translated by G. S. R. Mead
John questioneth Jesus.It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished saying these words unto his disciples, that John came forward and said: "My Lord, suppose a sinning and a law-breaking man is replete in all iniquities, and he hath ceased from these for the sake of the kingdom of heaven and renounced the whole world and the whole matter therein, and we give him from the be-ginning onwards the mysteries of the Light which are in the first space from without, and if he receiveth the mysteries, and after a little while again if he returneth and transgresseth, and thereafter again if he turneth and ceaseth from all sins and turneth and |264. renounceth the whole world and the whole matter therein, so that he cometh again and is in great repentance, and if we know truly in truth that he longeth after God, so that we give him the second mystery of the first space which is from without;--in like manner if he turneth anew and transgresseth and is again in the sins of the world, and again if he thereafter turneth and ceaseth from the sins of the world and again renounceth the whole world and the whole matter therein and again is in great repentance, and we know it with certainty that he is not a play-actor, so that we turn and give him the mysteries of the beginning, which [are] in the first space from without;--in like manner, if he turneth again and sinneth and is in every type [of sin];--desirest thou that we forgive him unto seven times and give him the mysteries which are in the first space from without, unto seven times or not?"
The Saviour answered again and said unto John: "Not only forgive him unto seven times,
The disciples are to forgive many times seven times.but amēn, I say unto you: Forgive him unto many times seven times, and every time give him the mysteries from the beginning onwards which are in the first space from without. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother and he inheriteth the Light-kingdom.
"For this cause, therefore, when ye questioned me aforetime, |265. saying: 'If our brother sin against us, desirest thou that we forgive him unto seven times?'--I answered and spake unto you in a similitude, saying: 'Not only unto seven times, but unto seventy times seven.'
"Now, therefore, forgive him many times and every time give him the mysteries which are in the first space which is from without. Perchance ye win the soul of that brother and he inheriteth the Light-kingdom.
Of the reward of the savers of souls."Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: He who shall keep in Life and save only one soul, besides the dignity which he possesseth in the Light-kingdom, he will receive yet another dignity for the soul which he hath saved, so that he who shall save many souls, besides the dignity which he possesseth in the Light he will receive many other dignities for the souls which he hath saved."
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