Gnostic Doctrine

Saturday, 30 May 2020

Valentinus




Bentley Layton has sketched out a relationship between the various gnostic movements in his introduction to The Gnostic Scriptures (SCM Press, London, 1987). In this model, "Classical Gnosticism" and "The School of Thomas" antedated and influenced the development of Valentinus, who was to found his own school of Gnosticism in both Alexandria and Rome, whom Layton called "the great [Gnostic] reformer" and "the focal point" of Gnostic development. While in Alexandria, where he was born, Valentinus probably would have had contact with the Gnostic teacher Basilides, and may have been influenced by him.

Valentinianism flourished after the middle of the 2nd century AD. This movement was named after its founder Valentinus (c. 100 – 180 AD). The school is also known to have been extremely popular: several varieties of their central myth are known, and we know of "reports from outsiders from which the intellectual liveliness of the group is evident." It is known that Valentinus' students elaborated on his teachings and materials (though the exact extent of their changes remains unknown), for example, in the version of the Valentinian myth brought to us through Ptolemy.

Valentinianism might be described as the most elaborate and philosophically "dense" form of the Syrian-Egyptian schools of Gnosticism, though it should be acknowledged that this in no way debarred other schools from attracting followers. Basilides' own school was popular also, and survived in Egypt until the 4th century.

Simone Petrement, in A Separate God, in arguing for a Christian origin of Gnosticism, places Valentinus after Basilides, but before the Sethians. It is her assertion that Valentinus represented a moderation of the anti-Judaism of the earlier Hellenized teachers; the demiurge, widely regarded as a mythological depiction of the Old Testament God of the Hebrews, is depicted as more ignorant than evil



Valentinian works are named in reference to the Bishop and teacher Valentinius. Circa 153 AD, Valentinius developed a complex cosmology outside of the Sethian tradition. At one point he was close to being appointed the Bishop of Rome of what is now the Roman Catholic Church. Works attributed to his school are listed below, and fragmentary pieces directly linked to him are noted with an asterisk:

• The Divine Word Present in the Infant (Fragment A) *
• On the Three Natures (Fragment B) *
• Adam's Faculty of Speech (Fragment C) *
• To Agathopous: Jesus' Digestive System (Fragment D) *
• Annihilation of the Realm of Death (Fragment F) *
• On Friends: The Source of Common Wisdom (Fragment G) *
• Epistle on Attachments (Fragment H) *
• Summer Harvest*
• The Gospel of Truth*
• Ptolemy's Version of the Gnostic Myth
• Prayer of the Apostle Paul
• Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora
• Treatise on the Resurrection (Epistle to Rheginus)
• Gospel of Philip

Basilidian works are

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Is God a Holy Trinity?

Is God a Holy Trinity?



Is there a difference between emanations of the pleroma and the trinity?

Yes there is a difference between emanations of the pleroma and the catholic trinity

The Ogdoad is a group of 8 aeons which make up the primal emanations of the Pleroma or Godhead

The Trinity is a group of 3 divine beings or persons all claiming to be the same Person at the same time which makes up the Catholic Godhead

The emanations are all aspects of the One Deity 


The Deity has male and female aspects. However the 3 persons of the Catholic  Trinity are all male 

He existed before anything other than himself came into being. The Father is singular while being many, for he is the first one and the one who is only himself. (The Tripartite Tractate Einar Thomassen Translation)

It is not "One God in three Gods," and "Three Gods in One;" but one Deity in a countless multitude revealed in the memorial name, and set forth in the mystery of godliness.


This multitudinous manifestation of the one Deity - one in many, and many in one, by His spirit - was proclaimed to the Hebrew nation in the formula of Deut. 6:4, "Hear, O lsrael, YAHWEH our ELOHIM is the ONE YAHWEH;" that is, "He who shall be our Mighty Ones is the One who shall be."

There are not three Gods in the Godhead; nor are there but three in manifestation; nevertheless, the Father is God and Jesus is God; and we may add, so are all the brethren of Jesus gods; and "a multitude which no man can number." The Godhead is the homogeneous fountain of the Deity; these other gods are the many streams which form this fountain flow. The springhead of Deity is one, not many; the streams as numerous as the orbs of the universe, in which a manifestation of Deity may have hitherto occurred.


Is God a Holy Trinity?

No God is not Trinity the reason why it is called the Holy Trinity is because there are many pagan Trinitis

Valentinian tradition rejects the teaching of the trinity

Marcellus was a contemporary of the Church historian Eusebius and he was present with the latter at the Council of Nicea (c. 325). Marcellus claimed a connection between the Trinity and the teachings of the great Gnostic sage, Valentinus (c. 85–150 AD).

“Valentinus, the leader of a sect, was the first to devise the notion of three subsistent entities in a work that he entitled On the Three Natures. For he devised the notion of three subsistent entities and three persons—father, son and holy spirit.” (B. Layton, Gnostic Scriptures, pg. 232)

To understand the meaning of Marcellus’s statement it must be seen against the background of the time in which it was written. Both Marcellus and Eusebius lived in an age where the Catholic Church had achieved total dominance; and had received recognition and support from the Roman emperor. In this period the Church was split between two theological factions. One of these factions (the “orthodox”) believed that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were three distinct persons who shared one nature or essence (homoousion). This was the position of the majority of the Catholic clergy. In opposition was the heretical faction led by an Egyptian priest named Arius (c. 250–336), who led a rebellion against the bishop of Alexandria. Arius and his followers insisted that the Father and Son had separate natures [1]. (This controversy was probably based on the paradox between Matthew 19:17 and John 10:30.) In the fragment above Marcellus is crediting the notorious heretic Valentinus with being the originator of the separate natures position as taken by the followers of Arius. I believe Marcellus is basically twisting the facts in order to smear the followers of Arius [2]. (In a similar manner Arius claimed in his Confession of Faith that the doctrine of one nature originated from the teachings of Valentinus and the Manicheans.[3])

Ironically Marcellus was later condemned by the Catholic Church for going too far toward the Monarchian position (Sabellianism) in his fanatical opposition to the Arians. Thus while Marcellus affirmed the shared essence of the Trinity, he did so to the point of denying the reality of their separate persons. http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/09642a.htm

In extant ecclesiastical literature the first use of the word homoousion in theology first appears in the doctrine of Valentinus as reported by Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 1.5.1.; see B. Layton, Gnostic Scriptures, pg. 290, footnote b. Of significance is that Irenaeus never used this word in his own doctrine, just as he never used the word “trinity.”

The problem here is that Marcellus is stretching the truth when he states that Valentinus’s concept of “Three Natures” is connected with the notion of “three subsistent entities and three persons—father, son and holy spirit.” The fact is, no other historical witness makes this claim about Valentinus; and there is no evidence in any Valentinian text that shows a connection of this sort. Valentinian texts do contain infrequent and obscure references to the “Father, Son and Holy Spirit” as I have shown above. But again there is no evidence either in Catholic or Valentinian sources that there was a prevailing theological system in Valentinian tradition that revolved around the phrase “Father, Son and Holy Spirit.” Much to the contrary, the historic evidence available shows that the “trinity” of Valentinus, and of the Valentinians, referred to something entirely different and unique.

The report of Marcellus above may be compared with the reports of the early Latin Father, Tertullian of Carthage. Tertullian lived at least 50 years before Marcellus and his writings are especially important because they show the origin and development of the word “trinity” in early Christian thought [4].


4] In extant ecclesiastical literature the notion of a three-person Godhead first appears with Justin Martyr, Athenagorus, and Irenaeus (Justin, 1 Apology, 6, 60; Athenagorus, A Plea for the Christians, 12; Irenaeus, Against Heresies, 4.20.4). These writers never use the word “trinity” but the three-fold idea is emerging in their thoughts. Most important is that these writers do not derive their three-fold ideas from any theological consensus in the NT. At best these writers refer to certain ideas that appear infrequently in certain NT passages, i.e. Mt. 28:19 and 2 Cor. 13:14. But again, there is no consensus in the NT that the Godhead is comprised of three persons. If there is any consensus at all in the NT, then the evidence most often shows that the Godhead is comprised of two figures, Father and Son (cf. Col. 2: 1–3, Jn. 1:1–3, 10:30). It is also notable that, in their polemics against heretics, neither Justin nor Irenaeus refer to any “trinity”; nor do they labor repeatedly on the notion that the godhead is ‘three-fold’ or is comprised of ‘three persons.’ This particular form of dogmatic opinion began with Tertullian (and the Montanists) and no one else (i.e. Tertullian, Against Praxeas).

Historically, Tertullian was the first Catholic writer to begin using the word “trinity” in reference to a systematic dogma.

The irony is that when Tertullian first used the word “trinity” in his earliest Catholic writings, this term was used in reference to Valentinian doctrine. Tertullian actually described this doctrine with the words “Valentinian trinity” (in Latin: trinitas Valentiniana [8]). Hence the first mention of the trinity in ecclesiastical literature actually refers to an idea that belonged to the Valentinians. Here is an example from Tertullian’s Treatise on the Soul:

“[The heretics] deny that nature is susceptible to any change, in order that they may be able to establish their three-fold theory, or ‘trinity,’ (“trinitas”) in all its characteristics as to the several natures, because ‘a good tree cannot produce evil fruit, nor a corrupt tree, good fruit; and nobody gathers figs of thorns, nor grapes of brambles’.” (Tertullian, A Treatise on the Soul, 21)

Tertullian’s description of the Valentinian “trinity” shows no connection with the three persons but instead refers to a doctrine of three natures. What Tertullian actually describes is a Valentinian doctrine which maintains that the universe is comprised of three fundamental substances or natures, which are identified as spirit, soul and matter (ibid., pg. 202; see below). Tertullian here accuses the Valentinians of teaching that the three natures are not subject to change, which he construes to mean that there is no hope for salvation, because the soul’s nature can’t change. Of course he has misstated the Valentinian doctrine; which maintains that the soul is in fact subject to change, i.e. redemption. It is the natures of spirit and matter which are not subject to change. Tertullian correctly reports this doctrine in his later treatise Against Valentinians, 25, where he admits that the soul (animal) “oscillates between the material and the spiritual, and is sure to fall at last on the side to which it has mainly gravitated.” (ibid., pg. 515f.) What Tertullian half-hazardly describes is the “trinity” which was the central tenet of ancient Valentinian tradition, and which provided the structure by which Valentinians defined their concepts of the universe, theology, christology and human nature

Photinus taught that Jesus was the sinless Messiah and redeemer, and the only perfect human son of God, but that he had no pre-human existence. They interpret verses such as John 1:1 to refer to God's "plan" existing in God's mind before Christ's birth;

Many Gnostic traditions held that the Christ is a heavenly Aeon but not one with the Father.

Nontrinitarianism was later renewed by Cathars in the 11th through 13th centuries:

Yet another movement got started in the 12th century in the south of France—the Albigenses (also known as Cathari), named after the town of Albi, where they had many followers. They had their own celibate clergy class, who expected to be greeted with reverence. They believed that Jesus spoke figuratively in his last supper when he said of the bread, “This is my body.” (Matthew 26:26, NAB) They rejected the doctrines of the Trinity, the Virgin Birth, hellfire, and purgatory. Thus they actively put in doubt the teachings of Rome. Pope Innocent III gave instructions that the Albigenses be persecuted. “If necessary,” he said, “suppress them with the sword.” (mankind's search for god watchtower)

The Bogomils ("Friends of God") or Bulgars were a Gnostic Christian sect that flourished in Thrace and Bulgaria in the 10th Century. Their beliefs spread throughout Europe: to Italy, Northern Spain, the Languedoc, France, Germany, and Flanders. Bulgars rejected the Trinity and the sacraments, denied the Catholic Church's teachings on images, infant baptism, saints, and the virgin birth, and held that matter is inherently evil. A derivative sect which came to be known as Cathari flourished in the Languedoc (now Southern France) and Northern Italy . They followed a life of severe asceticism and found little difficulty in attracting the bulk of the population who were, according to Church records, sated with the corruption of the local clergy.


Those groups with early Unitarian or Socinian Christology such as Christadelphians and the Church of God General Conference identify the Angel of the Lord in the Old Testament much as Jews do, simply as angels. Early Christadelphians, notably John Thomas (Phanerosis 1869) and C. C. Walker (1929 Theophany: The Bible doctrine of the manifestation of God upon earth in the angels, in the Lord Jesus Christ, and hereafter in
"the manifestation of sons of God" Birmingham 1929) integrated angelic theophanies and God as revealed in his various divine names into a doctrine of God Manifestation which carries on into a Unitarian understanding of God's theophany in Christ and God being manifested in resurrected believers.

Tuesday, 26 May 2020

Hope N Faith


Think

Test Everything Truth in the Father

[Talk Gnosis] Hylic, Psychic, and Pneumatic

A brief overview of the terms "hylic, psychic, and pneumatic" in both Valentinian and modern Gnostic worldviews.

There was a slight technical hiccup at the end of the show, but we got the important stuff out before that.


[Talk Gnosis] Valentinian Cosmology - The Fall and Redemption of Sophia

In this episode we talk about the way the Valentinian Gnostics viewed the creation of the earth. It's an interesting topic and we have more charts!


[Talk Gnosis] Valentinian Cosmology - The Pleroma

In this episode we talk about the way the Valentinian Gnostics viewed the heavens. It's an interesting topic and we have lots of charts!


Saturday, 23 May 2020

[Talk Gnosis] Isma'ili Islam and Gnosis Part 1

Harvard PhD Candidate Khalil Andani joins us to talk about the Isma'ili community and esoteric Islam in general.


 

The Concept of the Divine Autogenes John 1:18

The Concept of the Divine Autogenes



Sethian Gnosticism consists of the following elements: “a focus on Seth as a Savior figure and spiritual ancestor of the Gnostic elect; a primal divine triad of an ineffable Father, a Mother called Barbelo, and Son referred to as Autogenes; four emanated luminaries named Harmozel, Oroaiel, Daveithe, and Eleleth and other superterrestial beings related to them; a salvation history thought of as three descents of the Savior, or three critical periods marked by flood, fire, and final judgement; and rituals of baptism and ascent.”

1 In [the] beginning the Word was, and the Word was with God, and the Word was a god
2 This one was in [the] beginning with God. 
3 All things came into existence through him, and apart from him not even one thing came into existence.

God’s firstborn Son called “a god,” “the only-begotten god” as the most manuscripts of John 1:18 call him.

John 1:18 No man has seen God at any time; the only-begotten god who is in the bosom [position] with the Father is the one that has explained him.

The phrase monogenes´ theos´ rendered in a few translations as “God only begotten" could be understood as a reference to the Autogenes the self-begotten Christ or self-originate Son, an Only Begotten God, The One existing within the bosom of the Father.


And Thought willed to create a work through the Word of the invisible Spirit, and his Will became a work. And he was revealed with Mind and Light, glorifying It. And the Word followed the Will. For because of the Word, Christ the divine Autogenes created the All. Eternal Life with Will, and Mind with Foreknowledge stood. They glorified the invisible Spirit and Barbelo for they had come into being because of her. (The Apocryphon of John)

7 And It gazed into Barbelo in the pure light which surrounds the in­visible Spirit and Its luminescence, and she conceived from It. It begot a spark of light in a light resembling blessedness, but it was [not] equal to Its greatness. This one was only-begotten of the Mother‑Father who had appeared. He is his only offspring, the only-begotten of the Father, the pure light. (The Apocryphon of John)

And the holy Spirit perfected the divine Autogenes, the son of Itself and Barbelo, so he might stand before the great and invisible virginal Spirit. The divine Autogenes, the Christ, (is) that one who honored It with a mighty voice. He appeared through the Pronoia. And the invisible virginal Spirit placed Autogenes as true god over the All Nand It subjected to him all authority and the truth which dwells in It so that he might know the All. (He is) that one whose name they call by a name which is more exalted than any name. For they will say that name to those who are worthy of it. (The Apocryphon of John)

Autogenes. One word.

Autogenes, begotten, Divine Child, Pure Light, Light of the World, Logos (John 1:3)

The "Only begotten" Greek Monogenes; The Monogenes or the "Only begotten" is the Autogenes and Logos


Greek: 'Self-begotten,' 'Self-made' ... Also called ‘self-originate’ so 'autogenes' is Greek for "self-generated"


The Coptic Gnostic Library. Autogenes II/1: 7, 11, 16, 20, 24, 33; 8, 21, 23, 26, 28, 31; 9, 1, 10;
III/2:41, 5; 49, 17; 50, 19, 22; 52, 8, 16; 53, 13; 55, 5; 57, 26; 62, 26; 65, 13; 68, 16;
IX/2: 28,6;
XI/3 :46, 11; 51, 26; 58,12
 - (see also Self-begotten One

Autogenes is the third aeon in the tretractys or tetrad (a group of 10 aeons). Again according to the Barbeloite theology. Autogenes is the father-mother-son. (Tomas Kindahl)

The One as ‘unbegotten’ and ‘self-begotten’: “Great is the good Self-begotten who stood, the God who had already stood. (...) Thou art unbegotten. Thou hast appeared in order that thou mightest reveal the eternal ones. Thou art he who is. Therefore thou hast revealed those who really are.” (Three Steles of Seth)

- The One as self-begotten: “This great name of yours is upon me, O self-begotten Perfect one, who is not outside me.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)

- The expression ‘self-begotten’ (or ‘self-originate’) is often left in the ancient Greek form, as ‘Autogenes’.

- The One as self-begotten Autogenes: “...unproclaimable Father, the aeon of the aeons, Autogenes, self-begotten, self-producing...” (Gospel of the Egyptians)

From the Ennoia/Barbelo/Five-Aeon/Ten-Aeon there emanates a further Divinity, referred to as Autogenes, meaning "Self-Begotten" or "Self-Born". 


In Gospel to the Egyptians it is equated with the Logos. In Allogenes we see this as one of the three aspects of the Barbelo

It is described as the "only-begotten one of the Mother-Father" and "of the Father, the pure Light" [Nag Hammadi Library, Apocryphon of John, p.102].

On the one hand this emanation is called "Autogenes", "Self-begotten", yet on the other it is described as being "begotten" by, or the "only-begotten" of, the Mother-Father.


Autogenes also contains the Son of Man and sometimes also Man.

7. THE SON AS AUTOGENES, SELF-BEGOTTEN, ONLY-BEGOTTEN, FIRST-BEGOTTEN

Ode 32

  1. To the blessed ones the joy is from their heart, and light from Him who dwells in them;
  2. And the Word of truth who is self-originate,
  3. Because He has been strengthened by the Holy Power of the Most High; and He is unshaken for ever and ever.
    Hallelujah.
Ode 32:2 lit. "existed (or, was) from His soul" Comp. Jn 5:26 "For as the Father hath life in himself, even so gave he to the Son to have life in himself." The Ode, by immediately adding "for He is strengthened by the holy power of the Most High," appears to imply that the "self-existence" of the Son of Truth is from the Father.

- Although the One is referred to above as ‘self-begotten’, usually the term Autogenes describes the Son (who is either the Word, the saviour Seth or the Christ). The Autogenes often appears in Sethian Gnostic texts.

- In the Apocryphon of John and the Gospel of the Egyptians, the Autogenes begets or is begotten together with the Four Lights.

- Christ the Son as Autogenes: “Because of the word, Christ the divine Autogenes created everything...” “...the twelve aeons which attend the son of the mighty one, the Autogenes, the Christ, through the will and the gift of the invisible Spirit.” (Apocryphon of John)

- The saviour Seth results from the combination of the Logos, Autogenes and Adamas: “Then the great Logos, the divine Autogenes, and the incorruptible man Adamas mingled with each other. (...) And thus there came forth (...) the great incorruptible Seth, the son of the incorruptible man Adamas.” (Gospel of the Egyptians)

I suspect the Barbeloites directly imported this from Christianity around 150 AD. Autogenes is said to hover over the ground in the heaven Domedon Doxomedon. (My source here is as usual April D DeConick). When comparing Autogenes with other Gnosticism it appears that Autogenes counterparts the Second Man in the Ophite theology. I have made no extensive comparison work regarding Autogenes, so that's about what I know here. (Tomas Kindahl)

Daveithai, He is the Father of The Elect, this is Sethian, Sophia-Wisdom is within Eleleth, so that would make The Elect completely outside of the powers of the Sophia-Wisdom. Though Sophia-Wisdom would be engage in initiating and conducting The Elect awakening in the domain of the Eleleth. 
(Tomas Kindahl)

Thanks to Tomas Kindahl

Friday, 22 May 2020

[Talk Gnosis] The Mandaeans

The Mandaeans are the world's oldest continuously existing Gnostic sect, and we're talking about them in depth with Dr. James McGrath of Butler University. What do the Mandaeans believe? What do they practice? What's happening to them now? All this and more! Dr. McGrath's links:

The Mandaean Book of John

What is Mandaeism?

What is Mandaeism? And Who are the Mandaeans? This religious group from middle east has a long and rich history that connects it to Gnosticism, Early Judaism and John the Baptist. Watch to find out more about this fascinating tradition.

[Talk Gnosis] The Lost Teachings of the Cathars



Unfortunately, the Crusade against the Cathars in the thirteenth century effectively eradicated the tradition and destroyed most of its primary documentary history. Only a few original Cathar texts are preserved. Among the most important surviving writing are a Gospel text from the tradition of John and an authentic liturgical text known as the Cathar Ritual. (Two manuscripts of the Cathar Ritual survive, one in Latin and one in Occitan; the version in Occitan is often referred to as the "Lyon Ritual"). The longest surviving Cathar text is the Book of the Two Principles, a sophisticated and persuasive critique of orthodox theology. We provide all three of these texts below.

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

Gnostics 2/4 - Cathars & Bogomils the True Christians

The eleventh, twelfth and thirteenth centuries were marked by resurgence in Europe of spiritual movements of clearly Gnostic character. During the late eleventh century a Gnostic religion that had survived orthodox persecution for many centuries in the Byzantine Empire and on the Balkan Peninsula – the Bogomil religion – found its way to the Languedoc region of Southern France and to areas of Northern Italy. There it took root and flourished over the next three centuries as the Cathar religion -- the tradition of the Good and True Christians, the Bons Hommes. (The term "Cathar" was used in medieval times in a derogatory fashion by opponents of the Bons Hommes; Cathars simply called themselves "Good Christians.")

During these same centuries in the area around the Southern Pyrenees a form of heterodox mysticism took hold, a mysticism that had historical and archetypal roots in the Gnosis and Gnosticism of late antiquity. At precisely this time, and in the same area of Southern France, there came the first flowering of the Troubadour traditions and of the Jewish Gnosticism of Kabbalah. To the south in Spain, the mystical tradition that gave root to a Gnostic school in Islam took form – exemplified by Ibn 'Arabī  (1165–1240), the seminal figure in Turkish, Persian and Sufi Gnostic traditions. St. Francis of Assisi (1181–1226) was also deeply influenced by the spirit of this time and this Cathar land.

The relation of the Bons Hommes with this heterodox flowering of Christian, Jewish and Islamic mystical traditions has long fascinated historians. There is no verifiable answer to the relationship of these several movements, but the milieu in which they arose represents an obvious resurgence of Gnostic tradition: a spirit of Gnosis animated this time and region.

Tuesday, 19 May 2020

Joy and Redemption The Gospel of Truth

The Gospel of Truth








Ode 8:8 
Hear the word of truth, and receive the knowledge of the Most High.

In some texts the first sentence contains the total substance of the work in a nutshell. this is certainly true of the prologue to the gospel of truth where we find the great central concepts which will subsequently be elaborated 

The gospel of truth is joy to those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of knowing him by the power of the Logos, who has come from the Pleroma and who is in the thought and the mind of the Father; he it is who is called "the Savior," since that is the name of the work which he must do for the redemption of those who have not known the Father. For the name of the gospel is the manifestation of hope, since that is the discovery of those who seek him, because the All sought him from whom it had come forth. You see, the All had been inside of him, that illimitable, inconceivable one, who is better than every thought.



those of the middle
The "all" is used collectively of the body of Christ the church, here in the Gospel of Truth I think the term is first used for the nation of Israel and secondly for the believers 

In the "All" there is a group called "those of the middle" it is the same group of people described as "those who have not known the Father" it is this group which can be deceived and taken captive which needs redemption. 


Joy


He was nailed to a tree.  He became a fruit of the knowledge of the father. He did not, however, destroy them because they ate of it. He rather caused those who ate of it to be joyful because of this discovery.

This fruit eternally will be at hand, providing insight, reunion and joy for those who eat it.

the fruit that brought joy is the crucified Jesus

those who eat the fruit that Jesus became are filled with joy.

Truth's good news generates joy in those who have received from the father the gift of knowing him.
  1. To the blessed ones the joy is from their heart, and light from Him who dwells in them;
  2. And the Word of truth who is self-originate,
  3. Because He has been strengthened by the Holy Power of the Most High; and He is unshaken for ever and ever.
    Hallelujah.

Redemption 
Redemption is a Jewish and Christian technical team meaning to buy back it is linked to the word ransom

In modern usage, if you are ransomed it means that you have been captured and imprisoned as a hostage and that someone has paid to have you released.


In the gospel of truth the words "captive" " in chains" or "in bonds" is used to describe "those of the middle" who can be enticed and beguiled. These people are captured by Error into ignorance by means of fears and forgetfulnesses:


(The Gospel of Truth) She was preparing works and forgetfulnesses and fears in order, by these means, to beguile those of the middle  and to make them captive.


(The Gospel of Truth) Having made punishments and tortures cease - for it was they which were leading astray from his face some who were in need of mercy, in error and in bonds - he both destroyed them with power and confounded them with knowledge. 


Jesus quotes from Isaiah 61:1, 2, applying it to himself as sent by the Father “to preach a release to the captives and a recovery of sight to the blind.” (Lu 4:16-21) 


Eph 4:8;  Wherefore he says: “When he ascended on high he carried away captives; he gave gifts [in] men


Christ led a host of captives out of the bondage of spiritual Egypt


2Cor 10:5 For we are overturning reasonings and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God; and we are bringing every thought into captivity to make it obedient to the Christ


“If anyone is meant for captivity, he goes away into captivity.”—Re 13:10


captivity is a state of bondage to mental confusion


The release or the ransom to escape the captive of Error is knowledge people are redeemed by knowledge

Redemption means the transformation of ignorance into knowledge this is what the gospel is about  


Col 3:10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,

The inner, spiritual man is redeemed through knowledge, and it suffices to have knowledge of all things: this is the true redemption

Therefore knowledge is the redemption of the inner man. 

knowledge is the means of achieving redemption 


discovery of those who seek him


The last words of the prologue speak about discovery and seeking or searching "since it is the discovery for those who are searching for him"



Monday, 18 May 2020

Who is Lucifer Isaiah 14:12-14

Isaiah 14:12-14 How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer,son of the morning!
How you are cut down to the ground,You who weakened the nations!
For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
14 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’.


These verse is used to prove that Satan is a fallen angel.

The words “devil” , “satan” and “angel” never occur in this chapter. This is the only place in Scripture where the word “Lucifer” occurs.

There is no evidence that Isaiah 14 is describing anything that happened in the garden of Eden; if it is, then why are we left 3,000 years from the time of Genesis before being told what really happened there?

Lucifer is identified in the chapter, but not with a rebel angel. It is clearly stated: "Take up this proverb2 against the king of Babylon, and say, How hath the oppressor ceased!" (vs. 4). (The preceding chapter is a prophecy against Babylon itself, but now the prophecy is directed against the king of Babylon). This is fullfilled in daniel chapter 4 with Nabuzzar going mad and daniel 5 with the writing on the wall A secondary fulfillment would be the overthrow of Gog or the Antichrist at Armageddon

Why is Lucifer punished for saying, “I will ascend into heaven” (v. 13), if he was already there?

5. Lucifer is to rot in the grave: “your splendour is brought down to the grave...and the worms cover you” (v. 11). Seeing angels cannot die (Lk. 20:35-36), Lucifer therefore cannot be an angel; the language is more suited to a man.

"Ascending to heaven" is symbol for increase in pride or exaltation, and "falling from heaven", symbolic complete humiliation. See Jer. 51:53 (refers to Babylon); Lam. 2:1; Matt. 11:23 (refers to Capernaum).

The meaning of Lucifer: day-star (mbd) "light-bearer" 1) shining one, morning star,

The passage in Isaiah regarding the day-star, or Lucifer (A.V.), is believed by many to refer to the fall from heaven of angels who had sinned against God; Lucifer, their leader, is supposed to be Satan. In so far as the literal understanding is concerned, this is a mistake; the text has no such implications. It refers to the fall of the king of Babylon, who had ruled in such brilliance and greatness, in such pomp and splendor, that Isaiah likened him to the morning star (Isa. 14:12; II Pet. 1:19).

The text in Isaiah, "O Lucifer, son of the morning!" signifies man's uplifting of the ruling ego (represented here by the king of Babylon), and attributing to the outward senses those qualities of light, understanding, and greatness that belong only to God. This is unfavourable and comes from the carnal mind in the individual; it must be overthrown, cast down and out of consciousness

Lucifer the thinking of the flesh or carnal mind in man that has fixed ideas in opposition to Truth. Lucifer assumes various forms in man's consciousness, among which may be mentioned egotism, a puffing up of the personality; self deception. This "self deception" makes man believe that he is genetically good.



The Coptic Church

The Coptic Church





Vast number of Jews spoke the Coptic language. It is claimed that about 40% of the population of the city of Alexandria, on the Egyptian coast, were Jews. It was in this country that Joseph and Mary sought refuge with their young child, Jesus (Mat. 2:13

The first Christian on record to preach in Africa was himself an African, the Ethiopian eunuch mentioned in the Bible at Acts chapter 8. A Jewish proselyte, he was on his way home from worshiping at the temple in Jerusalem when Philip converted him to Christianity. Without doubt, in keeping with the zeal of early Christians, this Ethiopian afterward actively preached the good news he had heard, becoming a missionary in his own land.

Historians fail to agree, however, on whether or not this was the way Christianity became established in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Orthodox Church appears to date back to the fourth century, when a Syrian student of philosophy named Frumentius was ordained as a bishop to Ethiopian “Christians” by Athanasius, a bishop of the Coptic Church of Alexandria.

The Coptic Church—Copt is derived from the Greek word for “Egyptian”—claims that its founder and first patriarch was Mark the Evangelist. According to tradition, he preached in Egypt just before the middle of the first century. At any rate, “Christianity” spread to North Africa at an early date, with men like Origen and Augustine rising to prominence. A catechetical school in Alexandria, Egypt, became a noted center of “Christian” scholarship with Pantaenus as its first president. But by the time of Pantaenus’ successor, Clement of Alexandria, apostasy had evidently already taken its toll. The Encyclopedia of Religion reveals that Clement “advocated the reconciliation of Christian doctrine and the Bible with Greek philosophy.”

The Coptic Church carried on an intensive missionary campaign, particularly in eastern Libya. Archaeological excavations in Nubia and lower Sudan also reveal Coptic influence

Gnostic Apostolic Succession

Gnostic apostolic succession

Clement of Alexandria records that Valentinus was instructed by Theudas, and that Theudas in turn was taught by Paul (Clement of Alexandria Stromata 7:17)

the valentinians possess the true apostolic succession

No one could’ve been revealed among those who’d been entrusted with salvation unless the book had appeared.(The Gospel of Truth)

Chrism is superior to baptism. We are called Christians from the word “chrism,” not from the word “baptism.” Christ also has his name from chrism, for the father anointed the son, the son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. Whoever is anointed has everything: resurrection, light, cross, holy spirit. The father gave all this to the person in the bridal chamber, and the person accepted it. The father was in the son and the son was in the father. This is heaven’s kingdom. (Gospel of Philip)

These words I have received from the generosity of my lord, Jesus the Christ. I have taught you and your brothers and sisters, who are my children, about them, and have omitted nothing that may strengthen you. If there is anything among these written words that is obscure, ask and I will explain. (The Treatise on the Resurrection)

For, if God permit, you will later learn about their origin and generation, when you are judged worthy of the apostolic tradition which we too have received by succession. We too are able to prove all our points by the teaching of the Savior. (Ptolemy's Letter to Flora)


https://www.gnosticdoctrine.com/2020/08/gnostic-saints-or-fathers-of-christian.html

Sunday, 17 May 2020

Fog and Error in the Gospel of Truth

Fog and Error in the Gospel of Truth







The Fog and Origin of "Error"

A Reading from the Gospel of Truth:


The gospel of truth is joy to those who have received from the Father of truth the gift of knowing him by the power of the Logos, who has come from the Pleroma and who is in the thought and the mind of the Father; he it is who is called "the Savior," since that is the name of the work which he must do for the redemption of those who have not known the Father. For the name of the gospel is the manifestation of hope, since that is the discovery of those who seek him, because the All sought him from whom it had come forth. You see, the All had been inside of him, that illimitable, inconceivable one, who is better than every thought.

This ignorance of the Father brought about terror and fear. And terror became dense like a fog, that no one was able to see. Because of this, error became strong. But it worked on its hylic substance vainly, because it did not know the truth. It was in a fashioned form while it was preparing, in power and in beauty, the equivalent of truth. This then, was not a humiliation for him, that illimitable, inconceivable one. For they were as nothing, this terror and this forgetfulness and this figure of falsehood, whereas this established truth is unchanging, unperturbed and completely beautiful.


For this reason, do not take error too seriously. Thus, since it had no root, it was in a fog as regards the Father, engaged in preparing works and forgetfulnesses and fears in order, by these means, to beguile those of the middle and to make them captive. The forgetfulness of error was not revealed. It did not become light beside the Father. Forgetfulness did not exist with the Father, although it existed because of him. What exists in him is knowledge, which was revealed so that forgetfulness might be destroyed and that they might know the Father, Since forgetfulness existed because they did not know the Father, if they then come to know the Father, from that moment on forgetfulness will cease to exist. (the Gospel of Truth)

Introduction
First we must not read preconceived ideas into the Gospel of Truth we must read it with a open bible and a open mind 

Many scholars have cast doubt on claims that any mythological figures can be read into the text


Bentley Layton agrees that the Gospel of Truth "makes no specific reference to the Gnostic myth" (Layton 1987, p 250).


The first paragraph of the Gospel of Truth introduces the Father, the Savior, and the All, and then from there talks about the concept of fear terror and error being introduced into the world

The All
"because the All sought him (the Father) from whom it had come forth. You see, the All had been inside of him, that illimitable, inconceivable one, who is better than every thought." (the Gospel of Truth)

For more information on the Gnostic term the All see Panta En Pasin The All in All


The "All" comes from the Geek word pasin 3956. πᾶς pas pas; is an Adjective 

Definitionall, every 
Usageall, the whole, every kind of.

AV-all 748,


1) individually

1a) each, every, any, all, the whole, everyone, all things, everything
2) collectively
2a) some of all types

The "all" is used collectively of the body of Christ the church, here in the Gospel of Truth I think the term is first used for the nation of Israel and secondly for the believers 


The all is in a state of ignorance this is also a description of the nation of Israel at the time of Christ's first coming 


As a result Error gained dominion and in futility produced a substitute for the Truth.


this would be describing the Pharisees hiding the keys to the kingdom of Heaven


the All errs in a fog of fear and anguish and cannot see the Father.



Ignorance
 This is the one who is called the savior, since that is the name of the work that he must do for the redemption of those who have not known the father.

They call him “Savior.” That’s the name of the work he’ll do to redeem those who had become
ignorant of the Father.

The word Ignorance (Greek G52 ἄγνοια agnoia [ag-no-eh’-o which comes from the root 50 ἀγνοέω agnoeo [ag-no-eh’-o) means not to know, lack of knowledge, moral blindness [{Ac 3:17 } 3) to err or sin through mistake, to be wrong, spoken mildly of those who are not high handed or wilful transgressors [{Heb 5:2 }


Acts 17:30  True, God has overlooked the times of such ignorance, yet now he is telling mankind that they should all everywhere repent


Ignorance alienates from eternal life, and makes death the certain and irretrievable lot of the subject to it. Ephesians 4:18; Psalm 49:19-20 (Robert Roberts Christendom Astray)


Fog
"And terror became dense like a fog, that no one was able to see. Because of this, error became strong." (the Gospel of Truth)

Here there is no trace of a fall of an individual aeon but the process of the fall is set in motion by introducing a personification Plane or Error


Romans 1:21 because, although they knew God, they did not glorify him as God nor did they thank him, but they became empty-headed in their reasonings and their unintelligent heart became darkened. 


Those who were wise among the Greeks and the barbarians have advanced to the powers which have come into being by way of imagination and vain thought. Those who have come from these, in accord with the mutual conflict and rebellious manner active in them, also spoke in a likely, arrogant and imaginary way concerning the things which they thought of as wisdom, although the likeness deceived them, since they thought that they had attained the truth, when they had (only) attained error. (The Tripartite Tractate)

2cor 3:14  But their mental powers were dulled. For to this present day the same veil remains unlifted at the reading of the old covenant, because it is done away with by means of Christ. 


Ignorance produces negative emotional states such as "forgetfulness", "fear" and " terror these emotional states became solidified into matter when "the terror grew dense like a fog, so that no one could see"

but what is fog?


Particles of water floating in the air; they resemble very light rain. When warm humid air rises from the earth and cools to what is called the dew point, moisture condenses because cool air cannot hold as much water as warm air. If this occurs near the ground, it is called fog; if it takes place higher in the sky, it forms what is called a cloud. (Ps 135:7; Pr 25:14; Jer 10:13; 51:16) Moisture that condenses on cool objects, such as the ground or vegetation (usually at night), is described as dew. (Ex 16:13, 14; Jg 6:36-40; ) Mist, on the other hand, is composed of airborne particles of moisture that are somewhat larger in size than fog particles, but smaller than raindrops. 


Note: Fog is denser than mist and tends to last longer.



From the start the Gospel of Truth is using figurative language it is therefore clear to see that the Gospel of Truth is not speaking about natural "fog" but is using the word "fog" as a analogy from the natural world.

The fog was that which beclouded the minds of the All which arose from the vain imaginations and traditions of their evil hearts


Fog--Lack of clear understanding between the carnal mind and the true spiritual understanding of the Father that is spiritual blindness. (Act 13:11 2Peter 1:9 2Peter 2:17)

Fog is therefore a symbol of the "fog" of false teaching and false religion.


A description of fog from the Gospel of Truth: 


It’s something in a soul-endowed delusion (psychical form), like cold water sunk into loose earth. Those who see it think that it’s just earth. Afterwards, it dissolves again. If a breath draws it, it becomes warm.  Afterward, it evaporates if a breath of wind draws it, and it becomes warm. The cold aromas, then, are from division. For this reason, faith came and destroyed division and brought the warm fullness of love, so that the cold may not return, but the unity of perfect thought may prevail.


the term psychical form comes from the word psuchè (“soul, breath”), when it is related to psychros (“cold”), reminds us of a well-known etymological pun: the verb psuchô means “to blow” as much as “to breathe,” “to cool down” or “to get cold.”


In the Odes of Solomon fog is connected to thinking ability:


Ode 5:6. And they shall have no light to see that they may not take me.

7. May their thought become a thick-fog, and whatever they have planned-wisely [as they suppose] let it return upon their own heads

In Ode 5:7 "May their thought become a thick-fog" the Coptic has "power/ess"


The poet may mean "an earthborn mist" of pride, "swelling up" to obscure the sight of the oppressor. The Coptic perhaps substituted commonplace prose " [ulcerated and therefore] powerless." (Light on the Gospel: From an Ancient Poet by Edwin An. Abbott)


The role of the fog in the Gospel of Truth (Fog Coptic , Greek  ὅμιλος 3658) is used collectively as a collective noun (Note collective noun is a noun that is singular in form but refers to a group of people or things) and this is how the Greek word is used in Revelation 18:17

Rev 18:17  For in one hour so great riches is come to nought. And every shipmaster, and all the company <3658> in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off,



Thayer's Greek Lexicon

ὅμιλος, ὁμιλου, ὁ (ὁμός, ὁμοῦ, and ἴλη a crowd, band (Curtius, § 660; Vanicek, p. 897; but Fick iii. 723 from root mil 'to be associated,' 'to love')), from Homer down, a multitude of men gathered together, a crowd, throng: Revelation 18:17 Rec.
STRONGS NT 3658a: ὁμίχλη ὁμίχλη, ὁμίχλης, ἡ (in Homer ὀιχλη), from ὀμιχέω to make water), a mist, fog: 2 Peter 2:17 G L T Tr WH. (Amos 4:13; Joel 2:2; Sir. 24:3; Wis. 2:4.)
Waters, Clouds peoples, and multitudes, and nations
Paul speaks about a great a cloud of witnesses in Hebrews 12:1 In Revelation John hears a voice as the sound of many waters Rev 1:15 we are told in Rev 17:15 that the waters are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues. And in Rev 19:6, we are told the voice which had the sound of many waters is a great multitude of the Redeemed 

Re 17:15  And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.



Re 19:6  And I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Alleluia: for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

Here we have two groups of waters the Redeemed cloud of witnesses Heb 12:1 Rev 1:15 19:6 and the Nations Rev 17:15 this will help us to understand the use of Fog in the Gospel of Truth



cloud of witnesses  3509. νέφος nephos [nef’-os]; apparently a primary word; a cloud: —  cloud. 1) a cloud, a large dense multitude, a throng

There are some scriptural uses of mist/fog, blindness and forgetfulnesses:   

Rom 11:25  For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.


2Peter 1:9  But he that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see afar off, and hath forgotten that he was purged from his old sins.

(Note the things lacking are faith, virtue, knowledge, self-control, endurance, godly devotion, brotherly affection, and love see vss 5-8)

"He that lacketh these things is blind" — Greek. tuphlos 5185, literally "smoky, misty, darkened." (Cp. Rev. 3:17, where same word occurs.) His vision is clouded, he is shortsighted and cannot see the grand objective before him, nor the purpose of the knowledge of God. Thus he cannot see afar off. and "where there is no vision, the people perish" (Prov. 29:18).

5185. τυφλός tuphlos [toof-los’]; from, 5187; opaque (as if smoky), i.e. (by analogy) blind (physically or mentally): —  blind

5187. τυφόω tuphoo [toof-o’-o]; from a derivative of 5188; to envelop with smoke, i.e. (figuratively) to inflate with self-conceit: —  high-minded, be lifted up with pride, be proud.

"Hath forgotten" — [Greek,] "contracted forgetfulness," wilful and culpable obliviousness. Where there is no conscious striving to develop "the new man,"  a person soon forgets the privileged status that he has enjoyed in Christ. 

Forgetfulness is linked to ignorance 3024. λήθη lethe [lay’-thay]; from 2990; forgetfulness: —  + forget.

2990 λανθάνω lanthano [lan-than’-o]   — be hid, to be hidden, to be hidden from one, be ignorant of, unawares.  without knowing

2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.

2 Peter 2:17

These are springs without water and mists driven by a storm, for whom the black darkness has been reserved.
The false teachers are like the damp mists that blot out visibility (Mai. 4:2) without providing rain (cp. Deut. 32:2), and which are swept along by the tempest into the "blackness of darkness" (R.V.) for ever.

the mist of darkness or black darkness is 
the spiritual darkness of the mind (Psa. 69:23). Psa. 69:23

2217. ζόφος zophos [dzof’-os]; akin to the base of 3509; gloom (as shrouding like a cloud): —  blackness, darkness, mist.

3509. νέφος nephos [nef’-os]; apparently a primary word; a cloud: —  cloud. 
1) a cloud, a large dense multitude, a throng
Fog a Summary
Fog is an image for ignorance, forgetfulness and oblivion.- It is similar to sleep, blindness and darkness.
Fog a mental state of delusion resulting in spiritual blindness
the "fog" of false teaching and false religion.
Fog use as a collective of a group or community 

And the ignorance of the Father brought anguish and terror, and the anguish grew dense like a fog so that no one could see. (the Gospel of Truth)

This "fog" results in the appearance of error or perhaps is error.
Error
"Where did it (the error) come from?" or "Where did the words of deception, which all the powers have failed to discover, come from?" (the apocalypse of adam)

the word Error is used in the Bible 2The 2:11  1John

1John 4:6 We are of God. He that knows God hears us. He who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error


Those who were out of step with the teaching of spirit-filled teachers like John were thereby discernible as of "the spirit of error". "Error" is more 'deceit' in the Greek, the same word used of the spirit of deceit which the Lord would send upon the Jewish world 


2The 2:11 So that is why God lets an operation of error go to them, that they may get to believing the lie


 just as God can work within the minds of believers according to His energeia by His Spirit (Eph. 1:19; 3:16-20), so those who refuse to believe have another spirit sent to work within them, deluding them into believing the lie. "The lie" refers to the "delusion"; and in the first century context, that delusion was the words of the Judaizers, framed as they are as the serpent in Eden and Cain who told the first lies (the same Greek word for "delusion" is used about the Judaizers who sought to delude the believers in Eph. 4:14; 2 Pet. 3:17; Jude 11 cp. Jn. 8:44). 


John contrasts a love of the truth (cp. :10) with "the spirit of error [s.w. "delusion"]", which operated through the false Judaist prophets / teachers infiltrating the churches (1 Jn. 4:1,6). 


Psychological confirmation of disbelievers is a feature of God's working with men (Is. 6:9,10; Rom. 1:24-28), and God even sends false prophets or teachers as part of this process (1 Kings 22:22,23; Ez. 14:9; Job 12:16). This is what will particularly happen in the last days (1 Tim. 4:1), just as it did in the collapse of Christian faith which was seen in the run up to the events of AD70



The word Error is also used in the Old Testament pseudepigrapha text of the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs 

Reuben 1:1 The Testament of Reuben Concerning Thoughts (Roberts-Donaldson Translation)

2:1. And now hear me, my children, what things I saw concerning the seven spirits of deceit (Error), when 2 I repented. Seven spirits therefore are appointed against man, and they are the leaders in the works 3 of youth. [And seven other spirits are given to him at his creation, that through them should be 4 done every work of man. The first is the spirit of life, with which the constitution (of man) is 5 created. The second is the sense of sight, with which ariseth desire. The third is the sense of hearing, with which cometh teaching. The fourth is the sense of smell, with which tastes are given 6, 7 to draw air and breath. The fifth is the power of speech, with which cometh knowledge. The sixth is the sense of taste, with which cometh the eating of meats and drinks; and by it strength is 8 produced, for in food is the foundation of strength. The seventh is the power of procreation and 9 sexual intercourse, with which through love of pleasure sins enter in. Wherefore it is the last in order of creation, and the first in that of youth, because it is filled with ignorance, and leadeth the youth as a blind man to a pit, and as a beast to a precipice. (R. H. Charles Translation)

3. Besides all these, there is an eighth (8) spirit of sleep, with which is created entrancement of man's nature, and the image of death. With these spirits are mingled the spirits of error. The first (1), the spirit of fornication, dwelleth in the nature and in the senses; the second (2) spirit of insatiateness in the belly; the third (3) spirit of fighting in the liver and the gall. The fourth (4) is the spirit of fawning and trickery, that through over-officiousness a man may be fair in seeming. The fifth (5) is the spirit of arrogance, that a man may be stirred up and become high-minded. The sixth (6) is the spirit of lying, in perdition and in jealousy to feign words, and to conceal words from kindred and friends. The seventh (7) is the spirit of injustice, with which are theft and pilferings, that a man may work the desire of his heart; for injustice worketh together with the other spirits by means of craft. Besides all these, the spirit of sleep, the eighth (8) spirit, is conjoined with error and fantasy. And so perisheth every young man, darkening his mind from the truth, and not understanding the law of God, nor obeying the admonitions of his fathers, as befell me also in my youth.

The theme of the Testament of Reuben is about human thoughts (1:1) these thoughts and the mind in which they reside generate the decisions that result in sin and righteous conduct (See Reuben 3:12 4:6,8,11; 5:3,6,7; 6:1,2)

2:1 And seven other spirits are given to him at his creation, that through them should be done every work of man.

the seven other spirits given to human beings these spirits listed in Ruben 2:3-9 are said to be other spirits than the the seven spirits of error/deceit. except for the seventh one the power of procreation and sexual intercourse these other spirits are evaluated as beneficent powers working for human beings
the seven other spirits seem to refer to the human senses

Because of this, error  became strong. But she worked on her material substance vainly, because she did not know the truth. She assumed a fashioned figure while she was preparing, in power and in beauty, the substitute for truth.


The words "material substance" "hylic substance" or "its own matter" should be understood as a reference to Error equivalent of truth or substitute for truth which has a fashioned figure


The substance of Error is fog, fog or mist which is physically insubstantial has no real corporeal substance the fashioned figure it produces is an illusion a substitute for truth



1peter 1:14 As obedient children, quit being fashioned according to the desires YOU formerly had in YOUR ignorance, 

the word "fashioned figure" or "fashioned form" refers to our mental atitiute to conform one’s self (i.e. one’s mind and character) to another’s pattern, (fashion one’s self according to) 

12:2 And quit being fashioned after this system of things, but be transformed by making YOUR mind over, that YOU may prove to yourselves the good and acceptable and perfect will of God.


For this reason, do not take error too seriously. Thus, since it had no root, it was in a fog as regards the Father, engaged in preparing works and forgetfulnesses and fears in order, by these means, to beguile those of the middle and to make them captive. (the Gospel of Truth)


Error happens, or exists, by terrifying and beguiling a group of people that is called ‘those of the middle


Error exists as long as it can beguile those of the middle. Error was, and still is, the cause and result of a false knowledge of the Father


‘those of the middle’ is a term that refers to people who have not yet come to knowledge, but who have the capacity for it.


This darkness of ignorance and error what is often called sin in the Orthodox Christianity 


Error came into being in a fog, and that basically is a product of ignorance


Error and Fog exist together they may form a syzygy 


Acquaintance is gnosis Un-acquaintance is a lack of gnosis or "deficiency" lack is destroyed by the advent of gnosis.

the terms "error" and "lack" are used interchangeably in the Gospel of Truth

error seems to be used in the Gospel of Truth as a synonym for the familiar Valentinian concept of "lack" or "deficiency" ( Greek: hysterema).

ignorance (Un-acquaintance) of the Father brought about Error through anxiety and fear

Error is not Sophia For example, later in the text error is linked to the crucifixion of Jesus (18:21-31). The text also speaks of error's destruction (26:15-32). This is at odds with any known Gnostic myth of Sophia, particularly a Valentinian one.


Error in the Gospel of Truth is not set in the primordial past, as for instance in the Apocryphon of John, but in the time of Jesus’ earthly mission and in the present time of the community

The personification of error represents the "state of consciousness of the Jewish Sanhedrin and the Roman authorities " For this reason error was angry with him, so she persecuted him. She was distressed by him, and she was made powerless. He was nailed to a tree."(Gospel of Truth 18:16-18).

Error is simultaneously a symbolic designation for the group of people that persecuted Jesus and a description of their mental state.




Error has a mental condition That which is untrue. Error thoughts represent belief in thoughts and beliefs not of God. Error thoughts have no foundation in Truth. They originate in the intellect. They are eliminated by one's denying their reality and power, and affirming the Truth of Being.

Error was, and still is, the cause and result of a false knowledge of the Father.


Speak of the truth with those who search for it, and (of) knowledge to those who have committed sin in their error.



You may want to see our study on The Figure of Error in the Odes of Solomon


For more information on the Gospel of Truth see  Rethinking the Gospel of Truth Book by Jörgen Magnusson