Laws in the Gospel of Philip

He who has believed in the truth has found life, and is in danger of dying, for he is alive. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Those who sow in winter reap in summer; let us sow in the world that we may reap in the eternal realm. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Christ voluntarily laid down his life from the very day the world came into being. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Christ redeemed the good people in the world as well as the evil. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Light and Darkness, life and death, right and left are brothers of one another, 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Those who are exalted above the world are indissoluble, eternal. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Names given to the worldly are very deceptive, for they divert our thoughts from what is correct to what is incorrect. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

If the names that are heard are in the world were in the eternal realm, they would at no time be used as names in the world: They have an end [terminus, root] in the eternal. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Truth brought names into existence in the world for our sakes, because it is not possible to learn it (truth) without these names. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Truth is one single thing; it is many things. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The rulers (of the world's darkness, the archons) 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 humanity and bind them to those that are not good. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The dark ones 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Truth, which existed since the beginning, is sown everywhere; many see it being sown, but few see it being reaped. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

"The Nazarene" is he who reveals what is hidden. Christ has everything in himself, whether man, or angel, or mystery, and the Father. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The whole world is purified through water and fire – the visible by the visible, the hidden by the hidden. Some things are hidden through those visible. There is water in water, there is fire in chrism. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. Man receives nourishment from being promised to the heavenly place. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The perfect conceive and give birth by a kiss. For this reason we also kiss one another; we receive conception from the grace which is in one another. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

"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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The apostles said to the disciples, "May our entire offering obtain salt." They called Sophia (wisdom) "salt." Without it, no offering is acceptable. But Sophia is barren, without child. For this reason, she is called "a trace of salt." – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Every act of physical intimacy which has occurred between those unlike one another is adultery. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

It is not possible to see anything of the things that actually exist unless you become like them. 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

When the pearl is cast down into the mud, it becomes greatly despised, 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Glass decanters [souls] and earthenware jugs [bodies] 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3 [Jesus came to teach the need for crucifixion of self.]

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Blessed is he who is before he came into being. For he who is, has been and shall be. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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 who experiences a mystery. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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 paralyze you. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The soul and the spirit came into being from water and fire. The son of the bridal chamber came into being from water and fire and Light. 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

There is a rebirth and an image of rebirth. It is certainly necessary to be born again through the image of 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. This power the apostles called "the right and the left." For this person is no longer a Christian but a Christ. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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." – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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 self, death will be no more. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

"My God, my God, why, O Lord, have You forsaken me?" (Mark 15:34). He said these words on the cross, for he had departed from that place. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

We cannot see ourselves either in water or in a mirror without light. Nor can we 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Darkness does not see those who are clothed in the perfect Light, and consequently is not able to detain them. One will clothe himself in this Light sacramentally in the union. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Adam's soul 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 incomprehensible words. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

A horse sires a horse, a man begets man, a god brings forth a god. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Those who have come to know themselves will enjoy their possessions. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

There is no other way for a person to ascend except by putting on the perfect Light and becoming perfect Light. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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" (John 8:34). Truth is the mother, knowledge the father. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Members of a race usually associate with those of like race. So spirit mingles with spirit, and thought consorts with thought, and Light shares with Light. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

If you become [animal-like] 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, neither those who belong above nor those who belong within will be able to rest in you, and you have no part in them. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

He who is a slave against his will, will 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

If the disciple of God is sensible, 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

He who creates works openly, and he himself is visible. He who begets, begets in private, and he himself is hidden. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Marriage in the world is a mystery; how much more is the spiritual marriage a true mystery. It is not fleshly, but pure. It belongs not to desire, but to the will. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Most things 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 tree: while its root is hidden, it sprouts and grows. If its root is exposed, the tree dries up. 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 ax is laid at the root of the trees" (Matthew 3:10). It will not merely cut – what is cut sprouts again – but the ax penetrates deeply, until it brings up the root. Jesus pulled out the root of the whole place, while others did it only partially. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Let us dig down after the root of evil which is within, and pluck it from our 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The Word said, "If you know the truth, the truth will make you free" (John 8:32). Ignorance is a slave. Knowledge is freedom. If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth within us. If we are joined to it, it will bring our fulfillment. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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, 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

If some belong to the order of the priesthood, they will be able 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

As long as it is hidden, wickedness is indeed ineffectual, but it has not been removed from the midst of the seed [offspring] 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" (Matthew 15:13). – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

The mysteries of the spiritual union are perfected in the day and the Light. Neither that Day nor its Light ever sets. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

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 inner. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

He who will receive 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 when he leaves the world, he has already received the truth in the images. The world has become the eternal realm, for the eternal realm 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. – Gospel of Philip, Codex II, 3

Top ↑

The Gospel of Philip appears in Nag Hammadi Codex II,3. The Nag Hammadi Codices, a set of fifty-two religious and philosophical texts, are so named because a peasant found them near Nag Hammadi, Egypt. Unfortunately, his family burned an unknown number of them as fuel before discovering they were valuable. They languished in the Coptic Museum at Cairo for years until a scholar came searching. See the full history at:
www.nag-hammadi.com/

The Gospel of Philip appears in Nag Hammadi Codex II,3, and dates to 150 to 300 A.D., its name deriving from Philip, the only apostle mentioned in the text. We have used Wesley W. Isenberg's translation for this list. Isenberg writes: " . . . the existential malady of humanity results from the differentiation of the sexes. When Eve separated from Adam, the original androgynous unity was broken. The purpose of Christ's coming is to reunite 'Adam' and 'Eve.'" The Nag Hammadi Library, page 131. An alternate interpretation is that "Adam" symbolizes the human body, while "Eve" represents the divine soul. The "original androgynous unity" was the soul's unity with the Godhead.

References

Isenberg, Wesley W. Trans. "The Gospel of Philip." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James M. Robinson. San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1981. 131-151.

Peter Kirby has formulated an impressive collection of early Christian documents and links available at: www.earlychristianwritings.com

The Gospel of Philip text is available online at: www.gnosis.org/...


Search Our Site