The Nag Hammadi Library


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Matthew said to him: "Lord, no one can find the truth except through you. Therefore teach us the truth."

The Savior said: "He Who Is is ineffable. No principle knew him, no authority, no subjection, nor any creature from the foundation of the world until now, except he alone,

and anyone to whom he wants to make revelation through him who is from First Light. From now on, I am the Great Savior. For he is immortal and eternal. Now he is eternal, having no birth; for everyone who has birth will perish. He is unbegotten, having no beginning; for everyone who has a beginning has an end. Since no one rules over him, he has no name; for whoever has a name is the creation of another."

(BG 84, 13-17 adds: He is unnameable. He has no human form; for whoever has human form is the creation of another).

"And he has a semblance of his own - not like what you have seen and received, but a strange semblance that surpasses all things and is better than the universe. It looks to every side and sees itself from itself. Since it is infinite, he is ever incomprehensible. He is imperishable and has no likeness (to anything). He is unchanging good. He is faultless. He is eternal. He is blessed. While he is not known, he ever knows himself. He is immeasurable. He is untraceable. He is perfect, having no defect. He is imperishability blessed. He is called 'Father of the Universe'".

Philip said: "Lord, how, then, did he appear to the perfect ones?"

The perfect Savior said to him: "Before anything is visible of those that are visible, the

majesty and the authority are in him, since he embraces the whole of the totalities, while nothing embraces him. For he is all mind. And he is thought and considering and reflecting and rationality and power. They all are equal powers. They are the sources of the totalities. And their whole race from first to last was in his foreknowledge, (that of)

the infinite, unbegotten Father."

Thomas said to him: "Lord, Savior, why did these come to be, and why were these revealed?"

The perfect Savior said: "I came from the Infinite that I might tell you all things. Spirit- Who-Is was the begetter, who had the power <of> a begetter and a form-giver`s nature,

that the great wealth that was hidden in him might be revealed. Because of his mercy and his love, he wished to bring forth fruit by himself, that he might not <enjoy> his

goodness alone, but (that) other spirits of the Unwavering Generation might bring forth body and fruit, glory and honor, in imperishableness and his infinite grace, that his

treasure might be revealed by Self-begotten God, the father of every imperishableness and those that came to be afterward. But they had not yet come to visibility. Now a great

difference exists among the imperishables."

He called out, saying: "Whoever has ears to hear about the infinities, let him hear!"; and "I have addressed those who are awake." Still he continued and said: "Everything that came from the perishable will perish, since it came from the perishable. But whatever came from imperishableness does not perish but becomes imperishable. So, many men went astray because they had not known this difference and they died."

Mary said to him: "Lord, then how will we know that?"

The perfect Savior said: "Come (you) from invisible things to the end of those that are visible, and the very emanation of Thought will reveal to you how faith in those things

that are not visible was found in those that are visible, those that belong to Unbegotten Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!

"The Lord of the Universe is not called 'Father', but 'Forefather', the beginning of those that will appear, but he (the Lord) is the beginningless Forefather. Seeing himself within himself in a mirror, he appeared resembling himself, but his likeness appeared as Divine Self-Father, and <as> Confronter over the Confronted ones, First Existent Unbegotten Father. He is indeed of equal age <with> the Light that is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.

"And afterward was revealed a whole multitude of confronting, self-begotten ones, equal in age and power, being in glory (and) without number, whose race is called 'The Generation over Whom There Is No Kingdom' from the one in whom you yourselves have appeared from these men. And that whole multitude over which there is no kingdom is called 'Sons of Unbegotten Father, God, Savior, Son of God,' whose likeness is with you. Now he is the unknowable, who is full of ever-imperishable glory and ineffable joy. They all are at rest in him, ever rejoicing in ineffable joy in his unchanging glory and measureless jubilation; this was never heard or known among all the aeons and their worlds until now."

Matthew said to him: "Lord, Savior, how was Man revealed?"

The perfect Savior said: "I want you to know that he who appeared before the universe in infinity, Self-grown, Self-constructed Father, being full of shining light and ineffable, in the beginning, when he decided to have his likeness become a great power, immediately the principle (or beginning) of that Light appeared as Immortal Androgynous Man, that

through that Immortal Androgynous Man they might attain their salvation and awake from forgetfulness through the interpreter who was sent, who is with you until the end of the poverty of the robbers.

"And his consort is the Great Sophia, who from the first was destined in him for union by Self-begotten Father, from Immortal Man, who appeared as First and divinity and kingdom, for the Father, who is called 'Man, Self-Father', revealed this. And he created a great aeon, whose name is 'Ogdoad', for his own majesty.

"He was given great authority, and he ruled over the creation of poverty. He created gods and angels, <and> archangels, myriads without number for retinue, from that Light and the tri-male Spirit, which is that of Sophia, his consort. For from this, God originated divinity and kingdom. Therefore he was called 'God of gods' and 'King of kings'.

"First Man has his unique mind, within, and thought - just as he is it (thought) - (and) considering, reflecting, rationality, power. All the attributes that exist are perfect and immortal. In respect to imperishableness, they are indeed equal. (But) in respect to power, they are different, like the difference between father and son <, and son> and thought, and the thought and the remainder. As I said earlier, among the things that were created, the monad is first.

"And after everything, all that was revealed appeared from his power. And from what was created, all that was fashioned appeared; from what was fashioned appeared what was formed; from what was formed, what was named. Thus came the difference among the unbegotten ones from beginning to end."

Then Bartholomew said to him: "How (is it that) <he> was designated in the Gospel 'Man' and 'Son of Man'? To which of them, then, is this Son related?"

The Holy One said to him: "I want you to know that First Man is called 'Begetter, Self-

perfected Mind'. He reflected with Great Sophia, his consort, and revealed his first- begotten, androgynous son. His male name is designated 'First Begetter, Son of God', his female name, 'First Begettress Sophia, Mother of the Universe'. Some call her 'Love'. Now First-begotten is called 'Christ'. Since he has authority from his father, he created a multitude of angels without number for retinue from Spirit and Light."

His disciples said to him: "Lord, reveal to us about the one called 'Man', that we also may know his glory exactly."

The perfect Savior said: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. First Begetter Father is called 'Adam, Eye of Light,' because he came from shining Light, and his holy angels,

who are ineffable (and) shadowless, ever rejoice with joy in their reflecting, which they received from their Father. The whole Kingdom of Son of Man, who is called 'Son of

God,' is full of ineffable and shadowless joy, and unchanging jubilation, (they) rejoicing over his imperishable glory, which has never been heard until now, nor has it been

revealed in the aeons that came afterward, and their worlds. I came from Self-begotten and First Infinite Light, that I might reveal everything to you."

Again, his disciples said: "Tell us clearly how they came down from the invisibilities, from the immortal to the world that dies?"

The perfect Savior said: "Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort, and revealed a great androgynous light. His male name is designated 'Savior, Begetter of All Things'.

His female name is designated 'All-Begettress Sophia'. Some call her 'Pistis'.

"All who come into the world, like a drop from the Light, are sent by him to the world of Almighty, that they might be guarded by him. And the bond of his forgetfulness bound him by the will of Sophia, that the matter might be <revealed> through it to the whole world in poverty, concerning his (Almighty's) arrogance and blindness and the ignorance that he was named. But I came from the places above by the will of the great Light, (I) who escaped from that bond; I have cut off the work of the robbers; I have awakened that drop that was sent from Sophia, that it might bear much fruit through me, and be perfected and not again be defective, but be <joined> through me, the Great Savior, that his glory might be revealed, so that Sophia might also be justified in regard to that defect, that her sons might not again become defective but might attain honor and glory and go up to their Father, and know the words of the masculine Light. And you were sent by the Son, who was sent that you might receive Light, and remove yourselves from the forgetfulness of the authorities, and that it might not again come to appearance because of you, namely, the unclean rubbing that is from the fearful fire that came from their fleshly part. Tread upon their malicious intent."

Then Thomas said to him: "Lord, Savior, how many are the aeons of those who surpass the heavens?"

The perfect Savior said: "I praise you (pl.) because you ask about the great aeons, for your roots are in the infinities. Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were

revealed, he provided ....

[pages 109 and 110 are missing, replaced here by the corresponding section in the Berlin Gnostic Codex (no.8502), the beginning of which is somewhat different from the final partial sentence of III 108 (the broken off sentence)] [BG107]: "Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed, Self-begetter Father very soon created twelve aeons for retinue for the twelve angels. All these are perfect and good. Thus the defect in the female appeared."

And <he> said to him: "How many are the aeons of the immortals, starting from the infinities?"

The perfect Savior said: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The first aeon is that of

Son of Man, who is called 'First Begetter', who is called 'Savior', who has appeared. The second aeon (is) that of Man, who is called 'Adam, Eye of Light'. That which embraces these is the aeon over which there is no kingdom, (the aeon) of the Eternal Infinite God, the Self-begotten aeon of the aeons that are in it, (the aeon) of the immortals, whom I described earlier, (the aeon) above the Seventh, that appeared from Sophia, which is the first aeon.

"Now Immortal Man revealed aeons and powers and kingdoms, and gave authority to all who appear in him, that they might exercise their desires until the last things that are above chaos. For these consented with each other and revealed every magnificence, even from spirit, multitudinous lights that are glorious and without number. These were called in the beginning, that is, the first aeon and <the second> and <the third>. The first <is> called 'Unity and Rest'. Each one has its (own) name; for the <third> aeon was designated 'Assembly' from the great multitude that appeared: in one, a multitude revealed themselves. Now because the multitudes gather and come to a unity we call them 'Assembly of the Eighth.'It appeared as androgynous and was name partly as male and partly as female. The male is called 'Assembly', while the female is called 'Life', that it might be shown that from a female came the life for all the aeons. And every name was received, starting from the beginning.

"For from his concurrence with his thought, the powers very soon appeared who were called 'gods'; and the gods of the gods from their wisdom revealed gods; <and the gods> from their wisdom revealed lords; and the lords of the lords from their thinkings revealed lords; and the lords from their power revealed archangels; the archangels from their words revealed angels; from them, semblances appeared, with structure and form and name for all the aeons and their worlds.

"And the immortals, whom I have just described, all have authority from Immortal Man, who is called 'Silence', because by reflecting without speech all her own majesty was

perfected. For since the imperishabilities had the authority, each created a great kingdom in the Eighth, (and) also thrones and temples (and) firmaments for their own majesties. For these all came by the will of the Mother of the Universe."

Then the Holy Apostles said to him: "Lord, Savior, tell us about those who are in the aeons, since it is necessary for us to ask about them."

The perfect Savior said: "If you ask about anything, I will tell you. They created hosts of angels, myriads without number, for retinue and their glory. They created virgin spirits,

the ineffable and unchangeable lights. For they have no sickness nor weakness, but it is will. [BG 115,14 adds here: And they came to be in an instant.]

"Thus the aeons were completed quickly in the heavens and the firmaments in the glory of Immortal Man and Sophia, his consort: the area from which every aeon and the world and those that came afterward took (their) pattern for their creation of likenesses in the heavens of chaos and their worlds. And all natures, starting from the revelation of chaos, are in the Light that shines without shadow, and joy that cannot be described, and unutterable jubilation. They ever delight themselves on account of their unchanging glory and the immeasurable rest, which cannot be described among all the aeons that came to be afterward, and all their powers. Now all that I have just said to you, I said that you might shine in Light more than these."

Mary said to him: "Holy Lord, where did your disciples come from, and where are they going, and (what) should they do here?"

The Perfect Savior said to them: "I want you to know that Sophia, the Mother of the Universe and the consort, desired by herself to bring these to existence without her male

(consort). But by the will of the Father of the Universe, that his unimaginable goodness might be revealed, he created that curtain between the immortals and those that came

afterward, that the consequence might follow ... [BG 118:] ... every aeon and chaos - that the defect of the female might <appear>, and it might come about that Error would

contend with her. And these became the curtain of spirit. From <the> aeons above the emanations of Light, as I have said already, a drop from Light and Spirit came down to

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