Pistis Sophia: Book Five
Translated by Carl Schmidt and Violet MacDermott
An Introduction by G.R.S. Mead
IT came to pass then, when Jesus our Lord had been crucified and had risen from the dead on the third day, that his disciples gathered round him, adored him and said: "Our Lord, have mercy upon us, for we have abandoned father and mother and the whole world and have followed thee."
At that time Jesus stood with his disciples on the water of the Ocean and made invocation with this prayer, saying: "Hear me, my Father, father of all fatherhood, boundless Light: aeēiouō iaō aōi ōia psinōther thernōps nōpsither zagourē pagourē nethmomaōth nepsiomaōth marachachtha thōbarrabau tharnachachan zorokothora ieou [= Yew] sabaōth."
And while Jesus said this, Thomas, Andrew, James and Simon the Cananite were in the west with their faces turned towards the east, and Philip and Bartholomew were in the south turned towards the north, and the rest of the disciples and the women-disciples stood back of Jesus. But Jesus stood at the altar.
And Jesus made invocation, turning himself towards the four corners of the world with his disciples, who were all clad in linen garments, and saying: "iaō iaō iaō." This is its interpretation: iōta, because the universe hath gone forth; alpha, because it will turn itself back again; ōmega, because the completion of all the completeness will take place.
And when Jesus had said this, he said: "iaphtha iaphtha mounaēr mounaēr ermanouēr ermanouēr." That is: "O father of all fatherhood of the boundless [spaces], hear me for the sake of my disciples whom I have led before thee, that they may have faith in all the words of thy truth, and grant all for which I shall invoke thee; for I know the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light."
Again did Jesus,--that is Aberamenthō,--make invocation, speaking the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light, and said: "Let all the mysteries of the rulers and the authorities and the angels and the archangels and all powers and all things of the invisible god Agrammachamarei and Barbēlō draw near the Leech [Bdella] on one side and withdraw to the right."
And in that hour all the heavens went to the west, and all the æons and the sphere and their rulers and all their powers flew together to the west to the left of the disk of the sun and the disk of the moon.
And the disk of the sun was a great dragon whose tail was in his mouth and who reached to seven powers of the Left and whom four powers in the form of white horses drew.
And the base of the moon had the type of a ship which a male and a female dragon steered and two white bulls drew. The figure of a babe was on the stern of the moon who guided the dragons who robbed the light from the rulers. And on its prow was a cat's face.
And the whole world and the mountains and the seas fled together to the west to the left.
And Jesus and his disciples remained in the midst in an aëry region on the ways of the way of the midst, which lieth below the sphere. And they came to the first order of the way of the midst. And Jesus stood in the air of its region with his disciples.
The disciples of Jesus said unto him: "What is this region in which we are?
Jesus said: "These are the regions of the way of the midst. For it came to pass, when the rulers of Adamas mutinied and persistently practised congress, procreating rulers, archangels, angels, servitors and decans, that Yew, the father of my father, came forth from the Right and bound them to a Fate-sphere.
"For there are twelve æons; over six Sabaōth, the Adamas, ruleth, and his brother Yabraōth ruleth over the other six. At that time then Yabraōth with his rulers had faith in the mysteries of the Light and was active in the mysteries of the Light and abandoned the mystery of congress. But Sabaōth, the Adamas, and his rulers have persisted in the practice of congress.
"And when Yew, the father of my father, saw that Yabraōth had faith, he carried him and all the rulers who had had faith with him, took him unto himself out of the sphere and led him into a purified air in face of the light of the sun between the regions of those of the midst and between [?] the regions of the invisible god. He posted him there with the rulers who had had faith in him.
"But he carried Sabaōth, the Adamas, and his rulers who had not been active in the mysteries of the Light, but have been persistently active in the mysteries of congress, and inbound them into the sphere.
"He bound eighteen-hundred rulers in every æon, and set three-hundred-and-sixty over them, and he set five other great rulers as lords over the three-hundred-and-sixty and over all the bound rulers, who in the whole world of mankind are called with these names: the first is called Kronos, the second Arēs, the third Hermēs, the fourth Aphroditē, the fifth Zeus."
Jesus continued and said: "Hearken then, that I may tell you their mystery. It came to pass then, when Yew had thus bound them, that he drew forth a power out of the great Invisible and bound it to him who is called Kronos. And he drew another power out of Ipsantachouncha´nchoucheōch, who is one of the three triple-powered gods, and bound it to Arēs. And he drew a power out of Cha´nchōōōch, who also is one of the three triple-powered gods, and bound it to Hermēs. Again he drew a power out of the Pistis the Sophia daughter of Barbēlō and bound it to Aphroditē.
"And moreover he perceived that they needed a helm to steer the world and the Šons of the sphere, so that they might not wreck it [the world] in their wickedness. He went into the Midst, drew forth a power out of the little Sabaōth, the Good, him of the Midst, and bound it to Zeus, because he is a good [regent], so that he may steer them in his goodness. And he set thus established the circling of his order, that he should spend thirteen [? three] months in every Šon confirming [it], so that he may set free all the rulers over whom he cometh, from the evil of their wickedness. And he gave him two Šons, which are in face of those of Hermēs, for his dwelling.
"I have told you for the first time the names of these five great rulers with which the men of the world are wont to call them. Hearken now then that I may tell you also their incorruptible names, which are: Ōrimouth correspondeth to Kronos; Mounichounaphōr correspondeth to Arēs; Tarpetanouph correspondeth to Hermēs; Chōsi correspondeth to Aphroditē; Chōnbal correspondeth to Zeus. These are their incorruptible names."
And when the disciples had heard this, they fell down, adored Jesus and said "Blessed are we beyond all men, because thou hast revealed unto us these great wonders."
They continued, besought him and said: "We beseech thee, reveal unto us: What are then these ways?"
And Mary drew nigh unto him, fell down, adored his feet and kissed his hands and said: "Yea, my Lord, reveal unto us: What is the use of the ways of the midst? For we have heard from thee that they are set over great chastisements. How then, my Lord, will we remove or escape from them? Or in what way do they seize the souls? Or how long a time do they spend in their chastisements? Have mercy upon us, our Lord, our Saviour, in order that the receivers of the judgments of the ways of the midst may not carry off our souls and judge us in their evil judgments, so that we ourselves may inherit the Light of thy father and not be wretched and destitute of thee."
When then Mary said this weeping, Jesus answered in great compassion and said unto them: "Truly, my brethren and beloved, who have abandoned father and mother for my name's sake, unto you will I give all mysteries and all gnoses.
"I will give you the mystery of the twelve Šons of the rulers and their seals and their ciphers and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions.
"I will give you moreover the mystery of the thirteenth Šon and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions, and I will give you their ciphers and their seals.
"And I will give you the mystery of the baptism of those of the Midst and the manner of invocation for reaching their regions, and I will announce unto you their ciphers and their seals.
"And I will give you the baptism of those of the Right, our region, and its ciphers and its seals and the manner of invocation for reaching thither.
"And I will give you the great mystery of the Treasury of the Light and the manner of invocation for reaching thither.
"I will give you all the mysteries and all the gnoses, in order that ye may be called 'children of the fulness, perfected in all the gnoses and all the mysteries.' Blessed are ye beyond all men on earth, for the children of the Light are come in your time."
Jesus continued in the discourse and said: "It came to pass then thereafter, that the father of my father,--that is Yew,--came and took other three-hundred-and-sixty rulers from the rulers of Adamas who had not had faith in the mystery of the Light, and bound them into these aŰrial regions, in which we are now, below the sphere. He established another five great rulers over them,--that is these who are on the way of the midst.
"The first ruler of the way of the midst is called Paraplēx, a ruler with a woman's shape, whose hair reacheth down to her feet, under whose authority stand five-and-twenty archdemons which rule over a multitude of other demons. And it is those demons which enter into men and seduce them, raging and cursing and slandering; and it is they which carry off hence and in ravishment the souls and dispatch them through their dark smoke and their evil chastisements."
Mary said: "I shall behave badly to question thee. Be not wroth with me if I question on all things."
Jesus said: "Question what thou wilt."
Mary said: "My Lord, reveal unto us in what manner they carry off hence the souls in ravishment, that also my brethren may understand it."
Jesus,--that is Aberamenthō,--said: "Since indeed the father of my father,--that is Yew,--is the fore-minder of all the rulers, gods and powers who have arisen out of the matter of the Light of the Treasury, and Zorokothora Melchisedec is the envoy to all the lights which are purified in the rulers, leading them into the Treasury of the Light,--these two alone are the great Lights, and their ordinance is that they down go to the rulers and purify them, and that Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth away the purification of the lights which they have purified in the rulers and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light,--when the cipher and the time of their ordinance cometh, that they go down to the rulers and oppress and constrain them, carrying away the purification from the rulers.
"But straightway when they shall cease from the oppressing and constraining and return to the regions of the Treasury of the Light, it cometh to pass that, if they reach the regions of the Midst, Zorokothora Melchisedec carrieth off the lights and leadeth them unto the gate of those of the Midst and leadeth them into the Treasury of the Light, and that Yew withdraweth himself into the regions of those of the Right.
"Up to the time of the cipher for them to come forth again, the rulers mutiny through the wrath of their wickedness, going straightway up to the lights, because they [Yew and Melchisedec] are not with them at that time, and they carry off the souls which they may be able to snatch away in ravishment, and destroy them through their dark smoke and their evil fire.
"At that time then this authority, with name Paraplēx, along with the demons which stand under her, carrieth off the souls of the violently passionate, of cursers and of slanderers and dispatcheth them through the dark smoke and destroyeth them through her evil fire, so that they begin to be undone and dissolved. One-hundred-and-thirty-and-three years and nine months do they spend in the chastisements of her regions, while she tormenteth them in the fire of her wickedness.
"It cometh to pass then after all these times, when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, Zeus, cometh to the first of the Šons of the sphere, which is called in the world the Ram of Boubastis, that is of Aphroditē; [and] when she [Boubastis] cometh to the seventh house of the sphere, that is to the Balance, then the veils which are between those of the Right and those of the Left, draw themselves aside, and there looketh from the height out of those of the Right the great Sabaōth, the Good; and the whole world and the total sphere [become alarmed] before he hath looked forth. And he looketh down on the regions of Paraplēx, so that her regions may be dissolved and perish. And all the souls which are in her chastisements, are carried and cast back [up] into the sphere anew, because they are ruined in the chastisements of Paraplēx."
"He continued in the discourse and said: "The second order is called Ariouth the Æthiopian, a female ruler, who is entirely black, under whom stand fourteen other [arch]demons which rule over a multitude of other demons. And it is those demons which stand under Ariouth the Æthiopian, that enter into strife-seekers until they stir up wars and murders arise, and they harden their heart and seduce it to wrath in order that murders may arise.
"And the souls which this authority will carry off in ravishment, pass one-hundred-and-thirteen years in her regions, while she tormenteth them through her dark smoke and her wicked fire, so that they come nigh unto destruction.
"And thereafter, when the sphere turneth itself, and the little Sabaōth, the Good, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the fourth æon of the sphere, that is the Crab, and Boubastis, who is called in the world Aphroditē, cometh into the tenth æon of the sphere which is called the Goat, at that time the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and Yew looketh forth to the right; the whole world becometh alarmed and is agitated together with all the æons of the sphere. And he looketh on the dwellings of Ariouth the Ethiopian, so that her regions are dissolved and ruined, and all the souls which are in her chastisements are carried off and cast back into the sphere anew, because they are ruined through her dark smoke and her wicked fire."
He continued further in his discourse and said: "The third order is called Triple-faced Hekatē, and there are under her authority seven-and-twenty [arch]demons, and it is they which enter into men and seduce them to perjuries and lies and to covet that which doth not belong to them.
"The souls then which Hekatē beareth hence in ravishment, she handeth over to her demons which stand under her, in order that they may torment them through her dark smoke and her wicked fire, they being exceedingly afflicted through the demons. And they spend one-hundred-and-five years and six months, being chastized in her wicked chastisements; and they begin to be dissolved and destroyed.
"And thereafter, when the sphere turneth itself, and the little Sabaōth, the Good, he of the Midst, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the eighth æon of the sphere which is called the Scorpion, and when Boubastis, whom they call Aphroditē, cometh, and she cometh to the second æon of the sphere which is called the Bull, then the veils which are between those of the Right and those of the Left draw themselves aside and Zorokothora Melchisedec looketh out of the height; and the world and the mountains are agitated and the æons become alarmed. And he looketh on all the regions of Hekatē, so that her regions are dissolved and destroyed, and all the souls which are in her chastisements, are carried off and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are dissolved in the fire of her chastisements."
He continued and said: "The fourth order is called Parhedrōn Typhōn, who is a mighty ruler, under whose authority are two-and-thirty demons. And it is they which enter into men and seduce them to lusting, fornicating, adultery and to the continual practice of intercourse. The souls then which this ruler will carry off in ravishment, pass one-hundred-and-twenty-and-eight years in his regions, while his demons torment them through his dark smoke and his wicked fire, so that they begin to be ruined and destroyed.
"It cometh to pass then, when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, the Good, he of the Midst, who is called Zeus, cometh, and when he cometh to the ninth æon of the sphere which is called the Archer, and when Boubastis, who is called in the world Aphroditē, cometh, and she cometh to the third æon of the sphere which is called the Twins, then the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and there looketh forth Zarazaz, whom the rulers call with the name of a mighty ruler of their regions 'Maskelli,' and he looketh on the dwellings of Parhedrōn Typhōn, so that his regions are dissolved and destroyed. And all the souls which are in his chastisements are carried and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are reduced through his dark smoke and his wicked fire."
Again he continued in the discourse and said unto this disciples: "The fifth order, whose ruler is called Yachthanabas, is a mighty ruler under whom standeth a multitude of other demons. It is they which enter into men and bring it about that they have respect of persons,--treating the just with injustice, and favour the cause of sinners, taking gifts for a just judgment and perverting it, forgetting the poor and needy,--they [the demons] increasing the forgetfulness in their souls and the care for that which bringeth no benefit, in order that they may not think of their life, so that when they come out of the body, they are carried in ravishment.
"The souls then which this ruler will carry off in ravishment, are in his chastisements one-hundred-and-fifty years and eight months; and he destroyeth them through his dark smoke and his wicked fire, while they are exceedingly afflicted through the flames of his fire.
"And when the sphere turneth itself and the little Sabaōth, the Good, who is called in the world Zeus, cometh, and he cometh to the eleventh æon of the sphere which is called the Water-man, and when Boubastis cometh to the fifth æon of the sphere which is called the Lion, then the veils which are between those of the Left and those of the Right, draw themselves aside, and there looketh out of the height the great Iaō, the Good, he of the Midst, on the regions of Yachthanabas, so that his regions are dissolved and destroyed. And all the souls which are in his chastisements are carried off and cast back anew into the sphere, because they are ruined in his chastisements.
"These then are the doings of the ways of the midst concerning which ye have questioned me."
And when the disciples had heard this, they fell down, adored him and said: "Help us now, Lord, and have mercy upon us, in order that we may be preserved from these wicked chastisements which are prepared for the sinners. Woe unto them, woe unto the children of men! For they grope as the blind in the darkness and see not. Have mercy upon us, O Lord, in this great blindness in which we are. And have mercy upon the whole race of men; for they have lain in wait for their souls, as lions for their prey, making it [sc. the prey] ready as food for their [sc. the rulers'] chastisements because of the forgetfulness and unknowing which is in them. Have mercy then upon us, our Lord, our Saviour, have mercy upon us and save us in this great stupefaction."
Jesus said unto his disciples: "Be comforted and be not afraid, for ye are blessed, because I will make you lords over all these and put them in subjection under your feet. Remember that I have already said unto you before I was crucified: 'I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven.' Now, therefore, I say unto you: I will give them unto you."
When then Jesus said this, he chanted a song of praise in the great name. The regions of the ways of the midst hid themselves, and Jesus and his disciples remained in an air of exceedingly strong light.
Jesus said unto his disciples: "Draw near unto me." And they drew near unto him. He turned himself towards the four corners of the world, said the great name over their heads, blessed them and breathed into their eyes.
Jesus said unto them: "Look up and see what ye may see."
And they raised their eyes and saw a great, exceedingly mighty light, which no man in the world can describe.
He said unto them anew: "Look away out of the light and see what ye may see."
They said: "We see fire, water, wine and blood."
Jesus,--that is Aberamenthō,--said unto his disciples: "Amēn, I say unto you: I have brought nothing into the world when I came, save this fire, this water, this wine and this blood. I have brought the water and the fire out of the region of the Light of the lights of the Treasury of the Light; and I have brought the wine and the blood out of the region of Barbēlō. And after a little while my father sent me the holy spirit in the type of a dove.
"And the fire, the water and the wine are for the purification of all the sins of the world. The blood on the other hand was for a sign unto me because of the human body which I received in the region of Barbēlō, the great power of the invisible god. The breath on the other hand advanceth towards all souls and leadeth them unto the region of the Light.
"For this cause have I said unto you: 'I am come to cast fire on the earth,'--that is: I am come to purify the sins of the whole world with fire.
"And for this cause have I said to the Samaritan woman: 'If thou knewest of the gift of God, and who it is who saith unto thee: Give me to drink,--thou wouldst ask, and he would give thee living water, and there would be in thee a spring which welleth up for everlasting life.'
"And for this cause I took also a cup of wine, blessed it and give it unto you and said: 'This is the blood of the covenant which will be poured out for you for the forgiveness of your sins.'
"And for this cause they have also thrust the spear into my side, and there came forth water and blood.
"And these are the mysteries of the Light which forgive sins; that is to say, these are the namings and the names of the Light."
It came to pass then thereafter that Jesus gave command: "Let all the powers of the Left go to their regions." And Jesus with his disciples remained on the Mount of Galilee. The disciples continued and besought him: "For how long then hast thou not let our sins which we have committed, and our iniquities be forgiven and made us worthy of the kingdom of thy father?
And Jesus said unto them: "Amēn, I say unto you: Not only will I purify your sins, but I will make you worthy of the kingdom of my father. And I will give you the mystery of the forgiveness of sins, in order that to him whom ye shall forgive on earth, it will be forgiven in heaven, and he whom ye shall bind on earth, will be bound in heaven. I will give you the mystery of the kingdom of heaven, in order that ye your-selves may perform them [sc. the mysteries] for men."
And Jesus said unto them: "Bring me fire and vine branches." They brought them unto him. He laid out the offering, and set down two wine-vessels, one on the right and the other on the left of the offering. He disposed the offering before them, and set a cup of water before the wine-vessel on the right and set a cup of wine before the wine-vessel on the left, and laid loaves according to the number of the disciples in the middle between the cups and set a cup of water behind the loaves.
Jesus stood before the offering, set the disciples behind him, all clad with linen garments, and in their hands the cipher of the name of the father of the Treasury of the Light, and he made invocation thus, saying: "Hear me, O Father, father of all fatherhood, boundless Light: iaō iouō iaō aōi ōia psinōther therōpsin ōpsither nephthomaōth nephiomaōth marachachtha marmarachtha iēana menaman amanēi (of heaven) israi amēn amēn soubaibai appaap amēn amēn deraarai (behind) amēn amēn sasarsartou amēn amēn koukiamin miai amēn amēn iai iai touap amēn amēn amēn main mari mariē marei amēn amēn amēn.
"Hear me, O Father, father of all fatherhood. I invoke you yourselves ye forgivers of sins, ye purifiers of iniquities. Forgive the sins of the souls of these disciples who have followed me, and purify their iniquities and make them worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, the father of the Treasury of the Light, for they have followed me and have kept my commandments.
"Now, therefore, O Father, father of all fatherhood, let the forgivers of sins come, whose names are these: siphirepsnichieu zenei berimou sochabrichēr euthari na nai (have mercy upon me) dieisbalmērich meunipos chirie entair mouthiour smour peuchēr oouschous minionor isochobortha.
"Hear me, invoking you, forgive the sins of these souls and blot out their iniquities. Let them be worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, the father of the Treasury of the Light.
"I know thy great powers and invoke them: auer bebrō athroni ē oureph e ōne souphen knitousochreōph mauōnbi mneuōr souōni chōcheteōph chōche eteōph memōch anēmph.
"Forgive [sing.] the sins of these souls, blot out their iniquities which they have knowingly and unknowingly committed, which they have committed in fornication and adultery unto this day; forgive them then and make them worthy to be reckoned with the kingdom of my father, so that they are worthy to receive of this offering, holy Father.
If thou then, Father, hast heard me and forgiven the sins of these souls and blotted out their iniquities, and hast made them worthy to be reckoned with thy kingdom, mayest thou give me a sign in this offering."
And the sign which Jesus had said [? besought] happened.
Jesus said unto his disciples: "Rejoice and exult, for your sins are forgiven and your iniquities blotted out, and ye are reckoned with the kingdom of my father."
And when he said this, the disciples rejoiced in great joy.
Jesus said unto them: "This is the manner and way and this is the mystery which ye are to perform for the men who have faith in you, in whom is no deceit and who hearken unto you in all good words. And their sins and their iniquities will be blotted out up to the day on which ye have performed for them this mystery. But hide this mystery and give it not unto all men, but unto him who shall do all the things which I have said unto you in my commandments.
"This then is the mystery in truth of the baptism for those whose sins are forgiven and whose iniquities are blotted out. This is the baptism of the first offering which showeth the way to the region of Truth and to the region of the Light."
Thereafter his disciples said unto him: "Rabbi, reveal unto us the mystery of the Light of thy father, since we heard thee say: 'There is still a fire-baptism and there is still a baptism of the holy spirit of the Light, and there is a spiritual chrism; these lead the souls into the Treasury of the Light.' Tell us, therefore, their mystery, so that we ourselves may inherit the kingdom of thy father."
Jesus said unto them: "There is no mystery which is more excellent than these mysteries on which ye question, in that it will lead your souls into the Light of the lights, into the regions of Truth and Goodness, into the region of the Holy of all holies, into the region in which there is neither female nor male, nor are there forms in that region, but a perpetual indescribable Light. Nothing more excellent is there, therefore, than these mysteries on which ye question, save only the mystery of the seven Voices and their nine-and-forty powers and their ciphers. And there is no name which is more excellent than them all, the name in which are all names and all lights and all powers.
"Who then knoweth that name, if he cometh out of the body of matter, nor smoke nor darkness nor authority nor ruler of the Fate-sphere nor angel nor archangel nor power can hold down the soul which knoweth that name; but if it cometh out of the world and sayeth that name to the fire, it is quenched and the darkness withdraweth.
"And if it sayeth it to the demons and to the receivers of the outer darkness and their rulers and their authorities and their powers, they will all sink down and their flame will burn and they will cry out: 'Holy, holy art thou, most holy of all holies.'
"And if one sayeth that name to the receivers of the wicked chastisements and their authorities and all their powers and also to Barbēlō and the invisible god and the three triple-powered gods, straightway if one will say this name in those regions, they will all fall one on another, will be undone and destroyed and cry out: 'O Light of all lights, which is in the boundless lights, remember us and purify us.'"
And when Jesus had finished saying these words, all his disciples cried out, wept with loud sobbing, saying: . . .
[LACUNA OF EIGHT LEAVES.]
* Apocrypha - (from the Greek word απόκρυφα meaning "those having been hidden away") are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. These texts may have been used in some churches by were never considered as part of the Bible
** Pseudepigrapha = (from Greek pseudes = "false", "epigraphe" = "inscription") are texts falsely attributed to biblical characters or times. These books were never part of the Bible & were never considered as scripture by the church at any time despite being published under such titles of "The Lost Books of the Bible" or "The Hidden Gospels". The church has always known about them & they were never "Hidden" & could be read at any University or college. There is no deep dark secret here, just publishers trying to make a buck with interesting book titles.
*** Noncanonical Literature = Never part of the Canon or Bible.