imperishable [body]. The [immutable one] is [there] who [really ] exists. Because it transforms
[through] change, the [...] in destructible fire stands with [all] [these ...] [...] one [...] 117 he stands.
It is there that all living beings dwell, existing individually (yet) all joined together. The
knowledge of the knowledge is there together with a setting up of ignorance. Chaos is there and a
perfect place for all of them, and they are strange. True Light (is there), also enlightened darkness
together with the one who does not really exist - [he] does not really exist. [...] the non-being who
does not exist at all. But it is he, the Good, from whom derives the good and what is pleasant and
the divine; (it is he) from [whom] comes God and he who [...], he who is great. For [...] in part [...]
form and God that [...]and the one [...] [...] a god [...] [...] all these [...] [...] darkness [...] (1 line
118 and a race. He has not mixed with anything, but he remains alone in himself and rests himself
on his limitless limit. He is [the] God of those who really exist, a seer and a revealer of God.
When she had strengthened him who [knew her], the aeon Barbelo, the knowledge of the Invisible
Triple Powerful Perfect Spirit, in order to [...] her, said, "He [...] a life. I am alive in [...] You, the
One, are alive. He is alive, [he] who is three. It is you who are [the] three who are three
[doubled ...] e e e. The first of seven [...] the third [...] the second [...] e e e e a a a a a a a [...] [...] two,
but he [four ...] [...] knowledge [...] (1 line unrecoverable) (1 line unrecoverable)
119 a part? What kind of mind, and what kind of wisdom? What kind of understanding, what
kind of teaching? His Lights are named (as follows): the first [is Arme]don and she who is with
him, [...]; the second is Diphane [... and] she who is with him, Dei- ph[a ...]; the third is [Malsed]on
and she who is with him [...]; the fourth is [...]s and she who is with him, Olmis.
Kalyptos exists having [...] with his Form. He is invisible to all these so that they all might be
strengthened by him [...] [...] he exists in [...] all-perfect because [he has] four existing (1 line
unrecoverable) [...] nor according to a [...] alone [... B]arbelo [...] (2 lines unrecoverable)
120 know him and the one who is set over a second. The first of the aeons is Harmedon, the father-
glory. The second Light (is) one whom [he does] not [know], but all the [individuals], wisdom [...]
exist in the fourth aeon who has revealed [himself] and all the glories. [The third] Light (is) he [...]
not him, as the word of all [the forms] and that other [glory], understanding, [who is] in the third
[aeon]. There are four in Malsedon and [...] nios. The fourth Light is the one who [...] of all the
forms existing [...] a teaching and glory [...] and the truth of the [four aeons], Olmis, [...] and the
[...] (2 lines unrecoverable) 121 fifth.
The first (is the one) who is the second, that is, it is the all-perfect Kalyptos, for the four Lights
exist. It is Kalyptos who has divided again, and they exist together. All who know those who exist
as glories are perfect. This one [...] knows everything about them all is all-perfect. From him is
every power, every one and their entire aeon, because they all come to him and they all come from
him, the power of them all (and) the origin of them all. When he learned [of them], he became a
[...] aeon and a ingenerateness. [...] other aeons [in ...]a[...] (2 lines unrecoverable)
122 become a Barbelo, he becomes a first aeon because of the eternity of the Invisible Spirit, the
These are all the glories: the limitless Aphredons, [...] the ineffables, the revealers, all the [...]
immutables, the glory-revealers, the twice-revealed Marsedons, the limitless Solmises, the self-
revealers who are [full] of glory, those who [wait for] glory, the blessers, the M[arse-] dons, the
Kalyptoi who [...] the limits [...] upon the limits [...] those who exist [...] (3 lines unrecoverable) (Lines
24ff, I or 2, do not survive) 123 ten thousand glories in them.
Therefore, he is a perfect glory so that whenever he can join (another) and prevail, he exists as
perfect. Thus, even if he enters into a body and a death (coming) from matter, they do not receive
greater honor because of their all-perfectness from whom came all these, being perfect, together
with those who are with him. Indeed, each of the aeons has ten thousand aeons in himself, so that
by existing together he may become a perfect aeon.
He exists in the [Blessedness] of the Triple [Powerful] Perfect Invisible [Spirit ...] silence [...] who
became first [...] and the knowledge (3 lines unrecoverable)
- 225 -
124 whole, a silence of the second knowledge, the first thought in the will of the Triple Powerful,
because he commanded it to know him, so that he might become all-perfect and perfect in himself.
By simplicity and blessedness he is known. [I received] goodness through that follower of the
Barbelo aeon who gives being to himself. [...] is not the power, but she is the one who belongs to
The aeons which really exist do so in silence. Existence was inactivity, and knowledge of the self-
established Kalyptos was ineffable. Having come [from the] fourth, the [...] thought, the Proto
[phanes], as (the) Perfect Male [Mind] (2 lines unrecoverable)
125 he is his image, equal to him in power and glory but with respect to order higher than him,
(yet not higher) in aeon. Like him he has all these (parts) living (and) dwelling together in one.
Together with the aeon in the aeons he has a fourfold difference with all the rest who are there.
But Kalyptos really exists, and with him is located she who belongs to all the glories, Youel, the
male virgin glory, through whom are seen the all-perfect ones. Those who stand before him are
the triple [...] child, the triple [...], the Autogenes [...] He has [...] in one [... the one] again who
prevails over the [...] existing in [...] 126 of ten thousand- fold.
The first aeon in him, from whom is the first Light, (is) Solmis and the god revealer, since he is
infinite according to the type in the Kalyptos aeon and Doxomedon. The second aeon (is)
Akremon the ineffable together with the second Light Zachthos and Yachtos. The third aeon is
Ambrosios the virgin together with the third Light Setheus and Antiphantes. The fourth aeon is
the blesser [...] race with [the] fourth Light [Seldao] and Elenos.
The [...] him [...] [...] Arm[edon (1 line unrecoverable) 127 phoe zoe zeoe ze[...] zosi zosi zao zeooo
zesen zes- en - the individuals and the four who are eight-fold are alive. eoooo eaeo - you who are
before them, and you who are in them all. They are within the perfect male Armedon Protophanes
of all those who dwell together. Since all the individuals were existing as perfect ones, the Activity
of all the individuals appeared again as the divine Autogenes.
He stands within an aeon because there are within him four different self-begotten aeons. The first
aeon in him as the first Light (is) [Harmoze]l-Orneos-Euthrou- nios. [He] was called (1 line
[... The] second [aeon as] [the second Light is] [Oraiael ...]-udas[...]os, Ap[...] 128 Arros[...]. The
third (aeon) of the third Light (is) Daveithe-Laraneus- Epiphanios-Eideos. The fourth (aeon) as the
fourth Light (is) Eleleth-Kodere- Epiphanios-Allogenios. But as for all the rest who are in matter,
they were all left (there). It was because of knowledge of greatness, audacity and power that they
came into existence and comforted themselves. Because they did not know God, they shall pass
away. Behold, Zostrianos, you have heard all these things of the gods are ignorant and (which)
seem infinite to angels."
I took courage and said, "I am [still ] wondering about the Triple Powerful Invisible Perfect Spirit:
how he exists for himself, [how he causes] everything [...] who really exist [...] what is the [...] [...]
and [...] [...] of [...] 129 very [...] they set [me] down (and) left.
Apophantes and Aphropais, the Virgin-light, came before me and brought me into Protophanes,
(the) great male perfect Mind. I saw all of them as they exist in one. I joined with them all (and)
blessed the Kalyptos aeon, the virgin Barbelo and the Invisible Spirit. I became all-perfect and
received power. I was written in glory and sealed. I received there a perfect crown. I came forth to
the perfect individuals, and all of them were questioning me. They were listening to the loftiness
of my knowledge. They were rejoicing and receiving power. When I again came down to the
aeons of Autogenes, I received a true image, pure (yet) suitable for the perceptible (world).
I came down to the aeon copies and came down here 130 to the airy-earth. I wrote three tablets
(and) left them as knowledge for those who would come after me, the living elect. Then I came
down to the perceptible world and put on my image. Because it was ignorant, I strengthened it
(and) went about preaching the truth to everyone. Neither the angelic beings of the world nor the
archons saw me, for I negated a multitude of [judgments] which brought me near death.
- 226 -
But an erring multitude I awakened saying, "Know those who are alive and the holy seed of Seth.
Do not [show] disobedience to me. [Awaken] your divine part to God, and as for your sinless elect
soul, strengthen it. Behold death here and seek the immutable ingenerateness, the [Father] of
everything. He invites you, while they reprove you. Although they ill-treat 131 you, he will not
Do not baptize yourselves with death nor entrust yourselves to those who are inferior to you
instead of to those who are better. Flee from the madness and the bondage of femaleness and
choose for yourselves the salvation of maleness. You have not come to suffer; rather, you have
come to escape your bondage.
Release yourselves, and that which has bound you will be dissolved. Save yourselves so that your
soul may be saved. The kind Father has sent you the Savior and given you strength. Why are you
hesitating? Seek when you are sought; when you are invited, listen, for time is short.
Do not be led astray. The aeon of the aeons of the living ones is great, yet (so also is) the
[punishment] of those who are unconvinced. Many bonds and chastisers surround you. 132 Flee
quickly before death reaches you. Look at the Light. Flee the Darkness. Do not be led astray to
Oracles of Truth of Zostrianos
God of Truth
Teachings of Zoroaster
- 227 -
The Letter of Peter to Philip
Translated by Frederik Wisse
Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed., The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition. HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.
The Letter of Peter which he sent to Philip
"Peter, the apostle of Jesus Christ, to Philip, our beloved brother and our fellow apostle, and (to)
the brethren who are with you: greetings!
Now I want you to know, our brother, that we received orders from our Lord and the Savior of the
whole world that we should come together to give instruction and preach in the salvation which
was promised us by our Lord Jesus Christ. But as for you, you were separate from us, and you did
not desire us to come together and to know how we should organize ourselves in order that we
might tell the good news. Therefore would it be agreeable to you, our brother, to come according
to the orders of our God Jesus?"
When Philip had received these (words), and when he had read them, he went to Peter rejoicing
with gladness. Then Peter gathered the others also. They went upon the mountain which is called
"the (mount) olives," the place where they used to gather with the blessed Christ when he was in
Then, when the apostles had come together, and had thrown themselves upon their knees, they
prayed thus saying, "Father, Father, Father of the light, who possesses the incorruptions, hear us
just as thou hast taken pleasure in thy holy child Jesus Christ. For he became for us an illuminator
in the darkness. Yea hear us!"
And they prayed again another time, saying, "Son of life, Son of immortality, who is in the light,
Son, Christ of immortality, our Redeemer, give us power, for they seek to kill us!"
Then a great light appeared so that the mountains shone from the sight of him who had appeared.
And a voice called out to them saying, "Listen to my words that I may speak to you. Why are you
asking me? I am Jesus Christ who am with you forever."
Then the apostles answered and said, "Lord, we would like to know the deficiency of the aeons
and their pleroma." And: "How are we detained in this dwelling place?" Further: "How did we
come to this place?" And: "In what manner shall we depart?" Again: "How do we have the
authority of boldness?" And: "Why do the powers fight against us?"
Then a voice came to them out of the light saying, "It is you yourselves who are witnesses that I
spoke all these things to you. But because of your unbelief I shall speak again. First of all
concerning the deficiency of the aeons, this is the deficiency, when the disobedience and the
foolishness of the mother appeared without the commandment of the majesty of the Father. She
wanted to raise up aeons. And when she spoke, the Arrogant One followed. And when she left
behind a part, the Arrogant One laid hold of it, and it became a deficiency. This is the deficiency of
the aeons. Now when the Arrogant One had taken a part, he sowed it. And he placed powers over
it and authorities. And he enclosed it in the aeons which are dead. And all the powers of the world
rejoiced that they had been begotten. But they do not know the pre-existent Father, since they are
strangers to him. But this is the one to whom they gave power and whom they served by praising
him. But he, the Arrogant One, became proud on account of the praise of the powers. He became
an envier and he wanted to make an image in the place of an image, and a form in the place of a
form. And he commissioned the powers within his authority to mold mortal bodies. And they
came to be from a misrepresentation, from the semblance which had merged."
"Next concerning the pleroma: I am the one who was sent down in the body because of the seed
which had fallen away. And I came down into their mortal mold. But they did not recognize me;
they were thinking of me that I was a mortal man. And I spoke with him who belongs to me, and
he harkened to me just as you too who harkened today. And I gave him authority in order that he
- 228 -
might enter into the inheritance of his fatherhood. And I took [...] they were filled [...] in his
salvation. And since he was a deficiency, for this reason he became a pleroma."
"It is because of this that you are being detained, because you belong to me. When you strip off
from yourselves what is corrupted, then you will become illuminators in the midst of mortal men."
"And this (is the reason) that you will fight against the powers, because they do not have rest like
you, since they do not wish that you be saved."
Then the apostles worshiped again saying, "Lord, tell us: In what way shall we fight against the
archons, since the archons are above us?"
Then a voice called out to them from the appearance saying, "Now you will fight against them in
this way, for the archons are fighting against the inner man. And you are to fight against them in
this way: Come together and teach in the world the salvation with a promise. And you, gird
yourselves with the power of my Father, and let your prayer be known. And he, the Father, will
help you as he has helped you by sending me. Be not afraid, I am with you forever, as I previously
said to you when I was in the body." Then there came lightning and thunder from heaven, and
what appeared to them in that place was taken up to heaven.
Then the apostles gave thanks to the Lord with every blessing. And they returned to Jerusalem.
And while coming up they spoke with each other on the road concerning the light which had
come. And a remark was made concerning the Lord. It was said, "If he, our Lord, suffered, then
how much (must) we (suffer)?"
Peter answered saying, "He suffered on our behalf, and it is necessary for us too to suffer because
of our smallness." Then a voice came to them saying, "I have told you many times: it is necessary
for you to suffer. It is necessary that they bring you to synagogues and governors, so that you will
suffer. But he who does not suffer and does not [...] the Father [...] in order that he may [...]."
And the apostles rejoiced greatly and came up to Jerusalem. And they came up to the temple and
gave instruction in salvation in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. And they healed a multitude.
And Peter opened his mouth, he said to his (fellow) disciples, "Did our Lord Jesus, when he was in
the body, show us everything? For he came down. My brothers, listen to my voice." And he was
filled with a holy spirit. He spoke thus: "Our illuminator, Jesus, came down and was crucified.
And he bore a crown of thorns. And he put on a purple garment. And he was crucified on a tree
and he was buried in a tomb. And he rose from the dead. My brothers, Jesus is a stranger to this
suffering. But we are the ones who have suffered through the transgression of the mother. And
because of this, he did everything like us. For the Lord Jesus, the Son of the immeasurable glory of
the Father, he is the author of our life. My brothers, let us therefore not obey these lawless ones,
and walk in [...]."
[...] Then Peter gathered together the others also, saying, "O, Lord Jesus Christ, author of our rest,
give us a spirit of understanding in order that we also may perform wonders."
Then Peter and the other apostles saw him, and they were filled with a holy spirit, And each one
performed healings. And they parted in order to preach the Lord Jesus. And they came together
and greeted each other saying, "Amen."
Then Jesus appeared saying to them, "Peace to you all and everyone who believes in my name.
And when you depart, joy be to you and grace and power. And be not afraid; behold, I am with
Then the apostles parted from each other into four words in order to preach. And they went by a
power of Jesus, in peace.
- 229 -
Documents you may be interested
Documents you may be interested