In this paper we will look at Constantine's conversion. The Council of Nicaea and the growing claim of the Church to govern over temporal or civil authority. We will also look at the hunt for heretics and their persecution . All of this started slowly with Constantine and by the time of Justinian the Church had asserted what it saw as its right to rule over temporal(Earthly) Kingdoms. This belief reached its panicle of power in the 11th century under Pope Innocent III and is still believed by the Catholic Church today as is shown by the cannons of the Second Vatican council in 1964.
The sources drawn on for this paper are too many to mention but include many Early church Fathers writings and other academic works such as The Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire in addition to the many quotes from the Council Canons. I have also included some Letters of the Emperor Constantine as well as two Gnostic books (for reference) that were banned by Constantine in 325AD. If you have any questions as to a particular source please feel free to email me.
The Edict of Milan marks a turning point in the spreading of the Christian faith. In the years Prior to the Edict of Milan the church was small in the Western Empire, representing about 5% - 10% of the population. In the East the Christians represented about 10% - 15% of the population. Within 50 yrs 90% of the Empire would claim to be Christian. The effects of this influx of Pagan over such a short period of time can be seen in the loss of the Peace and Love Christians had been known for.
In 313AD Constantine saved Christians from persecution and legitimised their existence. However this presented a real problem for Constantine, if the Empire was Christian in faith, where would the solders and administrators to run and defend the Empire come from. Christians had never served in the Roman Army and had refused to serve in civil office in any capacity. While it is true many Roman soldiers became Christian, upon doing so they only had two options, first upon revealing such information they would be put to death,
Maximilian, as it is related in the Acts of Ruinart, was brought before the tribunal to be enrolled as a soldier. When the Proconsul's asked him his name, Maximilian replied: "I am a Christian, and cannot fight." It was ordered that he should be enlisted, but he refused to serve, claiming that he was a Christian. He was immediately told that there was no alternative between bearing arms and being put to death. But his faith would not to be shaken: "I cannot fight," he said, " even if I die." He held to his faith and was executed.
Marcellus was a centurion in the Trajana legion. When he became a Christian. He believed the same as his fellow Christians, that war was for Pagans, he threw down his belt at the head of the legion, declaring that he had become a Christian, and that he would serve no longer. He was imprisoned but he held to his faith. "It is not lawful for a Christian to bear arms for any earthly consideration;" He was put to death. Shortly afterwards, Cassian, who was notary to the same legion, gave up his office, he steadfastly maintained the sentiments of Marcellus, and, like him, was executed.
The second option was, they finished their stint and then just left military and served Jesus instead. Leaving military service as condition of becoming a Clergy member of the Church is shown to be true just after the persecutions at Nicaea in Canon XII .
Canon XII. As many as were called by grace, and displayed the first zeal, having cast aside their military girdles, but afterwards returned, like dogs, to their own vomit, (so that some spent money and by means of gifts regained their military stations); let these, after they have passed the space of three years as hearers, be for ten years prostrators. But in all these cases it is necessary to examine well into their purpose and what their repentance appears to be like. For as many as give evidence of their conversions by deeds, and not pretence, with fear, and tears, and perseverance, and good works, when they have fulfilled their appointed time as hearers, may properly communicate in prayers; and after that the bishop may determine yet more favourably concerning them. But those who take [the matter] with indifference, and who think the form of entering the Church is sufficient for their conversion, must fulfil the whole time.
Constantine needed something from the Church, he needed a Decree sanctifying Military service and he approached the Latin Bishops after the Edict of Milan and requested just that. Constantine got his decree less than one year after the Edict of Milan in 314AD from the Synod he convened at Arles in Gual.
Latter Latin Bishops such as St Athanasius, St Ambrose and St Basil all taught that killing for the State was justified for the good of the whole society and for the defence of property and religion.
Here are Athananius's words in his letter to Amun "For in other things that occur in this life, we find distinctions: such as, it is not permitted to murder, but to kill the enemy in war is both lawful and worthy of praise. So then those who perform in the best way in war are given great rewards, and monuments are erected to proclaim their deeds."
In the end it was St.Augustine's "City of God" that wrote the book for and justified Christian war, this was later to be expanded into the "Just War" theory in which the Christian could serve both God and Murder for the State, Oh Sorry!!!!!, "Kill for the State". Apostasy set in right before the eyes of the Bishops, they where all to busy fighting each others claimed apostasy on the nature of the unseen and unknowable to worry about Jesus's words such as do good to those who hate you, love you enemies, turn the other check, do I really need to go on. In my eyes to kill for the State is to follow a path with no light in it.
The New Division in Christianity (150 to 325AD)
The great church historian Mosheim tells us "Easter began in the second century (Mosheim's Institutes of Eccl.History, pg. 73). The council of Nicaea, 325 A. D. ruled that Easter was to be universally celebrated on the same Sunday
Easter in many ways is an adoption of a spring pagan holiday, which was developed in Asia Minor at Ephesus. In the Roman world, Diana or Juno(AKA: Isis goddess of a thousand names), was a fertility Goddess who was often depicted in sculptures as a woman with a dozen breasts. While the Church only adopted the timing of Easter with that of the Pagan Festival (i.e.: the first Sunday after the first full moon after the spring equinox) the population adopted the customs.
The Babylonian equivalent of Diane or Isis was the goddess Ishtar, from which we get the word "Easter". Ishtar was the ancient Babylonian goddess of love war, and fertility. In most of the myths concerning her, she is described as an evil, heartless, women who killed her mates and lovers. Her greatest lover was the farm god Tammuz (Son and Husband of Semiramis) Semiramis we know killed her husband Nimrod and married her son Tammuz. Ishtar is Semiramis and Isis the names are different only because diverse languages, or as the Bible states because of Babel placed on Nimrods Kingdom by God.
To Ishtar (Diana or Juno, Astarte), the goddess of love war and reproduction, the egg was both as a sign of fertility and a reminder of the myth that Ishtar was hatched out of a huge egg that fell into the Euphrates River. Her festival was on the first full moon after the spring equinox. The moon was associated with the Mother Goddess as the sun was associated with the Father God and her high festivals were always on the first full moon or new moon after solstice or equinox. In Egypt, Isis was the goddess of motherhood and fertility, and rabbits were symbols of birth and life. It is plain as to the origin of eggs and rabbits as symbols of Easter. The Pagan festival's customs were adopted and Christian themes where applied.
As time passed the Bishops of the Roman Empire, slowly began to adopt or switch the emphasis of pagan holidays to "Christian" themes. They did this in part to disassociate themselves from the Jewish people. In 150 CE, in a letter to the Bishop of Palestine, now located some fifty miles from the destroyed city of Jerusalem, the Bishop of Rome ordered that they switch from the traditional timing of the feast of Passover to the new feast of Easter. The Bishop of Palestine refused. The Bishop of Rome excommunicated them. In the end the Roman Authorities of Palestine arrest them as Jews defying Rome's order to abolish the Jewish faith. Between 150 - 325AD more disputes arose around the adoption of the customs of the pagans, the Trinity, The feast of Passover, the keeping of the Sabbath and serving in the military.
The word Trinity is not found in the Bible. Mosheim, in his History of the Church, and Gibbon, in his The Decline And Fall Of The Roman Empire (Ch. 21), both acknowledge this. Apparently, the word Trinity was first used in a work of Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch in Syria, in the latter half of the second century. Theophilus says that trinity is not the modern doctrine of co-equality, but rather a trinity of attributes not of persons, and he says quite plainly, "The true God (i.e. the Father) is alone to be worshipped. "Theophilus was basing his statement on the comparison made by John the Apostle in an attempt to explain Jesus to the Greek converts in the scheme of Plato's universe, John said "en archê ên o logos kai o logos ên pros ton theon kai theos ên o logos " This has been translated from Greek to Latin by the Latin Bishops and then to English "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.". This translation, in the future, would be used by the Trinitarians to support their argument and persecution of all who opposed their interpretation of the nature of God. The Gnostics, who for the most part spoke Greek, opposed their view and said that this was a poor translation at best and should be more "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God , and what the Word was God was". The translation having lost some meaning in the Latin. The argument really went beyond this, and focussed on what and how "Logos" was created in Greek mythology. Logos in mythology was considered to be the "Thought or Reason of Zeus". So the argument of the Trinity was really an argument over the true nature of Logos, not an argument about Jesus at all, but rather an argument about a Greek myth. By the time of the council at Nicaea this idea had three branches of thought. Two of what was considered Orthodox views that is the views of the Latin Bishops Orthodox which is Greek for correct thinking, and that of most Greek Bishops deemed Gnostics or Greek for knowledge. The Orthodox Bishops with the help of Constantine and latter Emperors won this argument so their views are well known. The Gnostics on the other hand lost everything and by the end of the fourth century were all but wiped out. To begin with only 18 Gnostic Bishops attended the Council of Nicaea most refusing to go on the basis of scripture 2Timmothy 4:3-4. Their faith was to be banned, their books were to be burned, and all who did not profess the Trinity, Keep the Sabbath on Sunday, and the Feast of Easter, as the Catholics saw it were branded as Heretics. The civil penalty for refusing to profess the trinity was at minimum banishment, for not burning your non approved scriptures the penalty was instant death. Here is Constantine's words on the matter
"This therefore I decree, that if any one shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius(chief Advocate of the Gnostics), and shall not instantly bring it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offence shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment"
This is the beginning of the persecution of Christians by Christians. The Catholics Church did not actually do the killing it just branded one a Heretic. It was the civil authorities who put you to death. So the Catholic Church did not kill you, they only caused your death by their words of hatred. This civil punishment for religious beliefs would take on a new severity before the century would end. Eventually becoming the norm rather than the exception especially after Rome was re-established by Justinian in 550AD
While it can never be known with any measure of certainty what the true intentions or character of a man who lived so long ago were, we can say what his actions were. Of Constantine we know the following. His early Religion was one of Sun Worship and of the Son of Light Mithras.
Constantine the Great, in the years preceding his Conversion of the empire, and even later while this process was actually under way, concentrated all the resources of a vast bronze coinage upon the single design of the Sun god, with by the inscription To the Sun, the Unconquerable Companion (SOLI INVICTO COMITI) (ca. 309).
In addition to the state religion of sun worship Constantine also worshipped the ancient Iranian deity, Mithras, who was the god of the Morning Light or the Son of Light, Rider of Clouds. But unlike the official solar cult, the ritual of Mithras had no public ceremonies or professional priestly class. Mithras was seen as a personal God experienced in the heart of a man, a compassionate God who cared for the unfortunate. His popularity increased at great speed, especially at the great cosmopolitan ports and trading centres of the West. It was above all the army, and particularly its officers, who accepted and used these beliefs. The Mithras of legend was a hero figure, unconquerable like the Sun himself, a superman for critical times-and he was also an ethical, austere model of conduct and the patron of truthful dealings, whose good faith and purity, his worshippers must seek to emulate. There was also a baptismal ceremony cloaked in mystery. The worship of Mithras possessed many of the similar ideas and moral beliefs. Its baptisms and sacrifices and communal meals were similar to the rituals and sacraments of the Catholic Christians. It has been argued by many that the sacraments of the Catholic Church are the decedents of the rites of Mithras with its morning services, temples that draw ones eyes and person towards the rising sun and the sun shaped holly sacrament. Although there is no hard evidence to back such claims.
In 312AD while preparing for the battle for the control of Rome, Constantine claimed to have a vision in which he heard Jesus tell him to paint his initials in Latin on the shields of his soldiers and victory would be his. This emblem was latter replaced by the Egyptian looped cross which is still the cross of the Orthodox sects of Christianity, in Europe the cross we know today with out the loop at the top evolved over the following centuries. While Constantine claimed to be a Christian from the time of his vision until his death, the distinctions in his mind many argue were less absolute. He continued to worship Mithras in some form for many years to come. During the time of persecution, Christian churches that disagreed with each other doctrinally, just disassociated with one another. By the end of the persecutions two distinct views of Christianity had formed, that of the Gnostics in the East, and that of the Catholics in the West. Some claim Constantine's refusal to be baptise d was due in no small part to the infighting of the varying sects of Christianity which all claimed the other were heretics and salvation was gained through their beliefs only. It was these divisions, the urging of the Catholic Bishops and Constantine's desire to "Seek the Truth", that prompted him to convene the council at Nicaea in 325AD
The beliefs did not fall strictly within the boarders of the two halves of the Empire but rather were split more along Language barriers rather that Geographic boarders. Greek Bishops of Asia, Asia Minor, down through Africa fell mostly into the Gnostic Belief while their Latin speaking counter parts fell in line with the Orthodox belief. This difference of opinion and faith would eventually lead to war and the death of hundreds of thousands of people. In examining this the first of many disputes among the Christian Faithful after the Pagan Persecutions we must keep in mind that both sides had already started their slide away from the true Gospel of Jesus. Earthly matters had begun to pollute the church as Christians found the favour of Imperial power. By 325AD Christians were no longer the escape-goats of the Pagans they were now running the Empire. Bishops were put in charge of the affairs of the major cities. For example the see in Alexandria was given Authority over grain distribution to the Empire, Most of Constantinople's grain came from Egypt through the port of Alexandria. The Christian church by 325AD was well organised and Constantine seen the potential of utilising the organisation assets of the Church to aid the Empire. It had long been the desire of the Emperors to have a single unifying religion in the Empire. Many of the persecutions were aimed at achieving this end. Constantine saw Christianity as the Religion that could finally achieve this goal. He convened the council of Nicaea to achieve this end. Constantine decided to call together the Bishops of the Empire to put an end to these arguments amongst the faithful, and set the standards for Christianity. He summoned them to Nicaea in Asia minor a few miles from the Seven Churches of Revelation and outside of what would soon be his new capital of Constantinople. Disputes amongst the faithful would not be tolerated. All would worship according to the Cannons of the Councils, or the Roman Civil Authorities would arrest and banish you, by the end of the century such disputes would lead to your death. If upon request you did not bring forth your banned scriptures to be burnt the penalty was death. And so began the long road of Christian hatred and Persecution of all who opposed the will of the Roman Church.
From his conversion in 312AD up to the council at Nicaea in 325AD and for some years after Constantine was instructed by, and followed the teachings of the Catholic Bishops who had slowly adopted many of the holidays and festivals of the pagans over the previous 150 years. Constantine saw little difference between Mithraism and Catholic Christianity the holidays and rites were similar, only the names seemed different. It was with this view of life and religion that Constantine held the council of Nicaea.
The Catholics who eventually won the battle tried in the following centuries to turn this difference of belief into a Heresy of one man, Arius. One example of this is the Catholic encyclopaedia which states that only two Bishops were in disagreement with the creed agreed upon at the Council of Nicaea.
"The adhesion was general and enthusiastic. All the bishops save five declared themselves ready to subscribe to this formula, convince that it contained the ancient faith of the Apostolic Church. The opponents were soon reduced to two, Theonas of Marmarica and Secundus of Ptolemais, who were exiled and anathematised. Arius and his writings were also branded with anathema, his books were cast into the fire, and he was exiled to Illyria."
This contention that there were only two Bishops in disagreement With the Nicene Creed is a misrepresentation of the facts. Most of the Bishops at the council were in fact both terrified and awed with Constantine, some wrote to him after the council and said that they had signed the declarations of the council only out of fear of the Emperor. We have a copy of at least one such letter to Constantine in addition we have letters of Constantine to various Bishops that were refusing to follow the decrees of Nicaea. We also know that as many as 112 Bishops attended councils after Nicaea in which Gnostic creeds were unanimously adopted. Gibbons states pure amazement at the number of Bishops, Priest, and Virgins that were taught and followed the Gnostic Faith.
The Council of Nicaea was the first gathering of its kind. Bishops from all over the Roman Empire attended the council, at which a standard for Christians to follow, was to be set. Topics included the Trinity, The Sabbath, The Last Super of Passover or Easter , Christmas, serving in the army or civilian government among other topics. As many as seventy and as few as twenty cannons as well as a few edicts are attributed to this council. Later councils would place all edicts of the council as absolute laws of the Catholic Church and brand all dissenters as heretics.
Leaving his guards Constantine seated himself on a chair in the centre of the hall. He humbly professed that the bishops "with whom I myself am but one of you", are "the successors of the apostles, who have been established as priests and as "gods upon earth"
While Constantine closely associated the Catholic view of the world with his own he saw little in common with the Gnostic Christians. The Gnostics argued for the continuance of Pesakh and the Sabbath and offered a different understanding of the God Head among other things. Constantine was very anti Semitic and his views were given immeasurable weight by the Bishops of the Council. Many Catholic scholars claim that he had no influence on the council. However Constantine's effect on the Bishops is well documented by their own encyclopaedia which states
"Some bishops, were blinded by the splendour of the court, and even went so far as to say "the emperor is an angel of God, as a sacred being", and to prophesy that, "like the Son of God, Constantine would reign in heaven".
The main rulings of this first era of councils 313 AD to 337AD were
This and other Councils effectively turned the Church into an image of the Roman Empire. Roman order was applied to the Church with the Bishop in Rome (the Pope) being its head or Caesar. The new Senators were the other Senior Bishops who would soon be known as Cardinals and who would now be appointed only by other Bishops, as the Senators had been. Not by a vote of the congregation as it had always been with the Christians..
Constantine, only one year after convening the Council of Nicaea, had his own son (Crispus) put to death. Later he suffocated Fausta (his wife) in an overheated bath. Then he had his sister's son flogged to death and her husband strangled.
Throughout most of his reign, Constantine treated the bishops as political aides. He agreed to enforce whatever opinion the majority of the bishops formulated. The power of Rome was now at the hands of the Orthodox sects who would soon become known as Catholic, which is Latin for universal. While the Bishops did not give orders to the civil authorities, civil laws were enacted to punish those branded as Heretics by the Catholics. Once you were branded a heretic by the Catholics, the civil authorities would arrest you and your life was turned in to a living hell and death was the most likely outcome. The process started slowly after the first council, and was delayed in Europe by the fall of Western Empire in 476 CE. In 554 CE Justinian had restored the Roman Empire in the West which would eventually become known as the Holly Roman Empire. He began to use the full weight of the civil authority to enforce Council decrees. On August 14 540AD Justinian formally recognised the Pope's power over civil authority. This date in a real sense marks the beginning of the Catholic Church as we see it today. It also marks in a real sense the split between the Greek Orthodox and the Catholic Church.
Over the next 14 centuries the Church used this alliance between Church and State to fill their Churches with gold and precious stones and their coffers with the plunder of war. This plunder came from the "Holly Wars" with the Muslims, the Natives of Mexico, South American, and Central American or other Christians Sects, any one who did not state an oath of loyalty to their Catholic Church and even some who did. This alliance of Church and State ended in the 1800's with the fall of the Last Holly Roman Empire and the emergence of the British Commonwealth as rulers of the world. The British and latter the Americans who were predominantly Protestant paid no attention to the Catholic Churches decrees.
Surprisingly in the last few years of his life Constantine turned against the Catholic Bishops and embraced a Christian belief in direct opposition to the edicts of the council at Nicaea. This change of heart it has been speculated was due in no small part to the actions of the Bishops of the Catholic Sect. Some of whom had been implicated in the death of Arius the chief advocate of the Gnostics and other acts of violence. Constantine seems to have taken to heart the advice of Jesus to judge a tree by its fruit. He abandoned the Catholic Sect for the Gnostic Sect who had been the target of persecution by the Catholics. A persecution that seen their books burned and property confiscated. Many Christians were put to death for refusal to burn their Gospels and letters which the Catholic Bishops would not except. One of these books was the Gospel of Philip another, a letter, of now unknown origin, on the Resurrection which I have included below.
This new belief that Christians could serve in the Army and Kill for the State that was championed by Athanasius and other Latin Bishops and came just in time for the first wars of Christian against Christian. This dispute was between Constantine's sons, and was over which doctrine would be considered Orthodox that of the Latin Bishops or that of the Majority of Greek Bishops who were Gnostics. The crisis between the two beliefs had reached a climax in 345AD. The Western Emperor Constans had taken up the position of Athananius and other Latin Bishops. His Brother Constanius II was on the side of the Gnostic Bishops of the East. In a Letter to his brother Constans demanded his brother re-instate Athanasius as Bishop in Alexandria or prepare for war.
"Athanasius and Paul are here with me. From questioning them I have discovered that they are being persecuted for the sake of piety. Accordingly, if you undertake to restore them to their Episcopal thrones, expelling those who are vainly clinging to them, I shall send the men to you. But if you were to refuse to take this action, be assured that I will come in person and restore them to the thrones which are theirs, even against your will."
Constanius II gave in to advert war. While the two never went to war fighting amongst Christians over the see in Alexandria, Constantinople and Rome resulted in numerous dead as each side looted and rioted to force their way. These events mark the end of true Christian love and peace, from here forward all doctrinal disputes will be settled by use of force. Those in the future that are declared heretics will suffer greatly.
Constantine's three sons had murdered all their relatives who were a threat to the throne except their cousin Julian who had been a infant at the time of the purging. Eventually Julian rose up and Killed Constanius II and became Emperor. He felt Christians were worse than the Pagans had ever been and sited the murder of so many of his relatives by the so called Christian Emperors of Constantine and his Sons. Julian tries to bring back the Pagan Religions but the previous attacks and destruction of the Pagan temples and Julian's death in 363 AD meant this resurgence would be short lived.
Events now start to spiral out of control, in 355AD at the Council of Milan. Athanasius was condemned and deposed. There were four charges against him, first that he had used a dispute of faith to poison the relations between Constans and Constantius before 350AD. Athananias had plotted with Magnentius in 350AD in an attempt to gain favour and strike a deal that would see the Western Emperor Magnentius attack Constantius Emperor of the East, and that once Constantius was defeated Athananias would get the Bishop's see in Alexandria . He also used the Great Church begun by Gregory in Alexandria before it had been dedicated. This was the ceremony at which a few bishops, at the behest of Alexander on his death bed, named Athananias Bishop of Alexandria in direct violation of the decrees of Nicaea that ban succession in Bishop sees. In addition he was also not yet of the age required to become a Bishop, The whole Coronation in the unfinished Church was a sham from start to finish. Atananias's election was also in violation of Nicaea and several other Synods. All this happened as 54 Bishops meet to vote for Alexander's repayment. Athananias had been placed in the see by five friends against the will of the 54 Bishops. Athananias had also refused to obey an Imperial decree to come to stand trial in 353AD. The council confirmed George of Cappadocia as the Bishop of Alexandria. Athananias lost the see that he had never legally or morally held. Of course he also lost the power he held over Constantinople via the grain stocks.
Athananias had used his time in the Bishop see to perform Stalin like purges of the clergy in Egypt. Many of the charges brought against Athananias over the years were in regard to the violence of his nature and his use of his position to grant favours to all who supported him. He generously gave grain from the Imperial stores to those in Alexandria that supported him. On 8 February 356AD Constantius sends soldiers to arrest Athanasius, but he flees. Violence is now employed in Alexandria and throughout Egypt to remove or "reform" the Bishops placed by Athanasius. Of 90 bishops who Athananias appointed, 16 were exiled, the rest either fled or signed Gnostic Creeds. In Alexandria a portion of the population rioted in support of Athananias His supporters retained the city churches until June, when the new Prefect expelled them and handed the churches over to supporters of Bishop George, who arrived in Alexandria on 24 February 357AD. However George would soon be murdered at the hands of the supporters of Athananias.
On August 29th 358AD a mob of the supporters of Athanasius attacked Bishop George in the Church of Dionysus and almost lynched him. Just over a month later, he left Alexandria, and they seized all the churches in the city a few days later. The civil authorities ejected them and restored the churches to the supporters of George on December 24th. Why did these people fight so hard for Athananias? It was not his Beliefs but his free Grain they wanted. Through his entrenched network of subordinate bishops, Athanasius still controlled the distribution of patronage in Egypt, and especially the distribution of grain. Loyalty was bought and paid for with daily bread. Athananias's people fought because the Imperial government tried to take their welfare benefits(ie free grain) away from them, and the bishops Athananias placed fought because their own position depended on the distribution of Welfare. It is my belief that an objective view of these events shows Atananias to be a politician buying the favour of the populace with bribes of money and food, hardly to be considered a man of God.
On Nov 30th 361AD after the death of Constantius Bishop George was imprisoned and tortured. On 24 December a mob dragged him out of prison and murdered him.
Upon Julian's death Jovian was declared Emperor he was the captain of the imperial guard. He enact he was Christian and could not Except the symbolise of Imperial Power such as Pontif Maximus. The rest of the guard pronounced they too were Christian and so Jovian became Emperor. Jovian restored Christianity as the Religion of the Empire but died after a few years Next was Valentinian in the West and Valens in the East. these two were brothers. Valentinian stayed out of Church affairs but his brother in the East did not. Valens would have no part of the Latin interference in his Greek Churches and deposed all Bishops that had been deposed by earlier councils but had been reinstated by Jovian. Eventually he gave in to the will of the Latin Bishops over fear of rioting in the city of Alexandria from which he received all his grain. In 366 AD Valens was forced to agreed to reinstate Athanasius as Bishop in Alexandria, this was the third time force was used to make Athananius Bishop of Alexandria. Valens did it in order to secure his grain stocks. It should be noted that the fuss over Athananius was that he had been made Bishop of Alexandria by the decree of the previous Bishop a practice that was band at Nicaea and Earlier Synods. Latter that year riots break out in Rome over who will become the next Bishop of Rome. On the bloodiest day of the struggle 137 people are murdered inside the Basilica of Sicininus, the total number of dead over the fight for this Bishop see is unknown. Christian Love had all but diapered and what was left had turned cold, their hearts no longer filled with Love now raged with anger and hate.
In 367AD Athananias writes letters to various Bishops setting in stone the New Testament as we know it today. "In these books alone the teaching of godliness is proclaimed. No one may add to them, and nothing may be taken away from them."
In 373AD Athananias on his death bed appoints Peter to succeed him as bishop of Alexandria. yet another blatant violation non secession in Church Law. Peter was deposed by a delegation of bishops from the emperor Valens, and replaced by Lucius. Peter escaped from prison and went to Rome where he was sheltered by the Bishop Damasus. Valens authorised Bishop Lucius to eject Nicene bishops from Alexandria and the rest of Egypt. this is done with no less brutality than the Catholics had shown. Both the Gnostic and Catholic sides had forgotten what Jesus was all about, you know, Love, Peace, turn the other check etc.
The Latin Bishops now attempt to place new Bishops that agree with their position in the any vacant sees, especially in the East. The Bishops of the West began to promote men to the Church in direct violation of the Cannons that had been passed just 50 years earlier at Nicaea. In 374 Pro Nicaea, Ambrose was made Bishop of Milan by public acclamation and approval of the Western Emperor Valentinian. Ambrose was baptised, made Deacon, then Priest, and then Bishop in eight days flat. This was in direct violation of the second Canon of the Council of Nicaea which strictly forbade the ordination of a novice as priest, much less as a Bishop. It is very telling that the Catholic Bishops ignored the cannons of Nicaea but promoted the creed. By the close of the century Gnostic faith was driven underground and would not surface again for many hundreds of years.
After Valens death the Nicaean Bishops get the upper hand as Gratian the Western Emperor appoints a Spanish general named Theodosius to replace Valens as Emperor of the East. Theodosius issues this edict in 380AD
"It is our desire that all the various nation which are subject to our clemency and moderation should continue to the profession of that religion which was delivered to the Romans by the divine Apostle Peter, as it has been preserved by faithful tradition and which is now professed by the Pontiff Damasus and by Peter, Bishop of Alexandria, a man of apostolic holiness. According to the apostolic teaching and the doctrine of the Gospel, let us believe in the one deity of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit, in equal majesty and in a holy Trinity. We authorise the followers of this law to assume the title Catholic Christians; but as for the others, since in our judgement they are foolish madmen, we decree that they shall be branded with the ignominious name of heretics, and shall not presume to give their conventicles the name of churches. They will suffer in the first place the chastisement of divine condemnation, and second, the punishment that our authority, in accordance with the will of heaven, shall decide to inflict".
This edict places in law the civil punishment for all matters of faith. From now on those who do not profess the Athananias creed and swear Loyalty to the Catholic version of Christianity will be severely punished as the worst kind of criminal. It will only take five years for the first people branded as Heretics by Catholic Bishops to be burned alive by the State.
In 381AD at the Council of Constantinople, which was later called the Second Ecumenical Council. Theodosius summoned bishops of other sects including the Macedonian sect, but they refused to say, "The Son is of the same substance as the Father," and walked out the Council in protest. Bishop Meletius of Antioch sat as chair, but he died. Next to Chair the Council was Bishop Gregory of Nazianzen, whom Theodosius had made Bishop of Constantinople when he purged the Gnostics from all Churches in the East the year before, but he would have no part of the goings on and retired to a monastery. Nectarius, a Senator is made Bishop by the Emperor Theodosius and placed as Chair of the Council. If you are wondering who this guy is you are not alone no one knew who he was. He was not even a Priest he was a senator from another province. The Catholics again place a man as Bishop who was not even a Priest
In 381AD Bishop Wulfila went to the Council of Constantinople, he became ill and on his death bed he rose up with these words against Athananias's Creed and Wulfila left this creed with his followers just before he died.
Creed of Wulfila I, Wulfila, Bishop and Confessor, have always believed thus and in this sole and true faith I make my journey to my Lord. I believe that there is only one God the Father, alone un-begotten and invisible, and in His only-begotten Son, our Lord and God, creator and maker of all things, not having any like unto Him. Therefore there is one God of all, who is also God of our God. And I believe in one Holy Spirit, an enlightening and sanctifying power. As Christ says after the resurrection to his Apostles: "Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you; but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem until ye be clothed with power from on high." (Luke 24.49) And again: "And ye shall receive power coming upon you by the Holy Spirit." (Acts 1.8) Neither God nor Lord, but the faithful minister of Christ; not equal, but subject and obedient in all things to the Son. And I believe the Son to be subject and obedient in all things to God the Father.
This creed shows the Gnostic view that Wilfila held, that Jesus is subordinate and obedient to God. The "Arian Controversy" was over the final step in the deification of Jesus. The Gnostics believed it was blasphemy to make a man equal to God. The Catholics believed it was heresy to say the Son is inferior to the Father.
In 382AD Jerome began translating the Bible from Hebrew and Greek into Latin. Jerome's translation, the Vulgate, soon became the only Bible in the Western Church. Bibles in other languages would not be tolerated in the West. Many translators in the future would be branded Heretic by the Catholic Church and burned alive, along with all who read their translation.
In 383AD Gratian took measures to suppress every form of Christianity except the Catholic faith. He made apostasy a crime punishable by the Civil Authority, Apostasy was defined as conversion from the Catholic faith . It was now only legal to be Catholic in the West .
In 384AD, the Synod at Bordeaux branded Bishop Priscillian a Heretic, guilty of Sorcery and Immorality. Priscillian had been elected bishop of Ávila Spain in 380AD he was Gnostic in many aspects. In 385AD Priscillian was ordered to Trier by Roman Emperor Magnus Maximus, he was found guilty of Heresy, Sorcery and Immorality and was burned alive. While Bishop Martin spoke out against the first burning of the Heretics, in the future such lone voices of decent would be added to the flames not used to put them out. The Emperor Maximus passes an edict forbidding anyone from accusing Ithacius the false accuser of Priscillian of wrong doing or refusing communion with him. Bishop Martin refuses to commune with Ithacius, he finally surrenders to the Emperor in order to save the lives of other "Heretics" that the Emperor was preparing to execute. Bishop Martin latter recanted his communion with Ithacius and never attended another Synod in his life. The Hypocrisy of the so called Christian Emperor and other Bishops was far too much for this great man to bare. No longer the persecuted, the Catholics with the help of the Roman Civil Authorities now set the stage for the longest and most brutal Ideological persecution in Human History, stretching some 1400 years. Heretics in the coming centuries would face death at the hands of perhaps the most enduring and Barbarous Kingdom the world has ever seen.
In 388AD Emperor Theodosius made Paganism a crime and ordered all vestiges be destroyed. In 391AD the Great Library of Alexandria was burned buy the Catholics. This persecution and purging of Paganism and the Mystery Religion was so successful the Egyptian written language that had survived for some 4000 yrs. was lost to history until the Rosetta stone opened its secrets in the 1800's
The Hypocrisy becomes clearer in 393AD Emperor Theodosius outlaws the Olympic Games. However, he does not stop the Gladiator Games, which were needed to harden the citizens of the Empire to the sight of blood and death so they could endure war. This in my view was the piece da resistance, a sporting competition banned, while the barbarism of the coliseum continues. All on the bloodied ground ashes and passion, of so many murdered Christian Saints.
While the Catholics had fought hard to win the doctrinal battles over Trinity, Easter, the Sabbath, and other disputes in the fourth century, they had lost the one thing that had separated their Christian brothers of the second and third centuries from the Pagans. They had lost their Peace and Love. In my view they lost everything. The ruling Christians, in many respects, were now indistinguishable from the Pagans that had ruled Rome at the start of the century, murdering those who opposed their view on the order of God. The Hypocrisy of all Christianity would only grow greater from this time forward, as we slowly move to the formation of the Holly Roman Empire in the West and the Byzanthian Empire in the East.
Letters of Constantine
Below are some letters from Constantine to the Bishops who did not agree with the Council of Nicaea decrees. Also below is the two of the for mention books that were banned by the council as heretical and ordered burned by the Civil Authorities.
Constantine Augustus, to the Catholic church of the Alexandrians. Beloved brethren, hail! We have received from Divine Providence the inestimable blessing of being relieved from all error, and united in the acknowledgement of one and the same faith. The devil will no longer have any power against us, since all that which he had malignantly devised for our destruction has been entirely overthrown from the foundations. The splendour of truth has dissipated at the command of God those dissension's, schisms, tumults, and so to speak, deadly poisons of discord. Wherefore we all worship one true God, and believe that he is. But in order that this might be done, by divine admonition I assembled at the city of Nicaea most of the bishops; with whom I myself also, who am but one of you, and who rejoice exceedingly in being your fellow-servant, undertook the investigation of the truth.
Accordingly, all points which seemed in consequence of ambiguity to furnish any pretext for dissension, have been discussed and accurately examined. And may the Divine Majesty pardon the fearful enormity of the blasphemies which some were shamelessly uttering concerning the mighty Saviour, our life and hope; declaring and confessing that they believe things contrary to the divinely inspired Scriptures. While more than three hundred bishops, remarkable for their moderation and intellectual keenness, were unanimous in their confirmation of one and the same faith, which according to the truth and legitimate construction of the law of God can
only be the faith; Arius alone beguiled by the subtlety of the devil, was discovered to be the sole disseminator of this mischief, first among you, and afterwards with unhallowed purposes among others also. Let us therefore embrace that doctrine which the Almighty has presented to us: let us return to our beloved brethren from whom an irreverent servant of the devil has separated us: let us go with all speed to the common body and our own natural members. For this is becoming your penetration, faith and sanctity; that since the error has been proved to be due to him who is an enemy to the truth, ye should return to the divine favour. For that which has commended itself to the judgment of three hundred bishops cannot be other than the doctrine of God; seeing that the Holy Spirit dwelling in the minds of so many dignified persons has effectually enlightened them respecting the Divine will. Wherefore let no one vacillate or linger, but let all with alacrity return to the undoubted pat h of duty; that when I shall arrive among you, which will be as soon as possible, I may with you return due thanks to God, the inspector of all things, for having revealed the pure faith, and restored to you that love for which ye have prayed. May God protect you, beloved brethren.
Since Arius has imitated wicked and impious persons, it is just that he should undergo the like ignominy. Wherefore as Porphyry, that enemy of piety, for having composed licentious treatises against religion, found a suitable recompense, and such as thenceforth branded him with infamy, overwhelming him with deserved reproach, his impious writings also having been destroyed; so now it seems fit both that Arius and such as hold his sentiments should be denominated Porphyrians, that they may take their appellation from those whose conduct they have imitated. And in addition to this, if any treatise composed by Arius should be discovered, let it be consigned to the flames, in order that not only his depraved doctrine may be suppressed, but also that no memorial of him may be by any means left. This therefore I decree, that if any one shall be detected in concealing a book compiled by Arius, and shall not instantly being it forward and burn it, the penalty for this offence shall be death; for immediately after conviction the criminal shall suffer capital punishment. May God preserve you!
Constantine Augustus, to the Churches. Having experienced, from the flourishing condition of public affairs, how great has been the grace of divine power, I judged this to be an object above all things claiming my care, that one faith, with sincere love, and uniform piety toward Almighty God, should be maintained amongst the most blessed assemblies of the Catholic Church. But inasmuch as I perceived that this could not be firmly and permanently established, unless all, or at least the greatest part of the bishops could be convened in the same place, and every point of our most holy religion should be discussed by them in council; therefore as many as possible were assembled, and I myself also as one of you was present; for I will not deny what I especially rejoice in, that I am your fellow-servant.
All points were then minutely investigated, until a decision acceptable to Him who is the inspector of all things was published for the promotion of uniformity of judgment and practice; so that nothing might be henceforth left for dissension or controversy in matters of faith. There also the question having been considered relative to the most holy day of Easter, it was determined by common consent that it should be proper that all should celebrate it on one and the same day everywhere. For what can be more appropriate, or what more solemn, than that this feast from which we have received the hope of immortality, should be invariably kept in one order, and for an obvious reason among all? And in the first place, it seemed very unworthy of this most sacred feast, that we should keep it following the custom of the Jews; a people who having imbrued their hands in a most heinous outrage, have thus polluted their souls, and are deservedly blind. Having then cast aside their usage, we are free to see to it that the celebration of this observance should occur in future in the more correct order which we have kept from the first day of the Passion until the present time. Therefore have nothing in common with that most hostile people the Jews.
But to sum up matters briefly, it was determined by common consent that the most holy festival of Easter should be solemnized on one and the same day; for it is not even seemly that there should be in such a hallowed solemnity any difference: and it is more commendable to adopt that opinion in which there will be no intermixture of strange error, or deviation from what is right. These things therefore being thus consistent, do you gladly receive this heavenly and truly divine command: for whatever is done in the sacred assemblies of the bishops is referable to the Divine will. Wherefore, when ye have indicated the things which have been prescribed to all our beloved brethren, it behoves you to publish the above written statements and to accept the reasoning ¶which has been adduced, and to establish this observance of the most holy day: that when I arrive at the long and earnestly desired view of your order, I may be able to celebrate the sacred festival with you on one and the same day; and may rejoice with you for all things, in seeing Satanic cruelty frustrated by divine power through our efforts, while your faith, peace and concord are everywhere flourishing.
The Gnostics differed from the Catholics in many ways only one of which was the Trinity. The Gnostics believed the Trinity was a Trinity of individual personalities or attributes not persons . The Gnostics believed that it was the Angels who run the Universe for God by the power of the Holly Spirit. They believed that some angels had abandoned their first station and intermingled and bred with man. They called this the first sin, Eve (Hebrew for woman) had bred with Angels. Adam(Hebrew for Man) followed Lucifer with his false promise of becoming a eternal being. They backed this statement with the Gospel of Phillip as well as Jude verses 6-7 and 2Peter 4-5 among other verses. The Gnostics did not believe that the Holly Spirit was the Father of Jesus, nor did they believe in the three wise men or the star of Bethlehem which they considered myths. The Gnostics believed that not everyone who was baptised received the Holly Spirit they believed that only the Elect of God could receive God. They accused the Latin Bishops of changing the Gospels, in particular adding to the Gospel of Matthew and did not except the Gospel of Luke which they said was written in Rome by Latins trying to convert the Pagans of Rome. Constantine makes reference to the copping of the books approved by the Council in the letter just above this text. They often referred to the Holly Spirit as the female personality of the Trinity or the Mother. They considered themselves the pure faith unpolluted by pagan customs and traditions. The Gnostics were converting Pagans of the Eastern Roman Empire were as the Catholics were Pagans from the Western Roman Empire. The chief Pagan Religion that the Latin Bishops slowly modified to Orthodox Christianity was that of Sun Worship in the East it was the Greek Mythology and the Mother Goddess. This is evident in the Gnostic books which Speak of God and Jesus in terms of Greek Mythology as these books do, and the Holly Spirit as the Mother or Mother Goddess as this and other books of the Gnostics do. The Gnostics movement had many internal sects as did the Orthodox movement. The books below best illustrate the mainstream view of Gnosticism. Because of the burning of what was thought to be all of the books we have only one copy of this material it was not found until the 1980's in Egypt. There are many words and lines missing.
Some there are, my son Rheginos, who want to learn many things. They have this goal when they are occupied with questions whose answer is lacking. If they succeed with these, they usually think very highly of themselves. But I do not think that they have stood within the Word of Truth. They seek rather their own rest, which we have received through our Saviour, our Lord Christ. We received it when we came to know the truth and rested ourselves upon it. But since you ask us pleasantly what is proper concerning the resurrection, I am writing you that it is necessary. To be sure, many are lacking faith in it, but there are a few who find it. So then, let us discuss the matter.
How did the Lord proclaim things while he existed in flesh and after he had revealed himself as Son of God? He lived in this place where you remain, speaking about the Law of Nature - but I call it 'Death'. Now the Son of God, Rheginos, was Son of Man. He embraced them both, possessing the humanity and the divinity, so that on the one hand he might vanquish death through his being Son of God, and that on the other through the Son of Man the restoration to God might occur; because he was originally from above, a seed of Truth, before this structure had come into being. In this, many dominions and eternal beings came into existence.
I know that I am presenting the solution in difficult terms, but there is nothing difficult in the Word of Truth. But since the Solution appeared so as not to leave anything hidden, but to reveal all things openly concerning existence - the destruction of evil on the one hand, the revelation of the elect on the other. This is the emanation of Truth and Spirit, Grace is of the Truth. The Saviour swallowed up death - of this you are not reckoned as being ignorant - for he put aside the world which is perishing. He transformed himself into an imperishable entrance to Heaven and raised himself up, having swallowed the visible by the invisible, and he gave us the way of our immortality. Then, indeed, as the Apostle said, "We suffered with him, and we arose with him, and we went to the Kingdom with him". Now if we are manifest in this world wearing him, we are that one`s beams, and we are embraced by him until our setting, that is to say, our death in this life. We are drawn to the Kingd om by him, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual resurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly.
But if there is one who does not believe, he does not have the (capacity to be) persuaded. For it is the domain of faith, my son, and not that which belongs to persuasion: the dead shall arise! If there is one who believes among the philosophers who are in this world. At least he will arise. And let not the philosopher who is in this world have cause to believe that he is one who returns himself by himself - and (that) because of our faith! For we have known the Son of Man, and we have believed that he rose from among the dead. This is he of whom we say, "He became the destruction of death, as he is a great one in whom they believe." Great are those who believe.
The thought of those who are saved shall not perish. The mind of those who have known him shall not perish. Therefore, we are elected to salvation and redemption since we are predestined from the beginning not to fall into the foolishness of those who are without knowledge, but we shall enter into the wisdom of those who have known the Truth. Indeed, the Truth which is kept cannot be abandoned, nor has it been. "Strong is the system of the heavens; small is that which broke loose and became the world. But the Son is what is encompassed. It has not come into being; it was existing." So, never doubt concerning the resurrection, my son Rheginos! For if you were not existing in flesh, you received flesh when you entered this world. Why will you not receive flesh when you ascend into the heaven? That which is better than the flesh is that which is for the cause of life. That which came into being on your account, is it not yours? Does not that which is yours exist with you? Yet, while y ou are in this world, what is it that you lack? This is what you have been making every effort to learn.
The afterbirth of the body is old age, and you exist in corruption. You have absence as a gain. For you will not give up what is better for you to depart. That which is worse has control, but there is grace for it. Nothing, then, redeems us from this world. But by the son which we are in Jesus, we are saved. We have received salvation from end to end. Let us think in this way! Let us comprehend in this way!
But there are some who wish to understand, in the enquiry about those things they are looking into, whether he who is saved, if he leaves his body behind, will be saved immediately. Let no one doubt concerning this. [...]. indeed, the visible members which are dead shall not be saved, for only the living members which exist within them would arise.
What, then, is the resurrection? It is always the disclosure of those who have risen. For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection which has come into being through our Lord the Saviour, Jesus Christ.
But what am I telling you now? Those who are living shall die. How do they live in an illusion? The rich have become poor, and the kings have been overthrown. Everything is prone to change. The world is an illusion! - lest, indeed, I rail at things to excess!
But the resurrection does not have this aforesaid character, for it is the truth which stands firm. It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition into newness. For imperishability descends upon the perishable; the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up; and the heavens fills up the deficiency. These are the symbols and the images of the resurrection. He it is who makes the good.
Therefore, do not think in part, O Rheginos, nor live in conformity with this flesh for the sake of unanimity, but flee from the divisions and the fetters, and already you have the resurrection. For if he who will die knows about himself that he will die - even if he spends many years in this life, he is brought to this - why not consider yourself as risen and already brought to this? If you have the resurrection but continue as if you are to die - and yet that one knows that he has died - why, then, do I ignore your lack of exercise? It is fitting for each one to practice in a number of ways, and he shall be released from this Element that he may not fall into error but shall himself receive again what at first was.
These things I have received from the generosity of my Lord, Jesus Christ. I have taught you and your brethren, my sons, considering them, while I have not omitted any of the things suitable for strengthening you. But if there is one thing written which is obscure in my exposition of the Word, I shall interpret it for you when you ask. But now, do not be jealous of anyone who is in your number when he is able to help.
Many are looking into this which I have written to you. To these I say: Peace (be) among them and grace. I greet you and those who love you (pl.) in brotherly Love.
A Hebrew makes another Hebrew, and such a person is called "proselyte". But a proselyte does not make another proselyte. [...] just as they [...] and make others like themselves, while others simply exist. The slave seeks only to be free, but he does not hope to acquire the estate of his master. But the son is not only a son but lays claim to the inheritance of the father. Those who are heirs to the dead are themselves dead, and they inherit the dead. Those who are heirs to what is living are alive, and they are heirs to both what is living and the dead. The dead are heirs to nothing. For how can he who is dead inherit? If he who is dead inherits what is living he will not die, but he who is dead will live even more. A Gentile does not die, for he has never lived in order that he may die. He who has believed in the truth has found life, and this one is in danger of dying, for he is alive. Since Christ came, the world has been created, the cities adorned, the dead carried out. When we were Hebrews, we were orphans and had only our mother, but when we became Christians, we had both father and mother.
Those who sow in winter reap in summer. The winter is the world, the summer the other Aeon (eternal realm). Let us sow in the world that we may reap in the summer. Because of this, it is fitting for us not to pray in the winter. Summer follows winter. But if any man reap in winter he will not actually reap but only pluck out, since it will not provide a harvest for such a person. It is not only [...] that it will [...] come forth, but also on the Sabbath [...] is barren.
Christ came to ransom some, to save others, to redeem others. He ransomed those who were strangers and made them his own. And he set his own apart, those whom he gave as a pledge according to his plan. It was not only when he appeared that he voluntarily laid down his life, but he voluntarily laid down his life from the very day the world came into being. Then he came first in order to take it, since it had been given as a pledge. It fell into the hands of robbers and was taken captive, but he saved it. He redeemed the good people in the world as well as the evil.
Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left, are brothers of one another. They are inseparable. Because of this neither are the good good, nor evil evil, nor is life life, nor death death. For this reason each one will dissolve into its earliest origin. But those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal.
Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. Thus one who hears the word "God" does not perceive what is correct, but perceives what is incorrect. So also with "the Father" and "the Son" and "the Holy Spirit" and "life" and "light" and "resurrection" and "the Church (Ekklesia)" and all the rest - people do not perceive what is correct but they perceive what is incorrect, unless they have come to know what is correct. The names which are heard are in the world [...] deceive. If they were in the Heaven, they would at no time be used as names in the world. Nor were they set among worldly things. They have an end in Heaven.
One single name is not uttered in the world, the name which the Father gave to the Son; it is the name above all things: the name of the Father. For the Son would not become Father unless he wore the name of the Father. Those who have this name know it, but they do not speak it. But those who do not have it do not know it.
But truth brought names into existence in the world for our sakes, because it is not possible to learn it (truth) without these names. Truth is one single thing; it is many things and for our sakes to teach about this one thing in love through many things. The rulers (Satan and fallen Angels) wanted to deceive man, since they saw that he had a kinship with those that are truly good. They took the name of those that are good and gave it to those that are not good, so that through the names they might deceive him and bind them to those that are not good. And afterward, what a favour they do for them! They make them be removed from those that are not good and place them among those that are good. These things they knew, for they wanted to take the free man and make him a slave to them forever.
These are powers which [...] man, not wishing him to be saved, in order that they may [...]. For if man is saved, there will not be any sacrifices [...] and animals will not be offered to the powers. Indeed, the animals were the ones to whom they sacrificed. They were indeed offering them up alive, but when they offered them up, they died. As for man, they offered him up to God dead, and he lived.
Before Christ came, there was no bread in the world, just as Paradise, the place were Adam was, had many trees to nourish the animals but no wheat to sustain man. Man used to feed like the animals, but when Christ came, the perfect man, he brought bread from heaven in order that man might be nourished with the food of man. The rulers thought that it was by their own power and will that they were doing what they did, but the Holy Spirit in secret was accomplishing everything through them as it wished. Truth, which existed since the beginning, is sown everywhere. And many see it being sown, but few are they who see it being reaped.
Some said, "Mary conceived by the Holy Spirit." They are in error. They do not know what they are saying. When did a woman ever conceive by a woman? Mary is the virgin whom no power defiled. She is a great anathema to the Hebrews, who are the apostles and the apostolic men. This virgin whom no power defiled [...] the powers defile themselves. And the Lord would not have said "My Father who is in Heaven" (Mt 16:17), unless he had had another father, but he would have said simply "My father".
The Lord said to the disciples, "[...] from every house. Bring into the house of the Father. But do not take (anything) in the house of the Father nor carry it off."
"Jesus" is a hidden name, "Christ" is a revealed name. For this reason "Jesus" is not particular to any language; rather he is always called by the name "Jesus". While as for "Christ", in Syriac it is "Messiah", in Greek it is "Christ". Certainly all the others have it according to their own language. "The Nazarene" is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father.
Those who say that the Lord died first and (then) rose up are in error, for he rose up first and (then) died. If one does not first attain the resurrection, he will not die. As God lives, he would [...].
No one will hide a large valuable object in something large, but many a time one has tossed countless thousands into a thing worth a penny. Compare the soul. It is a precious thing and it came to be in a contemptible body.
Some are afraid lest they rise naked. Because of this they wish to rise in the flesh, and they do not know that it is those who wear the flesh who are naked. It is those who [...] to unclothe themselves who are not naked. "Flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God" (1 Co 15:50). What is this which will not inherit? This which is on us. But what is this, too, which will inherit? It is that which belongs to Jesus and his blood. Because of this he said "He who shall not eat my flesh and drink my blood has not life in him" (Jn 6:53). What is it? His flesh is the word, and his blood is the Holy Spirit. He who has received these has food and he has drink and clothing. I find fault with the others who say that it will not rise. Then both of them are at
fault. You say that the flesh will not rise. But tell me what will rise, that we may honor you. You say the Spirit in the flesh, and it is also this light in the flesh. (But) this too is a matter which is in the flesh, for whatever you shall say, you say nothing outside the flesh. It is necessary to rise in this flesh, since everything exists in it. In this world, those who put on garments are better than the garments. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the garments are better than those that put them on.
It is through water and fire that the whole place is purified - the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. There are some things hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism.
Jesus took them all by stealth, for he did not appear as he was, but in the manner in which they would be able to see him. He appeared to them all. He appeared to the great as great. He appeared to the small as small. He appeared to the angels as an angel, and to men as a man. Because of this, his word hid itself from everyone. Some indeed saw him, thinking that they were seeing themselves, but when he appeared to his disciples in glory on the mount, he was not small. He became great, but he made the disciples great, that they might be able to see him in his greatness.
He said on that day in the thanksgiving, "You who have joined the perfect light with the Holy Spirit, unite the angels with us also, as being the images." Do not despise the lamb, for without it, it is not possible to see the king. No one will be able to go in to the king if he is naked.
The heavenly man has many more sons than the earthly man. If the sons of Adam are many, although they die, how much more the sons of the perfect man, they who do not die but are always begotten. The father makes a son, and the son has not the power to make a son. For he who has been begotten has not the power to beget, but the son gets brothers for himself, not sons. All who are begotten in the world are begotten in a natural way, and the others are nourished from the place whence they have been born. It is from being promised to the heavenly place that man receives
nourishment. [...] him from the mouth. And had the word gone out from that place, it would be nourished from the mouth and it would become perfect. For it is by a kiss that the perfect conceive and give birth. For this reason we also kiss one another. We receive conception from the grace which is in one another.
There were three who always walked with the Lord: Mary, his mother, and her sister, and Magdalene, the one who was called his companion. His sister and his mother and his companion were each a Mary.
"The Father" and "the Son" are single names; "the Holy Spirit" is a double name. For they are everywhere: they are above, they are below; they are in the concealed, they are in the revealed. The Holy Spirit is in the revealed: it is below. It is in the concealed: it is above.
The saints are served by evil powers, for they are blinded by the Holy Spirit into thinking that they are serving an (ordinary) man whenever they do so for the saints. Because of this, a disciple asked the Lord one day for something of this world. He said to him, "Ask your mother, and she will give you of the things which are another's."
The apostles said to the disciples, "May our entire offering obtain salt." They called Sophia "salt". Without it, no offering is acceptable. But Sophia is barren, without child. For this reason, she is called "a trace of salt". Wherever they will [...] in their own way, the Holy Spirit [...], and her children and many.
What the father possesses belongs to the son, and the son himself, so long as he is small, is not entrusted with what is his. But when he becomes a man, his father gives him all that he possesses.
Those who have gone astray, whom the spirit begets, usually go astray also because of the Spirit. Thus, by one and the same breath, the fire blazes and is put out.
Echamoth is one thing and Echmoth, another. Echamoth is Wisdom simply, but Echmoth is the Wisdom of death, which is the one who knows death, which is called "the little Wisdom".
There are domestic animals, like the bull and the ass and others of this kind. Others are wild and live apart in the deserts. Man ploughs the field by means of the domestic animals, and from this he is nourished, he and the animals, whether tame or wild. Compare the perfect man. It is through powers which are submissive that he ploughs, preparing for everything to come into being. For it is because of this that the whole place stands, whether the good or the evil, the right and the left. The Holy Spirit shepherds everyone and rules all the powers, the "tame" ones and the "wild" ones, as well as those which are unique. For indeed he [...] shuts them in, in order that [...] wish, they will not be able to escape.
He who has been created is beautiful, but you would <not> find his sons noble creations. If he were not created, but begotten, you would find that his seed was noble. But now he was created (and) he begot. What nobility is this? First, adultery came into being, afterward murder. And he was begotten in adultery, for he was the child of the Serpent. So he became a murderer, just like his father, and he killed his brother. Indeed, every act of sexual intercourse which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery.
God is a dyer. As the good dyes, which are called "true", dissolve with the things dyed in them, so it is with those whom God has dyed. Since his dyes are immortal, they become immortal by means of his colours. Now God dips what he dips in water.
It is not possible for anyone to see anything of the things that actually exist unless he becomes like them. This is not the way with man in the world: he sees the sun without being a sun; and he sees the heaven and the earth and all other things, but he is not these things. This is quite in keeping with the truth. But you saw something of that place, and you became those things. You saw the Spirit, you became spirit. You saw Christ, you became Christ. You saw the Father, you shall become Father. So in this place you see everything and do not see yourself, but in that place you do see yourself - and what you see you shall become.
Faith receives, love gives. No one will be able to receive without faith. No one will be able to give without love. Because of this, in order that we may indeed receive, we believe, and in order that we may love, we give, since if one gives without love, he has no profit from what he has given. He who has received something other than the Lord is still a Hebrew.
The apostles who were before us had these names for him: "Jesus, the Nazorean, Messiah", that is, "Jesus, the Nazorean, the Christ". The last name is "Christ", the first is "Jesus", that in the middle is "the Nazarene". "Messiah" has two meanings, both "the Christ" and "the measured". "Jesus" in Hebrew is "the redemption". "Nazara" is "the Truth". "The Nazarene" then, is "the Truth". "Christ" [...] has been measured. "The Nazarene" and "Jesus" are they who have been measured.
When the pearl is cast down into the mud, it becomes greatly despised, nor if it is anointed with balsam oil will it become more precious. But it always has value in the eyes of its owner. Compare the Sons of God: wherever they may be, they still have value in the eyes of their Father.
If you say, "I am a Jew," no one will be moved. If you say, "I am a Roman," no one will be disturbed. If you say, "I am a Greek, a barbarian, a slave, a free man," no one will be troubled. If you say, "I am a Christian," the [...] will tremble. Would that I might [...] like that - the person whose name [...] will not be able to endure hearing.
God is a man-eater. For this reason, men are sacrificed to him. Before men were sacrificed, animals were being sacrificed, since those to whom they were sacrificed were not gods. Glass decanters and earthenware jugs are both made by means of fire. But if glass decanters break, they are done over, for they came into being through a breath. If earthenware jugs break, however, they are destroyed, for they came into being without breath.
An ass which turns a millstone did a hundred miles walking. When it was loosed, it found that it was still at the same place. There are men who make many journeys, but make no progress towards any destination. When evening came upon them, they saw neither city nor village, neither human artifact nor natural phenomenon, power nor angel. In vain have the wretches labored.
The eucharist is Jesus. For he is called in Syriac "Pharisatha," which is "the one who is spread out," for Jesus came to crucify the world.
The Lord went into the dye works of Levi. He took seventy-two different colors and threw them into the vat. He took them out all white. And he said, "Even so has the Son of Man come as a dyer."
As for the Wisdom who is called "the barren," she is the mother of the angels. And the companion of the [...] Mary Magdalene. [...] loved her more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her mouth. The rest of the disciples [...]. They said to him "Why do you love her more than all of us?" The Savior answered and said to them,"Why do I not love you like her? When a blind man and one who sees are both together in darkness, they are no different from one another. When the light comes, then he who sees will see the light, and he who is blind will remain in darkness."
The Lord said, "Blessed is he who is before he came into being. For he who is, has been and shall be."
The superiority of man is not obvious to the eye, but lies in what is hidden from view. Consequently, he has mastery over the animals which are stronger than he is and great in terms of the obvious and the hidden. This enables them to survive. But if man is separated from them, they slay one another and bite one another. They ate one another because they did not find any food. But now they have found food because man tilled the soil.
If one goes down into the water and comes up without having received anything, and says "I am a Christian," he has borrowed the name at interest. But if he receives the Holy Spirit, he has the name as a gift. He who has received a gift does not have to give it back, but of him who has borrowed it at interest, payment is demanded. This is the way it happens to one when he experiences a mystery.
Great is the mystery of marriage! For without it, the world would not exist. Now the existence of the world [...], and the existence of [...] marriage. Think of the [...] relationship, for it possesses [...] power. Its image consists of a defilement.
The forms of evil spirit include male ones and female ones. The males are they which unite with the souls which inhabit a female form, but the females are they which are mingled with those in a male form, though one who was disobedient. And none shall be able to escape them, since they detain him if he does not receive a male power or a female power, the bridegroom and the bride. One receives them from the mirrored bridal chamber. When the wanton women see a male sitting alone, they leap down on him and play with him and defile him. So also the lecherous men, when they see a beautiful woman sitting alone, they persuade her and compel her, wishing to defile her. But if they see the man and his wife sitting beside one another, the female cannot come into the man, nor can the male come into the woman. So if the image and the angel are united with one another, neither can any venture to go into the man or the woman.
He who comes out of the world, and so can no longer be detained on the grounds that he was in the world, evidently is above the desire of the [...] and fear. He is master over [...]. He is superior to envy. If [...] comes, they seize him and throttle him. And how will this one be able to escape the great [...] powers? How will he be able to [...]? There are some who say, "We are faithful" in order that [...] the unclean spirits and the demons. For if they had the Holy Spirit, no unclean spirit would cleave to them. Fear not the flesh nor love it. If you fear it, it will gain mastery over you. If you love it, it will swallow and paralyse you.
And so he dwells either in this world or in the resurrection or in the middle place. God forbid that I be found in there! In this world, there is good and evil. Its good things are not good, and its evil things not evil. But there is evil after this world which is truly evil - what is called "the middle". It is death. While we are in this world, it is fitting for us to acquire the resurrection, so that when we strip off the flesh, we may be found in rest and not walk in the middle. For many go astray on the way. For it is good to come forth from the world before one has sinned.
There are some who neither will nor have the power to; and others who, if they will, do not profit; for they did not act since [...] makes them sinners. And if they do not will, justice will elude them in both cases: and it is always a matter of the will, not the act.
An apostolic man in a vision saw some people shut up in a house of fire and bound with fiery [...], lying [...] flaming [...], them in [...] faith [...]. And he said to them, "[...] able to be saved?" [...], "They did not desire it. They received [...] punishment, what is called 'the [...] darkness', because he [...]."
It is from water and fire that the soul and the spirit came into being. It is from water and fire and light that the son of the bridal chamber (came into being). The fire is the chrism, the light is the fire. I am not referring to that fire which has no form, but to the other fire whose form is white, which is bright and beautiful, and which gives beauty.
Truth did not come into the world naked, but it came in types and images. The world will not receive truth in any other way. There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. It is certainly necessary to be born again through the image. Which one? Resurrection. The image must rise again through the image. The bridal chamber and the image must enter through the image into the truth: this is the restoration. Not only must those who produce the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, do so, but have produced them for you. If one does not acquire them, the name ("Christian") will also be taken from him. But one receives the unction of the [...] of the power of the cross. This power the apostles called "the right and the left." For this person is no longer a Christian but a Christ.
The Lord did everything in a mystery, a baptism and a chrism and a Eucharist and a redemption and a bridal chamber. [...] he said, "I came to make the things below like the things above, and the things outside like those inside. I came to unite them in the place." [...] here through types [...]and images.
Those who say, "There is a heavenly man and there is one above him" are wrong. For it is the first of these two heavenly men, the one who is revealed, that they call "the one who is below"; and he to whom the hidden belongs is that one who is above him. For it would be better for them to say, "The inner and outer, and what is outside the outer". Because of this, the Lord called destruction the "the outer darkness": there is not another outside of it. He said, "My Father who is in secret". He said, "Go into your chamber and shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father who is in secret" (Mt 6:6), the one who is within them all. But that which is within them all is the fullness. Beyond it, there is nothing else within it. This is that of which they say, "That which is above them".
Before Christ, some came from a place they were no longer able to enter, and they went where they were no longer able to come out. Then Christ came. Those who went in, he brought out, and those who went out, he brought in. When Eve was still with Adam, death did not exist. When she was separated from him, death came into being. If he enters again and attains his former elf, death will be no more.
"My God, my God, why, O Lord, have you forsaken me?" (Mk 15:34). It was on the cross that he said these words, for he had departed from that place. [...] who has been begotten through him who [...] from God. The [...] from the dead. [...] to be, but now [...] perfect. [...] flesh, but this [...] is true flesh. [...] is not true, but [...] only possess an image of the true. A bridal chamber is not for the animals, nor is it for the slaves, nor for defiled women; but it is for free men and virgins.
Through the Holy Spirit we are indeed begotten again, but we are begotten through Christ in the two. We are anointed through the Spirit. When we were begotten, we were united. None can see himself either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor again can you see in light without mirror or water. For this reason, it is fitting to baptize in the two, in the light and the water. Now the light is the chrism.
There were three buildings specifically for sacrifice in Jerusalem. The one facing the west was called "The Holy". Another, facing south, was called "The Holy of the Holy". The third, facing east, was called "The Holy of the Holies", the place where only the high priest enters. Baptism is "the Holy" building. Redemption is the "Holy of the Holy". "The Holy of the Holies" is the bridal chamber. Baptism includes the resurrection and the redemption; the redemption (takes place) in the bridal chamber. But the bridal chamber is in that which is superior to [...] you will not find [...] are those who pray [...] Jerusalem who [...] Jerusalem, [...] those called the "Holy of the Holies" [...] the veil was rent, [...] bridal chamber except the image [...] above. Because of this, its veil was rent from top to bottom. For it was fitting for some from below to go upward.
The powers do not see those who are clothed in the perfect light, and consequently are not able to detain them. One will clothe himself in this light sacramentally in the union. If the woman had not separated from the man, she should not die with the man. His separation became the beginning of death. Because of this, Christ came to repair the separation, which was from the beginning, and again unite the two, and to give life to those who died as a result of the separation, and unite them. But the woman is united to her husband in the bridal chamber. Indeed, those who have united in the bridal chamber will no longer be separated. Thus Eve separated from Adam because it was not in the bridal chamber that she united with him. The soul of Adam came into being by means of a breath. The partner of his soul is the spirit. His mother is the thing that was given to him. His soul was taken from him and replaced by a spirit. When he was united (to the spirit), he spoke words incomprehensible to the powers. They envied him [...] spiritual partner [...] hidden [...] opportunity [...] for themselves alone [...] bridal chamber, so that [...].
Jesus appeared [...] Jordan - the fullness of the Kingdom of Heaven. He who was begotten before everything, was begotten anew. He who was once anointed, was anointed anew. He who was redeemed, in turn redeemed (others).
Indeed, one must utter a mystery. The Father of everything united with the virgin who came down, and a fire shone for him on that day. He appeared in the great bridal chamber. Therefore his body came into being on that very day. It left the bridal chamber as one who came into being from the bridegroom and the bride. So Jesus established everything in it through these. It is fitting for each of the disciples to enter into his rest.
Adam came into being from two virgins, from the Spirit and from the virgin earth. Christ therefore, was born from a virgin to rectify the Fall which occurred in the beginning.
There are two trees growing in Paradise. The one bears animals, the other bears men. Adam ate from the tree which bore animals. He became an animal and he brought forth animals. For this reason the children of Adam worship animals. The tree [...] fruit is [...] increased. [...] ate the [...] fruit of the [...] bears men, [...] man. [...] God created man. [...] men create God. That is the way it is in the world - men make gods and worship their creation. It would be fitting for the gods to worship men!
Surely what a man accomplishes depends on his abilities. For this reason, we refer to one`s accomplishments as "abilities". Among his accomplishments are his children. They originate in a moment of ease. Thus his abilities determine what he may accomplish, but this ease is clearly evident in the children. You will find that this applies directly to the image. Here is the man made after the image accomplishing things with his physical strength, but producing his children with ease.
In this world, the slaves serve the free. In the Kingdom of Heaven, the free will minister to the slaves: the children of the bridal chamber will minister to the children of the marriage. The children of the bridal chamber have just one name: rest. Altogether, they need take no other form, because they have contemplation, [...]. They are numerous [...] in the things [...] the glories [...].
Those [...] go down into the water. [...] out (of the water), will consecrate it, [...] they who have [...] in his name. For he said, "Thus we should fulfill all righteousness." (Mt 3:15)
Those who say they will die first and then rise are in error. If they do not first receive the resurrection while they live, when they die they will receive nothing. So also when speaking about baptism they say, "Baptism is a great thing," because if people receive it they will live.
Philip the apostle said, "Joseph the carpenter planted a garden because he needed wood for his trade. It was he who made the cross from the trees which he planted. His own offspring hung on that which he planted. His offspring was Jesus, and the planting was the cross." But the Tree of Life is in the middle of the Garden. However, it is from the olive tree that we got the chrism, and from the chrism, the resurrection.
This world is a corpse-eater. All the things eaten in it themselves die also. Truth is a life-eater. Therefore no one nourished by truth will die. It was from that place that Jesus came and brought food. To those who so desired, he gave life, that they might not die.
God [...] garden. Man [...] garden. There are [...] and [...] of God. [...] The things which are in [...] I wish. This garden is the place where they will say to me, "[...] eat this or do not eat that, just as you wish." In the place where I will eat all things is the Tree of Knowledge. That one killed Adam, but here the Tree of Knowledge made men alive. The law was the tree. It has power to give the knowledge of good and evil. It neither removed him from evil, nor did it set him in the good, but it created death for those who ate of it. For when he said, "Eat this, do not eat that", it became the beginning of death.
The chrism is superior to baptism, for it is from the word "Chrism" that we have been called "Christians," certainly not because of the word "baptism". And it is because of the chrism that "the Christ" has his name. For the Father anointed the Son, and the Son anointed the apostles, and the apostles anointed us. He who has been anointed possesses everything. He possesses the resurrection, the light, the cross, the Holy Spirit. The Father gave him this in the bridal chamber; he merely accepted (the gift). The Father was in the Son and the Son in the Father. This is the Kingdom of Heaven.
The Lord said it well: "Some have entered the Kingdom of Heaven laughing, and they have come out [...] because [...] a Christian, [...]. And as soon as [...] went down into the water, he came [...] everything (of this world), [...] because he [...] a trifle, but [...] full of contempt for this [...] the Kingdom of Heaven [...] If he despises [...], and scorns it as a trifle, [...] out laughing. So it is also with the bread and the cup and the oil, even though there is another one superior to these.
The world came about through a mistake. For he who created it wanted to create it imperishable and immortal. He fell short of attaining his desire. For the world never was imperishable, nor, for that matter, was he who made the world. For things are not imperishable, but sons are. Nothing will be able to receive imperishability if it does not first become a son. But he who has not the ability to receive, how much more will he be unable to give?
The cup of prayer contains wine and water, since it is appointed as the type of the blood for which thanks is given. And it is full of the Holy Spirit, and it belongs to the wholly perfect man. When we drink this, we shall receive for ourselves the perfect man. The living water is a body. It is necessary that we put on the living man. Therefore, when he is about to go down into the water, he unclothes himself, in order that he may put on the living man.
A horse sires a horse, a man begets man, a god brings forth a god. Compare the bridegroom and the bride. They have come from the [...]. No Jew [...] has existed. And [...] from the Jews. [...] Christians [...] these [...] are referred to as "The chosen people of [...]," and "The true man" and "Son of Man" and "the seed of the Son of Man". This true race is renowned in the world [...] that the sons of the bridal chamber dwell.
Whereas in this world the union is one of husband with wife - a case of strength complemented by weakness(?) - in the Aeon (eternal realm), the form of the union is different, although we refer to them by the same names. There are other names, however; they are superior to every other name that is named and are stronger than the strong. For where there is a show of strength, there those who excel in strength appear. These are not separate things, but both of them are this one single thing. This is the one which will not be able to rise above the heart of flesh.
Is it not necessary for all those who possess everything to know themselves? Some indeed, if they do not know themselves, will not enjoy what they possess. But those who have come to know themselves will enjoy their possessions.
Not only will they be unable to detain the perfect man, but they will not be able to see him, for if they see him, they will detain him. There is no other way for a person to acquire this quality except by putting on the perfect light and he too becoming perfect light. He who has put it on will enter [...]. This is the perfect [...] that we [...] become [...] before we leave [...]. Whoever receives everything [...] hither [...] be able [...] that place, but will [...] the Middle as imperfect. Only Jesus knows the end of this person.
The priest is completely holy, down to his very body. For if he has taken the bread, he will consecrate it. Or the cup or anything else that he gets, he will consecrate. Then how will he not consecrate the body also? By perfecting the water of baptism, Jesus emptied it of death. Thus we do go down into the water, but we do not go down into death, in order that we may not be poured out into the spirit of the world. When that spirit blows, it brings the winter. When the Holy Spirit breathes, the summer comes. He who has knowledge of the truth is a free man, but the free man does not sin, for "He who sins is the slave of sin" (Jn 8:34). Truth is the mother, knowledge the father. Those who think that sinning does not apply to them are called "free" by the world. Knowledge of the truth merely makes such people arrogant, which is what the words, "it makes them free" mean. It even gives them a sense of superiority over the whole world. But "Love builds
up" (1 Co 8:1). In fact, he who is really free, through knowledge, is a slave, because of love for those who have not yet been able to attain to the freedom of knowledge. Knowledge makes them capable of becoming free. Love never calls something its own, [...] it [...] possess [...]. It never
says,"This is yours" or "This is mine," but "All these are yours". Spiritual love is wine and fragrance. All those who anoint themselves with it take pleasure in it. While those who are anointed are present, those nearby also profit (from the fragrance). If those anointed with ointment withdraw from them and leave, then those not anointed, who merely stand nearby, still remain in their bad odor. The Samaritan gave nothing but wine and oil to the wounded man. It is nothing other than the ointment. It healed the wounds, for "love covers a multitude of sins" (1 P 4:8).
The children a woman bears resemble the man who loves her. If her husband loves her, then they resemble her husband. If it is an adulterer, then they resemble the adulterer. Frequently, if a woman sleeps with her husband out of necessity, while her heart is with the adulterer with whim she usually has intercourse, the child she will bear is born resembling the adulterer. Now you who live together with the Son of God, love not the world, but love the Lord, in order that those you will bring forth may not resemble the world, but may resemble the Lord.
The human being has intercourse with the human being. The horse has intercourse with the horse, the ass with the ass. Members of a race usually have associated with those of like race. So spirit mingles with spirit, and thought consorts with thought, and light shares with light. If you are born a human being, it is the human being who will love you. If you become a spirit, it is the spirit which will be joined to you. If you become thought, it is thought which will mingle with you. If you become light, it is the light which will share with you. If you become one of those who belong above, it is those who belong above who will rest upon you. If you become horse or ass or bull or dog or sheep, or another of the animals which are outside or below, then neither human being nor spirit nor thought nor light will be able to love you. Neither those who belong above nor those who belong within will be able to rest in you, and you have no part in them. He who is a slave against his will, wil l be able to become free. He who has become free by favor of his master, and has sold himself into slavery, will no longer be able to be free. Farming in the world requires the cooperation of four essential elements. A harvest is gathered into the barn only as a result of the natural action of water, earth, wind and light. God's farming likewise has four elements - faith, hope, love, and knowledge. Faith is our earth, that in which we take root. And hope is the water through which we are nourished. Love is the wind through which we grow. Knowledge, then, is the light through which we ripen. Grace exists in four ways: it is earthborn; it is heavenly; [...] the highest heaven; [...] in [...].
Blessed is the one who on no occasion caused a soul [...]. That person is Jesus Christ. He came to the whole place and did not burden anyone. Therefore, blessed is the one who is like this, because he is a perfect man. For the Word tells us that this kind is difficult to define. How shall we be able to accomplish such a great thing? How will he give everyone comfort? Above all, it is not proper to cause anyone distress - whether the person is great or small, unbeliever or believer - and then give comfort only to those who take satisfaction in good deeds. Some find it advantageous to give comfort to the one who has fared well. He who does good deeds cannot give comfort to such people, for he does not seize whatever he likes. He is unable to cause distress, however, since he does not afflict them. To be sure, the one who fares well sometimes causes people distress - not that he intends to do so; rather, it is their own wickedness which is responsible for their distress. He who posses ses the qualities (of the perfect man) bestows joy upon the good. Some, however, are terribly distressed by all this. There was a householder who had every conceivable thing, be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig or corn or barley or chaff or grass or [...] or meat and acorn. Now he was a sensible fellow, and he knew what the food of each one was. He served the children bread [...]. He served the slaves [...] and meal. And he threw barley and chaff and grass to the cattle. He threw bones to the dogs, and to the pigs he threw acorns and slop. Compare the disciple of God: if he is a sensible fellow, he understands what discipleship is all about. The bodily forms will not deceive him, but he will look at the condition of the soul of each one and speak with him. There are many animals in the world which are in a human form. When he identifies them, to the swine he will throw acorns, to the cattle he will throw barley and chaff and grass, to the dogs he will throw bones. To the slaves he will give only the elementary lessons, to the children he will give the complete instruction.
There is the Son of Man and there is the son of the Son of Man. The Lord is the Son of Man, and the son of the Son of Man is he who creates through the Son of Man. The Son of Man received from God the capacity to create. He also has the ability to beget. He who has received the ability to create is a creature. He who has received the ability to beget is an offspring. He who creates cannot beget. He who begets also has power to create. Now they say, "He who creates begets". But his so-called "offspring" is merely a creature. Because of [...] of birth, they are not his offspring but [...]. He who creates works openly, and he himself is visible. He who begets, begets in private, and he himself is hidden, since [...] image. Also, he who creates, creates openly. But one who begets, begets children in private.
No one can know when the husband and the wife have intercourse with one another, except the two of them. Indeed, marriage in the world is a mystery for those who have taken a wife. If there is a hidden quality to the marriage of defilement, how much more is the undefiled marriage a true
mystery! It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will. It belongs not to the darkness or the night, but to the day and the light. If a marriage is open to the public, it has become prostitution, and the bride plays the harlot not only when she is impregnated by another man, but even if she slips out of her bedroom and is seen. Let her show herself only to her father and her mother, and to the friend of the bridegroom and the sons of the bridegroom. These are permitted to enter every day into the bridal chamber. But let the others yearn just to listen to her voice and to enjoy her ointment, and let them feed from the crumbs that fall from the table, like the dogs. Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one shall be able to see the bridegroom with the bride unless he become such a one. When Abraham [...] that he was to see what he was to see, he circumcised the flesh of the foreskin, teaching us that it is proper to destroy the flesh. Most t hings in the world, as long as their inner parts are hidden, stand upright and live. If they are revealed, they die, as is illustrated by the visible man: as long as the intestines of the man are hidden, the man is alive; when his intestines are exposed and come out of him, the man will die. So also with the tree: while its root is hidden, it sprouts and grows. If its root is exposed, the tree dries up. So it is with every birth that is in the world, not only with the revealed but with the hidden. For so long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is strong. But when it is recognized, it is dissolved. When it is revealed, it perishes. That is why the Word says, "Already the axe is laid at the root of the trees" (Mt 3:10). It will not merely cut - what is cut sprouts again - but the axe penetrates deeply, until it brings up the root. Jesus pulled out the root of the whole place, while others did it only partially. As for ourselves, let each one of us dig down after the root of evil wh ich is within one, and let one pluck it out of one's heart from the root. It will be plucked out if we recognize it. But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us and produces its fruit in our heart. It masters us. We are its slaves. It takes us captive, to make us do what we do not want; and what we do want, we do not do. It is powerful because we have not recognized it. While it exists it is active. Ignorance is the mother of all evil. Ignorance will result in death, because those who come from ignorance neither were nor are nor shall be. [...] will be perfect when all the truth is revealed. For truth is like ignorance: while it is hidden, it rests in itself, but when it is revealed and is recognized, it is praised, inasmuch as it is stronger than ignorance and error. It gives freedom. The Word said, "If you know the truth, the truth will make you free" (Jn 8:32). Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us. I f we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfilment.
At the present time, we have the manifest things of creation. We say, "The strong who are held in high regard are great people. And the weak who are despised are the obscure." Contrast the manifest things of truth: they are weak and despised, while the hidden things are strong and held in high regard. The mysteries of truth are revealed, though in type and image. The bridal chamber, however, remains hidden. It is the Holy in the Holy. The veil at first concealed how God controlled the creation, but when the veil is rent and the things inside are revealed, this house will be left desolate, or rather will be destroyed. And the whole (inferior) godhead will flee from here, but not into the holies of the holies, for it will not be able to mix with the unmixed light and the flawless fullness, but will be under the wings of the cross and under its arms. This ark will be their salvation when the flood of water surges over them. If some belong to the order of the priesthood, they will be a ble to go within the veil with the high priest. For this reason, the veil was not rent at the top only, since it would have been open only to those above; nor was it rent at the bottom only, since it would have been revealed only to those below. But it was rent from the top to bottom. Those above opened to us the things below, in order that we may go in to the secret of the truth. This truly is what is held in high regard, (and) what is strong! But we shall go in there by means of lowly types and forms of weakness. They are lowly indeed when compared with the perfect glory. There is glory which surpasses glory. There is power which surpasses power. Therefore, the perfect things have opened to us, together with the hidden things of truth. The holies of the holies were revealed, and the bridal chamber invited us in.
As long as it is hidden, wickedness is indeed ineffectual, but it has not been removed from the midst of the seed of the Holy Spirit. They are slaves of evil. But when it is revealed, then the perfect light will flow out on every one. And all those who are in it will receive the chrism. Then the slaves will be free and the captives ransomed. "Every plant which my father who is in heaven has not planted will be plucked out." (Mt 15:13) Those who are separated will unite [...] and will be filled. Every one who will enter the bridal chamber will kindle the light, for [...] just as in the marriages which are [...] happen at night. That fire [...] only at night, and is put out. But the mysteries of that marriage are perfected rather in the day and the light. Neither that day nor its light ever sets. If anyone becomes a son of the bridal chamber, he will receive the light. If anyone does not receive it while he is here, he will not be able to receive it in the other place. He who will re ceive that light will not be seen, nor can he be detained. And none shall be able to torment a person like this, even while he dwells in the world. And again when he leaves the world, he has already received the truth in the images. The world has become the Aeon (eternal realm), for the Aeon is fullness for him. This is the way it is: it is revealed to him alone, not hidden in the darkness and the night, but hidden in a perfect day and a holy light.