The Gospel of Truth: Who is the Father?

gospeloftruthThe Gospel of Truth is one of the best known Gnostic gospels found at Nag Hammadi. It presents a Valentinian view of Christianity, and was likely written in Greek in the second century AD. This modernized text is based on the translation by Robert M. Grant. Here is this first part.

The gospel of truth is joy to those who have received truth: the gift from the Father of knowing him by the power of the Word, who came from Heaven and who is in the thoughts and the mind of the Father. The Word is called “the Savior,” since that is the work that he had to do to redeem those who have not known the Father. The name of this gospel is the manifestation of hope, since hope is what is discovered by those who seek the Father, because everything seeks that which it came from. Everything was once inside of Him, the illimitable God, the inconceivable one, who is greater than every thought.

In the beginning, ignorance of the Father brought about terror and fear. Terror became like a dense fog, so that no one was able to see. Because of this, the Aeons’ misunderstanding grew strong. They vainly worked to create material substance, because they did not know the truth. It took form, and was equal to the truth in power and in beauty. This did not humiliate the illimitable, inconceivable one. For it was meaningless, this false material world, forged in terror and forgetfulness, whereas the established truth was unchanging, unperturbed, and completely beautiful.

Since they had no root and were in a fog regarding the Father, the Aeons prepared these works in forgetfulness and fear that would beguile those of the middle and make them captive. For this reason, do not take their error too seriously. Their forgetfulness was not revealed by the light of the Father. Forgetfulness did not come from the Father, although it existed because of him. What exists in him is knowledge, which was revealed so that forgetfulness might be destroyed and all might know the Father. Forgetfulness ceased to exist in the moment they came to know the Father,

This is the gospel of the Father, whom they sought, a hidden mystery that He mercifully revealed to the perfect through Jesus Christ. Through Christ, the Father enlightened those who dwelt in darkness because of forgetfulness. He gave them a path, which is the truth that Jesus taught. Because of this, those in error were angry with Jesus, so they persecuted him. They were distressed by him, so they made him powerless. He was nailed to a cross. He became the fruit of the knowledge of the Father. He did not, however, destroy those who ate it. Instead, he caused them to be joyful because of their discovery.

As for the Father, He found them in Himself, and they found Him in themselves, that illimitable, inconceivable one who made everything, in whom the universe exists, and who everyone lacks, since He retained their perfection in himself, rather than giving it to them. The Father is not jealous. What man is jealous of his cells? Even if the Aeons had received perfection, they would not have been able to approach the perfection of the Father. He retained their perfection in Himself, giving it to them as a way to return to Him, the unique one who has perfect knowledge. He is the one who set the universe in order and in whom everything exists and whom the universe lacked. Some have no knowledge of Him; He wants all to know Him and to love Him. For what is it that all lack, if not the knowledge of the Father?

About jimbelton

I'm a software developer, and a writer of both fiction and non-fiction, and I blog about movies, books, and philosophy. My interest in religious philosophy and the search for the truth inspires much of my writing.
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