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Forgetting and will perish along with her. Otherwise, 22:1 why is147 there no Name148 for these wretches, no Voice149 for them? Consequently if one is a Gnostic, he is from above.150 If he is called, 22:5 he is wont to heed, to respond, and to turn to Him who calls him, and go upward to Him.151 And he is wont to understand how he is called.152 Being a Gnostic,153 he is wont to do


is not static or mechanical: all men were a-Gnostic until the Son came opening the book of life. Some received it and, with it, a new nature: origin ("birth") from the Father. But some remain obdurately a-Gnostic "to the end"; they will their destiny upon themselves.


Slasma— probably the original Greek phrase was plasma thV lhqhV. (Cf. Hippolytus, Philosophoumena, V.7, Migne Gr., Vol.16, pt.3, col.3138.) From 17:18 one would expect here "figure (molded by) Planē," but forgetting is derived from Planē (17:33, 36) and parallel statements can be made about both. A "figure molded by Forgetting" is of course a phantasm whose existence always has been illusory; but even the illusion will evaporate when forgetting 17:7-11 (or the lack, 24:28-32) perishes.


Evidently there can effectively be a name (true existence) for one only if it has been "spoken" 21:30 or "pronounced" 21:29 by the Father.


Above this word the facsimile shows two or three uncertain letters, of which one appears to be n, but the connection between 21:38 and 22:1 is so good that a whole line does not seem to be lost.


Simply parallel to name, whose origin must be in a voice which names it— the voice of the Father.


To be "from above" (where the Father is) is to be from the Father. To "have a name" spoken by the "voice" of the Father is to exist from him. The two terms are synonymous. But to have either, one must know, be a Gnostic.


The Gnostic satisfies the "necessity" of 21:10, 19.


Probably not "what his name is" (cf. EvVer E, "what he is called," translating an ambiguity of French idiom) but literally, "in what manner." Viz., through the Son, his Book, and its good news.


Actually this is the verb "know" without an object,


22: 10 the will154 of Him who called him, is wont to wish to please155 Him, is wont to receive rest.156 Each one's name157 is wont to become his own. He who thus shall know is wont to understand whence he came158 22:15 and whither he goes.

Similitude of Drunkenness

He is wont to understand as one who, having been drunk,159 has returned from his drunkenness, having returned to be himself160 {alone: he has set on their feet 22:20 the things that are his own. He161 has caused many} to turn back from Planē, he has gone on before them to their places162 out of which they had proceeded


but possibly here the object of the succeeding verb ("the will") is to be understood as the implied object of the earlier verb.


Cf. John 7:17.


Cf. Rom. 8:8, I Thess. 2:15, 4: 1.


Probably for anapausiV, refrigerium, but whether abstract or concrete (resting place) cannot here be determined. Cf. Matt. 11:29. The word is frequent in the last pages of the meditation, 40:33; 41:13, 29; 43:1.


If "name" means his true (i.e., God-willed) being, then this is equivalent to 21:6 and the parallels cited there: he receives his self, he becomes himself.


Whence did he come? Whither does he go? The answer to both is God. Here again, genuine self-knowledge is actually knowledge of God, and vice versa. Not that the self and God are identical, as in mysticism, but that knowledge of neither is possible except as knowledge of both. Cf. Iren., I.21.6 and the famous formulation of Theodotus, Excerpta 78, 2.


Drunkenness as a metaphor for man's condition without Gnosis is a favorite Gnostic theme. See Jonas, I, pp. 115-18.


The drunken man is not himself, he has lost the qualities that make him himself— "the things that are his own." But when he sobers up he becomes himself by reacquiring "the things that are his own" (cf. 21:12ff., 22). Just so the a-Gnostic, having been drunk without knowing it, becomes himself when he comes to know, becomes Gnostic.


Who? The context offers only the sobered drunken man or the Gnostic whom he symbolizes. But neither fits; 22:21-22 demands a soteriological figure, probably Jesus (though possibly the personified gospel or Gnosis; both are masculine in Coptic).


maeit, which I usually do not translate, but here it apparently means places.


when they had received Planē163 22:25 on account of the depth164 of Him who encom-passes all maeit165 while there is none which encompasses Him. This was a great wonder: that they166 were in the Father, not knowing Him, and (yet) were 22:30 able by themselves to get out,167 since they could not grasp and know Him in Whom they were,168 if His will169 had not thus come forth from Him. 22:35 For he did reveal it {for the benefit of a Gnosis having all her170 5h171 agreeing with herself,}172



This does not look mythological but probably means simply "took error," "erred," or "went astray."


Text: baqoV, which like Latin altum means either height or depth depending upon the direction of measurement (high water and deep water can be the same thing). Bythos (rarely Bathos) is the highest Eon in the Ptolemaic Pleroma (Iren. I.1.1, I.11.1 et passim). Here it is an attribute of God with no suggestion of independence. Cf. also 37:7 and 40:27.


See note on 20:21. Here one is tempted to think that it means only "thing." Then Valentinus would agree with Iren., II.1.2, 3.1, 30.9 against his own pupils or pupils' pupils. (While "encompass" or "contain" is undoubtedly spatial imagery, the conjectured meaning "space" in EvVer seems to make the thought too spatial. Not a spatial infinity is being claimed for God, but his insuperability as Origin.)


Who? Perhaps all the maiet, if we knew what that meant. Perhaps impersonal "they"— people (who may well be included in "all" maiet).


When were "they" able to get out of the Father? Presumably at that mythical time when forgetting overcame them. Are they equivalent symbols— is "not knowing that one is in the Father" equivalent to "being without him, outside of him?"


Though they knew it not (cf. 17:5-13).


It came forth in the person of the Son, with whom the will is here identified. Cf. 24:2.


There is no feminine noun in the context. The Coptic translator must have carelessly retained the gender of two Greek pronouns referring to Gnosis (Gk. fem.) instead of converting them to masculines to agree with Coptic saune (masc.) (EvVer, p. 54).


Here and four (five?) other times (26:25, 29; 41:14, 16, and possibly 27:11) a word is used that is thus far known only


his being the Gnosis of that Living Book which he revealed to the 23:1 Eons173 at the [ . . . of] Him was revealed [ . . . . . ]

Hymn on the Perfect Book174

For these are not letters175-of-voices (vowels) nor characters- 23:5 lacking-a-sound (consonants) so that one might read them


from this meditation. The editors of EvVer (p.54) conjectured that it meant emanation and render it so at every occurrence (also 27:11), though always with a well-justified question mark. I offer the conjecture that it is a new form of an old word: what Steindorff (Lehrbuch der koptischen Grammatik, p.70.4) calls a "feminine collective in -h. Using his clearest example I get this parallel diagram:

Singular form

Collective fem.





S, A, A2

A, A2







taeie, taie

taeiea, taieb

5h (i.e., tim)


(a) EvVer 32:14, 41:5; (b) Ps. of Mani; (c) used with pl. art. (S) in Matt. 8:24, 14:24.

If this is valid, then it is used (like 6imh in Sah.) as a plur. of taeie and means parts, shares, portions. Nevertheless I leave it without translation. (It may be worth noting that in all five occurrences it has the definite plural article [or pronominal article] followed by thr.ou "all"; 27:11 alone has indefinite pl. article and no added "all"— but it probably is a different noun: "gifts.")


On the hypothesis that "parts" is meant, this would seem to raise the claim that the Gnosis intended is self-consistent in all its parts.


Perhaps not to the mythological Eons, but simply "to the world"— pl. as in Heb. 1:2, 11:3 (where S retains the Greek word).


A marveling meditation more specifically on the Book and including a veritable hymn. The Book is no ordinary book.


Is it indeed a literal book at all? (He is thinking of the transcendent Book, 19:36-20:3, not of any embodiment


and think of vanity176 (emptiness). But they are characters177 belonging to Truth; they are spoken178 (read aloud?) 23:10 only179 as they are known, every single180 character being perfectly true in the manner of a perfect book, for they are characters written by 23:15 the Unity,181 the Father having written them for the Eons182 in order that


of it in a particular Gospel or in the whole NT.) No. Unlike any book on earth, it consists not of actual vowels and consonants, not of literal characters at all. (For "letters" the text reads topoV; read with EvVer: tupoV.)


Or emptiness. Every earthly book permits a light, frivolous, empty reading of its earthly vowels and consonants.


This Book's "characters" are not vowels and consonants, but truth's own kind of "character."


That is, read aloud. This seems to imply what we learn from other ancient texts— that all (or normal?) reading was vocal.


Unlike ordinary books, which can be vocalized without understanding, this "Book" can be read at all only by understanding. Without literal characters it addresses the understanding directly.


The single letters of an ordinary, imperfect book are not in themselves true. But all the elements ("characters") of this Book are true because they are portions of the truth, which the perfect Book is (cf. 16:31).


Probably the Father himself (related to the statement at 20:20?) because of the following statement ("the Father having written them for the Eons"). Very likely the Greek word behind it was henotes, but scarcely in the sense of the Eon Henotes in Iren. I.11.3, and the letter quoted in Epiph. XXXI.6.5, for then we should expect, "Henotes wrote it for the other Eons."


The mythical inhabitants of the Pleroma? If this were from a later stage of the Valentinian school, one would unhesitatingly assume so. But the meditation has hitherto implied that the Book was for the benefit of human beings, not heavenly ones. So "Eons" here may mean "ages" as at Col. 1:26 or it may be simply a synonym for "world" as at Heb.


by means of these the characters of It183
they184 might know the Father.185 The Wisdom (gained)


1:2, but "world" with the usual Johannine implication— the world is the men who constitute it.


Or of him. But since the theme under discussion is the Book, I translate "it."


May be impersonal "they" for the passive: the Father might be known.


This clause sets the exact pattern for the ten clauses that follow, each of four words: Noun + n-.toot.3- + verb + a single word. The single departure is in 23:23-24 where the verb is periphrastic and requires two words; in the Greek probably simply a form of stefanoun. By its insistent reiteration n-.toot.3- is the emphatic word, almost certainly having always the same antecedent— either the Father or the Book. I take it to be a "hymn" on the latter. For the sake of the form, the Coptic text follows here:



















e.3.oei n-.n.ouklam


























Coptic text of 23:17-33 divided into sense lines to display the underlying form (the order of the text has not been disturbed in any way, but the syllable dividers of n-.toot.3- have been regularized).


from186 It ponders187 23:20 the Logos; instruction (proceeding) from188 it utters189 it; the Gnosis (flowing) from190 it stands revealed.191 The restraint (?)192 of it is a crown upon It, 23:25 joy193 over it uniting therewith. The glory of it He194 exalted, the form195 of It He revealed, contentment with It He 23:30 has taken to Himself. The love for It has become a body196 upon It (?)



That is, gained from it by (Gnostic) men.


As the author of the meditation is doing.


That is, proceeding from it.


Through the mouth of the (Gnostic) preacher.


That is, flowing from it; the Gnosis which the Book brings and is.


These lines seem to be the transition from thinking of the pre-existent, unearthly Book, to thinking (also) of an earthly embodiment of it: one of the Gospels, all the Gospels, or the NT as a whole.


EvVer left aso untranslated, suggesting in a note (p. 55) that it may be for asou "price, value, honor." I suggest that it is identical with Boh. aso (Sah. so), "forbearance, restraint," observing that in a similar case involving inclusion or omission of an a-presyllable A2 sides with Boh. against Sah.: Sah. lto "multitude", Boh. qo, A2 to (25:14). This looks like a literary judgment upon the empirical gospels, perhaps Mark or John, such as Valentinus had the literary culture to make. Against the turgid, flowery style of Hellenistic literati the simplicity of the gospels was startling, even offensive to the educated, as Augustine later eloquently testified (Confessions, III.9).


But this very parsimony, poverty in style, became the crown and joy of the gospel both to Augustine and many another (cf. 16:31).


The Father. It was he who raised its simplicity to a crown of joy and honor (glory) in those who "accepted its instruction" (21:3).


The pre-existent Book took empirical form as the gospels and epistles of the NT, the form in which the Father chose to reveal it.


Some kind of incarnation is involved, but is it the


The Faith (arising) from197 It has laid hold of Him.198 Thus the Word199 of the Father passes through200 23:35 the Totality, being the fruit 24:1 [of] His heart201 and a face-form202 of His will. Yet he supports203 the Totality (of creatures), he chooses them,204 he takes on, moreover, 24:5 the face-form205 of the Totality, purifying them, causing them to return within the Father, within the Mother (?),206


Incarnation? Since there is no mention of the Son, I take it in a Pauline sense: The love (of the Father which flowed) from it became a body for it, the body of Christ, the Church.


That is, arising from.


The Father. Or it, the gospel.


The Book, the good news, is both the spoken word of the Father and the personal Logos who brings it.


As both the communicating Word and the Logos Revealer it "walks among" the totality.


The product of His mind. It sounds like a Hebraism, but Isa. 10:12 (Heb.) is the nearest biblical approach to it.


See on 19:31. Here perhaps "facial impression" (numismatic) and hence: delineation, depiction. The indefinite article is unexpected.


In Manichaean Psalm-Book 116:5 Allberry translates exactly these words: bi (= 3i) 6a p.thr.3-, "supports the Universe." Both S. and B. at Heb. 1:3 use the same expression (neither does at Col. 1:17). But "them" in 24:4 and 6 indicates that "all" here is again a collective regarded as plural.


So literally, unless mmau is written for mmeu "there" (as at 29:19). Then we would read, "He makes a choice there." One expects: "He chooses among them."


Here, perhaps, the stamp, the character. Is this a distant allusion to the thought, not the expression of Rom. 8:3, II Cor. 5:21?


Cf. Iren. V.31.1 and the conception of masculofeminine Eons (Iren. I, 18, 2). But since there is no further mention of "the Mother" in the meditation (nor other use of the word "mother"), perhaps she is not mentioned here, either. This meeu could be the alternative A2 spelling (see 17:9) of meeue "thought." TheManichaean Psalm-Book six times spells "mother" meeu (though oftener meu ; cf. EvVer 17:9 meu, but for "thought," not "mother"), exactly as it fre-


Jesus207 of infinite 2O8 sweetness.209


The Father unbosoms210 Himself 24:10 ((now His "bosom" is the Holy Spirit211));212 He reveals His secret ((His secret is


quently spells "think" and "thought": meeu (but also meue n. and vb.). However, "thought" is masculine, while here we have the prefix 5, apparently the feminine def. article. It could be infinitive 5, "give"— a verb 5.meeu is known, meaning "remind" (Crum, 200b). Then we would have: return to the Father (and) to recollection, a hendiadys because recollection, antithesis to forgetting, is recollection of the Father. Against all this stands the perfect verbal parallelism and the natural association of Mother with Father. So I retain "Mother" with a mark of query.


The syntax of this word is a puzzle. It cannot very well be in apposition to "Father" and "Mother," for that would require (?) a repetition of the preposition. If it were the delayed subject of the sentence it ought to have the prefix n-2i. (though there are other cases where this expected particle is missing: see notes 57, 81 558, 595); besides, the subject "he" (24:3) seems clearly to look back to Word, Logos (23:33). Probably "Jesus" is in remote apposition to the subject.


See note 462.


Do I only imagine it, or was there once a painting of a human figure in the inner margin from line 9 to about line 16? (And another figure below that?) The figure seems to be seated, back to the reader, bent somewhat to the left, face looking left in profile.


Literally uncovers His bosom— reveals what He has in petto, discloses what is on His heart.


This pedantic definition sentence I take to be the work of an interpolating commentator who at least from this point on attempted to assist the reader. Whether he operated on the Greek text in Greek or on the translated Coptic text in Coptic, I see no way of deciding. (See also 24:13, 22, 23; 26:34-27:1; 32:10-12, 17; 32:38-39 [?]; 38:1.)


Between 24:9 and 24:13 the interpolator with the


is Son))213 in order that 24:15 {the Eons214 by the mercies of the Father may know Him land cease toiling at searching for} The Father, resting there215 in Him, knowing 24:20 that this is the Rest:216 that He,


assistance of the original text has managed to bring the Trinity as explicitly together as in Matt. 28:19 (and in more correct terminology than in the spurious part of I John 5:7 ff.). Does this place the interpolator far down in or after the time of Nicea? Let the historians of dogma answer. One can even see where he would have stood on the filioque issue: the Spirit proceeds from the Father! The interpolator is not necessarily right about what the author meant by "bosom." I think he is not. "Bosom" appears to mean heart— mind. To the extent that Holy Spirit means "mind of God" (as, clearly, in I Cor. 2: 11) the interpolator is right, but not if he implies separate existence for the Spirit.


Another interpolation— and likewise questionable as to whether it catches the author's intent. The context suggests that the "secret" is the gospel, as prob. at 40:28 and 27:8 (cf. the "gnosticizing" benediction, Rom. 16:25-27). The interpolator could appeal however to 18:15 for his interpretation.


Conceived as personal here— see the predicates— and probably superhuman. Evidently none of the Eons knows the Father. This is far from the Ptolemaic doctrine, in which at least Nous-Monogenes (Iren. I.2.1) knows him and it is primarily Sophia who is in ignorance, toiling and searching (Iren. I.2.2). Can Eons mean the personified universe?


EvVer, p. 55 assumes dittography of the reflexive pronoun. But the second m-mau may be the Sahidic form of "there" (A2: mmeu) which is used at 29:19 and perhaps at 24:4.


Rest and resting place are symbols of human redemption 41:29; 43:1. So are knowledge of the Father and the cessation of searching. If the Eons here are not human, then this must be a heavenly counterpart and parallel to human redemption.


having supplied the Lack,217 has destroyed the Schema218— its Schema is the world in which he had been a servant.219 24:25 For the place where there is envy and quarreling220 is a lack, but the place221 which is222 the Reunion223 is



The Lack was a-Gnosis of the Father, a lack which the Father filled up by the revelation of the gospel.


Scheme, form, shape, fashion, dress. I know no parallel to this absolute and perhaps technical use of the word. No wonder the interpolator felt an explanation necessary!


The interpolator, probably rightly, associates schema with I Cor. 7:31 "the form of this world." The pronouns are troublesome. Perhaps: "The schema of it (the Lack) is the world in which it (the Lack?) or he (Jesus?) was a slave (or servant)." If the subject of the relative clause is "it," there may be a connection with the puzzling sentence Rom. 8:20 ff., which speaks of the enslavement of the whole creation. Van Unnik understands the relative clause to refer to Jesus (Jung Codex, p. 119). But Jesus was last mentioned fifteen lines back (24:8), and the Son (by the interpolator as I think) eight lines back. Rather remote, but such a passage as 19:17 cautions against regarding it as impossible. Cf. Note 97.


If this alludes to the human world, as it seems to do, it is one of the few ethical judgments in the meditation ( van Unnik is too sweeping in Jung Codex, p. 128).


This corroborates the interpolator's understanding that 24:22 meant "schema of the world" (with the genitive understood as genitive of equivalence— epexegeticus). The "place where there is envy and quarreling" is the untransformed world (surely not the heavenly world of the Eons).


Supply from the parallel clause: oun ... m-meu, "is ... there."


The definite article (scarcely generic, though it could have been mechanically carried over from Greek; cf. Matt. 15:11 both S and B) is unexpected after the nouns without article "envy" and "quarreling," to which the natural antithesis would be "unity, harmony." "The Reunion" is perhaps a name for God; cf. 23:15 and 25, passim.


completeness.224 For the Lack225 arose because the Father was not known, 24:30 but when the Father is known, then the Lack will not exist from that moment.

Similitude of Ignorance and Darkness226

As in the case of anyone's ignorance: when one comes to 24:35 know, then one's ignorance is wont to melt away of itself; as in the case of darkness: it is wont to melt away if the light appears— just so in the case of 25:1 the Lack: it is wont to melt away in the Completion.227 Hence, the Schema is not apparent from that moment, 25:5 but will melt away in the harmony of the Reunion, for now their228 works(?) (affairs?) lie mutually equal at the moment when the Reunion shall complete 25:10 the maeit.229 In the Reunion each one shall receive himself230 (again). In a231



Cf. 18:7-11, which says almost letter for letter the same thing with "forgetting" twice substituted for "the lack." "Forgetting," of course, is a variety of "lacking."


Perhaps also "this lack," viz., that of 24:26. The "lack," "forgetting" (18:7), the "place" (24:25), the schema (24:22), and the "world" (24:23) all seem to be synonymous. If the world is the "form" or "dress" of forgetting (lack of Gnosis of the Father), some kind of cosmogony is implied; the interesting thing is that no mythical development of this idea is presented in the meditation.


Another standard symbol of all brands of Gnosticism. See Jonas I, p. 103. This is a double simile. Just as neither ignorance and knowledge, nor darkness and light can coexist, neither can lack and completion coexist. At the right corner of the extreme lower edge of the page there are remnants of a word or two, now illegible.


This is Gnostic eschatology, but that of the NT shares some of its terminology. E.g. for "that which is perfect" (the eschatological consummation, I Cor. 13:10) the S version uses p.`wk, the same word as here.


EvVer, p. 55 interprets this to mean of the unity and the schema, or, amounting to the same thing, of the completion and the lack. This is probably right.


Complete the maeit. EvVer F, parfera les espaces ("will complete the spaces"); EvVer G die Räume erfüllen wird ("will fill, or fulfill, the spaces"); EvVer E "perfected [!] the spaces." This variation well illustrates the difficulty. If we knew the meaning of the noun, we might be able to decide which of several meanings the verb may have. See on 22:26.


Cf. 21:6. EvVer F and G add "again." Perhaps implied, but not really necessary. In the completion which Gnosis brings one also receives his true self (his "Name")


Gnosis he will purify himself in232 many ways233 in 25:15 a reunion, as it234 eats up the Matter within him like a flame and the darkness with a light, the death235 with a life. If, then, these things have236 happened 25:20 to each one of us,237 there is therefore that which beseems us: that we be mindful of it all,238 that the Dwelling-place239 may be holy and quiet for the Reunion.


whether or not the thought is that he had ever had it before. The "Reunion" here and in 24:27; 25:6, 9, 24; and 34:33: seems to be another term for the completion.


Probably only represents Gnosis without article in the Greek.


Or "of."


For EvVer's "diversity" one might cite the Boh. equivalent used for "manifold" in Eph. 3:10 B.


I.e. Gnosis (25:13). EvVer understands "he" (the "one" of 25:11). But observe the following pairs:

As light swallows darkness
And life swallows death
So . . . swallows Matter.

Surely "Gnosis" fills the gap better than "he."


Cf. I Cor. 15:54, II Cor. 5:4b.


The tense (perf. I) is unexpected after the futures of 25:10-18. This perfect may indicate that the preceding futures were meant more logically than temporally— and that the eschatology here is not really futuristic but conditionally present. Cf. the Fourth Gospel's hour that is coming and now is (4:23, 5:25), in which the first part of the relative clause only qualifies the present hour as the eschatological hour.


The meditation rarely uses first person plural. This is an indirect exhortation, which indicates that an audience is at least vaguely in mind, an audience not of "outsiders" but of "insiders," presumably Christians of a gnosticizing format.


Ambiguous: a.p.thr.3- may indeed be adverbial ("above all," EvVer); it may also substitute for a direct object of the verb. (meeue e. is frequent.)


Cf. EvVer, p. 55: either the world, or ourselves as in Heb. 3:6. ("House" is almost the standard term for "world" in Mandean; see the index to Lidzbarski Ginza.)


Jars and Judgment

25:25240 It is like people who moved241 jars from places242 that were theirs to places that were not fit: 25:30 they were wont to smash them243yet the master of the house was not wont to suffer loss, but there244 was wont to be rejoicing, for in place of these putrid jars (there were) those that were full (and) likely to be 25:35 kept245 to the end, for this246 is the judgment247 that came248 forth



The division into sentences here is almost impossible. It seems to be one long sentence with several parentheses (25:31-35; 25:35-26:4; 26:7-8). 25:25 clearly begins a comparison, but it is not formally carried through unless the text at 25:35 is corrupt.


Either intransitive or transitive. I take it to be the latter.


The word is twice modified by parallel relative clauses; evidently two kinds of places (and their consequences for the jars) are being contrasted. The second modifier is clear: they are "not good" for the jars— not fit; the contents will spoil there. The first modifier ought to mean appropriate places, which I take "places that were theirs" to mean theirs, the jars'— not the people's.


This could be rendered as passive— they (the jars) were apt to get broken. But probably "they" refers to the "people" of 25:26— rather than store jars in unfit places where the contents would spoil, they destroyed them.


Literally "she," 4a.s., which EvVer, p. 56 emends to "he," 4a.3.. I take it to be the impersonal feminine; cf., 20:5.


Literally, "perfected." Possibly the interpretation (the jars are people, cf. Rom. 9:20-24) has affected the language of the metaphor. "Kept to the end" was suggested by the use of this verb for perainw and dianuw (Crum, 762b). Without some such liberty, "perfected" would be tautologous with the preceding "full."


This is the place where a "so" correlative to the "as" of 25:25 is expected. One is tempted to assume that q.e n. has dropped out of the text after teei te: "thus is the judgment" (cf. 17:29), but this would leave the `e unexplained.


This is the only place where Greek krisiV is retained in the meditation. It certainly recalls John 3:19 and seems to retain the Johannine meaning of "sunderance," though the


26:1 from Heaven, having judged everyone, being a drawn sword of two edges cutting this way and that: when came into the midst 26:5 the Word249 who is in the heart of those who speak it250— it was not a mere sound, but it became a soma251— a great disturbance252 occurred within 26:10 the jars,253 because some were emptied, others were filled, because < > some were supplied, others were overturned, some were purified, some also 26:15 were divided254 (into pieces). All the maeit255 moved and were troubled, for they had no position


smashing of jars is out of harmony with the almost automatic sunderance of John. The author's association of this Johannine idea with Heb. 4:12, the sundering by a two-edged sword, is ingenious. He was intimately familiar with the NT.


As in John, the judgment (sunderance) is past, at least for some, so here it is past— but for everyone (possibly this only means potentially, awaiting the acceptance or rejection by the individual).


As in Heb. 4:12 the sundering was accomplished by the Word of God, for which the comparison with a sword (Hebrews) has here become a keen metaphor: the Word is a sword.


The author explicitly plays with the personal (hypostatic) and the everyday meanings of Logos (though he does not use the Greek word): "came," line five, personal; "in the heart," line six, both; "speak it," line six, everyday; "sound," line seven, everyday; "soma," line eight, personal.


The incarnation of the Word— or rather the ensomatosis. It may be significant that the auhor here avoids John's word sarx ( John 1: 14); it had taken on associations that made it repugnant to all Gnostics. However it does occur once later, 31:5— and in connection with the Son.


Cf. the scisma (split, division) which in the Fourth Gospel often occurs (John 7:43, 9:16, 10:19) as the reflex of the krisis (sunderance) which Jesus' word effects.


Here the literal jars of the simile 25:28-35 are suddenly allegorized. Jars— people (cf. Rom. 9:19-23).


Six predicates in three pairs, of which the second pair stands in chiastic order to the other pairs. If Rom. 9 is in the author's mind, then "emptied, overturned, divided" is equivalent to Paul's "vessels of wrath" (9:22) and "filled, supplied, purified" to his "vessels of mercy" (9:23).


The progress of thought here is completely enigmatic


nor standing(-place?). Planē256 was in agony, not perceiving 26:20 what she should do; being pained at heart she beat herself, she slashed(?)257 herself, because she understood nothing. Because of the fact that 26:25 {Gnosis,258 who is her annihilation,259 approached her, Planē with all her th260 is empty, having nothing within.261 Into the midst came Truth,262 all her th263 knew264 (recognized?) her, 26:30 they greeted265 (embraced?) the Father in truth with a perfect power which


because the meaning of maeit is unknown. It ought to allude in some way either to the jars or to the people whom they symbolize. But by what meaning of maeit? The predicate recalls Jer. 4:24, where the subjects are mountains and hills (in synonymous parallelism), hardly appropriate here.


She (with highly personal predicates here; cf. 17:15) is concerned because she is the power behind the humiliated "jars" or their personified essence. The sunderance (judgment) which takes place in the presence of the Word is her downfall.


EvVer G "tore her hair." The verb usually means "reap, mow," but Shenute once uses it parallel pw6 to tear, for "slash" (garments).


The sundering, judging Word is identical with the Gnosis which it brings.


Cf. 24:32-25:3. Planē as the antithesis of Gnosis is identical with ignorance, a-Gnosis, and cannot coexist with Gnosis.


5h; this word must here refer in some way to the "jars." She is empty because they are empty. Does 5h mean "manifestations"?


Tautological with "empty."


Here the thought returns to 26:4, 5; that sentence is repeated but with a new subject— "truth" in place of "the Word." But Word, truth, and Gnosis are all equivalent.


Truth's 5h (manifestations?) must refer to the other class of "jars," the vessels of mercy or salvation. (If this is a faint allusion to the figure of the jars, there is no trace of it from this point on.)


They who were her own knew, recognized, and acknowledged truth. (Cf. John 8:32: "You will know the truth, and the truth will make you free" and 14:6 "I am . . . the truth.")


In acknowledging the truth they were "greeting" (em-


unites266 them with the Father. For everyone who loves the Truth ((267 "the Truth" means (the) mouth268 26:35 of the Father, His tongue269 means the Holy Spirit which attaches 27:1 him (everyone who loves the Truth) to the Truth)) attaches himself to the Father's mouth by means of His tongue as he receives the Holy Spirit, 27:5 this (the Spirit) being the revelation of the Father and the manifestation of Himself to His Eons.270 He has revealed His secret, He has released it. For who is he that exists 27:10 except by the Father alone?271


bracing[?] cf. 41:34) the Father. To know the truth is to know the Father. Cf. John 14:7, 10. Perhaps aopazomai in the sense of "pay homage, do obeisance" (as to a king); (cf. Windisch in TWB, I, 494, 496)or even "to love" (ibid., p. 495).


Acknowledging the truth and "embracing" the Father brings oneness with the Father. Cf. John 17:21 particularly with the reading of א, etc., "that they may be one in us."


I take lines 26:34— 27:1 to be two marginal glosses which a later copyist incorporated into the text a few lines too early. Read: For everyone who loves the truth attaches himself to the Father's mouth (gloss: the truth is "the Father's mouth") by means of His tongue (gloss: "his tongue" means the Holy Spirit which attaches him— everyone who loves the truth— to the truth) as he receives the Holy Spirit....


The glossator (at 26:34) is not necessarily correct in his explanation. This use of "mouth" strikes me as a Hebraism: the mouth (peh) of Yahweh (also of men [Gen. 45:21] is often used, e.g., Exod. 17:1, Num. 14:41, Deut. 1:26) for an expression of his will, a command. (LXX usually rhma, word.) The Gnostic glossator may understand "truth" widely enough to include this meaning.


Probably means the dynamic mediary of the Father's "mouth" (of His will)— and in Christian terminology that is the Holy Spirit.


An unexpected turn of the sentence; one expects some term for human beings, not for celestial ones. Perhaps a reflection of the language of Col. 1:26, Eph. 3:9 f.


EvVer E: "For who is it who exists if it is not the Father alone?" (F and G likewise.) If it means this, a startling ontological statement! But would it not need to be expanded and defended or at least discussed? It is not. Instead, the dependence of other beings (unfortunately introduced by the


All the maeit272 are gifts273 from Him. They knew that they had come forth out of Him like children from (?) an adult274 man. 27:15 They knew this: that they had not275 yet {received [form.276 nor had not yet received name, things277 (form and name?) which the Father is wont to engender one by one.


enigmatic word maeit) upon the Father is discussed. Hence I raise the question whether the preposition a. (Sah. e.) is here otiose, as is usual after ei mhti, or whether it is be understood as a full preposition "by." (In Matt. 4:4 both S and B express "by bread alone" with nothing but this preposition.) The otiose preposition after ei mhti is not without exceptions (though it is present in the only other occurrence in the meditation, 19:16)— for instance, Acts 27:22 S, where the Beatty Manuscript (Thompson) and the British Museum Manuscript (Horner's a) omit it in "except the ship"; Horner included it, apparently on the sole authority of the Vatican Manuscript (Horner's 17). Pistis Sophia also sometimes omits it, e.g. at 98:25 and 185:1. It would certainly smooth the context to understand: "Who exists except by the Father alone?" Cf. I Cor. 8:6.


maeit as in 26:15 either personal beings or vividly personified; cf. the predicates in 27:12-23. Whatever the specific meaning of the word, it seems to refer to sentient beings, primarily men.


EvVer renders "emanations (?)" as if 5h, but here it is 5 only, as EvVer index notes. I prefer to consider it the known noun "gift" with pl. indef. Article.


Probably for teleioV in the sense of adult (cf. Eph. 4:13 S, Heb. 5:14 S).


When? Either (a) before they existed or (b) before they received definitive being by Gnosis (revelation of the Father). But (a) is all too tautological, hence probably (b).


Either "form" and "name" are both necessary to existence— or they are identical with each other and then are terms for true existence itself.


Not in the text but supplied to indicate the probability that the antecedent to the relative pronoun is not just "name,"


27:20 Then when they receive form278by279 His Gnosis, being verily within Him, they know it280 not. But the Father perfectly knows 27:25 every maeit281 that is in Him. If He wishes, whomsoever He wishes He makes manifest,282 giving form to him and giving name283 to him. And he is wont to give name 27:30 to him and causes this:284 that they285 (!) become.286 They who have not yet become are a-Gnostic of Him who produced them.

Illusory Existence

But I am not saying this: 27:35 that they are nothings, these who have not


but both "form" and "name." Note how both are again used together in 27:28-29.


formh for morfh seems to betray knowledge of Latin (forma). See Introduction. "Form" occurs only on this one page, twice spelled correctly in Greek (27:17, 28).* Perhaps, after all, "form" and "name" are two different stages of being. Mere existence without the light would seem to be an existence in form only; while to exist with a God-given "name" in addition to one's "form" may be the author's formula for true existence. (*The same curious form formh occurs in another writing of the Codex Jung (Treatise on the Three Natures); see Labib, Plate 26, line 12.) After 27:15-19 one expects past tense here, but the verbs are conditionalis and I present. (Are the "they"' of 27:20-23 not the same as the subject of 27:15-19? If not, who?)


n. probably preposition of instrument (better: 6n) not the sign of the genitive (against EvVer G), because the preceding noun, without any article, is really part of a compound verb which means "were formed by. . . ." (Cf. the role of Sophia at creation in the OT wisdom-speculation, Prov. 8:22-30; Ecclus. 1:1-9; 24:3 f., 9; Sap. 8:3; 9:4, 9.)


Or him; but could this be said of those who are described in 27:11-19?


maeit Apparently referring back to the beings who have "form" (but not "name"?).


Evidently "causes to appear" (creates?).


Giving both provisional and definitive existence.


The causative sense is doubly expressed in the Coptic.


After 27:29-30 the plural is unexpected, though possibly implied in "whomsoever" of 27:27.


Logically, it would seem that the Coptic translator has reversed the subject and the predicate nominative of the Greek.


yet become,287 but (that) they are 28:1 in Him288 who may will that they become, if He wills it, like a moment that is coming. While289 28:5 all things are not yet revealed, He knows what He is going to bring out, but the fruit290 which He has not yet revealed knows nothing, nor 28:10 does291 anything either. Thus all maeit which are also in the Father are from Him who is,292 who set him293 on 28:15 his feet (established him) from that which is not.294 For he who has no root also has no fruit,295 but thinking to himself, 28:20 "I have come to be, I296 * * *" he will perish of himself. Therefore he who was not at all297 also will not become. What is it, then, that 28:25 He298 wishes that he think (of himself)?299


"Become" must here mean "come to full being" which occurs only with the advent of Gnosis.


Exactly repeats the phrase of 27:32 and must have the same meaning.


The Father; cf. 27:26.


More freely: before any things are revealed.


Potential product of creation.


The ambiguous verb r-; might also mean "is," but this would contradict 27:35.


Probably the Greek philosophical name for God, which also occurs in LXX Exod. 3:14.


Confusion of numbers; the sentence began in the plural (see 6n- abal in Ne [?] 28:12, 13).


Creatio ex nihilo in a Gnostic writing!


Does this correspond to Bultmann's formulation of a basic assumption of John: "Das Woher entspricht dem Wohin" (a man's whence corresponds to his whither)?


An illegible verb, apparently first person sing. of II present. It seems to read: n.n.ei6teah corrected to einteah (?). Presumably the verb contained another boast of (illusory) existence.


John 5:24 likewise implies that he who merely vegetated without "the word" (and consequently without him who sent the bearer of the word) was "in death" (cf. I John 3:14 "remains in death" meaning "was not at all") and does not "go over into life" ("also will not be") except by hearing and accepting the word of revelation. The present passage is a more abstract statement of the same idea— and more paradoxical because it only tacitly implies the indispensable condition for acquiring life.


Evidendy the Father, though last mentioned in 28:12.


"I have been like the shadows and fantasies300 of the night!"

The Nightmare Parable

(At)301 the dawning of the light upon the terror302 28:30 that that man303 had received, he is wont to understand that it was nothing. Thus were they a-Gnostic concerning the Father,304 it being He 29:1 whom they saw not, for He305 was a terror and a disturbance and an instability and a doubting and a 29:5 division; there were many delusions by which they were bewitched and inane follies, as if they had been put to sleep 29:10 and been found by troubling dreams:306 either (there is) a place to which they are fleeingor they are powerless as they run in pursuit after othersor they are in the midst of 29:15 brawlingsor are themselves under blowsor they are falling from high placesor they are drawn upward by the air, not even having wings. 29:20 Other times (it is as) if some were killing them, though none were even pursuing307 themor they themselves



The ara.3, by itself, might mean "to or concerning himself," but in this syntactical context is probably only the completion of the idiom meeue a. and the suffix only the usual pleonastic reference to the relative pronoun. Nevertheless the following lines indicate that some such thought is to be supplied.


I.e., as the shades and fantasies do not really exist, neither did I.


The sentence begins without a preposition— perhaps mechanically reflecting a prepositionless Greek accusative of time.


It lay in the "shadows and fantasies" of 28:27.


Viz. the hypothetical man who experienced "shadows and fantasies."


Implying that if in the night of existence without God men had known or "seen" (29:1) the Father, they would not have been afraid.


That is, in their ignorance of him his place was taken by nameless terrors.


An eloquent description of typical nightmares, timeless as all basic human experience is.


Cf. Prov. 28: 1.


The not seeing refers not to the time of dreaming— the "seeing" in dreams is subjectively all too real— but to the time of waking when the "nothings" (29:31) of the nightmare burst in the presence of objective reality.


Here begins the application; the parable is free from any allegorical details borrowed from the coming interpretation. Parable and application are held cleanly apart.


In the context one would perhaps expect "dreams" (which do recur under the term "matters" in 30:1), but "sleep" is the wider term, more common as a Gnostic figure of


were killing their neighbors, for they were soiled with 29:25 their blood—until the time when are wont to wake up they who are wont to go through all these things. They are not wont to see308 anything, these who were in the midst 29:30 of all these troubles, for they were nothings. Like this309 (way) is the way of those who have cast a-Gnosis forth from 29:35 themselves(?): like the sleep310 which they are not wont to consider anything, neither are they wont to consider its311 30:1 matters312 (works? events?) as real things, but are wont to leave them behind like a dream in the night, 30:5 and to esteem the Gnosis of the Father more than the light.313 Thus has everyone done, sleeping, in the time when he was a-Gnostic; 30:10 and this is the manner of his straightening up as (if) he awakened.

A Beatitude

Congratulations314 to the man who has returned315 to himself and awakened, and blessed 30:15 is He316 who has opened317


speech for inauthentic existence, and probably inclusive of "dreams."


The suffix is masculine; grammatically it ought to refer to "sleep" (29:35, masc.), but logically (since this is in the application of the parable) it ought to refer to a-Gnosis (29:34, fem.). There is here either a confusion of genders (as at 22:37 with Gnosis) or another of the frequent confusions of number. That is, it might mean "his" and refer to any individual among the "those" of 29:33. I prefer the former because of the next word.


Or "works" or "events." 6wb is a chameleon word like Latin res or Greek skeuoV.


EvVer F and E "in proportion to" (as they do the light?). G. "für das Licht . . . erachten" (consider . . . to be the light). Perhaps it is simply the ε of comparison: "more than the light"— i.e. as the awakened dreamer does the light of day, only more so (because the awakened Gnostic has the greater light of Gnosis).


Preceded by the conjunction "and," indicating that this is connected with the foregoing, but in English idiom it would be clumsy to retain it. Perhaps the Greek original both here and in 30:14 had makarios, which the Coptic translator retained only the second time.


Cf. 22:18, 21:5. The Coptic suffix is somewhat ambiguous and could be otiose (as in a Greek deponent) meaning merely "turn." I take it to be an interpretative nonfigurative equivalent of the figurative "awakened."


The Father, or Jesus.


e., since used with Perf. I (relative form) here (and with object at 20:16) cannot be the qualitative. EvVer p. 122 is in error in equating this form with the Sah. qualitative form and in contradiction with its own renderings. In the dialect of the meditation the infinitive is ouhn (as in Acts of


the eyes of the blind!318 And the swift Spirit followed him up after He (had) caused him to wake up. Having given hand 30:20 to him who was stretched out319 on the ground, he set him on his feet, though he had not yet (ever) risen up. And {he320 gave thems321 means of understanding 30:25 the Gnosis of the Father and the revealing322 of his Son, for when they had seen him and heard him, he permitted them to taste him and 30:30 smell him323 and lay hold324 of the beloved Son.325 Having been revealed, he teaches them concerning the Father, the Incomprehensible, having breathed326 into them 30:35 that which is in the Thought, (thereby) doing His will.327 Many received328 the light, they turned


Paul); the unused qualitative may have been ouen, the reverse of Manichaean Psalm-Book.


Probably in the figurative sense of John 9:39-41.


A figure for the man not yet waked from illusory existence.


The Spirit.


Another sudden shift of number— the many of whom the one of the preceding description is representative.


Probably hendiadys with Gnosis: the Father is known only through the revealing of the Son.


Whom? One might think the Spiritthen one would understand "him" in 29 and 30 to mean "himself"but a Spirit that could be seen, heard, tasted, and smelled is impossible both to the Gnostic view and to the orthodox. "Him" must be "the Son" of 30:26; then the "he" of 30:28 must be the Spirit.


Where four verbs have alluded to four senses one expects the fifth to do the same. (This verb is usually more violentseize, detainbut the notion of contact is certainly also implied.) Cf. I John 1:1-3, where at least three senses are also mentioned with a soteriological object.


This specific object coming after four repetitions of an enigmatic "him" is confusing. But perhaps in the Greek original there were five verbs with a common object named only the last time. I understand: "When they had seen and heard (the Son), he (the Spirit) permitted them to taste and smell and lay hold of the Beloved Son."


Cf. John 20:22.


Cf. John 6:38-40. In John the will of the Father for Jesus is that he speak the saving word and bring it to fruition; similarly here.


Cf. John 1: 12 in its reference to 1: 5 and 1:9.


{to Him. For (they who were) Hyle,329 they were strangers330 31:1 and did not see his form, and did not recognize him. For he came} 31:5 forth in a flesh of (such) sort331 that nothing (none?) blocked his progress,332 for333 indestructibility334 is unseizability.335



Hylē (matter). This is clearly the subject of the four verbs, all of which are plural; hylē therefore must have been conceived here as a collective. As EvVer E rightly notes, it is as if the author had used "hylikoi." (Hylē; also a collective in Manichaean Psalm-Book 49:26.) The NT does not use the word in this way (but cf. sarx, sarkikos); Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans 6:2 approaches it. Here it means those who are impervious to the Son's revelation of the Fatherthe same group meant by the Fourth Gospel by a different terminology-they who are "of the world," from below, of the devil.


Not (as Eph. 2:19; Heb. 11:13) to the world (hylē is the essence of the worldly) but to the light, Gnosis, salvation; therefore they could not "see" or "recognize." Cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book 54:19: "The strangers with whom I mixed, me they know not."


In view of 31:8 this may be Docetic, but it is not so obviously so as EvVer, all versions, makes it seem. (EvVer apparently assumes that smat represents omoiwma, likeness. Sah. so renders Phil. 2:7— but that is not Docetic.) But may it not stand for toiuth ... h (see Crum, 341a)? I have so rendered it in order to call attention to this other possibility.


Is the author alluding to John 20:19, 26 "the doors being closed"? If so, he has chosen to ignore John's implication of the noncorporeal nature of these manifestations and to predate them into the lifetime of Jesus. But "nothing" 31:6 may just as well be personal (no one) and he may, rather, have in mind the strange "elusiveness" of Jesus in John 6:15; 7:30; 8:20, 59; 12:36; 18:6.


The syntax is doubtful. EvVer takes the subject to be "it" (flesh, 31:5) and the two abstract nouns (which EvVer renders as adjectives) to be predicative. Perhaps; but the definite article with the first noun and the lack of any article with the second are puzzling. I have translated it as a


Speaking, furthermore, 31:10 new336 things (as he was) while speaking of that which is in the Father's heart, when he had brought forth the flawless Word,337 and out of his mouth had spoken the Light, and his voice 31:15 had given birth to Life, he gave them thought338 and wisdom and mercy


self-contained clause by assuming that the indefinite article ou. has dropped out before the predicate noun "unseizability."


Or "incorruption," or "imperishability." Even if this is a general proposition, it is made apropos of 31:5-7. Paradoxical as "indestructible flesh" is, the idea is possible in either of two ways: (1) divine fiat made an exception in the case of Jesus' flesh (so Acts 2:31— cf. 2:27— in somewhat strained exegesis of Ps. 16: 10) or (2) "flesh" is used in an unreal sense for "substance" (implying that its material was either "spirit" or "soul"). The latter idea (specifically alluding to a flesh considered to be not humana, but spiritalis or animalis or siderea—starry— or imaginaria) is ascribed not to Valentinus himself but to "quendam ex Vatentini factione" by Tertullian in De Carne Christi XV. If our passage is an early form of the latter idea, it is nevertheless so veiled that it can be taken in the sense of (1) — and perhaps was intended to be.


By hand or by mind? Probably intentionally ambiguous— yes, by hand (referring to 31:7) — yes, by mind (explaining "not see" and "not recognize" in 31:2, 3).


Probably in the biblical sense of "eschatological," but pertaining to "realized" present eschatology, not to the futuristic eschatology of apocalypticism.


Here not the personal Logos (the incarnate Word is the subject of the verb) but the communicating, light-and-lifebringing message of the Father as in John 17:14.


Perhaps, rather, recollection (the opposite of forgetting) if one might combine 5.meu (but the other four nouns seem to demand the everyday meaning of 5: gave). Bohairic, however, uses the simple noun to mean "memory, reminder" (Crum, 200a); perhaps it is only accident that the same usage is not yet booked for A2.


and salvation339 and the Spirit of power340 from the infinitude of 31:20 the Father and from the kindness.341 He caused the torments and the scourging342 to cease— 343 for it was such as {had need of mercy who were astray from His face} 31:25 in Error344 and chains— and with power he abolished them and defeated345 them by Gnosis. He became a



ou.`eeide a form not given by Crum— probably equivalent to ou.`eite (A) which he does give.


Cf. II Tim. 1:7, Isa. 11:2, Acts 1:8.


EvVer G is probably justified in supplying "His" with this word. For the thought cf. Rom. 2:4 (twice), I Pet. 2:3 (Ps. 34:8). CrhstoV (literally "sweet"; figuratively "kind"), and its derivatives are often rendered into Coptic with this root; Boh. uses it in a compound for the verb "be kind" at I Cor. 13:4.


Probably in hendiadys with torments. These must be the torments of illusory existence so vividly described in the nightmare parable (28:29 ff.).


There is something wrong with this sentence. (1) neu.sarm-, a form not in Crum, is almost certainly the qualitative (sarme qual., Ps. of Mani) and is so listed in EvVer, Vocab., yet EvVer translates it as transitive with an object by emending to neu.swrme. (2) is self-contradictory— the indefinite pl. pronoun "some" or "such" with the definite pl. article! Once (29:14) it has the pl. indefinite article, a habit of the Fayyumic and A1 dialects, redundant but not illogical. Does it ever occur with definite articles? Crum gives no example. For this impossible (?) combination I propose to emend to n-2i "namely," though I can offer no paleographic explanation. Then the whole parenthesis would appear to mean: "for it was such as had need of mercy who were astray from His face in error and chains."


The text reads planē, but clearly not personal here. "Error and chains" appears to be synonymous resumption of "torments and scourgings" in 31:21 f.


Literally "put to shame," but it must be used figuratively if the impersonal "torments and scourgings" of 31:21 ff. are the object (the people who "were astray" 31:23 cannot be the object; they are the ones benefited). I take it to be a


maeit346 for those who were straying 31:30 and a Gnosis for those who were a-Gnostic, a treasure-trove347 for those who were seeking, and a stability for those who were staggering,348 undefilement349 for those who were 31:35 defiled.

The Shepherd of the Sheep that Strayed

He350 is the351 shepherd who left behind him the ninety- 32:1 nine sheep which had not strayed. He went, he sought after that one which had strayed. He rejoiced when he found it. For the 99352 32:5 is a sum (reckoned) on the left hand353


LXX-expression for "defeat, bring low." EvVer G, erledigt"finished them off"— is good, though the two verbs together still seem to be a hysteron-proteron.


maeit Here clearly "path, way." Cf. John 14:6.


Cf. 17:3.


So, if the allusion is to drunkenness. But it may also mean "trembling" or "swaying."


A clumsy English word to show that the Coptic word behind it is the abstract negative of the first word in 31:35. Sacrificing the etymology one would choose "purity" here.


Emphatic in the Coptic.


The definite article with both "shepherd" and "ninetynine" indicates that a reference is being made to a context with which the reader is assumed to be familiar, evidently Matt. 18:12-14 (while the identification of the parable's shepherd with Jesus may be due to a mental conflation with John 10, particularly vss. 11 and 14).


Not the ninety-nine sheep (as sheep they are forgotten in the author's zeal for learned interpretation of the number itself).


The queer "exegesis" extending from 31:4-17 rests upon a folk custom, once universal in Latin-speaking lands, of counting on the fingers-not the naïve one-to-ten finger counting of the primitives and of small children, but an ingenious system by which the two hands at rest (i.e. without making any second or third gesture) could indicate to a single glance any number from 1 to 9,999. The units were made by nine positions of the little finger and the two adjacent fingers of the left hand (fingers five, four, three in piano nomenclature), the tens by nine positions of the index finger and thumb of the left hand, the hundreds by thumb and index finger of the right hand and the thousands by the remaining three fingers of the right hand. Hence the greatest shift in the


which holds354 it. But (at) the time when the I shall be found, the entire sum is wont to change over to the right:355 as 32:10 that which lacks the I ((this means the whole right hand which is wont to attract that which has been lacking))356 takes it from the left side and transfers it to the right,


whole system lay between ninety-nine and one hundred. In no other case could the addition or subtraction of a mere one change the whole digital gesture from one hand to the other. But by a tradition from very ancient superstition the left hand was "sinister," the right hand favorable, not merely in the minds of Gnostics but in those of all Greeks and Romans and of most peoples. Renatus Massuet (d. 1716) gave the correct interpretation to this matter in connection with an allusion in Ireneus ("they avoid the place of ninety-nine, i.e. the lack— a type of the left hand— but endeavor to secure one more, which when added to the ninety and nine, has the effect of changing their reckoning to the right hand." Iren. 1.16.2— see Massuet note 2 in Migne Pat. G. 7, pt. 1, col. 633.) A thousand years earlier Beda had explained the whole system in De loquela per gestum digitorum et temporum ratione libellus and recognized that Jerome in his commentary on Matt. 13 had used this system in just as strange a way to "explain" the numbers one hundred, sixty, and thirty. On the whole subject fascinating details are offered by Karl Menninger, Zahlwort und Ziffer, pp. 140 ff.


Quite literally, fingers five, four, three, of the left hand lie folded over the palm, thus holding "nine," while the index finger touches the root of the thumb, thus holding "ninety"and the whole left hand holding "ninety-nine," the highest number it can.


The next higher number is, of course, one hundred. But all the hundreds are gestures of the index and thumb of the right hand. Just as in our system the decimal place of one hundred moves over one place to the left, from ninety-nine, so here, only much more dramatically, for it moves from the unlucky left hand to the lucky right.


I take this to be a pedantic interpolation, probably a


32:15 so357 the sum makes 100,358 the sign of Him who is in their359 (the hands') language360 ((this means the


marginal note in an ancestor of our papyrus, correct enough but hardly necessary.


Before this word I omit an "and." In the Coptic text, I take it to be the otiose auw at the beginning of an apodosis, untranslatable like the kai which it imitates (see Crum, 20a).


The gesture (having no odd units or tens) is made by the right hand alone. The end of the index finger touches the first joint of the thumb, making a circle. Either this gesture itself or the meaning behind it signifies God to the author. If the gesture itself is guiding his thought, then perhaps he is thinking of its circular form— the circle is perfection, and God is all perfection. Against this interpretation stands the fact, which must have been more obvious to the author than to us, that the gesture for four hundred would have been more apt (here the tip of the index joins the tip of the thumb). Going back to the one-hundred gesture itself we find that it strongly suggests the letter r, which in Greek— and by loan also in Coptic— is the symbol for one hundred, but how does r signify God or Father? Probably it is the meaning behind the gesture (coupled with the shift of hands) that signifies God. He is the antithesis of all lack, though it be but the lack of the number one; he is the seat of all good, the antithesis of the threatening left hand.


The hands', or the fingers'.


The Coptic translator wrote pou.6rau, "their voice" or "their sound"— but he has been speaking of a soundless gesture. Had he written "its sound," one might speculate on some resemblance between the sound of one hundred (ekaton) and some Greek word meaning Father or God. Since he wrote "their," I assume that he read fwno and rendered it mechanically with the commonest Coptic equivalent, not reflecting that fwno also means "language" (as the translator of the variant reading las— "tongue"— to Boh. I Cor. 14:10 clearly



Salvation on the Sabbath

Even on the Sabbath, for the sheep362 which he had found fallen into 32:20 the pit, he worked; he saved363 the life of the sheep, having brought it up from the pit, that you364 may


saw) and could mean only that here. It is the number language of the fingers that he means.


The interpolator (correctly) identifies the somewhat vague "him" of 32:16.

The sheep that strayed, by Ireneus' testimony, fascinated the Gnostics. See Iren. I.8.4, I.16.1, II.24.6, inter alia. They saw that straying sheep as the symbol both of man's erring in ignorance and of Sophia's falling into her precosmic error— for the two are ultimately one. (Planē, planh, is the substantive of plana + sqai which means "stray"— cf. planet— before it means "err" in figurative ways; see notes to 17:15). To a reader of Ireneus, the astonishing thing in our present passage is that it contains no detectable allusion to the Sophia myth. Did Valentinus adopt that myth only at a later date? Cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book 193:26, where Jesus is called: "The shepherd of the sheep that wanders in the desert of this world."


An allusion to one sheep parable draws another after it, and in both cases an identification is made which the Gospels do not make: Jesus is himself the one who acts for the sheep. The biblical source of this second allusion is composite: Matt. 12:11 and John 5:17. (Note here as in 31:35, "the sheep," "the pit"— i.e. the ones known from Matthew.)


Literally "caused to live," which doubtless means, in keeping with its origin in Matthew, "saved the life." But of course it can also mean "restore to life, resurrect" (cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book, 194:24 and 196:30, unmistakably). It has the same ambiguity as zwopoie in John 5:21 and elsewhere. Perhaps the reader was intended to hear both meanings here, one within the parable, one in its application.


This unexpected second person pl. testifies that the meditation is no literal soliloquy but is addressed to others. In fact the rest of this page and all of the next sound like a


32:23a understand at heart36532:38-39 [ ] you366 are the children367 of heart-understanding!— what the Sabbath368 32:23b is— viz., that in which it is not fitting that 32:25 salvation be idle369— that you may speak of the Day that is above,370 which has no night,371


sermon— full of imperatives and second person pl. pronouns. These pages, may actually be an excerpt from an earlier sermon of the author.


Coptic and Hebrew agree in regarding the heart, not the brain, as the organ of thought.


Here a whole line plus one word (32:38-39) dropped out of the text by homoioteleuton (n-.6ht to n-.6ht) as the scribe realized before he finished the page. So he drew a sign that looks like a closed pair of shears under line 37, copied the missing words, and placed matching reference and footnote signs in the margin to indicate where they belong. See EvVer, p. 58.


Iren. I.13.7 speaks ironically of the "children of Gnosis" tkna thV gnwsewV. His irony often takes the form of using his opponents' terminology sarcastically. See Sagnard, La Gnose Valentinienne et le témoignage de Saint Irénée, pp. 266-91.


Here the scribe writes inconsistently p.sabbaton, which he had just written y.abbaton (32:18).


In John 5:17 Father and Son are said to be working "until now," i.e. right through the Sabbath. The meditation seems to be saying the same thing by letting "salvation" be that which is common to Father and to Son, and saying that salvation cannot be idle on the Sabbath.


A symbol for heavenly bliss which may have an independent Gnostic history but can also be derived from biblical conceptions— Rev. 21:25, which certainly owes something to the metaphors of Isa. 60:19 f.; cf. IV Esdras (V Esra in German terminology) 2:35: "for everlasting light will shine upon you forever. Flee from the shadow of this world. . . ."


Almost a quotation of Rev. 21:25. EvVer, p. 57 refers to Manichaean Psalm-Book 190:14 (misprinted 190:24): "Amen, perfect day, wherein there is no night."


and of the Light372 32:30 which is not wont to set, for it is perfect. Say373 therefore at heart that you374 are that perfect Day and (that) in you dwells the Light which is not wont to cease. 32:35 Speak about the Truth with those who seek her and about Gnosis with those who have sinned in their error.375 376 . . . . . . . . . . . . 33:1 Strengthen377 the feet of those who have slipped and stretch out your



Cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book 193:19 (but as an epithet of Christ, not of the believer as here): "The perfect day of Light, that [sc. day] of the sun that does not set."


4e`e here and in 32:35 "speak" is certainly imperative in view of the constant imperatives of 33, as Schenke clearly saw. (EvVer before pp. 33-36 were available regarded both words as resumptive infinitives completing the possibly incomplete sentence begun in 31:26.)


An unexpected turn of the sentence, for which neither the NT nor the meditation prepares us. (I Thess. 5:5 [5:8] with sons of light," "sons of the day" comes closest.) That this is a figurative overstatement, however, is suggested by the parallel clause "in you dwells the light": "Day" and "light" are surely equivalents, and the second statement is the more sober one for the overenthusiastic first statement.


Here again planē is not personal. Cf. 31:25.


The lines 32:38-39 are transposed into their proper place within 32:23. The lacuna of four pages in EvVer is now fortunately filled by the publication of Pahor Labib, Coptic Gnostic Papyri in the Coptic Museum at Old Cairo, Vol. I. The missing pages are Plates 9, 10, 6, 5 (in that order) in that volume, as was first recognized by Hans-Martin Schenke who published a first translation of their contents in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 83, no. 7, (July, 1958). Though I frequently differ from his translation, I gratefully acknowledge the aid which his insight has been in understanding these pages not hitherto published in English.


This whole page is dominated by the imperative (second person plural), continuing the sermonic tone of the previous page. Moreover on the face of it 33:1-8 is full of ethical imperatives, astonishing in a Gnostic work, for the Gnostics are generally held to have been devoid of ethical


hand378 to those who are sick, feed379 those who are hungry, and those who are weary, 33:5 give them rest.380 Raise those who wish to rise.381 Wake382 those who sleep. For you are that understanding that rescues.383 If 33:10 strength384 so acts,385 it is wont to become stronger still. Pay heed386 to yourselves; do not pay heed to other things,387 the things which you have cast out of yourselves, which you have 33:15 left388 behind. Do not buy389 them


concern. However these imperatives may be partly or wholly metaphorical expressions for rescuing men with the saving knowledge of salvation— exhortations to missionary zeal. Even so, missionary zeal is rooted in ethical concern for others, the ultimate concern which motivates and activates all mediate concerns for others.


Cf. Mark 1:41 and parallels, Acts 4:30.


Cf. Rom. 12:20, John 21:15, Matt. 25:35, 37.


Cf. for the whole clause, Matt. 11:28.


Cf. John 5:6, 8.


Cf. Rom. 13:11 but also Mark 5:39, 41.


Literally "plucks out" or "draws out" sc. of danger or trouble. Observe that the sheep in the pit, which introduced this whole section, was rescued by being drawn up from the pit, 32:20-22 (two different Coptic verbs, which may represent the same Greek verb, are used; in any case, there seems to be an association of ideas).


Cf. II Cor. 12:9 (read without mou "my" as in B, ϐ*, D*, F, G, etc.)


I read r-.5.6e, literally "does this way."


Cf. II John 8. On the syntax see note to 42:2. The last letter, incomplete, looks like n, but it may be ani (followed by a now missing n): mmen or m.mei[n] , in either case an unparalleled spelling of m-.min. The first three letters of the next line make no sense, but they are the last syllable of this word, spelled correctly: min, as if the last syllable on 33:11 had been canceled, but the photograph shows no sign of cancelation.


Or: persons, but the context seems to favor "things."


Only the first letter of the verb was written, but kw must have been intended. (So also Schenke.)


swte (in theological language often "redeem") in its literal sense "buy back." The object is "them," meaning


back to submit390 to them. Be not moth-eaten,391


"things," 33:13, and the "things" evidently are earthly possessions. The author is alluding to Luke 12:33 f. (as the continuing allusions in the next lines demonstrate) and urging that the injunction, once acted upon, be not reversed. The selling or buying need not, of course, be meant literally, but may be meant of inner aloofness, as in Paul's words, I Cor. 7:31 within 7:29-31. ( Schenke takes swte to be used for swt "return, repeat" as at 38:2. Crum's examples speak against this interpretation because they all add a complementary infinitive immediately after e., while here arau "them" or "to them" intervenes.)


Literally "to eat them." But Coptic uses "eat" in some strange metaphorical senses (e.g., "eat the heart"— repent). Crum, 478b offers "submit to" as one, citing "eat the pains of martyrdom" and "eat the rod" (submit to being beaten).


The connection in thought with the preceding would be a complete riddle if there were no key. But there is: the context of Luke 12. Having alluded to Luke 12:33a without quoting, he goes on to allude to the treasures in heaven of Luke 12:33b, still without quoting; but in doing so the more familiar Matthean wording with "moth and rust(?)" comes into his mind. In the Coptic versions of Matt. 6:19, 20 both of the destroyers, "moth and brōsis," have always been understood to be entomological. Bohairic makes the two nouns into a nice play on words t.6oli nem t.`oli: (t-holi nem t-joli). Sahidic uses its forms of the same two words, but in reverse order: t.`ooles mn- q.oole. Both words mean "moth"; no distinction is known. Might one of them mean moth larva? We also do not distinguish closely between them in common speech.

Just what the evangelists meant by brōsis (literally "eating") we can only surmise. Since the Old Latin (all except the African k) through Jerome and King James we have


be not worm-eaten,392 for you have already cast it393 out.394 Be not to yourselves395 a 33:20 place for the devil,396 for you have already brought him to nought. (Strengthen not your stumbling-blocks397 that trip.) He398 is like an accusation,399 for he400 is nothing. He who does not sue401


assumed that it meant "rust." But see Bauer A Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament and the marginal note of RSV— "or worm."


r-3nt, while a biblical word (Acts 12:23), is used by neither of the major Coptic translations in Matt. 6:19f. "Worm" seems to be a better choice. In popular speech it could perfectly well include larvae and all wormlike creatures. It suggests that there once was a Subakhmimic translation of Matthew and that our translator knew it. (The only book of the Bible published in this dialect is John. I have not heard of others unpublished. The new Coptic Gospel of Thomas quotes Matt. 6:20 using "moth" and "worm," but in Sahidic, not Subakhmimic; see Labib 94:20 ff.)


Presumably: earthly treasure, collectively identical with "them" 33:15 and "things" 33:13. (One could equally well render it "him"— but whom? "The devil" of 33:20? A pronoun before its antecedent noun is ever mentioned is just as unlikely in Coptic as in English.)


Now we can paraphrase 33:15-18: Do not buy back your earthly possessions to become victims to them. Do not be eaten by "moth or worm" as (according to the Gospels) you and yours would be if you did buy them back. Do not do it, for you have already rejected earthly treasure.


Or against yourselves in being (oei n-) a place.


Cf. Eph. 4:27: "Neither give place to the devil." This is the sole occurrence of the devil in the meditation. Perhaps Matt. 12:43-45 (Luke 11:24-26) is also in mind.


Probably a pejorative allusion to earthly treasures.


The devil.


so6e is so used in Deut. 19:16 Sah. This looks very much as if the Greek text contained diabolh (false accusation, slander) in a word play on diaboloV— accuser, slanderer, devil.


The devil. Or "it" (an accusation). The ultimate


33:25 has hurt him402 more than a verdict403 (would).404 For that man405 is minding his own business.406 Like one who sues not is he (or) rather, like a righteous407 one is he; he does his 33:30 works for (?)408 others. Do you


meaning is the same: the devil and an empty accusation have no substance.


A conjectural translation. at.6ep is booked by Crum, 694a only as an adverb in the equivalent of the Greek legal phrase, "without any ambiguity, lawsuit, or judgment." Here it has the article either as a noun (nonsuit?) or as a substantivized adjective describing him who does not go to law. I take it in the latter sense because it occurs again in 33:28, this time as a predicate adjective parallel to the Greek adjective "righteous" in 33:29. (Schenke assumes that it stands for anomoV, lawless or wicked, but so far as I have checked, the biblical versions always transliterate anomoV.) For the thought cf. Luke 12:58— again that twelfth chapter of Luke l (Cf. above, notes on 33:15-18, Matt. 7:1 (?), and I Cor. 6:1 ff.)


The devil. Or "it" (the false accusation which is the likeness of the devil).


I.e., a judgment by a human court exonerating the intended victim.


Supplied to indicate that in my judgment "verdict" is the subject of an elliptical sentence, not the alternative object of "hurt." (The Coptic allows either possibility.)


Literally "one." Conceivably the reference goes clear back to "the devil." I take it to refer to the one "who does not sue" of 33:22.


Perhaps too fanciful. The sentence reads word for word: "for that one is doing his (own) works."


In this legal context one is tempted to translate in a Pauline fashion: "a vindicated one is he"— i.e. though he does not sue, he is already vindicated before the divine tribunal. But if 33:30 is intended to support the assertion of 33:29, then it is better to understand it in the sense of the Psalms: righteous.


6n- stands for a great variety of Greek prepositions,


therefore the will of the Father,409 for you are from Him.410 For the Father is kind,411 and in His will is that which is 33:35 good.412

Those Who Were Yours

He had413 taken knowledge of those who were414 yours. Put yourselves at ease concerning them, for "by their fruit415 are wont to be known"416 they who are yours. For the sons of the Father 34:1 are417 His aroma,418 for they are from the grace of His face. Therefore the Father loves His aroma and makes it manifest 34:5 everywhere.419 And since420 it is mingled with matter, He is wont to give421 his aroma


most common for en "in," but also for eiV "into, in, for." (Cf. the Greek of III John 5 and the Bohairic translation of it.)


Cf. Matt. 7:21; 12:50; 21:31.


Cf. I John 4:4, John 8:47.


Cf. Luke 6:35b.


Cf. Rom. 12:2.


The unexpected pluperfect is hard to account for; perhaps it implies the Father's foreknowledge of those who were to be his.


Or "are"; the verb is only implied. I choose "were" because the next statement appears to refer to people beyond the present care of the readers— the deceased.


ou.tww6, a new "inner plural" to ou.ta6.


Not quite a quotation of Matt. 7:16, but certainly an allusion to it, especially in the Bohairic form.


Here begins Plate 10, Coptic Gnostic Papyri, Labib.


This whole passage seems to be a development of II Cor. 2:14-16. The conception occurs later in the Talmud, "balm of life, balm of death" (see Strack-Billerbeck, III.498), is frequent in the Manichaean Psalm-Book, even applied to an individual— "Thomas, the sweet smell that went to India" 194:13 (see the Index, under stai), and very common in Mandean (see Lidzbarski, Ginzā, Index, under "Duft").


Cf. 11 Cor. 2:14b.


Literally "if," but just as ei in the NT may be an "if" implying no doubt (see Matt. 6:30, 7:11, Rom. 6:8, etc.; the Sahidic renders all of these by "if") and equivalent to "since," so it seems to be here. Human life in this world is always mingled with matter.


This is the dissolution of the heavenly gift (the "aroma," the selves of heavenly origin) from matter— evidently death. Cf. 33:35 ff., for the sake of which this discussion was begun.


to the Light, and its422 quietness423 He is wont to make superior to every424 sight,425 every sound.426 For (it is) not the ears 34:10 that smell the aroma, but it427 is the breath428 which has the sense of smell and is wont to bring it to him for him and to submerge429 (him?) in the aroma of the Father. So there is430 a place 34:15 for him, and it431 takes him up to the Place432 out of which he433 came forth— out of that first434 aroma which is grown



The aroma's (or, what amounts to the same thing, of that son of the Father 33:39 who is the aroma).


Or peacefulness or rest.


Written mim, corrected to nim by what appear to be strokes of a modern pen. Cf. notes 98 and 486.


smat, form or appearance— a thing seen; so rendered to conform to "sound" in the next line.


These statements may mean that the peacefulness of the place of rest is beyond all depiction or description, or that its quality is beyond all earthly seeing and hearing.


Schenke must be right that the second p.staei (the aroma) in this line is a sort of dittography to the first one and is to be deleted. Then the first word of the next line is not the


I.e. the inhaling breath of the human nose, but all breath is spirit and therefore related to the Spirit. So a double copula but the article of p\n\a\ (the article spelled as at 42:33). sense arises— the breath of God (Holy Spirit) makes use of human breath to convey the divine aroma to him who breathes it in.


The verb has no object and may be meant intransitively— or it may be transitive, with the object "him" to be inferred from the preceding pronouns.


The reading appears to be n-.t3- and to stand, very irregularly, for oun- te3 (see 38:12, 13, 14, 15). No similar form occurs again. (It can hardly be nt. from eine, because, having no subject, it would have to be imperative, whereas this verb has its own distinctive imperative.)


The aroma, or the aroma-bearing breath (Breath).


See the closing section of the meditation, 41:5-42:37.


Probably the man being redeemed. One might also understand: "it" (the aroma).


Cf. Rev. 3:15, 2:4, though they do not mention an aroma.


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