The Gnostic Society Library

Pistis Sophia
translated by G. S. R. Mead

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Jesus commendeth James and promiseth the first place unto the disciples.When James then had said this, Jesus said unto him: "Well said, finely, James. This is the solution of the ninth repentance of Pistis Sophia. Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: Ye shall be the first in the kingdom of heaven before all invisibles and all gods and rulers who are in the thirteenth æon and in the twelfth æon; and not only ye, but also every one who shall accomplish my mysteries."

And when he had said this, he said unto them: "Understand ye in what manner I discourse with you?"

Mary interpreteth the words of Jesus.Mary started forward again and said: "Yea, O Lord, this is what thou didst say unto us aforetime: 'The last shall be first and the first shall be last.' The first then, who were created before us, are the invisibles, for indeed they arose before mankind, they and the gods and the rulers; and the men who shall receive mysteries, will be first into the kingdom of heaven."

Jesus said unto her: "Well said, Mary."

The repentance of Sophia is accepted. Jesus is sent to help her.Jesus continued again and said unto his disciples: "It came to pass then, when Pistis Sophia had proclaimed the ninth repentance, that the lion-faced power oppressed her again, desiring to take away all powers from her. She cried out again to the Light, saying: |99.

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"'O Light, in whom I have had faith from the beginning, for whose sake I have endured these great pains, help me.'

"And in that hour her repentance was accepted from her. The First Mystery hearkened unto her, and I was sent off at his command. I came to help her, and led her up out of the chaos, because she had repented, and also because she had had faith in the Light and had endured these great pains and these great perils. She had been deluded through the god-like Self-willed, and had not been deluded through anything else, save through a light-power, because of its resemblance to the Light in which she had had faith. For this cause then was I sent forth at the command of the First Mystery to help her secretly. I did not however yet go to the region of the æons at all; but I passed down through the midst out of them, without any single power knowing it, either those of the interior of the interior or those of the exterior of the exterior, save only the First Mystery.

"It came to pass then, when I came into the chaos to help her, that she saw me, that I was understanding and shone exceedingly and was full of compassion for her. For I was not self-willed as the lion-faced power, which had taken away the light-power from Sophia, and had also oppressed her in order to take away from her the whole light in her. Sophia then saw me, that I shone ten-thousand times more than the lion-faced power, |100. and that I was full of compassion for her. And she knew that I came out of the Height of heights, in whose light she had had faith from the beginning. Pistis Sophia then

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took courage and uttered the tenth repentance, saying:

The tenth repentance of Sophia."'1. I have cried unto thee, O Light of lights, in my oppression and thou hast hearkened unto me.

"'2. O Light, save my power from unjust and lawless lips and from crafty traps.

"'3. The light which was being taken from me in crafty snaring, will not be brought unto thee.

"'4. For the traps of Self-willed and the nooses of the merciless [one] are spread out.

"'5. Woe unto me, that my dwelling was far off, and I was in the dwellings of the chaos.

"'6. My power was in regions which are not mine.

"'7. And I entreated those merciless [ones]; and when I entreated them, they fought against me without a cause.'"

Next: Chapter 53

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