Thursday, November 15, 2012

The Philosophumena is Closer to Justin's Syntagma than Against Heresies

As we continue our inquiry into the 'ground' of the claim that Marcion was of Pontus it has to be noted that the multiplicity of developments of Justin's original Syntagma is mirrored in other parts of the Irenaean corpus.  Tertullian's Against the Valentinians has a very different order and content from the what appears in the First Book of Against Heresies and what is preserved in Philosophumena.  Epiphanius makes clear he is using the original Against the Valentinians lecture which is preserved in Against Heresies Book One.  They are almost identical with one another.  Yet if the reader looks at the Philosophumena it is clearly from a completely different source which in parts resembles the argument at the heart of Celsus's source (= Justin's syntagma).  I am increasingly confident that a strong argument can be made that Hippolytus is closer to Justin than Irenaeus.
Panarion 31

Certain persons have rejected the truth and are introducing novel falsehoods and 'endless genealogies which,' as the apostle says, 'minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith.'48 With the specious argument they have villainously hammered together, they are misleading the minds of the simple and take them captive,

9:2 tampering with the oracles of the Lord and becoming bad expositors of things that have been said well. And they are overthrowing many by leading them away, under the pretence of knowledge, from him who framed and ordered this whole creation, as though they had something higher and greater to display than the God who has made heaven, earth, and everything in them. 

9:3 Persuasively, through the art of rhetoric, they win the innocent to the habit of inquiry. But they abruptly destroy them by making their opinion of the Creator blasphemous and impious

—since they have no ability to distinguish truth from falsehood in anything.

 9:4 For error is not shown as it is lest it become detectible when stripped. Villainously decked in a cloak of plausibility, it presents to the simple the appearance of being truer than the truth itself—an absurd thing even to say!—by its outward show.

9:5 As has been said of such persons by a greater man than I, when a piece of glass is artificially made to resemble the stone which is the real precious pearl and of very great value, it will mock some people, if no one there is competent to test it and expose the wicked trick.

And when bronze is mixed with silver, what guileless person can readily assay it?

9:6 Now I have read the treatises of the 'disciples of Valentinus,' as they say themselves, and have met some and understood what they think.

To see that—even through no fault of mine—none are snatched away like sheep by wolves since they may not recognize under their outer covering of lambskin the persons the Lord has warned us of, who speak as we do but think otherwise,

9:7 I feel it essential, beloved, that I disclose to you the monstrous, abstruse mysteries which 'all cannot receive,'since all have not spat their brains out!

Thus when you have learned them too you can make them known to all who are with you, and urge them to beware of the abyss of folly and blasphemy of God.

9:8 And as far as I can I shall also give a brief, clear explanation of the doctrine of those—I mean the Ptolemaeans—who are now repeating the same teaching, a culling from the school of Valentinus, and give others the resources for its refutation, by showing, as well as my modest ability allows, that what they say is absurd, untenable, and incompatible with the truth.

9:9 This though I am neither accustomed to composition nor trained in rhetoric—even while love bids me disclose, to you and to all who are with you, the teachings that have been concealed till now, but by God’s grace have now come to light. 'For there is nothing covered that shall not be revealed, and hid, that shall not be known.'

10:1 As I live among Celts and chiefly occupy myself with a barbarian language, you will not look for rhetoric, which I have not learned, from me—or ability at composition, in which I have no practice, or elegance of style, or persuasiveness, of which I know nothing.

10:2 Instead you will accept with love what I have written you with love, simply, truly, and in everyday speech, and grow it yourself—as you can, being abler than I—as though you had received seeds and shoots from me. 

10:3 In the breadth of your intellect you will make what I have said in brief bear fruit in abundance and will present powerfully, to those who are with you, the things I have feebly told you.

10:4 And as I have done my best—since you have been wanting to learn of their doctrine for a long time—not only to make it known to you but also to provide the means of proving its falsity, you too, by the grace the Lord has given you, will do your best to convey it to the rest, so that people may no longer be swept away with their specious argument, which runs as follows:

10:5 They say that, in invisible, heights that cannot be named, there pre-exists a perfect Aeon. Him they call Prior Principle, First Progenitor,52 and Depth.53 He is uncontainable and invisible, eternal and ingenerate, and has existed in calm and deep tranquility54 for boundless ages of time. And with him also is an Ennoia, whom they term both Grace and Silence.

10:6 At some time Depth conceived of emitting a first principle of all things from himself, and like a seed he deposited the emanation he had conceived of emitting in his co-existent Silence, as in a womb.

10:7 Receiving this seed and becoming pregnant, Silence brought forth Mind, the like and equal of the One who had emitted him and alone capable of containing the Father's majesty. This Mind they also call Only-Begotten, and Father and first principle of all things. 

10:8 But with him Truth has been emitted, and this is the first, original Pythagorean tetrad, which they also call the root of all things. For it is Depth and Silence, and then Mind and Truth.

10:9 Realizing why he had been emitted, this Only-Begotten himself emitted Word and Life:60 the father of all who were to come after him, and the principle and form of the entire Pleroma. But from Word and Life, Man and Church have been emitted as a pair.

10:10 And this is the original Ogdoad, the root and ground of all things, which they call by four names, Depth, Mind, Word, and Man. (For each is male and female as follows: First Progenitor, to begin with, is united in a pair with his own Ennoia. Only-Begotten, or Mind, is united with Truth, Word with Life, and Man with Church.)

10:11 After these Aeons had been emitted to the glory of the Father, they too desired to glorify him with something of their own, and put forth emanations in pairs. Word and Life emitted ten other Aeons after the emission of Man and Church, and they say their names are as follows: Profound and Copulation, Ageless and Union, Self-Engendered and Pleasure, Immoveable and Intercourse, Only-Begotten and Happiness. These are the ten Aeons they claim have been emitted by Word and Life.

10:12 But Man too, with Church, emitted twelve Aeons. They favour these with the names of Advocate and Truth, Paternal and Hope, Maternal and Love, Ever-Mindful and Understanding, Ecclesiasticus and Blessedness, Desired and Wisdom. 

10:13 These are the 30 Aeons of their imposture, which have been kept secret and are not known.

This is their invisible, spiritual Pleroma, with its triple division into ogdoad, decad and dodecad.

10:14 And for this reason they say that the Saviour—they prefer not to call him 'Lord'—did nothing openly for 30 years, giving indication of the mystery of these Aeons.

10:15 Moreover, they say, these 30 Aeons are made very plainly known in the parable of the labourers sent into the vineyard, For some are sent about the first hour, some about the third, some about the sixth, some about the ninth, and others about the eleventh. If you add these hours they give a total of 30—one, three, six, nine and eleven are 30—and they hold that the Aeons are made known by the hours.

10:16 And these are the great, marvellous, ineffable mysteries which they produce—and, of the things the scriptures say in great quantity, these are all that could be matched and compared with their fabrication.

11:1 They say their First Progenitor is known only to Only-Begotten, that is to Mind, who originated from him. To all the rest he is invisible and incomprehensible. Only Mind, they believe, enjoyed the contemplation of the Father and rejoiced in the perception of his immeasurable greatness.

11:2 And he intended to communicate the greatness of the Father to the remaining Aeons, what he was like and how great he was, and how he was without beginning, uncontainable and impossible to see. But by the Father's will Silence restrained him, because she meant to arouse them all to an intent and yearning to seek after their First Progenitor.

11:3 Similarly the other Aeons also had a sort of silent yearning to see the originator of their seed, and be informed of their root which had no beginning.

11:4 But the Aeon which was by far the last and the youngest of the twelve emitted by Man and Church—that is, Sophia—sprang forth, Sophia appears

when Eleleth speaks and Sakla and Nebruel are brought out and without a union

with her consort, Desired, experienced a passion which had begun in Mind and Truth and fallen suddenly upon this errant Aeon—pretendedly a passion of love, but (actually) one of presumption, since she did not have perfect fellowship with the Father as Mind did.

11:5 Then, since she could not (find the Father) because she had set herself an impossible task, and since she had fallen into deep distress at the vastness of the depth, the Father's unsearchability, and her love for him, she stretched farther and farther forward. And she would finally have been engulfed and utterly dissolved by his sweetness if she had not encountered the power which makes all things firm, and keeps watch over them outside of the ineffable majesty.

11:6 This power they call Limit. Restrained and made fast by Limit, coming to herself with difficulty, and convinced of the Father's incomprehensibility, she abandoned her former Resolve, with the passion inspired by that terror-stricken wonder.

12:1 But some of them speak of Sophia's passion and conversion in terms of the following myth. In her attempt at something impossible and unattainable she gave birth to an essence without form, such a nature as a female could bear.

12:2 On observing it she was first grieved at the unfinished character of its birth, then afraid that its very existence might come to an end as well—then distraught and at her wits end, from searching for the cause of what had happened, and how to hide it.

12:3 But after her submergence in the passions she experienced conversion and tried to return to the Father; and after some time in this venture was exhausted, and became the Father's suppliant.

12:4 The other Aeons, and especially Mind, joined in her supplication. From this, they say, the essence of matter had its first origin: from the ignorance, grief, fear and distraction.

12:5 It was for this reason that the Father emitted Limit in his own image, unpartnered and with no female, through Only-Begotten. (They sometimes conceive of the Father as paired with Silence, but sometimes as above both male and female.)

12:6 They call this Limit Cross, Redeemer, Emancipator, Limit-Setter, and Conductor. They say that Sophia was purified and made firm by Limit, and restored to her syzygy.

12:7 For now that her Resolve, with the passion which had arisen later, was separated from her, she remained within the Pleroma. But her Resolve, with the passion, was separated and fenced off by Limit, and once outside him was a spiritual essence like a sort of natural germ of an Aeon, but shapeless and without form because it understood nothing. And for this reason they call it a sterile fruit and a female.

13:1 But after its banishment outside the Pleroma of the Aeons, and the restoration to her syzygy of its mother, in order that no Aeon would suffer as she had, by the Father's forethought Only-Begotten emitted yet another pair to fix the Pleroma and make it firm, Christ and Holy Spirit, by whom, they say, the Aeons were settled.

13:2 For Christ taught them the nature of union, (that is), that only those who comprehend the ingenerate are fit for union with him; and to proclaim among themselves their realization that the Father is uncontainable and incomprehensible and cannot be seen or heard, or that he is known only through Only-Begotten—

13:3 also that the incomprehensibility of the Father is the cause of the others' eternal endurance, while the cause of their birth and formation is his comprehensibility, that is, his Son.

And the newly emitted Christ performed this work among them.

13:4 But after they had all been made equal, Holy Spirit taught them to give thanks and explained the true repose. And thus, they say, the Aeons were made alike in form and sentiment, and all became Minds, all Words, all Men, and all Christs; and similarly the females all became Truths, all Lives, all Spirits and all Churches.

13:5 But when all things had been fixed in this state, they say, and were perfectly in repose, they hymned the First Progenitor with great joy because they partook of great happiness.

13:6 And in return for this benefit, with one will and purpose each of the whole Pleroma of Aeons, with the consent of Christ and Holy Spirit and with their Father's endorsement, pooled and contributed what was best and brightest in it. Fitly combining these things and becomingly uniting them,

3:7 they produced an emanation to the honour and glory of Depth, a kind of consummate beauty and star of the Pleroma, its perfect Fruit, Jesus. He is also called Saviour; Christ; Word after his father; and All, because he is of all.

And angels of the same nature were emitted with him in his honour, to be his bodyguard.

14:1 This, then, is the affair they say took place within the Pleroma; and the misfortune of the Aeon who suffered and almost perished when she experienced deep grief because of her search for the Father; and her solidification after her ordeal by Limit-Cross-Redeemer-Emancipator-Limit-Setter-Conductor;

and the production, because of her repentance, of the first Christ and Holy Spirit, later than the Aeons, by their Father; and the joint production, by public subscription, of the second Christ, whom they also term Saviour. 

14:2 These things have not been said openly since not everyone can accommodate the knowledge of them, but they have been made known mystically by the Saviour in parables to those who can understand them, as follows: 14:3 The thirty Aeons are made known, as we said, by the thirty years in which they claim the Saviour did nothing openly; and by the parable of the labourers in the vineyard.

14:4 And they say that Paul often names these Aeons very plainly, and further that he has even observed their order by saying, 'unto all the generations of the aeons of the aeon.'

14:5 Moreover, we too are giving indication of those Aeons when we say, 'unto the aeons of the aeons,'96 at the eucharist. And wherever 'aeon' or “aeons' are mentioned, they hold that the reference is to those.

14:6 The emission of the dodecad of Aeons is made known through the Lord's disputation with the doctors of the Law at the age of twelve, and by his choice of the apostles, for there are twelve apostles.

14:7 And the remaining eighteen Aeons are shown by the fact that, as they say, the Lord spent eighteen months with the disciples after his rising from the dead. Moreover, the eighteen Aeons are plainly made known by the first two letters of his name, 'iota' and 'eta.'

14:8 And they say that the ten Aeons are similarly indicated by the 'iota' which begins his name. And this is why the Saviour has said, 'One iota or one tittle shall not pass away till all things come to pass.'

14:9 The passion encountered by the twelfth Aeon is suggested, they say, by the defection of Judas who was the twelfth of the apostles, and because  suffered in the twelfth month—they hold that he preached for one year after his baptism.

14:10 Further, this is shown very clearly in the incident of the woman with the issue of blood. For after suffering for twelve years she was healed by the Saviour's arrival, through touching the hem of his garment. And the Saviour said, 'Who touched me?' for this reason, to teach his disciples of the mystery that had been consummated among the Aeons, and the healing of the Aeon that suffered.

14:11 For the woman who suffered for twelve years is that power, which would have been completely dissolved, as they say, by her stretching and the endless running of her essence, if she had not touched the Son’s garment—that is, the Truth of the first Tetrad, who is indicated by the hem of the garment. But she stopped this and was rid of the passion. For the power of the Son which issued forth—they hold that this is Limit—healed her, and separated the passion from her.

14:12 And that Saviour, the product of all, is the All, is shown, they say, by the words, 'All the males that open the womb.' For since he is the All, he opened the womb of the suffering Aeon's Resolve, who was banished outside the Pleroma, the one they also call a second Ogdoad of whom I shall speak a little later.

14:13 And they say that, 'And he is all,'101 was obviously said on this account by Paul, and again, 'All are for him, and of him are all,'102 and, 'In him dwelleth all the Pleroma of the Godhead.'103 And they interpret, 'to gather all in one in Christ, through God,'104 in this sense, and anything else of the kind.

15:1 Then they declare of their Limit, the one they call by a number of names, that he has two activities, the stabilizing and the divisive.105 Insofar as he stabilizes and makes firm, he is Cross; but insofar as he divides and separates, he is Limit. 

15:2 They say the Saviour has made his activities known in the following ways. First the stabilizing, with the words, 'He who doth not bear his cross and follow me, cannot be my disciple,'106 and again, 'Take up thy cross and follow me.'107

15:3 But his divisive activity with the words, 'I came not to send peace, but a sword.'108 John too, they say, has made the same thing known by saying, 'The fan is in his hand. He will thoroughly purge his floor, and will gather the wheat into his garner; but the chaff he will burn with fire unquenchable.'109

15:4 And with this he has made the Limit's activity known. For they interpret that 'fan' as the cross, which consumes everything material as fire consumes chaff, and yet winnows the saved as the fan winnows wheat. 

15:5 But they say the apostle Paul has also mentioned this cross with these words: 'For the preaching of Cross is to them that perish foolishness, but unto them that are saved he is a power of God,'110 and again, 'God forbid that I should glory in anything save in the Cross of Christ, through whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.'111

15:6 They say this sort of thing about their Pleroma and their fictitious account of all things, and forcibly harmonize things which have been said well with things which they have invented badly. And not only do they try to produce their proofs from the Gospels and apostolic writings, by twisting the meanings and tampering with the interpretations. (Even) more cleverly, and guilefully, they adapt what they like from the Law and prophets to their fabrication—

15:7 since these have numerous parables and allegories which can be stretched to mean many things owing to the doubtfulness of their interpretation—and they capture from the truth those who are not keeping careful guard on their faith in one God, the Father almighty, and one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

16:1 But what they say is outside the Pleroma is something like this. When the Resolve of the heavenly Sophia, whom they also call Achamoth, had been separated, with the passion, from the supernal Pleroma, they say that of necessity she was stranded in a shadowy, empty region. For she found herself outside of the light and Pleroma, without shape and form like an untimely birth, because she had understood nothing.

16:2 But the higher Christ, pitying her and reaching out to her through the Cross, gave her form by his own power—only essential form, not the form of knowledge. After doing this he withdrew by contracting his power and left her, so that she would realize the passion she had incurred by separation from the Pleroma and would long for the things that are best—115 since she had a certain savour of immortality, left her by Christ and Holy Spirit.

16:3 Hence she is given both names: Sophia, after her father—for Sophia is said to be her 'father'—and Holy Spirit, after the Spirit who is with Christ.

16:4 Formed and become conscious, but immediately emptied of the Word, or Christ, who had been with her invisibly, she started up in search of the light that had left her—and could not overtake it, because of her obstruction by Limit.116 And here, to prevent her from starting forward, Limit said, 'Iao!' This, they claim, is the origin of the name, Iao. 

16:5 Unable to pass Limit because of her entanglement with the passion, and left alone outside, she fell victim to every portion of the passion in its many and various forms. She suffered grief because she had not overtaken the light; fear that, as light had left her, so would life; and desperation besides, and she was altogether in ignorance.

16:6 And unlike her mother the first Sophia Aeon, she had, not an alternation of the passions but a conflict between them. But another disposition had come upon her as well—that of conversion118 to the one who had brought her to life. 

16:7 They say that she has become the origin and essence of the matter of which this world is composed. The entire soul of the world and the Demiurge has originated from the conversion, while the rest has arisen from the fear and the grief. Everything wet has come from her tears, everything bright from her laughter; and the world’s physical components from her grief and terror.119

16:8 For at times, as they say, she would weep and grieve at being left alone in the dark and void, but sometimes she would recall the light that had forsaken her,120 and she would interrupt her weeping, and laugh.121 Again, she was sometimes afraid, at other times at her wits' end and distraught.122

17:1 But why go on? There would be a lot of dramatics here next and display, with each of them proudly explaining in a different way from which passion the essence of which element has had its origin.

17:2 Indeed, it makes sense to me that they do not care to teach these things openly to everyone—just to those who can afford to pay even high prices for mysteries of such sublimity!123

17:3 For these are no longer like the ones of which our Lord has said, 'Freely ye have received, freely give.'124 They are recondite, monstrous, deep mysteries, obtainable with great effort by those who love lies.

17:4 For who would not spend all he has to learn that seas, springs, rivers, and everything wet has originated from the tears of the suffering Aeon's Resolve, but the light from her laughter, and the world's physical components from her terror and perplexity?

17:5 But I wish to make a contribution of my own to their harvest. Since I see that some water—springs, rivers, rain and the like—is fresh, while sea-water is salt, I presume that not all water has emanated from her tears, for tears are of a salty quality.

17:6 It is plain, then, that it is this salt water that comes from the tears. But it is likely that, since she fell into great anguish and perplexity, she perspired as well. Therefore, on their hypothesis it must be supposed that springs and rivers, and any other fresh water, has its origin from her sweat.

17:7 For since tears are of one quality, it is not credible that fresh water on the one hand, and salt on the other, issues from them. This is more credible, that the one is from the tears and the other from the sweat.

17:8 However, since certain kinds of water are both hot and bitter, you should understand what she did to emit those, and from which part of her. These are the sorts of conclusion that are in keeping with their premise!

17:9 When their Mother had passed through all the passions and barely surmounted them, they say that she addressed herself to supplication of the light, or Christ, who had left her. As he had gone back to the Pleroma he was probably reluctant to come down a second time himself. But he sent Advocate to her—that is, Saviour—

17:10 after the Father had put all power in him and put all under his authority, and the Aeons had done the same, so that 'all things might be created in him, visible and invisible, thrones, godheads, dominions.'125 

17:11 So he was sent to her, with his angelic companions.126 They say that at first, out of respect for him, Achamoth veiled herself in modesty. But then, seeing him with all his bounty, she ran to him, having drawn strength from his appearing.

17:12 He for his part gave her the form of knowledge127 and effected the cure of her passions by separating them from her. He did not ignore them—they could not be destroyed like the former Sophia's passions, because they were already habitual and strong.128 But by the separation of them he set them apart, mixed and solidified them, and from incorporeal passions changed them into incorporeal matter.

17:13 Then he endowed them with fitness and a nature so that they became compounds and bodies, for the generation of two essences, the inferior one made from the passions, and the affective one made from the conversion. For this reason too they say that Saviour has done the work of creation with power.129

17:14 When Achamoth had got free of the passion and joyfully caught sight of the lights which were with him130—that is, of the angels who were with him—they teach that she conceived fruit in their image by yearning for them, a spiritual embryo conceived in the likeness of Saviour's bodyguards.

18:1 Since these three things, as they believe, were now in existence—the one which came from the passion, which was matter; the one which came from the conversion, which was the soulish; and the one which she had conceived, the spiritual—her next concern was their formation. 18:2 But she could not form the spiritual, since it was of her own nature.131 Instead she addressed herself to the forming of the soulish essence which had arisen from her conversion, and emitted the things she had learned from Saviour. 18:3 And first, they say, from the soulish essence she formed the Father and King of all things132—the things of his own nature, the soulish things they call 'right'—and of the things which arose from the passion and matter, the things they call 'left.' 18:4 For they say that he formed everything after him, instigated by the Mother without knowing it. Thus they call him Male-and-Female Progenitor, Without Progenitor, Demiurge, and Father, and say he is father of those on the right, the soulish; demiurge of those on the left, the material; but king of them all. 18:5 For they say that, because Resolve wanted to create all things in honour of the Aeons, she has made their images—or rather, Saviour has made them through her. She herself has preserved the image of the invisible Father, since she is not known by the Demiurge. He, however, has preserved the image of the Only-begotten Son; and the archangels and angels he has made, that of the remaining Aeons. 18:6 Thus, as maker of everything soulish and material, they say he has become Father and God of the things outside the Pleroma. For by separating the two commingled essences and making corporeal things from incorporeal, he has created everything heavenly and earthly, and become Demiurge of material and soulish, right and left, heavy and light, upward-tending and downward-tending. 18:7 For they say that he has constructed seven heavens and is their Demiurge above them. And so they call him Hebdomad; but the Mother, Achamoth, they call Ogdoad133 so that she preserves the number of the original, first Ogdoad of the Pleroma. 18:8 But they say the seven heavens are intelligible ones, and suppose that they are angels. The Demiurge himself is an angel, but like a god. And thus they also say that since Paradise is above a third heaven it has the significance of a fourth archangel, and that Adam received something from it while he lived in it. 18:9 They claim that the Demiurge thought that he makes these things entirely by himself,134 but that he has made them because Achamoth has emitted them. For he has made heaven without knowing heaven, formed man though ignorant of man, and produced earth with no knowledge of earth. 18:10 And in every case they similarly say that he did not know the forms of the things he was making or the Mother herself, but supposed that he alone was all things. 18:11 But they claim that the Mother has been the cause of this creative activity of his because she wished to prefer him in this way, though she is the source and origin of her own being and the 'lord' of the whole affair. 18:12 They call her Mother and Ogdoad, and Sophia, Earth, Jerusalem, Holy Spirit and, in the masculine, Lord. She inhabits the Intermediate Region135 and is above the Demiurge, but is below, or outside, the Pleroma until the consummation.

19:1 Since they say that the material essence is composed of three passions—fear, grief and perplexity—the soulish has originated from the fear and the conversion.

19:2 They hold that the Demiurge has his origin from the conversion, but everything else that is soulish, such as the souls of brute beasts, wild creatures and men, has theirs from the fear.

19:3 And thus, because he is too weak to know spiritual things, the Demiurge has supposed that he alone is God and has said, through the prophets, 'I am God, there is none besides me.'136

19:4 They teach that wicked spiritual beings137 have come from the grief. This is the origin of the Devil, whom they also call Ruler of the World,138 and of demons, angels, and anything spiritual that is wicked.

19:5 But they say the Demiurge is a soulish son of their Mother, while the Ruler of the World is a creature of the Demiurge. And the Ruler of the World knows what is above him, for he is a wicked spirit; but the Demiurge, being soulish, does not.139

19:6 Their Mother dwells in the place above the heavens, the Intermediate Region;140 the Demiurge in the heavenly place, the Hebdomad; but the Ruler of the World, in our world.

19:7 As I said, the world's physical components are derived from the consternation and bewilderment, the more distracted (passions)—earth answering to the motionlessness of consternation, water to the movement of fear, air to the fixity of pain. But they teach that fire is inherent in them all as death and decay, just as ignorance lies concealed within the three passions. 

19:8 After creating the world the Demiurge also made the man of dust—not by taking him from this dry earth but from the invisible essence, the overflow and runoff of matter. Into him, they declare, he breathed soulishness.

19:9 And this is the man created 'in an image and a likeness';141 and in an image he is the material man, very like God but not of the same nature. But 'in likeness' he is the soulish man; thus his essence is also said to be a 'spirit of life' since it originates from a spiritual effluent.

19:10 Later, they say, the garment of skin was put on him; this they hold to be the man with perceptible flesh.

19:11 But they say the Demiurge is also unknowing of their Mother Achamoth's spiritual embryo which she brought forth at the sight of the angels about Saviour, of the same spiritual nature as the Mother. Nor does the Demiurge know that it has been implanted in him surreptitiously, without his knowledge, so as to be sown through him in the soul which stems from him and in this material body, to be incubated and grown in these, and become ready for the reception of mature Reason.142 

19:12 Thus, they say, the Demiurge was unaware of the spiritual man whom Sophia also sowed, with ineffable power and providence, through his breath.143 For as he knew nothing of the Mother, so he knew nothing of her seed144—the seed which they also call Church,145 a type of the Church on high.146

19:13 They regard this as the man within them,147 so that they have their soul from the Demiurge, their body of earth and its fleshliness from matter, but their spiritual man from the Mother, Achamoth.148

20:1 Since there are three principles,149 they say that the material, which they also call 'left,' must perish from its inability to receive any breath of immortality. But the soulish, which they also term 'right,' being midway150 between spiritual and material, goes whichever way it is inclined.151

20:2 The spiritual, however, has been sent out to be formed here in conjunction with the soulish,152 and educated with it in the course of life.153 And they say that this is the salt,154 and the light of the world.155 For the soulish was in need even of perceptible means of instruction; they say that this is why a world has been made.

20:3 And the Saviour has also come for this soulish principle, to save it, since it too has power of self-determination.

20:4 They claim that the Saviour has received the first-fruits156 of the principles he was to rescue. He has received spirituality from Achamoth, has donned the soulish Christ from the Demiurge,157 and from the dispensation has been clothed with a body the essence of which is soulish but which, by an ineffable art, has been made to become visible, tangible and passable. But they say he has received nothing material at all;158 matter is not susceptible of salvation.

20:5 The consummation will come when everything spiritual has been formed and perfected by knowledge.159 This means the spiritual persons who have perfect knowledge of God and are initiates of the mysteries of Achamoth;160 they suppose that they themselves are these persons.

20:6 But soulish people, who are established by works and mere faith and do not have the perfect knowledge,161 have been taught soulish things. We of the church, they say, are these people.162

20:7 And so they declare that good behaviour is essential for us—(we cannot be saved otherwise)163—but hold that they will surely be saved in any case, not by (any) behaviour but because they are spiritual by nature.164

20:8 For as the earthy can have no part in salvation—they say it is not susceptible of it—so the spiritual, in turn, which they claim to be, does not admit of corruption, in whatever deeds they may take part.

20:9 For as gold buried in mud does not lose its beauty but retains its own nature, since the mud has no power to harm the gold, they too, they say, in whatever material acts they may engage, cannot be harmed or lose their spirituality.165

21:1 Hence, the most perfect of them may do without fear all the forbidden things of which the scriptures affirm that those who do them will not inherit the kingdom of God.166

21:2 They casually eat foods which have been sacrificed to idols, and believe they are in no way defiled by them. They are the first to gather for any holiday celebration of the heathen, held in honour of the idols—and some do not even avoid the murderous spectacle, hateful to God and man, of battles with beasts and gladiatorial combat.

21:3 Some even serve the pleasures of the flesh to excess and say they are rendering carnal things to the carnal and spiritual things to the spiritual.

21:4 And some secretly seduce the women to whom they teach this doctrine, as women have often confessed together with the rest of the imposture, after being deceived by some of them and then returning to God's church.

21:5 Some, even open in their shamelessness, have enticed any women whom they want away from their husbands, and regarded them as their own wives.

21:6 Others again, pretending at first to live modestly with them as with sisters, have been exposed in time after the sister has become pregnant by the brother.

21:7 But though they do many other detestable, ungodly things, they cast off on us, who from fear of God guard against sin even in thought and speech, as boors with no understanding. But they exalt themselves above us and call themselves 'perfect' and 'seed of election.'

21:8 For they say that we receive grace on loan,167 and so will be deprived of it. But they, as their rightful possession, have the grace come down from above, from the ineffable, unutterable syzygy, and therefore it will be added to them. And thus it is absolutely necessary that they attend at all times to the mystery of the syzygy.

21:9 And they convince the stupid of this by saying in so many words, 'Whoever has come into the world and not loved a woman so as to possess her, is not of the truth, and will not depart to the truth. But he who is of the world and has possessed a woman will not depart to the truth because he has possessed a woman in lust.'

21:10 And so we, whom they call 'soulish' and say are 'of the world,' are in need of continence and good behaviour so that we may enter the Intermediate Region.168 But not they, the ones called 'spiritual' and 'perfect.' No deed brings one into the Pleroma, but the seed which is sent from there in its infancy, and matures here.

21:11169 But when all the seed matures, their Mother Achamoth, they say, leaves the Intermediate Region, enters the Pleroma, and receives as her bridegroom Saviour, the product of all the Aeons forming a syzygy of Saviour and Sophia-Achamoth. And this is the meaning of 'bridegroom and bride,' and 'marriage chamber'170 means the entire Pleroma. 21:12 The spiritual will doff their souls, become intellectual spirits, enter the Pleroma171 untouched and unseen,172 and be given as brides to Saviour's angels.173

21:13 The Demiurge will move too, to Mother Sophia's place,174 that is, in the Intermediate Region. And the souls of the righteous will also rest in the Intermediate Region—for nothing soulish can enter the Pleroma.

21:14 But they teach that after that the fire which is latent in the world will flash forth, catch, consume all matter,175 be consumed with it,176 and pass into nothingness. They declare that the Demiurge knew none of this before the Saviour's advent.

22:1 But there are those who say that he emitted a Christ too177—his own son and himself soulish—and has spoken of him through the prophets. This is the one who passed through Mary as water goes through a pipe, and to him, at the baptism,178 that Saviour from the Pleroma, the product of all, descended in the form of a dove. The spiritual seed from Achamoth came into him as well. 

22:2 Thus they maintain that our Lord was compounded of these four, preserving the type of the original, first tetrad: the spiritual, which was from Achamoth; the soulish, which was from the Demiurge; the dispensation, which was prepared with ineffable art; and Saviour, who was the dove that came down to him.

22:3 And Saviour remained impassable; it was not possible that he suffer, since he could not be touched or seen. And so, when Jesus was brought before Pilate, the spirit of Christ that had been implanted in him was taken away. But the seed from the Mother has not suffered either, they say; it too is impassable, since it is spiritual, and invisible even to the Demiurge.

22:4 In sum, their 'soulish Christ' suffered, and the one who was mysteriously prepared by the dispensation so that the Mother could exhibit the type of the higher Christ through him—the Christ who was stretched out by Cross and gave Achamoth her essential form. For they say that all these things are types of those others.

22:5 They say that the souls which have Achamoth's seed are better than the rest. Thus they are more loved than the others by the Demiurge, though he does not know the reason, and thinks that he is responsible for their quality.

22:6 And so, they say, he appointed them prophets, priests and kings. And they interpret many passages as having been spoken through the prophets by this seed, since it is of a higher nature. They say that the Mother too has said a great deal about the higher things; however, they claim that many things have been said both through the Demiurge and through the souls he has created.

22:7 And to conclude, they cut the prophecies to pieces by holding that this one was uttered by the Mother, that one by the seed and the other one by the Demiurge.179

22:8 Jesus, moreover, has likewise said one thing by Saviour's inspiration, another by the Mother's, another by the inspiration of the Demiurge, as I shall show in due course.

22:9 But the Demiurge, not knowing what was above him, was angry at those sayings, despised them and thought that they had various causes: either the prophetic spirit, from some motion of its own; or the man; or the admixture of inferior things.

22:10 And he remained in this ignorance till the Saviour's coming. But when the Saviour came, they say, he learned everything from him, and gladly came over to him with his entire host.

22:11 And he is the centurion of the Gospel, who tells the Saviour, 'For I also have under my authority soldiers and servants, and whatsoever I command, they do.'

22:12 He will fulfil his function in the world as long as necessary, especially because of his concern for the church and is awareness of the reward in store for him—that he will go to the Mother's place.

23:1 They suppose that there are three kinds of men, spiritual, earthy and soulish, just as there were Cain, Abel and Seth—to illustrate the three natures even from these, here not as individuals but as types.

23:2 The earthy kind departs to corruption. The soulish, if it chooses the better part, rests in the Intermediate Region; if it chooses the worse, it too will depart to the like place.

23:3 But they hold that when the spiritual (seeds) which Achamoth sows among them—having been trained and nurtured here in righteous souls from then till now, since they are sent as infants—will afterwards be awarded as brides to Saviour's angels, once they are deemed mature.183 But of necessity their souls will have gone to eternal rest in the Intermediate Region with the Demiurge.

23:4 And in turn they subdivide the souls themselves, and say that some are good by nature, others evil by nature. And it is the good souls that become fit to receive the seed; the souls which are evil by nature would never welcome that seed.184 

24:1 Since such is their thesis—which the prophets did not proclaim, nor the Lord teach, nor the apostles transmit, (yet) which they take extreme pride in knowing better than the others—they read from uncanonical writings, busily plait what they say into ropes of sand and, not to let their forgery appear unevidenced,

24:2 try to adapt parables of the Lord, oracles of the prophets, or words of the apostles convincingly to what they have said. They violate the arrangement and sequence of the scriptures, and as far as they are able, dismember the truth.

24:3 They alter and remodel and, by making one thing out of another, completely fool many with their poorly assembled show of the accommodated oracles of the Lord. 

24:4 It is as though a beautiful portrait of a king had been carefully made of fine gems by a wise craftsman, and someone were to destroy the image as it stood, reset those gems and recombine them, and produce a likeness of a dog or fox, and poorly made at that—

24:5 and then state categorically that this was the beautiful portrait of the king which the wise craftsman had made and, by displaying the gems the former craftsman had fitted becomingly into the king's portrait but the latter had reset badly as a likeness of a dog, defraud with the show of the gems the less experienced who had no idea of the king's appearance, and convince them that this latter poor effigy of the fox was the former beautiful portrait of the king. 

24:6 In precisely the same way these people have cobbled old wives' tales together, and then they extract words, sayings and parables from here and there, and want to adapt the oracles of God to their yarns.

25:1 We have spoken of such things as they match with what is inside their Pleroma. Here are the sorts of thing they try to adapt from scripture to the things outside. 

25:2 They say the Lord has come to the passion in the last days of the world to show the passion that overtook the last of the Aeons,185 and with this 'end'186 to indicate the end of the affair of the Aeons. 

25:3 They explain the twelve-year-old girl, the ruler of the synagogue's daughter, whom the Lord came and raised from the dead, as a type of Achamoth, to whom their Christ gave form when he was extended, and whom he brought to an awareness of the light that had left her.

25:4 They say it was because Saviour manifested himself to Achamoth when she was outside the Pleroma like an untimely birth187 that Paul, in the First Epistle to the Corinthians, has said, 'Last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time.'188

25:5 In the same epistle he has similarly revealed the coming of Saviour to Achamoth with his companions by saying, 'The woman ought to have a veil on her head because of the angels.'189 And that Achamoth veiled her face in shame when Saviour came to her, Moses has made evident by covering his face with a veil.

25:6 And they claim the Lord has indicated the passions she suffered when she was abandoned by the light. With his words on the cross, 'My God, why hast thou forsaken me?'190 he has shown that Sophia was abandoned by the light and prevented by Limit from starting forward. With, 'My soul is exceeding sorrowful,'191 he has shown her grief; with, 'Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me,'192 her fear. Similarly her bewilderment, with, 'and what I should say, I know not.'193 

25:7 They teach that he has shown that there are three kinds of men in the following ways. The material kind by replying, 'The Son of Man hath not where to lay his head,' to the man who said, 'I will follow thee.'194 The soulish, by answering the man who said, 'Lord, I will follow thee, but let me first bid farewell to them which dwell in my house,' with, 'No man having put his hand to the plow and looking back is suitable in the kingdom of heaven.'195 

25:8 (This man was one of the intermediate kind, they say.) They claim that the man who professed to have performed the greater part of righteousness, and then would not follow but was vanquished by wealth so that he could not become perfect,196 was similarly soulish.

25:9 But he showed the spiritual kind, by saying 'Let the dead bury their own dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God';197 and by saying of Zacchaeus the publican, 'Make haste and come down, for today I must abide at thy house.'198 For they assert that these were of the spiritual kind.

25:10 And they say that the parable of the leaven the woman is said to have hidden in three measures of meal199 shows the three kinds. For they teach that Sophia is called a woman, but that 'three measures of meal' are the three sorts of men, spiritual, soulish, earthy. And they teach that 'leaven' means the Saviour himself.

25:11 Paul too has spoken expressly of earthy, soulish, and spiritual men—where he says, 'As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy';200 where he says, 'The soulish man receiveth not the things of the spirit';201 and where he says, 'A spiritual man examineth all things.'202 And they say that 'The soulish man receiveth not the things of the Spirit,'203 refers to the Demiurge who, being soulish, did not know the Mother who is spiritual, or her seed or the Aeons in the Pleroma.

25:12 Because the Saviour received the first fruits of those he was to save, Paul has said, 'If the first fruits be holy, the lump is also holy.'204 They teach that 'first fruits' means the spiritual205 but 'lump' means ourselves, the soulish church, whose lump they say he received and raised in himself, since he himself was leaven. 

26:1 And by saying that he had come for the sheep that was lost,206 they say he made it known that Achamoth strayed outside the Pleroma, and was formed by Christ and sought out by Saviour.

26:2 For they explain that 'lost sheep' means their Mother, by whom they hold that the church here has been sown. But 'straying' means the time she spent outside the Pleroma, in all the passions from which they suppose that matter originated.

26:3 They explain that the woman who swept the house and found the drachma207 means the Sophia on high, who had lost her Resolve but found her later when all had been purified by Saviour's arrival. Therefore, as they believe, she herself was restored to her place within the Pleroma.

26:4 They say that Simeon, who took Christ in his arms, thanked God and said, 'Lord, now lettest thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word,'208 is a type of the Demiurge. When the Saviour came he learned of his translation and gave thanks to Depth.

26:5 And they declare that Achamoth is very plainly made known through Anna, whom the Gospel proclaims a prophetess, and who had lived seven years with a husband and always remained a widow after that, till she saw and recognized the Saviour and spoke of him to everyone.209 Achamoth saw Saviour briefly then with his companions, and always remained in the Intermediate Region afterwards, awaiting the time when he would return and restore her to her syzygy.

26:6 And her name has been made known by the Saviour in saying, 'And Sophia is justified by her children,' 210 and by Paul with, 'Howbeit we speak of 'Sophia' among them that are perfect.'211

26:7 And they claim that in one instance Paul has spoken specifically of the syzygies within the Pleroma. For of the syzygy which relates to the world he wrote, 'This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and Church.'212

27:1 They teach further that John, the disciple of the Lord, has revealed the former Ogdoad. Their exact words are,

27:2 'John, the disciple of the Lord, desiring to speak of the generation of all by which the Father emitted all things, posits as the first to be generated by God a 'Beginning,' which he has called both 'Son' and 'Only-Begotten God.' In this, in germ, the Father emitted all. 

27:3 And he says that 'Word' has been emitted by him, and in Word the entire essence of the Aeons, to which Word himself later imparted form. Since John is speaking of a first act of generation, he rightly begins his teaching with the 'Beginning,' that is, the Son and the Word.

27:4 'For he says as follows: 'In Beginning was Word, and Word was with God, and Word was God. The same was in Beginning with God.'213 

27:5 After first distinguishing the three—God, Beginning and Word—he combines again, to show the emission of the two, Son and Word, and their union with each other as well as with the Father.

 27:6 For Beginning is in the Father and of the Father, and Word is in Beginning and of Beginning. He was right, then, in saying, 'In Beginning was Word,' for Word was in Son. And in saying, 'And Word was with God', for Beginning was indeed with the Father. And accordingly, 'Word was God' for what is begotten of God is God. And by, 'The same was in Beginning with God,' he indicated their order of emission.

27:7 'All things were made by him, and without him was not anything made'214 for Word became the cause of the form and the generation for all the Aeons after him. But with 'That which was made in him is Life' he even made reference at this point to a syzygy. He said that all things have been brought into being through Word, but Life in Word.

27:8 'Thus she who came to be in him is more closely related to him than those who came to be through him, for she is his consort and bears fruit through him.

27:9 For since adds, 'And Life was the light of men,'216 by saying 'Man' now he has also made Church known under the same name, to show the partnership of the syzygy through the one name; for Man and Church arise from Word and Life. 

27:10 And he termed Life the 'light of men,' since men are enlightened—that is, formed and made manifest—by her. And Paul says this too, 'Whatsoever is made manifest is light.' Therefore, since Life made Man and Church manifest and brought them into being, she is called their light.

27:11 'With these words, then, John has clearly indicated both the others and the second tetrad: Word and Life, Man and Church.'

27:12 But he has certainly made the first tetrad known as well. For in discussing the Saviour and stating that everything outside the Pleroma has been formed by him, he calls him the fruit of the entire Pleroma.

27:13 For he has called him the 'light' that shines in darkness and was not comprehended by it, because though the Saviour bestowed order on all that had resulted from the passion he was not known by them.

27:14 And John calls him both 'Son' and 'Truth,' and 'Light' and 'Word made flesh, whose glory,' he says, 'we beheld; and his glory was as that of an Only-Begotten, given him of the Father, full of Grace and Truth.'218

27:15 And he says it as follows, 'And Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld his glory, the glory as of an Only-Begotten of a Father, full of Grace and Truth.' He made the first tetrad specifically known, then, by saying Father, Grace, Only-Begotten, and Truth.

27:16 In this way John has spoken of the first Ogdoad, mother of all the Aeons. For he has said Father, Grace, Only-Begotten, Truth, and Word, Life, Man, and Church.'

28:1 You see their method of deceiving themselves, beloved, their abuse of the scriptures to try to prove their fabrication from them. This is the reason I have cited even their actual words, so that from them you may realize the villainy of the craft and the wickedness of the imposture.

28:2 In the first place, if John intended to reveal the higher Ogdoad, he would have kept to the order of the emanation, and placed the first Tetrad, which they say is the most venerable, among the names that come first. He would then have added the second to show the order of the Ogdoad by the order of the names and not mentioned the first Tetrad after such a long interval, as though he had completely forgotten it and then recalled it at the last minute.

28:3 And then, if he meant to indicate the sygyzies, he would not have left Church's name out. He might have been equally content to name the males in the case of the other syzygies—they too can be understood to go with (their females)—to maintain uniformity throughout. Or, if he were listing the consorts of the rest, he would have revealed Man’s too, and not left us to get her name by divination.

28:4 Their distortion of the exegesis is obvious. Where John proclaims one God almighty, and one Only-begotten, Christ Jesus, through whom he says all things were made, saying that he is Son of God, he is only-begotten, he is maker of all, he is the true light that enlightens every man, is creator of the world, is the one who came unto his own, and that he himself became flesh and dwelt among us—

28:5 these people, speciously perverting the exegesis, hold that there is another Only-Begotten in the series of emanations whom they also call Beginning, and that there was another Saviour and another Word, the son of Only-begotten, and another Christ, emitted for the rectification of the Pleroma.

28:6 They have taken its every statement away from the truth and adapted it to their own doctrine by misusing the names so that, to hear them tell it, among so many names John makes no mention of the Lord, Christ Jesus.

28:7 For though he has said Father, Grace, Only-begotten, Truth, Word, Life, Man, and Church, on their hypothesis he has said it of the first Ogdoad, in which there is no Jesus yet and no Christ, the teacher of John.

28:8 But the apostle himself has made it plain that he has not spoken of their syzygies but of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom he also knows as the Word of God.

28:9 For in his recapitulation concerning the Word whom he has already said to have been 'in the beginning,' he adds the explanation, 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us.' But on their hypothesis the Word, who never even left the Pleroma, did not become flesh. That was Saviour, who was the product of all the Aeons, and of later origin than Word.

29:1 You fools, learn that Jesus himself, who suffered for us, who made his dwelling among us, is the Word of God! If some other Aeon had become flesh for our salvation, the apostle would presumably have spoken of another. But if the Word of the Father, who descended, is also the one who ascended—the only-begotten Son of the only God, made flesh for man at the Father's good pleasure—then John has not written 'Word' of any other, or of an Ogdoad, but of the Lord Jesus Christ.

29:2 Nor, in their view, has the Word become principally flesh. They say that Saviour put on a soulish body which had been prepared, by an ineffable providence of the dispensation, to become visible and tangible.

29:3 But flesh is God's ancient formation from the dust, like Adam, which, John has made clear, God’s Word has truly become.

29:4 And their first, original Ogdoad has been demolished. Once it is established that Word, Only-Begotten, Life, Light, Saviour and Christ are one and the same and God's Son, and that he himself was made flesh for us, the flimsy structure of their Ogdoad is destroyed. And with this wrecked their whole pantomime—which they falsely dream up to disparage the scriptures after fabricating their own hypothesis—has collapsed.

29:5 Then they gather expressions and names which lie scattered throughout scripture, move them away, as I said, from their natural setting to an unnatural one, and do the same sort of thing as the persons who set themselves subjects at random and then try to declaim them in lines from Homer,

29:6 making it seem to the simple that Homer has composed the words on that subject which has been declaimed extemporaneously; and by the artificial sequence of the words, many are rushed into supposing that Homer might have written these things in this way.

29:7 So with the person who wrote the following in lines from Homer, about the sending of Heracles being by Eurystheus for the dog in Hades. (There is nothing to prevent me from mentioning even these by way of illustration, since the enterprise of both parties is one and the same.)

29:8 So spake Eurystheus, son of Sthenelus Persëides, and sent upon his way Hard-laboring Heracles, to fetch from Hell The loathèd Hades’ dog. With heavy sighs He hastened through the town, like to a lion Bred in the mountains, trusting in its strength. All they that loved him bare him company, Young maids, and elders worn with toil and care, Mourning for him as on his way to death But lo, grey-eyed Athena, in her heart— For hers was kin to his—knowing his toil, Sent Hermes to his aid.

29:9 What innocent person could fail to be swept off his feet by these words, and suppose that Homer had written them in this way, on this subject? But anyone familiar with the works of Homer will recognize the words but not their subject,

29:10 since he knows that some are spoken of Odysseus, some actually of Heracles, but some of Priam and some of Menelaus and Agamemnon. He will take the lines, restore each one to its own book, and get rid of the subject we see here.

29:11 So one who holds upright within him the rule of the truth which he has received through baptism will recognize the names, expressions and parables from the scriptures, but not recognize this blasphemous subject.

29:12 For though he will certify the gems, he will not allow the fox in place of the king’s portrait. By restoring each thing that has been said to its own position and fitting it to the naked body of the truth, he will prove their forgery without foundation.

30:1 But, since this jerry built structure is beyond redemption, I think it will be well, so that anyone who has perused their farce may apply the argument which demolishes it, to show first how the authors of this story themselves differ from each other, as though inspired by different spirits of error. 

30:2 In this way too we may understand perfectly—even before it is demonstrated—that the truth the church proclaims is sure, and the one they have counterfeited is falsehood.

30:3 For the church, though it is dispersed the whole world over to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples, the faith in one God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven, earth, the seas, and everything in them.

30:4 And in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who was made flesh for our salvation.

30:5 And in the Holy Spirit, who through the prophets has proclaimed the dispensations, the advent, the birth from the Virgin, passion, resurrection and bodily assumption into heaven of the beloved Son, Christ Jesus our Lord, and his coming from heaven in his Father's glory to gather all things in one and raise the flesh of all mankind; 30:6 that, by the invisible Father's good pleasure, every knee in heaven, on earth, and under the earth may bow to Christ Jesus, our Lord, God, Saviour and King, and every tongue confess him. And that he may pronounce a righteous judgment on all,

30:7 and consign the spirits of wickedness, the angels who have transgressed and rebelled, and wicked, unrighteous, lawless and blasphemous men, to the eternal fire;

30:8 but grant life, bestow immortality, and secure eternal glory for the righteous and holy, who have kept his commandments and abode in his love, some from the first, others after repentance.

31:1 Having, as we have said, received this message and this faith the church, though dispersed over all the world, guards them as carefully as though it lived in one house, believes them as with one soul and the same heart, and preaches, teaches and transmits them in unison, as with one mouth.

31:2 For even if the languages of the world are different, the meaning of the tradition is one and the same. The churches founded in Germany have not believed differently or transmitted the tradition differently—or the ones founded among the Iberians, the Celts, in the east, in Libya, or in the centre of the earth.

31:3 As the sun, a creature of God, is one and the same the world over, so the light of the mind, the proclamation of the truth, shines everywhere and illumines all who are willing to come to a knowledge of truth.

31:4 The ablest speaker of the church's leaders will say nothing different from these things, for no man is above his master nor will the feeble speaker diminish the tradition. For as faith is one and the same, he who has much to say of it cannot enlarge it, and he who has little to say has not diminished it.

31:5 For one to know more or less with understanding means, not changing the actual subject (of our knowledge) and—as though as though not satisfied with him—inventing a new God other than the creator, maker and sustainer of all, or another Christ or Only-Begotten. 

31:6 It means giving further explanation of what has been said in parables, and suiting it to the subject of the faith. It means expounding God's dealings with mankind and his provision for them, and making it plain that God bore with the rebellion of the angels who transgressed, and the disobedience of men.

31:7 It means proclaiming the reason why one and the same God has made things temporal and eternal, heavenly and earthly, and why, though invisible, God appeared to the prophets, not in one form but present differently to different ones. It means making the reason known why men have been given a number of covenants, and teaching the nature of each;

31:8 searching out the reason why God confined all in disobedience so as to have mercy upon all; giving thanks for the reason why God's Word became flesh and suffered, and proclaiming the reason why the advent of God's Son appeared in the last times, which is to say that the beginning appeared in the end.

31:9 It means unfolding what scripture says of the end and the things to come; not leaving unsaid the reason why God has made the reprobate gentiles fellow-heirs, of the same body and partakers with the saints;

31:10 proclaiming how this mortal flesh will put on immortality, this corruptible, incorruption; declaring how God will say, 'That which was not my people is my people, and she who was not beloved, is beloved,' and 'More are the children of the desolate than the children of the married wife.'

31:11 For it was at these things and their like that the apostle cried, 'O the depth of the riches both of the Sophia and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!' It was not at inventing his Mother up above the Creator and Demiurge, and the Resolve of their erring Aeon, and going on to such a degree of blasphemy.

31:12 Nor was it at teaching still more lies about the Pleroma above her in turn—of thirty Aeons then, innumerable tribes of them now—as these teachers say who are truly barren of divine understanding—while all the true church, as we have said, holds one and the same faith the world over.

32:1 Now let us also see their unstable views—how, when there are perhaps two or three of them, they cannot say the same about the same things, but make assertions which contradict each other in thing and name.

32:2 For Valentinus, the first of the so-called Gnostic sect to adapt its principles to a form characteristic of a school, blurted them out like this, with the declaration that there is an unnameable pair, one of which is called Ineffable, and the other Silence.

32:3 Then a second pair has been emitted from this, one of which he names Father and the other, Truth. Word and Life, and Man and Church, are the fruit of this Tetrad; and this is the first Ogdoad.

32:4 And he says that ten powers have been emitted from Word and Life, as we mentioned, and from Man and Church, twelve—one of whom, by rebelling and coming to grief, has caused the rest of the affair.

32:5 And he supposed that there were two Limits, one between Depth and the rest of the Pleroma separating the generate Aeons from the ingenerate Father;225 the other one separating their Mother from the Pleroma.

32:6 And Christ has not been emitted from the Aeons in the Pleroma, but together with a certain shadow226 was produced in memory of better things by the Mother, when she found herself outside.

32:7 Christ, being male, cut the shadow off and returned to the Pleroma but the Mother, abandoned with the shadow and emptied of spiritual essence, bore another son. And this is the Demiurge, whom he also says is Pantocrator of all who are below him. But like the persons falsely termed Gnostics of whom we shall speak, Valentinus held that a left-hand archon has also been emitted with the Demiurge.

32:8 And he sometimes says that Jesus was emitted by the one whom their Mother inhaled and mixed with all things—that is, by Desired—but sometimes by the one who returned to the Pleroma, that is, Christ—or sometimes, by Man and Church.

32:9 And he says that the Holy Spirit was emitted by Truth to examine the Aeons and make them fruitful by entering them invisibly. Through him the Aeons bring forth the fruits of the truth. This concludes Irenaeus against the Valentinans. </ td>
Against Heresies 1.1 - 11

Inasmuch as certain men have set the truth aside, and bring in lying words and vain genealogies, which, as the apostle says, "minister questions rather than godly edifying which is in faith," and by means of their craftily-constructed plausibilities draw away the minds of the inexperienced and take them captive,

[I have felt constrained, my dear friend, to compose the following treatise in order to expose and counteract their machinations.]

These men falsify the oracles of God, and prove themselves evil interpreters of the good word of revelation. They also overthrow the faith of many, by drawing them away, under a pretence of [superior] knowledge, from Him who rounded and adorned the universe; as if, forsooth, they had something more excellent and sublime to reveal, than that God who created the heaven and the earth, and all things that are therein.

By means of specious and plausible words, they cunningly allure the simple-minded to inquire into their system; but they nevertheless clumsily destroy them, while they initiate them into their blasphemous and impious opinions respecting the Demiurge; and these simple ones are unable, even in such a matter, to distinguish falsehood from truth.

2. Error, indeed, is never set forth in its naked deformity, lest, being thus exposed, it should at once be detected. But it is craftily decked out in an attractive dress, so as, by its outward form, to make it appear to the inexperienced (ridiculous as the expression may seem) more true than the truth itself. One far superior to me has well said, in reference to this point, "A clever imitation in glass casts contempt, as it were, on that precious jewel the emerald (which is most highly esteemed by some), unless it come under the eye of one able to test and expose the counterfeit.

Or, again, what inexperienced person can with ease detect the presence of brass when it has been mixed up with silver?"

Lest, therefore, through my neglect, some should be carried off, even as sheep are by wolves, while they perceive not the true character of these men,-because they outwardly are covered with sheep's clothing (against whom the Lord has enjoined) us to be on our guard), and because their language resembles ours, while their sentiments are very different

I have deemed it my duty (after reading some of the Commentaries, as they call them, of the disciples of Valentinus, and after making myself acquainted with their tenets through personal intercourse with some of them) to unfold to thee, my friend, these portentous and profound mysteries, which do not fall within the range of every intellect, because all have not sufficiently purged their brains.

I do this, in order that thou, obtaining an acquaintance with these things, mayest in turn explain them to all those with whom thou art connected, and exhort them to avoid such an abyss of madness and of blasphemy against Christ.

I intend, then, to the best of my ability, with brevity and clearness to set forth the opinions of those who are now promulgating heresy. I refer especially to the disciples of Ptolemaeus, whose school may be described as a bud from that of Valentinus. I shall also endeavour, according to my moderate ability, to furnish the means of overthrowing them, by showing how absurd and inconsistent with the truth are their statements.

Not that I am practised either in composition or eloquence; but my feeling of affection prompts me to make known to thee and all thy companions those doctrines which have been kept in concealment until now, but which are at last, through the goodness of God, brought to light. "For there is nothing hidden which shall not be revealed, nor secret that shall not be made known."

3. Thou wilt not expect from me, who am resident among the Keltae\ and am accustomed for the most part to use a barbarous dialect, any display of rhetoric, which I have never learned, or any excellence of composition, which I have never practised, or any beauty and persuasiveness of style, to which I make no pretensions.

But thou wilt accept in a kindly spirit what I in a like spirit write to thee simply, truthfully, and in my own homely way; whilst thou thyself (as being more capable than I am) wilt expand those ideas of which I send thee, as it were, only the seminal principles;

and in the comprehensiveness of thy understanding, wilt develop to their full extent the points on which I briefly touch, so as to set with power before thy companions those things which I have uttered in weakness.

In fine, as I (to gratify thy long-cherished desire for information regarding the tenets of these persons) have spared no pains, not only to make these doctrines known to thee, but also to furnish the means of showing their falsity; so shalt thou, according to the grace given to thee by the Lord, prove an earnest and efficient minister to others, that men may no longer be drawn away by the plausible system of these heretics, which I now proceed to describe.

They maintain, then, that in the invisible and ineffable heights above there exists a certain perfect, pre-existent AEon,(4) whom they call Proarche, Propator, and Bythus, and describe as being invisible and incomprehensible. Eternal and unbegotten, he remained throughout innumerable cycles of ages in profound serenity and quiescence. There existed along with him Ennoea, whom they also call Charis and Sige.   At last this Bythus determined to send forth from himself the beginning of all things, and deposited this production (which he had resolved to bring forth) in his contemporary Sige, even as seed is deposited in the womb. She then, having received this seed, and becoming pregnant, gave birth to Nous, who was both similar and equal to him who had produced him, and was alone capable of comprehending his father's greatness. This Nous they call also Monogenes, and Father, and the Beginning of all Things. Along with him was also produced Aletheia; and these four constituted the first and first-begotten Pythagorean Tetrad, which they also denominate the root of all things. For there are first Bythus and Sige, and then Nous and Aletheia.

And Monogenes, perceiving for what purpose he had been produced, also himself sent forth Logos and Zoe, being the father of all those who were to come after him, and the beginning and fashioning of the entire Pleroma. By the conjunction of Logos and Zoo were brought forth Anthropos and Ecclesia; and thus was formed the first-begotten Ogdoad, the root and substance of all things, called among them by four names, viz., Bythus, and Nous, and Logos, and Anthropos. For each of these is masculo-feminine, as follows: Propator was united by a conjunction with his Ennoea; then Monogenes, that is Nous, with Aletheia; Logos with Zoe, and Anthropos with Ecclesia.

 2. These AEons having been produced for the glory of the Father, and wishing, by their own efforts, to effect this object, sent forth emanations by means of conjunction. Logos and Zoe, after producing Anthropos and Ecclesia, sent forth other ten AEons, whose names are the following: Bythius and Mixis, Ageratos and Henosis, Autophyes and Hedone, Acinetos and Syncrasis, Monogenes and Macaria. These are the ten AEons whom they declare to have been produced by Logos and Zoe.

They then add that Anthropos himself, along with Ecclesia, produced twelve AEons, to whom they give the following names: Paracletus and Pistis, Patricos and Elpis, Metricos and Agape, Ainos and Synesis, Ecclesiasticus and Macariotes, Theletos and Sophia.

3. Such are the thirty AEons in the erroneous system of these men; and they are described as being wrapped up, so to speak, in silence, and known to none [except these professing teachers]. Moreover, they declare that this invisible and spiritual Pleroma of theirs is tripartite, being divided into an Ogdoad, a Decad, and a Duodecad.

And for this reason they affirm it was that the "Saviour"--for they do not please to call Him "Lord"--did no work in public during the space of thirty years, thus setting forth the mystery of these AEons. They maintain also, that these thirty AEons are most plainly indicated in the parable of the labourers sent into the vineyard. For some are sent about the first hour, others about the third hour, others about the sixth hour, others about the ninth hour, and others about the eleventh hour. Now, if we add up the numbers of the hours here mentioned, the sum total will be thirty: for one, three, six, nine, and eleven, when added together, form thirty. And by the hours, they hold that the AEons were pointed out; while they maintain that these are great, and wonderful, and hitherto unspeakable mysteries which it is their special function to develop; and so they proceed when they find anything in the multitude of things contained in the Scriptures which they can adopt and accommodate to their baseless speculations.

2.1. They proceed to tell us that the Propator of their scheme was known only to Monogenes, who sprang from him; in other words, only to Nous, while to all the others he was invisible and incomprehensible. And, according to them, Nous alone took pleasure in contemplating the Father, and exulting in considering his immeasurable greatness; while he also meditated how he might communicate to the rest of the AEons the greatness of the Father, revealing to them how vast and mighty he was, and how he was without beginning,--beyond comprehension, and altogether incapable of being seen. But, in accordance with the will of the Father, Sige restrained him, because it was his design to lead them all to an acquaintance with the aforesaid Propator, and to create within them a desire of investigating his nature. In like manner, the rest of the AEons also, in a kind of quiet way, had a wish to behold the Author of their being, and to contemplate that First Cause which had no beginning.

2. But there rushed forth in advance of the rest that AEon who was much the latest of them, and was the youngest of the Duodecad which sprang from Anthropos and Ecclesia, namely Sophia,

and suffered passion apart from the embrace of her consort Theletos. This passion, indeed, first arose among those who were connected with Nous and Aletheia, but passed as by contagion to this degenerate AEon, who acted under a pretence of love, but was in reality influenced by temerity, because she had not, like Nous, enjoyed communion with the perfect Father.

This passion, they say, consisted in a desire to search into the nature of the Father; for she wished, according to them, to comprehend his greatness. When she could not attain her end, inasmuch as she aimed at an impossibility, and thus became involved in an extreme agony of mind, while both on account of the vast profundity as well as the unsearchable nature of the Father, and on account of the love she bore him, she was ever stretching herself forward, there was danger lest she should at last have been absorbed by his sweetness, and resolved into his absolute essence, unless she had met with that Power which supports all things, and preserves them outside of the unspeakable greatness.

This power they term Horos; by whom, they say, she was restrained and supported; and that then, having with difficulty been brought back to herself, she was convinced that the Father is incomprehensible, and so laid aside her original design, along with that passion which had arisen within her from the overwhelming influence of her admiration.

3. But others of them fabulously describe the passion and restoration of Sophia as follows: They say that she, having engaged in an impossible and impracticable attempt, brought forth an amorphous substance, such as her female nature enabled her to produce.

When she looked upon it, her first feeling was one of grief, on account of the imperfection of its generation, and then of fear lest this should end her own existence. Next she lost, as it were, all command of herself, and was in the greatest perplexity while endeavouring to discover the cause of all this, and in what way she might conceal what had happened.

Being greatly harassed by these passions, she at last changed her mind, and endeavoured to return anew to the Father. When, however, she in some measure made the attempt, strength failed her, and she became a suppliant of the Father. The other AEons, Nous in particular, presented their supplications along with her. And hence they declare material substance had its beginning from ignorance and grief, and fear and bewilderment.

4. The Father afterwards produces, in his own image, by means of Monogenes, the above-mentioned Horos, without conjunction, masculo-feminine. For they maintain that sometimes the Father acts in conjunction with Sige, but that at other times he shows himself independent both of male and female. They term this Horos both Stauros and Lytrotes, and Carpistes, and Horothetes, and Metagoges. And by this Horos they declare that Sophia was purified and established, while she was also restored to her proper conjunction. For her enthymesis (or inborn idea) having been taken away from her, along with its supervening passion, she herself certainly remained within the Pleroma; but her enthymesis, with its passion, was separated from her by Horos, fenced off, and expelled from that circle. This enthymesis was, no doubt, a spiritual substance, possessing some of the natural tendencies of an AEon, but at the same time shapeless and without form, because it had received nothing. And on this account they say that it was an imbecile and feminine production.

5. After this substance had been placed outside of the Pleroma of the AEons, and its mother restored to her proper conjunction, they tell us that Monogenes, acting in accordance with the prudent forethought of the Father, gave origin to another conjugal pair, namely Christ and the Holy Spirit (lest any of the AEons should fall into a calamity similar to that of Sophia), for the purpose of fortifying and strengthening the Pleroma, and who at the same time completed the number of the AEons.

Christ then instructed them as to the nature of their conjunction, and taught them that those who possessed a comprehension of the Unbegotten were sufficient for themselves. He also announced among them what related to the knowledge of the Father,--namely, that he cannot be understood or comprehended, nor so much as seen or heard, except in so far as he is known by Monogenes only. And the reason why the rest of the AEons possess perpetual existence is found in that part of the Father's nature which is incomprehensible; but the reason of their origin and formation was situated in that which may be comprehended regarding him, that is, in the Son.Christ, then, who had just been produced, effected these things among them.

6. But the Holy Spirit taught them to give thanks on being all rendered equal among themselves, and led them to a state of true repose. Thus, then, they tell us that the AEons were constituted equal to each other in form and sentiment, so that all became as Nous, and Logos, and Anthropos, and Christus. The female AEons, too, became all as Aletheia, and Zoe, and Spiritus, and Ecclesia.

Everything, then, being thus established, and brought into a state of perfect rest, they next tell us that these beings sang praises with great joy to the Propator, who himself shared in the abounding exaltation. Then, out of gratitude for the great benefit which had been conferred on them, the whole Pleroma of the AEons, with one design and desire, and with the concurrence of Christ and the Holy Spirit, their Father also setting the seal of His approval on their conduct, brought together whatever each one had in himself of the greatest beauty and preciousness; and uniting all these contributions so as skilfully to blend the whole, they produced, to the honour and glory of Bythus, a being of most perfect beauty, the very star of the Pleroma, and the perfect fruit [of it], namely Jesus. Him they also speak of under the name of Saviour, and Christ, and patronymically, Logos, and Everything, because He was formed from the contributions of all. And then we are told that, by way of honour, angels of the same nature as Himself were simultaneously produced, to act as His body-guard.

3.1. Such, then, is the account they give of what took place within the Pleroma; such the calamities that flowed from the passion which seized upon the AEon who has been named, and who was within a little of perishing by being absorbed in the universal substance, through her inquisitive searching after the Father; such the consolidation(1) [of that AEon] from her condition of agony by Horos, and Stauros, and Lytrotes, and Carpistes, and Horothetes, and Metagoges. Such also is the account of the generation of the later AEons, namely of the first Christ and of the Holy Spirit, both of whom were produced by the Father after the repentance, and of the second(4) Christ (whom they also style Saviour), who owed his being to the joint contributions [of the AEons].

They tell us, however, that this knowledge has not been openly divulged, because all are not capable of receiving it, but has been mystically revealed by the Saviour through means of parables to those qualified for understanding it. This has been done as follows. The thirty AEons are indicated (as we have already remarked) by the thirty years during which they say the Saviour performed no public act, and by the parable of the labourers in the vineyard. Paul also, they affirm, very clearly and frequently names these AEons, and even goes so far as to preserve their order, when he says, "To all the generations of the AEons of the AEon." Nay, we ourselves, when at the giving of thanks we pronounce the words, "To AEons of AEons" (for ever and ever), do set forth these AEons. And, in fine, wherever the words AEon or AEons occur, they at once refer them to these beings.

2. The production, again, of the Duodecad of the AEons, is indicated by the fact that the Lord was twelve(7) years of age when He disputed with the teachers of the law, and by the election of the apostles, for of these there were twelve. The other eighteen AEons are made manifest in this way: that the Lord, [according to them,] conversed with His disciples for eighteen months after His resurrection from the dead. They also affirm that these eighteen AEons are strikingly indicated by the first two letters of His name [Ihsous], namely Iota and Eta. And, in like manner, they assert that the ten AEons are pointed out by the letter Iota, which begins His name; while, for the same reason, they tell us the Saviour said, "One Iota, or one tittle, shall by no means pass away until all be fulfilled."

3. They further maintain that the passion which took place in the case of the twelfth AEon is pointed at by the apostasy of Judas, who was the twelfth apostle, and also by the fact that Christ suffered in the twelfth month. For their opinion is, that He continued to preach for one year only after His baptism. The same thing is also most clearly indicated by the case of the woman who suffered from an issue of blood. For after she had been thus afflicted during twelve years, she was healed by the advent of the Saviour, when she had touched the border of His garment; and on this account the Saviour said, "Who touched me?"--teaching his disciples the mystery which had occurred among the AEons, and the healing of that AEon who had been involved in suffering. For she who had been afflicted twelve years represented that power whose essence, as they narrate, was stretching itself forth, and flowing into immensity; and unless she had touched the garment of the Son, that is, Aletheia of the first Tetrad, who is denoted by the hem spoken of, she would have been dissolved into the general essence [of which she participated]. She stopped short, however, and ceased any longer to suffer. For the power that went forth from the Son (and this power they term Horos) healed her, and separated the passion from her.

4. They moreover affirm that the Saviour(15) is shown to be derived from all the AEons, and to be in Himself everything by the following passage: "Every male that openeth the womb." For He, being everything, opened the womb of the enthymesis of the suffering AEon, when it had been expelled from the Pleroma. This they also style the second Ogdoad, of which we shall speak presently.

And they state that it was clearly on this account that Paul said, "And He Himself is all things;"(1) and again, "All things are to Him, and of Him are all things;"(2) and further, "In Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead;"(3) and yet again, "All things are gathered together by God in Christ."(4) Thus do they interpret these and any like passages to be found in Scripture. 5. They show, further, that that Horos of theirs, whom they call by a variety of names, has two faculties,--the one of supporting, and the other of separating; and in so far as he supports and sustains, he is Stauros, while in so far as he divides and separates, he is Horos. They then represent the Saviour as having indicated this twofold faculty: first, the sustaining power, when He said, "Whosoever doth not bear his cross (Stauros), and follow after me, cannot be my disciple;"(5) and again, "Taking up the cross follow me;"(6) but the separating power when He said, "I came not to send peace, but a word."(7) They also maintain that John indicated the same thing when he said, "The fan is in His hand, and He will thoroughly purge the floor, and will gather the wheat into His garner; but the chaff He will burn with fire unquenchable."(8) By this declaration He set forth the faculty of Horos. For that fan they explain to be the cross (Stauros), which consumes, no doubt, all material(9) objects, as fire does chaff, but it purifies all them that are saved, as a fan does wheat. Moreover, they affirm that the Apostle Paul himself made mention of this cross in the following words: "The doctrine of the cross is to them that perish foolishness, but to us who are saved it is the power of God."(10) And again: "God forbid that I should glory in anything(11) save in the cross of Christ, by whom the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world." 6. Such, then, is the account which they all give of their Pleroma, and of the formation(12) of the universe, striving, as they do, to adapt the good words of revelation to their own wicked inventions. And it is not only from the writings of the evangelists and the apostles that they endeavour to derive proofs for their opinions by means of perverse interpretations and deceitful expositions: they deal in the same way with the law and the prophets, which contain many parables and allegories that can frequently be drawn into various senses, according to the kind of exegesis to which they are subjected. And others(13) of them, with great craftiness, adapted such parts of Scripture to their own figments, lead away captive from the truth those who do not retain a stedfast faith in one God, the Father Almighty, and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

4.1. The following are the transactions which they narrate as having occurred outside of the Pleroma: The enthymesis of that Sophia who dwells above, which they also term Achamoth, being removed from the Pleroma, together with her passion, they relate to have, as a matter of course, become violently excited in those places of darkness and vacuity [to which she had been banished]. For she was excluded from light(15) and the Pleroma, and was without form or figure, like an untimely birth, because she had received nothing. But the Christ dwelling on high took pity upon her; and having extended himself through and beyond Stauros, he imparted a figure to her, but merely as respected substance, and not so as to convey intelligence.  Having effected this, he withdrew his influence, and returned, leaving Achamoth to herself, in order that she, becoming sensible of her suffering as being severed from the Pleroma, might be influenced by the desire of better things, while she possessed in the meantime a kind of odour of immortality left in her by Christ and the Holy Spirit. Wherefore also she is called by two names--Sophia after her father (for Sophia is spoken of as being her father), and Holy Spirit from that Spirit who is along with Christ. Having then obtained a form, along with intelligence, and being immediately deserted by that Logos who had been invisibly present with her--that is, by Christ--she strained herself to discover that light which had forsaken her, but could not effect her purpose, inasmuch as she was prevented by Horos. And as Horos thus obstructed her further progress, he exclaimed, IAO,(1) whence, they say, this name Iao derived its origin. And when she could not pass by Horos on account of that passion in which she had been involved, and because she alone had been left without, she then resigned herself to every sort of that manifold and varied state of passion to which she was subject; and thus she suffered grief on the one hand because she had not obtained the object of her desire, and fear on the other hand, lest life itself should fail her, as light had already done, while, in addition, she was in the greatest perplexity. All these feelings were associated with ignorance. And this ignorance of hers was not like that of her mother, the first Sophia, an AEon, due to degeneracy by means of passion, but to an [innate] opposition [of nature to knowledge].(2) Moreover, another kind of passion fell upon her her (Achamoth), namely, that of desiring to return to him who gave her life. 2. This collection [of passions] they declare was the substance of the matter from which this world was formed. For from [her desire of] returning [to him who gave her life], every soul belonging to this world, and that of the Demiurge(3) himself, derived its origin. All other things owed their beginning to her terror and sorrow. For from her tears all that is of a liquid nature was formed; from her smile all that is lucent; and from her grief and perplexity all the corporeal elements of the world. For at one time, as they affirm, she would weep and lament on account of being left alone in the midst of darkness and vacuity; while, at another time, reflecting on the light which had forsaken her, she would be filled with joy, and laugh; then, again, she would be struck with terror; or, at other times, would sink into consternation and bewilderment. 3. Now what follows from all this? No light tragedy comes out of it, as the fancy of every man among them pompously explains, one in one way, and another in another, from what kind of passion and from what element being derived its origin. They have good reason, as seems to me, why they should not feel inclined to teach these things to all in public, but only to such as are able to pay a high price for an acquaintance with such profound mysteries. For these doctrines are not at all similar to those of which our Lord said, "Freely ye have received, freely give."(4) They are, on the contrary, abstruse, and portentous, and profound mysteries, to be got at only with great labour by such as are in love with falsehood. For who would not expend lull that he possessed, if only he might learn in return, that from the tears of the enthymesis of the AEon involved in passion, seas, and fountains, and rivers, and every liquid substance derived its origin; that light burst forth from her smile; and that from her perplexity and consternation the corporeal elements of the world had their formation? 4. I feel somewhat inclined myself to contribute a few hints towards the development of their system. For when I perceive that waters are in part fresh, such as fountains, rivers, showers, and so on, and in part salt; such as those in the sea, I reflect with myself that all such waters cannot be derived from her tears, inasmuch as these are of a saline quality only. It is clear, therefore, that the waters which are salt are alone those which are derived from her tears. But it is probable that she, in her intense agony and perplexity, was covered with perspiration. And hence, following out their notion, we may conceive that fountains and rivers, and all the fresh water in the world, are due to this source. For it is difficult, since we know that all tears are of the same quality, to believe that waters both salt and fresh proceeded from them. The more plausible supposition is, that some are from her tears, and some from her perspiration. And since there are also in the world certain waters which are hot and acrid in their nature, thou must be left to guess their origin, how and whence. Such are some of the results of their hypothesis. 5. They go on to state that, when the mother Achamoth had passed through all sorts of passion, and had with difficulty escaped from them, she turned herself to supplicate the light which had forsaken her, that is, Christ. He, however, having returned to the Pleroma, and being probably unwilling again to descend from it, sent forth to her the Paraclete, that is, the Saviour.(5) This being was endowed with all power by the Father, who placed everything under his authority, the AEons(6) doing so likewise, so that "by him were all things, visible and invisible, created, thrones, divinities, dominions."(7) He then was sent to her along with his contemporary angels. And they related that Achamoth, filled with reverence, at first veiled herself through modesty, but that by and by, when she had looked upon him with all his endowments, and had acquired strength from his appearance, she ran forward to meet him. He then imparted to her form as respected intelligence, and brought healing to her passions, separating them from her, but not so as to drive them out of thought altogether. For it was not possible that they should be annihilated as in the former case,(1) because they had already taken root and acquired strength [so as to possess an indestructible existence]. All that he could do was to separate them and set them apart, and then commingle and condense them, so as to transmute them from incorporeal passion into unorganized matter.(2) He then by this process conferred upon them a fitness and a nature to become concretions and corporeal structures, in order that two substances should be formed,--the one evil, resulting from the passions, and the other subject indeed to suffering, but originating from her conversion. And on this account (i.e., on account of this hypostatizing of ideal matter) they say that the Saviour virtually(3) created the world. But when Achamoth was freed from her passion, she gazed with rapture on the dazzling vision of the angels that were with him; and in her ecstasy, conceiving by them, they tell us that she brought forth new beings, partly after her oven image, and partly a spiritual progeny after the image of the Saviour's attendants. CHAP. V.--FORMATION OF THE DEMIURGE; DESCRIPTION OF HIM. HE IS THE CREATOR OF EVERYTHING OUTSIDE OF THE PLEROMA. 1. These three kinds of existence, then, having, according to them, been now formed,--one from the passion, which was matter; a second from the conversion, which was animal; and the third, that which she (Achamoth) herself brought forth, which was spiritual,--she next addressed herself to the task of giving these form. But she could not succeed in doing this as respected the spiritual existence, because it was of the same nature with herself. She therefore applied herself to give form to the animal substance which had proceeded from her own conversion, and to bring forth to light the instructions of the Saviour.(4) And they say she first formed out of animal substance him who is Father and King of all things, both of these which are of the same nature with himself, that is, animal substances, which they also call right-handed, and those which sprang from the passion, and from matter, which they call left-handed. For they affirm that he formed all the things which came into existence after him, being secretly impelled thereto by his mother. From this circumstance they style him Metropator,(5) Apator, Demiurge, and Father, saying that he is Father of the substances on the right hand, that is, of the animal, but Demiurge of those on the left, that is, of the material, while he is at the same time the king of all. For they say that this Enthymesis, desirous of making all things to the honour of the AEons, formed images of them, or rather that the Saviour(6) did so through her instrumentality. And she, in the image(7) of the invisible Father, kept herself concealed from the Demiurge. But he was in the image of the only-begotten Son, and the angels and archangels created by him were in the image of the rest of the AEons. 2. They affirm, therefore, that he was constituted the Father and God of everything outside of the Pleroma, being the creator of all animal and material substances. For he it was that discriminated these two kinds of existence hitherto confused, and made corporeal from incorporeal substances, fashioned things heavenly and earthly, and became the Framer (Demiurge) of things material and animal, of those on the right and those on the left, of the light and of the heavy, and of those tending upwards as well as of those tending downwards. He created also seven heavens, above which they say that he, the Demiurge, exists. And on this account they term him Hebdomas, and his mother Achamoth Ogdoads, preserving the number of the first-begotten and primary Ogdoad as the Pleroma. They affirm, moreover, that these seven heavens are intelligent, and speak of them as being angels, while they refer to the Demiurge himself as being an angel bearing a likeness to God; and in the same strain, they declare that Paradise, situated above the third heaven, is a fourth angel possessed of power, from whom Adam derived certain qualities while he conversed with him. 3. They go on to say that the Demiurge imagined that he created all these things of himself, while he in reality made them in conjunction with the productive power of Achamoth. He formed the heavens, yet was ignorant of the heavens; he fashioned man, yet knew not man; he brought to light the earth, yet had no acquaintance with the earth; and, in like manner. they declare that he was ignorant of the forms of all that he made, and knew not even of the existence of his own mother, but imagined that he himself was all things. They further affirm that his mother originated this opinion in his mind, because she desired to bring him forth possessed of such a character that he should be the head and source of his own essence, and the absolute ruler over every kind of operation [that was afterwards attempted]. This mother they also call Ogdoad, Sophia; Terra, Jerusalem, Holy Spirit, and, with a masculine reference, Lord.(1) Her place of habitation is an intermediate one, above the Demiurge indeed, but below and outside of the Pleroma, even to the end.(2) 4. As, then, they represent all material substance to be formed from three passions, viz., fear, grief, and perplexity, the account they give is as follows: Animal substances originated from fear and from conversion; the Demiurge they also describe as owing his origin to conversion; but the existence of all the other animal substances they ascribe to fear, such as the souls of irrational animals, and of wild beasts, and men. And on this account, he (the Demiurge), being incapable of recognising any spiritual essences, imagined himself to be God alone, and declared through the prophets, "I am God, and besides me there is none else."(3) They further teach that the spirits of wickedness derived their origin from grief. Hence the devil, whom they also call Cosmocrator (the ruler of the world), and the demons, and the angels, and every wicked spiritual being that exists, found the source Of their existence. They represent the Demiurge as being the son of that mother of theirs (Achamoth), and Cosmocrator as the creature of the Demiurge. Cosmocrator has knowledge of what is above himself, because he is a spirit of wickedness; but the Demiurge is ignorant of such things, inasmuch as he is merely animal. Their mother dwells in that place which is above the heavens, that is, in the intermediate abode; the Demiurge in the heavenly place, that is, in the hebdomad; but the Cosmocrator in this our world. The corporeal elements of the world, again, sprang, as we before remarked, from bewilderment and perplexity, as from a more ignoble source. Thus the earth arose from her state of stupor; water from the agitation caused by her fear; air from the consolidation of her grief; while fire, producing death and corruption, was inherent in all these elements, even as they teach that ignorance also lay concealed in these three passions. 5. Having thus formed the world, he (the Demiurge) also created the earthy [part of] man, not taking him from this dry earth, but from an invisible substance consisting of fusible and fluid matter, and then afterwards, as they define the process, breathed into him the animal part of his nature. It was this latter which was created after his image and likeness. The material part, indeed, was very near to. God, so far as the image went, but not of the same substance with him. The animal, on the Other hand, was so in respect to likeness; and hence his substance was called the spirit of life, because it took its rise from a spiritual outflowing. After all this, he was, they say, enveloped all round with a covering of skin; and by this they mean the outward sensitive flesh. 6. But they further affirm that the Demiurge himself was ignorant of that offspring of his mother Achamoth, which she brought forth as a consequence of her contemplation of those angels who waited on the Saviour, and which was, like herself, of a spiritual nature. She took advantage of this ignorance to deposit it (her production) in him without his knowledge, in order that, being by his instrumentality infused into that animal soul proceeding from himself, and being thus carried as in a womb in this material body, while it gradually increased in strength, might in course of time become fitted for the reception of perfect rationality.(4) Thus it came to pass, then, according to them, that, without any knowledge on the part of the Demiurge, the man formed by his inspiration was at the same time, through an unspeakable providence, rendered a spiritual man by the simultaneous inspiration received from Sophia. For, as he was ignorant of his mother, so neither did he recognise her offspring. This [offspring] they also declare to be the Ecclesia, an emblem of the Ecclesia which is above. This, then, is the kind of man whom they conceive of: he has his animal soul from the Demiurge, his body from the earth, his fleshy part from matter, and his spiritual man from the mother Achamoth.

6.1. There being thus three kinds of substances, they declare of all that is material (which they also describe as being "on the left hand") that it must of necessity perish, inasmuch as it is incapable of receiving any afflatus of incorruption. As to every animal existence (which they also denominate "on the right hand"), they hold that, inasmuch as it is a mean between the spiritual and the material, it passes to the side to which inclination draws it. Spiritual substance, again, they describe as having been sent forth for this end, that, being here united with that which is animal, it might assume shape, the two elements being simultaneously subjected to the same discipline. And this they declare to be "the salt"(1) and "the light of the world." For the animal substance had need of training by means of the outward senses; and on this account they affirm that the world was created, as well as that the Saviour came to the animal substance (which was possessed of free-will), that He might secure for it salvation. For they affirm that He received the first-fruits of those whom He was to save [as follows], from Achamoth that which was spiritual, while He was invested by the Demiurge with the animal Christ, but was begirt(2) by a [special] dispensation with a body endowed with an animal nature, yet constructed with unspeakable skill, so that it might be visible and tangible, and capable of enduring suffering. At the same time, they deny that He assumed anything material [into His nature], since indeed matter is incapable of salvation. They further hold that the consummation of all things will take place when all that is spiritual has been formed and perfected by Gnosis (knowledge); and by this they mean spiritual men who have attained to the perfect knowledge of God, and been initiated into these mysteries by Achamoth. And they represent themselves to be these persons. 2. Animal men, again, are instructed in animal things; such men, namely, as are established by their works, and by a mere faith, while they have not perfect knowledge. We of the Church, they say, are these persons.(3) Wherefore also they maintain that good works are necessary to us, for that otherwise it is impossible we should be saved. But as to themselves, they hold that they shall be entirely and undoubtedly saved, not by means of conduct, but because they are spiritual by nature.(4) For, just as it is impossible that material substance should partake of salvation (since, indeed, they maintain that it is incapable of receiving it), so again it is impossible that spiritual substance (by which they mean themselves) should ever come under the power of corruption, whatever the sort of actions in which they indulged. For even as gold, when submersed in filth, loses not on that account its beauty, but retains its own native qualities, the filth having no power to injure the gold, so they affirm that they cannot in any measure suffer hurt, or lose their spiritual substance, whatever the material actions in which they may be involved. 3. Wherefore also it comes to pass, that the "most perfect" among them addict themselves without fear to all those kinds of forbidden deeds of which the Scriptures assure us that "they who do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God."(5) For instance, they make no scruple about eating meats offered in sacrifice to idols, imagining that they can in this way contract no defilement. Then, again, at every heathen festival celebrated in honour of the idols, these men are the first to assemble; and to such a pitch do they go, that some of them do not even keep away from that bloody spectacle hateful both to God and men, in which gladiators either fight with wild beasts, or singly encounter one another. Others of them yield themselves up to the lusts of the flesh with the utmost greediness, maintaining that carnal things should be allowed to the carnal nature, while spiritual things are provided for the spiritual. Some of them, moreover, are in the habit of defiling those women to whom they have taught the above doctrine, as has frequently been confessed by those women who have been led astray by certain of them, on their returning to the Church of God, and acknowledging this along with the rest of their errors. Others of them, too, openly and without a blush, having become passionately attached to certain women, seduce them away from their husbands, and contract marriages of their own with them. Others of them, again, who pretend at first. to live in all modesty with them as with sisters, have in course of time been revealed in their true colours, when the sister has been found with child by her [pretended] brother. 4. And committing many other abominations and impieties, they run us down (who from the fear of God guard against sinning even in thought or word) as utterly contemptible and ignorant persons, while they highly exalt themselves, and claim to be perfect, and the elect seed. For they declare that we simply receive grace for use, wherefore also it will again be taken away from us; but that they themselves have grace as their own special possession, which has descended from above by means of an unspeakable and indescribable conjunction; and on this account more will be given them.(6) They maintain, therefore, that in every way it is always necessary for them to practise the mystery of conjunction. And that they may persuade the thoughtless to believe this, they are in the habit of using these very words, "Whosoever being in this world does not so love a woman as to obtain possession of her, is not of the truth, nor shall attain to the truth. But whosoever being of(1) this world has intercourse with woman, shall not attain to the truth, because he has so acted under the power of concupiscence." On this account, they tell us that it is necessary for us whom they call animal men, and describe as being of the world, to practise continence and good works, that by this means we may attain at length to the intermediate habitation, but that to them who are called "the spiritual and perfect" such a course of conduct is not at all necessary. For it is not conduct of any kind which leads into the Pleroma, but the seed sent forth thence in a feeble, immature state, and here brought to perfection.

7.1. When all the seed shall have come to perfection, they state that then their mother Achamoth shall pass from the intermediate place, and enter in within the Pleroma, and shall receive as her spouse the Saviour, who sprang from all the AEons, that thus a conjunction may be formed between the Saviour and Sophia, that is, Achamoth. These, then, are the bridegroom and bride, while the nuptial chamber is the full extent of the Pleroma. The spiritual seed, again, being divested of their animal souls,(2) and becoming intelligent spirits, shall in an irresistible and invisible manner enter in within the Pleroma, and be bestowed as brides on those angels who wait upon the Saviour. The Demiurge himself will pass into the place of his mother Sophia;(3) that is, the intermediate habitation. In this intermediate place, also, shall the souls of the righteous repose; but nothing of an animal nature shall find admittance to the Pleroma. When these things have taken place as described, then shall that fire which lies hidden in the world blaze forth and bum; and while destroying all matter, shall also be extinguished along with it, and have no further existence. They affirm that the Demiurge was acquainted with none of these things before the advent of the Saviour. 2. There are also some who maintain that he also produced Christ as his own proper son, but of an animal nature, and that mention was(4) made of him by the prophets. This Christ passed through Mary(5) just as water flows through a tube; and there descended upon him in the form of a dove it the time of his baptism, that Saviour who belonged to the Pleroma, and was formed by the combined efforts of all its inhabit ants. In him there existed also that spiritual seed which proceeded from Achamoth. They hold, accordingly, that our Lord, while preserving the type of the first-begotten and primary tetrad, was compounded of these four substances,--of that which is spiritual, in so far as He was from Achamoth; of that which is animal, as being from the Demiurge by a special dispensation, inasmuch as He was formed [corporeally] with unspeakable skill; and of the Saviour, as respects that dove which descended upon Him. He also continued free from all suffering, since indeed it was not possible that He should suffer who was at once incomprehensible and invisible. And for this reason the Spirit of Christ, who had been placed within Him, was taken away when He was brought before Pilate. They maintain, further, that not even the seed which He had received from the mother [Achamoth] was subject to suffering; for it, too, was impassible, as being spiritual, and invisible even to the Demiurge himself. It follows, then, according to them, that the animal Christ, and that which had been formed mysteriously by a special dispensation, underwent suffering, that the mother might exhibit through him a type of the Christ above, namely, of him who extended himself through Stauros,(6) and imparted to Achamoth shape, so far as substance was concerned. For they declare that all these transactions were counterparts of what took place above. 3. They maintain, moreover, that those souls which possess the seed of Achamoth are superior to the rest, and are more dearly loved by the Demiurge than others, while he knows not the true cause thereof, but imagines that they are what they are through his favour towards them. Wherefore, also, they say he distributed them to prophets, priests, and kings; and they declare that many things were spoken(7) by this seed through the prophets, inasmuch as it was endowed with a transcendently lofty nature. Themother also, they say, spake much about things above, and that both through him and through the souls which were formed by him. Then, again, they divide the prophecies [into different classes], maintaining that one portion was uttered by the mother, a second by her seed, and a third by the Demiurge. In like manner, they hold that Jesus uttered some things under the influence of the Saviour, others under that of the mother, and others still under that of the Demiurge, as we shall show further on in our work. 4. The Demiurge, while ignorant of those things which were higher than himself, was indeed excited by the announcements made [through the prophets], but treated them with contempt, attributing them sometimes to one cause and sometimes to another; either to the prophetic spirit (which itself possesses the power of self-excitement), or to [mere unassisted] man, or that it was simply a crafty device of the lower [and baser order of men].(1) He remained thus ignorant until the appearing of the Lord. But they relate that when the Saviour came, the Demiurge learned all things from Him, and gladly with all, his power joined himself to Him. They maintain that he is the centurion mentioned in the Gospel, who addressed the Saviour in these words: "For I also am one having soldiers and servants under my authority; and whatsoever I command they do."(2) They further hold that he will continue administering the affairs of the world as long as that is fitting and needful, and specially that he may exercise a care over the Church; while at the same time he is influenced by the knowledge of the reward prepared for him, namely, that he may attain to the habitation of his mother. 5. They conceive, then, of three kinds of men, spiritual, material, and animal, represented by Cain, Abel, and Seth. These three natures are no longer found in one person,(3) but constitute various kinds [of men]. The material goes, as a matter of course, into corruption. The animal, if it make choice of the better part, finds repose in the intermediate place; but if the worse, it too shall pass into destruction. But they assert that the spiritual principles which have been sown by Achamoth, being disciplined and nourished here from that time until now in righteous souls (because when given forth by her they were yet but weak), at last attaining to perfection, shall be given as brides to the angels of the Saviour, while their animal souls of necessity rest for ever with the Demiurge in the intermediate place. And again subdividing the animal souls themselves, they say that some are by nature good, and others by nature evil. The good are those who become capable of receiving the [spiritual] seed; the evil by nature are those who are never able to receive that seed.

8.1. Such, then, is their system, which neither the prophets announced, nor the Lord taught, nor the apostles delivered, but of which they boast that beyond all others they have a perfect knowledge. They gather their views from other sources than the Scriptures;(4) and, to use a common proverb, they strive to weave ropes of sand, while they endeavour to adapt with an air of probability to their own peculiar assertions the parables of the Lord, the sayings of the prophets, and the words of the apostles, in order that their scheme may not seem altogether without support. In doing so, however, they disregard the order and the connection of the Scriptures, and so far as in them lies, dismember and destroy the truth. By transferring passages, and dressing them up anew, and making one thing out of another, they succeed in deluding many through their wicked art in adapting the oracles of the Lord to their opinions. Their manner of acting is just as if one, when a beautiful image of a king has been constructed by some skilful artist out of precious jewels, should then take this likeness of the man all to pieces, should rearrange the gems, and so fit them together as to make them into the form of a dog or of a fox, and even that but poorly executed; and should then maintain and declare that this was the beautiful image of the king which the skilful artist constructed, pointing to the jewels which had been admirably fitted together by the first artist to form the image of the king, but have been with bad effect transferred by the latter one to the shape of a dog, and by thus exhibiting the jewels, should deceive the ignorant who had no conception what a king's form was like, and persuade them that that miserable likeness of the fox was, in fact, the beautiful image of the king. In like manner do these persons patch together old wives' fables, and then endeavour, by violently drawing away from their proper connection, words, expressions, and parables whenever found, to adapt the oracles of God to their baseless fictions. We have already stated how far they proceed in this way with respect to the interior of the Pleroma. 2. Then, again, as to those things outside of their Pleroma, the following are some specimens of what they attempt to accommodate out of the Scriptures to their opinions. They affirm that the Lord came in the last times of the world to endure suffering, for this end, that He might indicate the passion which occurred to the last of the AEons, and might by His own end announce the cessation of that disturbance which had risen among the AEons. They maintain, further, that that girl of twelve years old, the daughter of the ruler of the synagogue,(1) to whom the Lord approached and raised her from the dead, was a type of Achamoth, to whom their Christ, by extending himself, imparted shape, and whom he led anew to the perception of that light which had forsaken her. And that the Saviour appeared to her when she lay outside of the Pleroma as a kind of abortion, they affirm Paul to have declared in his Epistle to the Corinthians [in these words], "And last of all, He appeared to me also, as to one born out of due time."(2) Again, the coming of the Saviour with His attendants to Achamoth is declared in like manner by him in the same Epistle, when he says, "A woman ought to have a veil upon her head, because of the angels."(3) Now, that Achamoth, when the Saviour came to her, drew a veil over herself through modesty, Moses rendered manifest when he put a veil upon his face. Then, also, they say that the passions which she endured were indicated by the Lord upon the cross. Thus, when He said, "My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?"(4) He simply showed that Sophia was deserted by the light, and was restrained by Horos from making any advance forward. Her anguish, again, was indicated when He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death;"(5) her fear by the words, "Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me;"(6) and her perplexity, too, when He said, "And what I shall say, I know not."(7) 3. And they teach that He pointed out the three kinds of men as follows: the material, when He said to him that asked Him, "Shall I follow Thee?"(8) "The Son of man hath not where to lay His head;"-- the animal, when He said to him that declared, "I will follow Thee, but suffer me first to bid them farewell that are in my house," "No man, putting his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of heaven"(9) (for this man they declare to be of the intermediate class, even as they do that other who, though he professed to have wrought a large amount of righteousness, yet refused to follow Him, and was so overcome by [the love of] riches, as never to reach perfection)--this one it pleases them to place in the animal class;--the spiritual, again, when He said, "Let the dead bury their dead, but go thou and preach the kingdom of God,"(10) and when He said to Zaccheus the publican, "Make haste, and come down, for to-day I must abide in thine house"(11)--for these they declared to have belonged to the spiritual class. Also the parable of the leaven which the woman is described as having hid in three measures of meal, they declare to make manifest the three classes. For, according to their teaching, the woman represented Sophia; the three measures of meal, the three kinds of men-- spiritual, animal, and material; while the leaven denoted the Saviour Himself. Paul, too, very plainly set forth the material, animal, and spiritual, saying in one place, "As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy;"(12) and in another place, "But the animal man receiveth not the things of the Spirit;"(13) and again: "He that is spiritual judgeth all things."(14) And this, "The animal man receiveth not the things of the Spirit," they affirm to have been spoken concerning the Demiurge, who, as being animal, knew neither his mother who was spiritual, nor her seed, nor the AEons in the Pleroma. And that the Saviour received first-fruits of those whom He was to save, Paul declared when he said, "And if the first-fruits be holy, the lump is also holy,"(15) teaching that the expression "first- fruits" denoted that which is spiritual, but that "the lump" meant us, that is, the animal Church, the lump of which they say He assumed, and blended it with Himself, inasmuch as He is "the leaven." 4. Moreover, that Achamoth wandered beyond the Pleroma, and received form from Christ, and was sought after by the Saviour, they declare that He indicated when He said, that He had come after that sheep which was gone astray.(16) For they explain the wandering sheep to mean their mother, by whom they represent the Church as having been sown. The wandering itself denotes her stay outside of the Pleroma in a state of varied passion, from which they maintain that matter derived its origin. The woman, again, who sweeps the house and finds the piece of money, they declare to denote the Sophia above, who, having lost her enthymesis, afterwards recovered it, on all things being purified by the advent of the Saviour. Wherefore this substance also, according to them, was reinstated in Pleroma. They say, too, that Simeon, "who took Christ into his arms, and gave thanks to God, and said, Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy word,"(1) was a type of the Demiurge, who, on the arrival of the Saviour, learned his own change of place, and gave thanks to Bythus. They also assert that by Anna, who is spoken of in the gospel(2) as a prophetess, and who, after living seven years with her husband, passed all the rest of her life in widowhood until she saw the Saviour, and recognised Him, and spoke of Him to all, was most plainly indicated Achamoth, who, having for a little while looked upon the Saviour with His associates, and dwelling all the rest of the time in the intermediate place, waited for Him till He should come again, and restore her to her proper consort. Her name, too, was indicated by the Saviour, when He said, "Yet wisdom is justified by her children."(3) This, too, was done by Paul in these words," But we speak wisdom among them that are perfect."(4) They declare also that Paul has referred to the conjunctions within the Pleroma, showing them forth by means of one; for, when writing of the conjugal union in this life, he expressed himself thus: "This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church."(5) 5. Further, they teach that John, the disciple of the Lord, indicated the first Ogdoad, expressing themselves in these words: John, the disciple of the Lord, wishing to set forth the origin of all things, so as to explain how the Father produced the whole, lays down a certain principle,--that, namely, which was first-begotten by God, which Being he has termed both the only-begotten Son and God, in whom the Father, after a seminal manner, brought forth all things. By him the Word was produced, and in him the whole substance of the AEons, to which the Word himself afterwards imparted form. Since, therefore, he treats of the first origin of things, he rightly proceeds in his teaching from the beginning, that is, from God and the Word. And he expresses himself thus: "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God; the same was in the beginning with God."(6) Having first of all distinguished these three--God, the Beginning, and the Word--he again unites them, that he may exhibit the production of each of them, that is, of the Son and of the Word, and may at the same time show their union with one another, and with the Father. For "the beginning" is in the Father, and of the Father, while "the Word" is in the beginning, and of the beginning. Very properly, then, did he say, "In the beginning was the Word," for He was in the Son; "and the Word was with God," for He was the beginning; "and the Word was God," of course, for that which is begotten of God is God. "The same was in the beginning with God"--this clause discloses the order of production. "All things were made by Him, and without Him was nothing made;"(7) for the Word was the author of form and beginning to all the AEons that came into existence after Him. But "what was made in Him," says John, "is life."(8) Here again he indicated conjunction; for all things, he said, were made by Him, but in Him was life. This, then, which is in Him, is more closely connected with Him than those things which were simply made by Him, for it exists along with Him, and is developed by Him. When, again, he adds, "And the life was the light of men," while thus mentioning Anthropos, he indicated also Ecclesia by that one expression, in order that, by using only one name, he might disclose their fellowship with one another, in virtue of their conjunction. For Anthropos and Ecclesia spring from Logos and Zoe. Moreover, he styled life (Zoe) the light of men, because they are enlightened by her, that is, formed and made manifest. This also Paul declares in these words: "For whatsoever doth make manifest is light."(9) Since, therefore, Zoe manifested and begat both Anthropos and Ecclesia, she is termed their light. Thus, then, did John by these words reveal both other things and the second Tetrad, Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia. And still further, he also indicated the first Tetrad. For, in discoursing of the Saviour and declaring that all things beyond the Pleroma received form from Him, he says that He is the fruit of the entire Pleroma. For he styles Him a "light which shineth in darkness, and which was not comprehended"(10) by it, inasmuch as, when He imparted form to all those things which had their origin from passion, He was not known by it.(11) He also styles Him Son, and Aletheia, and Zoe, and the "Word made flesh, whose glory," he says, "we beheld; and His glory was as that of the Only-begotten (given to Him by the Father), full of grace and truth."(12) (But what John really does say is this: "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us; and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth."(1)) Thus, then, does he [according to them] distinctly set forth the first Tetrad, when he speaks of the Father, and Charis, and Monogenes, and Aletheia. In this way, too, does John tell of the first Ogdoad, and that which is the mother of all the AEons. For he mentions the Father, and Charis, and Monogenes, and Aletheia, and Logos, and Zoe, and Anthropos, and Ecclesia. Such are the views of Ptolemaeus.

9.1. You see, my friend, the method which these men employ to deceive themselves, while they abuse the Scriptures by endeavouring to support their own system out of them. For this reason, I have brought forward their modes of expressing themselves, that thus thou mightest understand the deceitfulness of their procedure, and the wickedness of their error. For, in the first place, if it had been John's intention to set forth that Ogdoad above, he would surely have preserved the order of its production, and would doubtless have placed the primary Tetrad first as being, according to them, most venerable and would then have annexed the second, that, by the sequence of the names, the order of the Ogdoad might be exhibited, and not after so long an interval, as if forgetful for the moment and then again calling the matter to mind, he, last of all, made mention of the primary Tetrad. In the next place, if he had meant to indicate their conjunctions, he certainly would not have omitted the name of Ecclesia; while, with respect to the other conjunctions, he either would have been satisfied with the mention of the male [AEons] (since the others [like Ecclesia] might be understood), so as to preserve a uniformity throughout; or if he enumerated the conjunctions of the rest, he would also have announced the spouse of Anthropos, and would not have left us to find out her name by divination. 2. The fallacy, then, of this exposition is manifest. For when John, proclaiming one God, the Almighty, and one Jesus Christ, the Only-begotten, by whom all things were made, declares that this was the Son of God, this the Only-begotten, this the Former of all things, this the true Light who enlighteneth every man this the Creator of the world, this He that came to His own, this He that became flesh and dwelt among us,--these men, by a plausible kind of exposition, perverting these statements, maintain that there was another Monogenes, according to production, whom they also style Arche. They also maintain that there was another Saviour, and another Logos, the son of Monogenes, and another Christ produced for the re-establishment of the Pleroma. Thus it is that, wresting from the truth every one of the expressions which have been cited, and taking a bad advantage of the names, they have transferred them to their own system; so that, according to them, in all these terms John makes no mention of the Lord Jesus Christ. For if he has named the Father, and Charis, and Monogenes, and Aletheia, and Logos, and Zoe, and Anthropos, and Ecclesia, according to their hypothesis, he has, by thus speaking, referred to the primary Ogdoad, in which there was as yet no Jesus, and no Christ, the teacher of John. But that the apostle did not speak concerning their conjunctions, but concerning our Lord Jesus Christ, whom he also acknowledges as the Word of God, he himself has made evident. For, summing up his statements respecting the Word previously mentioned by him, he further declares, "And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us." But, according to their hypothesis, the Word did not become flesh at all, inasmuch as He never went outside of the Pleroma, but that Saviour [became flesh] who was formed by a special dispensation [out of all the AEons], and was of later date than the Word. 3. Learn then, ye foolish men, that Jesus who suffered for us, and who dwelt among us, is Himself the Word of God. For if any other of the AEons had become flesh for our salvation, it would have been probable that the apostle spoke of another. But if the Word of the Father who descended is the same also that ascended, He, namely, the Only-begotten Son of the only God, who, according to the good pleasure of the Father, became flesh for the sake of men, the apostle certainly does not speak regarding any other, or concerning any Ogdoad, but respecting our Lord Jesus Christ. For, according to them, the Word did not originally become flesh. For they maintain that the Saviour assumed an animal body, formed in accordance with a special dispensation by an unspeakable providence, so as to become visible and palpable. But flesh is that which was of old formed for Adam by God out of the dust, and it is this that John has declared the Word of God became. Thus is their primary and first-begotten Ogdoad brought to nought. For, since Logos, and Monogenes, and Zoe, and Phos, and Sorer, and Christus, and the Son of God, and He who became incarnate for us, have been proved to be one and the same, the Ogdoad which they have built up at once falls to pieces. And when this is destroyed, their whole system sinks into ruin,--a system which they falsely dream into existence, and thus inflict injury on the Scriptures, while they build up their own hypothesis. 4. Then, again, collecting a set of expressions and names scattered here and there [in Scripture], they twist them, as we have already said, from a natural to a non-natural sense. In so doing, they act like those who bring forward any kind of hypothesis they fancy, and then endeavour to support(1) them out of the poems of Homer, so that the ignorant imagine that Homer actually composed the verses bearing upon that hypothesis, which has, in fact, been but newly constructed; and many others are led so far by the regularly-formed sequence of the verses, as to doubt whether Homer may not have composed them. Of this kind(2) is the following passage, where one, describing Hercules as having been sent by Eurystheus to the dog in the infernal regions, does so by means of these Homeric verses,-- for there can be no objection to our citing these by way of illustration, since the same sort of attempt appears in both:-- "Thus saying, there sent forth from his house deeply groaning."-- Od., x. 76. "The hero Hercules conversant with mighty deeds."--Od., xxi. 26. Eurystheus, the son of Sthenelus, descended from Perseus."--Il., xix. 123. "That he might bring from Erebus the dog of gloomy Pluto."--Il., viii. 368. "And he advanced like a mountain-bred lion confident of strength."--Od., vi. 130. "Rapidly through the city, while all his friends followed."--Il., xxiv. 327. "Both maidens, and youths, and much-enduring old men."--Od., xi. 38. "Mourning for him bitterly as one going forward to death."--Il., xxiv. 328. "But Mercury and the blue-eyed Minerva conducted him."--Od., xi. 626. "For she knew the mind of her brother, how it laboured with grief."--Il., ii. 409. Now, what simple-minded man, I ask, would not be led away by such verses as these to think that Homer actually framed them so with reference to the subject indicated? But he who is acquainted with the Homeric writings will recognise the verses indeed, but not the subject to which they are applied, as knowing that some of them were spoken of Ulysses, others of Hercules himself, others still of Priam, and others again of Menelaus and Agamemnon. But if he takes them and restores each of them to its proper position, he at once destroys the narrative in question. In like manner he also who retains unchangeable(3) in his heart the rule of the truth which he received by means of baptism, will doubtless recognise the names, the expressions, and the parables taken from the Scriptures, but will by no means acknowledge the blasphemous use which these men make of them. For, though he will acknowledge the gems, he will certainly not receive the fox instead of the likeness of the king. But when he has restored every one of the expressions quoted to its proper position, and has fitted it to the body of the truth, he will lay bare, and prove to be without any foundation, the figment of these heretics. 5. But since what may prove a finishing-stroke(4) to this exhibition is wanting, so that any one, on following out their farce to the end, may then at once append an argument which shall overthrow it, we have judged it well to point out, first of all, in what respects the very fathers of this fable differ among themselves, as if they were inspired by different spirits of error. For this very fact forms an a priori proof that the truth proclaimed by the Church is immoveable,(5) and that the theories of these men are but a tissue of falsehoods. 1. The Church, though dispersed through our the whole world, even to the ends of the earth, has received from the apostles and their disciples this faith: [She believes] in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are in them; and in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God, who became incarnate for our salvation; and in the Holy Spirit, who proclaimed through the prophets the dispensations(6) of God, and the advents, and the birth from a virgin, and the passion, and the resurrection from the dead, and the ascension into heaven in the flesh of the beloved Christ Jesus, our Lord, and His [future] manifestation from heaven in the glory of the Father "to gather all things in one,"(7) and to raise up anew all flesh of the whole human race, in order that to Christ Jesus, our Lord, and God, and Saviour, and King, according to the will of the invisible Father, "every knee should bow, of things in heaven,, and things in earth, and things under the earth, and that every tongue should confess"(8) to Him, and that He should execute just judgment towards all; that He may send "spiritual wickednesses,"(9) and the angels who transgressed and became apostates, together with the ungodly, and unrighteous, and wicked, and profane among men, into everlasting fire; but may, in the exercise of His grace, confer immortality on the righteous, and holy, and those who have kept His commandments, and have persevered in His love, some from the beginning [of their Christian course], and others from [the date of] their repentance, and may surround them with everlasting glory.
2. As I have already observed, the Church, having received this preaching and this faith, although scattered throughout the whole world, yet, as if occupying but one house, carefully preserves it. She also believes these points [of doctrine] just as if she had but one soul, and one and the same heart, and she proclaims them, and teaches them, and hands them down, with perfect harmony, as if she possessed only one mouth. For, although the languages of the world are dissimilar, yet the import of the tradition is one and the same. For the Churches which have been planted in Germany do not believe or hand down anything different, nor do those in Spain, nor those in Gaul, nor those in the East, nor those in Egypt, nor those in Libya, nor those which have been established in the central regions(1) of the world. But as the sun, that creature of God, is one and the same throughout the whole world, so also the preaching of the truth shineth everywhere, and enlightens all men that are willing to come to a knowledge of the truth. Nor will any one of the rulers in the Churches, however highly gifted he may be in point of eloquence, teach doctrines different from these (for no one is greater than the Master); nor, on the other hand, will he who is deficient in power of expression inflict injury on the tradition. For the faith being ever one and the same, neither does one who is able at great length to discourse regarding it, make any addition to it, nor does one, who can say but little diminish it.
3. It does not follow because men are endowed with greater and less degrees of intelligence, that they should therefore change the subject-matter [of the faith] itself, and should conceive of some other God besides Him who is the Framer, Maker, and Preserver of this universe, (as if He were not sufficient(2) for them), or of another Christ, or another Only-begotten. But the fact referred to simply implies this, that one may [more accurately than another] bring out the meaning of those things which have been spoken in parables, and accommodate them to the general scheme of the faith; and explain [with special clearness] the operation and dispensation of God connected with human salvation; and show that God manifested longsuffering in regard to the apostasy of the angels who transgressed, as also with respect to the disobedience of men; and set forth why it is that one and the same God has made some things temporal and some eternal, some heavenly and others earthly; and understand for what reason God, though invisible, manifested Himself to the prophets not under one form, but differently to different individuals; and show why it was that more covenants than one were given to mankind; and teach what was the special character of each of these covenants; and search out for what reason "God(3) hath concluded every man(4) in unbelief, that He may have mercy upon all;" and gratefully(5) describe on what account the Word of God became flesh and suffered; and relate why the advent of the Son of God took place in these last times, that is, in the end, rather than in the beginning [of the world]; and unfold what is contained in the Scriptures concerning the end [itself], and things to come; and not be silent as to how it is that God has made the Gentiles, whose salvation was despaired of, fellow-heirs, and of the same body, and partakers with the saints; and discourse how it is that "this mortal body shall put on immortality, and this corruptible shall put on incorruption;"(6) and proclaim in what sense [God] says, "'That is a people who was not a people; and she is beloved who was not beloved;"(7) and in what sense He says that "more are the children of her that was desolate, than of her who possessed a husband."(8) For in reference to these points, and others of a like nature, the apostle exclaims: "Oh! the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God; how unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways past finding out!"(9) But [the superior skill spoken of] is not found in this, that any one should, beyond the Creator and Framer [of the world], conceive of the Enthymesis of an erring AEon, their mother and his, and should thus proceed to such a pitch of blasphemy; nor does it consist in this, that he should again falsely imagine, as being above this [fancied being], a Pleroma at one time supposed to contain thirty, and at another time an innumerable tribe of AEons, as these teachers who are destitute of truly divine wisdom maintain; while the Catholic Church possesses one and the same faith throughout the whole world, as we have already said. 1. Let us now look at the inconsistent opinions of those heretics (for there are some two or three of them), how they do not agree in treating the same points, but alike, in things and names, set forth opinions mutually discordant. The first(1) of them, Valentinus, who adapted the principles of the heresy called "Gnostic" to the peculiar character of his own school, taught as follows: He maintained that there is a certain Dyad (twofold being), who is inexpressible by any name, of whom one part should be called Arrhetus (unspeakable), and the other Sige (silence). But of this Dyad a second was produced, one part of whom he names Pater, and the other Aletheia. From this Tetrad, again, arose Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia. These constitute the primary Ogdoad. He next states that from Logos and Zoe ten powers were produced, as we have before mentioned. But from Anthropos and Ecclesia proceeded twelve, one of which separating from the rest, and falling from its original condition, produced the rest(2) of the universe. He also supposed two beings of the name of Horos, the one of whom has his place between Bythus and the rest of the Pleroma, and divides the created AEons from the uncreated Father, while the other separates their mother from the Pleroma. Christ also was not produced from the AEons within the Pleroma, but was brought forth by the mother who had been excluded from it, in virtue of her remembrance of better things, but not without a kind of shadow. He, indeed, as being masculine, having severed the shadow from himself, returned to the Pleroma; but his mother being left with the shadow, and deprived of her spiritual substance, brought forth another son, namely, the Demiurge, whom he also styles the supreme ruler of all those things which are subject to him. He also asserts that, along with the Demiurge, there was produced a left-hand power, in which particular he agrees with those falsely called Gnostics, of whom to we have yet to speak. Sometimes, again, he maintains that Jesus was produced from him who was separated from their mother, and united to the rest, that is, from Theletus, sometimes as springing from him who returned into the Pleroma, that is, from Christ; and at other times still as derived from Anthropos and Ecclesia. And he declares that the Holy Spirit was produced by Aletheia(5) for the inspection and fructification of the AEons, by entering invisibly into them, and that, in this way, the AEons brought forth the plants of truth.
Philosophumena Book Six 

15. (tail end of the account of Simon Magus)And accordingly, having ordered a trench to be dug by his disciples, he directed himself to be interred there. They, then, executed the injunction given; whereas he remained (in that grave) until this day, for he was not the Christ. This constitutes the legendary system advanced by Simon, and from this Valentinus derived a starting-point (for his own doctrine. This doctrine, in point of fact, was the same with the it Simonian, though Valentinus) denominated under different titles: for "Nous," and "Aletheia," and "Logos," and "Zoe," and "Anthropos," and "Ecclesia," and Aeons of Valentinus, are confessedly the six roots of Simon, viz., "Mind" and "Intelligence," "Voice" and "Name," "Ratiocination" and "Reflection." But since it seems to us that we have sufficiently explained Simon's tissue of legends, let us see what also Valentinus asserts. 16. The heresy of Valentinus is certainly, then, connected with the Pythagorean and Platonic theory. For Plato, in the Timaeus, altogether derives his impressions from Pythagoras, and therefore Timaeus himself is his Pythagorean stranger. Wherefore, it appears expedient that we should commence by reminding (the reader) of a few points of the Pythagorean and Platonic theory, and that (then we should proceed) to declare the opinions of Valentinus. For even although in the books previously finished by us with so much pains, are contained the opinions advanced by both Pythagoras and Plato, yet at all events I shall not be acting unreasonably, in now also calling to the recollection of the reader. by means of an epitome, the principal heads of the favourite tenets of these (speculators). And this (recapitulation) will facilitate our knowledge of the doctrines of Valentinus, by means of a nearer comparison, and by similarity of composition (of the two systems). For (Pythagoras and Plato) derived these tenets originally from the Egyptians, and introduced their novel opinions among the Greeks. But (Valentinus took his opinions) from these, because, although he has suppressed the truth regarding his obligations to (the Greek philosophers), and in this way has endeavoured to construct a doctrine, (as it were,) peculiarly his own, yet, in point of fact, he has altered the doctrines of those (thinkers) in names only, and numbers, and has adopted a peculiar terminology (of his own). Valentinus has formed his definitions by meas ures, in order that he may establish an Hellenic heresy, diversified no doubt, but unstable, and not connected with Christ.

17. The origin, then, from which Plato derived his theory in the Timaeus, is (the) wisdom of the Egyptians. For from this source, by some ancient and prophetical tradition, Solon taught his entire system concerning the generation and destruction of the world, as Plato says, to the Greeks, who were (in knowledge) young children, and were acquainted with no theological doctrine of greater antiquity. In order, therefore, that we may trace accurately the arguments by which Valentinus established his tenets, I shall now explain what are the principles of the philosophy of Pythagoras of Samos,--a philosophy (coupled) with that Silence so celebrated by the Greeks. And next in this manner (I shall elucidate) those (opinions) which Valentinus derives from Pythagoras and Plato, but refers with all solenmity of speech to Christ, and before Christ to the Father of the universe, and to Silence conjoined with the Father.

18. Pythagoras, then, declared the originating principle of the universe to be the unbegotten monad, and the generated duad, and the rest of the numbers. And he says that the monad it the father of the duad, and the duad the mother of all things that are being begotten--the begotten one (being mother) of the things that arc begotten. And Zaratas, the pupil of Pythagoras, was in the habit of denominating unity a father, and duality a mother. For the duad has been generated from the monad, according to Pythagoras; and the monad is male and primary, but the duad female (and secondary). And from the duad, again, as Pythagoras states, (are generated) the triad and the succeeding numbers up to ten. For Pythagoras is aware that this is the only perfect number--I mean the decade--for that eleven and twelve are an addition and repetition of the decade; not, however, that what is added constitutes the generation of another number. And all solid bodies he generates from incorporeal (essences). For he asserts that an element and principle of both corporeal and incorporeal entities is the point which is indivisible. And from a point, he says, is generated a line, and from a line a surface; and a surface flowing out into a height becomes, he says, a solid body. Whence also the Pythagoreans have a certain object of adjuration, viz., the concord of the four elements. And they swear in these words:- "By him who to our head quaternion gives, A font that has the roots of everlasting nature."
Now the quaternion is the originating principle of natural and solid bodies, as the monad of intelligible ones. And that likewise the quaternion generates, he says, the perfect number, as in the case of intelligibles (the monad) does the decade, they teach thus. If any, beginning to number, says one, and adds two, then in like manner three, these (together) will be six, and to these (add) moreover four, the entire (sum), in like manner, will be ten. For one, two, three, four, become ten, the perfect number. Thus, he says, the quaternion in every respect imitated the intelligible monad, which was able to generate a perfect number.

19. There are, then, according to Pythagoras, two worlds: one intelligible, which has the monad for an originating principle; and the other sensible. But of this (latter) is the quaternion having the iota the one tittle, a perfect number. And there likewise is, according to the Pythagoreans, the i, the one tittle, which is chief and most dominant, and enables us to apprehend the substance of those intelligible entities which are capable of being understood through the medium of intellect and of sense. (And in this substance inhere) the nine incorporeal accidents which cannot exist without substance, viz., "quality," and "quantity," and "relation," and "where," and "when," and "position," and "possession," and "action," and "passion." These, then, are the nine accidents (inhering in) substance, and when reckoned with these (substances), contains the perfect number, the i. Wherefore, the universe being divided, as we said, into the intelligible and sensible world, we have also reason from the intelligible (world), in order that by reason we may behold the substance of things that are cognised by intellect, and are incorporeal and divine. But we have, he says, five senses--smelling, seeing, hearing, taste, and touch. Now, by these we arrive at a knowledge of things that are discerned by sense; and so, he says, the sensible is divided from the intelligible world. And that we have for each of these an instrument for attaining knowledge, we perceive from the following consideration. Nothing, he says, of intelligibles can be known to us from sense. For he says neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor any whatsoever of the other senses known that (which is cognised by mind). Neither, again, by reason is it possible to arrive at a knowledge of any of the things discernible by sense. But one must see that a thing is white, and taste that it is sweet, and know by hearing that it is musical or out of tune. And whether any odour is fragrant or disagreeable, is the function of smell, not of reason. It is the same with objects of touch; for anything rough, or soft, or warm, or cold, it is not possible to know by hearing, but (far from it), for touch is the judge of such (sensations). Things being thus constituted, the arrangement of things that have been made and are being made is observed to happen in conformity with numerical (combinations). For in the same manner as, commencing from monad, by an addition of monads or triads, and a collection of the succeeding numbers, we make some one very large complex whole of number; (and) then, again, from an amassed number thus formed by addition, we accomplish, by means of a certain subtraction and re-calculation, a solution of the totality of the aggregate numbers; so likewise he asserts that the world, bound by a certain arithmetical and musical chain, was, by its tension and relaxation, and by addition and subtraction, always and for ever preserved in-corrupt.

20. The Pythagoreans therefore declare their opinion concerning the continuance of the world in some such manner as this:- "For heretofore it was and will be; never, I ween, Of both of these will void the age eternal be."

"Of these;" but what are they? Discord and Love. Now, in their system, Love forms the world incorruptible (and) eternal, as they suppose. For substance and the world are one. Discord, however, separates and puts asunder, and evinces numerous attempts by subdividing to form the world. It is just as if one severs into small parts, and divides arithmetically, the myriad into thousands, and hundreds, and tens; and drachmae into oboli and small farthings. In this manner, he says, Discord severs the substance of the world into animals, plants, metals and things similar to these. And the fabricator of the generation of all things produced is, according to them, Discord; whereas Love, on the other hand, manages and provides for the universe in such a manner that it enjoys permanence. And conducting together into unity the divided and scattered parts of the universe, and leading them forth from their (separate) mode of existence, (Love) unites and adds to the universe, in order that it may enjoy permanence; and it thus constitutes one system. They will not therefore cease,--neither Discord dividing the world, nor Love attaching to the world the divided parts. Of some such description as this, so it appears, is the distribution of the world according to Pythagoras. But Pythagoras says that the stars are fragments from the sun, and that the souls of animals are conveyed from the stars; and that these are mortal when they are in the body, just as if buried, as it were, in a tomb: whereas that they rise (out of this world) and become immortal, when we are separated from our bodies. Whence Plato, being asked by some one, "What is philosophy?" replied, "It is a separation of soul from body."

21. Pythagoras, then, became a student of these doctrines likewise, in which he speaks both by enigmas and some such expressions as these: "When you depart from your own (tabernacle), return not; if, however, (you act) not (thus), the Furies, auxiliaries to justice, will overtake you,"--denominating the body one's own (tabernacle), and its passions the Furies. When, therefore, he says, you depart, that is, when you go forth from the body, do not earnestly crave for this; but if you are eagerly desirous (for departure), the passions will once more confine you within the body. For these suppose that there is a transition of souls from one body to another, as also Empedocles, adopting the principles of Pythagoras, affirms. For, says he, souls that are lovers of pleasure, as Plato states, if, when they are in the condition of suffering incidental to man, they do not evolve theories of philosophy, must pass through all animals and plants (back) again into a human body. And when (the soul) may form a system of speculation thrice in the same body, (he maintains) that it ascends up to the nature of some kindred star. If, however, (the soul) does not philosophize, (it must pass) through the same (succession of changes once more). He affirms, then, that the soul sometimes may become even mortal, if it is overcome by the Furies, that is, the passions (of the body); and immortal, if it succeeds in escaping the Furies, which are the passions.

22. But since also we have chosen to mention the sayings darkly expressed by Pythagoras to his disciples by means of symbols, it seems likewise expedient to remind (the reader) of the rest (of his doctrines. And we touch on this subject) on account also of the heresiarchs, who attempt by some method of this description to converse by means of symbols; and these are not their own, but they have, (in propounding them,) taken advantage of expressions employed by the Pythagoreans. Pythagoras then instructs his disciples, addressing them as follows: "Bind up the sack that carries the bedding." (Now,) inasmuch as they who intend going upon a journey tie their clothes into a wallet, to be ready for the road; so, (in like manner,) he wishes his disciples to be prepared, since every moment death is likely to come upon them by surprise. (In this way Pythagoras sought to effect) that (his followers) should labour under no deficiency in the qualifications required in his pupils. Wherefore of necessity he was in the habit, with the dawn of day, of instructing the Pythagoreans to encourage one another to bind up the sack that carries the bedding, that is, to be ready for death. "Do not stir fire with a sword;" (meaning,) do not, by addressing him, quarrel with an enraged man; for a person in a passion is like fire, whereas the sword is the uttered expression. "Do not trample on a besom;" (meaning,) despise not a small matter. "Plant not a palm tree in a house;" (meaning,) foment not discord in a family, for the palm tree is a symbol of battle and slaughter. "Eat not from a stool;" (meaning,) do not undertake an ignoble art, in order that you may not be a slave to the body, which is corruptible, but make a livelihood from literature.

For it lies within your reach both to nourish the body, and make the soul better. "Don't take a bite out of an uncut loaf;" (meaning,) diminish not thy possessions, but live on the profit (of them), and guard thy substance as an entire loaf. "Feed not on beans; (meaning,) accept not the government of a city, for with beans they at that time were accustomed to ballot for their magistrates.

23. These, then, and such like assertions, the Pythagoreans put forward; and the heretics, imitating these, are supposed by some to utter important truths. The Pythagorean system, however, lays down that the Creator of all alleged existences is the Great Geometrician and Calculator--a sun; and that this one has been fixed in the whole world, just as in the bodies a soul, according to the statement of Plato. For the sun (being of the nature of) fire, resembles the soul, but the earth (resembles the) body. And, separated from fire, there would be nothing visible, nor would there be any object of touch without something solid; but not any solid body exists without earth. Whence the Deity, locating air in the midst, fashioned the body of the universe out of fire and earth. And the Sun, he says, calculates and geometrically measures the world in some such manner as the following: The world is a unity cognizable by sense; and concerning this (world) we now make these assertions.

But one who is an adept in the science of numbers, and a geometrician, has divided it into twelve parts. And the names of these parts are as follow:

Aries, Taurus, Gemini, Cancer, Leo, Virgo, Libra, Scorpio, Sagittarius, Capricorn, Aquarius, Pisces. Again, he divides each of the twelve parts into thirty parts, and these are days of the month. Again, he divides each part of the thirty parts into sixty small divisions, and (each) of these small (divisions) he subdivides into minute portions, and (these again) into portions still more minute. And always doing this, and not intermitting, but collecting from these divided portions (an aggregate), and constituting it a year; and again resolving and dividing the compound, (the sun) completely finishes the great and everlasting world.

24. Of some such nature, as I who have accurately examined their systems (have attempted) to state compendiously, is the opinion of Pythagoras and Plato. And from this (system), not from the Gospels, Valentinus, as we have proved, has collected the (materials of) heresy--I mean his own (heresy)--and may (therefore) justly be reckoned a Pythagorean and Platonist, not a Christian. Valentinus, therefore, and Heracleon, and Ptolemaeus, and the entire school of these (heretics), as disciples of Pythagoras and Plato, (and) following these guides, have laid down as e fundamental principle of their doctrine the arithmetical system. For, likewise, according to these (Valentinians), the originating cause of the universe is a Monad, unbegotten, imperishable, incomprehensible, inconceivable, productive, and a cause of the generation of all existent things. And the aforesaid Monad is styled by them Father. There is, however, discoverable among them some considerable diversity of opinion. For some of them, in order that the Pythagorean doctrine of Valentinus may be altogether free from admixture (with other tenets), suppose that the Father is unfeminine, and unwedded, and solitary. But others, imagining it to be impossible that from a male only there could proceed a generation at all of any of those things that have been made to exist, necessarily reckon along with the Father of the universe, in order that he may be a father, Sige as a spouse. But as to Sige, whether at any time she is united in marriage (to the Father) or not, this is a point which we leave them to wrangle about among themselves. We at present, keeping to the Pythagorean principle, which is one, and unwedded, unfeminine, (and) deficient in nothing, shall proceed to give an account of their doctrines, as they themselves inculcate them. There is, says (Valentinus), not anything at all begotten, but the Father is alone unbegotten, not subject to the condition of place, not (subject to the condition of) time, having no counsellor, (and) not being any other substance that could be realized according to the ordinary methods of perception. (The Father,) however, was solitary, subsisting, as they say, in a state of quietude, and Himself reposing in isolation within Himself. When, however, He became productive, it seemed to Him expedient at one time to generate and lead forth the most beautiful and perfect (of those germs of existence) which He possessed within Himself, for (the Father) was not fond of solitariness.

For, says he, He was all love, but love is not love except there may be some object of affection. The Father Himself, then, as He was solitary, projected and produced Nous and Aletheia, that is, a duad which became mistress, and origin, and mother of all the Aeons computed by them (as existing) within the Pleroma. Nous and Aletheia being projected from the Father, one capable of continuing generation, deriving existence from a productive being, (Nous) himself likewise, in imitation of the Father, projected Logos and Zoe; and Logos and Zoe project Anthropos and Ecclesia. But Nous and Aletheia, when they beheld that their own offspring had been born productive, returned thanks to the Father of the universe, and offer unto Him a perfect number, viz., ten Aeons. For, he says, Nous and Aletheia could not offer unto the Father a more perfect (one) than this number. For the Father, who is perfect, ought to be celebrated by a perfect number, and ten is a perfect number, because this is first of those (numbers) that are formed by plurality, (and therefore) perfect. The Father, however, being more perfect, because being alone unbegotten, by means of the one primary conjugal union of Nous and Aletheia, found means of projecting all the roots of existent things.

25. Logos himself also, and Zoe, then saw that Nous and Aletheia had celebrated the Father of the universe by a perfect number; and Logos him self likewise with Zoe wished to magnify their own father and mother, Nous and Aletheia. Since, however, Nous and Aletheia were begotten, and did not possess paternal (and) perfect uncreatedness, Logos and Zoe do not glorify Nous their father with a perfect number, but far from it, with an imperfect one. For Logos and Zoe offer twelve Aeons unto Nous and Aletheia. For, according to Valentinus, these--namely, Nous and Aletheia, Logos and Zoe, Anthropos and Ecclesia--have been the primary roots of the Aeons. But there are ten the Aeons proceeding from Nous and Aletheia, and twelve from Logos and Zoe--twenty and eight in all. And to these (ten) they give these following denominations: Bythus and Mixis, Ageratus and Henosis, Autophyes and Hedone, Acinetus and Syncrasis, Monogenes and Macaria. These are ten Aeons whom some say (have been projected) by Nous and Aletheia, but some by Logos and Zoe. Others, however, affirm that the twelve (Aeons have been projected) by Anthropos and Ecclesia, while others by Logos and Zoe. And upon these they bestow these following names: Paracletus and Pistis, Patricus and Elpis, Metricus and Agape, Aeinous and Synesis, Ecclesiasticus and Macariotes, Theletus and Sophia. But of the twelve, the twelfth and youngest of all the twenty-eight Aeons, being a female, and called Sophia, observed the multitude and power of the besetting Aeons, and hurried back into the depth of the Father. And she perceived that all the rest of the Aeons, as being begotten, generate by conjugal intercourse. The Father, on the other hand, alone, without copulation, has produced (an offspring). She wished to emulate the Father, and to produce (offspring) of herself without a marital partner, that she might achieve a work in no wise inferior to (that of) the Father. (Sophia, however,) was ignorant that the Unbegotten One, being an originating principle of the universe, as well as root and depth and abyss, alone possesses the power of self-generation. But Sophia, being begotten, and born after many more (Aeons), is not able to acquire possession of the power inherent in the Unbegotten One. For in the Unbegotten One, he says, all things exist simultaneously, but in the begotten (Aeons) the female is projective of substance, and the male is formative of the substance which is projected by the female. Sophia, therefore, prepared to project that only which she was capable (of projecting), viz., a formless and undigested substance. And this, he says, is what Moses asserts: "The earth was invisible, and unfashioned." This (substance) is, he says, the good (and) the heavenly Jerusalem, into which God has promised to conduct the children of Israel, saying, "I will bring you into a land flowing with milk and honey."

24. Ignorance, therefore, having arisen within the Pleroma in consequence of Sophia, and shapelessness in consequence of the offspring of Sophia, confusion arose in the Pleroma. (For all) the Aeons that were begotten (became overwhelmed with apprehension, imagining) that in like manner formless and incomplete progenies of the Aeons should be generated; and that some destruction, at no distant period, should l at length seize upon the Aeons.

All the AEons, then, betook themselves to supplication of the Father, that he would tranquillize the sorrowing Sophia; for she continued weeping and bewailing on account of the abortion produced by her,--for so they, term it.

The Father, then, compassionating the tears of Sophia, and accepting the supplication of the Aeons, orders a further projection. For he did not, (Valentinus) says, himself project, but Nous and Aletheia (projected) Christ and the Holy Spirit for the restoration of Form, and the destruction of the abortion, and (for) the consolation and cessation of the groans of Sophia. And thirty Aeons came into existence along with Christ and the Holy Spirit. Some of these (Valentinians) wish that this should be a triacontad of Aeons, whereas others desire that Sige should exist along with the Father, and that the Aeons should be reckoned along with them.

Christ, therefore, being additionally projected, and the Holy Spirit, by Nous and Aletheia, immediately this abortion of Sophia, (which was) shapeless, (and) born of herself only, and generated without conjugal intercourse, separates from the entire of the Aeons, lest the perfect Aeons, beholding this (abortion), should be disturbed by reason of its shapelessness. In order, then, that the shapelessness of the abortion might not at all manifest itself to the perfect Aeons, the Father also again projects additionally one Aeon, viz., Staurus. And he being begotten great, as from a mighty and perfect father, and being projected for the guardianship and defence of the Aeons, becomes a limit of the Pleroma, having within itself all the thirty Aeons together, for these are they that had been projected. Now this (Aeon) is styled Horos, because he separates from the Pleroma the Hysterema that is outside. And (he is called) Metocheus, because he shares also in the Hysterema. And (he is denominated) Staurus, because he is fixed inflexibly and inexorably, so that nothing of the Hysterema can come near the Aeons who are within the Pleroma. Outside, then, Horos, Metocheus, Staurus, is the Ogdoad, as it is called, according to them, and is that Sophia which is outside the Pleroma, which (Sophia) Christ, who was additionally projected by Nous and Aletheia, formed and made a perfect Aeon so that in no respect she should be inferior in power to any of the Aeons within the Pleroma. Since, however, Sophia was formed outside, and it was not possible and equitable that Christ and the Holy Spirit, who were projected from Nous and Aletheia, should remain outside the Pleroma, Christ hurried away, and the Holy Spirit, from her who had had shape imparted to her, unto Nous and Aletheia within the Limit, in order that with the rest of the Aeons they might glorify the Father.

27. After, then, there ensued some one (treaty of) peace and harmony between all the Aeons within the Pleroma, it appeared expedient to them not only by a conjugal union to have magnified the Son, but also that by an offering of ripe fruits they should glorify the Father. Then all the thirty Aeons consented to project one Aeons, joint fruit of the Pleroma, that he might be (an earnest) of their union, and unanimity, and peace. And he alone was projected by all the Aeons in honour of the Father. This (one) is styled among them "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma." These (matters), then, took place within the Pleroma in this way. And the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma" was projected, (that is,) Jesus,--for this is his name,--the great High Priest. Sophia, however, who was outside the Pleroma in search of Christ, who had given her form, and of the Holy Spirit, became involved in great terror that she would perish, if he should separate from her, who had given her form and consistency. And she was seized with grief, and fell into a state of considerable perplexity, (while) reflecting who was he who had given her form, what the Holy Spirit was, whither he had departed, who it was that had hindered them from being present, who it was that had been envious of that glorious and blessed spectacle. While involved in sufferings such as these, she turns herself to prayer and supplication of him who had deserted her. During the utterance of her entreaties, Christ, who is within the Pleroma, had mercy upon (her), and all the rest of the Aeons (were similarly affected); and they send forth beyond the Pleroma "the Joint Fruit of the Pleroma" as a spouse for Sophia, who was outside, and as a rectifier of those sufferings which she underwent in searching after Christ.

"The Fruit," then, arriving outside the Pleroma, and discovering (Sophia) in the midst of those four primary passions, both fear and sorrow, and perplexity and entreaty he rectified her affections. While, however, correcting them, he observed that it would not be proper to destroy these, inasmuch as they are (in their nature) eternal, and peculiar to Sophia; and yet that neither was it seemly that Sophia should exist in the midst of such passions, in fear and sorrow, supplication (and) perplexity. He therefore, as an Aeons so great, and offspring of the entire Pleroma, caused the passions to depart from her, and he made these substantially-existent essences. He altered fear into animal desire, and (made) grief material, and (rendered) perplexity (the passion) of demons. But conversion, and entreaty, and supplication, he constituted as a path to repentance and power over the animal essence, which is denominated right. The Creator (acted) from fear; (and) that is what, he says, Scripture affirms: "The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom." For this is the beginning of the affections of Sophia, for she was seized with fear, next with grief, then with perplexity, and so she sought refuge in entreaty and supplication. And the animal essence is, he says, of a fiery nature, and is also termed by them the super-celestial Topos, and Hebdomad, and "Ancient of Days." And whatever other such statements they advance respecting this (Aeon), these they allege to hold good of the animalish (one), whom they assert to be creator of the world. Now he is of the appearance of fire. Moses also, he says, expresses himself thus: "The Lord thy God is a burning and consuming fire." For he, likewise, wishes (to think) that it has been so written. There is, however, he says, a twofold power of the fire; for fire is all-consuming, (and) cannot he quenched. According, therefore, to this division, there exists, subject to death, a certain soul which is a sort of mediator, for it is a Hebdomad and Cessation. For underneath the Ogdoad, where Sophia is, but above Matter, which is the Creator, a day has been formed, and the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma." If the soul has been fashioned in the image of those above, that is, the Ogdoad, it became immortal and repaired to the Ogdoad, which is, he says, heavenly Jerusalem. If, however, it has been fashioned in the image of Matter, that is, the corporeal passions, the soul is of a perishable nature, and is (accordingly) destroyed.

28. As, therefore, the primary and greatest power of the animal essence came into existence, an image (of the only begotten Son); so also the devil, who is the ruler of this world, constitutes the power of the material essence, as Beelzebub is of the essence of demons which emanates from anxiety. (In consequence of this,) Sophia from above exerted her energy from the Ogdoad to the Hebdomad. For the Demiurge, they say, knows nothing at all, but is, according to them, devoid of understanding, and silly, and is not conscious of what he is doing or working at. But in him, while thus in a state of ignorance that even he is producing, Sophia wrought all sorts of energy, and infused vigour (into him). And (although Sophia) was really the operating cause, he himself imagines that he evolves the creation of the world out of himself: whence he commenced, saying, "I am God, and beside me there is no other."

29.The quaternion, then, advocated by Valentinus, is "a source of the everlasting nature having roots;" and Sophia (is the power) from whom the animal and material creation has derived its present condition. But Sophia is called "Spirit," and the Demiurge "Soul," and the Devil "the ruler of this world," and Beelzebub "the (ruler) of demons." These are the statements which they put forward. But further, in addition to these, rendering, as I have previously mentioned, their entire system of doctrine (akin to the) arithmetical (art), (they determine) that the thirty Aeons within the Pleroma have again, in addition to these, projected other Aeons, according to the (numerical) proportion (adopted by the Pythagoreans), in order that the Pleroma might be formed into an aggregate, according to a perfect number. For how the Pythagoreans divided (the celestial sphere) into twelve and thirty and sixty parts, and how they have minute parts of diminutive portions, has been made evident.
In this manner these (followers of Valentinus) subdivide the parts within the Pleroma. Now likewise the parts in the Ogdoad have been subdivided, and there has been projected Sophia, which is, according to them, mother of all living creatures, and the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma," (who is) the Logos, (and other Aeons,) who are celestial angels that have their citizenship in Jerusalem which is above, which is in heaven. For this Jerusalem is Sophia, she (that is) outside (the Pleroma), and her spouse is the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma." And the Demiurge projected souls; for this (Sophia) is the essence of souls. This (Demiurge), according to them, is Abraham, and these (souls) the children of Abraham. From the material and divilish essence the Demiurge fashioned bodies for the souls. This is what has been declared: "And God formed man, taking clay from the earth, and breathed upon his face the breath of life, and man was made into a living soul." This, according to them, is the inner man, the natural (man), residing in the material body: Now a material (man) is perishable, incomplete, (and) formed out of the devilish essence. And this is the material man, as it were, according to them an inn, or domicile, at one time of soul only, at another time of soul and demons, at another time of soul and Logoi. And these are the Logoi that have been dispersed from above, from the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma" and (from) Sophia, into this world. And they dwell in an earthly body, with a soul, when demons do not take up their abode with that soul. This, he says, is what has been written in Scripture:
"On this account I bend my knees to the God and Father and Lord of our Lord Jesus Christ, that God would grant you to have Christ dwelling in the inner man," --that is, the natural (man), not the corporeal (one),--" that you may be able to understand what is the depth," which is the Father of the universe, "and what is the breadth," which is Staurus, the limit of the Pleroma, "or what is the length," that is, the Pleroma of the Aeons. Wherefore, he says, "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; " but folly, he says, is the power of the Demiurge, for he was foolish and devoid of understanding, and imagined himself to be fabricating the world. He was, however, ignorant that Sophia, the Mother, the Ogdoad, was really the cause of all the operations performed by him who had no consciousness in reference to the creation of the world.

30. All the prophets, therefore, and the law spoke by means of the Demiurge,--a silly god, he says, (and themselves) fools, who knew nothing. On account of this, he says, the Saviour observes: "All that came before me are thieves and robbers." And the apostle (uses these words) "The mystery which was not made known to former generations." For none of the prophets, he says, said anything concerning the things of which we speak; for (a prophet) could not but be ignorant of all (these) things, inasmuch as they certainly had been uttered by the Demiurge only. When, therefore, the creation received completion, and when after (this) there ought to have been the revelation of the sons of God--that is, of the Demiurge, which up to this had been concealed, and in which obscurity the natural man was hid, and had a veil upon the heart;--when (it was time), then, that the veil should be taken away, and that these mysteries should be seen, Jesus was born of Mary the virgin, according to the declaration (in Scripture), "The Holy Ghost will come upon thee"--Sophia is the Spirit--" and the power of the Highest will overshadow thee"--the Highest is the Demiurge,--"wherefore that which shall be born of thee shall be called holy." For he has been generated not from the highest alone, as those created in (the likeness of) Adam have been created from the highest alone--that is, (from) Sophia and the Demiurge. Jesus, however, the new man, (has been generated) from the Holy Spirit--that is, Sophia and the Demiurge--in order that the Demiurge may complete the conformation and constitution of his body, and that the Holy Spirit may supply his essence, and that a celestial Logos may proceed from the Ogdoad being born of Mary.

Concerning this (Logos) they have a great question amongst them--an occasion both of divisions and dissension. And hence the doctrine of these has become divided: and one doctrine, according to them, is termed Oriental, and the other Italian. They from Italy, of whom is Heracleon and Ptolemaeus, say that the body of Jesus was animal (one). And on account of this, (they maintain) that at his baptism the Holy Spirit as a dove came down--that is, the Logos of the mother above, (I mean Sophia)--and became (a voice) to the animal (man), and raised him from the dead. This, he says, is what has been declared: "He who raised Christ from the dead will also quicken your mortal and natural bodies." For loam has come under a curse; "for," says he, "dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return." The Orientals, on the other hand, of whom is Axionicus and Bardesianes, assert that the body of the Saviour was spiritual; for there came upon Mary the Holy Spirit--that is, Sophia and the power of the highest. This is the creative art, (and was vouchsafed) in order that what was given to Mary by the Spirit might be fashioned.

31. Let, then, those (heretics) pursue these inquiries among themselves, (and let others do so likewise,) if it should prove agreeable to anybody else to investigate (such points. Valen tinus) subjoins, however, the following statement: That the trespasses appertaining to the Aeons within (the Pleroma) had been corrected; and likewise had been rectified the trespasses appertaining to the Ogdoad, (that is,) Sophia, outside (the Pleroma); and also (the trespasses) appertaining to the Hebdomad (had been rectified). For the Demiurge had been taught by Sophia that He is not Himself God alone, as He imagined, and that except Himself there is not another (Deity). But when taught by Sophia, He was made to recognise the superior (Deity). For He was instructed by her, and initiated and indoctrinated into the great mystery of the Father and of the Aeons, and divulged this to none. This is, as he says, what (God) declares to Moses: "I am the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob; and my name I have not announced to them;" that is, I have not declared the mystery, nor explained who is God, but I have preserved the mystery which I have heard from Sophia in secrecy with myself. When, then, the trespasses of those above had been rectified, it was necessary, according to the same consequence, that the (transgressions) here likewise should obtain rectification. On this account Jesus the Saviour was born of Mary that he might rectify (the trespasses committed) here; as the Christ who, having been projected additionally from above by Nous and Aletheia, had corrected the passions of Sophia--that is, the abortion (who was) outside (the Pleroma). And, again, the Saviour who was born of Mary came to rectify the passions of the soul. There are therefore, according to these (heretics), three Christs: (the first the) one additionally projected by Nous and Aletheia, along with the Holy Spirit; and (the second) the "Joint Fruit of the Pleroma," spouse of Sophia, who was outside (the Pleroma). And she herself is likewise styled Holy Spirit, but one inferior to the first (projection). And the third (Christ is) He who was born of Mary for the restoration of this world of ours.

32. I think that the heresy of Valentinus which is of Pythagorean (origin), has been sufficiently, indeed more than sufficiently, delineated. It therefore seems also expedient, that having explained his opinions, we should desist from (further) refutation (of his system). Plato, then, in expounding mysteries concerning the universe, writes to Dionysius expressing himself after some such manner as this: "I must speak to you by riddles, in order that if the letter may meet with any accident in its leaves by either sea or land, he who reads (what falls into his hands) may not understand it. For so it is. All things are about the King of all, and on his account are all things, and he is cause of all the glorious (objects of creation). The second is about the second, and the third about the third. But pertaining to the King there is none of those things of which I have spoken. But after this the soul earnestly desires to learn what sort these are, looking upon those things that are akin to itself, and not one of these is (in itself) sufficient. This is, O son of Dionysius and Doris, the question (of yours) which is a cause of all evil things. Nay, but rather the solicitude concerning this is innate in the soul; and if one does not remove this, he will never really attain truth. But what is astonishing in this matter, listen. For there are men who have heard these things-- (men) furnished with capacities for learning, and furnished with capacities of memory, and persons who altogether in every way are endued with an aptitude for investigation with a view to inference. (These are) at present aged speculators. And they assert that opinions which at one time were credible are now incredible, and that things once incredible are now the contrary. While, therefore, turning the eye of examination towards these (inquiries), exercise caution, lest at any time you should have reason to repent in regard of those things should they happen in a manner unbecoming to your dignity. On this account I have written nothing concerning these (points); nor is there any treatise of Plato's (upon them), nor ever shall there be. The observations, however, now made are those of Socrates, conspicuous for virtue even while he was a young man."

Valentinus, falling in with these (remarks), has made a fundamental principle in his system "the King of all," whom Plato mentioned, and whom this heretic styles Pater, and Bythos, and Proarche over the rest of the Aeons. And when Plato uses the words, "what is second about things that are second," Valentinus supposes to be second all the Aeons that are within the limit (of the Pleroma, as well as) the limit (itself). And when Plato uses the words, what is third about what is third," he has (constituted as third) the entire of the arrangement (existing) outside the limit and the Pleroma. And Valentinus has elucidated this (arrangement) very succinctly, in a psalm commencing from below, not as Plato does, from above, expressing himself thus: "I behold all things suspended in air by spirit, and I perceive all things wafted by spirit; the flesh (I see) suspended from soul, but the soul shining out from air, and air depending from aether, and fruits produced from Bythus, and the foetus borne from the womb." Thus (Valentinus) formed his opinion on such (points). Flesh, according to these (heretics), is matter which is suspended from the soul of the Demiurge. And soul shines out from air; that is, the Demiurge emerges from the spirit, (which is) outside the Pleroma. But air springs forth from aether; that is, Sophia, which is outside (the Pleroma, is projected from the Pleroma) which is within the limit, and (from) the entire Pleroma (generally). And from Bythus fruits are produced; (that is,) the entire projection of the Aeons is made from the Father. The opinions, then, advanced by Valentinus have been sufficiently declared. It remains for us to explain the tenets of those who have emanated from-his school, though each adherent (of Valentinus) entertains different opinions.

Email with comments or questions.

Stephan Huller's Observations by Stephan Huller
is licensed under a
Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 United States License.