Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S.

Possibly the world's most popular inclination, the impulse to export your suffering to another seems to be near-universal. Not confined to any race, sex, or age category, the impulse to cause pain appears to well up from deep inside human beings. This is mysterious, because no one seems to enjoy pain when it is inflicted on them. Go figure.

Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:29 pm

A THIRD BOOK

CHAPTER 102

Of the proclamation of the disciples.


JESUS continued again in the discourse and said unto his disciples: "When I shall have gone into the Light, then herald it unto the whole world and say unto them: Cease not to seek day and night and remit not yourselves until ye find the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, which will purify you and make you into refined light and lead you into the Light-kingdom.

What men should renounce.

"Say unto them: Renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its care and all its sins, in a word all its associations which are in it, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the chastisements which are in the judgments.

"Say unto them: Renounce murmuring, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce eavesdropping [?], that ye may [be worthy of the mysteries of the Light] and be saved from the judgments of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce litigiousness [?], that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the chastisements of Ariēl.

"Say unto them: Renounce false slander, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-rivers of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce false witness, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and that ye may escape and be saved from the fire-rivers of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce pride and haughtiness, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-pits of Ariēl.

"Say unto them: Renounce belly-love, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the judgments of Amente.

"Say unto them: Renounce babbling, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fires of Amente.

"Say unto them: Renounce craftiness, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the chastisements which are in Amente.

"Say unto them: Renounce avarice, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-rivers of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce love of the world, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the pitch- and fire-coats of the dog-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce pillage, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-rivers of Ariēl.

"Say unto them: Renounce evil conversation, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the chastisements of the fire-rivers . . . .

"Say unto them: Renounce wickedness, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-seas of Ariēl.

"Say unto them: Renounce pitilessness, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the judgments of the dragon-faced [ones].

"Say unto them: Renounce wrath, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-rivers of the dragon-faced [ones.]

"Say unto them: Renounce cursing, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-seas of the dragon-faced [ones].

"Say unto them: Renounce thieving, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the bubbling seas of the dragon-faced [ones].

"Say unto them: Renounce robbery, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from Yaldabaōth.

"Say unto them: Renounce slandering, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the fire-rivers of the lion-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce fighting and strife, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the seething rivers of Yaldabaōth.

"Say unto them: Renounce all unknowing, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the servitors of Yaldabaōth and the fire-seas.

"Say unto them: Renounce evil doing, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the demons of Yaldabaōth and all his judgments.

"Say unto them: Renounce sloth, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the seething pitch-seas of Yaldabaōth.

"Say unto them: Renounce adultery, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light-kingdom and be saved from the sulphur- and pitch-seas of the lion-faced [one].

"Say unto them: Renounce murder, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the crocodile-faced ruler, -- this one who is in the cold, is the first chamber of the outer darkness.

"Say unto them: Renounce pitilessness and impiety, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the rulers of the outer darkness.

"Say unto them: Renounce atheism, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the howling and grinding of teeth.

"Say unto them: Renounce [magic] potions, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the great cold and the hail of the outer darkness.

"Say unto them: Renounce blasphemy, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from the great dragon of the outer darkness.

"Say unto them: Renounce the doctrines of error, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and be saved from all the chastisements of the great dragon of the outer darkness.

"Say unto those who teach the doctrines of error and to every one who is instructed by them: Woe unto you, for, if ye do not repent and abandon your error, ye will go into the chastisements of the great dragon and of the outer darkness, which is exceedingly evil, and never will ye be cast [up] into the world, but will be non-existent until the end.

"Say unto those who abandon the doctrines of truth of the First Mystery: Woe unto you, for your chastisement is sad compared with [that of] all men. For ye will abide in the great cold and ice and hail in the midst of the dragon and of the outer darkness, and ye will never from this hour on be cast [up] into the world, but ye shall be frozen up [?] in that region and at the dissolution of the universe ye will perish and become non-existent eternally.

The boundaries of the ways of the worthy.

"Say rather to the men of the world: Be calm, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye loving-unto-men, that ye may be worthy of the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye gentle, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye peaceful, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye merciful, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Give ye alms, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Minister unto the poor and the sick and distressed, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye loving-unto-God, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be ye righteous, that ye may receive the mysteries [of the Light] and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Be good, that ye may receive the mysteries [of the Light] and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"Say unto them: Renounce all, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"These are all the boundaries of the ways for those who are worthy of the mysteries of the Light.

Unto whom are the mysteries of the Light to be given.

The mysteries are for the forgiveness of sins.


"Unto, such, therefore, who have renounced in this renunciation, give the mysteries of the Light and hide them not from them at all, even though they are sinners and they have been in all the sins and all the iniquities of the world, all of which I have recounted unto you, in order that they may turn and repent and be in the submission which I have just recounted unto you. Give unto them the mysteries of the Light-kingdom and hide them not from them at all; for it is because of sinfulness that I have brought the mysteries into the world, that I may forgive all their sins which they have committed from the beginning on. For this cause have I said unto you aforetime: 'I am not come to call the righteous.' Now, therefore, I have brought the mysteries that [their] sins may be forgiven for every one and they be received into the Light-kingdom. For the mysteries are the gift of the First Mystery, that he may wipe out the sins and iniquities of all sinners."

CHAPTER 103

Mary questioneth the Saviour.


It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished saying these words unto his disciples, that Mary came forward and said to the Saviour: "My Lord, will then a righteous man who is perfected in all righteousness, and that man who hath no sin at all, will such an one be tormented in the chastisements and judgments or not? Or will rather that man be brought into the kingdom of heaven or not?"

Of the soul of the righteous man who hath not received the mysteries at death.

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "A righteous man who is perfected in all righteousness and who hath never committed any sin of any kind, and such an one who never hath received mysteries of the Light, if the time is at hand when he goeth forth out of the body, then straightway come the receivers of one of the great triple-powers, -- those among whom there is a great [one], -- snatch away the soul of that man from the hands of the retributive receivers and spend three days circling with it in all the creatures of the world. After three days they lead it down into the chaos, so as to lead it into all the chastisements of the judgments and to dispatch it to all the judgments. The fires of the chaos do not trouble it greatly; but they will trouble it partly for a short time.

"And with haste they take pity on it quickly, to lead it up out of the chaos and lead it on the way of the midst through all the rulers. And they [sc. the rulers] do not chastize it in their harsh judgments, but the fire of their regions troubleth it partly. And if it shall be brought into the region of Yachthanabas, the pitiless, then will he indeed not be able to chastize it in his evil judgments, but he holdeth it fast a short time, while the fire of his chastisements troubleth it partly.

And again they take pity on it quickly, and lead it up out of those regions of theirs and they do not bring it into the æons, so that the rulers of the æons do not carry it away ravishingly; they bring it on the way of the sun and bring it before the Virgin of Light. She proveth it and findeth that it is pure of sins, but letteth them not bring it to the Light, because the sign of the kingdom of the mystery is not with it. But she sealeth it with a higher seal and letteth it be cast down into the body into the æons of righteousness, -- that body which will be good to find the signs of the mysteries of the Light and inherit the Light-kingdom for ever.

"If on the contrary he hath sinned once or twice or thrice, then will he be cast back into the world again according to the type of the sins which he hath committed, the type of which I will tell you when I shall have told you the expansion of the universe.

"But amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Even if a righteous man hath committed no sins at all, he cannot possibly be brought into the Light-kingdom, because the sign of the kingdom of the mysteries is not with him. In a word, it is impossible to bring souls into the Light without the mysteries of the Light-kingdom."

CHAPTER 104

John questioneth Jesus.


It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished saying these words unto his disciples, that John came forward and said: "My Lord, suppose a sinning and a law-breaking man is replete in all iniquities, and he hath ceased from these for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and renounced the whole world and the whole matter therein, and we give him from the beginning onwards the mysteries of the Light which are in the first space from without, and if he receiveth the mysteries, and after a little while again if he returneth and transgresseth, and thereafter again if he turneth and ceaseth from all sins and turneth and renounceth the whole world and the whole matter therein, so that he cometh again and is in great repentance, and if we know truly in truth that he longeth after God, so that we give him the second mystery of the first space which is from without; -- in like manner if he turneth anew and transgresseth and is again in the sins of the world, and again if he thereafter turneth and ceaseth from the sins of the world and again renounceth the whole world and the whole matter therein and again is in great repentance, and we know it with certainty that he is not a play-actor, so that we turn and give him the mysteries of the beginning, which [are] in the first space from without; -- in like manner, if he turneth again and sinneth and is in every type [of sin]; -- desirest thou that we forgive him unto seven times and give him the mysteries which are in the first space from without, unto seven times or not?"

The disciples are to forgive many times seven times.

The Saviour answered again and said unto John: "Not only forgive him unto seven times, but amēn, I say unto you: Forgive him unto many times seven times, and every time give him the mysteries from the beginning onwards which are in the first space from without. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother and he inheriteth the Light-kingdom.

"For this cause, therefore, when ye questioned me aforetime, saying: 'If our brother sin against us, desirest thou that we forgive him unto seven times?' -- I answered and spake unto you in a similitude, saying: 'Not only unto seven times, but unto seventy times seven.'

"Now, therefore, forgive him many times and every time give him the mysteries which are in the first space which is from without. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother and he inheriteth the Light-kingdom.

Of the reward of the savers of souls.

"Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: He who shall keep in Life and save only one soul, besides the dignity which he possesseth in the Light-kingdom, he will receive yet another dignity for the soul which he hath saved, so that he who shall save many souls, besides the dignity which he possesseth in the Light he will receive many other dignities for the souls which he hath saved."

CHAPTER 105

John continueth his questioning.


When then the Saviour had said this, John started forward and said: "My Lord, bear with me if I question thee, for from now on I will begin to, question thee on all things concerning the manner, how we are to herald it to mankind.

"If, therefore, I give that brother a mystery out of the mysteries of the beginning which are in the first space from without, and if I give him many mysteries and he doeth not what is worthy of the kingdom of heaven, -- desirest thou that we let him pass through to the mysteries of the second space? Perchance we win the soul of that brother, and he turneth, repenteth and inheriteth the Light-kingdom. Desirest thou that we let him pass through to the mysteries [which are in the second space] or not?"

That the mysteries shall be given again unto a repentant brother even up to the three of the second space.

And the Saviour answered and said unto John: "If it is a brother who is not play-acting, but in truth longeth after God, if ye have given him many times the mysteries of the beginning and because of the necessity of the elements of the Fate he hath not done what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, then forgive him, let him pass through and give him the first mystery which is in the second space. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother.

"And if he hath not done what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light and hath committed transgression and divers sins, and thereafter hath turned; again and been in great repentance and hath renounced the whole world and ceased from all the sins of the world, and ye know with certainty that he doth not play-act but in truth longeth after God, then turn ye anew, forgive him, let him pass on through and give him the second mystery in the second space of the First Mystery. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother and he inheriteth the Light-kingdom.

"And again if he hath not done what is worthy of the mysteries, but hath been in transgression and divers sins, and thereafter again hath turned and been in great repentance and hath renounced the whole world and the whole matter therein and ceased from the sins of the world, so that ye know truly that he is not play-acting but longeth truly after God, then turn ye anew, forgive him and receive his repentance, because the First Mystery is compassionate and merciful-minded; let also that man pass through and give him the three mysteries together which are in the second space of the First Mystery.

The limit of the power of the disciples to forgive sins.

"If that man [then] transgresseth and is in divers sins, from that moment onwards ye are not to forgive him nor to receive his repentance; but let him be among you as a stumbling-block and as a transgressor.

"For, amēn, I say unto you: Those three mysteries will be witnesses for his last repentance, and he hath not repentance from this moment onwards. For, amēn, I say unto you: The soul of that man will not be cast back into the world above from this moment onwards, but will be in the abodes of the dragon of the outer darkness.

A former saying explained.

"For regarding the souls of such men I have spoken unto you aforetime in a similitude, saying: 'If thy brother sinneth against thee, bring him over between thee alone and him. If he hearkeneth unto thee, thou wilt win thy brother; if he hearkeneth not unto thee, take with thee yet another. If he hearkeneth not unto thee and the other, bring him to the assembly. If he hearken not unto the others, let him be for you as a transgressor and as a stumbling-block.' -- That is: If he is not usable in the first mystery, give him the second; and if he is not usable in the second give him the three, assembled together, which is 'the assembly'; and if he is not usable in the third mystery, let him be for you as a stumbling-block and as a transgressor.

Of the master-mystery of the forgiveness of sins.

"And the word which I have spoken unto you aforetime: 'So that through two to three witnesses every word may be established,' -- it is this: Those three mysteries will witness for his last repentance. And amēn, I say unto you: If that man repenteth, no mystery can forgive him his sins, nor can his repentance be received, nor can he at all be hearkened to through any mystery, save through the first mystery of the First Mystery and through the mysteries of the Ineffable. It is these alone which will receive the repentance of that man and forgive his sins; for those mysteries in sooth are compassionate and merciful-minded and forgiving at every time."

CHAPTER 106

John continueth his questioning.


When then the Saviour had said this, John continued again and said to the Saviour: "My Lord, suppose an exceedingly sinful brother who hath renounced the whole world and the whole matter therein and all its sins and all its cares, and we shall prove him and know that he is not in deceit and play-acting but that in uprightness and in truth he longeth [after God], and we know that he hath become worthy of the mysteries of the second space or of the third, -- desirest thou that we give him of the mysteries of the second space and of the third, before he hath at all received mysteries of the Inheritance of the Light or not? Desirest thou that we give or not?"

Further of the forgiveness of sins.

And the Saviour answered and said unto John in the midst of the disciples: "If ye know with certainty that that man hath renounced the whole world and all its cares and all its associations and all its sins, and if ye know in truth that he is not in deceit, neither that he was play-acting nor that he was curious to know the mysteries, how they are brought to pass, but that he longeth after God in truth, hide them not from such an one, but give him of the mysteries of the second and third space and try even of what mystery he is worthy; and that of which he is worthy, give him and hide it not from him, for if ye hide it from him, ye may be guilty of a great condemnation.

"If ye give him once [of the mysteries] of the second space or of the third and he turneth again and sinneth, ye are to continue again the second time up to the third time. If he still sinneth, ye shall not continue to give him, for those three mysteries will be witnesses unto him for his last repentance. And amēn, I say unto you: He who shall give that man anew mysteries of the second space or of the third, is guilty of a great condemnation. But let him be for you as a transgressor and as a stumbling-block.

"Amēn, I say unto you: The soul of that man cannot be cast back into the world from this moment onwards; but his habitation is in the midst of the jaws of the dragon of the outer darkness, the region of howling and grinding of teeth. And at the dissolution of the world his soul will be frozen up [?] and perish in the violent cold and exceedingly violent fire and will be non-existent eternally.

"Even if he yet again turneth and renounceth the whole world and all its cares and all its sins, and he is in great citizenship and great repentance, no mystery can receive from him his repentance; nor can it hearken unto him, to have mercy upon him and receive his repentance and forgive his sins, save the mystery of the First Mystery and the mystery of the Ineffable. It is these alone which will receive the repentance of that man and forgive his sins; for in sooth those mysteries are compassionate and merciful-minded and forgiving of sins at every time."

CHAPTER 107

John continueth his questioning.


And when the Saviour had said this, John continued again and said: "My Lord, bear with me, if I question thee, and be not wroth with me, for I question concerning all things with surety and certainty for knowledge of the manner, how we are to herald it to the men of the world."

And the Saviour answered and said unto John: "Question concerning all things on which thou questionest, and I will reveal them unto thee, face to face in openness without similitude, or with surety."

And John answered and said: "My Lord, if we go forth and herald it and come into a city or a village, and if the men of that city come forth to meet us without our knowing who they are, and if they receive us unto themselves in great deceit and great play-acting and bring us into their house, desiring to make trial of the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, and if they play-act with us in submission and we suppose that they long after God, and we give them the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, and if we thereafter know that they have not done what is worthy of the mystery, and we know that they have play-acted with us, and have been deceitful against us and that they have also made a show of the mysteries region by region, making trial of us and also of our mysteries, -- what is then the thing which will befall such?"

Of pretenders who receive the mysteries.

And the Saviour answered and said unto John: "If ye come into a city or a village, where ye enter into the house and they receive you unto themselves, give them a mystery. If they are worthy, ye will win their souls and they will inherit the Light-kingdom; but if they are not worthy but are deceitful against you, and if they also make a show of the mysteries, making trial of you and also of the mysteries, then invoke the first mystery of the First Mystery which hath mercy on every one, and say: Thou Mystery, which we have given unto these impious and iniquitous souls who have not done what is worthy of thy mystery but have made a show of us, turn back [then] the mystery unto us and make them for ever strangers to the mystery of thy kingdom. And shake ye off the dust of your feet as a witness against them, saying: May your souls be as the dust of your house. And amēn, I say unto you: In that hour all the mysteries which ye have given unto them, will return unto you, and all the words and all the mysteries of the region up to which they have received figures, will be taken from them.

A former saying explained.

"Concerning such men, therefore, have I aforetime spoken unto you in similitude, saying: 'Where ye enter into a house and are received, say unto them: Peace be with you. And if they are worthy, let your peace come upon them; and if they are not worthy, let your peace return unto you,' -- that is: If those men do what is worthy of the mysteries and in truth long after God, give them the mysteries of the Light-kingdom; but if they play-act with you and are deceitful against you, without your having known it, and if ye give them the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, and again thereafter they make a show of the mysteries and they make also trial of you and also of the mysteries, then perform the first mystery of the First Mystery, and it will turn back unto you all the mysteries which ye have given unto them, and it will make them strangers to the mysteries of the Light for ever.

"And such men will not be led back to the world from this moment onwards; but amēn, I say unto you: Their dwelling is in the midst of the jaws of the dragon of the outer darkness. And if they still at a time of repentance renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein and all the sins of the world, and they are in entire submission to the mysteries of the Light, no mystery can hearken unto them nor forgive their sins, save this same mystery of the Ineffable, which hath mercy on every one and forgiveth every one his sins."

CHAPTER 108

Mary again questioneth Jesus.


It came to pass, when Jesus had finished saying these words unto his disciples, that Mary adored the feet of Jesus and kissed them. Mary said: "My Lord, bear with me, if I question thee, and be not wroth with me."

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Question concerning what thou desirest to question, and I will reveal it unto thee in openness."

And Mary answered and said: "My Lord, suppose a good and excellent brother whom we have filled with all the mysteries of the Light, and that brother hath a brother or kinsman, in a word he hath in general [any] man, and this [man] is a sinner and impious or better he is no sinner, and such an one hath gone out of the body, and the heart of the good brother is grieved and mourneth over him, that he is in judgments and chastisements, -- now, therefore, my Lord, what are we to do to remove him out of the chastisements and harsh judgments?"

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Concerning this word, therefore, I have already spoken unto you at another time, but hearken that I may say it again, so that ye may be perfected in all mysteries and be called 'the perfected in every fulness.'

How the souls of those who have come out of the body may be helped by those on earth.

"Now, therefore, all men, sinners or better who are no sinners, not only if ye desire that they be taken out of the judgments and violent chastisements, but that they be removed into a righteous body which will find the mysteries of the godhead, so that it goeth on high and inheriteth the Light-kingdom, -- then perform the third mystery of the Ineffable and say: Carry ye the soul of this and this man of whom we think in our hearts, carry him out of all the chastisements of the rulers and haste ye quickly to lead him before the Virgin of Light; and in every month let the Virgin of Light seal him with a higher seal, and in every month let the Virgin of Light cast him into a body which will be righteous and good, so that it goeth on high and inheriteth the Light-kingdom." And if ye say this, amēn, I say unto you: All who serve in all the orders of the judgments of the rulers, hasten to hand over that soul from one to the other, until they lead it before the Virgin of Light. And the Virgin of Light sealeth it with the sign of the kingdom of the Ineffable and handeth it over unto her receivers, and the receivers will cast it into a body which will be righteous and find the mysteries of the Light, so that it will be good and goeth on high and inheriteth the Light-kingdom. Lo, this is it on which ye question me."

CHAPTER 109

Mary continueth her questioning.


And Mary answered and said: "Now, therefore, my Lord, hast thou then not brought mysteries into the world that man may not die through the death which is appointed him by the rulers of the Fate, -- be it that it is appointed one to die by the sword or die by the waters or through tortures and torturings and acts of violence which are in the law, or through any other evil death, -- hast thou then not brought mysteries into the world that man may not die with them through the rulers of the Fate, but that he may die by a sudden death, so that he endure no sufferings through such kinds of death? For they are exceedingly numerous who persecute us because of thee, and numerous those who persecute us because of thy name, in order that, if they torture us, we may speak the mystery and straightway go out of the body without having endured any sufferings at all."

How he who possesseth the mysteries can come forth out of the body without suffering.

The Saviour answered and said unto all his disciples: "Concerning this word on which ye question me, I have spoken unto you at another time; but hearken again that I may say it unto you anew: Not only ye, but every man who will accomplish that first mystery of the First Mystery of the Ineffable, -- he who, therefore, shall perform that mystery and accomplish it in all its figures and all its types and all its stations, in performing it, he will not come out of the body; but after he hath accomplished that mystery in all its figures and all its types, thereafter then at every time when he shall speak the name of that mystery, he will save himself from all that which is appointed him by the rulers of the Fate. And in that hour he will come forth out of the body of the matter of the rulers, and his soul will become a great light-stream, so that it soareth on high and penetrateth all the regions of the rulers and all the regions of the Light, until it reacheth the region of its kingdom. Neither giveth it answers nor apologies in any region at all, for it is without tokens."

CHAPTER 110

When then Jesus had said this, Mary continued, threw herself at Jesus' feet, kissed them and said: "My Lord, still will I question thee. Reveal [it] unto us and hide [it] not from us."

Jesus answered and said unto Mary: "Question on what ye question, and I will reveal [it] unto you in openness without similitude."

Mary continueth her questioning.

Mary answered and said: "My Lord, hast thou then not brought mysteries into the world because of poverty and riches, and because of weakness and strength, and because of . . . and healthy bodies, in a word because of all such, so that, if we go into the regions of the land, and they do not have faith in us and they hearken not unto our words, and we perform any such mysteries in those regions, they may know truly in truth that we herald the words [of the God] of the universe?"

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary in the midst of the disciples: "Concerning this mystery on which ye question me, I have given it unto you at another time; but I will repeat it and speak the word unto you:

The mystery of the raising of the dead.

"Now, therefore, Mary, not only ye, but every man who shall accomplish the mystery of the raising of the dead, -- that which healeth the demons and all pains and all sicknesses and the blind and the lame and the maimed and the dumb and the deaf, which I have given unto you aforetime, -- he who shall receive [that] mystery and accomplish it, thereafter then, if he ask for all things, for poverty and riches, for weakness and strength, for . . . and healthy body, and for all healings of the body and for the raising of the dead and for healing the lame and the blind and the deaf and the dumb and all sicknesses and all pains, -- in a word, he who shall accomplish that mystery and ask for all the things which I have just said, then will they quickly come to pass for him."

The disciples became frenzied at the sublimity of the prospect.

When then the Saviour had said this, the disciples came forward, cried out all together and said: "O Saviour, thou hath made us very exceedingly frenzied because of the great deeds of which thou tellest us; and because thou hast borne up our souls, they have pressed to go forth out of us unto thee, for we issue from thee. Now, therefore, because of these great deeds of which thou tellest us, our souls have become frenzied and they have pressed very exceedingly, yearning to go forth out of us on high to the region of thy kingdom."

CHAPTER 111

How the disciples shall make proclamation.


When then the disciples had said this, the Saviour continued again and said unto his disciples: "If ye go into cities or kingdoms or countries, proclaim first unto them, saying:

Search ever and cease not, until ye find the mysteries of the Light which will lead you into the Light-kingdom. Say unto them: Beware of the doctrines of error. For many will come in my name and say: It is I. And it is not I, and they will lead many astray.

What mysteries they shall give.

"Now, therefore, unto all men who come unto you and have faith in you and hearken unto your words and do what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light, give the mysteries of the Light and hide them not from them. And unto him who is worthy of the higher mysteries, give them, and to him who is worthy of the lower mysteries, give them, and hide not anything from any one.

The mystery of the raising of the dead not to be given to any.

"The mystery of the raising of the dead and of the healing of the sick, on the other hand, give unto no one nor give instruction in it, for that mystery belongeth to the rulers, it and all its namings. For this cause, therefore, give it unto no one, nor give instruction in it until ye establish the faith in the whole world, in order that, if ye come into cities or into countries, and they do not receive you unto themselves, and do not have faith, and do not hearken unto your words, ye may raise the dead in those regions and heal the lame and the blind and manifold of sicknesses in those regions. And through all such they will have faith in you, that ye herald the God of the universe, and will have faith in all the words of you. For this cause, therefore, have I given unto you that mystery, until ye establish the faith in the whole world."

When then the Saviour had said this, he continued again in the discourse and said unto Mary: "Now, therefore, hearken, Mary, concerning the word on which thou hast questioned me: Who constraineth the man until he sinneth? Now, therefore, hearken:

Of the constitution of man.

"Is the babe born, the power is feeble in it, and the soul is feeble in it, and also the counterfeiting spirit is feeble in it; in a word, the three together are feeble, without any one of them sensing anything, whether good or evil, because of the load of forgetfulness which is very heavy. Moreover the body also is feeble. And the babe eateth of the delights of the world of the rulers; and the power draweth into itself from the portion of the power which is in the delights; and the soul draweth into itself from the portion of the soul which is in the delights; and the counterfeiting spirit draweth into itself from the portion of the evil which is in the delights and in its lusts. And on the other hand the body draweth into itself the matter which senseth not, which is in the delights. The destiny on the contrary taketh nothing from the delights, because it is not mingled with them, but it departeth again in the condition in which it cometh into the world.

"And little by little the power and the soul and the counterfeiting spirit grow, and every one of them senseth according to its nature: the power senseth to seek after the light of the height; the soul on the other hand senseth to seek after the region of righteousness which is mixed, which is the region of the commixture; the counterfeiting spirit on the other hand seeketh after all evils and lusts and all sins; the body on the contrary senseth nothing unless it taketh up force out of the matter.

"And straightway the three develop sense, every one according to its nature. And the retributive receivers assign the servitors to follow them and be witnesses of all the sins which they commit, with a view to the manner and method how they will chastize them in the judgments.

Of the counterfeiting spirit.

"And after this the counterfeiting spirit contriveth and senseth all sins and the evil which the rulers of the great Fate have commanded for the soul, and it maketh them for the soul.

"And the inner power stirreth the soul to seek after the region of the Light and the whole god-head; and the counterfeiting spirit leadeth away the soul and compelleth it continually to do all its lawless deeds, all its mischiefs and all its sin, and is persistently allotted to the soul and is hostile to it, and making it do all this evil and all these sins.

"And it goadeth on the retributive servitors, so that they are witnesses in all the sins which it will make it do. Moreover also if it will rest in the night [or] by day, it stirreth it in dreams or in lusts of the world, and maketh it to lust after all the things of the world. In a word, it driveth [?] it into all the things which the rulers have commanded for it and it is hostile to the soul, making it do what pleaseth it not.

"Now, therefore, Mary, this is in fact the foe of the soul, and this compelleth it until it doeth all sins.

The state of the sinful soul after death.

"Now, therefore, if the time of that man is completed, first cometh forth the destiny and leadeth the man unto death through the rulers and their bonds with which they are bound through the Fate.

"And thereafter the retributive receivers come and lead that soul out of the body. And thereafter the retributive receivers spend three days circling round with that soul in all the regions and dispatch it to all the æons of the world. And the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny follow that soul; and the power returneth to the Virgin of Light.

"And after three days the retributive receivers lead down that soul to the Amente of the chaos; and when they bring it down to the chaos, they hand it over to those who chastize. And the retributive receivers return unto their own regions according to the economy of the works of the rulers concerning the coming-forth of the souls.

"And the counterfeiting spirit becometh the receiver of the soul, being assigned unto it and transferring it according to the chastisement because of the sins which it hath made it commit, and is in great enmity to the soul.

"And when the soul hath finished the chastisements in the chaos according to the sins which it hath committed, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth it forth out of the chaos, being assigned unto it and transferring it to every region because of the sins which it hath committed; and it leadeth it forth on the way of the rulers of the midst. And when it reacheth them, [the rulers] question it on the mysteries of the destiny; and if it hath not found them, they question their destiny. And those rulers chastize that soul according to the sins of which it is guilty. I will tell you the type of their chastisements at the expansion of the universe.

How a sinful soul is brought back to birth.

"When, therefore, the time of the chastisements of that soul in the judgments of the rulers of the midst shall be completed, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth the soul up out of all the regions of the rulers of the midst and bringeth it before the light of the sun according to the commandment of the First Man, Yew, and bringeth it before the judge, the Virgin of Light. And she proveth that soul and findeth that it is a sinning soul, and ceaseth her light-power into it for its standing-upright and because of the body and the community of sense, -- the type of which I will tell you at the expansion of the universe. And the Virgin of Light sealeth that soul and handeth it over to one of her receivers and will have it cast into a body which is suitable to the sins which it hath committed.

"And amēn, I say unto you: They will not discharge that soul from the changes of the body until it hath yielded its last circuit according to its merit. Of all these then will I tell you their type and the type of the bodies into which it will be cast according to the sins of each soul. All this will I tell you when I shall have told you the expansion of the universe."

CHAPTER 112

Of the ascension after death of the good soul that hath received the mysteries.


Jesus continued again in the discourse and said: "If on the contrary it is a soul which hath not hearkened unto the counterfeiting spirit in all its works, but hath become good and hath received the mysteries of the Light which are in the second space or even those which are in the third space which is within, when the time [of the coming-forth] of that soul out of the body is completed, then the counterfeiting spirit followeth that soul, it and the destiny; and it followeth it on the way on which it will go above.

"And before it removeth itself above, it uttereth the mystery of the undoing of the seals and all the bonds of the counterfeiting spirit with which the rulers have bound it to the soul; and when it is uttered, the bonds of the counterfeiting spirit undo themselves, and it ceaseth to come into that soul and releaseth the soul according to the commandments which the rulers of the great Fate have commanded it, saying: 'Release not this soul until it tell thee the mystery of the undoing of all the seals with which we have bound thee to the soul.'

"If then the soul shall have uttered the mystery of the undoing of the seals and of all the bonds of the counterfeiting spirit, and if it ceaseth to come into the soul and ceaseth to be bound to it, then it uttereth in that moment a mystery and releaseth the destiny to its region to the rulers who are on the way of the midst. And it uttereth the mystery and releaseth the counterfeiting spirit to the rulers of the Fate to the region in which it was bound to it.

"And in that moment it becometh a great light-stream, shining exceedingly, and the retributive receivers who have led it forth out of the body, are afraid of the light of that soul and fall on their faces. And in that moment that soul becometh a great light-stream, it becometh entirely wings of light, and penetrateth all the regions of the rulers and all the orders of the Light, until it reacheth the region of its kingdom up to which it hath received mysteries.

Of the state after death of one who hath received the mysteries, and yet hath transgressed.

"If on the other hand it is a soul which hath received mysteries in the first space which is without, and if after it hath received the mysteries it hath accomplished them, it [then] turneth and committeth sin after the accomplishing of the mysteries, and if the time of the coming-forth of that soul is completed, then the retributive receivers come to lead that soul out of the body.

"And the destiny and the counterfeiting spirit follow that soul. Because the counterfeiting spirit is bound to it with the seals and the bonds of the rulers, it followeth thus that soul which travelleth on the ways with the counterfeiting spirit.

"It uttereth the mystery of the undoing of all the bonds and all the seals with which the rulers have bound the counterfeiting spirit to the soul. And when the soul uttereth the mystery of the undoing of the seals, straightway the bonds of the seals which are bound in the counterfeiting spirit to the soul undo themselves. And when the soul uttereth the mystery of the undoing of the seals, straightway the counterfeiting spirit undoeth itself and ceaseth to be assigned to the soul. And in that moment the soul uttereth a mystery and restraineth the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny and dischargeth them which follow it. But no one of them is in its power; but it is in their power.

"And in that moment the receivers of that soul come with the mysteries which it hath received, come and snatch that soul out of the hands of the retributive receivers, and the [latter] receivers go back to the works of the rulers for the purpose of the economy of the leading-forth of the souls.

"And the receivers of that soul on the other hand who belong to the Light, become wings of light for that soul and become vestures of light for it and they do not lead it into the chaos, because it is not lawful to lead into the chaos souls which have received mysteries, but they lead it on the way of the rulers of the midst. And when it reacheth the rulers of the midst, those rulers meet the soul, they being in great fear and violent fire and with different faces, in a word in great immeasurable fear.

The apology of the rulers of the ways of the midst.

"And in that moment the soul uttereth the mystery of their apology. And they are exceedingly afraid and fall on their faces, being in fear of the mystery which it hath uttered, and of their apology. And that soul surrendereth their destiny, saying unto them: Take your destiny! I come not to your regions from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you for ever, being about to go unto the region of my inheritance.

The apology of the rulers of the Fate.

"And when the soul shall have said this, the receivers of the Light fly with it on high and lead it into the æons of the Fate, it giving every region its apology and its seals, -- which I will tell you at the expansion of the universe. And it giveth the counterfeiting spirit to the rulers and telleth them the mystery of the bonds with which it is bound to it, and sayeth unto them: There have ye your counterfeiting spirit! I come not to your region from this moment onwards. I have become a stranger unto you for ever. And it giveth every one his seal and his apology.

Of the ascension of that soul into the Inheritance.

"And when the soul shall have said this, the receivers of the Light fly with it on high and lead it out of the æons of the Fate and lead it up into all the æons [above], it giving to every region its apology and the apology of all the regions and the seals to the tyrants of the king, the Adamas. And it giveth the apology of all the rulers of all the regions of the Left, -- whose collective apologies and seals I will one day tell you when I shall tell you the expansion of the universe.

"And moreover those receivers lead that soul to the Virgin of Light and that soul giveth the Virgin of Light the seals and the glory of the songs of praise. And the Virgin of Light and also the seven other virgins of the Light together prove that soul and find together their signs in it and their seals and their baptisms and their chrism. And the Virgin of Light sealeth that soul and the receivers of the Light baptize that soul and give it the spiritual chrism; and every one of the virgins of the Light sealeth it with her seals.

"And moreover the receivers of the Light hand it over to the great Sabaōth, the Good, who is at the gate of the Life in the region of those of the Right, who is called 'Father.' And that soul giveth him the glory of his songs of praise and his seals and his apologies. And Sabaōth, the Great and Good, sealeth it with his seals. And the soul giveth its science and the glory of the songs of praise and the seals to the whole region of those of the Right. They all seal it with their seals; and Melchisedec, the great Receiver of the Light who is in the region of those of the Right, sealeth that soul and all the receivers of Melchisedec seal that soul and lead it into the Treasury of the Light.

"And it giveth the glory and the honour and the laud of the songs of praise and all the seals of all the regions of the Light. And all those of the region of the Treasury of the Light seal it with their seals and it goeth unto the region of the Inheritance."
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

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CHAPTER 113

When then the Saviour had said this unto his disciples he said unto them: "Understand ye in what manner I discourse with you?"

Mary interpreteth from former sayings.

And Mary again started forward and said: "Yea, my Lord, I understand in what manner thou dost discourse with me, and I will comprehend them all [sc. thy words]. Now, therefore, concerning these words which thou sayest, my mind hath brought forward four thoughts in me and my light-man hath led me and exulted and seethed, desiring to come forth out of me and enter into thee. Now, therefore, my Lord, hearken that I may tell thee the four thoughts which have arisen in me.

The piece of money which was brought unto Jesus.

"The first thought hath arisen in me concerning the word which thou hast spoken: 'Now, therefore, the soul giveth the apology and seal unto all the rulers who are in the region of the king, the Adamas, and giveth the apology and the honour and the glory of all their seals and the songs of praise to the region of the Light,' -- concerning this word then thou hast spoken unto us aforetime, when they brought thee the piece of money and thou didst see that it was of silver and copper and didst ask: 'Whose is this image?' They said: 'The king's.' And when thou sawest that it was of silver and copper mixed, thou saidst: 'Give therefore the king's unto the king and God's unto God,' -- that is: If the soul receiveth mysteries, it giveth the apology to all the rulers and to the region of the king, the Adamas; and the soul giveth the honour and the glory to all those of the region of the Light. And the word: 'It hath glistened, when thou didst see that it is made up of silver and copper,' -- it is the type thereof, that in it [sc. the soul] is the power of the Light, which is the refined silver, and that in it is the counterfeiting spirit, which is the material copper. This, my Lord, is the first thought.

A saying of Paul.

"The second thought is on the other hand that which thou hast just said unto us concerning the soul which receiveth the mysteries: 'If it cometh into the region of the rulers of the way of the midst, they come forth to meet it in exceedingly great fear and they are afraid of it. And the soul giveth the mystery of the fear unto them and they are afraid before it. And it giveth the destiny to its region, and it giveth the counterfeiting spirit to its own region, and it giveth the apology and the seals to every one of the rulers who are on the ways, and it giveth the honour and the glory and the laud of the seals and the songs of praise to all those of the region of the Light,' -- concerning this word, my Lord, thou hast spoken aforetime through the mouth of our brother Paul: 'Give tax to whom tax is due, give fear to whom fear is due, give tribute to whom tribute is due, give honour to whom honour is due, and give laud to whom laud is due, and owe not any other anything,' -- that is, my Lord: The soul which receiveth mysteries, giveth apology to all regions. This, my Lord, is the second thought.

The foes of one's own house.

"The third thought on the other hand concerning the word which thou hast aforetime spoken unto us: 'The counterfeiting spirit is hostile to the soul, making it do all sins and all mischiefs, and it transferreth it in the chastisements because of all the sins which it hath made it commit; in a word, it is hostile to the soul in every way,' -- concerning this word, therefore, thou hast said unto us aforetime: 'The foes of the man are the dwellers in his house,' -- that is: The dwellers in the house of the soul are the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny, which are hostile to the soul the whole time, making it commit all sin and all iniquities. Lo this, my Lord, is the third thought.

A former saying concerning rebirth.

"The fourth thought on the other hand concerning the word which thou hast said: 'If the soul goeth forth out of the body and travelleth on the way with the counterfeiting spirit, and if it hath not found the mystery of the undoing of all the bonds and the seals which are bound to the counterfeiting spirit, so that it may cease to haunt or be assigned to it, -- if it then hath not found it, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth the soul to the Virgin of Light, the judge; and the judge, the Virgin of Light, proveth the soul and findeth that it hath sinned and, as she also hath not found the mysteries of the Light with it, she handeth it over to one of her receivers, and her receiver leadeth it and casteth it into the body, and it cometh not out of the changes of the body before it hath yielded its last circuit,' -- concerning this word, then, my Lord, thou hast said unto us aforetime: 'Be reconciled with thy foe as long as thou art on the way with him, lest perchance thy foe hand thee over to the judge and the judge hand thee over to the servant and the servant cast thee into prison, and thou shalt not come forth out of that region till thou hast yielded the last farthing.'

"Because of this manifestly is thy word: Every soul which cometh forth out of the body and travelleth on the way with the counterfeiting spirit and findeth not the mystery of the undoing of all the seals and all the bonds, so that it may undo itself from the counterfeiting spirit which is bound to it, -- that soul which hath not found mysteries of the Light and hath not found the mysteries of detachment from the counterfeiting spirit which is bound to it, -- if then it hath not found it, the counterfeiting spirit leadeth that soul to the Virgin of Light, and the Virgin of Light, yea that judge, handeth over that soul to one of her receivers, and her receiver casteth it into the sphere of the æons, and it cometh not out of the changes of the body before it hath yielded the last circuit which is appointed for it. This then, my Lord, is the fourth thought."

CHAPTER 114

It came to pass then, when Jesus had heard Mary say these words, that he said: "Well said, all-blessed Mary, spiritual [one]. These are the solutions of the words which I have spoken."

Mary continueth to question Jesus.

Mary answered and said: "Still, my Lord, do I question thee, because from now on I will begin to question thee on all things with sureness. For this cause, therefore, my Lord, be patient with us and reveal unto us all things on which we shall question thee for the sake of the manner, how my brethren are to herald it to the whole race of men."

And when she had said this to the Saviour, the Saviour answered and said unto her in great compassion towards her: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Not only will I reveal unto you all things on which ye shall question me, but from now on I will reveal unto you other things on which ye have not thought to question, which have not entered into the heart of man, and which also all the gods, who are below man, know not. Now, therefore, Mary, question on what thou mayest question, and I will reveal it unto thee face to face without similitude."

CHAPTER 115

And Mary answered and said: "My Lord, in what type then do the baptisms forgive sins? I heard thee say: 'The retributive servitors follow the soul, being witnesses to it for all the sins which it committeth, that they may convict it in the judgments.' Now, therefore, my Lord, do the mysteries of the baptisms wipe out the sins which are in the hands of the retributive servitors, so that they forget them? Now, therefore, my Lord, tell unto us the type, how they forgive sins; nay, we desire to know it with sureness."

Of the retributive servitors.

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Finely hast thou spoken. The servitors indeed are they who bear witness to all sins; but they abide in the judgments, seizing the souls and convicting all the souls of sinners who have received no mysteries; and they keep them fast in the chaos, chastizing them. And those retributive receivers cannot overstep the chaos to reach to the orders which are above the chaos, and convict the souls which come forth out of those regions. Now then it is not lawful to use force on the souls which receive mysteries, and lead them into the chaos, so that the retributive servitors may convict them. But the retributive servitors convict the souls of the sinners and they keep fast those who have received no mysteries which may lead them out of the chaos. The souls on the other hand which receive mysteries, -- they have no power of convicting them, because they do not come forth out of their regions, and also, if they come forth into their regions, they are not able to obstruct them; nay, they cannot lead them into that chaos.

How the soul of the sinner is stamped with his sins.

"Hearken moreover that I may tell you the word in truth, in what type the mystery of baptism forgiveth sins. Now, therefore, if the souls sin when they are still in the world, the retributive servitors indeed come and are witnesses of all the sins which the soul committeth, lest in sooth they should come forth out of the regions of the chaos, in order that they may convict them in the judgments which are outside the chaos. And the counterfeiting spirit becometh witness of all the sins which the soul shall commit, in order that it may convict it in the judgments which are outside the chaos, not only that it may bear witness of them, but -- all the sins of the souls -- it sealeth the sins and maketh them fast on to the soul, in order that all the rulers of the chastisements of the sinners may recognize it, that it is a sinning soul, and that they may know of the number of sins which it hath committed, by the seals which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to it, so that it shall be chastized according to the number of sins which it hath committed. This do they with all sinning souls.

How the baptisms purify sins.

The separation of the portions by the mystery of baptism.


"Now, therefore, he who shall receive the mysteries of the baptisms, then the mystery of them becometh a great, exceedingly violent, wise fire and it burneth up the sins and entereth into the soul secretly and consumeth all the sins which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to it. And when it hath finished purifying all the sins which the counterfeiting spirit hath made fast on to the soul, it entereth into the body secretly and pursueth all the pursuers secretly and separateth them off on the side of the portion of the body. For it pursueth the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny and separateth them off from the power and from the soul and putteth them on the side of the body, so that it separateth off the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny and the body into one portion; the soul and power on the other hand it separateth into another. The mystery of baptism on the contrary remaineth in the midst of the two, continually separating them from one another, so that it maketh them clean and purifieth them, in order that they may not be stained by matter.

"Now, therefore, Mary, this is the way in which the mysteries of the baptisms forgive sins and all iniquities."

CHAPTER 116

When then the Saviour had said this, he said unto his disciples: "Understand ye in what manner I discourse with you?"

Mary interpreteth the same from a former saying.

Then Mary started forward and said: "Yea, my Lord, in truth I enquire closely into all the words which thou sayest. Concerning the word then of the forgiveness of sins thou hast spoken unto us in similitude aforetime, saying: 'I am come to cast fire on the earth,' and again: 'What will I that it burn?' And again thou hast distinguished it clearly, saying: 'I have a baptism, to baptize in it; and how shall I endure until it is accomplished? Think ye I am come to cast peace on the earth? Nay, but I am come to cast division. For from now on five will be in one house; three will be divided against two, and two against three.' This, my Lord, is the word which thou hast spoken clearly.

"The word indeed which thou hast spoken: 'I am come to cast fire on the earth, and what will I that it burn?' -- that is, my Lord: Thou hast brought the mysteries of the baptisms into the world, and thy pleasure is that they should consume all the sins of the soul and purify them. And thereafter again thou hast distinguished it clearly, saying: 'I have a baptism, to baptize in it; and how shall I endure until it is accomplished?' -- that is: Thou wilt not remain in the world until the baptisms are accomplished and purify the perfect souls.

"And moreover the word which thou hast spoken unto us aforetime: 'Think ye I am come to cast peace on the earth? Nay, but I am come to cast division. For from now on five will be in one house; three will be divided against two, and two against three,' -- that is: Thou hast brought the mystery of the baptisms into the world, and it hath effected a division in the bodies of the world, because it hath separated the counterfeiting spirit and the body and the destiny into one portion; the soul and the power on the other hand it hath separated into another portion; -- that is: Three will be against two, and two against three."

And when Mary had said this, the Saviour said: "Well said, thou spiritual and light-pure Mary. This is the solution of the word."

CHAPTER 117

Mary further questioneth Jesus.


Mary answered again and said: "My Lord, I will still continue to question thee. Now, therefore, my Lord, bear with me questioning thee. Lo, in openness have we known the type in which the baptisms forgive sins. Now on the other hand the mystery of these three spaces and the mysteries of this First Mystery and the mysteries of the Ineffable, in what type do they forgive sins? Do they forgive in the type of the baptisms, or not?"

Of the forgiveness of sins according to the higher mysteries.

The Saviour answered again and said: "Nay, but all the mysteries of the three spaces forgive the soul in all the regions of the rulers all the sine which the soul hath committed from the beginning onwards. They forgive it, and moreover they forgive the sins which it thereafter will commit, until the time up to which every one of the mysteries shall be effective, -- the time up to which every one of the mysteries shall be effective I will tell you at the expansion of the universe.

"And moreover the mystery of the First Mystery and the mysteries of the Ineffable forgive the soul in all the regions of the rulers all the sins and all the iniquities which the soul hath committed; and [not only] do they forgive it all, but they impute unto it no sin from this hour unto all eternity, because of the gift of that great mystery and its prodigiously great glory."

CHAPTER 118

When then the Saviour had said this, he said unto his disciples: "Understand ye in what manner I speak with you?"

Mary interpreteth the same from Psalm xxxi.

And Mary answered again and said: "Yea, my Lord, already have I seized on all the words which thou sayest. Now, therefore, my Lord, concerning the word which thou sayest: 'All the mysteries of the three spaces forgive sins and cover their [sc. the souls'] iniquities,' -- David, the prophet, then hath prophesied aforetime concerning this word, saying: 'Blessed are they whose sins are forgiven and whose iniquities are covered.'

"And the word which thou hast spoken: 'The mystery of the First Mystery and the mystery of the Ineffable forgive all men who shall receive those mysteries, not only the sins which they have committed from the beginning onwards, but also they impute them not to them from this hour unto all eternity,' -- concerning this word David hath prophesied aforetime, saying: 'Blessed are those to whom the Lord God will not impute sins,' -- that is: Sins will not be imputed from this hour to those who have received the mysteries of the First Mystery and who have received the mystery of the Ineffable."

He said: "Well said, Mary, thou spiritual and light-pure Mary. This is the solution of the word."

And Mary continued again and said: "My Lord, if the man receiveth mysteries from the mysteries of the First Mystery and again turneth and sinneth and transgresseth, and if he thereafter again turneth and repenteth and prayeth in any [mystery] of his mystery, will it be forgiven him, or not?"

Of forgiveness even unto twelve times of those who have received the mysteries of the First Mystery.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Every one who shall receive the mysteries of the First Mystery, if he again turneth and transgresseth twelve times and again twelve times repenteth, praying in the mystery of the First Mystery, it will be forgiven.

"But if after the twelve times he again transgresseth and turneth and transgresseth, it will not be forgiven him for ever, so that he should turn himself to any [mystery] of his mystery; and this [man] hath not repentance unless he receiveth the mysteries of the Ineffable, which have compassion at every time and forgive at every time."

CHAPTER 119

Mary continued again and said: "My Lord, but if on the other hand they who have received the mysteries of the First Mystery, turn and transgress, and if they come out of the body before they have repented, will they inherit the kingdom or not, because indeed they have received the gift of the First Mystery?"

Of such initiated who sin and die without repentance.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Every man who hath received mysteries in the First Mystery, having transgressed for the first and the second and the third time, and if he cometh out of the body before he hath repented, his judgment is far sorer than all the judgments; for his dwelling is in the midst of the jaws of the dragon of the outer darkness, and at the end of all this he will be frozen up [?] in the chastisements and perish for ever, because he hath received the gift of the First Mystery and hath not abided in it [sc. the gift].

Of the unending forgiveness of those who have received the mystery of the Ineffable.

Mary answered and said: "My Lord, all men who shall receive the mysteries of the mystery of the Ineffable, and have turned again, have transgressed and have ceased in their faith, and again thereafter, when they are still in life, have turned and have repented, how many times will it be forgiven them?"

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: To every man who shall receive the mysteries of the Ineffable, not only if he transgresseth once, turneth again and repenteth, will it be forgiven, but if at any time he transgresseth, and if, when still in life, he turneth again and repenteth, without play-acting, and again if he turneth and repenteth and prayeth in any of his mysteries, then will it be forgiven him, because he hath received of the gift of the mysteries of the Ineffable, and moreover because those mysteries are compassionate and forgive at every time."

And Mary answered again and said unto Jesus: "My Lord, those who shall receive the mysteries of the Ineffable, and have again turned, have transgressed and have ceased in their faith and are moreover come out of the body before they have repented, what will befall such?"

Of such initiated who sin and die without repentance.

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: All men who shall receive the mysteries of the Ineffable, blessed indeed are the souls which shall receive of those mysteries; but if they turn and transgress and come out of the body before they have repented, the judgment of those men is sorer than all the judgments, and it is exceedingly violent, even if those souls are new and it is their first time for coming into the world. They will not return to the changes of the bodies from that hour onwards and will not be able to do anything, but they will be cast out into the outer darkness and perish and be non-existent for ever."

CHAPTER 120

And when the Saviour had said this, he said unto his disciples: "Understand ye in what manner I speak with you?"

Mary interpreteth the same from a former saying.

Mary answered and said: "I have seized on the words which thou hast said. Now, therefore, my Lord, this is the word which thou hast said: 'They who shall receive the mysteries of the Ineffable, -- blessed indeed are those souls; but if they turn, transgress, and cease in their faith, and if they go forth out of the body without having repented, they are no more fit from this hour onwards to return to the changes of the body, nor for anything at all, but they are cast out into the outer darkness, they will perish in that region and be non-existent for ever,' -- concerning [this] word thou hast spoken unto us aforetime, saying: 'Salt is good; but if the salt becometh sterile, with what are they to salt it? It is fit neither for the dunghill nor for the earth; but they throw it away,' -- that is: Blessed are all the souls which shall receive of the mysteries of the Ineffable; but if they once transgress, they are not fit to return to the body henceforth from this hour onwards nor for anything at all, but they are cast into the outer darkness and perish in that region."

And when she had said this, the Saviour said: "Well said, thou spiritual light-pure Mary. This is the solution of the word."

And Mary continued again and said: "My Lord, all men who have received the mysteries of the First Mystery and the mysteries of the Ineffable, those who have not transgressed, but whose faith in the mysteries was in sincerity, without play-acting, -- they then have again sinned through the compulsion of the Fate and have again turned and repented and again prayed in any of the mysteries, how often will it be forgiven them?"

Of the unending compassion of the great mysteries for the repentant.

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary in the midst of his disciples: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: All men who shall receive the mysteries of the Ineffable and moreover the mysteries of the First Mystery, sin every time through the compulsion of the Fate, and if they, when they are still in life, turn and repent and abide in any of their mysteries, it will be forgiven them at every time, because those mysteries are compassionate and forgiving for all time. For this cause then have I said unto you before: Those mysteries will not only forgive them their sins which they have committed from the beginning onwards, but they do not impute them to them from this hour onwards, -- of which I have said unto you that they receive repentance at any time, and that they also will forgive the sins which they commit anew.

Of the unrepentant.

"If on the other hand those who shall receive mysteries of the mystery of the Ineffable and of the mysteries of the First Mystery, turn and sin and come out of the body without having repented, then they will be even as those will be who have transgressed and not repented. Their dwelling also is in the midst of the jaws of the dragon of the outer darkness and they will perish and be non-existent for ever. For this cause have I said unto you: All men who shall receive the mysteries, if they knew the time when they come out of the body, would watch themselves and not sin, in order that they may inherit the Light-kingdom for ever."

CHAPTER 121

When then the Saviour had said this unto his disciples, he said unto them: "Understand ye in what manner I speak with you?"

Mary interpreteth from a former saying.

Mary answered and said: "Yea, my Lord, with precision have I precisely followed all the words which thou hast said. Concerning this word then thou hast spoken unto us aforetime: 'If the house-holder knew at what hour in the night the thief cometh to break into the house, he would keep awake and not suffer the man to break into his house.'"

When then Mary had said this, the Saviour said: "Well said, thou spiritual Mary. This is the word."

The Saviour continued again and said unto his disciples: "Now, therefore, herald ye unto all men who shall receive mysteries in the Light, and speak unto them, saying: Keep watch over yourselves and sin not, lest ye heap evil on evil and go out of the body without having repented and become strangers to the Light-kingdom for ever."

When the Saviour had said this, Mary answered and said: "My Lord, great is the compassion of those mysteries which forgive sins at every time."

If even men on earth are compassionate, how much more then the highest mysteries?

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary in the midst of the disciples: "If to-day a king who is a man of the world, giveth a gift to men of his like, and also forgiveth murderers and those who have intercourse with males, and the rest of the very grievous sins which are deserving of death, -- if it becometh him who is a man of the world, to have done this, much more then have the Ineffable and the First Mystery, who are the lords of the universe, the authority to act in all things as it pleaseth them, that they forgive every one who shall receive mysteries.

"Or if on the other hand a king to-day investeth a soldier with a royal vesture and sendeth him into foreign regions, and he committeth murders and other grievous sins which are deserving of death, then they will not impute them to him, and are not able to do him any evil because he is invested with the royal vesture, -- how much more then those who wear the mysteries of the vestures of the Ineffable and those of the First Mystery, who are lords over all those of the height and all those of the depth!"

CHAPTER 122

Jesus trieth Peter.


Thereafter Jesus saw a woman who came to make repentance. He had baptized her three times, and yet she had not done what was worthy of the baptisms. And the Saviour desired to try Peter, to see if he was compassionate and forgiving, as he had commanded them. He said unto Peter: "Lo, three times have I baptized this soul, and yet at this third time she hath not done what is worthy of the mysteries of the Light. Wherefor then cloth she make her body good for nothing? Now, therefore, Peter, perform the mystery which cutteth off the souls from the inheritances of the Light; perform that mystery in order that it may cut off the soul of this woman from the Inheritance of the Light."

When then the Saviour had said this, he tried [Peter] to see whether he was compassionate and forgiving.

When then the Saviour had said this, Peter said: "My Lord, let her yet this time, that we may give her the higher mysteries; and if she is fit, then hast thou let her inherit the Light-kingdom, but if she is not fit, then hast thou [to] cut her off from the Light-kingdom."

When then Peter had said this, the Saviour knew that Peter was compassionate as he and forgiving.

When then all this was said, the Saviour said unto his disciples: "Have ye understood all these words and the type of this woman?"

Mary interpreteth the incident from a former saying.

Mary answered and said: "My Lord, I have understood the mysteries of the things which have fallen to this woman's lot. Concerning the things then which have fallen to her lot, thou hast spoken unto us aforetime in similitude, saying: 'A man owned a fig-tree in his vineyard; and he came to look for its fruit, and he found not a single one on it. He said to the vine-dresser: Lo, three years do I come to look for fruit on this fig-tree, and I have not any produce at all from it. Cut it down then; why doth it make the ground also good for nothing? But he answered and said unto him: My lord, have patience with it still this year, until I dig round it and give it dung; and if it beareth in another year, thou hast let it, but if thou dost not find any [fruit] at all, then hast thou [to] cut it down.' Lo, my Lord, this is the solution of the word."

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Well said, spiritual [one]. This is [the solution of] the word."

CHAPTER 123

Mary continued again and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, a man who hath received mysteries and hath not done what is worthy of them, but he hath turned and hath sinned, thereafter he hath again repented and hath been in great repentance, -- is it then lawful for my brethren to renew for him the mystery which he hath received, or rather give him a mystery out of the lower mysteries, -- is it lawful, or not?"

In the case of repentance only higher mysteries than those previously received can remit sins.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Neither the mystery which he hath received, nor the lower hearken unto him, to forgive his sins; but it is the mysteries which are higher than those which he hath received, which hearken unto him and forgive his sins. Now, therefore, Mary, let thy brethren give him the mystery which is higher than that which he hath received, and they are to accept his repentance from him and forgive his sins, -- the latter indeed, because he hath received it once more, and the former, because he hath towered over them [the lower mysteries] upward, -- the latter indeed hearkeneth not unto him to forgive his sin; but it is the mystery which is higher than that which he hath received, that forgiveth his sins. But if on the other hand he hath received the three mysteries in the two spaces or in the third from within, and he hath turned and transgressed, no mystery hearkeneth unto him to help him in his repentance, neither the higher nor the lower, save the mystery of the First Mystery and the mysteries of the Ineffable, -- it is they which hearken unto him and accept his repentance from him."

Mary answered and said: "My Lord, a man who hath received mysteries up to two or three in the second or third space, and he hath not transgressed, but is still in his faith in uprightness and without play-acting, [what will befall him]?"

There is no limit to the number of mysteries the faithful may receive.

And the Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Every man who hath received mysteries in the second and in the third space, and hath not transgressed, but is still in his faith without play-acting, it is lawful for such an one to receive mysteries in the space which pleaseth him, from the first to the last, because they have not transgressed."

CHAPTER 124

Mary continued again and said: "My Lord, a man who hath known the godhead and hath received of the mysteries of the Light, and hath turned and transgressed and done lawlessly and hath not turned to repent, and a man on the other hand who hath not found the godhead nor known it, and that man is a sinner and moreover impious, and they both have come out of the body, -- which of them will get more suffering in the judgments?"

The fate of the gnostic who sinneth is more terrible than that of the ignorant sinner.

The Saviour answered again and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto thee: The man who hath known the godhead and hath received the mysteries of the Light, and sinned and hath not turned to repent, he will get suffering in the chastisements of the judgments in great sufferings and judgments exceedingly far more in comparison with the impious and law-breaking man who hath not known the godhead. Now, therefore, who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Mary interpreteth the same from a former saying.

When then the Saviour had said this, Mary started forward and said: "My Lord, my light-man hath ears, and I have understood the whole word which thou hast spoken. Concerning this word then thou hast spoken unto us in a similitude: 'The slave who knew the will of his lord and made not ready nor did the will of his lord, will receive great blows; but he who knew not and did not, will be deserving of less. For from every one to whom more is entrusted, of him will more be demanded, and to whom much is handed over, of him much is required,' -- that is, my Lord: He who knew the godhead and hath found the mysteries of the Light and hath transgressed, will be chastized in a far greater chastisement than he who hath not known the godhead. This, my Lord, is the solution of the word."

CHAPTER 125

Mary continued again and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, if the faith and the mysteries shall have revealed themselves, -- now, therefore, if souls come into the world in many circuits and are neglectful of receiving mysteries, hoping that, if they come into the world at any other circuit, they will receive them, will they not then be in danger of not succeeding in receiving the mysteries?"

Of those who procrastinate, saying they have many births before them.

The Saviour answered and said unto his disciples: "Herald unto the whole world and say unto men: Strive thereafter that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light in this time of affliction and enter into the Light-kingdom. Join not one day to another, or one circuit to another, hoping that ye may succeed in receiving the mysteries if ye come into the world in another circuit.

"And these know not when the number of the perfect souls will be at hand; for if the number of the perfect souls shall be at hand, I will now shut the gates of the Light, and no one from this hour onwards will enter in, nor will any one hereafter go forth, for the number of the perfect souls is completed and the mystery of the First Mystery is completed, for the sake of which the universe hath arisen, -- that is: I am that Mystery.

Of the time of the completion.

"And from this hour onwards no one will be able to enter into the Light and no one be able to go forth. For at the completion of the time of the number of the perfect souls, before I have set fire to the world, in order that it may purify the æons and the veils and the firmaments and the whole earth and also all the matters which are on it, mankind will be still existing.

Those who procrastinate are excluded from the Light.

"At that time then the faith will reveal itself still more and the mysteries in those days. And many souls will come by means of the circuits of the changes of the body, and coming back into the world are some of those in this present time who have hearkened unto me, how I taught, who at the completion of the number of the perfect souls will find the mysteries of the Light and receive them and come to the gates of the Light and find that the number of the perfect souls is complete, which is the completion of the First Mystery and the gnosis of the universe. And they will find that I have shut the gates of the Light and that it is impossible that any one should enter in or that any one should go forth from this hour.

Their entreaties at the gates of Light.

"Those souls then will knock at the gates of the Light, saying: Lord, open unto us! And I will answer unto them: I know you not, whence ye are. And they will say unto me: We have received of thy mysteries and fulfilled thy whole teaching and thou hast taught us on the high ways. And I will answer and say unto them: I know you not, who ye are, ye who are doers of iniquity and of evil even unto now. Wherefor go into the outer darkness. And from that hour they will go into the outer darkness, there where is howling and grinding of teeth.

"For this cause then, herald unto the whole world and say unto them: 'Strive thereafter, to renounce the whole world and the whole matter therein, that ye may receive the mysteries of the Light before the number of the perfect souls is completed, in order that they may not make you stop before the gates of the Light and lead you away into the outer darkness.'

"Now, therefore, who hath ears to hear, let him hear."

Mary interpreteth the same.

When then the Saviour had said this, Mary started forward again and said: "My Lord, not only hath my light-man ears, but my soul hath heard and understood all the words which thou sayest. Now, therefore, my Lord, concerning the words which thou hast spoken: 'Herald unto the men of the world and say unto them: Strive thereafter, to receive the mysteries of the Light, in this time of affliction, that ye may inherit the Light-kingdom. . . .

A CONSIDERABLE LACUNA HERE OCCURS IN THE TEXT.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

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A FOURTH BOOK

CHAPTER 126


AND Mary continued again and said unto Jesus: "In what type is the outer darkness; or rather how many regions of chastisement are there in it?"

Of the dragon of the outer darkness.

And Jesus answered and said unto Mary: "The outer darkness is a great dragon, whose tail is in his mouth, outside the whole world and surrounding the whole world. And there are many regions of chastisement within it. There are twelve mighty chastisement-dungeons and a ruler is in every dungeon and the face of the rulers is different one from another.

Of the rulers of the twelve dungeons and their names.

"And the first ruler, who is in the first dungeon, hath a crocodile's face, whose tail is in his mouth. And out of the jaws of the dragon cometh all ice and all dust and all cold and all different diseases. This [is] he who is called with his authentic name in his region 'Enchthonin.'

"And the ruler who is in the second dungeon, -- a cat's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region 'Charachar.'

"And the ruler who is in the third dungeon, -- a dog's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region 'Archarōch.'

"And the ruler who is in the fourth dungeon, -- a serpent's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region 'Achrōchar.'

"And the ruler who is in the fifth dungeon, -- a black bull's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region 'Marchūr.'

"And the ruler who is in the sixth dungeon, -- a wild boar's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region 'Lamchamōr.'

"And the ruler who is in the seventh dungeon, -- a bear's face is his authentic face. This [is] he who is called in his region with his authentic name 'Luchar.'
"And the ruler of the eighth dungeon, -- a vulture's face is his authentic face, whose name in his region is called 'Laraōch.'

"And the ruler of the ninth dungeon, -- a basilisk's face is his authentic face, whose name in his region is called 'Archeōch.'

"And in the tenth dungeon is a multitude of rulers, and every one of them hath seven dragon's heads in his authentic face. And he who is over them all is in his region with his name called Xarmarōch.'

"And in the eleventh dungeon is a multitude of rulers, -- and every one of them hath seven cat-faced heads in his authentic face. And the great one over them is called in his region Rōchar.'

"And in the twelfth dungeon is an exceedingly great multitude of rulers, and every one of them hath seven dog-faced heads in his authentic face. And the great one over them is called in his region 'Chrēmaōr.'

Of the doors of the dungeons.

The angels who watch the doors.


"These rulers then of these twelve dungeons are inside the dragon of the outer darkness, each and every one of them hath a name every hour, and every one of them changeth his face every hour. And moreover every one of these dungeons hath a door opening upwards, so that the dragon of the outer darkness hath twelve dark dungeons, and every dungeon hath a door opening upwards. And an angel of the height watcheth each of the doors of the dungeons, -- whom Yew, the First Man, the overseer of the Light, the envoy of the First Commandment, hath established as watchers of the dragon, so that the dragon and the rulers of his dungeons which are in him, may not mutiny."

CHAPTER 127

When the Saviour had said this, Mary Magdalene answered and said: "My Lord, will then the souls which shall be led into that region, be led through these twelve doors of the dungeons, every one according to the judgment of which it is deserving?"

What souls pass into the dragon, and how.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "No soul at all will be led into the dragon through these doors. But the soul[s] of the blasphemers and of those who are in the doctrines of error and of all who teach doctrines of error, and of those who have intercourse with males, and of those stained and impious men and of atheists and murderers and adulterers and sorcerers, -- all such souls then, if while still in life they do not repent but remain persistently in their sin, and all the souls which have stayed behind without, that is those which have had the number of the circuits which are appointed them in the sphere, without having repented, -- well, at their last circuit will those souls, they and all the souls of which I have just told you, be led out of [?] the jaws of the tail of the dragon into the dungeons of the outer darkness. And when those souls of the doors of the dungeons have been led into the outer darkness into the jaws of his tail, he turneth his tail into his own mouth and shutteth them in. Thus will the souls be led into the outer darkness.

The nature of the names of the dragon.

"And the dragon of the outer darkness hath twelve authentic names on his doors, a name on every one of the doors of the dungeons. And these twelve names are different one from another; but the twelve are one in the other, so that he who speaketh one name, speaketh all. These then will I tell you at the expansion of the universe. Thus then is fashioned the outer darkness, -- that is the dragon."

When then the Saviour had said this, Mary answered and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, are then the chastisements of that dragon far more terrible compared with all the chastisements of the judgments?"

Of the severity of the chastisements of the dragon.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Not only are they more painful compared with all the chastisements of the judgments, but all the souls which are led into that region, will be frozen up [?] in the violent cold and the hail and exceedingly violent fire which is in that region, but also at the dissolution of the world, that is at the ascension of the universe, those souls will perish through the violent cold and the exceedingly violent fire and be non-existent for ever."

Mary answered and said: "Woe unto the souls of sinners! Now, therefore, my Lord, is the fire in the world of mankind fiercer, or the fire in Amente?"

Of the degrees of the fires of the chastisements.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, I say unto thee: The fire in Amente is nine times fiercer than the fire in mankind.

"And the fire in the chastisements of the great chaos is nine times more violent than that in Amente.

"And the fire in the chastisements of the rulers who [are] on the way of the midst, is nine times more violent than the fire of the chastisements in the great chaos.

"And the fire in the dragon of the outer darkness and in all the chastisements in him is seventy times more violent than the fire in all the chastisements and in all the judgments of the rulers who [are] on the way of the midst."

CHAPTER 128

The disciples bewail the fate of sinners.


And when the Saviour had said this unto Mary, she smote her breast, she cried out and wept, she and all the disciples together, and said: "Woe unto sinners, for their chastisements are exceedingly numerous!"

Mary came forward, she fell down at the feet of Jesus, kissed them and said: "My Lord, bear with me if I question thee, and be not wroth with me, that I trouble thee oft; for from now on I will begin to question thee on all things with determination."

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Question concerning all things on which thou desirest to question, and I will reveal them unto thee in openness without similitude."

Mary further questioneth Jesus.

Mary answered and said: "My Lord, if a good man hath accomplished all the mysteries and he hath a kinsman, in a word he hath a man, and that man is an impious [one] who hath committed all sins and is deserving of the outer darkness, and he hath not repented, or he hath completed his number of circuits in the changes of the body, and that man hath done nothing useful, and he hath come out of the body, and we have known certainly of him, that he hath sinned and is deserving of the outer darkness, -- what are we to do with him, to save him from the chastisements of the dragon of the outer darkness, and that he may be removed into a righteous body which shall find the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, in order that it may be good and go on high and inherit the Light-kingdom?"

How to save the souls of sinners.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "If a sinner is deserving of the outer darkness, or hath sinned according to the chastisements of the rest of the chastisements and hath not repented, or a sinning man who hath completed his number of circuits in the changes of the body and hath not repented, -- if then these men of whom I have spoken, shall come out of the body and be led into the outer darkness, now, therefore, if ye desire to remove them out of the chastisements of the outer darkness and all the judgments and to remove them into a righteous body which shall find the mysteries of the Light, that it may go on high and inherit the Light-kingdom, -- then perform this same mystery of the Ineffable which forgiveth sins at every time, and when ye have finished performing the mystery then say:

A summary of the formulæ.

"The soul of such or such a man of whom I think in my heart, -- if it is in the region of the chastisements of the dungeons of the outer darkness, or if it is in the rest of the chastisements of the dungeons of the outer darkness and in the rest of the chastisements of the dragons, -- then is it to be removed out of them all. And if it hath completed its number of its circuits of the changes, then is it to be led before the Virgin of Light, and the Virgin of Light is to seal it with the seal of the Ineffable and cast it down in whatever month into a righteous body which shall find the mysteries of the Light, so that it may be good, go on high and inherit the Light-kingdom. And moreover if it hath completed the circuits of changes, then is that soul to be led before the seven virgins of the Light who [are set] over the baptisms, and they are to apply them to the soul and seal it with the sign of the kingdom of the Ineffable and lead it into the orders of the Light.

"This then will ye say when ye perform the mystery.

"Amēn, I say unto you: The soul for which ye shall pray, if it indeed is in the dragon of the outer darkness, he will draw his tail out of his mouth and let go that soul. And moreover if it is in all the regions of the judgments of the rulers, amēn, I say unto you: The receivers of Melchisedec will with haste snatch it away, whether the dragon let it go or it is in the judgments of the rulers; in a word, the receivers of Melchisedec will snatch it away out of all the regions in which it is, and will lead it into the region of the Midst before the Virgin of Light, and the Virgin of Light proveth it and seeth the sign of the kingdom of the Ineffable which is on that soul.

"And if it hath not yet completed its number of circuits in the changes of the soul, or [in the changes] of the body, the Virgin of Light sealeth it with an excellent seal and hasteth to have it cast down in any month into a righteous body which shall find the mysteries of the Light, be good and go on high into the Light-kingdom.

"And if that soul hath had its number of the circuits, then the Virgin of Light proveth it, and doth not have it chastized, because it hath had its number of circuits, but handeth it over to the seven virgins of the Light. And the seven virgins of the Light prove that soul, baptize it with their baptisms and give it the spiritual chrism and lead it into the Treasury of the Light and put it in the last order of the Light until the ascension of all the perfect souls. And when they prepare to draw apart the veils of the region of those of the Right, they cleanse that soul anew and purify it and put it in the orders of the first saviour who [is] in the Treasury of the Light."

CHAPTER 129

It came to pass then, when the Saviour had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, that Mary answered and said unto Jesus: "My Lord, I have heard thee say: 'He who shall receive of the mysteries of the Ineffable or who shall receive of the mysteries of the First Mystery, -- they become flames of light-beams and light-streams and penetrate all the regions until they reach the region of their inheritance.'"

Of the light beams and light-streams.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "If they receive the mystery when still in life, and if they come out of the body, they become light-beams and light-streams and penetrate all the regions until they reach the region of their inheritance.

"But if they are sinners and are come out of the body and have not repented, and if ye perform for them the mystery of the Ineffable, in order that they may be removed out of all the chastisements and be cast into a righteous body, which is good and inheriteth the Light-kingdom or is brought into the last order of the Light, then they will not be able to penetrate the regions, because they do not perform the mystery [themselves]. But the receivers of Melchisedec follow them and lead them before the Virgin of Light. And the servitors of the judges of the rulers make frequent haste to take those souls and hand them over from one to the other until they lead them before the Virgin of Light."

CHAPTER 130

Mary pleadeth for those who have neglected the mysteries.


And Mary continued and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, if a man hath received the mysteries of the Light which [are] in the first space from without, and when the time of the mysteries up to which they reach, is completed, and if that man continueth anew to receive mysteries of the mysteries which [are] within the mysteries which he hath already received, and moreover that man hath become negligent, not having prayed in the prayer which taketh away the evil of the victuals which he eateth and drinketh, and through the evil of the victuals he is bound to the axle of the Fate of the rulers and through the necessity of the elements he hath sinned anew after the completion of the time up to which the mystery reacheth, -- because he hath become negligent and hath not prayed in the prayer which taketh away the evil of the souls and purifieth them, -- and that man is come out of the body before he hath repented anew and anew received the mysteries of the mysteries which [are] within the mysteries which he hath already received, -- those which accept repentance from him and forgive his sins, -- and when he came forth out of the body and we knew with certainty that they have carried him into the midst of the dragon of the outer darkness because of the sins which he committed, and that that man hath no helper in the world nor any one compassionate, that he should perform the mystery of the Ineffable until he should be removed out of the midst of the dragon of the outer darkness and led into the Light-kingdom, -- now, therefore, my Lord, what will befall him until he save himself from the chastisements of the dragon of the outer darkness? By no means, O Lord, abandon him, because he hath endured sufferings in the persecutions and in the whole godhood in which he is.

"Now, therefore, O Saviour, have mercy with me, lest one of our kinsmen should be in such a type, and have mercy with all the souls which shall be in this type; for thou art the key which openeth the door of the universe and shutteth the door of the universe, and thy mystery comprehendeth them all. Have then mercy, O Lord, with such souls. For they have called on the name of thy mysteries, [were it but] for one single day, and have truly had faith in them and were not in play-acting. Give them then, O Lord, a gift in thy goodness and give them rest in thy mercy."

When then Mary had said this, the Saviour called her most exceedingly blessed because of the words which she had spoken. And the Saviour was in great compassion and said unto Mary: "Unto all men who shall be in this type of which thou hast spoken, unto them while they [are] still in life, give ye the mystery of one of the twelve names of the dungeons of the dragon of the outer darkness, -- those which I will give you when I have ended explaining unto you the universe from within without and from without within.

Of the efficacy of the names of the twelve angels.

"And all men who shall find the mystery of one of the twelve names of that dragon of the outer darkness, and all men even if they are very great sinners, and they have first received the mysteries of the Light and thereafter have transgressed, or they have performed no mystery at all, then if they have completed their circuits in the changes, and if such men go forth out of the body without having repented anew, and if they are led into the chastisements which [are] in the midst of the dragon of the outer darkness, and remain in the circuits and remain in the chastisements in the midst of the dragon, -- these, if they know the mystery of one of the twelve names of the angels while they are in life and are in the world, and if they speak one of their names while they are in the midst of the chastisements of the dragon, -- then, at the hour when they shall speak it, the whole dragon will be tossed about and most exceedingly convulsed, and the door of the dungeon in which the souls of those men are, openeth itself upward, and the ruler of the dungeon in which those men are, casteth the souls of those men out of the midst of the dragon of the outer darkness, because they have found the mystery of the name of the dragon.

The souls who know the names escape and are taken to Yew.

"And when the ruler casteth out souls, straight-way the angels of Yew, the First Man, who watch the dungeons of that region, hasten to snatch away those souls to lead them before Yew, the First Man, the Envoy of the First Commandment. And Yew, the First Man, seeth the souls and proveth them; he findeth that they have completed their circuits and that it is not lawful to bring them anew into the world, for it is not lawful to bring anew into the world all souls which are cast into the outer darkness. [But] if they have not yet completed their number of circuits in the changes of the body, the receivers of Yew keep them with them until they perform for them the mystery of the Ineffable, and remove them into a good body which shall find the mysteries of the Light and inherit the Light-kingdom.

Of their subsequent fate.

"But if Yew proveth them and findeth that they have completed their circuits and that it is not lawful to [re]turn them anew to the world, and that also the sign of the Ineffable is not with them, then Yew hath compassion upon them and leadeth them before the seven virgins of the Light. They baptize them with their baptisms, but they do not give them the spiritual chrism. And they lead them into the Treasury of the Light, but they do not put them in the orders of the Inheritance, because no sign and no seal of the Ineffable is with them. But they save them from all chastisements and put them into the light of the Treasury, separated and apart by themselves alone until the ascension of the universe. And at the time when they will draw apart the veils of the Treasury of the Light, they cleanse those souls anew and purify them most exceedingly and give them anew mysteries and put them in the last order which [is] in the Treasury, and those souls will be saved from all the chastisements of the judgments."

And when the Saviour had said this, he said unto his disciples: "Have ye understood in what manner I discourse with you?"

Mary interpreteth the same from a former saying.

Mary then answered and said "My Lord, this is the word which thou hast spoken unto us aforetime, in a similitude, saying: 'Make to yourselves a friend out of the Mamōn of unrighteousness, so that if ye remain behind, he may receive you into the everlasting tents.' Who then is the Mamōn of unrighteousness, if not the dragon of the outer darkness? This is the word: He who shall understand the mystery of one of the names of the dragon of the outer darkness, if he remaineth behind in the outer darkness or if he hath completed the circuits of the changes, and speaketh the name of the dragon, he will be saved and go up out of the darkness and be received into the Treasury of the Light. This is the word, my Lord."

Of the cup of forgetfulness.

The Saviour answered again and said unto Mary: "Well said, spiritual and pure [one]. This is the solution of the word."

CHAPTER 131

Mary continued again and said: "My Lord, doth the dragon of the outer darkness come into this world or doth he not come?"

Of the light of the sun and the darkness of the dragon.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "When the light of the sun is outside [? above the world], he covereth the darkness of the dragon; but if the sun is below the world, then the darkness of the dragon abideth as veiling of the sun and the breath of the darkness cometh into the world in form of a smoke in the night, -- that is, if the sun withdraweth into himself his rays, then indeed the world is not able to endure the darkness of the dragon in its true form; otherwise would it be dissolved and go to ruin withal."

When the Saviour had said this, Mary continued again and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, still do I question thee and hide [it] not from me. Now, therefore, my Lord, who compelleth then the man until he sinneth?"

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "It is the rulers of the Fate who compel the man until he sinneth."

Mary answered and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, surely the rulers do not come down to the world and compel the man until he sinneth?"

Of the cup of forgetfulness.

Of the counterfeiting spirit.


The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "They do not come down in this manner into the world. But the rulers of the Fate, when an old soul is about to come down through them, then the rulers of that great Fate who [are] in the regions of the head of the æons, -- which is that region which is called the region of the kingdom of Adamas, and which is that region which is in face of the Virgin of Light, -- then the rulers of the region of that head give the old soul a cup of forgetfulness out of the seed of wickedness, filled with all the different desires and all forgetfulness. And straightway, when that soul shall drink out of the cup, it forgetteth all the regions to which it hath gone, and all the chastisements in which it hath travelled. And that cup of the water of forgetfulness becometh body outside the soul, and it resembleth the soul in all [its] figures and maketh [itself] like it, -- which is what is called the counterfeiting spirit.

Of the fashioning of a new soul.

"If on the other hand it is a new soul which they have taken out of the sweat of the rulers and out of the tears of their eyes, or far rather out of the breath of their mouths, -- in a word, if it is one of the new souls or one of such souls, if it is one out of the sweat, then the five great rulers of the great Fate take up the sweat of all the rulers of their æons, knead it together withal, portion it and make it into a soul. Or far rather if it is refuse of the purification of the Light, then Melchisedec taketh it up from the rulers. The five great rulers of the great Fate knead the refuse together, portion it and make it into different souls, so that every one of the rulers of the æons, every one of them putteth his portion into the soul. For this cause they knead it jointly, so that all may [par]take of the soul.

"And the five great rulers, if they portion it and make it into souls, bring it out of the sweat of the rulers. But if it is one out of the refuse of the purification of the Light, then Melchisedec, the great Receiver of the Light, taketh it [sc. the refuse] up from the rulers, or far rather if it is out of the tears of their eyes or out of the breath of their mouth, -- in a word, out of such souls, when the five rulers portion it and make it into different souls, -- or far rather if it is an old soul, then the ruler who is in the head of the æons, himself mixeth the cup of forgetfulness with the seed of wickedness, and he mixeth it with every one of the new souls at the time when he is in the region of the head. And that cup of forgetfulness becometh the counterfeiting spirit for that soul, and bideth outside the soul, being a vesture for it and resembling it in every way, being envelope as vesture outside it.

Of the in-breathing of the power.

"And the five great rulers of the great Fate of the æons and the ruler of the disk of the sun and the ruler of the disk of the moon inbreathe within into that soul, and there cometh forth out of them a portion out of my power which the last Helper hath cast into the Mixture. And the portion of that power remaineth within in the soul, unloosed and existing on its own authority for the economy unto which it hath been inset, to give sense unto the soul, in order that it may seek after the works of the Light of the Height always.

"And that power is like the species of the soul in every form and resembleth it. It cannot be outside the soul, but remaineth inside it, as I have commanded it from the beginning. When I willed to cast it into the first Commandment, I gave it commandment to remain outside [? inside] the souls for the economy of the First Mystery.

Jesus promiseth to reveal all in detail.

"And so I will tell you at the expansion of the universe all these words concerning the power and also concerning the soul, after what type they are fashioned, or what ruler fashioneth them, or what are the different species of the souls. And so will I tell you at the expansion of the universe how many fashion the soul. And I will tell you the name of all of them who fashion the soul. And I will tell you the type, how the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny have been prepared. And I will tell you the name of the soul before it is purged, and moreover its name when it hath been purged and become pure. And I will tell you the name of the counterfeiting spirit; and I will tell you the name of the destiny. And I will tell you the name of all the bonds with which the rulers bind the counterfeiting spirit to the soul. And I will tell you the name of all the decans who fashion the soul in the bodies of the soul in the world; and I will tell you in what manner the souls are fashioned. And I will tell you the type of every one of the souls; and I will tell you the type of the souls of the men and of those of the birds and of those of the wild beasts and of those of the reptiles. And I will tell you the type of all the souls and of those of all the rulers which are sent into the world, in order that ye may be completed in all gnosis. All this will I tell you at the expansion of the universe. And after all this I will tell you wherefor all this hath come to pass.

Of the light-power and the counterfeiting spirit.

"Hearken, therefore, that I may discourse with you concerning the soul according as I have said: The five great rulers of the great Fate of the æons and the rulers of the disk of the sun and the rulers of the disk of the moon breathe into that soul, and there cometh out of them a portion of my power, as I have just said. And the portion of that power remaineth within the soul, so that the soul can stand. And they put the counterfeiting spirit outside the soul, watching it and assigned to it; and the rulers bind it to the soul with their seals and their bonds and seal it to it, that it may compel it always, so that it continually doeth its mischiefs and all its iniquities, in order that it may be their slave always and remain under their sway always in the changes of the body; and they seal it to it that it may be in all the sin and all the desires of the world.

The parents we are to abandon.

"For this cause, therefore, have I in this manner brought the mysteries into this world which undo all the bonds of the counterfeiting spirit and all the seals which are bound to the soul, -- those which make the soul free and free it from its parents the rulers, and make it into refined light and lead it up into the kingdom of its father, the first Issue, the First Mystery, for ever.

"For this cause therefore, have I said unto you aforetime: 'He who doth not abandon father and mother and come and follow after me, is not worthy of me.' I have, therefore, said at that time: Ye are to abandon your parents the rulers, that I may make you sons of the First Mystery for ever."

CHAPTER 132

Salome is in doubt.


And when the Saviour had said this, Salome started forward and said: "My Lord, if our parents are the rulers, how standeth it written in the Law of Moses: 'He who shall abandon his father and his mother, let him die the death'? Hath not thus the Law made statement thereon?"

And when Salome had said this, the light-power in Mary Magdalene bubbled up in her and she said to the Saviour: "My Lord, give commandment unto me that I discourse with my sister Salome to tell her the solution of the word which she hath spoken."

It came to pass then, when the Saviour had heard Mary say these words, that he called her most exceedingly blessed. The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "I give commandment unto thee, Mary, that thou speak the solution of the word which Salome hath spoken."

Mary removeth the doubt of Salome.

And when the Saviour had said this, Mary started forward to Salome, embraced her and said unto her: "My sister Salome, concerning the word which thou hast spoken: It standeth written in the Law of Moses: 'He who shall abandon his father and his mother, let him die the death,' -- now, therefore, my sister Salome, the Law hath not said this concerning the soul nor concerning the body nor concerning the counterfeiting spirit, for all these are sons of the rulers and are out of them. But the Law hath said this concerning the power which hath came forth out of the Saviour, and which is the light-man within us to-day. The Law hath moreover said: Every one who shall remain without the Saviour and all his mysteries, his parents, will not only die the death but go to ruin in destruction."

When then Mary had said this, Salome started forward to Mary and embraced her anew. Salome said: "The Saviour hath power to make me understanding like thyself."

It came to pass, when the Saviour had heard the words of Mary, that he called her most exceedingly blessed. The Saviour answered and said unto Mary in the midst of his disciples: "Hearken, therefore, Mary, who it is who compelleth the man until he sinneth.

Of the charge given to the counterfeiting spirit.

"Now, therefore, the rulers seal the counterfeiting spirit to the soul, [but] so that it doth not agitate it every hour, making it do all sins and all iniquities. And they give commandment moreover unto the counterfeiting spirit, saying: 'If the soul cometh out of the body, do not agitate it, being assigned to it and transferring it to all the regions of the judgments, region by region, on account of all the sins which thou hast made it do, in order that it may be chastized in all the regions of the judgments, so that it may not be able to go on high to the Light and return into changes of the body.'

"In a word, they give commandment to the counterfeiting spirit, saying: 'Do not agitate it at all at any hour unless it doth not speak mysteries and undo all the seals and all the bonds with which we have bound thee to it. [But] if it sayeth the mysteries and undoeth all the seals and all the bonds and [sayeth] the apology of the region, and if it cometh, then let it go forth, for it belongeth to those of the Light of the Height and hath become a stranger unto us and unto thee, and thou wilt not be able to seize it from this hour onwards. If on the contrary it sayeth not the mysteries of the undoing of thy bonds and of thy seals and of the apologies of the region, then seize it and let it not out; thou shalt transfer it to the chastisements and all the regions of the judgments on account of all the sins which thou hast made it do. After this lead [such souls] before the Virgin of Light, who sendeth them once more into the circuit.'

Of the charge given to the servitors.

"The rulers of the great Fate of the æons hand these over to the counterfeiting spirit; and the rulers summon the servitors of their æons, to the number of three-hundred-and-sixty-and-five, and give them the soul and the counterfeiting spirit, which are bound to one another. The counterfeiting spirit is the without of the soul, and the compound of the power is the within of the soul, being within both of them, in order that they may be able to stand, for it is the power which keepeth the two up-right. And the rulers give commandment to the servitors, saying unto them: This is the type which ye are to put into the body of the matter of the world.' They say unto them indeed: 'Put the compound of the power, the within of the soul, within them all, that they may be able to stand, for it is their up-rightness, and after the soul put the counterfeiting spirit.'

Of conception.

"Thus they give commandment to their servitors, that they may deposit it into the bodies of the antitype. And following this fashion the servitors of the rulers bring the power and the soul and the counterfeiting spirit, bring them down to the world, and pour [them] out into the world of the rulers of the midst. The rulers of the midst look after the counterfeiting spirit; and also the destiny, whose name is Moira, leadeth the man until it hath him slain through the death appointed unto him, which the rulers of the great Fate have bound to the soul. And the servitors of the sphere bind the soul and the power and the counterfeiting spirit and the destiny. And they portion them all and make them into two portions and seek after the man and also after the woman in the world to whom they have given signs, in order that they may send them into them. And they give one portion to the man and one portion to the woman in a victual of the world or in a breath of the air or in water or in a kind which they drink.

"All this I will tell unto you and the species of every soul and the type, how they enter into the bodies, whether of men or of birds or of cattle or of wild beasts or of reptiles or of all the other species in the world. I will tell you their type, in what type they enter into men; I will tell it you at the expansion of the universe.

Of the compulsion of the parents.

"Now, therefore, when the servitors of the rulers cast the one portion into the woman and the other into the man in the fashion which I have told you, then the servitors secretly compel them, even if they are removed at very great distance from one another, so that they concert to be in a concert of the world. And the counterfeiting spirit which is in the man, cometh to the portion which is entrusted to the world in the matter of his body, and lifteth it and casteth it down into the womb of the woman [into the portion] which is entrusted to the seed of wickedness.

Of the process of gestation.

"And in that hour the three-hundred-and-sixty-and-five servitors of the rulers go into her womb and take up their abode in it. The servitors bring the two portions the one to the other, and moreover the servitors withhold the blood of all the food of the woman which she will eat and which she will drink, and they withhold [it] in the womb of the woman up to forty days. And after forty days they knead the blood of the power of all the food and knead it well in the woman's womb.

"After forty days they spend another thirty days in building its members in the image of the body of the man; each buildeth a member. I will tell you the decans who will build it [sc. the body]; I will tell them you at the expansion of the universe.

Of the incarnation of the soul.

"If then after this the servitors shall have completed the whole body and all its members in seventy days, after this the servitors summon into the body which they have built, -- first indeed they summon the counterfeiting spirit; thereafter they summon the soul within them; and thereafter they summon the compound of the power into the soul; and the destiny they put outside them all, as it is not blended with them, [but] following them and accompanying them.

Of the sealing of the plasm.

"And after this the servitors seal them one to the other with all the seals which the rulers have given them. [And] they seal the day on which they have taken up their abode in the womb of the woman, -- they seal [it] on the left hand of the plasm; and they seal the day on which they have completed the body, on the right hand; and they seal the day on which the rulers have handed it over to them, on the middle of the skull of the body of the plasm; and they seal the day on which the soul hath come forth out of the rulers, they seal it on the [left of] the skull of the plasm; and they seal the day on which they kneaded the members and separated them for a soul, they seal it on the right of the skull of the plasm; and the day on which they have bound the counterfeiting spirit to it [the soul], they seal on the back of the skull of the plasm; and the day on which the rulers have breathed the power into the body, they seal on the brain which is in the midst of the head of the plasm and also on the inside [? the heart] of the plasm; and the number of years which the soul will spend in the body, they seal on the forehead which is on the plasm. And so they seal all those seals on the plasm. I will tell you the names of all these seals at the expansion of the universe; and after the expansion of the universe I will tell you wherefor all hath come to pass. And, if ye could understand it, I am that mystery.

"Now, therefore, the servitors complete the whole man. And of all these seals with which they have sealed the body, the servitors carry the whole peculiarity and bring it to all the retributive rulers who [are] over all the chastisements of the judgments; and these hand it over to their receivers, in order that they may lead their souls out of the bodies, -- they hand over to them the peculiarity of the seals, in order that they may know the time when they are to lead the souls out of the bodies, and in order that they may know the time when they are to bring to birth the body, so that they may send their servitors in order that they may draw near and follow the soul and bear witness of all the sins it shall do, -- they and the counterfeiting spirit, -- on account of the manner and way, how they shall chastize it in the judgment.

Of the destiny.

"And when the servitors have given the peculiarity of the seals to the retributive rulers, they withdraw themselves to the economy of their occupations which is appointed unto them through the rulers of the great Fate. And when the number of months of the birth of the babe is completed, the babe is born. Small in it is the compound of the power, and small in it is the soul; and small in it is the counterfeiting spirit. The destiny on the contrary is large, as it is not mingled into the body for their economy, but followeth the soul and the body and the counterfeiting spirit, until the time when the soul shall come forth out of the body, on account of the type of death by which it shall slay it [the body] according to the death appointed for it by the rulers of the great Fate.

Of how a man cometh by his death.

"Is he to die by a wild beast, the destiny leadeth the wild beast against him until it slay him; or is he to die by a serpent, or is he to fall into a pit by mischance, or is he to hang himself, or is he to die in water, or through such [kinds of death], or through another death which is worse or better than this, -- in a word, it is the destiny which forceth his death upon him. This is the occupation of the destiny, and it hath no other occupation but this. And the destiny followeth every man until the day of his death."

CHAPTER 133

Mary answered and said: "To all men then who are in the world, will all which is appointed them through the Fate, whether good or bad or sin or death or life, -- in a word, will all which is appointed them through the rulers of the Fate, have to come unto them?"

There is no escape from the destiny.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, I say unto you: All which is appointed unto every one through the Fate, whether all good or all sins, -- in a word, all which is appointed them, cometh unto them.

Of the keys of the mysteries.

"For this cause, therefore, have I brought the keys of the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven; otherwise no flesh in the world would be saved. For without mysteries no one will enter into the Light-kingdom, be he a righteous or a sinner.

"For this cause, therefore, have I brought the keys of the mysteries into the world, that I may free the sinners who shall have faith in me and hearken unto me, so that I may free them from the bonds and the seals of the æons of the rulers and bind them to the seals and the vestures and the orders of the Light, in order that he whom I shall free in the world from the bonds and the seals of the æons of the rulers, may be freed in the Height from the bonds and seals of the æons of the rulers, and in order that he whom I shall bind in the world to the seals and the vestures and the orders of the Light, may be bound in the Light-land to the orders of the inheritances of the Light.

"For the sake of sinners, therefore, have I torn myself asunder at this time and have brought them the mysteries, that I may free them from the æons of the rulers and bind them to the inheritances of the Light, and not only the sinners, but also the righteous, in order that I may give them the mysteries and that they may be taken into the Light, for without mysteries they cannot be taken into the Light.

The mysteries are for all men.

"For this cause, therefore, I have not hidden it, but I have cried it aloud clearly. And I have not separated the sinners, but I have cried it aloud and said it unto all men, unto sinners and righteous, saying: 'Seek that ye may find, knock that it may be opened unto you; for every one who seeketh in truth, will find, and who knocketh, to him it will be opened.' For I have said unto all men: They are to seek the mysteries of the Light-kingdom which shall purify them and make them refined and lead them into the Light.

A prophecy of John the Baptizer.

"For this cause, therefore, hath John the Baptizer prophesied concerning me, saying: 'I indeed have baptized you with water unto repentance for forgiveness of your sins. He who cometh after me, is stronger than me. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will purify his floor. The chaff indeed he will consume with unquenchable fire, but the wheat he will gather into his barn.' The power in John hath prophesied concerning me, knowing that I would bring the mysteries into the world and purify the sins of the sinners who shall have faith in me and hearken unto me, and make them into refined light and lead them into the Light."

CHAPTER 134

When then Jesus had said this, Mary answered and said: "My Lord, if men go to seek and they come upon the doctrines of error, whence then are they to know whether they belong to thee or not?"

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "I have said unto you aforetime: 'Be ye as skilful money-changers. Take the good, throw the bad away.'

The criterion of orthodoxy.

"Now, therefore, say unto all men who would seek the godhead: 'If north wind cometh, then ye know that there will be cold; if south wind cometh, then ye know that there will be burning and fervent heat.' Now, therefore, say unto them: 'If ye have known the face of the heaven and of the earth from the winds, then know ye exactly, if then any come now unto you and proclaim unto you a godhead, whether their words have harmonized and fitted with all your words which I have spoken unto you through two up to three witnesses, and whether they have harmonized in the setting of the air and of the heavens and of the circuits and of the stars and of the light-givers and of the whole earth and all on it and of all waters and all in them.' Say unto them: 'Those who shall come unto you, and their words fit and harmonize in the whole gnosis with that which I have said unto you, I will receive as belonging unto us.' This is what ye shall say unto men, if ye make proclamation unto them in order that they may guard themselves from the doctrines of error.

The Books of Yew.

"Now, therefore, for the sake of sinners have I rent myself asunder and am come into the world, that I may save them. For even for the righteous, who have never done any evil and have not sinned at all, it is necessary that they should find the mysteries which are in the Books of Yew, which I have made Enoch write in Paradise, discoursing with him out of the tree of the Gnosis and out of the tree of the Life. And I made him deposit them in the rock Ararad, and set the ruler Kalapataurōth, who is over Skemmūt, on whose head is the foot of Yew, and who surroundeth all æons and Fates, -- I set up that ruler as watcher over the Books of Yew on account of the flood, and in order that none of the rulers may be envious of them and destroy them. These will I give you, when I shall have told you the expansion of the universe."

When then the Saviour had said this, Mary answered and said: "My Lord, who now then is the man in the world who hath not sinned at all, who is pure of iniquities? For if he is pure of one, he will not be able to be pure of another, so that he may find the mysteries which are in the Books of Yew? For I say: A man in this world will not be able to be pure of sins; for if he is pure of one, he will not be able to be pure of another."

Few only will accomplish the mystery of the First Mystery.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "I say unto you: They will find one in a thousand and two in ten-thousand for the accomplishment of the mystery of the First Mystery. This will I tell unto you when I have explained to you the expansion of the universe. For this cause, therefore, I have rent myself asunder and have brought the mysteries into the world, because all are under sin and all are in need of the gift of the mysteries."

CHAPTER 135

Mary answered and said unto the Saviour: "My Lord, before thou didst come to the region of the rulers and before thou didst come down into the world, hath no soul entered into the Light?"

No soul had entered into the Light before the coming of the First Mystery.

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you Before I did come into the world, no soul hath entered into the Light. And now, therefore, when I am come, I have opened the gates of the Light and opened the ways which lead to the Light. And now, therefore, let him who shall do what is worthy of the mysteries, receive the mysteries and enter into the Light."

Mary continued and said: "But, my Lord, I have heard that the prophets have entered into the Light."

Of the prophets.

The Saviour continued and said unto Mary: "Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: No prophet hath entered into the Light; but the rulers of the æons have discoursed with them out of the æons and given them the mystery of the æons. And when I came to the regions of the æons, I have turned Elias and sent him into the body of John the Baptizer, and the rest also I turned into righteous bodies, which will find the mysteries of the Light, go on high and inherit the Light-kingdom.

Of the patriarchs.

"Unto Abraham on the other hand and Isaac and Jacob I have forgiven all their sins and their iniquities and have given them the mysteries of the Light in the æons and placed them in the region of Yabraōth and of all the rulers who have repented. And when I go into the Height and am on the point of going into the Light, I will carry their souls with me into the Light. But, amēn, I say unto you, Mary: They will not go into the Light before I have carried thy soul and those of all thy brethren into the Light.

Of the souls of the righteous from Adam to Jesus.

"The rest of the patriarchs and of the righteous from the time of Adam unto now, who are in the æons and all the orders of the rulers, when I came to the region of the æons, I have through the Virgin of Light made to turn into bodies which will all be righteous, -- those which will find the mysteries of the Light, enter in and inherit the Light-kingdom."

Mary answered and said: "Blessed are we before all men because of these splendours which thou hast revealed unto us."

The Saviour answered and said unto Mary and all the disciples: "I will still reveal unto you all the splendours of the Height, from the interiors of the interiors to the exteriors of the exteriors, that ye may be perfected in all gnosis and in all fulness and in the height of the heights and the depths of the depths."

The disciples know of a surety that Jesus is the Great Initiator.

And Mary continued and said to the Saviour: "Lo, my Lord, we have openly, exactly and clearly known that thou hast brought the keys of the mysteries of the Light-kingdom, which forgive souls sins and purify them and make them into refined light and lead them into the Light."

SUB-SCRIPTION: A PORTION OF THE BOOKS OF THE SAVIOUR
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

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A FIFTH BOOK

CHAPTER 136.

The disciples gather round Jesus.


IT came to pass then, when Jesus our Lord had been crucified and had risen from the dead on the third day, that his disciples gathered round him, adored him and said: "Our Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have abandoned father and mother and the whole world and have followed thee."

The invocation of Jesus.

At that time Jesus stood with his disciples on the water of the Ocean and made invocation with this prayer, saying: "Hear me, my Father, father of all fatherhood, boundless Light: aeēiouō iaō aōi ōia psinōther thernōps nōpsither zagourē pagourē nethmomaōth nepsiomaōth marachachtha thōbarrabau tharnachachan zorokothora ieou [= Yew] sabaōth."

The grouping of the disciples.

And while Jesus said this, Thomas, Andrew, James and Simon the Cananite were in the west with their faces turned towards the east, and Philip and Bartholomew were in the south turned towards the north, and the rest of the disciples and the women-disciples stood back of Jesus. But Jesus stood at the altar.

The interpretation of iaō.

And Jesus made invocation, turning himself towards the four corners of the world with his disciples, who were all clad in linen garments, and saying: "iaō iaō iaō." This is its interpretation: iōta, because the universe hath gone forth; alpha, because it will turn itself back again; ōmega, because the completion of all the completeness will take place.

He continueth to make invocation.

And when Jesus had said this, he said: "iaphtha iaphtha mounaēr mounaēr ermanouēr ermanouēr." That is: "O father of all fatherhood of the boundless [spaces], hear me for the sake of my disciples whom I have led before thee, that they may have faith in all the words of thy truth, and grant all for which I shall invoke thee; for I know the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light."

The apocalypse of the heavens.

Again did Jesus, -- that is Aberamenthō, -- make invocation, speaking the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light, and said: "Let all the mysteries of the rulers and the authorities and the angels and the archangels and all powers and all things of the invisible god Agrammachamarei and Barbēlō draw near the Leech [Bdella] on one side and withdraw to the right."

And in that hour all the heavens went to the west, and all the æons and the sphere and their rulers and all their powers flew together to the west to the left of the disk of the sun and the disk of the moon.

The figures of the disk of the sun and of the moon.

And the disk of the sun was a great dragon whose tail was in his mouth and who reached to seven powers of the Left and whom four powers in the form of white horses drew.

And the base of the moon had the type of a ship which a male and a female dragon steered and two white bulls drew. The figure of a babe was on the stern of the moon who guided the dragons who robbed the light from the rulers. And on its prow was a cat's face.

And the whole world and the mountains and the seas fled together to the west to the left.

Jesus and the disciples are transported to the ways of the midst.

And Jesus and his disciples remained in the midst in an aëry region on the ways of the way of the midst, which lieth below the sphere. And they came to the first order of the way of the midst. And Jesus stood in the air of its region with his disciples.

The disciples of Jesus said unto him: "What is this region in which we are?

Of the repentant and unrepentant rulers.

Jesus said: "These are the regions of the way of the midst. For it came to pass, when the rulers of Adamas mutinied and persistently practised congress, procreating rulers, archangels, angels, servitors and decans, that Yew, the father of my father, came forth from the Right and bound them to a Fate-sphere.

"For there are twelve æons; over six Sabaōth, the Adamas, ruleth, and his brother Yabraōth ruleth over the other six. At that time then Yabraōth with his rulers had faith in the mysteries of the Light and was active in the mysteries of the Light and abandoned the mystery of congress. But Sabaōth, the Adamas, and his rulers have persisted in the practice of congress.

"And when Yew, the father of my father, saw that Yabraōth had faith, he carried him and all the rulers who had had faith with him, took him unto himself out of the sphere and led him into a purified air in face of the light of the sun between the regions of those of the midst and between [?] the regions of the invisible god. He posted him there with the rulers who had had faith in him.

"But he carried Sabaōth, the Adamas, and his rulers who had not been active in the mysteries of the Light, but have been persistently active in the mysteries of congress, and inbound them into the sphere.

Of the hierarchies of the un-repentant rulers and the names of their five regents.

"He bound eighteen-hundred rulers in every æon, and set three-hundred-and-sixty over them, and he set five other great rulers as lords over the three-hundred-and-sixty and over all the bound rulers, who in the whole world of mankind are called with these names: the first is called Kronos, the second Arēs, the third Hermēs, the fourth Aphroditē, the fifth Zeus."

CHAPTER 137

Of the powers which Yew bound into the five regents.


Jesus continued and said: "Hearken then, that I may tell you their mystery. It came to pass then, when Yew had thus bound them, that he drew forth a power out of the great Invisible and bound it to him who is called Kronos. And he drew another power out of Ipsantachounchaïnchoucheōch, who is one of the three triple-powered gods, and bound it to Arēs. And he drew a power out of Chaïnchōōōch, who also is one of the three triple-powered gods, and bound it to Hermēs. Again he drew a power out of the Pistis the Sophia daughter of Barbēlō and bound it to Aphroditē.

Of the functions of Zeus, the chief regent.

"And moreover he perceived that they needed a helm to steer the world and the æons of the sphere, so that they might not wreck it [the world] in their wickedness. He went into the Midst, drew forth a power out of the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst, and bound it to Zeus, because he is a good [regent], so that he may steer them in his goodness. And he set thus established the circling of his order, that he should spend thirteen [? three] months in every æon confirming [it], so that he may set free all the rulers over whom he cometh, from the evil of their wickedness. And he gave him two æons, which are in face of those of Hermēs, for his dwelling.

The incorruptible names of the regents.

"I have told you for the first time the names of these five great rulers with which the men of the world are wont to call them. Hearken now then that I may tell you also their incorruptible names, which are: Ōrimouth correspondeth to Kronos; Mounichounaphōr correspondeth to Arēs; Tarpetanouph correspondeth to Hermēs; Chōsi correspondeth to Aphroditē; Chōnbal correspondeth to Zeus. These are their incorruptible names."

CHAPTER 138

And when the disciples had heard this, they fell down, adored Jesus and said "Blessed are we beyond all men, because thou hast revealed unto us these great wonders."

They continued, besought him and said: "We beseech thee, reveal unto us: What are then these ways?"

Mary questioneth Jesus on the ways of the midst.

And Mary drew nigh unto him, fell down, adored his feet and kissed his hands and said: "Yea, my Lord, reveal unto us: What is the use of the ways of the midst? For we have heard from thee that they are set over great chastisements. How then, my Lord, will we remove or escape from them? Or in what way do they seize the souls? Or how long a time do they spend in their chastisements? Have mercy upon us, our Lord, our Saviour, in order that the receivers of the judgments of the ways of the midst may not carry off our souls and judge us in their evil judgments, so that we ourselves may inherit the Light of thy father and not be wretched and destitute of thee."

Of the mysteries which Jesus will give unto his disciples.

When then Mary said this weeping, Jesus answered in great compassion and said unto them: "Truly, my brethren and beloved, who have abandoned father and mother for my name's sake, unto you will I give all mysteries and all gnoses.

"I will give you the mystery of the twelve æons of the rulers and their seals and their ciphers and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions.

"I will give you moreover the mystery of the thirteenth æon and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions, and I will give you their ciphers and their seals.

"And I will give you the mystery of the baptism of those of the Midst and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions, and I will announce unto you their ciphers and their seals.

"And I will give you the baptism of those of the Right, our region, and its ciphers and its seals and the manner of invocation for reaching thither.

"And I will give you the great mystery of the Treasury of the Light and the manner of invocation for reaching thither.

"I will give you all the mysteries and all the gnoses, in order that ye may be called 'children of the fulness, perfected in all the gnoses and all the mysteries.' Blessed are ye beyond all men on earth, for the children of the Light are come in your time."

CHAPTER 139

Of the constitution of the way of the midst.


Jesus continued in the discourse and said: "It came to pass then thereafter, that the father of my father, -- that is Yew, -- came and took other three-hundred-and-sixty rulers from the rulers of Adamas who had not had faith in the mystery of the Light, and bound them into these aërial regions, in which we are now, below the sphere. He established another five great rulers over them, -- that is these who are on the way of the midst.

Of Paraplēx.

"The first ruler of the way of the midst is called Paraplēx, a ruler with a woman's shape, whose hair reacheth down to her feet, under whose authority stand five-and-twenty archdemons which rule over a multitude of other demons. And it is those demons which enter into men and seduce them, raging and cursing and slandering; and it is they which carry off hence and in ravishment the souls and dispatch them through their dark smoke and their evil chastisements."

Mary said: "I shall behave badly to question thee. Be not wroth with me if I question on all things."

Jesus said: "Question what thou wilt."

Mary said: "My Lord, reveal unto us in what manner they carry off hence the souls in ravishment, that also my brethren may understand it."

Of Yew and Melchisedec.

Jesus, -- that is Aberamenthō, -- said: "Since indeed the father of my father, -- that is Yew, -- is the fore-minder of all the rulers, gods and powers who have arisen out of the matter of the Light of the Treasury, and Zorokothora Melchisedec is the envoy to all the lights which are purified in the rulers, leading them into the Treasury of the Light, -- these two alone are the great Lights, and their ordinance is that they down go to the rulers and purify them, and that Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth away the purification of the lights which they have purified in the rulers and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light, -- when the cipher and the time of their ordinance cometh, that they go down to the rulers and oppress and constrain them, carrying away the purification from the rulers.

"But straightway when they shall cease from the oppressing and constraining and return to the regions of the Treasury of the Light, it cometh to pass that, if they reach the regions of the Midst, Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth off the lights and leadeth them unto the gate of those of the Midst and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light, and that Yew withdraweth himself into the regions of those of the Right.

How the demon rulers carry off souls.

"Up to the time of the cipher for them to come forth again, the rulers mutiny through the wrath of their wickedness, going straightway up to the lights, because they [Yew and Melchisedec] are not with them at that time, and they carry off the souls which they may be able to snatch away in ravishment, and destroy them through their dark smoke and their evil fire.

The chastisements of Paraplēx.

"At that time then this authority, with name Paraplēx, along with the demons which stand under her, carrieth off the souls of the violently passionate, of cursers and of slanderers and dispatcheth them through the dark smoke and destroyeth them through her evil fire, so that they begin to be undone and dissolved. One-hundred-and-thirty-and-three years and nine months do they spend in the chastisements of her regions, while she tormenteth them in the fire of her wickedness.

"It cometh to pass then after all these times, when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, Zeus, cometh to the first of the æons of the sphere, which is called in the world the Ram of Boubastis, that is of Aphroditē; [and] when she [Boubastis] cometh to the seventh house of the sphere, that is to the Balance, then the veils which are between those of the Right and those of the Left, draw themselves aside, and there looketh from the height out of those of the Right the great Sabaōth, the Good; and the whole world and the total sphere [become alarmed] before he hath looked forth. And he looketh down on the regions of Paraplēx, so that her regions may be dissolved and perish. And all the souls which are in her chastisements, are carried and cast back [up] into the sphere anew, because they are ruined in the chastisements of Paraplēx."

CHAPTER 140

Of Ariouth the Ethiopian.


"He continued in the discourse and said: "The second order is called Ariouth the Æthiopian, a female ruler, who is entirely black, under whom stand fourteen other [arch]demons which rule over a multitude of other demons. And it is those demons which stand under Ariouth the Æthiopian, that enter into strife-seekers until they stir up wars and murders arise, and they harden their heart and seduce it to wrath in order that murders may arise.

"And the souls which this authority will carry off in ravishment, pass one-hundred-and-thirteen years in her regions, while she tormenteth them through her dark smoke and her wicked fire, so that they come nigh unto destruction.

"And thereafter, when the sphere turneth itself, and the little Sabaōth, the Good, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the fourth æon of the sphere, that is the Crab, and Boubastis, who is called in the world Aphroditē, cometh into the tenth æon of the sphere which is called the Goat, at that time the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and Yew looketh forth to the right; the whole world becometh alarmed and is agitated together with all the æons of the sphere. And he looketh on the dwellings of Ariouth the Ethiopian, so that her regions are dissolved and ruined, and all the souls which are in her chastisements are carried off and cast back into the sphere anew, because they are ruined through her dark smoke and her wicked fire."

Of Triple-faced Hekatē.

He continued further in his discourse and said: "The third order is called Triple-faced Hekatē, and there are under her authority seven-and-twenty [arch]demons, and it is they which enter into men and seduce them to perjuries and lies and to covet that which doth not belong to them.

"The souls then which Hekatē beareth hence in ravishment, she handeth over to her demons which stand under her, in order that they may torment them through her dark smoke and her wicked fire, they being exceedingly afflicted through the demons. And they spend one-hundred-and-five years and six months, being chastized in her wicked chastisements; and they begin to be dissolved and destroyed.

"And thereafter, when the sphere turneth itself, and the little Sabaōth, the Good, he of the Midst, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the eighth æon of the sphere which is called the Scorpion, and when Boubastis, whom they call Aphroditē, cometh, and she cometh to the second æon of the sphere which is called the Bull, then the veils which are between those of the Right and those of the Left draw themselves aside and Zorokothora Melchisedec looketh out of the height; and the world and the mountains are agitated and the æons become alarmed. And he looketh on all the regions of Hekatē, so that her regions are dissolved and destroyed, and all the souls which are in her chastisements, are carried off and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are dissolved in the fire of her chastisements."

Of Parhedrōn Typhon.

He continued and said: "The fourth order is called Parhedrōn Typhōn, who is a mighty ruler, under whose authority are two-and-thirty demons. And it is they which enter into men and seduce them to lusting, fornicating, adultery and to the continual practice of intercourse. The souls then which this ruler will carry off in ravishment, pass one-hundred-and-twenty-and-eight years in his regions, while his demons torment them through his dark smoke and his wicked fire, so that they begin to be ruined and destroyed.

"It cometh to pass then, when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, the Good, he of the Midst, who is called Zeus, cometh, and when he cometh to the ninth æon of the sphere which is called the Archer, and when Boubastis, who is called in the world Aphroditē, cometh, and she cometh to the third æon of the sphere which is called the Twins, then the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and there looketh forth Zarazaz, whom the rulers call with the name of a mighty ruler of their regions 'Maskelli,' and he looketh on the dwellings of Parhedrōn Typhōn, so that his regions are dissolved and destroyed. And all the souls which are in his chastisements are carried and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are reduced through his dark smoke and his wicked fire."

Of Yachthanabas.

Again he continued in the discourse and said unto this disciples: "The fifth order, whose ruler is called Yachthanabas, is a mighty ruler under whom standeth a multitude of other demons. It is they which enter into men and bring it about that they have respect of persons, -- treating the just with injustice, and favour the cause of sinners, taking gifts for a just judgment and perverting it, forgetting the poor and needy, -- they [the demons] increasing the forgetfulness in their souls and the care for that which bringeth no benefit, in order that they may not think of their life, so that when they come out of the body, they are carried in ravishment.

"The souls then which this ruler will carry off in ravishment, are in his chastisements one-hundred-and-fifty years and eight months; and he destroyeth them through his dark smoke and his wicked fire, while they are exceedingly afflicted through the flames of his fire.

"And when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, the Good, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the eleventh æon of the sphere which is called the Water-man, and when Boubastis cometh to the fifth æon of the sphere which is called the Lion, then the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and there looketh out of the height the great Iaō, the Good, he of the Midst, on the regions of Yachthanabas, so that his regions are dissolved and destroyed. And all the souls which are in his chastisements are carried off and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are ruined in his chastisements.

"These then are the doings of the ways of the midst concerning which ye have questioned me."

CHAPTER 141

The disciples beseech Jesus to have mercy upon sinners.


And when the disciples had heard this, they fell down, adored him and said: "Help us now, Lord, and have mercy upon us, in order that we may be preserved from these wicked chastisements which are prepared for the sinners. Woe unto them, woe unto the children of men! For they grope as the blind in the darkness and see not. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, in this great blindness in which we are. And have mercy upon the whole race of men; for they have lain in wait for their souls, as lions for their prey, making it [sc. the prey] ready as food for their [sc. the rulers'] chastisements because of the forgetfulness and unknowing which is in them. Have mercy then upon us, our Lord, our Saviour, have mercy upon us and save us in this great stupefaction."

Jesus encourageth his disciples.

Jesus said unto his disciples: "Be comforted and be not afraid, for ye are blessed, because I will make you lords over all these and put them in subjection under your feet. Remember that I have already said unto you before I was crucified: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' Now, therefore, I say unto you: I will give them unto you."

Jesus and his disciples ascend higher.

When then Jesus said this, he chanted a song of praise in the great name. The regions of the ways of the midst hid themselves, and Jesus and his disciples remained in an air of exceedingly strong light.

He breatheth into their eyes.

Jesus said unto his disciples: "Draw near unto me." And they drew near unto him. He turned himself towards the four corners of the world, said the great name over their heads, blessed them and breathed into their eyes.

Jesus said unto them: "Look up and see what ye may see."

Their eyes are opened.

And they raised their eyes and saw a great, exceedingly mighty light, which no man in the world can describe.

He said unto them anew: "Look away out of the light and see what ye may see."

They said: "We see fire, water, wine and blood."

Jesus explaineth the vision of fire and water, and wine and blood.

Jesus, -- that is Aberamenthō, -- said unto his disciples: "Amēn, I say unto you: I have brought nothing into the world when I came, save this fire, this water, this wine and this blood. I have brought the water and the fire out of the region of the Light of the lights of the Treasury of the Light; and I have brought the wine and the blood out of the region of Barbēlō. And after a little while my father sent me the holy spirit in the type of a dove.

"And the fire, the water and the wine are for the purification of all the sins of the world. The blood on the other hand was for a sign unto me because of the human body which I received in the region of Barbēlō, the great power of the invisible god. The breath on the other hand advanceth towards all souls and leadeth them unto the region of the Light.

The same explained from former sayings.

"For this cause have I said unto you: 'I am come to cast fire on the earth,' -- that is: I am come to purify the sins of the whole world with fire.

"And for this cause have I said to the Samaritan woman: 'If thou knewest of the gift of God, and who it is who saith unto thee: Give me to drink, -- thou wouldst ask, and he would give thee living water, and there would be in thee a spring which welleth up for everlasting life.'

"And for this cause I took also a cup of wine, blessed it and give it unto you and said: 'This is the blood of the covenant which will be poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins.'

"And for this cause they have also thrust the spear into my side, and there came forth water and blood.

"And these are the mysteries of the Light which forgive sins; that is to say, these are the namings and the names of the Light."

Jesus and his disciples descend to earth.

It came to pass then thereafter that Jesus gave command: "Let all the powers of the Left go to their regions." And Jesus with his disciples remained on the Mount of Galilee. The disciples continued and besought him: "For how long then hast thou not let our sins which we have committed, and our iniquities be forgiven and made us worthy of the kingdom of thy father?

Jesus promiseth to give them the mystery of the forgiveness of sins.

And Jesus said unto them: "Amēn, I say unto you: Not only will I purify your sins, but I will make you worthy of the kingdom of my father. And I will give you the mystery of the forgiveness of sins, in order that to him whom ye shall forgive on earth, it will be forgiven in heaven, and he whom ye shall bind on earth, will be bound in heaven. I will give you the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, in order that ye your-selves may perform them [sc. the mysteries] for men."

CHAPTER 142

The mystic offering.


And Jesus said unto them: "Bring me fire and vine branches." They brought them unto him. He laid out the offering, and set down two wine-vessels, one on the right and the other on the left of the offering. He disposed the offering before them, and set a cup of water before the wine-vessel on the right and set a cup of wine before the wine-vessel on the left, and laid loaves according to the number of the disciples in the middle between the cups and set a cup of water behind the loaves.

The invocation.

Jesus stood before the offering, set the disciples behind him, all clad with linen garments, and in their hands the cipher of the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light, and he made invocation thus, saying: "Hear me, O Father, father of all fatherhood, boundless Light: iaō iouō iaō aōi ōia psinōther therōpsin ōpsither nephthomaōth nephiomaōth marachachtha marmarachtha iēana menaman amanēi (of heaven) israi amēn amēn soubaibai appaap amēn amēn deraarai (behind) amēn amēn sasarsartou amēn amēn koukiamin miai amēn amēn iai iai touap amēn amēn amēn main mari mariē marei amēn amēn amēn.

"Hear me, O Father, father of all fatherhood. I invoke you yourselves ye forgivers of sins, ye purifiers of iniquities. Forgive the sins of the souls of these disciples who have followed me, and purify their iniquities and make them worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, the father of the Treasury of the Light, for they have followed me and have kept my commandments.

"Now, therefore, O Father, father of all fatherhood, let the forgivers of sins come, whose names are these: siphirepsnichieu zenei berimou sochabrichēr euthari na nai (have mercy upon me) dieisbalmērich meunipos chirie entair mouthiour smour peuchēr oouschous minionor isochobortha.

"Hear me, invoking you, forgive the sins of these souls and blot out their iniquities. Let them be worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, the father of the Treasury of the Light.

"I know thy great powers and invoke them: auer bebrō athroni ē oureph e ōne souphen knitousochreōph mauōnbi mneuōr souōni chōcheteōph chōche eteōph memōch anēmph.

"Forgive [sing.] the sins of these souls, blot out their iniquities which they have knowingly and unknowingly committed, which they have committed in fornication and adultery unto this day; forgive them then and make them worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, so that they are worthy to receive of this offering, holy Father.

If thou then, Father, hast heard me and forgiven the sins of these souls and blotted out their iniquities, and hast made them worthy to be reckoned with thy kingdom, mayest thou give me a sign in this offering."

And the sign which Jesus had said [? besought] happened.

The rite is consummated.

Jesus said unto his disciples: "Rejoice and exult, for your sins are forgiven and your iniquities blotted out, and ye are reckoned with the kingdom of my father."

And when he said this, the disciples rejoiced in great joy.

Directions as to the future use of the rite.

Jesus said unto them: "This is the manner and way and this is the mystery which ye are to perform for the men who have faith in you, in whom is no deceit and who hearken unto you in all good words. And their sins and their iniquities will be blotted out up to the day on which ye have performed for them this mystery. But hide this mystery and give it not unto all men, but unto him who shall do all the things which I have said unto you in my commandments.

"This then is the mystery in truth of the baptism for those whose sins are forgiven and whose iniquities are blotted out. This is the baptism of the first offering which showeth the way to the region of Truth and to the region of the Light."

CHAPTER 143

Of three other mystic rites.


Thereafter his disciples said unto him: "Rabbi, reveal unto us the mystery of the Light of thy father, since we heard thee say: 'There is still a fire-baptism and there is still a baptism of the holy spirit of the Light, and there is a spiritual chrism; these lead the souls into the Treasury of the Light.' Tell us, therefore, their mystery, so that we ourselves may inherit the kingdom of thy father."

Of the highest mysteries and of the great name.

Jesus said unto them: "There is no mystery which is more excellent than these mysteries on which ye question, in that it will lead your souls into the Light of the lights, into the regions of Truth and Goodness, into the region of the Holy of all holies, into the region in which there is neither female nor male, nor are there forms in that region, but a perpetual indescribable Light. Nothing more excellent is there, therefore, than these mysteries on which ye question, save only the mystery of the seven Voices and their nine-and-forty powers and their ciphers. And there is no name which is more excellent than them all, the name in which are all names and all lights and all powers.

Of the efficacy of that name.

"Who then knoweth that name, if he cometh out of the body of matter, nor smoke nor darkness nor authority nor ruler of the Fate-sphere nor angel nor archangel nor power can hold down the soul which knoweth that name; but if it cometh out of the world and sayeth that name to the fire, it is quenched and the darkness withdraweth.

"And if it sayeth it to the demons and to the receivers of the outer darkness and their rulers and their authorities and their powers, they will all sink down and their flame will burn and they will cry out: 'Holy, holy art thou, most holy of all holies.'

"And if one sayeth that name to the receivers of the wicked chastisements and their authorities and all their powers and also to Barbēlō and the invisible god and the three triple-powered gods, straightway if one will say this name in those regions, they will all fall one on another, will be undone and destroyed and cry out: 'O Light of all lights, which is in the boundless lights, remember us and purify us.'"

And when Jesus had finished saying these words, all his disciples cried out, wept with loud sobbing, saying: . . .

LACUNA OF EIGHT LEAVES.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:56 pm

A SIXTH BOOK

Chapter 144

Of the chastisement of the curser.


. . . [and lead them forth to the fire-rivers and fire-seas] and take vengeance on it therein for another six months and eight days. Thereafter they lead it up on the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst chastizeth it in his chastisements another six months and eight days. Thereafter they lead it to the Virgin of Light, who judgeth the good and the evil, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turneth itself, she handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the coons of the sphere. And the servitors of the sphere lead it forth to a water which is below the sphere; and it becometh a seething fire and eateth into it, until it purifieth it utterly.

"And then cometh Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, who handeth the souls the cup of forgetfulness, and he bringeth a cup filled with the water of forgetfulness and handeth it to the soul, and it drinketh it and forgetteth all regions and all the regions to which it hath gone. And they cast it down into a body which will spend its time continually troubled in its heart.

"This is the chastisement of the curser."

Mary continued and said: "My Lord, the man who persistently slandereth, if he cometh out of the body, whither shall he get or what is, his chastisement?"

Of the chastisement of the slanderer.

Jesus said: "A man who persistently slandereth, if his time is completed through the sphere, that he cometh out of the body, then Abiout and Charmōn, the receivers of Ariēl, come, lead his soul out of the body and spend three days going round with it and instructing it concerning the creatures of the world.

"Thereafter they lead it below into Ameute before Ariēl, and he chastizeth it in his chastisements eleven months and twenty-and-one days.

"Thereafter they lead it into the chaos before. Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons fall upon it another eleven months and twenty-and-one days, scourging it with fiery whips.

"Thereafter they lead it into fire-rivers and boiling fire-seas, to take vengeance on it therein another eleven months and twenty-and-one days.

"And thereafter they carry it on to the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers on the way of the midst chastizeth it in his chastisements another eleven months and twenty-and-one days.

"Thereafter they carry it to the Virgin of Light, who judgeth the righteous and the sinners, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turneth itself, she handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the æons of the sphere. And the servitors of the sphere will lead it to a water which is below the sphere; and it becometh a seething fire and eateth into it until it purifieth it utterly.

"And Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, bringeth the cup of forgetfulness and handeth it to the soul, and it drinketh it and forgetteth all regions and all things and all the regions through which it hath gone. And they deliver it unto a body which will spend its time being afflicted.

"This is the chastisement of the slanderer."

CHAPTER 145

Mary said: "Woe, woe, unto sinners!"

Salome answered and said: "My Lord Jesus, a murderer who hath never committed any sin but murdering, if he cometh out of the body, what is his chastisement?

Of the chastisement of the murderer.

Jesus answered and said: "A murderer who hath never committed any sin but murdering, if his time is completed through the sphere, that he cometh out of the body, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come and lead his soul out of the body and bind it by its feet to a great demon with a horse's face, and he spendeth three days circling round with it in the world.

"Thereafter they lead it into the regions of the cold and of the snow, and they take vengeance on it there three years and six months.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons scourgeth it another three years and six months.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the chaos before Persephonē and take vengeance on it with her chastisements another three years and six months.

"Thereafter they carry it on to the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it with the chastisements of its regions another three years and six months.

"Thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, who judgeth the righteous and the sinners, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turneth itself, she commandeth that it shall be cast into the outer darkness until the time when the darkness of the midst shall be upraised; it [the soul] will be destroyed and dissolved.

"This is the chastisement of the murderer."

CHAPTER 146

Peter protesteth against the women.


Peter said: "My Lord, let the women cease to question, in order that we also may question."

Jesus said unto Mary and the women: "Give opportunity to your men brethren, that they also may question."

Peter answered and said: "My Lord, a robber and thief, whose sin is this persistently, when he cometh out of the body, what is his chastisement?"

Of the chastisement of the thief.

Jesus said: "If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Adōnis come after him, and lead his soul out of the body, and they spend three days circling round with it and instructing it concerning the creatures of the world.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente before Ariēl, and he taketh vengeance on it in his chastisements three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons taketh vengeance on it another three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it on to the way of the midst, and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it through his dark smoke and his wicked fire another three months, eight days and two hours.

"Thereafter they lead it up unto the Virgin of Light, who judgeth the righteous and the sinners, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turneth itself, she handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the æons of the sphere. And they lead it forth into a water which is below the sphere; and it becometh a seething fire and eateth into it until it purifieth it utterly.

"Thereafter cometh Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, bringeth the cup of forget-fulness and handeth it unto the soul; and it drinketh it and forgetteth all things and all the regions to which it had gone. And they cast it into a lame, halt and blind body.

"This is the chastisement of the thief."

Andrew answered and said: "An arrogant, overweening man, when he cometh out of the body, what will happen to him?"

Of the chastisement of the arrogant.

Jesus said: "If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Ariēl come after him and lead out his soul [out of the body] and spend three days travelling round in the world [with it] and instructing it concerning the creatures of the world.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente before Ariēl; and he taketh vengeance on it with his chastisements twenty months.

"Thereafter they lead it into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons; and he and his demons, one by one, take vengeance on it another twenty months.

"Thereafter they carry it on to the way of the midst; and every one of the rulers of the way of the midst taketh vengeance on it another twenty months.

"And thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, that she may judge it. And when the sphere turneth itself, she handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the æons of the sphere. And the servitors of the sphere lead it into a water which is below the sphere; and it becometh a seething fire and eateth into it until it purifieth it.

"And Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, cometh and bringeth the cup with the water of forgetfulness and handeth it to the soul; and it drinketh and forgetteth all things and all the regions to which it had gone. And they cast it up into a lame and deformed body, so that all despise it persistently.

"This is the chastisement of the arrogant and overweening man."

Thomas said: "A persistent blasphemer, what is his chastisement?"

Of the chastisement of the blasphemer.

Jesus said: "If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come after him and bind him by his tongue to a great demon with a horse's face; they spend three days travelling round with him in the world, and take vengeance on him.

"Thereafter they lead him into the region of the cold and of the snow, and take vengeance on him there eleven years.

"Thereafter they lead him down into the chaos before Yaldabaōth and his forty-and-nine demons, and every one of his demons taketh vengeance on him another eleven years.

"Thereafter they lead him into the outer darkness until the day when the great ruler with the dragon's face who encircleth the darkness, shall be judged. And that soul becometh frozen up [?] and destroyed and dissolved.

"This is the judgment of the blasphemer."

CHAPTER 147

Bartholomew said: "A man who hath intercourse with a male, what is his vengeance?"

Of the chastisement of him who hath intercourse with males.

Jesus said: "The measure of the man who hath intercourse with males and of the man with whom he lieth, is the same as that of the blasphemer.

"When then the time is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Yaldabaōth come after their soul, and he with his forty-and-nine demons taketh vengeance on it eleven years.

"Thereafter they carry it to the fire-rivers and seething pitch-seas, which are full of demons with pigs' faces. They eat into them and take vengeance on [?] them in the fire-rivers another eleven years.

"Thereafter they carry them into the outer darkness until the day of judgment when the great darkness is judged; and then they will be dissolved and destroyed."

Thomas said: "We have heard that there are some on the earth who take the male seed and the female monthly blood, and make it into a lentil porridge and eat it, saying: 'We have faith in Esau and Jacob.' Is this then seemly or not?"

Of the chastisement of a foul act of sorcery.

Jesus was wroth with the world in that hour and said unto Thomas: "Amēn, I say: This sin is more heinous than all sins and iniquities. Such men will straightway be taken into the outer darkness and not be cast back anew into the sphere, but they shall perish, be destroyed in the outer darkness in a region where there is neither pity nor light, but howling and grinding of teeth. And all the souls which shall be brought into the outer darkness, will not be cast back anew, but will be destroyed and dissolved."

John answered [and said]: "A man who hath committed no sin, but done good persistently, but hath not found the mysteries to pass through the rulers, when he cometh out of the body, what will happen unto him?"

Of the after-death state of the righteous man who path not been initiated.

Jesus said: "If the time of such an one is completed through the sphere, the receivers of Bainchōōōch, who is one of the triple-powered gods, come after his soul and lead his soul with joy and exultation and spend three days circling round with it and instructing it concerning the creations of the world with joy and exultation.

"Thereafter they lead it down into the Amente and instruct it concerning the instruments of chastisement in the Amente; but they will not take vengeance on it therewith. But they will only instruct it concerning them, and the smoke of the flame of the chastisements catcheth it only a little.

"Thereafter they carry it up unto the way of the midst and instruct it concerning the chastisements of the ways of the midst, the smoke from the flame catching it a little.

"Thereafter they lead it unto the Virgin of Light, and she judgeth it and depositeth it with the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst, until the sphere turneth itself, and Zeus and Aphrodite come in face of the Virgin of Light, while Kronos and Arēs come behind her.

"At that hour she taketh that righteous soul and handeth it over to her receivers, that they may cast it into the peons of the sphere. And the servitors of the sphere lead it forth into a water which is below the sphere; and a seething fire ariseth and eateth into it until it purifieth it utterly.

"Thereafter cometh Yaluham, the receiver of Sabaōth, the Adamas, who giveth the cup of forgetfulness unto the souls, and he bringeth the water of forgetfulness and handeth it to the soul; [and it drinketh it] and forgetteth all things and all the regions to which it had gone.

Of the cup of wisdom.

"Thereafter there cometh a receiver of the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst. He himself bringeth a cup filled with thoughts and wisdom, and soberness is in it; [and] he handeth it to the soul. And they cast it into a body which can neither sleep nor forget because of the cup of soberness which hath been handed unto it; but it will whip its heart persistently to question about the mysteries of the Light until it find them, through the decision of the Virgin of Light, and inherit the Light for ever."

CHAPTER 148

Mary said: "A man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities and hath not found the mysteries of the Light, will he receive the chastisements for them all at once?"

A sinner suffereth for each separate sin.

Jesus answered: "Yea, he will receive it; if he hath committed three sins, he will receive chastisement for three."

John said: "A man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities, but at last hath found the mysteries of the Light, is it possible for him to be saved?"

Even the greatest of sinners, if he repent, shall inherit the kingdom.

Jesus said: "Such a man who hath committed all sins and all iniquities, and he findeth the mysteries of the Light, and performeth and fulfilleth them and ceaseth not nor doeth sins, will inherit the Treasury of the Light."

Of the time favourable for the birth of those who shall find the mysteries.

Jesus said unto his disciples: "When the sphere turneth itself, and Kronos and Arēs come behind the Virgin of Light and Zeus and Aphrodite come in face of the Virgin, they being in their own æons, then the veils of the Virgin draw themselves aside and she falleth into joy in that hour when she seeth these two light-stars before her. And all the souls which she shall cast at that hour into the circuit of the æons of the sphere, that they may come into the world, will be righteous and good and find at this time the mysteries of the Light; she sendeth them anew that they may find the mysteries of the Light.

"If on the other hand Arēs and Kronos come in face of the Virgin and Zeus and Aphroditē behind her, so that she seeth them not, then all the souls which she shall cast in that hour into the creatures of the sphere, will be wicked and wrathful and do not find the mysteries of the Light."

The disciples beseech Jesus to have mercy upon them.

When then Jesus said this unto his disciples in the midst of the Amente, the disciples cried and wept, [saying]: "Woe, woe unto sinners, on whom the negligence and the forgetfulness of the rulers lie until they come out of the body and are led to these chastisements! Have mercy upon us, have mercy upon us, son of the Holy [One], and have compassion with us, that we may be saved from these chastisements and these judgments which are prepared for the sinners; for we also have sinned, our Lord and our Light."

A LATER POSTSCRIPT

The proclamation of the apostles.


. . . the righteous [man]. They went forth three by three to the four zones of heaven and they proclaimed the goodness of the kingdom in the whole world, the Christ inworking with them through the words of confirmation and the signs and the wonders which followed them. And thus was known the kingdom of God on the whole earth and in the whole world of Israel as a witness for all the nations which are from the rising unto the setting [of the sun].

TWO LINES ERASED.

THE END.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:58 pm

It came to pass, when Jesus had risen from the dead, that he passed eleven years discoursing with his disciples, and instructing them only up to the regions of the First Commandment and up to the regions of the First Mystery.... Jesus said to his disciples: "I am come forth out of that First Mystery, which is the last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery".... Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of all the regions of the great Invisible and of the three triple-powers and of the four-and-twenty invisibles, and all their regions and their æons and their orders, how they are extended -- those which are the emanations of the great Invisible -- and their ungenerated and their self-generated and their generated and their light-givers and their unpaired and their rulers and their authorities and their lords and their archangels and their angels and their decans and their servitors and all the houses of their spheres and all the orders of every one of them. And Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of the emanations of the Treasury, nor their orders, how they are extended; nor had he told them their saviours, according to the order of every one, how they are; nor had he told them what guard is at every [gate] of the Treasury of the Light; nor had he told them the region of the Twin-saviour, who is the Child of the Child; nor had he told them the regions of the three Amēns, in what regions they are expanded; nor had he told them into what region the five Trees are expanded; nor as to the seven Amēns, that is the seven Voices, what is their region, how they are expanded.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:58 pm

And it came to pass then, on the fifteenth day of the moon in the month Tybi, which is the day on which the moon is full, on that day then, when the sun had come forth in his going, that there came forth behind him a great light-power shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure to the light conjoined with it. For it came out of the Light of lights, and it came out of the last mystery, which is the four-and-twentieth mystery, from within without.... the light was of divers kind, and it was of divers type, from below upwards, one [ray] more excellent than the other.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:59 pm

And Adamas, the great Tyrant, and all the tyrants in all the æons began to fight in vain against the light.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:59 pm

And I took from all a third of their power, that they should no more be active in their evil doings, and that, if the men who are in the world, invoke them in their mysteries -- those which the angels who transgressed have brought down, that is their sorceries, -- in order that, therefore, if they invoke them in their evil doings, they may not be able to accomplish them. And the Fate and the sphere over which they rule, I have changed and brought it to pass that they spend six months turned to the left and accomplish their influences, and that six months they face to the right and accomplish their influences. For by command of the First Commandment and by command of the First Mystery Yew, the Overseer of the Light, had set them facing the left at every time and accomplishing their influences and their deeds.
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Re: Pistis Sophia: A Gnostic Miscellany, translated by G.R.S

Postby admin » Wed Oct 09, 2013 7:59 pm

But they will raise a loan from those who know the mysteries of the magic of the thirteenth æon. And if they invoke the mysteries of the magic of those who are in the thirteenth æon, they will accomplish them well and surely, because I have not taken away power from that region, according to the command of the First Mystery.
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