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Words from GOD – Words to GOD

NAG HAMMURABI- The Testament of Truth; by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz





by Archbishop Uwe AE.Rosenkranz

Introduced by

Birger A. Pearson

Translated by

Søren Giversen and Birger A. Pearson

This tractate is unfortunately poorly preserved, owing to the fragmentary condition of the manuscript. Almost half of the text is lost. Even so, enough material is extant or recoverable to enable us to gain a rather good picture of the tractate’s content.

It is possible that a title was originally appended to the tractate at the end (as is the case with 21 of the other tractates in the Nag Hammadi corpus); if so, it would have been part of the last inscribed folio of the codex, which is now lost (pp. 75–76). The title now in universal use has been editorially assigned on the basis of content (“word of truth,” 31, 8; “true testimony,” 45, 1), and underscores the author’s concern to establish “true” faith and praxis while also exposing the false claims of “heretical” opponents.

Indeed, one of the most interesting features of this tractate is that we seen in the other side of the theological arguments we know so well from the ecclesiastical heresiologists. The author is a Christian Gnostic polemicist, with a strict encratic world view and lifestyle. His chief opponents are catholic Christians of the ecclesiastical establishment. Surprisingly, our gnostic does not spare fellow Gnostics similar polemical treatment, i.e., Gnostics whose lifestyle and ritual practice differ from his own.

The tractate consists of two main parts. The first is a well-constructed homily on truth versus falsehood, addressed to fellow members of a Christian Gnostic community (29, 6–45, 6). Its purpose is to bolster the convictions of the author’s fellow Gnostics and to warn them against the errors of (catholic) Christian opponents. The second part (45, 6-end) consists of miscellaneous additions, including elaborations of thems already sounded in the homily itself. It is in this section that the polemics against other Glostics occur.

  1. The homily opens with an exordium in which the author appeals to those endowed with spiritual hearing. An attack is then launched against the Law, which for the author is summed up in the command to procreate. The polemics continue with attacks on those who espouse martyrdom in the belief that there will be a “carnal resurrection” (31, 22–38, 27). Sexual “defilement” (39, 5), i.e., marriage and procreation, is vigoriously criticized (38, 27–41, 4), with Jesus’ virgin birth used as a sign that Christians should lead a virginal life (40, 5–7). The capstone of the homily as a description of the career of the archetypical Gnostic; his renunciation of the world and his reintegration into the realm of imperishability (41, 4–44, 30). A peroration sums up the “true testimony”: self-knowledge is knowledge of God and leads to the “crown unfading” (44, 30–45, 6).
  2. The appended miscellanea occur in a portion of Codex IX which has sustained considerable damage and loss. It is nevertheless clear that the polemical tone sounded in the homily consists of a gnostic midrash on the serpent of Genesis 3 (45, 23–49, 10). It retells the paradise story in such a way as to portrary the serpent as the revealer of life and knowledge, and God (the Creator) as a malevolent and ignorant demon. This material is probably based on a previously existing source, to which the author of Testim, Truth has added some editorial touches, including an allegorical interpretation of the serpent as a symbol of Christ (49, 7).

Another interesting section, unfortunately very fragmentary, consists of polemics against the tenets of such other Gnostics as Valentinus (56, 2–5), Basilides and his son Isidore (57, 6–8), and the Simonians (58, 2–3). It is presumably on the basis of their ethical and ritual practices that those teachers and groups are regarded by the author of Testim, Truth as heretics. For example, the Valentinians are criticized for their use of the sacrament of baptism (55, 7–9); water baptism is consistently condemned in Testim. Truth (69, 7–24; cf. 30, 18–30). The Simonians are criticized for marrying and begetting children (58, 2–4), a criticism that would extend to the Valentinians and Basilidians as well.

In short, from beginning to end, our tractate is filled with the polemics of a teacher who earnestly believed that his version of Christian faith and praxis was the only true one, a pamphleteer whose hatred of “heresy” was the match of that of an Irenaues, a Hippolytus, or a Tertullian. Indeed, our author can be regarded as a mirror-image of the great heresiologists of the Church, representing the other side of the argument.

Who was this man? From what can be gathered from the tractate itself, he was probably an Alexandrian whose Gnostic Christiany was heavily influenced by other Alexandrian gnostic traditions, especially Valentinianism. Yet he rejected certain features of Valentinian doctrine and practice. As it happens, Clement of Alexandria has provided us with information about a gnostic teacher who fits the situation of our author very well: Julius Cassianus. This man had “departed from the school of Valentinus” (Strom. III.93) and espoused a strict encratism, condemning marriage and sexual intercourse. Julius Cassianus, of all the heretics known to us by name from ancient sources, is the most likely candidate for the authorship of Testim. Truth.

Even if Julius Cassianus is not its author, Testim, Truth is most plausibly to be situated in Alexandria and dated to the end of the second century or the beginning of the third.


IX 29, 6–74, 30

I will speak to those who know | to hear not with the ears | of the body but with the ears | of the mind. For many have sought 10 after the truth and have not | been able to find it; because there has taken hold of them [the] | old leaven of the Pharisees | and the scribes [of] 15 the Law. And the leaven is [the] | errant desire of | the angels and the demons | and the stars. As for the Pharisees | and the scribes, it is they 20 who belong to the archons who | have authority [over them]. |

For no one who is under | the Law will be able to look | up to the truth for they will not be 25 able to serve two master. | For the defilement of the Law | is manifest; 30 but undefilement belongs to the | light. The Law commands | (one) to take a husband (or) to take a wife, and | to beget, to multiply like the sand 5 of the sea. But passion which | is a delight to them constraints | the souls of those who are begotten | in this place, those who defile | and those who are defiled, 10 in order that the Law might | be fulfilled through them. And | they show that they are assisting | the world; and they | [turn] away from the light, 15 who are unable | [to pass by] the archon of [darkness] | until they pay the last [penny]. |

But the Son of Man | [came] forth from Imperishability, 20 [being] alien to defilement. He came | [to the] world by the Jordan | river, and immediately the Jordan | [turned] back. | And John bore witness to the 25 [descent] of Jesus. For it is he | who saw the [power] | which came down upon | the Jordan river; for he knew | that the dominion of 30 carnal procreation had come to an end. The Jordan | river is the power | of the body, that is, the senses 31 of pleasures. The water | of the Jordan is sthe desire | for sexual intercourse. John | is the archon of 5 the womb.

And this is what the | Son of Man reveals to us: | It is fitting for you (pl.) | to receive the word of truth. If | one will receive it 10 perfectly,—. But as for one who is [in] | ignorance, it is difficult for him | to diminish his works of [darkness] | which he has done. Those who have [known] | imperishability [however] 15 have been able to struggle against [passions …] 17 I have said [to | you,] “Do not build [nor] | gather for yourselves in the [place] 20 where the brigands break open, | but bring forth fruit | to the Father.”

The foolish—thinking [in] | their heart [that] | if they confess, “We 25 are Christians,” in | word only (but) not with power, while | giving themselves over to | ignorance, to a | human death, 30 not knowing where they are going 32 nor who | Christ is, thinking that they | will live, when they are (really) in error- | Hasten towards the pricipalities 5 and the authorities. They fall | into their clutches because of the | ignorance that is in | them. For (if) only | words which bear testimony 10 were effecting salvation, the whole world | would endure this thing | [and] would be saved. | [But it is in this way that they | [drew] error to themselves. [… 18 they do] not [know] that they [will destroy] | themselves. If the [Father 20 were to] desire a [human] sacrifice, | he would become [vainglorious]. |

For the Son of | [Man] clothed himself with their | first-fruits; he went down to 25 Hades and performed many mighty works. | He raised the dead | therein; and the | world-rulers of darkness became envious 33 of him, for they did not find | sin in him. But | he also destroyed their works | from among men, so that 5 the lame, the blind, | the paralytic, the dumb, (and) the | demon-possessed were granted | healing. And he walked | upon the waters of the sea. 10 For this reason he [destroyed] | his flesh from […] | which he […]. And he [became | …] salvation [… | his death … 19 everyone …] 20 how many [they are! They are] | blind [guides, like the disciples]. | They boarded [the ship, (and) at about thirty] | stades, they [saw Jesus | walking] on the [sea. These] 25 are [empty] martyrs, | since they bear witness only [to] | themselves. And yet they are | sick, and they are not able to raise 34 themselves.

But when they are | “perfected” with a (martyr’s) death, this | is the thought that they have | within them: “If we 5 deliver ourselves over to death | for the sake of the Name we will be saved.” These matters | are not settled in this way. But | through the agency of the wandering | stars they say 10 that they have “completed” their [futile] | “course,” and […] | say, […]. | But these […] | they have [delivered 15 themselves …]. 23 But they resemble | […] them. They do not have 25 the word which gives | [life].

[And] some say, | “On the last day | [we will] certainly arise 35 [in the] resurrection.” But they do not | [know what] they are saying, | for the last day | [is when] those belonging to Christ 5 [… the] earth which | is […]. when the [time] | was fulfilled, he destroyed | [their archon] of | [darkness …] soul(s) [… 20 he | stood …] | they asked [what they have been] | bound with, [and how they] | might properly [release themselves]. 25 And [they came to know] | themselves, [(as to) who they are], | or rather, where they are [now], | and what is the [place 36 in] which they will rest | from their senselessness, [arriving] | at knowledge. [These] | Christ will transfer to [the heights] 5 since they have [renounced] | foolishness, (and have) advanced | to knowledge. | And those who [have | knowledge …] 21 the great | [… the resurrection | … he has come to] know | [the Son of Man), that 25 [is, he has come to] know [himself. | This] is the perfect life, | [that] man know | [himself] by means of the All. |

[Do not] expect, therefore, 30 [the] carnal resurrection, 37 which [is] destruction, [and they are not | stripped] of [it (the flesh) who] | err in [expecting] | a [resurrection] 5 that is empty. [They do] not [know] | the power [of God], | nor do they [understand the interpretation] | of the scriptures [on account of their] | double-mindedness. [The 10 mystery] which [the Son of Man | spoke about …] | in order that […] | destroy […] 16 man who [… book] | which is written […] | for [they] have [… 20 blessed …] | within [them, and they] | dwell before [God under the | light yoke. Those who do not] | have [the life-giving word] 25 in their [heart will die]; | and in [their] thought | they have become manifest to [the Son] | of Man, according to [the manner of their] | activity and their [error …] 38 of this sort. They | […] as he divides the | […] and they [do not] understand | [that the Son] of Man 5 is coming from him. |

But [when they have come] up to | […] sacrifice, they die | [in a] human [way], and they | [deliver] themselves […] 12 a death […] 16 those who | […] they are many | […] each | [one …] pervert 20 […] gain | [… their] mind. | [Those who receive him] to themselves | [with uprightness] and | [power] and every knowledge 25 [are the ones whom] he will transfer | [to the] heights, unto | [life] eternal.

[But] those who receive | [him] to themselves with | [ignorance], the pleasures 39 which are defiled prevail over [them]. | It is those people who used to [say], | “God created [members] | for our use, for us to [grow in] 5 defilement, in order that [we might] | enjoy [ourselves].” | And they cause [God to] | participate with them [in] | deeds of this [sort; and] 10 they are [not] steadfast [upon] | the earth. [Nor will they reach] | heaven, [but …] | place will […] | four […] 18 unquenchable [… 22 word …] | upon [the Jordan river] | when he came [to John at] 25 the time he [was baptized]. | The [Holy] Spirit [came] | down upon him [as a] | dove […] | accept for ourselves that [he] was born 30 of a virgin [and] | he took flesh; he [… 40 having] received power. | [Were we also begotten from | [a] virginal state | [or] conceived by the word? 5 [Rather, we have been born] again by | [the word]. Let us therefore strengthen | [ourselves] as virgins in the | […].

The males dwell | […] the virgin 10 by means of | […] in the word | […]. But the word of | […] and spirit […] 18 is the Father | […] for the man [… 21 like Isaiah, who was sawed | with a saw, (and)] he became two. | [So also the Son of Man | divides] us by 25 [the word of the] cross. It | [divides the day from] the night and | [the light from the] darkness and the corruptible | [from] incorruptibility, and it | [divides] the males from the females. 30 But [Isaiah] is the type 41 of the body. The saw | is the word of the Son of | Man which separates us from the | error of the angels.

No one 5 knows the God of truth | except solely the man who | will forsake all of the | things of the world, having renounced | the whole place, (and) having 10 grasped the fringe of his garment. | He has set himself up as a [power]; | he has subdued desire in every [way] | within himself. He has […] | and he has turned to him […] 15 having also examined […] | in becoming [… | the] mind. And [he … from] | his soul […] | there […] 20 he has […] 22 in what way […] | the flesh which […] | in what way […] 25 out of it, and | how many [powers does he have]? | And who is the one who has bound him? | And who is the one who will loose him? And what | is the light? And what is the darkness? 30 And who is the one who has created [the earth]? | And who is God? [And who] 42 are the angels? And what is soul? | And what is spirit? And where is | the voice? And who is the one who speaks? And who | is the one who hears? Who is the one who gives pain? 5 And who is the one who suffers? And who | is it who has begotten the corruptible flesh? | And what is the governance? | And why are some | lame, and some 10 [blind], and some | […], and some | […], and some | rich, [and] some | poor? And why 15 are [some powerless, | some] brigands? […] 21 he having | […] as he again | […] fighting | against | [thoughts] of the archons 25 and the powers and the demons, | not giving them a place | in which to rest. | [But] he struggled against their passions | […] he condemned 43 their error. He cleansed his | soul from the transgressions | which he had committed with an alien hand. | He stood up, being upright within 5 himself, because he exists in | everyone, and because he has | death and life | within himself, and he exists | in the midst of both of them. 10 And when he had received the power | he turned towards the parts of the right, | and he entered into the truth, | having forsaken all things pertaining to the left, | having been filled with wisdom, 15 with counsel, with understanding | and with insight, and an | eternal power. [And] | he broke open his bonds. [Those who had] | formed the whole place 20 [he] condemned. [But they | did not] find […] hidden | within him.

[And he gave command] | to himself; he [began to] | know [himself and] 25 to speak with his [mind], which | is the father of the truth, concerning the unbegotten | aeons, and concerning | the virgin who brought forth | the light. And he thinks 30 about the power which | flowed over the [whole] place, 44 and which takes hold of him. And | he is a disciple of his mind | which is male. He began | to keep silent within 5 himself until the day when | he should become worthy to be received | above. He rejects for himself | loquacity and | disputations, and he endures 10 the whole place; and he bears up | under them, and he endures | all of the evil things. | And he is patient | with every one; he makes himself equal 15 to every one, and he also separates | himself from them. And that which someone | [wants, he brings] to him, | [in order that] he might become perfect | [(and) holy]. When the [… 20 he] | grasped [him], having bound him | upon […] and he was filled | [with wisdom. He] bore witness to the truth | […] the power, and he went 25 [into] Imperishability, the place | whence he [came] forth, having left | the world which has | the appearance of the [night, | and] those that whirl the 30 [stars in] it.

This, therefore, is 45 the true testimony: When | man comes to know himself | and God who is over the truth, | he will be saved, and he 5 will crown himself with the crown | unfading.

John | was begotten by the World through | a woman, Elizabeth; | and Christ was begotten by 10 the world through a virgin, | Mary. What is (the meaning of) this mystery? | John was | begotten by means of a womb | worn with age, but Christ 15 passed through a virgin’s womb. | When she had conceived she gave birth to | the Savior. Furthermore she | was found to be a virgin again. | Why, then, do you (pl.) [err] 20 and not seek after these mysteries | which were prefigured | for our sake? |

It is written in the Law concerning this, | when God gave a command 25 to Adam, “From every [tree] | you may eat, [but] from | the tree which is in the midst of | Paradise do not eat, | for on the day that you eat 30 from it you will surely | die.” But the serpent was wiser 46 than all the animals that | were in Paradise, and | he persuaded Eve, saying, | “On the day when you eat 5 from the tree which is in the midst | of Paradise | the eyes of your mind will be opened.” | And Eve obeyed, | and she stretched forth her hand; 10 she took from the tree and | ate; she also gave to her husband with | her. And immediately they knew | that they were naked, | and they took some fig leaves 15 (and) put them on as girdles. |

But [God] came at the time of | [evening] walking in the midst | [of] Paradise. When | Adam saw him he hid himself. 20 And he said, “Adam, where are you?” | He answered (and) said, | “[I] have come under the fig tree.” And at that very moment | God [knew] that he had 25 eaten from the tree of | which he had commanded him, “Do not | eat of it.” And | he said to him, “Who is it 47 who has instructed you?” And Adam answered, | “The woman whom you have | given me.” And the woman said, | “It is the serpent who instructed me.” 5 And he cursed the serpent, and | called him “devil.” | And he said, “Behold, Adam has | become like one of us, | knowing evil and 10 good.” Then he said, “Let us | cast him out of Paradise | lest he take from the tree | of life and eat and live for | ever.”

But of what sort is 15 this God? First [he] | maliciously refused Adam from | eating of the tree of knowledge. | And secondly | he said, “Adam, where are you?” 20 God does not have | foreknowledge; (otherwise), would he not know from the | beginning? [And] afterwards | he said, “Let us cast him [out] 25 of this place, lest he | eat of the tree of | life and live for ever.” | Surely he has shown | himself to be a malicious 30 grudger. And 48 what kind of a God is this? | For great is the blindness | of those who read, and they did not | know him. And he said, “I am 5 the jealous God; I will bring | the sins of the fathers upon | the children until three (and) four generations.” | And he said, “I will make | their heart thick, and I will 10 cause their mind to become blind, that | they might not know nor | comprehend the things that | are said.” But these things he has | said to those who believe in him 15 [and] serve him!

And | [in one] place Moses writes, | “[He] made the devil a serpent | <for> [those] whom he has in his generation.” | Also in the book which is 20 called “Exodus,” | it is written thus (cf. 7:8–12): “He contended against the | [magicians], when the place was full | [of serpents] according to their [wickedness; and | the rod] which was in the hand of Moses 25 became a serpent, (and) it swallowed | the serpents of the magicians.”

Again | it is written (Nm 21:9), “He made a serpent of | bronze (and) hung it upon a pole 49 […] which […] 3 for the [one who will gaze] upon | [this] bronze [serpent], none 5 [will destroy] him, and the one who will | [believe in] this bronze serpent | [will be saved].”

For this is Christ; | [those who] believed in him | [have received life]. Those who did not believe 10 [will die].

What, then, is this | [faith? They] do not [serve … 28 and you (pl.) …] | “we [… 50 and] you [do not understand Christ | spiritually when you say], | “We [believe] in Christ.” For [this] | is the [way] Moses [writes] 5 in every book. The [book of | the] generation of Adam [is written for those] | who are in the [generation] of [the Law]. | They follow the Law [and] | they obey it, [and …] 11 together with the […]. (pp. 51–54 almost completely missing)

[…, “… 55 the] Ogdoad, which is the | eighth, and that we might receive | that [place] of salvation.” | [But they] know not what salvation is, 5 but they enter into | [misfortune] and into a | […] in death, in the | [waters]. This [is] the baptism | [of death which they observe …] 16 come to death | [… and] this is | […] according to […] 56 he completed the course [of] | Valentinus. He himself | speaks about the Ogdoad, | and his disciples resemble [the] 5 disciples of Valentinus. | They on their part, moreover, […] | leave the good, [but] they | have [worship of] | the idols […] 18 he has spoken [many words, and he has] | written many [books …] 20 words [… 57 they are] manifest from | [the] confusion in which they are, | [in the] deceit of the world. | For [they] go to that place 5 together with their knowledge | [which is] vain.

Isidore also, | [his son], resembled | [Basilides]. He also | […] many, and [he 10 …] but he did not […] | this […] | other disciple(s) | […] blind [… | but he] gave them 15 [… pleasures …] 58 they do [not] agree [with] | each other. For the [Simonians] | take [wives] | (and) beget children; but the […] 5 abstain | from their […] nature | […] a [passion …] | the drops [of …] | anoint [them …] 11 which we [… they | agree] with [each other …] | him […] they […] 59 judgment(s) | […] these, on account of the | […] them | […] the heretics 5 […] schism(s) […] | and the males | […] are men | […] will belong | [to the world-rulers] of darkness […] 11 of [the world …] 13 they have | […] the [archons 15 … power(s) …] 17 judge [them | …]. But [the …] | word(s) of […] 60 speak, while they […] | become […] | in a fire [unquenchable …] | they are punished.

[But these] 5 who are [from the generation] | of the Son of [Man have revealed] | to the [… in] all of [the | affairs …]. 11 But [it is difficult] to […] | to find [one …] | and [two …]. 16 For the [Savior said to his] | disciples, […] | one in [… 61 and] he has | […] wisdom as well as | [counsel and] understanding and | [intelligence] and knowledge 5 [and power] and truth. | [And he has] some | […] from above | […] the place where | [the Son of Man …] 12 power […] | guard against […] 62 he knows […] | understands […] 4 worthy of him […] | true […] | alien […]. | But […], together with […] | evil, in […] 11 he received [baptism …] | and those that [… (pp. 63–64 missing) 65 in] a dream | […] silver […]. | But […] becomes [wealthy | …] among the [authorities …]. 6 But [the] sixtieth | […] thus | […] world | […] they 10 […] gold [… 29 they] think, […] 31 we have been released from 66 the flesh. […] 3 not turn him to […] | Jesus [… 6 the] beginning […] | a son […] 9 out of [… which | is] the pattern [… | light of …] 28 to find from […] | defilement which [… 31 they] do not blaspheme [… 67 them] not, neither is there any [pleasure] | nor desire, nor | [can they] control them. It is fitting | that they should become undefiled, 5 in order that they might | [show] to every [one] that they | [are from] the [generation of th] Son of Man, | since it is about [them] that the Savior bore | witness.

But [those who are] from 10 the seed [of Adam] are manifest | by their [deeds which are] their [work]. | They have not ceased [from desire which is | wicked …]. | But some 15 […] the dogs | […] the angels | for […] which they beget | […] will come […] with their […] 28 move as they | [… on] the day when they will beget 30 [children]. Not only that, but they | have intercourse while they are giving suck. 68

But others are caught up in the death of […]. | They are [pulled] | <every> which way, (and) they are gratified | by unrighteous Mammon. 5 They lend money [at interest]; they [waste time]; | and they do not work. But he who is | [father] of [Mammon is (also)] | (the) father of sexual intercourse.

But he who | is able to renounce them 10 shows [that] he is [from] the generation | of the [Son of Man], (and) has | power to accuse [them. | … he] | restrains […] 15 part(s) in a […] | in wickedness [and he makes] the | outer like the [inner. He resembles] an | angel which [… 20 power …] | said them. But the one […]. 27 And having withdrawn […] he became | silent, having ceased from loquacity | and disputations. 69 But he [who has] found the [life-giving word | and he who] has come to know [the Father of Truth | has come to rest]; he has ceased [seeking], having | [found]. And when he found he became [silent]. 5 But few are the things he used to say to those that | […] with their intellectual mind the | […].

There are some who, upon entering | the faith, receive a baptism | on the ground that they have [it] as a hope 10 of salvation, which they call | “the [seal,”] not [knowing] | that the [fathers of] the world are | manifest that [place. But] | he himself [knows that] he is sealed. 15 For [the Son] of [Man] | did not baptize any of his | disciples. But [… if those who] are baptized | were headed for life, | the world would become 20 empty. And the fathers of | baptism were defiled. |

But the baptism of truth is | something else; it is by renunciation of [the] | world that it is found. [But those who] 25 say [only] with the tongue [that | they] are renouncing it [are lying], | and they are coming to [the place] | of fear. Moreover they are humbled | within it. Just as those to whom it was given, 30 to have been condemned, | [they shall] get something!

They are | wicked in their behavior! Some | of them fall away 70 [to the worship of] idols. [Others] | have | [demons] dwelling with them [as did] | David the king. He is the one who 5 laid the foundation of Jerusalem; and his son | Solomon, whom he begat | in [adultery], is the one who | built Jerusalem by means of the demons, | because he received [power]. When he 10 [had finished building, he imprisoned] the demons | [in the temple]. He [placed them] into seven | [waterpots. They remained] a long [time | in] the [waterpots], abandoned | [there]. When the Romans [went] 15 up to [Jerusalem] they discovered | [the] waterpots, [and immediately] | the [demons] ran | out of the waterpots as those who | escape from prison. And 20 the waterpots [remained] pure (thereafter). | [And] since those days, [they dwell] with men who are | [in] ignorance, and | [they have remained upon] the earth.

Who, then, is 25 [David]? And who is Solomon? | [And] what is the foundation? And what is the | wall which surrounds Jerusalem? And who | are the demons? And what are the | waterpots? And who are 30 the Romans? But these [are mysteries …] 71 12 victorious over [… the Son] | of Man [… 14 undefiled …] 18 and he […] | when he […]. 20 For […] is a great […] 22 to this nature […] 24 those that […] | all in [a …] blessed | and they [… like a] | salamander. [It] goes into | the flaming fire which burns | exceedingly; it slithers into the [furnace … 72 14 the] furnace […] 16 the boundaries | […] that they might see | […] and the power | […] sacrifice. Great is the sacrifice [… 22 but] in a | […] aside | […]. And 25 [the Son] of Man […] | and [he has become] manifest through | the bubbling fountain of [immortality. 73 …] | he is pure, | [and he] is […]. A free man | [is not] envious. He is set apart from 5 everyone, from [every audacity and] envy | the [power of] which is great […] is (a) | disciple […] | pattern of law […] | these […] 10 only […] 13 they placed | him under a […] 15 a teaching […] 17 his teaching, saying, “[Even if] an [angel] | comes from heaven, and preaches 20 to you beyond that which we preached | to you, may he be | anathema,” (cf. Ga 1:8) not letting the […] | of the soul which […] | freedom […]. 25 For they are still immature […] | they are not able to [keep] | this law which works | by means of these heresies – | though it is not they, but the powers 30 of Sabaoth – by means 74 of the […] | the doctrines […] | as they have been jealous of some [… | law(s)] in Christ. Those who will […] 5 power […] they reach the […] | the [twelve] | judge […] them | […] the fountain of | [immortality …] 13 in order that [… 17 good …] | the whole place. | […] there the enemies. 20 He baptized himself, and the | […] he became divine; he flew | [up], (and) they did not grasp him. | […] there the [enemies | …] since it was not possible 25 [for them to bring him] down again. | If every […] grasps him | [with] ignorance, attending | to those who teach in the corners | by means of carved things and | artful tricks, they will not be able […

| 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.

[ 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.

( 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. 448


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