Apocryphote of the Day: 7-16-08

Jesus said, "The Spirit draws all souls together and takes them to the place of light. Because of this, I have said to you, 'I have come to cast fire upon the earth.' That is, I have come to purify the sins of the whole world with fire."

Pistis Sophia 4.141 (fourth century Gnostic handbook, a relic of a new religious movement that we can call 'Gnosticism')

Commentary: Here we see the Gnostic reliance on the Platonic doctrine of the immortality of the soul. In order for the souls to be able to return to the origin, according to Platonic teaching, they must be freed from the passions, lust, greed, evil. So Jesus functions by removing the sins from the souls through some kind of communal cleansing which was done when he came to earth and cast fire upon it.

Sculpture is from Orvieto Cathedral, fourth pillar, Last Judgment. This scene depicts the resurrection from the dead. Lorenzo Maitani 1310-1330 CE.