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The Supremacy
(by Valentine of Alexandria?)
A preliminary version of Nag Hammadi text I.5 (The Tripartite Tractate)

1.1 Concerning what we can say about the Supremacy, it is appropriate that we begin with the Father who is the root of the totality, the one from whom we have received grace—that we should say of him that he existed before anything else came into being other than himself alone.
1.2 The Father is a single one, who is in the essence of a number. For he is the first, and he is the one who is alone—although he also is not like a single one. For otherwise how is he a father? For every father has a noun which follows, namely ‘son’. But the single one who alone is the Father, is like a root and a tree and branches and fruit—of whom it is said that he is a real father, nor is there any like unto him. And he is immutable, because he is one Lord and God in that no one is a god for him and no one is a father to him. For he is unbegotten, nor is there any other who engendered him, and it is no one else who created him.
1.3 For anyone who is someone's father or his creator but who himself (in turn) also has a father and one who created him, it is indeed possible that he become a father and creator to him who originated from him and whom he created—yet he is not a Father in reality and not a God, because he has the one who begot him
1.4 In reality, therefore, only the Father and God is the one whom no one brought forth. The Totality, however, is what he generated and set in order. He is without origin and without end. For not only is he without terminus—for this reason he is immortal—but also because he is unbegotten, he is moreover invariable in that which he eternally is. And He-Is Who He-Is (Ex 3:14) and the one who establishes himself and the one who is magnificent within himself. Neither will he remove himself from that which he is, nor will any other force him to come to a conclusion which he never willed, because he had no one who initiated his existence. Likewise he did not change himself, nor shall any other be able to remove him from his being and from what he is and from his identity and from his majesty—so that he cannot be removed, nor is it possible for another to change him into a different modality nor to negate him nor to alter him nor to diminish him. Whereas this really is the truth: he is the immovable unchangeable One, because the immutable clothes him.
1.5 For this one is not only he who is called ‘without origin and without end’ in that he is unbegotten and immortal, but in addition—just because he has no origin and he has no ending—so he is unsurpassed in his magnificence, inscrutable in his wisdom, incomprehensible in his authority, unfathomable in his kindness. For in reality he alone is the good—the unbegotten Father and the perfectly flawless One.
1.6 This is the Plenary One who is filled with his every begetting and every excellence and everything which is of utility. And he possesses still more—which is the absolute goodness, in order that the many should find it. He possesses and he gives everything that he possesses (Ph 41), because he cannot be hindered. And he does not become depleted by his giving, because his wealth consists in the gifts which he bestows and he reposes in the granting of his favors.
1.7 For such is this one—of both this essence and this immensity—that no other is with him from the origin, nor is there any locale where he is or from which he came or to which he will return, nor any primordial form¹ which he uses as a model while he works, nor is there any resistance to him which affects him in what he does, nor material which is available to him and from which he constructs that which he creates, nor any substance which is within him and from which he engenders what he brings forth, nor any ally who cooperates with him in his works—such that it could be said that he is ignorant in any such regard. But rather as good without deficiency, perfect and plentiful, he himself is the totality. (¹here and thruout, Latin FORMA rather than Greek ΜΟΡΦΗ: see Form in Tr Notes; this idiosyncrasy strongly suggests that both texts are by the same author, viz. Valentine of Alexandria)
1.8 None of the names which are thought or spoken or perceived or apprehended—none of them befits him, even when they radiate brilliantly and are grandiloquent. But it is nonetheless possible to say them to his honor and glory, relative to the potency of each one of those names that extol him. He however as he is and exists and in the essence within which he is—it is not possible for any mind to conceive him, nor will any phrase be capable of interpreting him, nor shall any eye be able to see him, nor will any body be able to contain him (Jn 14:28), due to his untraceable majesty and his unfathomable profundity and his immeasurable grandeur and his illimitable volition.
1.9 This is the nature of the Unbegotten: he does not lay his hand upon anything separate or upon a duplicate, as does someone limited, but rather he possesses this innateness without having facade (Th 84) or shape such as people imagine regarding sensory things—because the Incomprehensible is transcendental. If he is infinite then this actuality is entailed: that he is unknowable—that is inconceivable in any thought, invisible in any object, inexpressible in any locution, untouchable by any hand. He alone knows himself as he is, together with his modality and his majesty and his magnitude. And he is able to conceive of himself, to perceive himself, to name himself, to understand himself—for he is his own mind, his own eye, his own mouth, his own characteristic, as well as the one who contemplates himself (Ph 95), who perceives himself, who enunciates himself, who comprehends himself—namely the inconceivable ineffable incomprehensible immutable One. (Tr 3)
1.10 He is nourishment, gladness, truth, joy, repose. That which he thinks, which he perceives, which he declares, which he has as an idea, is exalted above all wisdom and it transcends every mind and it surpasses every glory and it exceeds every beauty and every pleasantness and every magnificence and every profundity and every sublimity. Yet this one who is unknowable in his nature, to whom belong all the superlatives which I have already mentioned—if he wishes to bestow the recognition¹, so that the many may experience him in the abundance of his kindness, he is capable thereof. He has his potency, which is his volition. Yet now he keeps himself in silence, he who is the majestic one, because he is the cause of the generation of all beings to their eternal existence. (Lk 20:38, Jn 6:54; ¹see Ph Notes)
1.11 He himself in reality engenders himself as ineffable and only-begotten, thinking himself and knowing himself as he is—he who is worthy of his own admiration and glory and praise and honor. He engenders himself because of the boundlessness of his majesty and the unsearchableness of his wisdom and the immeasurability of his authority and his untasteable sweetness. He begets himself in this modality of generation, possessing glory and honor, admiration and love. He is the one who glorifies himself, who admires himself in order to honor himself, and who loves himself—he who has a Son who is within him, and who is silent concerning him.
1.12 This is the ineffable within the ineffable, the invisible, the incomprehensible, the inconceivable within the inconceivable. Such is the Father eternally, as we have previously stated: unbegotten, self-known, self-engendered, existent, thinking this thought of his which is his perception, which is the formation of his establishment forever and ever—he who is genuine silence and wisdom and grace and who is justly described in this manner.
1.13 Precisely as the Father is, in the true sense of the phrase, the one preceding whom there is no one else and succeeding whom there is no other—so also it is with the Son who exists in the true sense of the term, this one prior to whom there is no one else and after whom there is no other begotten being. There is no Son ulterior to him. Because of this, he is both first-born and he is an only Son—the first-born because there is none prior to him, the only Son because there is none after him. (Jn 1:3+14)
1.14 He has his fruit, which is unrecognized due to the plenitude of his majesty. And he willed it to be known because of the wealth of his kindness. Moreover he revealed the incomprehensible power, and he combined it with the superabundance of his jealouslessness. (Mk 15:10!)
1.15 Not only does the Son exist from the origin (Jn 1:1), but the Convocation also exists from the origin. (Ph 9) If anyone thinks in himself that he is baffled by this remark concerning the mystery of the topic—when in addition the Son has been revealed to be an only Son—he need not be so. For just as the Father is a single unity and has revealed himself as being a Father for himself alone, so also with the Son. He was found to be a Brother for himself, not procreated and without beginning. Yet the Father admires him and honors him and glorifies and loves him. And likewise he also is the one who thinks himself as a Son thru these bequests—namely that this situation has been fused without beginning and without end. In this manner, innumerable, unlimited and indivisible are his progeny which exist and have come into being from the Son with the Father, as kisses in the abundance of those who kiss one another in a good and insatiable thought. (Ph 35 59) This kiss is a single unity, even though it involves a multitude. Such is the Convocation of many persons, which exists prior to the aeons. It is rightfully called: the eternities of the eternities.
1.16 This is the nature of the imperishable sacred spirits¹, the unity within which the Son reposes, because his substance is the same as that of the Father who reposes within the Son. The Convocation is in the bequests and the excellences within which the Father and Son are—as I have said from the beginning. Because of this, (the Convocation) is in the begetting of the innumerable eternal beings. And in infinite number they also procreate from the excellences and the bequests in which (the Convocation) is. For these are its governance, which they practice toward one another as well as toward the outsiders—who also came forth from the Father for the Son, to whose honor they too have come into being. (¹plural!)
1.17 It is impossible for any mind to conceive of him in the perfection of that place. Nor was it appropriate for the outsiders (even) to mention the Convocation, for they are inexpressible and impossible to name and impossible to conceive. But they, the Select [...], alone are those who can receive a name for themselves and to conceive of themselves as from the Father. For they have not been planted in the world. Wherefore those of that place are ineffable and they are innumerable in this combination, which is the eloquence and is of this modality and this category.
1.18 Such is the joy and the gladness of the unbegotten, non-denominated, unnamable, inconceivable, invisible, incomprehensible. He is the fullness of the Fatherhood, so that his abundance became a begetting. Yet those who belong to the aeons were eternally in the thought of the Father, he being as a thinking of them and a place for them. Now when the begettings were to be established, the one who had power over the plurality wished to take and to hold and to bring forth those who are in need of the reunion, in order to beget those who are within him. But He-Is Who He-Is. (Ex 3:14)
1.19 He poured forth a spring which is not diminished by the water flowing abundantly forth from it. When they were (still) in the thought of the Father—which is when they were in the hidden depth—the depth indeed knew them, yet they were not able to know the profundity in which they were, nor were they able to know themselves, nor to know another. (Th 3/67) That is, they were indeed within the Father, and so did not exist for themselves—but rather each had his origin in the manner of a seed, so that they might be found to be like a conception. As the Logos engendered them, they were set aside to germinate. So when they had not yet come into being, whom he was to bring forth from this one who first thought of them, the Father sowed a thought like a seed of knowledge so that they might contemplate him who is the one who exists for them(Ph 95, Su 1.9)not only that they should exist for him, but also that they should exist for themselves, that they should indeed exist in his thought as substance of thought, but also exist for themselves. He manifested grace in order to provide the initial design, so that they might become acquainted with the Father who exists for them.
1.20 The name of the Father he did indeed bestow upon them, thru a voice which called to them. (Jn 17:6 ff., Ph 11, Tr 45, etc.) For He-Who-Is exists thru that name which they possess in their origin. Thus the exaltation of the name which they have forgotten (Tr 4) is analogous to an embryo—the child having its self-sufficiency before it has ever seen the one who seminated it. Hence they had this sole task of seeking after him, indeed contemplating Him-Who-Is, yet wishing to ascertain what he is who exists. But since the perfect Father is good, just as he did not respond to them until they came into being in his thought, but (yet) gave them the possibility of themselves coming into being—so also he will show them grace, so that they may know who he is who exists, in such a manner as they are engendered in this place. When they are born they are within the light, in order to see who begot them. (Ph 142-43)
1.21 The Father begot the totality like a little child, like a drop from a spring, like a blossom from a vine, like a fruit, like a sprouting-forth. They need to receive acquaintance and increase and faultlessness. He withheld these for a season, he who thought of them from the origin. He indeed possessed such from the origin, he conceived them, yet first he planted them in those who came forth from him—not thru jealousy, but rather so that the eternal-ones might not initially receive their faultlessness and therefore exalt themselves to this glory, even up to the Father, and think of themselves that they possess this on their own. But just as he willed to give them their existence, so also with their becoming faultless—when it pleased him, he gave to them this perfect thought of beneficence toward them.
1.22 This one whom he caused to appear as a Light for those who came forth from Him, after whom they were named—he is the Son who is plenary, perfect and flawless. He generated him united with him from whom he came forth. He participates in giving glory to him, he participates in receiving glory from the totality just as each one will receive him individually. His majesty is not apparent when they had not yet received him, but he is himself as he is in his mode and his form and his magnificence. It is possible for them to see him and speak of him whom they know. They wear him while he wears them. They can attain to him. He is however as he is, the incomparable, so that he may be glorified by each individual.
1.23 The Father reveals himself, and in his ineffability he is hidden as an invisible one while they marvel at him in the mind. Because of this, the majesty of his exaltation becomes manifest when they speak of him and perceive him. They will psalm him because of the abundance of his kindness, yet thru grace and in the mode of the awe of the silences. They are progeny for ever and ever, they are procreations of the mind.
1.24 The bequests of the Logos are radiations of the Spirit. Now they conjointly, as belonging to meaningfulness, are seeds and thoughts of his generating and roots which live forever. They are manifest because they are births who came forth from him. They are minds and spiritual births to the glory of the Father. For there is no further need of a voice and a spirit or a mind and a meaning, nor is there any need to work at that which they desire to do. But in the innateness in which he was, so also they came forth from him—engendering all that they wish and think and say, and toward whom they move and within whom they are and whom they extol, giving glory to him. He has Sons! For this is their power as progenitors, just as with him from whom they came forth in their coordination with each other when they coordinated in the image of the unbegotten.
1.25 The Father, according to his exaltation beyond the totality, is unknowable and incomprehensible, possessing this magnificence and grandeur of this quality, such that if he had previously or abruptly revealed himself to all those sublimely eternal beings who emerged from him, they would have perished. Therefore he withheld his power and his indefatigability within that which he is in himself. Yet he is inherently ineffable and unnamable and transcends every mind and all terminology.
1.26 This one spread himself out. And he who expanded himself is this one who has provided solidity and location and dwelling-place to the totality, thru which he is titled Father of the totality. Moreover, he was impassioned for those who exist. He sowed himself in their thought so that they might seek after him—someone surpassing their participation in the contemplation that He Is—and thus they might ask who he is who exists. Now this one was bestowed on them for delight and nourishment and joy and abundance of illumination, which is his fellowship in passion, the knowledge of him, and his being blended with them.
1.27 This is the one whom they call and who is the Son, who is the totality, and concerning whom they came to know who he is, and who clothes himself with them. This is the one whom they call the Son, and whom they contemplate to exist, and after whom they were seeking. This is the one who is Father, and concerning whom they will be unable to speak, and whom they do not conceptualize. This is the one who first exists. For it is not possible for anyone to conceptualize him or to think of him, nor will they be able to approach thither toward the exalted one, toward him who first existed in reality. But every name which is conceived or spoken concerning him was brought forth for honor, as a track of him, according to the potency of each one of those who used the names to glorify him.
1.28 He who arose from himself spread himself out for a begetting and an acquaintance of the totality. Yet he is all the names without falsehood and he alone is the first in truth—the manhood of the Father, who is the one whom I call the form of the amorphous, the embodiment of the incorporeal, the face of the invisible, the meaning of the ineffable, the mind of the inconceivable, the spring which flowed forth from itself, the root of those who have been planted, the God of those who exist, the light of those whom he illumines, compassion for those whom he loved, provision for those for whom he had foresight, intelligence for those whom he made thoughtful, power for those to whom he gives strength, the gathering together for those he assembles unto himself, the revelation for those who seek after him, the eye for those who see, spirit for those who breathe, the life of the living, unity for those who are interfused—namely, the Totality.
1.29 They are all in the Single One, clothing him completely. And with this single name of his they do not ever call him. In this one mode they are identically the single unity and the totality. And he is not divided into bodies, nor is he diversified into the names which he has. He is indeed in one regard of this kind, but in another regard he is also of a different kind. He does not change in a variable mode, nor is he transformed among the names which he is. He is this and simultaneously in another mode he is that, now this and at another moment thatbut he it is in its totality to the uttermost, and he is each individual of the totality eternally at the same time. He is what they all are. He is the Father of the totality and he is the totality, for he is the one who is acquaintance with himself and he is each one of the qualities.
1.30 He possesses the powers, and he transcends every thing that he knows, perceiving himself completely, having a Son and a formation. Because of this, his powers and his qualities are innumerable and unheard-of. Due to the genesis thru which he begets them, they are numberless and indivisible, the engenderings of his Logos and his commands and his eternities. He knows them—which is his own self—because they are in this single name and are all within him, speaking. And he begets them in order that in unity they may find that they are individually his qualities.
1.31 He did not reveal the multiplicity to the totality all at once, nor did he reveal his equality to those who emerged from him. For all those who came forth from him, who are the aeons of the aeons, are emanations, offspring of his natural begetting, themselves also natural generators to the glory of the Father—just as he became for them the cause of their foundation, of whom we have stated from the origin that he made the eternal beings as roots and springs and paternities. For this one whom they glorify, they found to possess awareness and comprehension, and they came to know that they emerged from this awareness and this comprehension of the totality. They would have brought forth an honor which was only a semblance—it is the Father who is the totality!—if the eternal beings had one by one exalted themselves to give honor. Because of this, in the song for the glorification and in the power of the unity of him from whom they proceeded, they were drawn into an interfusing and a concord and a union with each other. They produced an honor which was worthy of the Father, by means of the united fullness which was a single image yet plural, because they brought it forth for an honor of the Single One, and because they emerged unto this unity who is the totality.
1.32 This was an honoring by those to this one who generated the totality. It was a primal and eternal offering because it came forth from the living aeons, being perfect and full due to the one who is perfect and plentiful. It resulted in their being full and complete, those who rendered honor in a perfect way from the communion. For as the flawless Father, when they give honor to him he hears the glorification by those who present honor to him in order to make them manifest within that which he is.
1.33 The cause of the secondary honor which they derived is this that was reflected to them from the Father when they came to know the grace thru which they bore fruit from the Father for each other, in order that—just as they were begotten from the glory of the Father—this also might be the manner for their manifestation as perfect for a revelation as they participate in the glorification. For they were progenitors of honor by the self-authoritating of the will and power which was brought forth with them—although each one of them was not as he—to render honor in unison to him who loves, for they are plentiful, together with those who emerged, who are perfect when they render indeed the honorings. And in this process they are perfect in both their conjunction and their fullness, for they are manifestations of the Father who is perfectly honor to him who is perfect. As to the fruit, however, it consists in glorifications of the will of each one of the eternal beings and each one of the qualities.
1.34 The Father indeed has power. He is a truly perfect plentifulness which originates in a concord, because the participation of each one of the eternal beings is that which he wills and over which he has power, whereas each individual renders honor to the Father thru such agreement. Thus they are minds of minds, and are found to be meanings of meanings, and seniorities of seniorities, and hierarchies of hierarchies, which are exalted one above the other. Each one of those who render honor has his position and his superiority and his dwelling-place and his repose, which is the honor that he contributes. For all those who give honor to the Father have eternal birth. (Ph 32) They contribute in cooperation.
1.35 Limitless and immeasurable are these emanations. There is no envy within the Father toward those who radiated from him in that they might manifest his imagery and his likeness. It is he who is within the totality, begetting and revealing himself. And for him whom he wishes he produces himself as Father for those whose Father he is, and as God for those whose God he is. He composes them into the totality, those whose entirety he himself is. Yet all the names which are set in reality have no similarity to the eternal beings when the worldly angels and officials utilize them.
1.36 The entire compound of the eternal beings possesses a yearning and a seeking for the whole perfect discovery of the Father. And this is their blameless conjunction—the eternal Father reveals himself in his desire that they recognize him, presenting himself so that they might think of him to seek after him, keeping for himself his original being which it is impossible to seek. For he the Father is the one who provided the incentives for the roots of the eternal beings. They are placed on the peaceful path to him, as in a school of behavior. He extended to them faithfulness and communication toward him whom they do not behold, and an ardent hope in the one whom they do not contemplate, and a captivating love which awaits the one whom it does not see, and an adequate understanding of this eternal mind, and a blissfulness which is the wealth and the freedom, and a wisdom for him who desires the honor of the Father for his own thinking.
1.37 They recognize the exalted Father by his volition, which is the Spirit who breathes in the totality and provides them a thought so that they might seek after the unknowable one, just as someone is drawn by a perfume to seek after the one who conveys the fragrance—even though the aroma of the Father is too much for these unworthy ones. (Tr 37-38) For his kindness sets the eternal beings in an inexpressible delight, and gives them a thought so that they may be blended with him who wills that they should be acquainted with him in unity and should help one another thru the Spirit which burns in them. They have been in an extreme chill, yet they are renewed in an indefinable manner. (Tr 38) It is impossible for them to be separated from him in whom they have been placed unawares.
1.38 They will not give utterance, being silent concerning him who has power to dictate that they receive form from him. He revealed himself, yet it is impossible to mention him. As deriving from this one, they possess him hidden within their thoughts. They indeed are silent concerning the Father as he is in his form and his essence and his majesty. Yet the eternal beings became worthy to know thru his Spirit that this one is unnamable and incomprehensible, thru his Spirit which marks the trail of the search after him, while he gives himself to them so that they may think of him as speak of him.
1.39 Each one of the eternal beings is a name, each is one of the qualities and powers of the Father. He exists in many names, blended and in harmony with one another. Because of the wealth of the Meaning, it is possible for them to speak of him as the Father—which is one unitary name because he is a single unity. Yet he is innumerable in his qualities and names. For the emanation of the totality which exists, issuing from him who exists, did not come into being by a severance from one another—as if they were separated from him who generated them—but rather their begetting is similar to an unfolding. The Father unfolds himself to those whom he wills, in order that those who emerged from him might become himself again. (Jn 16:28)
1.40 Just as the present aeon, although it is a single unit, has been divided into eras, and eras have been divided into years, and the years have been divided into seasons, and the seasons into months, and the months into days, and the days into hours, and the hours into moments—so it is also with the eternal one of truth, who is a single unity yet multiple. He is honored by the lesser and the greater names according to the capability of each one to describe him, yet by way of comparison like a spring, which is what it is, which flows forth into streams and lakes and rivers and channels—like a root which spreads up into trees and branches with fruit—like a human body divided indivisibly into members of members, primary members and secondary, into great and small.
1.41 The eternal beings were engendered as fruit thru the autonomy of the volition and the wisdom which he graciously gave to them for their thinking. They had been unwilling to render honor to that one who originated from harmony, since he was begotten for expressions of praise by each of the plenitudes. Nor did they want to render honor with the totality, nor again did they want to do so with anyone who previously was from the profundity of him or his place—except those who come to repose in the exalted name and in the exalted place by receiving such from him who willed to elevate them above themselves for himself.
1.42 He begets them, so to speak, as himself. And he begets them by the Son conjoined with the unity whom he is. He renews himself in conjunction with those who came to him thru their Brother. He sees them, he entreats them concerning this topic. For those who wished to ascend toward him so that such might transpire in this manner—they do not say anything about this even among themselves who desire to render honor, except when they are alone. For there is a limit to speaking in the fullness, so that they might be silent concerning the incomprehensibility of the Father yet speak of the wish to comprehend him....
3.1 Some say that what exists has its being thru providence—these are those who observe the regularity and conformity of the movement of creation. Others say that it is accidental—these are those who observe the diversity and the chaos and the evil of the forces. Others say that the things which have occurred are what is fated to happen—these are those who were preoccupied with such augury. Others say that it exists solely as nature. Others say that it is mechanical. Yet those of the general populace who considered the elementary phenomena knew no more than these did.
3.2 Those who were sophists among the Greeks and the barbarians progressed as far as the forces which derived from their own fantasy and empty speculation, which in activating them begot them in mutual conflict and an affinity for apostasy. And they spoke in an enigma and an arrogance and an illusion concerning that which they thought was intelligent. The enigma deceived them because they thought they had attained the truth when they really had reached only confusion, not only in the nomenclature but also in the forces which they suppose to compel everything.
3.3 Hence it eventuated that the aforementioned group which was ensnared fought against itself, because of the dissension and pride of their mentors. Because of this, there was no one who agreed with his fellow in anything—neither in philosophy, nor in medicine, nor in rhetoric, nor in music, nor in semantics—but rather there were opinions and theories. It transpired that they grappled with the ineffability, being perplexed by their own inarticulousness. Such are those who struggle, who burden themselves with such thoughts.
3.4 For these ideas—which originally came from the race of the Hebrews, and which are plagiarized by these materialists who speak in the fashion of the Greeks—are the impetus of those who thought of all such notions and spoke of them as correct, the forces which impel all of them in order to induce them to contrive the terminology and its imagery. And they grappled as if to lay hold on the truth by making use of these confused forces which activate them. Yet eventually they will attain to the status of the unalloyed, of him who is established as the single unity, and be forged in the mirror of the imagery of the Father. He is not invisible in his nature, but rather it is wisdom which envelops him in order to safeguard the innateness of the truly invisible singleness. That is why many angels were unable to see him.
3.5 Yet the men of the Hebrew race, who are the righteous ones and the prophets, neither thought nor spoke nor contrived anything in fantasy or thru imitation or thru esoteric ideas—but rather each, thru the power that energizes within him and attending to what he has seen and heard, has spoken of such in faith. They possess the accord of concert with one another by the pattern of such being active in them, preserving this cohesion and mutual concord, most principally in the avowal of him who is exalted above them.
3.6 And there is the one Messiah who is over them, who was ordained because they needed him and whom the Logos of the Spirit had begotten among them as needing the exalted one in a hope and an expectation according to the thought which is the seed of salvation. And he is a Logos of illumination, which is the thought and its procreations and its emanations. These aforementioned righteous ones and prophets preserve the avowal and the testimony of their ancestors concerning the majestic one, those who are anticipating the hope and the hearing. Sown in them is the seed of prayer and searching which has been planted in the many who have sought for the confirmation. It manifests itself and draws them to love the exalted one, to proclaim these things of the unitary one. And it was a unity which energized in them when they spoke.
3.7 Their visions and their words do not differ just because of the multitude of those who relayed this vision and this terminology. That is why those who have listened to what they said do not reject any of it, but nonetheless they understood the Scriptures differently in interpreting them. Hence they founded many sects, which have persisted to the present day among the Jews. Some say that the God who was proclaimed in these ancient Scriptures is single; while others say that he is plural. (Dt 6:4, Gen 1:26) Some say that God is unitary and that there was one single mind in nature; while others say that his activity is twofold as being the source of good and evil. (Ps 5:4, Isa 45:7) Again others say that it is he who creates what has come into being; while yet others say that it is thru his angels that he works. (Job 38-39, Gen 18-19) For many are the opinions of this sort, manifold and multifarious the commentaries which their rabbis of the Torah have proposed.
3.8 Yet the prophets themselves said nothing on their own, but rather each proclaimed what he saw and heard thru the proclamation of the Savior. The principal topic of their announcing is what each said concerning the coming of the Savior, which is this advent. Sometimes the prophets speak of it as future, yet sometimes as if the Savior spoke thru their mouths—and that the Savior would come and be merciful to those who were not acquainted with him nor agree with one another in any regard in avowing.
3.9 Each of the prophets, as a result of his work, received energy thru him to speak of him. And although each saw the place which came into being and apprehended that from thence is he who was to be born, and that he would come from that place, yet none of them knew from whence he would come nor of whom He-Who-Is was to be born. But this one alone is he who is worthy to be spoken of, who was to be born and to endure suffering.¹ Yet in regard to what is preexistent and eternal, unbegotten and insusceptible within the Logos, if he had not come to be incarnate¹ he would not have entered their thoughts. And this is the terminology regarding which they were energized to speak of his incarnation which was to be revealed, saying that he succeeds them all yet that prior to them all he is from the Logos of the Spirit who is the cause of that which came into being and the one from whom the Savior received his flesh.¹ (¹conclusively anti-Gnostic!)
3.10 The Logos of the Spirit did indeed beget the Savior in the manifestation of the light according to the declaration of the promise of his revelation in the sowing. For He-Who-Is is thus not a seed of the things that are, considering that he engendered him at the culmination. Yet this one by whom the Father ordained the revelation of salvation which is the fulfillment of the promise—all those intermediaries of entering life belonged to him, and although he descended thru them, his Father was unique. And he alone is truly Father to him—the invisible, unknowable, incomprehensible in his nature, who alone is God in his volition and his grace, and the one who has given himself so that they might see him and be acquainted with him and discern that this is what our Savior has voluntarily become in compassion. For he was to be revealed for their sake in an involuntary suffering.¹ They became flesh¹ and soul, which eternally embraced them, whereas in perishability they used to die. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.11 As for those who came into being, the invisible one invisibly taught them about himself. For not only did he take death upon himself for the sake of those whom he planned to save, but also their meagerness for the sake of those who had become emaciated by fasting from body and soul. Surmounting this, he allowed himself to be conceived and born as a child in body¹ and soul. For among all the others who in common were of body¹ and soul and who had fallen, when he came as exalted among them they received the light because he had himself been conceived without transgression or flaw or defilement. He was begotten in life, being of life, in order that those who are in suffering and changeable opinion might be restored by the Logos, who acted so that they might regain body¹ and soul. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.12 The Father took back to himself the Son who came on behalf of those whom we have previously mentioned, for he originated from the radiant vision and the unchangeable thought of the Logos who returned to him after his accomplishment for the plan. In this way, those who returned with him received body¹ and soul as well as stability and confirmation and discernment. They indeed thought regarding themselves that they would attain when they became acquainted with the Savior, yet rather they attained when he had become acquainted with them. They indeed attained exaltation in the incarnate¹ emanation, surpassing their having been brought forth in deficiency. For they also emanated incarnately¹ with the Savior thru the revelation and the union with him. These others are also of one spiritual substance, and they grow. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.13 Yet the plan is twofold, containing one role and another. Some who came forth in suffering and division are in need of healing. Others, who are in prayer that the infirm may be healed, are therefore appointed to cure those who have thus fallen—and these are the Apostles and the Evangelists and the Disciples of the Savior, instructors who themselves needed instruction. That is why they also participated in the sufferings in which those partook who were brought forth in suffering, being themselves products of the plan with the incarnate¹ Savior who took part in the sufferings. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.14 For he the Savior was a bodily¹ image of the single one who is the all. Because of this, he preserved the essence of indivisibility from which insusceptibility originated. Now such are the bodily¹ images of each one who was made manifest—yet they receive the duality of both having been formed in the implanting which is under heaven, and also participating in the evil which is amidst the places which they occupy. For his volition confined everyone in error, so that thru that volition he might have mercy on them all, and they might be saved by means of one single individual appointed to give life, all the remainder being in need of salvation. And hence therefrom each originally received grace to convey the honors which had been proclaimed by Yeshúa, and which were by him considered worthy to be proclaimed to the remainder also. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.15 The seed of the promise of Yeshúa the Christ has been implanted, by whose manifestation and unity we have been served. Now the promise contained their instruction and their return to that which they were from the origin, from which they were droplets, in order that they might return to him—which is what is called the redemption. And it is the release from captivity and the gaining of freedom.
3.16 In the regions of the captivity of those who were its slaves, ignorance rules. Yet freedom is acquaintance with the truth which existed before the ignorance came to be. The truth is sovereign forever, without beginning and without end. It is goodness and it is salvation and escape from the condition of slavery in which they suffered who were brought forth in an inferior thought of vanity, which is directed toward the things that are evil thru the idea which drags them down to the lust for power. Yet they received the wealth which is freedom from the abundance of the grace which oversaw the children. And it is an elimination of their sufferings, and it is for them abolition of what he set apart from himself in the origin, when the Logos segregated such from himself—he who became for them the cause of their origin and their catharsis. He retained the sufferings until the culmination of the plan, and allowed such to persist because they also were useful for what was ordained.
3.17 Thus it transpired that mankind existed in three modes, according to spiritual or psychic or materialist essence—representing the imprint of the threefold modality of the Logos, by which were produced the materialistic and the psychic and the spiritual, each essence of these three classifications being recognized by its fruit. And indeed they were not recognized initially, but rather only in the advent of the Savior, who illumined the Saints and revealed each individual as what he really was.
3.18 For the spiritual type, because it is as light from Light and as spirit from Spirit, when its head appeared it ran toward him to meet him and to become his body. In the presence of its head it received acquaintance directly in the revelation. Yet the psychic type, being light from fire, delayed in accepting acquaintance from him who revealed himself to it, and ultimately hesitated in running to him in faith. Rather, being verbally instructed, by this means they also were fulfilled. They were not far from the hope according to the promise, since they received, so to speak, by way of pledge the confirmation of the future. Yet the materialistic type is alien in every regard. Because it is of the darkness, it will shun the splendor of the Light. Therefore his revelation destroys it, because it is no longer connected and it is hateful toward the revelation of the Lord.
3.19 For the spiritual type will receive the entire salvation in every regard. Yet the materialistic will receive destruction in every regard, according to the manner of one who is struck to the heart. Yet the psychic type, as it is intermediate in its inception and also in its composition, is polarized in its destiny toward goodness and away from evil. It immediately undertakes its appointed departure from evil and its ultimate flight toward what is good. Those whom the Logos thus transported by means of his primal concept, when he meditated upon the exalted one and prayed for their salvation, come only gradually to possess salvation. Yet ultimately they will be saved, due to the thought of salvation.
3.20 Just as he was begotten, so also is the manner in which others were begotten from him, whether angels or humans. According to the avowal that the one exists who is exalted above them, and according to the prayer to and the quest after him, they also will attain the salvation of being begotten. They are good because they were products of the plan. They were appointed to a ministry of heralding the coming of the Savior which is to be, and his revelation which has already come. When he was sent for the ministering of these, whether angels or humans, they in fact received the substance of their being.
3.21 Yet as for those others who derive from the notion of the lust for power, and who came into being from the conflict among those who resist him, yet who nonetheless are engendered by his thought—since they are hybrid, they will receive their culmination suddenly. On the one hand, those who will be transported from the lust for power, which is allotted to them temporarily and for certain periods, and who render honor to the Lord of Glory and abandon their wrath, will receive the reward of their humility—which is to remain forever. Yet on the other hand, those who pride themselves due to the desire of ambition, and who love temporary glory and forget that the authority which they possess was entrusted to them only for specified times and seasons, and who therefore did not acknowledge that the Son of God is Lord of All as well as Savior, and who were not transported from the wrath and the assimilation to the evil beings—these will receive judgment for their ignorance and their agnosticism, which is being punished together with all those who went astray and turned themselves away unto more evil, such that they moreover committed against the Lord the indignities which the forces of the left perpetrated against him, even unto his death in which they also insisted, saying: We shall become rulers of the entirety if he can be killed who was proclaimed King of the Universe! They strove to accomplish this, the men and angels who did not derive from the right and the good plan, but rather from the hybrid, and who chose first for themselves vainglory and desire—which is an ephemeral wish.
3.22 The path of eternal repose existed thru humility unto salvation for those who will be saved, those of the right, after they have acknowledged the Lord and the thought which delights the Convocation and the song of those who humbled themselves therewith, unto the capacity of them all for gladness, so that they may participate in its infirmities and its pains, on the example of those who are thoughtful regarding what is good for the Convocation. They will receive the communion in hopefulness.
3.23 On this topic of humans and angels, in the same manner this path exists for those who derive from the group of the left unto error, not only in that they denied the Lord and took evil counsel against him, but also in that their hatred and their envy and their jealousy was directed against the Convocation as well. And this is the cause of the condemnation of those who deviated by arousing themselves to the tribulations against the Convocation.
3.24 The Convocation has a common body and a common substance with the Savior, being like a Bridal Chamber because of its unity and its harmony with him. For as the vanguard, the Christ has come for its sake. Yet the calling of those who rejoice in the Bridal Chamber, and who are gladdened and delighted at the fusion of the Bridegroom with the Bride, possesses space. As to the calling, its future place is the aeon of the images—the location where the plenitude has not yet been reunited with the Logos. And the selected person rejoices and is glad at this and sets his hope in it.
3.25 He differentiated spirit, soul and body in the plan of this one who thought himself as a single unity. Within him was this man who is the Totality—and he is all of them (Th 77)and who possesses the effusion thru the calling which the places will receive. And he has the bodily members which we previously mentioned (Su 1.40). When the redemption was proclaimed, the perfect man provided acquaintance for each one so that each might return in haste to his unity, the place from which each originated, that each might return thither in gladness to the place from which each originated, to the place from which each flowed forth. Now his members needed a place of instruction, which is the locations provided so that each might receive thru them a likeness to these images and these prototypes in the manner of a mirror, until all the members of the body of the Convocation should be in one place and should receive the restoration at one time, when they have been made manifest as the whole body—namely, the restoration into the fullness.
3.26 They have a predisposition to concord, which is the preconception of the Father until the eternal beings receive face-form in him. (Tr 8) Yet the final restoration of the totality has already been made manifest in him who is the Son, who is the salvation, who is the way unto the incomprehensible Father, who is the return to him who preexisted, in whom the totality was represented in truth, who is the inconceivable and ineffable and invisible and incomprehensible One.
3.27 Each individual receives the redemption, it being not only liberation from the tyranny of those on the left, nor again was it only a release from the authority of those on the right—respectively concerning which we thought that we were slaves and offspring, and from which no one ordinarily escapes without being quickly recaptured—but the redemption is also an ascension thru the hierarchies which are in the fullness, to all of which names are given and which are contemplated according to the capacity of each of the eternal beings. And it is an entering into the silent one, the place where there is no need of verbalizing nor knowing nor contemplating nor enlightenment, but rather everything is light and there is no need of enlightening.
3.28 For not do the men of earth need redemption, but the angels also require redemption to the image of the fullness of the aeons plus the wondrous powers which illumine. And so that we may not be in uncertainty concerning any other, even he the Son—who is established as a place of redemption for the totality—also required redemption insofar as he became human when he bestowed himself on each one, just as we men of flesh needed who are his Convocation.
3.29 Now when the Savior initially received redemption thru the Logos which descended upon him, all the remainder who received him for themselves thereby received redemption from him. For those who received him who received, thereby received also him who is within him. For among incarnate men he began to bestow the redemption—his first-born and his beloved, the incarnate¹ Son. The angels who are citizens of heaven aspired to be associated with him on earth. Therefore he is called the redemption of the angels of the Father. He helpmated those of the totality who strove for acquaintance with him. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.30 This grace was given to the Son before everyone else. For the Father knew him antecedently, when he was within his thought before anything else had yet come into being, and he also owned those to whom he revealed him. He restored the deficiency unto the one who remains thru all times and seasons to the glory of his fullness, since the fact that they are not acquainted with him is the reason for his being brought forth from his concord, just as the receipt of acquaintance with him reveals his jealouslessness and is the revelation of the abundance of his kindness, which is the gloriousness.
3.31 This is the manner in which he was ascertained indeed to be the cause of ignorance, while he was yet also the begetter of acquaintance. For in a hidden and incomprehensible wisdom he reserved the acquaintance until the conclusion, until the totality wearied of seeking after God the Father—whom no one has found by means of his own wisdom and capability. Rather he gives himself so that they might come to know the abundant thought of his majestic glory which he has bestowed and the purpose of his gift, which is his perpetual Eucharist. By his immutable counsel he reveals himself forever to those who will be worthy to receive acquaintance with the Father who in his innateness is unknowable, according to his wish that they should come thru an experience of the ignorance and its pains.
3.32 For those of whom he primordially thought that they should attain to acquaintance and the goodness which is in it, were scheduled by the wisdom of the Father first to taste evil and then to strip themselves of it as a transitory pleasure, so that they might receive the delight of the good forever. They possess the transformation and the continual renunciation of the pretext of disagreement, in favor of embellishment and wonder in exaltation, so that it might be manifest that the essence of those who are not acquainted with the Father was their own ignorance.
3.33 He who bestowed on them acquaintance with himself, was impetus for each to cause them to obtain the knowledge which is justly called the knowledge of everything which is thinkable, and the treasure, and also the augmenting of knowledge, the manifestation of those who were antecedently known, and the way into the concord and unto the preexistent. This is the enhancement of those who had abandoned the grandeur which was theirs in the plan, so that by the volition the end might thereafter again become as the origin is.
3.34 For the Baptism which is properly this, into which the totality will be immersed and within which it will remain—there is no other baptism except this alone, which is the redemption unto God the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit when avowal has been made thru faith in these names which are one single name of the Gospel. They believed that what had been said to them originated from this. And they possess the salvation, those who come to believe that they—the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit—exist. This is the comprehension in invisibility of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit in faith without doubt. And they attest to them, and in firm hope they attained to them, so that the return to them might become the perfecting of whose who trusted in them, and the Father be one with them—God the Father, whom they avowed in faith and who gave to them union with himself in acquaintance.
3.35 For the Baptism which we previously mentioned is called the garment of those who have not been deprived of it—for those who shall don it and those who have received redemption wear it. And it is called the confirmation of the truth which never falls, unwaveringly and immovably—because he embraces them and they embrace him, those who have received the restoration. It is called the silence—because of the stillness and tranquility. It is also called the Bridal Chamber—because of the concord and the inseparability of those who have knowledge because they became acquainted with him. And it is also called the light which does not set and is without flame—because it does not supply light but rather those who wear it, who also are those whom it wears, are themselves made into light. And it is also called the eternal life—that is, the immortality. And it is called that which is entirely, simply and properly itself, and that which is inseparably and inalienably, flawlessly and unwaveringly pleasing to him who exists for those who have received inception.
3.36 For what else is there to call him, except the designation that he is the totality? (Th 77) That is, even if he is called by the innumerable names which have been spoken in order to refer to him in this way, he surpasses every word, and he surpasses every sound, and the surpasses every mind, and he surpasses every object, and he surpasses every silence. This is the way which exists, and this is the way which attends those who are what he is. This is what they discover that he is, ineffably and incomprehensibly, so that they may come to be among those who are acquainted thru what they came to understand. It is this one whom they have glorified in being chosen—even if there is much more that we ought to say, as it is appropriate to express.
3.37 Yet it is necessary that we consider further that which concerns those of the calling—for such is the manner in which those of the right (hand) are designated—and it is not appropriate that we should fail to think about such topics as we have been speaking of. If the limited amount that we have already stated suffices, did we not speak nonetheless only in part? Because I have asserted that of those who were engendered thru the Logos—whether by means of their repudiation of evil, or by means of the wrath which opposes them and segregates them, which however is their conversion toward the supremacy and the communing and the remembrance of the preexistent, as well as hope and faith that they might receive salvation thru good deeds—all were deemed worthy, because they are beings from the good plan, who thus possess the cause of their genesis, which is a doctrine based upon Him who Is.
3.38 Furthermore, before the Logos invisibly and willingly concerned himself with them, the exalted one enhanced this thought, because they had come to be devoid of him who had been the cause of their origin. They did not exalt themselves when they were saved, as if there was no one prior to them, but rather they avow that they have an origin of their being, and that they desire to be acquainted with this one who exists prior to them. Over all, they adored the manifestation of the Light as splendor, and they attested that it was revealed for their salvation.
3.39 For not only those who came forth from the Logos, of whom alone we have said that they will accomplish this good work, but also those whom these in turn procured according to the plan for the good, will participate in the repose according to the abundance of the grace. And those who were rescued from this lust of ambition for power, having possessed within themselves this germ which is the ambition for power, shall receive the reward of goodness. Those who have worked and who had the propensity for the good—if they yearn with resolve and are willing to abandon the love of vain and transitory glory, and keep the commandment of the Lord of Glory instead of the honor which is fleeting—shall inherit the Kingdom of Eternity.
3.40 Now it is necessary for us to combine the causes and effects on them of the grace and the incentives—since it is appropriate that we say what we asserted previously concerning the salvation of all those on the right (Su 3.22), all the unalloyed (Su 3.4), and the hybrid (Su 3.21)to unite them with one another. And also we must expound in an adequate treatise the repose which is the manifestation of the design in which they believed. For when we avowed the sovereignty which is in Christ, we were liberated from all this multiplicity of moods and from equality and from mutability. For the conclusion will regain the essence of unity, even as the origin is a single one—the place where there is no male and female (Th 22), nor slavery and freedom, nor circumcised and uncircumcised, neither angel nor human—but rather Christ is all within all.
3.41 What is the circumstance of him who has not been existing in the origin? It will be found that he will exist there at the conclusion. What is the nature of him who is a slave? He will receive the place of a free man. For they will increasingly receive the vision naturally, and not only verbally so that they might believe merely thru speech. For this is how he is—such that single is the restoration to what formerly was. Even though some are exalted because of the plan—because they are appointed as instigators for those who came into being, exerting a greater influence by being naturally desirous for them—yet angels and humans will receive the Sovereignty and the confirmation and the salvation. Such are the causes for why those who were made manifest as incarnate¹ believed without doubt that he is the Son of the unknowable God who was not previously spoken of and could not be seen. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.42 And they abandoned their gods whom they had previously served and the lords of the sky and the earth. Even before they were exalted, they testified that while he was yet a child he had already begun to proclaim, and at the time when he lay in the tomb as a dead man¹ the angels were yet of the thought that he was alive, and they received life from him who died. Now humans had previously wished to multiply their temple ceremonies and wonders—yet what remains forever is the avowal. That is, it has power on their behalf to establish them thru their recourse to him. For those rituals which were not acceptable were rejected because of him who was never separated from that place—wherefore Christ was acceptable, whom they understood to be in that place from which they also came with him, a divine and lordly place. They were served and healed and propelled by means of the names which they derivatively received, and which were bestowed on him who is properly designated by those names. (¹anti-Gnostic)
3.43 Now after his ascension they came to know by experience that he is their Lord, he over whom no one is lord. A Sovereignty was bestowed on him. They rose up from their thrones, they laid down their crowns. (Rev/Ap 4:10) Now he appeared to them for the reasons of which we have previously spoken—namely salvation and the return to the good thought unto the companionship of the angels and the abundance of goodness. Thus they were entrusted with the servitude which results in what is beneficial for the chosen. By submitting unto heaven their inequality, they were eternally refined unto an irreducible and infallible qualification, persevering on behalf of others until they all come into life, and leave behind their life on earth, serving them all, making them participants in their persecutions which were brought upon the saints everywhere.
3.44 As for the servants of evil, even though their wickedness was worthy of destruction, they themselves were brought forth thru the policy of him who transcends the entire system. Those whose thought is the goodness and the friendship, the Convocation, will remember such as good friends and faithful servants. And when the Convocation has received redemption, the others also will receive the reward.
3.45 Certainly it is gladness which is in his Bridal Chamber, and love which is in his dwelling, and joy which is in his thought. It is Christ who is with the Convocation in its earnest expectation of the redemption of the totality. He will produce angels as guides and servants for them, and they will think delightful thoughts and be cared for. This will give to them reward in all that the eternal beings will think and in all that emanates thru them.
3.46 Christ did his will, which he projected in order that he might exalt the grandeurs which he will give in the manner of the dignity that is the contemplating of the one. And he bestows on humans their eternal dwelling-places in which they are to be, as they leave behind the undertow of deficiency when the power of the fullness draws them up to the majesty of the bounteousness and the kindness of the preexistent aeon. This is the nature of the entire generation of those whom he possessed when he shone forth to them in light, he being the revelation....
3.47 At the sound of a trumpet, he will proclaim a majestic and perfect amnesty in the beautiful daybreak, in the Bridal Chamber which is like a place prepared by the power which is the revelation of the majesty of the Father and the kindness of his love, as he manifests himself in the superabundance of his goodness. And his is the praise, the power and the glory thru Yeshúa the Christ, the Lord and Savior, the merciful redeemer, the fulfillment of love, thru the Holy Spirit, from now to the end, to generations of generations and to ages of ages. Amen.

prepared by Thomas Paterson Brown, Ecumenical Coptic Project, 2003.