The Nag Hammadi Library

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.

  • * * IE ieus EO ou EO Oua! 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), iiii EEEE eeee oooo uuuu OOOO aaaa{a}. Really, truly, Ei aaaa OOOO, O existing one who sees the aeons! Really, truly, aee EEE iiii uuuuuu OOOOOOOO, who is eternally eternal! Really, truly, iEa aiO, in the heart, who exists, u aei eis aei, 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, sou iEs ide aeiO aeie ois, 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.


    Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.


    The Nag Hammadi Library

    The Gospel of Philip


    Translated by Wesley W. Isenberg

    A Hebrew makes another Hebrew, and such a person is called “proselyte”. But a proselyte does not make another proselyte. […] just as they […] and make others like themselves, while others simply exist.

    The slave seeks only to be free, but he does not hope to acquire the estate of his master. But the son is not only a son but lays claim to the inheritance of the father. Those who are heirs to the dead are themselves dead, and they inherit the dead. Those who are heirs to what is living are alive, and they are heirs to both what is living and the dead. The dead are heirs to nothing. For how can he who is dead inherit? If he who is dead inherits what is living he will not die, but he who is dead will live even more.

    A Gentile does not die, for he has never lived in order that he may die. He who has believed in the truth has found life, and this one is in danger of dying, for he is alive. Since Christ came, the world has been created, the cities adorned, the dead carried out. When we were Hebrews, we were orphans and had only our mother, but when we became Christians, we had both father and mother.

    Those who sow in winter reap in summer. The winter is the world, the summer the other Aeon (eternal realm). Let us sow in the world that we may reap in the summer. Because of this, it is fitting for us not to pray in the winter. Summer follows winter. But if any man reap in winter he will not actually reap but only pluck out, since it will not provide a harvest for such a person. It is not only […] that it will […] come forth, but also on the Sabbath […] is barren.

    Christ came to ransom some, to save others, to redeem others. He ransomed those who were strangers and made them his own. And he set his own apart, those whom he gave as a pledge according to his plan. It was not only when he appeared that he voluntarily laid down his life, but he voluntarily laid down his life from the very day the world came into being. Then he came first in order to take it, since it had been given as a pledge. It fell into the hands of robbers and was taken captive, but he saved it. He redeemed the good people in the world as well as the evil.

    Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor

    death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.

    Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word “God” does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with “the Father” and “the Son” and “the Holy Spirit” and “life” and “light” and “resurrection” and “the Church (Ekklesia)” and all the rest – people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, unless they have come to know what is correct. The names which are heard are in the world […] deceive. If they were in the Aeon (eternal realm), they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in the Aeon.

    One single name is not uttered in the world, the name which the Father gave to the Son; it is the name above all things: the name of the Father. For the Son would not become

    Father unless he wore the name of the Father. Those who have this name know it, but

    they do not speak it. But those who do not have it do not know it.

    But truth brought names into existence in the world for our sakes, because it is not possible to learn it (truth) without these names. Truth is one single thing; it is many things and for our sakes to teach about this one thing in love through many things. The rulers (archons) wanted to deceive man, since they saw that he had a kinship with those

    that are truly good. They took the name of those that are good and gave it to those that are

    not good, so that through the names they might deceive him and bind them to those that are not good. And afterward, what a favor they do for them! They make them be removed from those that are not good and place them among those that are good. These things they knew, for they wanted to take the free man and make him a slave to them forever.

    These are powers which […] man, not wishing him to be saved, in order that they may […]. For if man is saved, there will not be any sacrifices […] and animals will not be offered to the powers. Indeed, the animals were the ones to whom they sacrificed. They were indeed offering them up alive, but when they offered them up, they died. As for man, they offered him up to God dead, and he lived.

    Before Christ came, there was no bread in the world, just as Paradise, the place were Adam was, had many trees to nourish the animals but no wheat to sustain man. Man used to feed like the animals, but when Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that man might be nourished with the food of man. The rulers thought

    that it was by their own power and will that they were doing what they did, but the Holy

    Spirit in secret was accomplishing everything through them as it wished. Truth, which existed since the beginning, is sown everywhere. And many see it being sown, but few are they who see it being reaped.

    Some said, “Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.” They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles

    and the apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled […] the powers defile themselves. And the Lord would not have said “My Father who is in Heaven” (Mt 16:17), unless he had had another father, but he would have said simply “My father”.

    The Lord said to the disciples, “[…] from every house. Bring into the house of the Father. But do not take (anything) in the house of the Father nor carry it off.”

    “Jesus” is a hidden name, “Christ” is a revealed name. For this reason “Jesus” is not particular to any language; rather he is always called by the name “Jesus”. While as for “Christ”, in Syriac it is “Messiah”, in Greek it is “Christ”. Certainly all the others have it according to their own language. “The Nazarene” is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father.

    Those who say that the Lord died first and (then) rose up are in error, for he rose up first and (then) died. If one does not first attain the resurrection, he will not die. As God lives, he would […].

    No one will hide a large valuable object in something large, but many a time one has tossed countless thousands into a thing worth a penny. Compare the soul. It is a precious thing and it came to be in a contemptible body.

    Some are afraid lest they rise naked. Because of this they wish to rise in the flesh, and they do not know that it is those who wear the flesh who are naked. It is those who […] to unclothe themselves who are not naked. “Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God” (1 Co 15:50). What is this which will not inherit? This which is on us. But what is this, too, which will inherit? It is that which belongs to Jesus and his blood. Because of this he said “He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him” (Jn 6:53). What is it? His flesh is the word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing. I find fault with the others who say that it will not rise. Then both of them are at fault. You say that the flesh will not rise. But tell me what will rise, that we may honor you. You say the Spirit in the flesh, and it is also this light in the flesh. (But) this too is a matter which is in the flesh, for whatever you shall say, you say nothing outside the flesh. It is necessary to rise in this flesh, since everything exists in it. In this world, those who put on garments are better than the garments. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the garments are better than those that put them on.

    It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified – the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.

    Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not appear as he was, but in the manner in which they would be able to see him. He appeared to them all. He appeared to the great as great. He appeared to the small as small. He appeared to the angels as an angel, and to men as a man. Because of this, his word hid itself from everyone. Some indeed saw him, thinking that they were seeing themselves, but when he appeared to his disciples in glory on the

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    Methinks I am a conspiracy theorist. Art thou? Thou block, thou stone, thou worse than senseless thing, for whilst thou slept didst this become a badge of honor. Informed dissent shall always prevail, wherefore art thou worthy, or art thou this unwholesome fool in the group conformity experiment herein?