Laws in the Gospel of Truth

The gospel of truth is joy for those who have received from the Father of truth the grace of knowing Him, through the power of the Word. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When the totality went about searching for the One from whom they had come forth, ignorance of the Father brought about anguish and terror; and the anguish grew solid like a fog, so that no one was able to see. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

The totality was inside of the Father, the incomprehensible, inconceivable One who is superior to every thought. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

[By reason of ignorance], error became powerful; it worked on its own matter foolishly, not having known the truth. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

[Ignorance] set about with a creation, preparing with power and beauty the substitute for the truth. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The established truth is immutable, imperturbable, perfect in beauty. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

[Ignorance creates] anguish and the oblivion and the creature of deceit; for this reason, despise error. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The oblivion of error was not revealed, [but created as the by-product of ignorance]; oblivion did not come into existence from the Father, although it did indeed come into existence because of him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

What comes into existence in the Father is knowledge, which appeared in order that oblivion might vanish and the Father might be known. – Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The hidden mystery, Jesus, the Christ, enlightened those who were in darkness through oblivion. He enlightened them; he showed (them) a way; and the way is the truth which he taught them. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Christ was nailed to a tree (and) he became fruit of the knowledge of the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Christos fruit did not cause destruction because it was eaten, but to those who ate it, it gave (cause) to become glad in the discovery, and Christ discovered them in himself, and they discovered him in themselves. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Father fashioned the totality, and within him is the totality, and the totality is in need of him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

The Father retains within himself the totality's perfection, granting it to them as a return to Him, and a perfectly unitary knowledge. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

Men wise in their own estimation, putting Christ to the test, but he confounded them, because they were foolish; they hated him, because they were not really wise. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The little children also, those to whom the knowledge of the Father belongs learned about the impressions of the Father through Christ; they knew, they were known; they were glorified, they glorified. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The living book of the living was manifested in the hearts of little children: No one could have become manifest from among those who have believed in salvation unless that book had appeared; for this reason, the merciful one, the faithful one, Jesus, was patient in accepting sufferings until he took that book. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The totality lay hidden while the Father of the totality was invisible: For this reason Jesus appeared; he put on that book; he was nailed to a tree; he published the edict of the Father on the cross. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

Having stripped himself of the perishable rags, Christ put on imperishability, which no one can possibly take away from him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Christ passed through those who were stripped naked by oblivion, being knowledge and perfection, proclaiming the things that are in the heart, to teach those who will receive teaching. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Those who are to receive [Christ's] teaching are the living, who are inscribed in the book of the living. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

It is about themselves that souls receive instruction, receiving it from the Father, turning again to Him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Since the perfection of the totality is in the Father, it is necessary for the totality to ascend to him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

If one has knowledge, he receives what are his own, and draws them to himself. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

He who is ignorant is in need, and what he lacks is great, since he lacks that which will make him perfect. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

One who has knowledge is the one whose name the Father has uttered. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

If one has knowledge, it is from above; if he is called, he hears, he answers, and he turns to Him who is calling him, and ascends to Him, and he knows in what manner he is called. Having knowledge, he does the will of the One who called him, he wishes to be pleasing to Him, he receives rest. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Each one's name comes to him. He who is to have knowledge in this manner knows where he comes from and where he is going; he knows as one who, having become drunk, has turned away from his drunkenness, (and) having returned to himself, has set right what are his own. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Father's will emerged from Him in Christ; He revealed it in view of a knowledge in which all its emanations concur. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

This is the knowledge of the living book, which God revealed as His letters, revealing how they are not vowels nor are they consonants, so that one might read them and think of something foolish, but (rather that) they are letters of the truth, which they alone speak who know them. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Each [of God's] letters is a complete thought, like a complete book, since they are letters written by the Unity, the Father having written them in order that by means of His letters we should know the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

While God's wisdom contemplates the Word, and his teaching utters it, his knowledge has revealed it. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Word of the Father goes forth in the totality, as the fruit of His heart and an impression of His will. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

The Word supports the totality, purifying them, bringing them back into the Father, into the Mother. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 [The "totality" is the multitude, the many, the myriad of souls that sprang into being from the One.]

The Father reveals His bosom, the Holy Spirit; He reveals what is hidden of Him, His Son, so that through the Father's mercies, all may know Him and cease laboring in search of the Father, resting there in Him, knowing that this is the (final) rest. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Having filled the deficiency, the Father abolished the form of the world, for the place where there is envy and strife is deficient, but the place where (there is) Unity is perfect. Since the deficiency came into being because the Father was not known, therefore, when the Father is known, from that moment on, the deficiency will no longer exist. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When a person comes to have knowledge, his ignorance vanishes, as the darkness vanishes when the Light appears, so also the deficiency vanishes in the perfection. So from that moment on, the form is not apparent, but it will vanish in the fusion of Unity, for now their works lie scattered. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

In time, Unity will perfect the spaces. Within Unity each will attain himself; within knowledge, he will purify himself from multiplicity into Unity, consuming matter within himself like fire, and darkness by Light, death by Life. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When the Word appeared, error was upset, not knowing what to do; it was grieved, in mourning, afflicting itself because it knew nothing when knowledge drew near it; this is the downfall of error and all its emanations; error is empty, having nothing inside. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Truth appeared; all its emanations knew it; they greeted the Father in truth with a perfect power that joins them with the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Before all things appear, the Father knows what He will produce; but the fruit which is not yet manifest does not know anything, nor does it do anything. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

He who has no root has no fruit either, but though he thinks to himself, 'I have come into being,' yet he will perish by himself. For this reason, he who did not exist at all will never come into existence. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

They were ignorant of the Father, He being the one whom they did not see. Since it was terror, disturbance, instability, doubt and division, many illusions were at work by means of these, and (many) empty fictions, as if they were sunk in sleep, and found themselves in disturbing dreams. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Those who have cast ignorance aside from them like sleep, esteem it as nothing, nor do they esteem its works as solid things either, but they leave them behind like a dream in the night; the knowledge of the Father, they value as the dawn. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Each has acted this way, as though asleep at the time when he was ignorant; and he has come to knowledge this way, as if he had awakened. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Good for the man who will return and awaken, and blessed is he who has opened the eyes of the blind. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When the Word came by means of fleshly form, nothing blocked his course, because incorruptibility is irresistible; he spoke new things, still speaking about what is in the heart of the Father, having brought forth the flawless Word. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When Light had spoken through the Word's mouth, as well as his voice, which gave birth to life, he gave them thought and understanding, and mercy and salvation, and the powerful spirit from the infiniteness and the sweetness of the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Word destroyed punishments and tortures with power and confounded them with knowledge. He became a way for those who were gone astray, and knowledge for those who were ignorant, a discovery for those who were searching, and a support for those who were wavering, immaculateness for those who were defiled. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Say from the heart that you are the perfect day, and in you dwells the Light that does not fail. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Speak of the truth with those who search for it, and (of) knowledge to those who have committed sin in their error. Make firm the foot of those who have stumbled, and stretch out your hands to those who are ill. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Feed those who are hungry, and give repose to those who are weary, and raise up those who wish to rise, and awaken those who sleep, for you are the understanding that is drawn forth. If strength acts thus, it becomes even stronger. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2:52

Be concerned with yourselves; do not be concerned with other things which you have rejected from yourselves. Do not return to what you have vomited, to eat it. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Do not strengthen (those who are) obstacles to you, who are collapsing, as though (you were) a support (for them). [Do not mistreat them, either.] Do the will of the Father, for you are from Him. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Faith came to dissolve the division of wisdom into ignorance, and it brought the fullness of love, in order that there should be the unity of perfect thought. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Father trades forgiveness for our deficiency in Light. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Christ was spoken of in our midst, so that those who were disturbed might receive a repentance, and he might anoint them with the ointment of the Father's mercy. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Each one of the Father's words is the work of His one will in the revelation of His Word. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

While the words were still depths of His thought, the Word, which was first to come forth, revealed them, along with a Mind that speaks the one Word in silent grace. He was called 'thought', since they were in it before being revealed. It came about that he was first to come forth, at the time when the will of Him who willed desired it. And the will is what the Father rests in, and is pleased with. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

Nothing happens without him [the Word], nor does anything happen without the will of the Father, but His will is unsearchable. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Mystery of Name: The name of the Father is the Son. He begot him as a son. He gave him His name, which belonged to Him; it is possible for him to be seen. The name, however, is invisible, because it alone is the mystery of the invisible, for indeed, the Father's name is not spoken, but (rather,) it is apparent through a Son. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Son is the Father's name. He [the Father] did not, therefore, hide it in the thing, but it existed. The name, therefore, is that of the Father, as the name of the Father is the Son. Where indeed would compassion find a name, except with the Father? – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Father is unnameable, indescribable, until the time when he who is perfect [Christ] spoke of Him alone; and it is he who has the power to speak His name, and to see it. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2:63

The Son spoke about His secret things, knowing that the Father is a being without evil. For that very reason, He [the Father] brought him forth in order to speak about the place, and (about) his resting-place, from which he had come forth, and to glorify the greatness of his name, and the sweetness of the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

When Christ speaks, we receive a taste from our soul, and receive nourishment, receive growth. And our own resting-place is our soul. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

The Father assigned all souls their destinies. Each, then, is manifest, in order that through their own thought they might reach Him. For the place to which they send their thought, that place, their root, is what takes them up in all the heights, to the Father. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

This is the manner of those who possess (something) from above of the immensurable greatness, as they wait for the One alone, and the perfect One, the One who is there for them. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

They do not go down to Hades, nor have they envy nor groaning nor death within them, but (rather) they rest in Him who is at rest, not striving nor being twisted around the truth. But they themselves are the truth; and the Father is within them, and they are in the Father, being perfect, being undivided in the truly good one, being in no way deficient in anything, but they are set at rest, refreshed in the Spirit. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

They will heed their root. They will be concerned with those (things) in which he will find his root, and not suffer loss to his soul. This is the place of the blessed; this is their place. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

It is fitting to be concerned at all times with the Father of the all, and the true brothers, those upon whom the love of the Father is poured out, and in whose midst there is no lack of Him. They appear in truth, since they exist in true and eternal life, and speak of the Light which is perfect, and filled with the seed of the Father, and which is in His heart, while his Spirit rejoices in it and glorifies the one in whom it existed, because He is good. And His children are perfect and worthy of His name, for He is the Father; it is children of this kind that He loves. – The Gospel of Truth, Codex I, 3 and XII, 2

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The Gospel of Truth appears in Codex I, 3 and XII, 2 of the Nag Hammadi texts. 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/

We have used George W. MacRae's translation of the Gospel of Truth for this list. Translator George MacRae writes: "The Gospel of Truth is 'gospel' in the sense of 'good news' about Jesus, about the eternal and divine Son, the Word who reveals the Father, and passes on knowledge, particularly self-knowledge. For through this self-knowledge the Gnostics know who they are, where they have come from, and where they are going; they realize that they themselves are essentially sons of the Father, that they are of divine origin, that their past and future rest in the divine . . . the nightmare of living in ignorance is transformed into the joyful life in union with the Father." The Nag Hammadi Library, page 37.

References

W. MacRae, George, Trans. "The Gospel of Truth." The Nag Hammadi Library. Ed. James M. Robinson. San Francisco, Harper & Row, 1981. 37-49.

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

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


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