The Sophia (Wisdom) of Jesus Christ.
After he rose from the dead, his twelve disciples and seven women
continued to be his followers, and went to Galilee onto the mountain
called "Divination and Joy". When they gathered together and were
perplexed about the underlying reality of the universe and the plan, and
the holy providence, and the power of the authorities, and about
everything the Savior is doing with them in the secret of the holy plan,
the Savior appeared - not in his previous form, but in the invisible
spirit. And his likeness resembles a great angel of light. But his
resemblance I must not describe. No mortal flesh could endure it, but
only pure, perfect flesh, like that which he taught us about on the
mountain called "Of the Olives" in Galilee.
And he said: "Peace be to you, My peace I give you!" And they all
marveled and were afraid. The Savior laughed and said to them: "What are
you thinking about? Are you perplexed? What are you searching for?"
Philip said: "For the underlying reality of the universe and the plan."
The Savior said to them: "I want you to know that all men are born on
earth from the foundation of the world until now, being dust, while they
have inquired about God, who he is and what he is like, have not found
him. Now the wisest among them have speculated from the ordering of the
world and (its) movement. But their speculation has not reached the
truth. For it is said that the ordering is directed in three ways, by
all the philosophers, (and) hence they do not agree. For some of them
say about the world that it is directed by itself. Others, that it is
providence (that directs it). Others, that it is fate. But it is none of
these. Again, of the three voices I have just mentioned, none is close
to the truth, and (they are) from man. But I, who came from Infinite
Light, I am here - for I know him (Light) - that I might speak to you
about the precise nature of the truth. For whatever is from itself is a
polluted life; it is self-made. Providence has no wisdom in it. And fate
does not discern. But to you it is given to know; and whoever is worthy
of knowledge will receive (it), whoever has not been begotten by the
sowing of unclean rubbing but by First Who Was Sent, for he is an
immortal in the midst of mortal men."
Matthew said to him: "Lord, no one can find the truth except through
you. Therefore teach us the truth."
The Savior said: "He Who Is is ineffable. No principle knew him, no
authority, no subjection, nor any creature from the foundation of the
world until now, except he alone, and anyone to whom he wants to make
revelation through him who is from First Light. From now on, I am the
Great Savior. For he is immortal and eternal. Now he is eternal, having
no birth; for everyone who has birth will perish. He is unbegotten,
having no beginning; for everyone who has a beginning has an end. Since
no one rules over him, he has no name; for whoever has a name is the
creation of another."
(BG 84, 13-17 adds: He is unnameable. He has no human form; for
whoever has human form is the creation of another).
"And he has a semblance of his own - not like what you have seen and
received, but a strange semblance that surpasses all things and is
better than the universe. It looks to every side and sees itself from
itself. Since it is infinite, he is ever incomprehensible. He is
imperishable and has no likeness (to anything). He is unchanging good.
He is faultless. He is eternal. He is blessed. While he is not known, he
ever knows himself. He is immeasurable. He is untraceable. He is
perfect, having no defect. He is imperishability blessed. He is called
'Father of the Universe'".
Philip said: "Lord, how, then, did he appear to the perfect ones?"
The perfect Savior said to him: "Before anything is visible of those
that are visible, the majesty and the authority are in him, since he
embraces the whole of the totalities, while nothing embraces him. For he
is all mind. And he is thought and considering and reflecting and
rationality and power. They all are equal powers. They are the sources
of the totalities. And their whole race from first to last was in his
foreknowledge, (that of) the infinite, unbegotten Father."
Thomas said to him: "Lord, Savior, why did these come to be, and why
were these revealed?"
The perfect Savior said: "I came from the Infinite that I might tell you
all things. Spirit-Who-Is was the begetter, who had the power <of> a
begetter and a form-giver`s nature, that the great wealth that was
hidden in him might be revealed. Because of his mercy and his love, he
wished to bring forth fruit by himself, that he might not <enjoy> his
goodness alone, but (that) other spirits of the Unwavering Generation
might bring forth body and fruit, glory and honor, in imperishableness
and his infinite grace, that his treasure might be revealed by
Self-begotten God, the father of every imperishableness and those that
came to be afterward. But they had not yet come to visibility. Now a
great difference exists among the imperishables."
He called out, saying: "Whoever has ears to hear about the
infinities, let him hear!"; and "I have addressed those who are awake."
Still he continued and said: "Everything that came from the perishable
will perish, since it came from the perishable. But whatever came from
imperishableness does not perish but becomes imperishable. So, many men
went astray because they had not known this difference and they died."
Mary said to him: "Lord, then how will we know that?"
The perfect Savior said: "Come (you) from invisible things to the end of
those that are visible, and the very emanation of Thought will reveal to
you how faith in those things that are not visible was found in those
that are visible, those that belong to Unbegotten Father. Whoever has
ears to hear, let him hear!
"The Lord of the Universe is not called 'Father', but 'Forefather',
the beginning of those that will appear, but he (the Lord) is the
beginningless Forefather. Seeing himself within himself in a mirror, he
appeared resembling himself, but his likeness appeared as Divine
Self-Father, and <as> Confronter over the Confronted ones, First
Existent Unbegotten Father. He is indeed of equal age <with> the Light
that is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.
"And afterward was revealed a whole multitude of confronting,
self-begotten ones, equal in age and power, being in glory (and) without
number, whose race is called 'The Generation over Whom There Is No
Kingdom' from the one in whom you yourselves have appeared from these
men. And that whole multitude over which there is no kingdom is called
'Sons of Unbegotten Father, God, Savior, Son of God,' whose likeness is
with you. Now he is the unknowable, who is full of ever-imperishable
glory and ineffable joy. They all are at rest in him, ever rejoicing in
ineffable joy in his unchanging glory and measureless jubilation; this
was never heard or known among all the aeons and their worlds until
Matthew said to him: "Lord, Savior, how was Man revealed?"
The perfect Savior said: "I want you to know that he who appeared before
the universe in infinity, Self-grown, Self-constructed Father, being
full of shining light and ineffable, in the beginning, when he decided
to have his likeness become a great power, immediately the principle (or
beginning) of that Light appeared as Immortal Androgynous Man, that
through that Immortal Androgynous Man they might attain their salvation
and awake from forgetfulness through the interpreter who was sent, who
is with you until the end of the poverty of the robbers.
"And his consort is the Great Sophia, who from the first was destined
in him for union by Self-begotten Father, from Immortal Man, who
appeared as First and divinity and kingdom, for the Father, who is
called 'Man, Self-Father', revealed this. And he created a great aeon,
whose name is 'Ogdoad', for his own majesty.
"He was given great authority, and he ruled over the creation of
poverty. He created gods and angels, <and> archangels, myriads without
number for retinue, from that Light and the tri-male Spirit, which is
that of Sophia, his consort. For from this, God originated divinity and
kingdom. Therefore he was called 'God of gods' and 'King of kings'.
"First Man has his unique mind, within, and thought - just as he is
it (thought) - (and) considering, reflecting, rationality, power. All
the attributes that exist are perfect and immortal. In respect to
imperishableness, they are indeed equal. (But) in respect to power, they
are different, like the difference between father and son <, and son>
and thought, and the thought and the remainder. As I said earlier, among
the things that were created, the monad is first.
"And after everything, all that was revealed appeared from his power.
And from what was created, all that was fashioned appeared; from what
was fashioned appeared what was formed; from what was formed, what was
named. Thus came the difference among the unbegotten ones from beginning
Then Bartholomew said to him: "How (is it that) <he> was designated
in the Gospel 'Man' and 'Son of Man'? To which of them, then, is this
The Holy One said to him: "I want you to know that First Man is called
'Begetter, Self-perfected Mind'. He reflected with Great Sophia, his
consort, and revealed his first-begotten, androgynous son. His male name
is designated 'First Begetter, Son of God', his female name, 'First
Begettress Sophia, Mother of the Universe'. Some call her 'Love'. Now
First-begotten is called 'Christ'. Since he has authority from his
father, he created a multitude of angels without number for retinue from
Spirit and Light."
His disciples said to him: "Lord, reveal to us about the one called
'Man', that we also may know his glory exactly."
The perfect Savior said: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. First
Begetter Father is called 'Adam, Eye of Light,' because he came from
shining Light, and his holy angels, who are ineffable (and) shadowless,
ever rejoice with joy in their reflecting, which they received from
their Father. The whole Kingdom of Son of Man, who is called 'Son of
God,' is full of ineffable and shadowless joy, and unchanging
jubilation, (they) rejoicing over his imperishable glory, which has
never been heard until now, nor has it been revealed in the aeons that
came afterward, and their worlds. I came from Self-begotten and First
Infinite Light, that I might reveal everything to you."
Again, his disciples said: "Tell us clearly how they came down from
the invisibilities, from the immortal to the world that dies?"
The perfect Savior said: "Son of Man consented with Sophia, his consort,
and revealed a great androgynous light. His male name is designated
'Savior, Begetter of All Things'. His female name is designated 'All-Begettress
Sophia'. Some call her 'Pistis'.
"All who come into the world, like a drop from the Light, are sent by
him to the world of Almighty, that they might be guarded by him. And the
bond of his forgetfulness bound him by the will of Sophia, that the
matter might be <revealed> through it to the whole world in poverty,
concerning his (Almighty's) arrogance and blindness and the ignorance
that he was named. But I came from the places above by the will of the
great Light, (I) who escaped from that bond; I have cut off the work of
the robbers; I have awakened that drop that was sent from Sophia, that
it might bear much fruit through me, and be perfected and not again be
defective, but be <joined> through me, the Great Savior, that his glory
might be revealed, so that Sophia might also be justified in regard to
that defect, that her sons might not again become defective but might
attain honor and glory and go up to their Father, and know the words of
the masculine Light. And you were sent by the Son, who was sent that you
might receive Light, and remove yourselves from the forgetfulness of the
authorities, and that it might not again come to appearance because of
you, namely, the unclean rubbing that is from the fearful fire that came
from their fleshly part. Tread upon their malicious intent."
Then Thomas said to him: "Lord, Savior, how many are the aeons of
those who surpass the heavens?"
The perfect Savior said: "I praise you (pl.) because you ask about the
great aeons, for your roots are in the infinities. Now when those whom I
have discussed earlier were revealed, he provided ....
[pages 109 and 110 are missing, replaced here by the corresponding
section in the Berlin Gnostic Codex (no.8502), the beginning of which is
somewhat different from the final partial sentence of III 108 (the
broken off sentence)]
[BG107]: "Now when those whom I have discussed earlier were revealed,
Self-begetter Father very soon created twelve aeons for retinue for the
twelve angels. All these are perfect and good. Thus the defect in the
And <he> said to him: "How many are the aeons of the immortals,
starting from the infinities?"
The perfect Savior said: "Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear. The
first aeon is that of Son of Man, who is called 'First Begetter', who is
called 'Savior', who has appeared. The second aeon (is) that of Man, who
is called 'Adam, Eye of Light'. That which embraces these is the aeon
over which there is no kingdom, (the aeon) of the Eternal Infinite God,
the Self-begotten aeon of the aeons that are in it, (the aeon) of the
immortals, whom I described earlier, (the aeon) above the Seventh, that
appeared from Sophia, which is the first aeon.
"Now Immortal Man revealed aeons and powers and kingdoms, and gave
authority to all who appear in him, that they might exercise their
desires until the last things that are above chaos. For these consented
with each other and revealed every magnificence, even from spirit,
multitudinous lights that are glorious and without number. These were
called in the beginning, that is, the first aeon and <the second> and
<the third>. The first <is> called 'Unity and Rest'. Each one has its
(own) name; for the <third> aeon was designated 'Assembly' from the
great multitude that appeared: in one, a multitude revealed themselves.
Now because the multitudes gather and come to a unity we call them
'Assembly of the Eighth.'It appeared as androgynous and was name partly
as male and partly as female. The male is called 'Assembly', while the
female is called 'Life', that it might be shown that from a female came
the life for all the aeons. And every name was received, starting from
"For from his concurrence with his thought, the powers very soon
appeared who were called 'gods'; and the gods of the gods from their
wisdom revealed gods; <and the gods> from their wisdom revealed lords;
and the lords of the lords from their thinkings revealed lords; and the
lords from their power revealed archangels; the archangels from their
words revealed angels; from them, semblances appeared, with structure
and form and name for all the aeons and their worlds.
"And the immortals, whom I have just described, all have authority
from Immortal Man, who is called 'Silence', because by reflecting
without speech all her own majesty was perfected. For since the
imperishabilities had the authority, each created a great kingdom in the
Eighth, (and) also thrones and temples (and) firmaments for their own
majesties. For these all came by the will of the Mother of the
Then the Holy Apostles said to him: "Lord, Savior, tell us about
those who are in the aeons, since it is necessary for us to ask about
The perfect Savior said: "If you ask about anything, I will tell you.
They created hosts of angels, myriads without number, for retinue and
their glory. They created virgin spirits, the ineffable and unchangeable
lights. For they have no sickness nor weakness, but it is will. [BG
115,14 adds here: And they came to be in an instant.]
"Thus the aeons were completed quickly in the heavens and the
firmaments in the glory of Immortal Man and Sophia, his consort: the
area from which every aeon and the world and those that came afterward
took (their) pattern for their creation of likenesses in the heavens of
chaos and their worlds. And all natures, starting from the revelation of
chaos, are in the Light that shines without shadow, and joy that cannot
be described, and unutterable jubilation. They ever delight themselves
on account of their unchanging glory and the immeasurable rest, which
cannot be described among all the aeons that came to be afterward, and
all their powers. Now all that I have just said to you, I said that you
might shine in Light more than these."
Mary said to him: "Holy Lord, where did your disciples come from, and
where are they going, and (what) should they do here?"
The Perfect Savior said to them: "I want you to know that Sophia, the
Mother of the Universe and the consort, desired by herself to bring
these to existence without her male (consort). But by the will of the
Father of the Universe, that his unimaginable goodness might be
revealed, he created that curtain between the immortals and those that
came afterward, that the consequence might follow ... [BG 118:] ...
every aeon and chaos - that the defect of the female might <appear>, and
it might come about that Error would contend with her. And these became
the curtain of spirit. From <the> aeons above the emanations of Light,
as I have said already, a drop from Light and Spirit came down to the
lower regions of Almighty in chaos, that their molded forms might appear
from that drop, for it is a judgment on him, Arch-Begetter, who is
called 'Yaldabaoth'. That drop revealed their molded forms through the
breath, as a living soul. It was withered and it slumbered in the
ignorance of the soul. When it became hot from the breath of the Great
Light of the Male, and it took thought, (then) names were received by
all who are in the world of chaos, and all things that are in it through
that Immortal One, when the breath blew into him. But when this came
about by the will of Mother Sophia - so that Immortal Man might piece
together the garments there for a judgment on the robbers - <he> then
welcomed the blowing of that breath; but since he was soul-like, he was
not able to take that power for himself until the number of chaos should
be complete, (that is,) when the time determined by the great angel is
"Now I have taught you about Immortal Man and have loosed the bonds
of the robbers from him. I have broken the gates of the pitiless ones in
their presence. I have humiliated their malicious intent, and they all
have been shamed and have risen from their ignorance. Because of this,
then, I came here, that they might be joined with that Spirit and
Breath, [III continues:] and might from two become one, just as from the
first, that you might yield much fruit and go up to Him Who Is from the
Beginning, in ineffable joy and glory and honor and grace of the Father
of the Universe.
"Whoever, then, knows the Father in pure knowledge will depart to the
Father and repose in Unbegotten Father. But whoever knows him
defectively will depart to the defect and the rest of the Eighth. Now
whoever knows Immortal Spirit of Light in silence, through reflecting
and consent in the truth, let him bring me signs of the Invisible One,
and he will become a light in the Spirit of Silence. Whoever knows Son
of Man in knowledge and love, let him bring me a sign of Son of Man,
that he might depart to the dwelling-places with those in the Eighth.
"Behold, I have revealed to you the name of the Perfect One, the
whole will of the Mother of the Holy Angels, that the masculine
multitude may be completed here, that there might appear in the aeons,
the infinities and those that came to be in the untraceable wealth of
the Great Invisible Spirit, that they all might take from his goodness,
even the wealth of their rest that has no kingdom over it. I came from
First Who Was Sent, that I might reveal to you Him Who Is from the
Beginning, because of the arrogance of Arch-Begetter and his angels,
since they say about themselves that they are gods. And I came to remove
them from their blindness, that I might tell everyone about the God who
is above the universe. Therefore, tread upon their graves, humiliate
their malicious intent, and break their yoke and arouse my own. I have
given you authority over all things as Sons of Light, that you might
tread upon their power with your feet."
These are the things the blessed Savior said, and he disappeared from
them. Then all the disciples were in great, ineffable joy in the spirit
from that day on. And his disciples began to preach the Gospel of God,
the eternal, imperishable Spirit. Amen.