Book One Chap 1-15

Book One, Chapters 1-15

THE FIRST BOOK OF PISTIS SOPHIA

CHAPTER 1.

IT came to pass, when Jesus had risen from the dead, that he passed eleven years discoursing with his disciples, and instructing them only up to the regions of the First Commandment and up to the regions of the First Mystery, that within the Veil, within the First Commandment, which is the four-and-twentieth mystery without and below--those [four-and-twenty] which are in the second space of the First Mystery which is before all mysteries,--the Father in the form of a dove.

And Jesus said to his disciples: "I am come forth out of that First Mystery, which is the last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery." And his disciples have not known nor understood that anything existeth within that mystery; but they thought of that mystery, that it is the head of the universe and the head of all existence; and they thought it is the completion of all completions, because Jesus had said to them concerning that mystery, that it surroundeth the First Commandment and the five Impressions and the great Light |2. and the five Helpers and the whole Treasury of the Light.

And moreover Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of all the regions of the great Invisible and of the three triple-powers and of the four-and-twenty invisibles, and all their regions and their æons and their orders, how they are extended--those which are the emanations of the great Invisible--and their ungenerated and their self-generated and their generated and their light-givers and their unpaired and their rulers and their authorities and their lords and their archangels and their angels and their decans and their servitors and all the houses of their spheres and all the orders of every one of them.

And Jesus had not told his disciples the total expansion of the emanations of the Treasury, nor their orders, how they are extended; nor had he told them their saviours, according to the order of every one, how they are; nor had he told them what guard is at every [gate] of the Treasury of the Light; nor had he told them the region of the Twin-saviour, |3. who is the Child of the Child; nor had he told them the regions of the three Amēns, in what regions they are expanded; nor had he told them into what region the five Trees are expanded; nor as to the seven Amēns, that is the seven Voices, what is their region, how they are expanded.

And Jesus had not told his disciples of what type are the five Helpers, nor into what region they are brought; nor had he told them how the great Light hath expanded itself, nor into what region it hath been brought; nor had he told them of the five Impressions, nor as to the First Commandment, into what region they have been brought. But he had discoursed with them generally, teaching that they exist, but he had not told them their expansion and the order of their regions, how they are. For this cause they have not known that there were also other regions within that mystery.

And he had not told his disciples: "I have gone forth out of such and such regions until I entered into that mystery, and until I went forth out of it"; but, in teaching them, he said to them: "I am come forth from that mystery." For this cause then they thought of that mystery, that it is the completion |4. of completions, and that it is the head of the universe and that it is the total Fulness. For Jesus had said to his disciples: "That mystery surroundeth that universe of which I have spoken unto you from the day when I met with you even unto this day." For this cause then the disciples thought there is nothing within that mystery.

CHAPTER 2

It came to pass then, when the disciples were sitting together on the Mount of Olives, speaking of these words and rejoicing in great joy, and exulting exceedingly and saying one to another: "Blessed are we before all men who are on the earth, because the Saviour hath revealed this unto us, and we have received the Fulness and the total completion,"--they said this to one another, while Jesus sat a little removed from them.

And it came to pass then, on the fifteenth day of the moon in the month Tybi, which is the day on which the moon is full, on that day then, when the sun had come forth in his going, that there came forth behind him a great light-power shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure to the light conjoined with it. For it came out of the Light of lights, and it came out of the last mystery, which is the four-and-twentieth |5.mystery, from within without,--those which are in the orders of the second space of the First Mystery. And that light-power came down over Jesus and surrounded him entirely, while he was seated removed from his disciples, and he had shone most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was on him.

And the disciples had not seen Jesus because of the great light in which he was, or which was about him; for their eyes were darkened because of the great light in which he was. But they saw only the light, which shot forth many light-rays. And the light-rays were not like one another, but the light was of divers kind, and it was of divers type, from below upwards, one [ray] more excellent than the other, . . ., in one great immeasurable glory of light; it stretched from under the earth right up to heaven.--And when the disciples saw that light, they fell into great fear and great agitation.|

CHAPTER 3

It came to pass then, when that light-power had come down over Jesus, that it gradually surrounded him entirely. Then Jesus ascended or soared into the height, shining most exceedingly in an immeasurable light. And the disciples gazed after him and none of them spake, until he had reached unto heaven; but they all kept in deep silence. This then came to pass on the fifteenth day of the moon, on the day on which it is full in the month Tybi.

It came to pass then, when Jesus had reached the heaven, after three hours, that all the powers of the heaven fell into agitation, and all were set in motion one against the other, they and all their æons and all their regions and all their orders, and the whole earth was agitated and all they who dwell thereon. And all men who are in the world fell into agitation, and also the disciples, and all thought: Peradventure the world will be rolled up.

And all the powers in the heavens ceased not from their agitation, they and the whole world, and all were moved one against the other, from the third hour of the fifteenth day of the moon of Tybi until the ninth hour of the morrow. And all the angels and their archangels and all the powers of the height, all sang praises to the interiors of the |7. interiors, so that the whole world heard their voices, without their ceasing till the ninth hour of the morrow.

CHAPTER 4

But the disciples sat together in fear and were in exceedingly great agitation and were afraid because of the great earthquake which took place, and they wept together, saying: "What will then be? Peradventure the Saviour will destroy all regions?" Thus saying, they wept together.

While they then said this and wept together, then, on the ninth hour of the morrow, the heavens opened, and they saw Jesus descend, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for his light in which he was. For he shone more [radiantly] than at the hour when he had ascended to the heavens, so that men in the world cannot describe the light which was on him; and it shot forth light-rays in great abundance, and there was no measure for its rays, and its light was not alike together, but it was of divers kind and of divers type, some [rays] being more excellent than others . . .; and the whole light consisted together.

It was of threefold kind, and the one [kind] was more excellent than the other. . . . The second, that in the midst, was more excellent than the first which was below, and the third, which was above them all, was more excellent than the two which were below. And the first glory, which was placed below them all, was like to the light which had come over Jesus before he had ascended |8. into the heavens, and was like only itself in its light. And the three light-modes were of divers light-kinds, and they were of divers type, one being more excellent than the other. . . .

CHAPTER 5

And it came to pass then, when the disciples saw this, that they feared exceedingly, and were in agitation. Then Jesus, the compassionate and tender-hearted, when he saw his disciples, that they were in great agitation, spake with them, saying: "Take courage. It is I, be not afraid."

CHAPTER 6

It came to pass then, when the disciples had heard this word, that they said: "Lord, if it be thou, withdraw thy light-glory into thyself that we may be able to stand; otherwise our eyes are darkened, and we are agitated, and the whole world also is in agitation because of the great light which is about thee."

Then Jesus drew to himself the glory of his light; and when this was done, all the disciples took courage, stepped forward to Jesus, fell down all together, adored him, rejoicing in great joy, and said unto him: "Rabbi, whither hast thou gone, or what was thy ministry on which thou hast gone, or wherefor rather were all these confusions and all the earth-quakings which have taken place?"

Then Jesus, the compassionate, said unto them: "Rejoice and exult from this hour on, for I have gone to the regions out of which I had come forth. From this day on then will I discourse with you in openness, |9. from the beginning of the Truth unto its completion; and I will discourse with you face to face without similitude. From this hour on will I not hide anything from you of the [mystery] of the height and of that of the region of Truth. For authority hath been given me through the Ineffable and through the First Mystery of all mysteries to speak with you, from the Beginning right up to the Fulness,. both from within without and from without within. Hearken, therefore, that I may tell you all things.

"It came to pass, when I sat a little removed from you on the Mount of Olives, that I thought on the order of the ministry for the sake of which I was sent, that it was completed, and that the last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery from within without,--those which are in the second space of the First Mystery, in the orders of that space,--had not yet sent me my Vesture. It came to pass then, when I had known that the order of the ministry for the sake of which I had come, was completed, and that that mystery had not yet sent me my Vesture, which I had left behind in it, until its time was completed, thinking then this, I sat on the Mount of Olives a little removed from you.

CHAPTER 7

"It came to pass, when the sun rose in the east, thereafter then through the First Mystery, which existed from the beginning, on account of which the universe hath arisen, |10. out of which also I am myself now come, not in the time before my crucifixion, but now,--it came to pass, through the command of that mystery, that there should be sent me my Light-vesture, which it had given me from the beginning, and which I had left behind in the last mystery, that is the four-and-twentieth mystery from within without,--those which are in the orders of the second space of the First Mystery. That Vesture then I left behind in the last mystery, until the time should be completed to put it on, and I should begin to discourse with the race of men and reveal unto them all from the beginning of the Truth to its completion, and discourse with them from the interiors of the interiors to the exteriors of the exteriors and from the exteriors of the exteriors to the interiors of the interiors. Rejoice then and exult and rejoice more and more greatly, for to you it is given that I speak first with you from the beginning of the Truth to its completion.

"For this cause have I chosen you verily from the beginning through the First Mystery. Rejoice then and exult, for when I set out for the world, |11. I brought from the beginning with me twelve powers, as I have told you from the beginning, which I have taken from the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light, according to the command of the First Mystery. These then I cast into the womb of your mothers, when I came into the world, that is those which are in your bodies to-day. For these powers have been given unto you before the whole world, because ye are they who will save the whole world, and that ye may be able to endure the threat of the rulers of the world and the pains of the world and its dangers and all its persecutions, which the rulers of the height will bring upon you. For many times have I said unto you that I have brought the power in you out of the twelve saviours who are in the Treasury of the Light. For which cause I have said unto you indeed from the beginning that ye are not of the world. I also am not of it. For all men who are in the world have gotten their souls out of [the power of] the rulers of the æons. But the power which is in you is from me; your souls belong to the height. I have brought twelve powers of the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light, taking them out of the portion of my power which |13. I did first receive. And when I had set forth for the world, I came into the midst of the rulers of the sphere and had the form of Gabriēl the angel of the æons; and the rulers of the æons did not know me, but they thought that I was the angel Gabriēl.

"It came to pass then, when I had come into the midst of the rulers of the æons, that I looked down on the world of mankind, by command of the First Mystery. I found Elizabeth, the mother of John the Baptizer, before she had conceived him, and I sowed into her a power which I had received from the little Iaō, the Good, who is in the Midst, that he might be able to make proclamation before me and make ready my way, and baptize with the water of the forgiveness of sins. That power then is in the body of John.

"Moreover in place of the soul of the ruler which he was appointed to receive, I found the soul of the prophet Elias in the æons of the sphere; and I took him thence, and took hi soul and brought it to the Virgin of Light, and she gave it over to her receivers; they brought it to the sphere of the rulers and cast it into the womb of Elizabeth. So the power of the little Iaō, who is in the Midst, and the soul of the prophet Elias, they were bound into the body of John the Baptizer. For this cause then were ye in doubt aforetime, I when I said unto you: 'John said: I am not the Christ,' and ye said unto me: 'It standeth written in the scripture: When the Christ shall come, Elias cometh before him and maketh ready his way.' But when ye said this unto me, I said unto you: 'Elias verily is come and hath made ready all things, as it standeth written, and they have done unto him as they would.' And when I knew that ye had not understood that I had discoursed with you concerning the soul of Elias which is bound into John the Baptizer, I answered you in the discourse in openness face to face: 'If ye like to accept John the Baptizer: he is Elias, of whom I have said that he will come.'"

CHAPTER 8

And Jesus continued again in the discourse and said: "It came to pass then thereafter, that at the command of the First Mystery I looked down on the world of mankind and found Mary, who is called 'my mother' according to the body of matter. I spake with her in the type of Gabriēl, and when she had turned herself to the height towards me, I cast thence into her the first power which I had received from Barbēlō--that is the body which I have borne in the height. And instead of the soul I cast into her the power which I |14. have received from the great Sabaōth, the Good, who is in the region of the Right.

"And the twelve powers of the twelve saviours of the Treasury of the Light which I had received from the twelve ministers of the Midst, I cast into the sphere of the rulers. And the decans of the rulers and their servitors thought that they were souls of the rulers; and the servitors brought them, they bound them into the body of your mothers. And when your time was completed, ye were born in the world without souls of the rulers in you. And ye have received your portion out of the power which the last Helper hath breathed into the Mixture, that [power] which is blended with all the invisibles and all rulers and all æons,--in a word, which is blended with the world of destruction which is the Mixture. This [power], which from the beginning I brought out of myself, I have cast into the First Commandment, and the First Commandment cast a portion thereof into the great Light, and the great Light cast a portion of that which it had received, into the five Helpers, and the last Helper took a portion of that which it received, and cast it into the Mixture. And [this portion] is in all who are in the Mixture, |15. as I have just said unto you."

This then Jesus said to his disciples on the Mount of Olives. Jesus continued again in the discourse with his disciples [and said]: "Rejoice and exult and add joy to your joy, for the times are completed for me to put on my Vesture, which hath been prepared for me from the beginning, which I left behind in the last mystery until the time of its completion. Now the time of its completion is the time when I shall be commanded through the First Mystery to discourse with you from the beginning of the Truth to the completion thereof, and from the interiors of the interiors [to the exteriors of the exteriors], for the world will be saved through you. Rejoice then and exult, for ye are blessed before all men who are on the earth. It is ye who will save the whole world."

CHAPTER 9

It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished saying these words to his disciples, that he continued again in the discourse, and said unto them: "Lo, I have then put on my Vesture, and all authority hath been given me through the First Mystery. Yet a little while and I will tell you the mystery of the universe and the fulness of the universe; and I will hide nothing from you from this hour on, but in fulness will I perfect you in all fulness and |16. in all perfection and in all mysteries, which are the perfection of all perfections and the fulness of all fulnesses and the gnosis of all gnoses,--those which are in my Vesture. I will tell you all mysteries from the exteriors of the exteriors to the interiors of the interiors. But hearken that I may tell you all things which have befallen me.

CHAPTER 10

"It came to pass then, when the sun had risen in the east, that a great light-power came down, in which was my Vesture, which I had left behind in the four-and-twentieth mystery, as I have said unto you. And I found a mystery in my Vesture, written in five words of those from the height: zama zama ōzza rachama ōzai,--whose solution is this:

"'O Mystery, which is without in the world, for whose sake the universe hath arisen,--this is the total outgoing and the total ascent, which hath emanated all emanations and all that is therein and for whose sake all mysteries and all their regions have arisen,--come hither unto us, for we are thy fellow-members. We are all with thyself; we are one and the same. Thou art the First Mystery, |17. which existed from 1 the beginning in the Ineffable before it came forth; and the name thereof are we all. Now, therefore, are we all come to meet thee at the last limit, which also is the last mystery from within; itself is a portion of us. Now, therefore, have we sent thee thy Vesture, which hath belonged to thee from the beginning, which thou hast left behind in the last limit, which also is the last mystery from within, until its time should be completed, according to the commandment of the First Mystery. Lo, its time is completed; put it on [thee].

."'Come unto us, for we all draw nigh to thee to clothe thee with the First Mystery and all his glory, by commandment of himself, in that the First Mystery hath given us it, consisting of two vestures, to clothe thee therewith, besides the one which we have sent thee, for thou art worthy of them, since thou art prior to us, and existeth before us. For this cause, therefore, hath the First Mystery sent thee through us the mystery of all his glory, consisting of two vestures.

."'In the first is the whole glory of all the names of all mysteries and all emanations of the orders |18. of the spaces of the Ineffable.

"'And in the second vesture is the whole glory of the name of all mysteries and all emanations which are in the orders of the two spaces of the First Mystery.

"And in this [third] vesture, which we have just sent thee, is the glory of the name of the mystery of the Revealer, which is the First Commandment, and of the mystery of the five Impressions, and of the mystery of the great Envoy of the Ineffable, who is the great Light, and of the mystery of the five Leaders, who are the five Helpers. There is further in this vesture the glory of the name of the mystery of all orders of the emanations of the Treasury of the Light and of their saviours, and [of the mystery] of the orders of the orders, which are the seven Amēns and the seven Voices and the five Trees and the three Amēns and the Twin-saviour, that is the Child of the Child, and of the mystery of the nine guards of the three gates of the Treasury of the Light. There is further therein the whole glory of the name [of all those] which are in the Right, and of all those which are in the Midst. And further there is therein the whole glory of the name of the great Invisible, |19. which is the great Forefather, and the mystery of the three triple-powers and the mystery of their whole region and the mystery of all their invisibles and of all those who are in the thirteenth æon, and the name of the twelve æons and of all their rulers and all their archangels and all their angels and of all those who are in the twelve æons, and the whole mystery of the name of all those who are in the Fate and in all the heavens, and the whole mystery of the name of all those who are in the sphere, and of its firmaments and of all who are in them, and of all their regions.

"'Lo, therefore, we have sent thee this vesture, which no one knew from the First Commandment 'downwards, for the glory of its light was hidden in it, and the spheres and all regions up from the First Commandment downwards [have not known it]. Haste thee, therefore, clothe thyself with this vesture and come unto us. For we draw nigh unto thee, to clothe thee by command of the First Mystery with thy two vestures [other] which existed for thee from the beginning with the First Mystery until the time appointed by the Ineffable is completed. |20. Come, therefore, to us quickly, that we may put them on thee, until thou hast fulfilled the total ministry of the perfection of the First Mystery which is appointed by the Ineffable. Come, therefore, to us quickly, in order that we may clothe thee with them, according to the command of the First Mystery. For yet a little while, a very little while, and thou shalt come unto us and leave the world. Come, therefore, quickly, that thou mayest receive thy whole glory, that is the glory of the First Mystery.'

CHAPTER 11

"It came to pass then, when I saw the mystery of all these words in the vesture which was sent me, that straightway I clothed myself therewith, and I shone most exceedingly and soared into the height.

."I came before the [first] gate of the firmament, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was about me, and the gates of the firmament were shaken one over against another and all opened at once.

."And all rulers and all authorities and all angels therein were thrown all together into agitation because of the great light which was on me. And they gazed at the radiant vesture of light with which I was clad, and they saw the mystery which contains their names, |21. and they feared most exceedingly. And all their bonds with which they were bound, were unloosed and every one left his order, and they all fell down before me, adored and said: 'How hath the lord of the universe passed through us without our knowing?' And they all sang praises together to the interiors of the interiors; but me they saw not, but they saw only the light. And they were in great fear and were exceedingly agitated and sang praises to the interiors of the interiors.

CHAPTER 12

."And I left that region behind me and ascended to the first sphere, shining most exceedingly, forty-and-nine-times more brightly than I had shone in the firmament. It came to pass then, when I had reached the gate of the first sphere, that its gates were shaken and opened of themselves at once.

"I entered into the houses of the sphere, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure to the light that was about me. And all the rulers and all those who are in that sphere, fell into agitation one against another. And they saw the great light that was about me, and they gazed upon my vesture and saw thereon the mystery of their name. And they fell into still greater agitation, and were in great fear, saying: 'How hath the lord of the universe passed through us without our knowing?' |22. And all their bonds were unloosed and their regions and their orders; and every one left his order, and they fell down all together, adored before me, or before my vesture, and all sang praises together to the interiors of the interiors, being in great fear and great agitation.

CHAPTER 13

."And I left that region behind me and came to the gate of the second sphere, which is the Fate. Then were all its gates thrown into agitation and opened of themselves. And I entered into the houses of the Fate, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light that was about me, for I shone in the Fate forty-and-nine times more than in the [first] sphere.

."And all the rulers and all those who are in the Fate, were thrown into agitation and fell on one another and were in exceeding great fear on seeing the great light that was about me. And they gazed on my vesture of light and saw the mystery of their name on my vesture and fell into still greater agitation; and they were in great fear, saying: 'How hath the lord of the universe passed through us without our knowing?' And all the bonds of their regions and of their orders and of their houses were unloosed; they all came at once, fell down, adored before me and sang praises all together |23. to the interiors of the interiors, being in great fear and great agitation.

CHAPTER 14

He entereth the æons."And I left that region behind me and ascended to the great æons of the rulers and came before their veils and their gates, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was about me. It came to pass then, when I arrived at the twelve æons, that their veils and their gates were shaken one over against the other. Their veils drew themselves apart of their own accord, and their gates opened one over against the other. And I entered into the æons, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light that was about me, forty-and-nine times more than the light with which I shone in the houses of the Fate.

"And all the angels of the æons and their archangels and their rulers and their gods and their lords and their authorities and their tyrants and their powers and their light-sparks and their light-givers and their unpaired and their invisibles and their forefathers and their triple-powers saw me, shining most exceedingly, and there was no measure for the light which was about me. And they were thrown into agitation the one over against the other and great fear fell upon them, when they saw the great light that was about me. And in their great agitation and their great fear they withdrew as far as |24. the region of the great invisible Forefather, and of the three great triple-powers. And because of the great fear of their agitation, the great Forefather, he and the three triple-powers, kept on running hither and thither in his region, and they could not close all their regions because of the great fear in which they were. And they agitated all their æons together and all their spheres and all their orders, fearing and being greatly agitated because of the great light which was about me--not of the former quality that it was about me when I was on the earth of man-kind, when the light-vesture came over me,--for the world could not bear the light such as it was in its truth, else would the world at once be destroyed and all upon it,--but the light which was about me in the twelve æons was eight-thousand-and-seven-hundred-myriad times greater than that which was about me in the world among you.

CHAPTER 15

"It came to pass then, when all those who are in the twelve æons saw the great light which was about me, that they were all thrown into agitation one over against the other, and ran hither and thither in the æons. And all æons and all heavens and their whole ordering were agitated one over against the other on |25. account of the great fear which was on them, for they knew not the mystery which had taken place. And Adamas, the great Tyrant, and all the tyrants in all the æons began to fight in vain against the light, and they knew not against whom they fought, because they saw nothing but the overmastering light.

"It came to pass then, when they fought against the light, that they were weakened all together one with another, were dashed down in the æons and became as the inhabitants of the earth, dead and without breath of life.

"And I took from all a third of their power, that they should no more be active in their evil doings, and that, if the men who are in the world, invoke them in their mysteries--those which the angels who transgressed have brought down, that is their sorceries,--in order that, therefore, if they invoke them in their evil doings, they may not be able to accomplish them.

."And the Fate and the sphere over which they rule, I have changed and brought it to pass that they spend six months turned to the left and accomplish their influences, and that six months they face to the right and accomplish their influences. For by command of the First Commandment and by command of the First Mystery |26. Yew, the Overseer of the Light, had set them facing the left at every time and accomplishing their influences and their deeds.