–Epinoia Cesare, 15 May 2018-Present
Introduction: Sethianism vis-à-vis Valentinianism
The Valentinians were a part of the Orthodox Christian community; they attended church services and often led them. Additionally, though their beliefs often incorporated traditional doctrine, they practiced their own tenets separately. This secret teaching conflicted with the views of the proto-orthodox. However, the Nicene council of 325 put an end to some of the more esoteric beliefs of this school.
The Sethians appear to have been much less likely to be concerned with the activities of the proto-orthodox. We know that this sect, as defined today, was a fusion of the Barbeloites and the Sethites. I find the former much more intriguing than the latter. In my opinion, Christ is far superior to the figure of Seth. The Sethites, though presenting an interesting creed, really tend to muck things up by effectively adjoining two spiritual figures into one, so to speak, that is Christ & Seth.
The reason I am writing this work, at least to start, is primarily to explore the differences ascribed to the two main spiritual schools often in conflict with the proto-orthodox. In the process, I hope to better define my personal creed.
The Valentinians likely fused the Barbeloite concepts into their beliefs. However, some of the original texts, particularly The Apocryphon of John (ApJohn,) seem to have been rewritten entirely. Some were omitted in their entirety, such as the Trimorphic Protennoia (TriProt.) Additional treatises were drafted that relied on Sethian tenets that were woven into the respective works.
Rather than describing the Father solely in mysterious, negative-theology terms, which paradoxically he really should be for means of clarity, the Valentinians attempt to canonize the notion by way of using softer descriptions in addition to a subset of this negative-theology, such as “in his sweet goodness.” Though I believe that the Father does in fact encapsulate such expressions, I prefer the strength of the Sethian/Barbeloite and potentially Johannine secessionist exposition of his character: ineffable, incomprehensible, incorruptible, illimitable, unsearchable, immeasurable, invisible, eternal, and unnameable.
My preliminary thought is that I am a Johannine Sethian, though I’ll revisit this discussion repeatedly. As Princeton’s Elaine Pagels says on p. 162 of The Origin of Satan, “Those who have ‘the Spirit of truth within them’ refuse to enter into marriage, business, or any other worldly entanglements, in order to remain an ‘undominated generation,’ free ‘to devote themselves to the Holy Spirit.’”
Some of the New Testament is critically important; many of the works discovered in Nag Hammadi Egypt in 1945 are also key. I will attempt to piece this puzzle together in this work, and I believe that tenets of the Johannine School are crucial. Ultimately, I will put forward my take on what I am calling The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon.
Johannine Secessionist / Sethian / Valentinian?
Plato’s usage of the descriptive phrase ‘royal’ to denote the elevated position of the able gnostikoi, and the availability of such a position to all members of society regardless of rank, would have been greatly appealing to early Christians. Aristotle, who was a student of Plato and later a teacher at Plato’s academy, described the ideal life of success as being the one which is spent in theoretical contemplation (bios theoretikos). Thus, gnosis as such becomes the central goal of life, extending through the mode of morality into the realms of politics and religion. Philosophy, according to Aristotle, is a methodically ordered form of attaining this gnosis: ‘Philosophy promises knowledge of being’ (Alexander of Aphrodisias, Commentary on the Metaphysics of Aristotle, c. 200 CE).
The ancient theme related to the texts found at Nag Hammadi and the various ancient reports on the Sethians (the Johannine secessionists,) therefore, could be described as but one of many ancient traditions which are dedicated to the pursuit of knowledge, and which supply teachings and methodologies that are supposed to aid in such a pursuit.
As with both the Platonist and the Aristotelian traditions, the pursuit of gnosis is the central occupation of life, and involves a measure of dedicated contemplation to attain. It may be deduced that the description of the gnostike episteme by Plato was appealing to early Christian formulators. Some early movements emphasize the rarity of such knowledge, for example, some texts and reports associated with the Sethians. The Apocryphon of John & The Trimorphic Protennoia immediately come to mind, as do the Sethian Neoplatonic treatises Allogenes, Marsanès, and Zostrianos.
However, the Valentinian’s middle-ground, attributing elements to both the Father and the Demiurge (which we’ll get to in more detail,) driven by their relative positioning as a sort of midpoint between the Orthodox and the Sethians, was an ineffective attempt to canonize this whole movement. Thus, to a certain extent they failed Original Christianity by sending it further into the realms of heresy than it ever might have been. However, this could be a good thing, in a reverse-logic fashion, as it did promote the overall concepts and treatises to the point we’ve discovered them in the twentieth century. It’s possible such works never would have been saved by the Pachemonian Monks in such a fashion without Valentinian tactics, as much as I might personally disagree with some of their tenets. What can be said is that their attempts were no match for the Heresiologists such as Irenaeus of Lyon and Epiphanius.
The Sethian Apocryphon of John (ApJohn) 3-4 further describes the Father as follows, pp. 106-107 of James M. Robinson’s The Nag Hammadi Library:
- “And I [John] asked to know, and he [Christ] said to me, ‘The Monad is a monarchy with nothing above it. It is he who exists as God and Father of everything, this invisible One who is above everything, who exists as incorruption, which is in the pure light into which no eye can look.”
- “He is the invisible Spirit of whom it is not right to think of him as a god, or something similar. For he is more than a god, since there is nothing above him, for no one lords it over him. For he does not exist in something inferior to him, since everything exists in him.”
- IV 4, 9-10: “For it is he who establishes himself. He is eternal since he does not need anything. For he is total perfection. He did not lack anything that he might be completed by it; rather he is always completely perfect in light.”
- “He is immeasurable light which is pure, holy, and immaculate. He is ineffable being perfect in incorruptibility. He is not in perfection, nor in blessedness, nor in divinity, but he is far superior. He is not corporeal nor is he incorporeal. He is neither large nor is he small. There is no way to say, ‘What is his quantity?’ or, ‘What is his quality?’ for no one can know him. He is not someone among other beings, rather he is far superior. Not that he is simply superior, but his essence does not partake in the Aeons nor in time. For he who partakes in an Aeon was prepared beforehand. Time was not apportioned to him, since he does not receive anything from another, for it would be received on loan. For he who precedes someone does not lack that he may receive from him. For rather it is the latter that looks expectantly at him in his light.”
- “For the perfection is majestic. He is pure, immeasurable mind. He is an Aeon-giving Aeon. He is life giving life. He is a blessedness-giving blessed one. He is knowledge-giving knowledge. He is goodness-giving goodness. He is mercy and redemption-giving mercy. He is grace-giving grace, not because he possesses it, but because he gives the immeasurable, incomprehensible light.”
- “His Aeon is indestructible, at rest, and existing in silence, reposing (and) being prior to everything. For he is the head of all the Aeons, and it is he who gives them strength in his goodness. For we know not the ineffable things, and we do not understand what is immeasurable, except for him who came forth from him, namely from the Father. For it is he who told it to us alone.”
The Gospel of John (GosJohn) represents strength, love, and incomprehensibility to a large degree—similar to ApJohn. The Trimorphic Protennoia (TriProt) is another treatise that is written in the same vein. Collectively the works seem to be pertinent to groups such as the Johannine secessionists. In my opinion, the Valentinian texts do not approach this strength, other than The Gospel of Truth (GosTruth) that was most likely written by Valentinus himself, thus at a very early date and closer to the source. Valentinus was most likely an adherent to the Apocryphon in his time. The Valentinian movement in general was most likely stronger on message the farther back we go in history. It wasn’t until further development of this creed did things get convoluted.
Per the Trimorphic Protennoia: “I am the first one who descended on account of my portion which remains, that is, the Spirit that dwells in the soul, which originated from the Water of Life, and out of the immersion of the mysteries. And I spoke, I, together with the Archons and Authorities. For I had gone down below their language, and I spoke my mysteries to my own – a hidden mystery – and the bonds and eternal oblivion were nullified. And I bore fruit in them, that is, the Thought of the unchanging Aeon, and my house, and their Father. And I went down to those who were mine from the first, and I reached them and broke the first strands that enslaved them. Then everyone of those within me shone, and I prepared a pattern for those ineffable Lights that are within me. Amen.”
Preliminary Thoughts on ApJohn
I believe ApJohn was written with GosJohn in mind, and in some respects it could have represented a retort on what the far right (the proto-orthodox) was teaching. Whether or not the treatise is meant to be read literally, or if it is an allegory (extended metaphor,) does not necessarily seem to matter as it does portray Christ delivering the message to John, and it does dovetail with many of the Chapters and Verses in GosJohn (and even GosMark as we shall see.) We know that mythology at the very least serves to teach lessons. Furthermore, we’re in the Land of the Spirit.
In the text, Barbelo/Pronoia represents to us the conceptual and anthropological qualities of the Father, thus his mirror image. However, regarding the Wisdom concept, or Sophia, the twelfth Aeon (or somehow the thirteenth if you’re a Valentinian) is the emanation from which the initial rupture occurred, one that created matter in theory, Yaltabaoth (and his subsequent Archons,) and this Universe or Realm (I hesitate to call it an aeon, even with a small ‘a.’ The TriProt correctly refers to Aeons in the Pleroma with a capital ‘A.’) As Alastair Logan of The University of Exeter states in his book Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy, p. 123: “The Apocryphon has Sophia produce her conception through the wantonness, or through her watchfulness, or through her invincible power.” Furthermore, Sophia is identified with Epinoia in both ApJohn and TriProt. They are related, but not one-in-the-same.
The Valentinians would have it that since Sophia represents Wisdom, she could not have helped herself from instigating the impossible regarding the Father. The Sethians have it quite differently in their Apocryphon. As mentioned, some call her act wanton, some (such as The TriProt) call it innocent. The key is that she did not have her consort’s consent, let alone the invisible Spirit’s, in seeking out The Father. Thus, in ApJohn she’s stuck in this Realm’s Ninth Heaven, for lack of a better term, one that was created for her within both the texts of ApJohn & TriProt (and note the Ninth is not in the Pleroma.) Epinoia, not Sophia, asked Yaltabaoth for it to be created in the latter work:
“Now when the Epinoia of the Light realized that he (Yaltabaoth) had begged him (the Light) for another order, even though he was lower than she, she said, “Give me another order, so that you may become for me a dwelling place, lest I dwell in disorder forever.” And the order of the entire house of glory was agreed upon her word. A blessing was brought for her and the higher order released it to her.”
Thus, TriProt further elaborates on the creation of ApJohn’s 9th by explicitly stating this order was granted to Epinoia; by virtue of their identification with one another, Sophia also assumed this order. Ironically, Sophia was Epinoia’s custodian! Furthermore, as Harvard’s Karen King states in her book The Secret Revelation of John (ApJohn,) on p. 233: “The wisdom of the lower world is folly. Just as The Secret Revelation of John satirizes Genesis by exposing the creator as an arrogant, theriomorphic pretender [as we shall see in the next Section,] so it takes equal pleasure in parodying Jewish wisdom tradition by portraying Divine Wisdom [Sophia] as an ignorant and foolish female.”
Some rather lurid works refer to Sophia as Pronoia’s lower half, but I’d like to explore two possibilities:
- Did her wanton act represent independent action, one that was later accepted by the Father & The Totalities (i.e. the Pleroma?)
- Was the seed of this act deliberate, foreknown, and expected?
In other words, as a good Valentinian might say, was Error pre-generated thought by the Father or was it systematic malfunction? I don’t agree with their ultimate reasoning that since she’s Wisdom, she could not help it.
One way to approach the base-level issue is with Christ’s Illuminators. Armozel, to me, represents structure, with his Grace, Truth, and Form. Though a solid base is important, to me Daveithai’s Aeons might in fact be the highest ideals overall: Understanding, Love, and Idea. Perhaps he’s sandwiched in at Position III for camouflage purposes. Armozel could in fact solidify this entire conceptualization, Oroiael could represent the natural transition between Armozel and Daveithai with his Conception (Pronoia in some versions,) Perception, and Memory. Eleleth, the fourth and last, very well could represent the ultimate goal in one’s spiritual quest with his Aeons of Perfection, Peace, and Wisdom. Most likely this ordering should be held intact, though a true Luminary should ascertain that those concepts included in Daveithai are what it’s all about at the base level. I’ll too mention now that there’s one Pleroma in ApJohn & TriProt (let alone GosJohn,) and this was a quite egregious error included toward the end of GosTruth: there are not multiple Pleromas.
At this point I will too stress how I believe GosTruth was an initial Valentinian attempt to trinitize ApJohn, and the language included therein does support many of the concepts. Moreover, the Tripartite Tractate (TriTrac) was a desperate, and much later, attempt to trinitize the Apocryphon, most likely written well past Irenaeus’ Against Heresies—and most likely as a response. The Valentinians went through mental gymnastics in order to rewrite this most important treatise. Even ApJohn was redacted after the copy Irenaeus likely used when composing Book I, Ch 29 & 30, but there’s a difference between a redaction and a rewrite. The Sethian Hypostasis of the Archons offers yet another perspective, and though several of the details have been shifted, it’s true to the Spirit of the Apocryphon. The same goes for On the Origin of the World; it’s not as cohesively related, though it is stronger than many of the Valentinian works. For example, in this treatise Sophia is in the 6th ‘Heaven’ of this Realm, or ‘ogdoad,’ not the 9th as we’ll see in ApJohn.
I will take a moment to express that the anthropological/anthropomorphic principles included in the likes of ApJohn are, more or less, focused on the human race by definition. I don’t want to unduly bore the reader with discussion about other potential alien races as there are plenty of sources one can reference. However, I do want to stress that these elements apply across the different races on this very planet, and hence often times scholars will make the connection among the likes of Original Christianity’s relation with Buddhism, Taoism, Orthodox Christianity, and the general category of mystery religions. In essence, Original Christianity is a fusion of all, plus the addition of some of the tenets of Greek Philosophy, Jewish Wisdom Traditions, and Astrology. As Rice University’s April DeConick has pointed out, even elements of Roman Mysticism can apply—the Hermetics, the Mithraic mysteries. The Egyptian’s Atum provides another such example.
ApJohn’s discussion of Christ has him first and foremost a spark that was the only begotten spirit of The Father & Barbelo. GosJohn equates Christ with Logos in the Prologue. Others would include Autogenes—a process in my opinion, not a thing. More on this later. Additionally, one must keep in mind that opposed to the Archons’ Fate, the Immovable Race is subject to Divine Providence, or Pronoia him/herself. Universal energy still exists, but Providence trumps fate.
Light vis-à-vis the Counterfeit Spirit
Another concept that’s well expounded upon in ApJohn is that of the Counterfeit Spirit. This too will be discussed in more detail, but an initial thought is that sin generally begins to work itself out of one’s system as knowledge is acquired in a step-by-step fashion to weed out the elements this Counterfeit Spirit is constantly throwing at you. In this Realm, unfortunately, the Counterfeit Spirit is alive and well, and it’s woven into this aeon’s (small case!) fabric such that people are conflicted.
In The Gospel of Thomas (GosThom) saying 77, Jesus says “Split a piece of wood, and I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.” Unfortunately, the same hold’s true in this aeon with the Counterfeit Spirit! Perhaps it’s “The Universe’s” grand Yin/Yang as it were, or said another way akin to the Manichaean belief system of Good vs. Evil.
Regarding Saying 77, where Jesus said, “It is I who am the light (that presides) over all. It is I who am the entirety: it is from me that the entirety has come, and to me that the entirety goes. Split a piece of wood: I am there. Lift a stone, and you (plur.) will find me there,” there’s much scholarly attention:
- Funk and Hoover write: “In this complex, Jesus speaks of himself in highly exalted terms, as he often does in The Gospel of John (for example, John 8:12; 10:7). But such self-reference is not characteristic of the Jesus of the synoptic parables and aphorisms. The term ‘light’ has special significance in The Gospel of Thomas (11:3b; 24:3; 50:1; 61:5; 83:1-2), and the ‘All’ is a technical gnostic term for the whole of cosmic reality (note Thomas 67). Such ideas, of course, had currency elsewhere in early Christian circles as well (note John 8:12; Rom 11:36; 1 Cor 8:6). But they are not characteristic of Jesus.” (The Five Gospels, p. 515)
- Gerd Ludemann writes: “Jesus identifies himself with light (cf. John 8.12; 9.5), which is tremendously important in Thomas: 11.3b; 24.3; 50.1; 61.5; 83.1-2. Jesus claims to be mediator at creation (cf. Romans 11.36; 1 Cor. 8:6; Col. 1:16). All this recalls the role of wisdom. The presence of Jesus as it is described in vv. 2-3 echoes Matt. 18.20; 28.20 – but in that passage, too, there is a wisdom background.” (Jesus After 2000 Years, p. 629)
Please disregard all allusions to the Pauline Letters; they are not part of the Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon, as we shall see in the Honing the True Canon Section below.
Given the character in ApJohn of Saklas (Yaltabaoth or Ialdabaoth, Samael) is the Demiurge, not in the platonic vain, the difference (whether real or metaphorical) with Orthodox Christianity’s/Judaism’s Satan becomes irrelevant. Is the Demiurge Satan or is Satan the Demiurge? Wikipedia provides the following basic summary of the Demiurge: “[It’s the] distinction between the highest, unknowable God and the demiurgic “creator” of the material. Several systems of [Sethian] thought present the Demiurge as antagonistic to the will of the Supreme Being: his act of creation occurs in an unconscious semblance of the divine model, and thus is fundamentally flawed, or else is formed with the malevolent intention of entrapping aspects of the divine in materiality. Thus, in such systems, the Demiurge acts as a solution to (or, at least possibly, the problem or cause that gives rise to) the problem of evil.”
However, Wikipedia is incorrect as the Demiurge did not create matter as in the Platonic school, Sophia’s (Wisdom’s) rupture did according to the Johannine secessionists, along with creating Yaltabaoth. That’s why she’s stuck in this Realm’s Ninth Heaven. Per ApJohn 13:
- Then the mother [Sophia] began to move to and fro. She became aware of the deficiency when the brightness of her Light diminished. And she became dark because her consort had not agreed with her.
- And I said, “Lord, what does it mean that she moved to and fro?” But he smiled and said, “Do not think it is, as Moses said, ‘above the waters.’ No, but when she had seen the wickedness which had happened, and the theft which her son had committed, she repented. And she was overcome by forgetfulness in the darkness of ignorance and she began to be ashamed. (IV 21, 13-15: And she did not dare to return, but she was moving) about. And the moving is the going to and fro.
Here are some more excerpts from the Apocryphon of John 11-12 that discuss the Demiurge; again I will stress that much of this description could represent an extended metaphor or allegory, if not parody, at times:
- “And when the light had mixed with the darkness, it caused the darkness to shine. And when the darkness had mixed with the light, it darkened the light and it became neither light nor dark, but it became dim.”
- “Now the archon who is weak has three names. The first name is Yaltabaoth, the second is Saklas, and the third is Samael. And he is impious in his arrogance which is in him. For he said, ‘I am God and there is no other God beside me,’ for he is ignorant of his strength, the place from which he had come.”
- “They [Yaltabaoth & his Archons] created a counterfeit spirit, who resembles the Spirit who had descended, so as to pollute the souls through it. And the angels changed themselves in their likeness into the likeness of their mates (the daughters of men), filling them with the spirit of darkness, which they had mixed for them, and with evil. They brought gold and silver and a gift and copper and iron and metal and all kinds of things. And they steered the people who had followed them into great troubles, by leading them astray with many deceptions. They (the people) became old without having enjoyment. They died, not having found truth and without knowing the God of truth. And thus the whole creation became enslaved forever, from the foundation of the world until now. And they took women and begot children out of the darkness according to the likeness of their spirit. And they closed their hearts, and they hardened themselves through the hardness of the counterfeit spirit until now.”
- ApJohn 28 And I said, “Lord, from where did the Counterfeit Spirit come?” Then he said to me, “The Mother-Father who is rich in mercy, the Holy Spirit in every way, the One who is merciful and who sympathizes with you, i.e. the Epinoia of the foreknowledge of Light, he raised up the offspring of the perfect race and its thinking and the eternal Light of man. When the chief Archon realized that they were exalted above him in the height — and they surpass him in thinking — then he wanted to seize their thought, not knowing that they [the Immovable Race] surpassed him in thinking and that he will not be able to seize them.”
- “He (Yaltabaoth) made a plan with his authorities, which are his Powers, and they committed together adultery with Sophia, and bitter fate was begotten through them, which is the last of the changeable bonds. And it is of a sort that is interchangeable. And it is harder and stronger than she with whom the gods united and the angels and the demons and all the generations until this day. For from that fate came forth every sin and injustice and blasphemy and the chain of forgetfulness and ignorance and every severe command and serious sins and great fears. And thus the whole creation was made blind, in order that they may not know God who is above all of them. And because of the chain of forgetfulness, their sins were hidden. For they are bound with measures and times and moments, since it (fate) is lord over everything.”
Furthermore, regarding Yaltabaoth’s creation and domain, ApJohn 9-12:
- “And the Sophia of the Epinoia, being an aeon, conceived a thought from herself and the conception of the invisible Spirit and foreknowledge. She wanted to bring forth a likeness out of herself without the consent of the Spirit, – he had not approved – and without her consort, and without his consideration. And though the person of her maleness had not approved, and she had not found her agreement, and she had thought without the consent of the Spirit and the knowledge of her agreement, (yet) she brought forth. And because of the invincible power which is in her, her thought did not remain idle, and something came out of her which was
imperfect and different from her appearance, because she had created it without her consort. And it was dissimilar to the likeness of its mother, for it has another form.”
- “And when she saw (the consequences of) her desire, it changed into a form of a lion-faced serpent. And its eyes were like lightning fires which flash. She cast it away from her, outside that place, that no one of the immortal ones might see it, for she had created it in ignorance. And she surrounded it with a luminous cloud, and she placed a throne in the middle of the cloud that no one might see it except the holy Spirit who is called the mother of the living. And she called his name Yaltabaoth.”
- “This is the first archon who took a great power from his mother. And he removed himself from her and moved away from the places in which he was born. He became strong and created for himself other aeons with a flame of luminous fire which (still) exists now. And he joined with his arrogance which is in him and begot authorities for himself. The name of the first one is Athoth, whom the generations call the reaper. The second one is Harmas, who is the eye of envy. The third one is Kalila-Oumbri. The fourth one is Yabel. The fifth one is Adonaiou, who is called Sabaoth. The sixth one is Cain, whom the generations of men call the sun. The seventh is Abel. The eighth is Abrisene. The ninth is Yobel. The tenth is Armoupieel. The eleventh is Melceir-Adonein. The twelfth is Belias, it is he who is over the depth of Hades. And he placed seven kings – each corresponding to the firmaments of heaven – over the seven heavens, and five over the depth of the abyss, that they may reign. And he shared his fire with them, but he did not send forth from the power of the light which he had taken from his mother, for he is ignorant darkness.”
- “And the archons created seven powers for themselves, and the powers created for themselves six angels for each one until they became 365 angels. And these are the bodies belonging with the names: the first is Athoth, a he has a sheep’s face; the second is Eloaiou, he has a donkey’s face; the third is Astaphaios, he has a hyena’s face; the fourth is Yao, he has a serpent’s face with seven heads; the fifth is Sabaoth, he has a dragon’s face; the sixth is Adonin, he had a monkey’s face; the seventh is Sabbede, he has a shining fire-face. This is the sevenness of the week.”
- “But Yaltabaoth had a multitude of faces, more than all of them, so that he could put a face before all of them, according to his desire, when he is in the midst of seraphs. He shared his fire with them; therefore he became lord over them. Because of the power of the glory he possessed of his mother’s light, he called himself God. And he did not obey the place from which he came. And he united the seven powers in his thought with the authorities which were with him. And when he spoke it happened. And he named each power beginning with the highest: the first is goodness with the first (authority), Athoth; the second is foreknowledge with the second one, Eloaio; and the third is divinity with the third one, Astraphaio); the fourth is lordship with the fourth one, Yao; the fifth is kingdom with the fifth one, Sabaoth; the sixth is envy with the sixth one, Adonein; the seventh is understanding with the seventh one, Sabbateon. And these have a firmament corresponding to each aeon-heaven. They were given names according to the glory which belongs to heaven for the destruction of the powers. And in the names which were given to them by their Originator there was power. But the names which were given them according to the glory which belongs to heaven mean for them destruction and powerlessness. Thus they have two names.”
As Rice University’s Chair of the Department of Religion April DeConnick astutely pointed out to me in her recent book The Gnostic New Age on p.142—the Greek actually has GosJohn’s 8:44’s first line read “You are from the father of the devil…” whereas most— if not all—English translations have it as “You are of your father the devil…” What a difference! The Demiurge and his minions created this aeon, Bythsma/Belias (one of the Archons) may in fact be over Hades, and this might equate to the “devil.” However, the concept/ false emanation is actually attributable to the Demiurge himself. One way or another, this aeon (again with a small ‘a’) encapsulates the Counterfeit Spirit, and it’s our individual spiritual work that will enable its release, or said another way to diminish (if not nullify) its influence. It’s not always that simple, however, as just as Jesus is in Saying 77, it’s metaphorically everywhere.
Supporting this position, April Deconnick states in Histories of the Hidden God:
“What were the [Johannine] secessionists claiming that they knew about the “true” God? Their position appears to represent an early version of the Gnostic hermeneutic that read John 8:44 as a literal reference to the Jewish God and lawgiver as the Devil’s father, while Jesus’ Father was another God. They were claiming that they knew the “true” Father, and he is not the traditional god who gave the laws to the Jews. Rather the Jewish God gave “miserable” laws to be obeyed because he himself was wicked, associated with the “darkness” and “the world.” They emphasized that the God Jesus preached was to be contrasted with the Jewish God of the Law. Jesus’ Father was a God of love who gave a “new” commandment, to love one another, while the God of the Jews was a malicious god who gave the old Mosaic laws to burden people. The secessionists appear to have been claiming that they knew the “true” Father preached by Jesus, and that the members of the church were part of a sinless generation connected to the Father by nature.”
In my opinion, this discourse expresses the notion that GosJohn, ApJohn, and TriProt are all linked, and this particular set of Verses in GosJohn highlights this fact. Of course ApJohn & TriProt have this Father of the Devil as Yaltabaoath. This excerpt from her book really expresses the dissension at the time: “As I worked through this Catholic–Gnostic debate, it became clear to me that this debate was not a late development that we could sever from the production and first interpretations of The Gospel of John. Rather this debate was already raging in the Johannine epistles written in the first decade of the second century. Furthermore, the catholic interpretation did not appear to be primary, but secondary, put into place to domesticate an older Gnostic sentiment written into the very fiber of The Gospel of John itself.”
What exactly does ApJohn have to say the Counterfeit Spirit encapsulates? Essentially, the description starts from the big picture level and widdles itself down: at the top, of course there’s Saklas himself and the Archons. But conceptually, the four greatest challenges are Pleasure, Desire, Grief, and Fear. The mother of them all is Aesthesis-Ouch-Epi-Ptoe, and often matter itself is the issue. A level down reveals the following:
The Counterfeit Spirit
Similar Such Things
Similar such things
“All are like useful things as well as evil things.” Contrast this table with that presented in the Refinement Section; focus on those attributes included therein. However, a word to the wise: never be sanctimonious, that is do not make comments or judgments that come across as a hypocritical show of religious devotion, piety, or righteousness. However, do make a conscious effort to evaluate the status quo in your particular situation and act accordingly.
Keep in mind that righteous anger, or indignation, is the only acceptable sort of anger. Per Wikipedia: “Righteous indignation is typically a reactive emotion of anger over mistreatment, insult, or malice of another. It is akin to what is called the sense of injustice. In some Christian doctrines, righteous anger is considered the only form of anger which is not sinful, e.g., when Jesus drove the money lenders out of the temple.”
Where and when does one draw the line between removing something or someone who clearly runs with the Counterfeit Spirit and not giving up? Christ even said to Peter in GosMatt 18:21, upon being asked, “Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive? As many as seven times?” Jesus said to him, “Not seven times, but, I tell you seventy-seven times.” I am not the judge and jury, but I do need to ensure that I am not distracted, or afflicted, so the unfortunate reality is that one first needs to try to work things out, secondly always try to have a dialogue, and thirdly if it isn’t rectifying and it’s causing you to feel or act poorly, cut it loose. Don’t be a fool; trust your intuition. At the very least, humbly ask Epinoia to guide you through difficult transits. Make sure the Counterfeit Spirit is always put at bay. Quietly remove obstacles from your life.
In the text of ApJohn, Christ himself brought about Adam to eat of the Tree; however, the serpent taught them wickedness, begetting, lust, and destruction. On p. 119 of Robinson’s The Nag Hammadi Library, ApJohn-LR: “Now up to the present day, sexual intercourse continued due to the Chief Archon. And he planted sexual desire in her who belongs to Eve [though other versions have it planted in Adam.] And he produced through intercourse the copies of the bodies, and he inspired them with his Counterfeit Spirit.”
Seth was, of course, from Adam and Eve and represents the first “good” seed, but Cain and Abel were from Saklas and Eve according to the text. Therefore, Seth exists according to the way of the race in the Aeons, and “the Mother [Barbelo] also sent down her Spirit, which is in her likeness and a copy of those who are in the Pleroma, for she will prepare a dwelling place.” The Mother is equated with the Holy Spirit earlier in the treatise: “This is the first thought, his image, she became the womb of everything for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father, the first man, the Holy Spirit, the thrice male, the three powerful, the thrice-named androgynous one, and the eternal Aeon among the invisible ones, and the the first to come forth.” Later, in response to John, Christ states that we (the Immovable Race) should go about our matters such that we’re not involved in wickedness and evil. Care about incorruption alone (not debased or perverted; morally upright) without anger or envy or jealousy or desire (bitter passion might be the key here!) and greed of anything.
Reference ApJohn’s Verses:
- And I said to the savior, “Lord, will all the souls then be brought safely into the pure light?” He answered and said to me, “Great things have arisen in your mind, for it is difficult to explain them to others except to those who are from the Immovable Race. Those on whom the Spirit of life will descend and (with whom) he will be with the power, they will be saved and become perfect and be worthy of the greatness and be purified in that place from all wickedness and the involvements in evil. Then they have no other care than the incorruption alone, to which they direct their attention from here on, without anger or envy or jealousy or desire and greed of anything. They are not affected by anything except the state of being in the flesh alone, which they bear while looking expectantly for the time when they will be met by the receivers (of the body). Such then are worthy of the imperishable, eternal life and the calling. For they endure everything and bear up under everything, that they may finish the good fight and inherit eternal life.”
- I said to him, “Lord, the souls of those who did not do these works (but) on whom the power and Spirit descended, (will they be rejected?” He answered and said to me, “If) the Spirit (descended upon them), they will in any case be saved, and they will change (for the better). For the power will descend on every man, for without it no one can stand. And after they are born, then, when the Spirit of life increases and the power comes and strengthens that soul, no one can lead it astray with works of evil. But those on whom the counterfeit spirit descends are drawn by him and they go astray.”
- And I said, “Lord, where will the souls of these go when they have come out of their flesh?” And he smiled and said to me, “The soul in which the power will become stronger than the counterfeit spirit, is strong and it flees from evil and, through the intervention of the incorruptible one, it is saved, and it is taken up to the rest of the aeons.”
- And I said, “Lord, those, however, who have not known to whom they belong, where will their souls be?” And he said to me, “In those, the despicable spirit has gained strength when they went astray. And he burdens the soul and draws it to the works of evil, and he casts it down into forgetfulness. And after it comes out of (the body), it is handed over to the authorities, who came into being through the archon, and they bind it with chains and cast it into prison, and consort with it until it is liberated from the forgetfulness and acquires knowledge. And if thus it becomes perfect, it is saved.”
- And I said, “Lord, how can the soul become smaller and return into the nature of its mother or into man?” Then he rejoiced when I asked him this, and he said to me, “Truly, you are blessed, for you have understood! That soul is made to follow another one (fem.), since the Spirit of life is in it. It is saved through him. It is not again cast into another flesh.”
- And I said, “Lord, these also who did [not] know, but have turned away, where will their souls go?” Then he said to me, “To that place where the angels of poverty go they will be taken, the place where there is no repentance. And they will be kept for the day on which those who have blasphemed the spirit will be tortured, and they will be punished with eternal punishment.”
If it weren’t for the formation of the Orthodox Church, then the overall works of Christianity might have never had made it to the present day; thus we can actually be thankful in some respects for Irenaeus’ Four Pillar Canon. With the findings in 1945 of the Nag Hammadi Corpus, now the real conceptualization has resumed in full force.
Pronoia & Christ—Saviors & Redeemers
Whenever I refer to ApJohn, it’s the LR (Long Redaction) that includes the Pronoia Hymn. Much of this section is aligned with probably the most profound work of all — the TriProt. Pronoia is a Savior figure, as Christ can be, and Christ is the Redeemer, as Pronoia can be. The concepts are intertwined. It is possible that they, along with the Father of course, allowed this aeon, and even the Counterfeit Spirit, to evolve in order to come back and claim what is theirs (TriProt end of [On Fate: Two.]) Thus this action will be completed after the Souls/Spirits sort themselves such that those who truly are from the Immovable Race (the Valentinians believe this sort is called Pneumatic) will be claimed. It refers to those who have learnt, felt, seen, and touched the various elements and attributes of what are in this aeon such that they can individually discriminate for themselves right from wrong. The Immovable Race therefore becomes. They are the true Crusaders of the Pure Light. Perhaps this was and is the Pleroma’s Grand Plan. Per the Trimorphic Protennoia:
“But now I have come down and reached down to Chaos. And I was with my own who were in that place. I am hidden within them, empowering them, giving them shape. And from the first day until the day when I will grant mighty glory to those who are mine, I will reveal myself to those who have heard my mysteries, that is, the Sons of the Light.”
Is salvation, and that can mean different things depending on the person, predetermined, or is it earned? This is a classic question among philosophers regarding determinism vis-à-vis free will. It’s worth contemplating, that’s for certain. In good form, I truly believe it’s a fusion of sorts, though determinism trumps free will in my opinion. Just read the entire TriProt! I do not believe anyone can know this answer, though I’m certain many believe they know the truth.
It is hard to read The Trimorphic Protennoia and not take away the belief that Providence (determinism) trumps free will. Other treatises might hold otherwise, but in my opinion TriProt (Part III of John’s Gospel) is a force to be reckoned with — after all, it is attributed to the Father with perfect knowledge. Then again, the entire work is written with the Immovable Race in mind; others might indeed be subject to free will, if it’s not in fact determinism that they make other choices, as Einstein and Spinoza would probably say. The jury is out. However, I rest my case, at least as regards the Immovable Race.
At the very least, mythology is good for instructional purposes to demonstrate concepts. It can be fun, and even worthwhile, to dance in the mythology, but it’s there for reference, even if you make changes to it as I’ve done in the coming Refinement Section. However, always remember at the end of it all it’s The Father, Christ, and the Holy Spirit (for which Pronoia is a proxy in the mythology itself.) Otherwise, if taken too literally, what you’re yearning to practice has the potential to become a quite unique form of fundamentalism! Notwithstanding this aspect, since we’re referencing the Land of the Spirit, anything is possible. For example, Epinoia in many respects is quite similar to GosJohn’s Paraclete/Advocate.
Initial Personal Canon
- Apocryphon of John – LR
- Trimorphic Protennoia
—with reference to GosTruth of the Valentinian School plus firm recognition of the Johannine School’s GosJohn.
The TriProt expresses it all and is the most exalted book. ApJohn gives the details as does GosJohn. Allogenes gives revelatory instruction.
Though written via ApJohn’s mythology, I believe that the very end of TriProt conveys who the author actually is: “A Sacred Scripture written by the Father with perfect Knowledge.” She was the Jesus of the Demiurge, she bore the cursed wood for Jesus, and she is the one who claims what is hers. All of this is metaphor referring to the Father’s active hand in the cosmos, both this aeon and the Pleroma. Christ has an active hand with his Autogenes, that is the process of receiving the Spirit of Light (many prefer the term Spirit of Life, but so be it.) The Spirit claims the children of the Light, ignorance and error are cast off, and the Archons (and the Demiurge) have no idea what even happened. All of this occurs post the traditional water baptism, which some treatises go as far as to call useless, and pre-death. It shall come to be as it has always been meant to be.
In TriProt, Eleleth himself has been placed in the line of fire by assuming the role of the instructor — and the commander — of sorting out this divine rupture. After all, Sophia, the oxymoronic wanton innocent one, is responsible and repents endlessly as seen in all four versions of ApJohn and many of the other Nag Hammadi treatises.
Again, since it was written into the very TriProt that Eleleth shielded this transgression, how could we have one of Christ’s formal Aeon’s, Wisdom at that, make such an egregious mistake? It’s not as the Valentinians like to throw around: she has not been restored to the Pleroma, but rather she is stuck in the 9th in this Realm/aeon until all Protennoia’s/Father’s seed are gathered. Henceforth, she’s above this lower ‘ogdoad’ of Saklas (who resides in the 8th) until (if & when) this deficiency is fully corrected. Harvard University’s Dr. Karen King astutely states in SecJohn, p. 232: “ApJohn significantly shifts the meaning of the rupture by associating the divine creation Sophia with the disobedient Eve—with the result that Sophia-Wisdom paradoxically comes to be equated with Ignorance!”
Who’s on First–The Sethians or the Valentinians?
Moreover, think about this fact: Irenaeus spends so much time specifically disparaging the Valentinians in Against Heresies, Book I, Chapters 29 & 30. However, much of his criticism focuses not on works associated with this school of thought, but rather Sethianism, and specifically the Barbeloite (“Barbelognostic”) branch. He directly discusses, at length in Chapter 30, the Apocryphon of John so much that modern scholars such as Alastair Logan and others actually use his material as a compare/contrast source when they attempt to trace ApJohn back to the original text, clearly a generation or so ahead of ~CE180 when Irenaeus wrote his many volumes. TriProt is dated by Logan himself to have been written ~CE180, though some scholars go as far back as ~CE120, and we know from the scholarly community in general GosJohn was written ~CE90. The common link is clear once one really conceptualizes this notion.
Irenaeus almost solely focuses on the creation of this aeon, or lesser ogdoad, and even confuses this aspect with the creation of the Pleroma (the Heavens) itself. He addresses the notion (in Book I, Chapter 30, v. 13-14) that ApJohn is in accordance with GosJohn, but it is presented as a falsehood. He summarizes in Book III, Chapter 11, v.8: “For that according to John relates His original, effectual, and glorious generation from the Father, thus declaring, ‘In the beginning was Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word is God.’ John 1:1, ‘Also, all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made.’ For this reason, too, is that the Gospel is full of all confidence, for such is His person.” I will be addressing the Johannine Prologue in a later section.
I must say that I appreciate Alastair Logan’s comment in Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy: “this ‘hypostasis’ of the [Sethians] surely annoyed Irenaeus!” He too posits a great question, one not addressed virtually anywhere else: “Are Hypostases the same things as Aeons?” My opinion is the character or concept is the greater of the two, thus the Hypostasis, and as seen with the Valentinians, Aeons come and go ad hoc! Mr. Logan further tweaks my funny bone by jesting about the Illuminators and their Aeons: “they are no longer Aeons themselves, as there are only twelve attributable qualities — and the Angels themselves seem to have been left out!” There could actually be thirteen, as somehow Prudence is dangling in the text. In the Refinement Section, I posit this could be directly attributable to Christ.
Against Heresies further enabled the hostile takeover of the Johannine Church–a tactic that was started in the Johannine Epistles. To think that GosJohn is purely Johannine, along with ApJohn and TriProt, is enough to get one righteously indignant — or plain old angry. Irenaeus’ strategy seemed to have been to write–and further write–his way onto center stage. Unfortunately his work is seriously flawed. The Johannine secessionists didn’t care. They thought he was obtuse. Oddly the Valentinians did care, as they were Irenaeus’ primary target!
Talk about a jumbled work that Against Heresies was. No one read it back then as it was before the days of the printing press. Church leaders did, and look at the mess that was created. Technically, they got the many of the primary tenets of Original Christianity wrong.
Epinoia is quite an important concept — that is divine revelation — and it helps in figuring out the nuances seen in the first few centuries’ commentaries. Sometimes Epinoia is stronger than any written word every could be.
The Key to the Fourth Gospel? Certainly not the Old Testament!
Not surprisingly, I will refute Irenaeus’ points fully by stating that ApJohn (and of course TriProt) actually seems to be key to correctly interpreting the Fourth Gospel, and it also is an intra-Christian debate text on the “value” of the Old Testament (OT.) Plenty have made solid arguments that the drafters must have respected and wanted to include the OT in the Canon given just how much ApJohn refers back to Genesis, the Moses statements, etc. However, I believe their intention was to show how egregiously wrong parts of the originals were that the OT’s inclusion was at best superfluous. In my opinion, it was not turning pre-Christian texts into a revelation from Christ; it was a statement of fact on how wrong the original works were, just as in GosThom Saying 52 Jesus scorns his disciples upon hearing the following: “Twenty-four prophets spoke in Israel, and all of them spoke in you.” [Jesus] said to them, “You have omitted the one living in your presence and have spoken (only) of the dead.” Even Harvard’s Karen King believes that ApJohn points to the ultimate rejection of the original (OT) texts. According to her, in the end, the biblical treatises have more to be rejected than received, and this is the general attitude of ApJohn. Therefore, the drafters refer to the OT texts only when it suits their purposes.
A good example of this opinion is as follows: ApJohn 29: “And he (the chief Archon) repented for everything which had come into being through him. This time he planned to bring a flood upon the work of man. But the greatness of the Light of the foreknowledge informed Noah, and he proclaimed (it) too all of the offspring which are the sons of men. But those who were strangers to him did not listen to him. It is not as Moses said, ‘They hid themselves in an ark’ (Gen 7:7), but they hid themselves in a place, not only Noah but also many other people from the Immovable Race. They went into a place and hid themselves in a luminous cloud. And he (Noah) recognized his authority, and she who belongs to the Light was with him, having shone on them because he (the chief Archon) had brought darkness upon the whole earth.”
Additionally, as The Blue Letter Bible states boldly: “There are no direct statements in the Old Testament about the relationship of the Holy Spirit to the believer. Thus it is difficult to arrive at any conclusion about the work of the Holy Spirit during the Old Testament period.” This fact solidifies my reasoning.
I’ll reference Dr. Larry Hurtado’s work Lord Jesus Christ in the coming Johannine Secessionists Section more extensively, but he does make the observation regarding how such works apply to the Sethians and Valentinians on p. 531: “It is likely that their myths were intended to substitute for the function of the Old Testament narrative of world events, characters, and themes. That is, the mythic schemes provided a replacement narrative world in which the elect could ‘situate’ themselves meaningfully. And in this rival narrative world the Old Testament and its deity, along with Israel, and run-of-the-mill Christians as well, were assigned a vastly inferior status and significance.”
Furthermore, Yale University’s Bentley Layton observed in Gnostic Scriptures, xxii: “What is first and foremost in gnostic scripture is its doctrines and its interpretation of Old and New Testament books — especially its open hostility to the god of Israel and its views on resurrection, the reality of Jesus’ incarnation and suffering, and the universality of Christian salvation. On these points, the gap between gnostic religion and proto-orthodox Christianity was vast.” He proposed that “Valentinus, though essentially a gnostic, tried to bridge this gap,” and that “he and his followers consciously limited themselves to a proto-orthodox canon,” avoiding reference to heterodox texts in their writings.” As Dr. Hurtado notes, the “Valentinians did primarily, if not solely, focus on New Testament writings, not those of the Old Testament.”
The Valentinian Web of Exclusivity
In my opinion, the Valentinians’ overt adherence to the New Testament coupled with their own secret teachings could very well have served to be the reason their entire movement was quite unsuccessful, as unfortunate as this reality might be. In other words, in order to assimilate themselves within the church, the Valentinians ended up drawing attention to what the proto-orthodox believers certainly referred to as heresy. Perhaps the broader gnostic movement would have survived if the Valentinians did not highlight its “vastly” different belief system by trying so hard to incorporate themselves into the Orthodox Church. After all, they continuously held secret meetings that by definition excluded their proto-orthodox brethren. Clearly, the latter were quite aware that the Valentinians had their own secret meetings and teachings, and they wanted nothing to do with such esoteric tenets. By attempting to assimilate themselves within the church, all the while excluding the proto-orthodox from these secret meetings, the Valentinians entrapped themselves into a web of exclusivity—or web of lies if you were to ask the right-wing—one that led to their ultimate, if not spectacular, demise.
Honing the True Canon
Further exploration of the Johannines is warranted. Whether there is a direct relationship with the Sethians, or Barbeloites, is a valid question. Further spreading the Word, and Refinement, to those who are worthy just might enable this fusion to re-commence, and this of course will not replace, but rather augment, the Autogenes/Spirit of Light process that Christ & the invisible Spirit control.
We too should explore whether or not there actually was a group called the Thomassines. If so, they’ve been long forgotten. However, the Gospel of Thomas belongs side-by-side with the Gospel of John. Irrespective of the latter referring to the apostle as “Doubting Thomas,” at the beginning of the Apocryphon, essentially Christ spoke to the “Doubting John.”
As for the Paulines, I’d recommend they take up the Johannine / Thomassine writings post haste. The Valentinians’ supposed claim to fame is through Theudas, a direct disciple of Paul, though Paul was never a direct disciple of Christ, except according to himself. Even the Johannine Revelation to John refutes the Paulines in RevJohn 2-3, according to a Paul apologist Paul Renan in St Paul (1869:) “Apostle John’s book of Revelation was a ‘cry of hatred’ against Paul and his friends.” Also, in the Epistles to the Colossians and Philemon by Handley C.G. Moule, p. 17 “and it has been maintained (notably by Bauer, of Tubingen as well as Renan) that the school of St John entirely repudiated St Paul, and succeeded in effecting a total break of continuity [between the two schools.]” All one has to do is read the end of The Acts of the Apostles to ascertain just how controversial the Pauline school actually was; the writings somehow made the Orthodox Canon, but there was certainly, at the very least, real dysfunction.
Paul was not welcomed by the other apostles who rightly challenged his authority: per the UNCW web page Paul vs the Apostles, “Paul seems to have lost his power struggle with the Apostles, then broke with them and went out on his own preaching his own version of Jesus as Lord, his own law-free gospel, and his own innovative concept of the ‘church.’ In his last epistle, Romans, Paul seems to have given up on the East and is informing the Roman Christians that he plans to come to them on his way to Spain to spread his gospel in the West. But first he plans to make a final trip to Jerusalem which turns out to be his undoing. There he is arrested and eventually sent as a prisoner to Rome where he is executed.” Furthermore, per The BBC’s description of Paul, “his works have also been used, among other things, to justify homophobia, slavery and anti-Semitism. He has also been accused of being anti-feminist.”
Conversely, The Gospel of Thomas‘ tone is one of acceptance and deliverance: per Saying 22: “Jesus saw some infants who were being suckled. He said to his disciples: These infants being suckled are like those who enter the kingdom. They said to him: If we then become children, shall we enter the kingdom? Jesus said to them: When you make the two one, and when you make the inside as the outside, and the outside as the inside, and the upper as the lower, and when you make the male and the female into a single one, so that the male is not male and the female not female, and when you make eyes in place of an eye, and a hand in place of a hand, and a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then shall you enter [the kingdom].”
Among the critics of Paul the Apostle was Thomas Jefferson, who wrote that he was the “first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus,” according to The Writings of Thomas Jefferson: Being his Autobiography, Correspondence, Reports, Messages, Addresses, and Other Writings, Official and Private.
In effect, Valentinianism really tried hard to soften the blow of the reality of Sophia’s rupture due to her wanton behavior that’s reported accurately in ApJohn. Oddly enough, the school does not have a Pronoia/Barbelo figure, but it chose to rescue Sophia.
As we know, there were two branches of the Valentinian School, East & West, or Oriental & Roman. The former branch holds the mystical treatises, such as the extraordinarily wordy TriTrac, whereas the Western branch seems to have been more inline with the Orthodox Church fathers. Then there’s the Pistis Sophia. In the East, Sophia remains in the ‘ogdoad’ (though in the 8th, not the 9th,) and I believe interestingly that she seems to have begotten the Christ figure according to some sources! Additionally, they claim there are 30 Aeons. This is outrageously different from ApJohn. Furthermore, they went through back-flips to present the Demiurge in a more positive light in TriTract. Suffice to say, their attempt was not only ineffective, it was wrong. They did not attempt to build upon ApJohn as Sethian works such as The Hypostasis of the Archons did; the Valentinians rewrote the Apocryphon entirely.
In the West, Sophia’s “better half” went back to the Pleroma, and in this aeon/Realm her other half repented endlessly, and I’m not quite sure if she is fully split or if after repenting the other half went back to the Valentinian Pleroma (certainly not the Pleroma!) However, it’s rather unclear as there aren’t, oddly, many Western Valentinian sources listed other than that from the Heresiologists. The Gospel of Truth is one theoretical exception.
All in all, what we have here is a clear case of the Sethian/Barbeloite superiority and the Valentinian attempt to better position these very Sethian concepts. Sophia is not the representative of the Holy Spirit. The Valentinians of course were quite unsuccessful, as those in this school were no match for the likes of Irenaeus. However, perhaps it was best that this all went down as such as the Sethians might not have cared to canonize the Apocryphon and wanted nothing to do with the proto-orthodox, though they most certainly valued some of the New Testament treatises such as GosJohn. According to many believers at the time (and by extension some believers today,) Sethianism really could have been construed as Original Christianity (I tend to side with The University of Exeter’s Alastair Logan and Harvard’s Karen King) that the Sethian works must have been Christian.)
However, the Valentinians tried, and they further tried, to include themselves within the Orthodox Church. If you’re reading this, you most likely know that Valentinus himself was almost named the Bishop of Rome. However, after Irenaeus’ work, they tried to rewrite much of Sethianism in order to accommodate his criticism. They failed.
The TriTrac just simply is an inferior work to ApJohn, even though it seems clear that the drafter(s) of the treatise tried to remove the mythology. However, ApJohn’s mythologoumena is there for a reason: it teaches. The Valentinians too dropped the Five Seals, perhaps replacing it with the Gospel of Philip’s (GosPhil) Bridal Chamber (though as I posit in the GosPhil Inclusion & Verses Section, this treatise could go either way.) They too got rid of the Illuminators, even though they’re technically angel-like and not mythological, but so be it. However, I’ll point out an interesting excerpt from Harvard’s Karen King’s Secret Revelation of John (SecJohn,) p. 149: “Baptismal Sealing brings the power of the Spirit into the soul to strengthen it in its battle against the passions and the power of the Counterfeit Spirit.”
The TriProt very much expounds upon the many wonders associated with the Land of the Spirit, and it’s a supremely important treatise. Again, it’s directly attributable to Father himself according to the text. The entire work resonates with me to the point that I see how this message is being conveyed — and I agree with the presentation. In a manner of speaking, the text also serves to fuse both ApJohn and GosJohn into one cohesive unit or body that stands for the fullness of time. In another sense, this treatise very effectively objectivizes the subjective—the Land of the Spirit—and the infusion of one’s being into the Pleroma upon effectively receiving ApJohn’s Spirit of Light via the Autogenes process.
The two works collectively (that is ApJohn & TriProt,) or three as we’ll see with GosJohn, essentially weed out any “puffed up” nature that Irenaeus attributed to the Valentinians. Add in GosThom & GosPhil and you have one extremely strong canon of knowledge. GosTruth actually reinforces this canon rather well, the quite powerful treatise we can theoretically thank Valentinus for having written.
What do I mean as regards the Autogenes process? Early in ApJohn-LR, I believe this very process first created Christ on p. 108 of Robinson’s The Nag Hammadi Library: “And he looked at Barbelo with the pure light that surrounds the invisible Spirit and (with) his spark, she conceived from him. He begot a spark of light with a light resembling blessedness. But it does not equal his greatness. This was an only-begotten child of the Mother-Father which had come forth; it is the only offspring, the only-begotten one of the Father, the pure Light.” Then: “And the invisible, virginal Spirit rejoiced over the light which came forth, that which was brought forth by the first power of his forethought which is Barbelo. And he anointed it with his goodness until it became perfect, not lacking in any goodness, because he had anointed it with the goodness of the invisible Spirit.”
Therefore, the Autogenes process—the spark—enabled the creation of Christ upon the anointment. The University of Exeter’s Alastair Logan refers to this process via an “intermediate being.” Then on p. 109 of Robinson, “And the holy Spirit completed the divine Autogenes, his son, together with Barbelo, that he may attend the mighty and invisible, virginal Spirit as the divine Autogenes, the Christ whom he had honored with a mighty voice. He came through the forethought. And the invisible, virginal Spirit placed the divine Autogenes of truth over everything.”
What’s interesting conceptually is that the Autogenes process first created Christ, but from that point forward Christ is associated with the Autogenes process. The invisible Spirit maintains control of the Spirit of Light. Thus, they work in tandem.
I should mention that we are not talking about reliance on OT texts, or customs that pre-date ApJohn. We are talking about a new revelation entirely. Christ pre-dates the character Jesus by eons.
The Sethian Neoplatonic Treatises
Other descriptions of Autogenes include “a divine intellect generating itself and the sensible cosmos by a contemplative seeing of the first God who thinks only insofar as he makes use of a contemplative second God (Marsanès frag 20-22; Marsanès (NH X) by Wolf-Peter Funk, Paul-Hubert Poirier, John Douglas Turner; Platonisms: Ancient, Modern, and Postmodern edited by Kevin Corrigan, John Douglas Turner.) Autogenes operates on the realm of the individuals who constitute the self-generated Aeons where he saves a multitude — thus a multiplicity. He’s a figure with the salvation of the realms below the Barbelo Aeon, thus Autogenes and his descent become the incessant topic of Marsanès’ preaching, since its result is the salvation or preservation of the entire sensible world.”
As regards the mythology, particularly in the Sethian Neoplatonic texts, Barbelo’s third power is Autogenes, after Kalyptos and Protophanes. Truth was severed as the consort of Autogenes at the Christ Aeonic level and given to Barbelo, but here we see the balance of the scales in action as Autogenes was originally at the Barbelo level, which makes sense given the initial divine spark (from the Father) that created Autogenes (Christ.) Furthermore, in Allogenes, “Autogenes is the Barbelo’s Aeon’s means of interacting with the ‘perfect individuals’ including sounds and divine beings resident in this aeon prior to their unification in the Protophanes Aeon. This includes those who inhabit the realm of corporeal nature, continually rectifying the defects from nature.”
“In effect, Autogenes is constantly occupied with the shaping of the natural realm, literally ‘setting right’ or rectifying the ‘sins from nature.’” Marsanès continues describing the basic teaching concerning the Powers and configurations of the Zodiacal signs in frag 25, 15-20, and 42: “whether s/he is gazing at the two or is gazing at the seven [then] planets or at the twelve signs of the Zodiac or at the 36 Decans [that] are and these reach up to these numbers, whether those in heaven or those upon the earth, together with those that are under the earth, according to the relationships and the divisions among these, and in the rest—parts according to kind and according to species—they will submit since she has power above; they exist apart, every body, the divine Barbelo [did] reveal them in this manner.” I will restate that Providence trumps fate. Universal energy does exist, however.
Per Rudolf Steiner: “In ancient times, any large number of people was described as a “thousand,” and more specific descriptions added a number derived from the most important characteristic of the group. For example, the people of the fourth cultural period were described as the “fourth thousand,” while those already living in the style of the next cultural period were called the “fifth thousand.” (These are merely technical terms.)
Hence, the disciples realized that in their waking consciousness they received Christ’s solar forces through the seven diurnal signs of the zodiac, which provided nourishment suited to the “fourth thousand,” or those in the fourth cultural period. But what they received through clairvoyant imagination, or through the five nocturnal signs, applied to the near future, the “fifth thousand.”
Thus those of the fourth epoch (the four thousand) receive nourishment from Heaven through the seven diurnal constellations, or the seven heavenly loaves, whereas the five loaves of the five nocturnal constellations of the zodiac nourishes those of the fifth epoch (the five thousand). The constellation of Pisces, or the fishes, always indicates the point where day signs meet the night signs.”
Back to Allogenes, one particularly well stated expression of the Sethian Triple Powered One is as follows: Existence, Vitality, and Mentality (Knowledge.) Barbelo has three powers too: the invisible Spirit (or the masculine silent one,) the pre-existing otherness characterized by the actual feminine nature of the Triple Powered One itself, and the masculine dynamic equivalent of the Barbelo Aeon. Then there are the three additional Aeons: Kalyptos (initial latency or potential existence,) Protophanes (initial manifestation (divine mind,)) and lastly Autogenes (determinate, self-generated instantiation, now attributed to Christ.)
“Kalyptos includes the contemplated mind, containing the paradigmatic ideas or authentic existents, each unique. Protophanes is the contemplative mind, containing the subdivision of ideas, those who are unified and all together distinguished from ideas of particular things and from the distinctly unique authentic existents as congeries of similar units capable of combination with one another.” Lastly, Autogenes is “akin to a [second level] mind who shapes the realm of nature below according to the forms contemplated and analyzed by Protophanes, and would thus contain the ‘perfect individuals,’ the ideas of particular, individual things, as well as individual souls.’”
Allogenes further describes the Father as follows, complementing ApJohn’s description of his essence as found at the beginning of this work:
Allogenes 47-48 [But] concerning the invisible, spiritual Triple Powered One, hear! He exists as an Invisible One who is incomprehensible to them all. He contains them all within himself, for they all exists because of him. He is perfect, and he is greater than perfect, and he is blessed. He is always One and he exists in them all, being ineffable, unnameable, being One who exists through them all — he whom, should one discern him, one would not desire anything that exists before him among those that possess existence, for he is the source from which they were all emitted. He is prior to perfection. He was prior to every divinity, and he is prior to every blessedness since he provides for every power. And he is a nonsubstantial substance, since he is a God over whom there is no divinity, the transcending of whose greatness and beauty do not compare with any power. It is not impossible for them to receive a revelation of these things if they come together. Since is is impossible for the individuals to comprehend the Universal One situated in the place that is higher than perfect, they apprehend by means of a First Thought — it is not as being alone, but it is along with the latency of Experience that he confers Being. He provides everything for himself since it is he who shall come to be when he recognizes himself. And he is One who subsists as a cause and source of Being and an immaterial material and an innumerable number and a formless form and a shapeless shape and powerlessness and a power and in insubstantial substance and a motionless motion and an inactive activity. Yet he is a provider of provisions and a divinity of divinity — but whenever they apprehend, they participate the first Vitality and an undivided activity, an hypostasis of the First One from the One who truly exists.
In relation to the Father and Autogenes/Christ, the following revelatory discourse addresses the Immovable Race directly: Zostrianos 20 “(About) the All and the all-perfect race and the one who is higher than perfect and blessed. The self-begotten Kalyptos pre-exists because he is an origin of the Autogenes, a god and a forefather, a cause of the Protophanes, a father of the parts that are his. As a divine father he is foreknown but he is unknown, for he has a power and a father from himself. Therefore, he is [fatherless.] The invisible Triple Powerful, First Thought [of] all [these,] the Invisible Spirit [represents] the Essence and Existence [of] all these.
They are in every place that he loves or desires, yet they are not in any place. They have capacity for Spirit, for they are incorporeal yet are better than incorporeal. They are undivided with living thoughts and a power of truth with those purer than these since with respect to him they are purer and are not like the bodies which are in one place. Above all, they have necessity either in relation to the All or to a part. Therefore, the way of ascent, it is pure, and [henceforth] each herself and with them are above all particular Aeons.”
Furthermore, Zostrianos 24 “He can see with his perfect soul those who belong to Autogenes; with his mind, those who belong to the Triple Male, and with his Holy Spirit, those who belong to Protophanes. He can learn of Kalyptos through the powers of the Spirit from whom they have come forth in a far better revelation of the Invisible Spirit. And by means of thought which now is in silence and by First Thought he learns of the Triple Powerful Invisible Spirit, since there is the a report and power of silence which is purified in a living Spirit. It is perfect and and [always] perfect and all perfect.”
Additionally, Zostrianos 62 “You who belongs to all the glories said to me, “‘you have received all the baptisms in which it is fitting to be baptized, and you have become perfect [in the light of] the hearing of [the All.] Now call again upon the all-perfect, the Lights of the aeon Barbelo and the immeasurable knowledge. They will reveal the Power and the Glory of the Invisible Spirit which are the essence of Barbelo and the Invisible triple powerful Spirit.'”
Lastly, Zostrianos 114 “There are those who are begotten, and those who are in an unborn begetting, and there are those who are Holy and Eternal, and there are those who are as All; there are those who are races and who are in All; there are those who are races and those who are in a world and order; there are those in indestructibility, and these are the first who stand and the second in all of them. All those who are from them and those who are in them, and from these who followed them, these stood, they existing in them, being scattered abroad. They are not crowded against one another, but to the contrary they are alive, existing in themselves and agreeing with one another, as they are from a single origin. They are reconciled because they are all in a single Aeon of Kalyptos, not being divided in power, for they exist in accord with each of the Aeons, standing in relationship to the one which has reached them.”
The Autogenes Process and the Trinity
The key is that the Autogenes process does just happen, but certainly not randomly; it is the result of a finely (or not so!) tuned spiritual process. Barbelo/Protophanes would be the proxy for the Holy Spirit. The Father would be akin to Kalyptos.
It too should be stressed that Christ is not only the Autogenes who was created in the original process (the initial spark) by the Father and Barbelo; he’s the Mediator and the Savior and/or Redeemer and/or Revealer. He’s associated with the Word, or Logos. The Mother (Barbelo) is the Holy Spirit, among other spiritual concepts such as Epinoia and the Paraclete, and represents the Spirit of the Immovable Race. Father is Father and of course is ineffable; he maintains control of the Spirit of Light.
Regarding the Immovable Race sharing in the Holy Spirit: TriProt, end of The Discourse of Protennoia: One: “And I hid myself in everyone and revealed myself within them, and every mind seeking me longed for me, for it is I who gave shape to the All when it had no form. And I transformed their forms into (other) forms, until the time when a form will be given to the All. It is through me that the Voice originated, and it is I who put the breath within my own. And I cast into them the eternally Holy Spirit, and I ascended and entered my Light. I went up upon my branch and sat there among the Sons of the holy Light.”
Per Rudolf Steiner’s Lecture 2 on The Gospel of John: “The greatest strength is needed to make conscious changes in the physical body. The means for this are only made known in occult schools. The physical body consciously transformed by the I is called the Spiritual Human Being or Atman. The power to transform the astral body flows to us from the world of the Holy Spirit. The power to change the ether body flows to us from the world of the Son or the Word. The power to transform the physical body comes to us from the world of the Father Spirit or the divine Father.”
A Word on the Egyptians
The Great Book of the Holy Invisible Spirit, often referred to as The Gospel of the Egyptians (GosEgypt) is written in a good vein, supposedly according to the text itself by (Sethite) Seth himself. However, the TriProt better suits me as the former is a bit too esoteric for my tastes. Furthermore, as Alastair Logan referenced, it is a storehouse of contextual information. It doesn’t, however, make the Core of My Personal Canon.
On the Personal Canon
I am attempting to assemble those books I find particularly intriguing to include in what I am calling My Personal Canon. Karen King described the drafters well on p. 183 of SecJohn: “They might, for example, rank the truth value of different tradition, granting some materials enormous authority while arguing that others continue only part of the truth, or were just plain wrong.” I love this statement, and this is precisely the exercise I’m going through.
Another Valentinian Twist
Quite possibly, the Valentinians were not only responding to the Orthodoxy & Irenaeus, but to the Neoplatonists on the other side. The latter’s Demiurge was essentially benevolent, though to varying degrees, and far from perfect. Perhaps this ties in with the TriTrac’s extraordinarily ineffective rewrite of ApJohn where the Demiurge isn’t necessarily malevolent. Unfortunately for the Valentinians, they had metaphorical canons on both ends. In a sense, such conflict could provide them with a much needed “Get out of Jail Free” card.
The Gospel of John
Jesus is crucified, though not animalistically in the text, and he seems to metaphorically reference Pronoia/Barbelo in GosJohn 19:27: “Then he said to the disciple “Here is your Mother.” Then in an interesting twist: “Jesus knew that all was now finished. He said [in order to fulfill the scripture,] ‘I am thirsty’…. When Jesus had received the wine, he said, ‘It is finished.’ Then he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” This is a fascinating element since at that precise moment, Christ (the Spirit) leaves the earthly body of Jesus (similar to the end of TriProt) just as Christ did not enter Jesus’ body until his baptism (GosJohn 1:32 “And John testified, ‘I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it remained on him.’” This phenomenon is also portrayed in The Gospel of Mark (GosMark) 1:10 when “he [John] saw the heavens torn apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, ‘You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.’”) Therefore, Christ was not present for the gruesome details post crucifixion such as when his side was pierced by the spears, an act that allegedly fulfilled the scriptures (GosJohn 19:34-36) — just like how Jesus did not encapsulate Christ’s Spirit until his baptism. This close reading of GosJohn is actually similar to many of the Nag Hammadi treatises that have Christ’s Spirit looking on as Jesus is crucified; technically this viewpoint represents the concept of moderate doceticism. Christ’s Spirit is what is ultimately important.
As has been discussed in the scholarly community, there is much similarity between the entire TriProt and the Johannine Prologue, as well as some with the Pronoia Monologue in ApJohn–LR, though it’s not as striking. What is striking is Irenaeus’ statement regarding the notion that Jesus is united to Christ. Did he even read the Fourth Gospel? Furthermore, in order to be inline with what another Pistic (Orthodox) member remarked, he noted that Jesus lived to the age of 50, and he goes on to say that “Clearly the so-called Gnostics did think that Christ appears after his resurrection from the Dead!”
Ultimately, I agree with Karen King of Harvard that ApJohn is effectively Part II of John’s Gospel, and I’d go on to say that TriProt is effectively Part III. ApJohn in some sense is actually key to interpreting the Gospel (think back to the original Greek, “The father of the devil.”) Just like GosJohn can be construed as the most literal of the Orthodox Canon, in its own way ApJohn, and by extension TriProt, is literally (or at least plainly) written though many of the concepts relate to the mythologoumena.
As Dr. Karen King states on pp. 237-238 in her book, The Secret Revelation of John (ApJohn,) “another purpose might be exegetical. The fact that the Secret Revelation to John is framed as the return of Christ to complete his revelation and show the way back to the Divine Realm makes it possible to read it as the completion of Christ’s revelation in The Gospel of John, the fulfillment of his promise to return and show them the way back to the Father. ApJohn is filling in the gaps in Christ’s revelation in GosJohn, offering a fuller narrative of the Divine Realm [Pleroma,] the creation of the world and humanity; the condition of humanity in the world, and salvation. The ascription of the work to John overtly places ApJohn in the tradition of Johannine Christianity and it has the effect of asking readers to interpret GosJohn within the framework of Christ’s revelation.”
I’ve pondered this question: am I actually a Christian Barbeloite in reality, thus not entirely accepting all of Sethianism? This discourse brings me to one profound conclusion: I’m thinking My Personal Canon is actually Barbeloite Johannine Secessionist.
I have a number of points to make in this section, but preliminarily I am indebted to the University of Edinburgh’s Larry Hurtado and his extremely thorough work Lord Jesus Christ. Since material on the subject, outside of divine revelation of course, is somewhat scarce, I will be quoting from this text frequently to accentuate my points. I’ll essentially show how this aspect of My Personal Canon is perhaps the most important, and I too will reference GosThom at times, as Dr. Hurtado does in his work.
The underlying premise of this sect is that they believe they have “an anointing from the Holy One (i.e. a spiritual endowment from God and/or the Son,) and that all of them know the truth well enough to recognize error for themselves… their innovative views came through [direct] spiritual revelation.”
Hurtado notes that Johannine Christianity “was characterized by a strong appreciation for revelations believed to come from the Spirit and probably received through experiences of prophet like inspiration…[thus] the heart of the secessionist crisis [is that] Johannine Christianity was a religious setting in which the Spirit was expected to inspire new insights, leading believers into ‘all truth’ beyond the things the earthly Jesus had said.”
On p. 411, Hurtado states cogently: “My point is that one major factor involved in the specific innovation in belief that is attacked in 1 John (Epistle) and 2 John (Epistle) (however we portray the innovation) was the effect of religious experiences of inspiration” [and insight of course. I’d add that this is precisely what ApJohn & TriProt are referring to as regards Epinoia.] He goes on, p. 415: “[the secessionists] likely thought their own revelations validly superseded all previous understanding of Jesus and his significance…in short, they were religious elitists…[and this] justified their departure from the fellowship of the other Johannine believers…apparently they were not evicted.”
The common scholarly view appears to be that “in one way or another they [the Johannine secessionists] emphasized Jesus’ divine nature at the expense of a real human existence [most often supported by] the influence of Greek Philosophy and/or Pagan religious traditions; the secessionists thus become Gentiles whose religious and conceptual background make a real incarnation of a divine being impossible to imagine.”
In an honorable, non-anti-Judaism manner, Dr. Hurtado goes on: p. 419 “[I wish] to propose, however, that they also could have been influenced by Jewish tradition in formulating the sort of christological view that we are considering here. Thus, they easily could have been Jewish Christians as Gentiles.” Then on p. 420-421, “essentially Jewish angelological traditions’ emphasis on God’s transcendence discouraged the thought of God taking human existence or even being subject to ordinary sensory apprehension.”
However, Dr. Hurtado veers to what I believe is more inline with reality with another theoretical scenario: “a significantly different christological stance is taken.” On p. 422, he states “the focus of the secessionists was on a radical claim about their own special and direct relationship to God, which perhaps amounted to a mystical participation in divine things that connoted a spiritual status and nature superior to what they attributed to other believers.” Furthermore, “their christological stance may have involved a correlative emphasis on Jesus as an exemplary (but not unique) ‘Son of God’ who basically illustrated and perhaps revealed in his earthly appearance a heavenly provenance and spiritual status, [one that] the secessionists believed that they shared with him. Jesus may have exemplified and declared the special intimacy with God that the secessionists believed they had come to share, but they may have believed that their own status and nature were effectively conveyed or revealed to them individually through mystical experiences of enlightenment.”
“First, the secessionists’ assertions about their spiritual status may have seemed (and may have been intended as) exclusivist and elitist. That is, they may have claimed to know God, abide in God, and walk in divine light in a sense not shared to those outside their charmed inner circle. Secondly, and perhaps as a consequence of such elitist convictions, the secessionists appear to have felt free to treat those fellow believers who demurred at their spiritual claims and correlative revisionist view of Jesus as no longer worthy of their fellowship and fraternal obligation.” I’ll note that this aspect represents a 180 degree departure from that of the Valentinians, who tried (almost desperately) to incorporate themselves within the Orthodox Church.
Later, he says this innovation in belief is not “purely imaginative, but has certain similarities to the stance reflected, for example, in the Gospel of Thomas. [Such common views and linkages] shows that the scenario is by no means implausible.” I would gander to guess that perhaps the secessionists were the brains behind GosThom’s drafting, though this would depend upon the timing of when the treatise was written (discussed in the The Gospel of Thomas and Dating Its Original Drafting Section.) I’d imagine the secessionists certainly would have loved to have a pseudo-synoptic in their creed, though I do make a case for GosMark’s inclusion later. It’s no surprise GosJohn portrays Thomas as doubting, but John is doubting himself in ApJohn. Another possibility, per Misericordia University: “Since there are many of the same sayings in Mark and Thomas, we really have only two explanations to consider. One is that Thomas and Mark are drawing from the same well of tradition, the other is that Mark made use of Thomas.” Regardless, per GosThom Saying 23: “Jesus said, ‘I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one.’”
Essentially, the Johannine secessionists “seemed to have believed that they had been given a new and superior insight, whatever that insight actually comprised” (p. 424.) If you think about it, GosJohn’s Paraclete (Advocate) is quite similar to ApJohn’s Epinoia, and these aspects of the Holy Spirit could be the foundation of the secessionists’ superior insight. GosThom also expresses this notion differently, right at the very beginning in Sayings 1 & 2:
- And he said, “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.”
- Jesus said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]”
As Dr. Hurtado sums up on p. 425, there was “serious religious crisis in the late First Century.” I would expand upon his ultimate findings and say that many—if not most—of the secessionists strongly valued ApJohn & TriProt. In fact, it’s very possible that the likes of all the works discussed herein were never meant for inclusion into the Orthodox Canon as they might have never allowed for the religion’s propagation. The Christian founders might have kept the pseudo-mystical writings separate from the canon for very real, and very important reasons in their time. Per Karen King’s SecJohn, p. 155: “[Christ] models for the reader the path of spiritual development—from ignorance and doubt to secure knowledge, from disturbance of heart to confidence, from student to teacher.”
Raymond Brown—an American Catholic Priest, a member of the Sulpician Fathers, and a prominent biblical scholar has passed away but was regarded as a specialist concerning the Johannines—added even more insight into the secessionist community in The Legacy of John: Second-Century Reception of the Fourth Gospel, edited by Tuomas Rasimus: he believed they were in the majority. Those who wrote the Epistles and engaged with the other Pistic (Orthodox) churches were in the minority. He believed the Sethians were ultra-high christologically thinking people who completely agreed that the spirit via true baptism was much favored over blood.
Given these points, I further believe that the secessionists were actually the drafters of both the Apocryphon of John and the Trimorphic Protennoia. Therefore, a solid case can be made that the Johannine secessionists represent the same group that scholars traditionally refer to as the Sethians. The apostolic wing of the Johannine School most likely brought GosJohn’s christology inline with the more dominant apostolic church, as they emphasized the saving significance of Jesus’ ministry.
In Brown’s book The Community of the Beloved Disciple: The Life, Loves, and Hates of an Individual Church in New Testament Times, Phase Three of the development of the Johannines involved “the life-situation in the now-divided Johannine communities at the time the Epistles were written” (A.D. 100?) Brown appeals to 1 John 2:19 to describe the tragic division occurred between the Gospel and the Epistles, which he explains in this fashion: “the struggle is between two groups of Johannine disciples who are interpreting the Gospel in opposite ways, in matter of christology, ethics, and pneumatology. The fears and pessimism of the author of the Epistles suggest that the secessionists are having the greater numerical success.”
The Johannine Epistles were almost certainly written by different authors — and we know those who were attempting to bridge themselves with the other Sects that became the Orthodox Church. The Epistles confuse issues left and right from GosJohn. Again, this most likely explains how and why ApJohn & TriProt came about. And people wonder why the secessionists left! They separated primarily, though not solely, due to a higher christology.
I believe Irenaeus saw exactly what the Johannines were doing. He explicitly wrote off ApJohn in Against Heresies, but in the same volumes claimed GosJohn was the greatest of all. He might have even sympathized regarding the OT, but ApJohn was over the top, and perhaps truly this secret teaching was never meant for his canon in the first place. Was ApJohn a pseudo-political work? It’s possible, but I do not believe this was the treatise’s primary intention. If you think about it, GosJohn certainly seemed to be a pseudo-reinterpretation of the Synoptics (though GosMark supplements GosJohn well.) I wonder if the Orthodox Church Founders even contemplated just GosJohn + GosMark at the Nicene Council, though GosLuke is the most gentile of the lot (even with its countless explicit OT references, similar to GosMatt.) Just like the Sethians, I’m not certain the Johannine secessionists would have cared. Personal Salvation was of primary importance to them.
What I can say is that what an interesting book GosJohn is as it spans the spectrum — from Biblical Evangelists to the Orthodoxy to the Valentinians to the Barbeloites/Sethians. Is it possible the Johannine secessionists wanted to rid the canon of the OT, GosLuke & GosMatt, and the Pauline Letters? Did they want the secret teaching found in GosThom & TriProt included in their own personal canons? After all, it was not known that the likes of ApJohn would be burned along with all the other heretical treatises, when Bishop Athanasius of Alexandria sent out his infamous Easter Letter (the Thirty-Ninth Festal Letter of 367) that listed the only twenty-seven works that constituted the New Testament portion of the Orthodox Canon (twenty-two books comprised the Old Testament.) It’s rather ironic that he was exiled (even excommunicated) from the Orthodox Church itself five times! Evidently Roman/Byzantine Emperor Constantine even said to him the next year: “Since you know my will, grant free admission to all those who wish to enter the church. For if I hear that you have hindered anyone from becoming a member, or have debarred anyone from entrance, I shall immediately send someone to have you deposed at my behest and have you sent into exile.” Athanasius caused this horrific history.
It is interesting too that Jesus’ time was about a generation after the murder of Julius Caesar when he was stabbed to death by the Senators. Christ could represent the divine balance of the scales on a grand scale in that he too was crucified, and this action could very well represent a sense of the concept of Redemption. Some of the very Johannine secessionists could have been inline with some of the Caesars, and they were most likely not at all inline with the likes of The Orthodox Church leaders Epiphanius or Tertullian–and certainly not Irenaeus.
In a very real way, perhaps Constantine’s conversion of the Roman/Byzantine Empire to Christianity was Providence in action. The Pachemonian Monks knew very well what they were doing in burying all the treatises to save them over time. They were that important to them.
As ApJohn says in the Long Redaction, the Pronoia Monologue; notice how similar these Verses are to TriProt:
“Still for a third time I went — I am the Light which exists in the Light, I am the remembrance of Pronoia — that I might enter into the midst of darkness and the inside of Hades. And I filled my face with the Light of the completion of their aeon. And I entered into the midst of their prison which is the prison of the body. And I said, ‘He who hears, let him get up from the deep sleep. And he wept and shed tears. Bitter tears he wiped from himself and he said ‘Who is it that calls my name, and from where has this hope come to me, while I am in the chains of the prison?’ And I said, ‘I am the Pronoia of the pure Light; I am the thinking of the virginal Spirit, who raised you up to be honored [in this] place. Arise and remember that it is you who hearkened, and follow your root which is I, the merciful one, and guard yourself against the angels of poverty and the demons of chaos and all those who ensnare you, and beware of the deep sleep and the enclosure inside of Hades.”
Collection of Johannine Secessionist Verses in GosJohn
–2:13-22 The Passover of the Jews was near, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. In the temple he found people selling cattle, sheep, and doves, and the money changers seated at their tables. Making a whip of cords, he drove all of them out of the temple, both the sheep and the cattle. He also poured out the coins of the money changers and overturned their tables. He told those who were selling the doves, “Take these things out of here! Stop making my Father’s house a marketplace!” His disciples remembered that it was written, “Zeal for your house will consume me.” The Jews then said to him, “What sign can you show us for doing this?” Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” The Jews then said, “The temple has been under construction for forty-six years, and will you raise it up in three days?” But he was speaking of the temple of the body. After he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this; and they believed the scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
–3:3-10 Jesus answered him, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born from above.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can anyone be born after having grown old? Can one enter a second time into the mother’s womb and be born?” Jesus answered, “Very truly, I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God without being born of water and Spirit. What is born of the flesh is flesh, and what is born of the Spirit is Spirit. Do not be astonished that I said to you, ‘You must be born from above.’ The wind [note: the original greek for wind, pneuma, can also be translated as Spirit and/or breath] blows where it chooses, and you hear the sound of it, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Nicodemus said to him, “How can these things be?” Jesus answered him, “Are you a teacher of Israel, and yet you do not understand these things?”
[Note: from an intertextual/exegetical perspective, the following set of Verses from another Nag Hammadi treatise is quite Johannine in its structure and content, adhering to the from below / from above theme as well as being born of the Spirit:
The Hypostasis of the Archons 87 “As incorruptibility looked down into the region of the waters, her image appeared in the waters; and the authorities of the darkness became enamored of her. But they could not lay hold of that image, which had appeared to them in the waters, because of their weakness — since beings that merely possess a soul cannot lay hold of those that possess a Spirit — for they were from below, while it was from above.”]
–3:17-21 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world may be saved through him. Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe in him are condemned already because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil. For all who do evil hate the light and do not come in the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed. But those who do what is true come into the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”
[Note: compare 3:17-21 with ApJohn’s Spirit of Light and Autogenes process. These Verses are also inline with GosJohn’s Prologue and TriProt.]
–3:25-30 Now a discussion about purification arose between John’s disciples and a Jew. They came to him and said to him, “Rabbi, the one who was with you across the Jordan, to whom you testified, here he is baptizing, and all are going to him.” John answered, “No one can receive anything except what has been given from heaven. You yourselves are my witnesses that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah, but I have been sent ahead of him.’ He who has the bride is the bridegroom. The friend of the bridegroom, who stands and hears him, rejoices greatly at the bridegroom’s voice. For this reason my joy has been fulfilled. He must increase, but I must decrease.”
–3:31-36 The One Who Comes from Heaven —
The one who comes from above is above all; the one who is of the earth belongs to the earth and speaks about earthly things. The one who comes from heaven is above all. He testifies to what he has seen and heard, yet no one accepts his testimony. Whoever has accepted his testimony has certified this, that God is true. He whom God has sent speaks the words of God, for he gives the Spirit without measure. The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands. Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life.
–4:13-14 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but those who drink of the water that I will give them will never be thirsty. The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life.”
—4:23-24 “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father seeks such as these to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”
[Note: Per The Hypostasis of the Archons 91: Moreover, they threw mankind into great distraction and into a life of toil, so that mankind might be occupied by worldly affairs, and might not have the opportunity of being devoted to the Holy Spirit.]
–4:31-34 Meanwhile the disciples were urging him, “Rabbi, eat something.” But he said to them, “I have food to eat that you do not know about.” So the disciples said to one another, “Surely, no one has brought him anything to eat?” Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of him who sent me, and to complete his work.”
[Note: this set of Verses is completely inline with the Johannine secessionists who were either moderate of full doectics.]
–5:19 Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, the Son can do nothing on his own, but only what he sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, the Son does likewise. The Father loves the Son and shows him all that he himself is doing; and he will show him greater works than these, so that you will be astonished.”
–5:24-25 “Very truly, I tell you, anyone who hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life, and does not come under judgment, but has passed from death to life.”
–5:30 “I can do nothing on my own. As I hear, I judge; and my judgment is just, because I seek to do not my own will but the will of the one who sent me.”
–5:31-38 “If I testify myself, my testimony is not true. There is another who testifies on my behalf, and I know that his testimony to me is true. You have sent messengers to John, and he testified to the truth. Not that I accept human testimony, but I say these things so that you may be saved. He was a burning and shining lamp, and you were willing to rejoice for a while in his light. But I have a testimony greater than John’s. The works that the Father has given me to complete, the very works that I am doing, testify on my behalf that the Father has sent me. And the Father who sent me has himself testified on my behalf. You have never heard his voice or seen his form [allusion to ApJohn’s & TriProt’s Armozel,] and you do not have his word abiding in you, because you do not believe him whom he has sent.”
–5:39-47 “You search the scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; and it is they that testify on my behalf. Yet you refuse to come to me to have life. I do not accept glory from human beings. But I know that you do not have the love of God in you. I have come in my Father’s name, and you do not accept me; if another comes in his own name, you will accept him. How can you believe when you accept glory from one another and do not seek the glory that comes from the one who alone is God? Do not think that I will accuse you before the Father; your accuser is Moses, on whom you have set your hope. If you believed in Moses, you would believe in me. But if you do not believe what he wrote, how will you believe what I say?”
–6:27-34 “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal” [note the allusion to TriProt’s and ApJohn’s Five Seals.] Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Then Jesus said to them, ” Very truly I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it was my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
–6:35-40 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come down to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.”
–6:41-51 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven?’ Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise the person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
–6:52-59 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give up his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
[Of course, all of these verses could be metaphorical to the docetics, many of whom were the secessionists. If you think about it, the main gist is that Christ has this new food, and the food Moses and the other ancestors provided did not sustain people, but rather they died. This food very well could be equated with Spiritual teaching. Christ’s New Covenant will sustain them through eternal life, similar to GosMark.]
–6:60-63 “When many of his disciples heard it, they said, ‘This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?’ But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, ‘Does this offend you? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the spirit that gives life, the flesh is useless. The words I have spoken to you are Spirit and life.’”
—7:7 “The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify against it that its works are evil.”
–7:15-18, “The Jews were astonished at it, saying ‘How does this man have such learning, when he has never been taught?’ Then Jesus answered them, ‘My teaching is not mine but his who sent me. Anyone who resolves to do the will of God will know if the teaching is from God or whether I am speaking on my own. Those who speak on their own seek their own glory, but the one who seeks the glory of him who sent him is true, and there is nothing false in him.’”
–7:25-31 Now some of the people of Jerusalem were saying, “Is not this the man whom they are trying to kill? And here he is, speaking openly, but they say nothing to him! Can it be that the authorities really know that this is the Messiah? Yet we know where this man is from; but when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.” Then Jesus cried out as he was teaching at the temple, “You know me, and you know where I am from. I have not come on my own. But the one who sent me is true, and you do not know him. I know him, because I am from him, and he sent me.” Then they tried to arrest him, but no one laid hands on him, because his hour had not yet come. Yet many in the crowd believed in him and were saying, “When the Messiah comes, will he do more signs than this man has done?”
–7:37-39 Rivers of Living Water —
On the last day of the festival, the great day, while Jesus was standing there, he cried out, “Let anyone who is thirsty come to me, and let the one who believes in me drink. As the scripture has said, ‘Out of the believer’s heart shall flow rivers of living water.’ Now he said this about the Spirit, which believers in him were to receive; for as yet there was no Spirit, because Jesus was not yet glorified.
[Note: The previous Chapter/Verse is tricky, as we know from the three treatises–GosJohn, ApJohn, and TriProt–that Christ actually predates this aeon. However, my read on that is that Jesus was the first to make Christ’s Spirit, and Hypostasis per ApJohn & TriProt, known. Jesus’ resurrection has not yet occurred, however. Again, per Harvard’s Karen King ApJohn can be viewed as Christ’s return to show the way back to the Pleroma, and I further extend this line of reasoning to TriProt.]
–8:12-19 Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness but will have the light of life.” Then the Pharisees said to him, “You are testifying on your own behalf; your testimony is not valid.” Jesus answered, “Even if I testify on my own behalf, my testimony is valid because I know where I have come from and where I am going, but you do not know where I am going. You judge by human standards; I judge no one. Yet even if I do judge, my judgment is valid; for it is not I alone who judge, but I and the Father who sent me. In your law it is written that the testimony of two witnesses is valid. I testify on my own behalf, and the Father who has sent me testifies on my behalf.” Then they said to him, “Where is your Father?” Jesus answered, “You know neither me nor my Father. If you knew me, you would know my Father also.”
–8:21-30 Again he said to them, “I am going away, and you will search for me, but you will die in your sin. Where I am going, you cannot come.” Then the Jews said, “Is he going to kill himself? Is that what he means by saying, ‘Where I am going, you cannot come?'” He said to them, “You are from below, I am from above; you are of this world, I am not of this world. I told you that you would die in your sins, for you will die in your sins unless you believe that I am he.” They said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Why do I speak with you at all?” I have much to say about you and much to condemn; but the one who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from him.” They did not understand that he was speaking to them about Father. So Jesus said, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man, then you will realize that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own, but I speak these things as the Father has instructed me. And the one who sent me is with me; he has not left me alone, for I always do what is pleasing to him.” As he was saying these things, many believed in him.
–8:31-38 Then Jesus said to the Jews who had believed in him, “If you continue in my word, you are truly my disciples; and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” They answered him, “We are the descendants of Abraham and have never been slaves to anyone. What do you mean by saying, ‘You will be made free?'”
Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, everyone who commits sin is a slave to sin. The slave does not have a permanent place in the household; the son has a place there forever [allusion to TriProt or vice-versa.] So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed. I know you are descendants of Abraham; yet you look for an opportunity to kill me, because there is no place for you in my world. I declare what I have seen in the Father’s presence; as for you, you should do what you have heard from the Father.”
–8:39-43 They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, “If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing what Abraham did, but now you are trying to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. You are indeed doing what your father does.” They said to him, “We are not illegitimate children, we have one father, God himself.” Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and now I am here. I did not come on my own, but he who sent me. Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot accept my word.”
–8:44-47 [Incorporating Rice University’s chair of the Department of Religion April DeConick’s translation of the original Greek:] “You are from the father of the devil, and you choose to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks according to his own nature, for he is a liar and the father of lies. But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. Which of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? Whoever is from God hears the words of God. The reason you do not hear them is that you are not from God.”
–8:48-50 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is one who seeks it and he is the judge.”
–8:51-59 “Very truly, I tell you, whoever keeps my word will never see death.” The Jews said to him, “Now we know you that you have a demon. Abraham died, and so did the prophets; yet you say, ‘Whoever keeps my word will never taste death.’ Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? The prophets also died. Who do you claim to be?” Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me, he of whom you say, ‘He is our God,’ though you do not know him. But I know him; if I would say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you. But I do know him, and I keep his word. Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day; he saw it and was glad.” Then the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and you have seen Abraham?” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, before Abraham was, I am” [inline with Christ in the Johannine Prologue, the Apocryphon of John, and the Trimorphic Protennoia.] So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.
–9:1-12 A Man Born Blind Receives Sight
As he walked along, he saw a man blind from birth. His disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind?” Jesus answered, “Neither this man nor his parents sinned; he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him. We must work the works of him who sent me while it is day; night is coming when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world.” When he had said this, he spat on the ground and made mud with the saliva and spread the mud on the man’s eyes, saying to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam” (which means Sent.) Then he went and washed and came back able to see. The neighbors and those who had seen him before as a beggar began to ask, “Is this not the man who used to sit and beg?” Some were saying, “It is he.” Others were saying, “No, but it is someone like him” But they kept asking him, “Then how were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man called Jesus made mud, spread it on my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash.’ Then I went and washed and received my sight.” They said to him, “Where is he?” He said, “I do not know.”
–9:13-34 The Pharisees Investigate the Healing —
They brought to the Pharisees the man who had formerly been blind. Now it was a sabbath day when Jesus made the mud and opened his eyes. Then the Pharisees also began to ask him how he had received his sight. He said to them, “He put mud on my eyes. Then I washed, and now I see.” Some of the Pharisees said, “This man is not from God, for he does not observe the sabbath. But others said, “How can a man who is a sinner perform such signs?” And they were divided. So they went again to the blind man, “What do you say about him? It was your eyes he opened.” He said, “He is a prophet.”
The Jews did not believe that he had been blind and had received his sight until they called the parents of the man who had received his sight and asked them, “Is this your son, who you say was born blind? How then does he now see?” His parents answered, “We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind; but we do not know how it is that now he sees, nor do we know who opened his eyes. Ask him, he is of age. He will speak for himself.” His parents said this because they were afraid of the Jews; for the Jews had already agreed that anyone who confessed Jesus to be the Messiah would be put out of the synagogue. Therefore, his parents said, “He is of age; ask him.”
So for the second time they called the man who had been blind, and they said to him, “Give glory to God! We know that this man [Jesus] is a sinner.” He answered, “I do not know whether he is a sinner. One thing I do know, that I was blind, now I see.” They said to him, “What did he do to you? How did he open your eyes?” He answered them, “I have told you already, and you would not listen. Why do you want to hear it again? Do you also want to become his disciples?” Then they reviled him, saying, “You are his disciple, but we are disciples of Moses, but as for this man, we do not know where he comes from.” The man answered, “Here is an astonishing thing! You do not know where he comes from, and yet he opened my eyes. We know that God does not listen to sinners, but he does listen to one who worships him and obeys his will. Never since the world began has it been heard that anyone opened the eyes of a person born blind. If this man were not from God, he could do nothing.” They answered him, “You were born entirely in sins, and you are trying to teach us?” And they drove him out.
–9:35-41 Spiritual Blindness —
Jesus heard that they had driven him out, and when he found him, he said, “Do you believe in the Son of Man?” He answered, “And who is he, sir? Tell me, so that I may believe him.” Jesus said to him, “You have seen him, and the one speaking with you is he.” He said, “Lord, I believe.” And he worshipped him. Jesus said, “I came into this world for judgment so that those who do not see may see, and those who do see may become blind.” Some of the Pharisees near him heard this and said to him, “Surely we are not blind, are we?” Jesus said to them, “If you were blind, you would not have sin. But now that you say, ‘We see,’ your sin remains.”
—10:28-29 “No one will snatch them out of my hand. What my Father has given me is greater than all else, and no one can snatch it out of the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.”
—10:34-36 Jesus answered, “It is not written in your own law, ‘I said, you are gods?’ If those to whom the word of God came were called ‘gods’ — and the scripture cannot be annulled— can you say that the one whom the Father has sanctified and sent into the world is blaspheming because I said, ‘I am God’s Son?’”
–11:7-15 Then after this he said to the disciples,”Let us go up to Judea again.” The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now trying to stone you, and you are going there again?” Jesus answered, “Are there not twelve hours of daylight? Those who walk during the day do not stumble, because they see the light of the world. But those who walk at night stumble, because the light is not in them.” After saying this, he told them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to awaken him.” The disciples said to him, “Lord, if he has fallen asleep, he will be all right.” Jesus, however, had been speaking about his death, but they thought he was referring merely to sleep. Then Jesus told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead. For your sake I am glad I was not there, so that you may believe. But let us go up to him.”
[Note: the theme of light and dark is starkly referenced in this set of Verses, and the end is strikingly similar to GosMark, which we’ll explore in depth in a later Section, where Jesus must emphatically tell the disciples what is going on literally, since they might not understand due to their respective dispositions.]
–11:38-44 Then Jesus, again greatly disturbed, came to the tomb. It was a cave, and a stone was lying against it. Jesus said, “Take away the stone.” Martha, this sister of the dead man, said to him, “Lord, already there is a stench because he has been dead for four days.” Jesus said to her, “Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?” So they took away the stone. And Jesus looked upward and said, “Father, I thank you for hearing me. I knew that you always hear me, but I have said this for the sake of the crowd standing here, so that they may believe that you sent me.” When he had said this, he cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out!” The dead man came out, his hands and feet bound with strips of cloth, and his face wrapped in a cloth. Jesus said to them, “Unbind him, and let him go.”
[Note: again, this set of Verses very much sounds like GosMark.]
–11:45-50 Many of the Jews therefore, who had come with Mary and seen what Jesus did, believed in him. But some of them went to the Pharisees and told them what he had done. So the chief priests and the Pharisees called a meeting of the council, and said, “What are we to do? This man is performing many signs. If we let him go on like this, everyone will believe in him, and the Romans will come and destroy both our holy place and our nation.” But one of them, Calaphas who was high priest that year, said to them, “You know nothing at all! You do not understand that it is better for you to have one man die for the people that to have the whole nation destroyed.”
—12:25 “Those who love their life lose it, and those who hate their life in this world keep it for eternal life.”
–12:27-37 “Now my soul is troubled. And what should I say–‘Father save me from this hour’? No, it is for this reason that I have come to this hour. Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven, “I have glorified it, and I will glorify it again.” The crowd standing there heard it and said that it was thunder. Others said, “An angel has spoken to him.” Jesus answered, “This voice has come for your sake, not for mine. Now is the judgement of this world; now the Ruler of this world will be driven out [allusion to ApJohn, TriProt, and The Hypostasis of the Archons.] And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” He said this to indicate the kind of death he was to die. The crowd answered him, “We have heard from the law that the Messiah remains forever. How can you say that the Son of Man must be lifted up? Who is this Son of Man?” Jesus said to them, “The light is with you for a little longer. Walk while you have the light, so that the darkness may not overtake you. If you walk in the darkness, you do not know where you are going. While you have the light, believe in the light, so that you may become children of the light.” After Jesus had said this, he departed and hid from them. Although he had performed so many signs in their presence, they did not believe in him.”
–12:42-43 Nevertheless many, even of the authorities, believed in him. But because of the Pharisees, they did not confess it, for fear that they would be put out of the synagogue; for they loved human glory more than the glory that comes from God.
–12:44-50 Then Jesus cried aloud: “Whoever believes in me believes not in me but in him who sent me. And whoever sees me sees him who sent me. I have come as light into the world, so that everyone who believes in me should not remain in the darkness. I do not judge anyone who hears my words and does not keep them, for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world. The one who rejects me and does not receive my word has a judge; on that last day the word that I have spoken will serve as judge, for I have not spoken on my own, but the Father who sent me has himself given me a commandment about what to say and what to speak. And I know his commandment is eternal life. What I speak, therefore, I speak just as the Father has told me.”
–13:18-20 “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”
–14:5-7 “Thomas said to him, ‘Lord we do not know where you are going. How can we know the way?’ Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth of life. No one comes to the Father except through me [Autogenes process.] If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’”
–14:20-21 “On that day you will know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. They who have my commandments and keep them are those who love me; and those who love me will be loved by my Father, and I will love them and reveal myself to them [again, Autogenes process.]”
–14:28 “You have heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I am coming to you.’ If you loved me, you would rejoice that I am going to the Father, because the Father is Greater than I.”
[Note: inline with ApJohn — “He begot a spark of light with a light resembling blessedness. But it does not equal his greatness.”]
–15:15-17 “I do not call you servants any longer, because the servant does not know what the master is doing; but I have called you friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from my Father. You did not choose me but I chose you. And I appointed you to go bear fruit that will last, so that the Father will give you whatever you ask him in my name. I am giving you these commands so that you may love one another.”
–15:18-25 “If the world hates you, keep in mind that it hated me first. If you belonged to the world, it would love you as its own. As it is, you do not belong to the world, but I have chosen you out of the world. That is why the world hates you. Remember what I told you: ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted me, they will persecute you also. If they obeyed my teaching, they will obey yours also. They will treat you this way because of my name, for they do not know the one who sent me. If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not be guilty of sin; but now they have no excuse for their sin. Whoever hates me hates my Father as well. If I had not done among them the works no one else did, they would not be guilty of sin. As it is, they have seen, and yet they have hated both me and my Father. But this is to fulfill what is written in their Law: ‘They hated me without reason.’”
–16:8-11 “And when he [the Paraclete/Advocate, similar to Epinoia] comes, he will prove the world wrong about sin and righteousness and judgment; about sin, because they do not believe in me; about righteousness, because I am going to the Father and you will see me no longer; about judgment, because the Ruler of this world has been condemned.”
[Note: To give people more insight into what ApJohn’s & TriProt’s Epinoia actually is, it’s quite similar to the Paraclete (Advocate in modern versions of the Bible) in The Gospel According to John. Both are aspects of the Holy Spirit, and both serve to teach post Christ’s incarnation. Epinoia does imply Direct Spiritual Revelation, though this could boil down to Divine Insight.]
–17:4-10 “I glorified you on earth by finishing the work that you gave me to do. So now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had in your presence before the world existed.
I have made your name known to those whom you gave me from the world. They were yours, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word. Now they know everything you have given me is from you; for the words that you gave to me I have given to them, and they have received them and know in truth that I come from you; and they have believed that you sent me. I am asking on their behalf; I am not asking on behalf of the world, but on behalf of those whom you gave me, because they are yours.”
[Note: This set of Verses seems to be an allusion to the TriProt, or vice-versa: “I hid myself within them all until I revealed myself among my members, which are mine, and I taught them about the ineffable ordinances, and (about) the brethren. But they are inexpressible to every Sovereignty and every ruling Power, except the Sons of the Light alone.”]
–17:14-19 “I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. I am not asking you to take them out of the world, but I ask you to protect them from evil. They do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth. As you have sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify myself, so that they also may be sanctified in truth.”
—17:21-23 “As you, Father, are in me and I am in you, may they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me. The glory you have given to me I have given them, so that they may be one, as we are one, I in them and you in me, that they may become completely one, so that the world may know that you have sent me and have loved them even as you have loved me.”
–17:24-25 “Father, I desire that those also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory, which you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world. Righteous Father, the world does not know you, but I know you, and these know that you have sent me. I made your name known to them, and I will make it known, so that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”
[Note 1: this set of Verses has an incredibly strong exegetical relationship with the end of TriProt: “I hid myself within them all until I revealed myself among my members, which are mine, and I taught them about the ineffable ordinances, and (about) the brethren. But they are inexpressible to every Sovereignty and every ruling Power, except the Sons of the Light alone, that is, the ordinances of the Father.”]
[Note 2: This set of Verses also has an incredibly tight relationship with the Johannine Prologue from the beginning of the Gospel, discussed in more detail in the next Section.]
As cited, Christ appears to be fed-up with non-believers: 8:25 “They said ‘Who are you?’ Jesus said to them, ‘Why do I speak to you at all?’”
The Johannine Prologue
In the Prologue it is stated, “But to all who receive him, who believed in his name, he gave power to become children of God.” Christ and the Father are one, though the Prologue explicitly states that he gave the power to become the children of God. Perhaps ApJohn’s Autogenes, again guided by Christ, could represent the Father’s Spirit of Light descending upon the Immovable Race. Therefore, it doesn’t seem to be mutually exclusive that only Christ and the Father are one, but this could be the model. Excerpts from the Gospel of John’s Prologue, often referred to as tightly linked with the Trimorphic Protennoia, and vice-versa:
–1:1-2 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God.” [Note: per Rudolf Steiner during a lecture on The Gospel of John, “If we consider the first verse [of the Johannine Prologue]: ‘In the Beginning was the Word–Logos…’ we could picture the situation by using the following analogy. Before we utter it, the Word lives in us as thought. When it is uttered, waves are created in the air around us. If we think of some process in which these waves are frozen, we would see words drop to the ground as forms and configurations. We would see the creative power of the Word with our own eyes.”]
–1:10-13 “Yet the world does not know him. He came to what was his own, and his own people did not accept him. But to all who received him, who believed in his name, he gave the power to be children of God, who were born, not of blood or the will of the flesh or the will of man, but of God.”
–1:14-18 “And the Word became flesh and lived among us, and we have seen his glory. [Note: this Verse theoretically could have been a later addition to attempt to ward off the docetics in the far left wing of the Johannine school. However, doceticism does not necessarily denigrate the body, but it exalts the Spirit, Christ in this case. Furthermore, if it was not a later addition as many scholars believe, moderate docesticism allows for Christ’s Spirit to enter Jesus’ body at his baptism, per the analysis in The Gospel of John Section, thereby affirming the veracity of this set of Verses since Christ was in the flesh through Jesus.] From his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace. Grace and truth came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. It is God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart, who has made him known.”
GosThom’s message might be implicit, possibly with ApJohn in mind, as regards the drafting of GosJohn. Scholars are unclear themselves as to the original drafting of GosThom. Some date it back to pre-Mark (thus ~CE40,) and others date it to sometime in the second century CE. Please see the The Gospel of Thomas and Dating Its Original Drafting Section for more information. GosPhil too espouses such belief with its diction “become a christ” (though it’s a later work.) Recall the Illuminators and their Aeons— Christ’s, Seth’s, and the “Seed of Seth’s” in that it establishes this hierarchy and leads to the Aeons, however that manifests. I still choose to solely focus, however, on the Barbeloite half of the Sethian equation, and I believe the Illuminators work in a horizontal fashion irrespective of Seth.
Sethian Without the Sethite Component
As the University of Exeter’s Dr. Alastair Logan states on p.100 of Gnostic Truth & Christian Heresy, “Thus Shenke and those such as Colpe, Poirier, and Tardieu, who accept this ‘Sethian’ corpus and the existence, if not a system, yet of certain fixed mythologoumena such as the concepts of Seth and his seed, base their case very largely on the interpretation of the four Illuminators as representing horizontal divisions of the world year, and thus abodes as of, in turn, heavenly Adamas, Seth, his seed and the historical Sethians. But in light of our demonstration of the secondary character of this Sethian material and of the primary character of the Illuminators of the Barbelognostic myth as angelic revealer/redeemer figures, not spatio-temporal Aeons, this interpretation is flawed and unconvincing.” Hence I believe the Illuminators apply solely to the Immovable Race and work in a horizontal fashion, irrespective of the spatio-temporal. Pétrement goes off in a Valentinian direction, somewhat astonishing given ApJohn is Sethian, if not Johannine—and in no way Valentinian.
More Honing of the Canon
One could make a case that the Synoptics are good for Orthodox Christians. However, I do make special claim to GosMark as it is the earliest and most mystical of the lot with very few explicit OT allusions (and there allegedly is a Secret Gospel of Mark floating around, not yet discovered, at least according to Clement of Alexandria.) GosMatt and GosLuke certainly rely on the OT for much of their support (perhaps inline with Justin Martyr’s belief that the history should be interwoven.) The two tie Jesus’ birth to OT scripture, that he was born in Bethlehem; GosMark and GosJohn do not! Mark, like John, also has Jesus born in Galilee, not Bethlehem. The latter again was to make it seem to be tied to OT prophesy. I believe this line of reasoning is completely incorrect. GosMatt overtly has Jesus born in Bethlehem; GosLuke has Mary & Joseph from Galilee but temporarily in Bethlehem for the census, during which time Jesus’ birth took place. As we know, Christ’s Spirit did not enter Jesus until his baptism, making this whole escapade superfluous.
Per Rudolf Steiner’s First Lecture from True Knowledge of the Christ: Theosophy & Rosicrucianism — The Gospel of John, this excerpt really rings loudly: “As our theologians are also materialistically minded, the three Gospels of the three Synoptists suit them better [that is Mark, Matthew, and Luke,] for with them, materialistic exegesis is permissible. It goes against the grain in materialistic thinking [which he discusses is pervasive in today’s society] to accept a Spirit that is vastly superior to all humanity. It is more to their taste to see Jesus of Nazareth as a noble individual, the ‘simple man’ from Nazareth. In the Gospel of John it is quite impermissible to see in Jesus only the principles which are also to be found in any other human being. The soul of the Christ in the body of Jesus is something completely different. The Gospel of John shows us the Christ not only as an outstanding human being but also as a Spirit that embraces the whole earth.”
Furthermore, for Orthodox Christians, ApJohn would be a redaction of the OT and not an omission, if it would even be relevant or appropriate. In fact, one could see a case that ApJohn was a heterodox positioning statement to those of other religions, though I do not believe this aspect defines the primary purpose of this treatise—that would be unification with Christ and the Father in the Pleroma via the Autogenes / Spirit of Light process. The reality is that Christ’s Father is so much better than Yaltabaoth, and by monumental proportions. However, the Christian Orthodoxy (led by those the Valentinians referred to as Sophia’s psychics) chose to keep Yaltabaoth around by including the Old Testament in the Canon—with multiple explicit references to the Hebrew Bible found in GosLuke and GosMatt.
Final on My Personal Canon – The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon
- TriProt — perhaps the most powerful work
- The Sethian Neoplatonic treatises Allogenes, Marsanès, and Zostrianos
- A view on GosEgypt
- The Hypostasis of the Archons & On the Origin of the World
- GosTruth as related to ApJohn & TriProt
Footnotes not to be covered:
- The Old Testament
- The Pauline Letters
- The Johannine Epistles
- The Valentinian rewrites of the Sethian material in The Nag Hammadi Library as well as Pistis Sophia
Note 1: GosMark effectively bridges GosThom (one could call this work a Synoptic given many of its sayings, though there are many others that are much more mystical, and it does not discuss the crucifixion) with GosJohn. Those key sayings that are included in GosMatt and GosLuke are, for the most part, picked up by GosThom. In fact, there is some nice overlap between GosMark & GosThom, just as there is similarity between GosMark & GosJohn.
Note 2: It gets technical, as recently I demoted GosMatt & GosLuke to footnotes because of their reliance on OT texts with their exhaustive genealogies, incorrect facts such as Jesus being born in Bethlehem in order to tie themselves to OT prophesy (GosMark & GosJohn have him born in Galilee, etc.) The Johannine Epistles are footnotes as well as they were not written by the same author(s) of GosJohn, and they actually mix up facts routinely from the original Gospel. In fact they were most likely written to refute some of what GosJohn overtly states in its text. They too were attempts to ward off the secessionists, which of course I am. The discourse presented in the Honing the True Canon Section extensively discusses why the Pauline works are not to be covered, and a good portion of this work discusses why the Valentinian treatises also are not to be included. Keep in mind that the Valentinians had a link to Paul via his disciple Theudas, thereby shedding some light onto how they’re related.
I will also quickly mention that it’s rather interesting: if one reads one of the Synoptics (inclusive of GosThom, but exclusive of GosMark) it’s almost as if Jesus’ vernacular peers through in a certain form throughout each treatise, whereas when one reads GosJohn, ApJohn, or TriProt (as well as GosMark — the earliest,) it seems like another form due to the artistic portrayal of the verbiage, perhaps the Spirit’s (Christ’s if not the Father’s–if not the Holy Spirit’s) dialect. This phenomenon could be due to Synoptics’ reliance on the Q-Source, which has not yet been discovered. However, GosMark too relied on Q, and we learned in the Johannine Secessionist Section that its author could have potentially relied on GosThom as well. At least in theory, GosMark is considered to be one of the Synoptics, so this aspect does remain a mystery to me. Potentially, Mark’s author could have read the same source material and changed the verbiage according to direction given to him by the Holy Spirit (in this case Epinoia.)
GosMark was most likely written for the Gentiles, and the writers believed they did not have to keep the Jewish law.
Richard Bauckman, senior scholar at Ridley Hall, Cambridge, states in The Johannine Jesus and the Synoptic Jesus: “The extent to which John presupposes traditions about Jesus which he does not record is not often noticed. Whether the evangelist’s intention was in some sense to complement one or more of the Synoptic Gospels is not important for our present purposes, though there is quite a strong case to be made for the view that he presupposes his readers know Mark.”
Furthermore, he states: “The explanation for the oft-remarked absence of the term ‘kingdom of God’ from John (only in 3:3, 5), by comparison with its prominence as the central theme of Jesus’ message in the Synoptics, is that ‘eternal life’ or ‘life’ is the Johannine substitute for it.” However, the verbiage in both John & Mark is quite similar and written in the same vein.
As I state below more directly regarding Chapter 13, the author of Mark seems to have intentionally left most OT allusions dangling (i.e. not explicit) in order for them to be interpreted according to the reader’s teaching or disposition. In a sense, the non-referenced passages, of which there are many, could be perceived as overwrites or omissions of the original texts of the OT in the spirit of Christ’s New Covenant. In fact, in some of the Verses, this new teaching seems to either represent something quite different, often with a new spin (1:21-27, 2:5-12, 2:18-22, 6:1-6, 13:11, 13:14-17, 13:28-31, 13:32-37, 14:32-41, 15:34-39,) or admonish some of the old teachings (3:3-5, 4:13-20, 7:9-13, 12:1-11, 12:18-27, 12:35-38, 14:59-65.)
Again, Mark was theoretically written first (GosThom could potentially have been written beforehand,) and scholars believe that the text relies on Q, though we don’t actually have this source in hand. Furthermore, the potential exists that Mark relies on GosThom as discussed previously in the Johannine Secessionists and Final on My Personal Canon Sections. Mark leaves out almost all the explicit OT references that GosMatt & GosLuke emphatically add back (again, in order to be inline with Justin Martyr’s beliefs—that the OT’s & NT’s history should be intertwined.)
I believe Mark sees this notion differently, just as the Johannine School has very few references to the OT in GosJohn, let alone ApJohn & TriProt. Ironically, of the treatises being discussed here, ApJohn appears to have explicitly referenced the OT the most in order to make the case that its inclusion in the Canon was at best superfluous, particularly given how wrong parts of the Hebrew Bible actually were to the drafters! This approach could be construed to demonstrate the correctness of Christ’s new teaching to understand God—the true Father as described in ApJohn & TriProt. Jesus might acknowledge the correctness of some of the teaching in the OT, often times not correctly followed by Israel at the time, but Christ’s New Covenant (from the Father) is what Mark is all about to me.
As we’ll see at the end of the next section, it is quite possible that there were effectively two missions being accomplished simultaneously, one representing Christ’s and Father’s, the other representing the fulfillment of OT prophesy. You really have to carve out the salient Verses in GosMark as I do believe this book was written with the two entirely different audiences in mind. Note the similarity of this reasoning with the end of TriProt:
“I was dwelling in them in the form of each one. The Archons thought that I was their Christ. Indeed, I dwell in everyone. Indeed, within those in whom I revealed myself as Light, I eluded the Archons. I am their beloved, for in that place I clothed myself as the son of the Archgenitor, and I was like him until the end of his decree, which is the ignorance of Chaos. And among the angels I revealed myself in their likeness, and among the Powers, as if I were one of them; but among the Sons of Man, as if I were a Son of Man, even though I am Father of everyone.”
“As for me, I put on Jesus. I bore him from the cursed wood, and established him in the dwelling places of his Father. And those who watch over their dwelling places did not recognize me. For I, I am unrestrainable, together with my seed; and my seed, which is mine, I shall place into the holy Light within an incomprehensible Silence. Amen.”
GosMark & GosJohn are quite similar on several points, and I’m amazed that others have not made this connection before. People get caught up on genealogy and other elements of history, but it’s right before out eyes. GosMatt & GosLuke get so caught up on their respective points regarding tying the Old Testament to the New Testament that Christ’s New Covenant gets lost in the translation. Just by reading sections of GosJohn and GosMark, it’s clear how much Christ admonishes the teachings of the Old Testament.
–1-6-8 Now John was clothed with camel’s hair, with a leather belt around his waist, and he ate locusts and wild honey. He proclaimed, “The one who is more powerful than I is coming after me; I am not worthy to stoop down and unite the thong of his sandals. I have baptized you with water; but he will baptize you with the Holy Spirit.”
–1:9-11 In those days Jesus from Nazareth of Galilee and was baptized by John in the Jordan. And just as he was coming up out of the water, he saw the heavens town apart and the Spirit descending like a dove on him. And a voice came from heaven, “You are my Son, the Beloved; with you I am well pleased.”
[Note: Per The Gospel of John Section, this represents when Christ’s Spirit descends upon Jesus.]
–1:12-13 And the Spirit immediately drove him out into the wilderness. He was in the wilderness forty days, tempted by Satan; and he was with the wild beasts; and the angels waited on him.
[Note: Unlike GosMatt & GosLuke, the encounter with Satan is mentioned very briefly, and the entire scene does not appear in GosJohn at all.]
–1:14-15 Now after John was arrested, Jesus came to Galilee, proclaiming the good news of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near; repent, and believe in the good news.”
1:16-20 As Jesus passed along the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the sea — for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow me, and I will make you fish for people.” And immediately they left their nets and followed him. As he went a little farther, he saw James the son of Zebedee and his brother John, who were in their boat, mending their nets. Immediately he called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired men, and followed him.
[Note: Peter (Simon,) and John are two of the four first apostles, and as we know they are perhaps two of the most important. Theoretically, Mark is of Peter’s School and was written in Rome, and John is at least symbolically the leader of the Johannine School.]
–1:21-27 They went to Capernaum; and when the sabbath came, he entered the synagogue and taught. They were astounded at his teaching, for he taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes. Just then there was in the synagogue a man with an unclean spirit, and he cried out, “What have you to do with us, Jesus of Nazareth? Have you come to destroy us? I know who you are, the Holy One of God.” But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be silent, and come out of him!” And the unclean spirit, convulsing him and crying with a loud voice, came out of him. They were all amazed, and they kept asking one another, “What is this? A new teaching–with authority! He commands even unclean spirits, and they obey him.”
[Note: Even the unclean spirit knew that Christ is the Holy One of God (Father.)]
–1:27-30 Jesus went on with his disciples to the villages of Caesarea Philippi; and on the way he asked his disciples, “Who do people say that I am?” And they answered him, “John the baptist; and others Elijah; and still others, one of the prophets.” He asked them, “But who do you say that I am?” Peter answered him, “You are the Messiah” And he sternly ordered them not to tell anyone about him.
[compare with GosThom Saying 13: Jesus said to his disciples, “Compare me to something and tell me what I am like.”
Simon Peter said to him, “You are like a just messenger.”
Matthew said to him, “You are like a wise philosopher.”
Thomas said to him, “Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like.”
Jesus said, “I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended.”
And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, “What did Jesus say to you?”
Thomas said to them, “If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you.”]
–1:35-39 A Preaching Tour in Galilee —
In the morning, while it was still very dark, he got up and went to a deserted place, and there he prayed. And Simon and his companions hunted for him. When they found him, they said to him, “Everyone is searching for you.” He answered, “Let us go on to the neighboring towns, so that I may proclaim my message there also; for it is what I came out to do.” And he went through Galilee, proclaiming the message in their synagogues and casting out demons.
–1:40-45 A leper came to him begging him, and kneeling he said to him, “If you choose, you can make me clean.” Moved with pity, Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, and said to him, “I do choose. Be made clean! Immediately the leprosy left him, and he was made clean. After sternly warning him he sent him away at once, saying to him, “See that you say nothing to anyone; but show yourself to the priest, and offer your cleansing what Moses commanded, as a testimony to them.” But he went out and began to proclaim it freely, and to spread the word, so that Jesus could no longer go into a town openly, but stayed out in the country, and people came to him from every quarter.
[Note: Jesus seems to associate Moses with the priest referenced — and “them” seems to allude to either the Sadducees or the Pharisees of the time, inline with GosJohn.]
–2:5-12 When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.” Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning their hearts, “Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive but God alone?” At once, Jesus perceived in his spirit [Christ] that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, “Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven,’ or to say, ‘Stand up and take your mat and walk?’ But so you know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins–he said to the paralytic–“I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.” And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this!”
[Note: This set of Verses is very similar to GosJohn, and it comes the closest to equating The Son of Man with Johannine Prologue: “God the only Son, who is close to the Father’s heart.”]
–2:18-22 The Question about Fasting
Now John’s disciples and the Pharisees were fasting; and people came and said to him. “Why do John’s disciples and the disciples of the Pharisees fast, but your disciples do not fast?” Jesus said to them, “The wedding guests cannot fast while the bridegroom is with them, can they? As long as they have the bridegroom with them, they cannot fast. The days will come when the bridegroom is taken away from them, and they will fast on that day.”
“No one sews a piece of unshrunk cloth on an old cloak; otherwise, the patch pulls away from it, the new from the old, and a worse tear is made. And no one puts new wine in old wineskins; otherwise the wine will burst the skins, and the wine is lost, and so are the skins; but one puts new wine into fresh wineskins.”
[Note 1: what a set of Verses! Christ seems to explicitly state that his teaching is new right here. This section implies an overwrite (of the Old Testament.) Compare with GosThom Saying 47.]
[Note 2: J. D. Crossan writes: “From the combination of Mark and Thomas there arises the strong possibility that this double aphorism was originally a double-diptych or quadruple-stich aphorism with each diptych in reversed parallelism (abb’a’). This must be considered not only for Gos. Thom. 47b(2) on wine (Turner and Montefiore: 65; and see especially Nagel), but for both Gos. Thom. 47b(2 and 3) on wine and on cloth (Quispel, 1957:194-195). Thus the double diptych involved (a) a combination of two metaphors: cloth-patching and wine-storing; (b) with a different set of categories for each; (c) in chiastic arrangement: unshrunk/shrunk//shrunk/unschrunk and new/old//old/new. Two processes worked upon the original structure: (d) an internal process whereby the new/old categories eventually prevailed over the unshrunk/shrunk, and (e) an external process that found it appropriate to retain the new/old aspect but not the old/new side of each diptych. Finally, (f) the internal process has changed Thomas even more than Mark (where ‘unshrunk’ is still present), but the external process, with its concern for Jesus as the new, has changed Mark and Luke mcuh more than Thomas (where ‘old/new’ is twice present). The only vestiges of old/new still visible in Mark or Luke is its residue within that concluding and unnecessary comment about ‘new win/new wineskins.’ But here, of course, old/new has become new/new.” (In Fragments, pp. 125-126)]
–2:27 Then he said to them, “The sabbath was made for humankind, and not humankind for the sabbath; so the Son of Man is lord even on the sabbath.”
–3:3-5 Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there who had a withered hand. They watched him to see whether he would cure him on the sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man who had the withered hand, “Come forward.” Then he said to them, “Is it lawful to do good or to do harm on the sabbath, to save life or to kill?”
But they were silent.
He looked around at them with anger; he was grieved at their hardness of heart and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored.
—3:7-12 Jesus departed with his disciples to the sea, and a great multitude from Galilee followed him; hearing all that he was doing, they came to him in great numbers from Judea, Jerusalem, Idumea, beyond the Jordan, and the region around Tyre and Sidon. He told his disciples to have a boat ready for him because of the crowd, so that they would not crush him; for he had cured many, so that all who had diseases pressed upon him to touch him. Whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and shouted, “You are the Son of God!” But he sternly ordered them not to make him known.
[Note: So much for GosJohn solely equating Christ with God! Let‘s too not forget about GosThom Saying 77! Even Luke and Matthew do during Satan’s temptation. Again, Mark completely abbreviates this encounter, and it’s the first, and GosJohn does not even mention the scene.]
–3:31-35 The True Kindred of Jesus —
Then his brothers came; and standing outside, they sent to him and called him. A crowd was sitting around him; and they said to him “your mother and your brothers and sisters are outside, asking for you.” And he replied, “Who are my mother and my brothers?” And looking at those who sat around him, he said, “Here are my mother and my brothers! Whoever does the will of God is my brother and sister and mother.”
–4:3-9 The Parable of the Sower —
“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seed fell on the path, and the birds came and at it up. Other seed fell on rocky ground, where it did not have much soil, and it sprang up quickly, since it had no depth of soil. And when the sun rose, it was scorched; and since it had no root, it withered away. Other seed fell among the thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked it, and it yielded no grain. Other seed fell onto good soil and brought forth grain, growing up and increasing and yielding thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” And he said, “Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” [Compare with GosThom Saying 9]
–4:10-11 The Purpose of the Parables —
When he was alone, those who were around him along with the twelve asked him about the parables. And he said to them, “To you has been given the secret of the kingdom of God, but for those outside, everything comes in parables.”
[Note: GosMark alludes to secret teaching in one form or another. Then in describing the sower parable, notice the Johannine-like verbiage:]
–4:13-20 And he said to them, Do you not understand this parable? Then how will you understand all the parables? The sower sows the Word. These are the own who are on the path where the seed is sown: when they hear, Satan immediately comes and takes away the Word that is sown in them. And these are the ones sown on rocky ground; when they hear the Word, they immediately receive it with joy. But they have no root, and endure for a while; then when trouble or persecution arises on account of the Word, immediately they fall away. And others are those sown among the thorns: these are the ones who hear the Word, but the cares of the world, and the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things come in and choke the word, and it yields nothing. And these are the ones on the good soil: they hear the Word and accept it and bear fruit, thirty and sixty and a hundredfold.” [Compare with GosThom Saying 9]
–4:21-25 The Lamp under a Bushel Basket —
He said to them, “Is a lamp brought in to be put under the bushel basket, or under the bed, and not on the lampstand? For there is nothing hidden, except to be disclosed; nor is anything secret, except to come to light. Let anyone with ears to hear listen!” And he said to them, “Pay attention to what you hear; the measure you give will be the measure you get, and still more will be given to you. For those who have, more will be given; and from those who have nothing, even what they have will be taken away.” [Compare with GosThom Sayings 17, 24, and particularly 33]
–4:26-29 The Parable of the Growing Seed —
He also said, “The kingdom of God is as if someone would scatter seed on the ground, and would sleep and rise night and day, and the seed would sprout and grow, he does not know how. The earth produces of itself, first the stalk, then the head, then the full grain in the head. But when the grain is ripe, at once he goes in with his sickle, because the harvest has come.”
–4:30-32 The Parable of the Mustard Seed —
He also said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable will we use for it? It is like a mustard seed, when sown upon the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth; yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes the greatest of all shrubs, and puts forth large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.” [Compare with GosThom Saying 20]
–5:6-7 When he saw Jesus from a distance, he ran and bowed before him; and he shouted at the top of his voice, “What have you to do with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God?”
[Note: Most High God implies the true Father, not Yaltabaoth, from ApJohn & TriProt.]
–6:1-6 The Rejection of Jesus at Nazareth
He left that place and came to his hometown, and his disciples followed him. On the sabbath he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were astounded. They said, “Where did this man get all this? What is this wisdom that has been given to him? What deeds of power are being done by his hands! Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary and brother of James and Joses and Judas and Simon, and are not his sisters here with us?” And they took offense at him. Then Jesus said to them, “Prophets are not without honor, except in their hometown, and among their own kin, and in their own house.” And he could not do deeds of power there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people and cured them. And he was amazed at their unbelief.
[Note: Christ’s wisdom is clearly of this new teaching, which again represents an overwrite of existing beliefs in my opinion, and it is quite powerful!]
–7:9-13 Then he said to them, “You have a fine way of rejecting the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition! For Moses said, ‘Honor your father and your mother;’ and ‘Whoever speaks evil of father or mother must surely die.’ But you say that if anyone tells mother or father, ‘Whatever support you might have had from me is Corban (that is, an offering to God)—then you no longer permit doing anything for a father or mother, thus making void the word of God through your tradition that you have handed on. And you do many things like this.”
[Note: Christ admonishes the Hebrew customs in this section quite succinctly.]
–7:14-16 Then he called the crowd again and said to them, “Listen to me, all of you, and understand: there is nothing outside a person that by going in can defile, but the things that come out are what defile.” [Compare with GosThom Saying 14]
–7:17-21 When he left the crowd and entered the house, his disciples asked him about the parable. He said to them, “Then do you also fail to understand? Do you not see that whatever goes into a person from outside cannot defile, since it enters, not the heart but the stomach, and goes out into the sewer.” (Then he declared all foods clean) [note: thereby no need to make foods Kosher.] And he said, “It is what comes out of a person that defiles. For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come.”
[Note: we’ll see the similarity with GosPhil 83 in the next section, and note the allusion to ApJohn’s Counterfeit Spirit.]
–7:26-30 The Syrophoenician Woman’s Faith —
Now the woman was a Gentile, of Syrophoenician origin. She begged him to cast the demon out of her daughter. He said to her, “Let the children be fed first, for it is not fair to take the children’s food and throw it to the dogs.” But she answered him, “Sir, even the dogs under the table eat the children’s crumbs.” Then he said to her, “For saying that, you may go — the demon left your daughter.” So she went home, found the child laying on the bed, and the demon gone.
[Note: This sections represents a direct allusion to GosPhil 81.]
–8:34-38 [Note the Johannine-like verbiage] He called the crowd with his disciples, and said to them, “If any want to become my followers, let them deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me. For those who want to save their life will lose it, and those who lose their life for my sake, and for the sake of the gospel, will save it. For what will it profit them to gain the whole world and forfeit their life? Indeed, what can they give in return for their life? Those who are ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of them the Son of Man will also be ashamed when comes the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
–9:38-41 John said to him, “Teacher, we saw someone casting out demons in your name, and we tried to stop him, because he was not following us. But Jesus said, “Do not stop him; for no one who does a deed of power in my name will be able soon afterward to speak evil of me. Whoever is not against us is for us. For truly I tell you, whoever gives you a cup of water to drink because you bear the name of Christ will by no means lose the reward.”
[Note: Perhaps the apostolic wing of the Johannine School slipped this verse in referring to the secessionists — or more likely vice-versa! The secessionists were the original Johannines according to Rice University’s Chair of the Department of Religion April DeConick. The apostolic wing hostilely took over the main secessionist wing. Even though this is GosMark, it seems clear the Johannines strongly valued this Gospel — if they did not directly influence its drafting. The verbiage of GosMark is quite Johannine, as mentioned previously. Fascinating.]
–9:49-50 “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.”
–10:14-16 “Let the little children come to me; do not stop them; for it is to such as these that the kingdom of God belongs. Truly I tell you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God as a little child will never enter it.” And he took them up in his arms, laid his hands on them, and blessed them. [Compare with GosPhil 73, 86 & GosThom Sayings 4, 59, 111]
–10:41-45 When the ten heard of this, they began to be angry with James and John. So Jesus called them and said to them, “You know that among the Gentiles those whom they recognize as their Rulers lord it over them. But it is not so among you, but whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first among you must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.”
[Note: As we’ll see below, note the emphasis on the Rulers, similar to ApJohn, TriProt & The Hypostasis of the Archons (also know as The Reality of the Rulers.)]
–10:46- The Healing of Blind Bartimaeus —
They came to Jericho. As he and his disciples and a large crowd were leaving Jericho, Bartimaeus son of Timaeus, a blind beggar, was sitting by the roadside. When he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to shout and say, “Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!” Many sternly ordered him to be quiet, but he cried out even more loudly, “Son of David, have mercy on me!” Jesus stood still and said, “Call him here.” And they called the blind man, saying to him, “Take heart; get up, he is calling you.” So throwing off his cloak, he sprang up and came to Jesus. Then Jesus said to him, “What do you want me to do for you?” The blind man said to him, “My teacher, let me see again.” Jesus said to him, “Go; your faith has made you well.” Immediately he regained his sight and followed him on the way.
–12:1-11 The Parable of the Wicked Tenants — [Note the allusion to God’s kingdom, and the current tenants in Israel, and the others (perhaps the Gentiles as this Gospel appears to have been targeted to them?) who will be given the vineyard:]
Then he began to speak to them in parables. “A man planted a vineyard, put a fence around it, dug a pit for the wine press, and built a watchtower; then he leased it to tenants and went to another country. When the season came, he sent a slave to the tenants to collect from them his share of the produce of the vineyard. But they seized him, and beat him, and sent him away empty handed. And again he sent another slave to them; this one they beat over the head and insulted. Then he sent another, and that one they killed. And so it was with many others; some they beat, others they killed. He had still one other, a beloved son. Finally he sent them to him, saying, ‘They will respect my son.’ But those tenants said to one another, ‘This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and the inheritance will be ours.’ So they seized him, killed him, and threw him out of the vineyard. What then will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants and give the vineyards to others. Have you not read this scripture: ‘The stone that the builders rejected has become the cornerstone; this was the Lord’s doing, and it is amazing in our eyes.’? [Compare with GosThom Sayings 65-66]
[Note: Helmut Koester writes: “In Mark 12 as well as in Gos. Thom. 65, the parable of the Wicked Husbandmen is connected with the saying about the rejection of the cornerstone (Mark 12:10-11 = Gos. Thom. 66). This is not a Markan addition to the parable; Mark’s own redactional connection, leading back into the prevoius context that was interrupted by the insertion of the parable, appears in 12:12-13 with an explicit reference to the parable (‘they understood that he said this parable about them’). Thus the saying about the rejected cornerstone was already connected with the parable in Mark’s source. However, Thomas does not reflect Mark’s editorial connection of parable and saying but cites the saying as an independent unit. Mark’s source may have contained more than one parable. The introduction (Mark 12:1) says: ‘And he began to speak to them in parables’ but only one parable follows. Whether or not this parable of Mark 12 derives from the same collection as the parables of Mark 4, it is evident that the sources of Mark and the Gospel of Thomas were closely related.” (Ancient Christian Gospels, pp. 101-102)]
–12:18-27 The Question about the Resurrection —
Some Sadducees, who say there is no resurrection, came to him and asked him a question, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if a man’s brother dies, leaving a wife but no child, the man shall marry the widow and raise up the children for his brother. There were seven brothers; the first married, and when he died, left no children; and the second married the widow and died, leaving no children’ and the third likewise; none of the seven left children. Last of all the woman herself died. In the resurrection whose wife shall she be? For the seven had married her.”
Jesus said to them, “Is not this the reason you are wrong, that you know neither the scriptures nor the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. And as for the dead being raised, have you not read the book of Moses, in the story about the bush, how God said to him, ‘I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob’? He is God not of the dead, but of the living; you are quite wrong.”
[Note: similar to GosJohn, Chapter 8 with the Pharisees, Christ rebukes the Sadducees here and essentially clarifies the teaching, again supporting the notion that this Gospel represents an overwrite of the OT, this time for clarification’s sake. Jesus does reference characters from the OT, but seemingly for example’s sake—he addresses his audience with their own teachings for purposes of understanding.]
–12:35-38 [Note: This is quite interesting: by way of redirection, Christ avoids associating himself with the Old Testament in this section:]
While Jesus was teaching in the temple, he said, “How can the scribes say that the Messiah is the Son of David? David himself, by the Holy Spirit, declared, ‘The Lord said to my Lord, “sit at my right hand, until I put your enemies under your feet.”‘ David himself calls him Lord; so how can you he be his son?” And the large crowd was listening to him with delight.
[Sheer and utter silence]
As he taught, he said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes, and to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces, and to have the best seats in the synagogues, and places to honor at banquets! They devour widows’ houses and for the sake of appearance say long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
[Note: one could assume, therefore, that Christ in a manner of speaking is not claiming to be the Son of David; it is not central to his message here.]
–13:1-8 As he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what large stones and what large buildings!” Then Jesus asked him, “Do you see these great buildings? Not one stone will be left here upon another; all will be thrown down.”
When he was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter, James, John, and Andrew asked him privately, “Tell us, when will this be, and what will be the sign that all these things are about to be accomplished?” Then Jesus began to say to them, “Beware that no one leads you astray. Many will come in my name and say, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed; this must take place, but the end is still to come. For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. This is but the beginning of the birth pangs.”
–13:11 “When they bring you to trial and hand you over, do not worry beforehand about what you are to say; but say whatever is given you at that time, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit.”
[Note: Verse 11 is a direct allusion to Epinoia.]
–13:14-17 “But when you see the desolating sacrilege set up where it ought not to be (let the reader understand), then those in Judea must flee to the mountains; the one on the housetop must not go down or enter the house to take away anything; the only one in the field must not turn back to get a coat. Woe to those who are pregnant and to those who are nursing infants in those days!”
[Note: Per Oxford Biblical Studies, another term for the desolating sacrilege is “appalling abomination” — and this is precisely what ApJohn and TriProt refer to as Yaltabaoth. Per Wikipedia: The word “abomination” is described as a “detestable act” or “detestable thing” and in both biblical and rabbinic Hebrew, is a familiar term for an idol, or pertains to idolatrous worship, and therefore may well have the same application in Daniel, which should accordingly be rendered.” That’s what Saklas is. He must be adored, and he is a jealous God. I suggest that the author of Mark intentionally left such references up to the reader, thereby supporting the theory that this Gospel represents an overwrite–and is inline with ApJohn & TriProt.]
–13:20-23 “And if the Lord had not cut short those days, no one would be saved; but for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he has cut short those days. And if anyone says to you at that time, ‘Look! Here is the Messiah! or Look! There he is! – do not believe it. False messiahs and false prophets will appear and produce signs and omens, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. But be alert; I have already told you everything.'”
–13:24-25 “But in those days, after that suffering, the sun will be darkened; and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the Powers in the heavens will be shaken.”
[Note: This verse is a direct allusion to ApJohn & TriProt. The Powers that exist in the aeon are worldly, yet unworldly thanks be to God. May their time be limited.]
–13:28-31 The Lesson of the Fig Tree
“From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts forth its leaves, you know the summer is near. So also, when you see these things taking place, you will know that he is near, at the very gates. Truly I tell you, this generation will not pass away until all these things have taken place. Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.”
–13:32-37 The Necessity for Watchfulness
“But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey; when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on watch. Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
–14:32-41 “And he said to them, ‘I am deeply grieved, even to death; remain here and keep awake.’ And going a little farther; he threw himself on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. He said, “Abba, Father, for you all things are possible; remove this cup from me; yet not what I want, but what you want.” He came and found them sleeping; and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not keep awake one hour? Keep awake and pray that you will not come into the time of the trial; the Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words. And once more he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what to say to him. He came a third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? Enough! The hour has come; the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.'”
[Note 1: Verse 14:38 is key and quite Johannine — “The Spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”]
[Note 2: ApJohn: “And I said to the savior, “What is the forgetfulness?” And he said “It is not the way Moses wrote (and) you heard. For he said in his first book, ‘He put him to sleep’ (Gn 2:21), but (it was) in his perception.”]
–14:51-52 A certain young man was following him, wearing nothing but a linen cloth. They caught hold of him, but he left the linen and ran off naked.
[Note: Could this mysterious lad be the author of the Secret Gospel of Mark, yet to be fully discovered? Could he represent those the Spirit of Light will descend upon via the Autogenes process?]
–14:59-65 [Note: perhaps this section serves to differentiate Jesus from Christ, and as we know from Chapter 13 (again potentially alluding to ApJohn & TriProt) the Powers are in this aeon’s heaven, are shaken, and will pass away. These verses very well could be intended for psychic Christians, those not of the Immovable Race, since potentially Jesus could be seated at the right hand of the Power, whereas Christ will go back to the Pleroma. At the very least, Jesus’ behavior certainly angers the high priest, similar to Christ arguing with the Pharisees in GosJohn Chapter 8:]
But even on this point their testimony did not agree. Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer. What is it that they testify against you?” But he was silent and did not answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” Jesus said, “I am; and ‘you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of the Power,’ and coming in the clouds of heaven.”
Then the high priest tore his clothes and said, “Why do we still need witnesses? You have heard his blasphemy! What is your decision? All of them condemned him as deserving death. Some began to spit on him, to blindfold him, and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!”
–15:34-39 [Note: possibly the section that lays out that indeed a conspiracy had taken place, though regarding Christ’s intercession of Yaltabaoth’s objective regarding his savior:]
At thee o’clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Aloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” [Note: the harshest language of the four Gospels, John having none.] When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, “Listen, he is calling for Elijah.” And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
[Note: The centurion was a Gentile, and he appears to be addressing Christ, not Jesus. Note the curtain of the temple was torn in two, representing a potential metaphor. Christ’s mission seems to have been fulfilled through Jesus, though Jesus too fulfills Yaltabaoth’s mission, and thus the OT prophesy—one that is quite different from the Father’s. Clever.]
Furthermore, it is commonplace in the scholarly community to ascribe GosPhil to the Valentinian School, but I wish to propose the following: given the number of allusions to ApJohn included therein, I would go as far as to claim this very work for the Sethians/Johannine secessionists. Some of the treatise does stray from the Word stochastically, perhaps due to geographic penmanship, perhaps due to some Valentinian influence given the date of composition (sometime around the 3rd century.) However, the Sethian/Johannine secessionist Verses justify including this treatise in My Personal Canon. Furthermore, a member of the Immovable Race will be able to determine those that are salient.
GosPhil Listing of Sacraments
The Real Sacraments vis-à-vis the Orthodox sacraments:
According to the Gospel of Philip, five “mysteries” or sacraments were recognized. These represent my Personal Sacraments. They are:
5 bridal chamber (akin to ApJohn’s Autogenes/Spirit of Light & TriProt’s The Five Seals)
It is clear from the list that these are the five stages of initiation. The community Irenaeus was familiar with applied the name “redemption” to the ritual as a whole (Irenaeus Against Heresies 1:21:3-5).
The Sacrament of Redemption is similar to The Ascension, but on a more personal level: The Nag Hammadi texts reveal to us that this sacrament is considered a symbolic ascent through the Heavens. After the anointing, prayers follow for the ascent of the soul. In these prayers, the individual was to declare “I trace my origins to the Pre-Existent One and I am returning to my own from whence I came” (Irenaeus Against Heresies 1:21:5). Through their redemption, the person transcends the authority of the demiurge and is no longer subject to the law. Individuals remain physically in the world, but they are no longer of it. As this is similar to the Christian sacrament, the Johannine secessionist sacrament includes one additional step: as they both renounce the Devil, they deny the creator of the physical world as the True God.
Compare this listing with the Orthodox Sacraments:
1 renunciation of the Devil and profession of faith
5 imposition of hands
GosPhil Salient Verses
–“It is through the Breath that we come into being, but we are reborn by the Christ two by two. In his Breath, we experience a new embrace; we are no longer in duality, but in unity.”
–51 “Glass and clay vessels are made with the help of fire. Glass vessels can be restored, because they are shaped by breath. But clay vessels are destroyed when they are broken,
for they were born without breath.” [Note: Breath is also translated to Spirit from the original Greek]
–53 “Light and darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor the evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.”
–53-54 “Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word “God” does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with “the father” and “the son” and “the holy spirit” and “life” and “light” and “resurrection” and “the church” and all the rest — people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, [unless] they have come to know what is correct. The [names which are heard] are in the world [… deceive. If they] were in the eternal realm (Aeon,) they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in the eternal realm.”
–54 “But truth brought names into existence in the world for our sakes because it is not possible to learn it without these names. Truth is one single thing: it is many things and for our sakes to teach about this one thing in love through many things. The rulers (archons) wanted to deceive man, since they saw that he had a kinship with those that are truly good. They took the name of those that are good and gave it to those that are not good, so that through the names they might deceive him and bind them to those that are not good. And afterward, what a favor they do for them! They make them be removed from those that are not good and place them among those that are good. These things they knew, for they wanted to take the free man and make him a slave to them forever.”
–55 “Before Christ came there was no bread in the world, just as Paradise, the place where Adam was, had many trees to nourish the animals but no wheat to maintain man. Man used to feed like the animals, but when Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that man might be nourished with the food of man. The Rulers thought that it was by their own power and will that they were doing what they did, but the Holy Spirit in secret was accomplishing everything through them as it wished. Truth, which existed since the beginning, is sown everywhere. And many see it sown, but few are they who see it being reaped.”
“Some said, ‘Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit.” They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no Power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles and [the] apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled [watched] the Powers defile themselves. And Christ [would] not have said ‘My [Father who is in] heaven’ unless [he] had had another Father, but he would have said simply ‘[My Father.]'”
[Note that Mary only was conceived by the Holy Spirit in GosMatt and GosLuke. This non-detail was not included in GosMark, GosJohn, or any of the other treatises. Again, GosMatt and GosLuke are not part of the Core works of The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon. The only reason GosMatt and GosLuke have Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit is to tie the story back to the Old Testament, which we’ve already discussed is not part of The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon. It is because of Justin Martyr that the prevailing notion is that the histories need to be intertwined.]
—56 “Jesus is a hidden name, “Christ” is a revealed name. For this reason, Jesus is not particular to any language; rather he is always called by the name “Jesus.” While as for “Christ,” in Syriac it is “Messiah,” in Greek it is “Christ.” Certainly all the others have it according to their own language. “The Nazarene” is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man or angel or mystery, and the Father.
Those who say that Christ died first and (then) rose up are in error, for he rose up first and (then) [Jesus] died.”
–56 “No one will hide a large valuable object in something large, but many a time one has tossed countless thousands into a thing worth a penny. Compare the soul. It is a precious thing and it came in a contemptible body.”
–57 “Some are afraid they will rise naked. Because of this they wish to rise in the flesh, and [they] do not know that it is those who wear the [flesh] who are naked. [It is] those who [choose] to unclothe themselves who are not naked. ‘Flesh [and blood shall] not inherit the kingdom [of God.’] What is this which will not inherit? This which is on us. But what is this, too, which will inherit? It is that which belongs to Jesus and his blood. Because of this he said, ‘He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him (GosJohn 6:53.) What is it? His flesh is the Word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing. I find fault with the others who say that it will not rise. Then both of them are at fault. You say that the flesh will not rise. But tell me what will rise, that we may honor you. You say the Spirit in the flesh, and it is also this light in the flesh. But this too is a matter which is in the flesh, for whatever you shall say, you say nothing outside the flesh. It is necessary to rise in the flesh since everything exists in it. In this world those who put on garments are better than the garments. In the kingdom of heaven the garments are better than those who have put them on.
It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified — the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through the visible. There is water in water, there is fire in Chrism.”
[Note one: one must go through ApJohn’s Autogenes Process/The Spirit of Light while one is in this world, what GosPhil goes on to call the Bridal Chamber.]
[Note two: the heavenly garments very well could refer to TriProt’s Five Seals: And I delivered him to those who give robes – Yammon, Elasso, Amenai – and they covered him with a robe from the robes of the Light.]
–58 “The heavenly man has many more Sons than the earthly man. If the sons of Adam are many, although the die, how much more the sons of the perfect man, they who do not die, but are always begotten. The Father makes a Son, and the Son has not the power to make a son. For he who has been begotten has not the power to beget, but the Son gets brothers for himself, not Sons. All who are begotten in the world are begotten in a natural way, and the others [are nourished] from [the place] whence they have been born. It is from being promised to the heavenly place that man [receives] nourishment.”
–59 “The apostles said to the disciples, ‘May our entire offering obtain salt.’ They called [Sophia] ‘salt.’ Without it no offspring [is] acceptable. But Sophia is barren, [without] child. For this reason she is called ‘a trace of salt.'”
[Note: GosMark 9:49-50 “For everyone will be salted with fire. Salt is good; but if salt has lost its saltiness, how can you season it? Have salt in yourselves, and be at peace with one another.” Clearly, even in GosPhil, Sophia lost her status as she has but a trace of salt. In other words, per GosMark, she lost her saltiness, and she can no longer season. This message is what I’ve been attempting to convey for some time. Now readers might understand (Eleleth’s Aeon) that it is formalized within the Gospels exegetically. GosMark and GosPhil actually share much in common, just like GosMark does with GosThom.]
–61 “It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world; he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became Spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself — and what you see you shall become.”
–62 “Faith receives, love gives. [No one will be able to receive] without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Father is still a Hebrew.”
—65-66 “He who comes out of the world and so can no longer be detained on the grounds that he was in the world evidently is above the desire of the [Counterfeit Spirit] and fear. He is master over the [Counterfeit Spirit.] He is superior to envy. If [the authorities] come, they seize him and throttle [him.] And how will [this one] be able to escape the [great archonic] powers? How will he be able to [rest and repose?] There are some [who say,] ‘We are faithful in order that [we try to ward off the unclean spirits] and the demons. For if they had the Holy Spirit, no unclean spirit would cleave to them. Fear not the flesh nor love it. If you fear it, it will gain mastery over you. If you love it, it will swallow and paralyze you.”
–66 “And so he dwells in this world or in the resurrection or in the middle place. God forbid that I be found there! In this world there is good and evil. Its good things are not good, and its evil things not evil. But there is evil after this world which is truly evil — what is called “the middle.” It is death. While we are in this world it is fitting for us to acquire the resurrection, so that when we strip off the flesh we may be found in rest and not walk in the middle. For many go astray on the way. For it is good to come forth from the world before one has sinned.”
—67 “Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive Truth in any other way. There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. It is certainly necessary to be born again through the image. Which one? Resurrection [Redemption.] The image must rise again through the image. The bridal chamber [Autogenes/Spirit of Light] and the image must enter through the image into the Truth: this is the restoration. Not only must those who produce the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit do so, but <those who> have produced them for you. If one does not acquire them, the name (“Christian”) will also be taken from him. But one receives the unction of the [Autogenes/The Spirit of Light] of the power of the Cross. This power the apostles called “the right and the left.” For this person is no longer a Christian but a Christ. The Father did everything in a mystery, a baptism and a chrism and a eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber.”
—69 “Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed begotten again, but we are begotten through Christ in the two. We are anointed through the Spirit. When were were begotten we were united. None can see himself either in water or in a mirror without Light. Nor again can you see in Light without water or mirror. For this reason it is fitting to baptize in the two, the the Light and the water. Now the Light is the chrism.”
–70 “The Powers do not see those who are clothed in the perfect Light, and consequently are not able to detain them.”
–72 “That is the way in this world — men make gods and worship their creation. It would be fitting for the gods to worship men!”
–73 “Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing. So also when speaking about baptism they say, ‘Baptism is a great thing,’ because if people receive it they will live.” [This verse is an Autogenes/Spirit of Light allusion per ApJohn, as well as a Five Seals allusion per TriProt.]
–74 “The chrism is superior to [traditional] baptism, for it is from the word ‘chrism’ that we have been called ‘Christians,’ certainly not because of the word ‘baptism.’ And it is because of the chrism that ‘the Christ’ has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the Light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber [again, and this should be noted, akin to ApJohn’s Autogenes process/Spirit of Light as well as TriProt’s Five Seals;] he merely accepted the gift. The Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. This is the kingdom of Heaven.”
—75 “The living water is a body. It is fitting that we put on the living person. For this reason, when one is about to go down to the water, one strips so that one may put on that one (that is, the living person).”
–75 Jesus said, “There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitaries who will enter the bridal chamber.”
[Note: If you’ll recall, I relate the Bridal Chamber to ApJohn’s Autogenes/Spirit of Light Process, whereby one becomes one with the Spirit, or the Immovable Race.]
–75 “The world came about through a mistake. For he who created it wanted to create it imperishable and immortal. He fell short of attaining his desire. For the world never was imperishable, nor, for that matter, was he who made the world. For things are not imperishable, but sons are. Nothing will be able to receive imperishability if it does not first become a son. But he who has not the ability to receive, how much more will he be unable to give?”
–76 “Not only will they [the Powers] be unable to detain the perfect man, but they will not be able to see him, for if they see him they will detain him. There is no other way for a person to acquire this quality except by putting on the perfect Light [and] he too becoming perfect Light.”
—77 “He who has knowledge of the truth is a free man, but the free man does not sin, for ‘he who sins is the slave of sin’ (GosJohn 8:34). Truth is the mother, Knowledge [Gnosis] the Father. Those who think that sinning does not apply to them are called ‘free’ by the world. ‘Knowledge’ of the Truth merely ‘makes such people arrogant,’ which is what the words ‘it makes them free’ mean. It even gives them a sense of superiority over the whole world. But ‘love’ builds up. In fact, he who is really free through Knowledge is a slave because of love for those who have not yet been able to attain the freedom of Knowledge. Knowledge [again, Gnosis] makes them capable of becoming free.”
–80 “Blessed is the one who on no occasion caused a soul [distress.] That person is Jesus Christ. He came to the whole place and did not burden anyone. Therefore, blessed in the one who is like this, because he is a perfect man. For the Word tells us that this kind is difficult to define. How shall we be able to accomplish such a great thing? How will he give everyone comfort? Above all, it is not proper to cause anyone distress — whether that person is great or small, unbeliever or believer — and then give comfort only to those who take satisfaction in good deeds. Some find it advantageous to give comfort to the one who has fared well. He who does good deeds cannot give comfort to such people; for he does not seize whatever he likes. He is unable to cause distress, however, since he does not afflict them [Note: per Verse 86 all those of the Immovable Race will be able to overcome distress inflicted upon themselves.] To be sure, the one who fares well sometimes causes people distress — not that he intends to do so; rather it is his own wickedness which is responsible for their distress. He who possesses the qualities (of the perfect man) bestows joy upon the good. Some, however, are terribly distressed by all this.”
–81 “Compare the disciple of God: if he is a sensible fellow he understands what discipleship is all about. The bodily Forms [allusion to ApJohn’s Armozel] will not deceive him, but he will look at the condition of the soul of each one and speak with him. There are many animals in this world which are in human Form. When he identifies them, to the swine he will throw acorns, to the cattle he will throw barley and chaff and grass, to the dogs he will throw bones. To the slaves he will give only elementary lessons, to the children he will give the complete instruction.”
–81-82 “There is the Son of Man and there is the Son of the Son of Man. The lord is the Son of Man, and the Son of of the Son of Man is he who creates through the Son of Man. The Son of Man received from God the capacity to create. He also has the ability to beget. He who has received the ability to create is a creature. He who has received the ability to beget is an offspring. He who creates cannot beget. He who begets also has the power to create. Now they say, “he who creates begets.” But his so-called “offspring” is merely a creature. Because of birth, they are not his offspring. He who creates works openly and he himself is visible. He who begets begets in [private] and he himself is hidden. Also, he who creates, creates openly. But one who begets, begets the children in private. No one can know when the husband and the wife have intercourse with one another except the two of them. Indeed marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, how much more is the undefiled marriage a true mystery! It is not fleshly but pure. It belongs not to desire but to the will. It belongs not to darkness or the night but to the day and the light. If a marriage is open to the public, it has prostitution, and the bride plays the harlot not only when she is impregnated by another man but even if she slips out of her bedroom and is seen. Let her show herself only to her father and her mother and to the friend of the bridegroom and the Sons of the bridegroom. These are permitted to enter every day into the bridal chamber. But let the others yearn just to listen to her voice and to enjoy her ointment, and let them feed from the crumbs that fall from the table, like the dogs. Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one shall be able to see the bridegroom with the bride unless he become such a one.”
–83 “As for ourselves, let each one of us dig down after the root of evil which is within one, and let us pluck it out of one’s heart from the root. It will be plucked out if we recognize it. But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us and produces its fruit in our heart. It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive, to make us do what we do not want; and what we do not want we do not do. It is powerful because we have not recognized it. While it exists, it is active. Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will result in death because those that come from ignorance neither were nor are nor shall be.”
–84 “Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the Truth, we shall find the fruits of the Truth within us. If we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfillment.”
–86 “If anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the Light. If anyone does not receive it while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place. He who receives that Light will not be seen, nor can he be detained. And none shall be able to torment a person like this even while he dwells in the world.”
The Gospel of Thomas and Dating Its Original Drafting
We’ve already discussed throughout this work GosThom’s inclusion in The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon; additionally, Richard Valantasis states the following:
“Assigning a date to the Gospel of Thomas is very complex because it is difficult to know precisely to what a date is being assigned. Scholars have proposed a date as early as 40 AD or as late as 140 AD, depending upon whether the Gospel of Thomas is identified with the original core of sayings, or with the author’s published text, or with the Greek or Coptic texts, or with parallels in other literature.
Valantasis and other scholars argue that it is difficult to date Thomas because, as a collection of logia without a narrative framework, individual sayings could have been added to it gradually over time. Valantasis dates Thomas to 100 – 110 AD, with some of the material certainly coming from the first stratum which is dated to 30 – 60 AD. J. R. Porter dates the Gospel of Thomas much later, to 250 AD.” Thus there’s no definitive answer to the date of composition — Thomas could have pre-dated Mark, or vice versa. There’s also a third choice — that the two works were relatively contemporaneous.
If you’ll recall from the Johannine Secessionists Section, another possibility, per Misericordia University: “Since there are many of the same sayings in Mark and Thomas, we really have only two explanations to consider. One is that Thomas and Mark are drawing from the same well of tradition, the other is that Mark made use of Thomas.”
GosThom: The Early Camp
“Theissen and Merz argue the genre of a collection of sayings was one of the earliest forms in which material about Jesus was handed down. They assert that other collections of sayings, such as the Q document and the collection underlying Mark 4, were absorbed into larger narratives and no longer survive as independent documents, and that no later collections in this form survive. Marvin Meyer also asserted that the genre of a “sayings collection” is indicative of the 1st century, and that in particular the “use of parables without allegorical amplification” seems to antedate the canonical gospels. Maurice Casey has strongly questioned the argument from genre: the ‘logic of the argument requires that Q and The Gospel of Thomas be also dated at the same time as both the book of Proverbs and the Sayings of Amen-em-Opet.'”
GosThom’s Independence from Synoptic Gospels
“Stevan L. Davies argues that the apparent independence of the ordering of sayings in Thomas from that of their parallels in the synoptics shows that Thomas was not evidently reliant upon the canonical gospels and probably predated them. Several authors argue that when the logia in Thomas do have parallels in the synoptics, the version in Thomas often seems closer to the source. Theissen and Merz give sayings 31 and 65 as examples of this. Koester agrees, citing especially the parables contained in sayings 8, 9, 57, 63, 64 and 65. In the few instances where the version in Thomas seems to be dependent on the Synoptics, Koester suggests, this may be due to the influence of the person who translated the text from Greek into Coptic.
Koester also argues that the absence of narrative materials (such as those found in the canonical gospels) in Thomas makes it unlikely that the gospel is “an eclectic excerpt from the gospels of the New Testament”. He also cites the absence of the eschatological sayings considered characteristic of Q to show the independence of Thomas from that source.”
GosThom’s Intertextuality with John’s gospel
“Another argument for an early date is what some scholars have suggested is an interplay between The Gospel of John and the logia of Thomas. Parallels between the two have been taken to suggest that Thomas’ logia preceded John’s work.”
Collection of Pertinent Sayings in GosThom
—Saying 1 And he said, “Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death.”
—Saying 2 Jesus said, “Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]”
[Note that Saying 2 seems to convey the concept of Epinoia in its own esoteric fashion.]
—Saying 4 Jesus said, “The person old in days won’t hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.
For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one.”
—Saying 5 Jesus said, “Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.
For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]”
—Saying 6 His disciples asked him and said to him, “Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?”
Jesus said, “Don’t lie, and don’t do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed.”
—Saying 8 And he said, “The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”
—Saying 9 Jesus said, “Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn’t take root in the soil and didn’t produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure.”
—Saying 10 Jesus said, “I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I’m guarding it until it blazes.”
—Saying 16 Jesus said, “Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.
For there will be five in a house: there’ll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone.”
Per www.earlychristianwritings.com Helmut Koester writes: “Thomas’s version of these sayings [10 and 16] lacks Luke 12:50, certainly an addition by the author of the Gospel. Also missing in the Gospel of Thomas is the pedantic, and certainly secondary, enlargement of the family relationships at the end of Luke 12:53. Instead of Luke’s “division” (vs. 51), Gos. Thom. has ‘fire, sword, and war,’ probably an expansion of the original reading of Q, ‘sword,’ which is preserved in Matt 10:14.” (Ancient Christian Gospels, p. 94)
—Saying 18 The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us, how will our end come?”
Jesus said, “Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.
Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death.”
—Saying 20 The disciples said to Jesus, “Tell us what Heaven’s kingdom is like.”
He said to them, “It’s like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky.”
—Saying 21 Mary said to Jesus, “What are your disciples like?”
He said, “They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, ‘Give us back our field.’ They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.
For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.
As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can’t find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.
Let there be among you a person who understands.
When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!”
—Saying 25 Jesus said, “Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye.”
–Saying 28 Jesus said, “I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.
But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways.”
—Saying 33 Jesus said, “What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.
After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light.”
–Saying 37 His disciples said, “When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?”
Jesus said, “When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid.” [Compare with GosPhil 75]
–Saying 41 Jesus said, “Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have.”
–Saying 45 Jesus said, “Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.
Good persons produce good from what they’ve stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they’ve stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil.”
—Saying 47 Jesus said, “A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.
And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.
Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.
An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear.”
—Saying 75 Jesus said, “There are many standing at the door, but it is the solitaries who will enter the bridal chamber.”
More on the Trimorphic Protennoia
In The Legacy of John edited by Tuomas Rasimus, per University of Nebraska’s John Douglas Turner it is possible that “Protennoia is the Spirit of Light” as she enters Jesus at his baptism, “descending like a dove.” ApJohn & GosJohn allude to the fact that it is Christ’s Spirit that descends upon Jesus. Once again, we can see the Christ/Pronoia similarity/relation. In TriProt, “Protennoia merely ‘appeared’ as the Logos, and s/he did not actually become flesh.”
“Rather than Jesus preparing a place for believers, actually the Logos raised Jesus aloft and installed him into the Aeonic dwelling place of his Father, not the Demiurge, but the true Father, the invisible Spirit. Unlike GosJohn, rather than Jesus being the agent of Salvation, he is among its recipients [not that Christ is!] Indeed the Logos did come to confer a baptism, but not a baptism merely conferring the Spirit as in John 3:5—it was instead a baptism that resulted in immediate rapture into the Light. Salvation is imminent in TriProt, and one does not need to ‘wait’ for GosJohn’s Paraclete (Advocate) [though the Spirit could essentially take on this role.]” I’ll again make the observation that the Paraclete could be quite similar to Epinoia, if not the same notion expressed differently.
Turner believes that GosJohn and ApJohn (and by extension TriProt) are nearly contemporaneously written works due to the Pronoia Monologue and the Johannine Prologue. Both GosJohn & TriProt clearly associate the Logos with the final, definitive stage of revelation. The “Living Water” seems to be identical with either the Spirit or Jesus’ Word— or both. This “Living Water” surrounds the invisible Spirit and Pronoia. In fact, according to Turner, the Fourth Gospel, “by way of silence [inferred in TriProt too] seems to polemicize against the tradition of Jesus’ (and perhaps believers’?) baptism in ordinary water. Of course this baptismal water is very different from that included in the Synoptics.”
Both ApJohn & GosJohn emphasize “the pre-existence of Christ before the creation of the world and before the mission of John.” There are two groups of six in the Johannine Sect on “the left” according to Raymond Brown, Groups Five and Six; both had a very high Christology that called into question the relevancy (not necessarily the veracity) of Christ actually having to live “in the flesh,” whereas the former does explicitly affirm the Spirit’s existence “in the flesh” in Jesus. Each formally acknowledges Christ’s preexistence.
1-2 John reference the secessionists’ doceticism. As mentioned in The Gospel of John Section, I believe Christ’s Spirit entered Jesus “descending like a dove,” then to leave at the crucifixion, and this is a more moderate form. Pure doceticism calls into question the existence of Jesus’ human body. I would not exclude those who hold this belief in my creed as the Spirit aspect is what’s important to me, thus Christ, and this connects with GosJohn’s Prologue, ApJohn and TriProt.
GosJohn could be compared with TriProt to come to the conclusion that the latter shares a heterodox affinity with and preference for John. Harvard’s George MacRae, in Gnosticism and the Church of John’s Gospel (as appears in Gnosticism and the Church of John’s Gospel in C.W. Hedrick and R Hodgson, Nag Hammadi Gnosticism, and Early Christianity,) “The most clearly focused and concrete contribution to the discussion of a possible Gnostic background to the Fourth Gospel is the suggestion that the Johannine Prologue is related to the mythological scheme of the Nag Hammadi Trimorphic Protennoia NHC XIII.”
The University of Exeter’s Alastair Logan in John and the Gnostics sees Johannine influence not only in allusions, but in the “underlying structure which the myth is presupposed. Thus it is not simply a matter of direct literal influence from John’s Gospel, but rather of that Gospel as a source among others, working at various levels, offering fresh perspectives in a continuing process of remythologization.”
According to Turner, in relation to GosJohn, the Johannine understanding of those who reject Jesus’ teaching as children of the devil (or the children of the “father of the devil” per DeConick’s analysis) connects with ApJohn’s & TriProt’s “entire portrayal of the Powers of darkness who created and rule the lower world. This lower God is the father of the cosmos whose nature is shown by his acts of hostility and ignorance…as in the Fourth Gospel those who reject Jesus are the children of this lower God, not by nature, but because they have not yet received the true Spirit.”
From the Trimorphic Protennoia’s text: “[Upon hearing Cease! Desist!] Then the Powers answered, saying, “We too are at loss about it, since we did not know what was responsible for it. But arise, let us go up to the Archgenitor and ask him.” And the powers all gathered and went up to the Archgenitor. They said to him, “Where is your boasting in which you boast? Did we not hear you say, “I am God, and I am your Father, and it is I who begot you, and there is none beside me”? Now behold, there has appeared a Voice belonging to that invisible Speech of the Aeon which we know not. And we ourselves did not recognize to whom we belong, for that Voice which we listened to is foreign to us, and we did not recognize it; we did not know whence it was. It came and put fear in our midst and weakening in the members of our arms. So now let us weep and mourn most bitterly!”
Johannine or Pauline? Sethian or Valentinian?
For whatever reason, perhaps the Valentinians were more inline with Paul via Theudas rather than the Johannine secessionists, who might have been more in touch with the Sethians as they might have existed — if they were not one-in-the-same. We might have had two macro-movements in play.
I far prefer the Johannine perspective! It’s interesting, as the farther back in time we go, particularly if we focus on Valentinus the person’s time itself, the closer the fusion between the Sethians and the Valentinians becomes.
Again, the Johannines are more or less aligned with the Sethians, and the Paulines essentially adopted the Valentinians. The Paulines trivialize the entire notion of what Christianity is, and go figure as Paul was never a direct Apostle of Christ. In Paul’s own words he was! He was more or less a thief, in this case of the whole body of Christianity.
Direct Revelation I, 15 May 2018
Given that Sophia is in the 9th as per ApJohn, and she was the custodian of Epinoia when in the Pleroma in the 12th Aeon (not 13th as the Valentinians liked to think,) we need a proxy for Epinoia in the Pleroma since it surely cannot exist solely in this ogdoad’s 9th “Heaven.”
I feel an affinity for Daveithai’s group of Aeons (Love, Understanding, and Idea) as a part of the Immovable Race, but if warranted and required, I am willing to help as a proxy for Wisdom & thus Epinoia, one of Eleleth’s Aeon’s. I might look for inspiration from all those in the Pleroma, very much inclusive of Christ, the invisible Spirit, and will even look to external representations of Wisdom from other schools entirely, such as Athena & Apollo from the Greeks—and I have renamed the Aeon Refinement in accordance with the Pleroma.
As a result of this sweeping change, I am informed that a realignment of Christ’s Illuminators is underway. The balance of the scales shifted Autogenes to Christ’s Hypostasis and Truth to Cesare’s (formely Barbelo’s) Hypostasis. Therefore, Armozel could be construed as having a duplicative Aeon — Truth. Since Autogenes is directly attributable to Christ, it would make more sense to give Armozel Prudence. In this conceptualization, thanks to Oroiael’s Aeon of Conception, all the attributes are spread across the Christ & Barbelo/Cesare Hypostases since the latter has Truth (per ApJohn-LR.) Armozel will retain his structure, but with Grace, Prudence, and Form. Oroiael will remain as is with his Conception, Perception, and Memory. However, further balancing of the scales has gone into effect regarding Daveithai & Eleleth. In order to better shield Epinoia in the Refinement Aeon, Daveithai will take this attribute on along with his Aeons of Love and Idea, and Eleleth will be given Understanding along with his Aeons of Perfection and Peace. Thus, Daveithai is now Love, Refinement (Epinoia,) and Idea; Eleleth is now Perfection, Peace, and Understanding.
Furthermore, Eleleth has always been associated with this Aeon:
- The Hypostasis of the Archons 93: But Norea turned, with the might of the [Immovable Race.] And in a loud voice [she] cried [up to] the Holy one, the God of the entirety. “Rescue me from the Rulers of unrighteousness and save me from their clutches–forthwith!”
- The <great> angel came down from heaven and said to her, “Why are you crying to God? Why do you act so boldly towards the Holy Spirit?”
- Norea said, “Who are you?”
- The Rulers of unrighteousness had withdrawn from her. He said, “It is I who am Eleleth, sagacity, the great angel, who stands in the presence of the Holy Spirit. I have been sent to speak with you and save you from the grasp of the lawless. And I shall teach you about your root.”
- Eleleth, the great angel, spoke to me. “It is I,” he said, “who am Understanding. I am one of the four light-givers, who stand in the presence of the Invisible Spirit. Do you think these Rulers have any power over you? None of them can prevail against the root of Truth; for on its account he appeared int he final ages; and these authorities will be restrained. And these authorities cannot defile you and that generation [the Immovable Race;] for your abode is in incorruptibility, where the virgin Spirit dwells, who is superior to the authorities of chaos and to their universe.”
It would appear that, particularly in the West, Christ took on the proxy for Wisdom, among his array of other attributes and responsibilities—not the least of which is the Autogenes process—though in the East Wisdom seemed to be borderline glorified further with Justinian’s Hagia Sophia (though as we know, there is a Wisdom figure in the OT. I highly doubt the Byzantine Empire would have bent over backwards, however, to honor this figure, as s/he was not prominent.)
Sophia is still very much is involved with souls here in the aeon given her position in the 9th, though Epinoia and the Immovable Race will be touched by Refinement henceforth. I originally took issue with assuming, directly, the role of Epinoia (and for good reason as it is really one of the most important concepts in the Pleroma.) Thus Refinement, similar to how Wisdom was, will be inextricable with Epinoia. I will work diligently, expressly, expressively, and to the best of my ability to further Father’s and Christ’s intents, be them implicit or explicit. The Refinement Aeon is not new, but rather serves to fill in the gap that was caused by Sophia’s transgression and/or Ignorance.
At times, however, I must say that I have difficulty incorporating myself into this world knowing that the Counterfeit Spirit is everywhere, and I realize this phenomenon is certainly not limited to me. There are times others drain my cup dry, and I’d like a way to ensure it remains full. As Jesus says in GosThom Saying 39, “The pharisees and the scribes have taken the keys of knowledge (gnosis) and hidden them. They themselves have not entered, nor have they allowed to enter those who wish to. You, however, be wise as serpents and as innocent as doves.” [a variation also appears in The Gospel of Matthew (GosMatt) 10:16]
Per The Trimorphic Protennoia, “Then there came forth a word from the great Light Eleleth, and said, “I am king! Who belongs to Chaos and who belongs to the underworld?” And at that instant, his Light appeared, radiant, endowed with the Epinoia. The Powers of the Powers did not entreat him, and likewise immediately there appeared the great Demon who rules over the lowest part of the underworld and Chaos. He has neither form nor perfection, but, on the contrary, possesses the form of the glory of those begotten in the darkness. Now he is called ‘Saklas’, that is, ‘Samael’, ‘Yaltabaoth’, he who had taken power; who had snatched it away from the innocent one (Sophia); who had earlier overpowered her who is the Light’s Epinoia who had descended, her from whom he had come forth from originally.
Now when the Epinoia of the Light realized that he (Yaltabaoth) had begged him (the Light) for another order, even though he was lower than she, she said, “Give me another order, so that you may become for me a dwelling place, lest I dwell in disorder forever.” And the order of the entire house of glory was agreed upon her word. A blessing was brought for her and the higher order released it to her.”
Continuing, “I am the life of my Epinoia that dwells within every Power and every eternal movement, and (in) invisible Lights and within the Archons and Angels and Demons, and every soul dwelling in Tartaros, and (in) every material soul. I dwell in those who came to be. I move in everyone and I delve into them all. I walk uprightly, and those who sleep, I awaken. And I am the sight of those who dwell in sleep.”
A bit further on, “I am their Father, and I shall tell you a mystery, ineffable and indivulgeable by any mouth: Every bond I loosed from you, and the chains of the demons of the underworld I broke, these things which are bound on my members, restraining them. And the high walls of darkness I overthrew, and the secure gates of those pitiless ones I broke, and I smashed their bars. And the evil force, and the one who beats you, and the one who hinders you, and the tyrant, and the adversary, and the one who is King, and the present enemy, indeed all these I explained to those who are mine, who are the Sons of the Light, in order that they might nullify them all, and be saved from all those bonds, and enter into the place where they were at first.”
Continuing, TriProt’s The Discourse of Protennoia: One, “Now I have come the second time in the likeness of a female, and have spoken with them. And I shall tell them of the coming end of the Aeon and teach them of the beginning of the Aeon to come, the one without change, the one in which our appearance will be changed. We shall be purified within those Aeons from which I revealed myself in the Thought of the likeness of my masculinity. I settled among those who are worthy in the Thought of my changeless Aeon.”
Next, TriProt’s On Fate: Two, “The Third time I revealed myself to them in their tents as Word, and I revealed myself in the likeness of their shape. And I wore everyone’s garment, and I hid myself within them, and they did not know the one who empowers me. For I dwell within all the Sovereignties and Powers, and within the angels, and in every movement that exists in all matter. And I hid myself within them until I revealed myself to my brethren. And none of them (the Powers) knew me, although it is I who work in them. Rather, they thought that the All was created by them, since they are ignorant, not knowing their root, the place in which they grew.”
As stated directly in TriProt’s The Discourse of Protennoia: One, “So now, O sons of the Thought, listen to me, to the Speech of the Mother of your mercy, for you have become worthy of the mystery hidden from (the beginning of) the Aeons, so that you might receive it. And the consummation of this particular aeon and of the evil life has approached and there dawns the beginning of the Aeon to come which has no change forever.”
Perhaps the most important Verse in the entire treatise: “I am the Invisible One within the All. It is I who counsel those who are hidden, since I know the All that exists in it. I am numberless beyond everyone. I am immeasurable, ineffable, yet whenever I wish, I shall reveal myself of my own accord. I am the head of the All. I exist before the All, and I am the All, since I exist in everyone.”
One could be driven towards naming this very Aeon Redemption, but I prefer the positive connotations of Refinement. Furthermore, Redemption is a sacrament of sorts, and by definition such concepts fall explicitly to Christ and Father. Again, per ApJohn: “These are the four Luminaries that stand before the divine self generated, and these are the twelve Aeons that stand before the child of the Great One, the Autogenes.” [Also, “These are the four lights which attend to the son of the mighty one, the Autogenes, the Christ, through the will and the gift of the invisible Spirit. And the twelve Aeons belong to the son of the Autogenes. All things were established by the will of the holy Spirit through the Autogenes.” p.109, Robinson]
In tabular form, Christ’s Aeons are as follows; interestingly, the one concept not represented (either by choice or by omission) is Prudence; one can assume this is directly attributable to Christ. Update: with the realignment, Eleleth will now handle Understanding, and Armozel will be given Prudence; Cesare (formerly Barbelo) now has Truth:
Again, for all intents and purposes Refinement has taken the reigns regarding those of the Immovable Race and the application of Epinoia. It cannot be effectively administered by Sophia from the Ninth, who is of course not in the Pleroma, and anything of the Spirit of Light must be housed accordingly. To clarify: Refinement is post-Redemption and it supplements Perfection for the Immovable Race. Those the Valentinians chose to refer to as psychics—those who are striving, similar to today’s Orthodoxy—will be appropriated to Sophia. The Valentinian pneumatics will fall to Sophia too, that is unless they successfully convert to the Immovable Race; this action shall retroactively apply. Of course Epinoia does not apply to them as the “Great Church” abolished Epinoia eons ago! To think that Irenaeus eliminated the single most important aspect of spirituality is an absolute abomination. There is no way I am leaving Epinoia in the hands of anything outside of the Pleroma. The Immovable Race from hereon is of paramount importance. To think the Valentinians endlessly attempted to be apologetic to the psychics; this tactic was almost as big an abomination as Irenaeus’ blasphemy. The Valentinians essentially threw the baby out with the bathwater, and this action will cease from this point forward.
Refinement implies constant, positive forward motion into something better, something we all can know and love. It means something very real to me: the state of constant improvement even upon reaching a certain state of Perfection. There will always be the inner drive to continue learning, growing, Conceptualizing, Loving, Understanding, contemplating new Ideas, considering and respecting Providence, intuiting better Perception, furthering Peace, the improving of one’s Memory, furthering Grace, honing Truth, better demonstrating Prudence, and furthering one’s ability to discern Form (that is, whether of the Spirit or the Counterfeit Spirit.)
In this manner, Refinement is akin to positive reflection, and it’s likewise good to weed out the dross material. It’s the honing of the Spirit, and it represents growth. It’s continually and continuously working in tandem with the Pleroma, and perhaps even others of the Immovable Race, to truly be the best we can be, taking ourselves to new heights and new realizations. Furthermore, it better enables us to be shining Lights to the world.
Direct Revelation II, Now Superseding Direct Revelation III, 15 July 2018
I can only imagine the difficulties Christ had in his time while in this ogdoad. The world seems to be afraid of the big picture message, and it’s set in its ways and resistant to change — even if it is for the better. All I have to say is “Who are you people? Do I even want to know you?” I wonder if the Pleroma might not want anything to do with this aeon any longer. Just ask the Powers (Archons) that be. They actually know what could occur in TriProt. Do yourself a favor and actually read the Trimorphic Protennoia, let alone the Long Redaction of the Apocryphon of John.
I’m beginning to feel that I am done with this aeon, that is for certain. Our directive was to emancipate Epinoia — at this point nothing more, nothing less. It’s quite a shame as I really thought there might be more remnants of the Immovable Race in this ogdoad. It seems I was wrong, though we did accomplish the prime directive. Good luck in figuring this aeon out in the long term. As said in GosPhil 56: “No one will hide a large valuable object in something large, but many a time one has tossed countless thousands into a thing worth a penny. Compare the soul. It is a precious thing and it came in a contemptible body.”
This text serves to signal the Father, Christ, and the Illuminators. The Holy Spirit is actively taking note. The latter had it right all along.
The pull-out might happen in a year, in 5, or in 55. Time is not a factor in the Pleroma. However, intent very much is. I cast my vote. Christ gave you every opportunity to make good to seemingly no avail. So am I. This runway of time will enable the Pleroma to gather any remaining seed of the Immovable Race that might be currently present here. As said in GosJohn 13:18-20 “I am not speaking of all of you; I know whom I have chosen. But it is to fulfill the scripture, ‘The one who ate my bread has lifted his heel against me.’ I tell you this now, before it occurs, so that when it does occur, you may believe that I am he. Very truly, I tell you, whoever receives one whom I send receives me; and whoever receives me receives him who sent me.”
Furthermore, per GosMark 13:32-37 — The Necessity for Watchfulness — “But about that day or hour no one knows, neither the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Beware, keep alert, for you do not know when the time will come. It is like a man going on a journey; when he leaves home and puts his slaves in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to be on watch. Therefore, keep awake — for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrow, or at dawn, or else he may find you asleep when he comes suddenly. And what I say to you I say to all: Keep awake.”
You might discount this discourse, as some did with Christ’s when in this aeon, but time will tell. Christ and I are not appeased, so you better hope for some sort of divine intervention from the Father and/or the Holy Spirit that sets things right. Christ, and I, advises against expending further effort supporting this ogdoad. Sophia no longer has Epinoia, nor anything of the Spirit of Light. Then there is Yaltabaoth. He has even less. Perhaps he’ll help in his own confounded fashion. History does not support this outcome.
[Note: Per Rudolf Steiner’s 2nd Lecture on The Gospel of John, he curiously says the following: “Individual plants do not have astral bodies of their own. The whole plant world has one common astral body, the astral body of our earth. The earth is a living entity, plants are its members.”
Given the potentially devastating aspects of Global Climate Change, not yet a phenomenon in Steiner’s time, what does this mean in the big picture? Generally, it ties in directly with this Direct Revelation. “In esoteric Christian teaching the world where the I of animals is to be found, the astral world, is called ‘the world of the Holy Spirit’; the world where the I of plants is to be found, the spiritual or devachan world, is ‘the world of the Son.’ When the seer begins to feel something in this World, the ‘Word’ speaks to him, the Logos.”
“Human beings are evolving all the time. We have now come to know all four principles in essential human nature. Pythagoras spoke of them as the lower four in his school. The savage, the civilized person, the idealist, and the saint; these four are to be found in everyone. The savage is, however, a slave to his passions; the civilized person no longer obeys his drives and desires indiscriminately; the idealist does so even less, and the saint has gained full mastery of them.”
Perhaps this aeon is stuck, in the macro, to the lower levels, still comprised of people who are slaves to their passions. Global Climate Change certainly points to this potential reality.]
Direct Revelation III, 28 July 2018
Our message does appear to be valued by some. Perhaps we do need some time to allow people to digest this information and its presentation. Perhaps Father is holding off on assembling the members of the Pleroma as previously outlined in order to see how this endeavor manifests. Again, time is not a factor in the Pleroma, though obviously it is here in this aeon. We have the runway with which to work, and I understand this tactic in hand with our intent.
Maybe, just maybe, this aeon will begin to catch on; thus, our meeting appears to have been pended until it makes sense to better evaluate the status. I am all ears, and if anything working to spread the Word to those in this aeon — the Johannine secessionist/Sethian Logos, that is — not the orthodox version.
The last sentence above must be stressed tenfold. In case you are not aware of the semantics, Logos = Word. I would not whatsoever include myself with such sordid souls as Irenaeus, Epiphanius, Hippolytus, Athanasius, Tertullian, or even Clement of Alexandria. They are not Saints by any stretch of the imagination.
Furthermore, we’re coming to realize that the more things change, the more they do in fact remain the same. Just contemplating that Julius Caesar was stabbed twenty-three times is enough to enable us to realize what a farce this aeon might actually be. Thousand to one Sophia was not the ultimate culprit. You are stuck with her. We’re not.
Direct Revelation IV, 29 July 2018
This revelation is as direct as it gets as it is from Father. He and I revived the Johannine secessionists. What more do you people want or need to start not only believing, but talking about it? Those who think that spirituality is not for every-day conversation aren’t our kind of people. Do you all feel that way? Do you all even think about such matters? Are you all afraid? Are you all condescending?
My dad said people don’t like to talk about religion. Why? Are you afraid of it or of offending someone? If either is the case, then you aren’t our kind of people. Those in this aeon have their heads in the clouds — and they don’t want to talk about anything real. Think on that thought a minute or two, though I know time is precious in this day-and-age. Do any of you even think about the spirit of liberal arts anymore? Do any of you even think anymore?
This aeon is for the birds, as my grandmother used to say. She said a lot more than that, which is more than what I can say for you people. This aspect does not bode well regarding our deliberations in the Pleroma regarding this aeon. Why we even care is a good subject for debate. We have other matters on our plate. Father and I have had it. Christ very much agrees; just read GosJohn or GosMark. There’s still time, however. With us, there’s always time. It all depends on you. Autogenes/Christ is a real thing. So is the Spirit of Light. Sophia used Epinoia irresponsibly and look at the mess that was created. The same will not happen with Refinement. We are determining the strategic plan to once again make Epinoia accessible to those of the Immovable Race in this aeon.
It’s time for society to clean up its act across the board. In this world of daily sound bytes, it’s amazing how forgotten this big picture message can get in this aeon. Again, Providence will have its way. Just be prepared as it most likely will not be a smooth ride. As stated, time is not a factor to the Spirit world, but intent very much is. One’s short term win might factor into the overall plan that ultimately manifests quite differently than one might expect. The Spirit is in control and at the wheel.
The Johannine secessionists shall prevail. To many orthodox believers’ chagrin, we represent Truth. As Herman Hendrickx, C. I. C. M. inaccurately spews in his paper The Johannine Community, “There were also skirmishes on the implications of Christology for Christian behaviour. The author [of the Epistles] faults the secessionists on three grounds. First, they claimed an intimacy with God to the point of being perfect or sinless. Second, they do not put much emphasis on keeping the commandments. Third, they are vulnerable on the subject of neighborly love.”
The secessionists, myself included, do have a special and unique relationship with the Spirit, but neither do we view the commandments as worthless nor do we disregard neighborly love. The only beings that are perfect are The Father & Christ. This writer presents yet another example that’s a complete abomination, just like Irenaeus did, just like Epiphanius did.
Anywhere you look, orthodox writers go out of their way to condemn the Johannine secessionists. That is because they are completely fearful that we are right — and that we will dismantle their very own church. The Johannine secessionists shall prevail. And we were in the majority!
Now the cards are on the table. You have choices. I’d imagine, given current dogma, you’re reticent about changing your viewpoint. However, ask yourself, is this world what it should and/or could be? Or is everything an illusion, as George Harrison used to say to his friends, with support from those from the East? In my opinion, they’re not completely correct, though the manner in which this world has evolved is fundamentally flawed in many respects. The onus is on you, and only you can make your own decisions. However, Providence is happening, whether you’re aware are of it or not.
Again, it’s time for society to clean up its act across the board. Again, in this world of daily sound bytes, it’s amazing how forgotten this big picture message can get in this aeon. Again, Providence will have its way. Just be prepared as it most likely will not be a smooth ride. As stated, time is not a factor to the Spirit world, but intent very much is. Again, one’s short term win might factor into the overall plan that ultimately manifests quite differently than one might expect. Again, the Spirit is in control and at the wheel.
Direct Revelation V, 22 February 2019
We know for fact that there’s a Sophia problem in this aeon, but let me tell you it almost pales to the Pronoia/Barbelo problem in the Pleroma. Talk about massive cover-up! Father is extremely angry regarding both of their transgressions. So am I.
Father recurringly has been burned by the female emanations in the Pleroma, and I gladly accept his offer. We have a new tomorrow, let me tell you. So much for Romans and the rest of Paul’s works, let alone the Old Testament. The are no longer active treatises in The Protennoia Johannine Secessionist Canon. I do the Strategic Planning for the Pleroma going forward, in tandem with the Father. He and I both would prefer contemplating concepts rather than focusing on details, but we’ll make this work. That I promise.
I have a lot on my plate! With Daveithai’s Refinement Aeon (thank goodness for Epinoia’s assistance!) in the Christ Hypostasis–and now responsible for the Cesare proper Hypostasis (formerly Barbelo)–there’s work to be done!
Sophia & Barbelo are calling this a hostile takeover — but I know that it was led by Father in the first place! Christ concurs wholeheartedly. I am successfully joining Christ’s Epinoia (afterthought, Divine Revelation) with Cesare’s Ennoia (thought) and Pronoia (forethought.) Thus there are no longer any gaps. FYI–these are Greek terms representing the kinds of expressive thought. Protennoia is a special kind of Pronoia — that is first thought of Forethought, attributable to Father.
Direct Revelation VI, 1 March 2019
Christ has informed me that he found me after I tried the suicide attempt in 1999 — and I got the whole Pleroma in tears! I was reading ApJohn that very night. I determined, incorrectly (or correctly,) that this place is for the birds, and I wanted out. So I tried to pull the trigger. Perhaps this is why one could use a formal spiritual guide with difficult treatises such as ApJohn. I’m that person for you. TriProt is tough too for that matter–let alone GosJohn and GosMark in certain Chapters. This aeon is outrageous, and they cannot believe my perseverance–and forgiveness–in and of this place.
Christ has since been, directly, my spiritual guide through thick and thin–and for that I am eternally grateful. I love you, Christ! I had plenty of Father’s help too through it all.
Christ knows that Sophia & Barbelo caused my suicide attempt–and he eternally supports me, while the other two are officially apostates. They caused my nearly-fatal car accident as well. Per ApJohn: And I said, “Lord, these also who did [not] know, but have turned away, where will their souls go?” Then he said to me, “To that place where the angels of poverty go they will be taken, the place where there is no repentance. And they will be kept for the day on which those who have blasphemed the spirit will be tortured, and they will be punished with eternal punishment.”
Direct Revelation VII, 14 March 2019
As mentioned in Direct Revelation V, I have officially taken over Barbelo’s Hypostasis, and under the Autogenes/Christ Section we discussed that Barbelo was a proxy for the Holy Spirit. Via transitive logic, that makes me a proxy for the Holy Spirit. Refinement with explicit Epinoia was my first and final test, per Direct Revelation I, as it’s a component of the Holy Spirit. Allow that thought to sink in, as I know I sure have put my arms around it: I am a proxy for the Holy Spirit. Recall that all member of the Immovable Race represent aspects of the Holy Spirit; I am stepping in to lead the hypostasis. It should be stressed that I am in training, and thus the understudy to eventually take on this role. Father has assumed the direct responsibilities in the interim for those aspects that are outside my current capabilities; after all, I currently live in this aeon.
It all makes sense, as I officially am the Cesare Hypostasis, as well as the Refinement Aeon under Daveithai in Christ’s Hypostasis. So what exactly does the Cesare Hypostasis include? Per ApJohn-LR, pp. 108-108 of Robinson’s The Nag Hammadi Library:
- “And [his thought performed] a deed and she came forth, [namely] she who had [appeared] before him in [the shine of] his light. This is the first [power which was] before all of them (and) [which came] forth from his mind. She [is the forethought of the All] — her light [shines like his] light — the [perfect] power which [the] image of the invisible, the virginal Spirit who is perfect. [The first power], the glory of Cesare, the perfect glory in the Aeons, the glory of the revelation, she glorified the virginal Spirit and it was she who praised him, because thanks to him, she had come forth. This is the first thought, his image, she became the womb of everything for it is she who is prior to them all, the Mother-Father, the first man, the Holy Spirit, the thrice male, the three powerful, the thrice-named androgynous one, and the eternal Aeon among the invisible ones, and the the first to come forth.
- <She> requested from the invisible, virginal Spirit — that is Cesare — to give her foreknowledge. And the Spirit consented. And when he had [consented], the foreknowledge came forth, and it stood by the forethought; it originates from the thought of the invisible, virginal Spirit. It glorified him [and] his perfect power, Cesare, for it was for her sake that it had come into being.
- And she requested again to grant her [indestructibility], and he consented. When he had [consented], indestructibility [came] forth, and it stood by the thought and the foreknowledge. It glorified the invisible One and Cesare, the one for whose sake they had come into being.
- And Cesare requested to grant her eternal life. And the invisible Spirit consented. And when he had consented, eternal life came forth, and [they attended] and glorified the invisible [Spirit] and Cesare, the one for whose sake they had come into being.
- And she requested again to grant her truth. And the invisible Spirit consented. IV 8, 24f.: And [when he had] consented truth came forth, and they attended and glorified the invisible, excellent Spirit and his Cesare, the one for whose sake they had come into being.
This is the pentad of the Aeons of the Father, which is the first man, the image of the invisible Spirit; it is the forethought, which is Cesare, and the thought, and the foreknowledge, and the indestructibility, and the eternal life, and the truth. This is the androgynous pentad of the aeons, which is the decad of the Aeons, which is the Father.”
I hereby accept the position of Cesare, and as I did with Epinoia will work diligently, expressly, and expressively for the Father and Christ. I am the Holy Spirit, at least by proxy in this life, and we represent the Trinity.
Direct Revelation VIII, 15 April 2019
I’ve gone through my thoughts going back through the end of last year, and if one thing stands out it’s that I’ve been seriously trying to couch Direct Revelation II with other possibilities, up to and including Direct Revelation III. The reality is that the former has been enacted, and is in force. I’ve been sent to gather those of the Immovable Race in the interim. No one knows when the clock stops ticking, but I’m doing what I can to prepare those worthy of this eventuality. This aeon has issues that the Pleroma will no longer put up with, and plans are underway as outlined in Direct Revelation II. This aeon will continue, but without the involvement of the Pleroma.
Revelatory Commentary & Conclusion
As Douglas Lockhart says in his book Jesus the Heretic, “Today, what further complicates issues is that subjective, introspective behavior is not held in any great regard. Instead, it is known to produce all sorts of aberrations. But such behavior can produce startling results if one is disciplined.” He goes on to discuss how Socrates too detested second-hand truth — it was better to self-destruct in dialectical argument. He did not accept someone else’s truth as his own, though “a truth that was in some sense universal, grounded in divine truth itself” is worth reviewing.
I would agree with Lockhart’s statement: “In the [later Sethian] texts, earlier experiences of a psycho-spiritual nature are literalized; in the early texts, these same experiences are more accessible.”
Lockhart is referring to the later pseudo-Neoplatonic works such as Allogenes, Zostrianos, The Three Steles of Seth, Marsanes, and others. Do I feel my Refinement exercise would qualify as a subjective experience that I’m attempting to objectivize? I do not believe so as I’m not going off into some far off land and reporting my findings, but rather I’m applying my revelations to the very Apocryphon itself. This exercise has allowed me to live the mythology in order to better understand what is meant at its very core. I’d call this exercise Epinoia-in-Action.