Similitude between Codex 1 and the New Testament

Essay, 2022

25 Pages, Grade: B


Investigation of similitude between Codex 1 and the New Testament

According to the World History Encyclopedia, Gnosticism is the belief that human beings contain a piece of God, the highest good or a divine spark, within themselves, which has fallen from the immaterial world into the bodies of humans. All physical matter is subject to decay, rotting, and death. Those bodies and the material world, created by an inferior being, are therefore evil. Trapped in the material world, but ignorant of its status, the pieces of God require knowledge to inform them of their true status. That knowledge must come from outside the material world, and the agent who brings it is the savior or redeemer. ( Encyclopedia 2021).

Alexander says,

In the first book, which immediately precedes this, exposing "knowledge falsely so called," I showed thee, my very dear friend, that the whole system devised, in many and opposite ways, by those who are of the school of Valentinus, was false and baseless. I also set forth the tenets of their predecessors, proving that they not only differed among themselves, but had long previously swerved from the truth itself. ( Alexander 1).

The aforementioned book by Alexander Chapter XI is entitled with a title worthy repeating: The heretics, from their disbelief of the truth, have fallen into an abyss of error: reasons for investigating their systems. ( Alexander 16). On this premise and many other, I am setting out to write and comment on codex 1 and possibly share differences and similarities of Codex 1 and the Canonical New Testament.

Marvin writes,

Written for a fortunate few, the text called the Secret Book of James is a letter that James is said to have sent to an addressee whose name is unfortunately in a lacuna (only the last three letters [in Coptic] have survived: […]thos). (Marvin 29).

According to Marvin Meyer, the treatise is a Coptic version from a Greek source, now lost, and it covers the first sixteen pages of Nag Hammadi Codex I. Generally the tractate is well preserved, though some lines are in bad state at the top of the first three pages. The tractate is untitled in the manuscript; nevertheless, the ancient author, who utilizes the authoritative pseudonym of James, cites his letter as an “Apocryphon” or “secret book” hence the modern title of the treatise. The Secret Book of James takes on the ancient epistolary form for the opening of a letter (name of the sender, name of the addressee, salutation, and greeting of peace) and ending. At the request of his addressee, the letter has been sent by James and it bears a record of a secret revelation the Savior gave to James and Peter. James recalls that he penned down the letter, which is esoteric in its composition, in Hebrew letters, and he appeals to his addressee not to communicate this writing with many: even the Savior did not desire to communicate his message to the twelve disciples, but only to two of them. Without doubt the recipient is worthy of receiving this secret instruction, as is indicated by the title James gives him: “a minister of the salvation of the saints”. These saints can generally be the members of a Gnostic community or the elect believers who are worthy of salvation. The faith received through this discourse (logos) will automatically grant salvation upon them. In the literary fiction of the Secret Book of James, the events portrayed took place 550 days after the Savior’s resurrection, at a time when the twelve disciples, all sat together, penning down in books what they recalled of the words Christ spoke to each of them during his earthly life. This forms a significant piece of information on how the disciples moulded Christ’s oracles, a process also captured elsewhere in early Christian literature (1 Clement 13.1–2). The space of 550 days between the resurrection and the second coming of the Savior can be likened with a tradition captured in the Ascension of Isaiah, a Jewish apocryphal passage with Christian insertions, which talks about a space of 18 months, or 540 days. The intended purpose of the Savior is to take James and Peter apart from the other disciples and help them to “be filled”, a technical phrase in Gnostic thought connected to Pleroma and “fullness”, through his disclosure. James is receptive to the utterances of the Savior, however, Peter displays no understanding. The two characters have been translated as opposing symbols of the Gnostic community and the rising orthodox church: members of the Gnostic community do not need an intermediary to gain salvation, on the other hand, the members of the great church are rooted in an ecclesial structure that they require if they are to be saved. These ideas are further explored in Secret Book of James 2, 23–33. The Savior’s instructions are portrayed through a series of opposing Gnostic metaphors: drunkenness and sobriety, waking and sleeping, being healed and being sick, emptiness and fullness. These similitudes belong to the common heritage of late antiquity, still, taken together, they declare themes typical of Gnostic instruction. The Savior utters instructions comprising of sayings, parables, and prophecies arranged into a dialogue in which James asks questions of the Savior. Here Peter has a small role in this dialogue, and he confines himself to a polemical statement showing his lack of understanding. (Marvin 29). Acts 1:3, “For Forty days after his death he appeared to them many times in ways that proved beyond doubt that he was alive, they saw him, and he talked with them about the Kingdom of God”, (Good News Bible), a passage of bible scripture refuting the 550 days appearance of Jesus to his disciples in the Apocryphon of James. Acts 4:12 “Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved”. Ephesians 2:8, “For it is by grace you have been saved through faith and this is not from ourselves, it is the gift of God”. In the Apocryphon of James, it is through special knowledge revealed to a few men that are worthy of salvation, contradicting the Holy Scriptures, which declares that salvation is for all that believe in the name of Jesus Christ and it is a gift of God.

Marvin says,

The scribe apparently added this prayer to the collection of tractates in the codex after he had finished copying The Tripartite Tractate (1,5). (Marvin 25).

The Prayer of the Apostle Paul covers the front flyleaf of Codex I, also called the Jung Codex. (Marvin 25). The Greek language retained in that title was no doubt the original language of the prayer as a whole, the title that is put at the end of the prayer. The short passage is of unknown provenance, and its general gnostic affinities are clear. Details such as the mention of the “psychic God” (A,31) may indicate Valentinian connections. That association in turn proposes a date of origin between the second half of the second century and the end of the third century. In style and content, The Prayer of the Apostle Paul echoes various other compilations. It shows a striking resemblance not only to prayers in the Corpus Hermeticum (1.31-32; 5.10-11; 13.16-20) but also to invocations found in magical passages. Additionally, its beginning resembles the hymn of the First Stele of The Three Steles of Seth (VII,5). Both documents may employ a similar tradition. There are also resemblances within The Gospel of Philip (11,5). Generally, The Prayer of the Apostle Paul is heavily indebted to the Psalms and the Pauline letters. The most distinct echo of the apostle, and at the same time a clear index of gnostic orientation, is the request to be given “what no angel eye has seen and no archon ear has heard and what has not entered into the human heart”. (Marvin 26). The prayer of messenger Paul occupying the front page of the Jung Codex, is a short text of unknown date and origin, very similar to other format of the same genre but with Gnostic flavor, and was thought to be the last of codex 1. (Marvin 72). Later investigations by Stephen Emmel in 1976 made it plain that the page where the prayer came from, is a papyrus sheet constituting a front page. (Marvin 26). Marvin states that “the Prayer of the Apostle Paul may have been included after the Coptic scribe completed copying the fifth tractate of Codex I, the Tripartite Tractate”. (Marvin 26). Marvin Meyer, Elaine H. Pagels and many other notable scholars who have taken time to review this prayer believe that the first lines of the text are missing. With this, it has made it impossible to ascertain whether there was a title at the beginning of the text. Notwithstanding, a title has been kept at the end of the exposition, which is in Greek, and the whole prayer was most likely translated from Greek into Coptic. Marvin notes that the prayer starts with invocations, preserved in Greek and Coptic magical literature, addressed to the Redeemer. “[I am] yours; I have come from [you]”. Marvin (state who this person was) states that “the prayer of the Apostle Paul is reminiscent of prayers of the Corpus Hermeticum, and the beginning of the prayer recalls Three Steles of Seth”. (Marvin 25). For Marvin and his colleagues, the Prayer of the Apostle Paul invokes the divine as “you who exist and preexisted.” Marvin asserts that “the name exalted above every name” is derived from Philippians 2:9; (Marvin 25) Marvin further states that the author of the Prayer display knowledge of the Psalms and the Pauline epistles and he further observes that certain similarities concerning the “five titles given to Jesus Christ: Lord of lords, King of the eternal realms (or aeons, ages), Son of Humanity, Spirit, Advocate (or Paraclete) of truth. The title “Lord of lords” is also present in 1Timothy 6:15 and Revelation 17:14; 19:16, each time in connection with the title “King of kings.” “King of the ages” appears as a title in 1Timothy1:17, and Revelation 15:3. Although “Son of Humanity” is very frequent in the New Testament and early Christian literature, “Advocate of truth” seems to come from John 15:26 (cf. also, for “Paraclete,” John 14:26; 16:7; 1John 2:1)”. (Marvin 26). In this Prayer, the Apostle Paul asks for “authority”, “power”, an indication of apostolic right and the subject seem to suggest a link to the line where the petitioner asks for God’s “gifts.” including healing for the body and redemption for the enlightened soul. Dieter observes that the theme of “the enlightened soul (or light soul) is very much at home in a Gnostic context. Lines that bring to mind 1 Corinthians 2:9 (where Paul quotes Isaiah 64:3 and Jeremiah 3:16) and 1 Corinthians 2:8 (where the term “rulers” or “archons” is also used) lead the author of the Prayer of the Apostle Paul to a Gnostic reinterpretation that transforms the meaning of the term “ruler” from a political to a supernatural one”. The most striking echo of the apostle, and at the same time a clear index of gnostic orientation, is the request to be granted “what no angel-eye has seen and no archon-ear has heard and what has not entered into the human heart” (Marvin P26) seem similar to 1Corinthians 2:9, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him”. (KJV).

Irenaeus states,

The redemptive figure also models for the stillness of the knowing commonness the subjugation of death and tread of the corruptible circle. The Gospel of Truth works the 1 Corinthians. passage in the environment of Christ performing the eschatological act of “stripping” off his corporeality, also called “decomposable rate,” and subsequently clothing himself in immortality. The clothes imitation, such as “life ceaseless attire him,” “stripped,” and “rags,” must be purposed. These metaphors conjure up a tragic changing post scene where the redemptive figure, in this action Christ, inscribe the raiment space, move his exterior perishable raiment, and equip himself with immortal cloth. (Irenaeus Article the Gnostics on 1Corinthians 15:53).

Irenaeus’ mentions that the Valentinians possess a work named “The Gospel of Truth” in Against Heresies 3.11.9. The tractate is not provided with a title in the manuscript and it is not a gospel rather a discourse on the gospel. The third tractate of Codex I starts with exactly those words. ( Marvin 41). As such most scholars are thus made to place the tractate with the work mentioned by Irenaeus. (Marvin 41). The gospel of Truth is marked as having a distinctive use of images. (Marvin 41). A theme is brought out following the display of the savior as a teacher instructing “the little children” revealing a book whose contents is knowledge. (Marvin 42). This book is equated to a will that lay hidden but was exposed after the testator's death. Jesus being crucified posted the book on the cross and this is equated to public promulgation. The book of the living is a list of names where those who have been appointed for salvation are written, and the opening of the book means that the names are called out and the called out respond by hastening to the one summoning them. (Marvin 42). The Gospel of Truth gives an elucidation of the appearance of the savior on earth and the message he brought to humanity and explains how everything has been changed as a result of this. On one account we hear about the appearance of the savior in the world of human beings and taught them the truth, however was persecuted by his enemies and was crucified and killed (Marvin 42). The thought seem similar to the biblical truth that Jesus was crucified for our sins and faith in this death entails life for all who believe in Him. His death brought life to mortal humans, this phrase seem similar to the biblical truth but emphasis should be laid on the fact that it is on them that believe that this life is guaranteed and is not accessed to all on the basis of merely being human beings. The Author continues, and his instructions roused them from forgetfulness and made them return to the father. The savior was to rectify the cosmic error, he revealed the unknown Father to the aeons and gave them a proper relationship to their originator. The savior may be identified to Jesus: He is from a higher and more fundamental perspective, the Son, the Word and the name of the Father. I deduce that this Jesus of theirs seem like the Jesus of the Bible by their description however we need not forget that for most of these shrewd scholars he was a phantom as such he is not the Christ for the Christians. The Author continues that he is the first emanation, who manifests the Father to the aeons and causes them to come into perfect beings. (Marvin 41,42). According to Marvin on the interpretation of Gospel of Truth, redemption of humans accomplished by Jesus in this world is a part of and reflects a larger process of cosmic scale and ontological significance (Marvin 42). This is not in tandem with the Biblical Gospel, the redemption of man kind has been done once and for all, Ephesians 1:7; Galatians 3:13; Romans 5:10. The Author continues, on another account we have a narration that asserts that world came into existence because of ignorance. The Canonical Bible tells us that the World and everything in it came as a result of God’s creation, Genesis 1:1-2. The Author continues, in the beginning all the entirety of aeons or eternal realms, existed in the Father. The Father was vast and unfathomable that they were unable to perceive him and because of this ignorance, anguish, and terror took hold of the aeons resulting in error being produced in the place of truth, on this deceptive basis the world was created as a solidification of ignorance and fear, a fog. (Marvin 42). Another image is displayed: the house and the jars (25, 25–26, 27). One moves to a new house, but only the unbroken and full jars will be taken along and the others are cast off. It is not certain what the sorting of the jars refers to, whether it is the general separation of spiritual and nonspiritual people that resulted from the appearance of the Savior or does the passage refer to a specific historical event, may be the moment when the Valentinian church separated from the rest of the Christian movement? Whatever the interpretation Irenaeus states that one interpretation does not exclude the other and the passage has a tone of eschatological judgment in it. (Marvin 43). More imagery display has been portrayed: when the dreamer wakes up (28, 32–30, 23). The spirit, makes some people comprehend the nature of the Savior (while others do not understand). He now becomes the way (31, 29), a catch word that in turn stands to introduce the parable of the lost sheep and the good shepherd (31, 35–32, 37). (Marvin 43). A prescription of the behavior fit for those who belong to the heavenly day (33, 1–32); and those who do the Father’s will in this way are refer to as his “fragrance” (34, 1). The Author somewhat abruptly, changes with a protological perspective, to a description of the Word, which has revealed the hidden thought of the Father, followed by a famous section where the Son is portrayed as the Father’s Name, an idea that serves to express the indissoluble relationship between Father and Son as well as the Son’s role as the revealer of the unnamable Father of the All (38, 6–41, 3). In conclusion, by stating that the Son revealed the origins and the destiny of the Father’s children, the text is able to arrive at its concluding, eschatological theme: the place of rest in the Fullness. The Treatise on Resurrection is name given to this communiqué from an unknown Gnostic teacher to his pupil "Rheginos" (43.25) found at the end of the text in the codex,which is in form of a letter, addressed to a certain Rheginus, hence the title “The Letter to Rheginus” often used for this tractate. This was written to respond to the pupil's questions relating to the nature, means, and goals of personal resurrection from the dead, the document considers a view of realized eschatology ("already you have the resurrection," 49.15-16; cf. 49.22-26) which resembles the heresy addressed in 2 Timothy 2:18. Despite both Irenaeus and the various wily authors are turning to the same Biblical text, they give directly opposed views. On one hand, the various gnostic redemptive figures aim to kill all physicality, while Irenaeus admit that the immortal Christ took up corporeality. Additionally, gnostic informant inure that immortality demands the removal of gentleness, while Irenaeus asserts that immortality mend the flesh. Also, the gnostics affirm immortality as realized in the present, while Irenaeus believes immortality to be a futuristic event. (Irenaeus Article 1 Corinthians 15:53). The eight papyrus sheets are well preserved with minor exceptions, and the text is little damaged and it is written in the form of a personal letter, even though there is no mention of sender and receiver. However, some scholars (notably Martin, 1971; Layton, 1979; and Dehandschutter, 1973) claim this not to be a true letter but rather a philosophical tract, a lecture, or a homily indicating prior relationship between teacher and pupil 43.24; 46.6; 50.2-3. The author whose ideas reflect influences from Valentinian gnosticism (Eastern), Pauline eschatology, and Middle Platonic thought offers some teachings. In the Article by Irenaeus on 1 Corinthians 15:53-54, Marvin states that ““similarly, The Treatise on the Resurrection explain the Savior as possession simultaneously “swallowed up demise” and “put away the world, which is perishing.””(Article Irenaeus and the Gnostics on 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). This resurrection is not the reviving of the flesh but the rising up of the flesh to the fullness of God. Ultimately, as Attridge acknowledges, “this talk seems to support a docetic Christology” (Article Irenaeus and the Gnostics on 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). Admittingly, the specific lowdown of to the dynamic perishable and imperishable statuary used in the Gospel of Truth and the Treatise on the Resurrection are somewhat dissimilar. The former describes something of a mortal housing dealing that is the perishable for the endless, while the latter delineates more of an escape from a case-like fleshy destructible case. However, the trite subject between both shrewd renderings of this text is the repugnance and rejection of all physicality. (Article Irenaeus and the Gnostics on 1 Corinthians 15:53-54). I concur with Attridge on his stance concerning the belief on resurrection expressed by the Author and I state that this is heresy common to the one held by ancient heretics who believed that Christs body was merely a phantom. The first teaching is that individual resurrection, though it can not be demonstrated philosophically, is, because of Christ's resurrection, a certain reality for one having "faith" (46.3-47. 10; 48.3-38). Paul admits that “‘even we,” the pneumatic elect, once fulfilled “the desires of the flesh,’ and were virtually ‘‘by nature children of wrath, like the rest."" Although the elect were, in effect, “dead in transgressions” (2:5, paraptoma sin; apparently, the transgressions of Sophia, for Paul does not say, as he does of psychics, that they were “dead in sins” hamartiais, 2:1) God “has made us alive together with Christ and has raised us up with him.” So, according to the teacher of Rheginos, ‘‘as the apostle says, we suffered with him; and we arose with him, and we went to heaven with him.” The elect, then, celebrate the resurrection life (which they received in baptism) as their present experience. (Elaine 119). Elaine further comments “But he perceives “another law’’ opposing him, the “law of sin that dwells in my members.” This is the law of the demiurge. which first arouses physical passions (7:8-11) and then punishes the person who responds to them with death.’ The pneumatic, seeing himself powerless to liberate himself by freely chosen moral action, cries out with Paul to be delivered from “this body of death” (7:24) which involves him in such an irreconcilable contradiction, so Rheginos learns from his gnostic teacher that the body, irrevocably bound to the processes of aging is “corruption. Valentinus, Heracleon and Theodotus agree that only God the Father through the savior, can deliver the suppliant from the demiurge and from the “law of sin in the flesh” to follow the pneumatic “law of God.” Romans 8:1-4, “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. For the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus has liberated me from the law of sin and death. For what the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the flesh, so that the requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us. who walk not according to the flesh but according to the spirit”. (Elaine 33). The teacher also stated to the son that resurrection involves, immediately at death, the shedding of physical flesh and the ascent to the pleroma of an inward, spiritual body ("members") which retains the personal identity of the deceased, 47.4-8; 47.38-48.11, note the use of the Transfiguration as a proof; and that since one knows the inevitability of physical death and participates now in the resurrection-ascension of Christ, he should live as having "already been raised". According to Elaine, “they claim that psychic believers fail to see that Paul is not speaking here literally of a future bodily resurrection: instead he is speaking symbolically of the process of receiving gnosis. Irenaeus says that ‘they maintain that ‘the resurrection from the dead’ is knowing the truth that they proclaim. The teacher of Rheginos alludes to such passages as Romans 6:3-11 and Colossians 3:4 as he explains the meaning of resurrection: The savior has swallowed up death so you should not remain in ignorance [i.e., “death”] having swallowed up the visible through the invisible; and he has offered us the way of our immortality. Therefore, as the apostle says. we suffered with him, and we arose with him. and we went to heaven with him. For, he continues, the resurrection is “the revelation of that which is the change of things, and transformation into newness”’ (cf. 6:4). Paul indicates in 6:3-4 (as Tertullian’s account confirms) that this process occurs in the experience of baptism. Theodotus cites this passage as he explains that “baptism is called ‘death,’ and an ‘end of the old life." when we depart from the evil archons (sin. 6:7, and death, 6:9) but it is called ‘life according to Christ’ which he alone rules.’ What is transformed in baptism, he continues, is not the body but the soul. Although the initiate physically remains unchanged. spiritually he “dies to the cosmos but ‘lives to God’ (cf. 6:10), that death may be released by death, and corruption by resurrection.'’’ Whoever receives this pneumatic baptism receives gnosis of “who we were, what we have become, whence we came, from what we have been redeemed; what birth is, and what rebirth.’ To receive this enlightenment is to be ‘raised from the dead”: this is the resurrection! In the process, as Paul says (6:6), the ‘old man" is “crucified with Christ."" Since crucifixion signifies separation from the passions,'"’ this means that the ‘‘body of sin’ (6:6), the “mortal bodies’ in which “sin reigns” (6:12) are separated from the inner pneumatic “new man.” From Gnostic”.(49.16-36) (Elaine 29,30). Presupposed by both author and reader is a cosmogonic myth (probably Valentinian) according to which this world has come into being through a split in the heavenly pleroma (which had included the preexistent Elect, 46.38-47.1; cf. 47.26-27) and a consequent devolution of the Divine (48.34-49.5). This makes the "spiritual resurrection" of individuals actually part of a cosmic process of "restoration" of the disrupted Pleroma (44.30-33; 45.36-40). Though the first editors of the text (Puech and Quispel; see Malinine and the Co- Authors, 1963), held that it was probably written by the arch Gnostic Valentinus himself around 140-165, most scholars today affirm an anonymous Gnostic teacher to have been the author. Still, the presence of an allusion to Valentinian speculation about the aeon (45.11-13), a fragment of a cosmogonic hymn (46.35-47.1), and Valentinian symbolism (48.34-49.5) make manifest Valentinian associations of the Treatise. Most scholars date it to the late second century. No title is preserved in the manuscript for this massive treatise of Valentinian theology, though it cannot be totally excluded that a title was provided at the end, on the last, fragmentary page. The title by which the work is currently known is, at any rate, an invention by modern scholars: it refers to the fact that the scribe has divided the text into three parts by means of decorative lines on pages 104 and 108. (Marvin 168). The theme of the oneness of God dominates the opening section of the Tripartite Tractate, a Valentinian treatise from Nag Hammadi which describes the origin of all being. The author describes God as a sole Lord and God. For he is unbegotten. In the proper sense, then, the only Father and God is the one whom no one else begot. As for the universe (cosmos), he is the one who begot and created it. (Elaine 23). The author of the Tripartite Tractate is unknown. Dating the treatise is difficult. On the one hand, the text shows some affinity with Origen (185–254) and his school: the argument from “Father” to “Son” (51, 12–15); the argument from the oneness of the Father to the only-begotten nature of the Son (57, 8–23); the notion of the eternal generation of the Son (56, 30–35; 58, 7–8); the idea that the end will be like the beginning, that is, a unity (127, 23–25; 132, 20–23); and the emphasis throughout the text on providence, education, and economy in the salvation process, a perspective that also provides justification for creation and the temporary cosmic existence of humanity. However, the Tripartite Tractate explicitly rejects another idea often found in Origen and his followers, the concept of a “substance” of the Father [53, 34–35]. If these similarities are significant, a date in the second half of the third century must be assumed. On the other hand, the treatise also contains elements that point toward an early phase of Valentinian theology, like the theory that the aeons initially existed inside the Father as in a womb, a theory also attested for Valentinus himself (Tertullian Against the Valentinians 4.3) and found in the Gospel of Truth. It is not unlikely that the Tripartite Tractate incorporates materials and ideas from different Valentinian sources, some of which may be significantly older than the treatise itself. (Marvin 178,179 ). The division of the Tripartite Tractate roughly corresponds to a division of the contents. It begins with longest part (51–104) focuses on the Father, the Son, and the emanation of the Pleroma, or Fullness, the fall of the youngest aeon, and the creation of the cosmos. This is followed by a short narrative of the creation of the first human and his transgression and expulsion from paradise. The concluding division (108–138) explains the many confused opinions among people about the nature of the cosmos, the advent of the Savior, the establishment of the church, and the destines of the different groups of humans. The importance of this tractate is above all that it contains a version of the Valentinian system that is distinctly Valentinian at the same time that it differs on many points from the well known systems reported by the church fathers. For this reason, it helps us understand better what are the constant and indispensable features of the Valentinian systems and what are individual and local variations. (Marvin P169). Thus, the system of Tripartite Tractate does not have a Pleroma of thirty aeons, the Tripartite Tractate describes the emanation process in embryological terms as a gradual formation of the Pleroma within the Father that ends in the birth of the aeons as autonomous beings. Additionally, there are not two Sophias, as in the systems reported by Irenaeus and Hippolytus, but only one. In fact, the fallen aeon is not called Sophia at all, but simply a logos, or word (logos being used as a generic name for the aeons). Finally, there is no “psychical Christ” in the Tripartite Tractate, the figure that the Savior puts on when he descends into the world and who suffers and is crucified while the Savior himself remains passionless. (Marvin 170). The Author continues and states that the Savior is himself incarnated in a human body, suffers, dies, and is redeemed. (Marvin 170). These differences between the system of the Tripartite Tractate and those found in the church fathers demonstrate that the latter, far from representing “the” Valentinian system (as the church fathers claim), are merely local variants of it. (Marvin 170). In its Christology and soteriology, the Tripartite Tractate in fact agrees with the Eastern Valentinian Theodotus, who says that the Savior himself was in need of redemption after having descended into the world of matter (Excerpts from Theodotus22.7; cf. Tripartite Tractate24, 32–125, 4). (Marvin 170). The view that the Savior was involved fully in the human condition in order for humans to share in his spiritual being (cf. Tripartite Tractate115, 3–11) is a typical Eastern Valentinian doctrinal feature. This narrative corresponds or seem similar to 2 Corinthians 5:21. The system of the Tripartite Tractate is simpler than the parallel accounts in the church fathers in many ways where the transcendent world is described as the relationships among three factors: the Father, the Son, and the Church. The Son is eternally generated by the Father as his self reflective and self admiring thought. A thought similar to Hebrews 1:2-3. and the Church is the multiplicity of divine qualities that are in here in this self-reflective activity, “in the same way as kisses, when two people abundantly embrace one another in a good and insatiable thought, it is a single embrace but consists of many kisses” (58, 22–29). It is clear that the countless aeons produced in this way are aspects or attributes of the Father himself. However, they also develop into a congregation of autonomous beings through a process that brings them forth from the Thought, in form of children from a womb. The successive stages of this divine gestation are the theme of Tripartite Tractate 60, 1–75, 17. “Church” is not an ordinary name for the Pleroma in the extant (Western) versions of the Valentinian system, but the view it brings out is certainly presupposed there as well. In the Tripartite Tractate the term highlights the correspondence between the Pleroma as a congregation of aeons and the “Church in the flesh” (125, 4–5). The earthly church is an image of the Pleroma, and this relationship is an important element in the system as a whole. The beginning of the earthly church goes back to before the creation of the world. My comment is that the “Church is the body of Christ 1Corinthians 12: 27; Ephesians5:23; Colossians 1:24”. It is told as an episode in the story of the fallen aeon, a story that narrates how everything in the lower world came into being. The fallen aeon called the Logos, or Word, in the Tripartite Tractate, first experienced a passion, which came alive as a multitude of rebellious powers, the powers of materiality. The Logos’s second emotion was repentance and prayer for help; this gave rise to a superior set of powers having a psychical nature. In response to the prayer for help, the aeons then collectively produced and sent out the Son-Savior, who manifested the totality of the Pleroma to the Logos. This church was an image of the Pleroma because it originated from the Logos’s vision of the Son and Savior. At best, it inspired prophecies about a Savior and revealer coming in the future. At a certain moment in time the Savior appeared on earth, assuming a human body and soul. Coming down, however, he also brought with him, as his spiritual body, the church of the spiritual seed from the intermediary region of the Logos. My comment is that this narrative is uncertain. Another Valentinian text, the Tripartite Tractate, introduces the Savior as "the one who will be begotten and who will suffer." Moved by compassion for humanity, he willingly became what they were. So, for their sake, he became manifest in an involuntary suffering. My assertions is that Jesus knew very well His task on earth. (John 6:38). However from the narrative in Matthew 26, there seem to be an implied war going on in Jesus’ life which He later conquers by choosing to remain obedient to the Father. One may be inclined to concur with what the Author suggests in this tractate, It seems similar from Matthew 26:42, “Again for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, your will be done.”” (ESV Matthew 26;36-56). The author continues, not only did he take upon himself the death of those whom he intended to save, but also he accepted their smallness, from face value this resembles Philippians 2:8. He let himself be conceived and born as an infant in body and soul. (Elaine 133). This seem similar to John 1:14. The Author continues, the Tripartite Tractate narrates that the one who is born and who suffers is the Savior foreseen by the Hebrew prophets; what they did not foresee is "that which he was before, and what he is eternally, an unbegot-ten, impassible Word, who came into being in flesh." (Elaine P125). The afore mentioned savior definitely is not the Savior of the world, this is a false Christ. Jesus was the beloved of the Father, Matthew 17:5; Mark1:11 and when He came to earth, as man was subject to death and He died for the sins of the world, Hebrews 4:15. My deduction from this subtle manipulation of scripture and setting some semblances to the Canonical Bible and this similarity poses danger to the immature members of the body of Christ.


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Similitude between Codex 1 and the New Testament
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Lovewell Mwansa (Author), 2022, Similitude between Codex 1 and the New Testament, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


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