The Nag Hammadi Library

The Nag Hammadi Library

Zostrianos

image

Translated by John N. Sieber

Note: The small bold numbers represent pages in the original manuscript.

[…] of the […] the words […] live forever, these I […] Zostrianos […] and […] and Iolaos, when I was in the world for these like me and [those] after me, [the] living elect. As God lives, […] the truth with truth and knowledge and eternal light.

After I parted from the somatic darkness in me and the psychic chaos in mind and the feminine desire […] in the darkness, I did not use it again. After I found the infinite part of my matter, then I reproved the dead creation within me and the divine Cosmocrater of the perceptible (world) by preaching powerfully about the All to those with alien parts.

Although I tried their ways for a little while after the necessity of begetting brought me to the revealed, I was never pleased with them, but I always separated myself from them because I came into being through a holy […], yet mixed. When I had set straight my sinless soul, then I strengthened 2 the intellectual […] and I […] in the […] of my God […] […] I having done […] grow strong in a holy spirit higher than god.

It [came] upon me alone as I was setting myself straight, [and] I saw the perfect child […] […]. With him who […] many times and many ways [he] appeared to me as a loving father, when I was seeking the male father of all (who are) in thought, perception, (in) form, race, [region …], (in) an All which restrains and is restrained, (in) a body yet without a body, (in) essence, matter and [those that] belong to all these. It is with them and the god of the unborn Kalyptos and the power [in] them all that existence is mixed.

(About) existence: how do those who exist, being from the aeon of those who exist, (come) from an invisible, undivided and self-begotten spirit? Are they three unborn images having an origin better than existence, existing prior [to] all [these], yet having become the [world …]? How are those opposite it and all these 3 […] good, he and an excuse. What is that one”s place? What is his origin? How does the one from him exist for him and all these? How [does he come into existence] as a simple one, differing [from] himself? Does he exist as existence, form, and blessedness? By giving strength is he alive with life? How has the existence which does not exist appeared from an existing power?

I pondered these things to understand them; according to the custom of my race I kept bringing them up to the god of my fathers. I kept praising them all, for my forefathers and fathers who sought found. As for me, I did not cease seeking a resting place worthy of my spirit, since I was not yet bound in the perceptible world. Then, as I was deeply troubled and gloomy because of the discouragement which encompassed me, I dared to act and to deliver myself to the wild beasts of the desert for a violent death.

There stood before me the angel of the knowledge of eternal light. He said to me, “Zostrianos, why have you gone mad as if you were ignorant of the great eternals 4 who are above? […] you […] […] say also […] that you are now saved, […] […] in eternal death, nor […] […] those whom you know in order to […] save others, [namely] my father”s chosen elect? [Do you] [suppose] that you are the father of [your race …] or that Iolaos is your father, a […] angel of god […] you through holy men? Come and pass through each of these. You will return to them another [time] to preach to a living [race …] and to save those who are worthy, and to strengthen the elect, because the struggle of the aeon is great but one”s time in this world is short.”

When he had said this [to me], I very quickly and very gladly went up with him to a great light-cloud. I cast my body upon the earth to be guarded by glories. I was rescued from the whole world and the thirteen aeons in it and their angelic beings. They did not see us, but their archon was disturbed at [our] passage, for the light-cloud 5 […] it is better than every [worldly …] one. Its beauty is ineffable. With strength it provides light [guiding] pure spirits as a spirit-savior and an intellectual word, [not] like those in the world […]

with changeable matter and an upsetting word.

Then I knew that the power in me was set over the darkness because it contained the whole light. I was baptized there, and I received the image of the glories there. I became like one of them. I left the airy-[earth] and passed by the copies of the aeons, after washing there seven times [in] living [water], once for each [of the] aeons. I did not cease until [I saw] all the waters. I ascended to the Exile which really exists. I was baptized and […] world. I ascended to the Repentance which really exists [and was] baptized there four times. I passed by the 6 sixth aeon. I ascended to the […] I stood there after having seen light from the truth which really exists, from its self-begotten root, and great angels and glories, […] number.

I was baptized in the [name of] the divine Autogenes by those powers which are [upon] living waters, Michar and Micheus. I was purified by [the] great Barpharanges. Then they [revealed] themselves to me and wrote me in glory. I was sealed by those who are on these powers, [Michar] Mi[ch]eus, Seldao, Ele[nos] and Zogenethlos. I became a root- seeing angel and stood upon the first aeon which is the fourth. With the souls I blessed

the divine Autogenes and the forefather Geradamas, [an eye of] the Autogenes, the first

perfect [man], and Seth Emm[acha Seth], the son of Adamas, the [father of] the [immovable race …] and the [four] [lights … ]

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Mirothea, the mother […] […] and Prophania […] of the lights and De-[…] 7 […]

I was [baptized] for the second time in the name of the divine Autogenes by these same powers. I became an angel of the male race. I stood upon the second aeon which is the third, with the sons of Seth I blessed each of them.

I was baptized for the third time in the name of the divine Autogenes by each of these powers. I became a holy angel. I stood upon the third aeon which is the second. I blessed each of them.

I was baptized for the fourth time by [each of] these powers. I became [a] perfect [angel] [I stood upon] the fourth aeon [which is the first], and [I blessed each of them.]

Then I sought […] I said […] I […] of […] I (1 line unrecoverable)

[…] why […] […] with power […] about them in another way in the reports 8 of men? Are these their powers? Or, are these the ones, but their names differ from one another? Are

there souls different from souls? Why are people different from one another? What and in what way are they human?”

The great ruler on high, Authrounios, said to me, “Are you asking about those whom you have passed by? And about this airy-earth, why it has a cosmic model? And about the aeon copies, how many there are, and, why they are [not] in pain? And, about Exile and Repentance and the creation of the [aeons] and the world which […] really […] you, about […] me, them […] nor […] you […] invisible [spirit …] and the […] of […]

(3 lines unrecoverable) and […] […] when I […]

9 The great ruler on high, Authrounios, said to me, “The airy-earth came into being by a word, yet it is the begotten and perishable ones whom it reveals by its indestructibility. In regard to the coming of the great judges, (they came) so as not to taste perception and to be enclosed in creation, and when they came upon it and saw through it the works of the world, they condemned its ruler to death because he was a model of the world, a […] and an origin of matter begotten of lost darkness.

When Sophia looked at […] them she produced the darkness, as she [… she] is beside the [… he is a] model […] of essence […] form […] to an image […] I […] the All

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[…] darkness […] […] say […] powers [… aeons] of [creation …] to see any of the eternal ones. 10 he saw a reflection. In relation to the reflection which he saw in it, he created the world. With a reflection of a reflection he worked at producing the world, and then even the reflection belonging to visible reality was taken from him. But to Sophia a place of rest was given in exchange for her repentance. Thus, there was in her no prior reflection, pure in itself beforehand.

After they had already come into being through it, he used his imagination (and) produced the remainder, for the image of Sophia was always being lost because her countenance was deceiving. But the Archon […] and made a body which […] concerning

the greater […] down […] when I saw […] to the heart […] (1 line unrecoverable)

he having […]

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perfect through […] (1 line unrecoverable)

[…] through him, as he 11 [revealed] the destruction of the world by his [immutability]. It is in the following way that the copies of the aeons exist. They have not obtained a single

power”s shape. It is eternal glories that they possess, and they dwell in the judgment seats of each of the powers.

But when souls are illuminated by the light in them and (by) the model which often comes into being in them without suffering, she did not think that she saw […] and the eternal […] in the blessed […] each single one […] each of […] light [… all], and she […] whole, and she […] and a […] and she […] she who

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of repentance. [Souls] 12 are located according to the power they have in themselves, […] lower are produced by the copies. Those who receive a model of their souls are still in the world. They came into being after the departure of the aeons, one by one, and they are removed one by one from the copy of Exile to the Exile that really exists, from the copy of Repentance to the Repentance that really exists, [and from the] copy of Autogenes to [the Autogenes] that really exists. The remainder […] the souls […] exist in a […] all […] of aeons […]

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and […] [through … ] the […] (3 lines unrecoverable)

of […] these […] 13 [blessed the] god above, the great aeons, the unborn Kalyptos, the great male Protophanes, the perfect child who is higher than god, and his eye,

Pigeradamas.

I called upon the Child of the Child, Ephesech. He stood before me and said, “O angel of god, O son of the father, […] the perfect man. Why are you calling on me and asking about those things which you know, as though you were [ignorant] of them?” And I said, “I have asked about the mixture […] it is perfect and gives […] there is power which [has

… those] in which we receive baptism […] these names are [different …] and why […] from one […] in the [… from] others […] men [… different]

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  1. He said, “[Zost]rianos, listen about these […] for the first […] origins are three because they have appeared in a single origin [of] the Barbelo aeon, not like some origins and powers, nor like (one) from an origin and power. It is to every origin that they have appeared; they have strengthened every power; and they appeared from that which is far better than themselves. These (three) are Existence, Blessedness and Life. […] […] their companions […] in a […] and concerning the […] having named […] more than […] and […] a perfect […] from a(6 lines unrecoverable)
  2. And a water of each one of them […] ; therefore […] waters are the perfect ones. It is the water of life that belongs to Vitality in which you now have been baptized in the Autogenes. It is in the [water] of Blessedness which belongs to Knowledge that you will be baptized in the Protophanes. It is the water of Existence [which] belongs to Divinity, the Kalyptos. Now the water of Life [exists in relation to …] power; that belonging to Blessedness in relation to essence; that belonging to [Divinity] in relation to [Existence

…]. But all these […] authority and […] those who […] water which [becomes pure …] […] according to [… when they] depart

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[…] 16 Existence as [he] is in it. [He] not only [was dwelling] in Thought, but he also […] them that it is he who is [Being] in the following way. In order that this world might not be endless and formless, he placed a […] over it; but in order that [he] might become something, the truly young crossed it with what is his, [thus] Existence. It is with the [son] that he is located, with him that he seeks, him that he surrounds […] everywhere […] from the truth […] takes him who […] exists […] activity […] life […] his word also […] are these after […] they became […]

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[…] 17 and the power is with the Essence and Existence of Being, when the water exists. But the name in which they wash is a word of the water. Then the first perfect water of the triple-power of the Autogenes [is] the perfect soul”s life, for it is a word of the perfect god while coming into being […] for the Invisible Spirit is a fountain of them all. Thus, the rest are from [knowledge …] as his likeness. [But] he who knows himself […] what kind and what […] alive at one time […] live with a […] he is the […] life, in the […] become [limitless … ] his [… his] [own … ] the name

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  1. he really exists. It is he because he limits himself. They approach the water accordingto this single power and the likeness of order.The great male invisible Mind, the perfect Protophanes has his own water as you [will see] when you arrive at his place. This is also the case with the unborn Kalyptos. In accordance with each one exists a partial entity with a first form, so that they might become perfect in this way; for the self-begotten aeons are four perfect entities. [The] individuals of the all-perfect ones […] them as perfect individuals. And the […] aeon […] of the Autogenes […] for all […] [perfect] male […] for the alls […] [perfect god … thetriple-] male […] [perfect] individual […] in the […](5 lines unrecoverable)
  2. perfect, those who exist according to a form, a race, an All and a partial difference.This is also the case with the highway of ascent which is higher than perfect and Kalyptos.The Autogenes is the chief archon of his own aeons and angels as his parts, for those who are the four individuals belong to him; they belong to the fifth aeon together. The fifth exists in one; the four [are] the fifth, part by part. But these [four] are complete individually [because they] have a […] it is also […] with [the triple male] individual […]for he is a […] of […] god, the invisible [Protophanes] [… male] mind […] which exists (6 lines unrecoverable)
  3. living and perfect parts.(About) the All and the all-perfect race and the one who is higher than perfect and blessed. The self-begotten Kalyptos pre-exists because he is an origin of the Autogenes, a god and a forefather, a cause of the Protophanes, a father of the parts that are his. As a divine father he is foreknown: but he is unknown, for he is a power and a father from himself. Therefore, he is [fatherless]. The Invisible Triple Powerful, First Thought [of] all [these], the Invisible Spirit […] is a […] and Essence which […] and Existence […] there are [existences] the […] blessed […] the […] all these […] the […](3 lines unrecoverable)
  4. exist in them, [and] they […] in others […] by them all in many places. They are in every place that he loves and desires, yet they are not in any place. They have capacity for spirit, for they are incorporeal yet are better than incorporeal. They are undivided with living thoughts and a power of truth with those purer than these since with respect to him they are purer and are not like the bodies which are in one place. Above all, they have necessity either in relation to the All or to a part. Therefore, the way of ascent […] it is pure […] each […] herself and(1 line unrecoverable)[…] them(3 lines unrecoverable)[… above all](1 line unrecoverable)
  5. particular aeons.Then [he said], “How then can he contain an eternal model? The general intellect shares when the self-begotten water becomes perfect. It one knows him and all these, one is the protophanic water. If one joins oneself with all these, one is that water which belongs to Kalyptos, whose image is still in the aeons. To understand individually all their parts, they are […] , those of the All where knowledge is. They have [separated] from the one whom they knew and (from) fellowship with one another. The All and all these, when they […] wash in the [washing of] [Autogenes] he […] of […](5 lines unrecoverable)
  6. he appears to [him], that is, when one knows how he exists for him and (how) he has fellowship with their companions, one has washed in the washing of Protophanes. And if in understanding the origin of these, how they all appear from a single origin, how all who are joined come to be divided, how those who are divided join again, and how the parts [join with] the alls and the species and [kinds – if] one understands these things, one has washed in the washing of Kalyptos.

According to each of [the] places one has a portion of the eternal ones [and] ascends […] as he […] pure and simple, he is always […] one of the […] [always] he is pure for simpleness. He is filled […] [in …] Existence and a holy spirit. There is 24 nothing of his outside of him. He can [see] with his perfect soul those who belong to Autogenes; with his mind , those who belong to the Triple Male, and with his holy spirit, those who

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