The Nag Hammadi Library

Those who were wise among the Greeks and the barbarians have advanced to the powers which have come into being by way of imagination and vain thought. Those who have come from these, in accord with the mutual conflict and rebellious manner active in them, also spoke in a likely, arrogant and imaginary way concerning the things which they

thought of as wisdom, although the likeness deceived them, since they thought that they

had attained the truth, when they had (only) attained error. (They did so) not simply in minor appellations, but the powers themselves seem to hinder them, as if they were the Totality. Therefore, the order was caught up in fighting itself alone, because of the arrogant hostility of one of the offspring of the archon who is superior, who exists before him. Therefore, nothing was in agreement with its fellows, nothing, neither philosophy nor types of medicine nor types of rhetoric nor types of music nor types of logic, but they are opinions and theories. Ineffability held sway in confusion, because of the indescribable quality of those who hold sway, who give them thoughts.

Now, as for the things which came forth from the <race> of the Hebrews, things which are written by the hylics who speak in the fashion of the Greeks, the powers of those who think about all of them, so to speak, the “right ones,” the powers which move them all to think of words and a representation, they <brought> them, and they grasped so as to attain the truth and used the confused powers which act in them. Afterwards they attained to the order of the unmixed ones, the one which is established, the unity which exists as a representation of the representation of the Father. It is not invisible in its nature, but a wisdom envelops it, so that it might preserve the form of the truly invisible one. Therefore, many angels have not been able to see it. Also, other men of the Hebrew race, of whom we already spoke, namely the righteous ones and the prophets, did not think of anything and did not say anything from imagination or through a likeness or from esoteric thinking, but each one by the power which was at work in him, and while listening to the things which he saw and heard, spoke of them in […]. They have a unified harmony with one another after the manner of those who worked in them, since they preserve the connection and the mutual harmony primarily by the confession of the one more exalted than they. And there is one who is greater than they, who was appointed since they have need of him, and whom the spiritual Logos begot along with them as one who needs the exalted one, in hope and expectation in accord with the thought which is the seed of salvation. And he is an illuminating word, which consists of the thought and his offspring and his emanations. Since the righteous ones and the prophets, whom we have previously mentioned, preserve the confession and the testimony concerning the one who is great, made by their fathers who were looking for the hope and the hearing, in them is sown the seed of prayer and the searching, which is sown in many who have searched for strengthening. It appears and draws them to love the exalted one, to proclaim these things as pertaining to a unity. And it was a unity which worked in them when they spoke. Their vision and their words do not differ because of the multitude of those who have given them the vision and the word. Therefore, those who have listened to what they have said concerning this do not reject any of it, but have accepted the scriptures in an

altered way. By interpreting them, they established many heresies which exist to the present among the Jews. Some say that God is one, who made a proclamation in the ancient scriptures. Others say that he is many. Some say that God is simple and was a single mind in nature. Others say that his activity is linked with the establishment of good and evil. Still others say that he is the creator of that which has come into being. Still others say that it was by the angels that he created.

The multitude of ideas of this sort is the multitude of forms and the abundance of types of scripture, that which produced their teachers of the Law. The prophets, however, did not say anything of their own accord, but each one of them (spoke) of the things which he had seen and heard through the proclamation of the Savior. This is what he proclaimed, with the main subject of their proclamation being that which each said concerning the coming of the Savior, which is this coming. Sometimes the prophets speak about it as if it will be. Sometimes (it is) as if the Savior speaks from their mouths, saying that the Savior will come and show favor to those who have not known him. They have not all joined with one another in confessing anything, but each one, on the basis of the thing from which he received power to speak about him, and on the basis of the place which he saw, thinks that it is from it that he will be begotten, and that he will come from that place. Not

one of them knew whence he would come nor by whom he would be begotten, but he alone is the one of whom it is worthy to speak, the one who will be begotten and will suffer. Concerning that which he previously was and that which he is eternally – an unbegotten, impassible one from the Logos, who came into being in flesh – he did not come into their thought. And this is the account which they received an impulse to give concerning his flesh which was to appear. They say that it is a production from all of

them, but that before all things it is from the spiritual Logos, who is the cause of the things which have come into being, from whom the Savior received his flesh. He had conceived <it> at the revelation of the light, according to the word of the promise, at his revelation from the seminal state. For the one who exists is not a seed of the things which exist, since he was begotten at the end. But to the one by whom the Father ordained the manifestation of salvation, who is the fulfillment of the promise, to him belonged all these instruments for entry into life, through which he descended. His Father is one, and alone is truly a father to him, the invisible, unknowable, the incomprehensible in his nature, who alone is God in his will and his form, who has granted that he might be seen, known, and comprehended.

  • The Incarnate Savior and his Companions

    He it is who was our Savior in willing compassion, who is that which they were. For it was for their sake that he became manifest in an involuntary suffering. They became flesh and soul, that is, eternally which (things) hold them and with corruptible things they die. And as for those who came into being, the invisible one taught them invisibly about himself.

    Not only did he take upon <himself> the death of those whom he thought to save, but he also accepted their smallness to which they had descended when they were <born> in body and soul. (He did so) because he had let himself be conceived and born as an infant, in body and soul.

    Among all the others who shared in them, and those who fell and received the light, he came into being exalted, because he had let himself be conceived without sin, stain and defilement. He was begotten in life, being in life because the former and the latter are in passion and changing opinion from the Logos who moved, who established them to be body and soul. He it is <who> has taken to himself the one who came from those whom we previously mentioned.

    He came into being from the glorious vision and the unchanging thought of the Logos who returned to himself, after his movement, from the organization, just as those who came with him took body and soul and a confirmation and stability and judgment of things. They too intended to come.

    When they thought of the Savior they came, and they came when he knew; they also came more exalted in the emanation according to the flesh than those who had been brought forth from a defect, because in this way they, too, received their bodily emanation, along with the body of the Savior, through the revelation and the mingling

    with him. These others were those of one substance, and it indeed is the spiritual (substance). The organization is different. This is one thing, that is another. Some come forth from passion and division, needing healing. Others are from prayer, so that they heal the sick, when they have been appointed to treat those who have fallen. These are the apostles and the evangelists. They are the disciples of the Savior, and teachers who need instruction. Why, then, did they, too, share in the passions in which those who have been brought forth from passion share, if indeed they are bodily productions in accordance with the organization and <the> Savior, who did not share in the passions?

    The Savior was an image of the unitary one, he who is the Totality in bodily form. Therefore, he preserved the form of indivisibility, from which comes impassability. They, however, are images of each thing which became manifest. Therefore, they assume division from the pattern, having taken form for the planting which exists beneath the heaven. This also is what shares in the evil which exists in the places which they have reached. For the will held the Totality under sin, so that by that will he might have mercy on the Totality and they might be saved, while a single one alone is appointed to give life, and all the rest need salvation. Therefore, it was from (reasons) of this sort that it began to receive grace to give the honors which were proclaimed by Jesus, which were suitable for him to proclaim to the rest, since a seed of the promise of Jesus Christ was set up, whom we have served in (his) revelation and union. Now the promise possessed the instruction and the return to what they are from the first, from which they possess the drop, so as to return to him, which is that which is called “the redemption.” And it is the release from the captivity and the acceptance of freedom. In its places, the captivity of those who were slaves of ignorance holds sway. The freedom is the knowledge of the truth which existed before the ignorance was ruling, forever without beginning and without end, being something good, and a salvation of things, and a release from the servile nature in which they have suffered.

    Those who have been brought forth in a lowly thought of vanity, that is, (a thought) which goes to things which are evil through the thought which draws them down to the lust for power, these have received the possession which is freedom, from the abundance of the grace which looked upon the children. It was, however, a disturbance of the passion and a destruction of those things which he cast off from himself at first, when the Logos separated them from himself, (the Logos) who was the cause of their being destined for destruction, though he kept <them> at <the> end of the organization and allowed them to exist because even they were useful for the things which were ordained.

  • The Tripartition of Mankind

    Mankind came to be in three essential types, the spiritual, the psychic, and the material, conforming to the triple disposition of the Logos, from which were brought forth the material ones and the psychic ones and the spiritual ones. Each of the three essential

    types is known by its fruit. And they were not known at first but only at the coming of the

    Savior, who shone upon the saints and revealed what each was.

    The spiritual race, being like light from light and like spirit from spirit, when its head appeared, it ran toward him immediately. It immediately became a body of its head. It suddenly received knowledge in the revelation. The psychic race is like light from a fire, since it hesitated to accept knowledge of him who appeared to it. (It hesitated) even more to run toward him in faith. Rather, through a voice it was instructed, and this was sufficient, since it is not far from the hope according to the promise, since it received, so to speak as a pledge, the assurance of the things which were to be. The material race, however, is alien in every way; since it is dark, it shuns the shining of the light, because its appearance destroys it. And since it has not received its unity, it is something excessive and hateful toward the Lord at his revelation.

    The spiritual race will receive complete salvation in every way. The material will receive destruction in every way, just as one who resists him. The psychic race, since it is in the middle when it is brought forth and also when it is created, is double according to its determination for both good and evil. It takes its appointed departure suddenly and its complete escape to those who are good. Those whom the Logos brought forth in accordance with the first element of his thought, when he remembered the exalted one and prayed for salvation, have salvation suddenly. They will be saved completely because of the salvific thought. As he was brought forth, so, too, were these brought forth from him, whether angels or men. In accordance with the confession that there is one who is more exalted than themselves, and in accordance with the prayer and the search for him, they also will attain the salvation of those who have been brought forth, since they are from the disposition which is good. They were appointed for service in proclaiming the coming of the Savior who was to be and his revelation which had come. Whether angels or men, when he was sent as a service to them, they received, in fact, the essence of their being. Those, however, who are from the thought of lust for power, who have come into being from the blow of those who fight against him, those whom the thought brought forth, from these, since they are mixed, they will receive their end suddenly. Those who will be brought forth from the lust for power which is given to them for a time and for certain periods, and who will give glory to the Lord of glory, and who will relinquish their wrath, they will receive the reward for their humility, which is to remain forever. Those, however, who are proud because of the desire of ambition, and who love temporary glory, and who forget that it was only for certain periods and times which they have that they were entrusted with power, and for this reason did not acknowledge that the Son of God is the Lord of all and Savior, and were not brought out of wrath and the resemblance to the evil ones, they will receive judgment for their ignorance and their senselessness, which is suffering, along with those who went astray, anyone of them who turned away; and even more (for) wickedness in doing to the Lord things which were not fitting, which the powers of the left did to him, even including his death. They persevered saying, “We shall become rulers of the universe, if the one who has been proclaimed king of the universe is slain,” (they said this) when they labored to do this, namely the men and angels who are not from the good disposition of the right ones but from the mixture. And they first chose for themselves honor, though it was only a temporary wish and desire, while the path to eternal rest is by way of humility for salvation of those who will be saved, those of the right ones. After they confess the Lord and the thought of that which is pleasing to the church and the song of those who are humble along with her to

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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?