Gnostic Doctrine

Thursday, 18 June 2020

The Sethian Trinity

The Sethian Trinity



The original divine entity is the infinite One, the invisible spirit (revealed as the transcendent One in the Secret Book of John and the Vision of the Foreigner). From the One emanates the divine forethought Barbelo, and together the One and Barbelo produce a divine child, to form an exalted triad or trinity. (The Gnostic Bible - Page 110)


The Gnostic Gospels By Elaine Pagels:


The Apocryphon of John relates how John went out after the crucifixion with "great grief" and had a mystical vision of the Trinity. As John was grieving, he says that the [heavens were opened and the whole] creation [which is] under heaven shone and [the world] trembled. [And I was afraid, and I] saw in the light . . . a likeness with multiple forms . . . and the likeness had three forms.14 

To John's question the vision answers: "He said to me, 'J˚hn, Jo[h]n, why do you doubt, and why are you afraid? ... I am the one who [is with you] always. I [am the Father]; I am the Mother; I am the Son."15 This gnostic description of God—as Father, Mother and Son—may startle us at first, but on reflection, we can recognize it as another version of the Trinity. The Greek terminology for the Trinity, which includes the neuter term for spirit (pneuma) virtually requires that the third "Person" of the Trinity be asexual. But the author of the Secret Book has in mind the Hebrew term for spirit, ruah, a feminine word; and so concludes that the feminine "Person" conjoined with the Father and Son must be the Mother. The Secret Book goes on to describe the divine Mother:

. . . (She is) . . . the image of the invisible, virginal, perfect spirit . . .
She became the Mother of everything, for she existed before them
all, the mother-father [matropater] . . .16

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