(65) Matthew said, “[Why] do we | not rest [at once]?” 5

(66) The Lord said, “When you lay down | these burdens!”

(67) Matthew said, | “How does the small | join itself to the big?”

(68) The Lord said, | “When you abandon 10 the works which will not be able | to follow you, then you will rest.”

(69) Mary said, | “I want to understand all things, | [just as] they are.”

(70) The [Lord] said, 15 “He who will seek out life! | For [this] is their wealth. | For the … […] … of this cosmos | is […], and its gold and its silver | are [misleading].”

(71) His [disciples] said to him, 20 “What should we do to ensure that | our work will be perfect?”

(72) The Lord [said] to them, “Be | [prepared] in face of everything. | [Blessed] is the man who has found 142 … […] … the contest … | his eyes. [Neither] did he kill, nor | was [he] killed, but he came forth victorious.”

(73) [Judas] said, “Tell me, Lord, 5 what the beginning of the path is.”

(74) He said, | “Love and goodness. For if | one of these existed among the | governors, wickedness would never have come into existence.”

(75) Matthew said, “Lord, 10 you have spoken about the end of everything without concern.”

(76) The Lord said, “You have understood all the things | I have said to you | and you have accepted them on faith. | If you have known them, then they are [yours]. 15 If not, then they are not yours.”

(77) They said to him, “What is the place | to which we are going?”

(78) The [Lord] said, | “Stand in | the place you can reach!” 20

(79) Mary said, “Everything | established thus is seen.”

(80) The Lord [said], “I have told you [that] | it is the one who can see who [reveals].”

(81) His [disciples], numbering twelve, asked him, 25 “Teacher, [… 143 … serenity …] teach | us … […].”

(82) The Lord said, “… […] … everything | which I have … […] you will … 5 … […] … you […] … everything.”

(83) [Mary] said, “There is but one saying | I will [speak] to the Lord | concerning the mystery of truth: | In this have we taken our stand, and 10 to the cosmic are we transparent.”

(84) Judas said to Matthew, “We | [want] to understand the sort | of garments we are to be [clothed] with | [when] we depart the decay of the 15 [flesh].”

(85) The Lord said, “The governors | [and] the administrators possess | garments granted [only for a time,] | which do not last. [But] you, | as children of truth, 20 not with these transitory garments are you to clothe yourselves. | Rather, I say | [to] you that you will become [blessed] | when you strip [yourselves]! | For it is no great thing 144 … […] outside.”

(86) [… said …] … speak, I | … […] ….”

(87) The Lord said, | “… […] … your Father 5 … […] ….”

(88) [Mary said, | “Of what] sort is that [mustard seed]? | Is it something from heaven or | is it something from earth?”

(89) The Lord said, | “When the Father established the 10 cosmos for himself, he left much over from | the Mother of the All. Therefore, he speaks and | he acts.”

(90) Judas said, “You have | told us this out of the mind of | truth. When we pray, 15 how should we pray?”

(91) The Lord said, | “Pray in the place where there is no woman.”

(92) Matthew said, | “‘Pray in the place where there is [no woman].’ he tells us, | meaning, ‘Destroy the 20 works of womanhood,’ not because there is any other [manner of birth], | but because they will cease [giving birth].”

(93) Mary said, “They will never be obliterated.”

(94) The Lord said, “[Who] | knows that they will [not] dissolve 145 and … […] … | […] … […] …?”

(95) Judas said [to Matthew], | “[The works] of [womanhood] will dissolve 5 […] the governors | will … […] …. Thus will we [become] | prepared [for] them.”

(96) [The] Lord [said], “Right. For do they see | [you? Do they see] those who receive 10 [you]? Now behold! A [true] Word | is coming forth from the Father | [to the abyss], in silence with a [flash of lightning], | giving birth. Do they see it or [overpower] | it? But you are even more 15 aware of [the path], this one, [before] | either [angel or authority has | …. Rather it belongs to the Father] and the [Son | because they] are both a single | [… And] you [will] go via 20 [the path] which you have [known]. Even [if] | the governors become huge | [they will] not be able to reach it. [But listen!] I | [tell] you [that] it is difficult | even [for] me [to reach] it!” 146

(97) [Mary] said [to the Lord], “When | the works […] … | … [… which] dissolves | a [work].”

(98) [The Lord said, “Right. For] you 5 know […] … if I | dissolve […] … will go to | his [place].”

(99) Judas said, “How | is the [spirit] apparent?”

(100) The Lord said, “How [is] 10 the sword [apparent]?”

(101) [Judas] said, | “How is the [light] apparent?”

(102) The Lord said, “… […] | in it forever.”

(103) [Judas] said, | “Who forgives the [works] 15 of whom? [The works] which … […] | the cosmos […] … [… | who] forgives the [works].”

(104) The Lord [said], “[Who …] …? | It behooves whomever has understood [the works] 20 to do the [will] of the Father. | And as for [you, strive] to rid [yourselves] of [anger] | and [jealousy], | and [to strip] yourselves | of your […] … s, and not to … [… 1478 …] … | […] … 10 […] … | […] … | […] … | […] … reproach | […]. For I say … 15 […] … you take … | […] … you … | […] who has sought, having | […] … this, will … | […] he will live [forever. 20 And] I say to | [you …] … so that you will not lead | [your] spirits and your souls into error.” |

[The Dialogue] of the Savior

| 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. 244

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