“And also (concerning) the road to the city, which you asked me about, I will tell you about it. No man is able to go on that road, except one who has forsaken everything that he has and has fasted daily from stage to stage. For many are the robbers and wild beasts on that road. The one who carries bread with him on the road, the black dogs kill because of the bread. The one who carries a costly garment of the world with him, the robbers kill because of the garment. The one who carries water with him, the wolves kill because of the water, since they were thirsty for it. The one who is anxious about meat and green vegetables, the lions eat because of the meat. If he evades the lions, the bulls devour him because of the green vegetables.”
When he had said these things to me, I sighed within myself, saying, “Great hardships are on the road! If only Jesus would give us power to walk it!” He looked at me since my face was sad, and I sighed. He said to me, “Why do you sigh, if you, indeed, know this
name “Jesus” and believe him? He is a great power for giving strength. For I too believe in the Father who sent him.”
I replied, asking him, “What is the name of the place to which you go, your city?” He said to me, “This is the name of my city, ‘Nine Gates.’ Let us praise God as we are mindful that the tenth is the head.” After this I went away from him in peace.
As I was about to go and call my friends, I saw waves and large high walls surrounding the bounds of the city. I marveled at the great things I saw. I saw an old man sitting and I asked him if the name of the city was really Habitation. He […], “Habitation […].” He said to me, “You speak truly, for we inhabit here because we endure.”
I responded, saying, “Justly […] have men named it […], because (by) everyone who endures his trials, cities are inhabited, and a precious kingdom comes from them, because they endure in the midst of the apostasies and the difficulties of the storms. So that in this way, the city of everyone who endures the burden of his yoke of faith will be inhabited, and he will be included in the kingdom of heaven.”
I hurried and went and called my friends so that we might go to the city that he, Lithargoel, appointed for us. In a bond of faith we forsook everything as he had said (to do). We evaded the robbers, because they did not find their garments with us. We evaded the wolves, because they did not find the water with us for which they thirsted. We evaded the lions, because they did not find the desire for meat with us. We evaded the bulls […] they did not find green vegetables.
A great joy came upon us and a peaceful carefreeness like that of our Lord. We rested ourselves in front of the gate, and we talked with each other about that which is not a distraction of this world. Rather we continued in contemplation of the faith.
As we discussed the robbers on the road, whom we evaded, behold Lithargoel, having changed, came out to us. He had the appearance of a physician, since an unguent box was under his arm, and a young disciple was following him carrying a pouch full of medicine. We did not recognize him.
Peter responded and said to him, “We want you to do us a favor, because we are strangers, and take us to the house of Lithargoel before evening comes.” He said, “In uprightness of heart I will show it to you. But I am amazed at how you knew this good man. For he does not reveal himself to every man, because he himself is the son of a great king. Rest yourselves a little so that I may go and heal this man and come (back).” He hurried and came (back) quickly.
He said to Peter, “Peter!” And Peter was frightened, for how did he know that his name was Peter? Peter responded to the Savior, “How do you know me, for you called my name?” Lithargoel answered, “I want to ask you who gave the name Peter to you?” He said to him, “It was Jesus Christ, the son of the living God. He gave this name to me.” He answered and said, “It is I! Recognize me, Peter.” He loosened the garment, which
clothed him – the one into which he had changed himself because of us – revealing to us in truth that it was he.
We prostrated ourselves on the ground and worshipped him. We comprised eleven disciples. He stretched forth his hand and caused us to stand. We spoke with him humbly. Our heads were bowed down in unworthiness as we said, “What you wish we will do. But give us power to do what you wish at all times.”
He gave them the unguent box and the pouch that was in the hand of the young disciple. He commanded them like this, saying, “Go into the city from which you came, which is called Habitation. Continue in endurance as you teach all those who have believed in my name, because I have endured in hardships of the faith. I will give you your reward. To the poor of that city give what they need in order to live until I give them what is better, which I told you that I will give you for nothing.”
Peter answered and said to him, “Lord, you have taught us to forsake the world and everything in it. We have renounced them for your sake. What we are concerned about (now) is the food for a single day. Where will we be able to find the needs that you ask us to provide for the poor?”
The Lord answered and said, “O Peter, it was necessary that you understand the parable that I told you! Do you not understand that my name, which you teach, surpasses all riches, and the wisdom of God surpasses gold, and silver and precious stone(s)?”
He gave them the pouch of medicine and said, “Heal all the sick of the city who believe in my name.” Peter was afraid to reply to him for the second time. He signaled to the one who was beside him, who was John: “You talk this time.” John answered and said, “Lord, before you we are afraid to say many words. But it is you who asks us to practice this skill. We have not been taught to be physicians. How then will we know how to heal bodies as you have told us?”
He answered them, “Rightly have you spoken, John, for I know that the physicians of this world heal what belongs to the world. The physicians of souls, however, heal the heart. Heal the bodies first, therefore, so that through the real powers of healing for their bodies, without medicine of the world, they may believe in you, that you have power to heal the illnesses of the heart also.
“The rich men of the city, however, those who did not see fit even to acknowledge me, but who reveled in their wealth and pride – with such as these, therefore, do not dine in their houses nor be friends with them, lest their partiality influence you. For many in the churches have shown partiality to the rich, because they also are sinful, and they give occasion for others to sin. But judge them with uprightness, so that your ministry may be glorified, and that my name also, may be glorified in the churches.” The disciples answered and said, “Yes, truly this is what is fitting to do.”
They prostrated themselves on the ground and worshipped him. He caused them to stand and departed from them in peace. Amen.
The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles
Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.
THE GNOSTIC SOCIETY LIBRARY
The Nag Hammadi Library
Translated by John D.Turner and Orval S. Wintermute
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… since they are perfect individuals and dwell all together, joined with the mind, the guardian which I provided, who taught you (sg.). And it is the power that exists within you that often extended itself as word from the Triple-Powered One, that One of all those who truly exist with the Immeasurable One, the eternal Light of the Knowledge that appeared, the male virginal Youth, the first of the Aeons from a unique triple-powered Aeon, the Triple-Powered-One who truly exists, for when he was stilled, was extended and when he was extended, he became complete and he received power from all of them. He knows himself and the perfect Invisible Spirit. And he came to be in an Aeon who knows that she knows That One. And she became Kalyptos, who acted in those whom she knows. He is a perfect, invisible, noetic Protophanes-Harmedon. And empowering the individuals, she is a Triple-Male. And being individually …
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… individual on the one hand, they are together on the other hand, since she is an existence of theirs, and she sees them all also truly. She contains the divine Autogenes.
When she knew her Existence and when she stood, she brought This One (masc.), since he saw them all existing individually as he is. And when they become as he is, they shall see the divine Triple-Male, the power that is higher than God. He is the Thought of all these who exist together. If he ponders them, he ponders the great male […] noetic Protophanes, the procession of these. When he sees it, he sees also those who truly exist and the procession of those who are together. And when he has seen these, he has seen the Kalyptos. And if he sees one of the hidden ones, he sees the Aeon of Barbelo. And as for the unbegotten offspring of That One, if one sees how he lives …
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… you have heard about the abundance of each one of them certainly.
But concerning the invisible, spiritual Triple-Powered-One, hear! He exists as an Invisible One who is incomprehensible to them all. He contains them all within himself, for they all exist because of him. He is perfect, and he is greater than perfect, and he is blessed. He is always One and he exists in them all, being ineffable, unnameable, being One who exists through them all – he whom, should one discern him, one would not desire anything that exists before him among those that possess existence, for he is the source from which they were all emitted. He is prior to perfection. He was prior to every
divinity, and he is prior to every blessedness, since he provides for every power. And he
<is> a nonsubstantial substance, since he is a God over whom there is no divinity, the
transcending of whose greatness and beauty … (5 lines missing)
… power. It is not impossible for them to receive a revelation of these things, if they come together. Since it is impossible for the individuals to comprehend the Universal One
situated in the place that is higher than perfect, they apprehend by means of a First Thought – not as Being alone, but it is along with the latency of Existence that he confers
Being. He provides everything for himself, since it is he who shall come to be when he recognizes himself. And he is One who subsists as a cause and source of Being, and an
immaterial material and an innumerable number and a formless form and a shapeless shape and a powerlessness and a power and an insubstantial substance and a motionless
motion and an inactive activity. Yet he is a provider of provisions and a divinity of divinity – but whenever they apprehend, they participate the first Vitality and an
undivided activity, an hypostasis of the First One from the One who truly exists. And a second activity […] however, is the […]. He is endowed with blessedness and goodness,
because when he is recognized as the traverser of the boundlessness of the Invisible Spirit that subsists in him, it (the boundlessness) turns him to it (the invisible spirit) in order
that it might know what is within him and how he exists. And he was becoming salvation for every one by being a point of departure for those who truly exist, for through him his
knowledge endured, since he is the one who knows what he is. But they brought forth nothing beyond themselves, neither power nor rank nor glory nor aeon, for they are all
eternal. He is Vitality and Mentality and That-Which-Is. For then That-Which-Is constantly possesses its Vitality and Mentality, and Life has Vitality possesses non-Being
and Mentality. Mentality possesses Life and That-Which-Is. And the three are one, although individually they are three.
Now after I heard these things, my son Messos, I was afraid, and I turned toward the multitude […] thought […] gives power to those who are capable of knowing these things by a revelation that is much greater. And I was capable, although flesh was upon me. I heard from you about these things and about the doctrine that is in them, since the thought which is in me distinguished the things that are beyond measure as well as the unknowables. Therefore I fear that my doctrine may have become something beyond what is fitting.
And then, my son Messos, the all-glorious One, Youel, spoke to me again. She made a revelation to me and said: “No one is able to hear these things except the great powers alone, O Allogenes. A great power was put upon you, which the Father of the All, the Eternal, put upon you before you came to this place, in order that those things that are difficult to distinguish you might distinguish and those things that are unknown to the multitude you might know, and that you might escape (in safety) to the One who is yours, who was first to save and who does not need to be saved …
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… to you a form and a revelation of the invisible, spiritual Triple-Powered One, outside of which dwells an undivided, incorporeal, eternal knowledge.
As with all the Aeons, the Aeon of Barbelo exists also endowed with the types and forms of those who truly exist, the image of Kalyptos. And endowed with the intellectual Word of these, he bears the noetic male Protophanes like an image, and he acts within the individuals, either with craft or with skill or with partial instinct. He is endowed with the divine Autogenes like an image, and he knows each one of these. He acts separately and individually, continuing to rectify the failures from nature. He is endowed with the divine Triple-Male as salvation for them all, in cooperation with the Invisible Spirit. He is a word from a counsel, <he> is the perfect Youth. And this hypostasis is a …
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… my soul went slack, and I fled and was very disturbed. And I turned to myself and saw the light that surrounded me and the Good that was in me, I became divine.
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