Apocryphote of the Day: 2-3-09

"The passion which is a delight to them constrains the souls of those who are begotten in this place...and they turn away from the light, unable to pass by the ruler of darkness until they pay the last penny."

Testimony of Truth (Alexandrian gnostic text, second century)

Commentary: an interesting use of Matthew 5:25-26, "Make friends quickly with your accuser, while you are going with him to court, lest your accuser hand you over to the judge, and the judge to the guard, and you be put in prison. Truly I say to you, you will never get out till you have paid the last penny." The ruler of darkness is the judge of the dead who shuts the soul up in the body (=the prison) unless the soul pays it debt for its sins. This is a doctrine and support text from Matthew is attributed by the church fathers to Carpocrates, the infamous libertine. But the Testimony of Truth is encratic or body-denying throughout the document.