Apocryphote of the Day: 10-3-08

There are some who say, "We are faithful [...]." But if they had the holy spirit, unclean spirits would not cleave to them. 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 65.36-66.7 (late second century Valentinian text; Syrian or Alexandrian?)

Apocryphote of the Day: 6-24-08

When Eve was still in Adam, death did not exist. When she was separated from him, death came into being. If he enters again and attains his former self, there will be no death...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. 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.

Gospel of Philip 68.23-26, 70.13-20

Apocryphote of the Day: 5-14-08

Not only will they be unable to detain the Perfect Man, but they will not be able to see him, for if they see him they will detain him. There is no other way for a person to acquire this quality except by putting on the perfect light and becoming perfect light. Whoever puts on light will enter [the place of rest]. This is perfect [light, and] we [must] become [the Perfect Man] before we leave [the world].

Gospel of Philip 76.23-30 (Valentinian text from late second century)

Commentary: the reference to the "Perfect Man" is technical jargon that doesn't fit into our modern gender inclusive categories. It is a reference to the Genesis story in chapter 1 where God created the first man, male and female. To conform ourselves to this original creation was the goal. The Valentinians called this primordial human, the Perfect Man, and they thought that the Aeon Jesus who descended through the cosmic spheres to earth, was this Perfect Man. His body was a body of light, an idea they picked up from the first couple of verses of Genesis. When God said "Let there be light." The word for light in Greek translation (which they were reading) means both light and man (although the accent is different). Because of this special invisible body, the Archons could not detain him when he descended or ascended. The Valentinians reasoned that we need resurrected bodies like his. So the thought was that this could be achieved through the sacraments, including here a reference to anointing ("light" is associated with anointing), the eucharist (when they ate his body and it worked internally to change them - think, you are what you eat), and marriage (when Eve reenters Adam).

Apocryphote of the Day: 4-22-08

The soul of Adam came to exist by means of breath. The soul's twin is the spirit. His mother is the thing that was given to him. His soul was carried (to him), and he was given a spirit where the soul is. When he was unified, he spoke words incomprehensible to the powers. They envied him.

Gospel of Philip 70.23-29 (Valentinian text, mid-second century)

Comment: Who is Adam's mother?
I translated the word "unified" but it literally means "twinned" and is the same word, although a verb, as earlier in the passage with the spirit is called the soul's twin. So the idea is that the spirit and soul are twinned in the person, or united.

Apocryphote of the Day: 2-27-08

The world's farming relies on four things. A harvest is gathered into the barn because of water, earth, wind, and light. God's farming likewise relies on four things - faith, hope, love and knowledge. Faith is our earth in which we take root. Hope is the water with which we are nourished. Love is the wind by which we grow. Knowledge is the light by which we [ripen].

Gospel of Philip 79.18-30 (a Valentinian text; late second c.) trans. by DeConick

An apropos parable for this Blog co-op day.