Gnostic Doctrine

Friday, 19 July 2019

The Fall in the Tripartite Tractate



The Logos in the Tripartite Tractate

The Tripartite Tractate view of the Fall



First a quote from the Tripartite Tractate

The intent, then, of the Logos, who is this one, was good. When he had come forth, he gave glory to the Father, even if it led to something beyond possibility, since he had wanted to bring forth one who is perfect, from an agreement in which he had not been, and without having the command.
This aeon was last to have <been> brought forth by mutual assistance, and he was small in magnitude. And before he begot anything else for the glory of the will and in agreement with the Totalities, he acted, magnanimously, from an abundant love, and set out toward that which surrounds the perfect glory, for it was not without the will of the Father that the Logos was produced, which is to say, not without it will he go forth. But he, the Father, had brought him forth for those about whom he knew that it was fitting that they should come into being.
The Father and the Totalities drew away from him, so that the limit which the Father had set might be established - for it is not from grasping the incomprehensibility but by the will of the Father, - and furthermore, (they withdrew) so that the things which have come to be might become an organization which would come into being. If it were to come, it would not come into being by the manifestation of the Pleroma. Therefore, it is not fitting to criticize the movement which is the Logos, but it is fitting that we should say about the movement of the Logos that it is a cause of an organization which has been destined to come about.
The Logos himself caused it to happen, being complete and unitary, for the glory of the Father, whom he desired, and (he did so) being content with it, but those whom he wished to take hold of firmly he begot in shadows and copies and likenesses. For, he was not able to bear the sight of the light, but he looked into the depth and he doubted. Out of this there was a division - he became deeply troubled - and a turning away because of his self-doubt and division, forgetfulness and ignorance of himself and <of that> which is.

What does Irenaeus say about the Fall of Sophia

Irenaeus against heresies: How can it be regarded as otherwise ridiculous, that (wisdom) was involved in ignorance, corruption, and passion? For these things are alien and contrary to wisdom, nor can they ever be qualities belonging to it. For wherever there is a lack of any thing beneficial and an ignorance of knowledge, there wisdom does not exist. Let them therefore no longer call this suffering Aeon, Sophia, but let them give up either her name or her sufferings. And let them, moreover, not call their entire Pleroma spiritual, if this Aeon had a place within it when she was involved in such a tumult of passion. For even a vigorous soul, not to say a spiritual substance, would not pass through any such experience.

the tripartite tractate contens an early form of Christian Gnosticism which differs complets from other Gnostic texts when it comes to the Fall

Now let's a look at the bible's use of Logos 


3056 λόγος logos log’-os 


some of the meanings of the word 

 its use as respect to the MIND alone 
2a) reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating 
2b) account, i.e. regard, consideration 
2c) account, i.e. reckoning, score its use as respect to the MIND alone 
2a) reason, the mental faculty of thinking, meditating, reasoning, calculating 
2b) account, i.e. regard, consideration 
2c) account, i.e. reckoning, score

decree, mandate or order reason, cause, ground, 



Mt 5:32  But I say unto you, That whosoever shall put away his wife, saving for the cause <3056> of fornication, causeth her to commit adultery: and whosoever shall marry her that is divorced committeth adultery.


Mt 22:15  Then went the Pharisees, and took counsel how they might entangle him in his talk <3056>.


Lu 16:2  And he called him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? give an account <3056> of thy stewardship; for thou mayest be no longer steward.


60 ¶  Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying <3056>; who can hear it?

66  From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Act 19:40  For we are in danger to be called in question for this day’s uproar, there being no cause whereby we may give an account <3056> of this concourse.


Looking at these Bible quotes we can see that there are many uses of the word logos not all of them referring to the divine logos

The tripartite tractate associate the fall with logos and not with Sophia.  In fact, the fallen aeon is not called Sophia at all, but simply a logos, or word (logos being used as a generic name for the aeons).

I've always felt it wrong that sophia (wisdom) in Gnosticism is the bad guy that created sin that's just really absurd and it complete doesn't make any sense at all

In the Bible Eve is not responsible for sin Adam is, we see this in Paul’s statement at Romans 5:12-19, which places the responsibility for sin upon Adam. Compare 
tripartite tractate 
107.20–108.12


Eve was deceived by the Serpent, but “Adam was not deceived,” says the apostle Paul. (1Tim 2:14) With full knowledge Adam willfully and deliberately chose to disobey and then as a criminal he tried to hide. When brought to trial, instead of showing sorrow or regret or asking for forgiveness, Adam attempted to justify himself and pass the responsibility off on others, even blaming God for his own willful sin. “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit from the tree and so I ate.” (Gem 3:7-12)

Tri. Trac. 107.20–108.12: This is the expulsion which was made for him, when he was expelled from the enjoyments of the things which belong to the likeness and those of the representation. It was a work of providence, so that it might be found that it is a short time until man will receive the enjoyment of the things which are eternally good, in which is the place of rest. This the spirit ordained when he first planned that man should experience the great evil, which is death, that is complete ignorance of the Totality, and that he should experience all the evils which come from this and, after the deprivations and cares which are in these, that he should receive of the greatest good, which is life eternal, that is, firm knowledge of the Totalities and the reception of all good things. Because of the transgression of the first man, death ruled. (Romans 5:17) It was accustomed to slay every man in the manifestation of its domination, which had been given it as a kingdom because of the organization of the Father's will, of which we spoke previously.


Therefore since sin came by one man it stands to reason that Sophia is not responsible for the fall the Logos is


The account in the Gospel of Truth is also extrememly relevant here. The opening paragraphs of the Gospel of Truth describe the Fall. It contains no explicit references to mythological figures familiar from other Valentinian texts (e.g. Sophia, the demiurge, etc.). However, these passages do refer to a semi-personified "error."

Both Error and Logos fail in their quest to find the Father.

"He is the lord of all of them, that is, the countenance which the logos (i.e. Error) brought forth in his thought as a representation of the Father of the Totalities. Therefore, he is adorned with every name which is a representation of him, since he is characterized by every property and glorious quality. For he too is called 'father' and 'god' and 'demiurge' and 'king' and 'judge' and 'place' and 'dwelling' and 'law'" (Tripartite Tractate 100:21-30).


Ptolemy interprets the same passage in terms of the Aeons in the Fullness (pleroma) in his Commentary on the Prologue of John quoted in Irenaeus Against Heresies1:8:5 (cf also Excerpts of Theodotus 6:4). In this case, Ptolemy interprets the passage to refer to the Aeon Word (logos) who, along with his partner Life (zoe), is the one who is responsible for the creation of all subsequent Aeons


Heracleon a Valentinian teacher describes the the demiurge in relatively positive terms as the logos's agent and hence ultimately the Father's agent in creation 


Fragments from a Commentary on the Gospel of John by Heracleon Fragment 1, on John 1:3 (In John 1:3, “All things were made through him, and without him nothing was made.”) The sentence: "All things were made through him" means the world and what is in it. It excludes what is better than the world. The Aeon (i.e. the Fullness), and the things in it, were not made by the Word; they came into existence before the Word. . . “Without him, nothing was made” of what is in the world and the creation. . . "All things were made through Him," means that it was the Word who caused the Craftsman (Demiurge) to make the world, that is it was not the Word “from whom” or “by whom,” but the one “through whom (all things were made).”. . . It was not the Word who made all things, as if he were energized by another, for "through whom" means that another made them and the Word provided the energy. 

The Father the single One created the universe 52.4-6 It is, then, only the Father and God in the proper sense that no one else begot. As for the Totalities, he is the one who begot them and created them. He is without beginning and without end.

However, the perpetuation of the cosmos through the creation of physical bodies is accomplished through the logos



Now this Logos is different than the Son. or this first thought in the tripartite tractate
the Gospel of John the logos and the Son of God are one and the same

The point made may be a distinction between the logos as willed by the Father and as originating in him, cf. 75:23-24.






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