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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

NAG HAMMURABI CODICES, Fragmens and TRIMORPHIC PROTENNOIA, by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz





by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz


Introduced and translated by

Frederik Wisse







It is uncertain whether the two fragments presented here in translation come from the same tractate. With no title and only one substantial fragment surviving, the character of the tractate remains obscure. It seems to present ethical teaching within a religious context. The first person singular and plural are used, and the speaker refers to “my Father,” which suggests that he may be Jesus. The speaker contrasts himself and his followers with others, referred to in the third person plural, who live in wickedness and do evil deeds. Nothing in the fragments suggests that the tractate was gnostic. There is no reason to doubt that the Coptic represents a translation from the Greek.


XII 1A, 6–29
1B, 6–29
2A, 24–29
2B, 24–29

(Fragment 1A) […] 10 us as it is | [fitting. …] each other, but | […] a crowd to receive | […] they speak ill | […] live by wickedness 15 […] the […] | work evil things to | […] the good things, and they | […] do their own things | […] strangers. There are 20 […] do their own things | […] works which [… | we] ourselves do [… | works] of those […] | evil works […] 25 that which we shall [… | the] works which […] | that which […] | every one […]

(Fragment 1B) […]. 9 For I speak the […] | know [God …] | gave their […] | error. But […] | they are worthy of the […] | into God […]. 15 And already they have […] | the ignorance […] | the righteousness […] | these were worthy [of …]. | He […] 20 my Father who is […] | not to them a father […] | I think that […] | this which the […] | I give again to the […] 25 they forgive […] | spoke it […] | it […]

(Fragment 2A) […] 26 philosopher […] | they are not able to […] | philosopher | […] world […]

(Fragment 2B) […] 27 her […] | begot him […] | think that […]


Introduced and translated by

John D. Turner

Trimorphic Protennoia (“The Three-formed [Divine] First Thought”) is, in its form, a Barbeloite treatise which has undergone both Sethian and Christian revisions. It is roughly contemporaneous with The Apocryphon of John (mid-second century C.E.), which it resembles in certain interesting ways, and is distinguished by a number of striking parallels to the Fourth Gospel and especially its prologue.

The underlying basis of Trimorphic Protennoia can be seen in the series consistent “I am” self-predicatory aretalogies, in which Protennoia recites her divine identity and role in the creation and salvation of the world. These are structured into an introductory aretalogy (35, 1–32) identifying Protennoia as the divine First Thought followed by three similar aretalogies in the same style, the second and third of which form separately titled subtractates in the Trimorphic Protennoia: First, Protennoia is the Voice of the First Thought who descends first as light into darkness to give shape to her fallen members (35, 32–36, 27; 40, 29–41, 1). Second, Protennoia is the Speech of the Thought who descends to empower her fallen members by giving them spirit or breadth (42, 4–27; 45, 2–12; 45, 21–46, 3). Third, Protennoia is the Word or Logos of the Thought who descends in the likeness of the powers, assumes a human appearance, introduces the illuminatory baptismal rite of the Five Seals and restores her members into the light (46, 5–6; 47, 5–22; 49, 15–22; 50, 9–12, 18–20).

One cannot fail to notice here a striking resemblance, not only to the language and structure of the Johannine prologue’s narration of the descents of the Logos, but also to the similar first-person aretalogy on the three descents of Pronoia found at the end of the longer version of the Apocryphon of John (11, 1:30, 11–31, 25), with which the Trimorphic Protennoia may even be genetically related.

The underlying tripartite aretalogy has been expanded by means of six narrative doctrinal insertions (36, 27–40, 29; 41, 1–42, 2; 42, 27–45, 2; 46, 7–47, 5; 47, 22–49, 15; 49, 22–50, 9). Three of these insertions, whose third-person expository prose breaks the otherwise smooth flow of Protennoia’s self-referential speech, are designated as “mysteries” which Protennoia is said to have communicated to the sons of the light.

Essentially, the scheme of the divine First Thought’s triple descent into this world is a derivative of speculation at home in the Hellenistic Jewish wisdom schools responsible for the personification of the figure of the divine wisdom and the development of the myth concerning her role in the creation of the world and in the subsequent enlightenment of mankind as it is found especially in 1 Enoch 42, Sirach 24, Wisdom 7–8, and in Philo. It seems that Sophia’s two unsuccessful descents in 1 Enoch 42 and her successful one in Sirach 24 were combined into a total of three descents into the lower world, two resulting in partial liberation, and the third resulting in the final awakening and salvation of those who received her. This is the same pattern that underlies the Johannine prologue, which, though not a Barbeloite composition, was likely also a product of a similar form of wisdom speculation. The unique contribution of the Barbeloites seems to have been the interpretation of the three revelatory descents: first, in terms of a primal divine triad of Father, Mother and Son, second in terms of a theory of progressive revelation in which each successive appearance of the revealer is characterized by an increasing degree of articulateness and finality (Voice, Speech, and Word) and third, the association of the final descent with a Logos figure who confers final enlightenment in the form of transcendentalized baptismal rite called the Five Seals.

It is clear that the Trimorphic Protennoia has been secondarily Christianized. Three glosses identifying the Autogenes Son as the Christ in the first subtractate (37, [31]; 38, 22; 39, 6–7) probably derive from the traditional Barbeloite theogonical material common to The Apocryphon of John and Irenaeus, Haer. 1.29, upon which the author drew for the first narrative insertion. These Christian glosses would have been suggested by an equation between the Christian designation of Christ as monogenes and what seems to be a pre-Christian designation for the third member of the Barbeloite Father-Mother-Son triad, namely the Self-Begotten (autogenes) Son.

The third subtractate narrates the incognito descent of Protennoia as the Word disguised in the form of the sovereignties, powers, and angels, culminating in the final revelation of herself in the human form of her members below, but it seems to have been supplemented by an alien and tendentious Christological interpretation. In the third subtractate, traditional Christological titles such as Christ, Beloved, Son of God (i.e., “Son of the Archigenetor”) and Son of Man are polemically interpreted in a consciously docetic fashion so as to suggest that these titles were inappropriately applied to the human Jesus by the apostolic church. By implication, the apostolic Jesus is shown actually to be the Christ of the evil archons; the apostolic beloved is actually the Beloved of the archons; the apostolic Son of God is the Son of the ignorant world creator; and the apostolic Son of Man is only a human being among the sons of men.

It is interesting that most of these reinterpretations of the Christology of the apostolic church in the Trimorphic Protennoia seem to depend on key passages from the Gospel of John to score their point in any acute fashion. It seems that the key to the relationship between these two texts lies in the recognition that Trimorphic Protennoia has undergone at least three stages of composition. First, there was the original triad of the aretalogical self-predications of Protennoia as Voice, Speech, and Word that were probably built up out of the Jewish wisdom tradition and maybe out of The Apocryphon of John’s similar Pronoia aretalogy itself sometime during the first century C.E.; there is little here that seems specifically gnostic or Christian or Sethian or Barbeloite. Second, this was supplemented, whether by the same or by a different author, by various narrative doctrinal passages based upon traditional Barbeloite theogonical materials similar to those of The Apocryphon of John and Irenaeus, Haer. 1.29. After circulation as a mildly Christian Barbeloite text in this form, the third and last stage of composition seems to have involved a deliberately polemical incorporation of Christian, specifically Johannine Christian, materials into the aretalogical portion of the third subtractate. One might assign the third compositional stage of Trimorphic Protennoia to the period of struggle over the interpretation of the Christology of the Fourth Gospel witnessed by the New Testament letters of John, perhaps the first quarter or half of the second century.


XIII 35, 1–50, 24

[I] am [Protennoia, the] Thought that | [dwells] in [the Light. I] am the movement | that dwells in the [All, she in whom the] All takes | its stand, [the first]-born 5 among those who [came to be, she who exists] before | the All. [She (Protennoia) is called] by three names, although she | dwells alone, [since she is perfect]. I am | invisible within the Thought of the Invisible | One. I am revealed in the immeasurable, 10 ineffable (things). I am incomprehensible, | dwelling in the incomprehensible. I | move in every creature.

I am the life | of my Epinoia that dwells within | every Power and every eternal movement 15 and (in) invisible Lights and | within the Archons and Angels and | Demons and every soul dwelling | in [Tartaros] and (in) every material soul. | I dwell in those who came to be. I move in 20 everyone and I delve into them all. | I walk uprightly, and those who | sleep I [awaken]. And I | am the sight of those who dwell in sleep. |

I am the Invisible One within the All. 25 It is I who counsel those who are hidden, since I know | the All that exists in it. | I am numberless beyond everyone. I | am immeasurable, ineffable, yet | whenever I [wish, I shall] reveal myself 30 of my own accord. I [am the head of] the All. I exist | before the [All, and] I am the All, | since I [exist in] everyone.

I am a Voice | [speaking softly]. I exist | [from the first. I dwell] within the Silence 35 [that surrounds every one] of them. 36 And [it is] the [hidden Voice] that [dwells within] | me, [within the] incomprehensible, | immeasurable [Thought, within the] immeasurable Silence. |

I [descended to the] midst of the underworld 5 and I shone [down upon the] darkness. It is I who | poured forth the [water]. It is I who am hidden within | [radiant] waters. I am the one who | gradually put forth the All by my | Thought. It is I who am laden with the Voice. It 10 is through me that Gnosis comes forth. [I] | dwell in the ineffable and | unknowable ones. I am perception and knowledge, | uttering a Voice by means of | thought. [I] am the real Voice. 15 I cry out in everyone, and they recognize | it (the voice], since a seed indwells [them]. | I am the Thought of the Father and through | me proceeded [the] Voice, | that is, the knowledge of the everlasting things. I 20 exist as Thought for the [All]—being joined | to the unknowable and incomprehensible Thought— | I revealed myself—yes, I—among | all those who recognize me. For it is I | who am joined with everyone by virtue of 25 the hidden Thought and an exalted <Voice>, even a Voice from | the invisible Thought. And it is immeasurable, | since it dwells in the Immeasurable One. It is a mystery; | it is [unrestrainable] 30 by [the Incomprehensible One]. It is invisible | [to all those who are] visible | in the All. [It is a Light] dwelling in | Light.

It is we [also who] alone [have separated] | [from the] visible [world] 35 since we [are saved by the] | hidden [wisdom by means of the] 37 ineffable, immeasurable [Voice]. And he who is | hidden within us pays the tributes of his fruit | to the Water of Life.

Then | the Son who is perfect in every respect – that is, 5 the Word who originated through that | Voice; who proceeded from the height; who | has within him the Name; who is | a Light – he (the Son) revealed the everlasting things and | all the unknowns were known. 10 And those things difficult to interpret | and secret, he revealed, and | as for those who dwell in Silence with the First | Thought, he preached to them. And | he revealed himself to those who dwell in darkness, and 15 he showed himself to those who dwell in the abyss, | and to those who dwell in the hidden treasuries he told | ineffable mysteries, | and he taught unrepeatable doctrines | to all those who became Sons of 20 the Light.

Now the Voice that originated | from my Thought exists as three | permanences: the Father, the Mother, the Son. Existing | perceptibly as Speech, it (Voice) has | within it a Word endowed with 25 every <glory>, and it has | three masculinities, three powers, | and three names. They exist in the | manner of Three K K K—which are quadrangels— | secretly within a silence 30 of the Ineffable One.

[It is he] alone who came to be, | that [is, the Christ. And] as for me I anointed him | as the glory [of the] Invisible [Spirit] with | [goodness]. Now [the Three] I established | [alone in] eternal [glory] over 35 [the Aeons in the] Living [Water], that | [is, the glory that surrounds him] 38 who first came forth to the Light | of those exalted Aeons, and it is in glorious | Light that he firmly perseveres. And [he] | stood in his own Light 5 that surrounds him, that is, the Eye of the Light | that gloriously shines on me. | He perpetuated the Father of all <the> Aeons, who am I, | the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, | that is, Barbelo, the [perfect] Glory 10 and the [immeasurable] Invisible One who is hidden. | I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit | and it is through me that the All took shape, | and (I am) the Mother (as well as) the Light which she appointed | as Virgin, she who is called 15 Meirothea, the incomprehensible Womb, the | unrestrainable and immeasurable Voice.

Then | the Perfect Son revealed himself to his | Aeons who originated through him, | and he revealed them and glorified them and 20 gave them thrones and stood in | the glory with which he glorified himself. | They blessed the Perfect Son, the Christ, the | only-begotten God. And they gave glory, saying, “He is! He is! The Son 25 of God! The Son of God! It is he who | is! The Aeon of Aeons beholding the | Aeons which he begot! For thou hast | begotten by thine own desire! Therefore [we] | glorify thee: ma mō ō ō ō eia ei on ei! The [Aeon] 30 of [Aeons! The] Aeon which he gave!”

Then, | moreover, the [God who was begotten] gave them (the Aeons) | a power of [life on which they might rely] and [he] | established [them. The] first | Aeon, he established [over the first]: Armedon, 35 Nousa[nios, Armozel; the] second | he established [over the second Aeon]: 39 Phaionios, Ainios, Oroiael; the third | over the third Aeon: Mellephaneus, | Loios, Daveithai; the fourth | over the fourth: Mousanios, Amethes, 5 Eleleth. Now those Aeons were begotten | by the God who was begotten—the | Christ—and these Aeons received | as well as gave glory. They were the first to appear, | exalted in their thought, and each 10 Aeon gave myriads of glories within | great untraceable lights and | they all together blessed the Perfect | Son, the God who was begotten.

Then there | came forth a word from the great 15 Light Eleleth and said, “I | am King! Who belongs to Chaos and who | belongs to the underworld?” And at that instant his Light | appeared radiant, endowed | with the Epinoia. The Powers of the Powers 20 did not entreat him and likewise immediately | there appeared the great Demon | who rules over the lowest part of the underworld | and Chaos. He has neither form | nor perfection, but on the contrary possesses 25 the form of the glory of those | begotten in the darkness. Now he is called | “Saklas,” that is, “Samael,” “Yaltabaoth,” | he who had taken power; who had snatched | it away from the innocent one (Sophia); who had earlier overpowered 30 her who is the Light’s Epinoia (Sophia) | who had descended, her from | whom he (Yaltabaoth) had come forth originally.

Now when the | Epinoia of the [Light] realized | that [he (Yaltabaoth)] had begged him (the Light), | for another [order, even though he was lower] than she, she said, 35 “Grant [me another order so that] you may become for me | [a dwelling place lest I dwell] in disorder | [forever.” And the order of the] entire house of 40 glory [was agreed] upon her | word. A blessing was brought for | her and the higher order released it | to her.

And the great Demon 5 began to produce | aeons in the likeness of the real Aeons, | except that he produced them out of his own power. |

Then I too revealed | my Voice secretly, 10 saying, “Cease! Desist, | (you) who tread on matter; for behold | I am coming down to the world | of mortals for the sake of my portion that was in | that place from the time when 15 the innocent Sophia was conquered, she who | descended, so that I might thwart | their aim which the one revealed | by her appoints.” | And all were disturbed, 20 each one who dwells | in the house of the ignorant light, | and the abyss trembled. And | the Archigenetor of ignorance | reigned over Chaos and the underworld and 25 produced a man in my likeness. But he neither | knew that that one would become | for him a sentence of dissolution nor | does he recognize the power in | him.

But now I have come down 30 and reached down to Chaos. And | I was [with] my own who | were in that place. [I am hidden] within | them, empowering [them and] giving | them shape. And [from the first day] until 35 the day [when I will grant mighty power] | to those who [are mine, I will reveal myself to] | those who have [heard my mysteries], 41 that is, the [Sons] of [the] Light.

I | am their Father and I shall tell you a | mystery, ineffable and indivulgeable | by [any] mouth: Every bond 5 I loosed from you, and the | chains of the Demons of the underworld, I broke, | these things which are bound on my members, restraining them. And | the high walls of darkness I overthrew, | and the secure gates of 10 those pitiless ones I broke, and I smashed | their bars. And the evil Force and | the one who beats you, and the one who hinders | you, and the Tyrant, and the Adversary, | and the one who is King, and the present Enemy, 15 indeed all these I explained to those | who are mine, who are the Sons of the light, | in order that they might nullify them all | and be saved from all those bonds | and enter into the place where they were at 20 first.

I am the first one who descended | on account of my portion which remains, that is, | the Spirit that (now) dwells in the soul, (but) which originated | from the Water of Life and out | of the immersion of the mysteries, and I spoke, 25 I together with the Archons and Authorities. | For I had gone down below their | language and I spoke my mysteries to | my own – a hidden mystery – and | the bonds and eternal oblivion were nullified. 30 And I bore fruit in them, that | is, the Thought of the unchanging Aeon, and | my house, and their [Father]. And I went | down [to those who were mine] from the first and | I [reached them and broke] the first strands 35 that [enslaved them. Then] | everyone [of those] within me shone, and 42 I prepared [a pattern] for those ineffable Lights that are | within me. Amen. |

The Discourse of Protennoia: [One] |

I am the Voice that appeared through 5 my Thought, for I am “He who is syzygetic,” | since I am called “the Thought of the Invisible One.” | Since I am called “the unchanging Speech,” | I am called “She who is syzygetic.”

I am a single | one (fem.) since I am undefiled. I am the Mother [of] 10 the Voice, speaking in many ways, completing | the All. It is in me that knowledge dwells, | the knowledge of <things> everlasting. It is I [who] | speak within every creature and I was known | by the All. It is I who lift up 15 the Speech of the Voice to the ears of those who | have known me, that is, the Sons of the 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 the Aeon 20 and teach them of the beginning of the Aeon | to come, the one without change, | the one in which our appearance will be changed. | We shall be purified within those Aeons from which I | revealed myself in the Thought 25 of the likeness of my masculinity. I settled | among those who are worthy in the Thought of my | changeless Aeon.

For I shall tell you a | mystery [of] this particular Aeon and | tell you about the forces that are in it. 30 The birth beckons: [hour] begets | hour, [day begets day]. The months | made known the [month. Time] has [gone round] | succeeding [time]. This particular Aeon 43 was completed in [this] fashion, and it was estimated, and | it (was) short, for it was a finger that released a | finger and a joint that was separated from | a joint. Then when the great Authorities knew 5 that the time of fulfillment had appeared – | just as in the pangs of the parturient it (the time) had drawn near, | so also had | the destruction approached – all together the elements | trembled, and the foundations of the underworld and the ceilings 10 of Chaos shook and a great fire shone | within their midst, and the rocks and the earth | were shaken like a reed shaken by the wind. | And the lots of Fate and those who apportion | the domiciles were greatly disturbed over 15 a great thunder. And the thrones of | the Powers were disturbed since they were overturned, and their | King was afraid. And those who pursue Fate | paid their allotment of visits to the path, and | they said to the Powers, “What is this disturbance 20 and this shaking that has come upon us through | a Voice <belonging> to the exalted Speech? | And our entire habitation has been shaken, and the entire | circuit of our path of ascent has met with | destruction, and the path upon which we go, 25 which takes us up to the Archigenetor | of our birth, has ceased to be established for us.” | Then the Powers answered, saying, | “We too are at a loss about | it since we did not know what was responsible for it. But 30 arise, let us go up to the Archigenetor | and ask him.” And the | Powers all gathered and went up to the Archigenetor. | [They said to] him, “Where is your boasting | in which [you boast]? 35 Did we not [hear you say], ‘I | am God [and I am] your Father 44 and it is I who [begot] you and there is no [other] | beside me’? Now behold, there has appeared | [a] Voice belonging to that invisible Speech | of [the Aeon] (and) which we know not. And 5 we ourselves did not recognize to whom we | belong, for that Voice which we listened to | is foreign to us, and we do not recognize | it; we did not know whence it was. It came | and put fear in our midst and weakening 10 in the members of our arms. So now let | us weep and mourn most bitterly! | As for the future, let us make our entire flight | before we are imprisoned perforce and | taken down to the bosom of the underworld. For already 15 the slackening of our bondage has approached, | and the times are cut short and the days have shortened | and our time has been fulfilled, and the weeping | of our destruction has approached us so that | we may be taken to the place we recognize. 20 For as for our tree from which we grew, a fruit | of ignorance is what it has; and | also its leaves, it is death that dwells in them, | and darkness dwells under the shadow of its | boughs. And it was in deceit 25 and lust that we harvested it, this (tree) through | which ignorant Chaos became for us a dwelling place. | For behold, even he, the Archigenetor | of our birth, about whom we boast, | even he did not know this Speech.”

So now, 30 O Sons of the Though, listen to me, to the Speech | of the Mother of your mercy, for you have | become worthy of the mystery hidden from (the beginning of) | the Aeons, so that [you might receive] it. And the consummation | of this [particular] Aeon [and] of the evil life 35 [has approached and there dawns 45 the] beginning of the [Aeon to come] which [has | no change forever].

I am | androgynous. [I am Mother (and) I am] Father since [I | copulate] with myself. I [copulated] with myself 5 [and with those who love] me, [and] | it is through me alone that the All [stands firm]. I am the Womb | [that gives shape] to the All by giving birth to the Light that | [shines in] splendor. I am the Aeon to [come. | I am] the fulfillment of the All, that is, Me[iroth]ea, 10 the glory of the Mother. I cast [voiced] Speech | into the ears of those who know | me.

And I am inviting you into the exalted, perfect Light. | Moreover (as for) this (Light), when you enter | it you will be glorified by those [who] 15 give glory, and those who enthrone will | enthrone you. Yor will accept robes from | those who give robes and the Baptists | will baptize you and you will become | gloriously glorious, the way you first were 20 when you were <Light>. |

And I hid myself in everyone and revealed [myself] | within them, and every mind seeking | me longed for me, for it is I | who gave shape to the All when it had no form. 25 And I transformed their forms | into (other) forms until the time when a form | will be given to the All. It is through me that the Voice | originated and it is I who put the breath | within my own. And I cast into 30 them the eternally holy Spirit and | I ascended and entered my Light. | [I went up] upon my branch and | sat [there among the] Sons of the [holy] Light. | And [I withdrew] to their dwelling place 46 which […] 3 become [glorious …. Amen]. |

[On Fate: Two] 5

I am [the word] who dwells [in the] ineffable [Voice]. | I dwell in undefiled [Light] | and a Thought [revealed itself] | perceptibly through [the great] | Speech of the Mother, although it is a male offspring [that supports me] 10 as my foundation. And it (the Speech) exists from the beginning | in the foundations of the All.

But there is a Light [that] | dwells hidden in Silence and it was first to [come] | forth. Whereas she (the Mother) alone exists as Silence, | I alone am the Word, ineffable, 15 unpolluted, immeasurable, inconceivable. | It (the Word)is a hidden Light, bearing a Fruit of | Life, pouring forth a Living Water from | the invisible, unpolluted, immeasurable | Spring, that is, the unreproducible Voice of the glory 20 of the Mother, the glory of the offspring | of God; a male Virgin | by virtue of a hidden Intellect, that is, | the Silence hidden from the All, being unreproducible, | an immeasurable Light, the source of the All, 25 the Root of the entire Aeon. It is the Foundation that supprots | every movement of the Aeons that | belong to the mighty Glory. It is the Foudation of every foundation. | It is the Breath of the Powers. It is the Eye of the | Three Permanences, which exist as Voice 30 by virtue of Though. And it is a Word | by the virtue of Speech; it was sent | to illumine those who dwell in the [darkness]. |

Now behold [I will reveal] | to you {my mysteries] since 35 you are my fellow [brethren, and you shall] know | them all […]. 475 I [told all of them about | my mysteries] that exist in [the | incomprehensible], inexpressible [Aeons]. I taught [them the mysteries] | through the [Voice that | exists] within a perfect Intellect [and 10 I] became a foundation for the All, and [I | empowered] them.

The second time I came in the [Speech] | of my Voice. I gave shape to those who [took] shape | until their consummation.

The third | time I revealed myself to them [in] 15 their tents as Word and I | revealed myself in the likeness of their shape. And | I wore everyone’s garment and | I hid myself within them, and [they] did not | know the one who empowers me. For I dwell within 20 all the Sovereignties and Powers and within | the Angels and in every movement [that] exists | in all matter. And I hid myself within | them until I revealed myself to my [brethren]. | And none of them (the Powers) knew me, [although] 25 it is I who work in them. Rather [they thought] | that the All was created [by them] | since they are ignorant, not knowing [their] | root, the place in which they grew.

[I] | am the Light that illumines the All. I 30 am the Light that rejoices [in my] | brethren, for I came down to the world [of] | mortals on account of the Spirit that remains [in] | that which [descended] (and) came forth [from] the | innocent Sophia. [I came] and I delivered 35 […] and I [went] to 48 […] 6 which he had [formerly and | I gave to him] from the Water [of Life, which | strips] him of the Chaos [that is | in the] uttermost [darkness] that exist [inside] 10 the entire [abyss], that is, the thought of [the corporeal] | and the psychic. All these I | put on. And I stripped him of it | and I put upon him a shining Light, that | is, the knowledge of the Though of the Fatherhood. 15

And I delivered him to those who give robes— | Yammon, Elasso, Amenai—and they [covered] | him with a robe from the robes of the Light; | and I delivered him to the Baptists and they | baptized him—Micheus, Michar, 20 Mn[e]sinous—and they immersed him in the spring of the [Water] | of Life. And I delivered him to those who | enthrone—Bariel, Nouthan, Sabenai—and | they enthroned him from the throne of glory. | And I delivered him to those who glorify – 25 Ariom, Elien, Phariel – and they glorified | him with the glory of the Fatherhood. And | those who snatch away snatched away – Kamaliel. | […]anen, Samblo, the servants of <the> great | holy Luminaries – and they took him into 30 the light-[place] of his Fatherhood. And | [he received] the Five Seals from | [the Light] of the Mother, Protennoia, and | it was [granted] him [to] partake of [the mystery] of | knowledge, and [he became a Light] in 35 Light.

So, now, [… 496 I was] dwelling in them [in the form | of each] one. [The Archons] thought | [that I] was their Christ. Indeed I [dwell | in] everyone. Indeed within those in whom [I revealed 10 myself] as Light [I eluded] | the Archons. I am their beloved, [for] | in that place I clothed myself [as] | the Son of the Archigenetor, and I was like | him until the end of his decree, which is 15 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 Sons of Man as if | I were a Son of Man, even though I am 20 Father of everyone.

I hid myself within them | all until I revealed myself among my members, | which are mine, and I taught them about the ineffable | ordinances, and (about) the brethren. But they are inexpressible | to every Sovereignty and every ruling 25 Power except to the Sons of the Light | alone, that is, the ordinances of the Father. These are | the glories that are higher than every glory, that is, [the Five] | Seals complete by virtue of Intellect. He | who possesses the Five Seals of these 30 particular names has stripped off <the> garments | of ignorance and put on | a shining Light. And nothing | will appear to him that belongs to the Powers | of the Archons. Within those of this sort 35 darkness will dissolve and [ignorance] will die. | And the thought of the creature | which [is scattered will] present a single appearance | and [dark Chaos] will dissolve and 50 […] 3 and the […] | incomprehensible […] 5 within the […] | until I reveal myself [to all my fellow | brethren] and until I gather [together] | all [my fellow] brethren within my [eternal | kingdom]. And I proclaimed to them the ineffable [Five 10 Seals in order that | I might] abide in them and they also | might abide in me.

As for me, I put on | Jesus. I bore him from the cursed | wood, and established him in the dwelling places 15 of his Father. And those who watch over | their dwelling places did not recognize me. | For I, I am unrestrainable together with my | Seed, and my Seed, which is mine, I shall [place] | into the Holy Light within an 20 incomprehensible Silence. Amen. |

The Discourse of the Appearance: Three

Trimorphic Protennoia, in three parts |

A Sacred Scripture written by the Father |

with perfect Knowledge

( 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.

| 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.

< 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.

{ Braces indicate superfluous letters or words added by the scribe.

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. 509


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