Gnostic Doctrine

Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Deep/Depth or Bythos Romans 11:33

A Study of Bythos





First a reading from some Gnostic text

He transcends all wisdom, and is above all intellect, and is above all glory, and is above all beauty, and all sweetness, and all greatness, and any depth and any height. The Tripartite Tractate

“While they (the members of the church) were in the Father's thought, that is, in the hidden depth, the depth knew them, but they were unable to know the depth in which they were; nor was it possible for them to know themselves, nor for them to know anything else.” (Tripartate Tractate)


The Greek word Bythos and bathos is used in the bible to describe the unfathomable ways, and nature of the Deity

Rom 11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

1037. βυθός 

The Deep or Depth Bythos


1037. βυθός buthos boo-thos’; a variation of 899; depth, i.e. (by implication) the sea: —  deep. 


1037. βυθός from 899 βάθος bathos bath’-os 


899 βάθος from the same as 901; n n; TDNT-1:517,89;  {See TDNT 118 } 


AV-depth 5, deep 1, deep + 2596 1, deepness 1, deep thing 1; 9 


1) depth, height 

1a) of "the deep" sea 
1b) metaph. 
1b1) deep, extreme, poverty 
1b2) of the deep things of God 


899. βάθος bathos bath’-os; from the same as 901; profundity, i.e. (by implication) extent; (figuratively) mystery: —  deep(-ness, things), depth. 



[in LXX: Exodus 15:5Nehemiah 9:11 (H4688), Psalms 68:22Psalms 69:2Psalms 107:24 (H4688)*;]
1. the bottom.
2. the depth of the sea, the deep sea: 2 Corinthians 11:25.†

Strong #: 4688 ‑ מְצוּלָה ((1,2) mets‑o‑law', (3,4) mets‑oo‑law');  4688 ‑ מְצוּלָה ((1,2) mets‑o‑law', (3,4) mets‑oo‑law'); 


The True Hebrew word corresponding to Bythos is Tehom (Hebrew: תְּהוֹם‬)


Rom 8:39  Nor height, nor depth <899>, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

"Nor depth" — Whilst pride may lift us up, destroying our humility before God and dependence upon Him, so a feeling of humiliating depression, which may result from failure or defeat, can have a similarly destructive effect, if permitted to influence us. We may feel that God has failed us, that He does not care for us. We may question the goodness οϊ God, or experience degrading ridicule or rejection by our fellows. Faith and hope provide the antidote to either "height" or "depth". Even the dreadful affliction which befell the faithful Job was not able to "separate him from the love of God" (cp. Job 19:25)


Rom 11:33  O the depth <899> of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!

God's judgments are a "great deep" (Psa 36:6). His "riches" refer to His abounding grace (Rom 9:23; 10:12). Cp also Eph 3:18,19: "...How wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge -- that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God."


Yahweh's children must manifest the same characteristic, revealing a depth of wisdom of such matters lodged in the heart (Deut. 10:16-19; Joel 2:12-13), not judging the issues of life through the "face" of the flesh


These are seen by a very careful examination of the divine excellence. The word "depth" (Gr. bathos signifies that which is profound; mysterious) indicates that which is vast and incomprehensible (see Psa. 36:6; ICor. 2:20). Mortal man cannot exhaust the greatness of the Almighty, as Job was reminded: ch. 38. The physical evidence of this majesty is seen as much in the vast expanse of the universe, as in the exquisite beauty of the tiniest flower petal.


1Cor 2:10  But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things <899> of God.

Psa 92:5  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.


Eph 3:18  May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth <899>, and height;

Eph 3:18 in order that YOU may be thoroughly able to grasp mentally with all the holy ones what is the breadth and length and height and depth, 19 and to know the love of the Christ which surpasses knowledge, that YOU may be filled with all the fullness that God gives.

The word depth is applied in the Scriptures to anything vast and incomprehensible. As the abyss or the ocean is unfathomable, so the word comes to denote that which words cannot express, or that which we cannot comprehend. #Ps 36:6, “Thy judgments are a great deep.” #1Co 2:10, “The Spirit searcheth — the deep things of God.”

The deep or depth is the waters above the Heavens 

Ge 1:7  And God made the firmament, and divided the waters which were under the firmament from the waters which were above the firmament: and it was so.

Psa 148:4  Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens.


Ps 104:3  Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

The deep or depth is also used to describe the deity

Psa 92:5  O LORD, how great are thy works! and thy thoughts are very deep.


Psa 107:24  These see the works of the LORD, and his wonders in the deep.

The Holy Spirit Described As Water

John 7:37-39
Now on the last day, the great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out, saying, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. "He who believes in Me, as the Scripture said, 'From his innermost being will flow rivers of living water.'" But this He spoke of the Spirit, whom those who believed in Him were to receive; for the Spirit was not yet given, because Jesus was not yet glorified.

Isaiah 44:3
'For I will pour out water on the thirsty land And streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring And My blessing on your descendants;

John 4:14
but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him shall never thirst; but the water that I will give him will become in him a well of water springing up to eternal life."

1 Corinthians 12:13
For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.

The word Pleroma means "fullness". It refers to all existence beyond visible universe. The Parent, the the Mother-Father, the Uncreated Eternal Spirit existed prior to the creation or emanation of the Pleroma. Therefore Bythos or the Uncreated Eternal Spirit is beyond the Pleroma. In other words the Pleroma is the world of the Aeons, the heaven of heavens or spiritual universe. Bythos is the spiritual source of everything that emanates the pleroma.

The Pleroma is both the abode of and the essential nature of the True Ultimate God.



Jer 2:13  For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water.



Jer 17:13  O LORD, the hope of Israel, all that forsake thee shall be ashamed, and they that depart from me shall be written in the earth, because they have forsaken the LORD, the fountain of living waters.


The river in Psalm 46:4 signifies the flowing of the One true Deity cp. Psa. 36:8-9 John 4:14 John 7:38-39 Rev. 22:17

All those who came forth from him <who> are the aeons of the aeons, being emanations and offspring of <his> procreative nature, they too, in their procreative nature, have <given> glory to the Father, as he was the cause of their establishment. This is what we said previously, namely that he creates the aeons as roots and springs and fathers, and that he is the one to whom they give glory. The Tripartite Tractate

They were forever in thought, for the Father was like a thought and a place for them. When their generations had been established, the one who is completely in control wished to lay hold of and to bring forth that which was deficient in the [...] and he brought forth those [...] him. But since he is as he is, he is a spring, which is not diminished by the water which abundantly flows from it. While they were in the Father's thought, that is, in the hidden depth, the depth knew them, but they were unable to know the depth in which they were; nor was it possible for them to know themselves, nor for them to know anything else. The Tripartite Tractate

The Father brought forth everything, like a little child, like a drop from a spring, like a blossom from a vine, like a flower, like a <planting> [...], in need of gaining nourishment and growth and faultlessness. The Tripartite Tractate

The Deity who is Light, and with whom is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5), and who is the great Fountain of life (Psa. 39:9), out of whom are all things (1 Cor. 8:6). "From everlasting to everlasting Thou art AIL" (Psa. 90:2). Ail, or El, as it is most frequently transliterated, is the Hebrew word that stands for God in this place. It denotes Power. Power, light, and life, inherent and underived, are the attributes of the Father who is Spirit (John 4:24); 
The source or fountain of power in the universe is one. It is a unit. Therefore, everything which exists is ex autou out of (emanation) Him. Hence the Creator did not "make all things out of nothing." 


The Supreme Power, or Ail, is "the Godhead," or source, fountain, or sole spring of Power. Moses and the prophets do not teach that "there are three persons, three essences, three somethings, or three anythings, in the Godhead; and that these three distinct units, or unities, constitute only one unit or one Unity -- and that that Tri-Unity is the God of Israel." They do not teach this.



By Godhead is meant the source, spring, or fountain of Deity -- the Divine Nature in its original pre-existence before every created thing. He teaches that this Godhead was a Unit --a Homogeneous Unit, undivided into thirds, or fractions.


Moses and the prophets teach "One" self-existent, supreme fountain of Power, AIL who is Spirit, and self-named I SHALL BE, or Yahweh: that is ONE YAHWEH-SPIRIT POWER is "God" in the highest sense, and constitutes the "Godhead," or FATHER IN HEAVEN; and He is the Springhead of many streams, or rivers of spirit, which assume "organic forms," according to the will of the Yahweh-Spirit Power, and that when formed after the model, archetype, or the pattern, presented in HIS OWN HYPOSTASIS, or Substance, they become SPIRIT-ELOHIM, or sons of God; and are Spirit, because "born of the Spirit" -- Emanations of the formative Spirit being out of him. The Spirit-Elohim was also "God"; nevertheless they are created. They are formed and made out of and by that which is uncreated. They are Spirit-Forms, the substance of which (spirit) is eternal; while the forms are from a beginning. Each one is a God in the sense of partaking of THE DIVINE NATURE, and being therefore a Son of God.

the Scripture declares that pneuma ho Theos esti literally, Spirit is the Theos. I say simply theos, because we shall yet have to ascertain the New Testament sense of Theos. "Spirit," then, is the Theos commonly called God. But more than this, this Spirit is the Father; that is, the One ex autou, out of (emanation) whom are all things. This appears from what is affirmed of "Spirit" and of "Father." Jesus says in John 5:21: "The Father raises up the dead and quickeneth," or makes the grave-emergent dead incorruptibly living: and in chapt. 6:63, he says: "It is the Spirit that quickeneth," or makes alive. The Father and the Spirit are, therefore, the same; nevertheless, the word "spirit" is often used in other senses. It is the "Father-Spirit" that Paul refers to in 1 Tim. 6:16, whom no man hath seen in His unveiled splendour. Veiled in flesh, "the Vail o[ the Covering" (Exodus 35:12): he that discerneth him who spoke to Philip, "saw the Father" (John 14:9; 12:45). But, veiled or unveiled, the Father-Spirit is substantial. Speaking of the Unveiled Father-Spirit, Paul says in Heb. 1:2, 3, that the Son is the Character of his Hypostasis, rendered, in the common version, "express image of his person."

Proverbs 8:22 ¶ Yahweh possessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old.
23 I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the earth was.
24 When there were no depths Bythos, I was brought forth; when there were no fountains (Pleroma) abounding with water (Aeons). (As the ‘immeasurable deep’: “After these things there is another place which is broad, having hidden within it a great wealth which supplies the All. This is the immeasurable deep.)” 
25 Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth:
26 While as yet he had not made the earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the world.
27 When he prepared the heavens (Pleroma), I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth (Bythos):
28 When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened the fountains of the deep:


29 When he gave to the sea his decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: when he appointed the foundations of the earth:



The Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex

This is the ennead which came from the Father of those without beginning, who alone is Father and Mother unto himself, whose pleroma surrounds the twelve deeps -



1. The first deep is the all-wise from which all sources have come.

2. The second deep is the all-wise from which all the wise have come.

3. The third deep is the all-mystery from which, or out of which, all mysteries have come.

4. The fourth deep moreover is the all-gnosis out of which all gnoses have come.

5. The fifth deep is the all-chaste from which everything chaste has come.

6. The sixth deep is silence. In this is every silence.

7. The seventh deep is the insubstantial door from which all substances has come forth.

8. The eight deep is the forefather from whom, or out of whom, have come into existence all forefathers.

9. The ninth deep moreover is an all-father and a self-farther, that is, every fatherhood is in him and he alone is father to them.

10. The tenth deep is the all-powerful from which has come every power.

11. The eleventh deep moreover is that in which is the first invisible one, from which all invisible ones have come.

12. The Twelfth deep moreover is the truth from which has come all truth.

http://www.gnosis.org/library/untitl.htm

From the Untitled Text in the Bruce Codex we can see that the deep has a number of different levels or it is structured as a hierarchy

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