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Conclusion

History is written by the winners; ecclesiastical Christians first defined the terms naming themselves ‘orthodox’ and their opponents ‘heretics’. The Nag Hammadi Library fell under the second category and that is why they were buried.

When Muhammed Ali smashed that jar filled with papyrus on the cliff near Nag Hammadi and was disappointed not to find gold, he could not have imagined the implications of his accidental find. Had they been discovered 1,000 years earlier, the gnostic texts almost certainly would have been burned for their heresy.

But they remained hidden until the twentieth century, when gnosis is experiencing something of a revival.

They may beg more questions than they answer, but remain a powerful alternative to what we know as orthodox Christian tradition.

I have felt impelled to share my recent discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library by writing a blog on 27 of the 52 codices. I thought it was a way of reaching as many people as possible in bite-sized digestible portions.

I did it for my readers – little did I know how much I would benefit!

In the beginning I struggled with understanding the texts – there were inconsistencies where texts seem to disagree.

In attempting to understand, I dissected the words with my mind which can lead to misunderstandings. My mind did not understand, but my heart and soul did…

An analogy is if I look at the toe nail of an elephant I would not recognize the animal, because I am focusing on such a small part. If you stand back and look at the animal as a whole, then you can easily see it is an elephant!

So, I let the words wash through me and sat with them. My persistence was rewarded with a subtle but perceptible change within me over time.

A sense of peace, calm and familiarity never fails to soothe my soul when I read these texts.

When I am ‘knocked off’ by the 3D world dramas we all have to partake in, reading the texts brings me back to myself.

 I am heartened by the words of Meister Ekchart,

“If you don’t understand this speech, don’t trouble your heart over it. For as long as a person does not become this truth, he will not understand this speech. For this is a naked truth, which has come directly out of the heart of God.”

I bow down to Mary Magdalene and her family.

She was an extraordinary woman, who I have learned much about through reading these gnostic texts. The Orthodox Church portrayed her as a repentant sinner, whereas in the gnostic texts she was revered as a leader, priestess, teacher, healer and mother.

So it is not surprising to discover she had the last word, literally.

In Mary Magdalene’s Legacy I reveal that six books from the New Testament were written by Mary Magdalene (this has been verified by a respected kinaesiologist).

History is written by men for men – she played them at their own game, and won – hiding under the guise of men in order for her writings to be accepted by the Church.

For some reason, I have been guided to shine a light in a dark corner of religious his-tory, to bring awareness to her-story, one of the greatest injustices against women of all time.

And there is more!

According to my cellular memory, there are more undiscovered writings by Mary Magdalene’s family in the Middle East. How exciting is that?

Shortly I will be writing a new blog with my kinaesiologist friend Martin Lewis on Andromedean influences on earth today.

We are all composed from stardust so in effect we are all aliens, but for thousands of years the Andromeda galaxy has taken a non-benevolent interest in planet Earth.

The gnostics were aware of this…

#egypt #gnostic #marymagdalene #naghammadi #spiritual                                                   

Trimorphic Protennoia

The sixteen papyrus pages containing Trimorphic Protennoia (or Three Forms of First Thought, in Three Parts) and the first ten lines of another copy of On the Origin of the World (Codex II), are all that remain of Codex XIII from the Nag Hammadi Library.

Trimorphic Protennoia celebrates the feminine powers of Thought, Intelligence and Foresight.

Protennoia (Barbelo) recites her three salvific descents into the lower world.

First, Protennoia is the divine but as yet inarticulate voice of the Invisible Spirit’s first Thought. She presides over the heavenly realms for her members, and descends into the realm of chaos to give shape to her “members”, fragments of her spirit that have fallen into the world.

The text opens as a divine figure speaks:

“I am Protennoia, the Thought that is in the Light…she who exists before the All…I move in every creature…I am the Invisible One within the All.

I am perception and knowledge, uttering voice by means of Thought. I am the real Voice. I resonate in everyone, and they know it, since a seed is in them.”

Second, Protennoia is the articulate Speech of the Thought who descends to overthrow the old aeon ruled by the evil powers. She empowers her fallen members to prepare for the coming new age by giving them spirit or breath.

The second section, spoken by a second divine figure, opens with the words,

“I am the Voice…I speak in every creature…Now I have come a second time in the  likeness of a female, and have spoken with them…I revealed myself in the thought of the likeness of my masculinity.”

In this text Protennoia is an androgynous form of the Mother-Father:

“I am androgynous. I am mother and I am father, since I mate with myself. I mate with myself since it is myself that I love…I am the womb that puts forth the All by giving birth to light shining in splendor…I am the fulfilment of all, Meirothea (feminine name for Barbelo), the glory of the Mother.”

Third, Protennoia is the fully articulate Word, or Logos, of the Thought who descends in the likeness of successively lower powers. Entering the “tents” of her members, conferring upon them the saving baptismal rite of the Five Seals, by which they are immersed in divine “living water”. This washes away their bodily nature, so along with the crucified Christ they are raptured into the light:

“I proclaimed the ineffable Five Seals to them so that I might abide in them and they also might abide in me.”

Along with many of the texts, these were secret teachings intended to be read by the initiated. This text appears to be aimed for a higher level of initiate:

“Now look, I shall reveal to you my mysteries, since you are my brethren, and you will know them all…”

Tantalizingly the next five lines are missing followed by,

“I told all of them about my mysteries.”

I believe these lines were intentionally missing, their absence itself being a teaching of the text.

Trimorphic Protennoia is similar to the Gospel of John and the Secret Book of John – both written by Mary Magdalene.The Gospel of John was for the masses, and the Secret Book of John was written in allegorical form for the initiated.

I believe that Trimorphic Protennoia was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, in the early 2nd century.

This was his last transmission in the Nag Hammadi Library – Jude was the most prolific, writing 16 out of the 47 tractates.

#egypt #gnostic #marymagdalene #naghammadi #spiritual                                      

Allogenes

Allogenes is the third tractate of Codex XI from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original is lost and the Coptic version is in poor condition.

Allogenes, which means ‘stranger’, referring to the spiritually mature person who becomes a stranger to the world, describes in detail the process of attaining gnosis.

Here Messos, the initiate, at the first stage, learns of “the power that is within you.” Allogenes explains to him his own process of spiritual development:

“My soul went slack and I took flight; I was very disturbed. And I turned to myself and saw the light that surrounded me and the good that was in me, and I became divine.”

Then Allogenes continues, he receives a vision of a feminine power, Youel, “she who belongs to all the glories”, who tells him:

“Since your wisdom has become complete and you have known the Good that is within, hear concerning the Triple-Powered One, things you shall guard in great silence and great mystery, because they are not to be spoken to anyone except those who are worthy and able to hear.”

“The power uttered a sound in this fashion: ‘ZZA ZZA ZZA.”

As in the Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth, this suggests a meditative technique which includes chanting.

Allogenes advances to the second stage – to know oneself.

“And then I prayed that the revelation might happen to me…I did not despair…I prepared myself and deliberated with myself for a hundred years. And I rejoiced greatly that I was in such a great light and such a blessed path…”

Allogenes considers the revelations made to him for one hundred years.

Following this, Allogenes says he has an out of the body experience, and sees “holy powers” that offer him specific instruction:

“O Allogenes, behold your blessedness, how silently it abides, by which you know your proper self, and seeking yourself, ascend to the Vitality that you will see moving. And even if you cannot stand, fear not. But if you wish to stand, ascend to the Existence, and you will find it standing and stilling…And when you receive a revelation…and you become afraid in that place, withdraw back because of the energies. And when you become perfect in that place, still yourself.”

Messos describes his response:

“While I was listening to these things as those there spoke them, there was within me a stillness of silence, and I heard the blessedness whereby I knew myself as I AM.” 

Following the instruction, the initiate says he was filled with “revelation…I received power…I knew the One who exists in me, and the Triple Power, and the revelation of his uncontainableness.”

Ecstatic with this discovery, Allogenes desires to go further:

“I was seeking the Ineffable and Unknown God.”

But at this point the “powers” tell Allogenes to cease in his futile attempt. They command him to write down what he has learned and to place it on a mountain, under guard, with an oracle. Allogenes dedicates the work to his initiate Messos,

“These were the things that were disclosed to me.”

The purpose of Allogenes is to teach that one can come to know oneself and the “one who exists within”, but one cannot attain knowledge of the Unknown God. Any attempt to do so “hinders the effortlessness which is within you.” Gnosis involves recognizing the limits of human knowledge and experience.

“Whoever sees God as he is in every respect…or would say that he something like gnosis, has sinned against him…because he did not know God.”

Allogenes infers complete intuition of the Unknowable One is achieved only at the point where one abandons any active attempt to know him – characterized by a non-knowing knowledge.

So, Allogenes records specific techniques of initiation for attaining that self-knowledge of the divine power within.

I believe Allogenes, along with the rest of Codex XI (The Interpretation of Knowledge, An Exposition and Hypsiphrone) was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

#angels #ascension #egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #spiritual                                 

An Exposition

An Exposition is the second tractate of Codex XI from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original is lost and the Coptic version is in poor condition.

The author presents his own version of the gnostic creation myth, beginning with the Father and concluding with the restoration of the spiritual seed to the Pleroma (Fullness).

“The Father, who is the root of the All and the Ineffable One, exists as Oneness, being alone in silence – ‘silence’ means tranquillity – since he was in fact One, and nothing existed before him.”

The author says the root of the All – the Father – first spreads himself out into Two and then into Four. From Four he also extends himself as far as Three Hundred Sixty, representing the ultimate edge of the Pleroma (360 being the number of levels between the material plane and the Pleroma – this concurs with the Secret Book of John).

The tractate goes onto relate Sophia’s error, split and separation from the Pleroma, but much of the text is missing making it difficult to follow the narrative. From other gnostic texts we can piece the message together.

Sophia repents and prays; the Pleroma sends the Son (Jesus) who heals her sufferings. Jesus and Sophia then create the world as a likeness of the Pleroma from her passions and her “seeds”.

The Saviour and Sophia cannot enter into direct contact with the material world, so the demiurge acts as an intermediary. The demiurge is unaware Sophia has inserted the spiritual seed (divine spark) into the first human.

The narrative happily concludes with the restoration to the Pleroma:

“So when Sophia receives her partner, and Jesus receives Christ, and the seeds are united with the angels, then the Fullness will receive Sophia in joy, and the All will be joined together and restored.”

An Exposition then continues with five short texts relating to ritual practices: anointing, baptism (two readings) and the eucharist (two readings).

The first reading is a prayer addressed to the Father that he send the Son to be present as the active divine power in the anointing rite. This would take place during the first phase of the initiation ritual, before the immersion of the candidate in water.

Three aspects of baptism are highlighted: baptism provides the remission of sins, it transports the initiate from one region (our world) to another (aeon), and it facilitates the formation of fully formed beings from seeds.

The first baptism brings the initiate into the aeon and incorruptibility. The second baptism occurs after death, when the ascending spirit is integrated into the Pleroma.

The last two readings are heavily damaged but the reference to food and drink suggest these prayers were uttered in thanksgiving or at a Eucharistic celebration.

Scholars do not know who the author is but estimate it was written sometime between 160 and 350.

I believe An Exposition, along with the rest of Codex XI (The Interpretation of Knowledge, Allogenes and Hypsiphrone) was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

#angels #ascension #egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #spiritual  #sophia                               

The Interpretation of Knowledge

The Interpretation of Knowledge is the first tractate of Codex XI from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original is lost and the Coptic version, as is the case with Codex XI in general, is in poor condition with more than half of the text lost.

The main theme of the tractate is humility, with ideas such as endurance in adversity and the importance of faith central to the text.

The author addresses internal strife within the community; the members are urged not to be jealous of one another if some display greater spiritual gifts than others.

The author explains that Christ came into the world  and died for the sake of the “church mortals”, now this church, the “place of faith”, was split and divided into factions – spiritual and unspiritual Christians. What differentiated them was their level of understanding. Uninitiated Christians mistakenly worshipped the creator (demiurge) as if he were God, believed Christ would save them from their sins, and had risen bodily from the dead. But those who had gone onto receive gnosis recognized Christ as the one sent from the Father of Truth, whose coming revealed to them that their own nature was identical with his, and also with God’s.

Some members had received spiritual gifts – power to heal, prophecy and above all, gnosis. Others had not, and this caused resentment and hostility. Those who were ‘spiritually advanced’ tended to withdraw from those they considered ‘ignorant’, and hesitated to share their insights with them. Those who lacked spiritual inspiration envied those who spoke in public at the worship service, taught, prophesied and healed others.

The author recalls the words of Paul (Corinthians), reminding them that all believers are members of the church, the “body of Christ”:

“For just as the body is one and has many members, and all the members of the body, though many, are one body, so it is with Christ…The eye cannot say to  the hand, ‘I have no need of you’, nor again the head to the feet, ‘I have no need of you.’

The author then addresses those who feel inferior because they lack spiritual gifts:

“Do not accuse your Head (Christ) because it has not made you as an eye, but a finger; and do not be jealous of what has been made an eye or a hand or a foot, but be thankful that you are not outside the body, but have the same head as that for which the eye exists, as well as the hand and the foot and the other parts.”

To those who have attained gnosis and received spiritual gifts he says:

“Someone has a prophetic gift. Share in it without hesitation. Do not approach your brother with jealousy…How can you have knowledge (gnosis) if you are ignorant of the brothers? For being ignorant, hating them and being jealous of them, you will not receive the grace that is in them, because you do not wish to be joined with them for the gift of the head…For the Word is rich and generous and it is good.”

Like Paul, the author urges all members to love one another, to work and suffer together, mature and immature Christians alike in order to “share in the true harmony”.

The author concludes with a directive to continue the struggle against sin:

“If we overcome all sin, we shall receive the crown of victory, just as our head was given glory by the Father.”

Scholars are unsure as to who the author is; they acknowledge he or she was educated, with a good knowledge of the scriptures and wrote using powerful imagery. They believe it was written in Alexandria in the 2nd century.

The Interpretation of Knowledge was written to address both internal and external problems within a community and gives us a rare insight into the social dynamics of a Gnostic Christian community.

I believe The Interpretation of Knowledge, along with the rest of Codex XI (An Exposition, Allogenes and Hypsiphrone) was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

#angels #ascension #egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #spiritual                                 

Marsanes

Marsanes is the one and only tractate from Codex X from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original is lost and the Coptic version is badly damaged with over half of the text lost.

Marsanes, a gnostic prophet, writes in the first person of an ecstatic visit to heaven. He describes visionary revelations on knowledge (gnosis) and ‘the great Father’, which he shares with his gnostic community.

He describes the origin of the cosmos within which there are 13 seals, or levels of existence, from the first and lowest “wordly” levels to the last and highest level of the supreme God, “the Silent One who has not been known.”

The author, Marsanes, claims he has attained true knowledge (gnosis).

Through his ascent beyond the limits of this world, he has accessed the knowledge of “the entire place” and reached the conclusion that,

“in every way the sense-perceptible cosmos is worthy of being completely saved.”

The theme of salvation leads Marsanes to introduce the descent, work and ascent of the saviour Autogenes through the manifestation of Sophia into the lower world. Autogenes is also known as the “Self-begotten One”, who “descended from the Unbegotten One” and “saved a multitude”.

Marsanes asks questions about the nature of existence and then rises to an awareness of “the supremacy of the silence of the Silent One”, offering praise.

Further revelations follow, and it is shown that as the “the Invisible Spirit” ascends back up toheaven, so also his Gnostic brothers and sisters achieve bliss by ascending with him to glory.

After several fragmentary pages, the tractate moves onto a fascinating section on the nature and function of Greek letters, sounds and numbers, which are linked to the powers and capacities of angels, deities and souls.

Occasionally, Marsanes interrupts his discourse with exhortations to piety, where a pronouncement against sin is within a discussion of vowels, consonants and the nature of the soul, both individual and cosmic, embodied and disembodied.

Such knowledge of the alphabet will help Gnostics to “be separated from the angels” and “to seek and find who they themselves are.”

He discusses how astral powers affect the soul, and the means by which the gnostic may manipulate these powers and ascend through the levels of the universe, until their souls reach the highest heaven where God resides.

Marsanes also offers guidance on forming and building a community. Both Marsanes and The Three Steles of Seth are aimed at the practices of an entire community, rather than the enlightenment of the individual (cf Zostrianos and Allogenes). It includes guidance for the behaviour of community members, both inside and their interaction with those outside the community who earnestly seek the truth.

Marsanes is an inspired leader and teacher who not only wishes to share his ecstatic revelations with his community, but who urges solidarity to ensure their future survival. The Gnostics had many enemies, but dissension from within the community was considered a greater threat than any exterior one.

I believe Marsanes was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

As related in Mary Magdalene’s Final Legacy, Jude succeeded his mother Sarah as leader of this community when she ascended in 94, and would be an inspired leader for the next 30 years.

#angels #ascension #egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #spiritual                                 

The Testimony of Truth

The Testimony of Truth is the third and final tractate of Codex IX from the Nag Hammadi Library. The Greek original is lost and the Coptic version is badly damaged with half of the text lost. However, there is sufficient material to get a good gist of the content.

The author is intent on presenting his version of the truth, criticising the false opinions and practices of his ‘heretical’ opponents. His opponents are not only the catholic or ‘orthodox’ church, but also other gnostic communities who practice rituals he strongly disagrees with.

The text begins with an address to a gnostic community:

“Now, I shall speak to those who understand how to listen with spiritual ears and not with their physical ones.”

This text is an impassioned plea to encourage its hearers to remain steadfast in their faith, warning them of the errors of catholic opponents.

A verbal attack is launched against the law (Torah) with its command to procreate:

“The law commands one to take a husband or wife, and to produce children, to multiply like the sand of the sea. But passion, which is their delight, controls the souls of those who are begotten down here…and turning away from the light. For them it will be impossible to pass by the archon of darkness…”

The descent of the Son of Humanity from “imperishability” is a sign that the dominions of the law have come to an end.

The Testimony of Truth is different from many other Christian texts in that it doesn’t portray martyrdom as something to be glorified; in fact it declares enthusiasts for martyrdom “do not know who Christ is”:

“Foolish people have it in their minds that if they simply make the confession, ‘We are Christians’, in words but not with power, and ignorantly give themselves up to a human death, they will live. But they are in error and do not know where they are going or who Christ really is. Instead, they are hastening toward the principalities and the authorities. They fall into their clutches because of the ignorance that is in them.” The author ridicules the popular view at that time that martyrdom ensures salvation: if it were that simple, everyone would confess Christ and be saved!

These same “foolish” people are also criticised for believing in a physical resurrection, not understanding resurrection as spiritual resulting from self-knowledge or gnosis.

The second part of the tractate opens with a contrast between John the Baptist, “begotten through a womb worn with age”, and Christ, who “passed through a virgin’s womb.”

The author admonishes his hearers for not trying to interpret “mysteries” found in scripture:

“Why do you go astray by not seeking after the interpretation of these mysteries which were prefigured for our sakes?”

In the Testimony of Truth the story of the Garden of Eden is told from the viewpoint of the serpent. Here the serpent, known in Gnostic texts as the principle of divine wisdom, convinces Adam and Eve to partake of knowledge while the biblical creator (demiurge) threatens them with death, trying jealously to prevent them from attaining knowledge, and expelling them from Paradise when they achieve it.

The author rejects all church dogma. Obedience to the church officers requires believers to submit themselves to “blind guides” whose authority comes from the malevolent creator (demiurge). Conformity to imposed faith attempts to limit all Christians to an inferior ideology:

“They say, ‘Even if an angel comes from heaven and preaches to you contrary to what we preached to you, may he be cursed.”

Faith in the church sacraments shows naïve thinking; catholic Christians practice baptism as an initiation rite which guarantees them a “hope of salvation”, believing that only those who receive baptism are “headed for life.”

Against such “lies” the author declares that:

“This, therefore, is the true testimony: when a person comes to know himself and God, who is over the truth, that person will be saved and crowned with the unfading crown.”

The gnostic who comes to know himself can discover what even Christ cannot teach. The Testimony of Truth says the gnostic becomes a “disciple of his own mind”, discovering that his own mind “is the father of the truth”, learning what needs to be known by being in “meditative silence.”

Consequently, he considers himself equal to all, not subjecting himself to anyone’s authority.

“And he is patient with everyone; he makes himself equal to everyone, and he also separates himself from them.”

Along with the rest of Codex IX (Melchizedek and the Thought of Norea) I believe the Testimony of Truth was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the the late 1st or early 2nd century.

#egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #spiritual

The Thought of Norea

The Thought of Norea is the second tractate of Codex IX from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The text, consisting of just four paragraphs, is an ode to Norea, one of the emanations in Gnostic cosmology. Norea has several identities within Gnosticism: she can be Eve’s daughter and Seth’s wife and sister, or she can be Noah or Shem’s wife.

In the Nature of the Rulers, Norea, the virgin daughter of Eve, represents the lower Sophia who is yet to be delivered from her deficiency. Here she burns the ark that the evil creator (demiurge) commanded Noah to build.

In the Thought of Norea she represents Sophia, the ‘fallen’ divine Wisdom, who will be restored along with her spiritual progeny in to the divine world by the same aeons from which she departed. She exemplifies the journey of the soul to acquire the divine knowledge necessary for salvation.

The Thought of Norea opens with an invocation of the ‘Father of the All’ and his glorious comrades (cf the familiar trinity of the Father, Mother and the Son).

Norea cries out to them for aid:

“Father of the All,

Thought of light,

Mind dwelling on high,

Above the regions below,

voice of truth,

upright Mind,

unattainable Word (logos),

ineffable voice,

incomprehensible Father!”

Like Sophia (wisdom) in other gnostic texts, Norea must be restored to her heavenly place. She invokes the divine triad of Father (Mind, Adamas), Mother (Ennoia, ‘Thought’) and Son (Mind, Logos, Autogenes). The Four Luminaries (holy helpers)  (Harmozel, Oroiael, Daveithe and Eleleth) intercede for her with the Father of the All. True gnosis is revealed to her and she is brought from deficiency to fullness (the pleroma).

So she is saved together with the Gnostics,

Adamas, (name of God) you are within all Adams (people), you have the thought of Norea…”

The Thought of Norea portrays Sophia as an innocent party in that her restoration to the Light does not require repentance for her unintentional but ill-conceived generation of the world creator (demiurge) without the aid of her consort, as described in the Secret Book of John.

As is also the case in Zostrianos, Sophia serves as the model for the material world but is not the source of the world creator who shapes it.

Along with the rest of codex IX (Melchizedek and The Testimony of Truth) I believe The Thought of Norea was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

#egypt #gnostic #naghammadi #norea #sophia #spiritual                                                         

Melchizedek

Melchizedek is the first tractate of Codex IX from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original version has been lost; the Coptic version found at Nag Hammadi is in a very fragmentary state with only 19 lines out of some 750 fully preserved.

Melchizedek was the ancient ‘priest of God Most High’ named in Genesis 14:18; he brings out bread and wine and blesses Abraham.

The tractate is made up of three main parts:

– a revelation given to Melchizedek by the angel Gamaliel

– a liturgy or rite performed by the priest Melchizedek on behalf of his community

– a revelatory vision mediated to Melchizedek by unnamed heavenly ‘brethren’ .

Gamaliel begins his revelation with a prophecy of the earthly work of Jesus Christ, beginning with his descent from heaven. His teachings will elicit the enmity of the world ruler and his archons, who will have him crucified. But the Saviour will rise from the dead and provide his disciples with post-resurrection instruction. Gamaliel then tells of the false doctrine that will be propagated by enemies of the truth. They will deny the reality of Jesus’ birth and earthly life, death and resurrection. But Melchizedek’s teachings of hope and life will provide a guide for the ‘elect’ – the ‘assembly of the children of Seth.’

Gamaliel tells Melchizedek that Jesus Christ is from the ‘race’ of the heavenly high priest who is above all aeons. Gamaliel then commands Melchizedek to renounce animal sacrifices and to undergo a special baptism.

Gamaliel recounts the history of humanity from the creation of Adam until the final battle at the end of time, when the elect ‘seed’ of the Father will achieve their final salvation, and the Saviour will destroy Death.

Gamaliel concludes his revelation with a warning to Melchizedek to keep these things secret, reserved only for the ‘elect’.

The second part of the tractate begins with Melchizedek recounting his reaction to the revelation he has received; he glorifies God the Father and undertakes a series of ritual actions (spiritual offering, baptism and prayers). It concludes with exhortations addressed to Melchizedek’s community.

The revelatory vision in the third main part of the tractate is conveyed by unnamed heavenly messengers, who encourage Melchizedek in his priestly office. This part of the manuscript is badly damaged, but one part relates Jesus Christ addressing his executioners, the archons, recounting his sufferings, crucifixion, and resurrection. Melchizedek is then congratulated on his victory over the archons:

“Be strong, O Melchizedek, great high priest of God, for the archons who are your enemies made war against you. You have gained the victory over them, and they did not prevail over you. You have persevered and destroyed your enemies..”

The tractate concludes with another warning to keep the revelations secret and the ascension back to heaven of the angelic messengers.

There is debate amongst historians as to the relationship between Melchizedek and Jesus Christ. The fragmentary state of Melchizedek results in missing words and lines, but Gnostics believe Melchizedek was a former incarnation of Jesus Christ:

“I am Melchizedek, the priest of God Most High, I know that I am the image of the true high priest of God Most High, and.. the world.”

Along with the rest of codex IX (The Thought of Norea and The Testimony of Truth) I believe Melchizedek was written by Jude, son of Sarah and grandson of Mary Magdalene, at the Lake Mareotis community near Alexandria, Egypt in the late 1st – early 2nd century.

Scholars agree it was written in Egypt for an audience of Gnostic Christians who greatly revered Melchizedek because he was a former incarnation of the Saviour.

My cellular memory tells me that Melchizedek was not a misogynist but was opposed to Mary Magdalene because of her relationship with Yeshua.

Jude was undoubtedly aware of this and did not share other gnostic communities great reverence for Melchizedek.

#angels #egypt #gnostic  #melchizedek #naghammadi #spiritual                                                       

The Sentences of Sextus

The Sentences of Sextus is the first tractate of Codex XII from the Nag Hammadi Library.

The Greek original version of the Sentences of Sextus comprised 451 sayings concerning appropiate religious and moral behaviour assigned to an unknown spiritual master called Sextus.

The Sentences of Sextus was widely read and commented upon in the first centuries in both Christian and pagan circles. They express the idea that humans can experience divinity through their mind (nous) or intelligence; that it is difficult if not impossible to express God’s being through language, and that the soul is the most important component of humanity. 

The Greek original has been lost and the Coptic translation is in a very fragmentary condition with just 115 sayings remaining.

They are simple and to the point. More importantly they are from the heart…

The author acknowledged spiritual teachings can seem complicated and result in further complicating an already complicated world.

Here are a few of my favourites:-

158   Love truth, and treat falsehood like poison.

164b It is a skill to speak and also a skill to remain silent.

310 Everything God has a wise person has.

323 Fear of death causes a person grief because of the ignorance of the soul.

326b A godly heart gives rise to a blessed life.

328 Don’t let an ungrateful person make you stop doing good.

330 You will manage great wealth if you give willingly to those in need.

331 Persuade a foolish brother not to be foolish. If he is demented, take care of him.

333 You cannot acquire understanding unless you first know you do not have it.

336 It is better to serve others than to make others serve you.

346 Say in your heart that your body is the garment of the soul. Keep it pure, since it is innocent.

359 Let your deeds of love for God come before all your words about God.

371 The love of humankind is the beginning of godliness.

383 The words of the faithful are few, but their deeds are many.

397 It is not death that destroys the soul, but rather an evil life.

As I said in my earlier blog on Zostrianos, I believe the Sentences of Sextus was written by Mary, daughter of Sarah and granddaughter of Mary Magdalene, at Lake Mareotis community in the late 1st century. She recognized her mighty tome Zostrianos would not be read by the masses – in fact the Sentences of Sextus  became the favourite reading material of many educated Christians.  

#egypt #gnostic  #mary #naghammadi #spiritual