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Nag Hammurabi Codices- The Interpretation of Knowledge; by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

Lucas Cranach

GNOSIS-
WAS IST GUT UND WAS IST BÖSE?

Nag Hammurabi Codices-

THE INTERPRETATION OF KNOWLEDGE

XI 1, 1–21, 35

by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

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[14 they came to] believe by means of [signs | and] wonders [and fabrications. | The likeness] that came to be through [them | followed] him, but through | [reproaches] and humiliations [before they received | the apprehension] of a vision [they fled 20 without having] heard [that the Christ] | had been crucified. | [But our] generation is fleeing since it does not yet | [even believe that the Christ | is alive. In order] that our faith 25 [may be] holy (and) pure, | [not relying upon] itself actively, but | [maintaining] itself planted in | [him, do not] say: “whence | [is the] patience to measure faith?”, 30 for each one is persuaded | [by the things] he believes. If | he disbelieves them, then [he] would be unable | [to be persuaded]. But it is a great thing | for a man who has 35 faith, since he is [not] in unbelief, | which is the [world].

[Now] the world | [is the place of] unfaith [and | the place of death]. And death [exists as 215 likeness and] they will [not believe]. | A holy thing is the faith [to see | the likeness]. The opposite is [unfaith | in the likeness]. The things that he will grant [them | will support] them. It was impossible [for them 20 to attain] to the imperishability […] | will [become …] | loosen [… 24 those who] were sent […]. | For [he who] is distressed [will not believe]. | He [is unable] to bring a [great | church] since it is gathered out of [a small | gathering].

He became an [emanation of] | the trace. For also they say [about] 30 a likeness that it is apprehended [by means of | his trace]. The structure [apprehends by means of | the] likeness, but God [apprehends | by means of] his members. [He knew | them] before they were begotten, [and they 35 will know] him. And the one who [begot | each] one from [the first will | indwell] them. He will [rule over them]. | For it is [necessary] for [each one 326 The] Savior [removed himself] since it is [fitting]. | Indeed, [not ignorant] but [carnal | is the] word who [took him] as a husband. | And it is [he] who exists [as an image], since 30 [that one (masc.)] also [exists], as well as that one (fem.) | [who brought] us forth. [And she caused] him to know | [that] she is [the] Womb. This [is a] marvel of hers | [that she] causes us to transcend [patience. | But this is] the marvel: he [loves 35 the one who] was first to [permit] a virgin | […]. It is fitting to […] her | […] unto death | [… desire] to practice 4 […]. 24 Therefore | [she yielded] to him in [her path]. | He was [first to fix] our eye [upon this] | virgin [who is fixed] to the [cross] | that is in those [places. And] we see [that | it is] her water [which] the supreme authority [granted] 30 to the one [in whom] there is [a sign. This | is that] water of [immortality which] | the great [powers] will grant to [him while he is] | below [in the likeness] of [her young son. | She did not stop] on his account. She […] 35 the […] he became […] | in the […] word that [appears] | to the …] word that [appears] | to the […]. | He [did not … 5 …] 14 in […] | through […] | come from those places. [Some fell] | in the path. Others [fell in the rocks]. | Yet still others he [sowed in the thorns]. | And still others [he gave to drink | …] 21 and the shadow. Behold […] | he [… 25 And] this [is the eternal reality] | before the souls come forth from | [those who] are being killed.

But he was | being pursued in that place | by the trace produced by 30 the Savior. And he was crucified | and he died-not his own [death, | for] he did [not at all] deserve to die | [because | of] the church of mortals. [And he was | nailed] so that [they] might keep 35 him in the church. [He answered] her | [with] humiliations, since [in this] way he had [borne] the suffering | which he had [suffered]. | For Jesus is for us a [likeness] on account of 6 […] 15 this [… | the] entire [structure] and | [… the great] bitterness of the [world | …] us with the | […] by thieves 20 […] the [slaves | … down] to Jericho | […] they [received | …]. For [… 25 down] to [those who] will wait | while the entire defect restrains [them] | until the [final] reality that is | [their] portion, since he [brought] us down, | having bound us in nets of flesh. 30 Since the body is [a] | temporary dwelling which | the rulers and [authorities] have as [an] abode, | the man within, [after being] | imprisoned in the fabrication, [fell] 35 into [suffering. And] having compelled [him] | to [serve them,] they constrained him to | serve [the] energies. They split | the Church so as to inherit 7 […] 10 power to […] | and […] | and […] | having [touched …] | before […] 17 it is [the] beauty that will […] | wanted to [… and] | to be with […] 20 fighting with [one another …] | like others […] | virgin […] | to destroy […] | wound […] 26 but she [… she likens] | herself to the […] | her since they had struck […] | imperishable. This […] 30 that he remain […] | virgin. The […] | her beauty […] | faithfulness […] | and therefore […] 35 her. He hastened […] | he did not put up with […] | they despise […]. | For when the Mother had [ 86 the] Mother […] 8 her enemy | [… the] teaching [… of] 11 the force […] 15 nature […] | behold a maiden | […] he is unable | […] first | [… the] opposite […]. 20 But how has he | […] maiden | […] he was not able | […] he [became | …] killed [him 25 …] alive | […] he reckoned her […] | better than life | […] since he knows that if | […] world created [him 30 …] him to raise | [him …] up from | […] upon the regions [… | those] whom they rule […]. But […] emitted him 35 […] he dwells in him | […] the Father of the All | […] be more to her […] | him. He [ 9 …] 9 like […] | into […] he [has] | them […] | them […] each [one will be] | worthy […] take him and [… 15 the] teacher should hide himself [as if | he were] a god [who] would embrace [his works] | and destroy them. For [he] also | spoke with the Church [and] he [made himself] | her teacher of immortality, and [destroyed] 20 the arrogant [teacher] by [teaching] | her to [die].

[And this teacher made a | living] school, for [that teacher has] | another school: while [it teaches us about] | the [dead] writings, he, on the other hand, was causing us to [remove ourselves] 25 from the [surfeit] of the world; | we were being taught about our death | through them.

Now this is his teaching: | Do not call to a father upon | the earth. Your Father, who is in heaven, is one. 30 You are the light of | the world. They are my brothers and my fellow | companions who do the will | of [the] Father. For what use is it if you | gain the world and you forfeit your 35 soul? For when we were in the dark | we used to call many “father,” since we were | ignorant of the true Father. And | this is the great conception of [all] the sins 10 […] 9 pleasure. We are like | […] him to […] | soul […] men who […] | the [dwelling] place. |

[What] now is the [faith laid down] | by the master who [released] him [from the great] 15 ignorance [and] the [darkness of the ignorant eye?] | He reminded him of the good things | [of his Father] and the race. For he said | [to him], “Now the world is not yours; | [may you not esteem] the form that is in it [as] advantageous; 20 [rather (it is) disadvantageous] and a [punishment].” Receive | now the [teaching of the one who was] reproached- | an advantage and [a profit] for the soul– | [and] receive [his shape. It is the] shape | [that] exists in the presence [of the Father], the word 25 and the height, that let you know him | before you have been led astray while in (the) flesh | of condemnation. Likewise I became very small | so that through my humility I | might take you up to the great height, whence 30 you had fallen. You were taken | to this pit. If now you believe | in me, it is I who shall take you | above through this shape that you see. | It is I who shall bear you upon my shoulders. Enter 35 through the rib whence you came | and hide yourself from the beasts. | The burden that you bear | now [is] not yours. Whenever [you (fem.)] go 11 […] 15 from his glory […] | from the first. | From [being counted] with the female, | sleep [brought labor] and the [sabbath] | which [is the] world. 20 For from [being counted] with the Father, | sleep brought [the sabbath] and [the exodus] | from the [world of the beasts]. | For the [world] is from <the> [beasts] | and it is a [beast]. Therefore [he] 25 that is lost [has been reckoned to the] crafty one, and [that one] | is from [the beasts] that came forth. They put upon [him a] garment of condemnation, | for the female [had no] other | garment [for clothing] her seed 30 except the one she first brought | on the sabbath. For no beast | exists in [the] Aeon. For the Father does not | keep the sabbath but actuates the Son, | and through the Son he continued 35 to provide himself with the Aeons. The Father has | living rational elements | from which he puts on | my [members] as garments. The man 12 [… 12 this] | is the name. The [… he] | emitted [himself and] he 15 emitted the [reproached one. The one | who] was reproached changed (his) name | and, [along with that which would be] like the reproach | he [appeared] as flesh. And | [the humiliated one has no] equipment. He has [no] need 20 of the [glory that] is [not his]; he has | his own [glory] with the | [name], which is the [Son]. Now he came that we might | become glorious [through the] humiliated one | [that] dwells in the [places of humiliation. 25 And through [him] who was reproached | we receive the [forgiveness] of sins. | And through the one [who] was reproached | and the one who [was redeemed] we receive | grace.

But who [is it] that redeemed 30 the one who was reproached? It is [the] emanation | of the name. For just as the flesh has need | of a name, so also is [the] flesh an Aeon | that Wisdom has emitted. It | received the majesty that is descending, 35 so that the Aeon might enter | the one who was reproached, that we might escape | the disgrace of the carcass and be regenerated | in the flesh [and] blood of 13 […] 9 destiny. He […] | and the Aeons [… | they] accepted the Son [although he was] | a complete mystery [… | each one] of his [members …] | grace. [When 15 he cried out, he] was separated | from the Church like [portions of] | the darkness from the Mother, while his [feet] | provided him traces, and [these] | scorched the path of [the] ascent 20 to the Father.

But [what is the way and manner (in) which] | it (fem.) became [their Head]? Well, it (fem.) made the [dwelling place to bring forth] | the light [to those] who dwell within | him so that [they might] see the [ascending] Church. 25 For the Head drew | itself up from the pit; it | was bent over the cross and [it] | looked down to Tartaros so that | those below might look above. 30 Hence, for example, when someone | looks at [someone], then the face of the one | who looked down looks up; | so also once the Head looked | from the [height] to its members, our 35 members [went] above, where the Head | was. And it, the cross, | was [undergoing] nailing for the members, | and solely that they might be able 14 […] 8 have […] | because they were [like …] 10 slave. The consummation [is | thus: He whom] she indicated | [will be completed] by the [one who] indicated. | And the seeds [that remain will endure] | until the All is separated [and takes] 15 shape.

And thus the decree | will be fulfilled, for just as the woman | who is honored until death | [has] the advantage of time, | [so too will it] give birth. And this offspring 20 [will] receive [the body] appointed for it | [and] it [will become perfect]. He has | a generous [nature since] the Son of | God dwells in [him]. And whenever | he acquires the All, whatever 25 he possesses will <be dissolved> in the | fire because it greatly despised and | outraged the Father. |

Moreover, when the great Son was sent | after his small brothers, he spread 30 abroad the edict of the Father and proclaimed | it, opposing the All. And he | removed the old bond of debt, the one of | condemnation. And this [is the] edict | that was: Those who made themselves 35 enslaved have become condemned | in Adam. They have been [brought] from | death, received forgiveness for their | sins and been redeemed by 15 […] 10 since we are worthy […] | and […] | but I say […] 14 and these […]. | For […] is worthy to […] | God. And the Father [… the] | Christ removed himself [from] | all these, since he loves [his members] | with all his heart. [One who is jealous sets] 20 his members against [one another. If] | he is [not] jealous, [he will not] be removed from (the) [other members and the] | good which [he] sees. [By having a] | brother [who] regards us [as he] 25 also is, one glorifies the [one who gives us] | grace. Moreover, it is fitting for [each] | of us to [enjoy] the gift | that he has received from [God, and] | that we not be jealous, since we know that 30 he who is jealous is an obstacle in his (own) [path], | since he destroys only himself | with the gift and he is ignorant | of God. He ought to rejoice [and] | be glad and partake of grace and 35 bounty. Does someone have a | prophetic gift? Share it without | hesitation. Neither approach | your brother jealously nor 16 […] 9 chosen as they […] | empty as they [escape …] | fallen from their […] | are ignorant that | [… in this way they] have | […] them in 15 […] in order that they may | [reflect] perforce upon the things that you want | [them to think] about when [they | think about] you. [Now] your brother | [also has his] grace: 20 [Do not] belittle yourself, but | [rejoice and give] thanks spiritually | [and] pray for that | [one in order that] you might share the grace | [that dwells] within him. So do not consider [him 25 foreign] to you, rather, (as) one | who is yours, whom each | [of] your <fellow> members received. | By [loving] the Head who possesses them, | you also possess the one from whom it is that 30 these outpourings of gifts exist | among your brethren.

But is someone | making progress in the Word? Do not | be hindered by this; do not say: | “Why does he speak 35 while I do not?”, for what he | says is (also) yours, | and that which discerns the Word and | that which speaks is the same power. The [Word 1714 eye] or a [hand only, although they are] | a [single] body. [Those who belong to us] | all serve [the Head] together. | And] each one [of the members reckons] | it as a member.

[They can] not | all become [entirely a foot] 20 or entirely an eye [or entirely a hand since] | these members will not [live alone]; | rather they are dead. We [know that they are being put to | death. So] why [do you love] | the members that are still dead, [instead of those that] 25 live? How do you know [that someone] | is ignorant of the [brethren]? | For [you] are ignorant when you [hate them] | and are jealous of them, since [you will not receive] | the grace that dwells within [them], 30 being unwilling to reconcile them to [the] | bounty of the Head. You ought to [give] | thanks for our members and [ask] | that you too might be granted | [the] grace that has been given to them. 35 For the Word is rich, | generous, and kind. Here he | gives away gifts to | his men without jealousy according to 18 [… 12 appeared | in each] of the members | […] himself 15 […] since they do not fight | [at all with one another] on account of [their] difference(s). | [Rather] by laboring with | [one another they will] work with one another, | [and if] one of them 20 [suffers, they will] suffer with him, and | [when each one] is saved, they are saved | [together].

Moreover, [if they] would wait for | [the exodus] from the (earthly) harmony, they will | [come to the Aeon]. If they are fit to share 25 [in] the (true) harmony, how much the more | [those who] derive from the [single] unity? | They ought to be reconciled with one | another. Do not accuse your Head | because it has not appointed you as an eye but rather as 30 a finger. And do not | [be] jealous of that which has been put in the | class of an eye or a hand or a foot, | but be thankful that you do not exist | outside the body. On the contrary, you have 35 the same Head on | whose account the eye exists as well as the hand | and the foot and the rest of the | parts. Why do you despise 19 the one that is appointed as […] | it desired to […] | you slandered […] | does not embrace […] 5 unmixed [body …] | chosen […] 12 dissolve […] | of the Aeon […] | descent […] 15 however [plucked] | us from <the> [Aeons that exist in] | that place. [Some] | exist in the [visible] Church — | those who exist in the [Church] 20 of men-and [unanimously] they proclaim [to one another] the Pleroma of [their aeon]. | And some exist [for death in] | the Church on whose behalf [they] 25 go–she for whom they are [death]- | while others are for life. Therefore | they [are] lovers of abundant life. And | each of the rest [endures] | by his own root. 30 He puts forth fruit | that is like him, since the roots [have] | a connection with one | another and their fruits are undivided, | the best of each. 35 They possess them, existing for them | and for one another. So let us become | like the roots since we are equal 20 […] | that Aeon […] | those who are not ours | […] above the […] 5 grasp him […] 13 since | […] your soul. He will […] 15 we gave you to him […]. | If you purify | [it, it abides in] me. If you enclose | [it, it belongs to the] Devil. | [Even] if you [kill] his forces that 20 [are active, it will] be with you. For if | [the soul] is dead, still | it [was enacted upon] (by) the rulers and | [authorities].

What, now, do you think | [of] as spirit? Or 25 [why] do they persecute men of | [this] sort to death? Are | they not satisfied to be with the soul | and (so) seek it? | For every place is [excluded] from them by 30 [the] men of God so long as they | exist in flesh. And when they | cannot see them, since they (the men of God) live by | the spirit, | they tear apart what appears 35 as if thus they can | find them. But what is the profit for them? | They are senselessly mad! They rend | their surroundings! They dig the earth! 21 […] 3 him […] | hid […] 5 exists […] | purify […] 16 however […] | after God […] | seize us | […] 20 but we walk […] . | For if the sins [are many, how much] | the more now is the [jealousy of the Church] | of the Savior. For [each one] | was capable of [both (types)] 25 of transgression, [namely that of an adept] | and (that of) an ordinary person. It is [still] a | single [ability] that they possess. And | as for us, we are adepts [at] | the Word. If we sin against [it], 30 we sin more than Gentiles. | But if we surmount every sin, | we shall receive the crown of | victory, even as our Head was | glorified by the Father. 35

The Interpretation of Knowledge

[ 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.

( 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.

< 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. 473

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