Gnostic Scriptures and Fragments.

The First Book of IEOU

Archive Notes

Like many other Gnostic texts, the writings in the Books of IEOU were not intended for public distribution or to be simply "read". The material here appears more likely to represent excerpts from texts used in initiatory rituals.

In the original coptic manuscript, several pages of related ritual formulae have been collected together -- these having been probably taken from other separate collections. Interspaced in the text are complex symbolic diagrams listing a variety of the "names of God and the Powers". One might suggest these names were to be used as "mantras", vocalized in ritual recitations. The names listed in these diagrams (which are not "translated" or transliterated into the English text) consist of long strings of vowel sounds which, like the great name "IEOU", were intended to be intoned or chanted. This incantation of the divine names occurs as a technique in other ritual traditions (e.g., the Kabbalah of Abraham Abulafia) for the alteration of consciousness in meditation. It should be remembered that the core of Gnosis is individual experience of the divine realms. The Books of IEOU probably represent notes to rituals used in intiation rituals and meditation directed towards producing altered states of spiritual consciousness.

We have reproduce here some of these diagrams to convey the nature of this book. The coptic names underlined in the illustrations are (as noted above) the "names" which have not been transliterated in the translation -- only the non-underlined words (which can be translated with meaning) are rendered. This is of course highly technical material, and the interested student is refered the to the full text found in Carl Schmidt, The Books of JEU and The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1978). The illustration below is from the title page of the Coptic codex.


The First Book of IEOU

Title page of the Coptic manuscript

I have loved you. I have wanted life to be given you; the Living Jesus, who knows the truth.


Chapter 1

This is the book of the gnoses of the invisible God, by means of the hidden mysteries which show the way to the chosen race, leading in refreshment to the life of the Father - in the coming of the Saviour , of the deliverer of souls who receive themselves the Word of life which is higher than all life - in the knowledge of the living Jesus, who has come forth through the Father from the aeon of light at the completion of the Pleroma - in the teaching, apart from which there is no other, which the living Jesus has thaught to his apostles, saying:  "This is the teaching in which dwells the whole knowledge." The living Jesus answered and said to his disciples: "Blessed is he who has crucified the world, and who has not the world to crucify him." The apostles answered with one voice, saying :  "O Lord, teach us the way to crucify the world, that it may not crucify us, so that we are destroyed and loose our lives" The living Jesus answerd : "He who has crucified it is he who has found my word and has fulfilled it according to the will of him who has sent me."


Chapter 2

The apostles answered, saying : " Speak to us, O Lord, that we may hear thee. We have followed thee with our whole hearts. We have left behind father and mother, we have left behind vineyards and fields, we have left behind goods and the greatness of kings, and we have followed thee, so that thou shouldst teach us to know the life of thy father who has sent thee" The living Jesus answered and said : "The life of my Father is this : that you receive your soul from the race of understanding mind, and that it ceases to be earthly and becomes understanding through that which I say to you in the course of my discourse, so that you fulfil it and are saved from the archon of this aeon and his persecutions, to which there is no end. But you, my disciples, hasten to receive my word with certaintiy so that you know it, in order that the archon of this aeon may not fight with you - this one who did not find any commandment of his in me - so that you also, my apostles, fulfil my word in relation to me, and I myself make you free, and you become whole through a freedom in which there is no blemish. As the Spirit of the comforter (Parakleiton) is whole, so will you also be whole, through the freedom of the spirit of the Holy Comforter." 

Chapter 3

All the apostles, Matthew and John, Philip and Bartholomew and James, answered with one voice, saying:

"O Lord Jesus, thou who livest, whose goodness extends over those who have found thy wisdom and thy form in which thou gavest light ; O light-giving Light that enlightened our hearts until we received the light of life; O true Word, that through gnosis teaches us the hidden knowledge of the Lord Jesus, the living one."

The living Jesus answered and said : "Blessed is the man who has known these things. He has brought heaven down, he has lifted the earth and has sent it to heaven, and he has become the Midst for it is nothing." The apostles answered, saying :   "Jesus , thou living one, Lord , interprete for us how we may bring heaven down, for we have followed thee in order that thou shouldst teach us the true light." The living Jesus answered and said : "The Word which existed in heaven before the earth came into existence - this which is called the world - but you, when you know my Word, you will bring heaven down, and it will dwell in you. Heaven is the invisible Word of the Father; but when you know these things you will bring heaven down. As to sending the earth up to heaven, I will show you what it is , that you may know it : to send the earth to heaven is that he who hears the word of gnosis has ceasedto have the understanding mind of man of earth, but has become a man of heaven. His understanding mind has ceased to be earthly, but it has become heavenly. Because of this you will be saved from the archon of this aeon, and he will become the Midst, because it is nothing."   The living Jesus said again :  "When you become heavenly you will become the Midst because it is nothing, for the .. . .. rulers and the wicked powers (exousiai) will you and they will envy you because you have known me, because I am not from the world, and I do not resemble the rulers and the powers (exousiai) and all the wicked ones. They do not come from me. And furthermore he who (is born) in the flesh of unrighteousness has no part in the Kingdom of my Father, and also he who me according to the flesh has no hope Kingdom of God the Father." 

Chapter 4

The Apostles answered with one voice, they said : "Jesus , , O Lord, are we born of the flesh, and known thee according to the flesh? Tell us, O Lord, for we are troubled." The living Jesus answered and said to his apostles : " I do not speak of the flesh in which you dwell, but the flesh of and non-understanding which exists in ignorance, which leads astray many from the of my Father." The apostles answered the words of the living Jesus, the said: "Tell us how non-understanding happens, that we may beware of it, lest we should go . . . . . . ." The living Jesus answered and said : " one who bears my virginity and my . . . . . and my garment, without understanding and knowing me, and blasphemes my name, I have . . . . to destruction. And furthermorse he has become an earthly son because he has not known my word with certainity - these which the Father spoke, so that I myself should teach those who will know me at the completion of the pleroma of him who sent me." The Apostles answered and said : "O Lord Jesus, thou living one, teach us the completion, and it suffices us." And he said : "The word which I give to you yourselves…." 

Chapter 5

He has emanated ' him, being of this type ... This is the true God. He will set him up in this type as head'. He will be called Jeu '. Afterwards my Father will move him to bring forth other emanations, so that they fill these places. This is his name according to the treasuries 4 which are outside this. He will be called by this name: ..., that is to say: 'The true God' '. He will set him up in this type as head over the treasuries' which are outside this. This is the type of the treasuries over which he will set him as head, and this is the manner in which the treasuries are distributed, he being their head. This is the type in which he was before he was moved to bring forth emanations: 

Jeu, the true God

   ....This is his type

This is his name ...

  This now is the form in which....

  ....(has emanated). This is his name.
  He will be called the true God

Furthermore he will be called Jeu. He will be father of a multitude of emanations. And a multitude of emanations will come forth from him through the command of my Father, and they themselves will be fathers of the treasuries. I will place a multitude as heads over them, and they will be called Jeu, the true God. It is he who will be father of all the Jeus, because he is an emanation of my Father. And the true God will emanate through the command of my Father. He will be head over them. He will move them ' and a multitude of emanations will come forth from all the Jeus, through the command of my Father when he moves them, and they will fill all the treasuries. And they will be called ranks of the Treasuries of the Light. Myriads upon myriads will come into existence from them. This now is the type in which the true. God is placed when he is about to be set up as head over the treasuries, before he has brought forth emanations over the treasuries, and before he has brought forth emanations, because my Father has not yet moved him to bring forth and to set up. This is his type which I have already set forth, but this is his type when he will bring forth emanations. This is the type of the true God in the manner in which he is placed:

The three lines which are thus, they are the voices which he will give out when he is commanded to sing praises to the Father, so that he himself brings forth emanations, and he also emanates This is the type of what he is:

           This is his type when he brings forth

This moreover is the manner in which the true God is placed as he is about to emanate emanations, when he is moved by m Father to bring forth emanations, and to set them up as head over the treasuries, through the command of my Father '. A multitude come forth from them and they fill all the treasuries through the command of my Father, in order to become god(s). The true God will be called Jeu, the father of all the Jeus; his name in the tongue of my Father is this: ... But when he is set up as head over a11 the treasuries, in order to emanate them, this now is his type which I have finished setting forth. 

Chapter 6

Hear now also the type of the treasuries how they are emanated; he will become head over them in this way, before he has emanated them; this is his type, as he is placed. Now the true God was of this type.



  This is his character which is on his face thus

But I have called upon the name of my Father, so that he should move the true God in order to emanate. But he himself caused This is his character ' an idea (thought) to come forth which is on his face thus: from his treasuries.

A power of my Father moved the true God. It radiated within him through this small idea (thought) ' which came forth from the treasuries of my Father. It radiated within the true God. A mystery moved him through my Father. The true God gave voice, saying thus: ... And when he had given voice, there came forth this voice which is the emanation. It was of this type as it proceeded forth from one side after another of each treasury. The first voice is this, which Jeu, the true God, called, which came forth from him, the one above. 

(Jeu1) .... Place .... Jeu

He will emanate

... ... Jeu

... ... Jeu

This is his character. He will set up a rank corresponding to the treasuries, 
and will place it as watchers' at the gate' of the treasuries which are those 
which stand at the gate as the three ... ' This is the true God. 
When the true God. had emanated, this was his type:

...Jeu the true God

When one stood in the treasuries no ranks yet existed. 
I stood and called upon the name of my Father so that he 
should cause other amanations to exist in the treasuries.
But he again caused a <power> from himself to move the true God.
At first he caused it to radiate within him that he might move his emeanations 
in the treasuries, that they also might bring forth emanations, which are those
which he placed as heads over them. But he, the true God, emanated these
from his place. For this reason he gave voice when the power welled up
within him. This is the first voice which he uttered. He moved his emanations
until they emanated:

Chapter 7

His name:

These are the 
three watchers 


His Character: he caused the power to move in.....

It welled up in him. he gave voice as he emanated

This is the first emanation.

These are the ranks which he has caused to be emanated. And there are twelve ranks in each treasury, these being their type: six heads on this side and six on that, turned towards each other. There will be a multitude of ranks standing in them outside these, all of which I will say. There are twelve heads in each rank, and the name belongs to them all, according to rank; this name is that of the twelve ', there being twelve heads in each rank. His name is this: ... 

  ...the three watchers are these 

Now the first rank of the treasury is the first which he made as emanation. 
I will take for myself twelve out of those ranks and place them so that they serve me.

Chapter 8


(Jeu 3)

For these watchers do not belong to the ranks of the treasuries of the light 

His name



This is his character:


The watchers which stand 
within the gates are these: 
their names:



And there are twelve heads in each place of the rank of every treasury; that is, 
these names which are in the places – these names except for those that will be in them. 
These are the three watchers: .........


These are they which ... emanated, when the power radiated within him. 
He emanated twelve emanations, these being his twelve heads in each emanation,
and this name is that of the twelve according to each one of the ranks, and these are
one outside the other endlessly. These are the names of the emanations. 

Chapter 9

(Jeu 4)

These are the names of the three watchers:   

His name:

His Character is this:

These are also the names of the emanations: .

And there are twelve heads in the place of the treasury of his ranks; that is, these names which are in each place; and there are twelve in each rank and this name is that of the twelve, except for those which will be in them, when they sing praises to my Father, so that he gives light-power to them. These are they which ... ' emanated when the power radiated within him. He emanated twelve emanations, there being twelve heads in each emanation, and this name is the twelve, according to each one of the ranks.

And these are one outside the other
endlessly, except for their watchers. The names of the three watchers are: ......... 

Chapter 10

(Jeu 5)

His name:


His character:

These are the three watchers: ....

These are the emanations: ....

And there are twelve heads in each place of the treasuries of his ranks, that is, these names which are in the places. And there are twelve in each rank, and this name is that of the twelve, except for those that will be in them, when they sing praises to my Father, so that he gives light-power to them. These are they which ... emanated forth from him when the power of my Father radiated within him. He emanated twelve emanations. There are twelve heads in each emanation, and this name is that of the twelve, and there are twelve according to each one of the ranks. And they are one outside the other endlessly, except for the watchers. 
The three watchers . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Chapter 11 to 34

[The following chapters proceed in very much the same fashion, with similar diagrams and textual comment on the names in the diagrams, up to the Fragment of a Gnostic Hymn.   Thereafter the text resumes with fewer diagrams through Chapter 41.]

[The Teaching of the Savior]
The Revelation of the Mysteries Hidden in Silence
[Those Things that He Taught to John, His Disciple]


One day John, the brother of James [these are the sons of Zebedee], was going up to the Temple. A Pharisee by the name of Arimanios came up to him and challenged him, asking: "Where is the teacher you used to follow?"

John replied, "He has gone back to the place from which he came."

The Pharisee said, "That Nazarene misled you (plural), told you lies, closed your hearts and turned you away from your ancestral traditions.”

When I heard these things, I, John, turned away from the temple and went off to a deserted mountainous place. I was very unhappy, saying to myself:

"How was the Savior designated?
Why did his Father send him into the world?
Who is his Father?
What kind of realm will we go to?

For, although he told us, ‘This realm is modeled on the imperishable realm,’
            He didn't teach us about the latter.”

All of a sudden, while I was contemplating these things, 
The heavens opened and the whole of creation shone with a light from above, 
            And the world quaked!
I was afraid, yet

A little child appeared before me in the light.
            I continued looking at him as he became an old man
                        And then he changed again, becoming like a young man.
I didn't understand what I was seeing, 
            But the one likeness had several forms in the light,
            And these likenesses appeared each through the other
            And the vision had three forms.

He said to me, 
            “John, why doubt?
            Why be afraid?
            Don’t you know this image?
Be not afraid. 
            I am with you (plural) always.
            I am the Father
                        The Mother
                                    The Son
            I am the incorruptible

I have come to teach you
            About what is
            And what was
            And what will be
            In order for you to understand 
                        The invisible world
                        And the world that is visible
                        And the immovable race of perfect humanity.

Raise your head; 
Understand my lessons; 
Share them with any others who have received the spirit,
            Who are from the immovable race of perfect humanity.”

The Inexpressible One

The One rules all. Nothing has authority over it. 
            It is the God. 
            It is Father of everything, 
                        Holy One
                        The invisible one over everything.
It is uncontaminated
            Pure light no eye can bear to look within.

The One is the Invisible Spirit.
            It is not right to think of it as a God or as like God.
            It is more than just God.

Nothing is above it.
Nothing rules it. 
            Since everything exists within it
                        It does not exist within anything.
            Since it is not dependent on anything
                        It is eternal.

It is absolutely complete and so needs nothing.
It is utterly perfect

The One is without boundaries
            Nothing exists outside of it to border it
The One cannot be investigated
            Nothing exists apart from it to investigate it
The One cannot be measured
            Nothing exists external to it to measure it

The One cannot be seen
            For no one can envision it
The One is eternal
            For it exists forever
The One is inconceivable 
            For no one can comprehend it
The One is indescribable
            For no one can put any words to it.

The One is infinite light

The One is incomprehensible
            Perfectly free from corruption.
Not “perfect”
Not “blessed”
Not “divine”
But superior to such concepts.
            Neither physical nor unphysical
            Neither immense nor infinitesimal
            It is impossible to specify in quantity or quality
                        For it is beyond knowledge.

The One is not a being among other beings  
            It is vastly superior
                        But it is not “superior.”

It is outside of realms of being and time
            For whatever is within realms of being was created
            And whatever is within time had time allotted to it
The One receives nothing from anything.
            It simply apprehends itself in its own perfect light

The One is majestic. 
            The One is measureless majesty

Chief of all Realms 
            Producing all realms

            Producing light

            Producing life

            Producing blessedness

            Producing knowledge

            Producing goodness

            Producing mercy

            Producing generosity

            [It does not “possess” these things.]

It gives forth light beyond measure, beyond comprehension.

[What can I say?]

His realm is eternal, peaceful, silent, resting, before everything.
He is the head of every realm sustaining each of them through goodness.

The Origin of Reality

[We would know nothing of the ineffable
And nothing of the immeasurable
Without the help of the one who comes forth 
from the One who is the Father.
He alone has informed us.]

The Father is surrounded by light.
He apprehends himself in that light
            [which is the pure spring of the water of life 
            that sustains all realms].

He is conscious of his image everywhere around him,
            Perceiving his image in this spring of Spirit
                        Pouring forth from himself.
He is enamored of the image he sees in the light-water,
            The spring of pure light-water enveloping him.

His self-aware thought (ennoia) came into being.
Appearing to him in the effulgence of his light.
She stood before him.

This, then, is the first of the powers, prior to everything.
Arising out of the mind of the Father
The Providence (pronoia) of everything.
Her light reflects His light.

She is from His image in His light
Perfect in power
Image of the invisible perfect Virgin Spirit.

She is the initial power
glory of Barbelo 
glorious among the realms
glory of revelation

She gave glory to the Virgin Spirit
She praised Him
            For she arose from Him.

 [This, the first Thought, is the Spirit’s image]

She is the universal womb
She is before everything 
She is:
            First Man
            Holy Spirit

            Thrice Male
            Thrice Powerful
            Thrice Named

Androgynous eternal realm
First to arise among the invisible realms.

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for foreknowledge (prognosis).
            The Spirit agreed.
            Foreknowledge came forth and stood by Providence
            [This one came through the Invisible Virgin Spirit’s Thought.]
            Foreknowledge gave glory to the Spirit
                        And to Barbelo, the Spirit’s perfect power, 
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.

Primary Structures of the Divine Mind

She, Barbelo, asked the virgin Spirit for Incorruptibility
            The Spirit agreed.
            Incorruptibility came forth and stood by Thought and Foreknowledge.

Incorruptibility gave glory to the Invisible Virgin Spirit
                        And to Barbelo, 
            For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for everlasting Life. 
            The Spirit agreed
            Everlasting life came forth and they all stood together.
            They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.

She asked for Truth. 
            The Spirit agreed
            Truth came forth and they all stood together.
            They gave glory to the invisible Spirit

And to Barbelo,
                        For She was the reason that it had come into being.

This is the fivefold realm of the Father:

The First Man who is
The Image of the Invisible Spirit who is
Providence who is
Barbelo who is
            Foreknowledge -  Incorruptibility - Life Everlasting - Truth

[These are an androgynous fivefold realm - therefore it is a realm of ten - of the Father.]

Secondary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Father looked into Barbelo
            [into the pure light surrounding the Invisible Spirit]

Barbelo conceived and bore a spark of light 
Who had blessedness similar to, but not equal to, her blessedness,

Who was the only child of that mother–father
            The only offspring, 
            The only begotten child of the pure light, the Father.

The Invisible Virgin Spirit celebrated the light that had been produced
            Coming forth from the first power who is 
                        The Providence

The Spirit anointed him with Goodness, making him perfect
            [he lacked no goodness whatsoever,
            for he was anointed with the Invisible Spirit’s Goodness]

He stood in the Spirit’s presence and it was poured upon him.

Having received this anointing from the Spirit he immediately glorified Him
            And he glorified the perfect Providence.
            Because of Her he had come into being.

He asked for Mind (nous) to be a companion to him.
            The Spirit consented

When the Invisible Spirit consented
            Mind came into being. 
            It stood by the Anointed 
            and glorified the Spirit and Barbelo

[These beings came into existence through silence and thought.]

He wished to act through the Word of the Invisible Spirit.
            Whose Will became an action and appeared with Mind 
            Glorifying the Light.

And then Word followed Will into being.

            [The Christ, the divine autogenes, 
            created everything through the Word.]

Everlasting Life and Will, 
Mind, and Foreknowledge 
            Stood together.
            They glorified the Invisible Spirit and Barbelo.
            Because of Her they had come into being.

Tertiary Structures of the Divine Mind

The Holy Spirit 
Brought his and Barbelo’s divine autogenes Son to completion
In order that he could stand before the great Invisible Virgin Spirit
                        As the divine autogenes Christ
            And honor Him with a mighty voice.

[The Son came through Providence].

The Invisible Spirit
Placed the divine autogenes over everything.
All authorities were subordinated to him.
The truth within him let him learn everything

[He is called by the highest name of all.
That name will be told only to those who are worthy to hear it
From the light, [which is the Christ,]

From the incorruptibility,
            Through a gift of the spirit
The Four Lights arising from the divine autogenes stood before him.

[The four fundamental powers are Understanding, Grace, Perception, and Consideration.]

Grace exists within the realm of the Light called Harmozel, the first angel. 
Along with Harmozel are

The second Light is called Oriel and it stands over the second realm. 
With Oriel are:
            Conceptualization (Epinoia)

The third Light is called Daveithai and it stands over the third realm. 
With Daveithai are:

The fourth Light is called Eleleth and it stands over the fourth realm. 
With Eleleth are:
            Wisdom (Sophia).

These are the four lights standing before the divine autogenes.

Twelve realms stand before the Son of the Powerful
The autogenes
            The Christ
Through the intention
                        And the grace
            Of the Invisible Spirit
Twelve realms belong to the Son of the autogenes.

[All of this came into being through the intention of the Holy Spirit
            Through the autogenes.]

From the perfect mind’s foreknowledge
Through the intention of the Invisible Spirit
And the autogenes’s will.
The perfect human appeared,
 Its first true manifestation

The Virgin Spirit named the human Adamas
            And placed him over the first realm with the mighty autogenes Christ
With the first Light Harmozel and its powers.

The Invisible One gave Adamas invincible power of mind.

Adamas spoke, glorifying and praising the Invisible Spirit:
            “Everything has come into being from you 
              Everything will return to you.
              I will praise you and glorify you
                        And the Autogenes
                        And the triple realm: 
                                    Father – Mother – Son, 
                                    the perfect power.”

Over the second realm was appointed Adamas’s son Seth
            With the second Light Oriel.

In the third realm were placed the children of Seth
            With the third Light Daveithai.
            [The souls of the saints are placed there.]

In the fourth realm were placed the souls of those ignorant of the fullness
            Those who did not repent at once
            But who, after some time, eventually repented,
They are with the fourth Light Eleleth.

All of these created beings glorify the Invisible Spirit

A Crisis that Became the World

It happened that the realm (aeon) Wisdom (Sophia)
            Of conceptual thought (Epinoia),
            Began to think for herself,
                        She used the thinking (enthymesis)
                        And the foreknowledge (prognosis)
                        Of the Invisible Spirit.

She intended to reveal an image from herself
            To do so without the consent of the Spirit,
                        Who did not approve,
            Without the thoughtful assistance of her masculine counterpart,
                        Who did not approve.

Without the Invisible Spirit’s consent
            Without the knowledge of her partner
                        She brought it into being.

Because she had unconquerable Power
Her thought was not unproductive.
            Something imperfect came out of her
            Different in appearance from her.

            Because she had created it without her masculine counterpart
                        She gave rise to a misshapen being unlike herself.

Sophia saw what her desire produced.
            It changed into the form of a dragon with a lion’s head
            And eyes flashing lightning bolts.
She cast him far from her,
            Outside of the realm of the immortal beings
            So that they could not see him.

[She had created him in ignorance.]

Sophia surrounded him with a brilliant cloud,
            Put a throne in the center part of the cloud
            So that no one would see it.
            [Except for the Holy Spirit called the Mother of the Living]
She named him Yaldabaoth.

Yaldabaoth is the chief ruler.
            He took great Power (dynamis) from his mother,
                        Left her, and moved away from his birthplace.
            He assumed command,
                        Created realms for himself
            With a brilliant flame that continues to exist even now.

The Fashioning of This World

Yadabaoth united with the thoughtlessness (aponoia) within him.
He begot ruling authorities (exousia)
            Modeling them on the incorruptible realms above.

The first is Athoth
The second is Harmas [called the eye of flame]
The third is Kalilaumbri
The fourth is Yabel
The fifth is Adonaiu [called Sabaoth]
The sixth is Cain [called the sun]
The seventh is Abel 

The eighth is Abrisene
The ninth is Yobel
The tenth is Armupiel
The eleventh is Melcheir-adonein
The twelfth is Belias
            Who rules over the very depth of Hades.He made the first seven rulers to reign in the seven spheres of heaven.
He made the next five rulers to reign in the five depths of the abyss.He shared a portion of his fire with them,
            But shared none of the power of Light he had received from his mother.

[He is ignorant darkness.
When the Light mingled into the darkness
            the darkness shone.
When darkness mixed with the Light,
            the Light diminished,
            No longer Light nor darkness but dim.] 

This dim ruler has three names:
            Yaldabaoth is the first.
            Saklas is the second.
            Samael is the third.
He is blasphemous through his thoughtlessness.
He said “I am God, and there is no God but me!”
            Since he didn’t know where his own Power originated. 

His rulers created seven Authorities for themselves.
            Each of these Authorities created six demons apiece,
            There came to be 365 demons altogether.

Here are the seven Authorities’ names and physical forms:
            First, Athoth with a sheep’s face
            Second, Eloaios with a donkey’s face
            Third, Astaphaios with a hyena’s face
            Fourth, Yao with the face of a seven headed snake
            Fifth, Sabaoth who has the face of a dragon
            Sixth, Adonin whose face is that of a monkey
            Seventh, Sabbataios with a face of flame and fire.
These are the seven of the week.
These Authorities rule the world.

Yaldabaoth has many faces.
            More than all that have been listed
            So he can convey any face he wants to the seraphim around him.

Yaldabaoth shared his fire with his seraphim
            But gave them none of his pure Light
            Although he ruled them by virtue of the power and glory
                        Of the Light had received from his Mother.

            [Therefore he called himself “God” and defied his place of origin.]

He united his thought’s sevenfold Powers with the Authorities who accompanied him.
            He spoke and it happened.

He named those sevenfold Powers starting with the highest one:
            Goodness paired with the first: Athoth
            Providence paired with the second: Eloaios
            Divinity paired with the third: Astaphaios
            Lordship paired with the fourth: Yao
            Kingdom paired with the fifth: Sabaoth
            Zeal paired with the sixth: Adonin
            Understanding paired with the seventh: Sabbataios 

Each has its own realm modeled on one of the higher realms.
            And each new name refers to a glory in the heavens
            So that Yaldabaoth’s demons might be destroyed.

The demons’ own names, given by Yaldabaoth, are mighty names
            But the Powers’ names reflecting the glory above
                        Will bring about the demons’ destruction and remove their Power.
                                    That is why each has two names.

Yaldabaoth modeled his creation
            On the pattern of the original realms above him
            So that it might be just like the indestructible realms.
            [Not that he had ever seen the indestructible ones.
            Rather, the power in him, deriving from his mother,
            made him aware of the pattern of the cosmos above.] 

When he gazed upon his creation surrounding him
            He said to his host of demons
            The ones who had come forth out of him:
 “I am a jealous God and there is no God but me!”

            [But by doing this he admitted to his demons that there is indeed another God.
            For, if there were no other God, whom would he possibly be jealous of?] 

His mother began to move back and forth
            Because she had become aware that she now lacked Light
            For her brightness had dimmed. 

            [Since her consort had not approved of her actions, she grew darker] 

[I said “Master, what does it mean ‘she moved back and forth’?”
He laughed, saying, “It’s not as Moses said ‘upon the waters.’ Not at all.”] 

When she saw the evil that had taken place and
            The theft of light that her son had committed
She repented. 

In the darkness of ignorance
            She began to forget.
            She began to be ashamed.
                        But she could not yet return above
                        Yet she began to move.
And so she moved back and forth. 

 [The arrogant one removed Power from his mother
            For he was ignorant
            He thought no one existed except for his mother.
He saw the host of demons he had created
            And he elevated himself above them.
But when the mother realized that that miscarriage
            Was so imperfect
            She came to realize that her consort had not approved.
She repented and wept furiously.] 

All of the divine realms (pleroma) heard her repentant prayer
They sought blessing for her from the Invisible Virgin Spirit.
            The Spirit consented.
            He poured the Holy Spirit over her
                        Brought forth from the whole full realm. 

[Her consort did not come down to her on his own,
but he came through the whole full realm
to restore her to her original condition.] 

She was elevated above her son,
          But she was not restored to her own original realm.
She would remain in the ninth sphere until she was fully restored.

Humanity Begins

Then came a voice from the highest realms saying:
            “The Man exists! And the Son of Man!”

Yaldabaoth, chief ruler, heard it
            He thought it came from his mother
            He did not know the true source of the voice:
                        The Holy Mother-Father
                        Perfect Providence
                        Image of the Invisible
                                    Father of Everything
                                    In whom everything has come to be.

The First Man
            [This is the one who appeared to them.
            He appeared in the form of a human being.] 

All of the realm of the chief ruler quaked!
            The foundations of the abyss moved! 

He illuminated the waters above the world of matter,
            His image shown in those waters. 

All the demons and the first ruler together gazed up
            Toward the underside of the newly shining waters.
Through that light they saw the Image in the waters.

Yaldabaoth said to his subordinate demons:
            “Let’s create a man according to the image of God
                        And our own likeness
             So that his image will illuminate us.” 

Each one through another’s Power created aspects of the man;
            Each added a characteristic corresponding to the psychic factors
They had seen in the Image above them.
They made a creature of substance
In the likeness of that perfect First Man
And they said, “Let us call him Adam, so that his name will give us the power of light.”

Construction of the Human Body

The seven Powers began to work:
.           Goodness made a psyche of bone
            Providence made a psyche of sinew
            Divinity made a psyche of flesh
            Lordship made a psyche of marrow
            Kingdom made a psyche of blood
            Zeal made a psyche of skin
            Understanding made a psyche of hair 

The host of demons took these substances from the Powers to create the limbs and the body itself. They put the parts together and coordinated them. 

The first ones began by making the head: Abron created his head; Meniggesstroeth created the brain; Asterechme the right eye; Thaspomocha, the left eye; Ieronumos, the right ear; Bissoum, the left ear; Akioreim, the nose; Banenrphroum, the lips; Amen, the front teeth; Ibikan, the molars; Basiliademe, the tonsils; Achcha, the uvula; Adaban, the neck; Chaaman, the neckbones; Dearcho, the throat; Tebar, the shoulder; Mniarcon, the elbow; Abitrion, the right arm; Evanthen, the left arm; Krys, the right hand; Beluai, the left hand; Treneu, the fingers of the right hand; Balbel, the fingers of the left hand; Kriman, fingernails; Astrops, the right breast; Barroph, the left breast; Baoum, the right shoulder joint; Ararim, the left shoulder joint; Areche, the belly; Phthave, the navel; Senaphim, the abdomen; Arachethopi, the right ribs; Zabedo, the left ribs; Barias, the right hip; Phnouth the left hip; Abenlenarchei, the marrow; Chnoumeninorin, the skeleton; Gesole, the stomach; Agromauna, the heart; Bano, the lungs; Sostrapal, the liver; Anesimalar, the spleen; Thopithro, the intestines; Biblo, the kidneys; Roeror, the sinews; Taphreo, the spine; Ipouspoboba, the veins; Bineborin, the arteries; Atoimenpsephei, respiration; Entholleia, the flesh; Bedouk, the right buttock; Arabeei, the penis; Eilo, the testicles; Sorma, the genitals; Gormakaiochlabar, the right thigh; Nebrith, the left thigh; Pserem, the kidneys of the right leg; Asaklas, the left kidney; Ormaoth, the right leg; Emenun, the left leg; Knyx, the right shin; Tupelon, the left shin; Achiel, the right knee; Phnene, the left knee; Phiouthrom, the right foot; Boabel, its toes; Trachoun, the left foot; Phikna, its toes; Miamai, the toenails.

And those who were appointed over all of these are:

The energizing powers in the limbs were divided among:
the head made by Diolimodraza; the neck by Yammeax; the right shoulder Yakouib; the left shoulder Verton; the right hand Oudidi; the left Arbao; the fingers of the right hand Lampno; the fingers of the left hand Leekaphar; the right breast Barbar; the left breast Imae; the chest Pisandriaptes; the right shoulder joint Koade; the left shoulder joint Odeor; the right ribs Asphixix; the left ribs Synogchouta; the abdomen Arouph; the womb Sabalo; the right thigh Charcharb; the left thigh Chthaon; the genitals Bathinoth; the right leg Choux; the left leg Charcha; the right shin Aroer; the left shin Toechtha; the right knee Aol; the left knee Charaner; the right foot Bastan; its toes Archentechtha; the left foot Marephnounth; its toes Abrana.

Seven govern the whole body:

The one who governs perceptions: Archendekta
The one who governs reception:     Deitharbathas
The one who governs imagination: Oummaa 
The one who governs integration:   Aachiaram
The one who governs impulse:        Riaramnacho.

There is a fourfold source of the bodily demons:
            Hot, Cold, Dry, Wet.

            [Matter is the mother of them all.]

           Ruler of hot:                Phloxopha
           Ruler of cold:              Oroorrothos
           Ruler of dry:                Erimacho
           Ruler of wet:               Athuro.

Their mother stands among them: Onorthochrasaei
            She is unlimited
            She mixes with all of them.
            She is matter
                        And they are nourished by her.

The four chief demons are:
            Ephememphi, associated with pleasure, 
            Yoko, associated with desire, 
            Nenentophni, associated with distress, 
            Blaomen, associated with fear.
                       Their mother is Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.  

Out from these four demons come passions:
            From distress arises
                        Envy, jealousy, grief, vexation, 
                        Discord, cruelty, worry, mourning.

            From pleasure comes much evil
                        And unmerited pride, 
                        And so forth.

            From desire comes
                        Anger, fury, bitterness, outrage, dissatisfaction 
                        And so forth.

            From fear emerges
                        Horror, flattery, suffering, and shame.

[Their thought and truth is Anayo, the ruler of the material soul.
It belongs with the seven senses, Esthesis-Zouch-Epi-Ptoe.]

This is the total number of the demons: 365
They worked together to complete, part by part, the psychical and the material body.

There are even more of them in charge of other passions
hat I didn’t tell you about.
            If you want to know about them
            You will find the information in the Book of Zoroaster.

All of Yaldabaoth’s servants and his demons
            Worked to finish the psychic body.
            For a very long time it lay inanimate
            It did not move. 

Yaldabaoth’s mother wanted to take back the Power
            She had turned over to the Chief Ruler.
            She earnestly asked the most merciful,
            The Mother-Father of everything,
                        For help.

Yaldabaoth Deceived

By His sacred command He sent down the five Lights
            In the forms of the principal advisors to Yaldabaoth. 
            [This led to the removal of Yaldabaoth’s mother’s divine Power from him.] 
They told Yaldabaoth:
            “Blow some of your Spirit in the man’s face,
            Then his body will rise up.”
Yaldabaoth blew some of his Spirit into the man.
            That Spirit was the divine Power of his mother. 

[He didn’t understand what was happening, for he lived in ignorance.] 

His mother’s divine Power left Yaldabaoth
            It entered the psychic human body
            Modeled on the primordial image. 

The human body moved!
            It grew powerful!
            It shone! 

Yaldabaoth’s demonic forces envied the man.
            Through their united efforts he had come into being
            They had given their Power to him.
His understanding was far greater than that of those who had created him.
            And greater than that of the Chief Ruler himself. 

When they realized that he shone with light
            And could think better than they could
            And was naked of evil,
They took him and cast him down
            Into the lowest depths of the material world.

The Beginning of Salvation

The blessed one.
            The Mother-Father
            The good merciful one
Looked compassionately upon the Mother’s Power
            Relinquished by the Chief Ruler. 

Since Yaldabaoth’s demons might again overpower the perceptible psychic body
He sent down from his good Spirit a helper for Adam,
            Out of his great compassion
A light-filled Epinoia emerged.
            And he called her Life (Zoe). 

            She aids the entire creation
                        Working with him
                        Restoring him to the fullness.
            She taught Adam about the way his people had descended
            She taught Adam about the way he could ascend,
                        Which is the way he had descended. 

The light-filled Epinoia was hidden in Adam.
            So that the rulers wouldn’t know about her
            For Epinoia would repair the disaster their mother had caused. 

[Adam was revealed because within him dwelt the shadow of light.
            His mental abilities were far greater than those of his creators.
            They had gazed upward and seen his exalted mental capability.] 

            The host of rulers and demons plotted together
            They mixed fire and earth and water
                        Together with four blazing winds
                        They melded them together in great turbulence.

Adam was brought into the shadow of death.

They intended to make him anew
            This time from
            Which are
                        The Artificial Spirit.
            This all became a tomb,
             A new kind of body.

Those thieves bound the man in it,
            Enchained him in forgetfulness,
             Made him subject to dying. 

[His was the first descent
            And the first separation.
Yet the light-filled Epinoia within him will elevate his thinking.]

Adam in Yaldabaoth's Paradise

The rulers took the man and put him into paradise
They told him to eat freely. 

[Their food is bitter; their beauty is corrupt. 
Their food is deceit; their trees are ungodliness.
Their fruit is poison.
Their promise is death.] 

They placed the Tree of Their Life into the middle of paradise. 

[I will teach you (plural) the secret of their life:
The plan that they made together about an artificial spirit.] 

Its root is bitter
Its branches are dead.
            Its shadow is hatred
            Its leaves are deception
The nectar of wickedness is in its blossoms.
            Its fruit is death
            Its seed is desire
It flowers in the darkness.
            Those who eat from it are denizens of Hades
            Darkness is their resting place.

As for the tree called “The Knowledge Of Good And Evil”
            It is the Epinoia of the light.
They commanded him not to eat from it,
Standing in front to conceal it,
            For fear that he might look upwards to the fullness
            And know the nakedness of his indecency. 

[However, I caused them to eat.I asked the Savior, 
“Lord, isn’t it the serpent that caused Adam to eat?”He smiled and replied, 
“The serpent caused them to eat 
in order to produce the wickedness of the desire to reproduce 
that would make Adam helpful to him.”] 

The chief ruler, Yaldabaoth, knew that
            Because the light-filled Epinoia within Adam
            Made his mental abilities greater than his own,
            Adam had been disobedient.
In order to recover the Power that he had put into Adam
            Yaldabaoth made Adam completely forgetful. 

[I asked the Savior, “What is it to be ‘completely forgetful?’”

He replied, “It is not what Moses wrote in his first book:
‘He caused Adam to fall into deep sleep’
Rather, Adam’s perceptions were veiled
And he became unconscious.
As he (Yaldabaoth) said through his prophet:
'I will make their minds dull so that they do not see or understand.'”]

Woman Comes into Being

The light-filled Epinoia hid deep within Adam.
            The Chief Ruler tried to remove her from his ribcage,
            But Epinoia cannot be captured.
Although the darkness pursued her it did not catch her. 

The Chief ruler did remove a portion of his Power from Adam
            To create a person with a woman’s form
            Modeled on the light-filled Epinoia that had been manifested to him.
He placed the Power removed from the man into the woman. 

            [It did not happen the way Moses said it did:
             “he took a rib and made the woman.”] 

Adam saw the woman standing next to him.
            The light-filled Epinoia immediately appeared to him
            She raised up the veil that dulled his mind.
            He sobered up from the dark drunkenness
And he recognized his own counterpart. 

He said: “This is bone from my bones
                Flesh from my flesh.”
Because of this a man will leave his mother and father
And be joined to a woman and those two will become one flesh.
            For they will send his helper to him. 

[Sophia, our sister, came down
            Descending innocently
            So as to regain what she had lost.
Therefore she was called Life.
            The Mother of the Living
            The one from the Providence of the Authority of Heaven
By her assistance people can achieve perfect knowledge.] 

I appeared as an eagle perched on the Tree of Knowledge!
            [Which is the Epinoia from the pure Providence of Light.]
In order to teach them
            And raise them up from sleep’s depths.  

            [For the two of them were fallen and aware of their nakedness.
            Epinoia appeared as a being full of light
            She enlightened their minds.] 

When Yaldabaoth discovered that they had moved away from him
            He cursed his earth.
            He located the woman as she was preparing herself for her man.
He gave the woman over so that the man might be her master,
            Because he did not know the secret of the divine strategy.  

The man and woman were too terrified to renounce Yaldabaoth,
            Who showed his ignorance to his angels
And he cast both of them out of paradise
            Dressing them in heavy darkness.
The Chief Archon saw the young woman who was standing by Adam.
            He realized that the light-filled Epinoia of life was within her.
            Yaldabaoth became completely ignorant. 

            [When the Providence of all saw what was going to happen
            She sent assistants to remove Divine Life from Eve.] 

Yaldabaoth raped Eve.
She bore two sons. 

[Elohim was the name of the first.
Yahweh was the name of the second.
            Elohim has a bear’s face.
            Yahweh has a cat’s face.
                        One is righteous;
                        One is not.
                                    Yahweh is righteous;
                                    Elohim is not.
Yahweh would command fire and wind
Elohim would command water and earth.] 

Yaldabaoth deceptively named the two: Cain and Abel. 

[From then until now sexual intercourse has persisted
            Thanks to the Chief Ruler
            Who put desire for reproduction into the woman who accompanies Adam.
            Through intercourse the Ruler caused new human bodies to be produced
            And he blew his artificial spirit into each of them.] 

Yaldabaoth installed the two with authority over natural elements
            So they can to rule over the tomb.

The Children of Seth Populate the World 

Adam had intercourse with the image of his foreknowledge (prognosis)
He begot a son like the Son of Man
            And he called that son Seth
            Modeling him on the heavenly race in the higher realms. 

In the same way the mother sent down her spirit
            The image of herself
            A model of the full higher realm,
In order to prepare a place for the descent of the realms. 

The Chief Ruler, though, forced the humans to drink
            From waters of forgetfulness
            So that they might not know their true place of origin. 

The children (of Seth) remained in this condition for a while
In order that when the Spirit descends from the holy realms
The Spirit can raise up the children and heal them from all defects
And thus restore complete holiness to the fullness of God.

Six Questions about the Soul

I asked the Savior, “Lord, will every soul be saved and enter the pure light?”

He replied, “You are asking an important question, one it will be impossible to answer for anyone who is not a member of the unmoved race. They are the people upon whom the Spirit of Life will descend and the power will enable them to be saved and to become perfect and worthy of greatness. They expunge evil from themselves and they will care nothing for wickedness, wanting only that which is not corrupt. They will achieve freedom from rage, envy, jealousy, desire, or craving.”

“The physical body will negatively effect them. They wear it as they look forward to the time when they will meet up with those who will remove it. Those people deserve indestructible eternal life. They endure everything, bearing up under everything that happens so that they can deserve the good and inherit life eternal.”

Then I asked him, “Lord, what about the souls who didn’t do these things even though the Spirit of Life’s power descended on them?“

He answered, “If the Spirit descends to people they will be transformed and saved. The power descends on everyone and, without it, no one can even stand up. After they are born, if the Spirit of Life increases in them, power comes to them and their souls are strengthened. Nothing then can leave them astray into wickedness. But if the artificial spirit comes into people, it leads them astray.”

Then I said, “Lord, when souls come out of the flesh where do they go?”

He replied, smiling, “If the soul is strong it has more of power than it has of the artificial spirit and so it flees from wickedness. With the assistance of the Incorruptible One that soul is saved and it attains eternal rest.”

I then asked him, “Lord, what of the souls of the people who do not know whose people they are? Where do they go?”

He responded, “In those people the artificial spirit has grown strong and they have gone astray. Their souls are burdened, drawn to wickedness, and cast into forgetfulness.”

“When they come forth from the body, such a soul is given over to the powers created by the rulers, bound in chains, and cast into prison again. Around and around it goes until it manages to become free from forgetfulness through knowledge. And so, eventually, it becomes perfect and is saved.”

Then I asked, “Lord, how does the soul shrink down so as to be able to enter its mother or a man?

He was happy that I asked this and said, “You are truly blessed because you have understood. The soul should be guided by another within whom is the Spirit of Life. It will be saved by that means and accordingly will not have to enter a body again.

And I said, “Lord, what happens to the souls of people who achieved true knowledge, but who turned away from it?”

He said to me, “Demons of poverty will take them to a place where there is no possibility of repentance. There they will stay until the time when those who blasphemed against the spirit will be tortured and subjected to punishment forever.”            

I asked, “Lord, where did the artificial spirit come from?”

And he told me:

Three Plots against Humanity  

The Mother-Father is merciful
            A Holy Spirit sympathizing with us.
Through the Epinoia of the Providence of the light
            It raises up the children of the perfect race
            Raising up their thought, their light eternal. 

When the Chief Archon learned that they were elevated above him
            And that their mental ability surpassed his
He wanted to put a stop to their thought
            But he did not know the extent of their mental superiority
And he could not stop them. 

He made a plan with his demons
            Who are his powers
Each of them fornicated with Wisdom (Sophia)
            And produced fate
            The last variety of imprisonment.

Fate changes unpredictably
            It is of different sorts just as the demons are of different sorts.
Fate is hard.
Fate is stronger than
            The gods, the authorities, the demons, the generations of people
            Who are caught up in it.

Out of fate emerged
            Sinfulness, violence, blasphemy, forgetfulness, ignorance,
                        Weighty commandments
                        Heavy sins
            Terrible fear.
In this way all of creation became blind,
            Ignorant of God above everything. 

Because of imprisonment in forgetfulness
            They are unaware of their sins,
            They are bound into periods of time and seasons
By fate who is lord of it all. 

Yaldabaoth eventually came to regret everything he had created.
            He decided to bring a great flood
            Upon creation, upon mankind.

But the great light of Providence warned Noah.
            He preached to all of the children,
            The sons of men,
But if they were strangers to him they didn’t listen. 

            [It was not the way Moses said: “they hid in an ark.”
            Rather, they hid in a special place,
            Not just Noah
            but also many other people from the immovable race.
            They went into hiding within a cloud of light.] 

Noah knew his own authority
            And that of the light Being who illuminated them
            Although the Chief Ruler poured darkness over all the world. 

The Chief Ruler and his powers plotted a strategy,
            To send his demons to human daughters
            And make themselves children by them to enjoy.
But they failed. 

After their failure they made another plan.
            They created an artificial spirit
            Modeled on the Spirit who descended
So, to impregnate souls by means of this spirit,
            The demons changed appearance 
            to look like the women’s husbands
            They filled the women with that spirit of darkness and wickedness. 

They brought into being
            Gold and silver,
            Money and coins,
            Iron and other metals and all things of this sort.

And the people who were attracted were led astray into troubles
            And were greatly misled.
            And grew old
                        Experiencing no pleasure,
            And died
                        Finding no truth,
            Never knowing the true God.

This is the way that they enslaved all of creation
            From the foundation of the world until now. 

[They took some women and produced children out of darkness
            And they closed their hearts
            And they hardened themselves 
                        in the hardness of their artificial spirit
Until the present day.]

The Providence Hymn 

I am the Providence of everything.
I became like my own human children. 

I existed from the first.
I walked down every possible road. 

I am the wealth of the light.
I am the remembering of the fullness. 

I walked into the place of greatest darkness and on down.
I entered the central part of the prison. 

The foundations of chaos quaked. 

I hid because of their evil.
            They did not recognize me.  

I came down a second time
            continuing on. 

I emerged from among those of light
I am the remembering of Providence 

I entered the middle of darkness,
            The inner part of the underworld
            To pursue my mission. 

The foundations of chaos quaked.
            Threatening to collapse upon all who were there
            And utterly destroy them 

I soared upward again
            To my roots in light
            So as not to destroy them all yet. 

I descended a third time.

I am light
I am dwelling in light
I am the remembering of Providence 

I entered the midst of darkness
I came to the deepest part of the underworld. 

I let my face light up
            Thinking of the end of their time
I entered their prison
            The body is that prison 

I cried out:
            “Anyone who hears,
              Rise up from your deep sleep!” 

And the sleeping one awoke and wept
            Wiping bitter tears saying
            “Who calls me?”
            “Where has my hope come from
                          As I lie in the depths of this prison?” 

“I am the Providence of pure light,” I replied,
“I am the thought of the Virgin Spirit
            Raising you up to an honored place.
            Rise up!
Remember what you have heard.
            Trace back your roots
To me.
            The merciful one.
Guard against the poverty demons.
Guard against the chaos demons.
Guard against all who would bind you.
            Stay awake!
            Rise out of the depths of the underworld! 

I raised him up
I sealed him with the light/water of the five seals.
Death had no power over him ever again. 

I ascend again to the perfect realm.
I completed everything and you have heard it.”


“I have told you everything now so that you can write it all down
And share it with your fellow spirits secretly
For this is the mystery of the unmoved race.”

The Savior gave all of this to him to write and to keep carefully. He said to him, “Anyone who exchanges it for a present, or for food, or for drink, or for clothing, or for anything else of that sort will be cursed.”

These things came to John in a mystery.
Instantly the Savior vanished.

John came to his fellow disciples and told them what the Savior had said to him. 

Jesus the Christ.

 The Apocryphon of John

The Gospel of Thomas

Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer

(Visit the Gospel of Thomas Collection for other translations and additional information)

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.

1. And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."

2. Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"

3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

4. Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.

For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."

5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.

For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]"

6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"

Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

7. Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."

8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

9. Jesus said, "Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."

10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes."

11. Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.

The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

13. Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."

Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."

Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."

Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."

Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."

And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"

Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."

14. Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.

When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.

After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."

15. Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."

16. Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.

For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone."

17. Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."

18. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"

Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.

Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."

19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.

If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.

For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."

20. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."

He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky."

21. Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?"

He said, "They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Give us back our field.' They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.

For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.

As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.

Let there be among you a person who understands.

When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."

They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."

23. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."

24. His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it."

He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark."

25. Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."

26. Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."

27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."

28. Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.

But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."

29. Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels.

Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty."

30. Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."

31. Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't cure those who know them."

32. Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."

33. Jesus said, "What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.

After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light."

34. Jesus said, "If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole."

35. Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house."

36. Jesus said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food--what you're going to eat, or about your clothing--] what you are going to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.

As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]"

37. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"

Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."

38. Jesus said, "Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me."

39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.

As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."

40. Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."

41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."

42. Jesus said, "Be passersby."

43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?"

"You don't understand who I am from what I say to you.

Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."

44. Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven."

45. Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.

Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."

46. Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.

But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the (Father's) kingdom and will become greater than John."

47. Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.

And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.

Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.

An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear."

48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."

49. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."

50. Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'

If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'

If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

51. His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?"

He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."

52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."

He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."

53. His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision useful or not?"

He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."

54. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."

55. Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."

56. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy."

57 Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, 'No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.' For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned."

58. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life."

59. Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

60. He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea. He said to his disciples, "that person ... around the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass."

They said, "Otherwise he can't do it."

He said to them, "So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten."

61. Jesus said, "Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live."

Salome said, "Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone."

Jesus said to her, "I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father."

"I am your disciple."

"For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."

62. Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries.

63 Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests.

The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.'

The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner.'

Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."

65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."

67. Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."

68. Jesus said, "Congratulations to you when you are hated and persecuted; and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted."

69. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father.

Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."

70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

71. Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."

72. A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."

He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?"

He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"

73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."

75. Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite."

76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.

So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."

77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.

Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."

79. A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you."

He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'"

80. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy."

81. Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce <it>."

82. Jesus said, "Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the (Father's) kingdom."

83. Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."

84. Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear!"

85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have tasted] death."

86. Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest."

87. Jesus said, "How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two."

88. Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'"

89. Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?"

90. Jesus said, "Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves."

91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."

He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."

92. Jesus said, "Seek and you will find.

In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them."

93. "Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs, or they might ... it [...]."

94. Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find, and for [one who knocks] it will be opened."

95. [Jesus said], "If you have money, don't lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back."

96. Jesus [said], "The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

97. Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."

98. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one."

99. The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside."

He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's kingdom."

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us."

He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."

101. "Whoever does not hate [father] and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my mother [...], but my true [mother] gave me life."

102. Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."

103. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."

104. They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast."

Jesus said, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then let people fast and pray."

105. Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."

106. Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."

107. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'"

108. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

109. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."

110. Jesus said, "Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world."

111. Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death."

Does not Jesus say, "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?

112. Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh."

113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"

"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."

[Saying probably added to the original collection at a later date:]

114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."

Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."

Apocalypse of Peter

Translated by James Brashler and Roger A. Bullard


As the Savior was sitting in the temple in the three hundredth (year) of the covenant and the agreement of the tenth pillar, and being satisfied with the number of the living, incorruptible Majesty, he said to me, "Peter, blessed are those above belonging to the Father, who revealed life to those who are from the life, through me, since I reminded they who are built on what is strong, that they may hear my word, and distinguish words of unrighteousness and transgression of law from righteousness, as being from the height of every word of this Pleroma of truth, having been enlightened in good pleasure by him whom the principalities sought. But they did not find him, nor was he mentioned among any generation of the prophets. He has now appeared among these, in him who appeared, who is the Son of Man, who is exalted above the heavens in a fear of men of like essence. But you yourself, Peter, become perfect in accordance with your name with myself, the one who chose you, because from you I have established a base for the remnant whom I have summoned to knowledge. Therefore be strong until the imitation of righteousness - of him who had summoned you, having summoned you to know him in a way which is worth doing because of the rejection which happened to him, and the sinews of his hands and his feet, and the crowning by those of the middle region, and the body of his radiance which they bring in hope of service because of a reward of honor - as he was about to reprove you three times in this night."

And as he was saying these things, I saw the priests and the people running up to us with stones, as if they would kill us; and I was afraid that we were going to die.

And he said to me, "Peter, I have told you many times that they are blind ones who have no guide. If you want to know their blindness, put your hands upon (your) eyes - your robe - and say what you see."

But when I had done it, I did not see anything. I said "No one sees (this way)."

Again he told me, "Do it again."

And there came in me fear with joy, for I saw a new light greater than the light of day. Then it came down upon the Savior. And I told him about those things which I saw.

And he said to me again, "Lift up your hands and listen to what the priests and the people are saying."

And I listened to the priests as they sat with the scribes. The multitudes were shouting with their voice.

When he heard these things from me he said to me, "Prick up your ears and listen to the things they are saying."

And I listened again, "As you sit, they are praising you".

And when I said these things, the Savior said, "I have told you that these (people) are blind and deaf. Now then, listen to the things which they are telling you in a mystery, and guard them, Do not tell them to the sons of this age. For they shall blaspheme you in these ages since they are ignorant of you, but they will praise you in knowledge."

"For many will accept our teaching in the beginning. And they will turn from them again by the will of the Father of their error, because they have done what he wanted. And he will reveal them in his judgment, i.e., the servants of the Word. But those who became mingled with these shall become their prisoners, since they are without perception. And the guileless, good, pure one they push to the worker of death, and to the kingdom of those who praise Christ in a restoration. And they praise the men of the propagation of falsehood, those who will come after you. And they will cleave to the name of a dead man, thinking that they will become pure. But they will become greatly defiled and they will fall into a name of error, and into the hand of an evil, cunning man and a manifold dogma, and they will be ruled without law."

"For some of them will blaspheme the truth and proclaim evil teaching. And they will say evil things against each other. Some will be named: (those) who stand in (the) strength of the archons, of a man and a naked woman who is manifold and subject to much suffering. And those who say these things will ask about dreams. And if they say that a dream came from a demon worthy of their error, then they shall be given perdition instead of incorruption."

"For evil cannot produce good fruit. For the place from which each of them is produces that which is like itself; for not every soul is of the truth, nor of immortality. For every soul of these ages has death assigned to it in our view, because it is always a slave, since it is created for its desires and their eternal destruction, in which they are and from which they are. They love the creatures of the matter which came forth with them."

"But the immortal souls are not like these, O Peter. But indeed, as long as the hour is not yet come, it (the immortal soul) shall resemble a mortal one. But it shall not reveal its nature, that it alone is the immortal one, and thinks about immortality, having faith, and desiring to renounce these things."

"For people do not gather figs from thorns or from thorn trees, if they are wise, nor grapes from thistles. For, on the one hand, that which is always becoming is in that from which it is, being from what is not good, which becomes destruction for it and death. But that which comes to be in the Eternal One is in the One of the life and the immortality of the life which they resemble."

"Therefore all that which exists not will dissolve into what exists not. For deaf and blind ones join only with their own kind."

"But others shall change from evil words and misleading mysteries. Some who do not understand mystery speak of things which they do not understand, but they will boast that the mystery of the truth is theirs alone. And in haughtiness they shall grasp at pride, to envy the immortal soul which has become a pledge. For every authority, rule, and power of the aeons wishes to be with these in the creation of the world, in order that those who are not, having been forgotten by those that are, may praise them, though they have not been saved, nor have they been brought to the Way by them, always wishing that they may become imperishable ones. For if the immortal soul receives power in an intellectual spirit -. But immediately they join with one of those who misled them."

"But many others, who oppose the truth and are the messengers of error, will set up their error and their law against these pure thoughts of mine, as looking out from one (perspective) thinking that good and evil are from one (source). They do business in my word. And they will propagate harsh fate. The race of immortal souls will go in it in vain, until my Parousia. For they shall come out of them - and my forgiveness of their transgressions, into which they fell through their adversaries, whose ransom I got from the slavery in which they were, to give them freedom that they may create an imitation remnant in the name of a dead man, who is Hermas, of the first-born of unrighteousness, in order that the light which exists may not believed by the little ones. But those of this sort are the workers who will be cast into the outer darkness, away from the sons of light. For neither will they enter, nor do they permit those who are going up to their approval for their release."

"And still others of them who suffer think that they will perfect the wisdom of the brotherhood which really exists, which is the spiritual fellowship of those united in communion, through which the wedding of incorruptibility shall be revealed. The kindred race of the sisterhood will appear as an imitation. These are the ones who oppress their brothers, saying to them, "Through this our God has pity, since salvation comes to us through this," not knowing the punishment of those who are made glad by those who have done this thing to the little ones whom they saw, (and) whom they took prisoner."

"And there shall be others of those who are outside our number who name themselves bishop and also deacons, as if they have received their authority from God. They bend themselves under the judgment of the leaders. Those people are dry canals."

But I said " I am afraid because of what you have told me, that indeed little (ones) are, in our view, the counterfeit ones, indeed, that there are multitudes that will mislead other multitudes of living ones, and destroy them among themselves. And when they speak your name they will be believed."

The Savior said, "For a time determined for them in proportion to their error they will rule over the little ones. And after the completion of the error, the never-aging one of the immortal understanding shall become young, and they (the little ones) shall rule over those who are their rulers. The root of their error he shall pluck out, and he shall put it to shame so that it shall be manifest in all the impudence which it has assumed to itself. And such ones shall become unchangeable, O Peter."

"Come therefore, let us go on with the completion of the will of the incorruptible Father. For behold, those who will bring them judgment are coming, and they will put them to shame. But me they cannot touch. And you, O Peter, shall stand in their midst. Do not be afraid because of your cowardice. Their minds shall be closed, for the invisible one has opposed them."

When he had said those things, I saw him seemingly being seized by them. And I said "What do I see, O Lord? That it is you yourself whom they take, and that you are grasping me? Or who is this one, glad and laughing on the tree? And is it another one whose feet and hands they are striking?"

The Savior said to me, "He whom you saw on the tree, glad and laughing, this is the living Jesus. But this one into whose hands and feet they drive the nails is his fleshly part, which is the substitute being put to shame, the one who came into being in his likeness. But look at him and me."

But I, when I had looked, said "Lord, no one is looking at you. Let us flee this place."

But he said to me, "I have told you, 'Leave the blind alone!'. And you, see how they do not know what they are saying. For the son of their glory instead of my servant, they have put to shame."

And I saw someone about to approach us resembling him, even him who was laughing on the tree. And he was <filled> with a Holy Spirit, and he is the Savior. And there was a great, ineffable light around them, and the multitude of ineffable and invisible angels blessing them. And when I looked at him, the one who gives praise was revealed.

And he said to me, "Be strong, for you are the one to whom these mysteries have been given, to know them through revelation, that he whom they crucified is the first-born, and the home of demons, and the stony vessel in which they dwell, of Elohim, of the cross, which is under the Law. But he who stands near him is the living Savior, the first in him, whom they seized and released, who stands joyfully looking at those who did him violence, while they are divided among themselves. Therefore he laughs at their lack of perception, knowing that they are born blind. So then the one susceptible to suffering shall come, since the body is the substitute. But what they released was my incorporeal body. But I am the intellectual Spirit filled with radiant light. He whom you saw coming to me is our intellectual Pleroma, which unites the perfect light with my Holy Spirit."

"These things, then, which you saw you shall present to those of another race who are not of this age. For there will be no honor in any man who is not immortal, but only (in) those who were chosen from an immortal substance, which has shown that it is able to contain him who gives his abundance. Therefore I said, 'Every one who has, it will be given to him, and he will have plenty.' But he who does not have, that is, the man of this place, who is completely dead, who is removed from the planting of the creation of what is begotten, whom, if one of the immortal essence appears, they think that they possess him - it will be taken from him and be added to the one who is. You, therefore, be courageous and do not fear at all. For I shall be with you in order that none of your enemies may prevail unto you. Peace be to you, Be strong!"

When he (Jesus) had said these things, he (Peter) came to himself.


Apocalypse of Peter

Original translation of this text was prepared by members of the Coptic Gnostic Library Project
The Coptic Gnostic Library Project was funded by UNESCO, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other Institutions.

E. J. Brill has asserted copyright on texts published by the Coptic Gnostic Library Project.

The translation presented here has been edited, modified and formatted for use in the Gnostic Society Library.
For academic citation, please refer to published editions of this text.

Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

- Click for Original Translation -

Translated by Marvin Meyer and Willis Barnstone

This original translation of The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth (Nag Hammadi Codex VI, 6) is presented in the Gnostic Society Library by permission and under license from Dr. Willis Barnstone, who retains copyright. Dr. Barnstone's translations of the Nag Hammadi texts are published in The Gnostic Bible, © 2003, Willis Barnstone & Marvin Meyer. 
Headings in bold type have been added to the text for clarity by the translators.


Archive Notes: The Nag Hammadi collection includes a previously unknown and crucially important Hermetic document, The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth. Probably dating to the second or third century, this text appears to be an initiation rite into a visionary journey. This document provides singular evidence of the liturgical and experiential elements within Hermetic tradition. It gives witness to the existence of a ritual genera of Hermetic writings previously unknown and now lost.

The ritual vowel phrases shown in the text are meditational vocalizations (perhaps similar to a mantra) based on the sacred name: IAO.

The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth

“My father, yesterday you promised me you would take  my mind to the eighth heavenly sphere and after that you would take me to the ninth. You said this is the sequence of the tradition.”

“Yes, my child,  this is the sequence, but the promise was made about human nature. I said to you when I first made the promise, ‘If you remember each of the stages.’ After I received the spirit through the power, I established the action for you. Clearly understanding dwells within you. In me it is as if the power were pregnant, for when I conceived from the spring that flows to me, I gave birth.”

“Father, you have spoken every word rightly to me, but I am amazed at what you say. You said, ‘The power in me.’”

He said, “I gave birth to it as children are born.”

“Then, father, I have many siblings if I am to be counted among the generations.”

“Right, child. This good thing is counted . . . always. So, child, you must know your siblings and honor them rightly, since they have come from the very same father. For each of the generations have I addressed. I have named them, since they are offspring like these children.”

“Then, father, do they have a day?”

“Child, they are spiritual, for they exist as forces that nurture other souls. That is why I say they are immortal.”

“Your word is true. From now on it cannot be refuted. Father, begin the discourse on the eighth and the ninth, and count me also with my siblings.”

“Let us pray, child, to the father of the universe, with your siblings, who are my children, that the father may grant the spirit of eloquence.”

“How do they pray, father, when they are united with the generations? Father, I want to obey.”

“. . . It is right for you to remember the progress you have experienced as wisdom in the books.  Child, recall your early childhood. You have posed, as children do, senseless and foolish questions.”

“Father, I have experienced progress and foreknowledge from the books, and they are greater than what is lacking—these matters are my first concern.”

“Child, when you understand the truth of your statement, you will find your siblings, who are my children, praying with you.”

“Father, I understand nothing else than the beauty I have experienced in the books.”

“This is what you call the beauty of the soul—the edification you have experienced in stages. May the understanding come to you, and you will teach.”

“I have understood, father, each of the books, and especially. . . .”

“Child, . . . in praises from those who raise them.”

“Father, I shall receive from you the power of the discourse you will utter. As it was spoken to the two of us, let us pray, father.”

“Child, it is fitting for us to pray to god with all our mind and all our heart and our soul, and to ask god that the gift of the eighth reach us, and that each receive from god what belongs to god. Your job is to understand, mine is to be able to utter the discourse from the spring that flows to me.”


“Let us pray, father:

I call upon you, 
who rules over the kingdom of power, 
whose word is an offspring of light, 
whose words are immortal, 
eternal, immutable, 
whose will produces life for the semblances everywhere, 
whose nature gives form to substance, 
by whom the souls of the eighth and the angels are moved . . . , 
whose word reaches all who exist, 
whose forethought reaches everyone here, 
who produces everyone, 
who has divided the eternal realm among spirits, 
who has created everything, 
who, being self within self, supports everything, 
being perfect, 
the invisible god one speaks to, in silence, 
whose image is moved when it is ordered, 
and it is ordered, 
mighty one in power, 
who is exalted above majesty, 
who is superior to the honored ones,












Lord, grant us wisdom from your power that reaches us, 

that we may relate to ourselves the vision of the eighth and the ninth. 
Already we have advanced to the seventh, 
since we are faithful 
and abide in your law. 
Your will we fulfill always, 
we have walked in your way 
and have renounced . . . 
so your vision may come. 
Lord, grant us truth in the image. 
Grant that through spirit we may see 
the form of the image that lacks nothing 
and accept the reflection of the fullness 
from us through our praise. 
And recognize the spirit within us. 
From you the universe received soul. 
From you, one unconceived, 
one that has been conceived came into being. 
The birth of the self-conceived is through you, 
the birth of all conceived things that exist. 
Accept these spiritual offerings from us, 
which we direct to you 
with all our heart and soul and strength. 
Save what is within us, 
and grant us immortal wisdom.”


“Child, let us embrace with love.  Be happy. Already the power, light, is coming to us from them.

I see, I see ineffable depths. How shall I tell you, child? . . .  How shall I tell you about the universe?

I am mind,  and I see another mind, one that moves the soul.

I see the one that moves me from pure forgetfulness.


You have given me power.

I see myself.

I want to speak.

Fear seizes me.


I have found the beginning of the power above all powers, without beginning.

I see a spring bubbling with life.


I have said, child, that I am mind. I have seen.

Speech cannot reveal this.

For all of the eighth, child, and the souls in it, and the angels,  sing a song in silence.  

I, mind, understand.


“How does one sing a song through silence?”

“Can no one speak to you?”

“I am silent, father. I want to sing a song to you while I am silent.”


“Sing it. I am mind.”


“I understand mind, Hermes. You cannot be known, since you stay in yourself.


I am happy, father.


I see you laughing.


The universe is happy.


No creature will lack your life, for you are the lord of the inhabitants everywhere

Your forethought keeps watch.


I call you father, eternal realm of eternal realms, great divine spirit, who through spirit sends moisture on everyone. What do you tell me, father Hermes?”


“Child, I say nothing about this. It is right before god for us to be silent about what is hidden.”

“Trismegistos, don’t let my soul be deprived of the great, divine vision. Everything is possible for you as master of the universe.”

“Praise again, child, and sing while you are silent. Ask what you want in silence.”


When he finished praising, he called out, “Father Trismegistos, what shall I say?

We have received this light, and I myself see this same vision in you.

I see the eighth, and the souls in it, and the angels singing a song to the ninth  and its powers.

I see the one with the power of them all, creating those in the spirit.”


“From now on it is good for us to remain silent, with head bowed.  

From now on do not speak about the vision. It is fitting to sing a song to the father till the day of leaving the body.”


“What you sing, father, I also want to sing.”


“I am singing a song in myself. While you rest, praise. You have found what you seek.”


“But is it right, father, for me to praise when my heart is filled?”


“What is right is for you to sing praise to god so it may be written in this imperishable book.”


“I shall offer up the praise in my heart as I invoke the end of the universe and the beginning of the beginning, the god of the human quest, the immortal discovery, the producer of light and truth, the sower of reason, the love of immortal life. No hidden word can speak of you, lord. My mind wants to sing a song to you every day. I am the instrument of your spirit, mind is your plectrum, and your guidance makes music with us. I see myself. I have been strengthened by you, for your love has reached us.”


“Yes, my child.”


“O grace! After this, I thank you with my song. You gave me life when you made me wise. I praise you. I invoke your name hidden in me,









You exist with spirit. I sing to you in a devout manner.”


“Child, copy this book for the temple at Diospolis  in hieroglyphic characters, and call it the Eighth Reveals the Ninth.”


“I shall do it, father,  as you command.”


“Child,  copy the contents of the book on turquoise steles.  
Child, it is fitting to copy this book on turquoise steles in hieroglyphic characters, for mind itself has become the supervisor of these things.
So I command that this discourse be carved into stone and that you put it in my sanctuary.  
Eight guards watch over it with . . . the sun: the males on the right have faces of frogs, and the females on the left have faces of cats.  
Put a square milkstone at the base of the turquoise tablets, and copy the name on the azure stone tablet in hieroglyphic characters.
Child, you must do this when I  am in Virgo, and the sun is in the first half of the day, and fifteen degrees have passed by me.”


“Father, all you say I shall gladly do.”


“Write an oath in the book, so that those who read the book may not use the wording for malicious purposes or to subvert fate.
Rather, they should submit to the law of god and not transgress whatsoever, but in purity ask god for wisdom and knowledge.
And whoever will not be conceived in the beginning by god develops through the general and instructional discourses.
Such a person will not be able to read what is written in this book, even though the person’s conscience is pure within and the person does nothing shameful and does not go along with it.
Rather, such a person progresses by stages and advances in the way of immortality, and so advances in the understanding of the eighth that reveals the ninth.”


“I shall do it, father.”


“This is the oath: I adjure you who will read this holy book, by heaven and earth and fire and water and seven rulers of substance and the creative spirit in them and the god not conceived and the self-conceived one and the one who has been conceived, that you guard what Hermes has communicated.

God will be at one with those who keep the oath and everyone we have named, but wrath will come upon each of those who violate the oath.

This is the perfect one who is, child.”

The Gnostic Society Library

The Nag Hammadi Library

The Gospel of the Egyptians

Translated by Alexander Bohlig and Frederik Wisse

The holy book of the Egyptians about the great invisible Spirit, the Father whose name cannot be uttered, he who came forth from the heights of the perfection, the light of the light of the aeons of light, the light of the silence of the providence <and> the Father of the silence, the light of the word and the truth, the light of the incorruptions, the infinite light, the radiance from the aeons of light of the unrevealable, unmarked, ageless, unproclaimable Father, the aeon of the aeons, Autogenes, self-begotten, self-producing, alien, the really true aeon.


Three powers came forth from him; they are the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son, from the living silence, what came forth from the incorruptible Father. These came forth from the silence of the unknown Father.


And from that place, Domedon Doxomedon came forth, the aeon of the aeons and the light of each one of their powers. And thus the Son came forth fourth; the Mother fifth; the Father sixth. He was [...] but unheralded; it is he who is unmarked among all the powers, the glories, and the incorruptions.


From that place, the three powers came forth, the three ogdoads that the Father brings forth in silence with his providence, from his bosom, i.e., the Father, the Mother, (and) the Son.

The <first> ogdoad, because of which the thrice-male child came forth, which is the thought, and the word, and the incorruption, and the eternal life, the will, the mind, and the foreknowledge, the androgynous Father.


The second ogdoad-power, the Mother, the virginal Barbelon, epititioch[...]ai, memeneaimen[...], who presides over the heaven, karb[...], the uninterpretable power, the ineffable Mother. She originated from herself [...]; she came forth; she agreed with the Father of the silent silence.

The third ogdoad-power, the Son of the silent silence, and the crown of the silent silence, and the glory of the Father, and the virtue of the Mother, he brings forth from the bosom the seven powers of the great light of the seven voices. And the word is their completion.


These are the three powers, the three ogdoads that the Father, through his providence, brought forth from his bosom. He brought them forth at that place.

Domedon Doxomedon came forth, the aeon of the aeons, and the throne which is in him, and the powers which surround him, the glories and the incorruptions. The Father of the great light who came forth from the silence, he is the great Doxomedon-aeon, in which the thrice- male child rests. And the throne of his glory was established in it, this one on which his unrevealable name is inscribed, on the tablet [...] one is the word, the Father of the light of everything, he who came forth from the silence, while he rests in the silence, he whose name is in an invisible symbol. A hidden, invisible mystery came forth:








(the 7 vowels, 22 times each.)


And in this way, the three powers gave praise to the great, invisible, unnameable, virginal, uncallable Spirit, and his male virgin. They asked for a power. A silence of living silence came forth, namely glories and incorruptions in the aeons [...] aeons, myriads added on [...], the three males, the three male offspring, the male races ... (IV 55, 5-7 adds: ... the glories of the Father, the glories of the great Christ, and the male offspring, the races ...) ... filled the great Doxomedon-aeon with the power of the word of the whole pleroma.

Then the thrice-male child of the great Christ, whom the great invisible Spirit had anointed - he whose power was called 'Ainon' - gave praise to the great invisible Spirit and his male virgin Yoel, and the silence of silent silence, and the greatness that [...] ineffable. [...] ineffable [...] unanswerable and uninterpretable, the first one who has come forth, and (who is) unproclaimable, [...] which is wonderful [...] ineffable [...], he who has all the greatnesses of greatness of the silence at that place. The thrice-male child brought praise, and asked for a power from the great, invisible, virginal Spirit.


Then there appeared at that place [...], who [...], who sees glories [...] treasures in a [...] invisible mysteries to [...] of the silence, who is the male virgin Youel.

Then the child of the child, Esephech, appeared.

And thus he was completed, namely, the Father, the Mother, the Son, the five seals, the unconquerable power which is the great Christ of all the incorruptible ones. ...

(1 line unrecoverable)

... holy [...] the end, the incorruptible [...], and [...], they are powers and glories and incorruptions [...]. They came forth ... 

(5 lines unrecoverable)

... This one brought praise to the unrevealable, hidden mystery [...] the hidden ... 

(4 lines unrecoverable)

... him in the [...], and the aeons [...] thrones, [...] and each one [...] myriads of powers without number surround them, glories and incorruptions [...] and they [...] of the Father, and the Mother, and the Son, and the whole pleroma, which I mentioned before, and the five seals, and the mystery of mysteries. They appeared ...

(3 lines unrecoverable)

... who presides over [...], and the aeons of [...] really truly [...] and the ...

(4 lines unrecoverable)

... and the really truly eternal aeons.


Then providence came forth from silence, and the living silence of the Spirit, and the Word of the Father, and a light. She [...] the five seals which the Father brought forth from his bosom, and she passed through all the aeons which I mentioned before. And she established thrones of glory, and myriads of angels without number who surrounded them, powers and incorruptible glories, who sing and give glory, all giving praise with a single voice, with one accord, with one never-silent voice, [...] to the Father, and the Mother, and the Son [...], and all the pleromas that I mentioned before, who is the great Christ, who is from silence, who is the incorruptible child Telmael Telmachael Eli Eli Machar Machar Seth, the power which really truly lives, and the male virgin who is with him, Youel, and Esephech, the holder of glory, the child of the child, and the crown of his glory, [...] of the five seals, the pleroma that I mentioned before.

There, the great self-begotten living Word came forth, the true god, the unborn physis, he whose name I shall tell, saying, [...]aia[...] thaOthOsth[...], who is the son of the great Christ, who is the son of the ineffable silence, who came forth from the great invisible and incorruptible Spirit. The son of the silence and silence appeared ...

(1 line unrecoverable)

... invisible [...] man and the treasures of his glory. Then he appeared in the revealed [...]. And he established the four aeons. With a word he established them.

He brought praise to the great, invisible, virginal Spirit, the silence of the Father, in a silence of the living silence of silence, the place where the man rests ...

(2 lines unrecoverable)


Then there came forth at/from that place the cloud of the great light, the living power, the mother of the holy, incorruptible ones, the great power, the Mirothoe. And she gave birth to him whose name I name, saying three times,


For this one, Adamas, is a light which radiated from the light; he is the eye of the light. For this is the first man, he through whom and to whom everything came into being, (and) without whom nothing came into being. The unknowable, incomprehensible Father came forth. He came down from above for the annulment of the deficiency.

Then the great Logos, the divine Autogenes, and the incorruptible man Adamas mingled with each other. A Logos of man came into being. However, the man came into being through a word.

He gave praise to the great, invisible, incomprehensible, virginal Spirit, and the male virgin, and the thrice-male child, and the male virgin Youel, and Esephech, the holder of glory, the child of the child and the crown of his glory, and the great Doxomedon-aeon, and the thrones which are in him, and the powers which surround him, the glories and the incorruptions, and their whole pleroma which I mentioned before, and the ethereal earth, the receiver of God, where the holy men of the great light receive shape, the men of the Father of the silent, living silence, the Father and their whole pleroma, as I mentioned before.


The great Logos, the divine Autogenes, and the incorruptible man Adamas gave praise, (and) they asked for a power and eternal strength for the Autogenes, for the completion of the four aeons, in order that, through them, there may appear [...] the glory and the power of the invisible Father of the holy men of the great light which will come to the world, which is the image of the night. The incorruptible man Adamas asked for them a son out of himself, in order that he (the son) may become father of the immovable, incorruptible race, so that, through it (the race), the silence and the voice may appear, and, through it, the dead aeon may raise itself, so that it may dissolve.

And thus there came forth from above the power of the great light, the Manifestation. She gave birth to the four great lights: Harmozel, Oroiael, Davithe, Eleleth, and the great incorruptible Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas.


And thus the perfect hebdomad, which exists in hidden mysteries, became complete. When she receives the glory, she becomes eleven ogdoads.

And the Father nodded approval; the whole pleroma of the lights was well pleased. Their consorts came forth for the completion of the ogdoad of the divine Autogenes: the Grace of the first light Harmozel, the Perception of the second light Oroiael, the Understanding of the third light Davithe, the Prudence of the fourth light Eleleth. This is the first ogdoad of the divine Autogenes.

And the Father nodded approval; the whole pleroma of the lights was well pleased. The <ministers> came forth: the first one, the great Gamaliel (of) the first great light Harmozel, and the great Gabriel (of) the second great light Oroiael, and the great Samlo of the great light Davithe, and the great Abrasax of the great light Eleleth. And the consorts of these came forth by the will of the good pleasure of the Father: the Memory of the great one, the first, Gamaliel; the Love of the great one, the second, Gabriel; the Peace of the third one, the great Samblo; the eternal Life of the great one, the fourth, Abrasax. Thus were the five ogdoads completed, a total of forty, as an uninterpretable power.


Then the great Logos, the Autogenes, and the word of the pleroma of the four lights gave praise to the great, invisible, uncallable, virginal Spirit, and the male virgin, and the great Doxomedon-aeon, and the thrones which are in them, and the powers which surround them, glories, authorities, and the powers, <and> the thrice-male child, and the male virgin Youel, and Esephech, the holder of glory, the child of the child and the crown of his glory, the whole pleroma, and all the glories which are there, the infinite pleromas <and> the unnameable aeons, in order that they may name the Father the fourth, with the incorruptible race, (and) that they may call the seed of the Father the seed of the great Seth.


Then everything shook, and trembling took hold of the incorruptible ones. Then the three male children came forth from above, down into the unborn ones, and the self-begotten ones, and those who were begotten in what is begotten. The greatness came forth, the whole greatness of the great Christ. He established thrones in glory, myriads without number, in the four aeons around them, myriads without number, powers and glories and incorruptions. And they came forth in this way.


And the incorruptible, spiritual church increased in the four lights of the great, living Autogenes, the god of truth, praising, singing, (and) giving glory with one voice, with one accord, with a mouth which does not rest, to the Father, and the Mother, and the Son, and their whole pleroma, just as I mentioned <before>. The five seals which possess the myriads, and they who rule over the aeons, and they who bear the glory of the leaders, were given the command to reveal to those who are worthy. Amen.

* * * Then the great Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas, gave praise to the great, invisible, uncallable, unnameable, virginal Spirit, and the <male virgin, and the thrice-male child, and the male> virgin Youel, and Esephech, the holder of glory and the crown of his glory, the child of the child, and the great Doxomedon-aeons, and the pleroma which I mentioned before; and asked for his seed.


Then there came forth from that place the great power of the great light Plesithea, the mother of the angels, the mother of the lights, the glorious mother, the virgin with the four breasts, bringing the fruit from Gomorrah, as spring, and Sodom, which is the fruit of the spring of Gomorrah which is in her. She came forth through the great Seth.

Then the great Seth rejoiced about the gift which was granted him by the incorruptible child. He took his seed from her with the four breasts, the virgin, and he placed it with him in the fourth aeon (or, in the four aeons), in the third great light Davithe.


After five thousand years, the great light Eleleth spoke: "Let someone reign over the chaos and Hades." And there appeared a cloud whose name is hylic Sophia [...] She looked out on the parts of the chaos, her face being like [...] in her form [...] blood. And the great angel Gamaliel spoke to the great Gabriel, the minister of the great light Oroiael; he said, "Let an angel come forth, in order that he may reign over the chaos and Hades." Then the cloud, being agreeable, came forth in the two monads, each one of which had light. [...] the throne, which she had placed in the cloud above. Then Sakla, the great angel, saw the great demon who is with him, Nebruel. And they became together a begetting spirit of the earth. They begot assisting angels. Sakla said to the great demon Nebruel, "Let the twelve aeons come into being in the [...] aeon, worlds [...]." [...] the great angel Sakla said by the will of the Autogenes, "There shall be the [...] of the number of seven [...]." And he said to the great angels, "Go and let each of you reign over his world." Each one of these twelve angels went forth. The first angel is Athoth. He is the one whom the great generations of men call [...]. The second is Harmas, who is the eye of the fire. The third is Galila. The fourth is Yobel. The fifth is Adonaios, who is called 'Sabaoth'. The sixth is Cain, whom the great generations of men call the sun. The seventh is Abel; the eighth Akiressina; the ninth Yubel. The tenth is Harmupiael. The eleventh is Archir-Adonin. The twelfth is Belias. These are the ones who preside over Hades and the chaos.

And after the founding of the world, Sakla said to his angels, "I, I am a jealous god, and apart from me nothing has come into being," since he trusted in his nature.


Then a voice came from on high, saying, "The Man exists, and the Son of the Man." Because of the descent of the image above, which is like its voice in the height of the image which has looked out through the looking out of the image above, the first creature was formed.


Because of this, Metanoia came into being. She received her completion and her power by the will of the Father, and his approval, with which he approved of the great, incorruptible, immovable race of the great, mighty men of the great Seth, in order that he may sow it in the aeons which had been brought forth, so that through her (Metanoia), the deficiency may be filled up. For she had come forth from above, down to the world, which is the image of the night. When she had come, she prayed for (the repentance of) both the seed of the archon of this aeon, and <the> authorities who had come forth from him, that defiled (seed) of the demon-begetting god which will be destroyed, and the seed of Adam and the great Seth, which is like the sun.

Then the great angel Hormos came to prepare, through the virgins of the corrupted sowing of this aeon, in a Logos-begotten, holy vessel, through the holy Spirit, the seed of the great Seth.

Then the great Seth came and brought his seed. And it was sown in the aeons which had been brought forth, their number being the amount of Sodom. Some say that Sodom is the place of pasture of the great Seth, which is Gomorrah. But others (say) that the great Seth took his plant out of Gomorrah and planted it in the second place, to which he gave the name 'Sodom'.

This is the race which came forth through Edokla. For she gave birth through the word, to Truth and Justice, the origin of the seed of the eternal life, which is with those who will persevere, because of the knowledge of their emanation. This is the great, incorruptible race which has come forth through three worlds to the world.

And the flood came as an example, for the consummation of the aeon. But it will be sent into the world because of this race. A conflagration will come upon the earth. And grace will be with those who belong to the race, through the prophets and the guardians who guard the life of the race. Because of this race, famines will occur, and plagues. But these things will happen because of the great, incorruptible race. Because of this race, temptations will come, a falsehood of false prophets.


Then the great Seth saw the activity of the devil, and his many guises, and his schemes, which will come upon his (Seth's) incorruptible, immovable race, and the persecutions of his powers and his angels, and their error, that they acted against themselves.


Then the great Seth gave praise to the great, uncallable, virginal Spirit, and the male virgin Barbelon, and the thrice-male child Telmael Telmael Heli Heli Machar Machar Seth, the power which really truly lives, and the male virgin Youel, and Esephech, the holder of glory and the crown of his glory, and the great Doxomedon-aeon, and the thrones which are in him, and the powers which surround them, and the whole pleroma, as I mentioned before. And he asked for guards over his seed.


Then there came forth from the great aeons four hundred ethereal angels, accompanied by the great Aerosiel and the great Selmechel, to guard the great, incorruptible race, its fruit, and the great men of the great Seth, from the time and the moment of Truth and Justice, until the consummation of the aeon and its archons, those whom the great judges have condemned to death.


Then the great Seth was sent by the four lights, by the will of the Autogenes and the whole pleroma, through <the gift> and the good pleasure of the great invisible Spirit, and the five seals, and the whole pleroma.


He passed through the three parousias which I mentioned before: the flood, and the conflagration, and the judgment of the archons and the powers and the authorities, to save her (the race) who went astray, through the reconciliation of the world, and the baptism through a Logos-begotten body which the great Seth prepared for himself secretly through the virgin, in order that the saints may be begotten by the holy Spirit, through invisible, secret symbols, through a reconciliation of the world with the world, through the renouncing of the world, and the god of the thirteen aeons, and (through) the convocations of the saints and the ineffable ones, and (through) the incorruptible bosom, and (through) the great light of the Father, who pre-existed with his Providence, and established through her the holy baptism that surpasses the heaven, through the incorruptible, Logos-begotten one, even Jesus the living one, even he whom the great Seth has put on. And through him, he nailed the powers of the thirteen aeons, and established those who are brought forth and taken away. He armed them with an armor of knowledge of this truth, with an unconquerable power of incorruptibility.


There appeared to them the great attendant Yesseus Mazareus Yessedekeus, the living water, and the great leaders, James the great and Theopemptos and Isaouel, and they who preside over the spring of truth, Micheus and Michar and Mnesinous, and he who presides over the baptism of the living, and the purifiers, and Sesengenpharanges, and they who preside over the gates of the waters, Micheus and Michar, and they who preside over the mountain, Seldao and Elainos, and the receivers of the great race, the incorruptible, mighty men <of> the great Seth, the ministers of the four lights, the great Gamaliel, the great Gabriel, the great Samblo, and the great Abrasax, and they who preside over the sun, its rising, Olses and Hypneus and Heurumaious, and they who preside over the entrance into the rest of eternal life, the rulers Mixanther and Michanor, and they who guard the souls of the elect, Akramas and Strempsouchos, and the great power Heli Heli Machar Machar Seth, and the great invisible, uncallable, unnameable, virginal Spirit, and the silence, and the (first) great light Harmozel, the place of the living Autogenes, the God of the truth, and <he> who is with him, the incorruptible man Adamas, the second, Oroiael, the place of the great Seth, and Jesus, who possesses the life, and who came and crucified that which is in the law, the third, Davithe, the place of the sons of the great Seth, the fourth, Eleleth, the place where the souls of the sons are resting, the fifth, Yoel, who presides over the name of him to whom it will be granted to baptize with the holy baptism that surpasses the heaven, the incorruptible one.


But from now on, through the incorruptible man Poimael, and they who are worthy of (the) invocation, the renunciations of the five seals in the spring-baptism, these will know their receivers as they are instructed about them, and they will know them (or: be known) by them. These will by no means taste death.

* * *


Really, truly, O Yesseus Mazareus Yessedekeus,

O living water, O child of the child, O glorious name!

Really truly,

AION O ON (or: O existing Aeon),


Really, truly,


Existing one who sees the Aeons!

Really, truly,


Who is eternally eternal!

Really, truly,


In the heart, who exists,


EI O EI, EI OS EI (or: Son forever,)

You are what you are, You are who you are!

This great name of yours is upon me, O self-begotten Perfect one, who is not outside me. I see you, O you who are visible to everyone. For who will be able to comprehend you in another tongue? Now that I have known you, I have mixed myself with the immutable. I have armed myself with an armor of light; I have become light! For the Mother was at that place because of the splendid beauty of grace. Therefore, I have stretched out my hands while they were folded. I was shaped in the circle of the riches of the light which is in my bosom, which gives shape to the many begotten ones in the light into which no complaint reaches. I shall declare your glory truly, for I have comprehended you,


O AEON, AEON, O God of Silence!

I honor you completely. You are my place of rest, O Son ES ES O E, the formless one who exists in the formless ones, who exists raising up the man in whom you will purify me into your life, according to your imperishable name. Therefore, the incense of life is in me. I mixed it with water after the model of all archons, in order that I may live with you in the peace of the saints, you who exist really truly forever.

* * * This is the book which the great Seth wrote, and placed in high mountains on which the sun has not risen, nor is it possible (that it should do so). And since the days of the prophets and the apostles and the preachers, the name has not at all risen upon their hearts, nor is it possible (that it should do so). And their ear has not heard it.

The great Seth wrote this book with letters in one hundred and thirty years. He placed it in the mountain that is called 'Charaxio,' in order that, at the end of the times and the eras, by the will of the divine Autogenes and the whole pleroma, through the gift of the untraceable, unthinkable, fatherly love, it may come forth and reveal this incorruptible, holy race of the great savior, and those who dwell with them in love, and the great, invisible, eternal Spirit, and his only-begotten Son, and the eternal light, and his great, incorruptible consort, and the incorruptible Sophia, and the Barbelon, and the whole pleroma in eternity. Amen.

* * * The Gospel of <the> Egyptians. The God-written, holy, secret book. Grace, understanding, perception, (and) prudence (be) with him who has written it - Eugnostos the beloved, in the Spirit - in the flesh, my name is Gongessos - and my fellow lights in incorruptibility. Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior, Ichthus. God-written (is) the holy book of the great, invisible Spirit. Amen.

The Holy Book of the Great 
Invisible Spirit. 

Original translation of this text was prepared by members of the 
Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate School.
The Coptic Gnostic Library Project was funded by UNESCO, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other Institutions.
E. J. Brill has asserted copyright on texts published by the Coptic Gnostic Library Project. 

The translation presented here has been edited, modified and formatted for use in the Gnostic Society Library.
For academic citation, please refer to published editions of this text.

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