PISTIS SOPHIA: A GNOSTIC MISCELLANY
"It came to pass then thereafter that she looked below and saw his light-power in the parts below; and she knew not that it is that of the triple-powered Self-willed, but she thought that it came out of the light which she had seen from the beginning in the height, which came out of the veil of the Treasury of the Light. And she thought to herself: I will go into that region without my pair and take the light and thereout fashion for myself light-Šons, so that I may go to the Light of lights, which is in the Height of heights.
"This then thinking, she went forth from her own region, the thirteenth Šon, and went down to the twelve Šons. The rulers of the Šons pursued her and were enraged against her, because she had thought of grandeur. And she went forth also from the twelve Šons, and came into the regions of the chaos and drew nigh to that lion-faced light-power to devour it. But all the material emanations of Self-willed surrounded her, and the great lion-faced light-power devoured all the light-powers in Sophia and cleaned out her light and devoured it, and her matter was thrust into the chaos; it became a lion-faced ruler in the chaos, of which one half is fire and the other darkness, -- that is Yaldabaōth, of whom I have spoken unto you many times. When then this befell, Sophia became very greatly exhausted, and that lion-faced light-power set to work to take away from Sophia all her light-powers, and all the material powers of Self-willed surrounded Sophia at the same time and pressed her sore.
"And Pistis Sophia cried out most exceedingly, she cried to the Light of lights which she had seen from the beginning, in which she had had faith, and uttered this repentance, saying thus:
"'1. O Light of lights, in whom I have had faith from the beginning, hearken now then, O Light, unto my repentance. Save me, O Light, for evil thoughts have entered into me.
"'2. I gazed, O Light, into the lower parts and saw there a light thinking: I will go to that region, in order that I may take that light. And I went and found myself in the darkness which is in the chaos below, and I could no more speed thence and go to my region, for I was sore pressed by all the emanations of Self-willed, and the lion-faced power took away my light in me.
"'3. And I cried for help, but my voice hath not reached out of the darkness. And I looked unto the height, that the Light, in which I had had faith, might help me.
"'4. And when I looked unto the height, I saw all the rulers of the Šons, how in their numbers they looked down on me and rejoiced over me, though I had done them no ill; but they hated me without a cause. And when the emanations of Self-willed saw the rulers of the Šons rejoicing over me, they knew that the rulers of the Šons would not come to my aid; and those emanations which sore pressed me with violence, took courage, and the light which I had not taken from them, they have taken from me.
"'5. Now, therefore, O Light of Truth, thou knowest that I have done this in my innocence, thinking that the lion-faced light-power belonged to thee; and the sin which I have done is open before thee.
"'6. Suffer me no more to lack, O Lord, for I have had faith in thy light from the beginning; O Lord, O Light of the powers, suffer me no more to lack my light.
"'7. For because of thy inducement and for the sake of thy light am I fallen into this oppression, and shame hath covered me.
"'8. And because of the illusion of thy light, I am become a stranger to my brethren, the invisibles, and to the great emanations of Barbēlō.
"'9. This hath befallen me, O Light, because I have been zealous for thy abode; and the wrath of Self-willed is come upon me -- of him who had not hearkened unto thy command to emanate from the emanation of his power -- because I was in his Šon without performing his mystery.
"'10. And all the rulers of the Šons mocked me.
"'11. And I was in that region, mourning and seeking after the light which I had seen in the height.
"'12. And the guards of the gates of the Šons searched for me, and all who remain in their mystery mocked me.
"'13. But I looked up unto the height towards thee and had faith in thee. Now, therefore, O Light of lights, I am sore pressed in the darkness of chaos. If now thou wilt come to save me, -- great is thy mercy, -- then hear me in truth and save me.
"'14. Save me out of the matter of this darkness, that I may not be submerged therein, that I may be saved from the emanations of god Self-willed which press me sore, and from their evil doings.
"'15. Let not this darkness submerge me, and let not this lion-faced power entirely devour the whole of my power, and let not this chaos shroud my power.
"'16. Hear me, O Light, for thy grace is precious, and look down upon me according to the great mercy of thy Light.
"'17. Turn not thy face from me, for I am exceedingly tormented.
"'18. Haste thee, hearken unto me and save my power.
"'19. Save me because of the rulers who hate me, for thou knowest my sore oppression and my torment and the torment of my power which they have taken from me. They who have set me in all this evil are before thee; deal with them according to thy good pleasure.
"'20. My power looked forth from the midst of the chaos and from the midst of the darkness, and I waited for my pair, that he should come and fight for me, and he came not, and I looked that he should come and lend me power, and I found him not.
"'21. And when I sought the light, they gave me darkness; and when I sought my power, they gave me matter.
"'22. Now, therefore, O Light of lights, may the darkness and the matter which the emanations of Self-willed have brought upon me, be unto them for a snare, and may they be ensnared therein, and recompense them and may they be made to stumble and not come into the region of their Self-willed.
"'23. May they remain in the darkness and not behold the light; may they behold the chaos for ever, and let them not look unto the height.
"'24. Bring upon them their revenge, and may thy judgment lay hold upon them.
"'25. Let them not henceforth come into their region to their god Self-willed, and let not his emanations henceforth come into their regions; for their god is impious and self-willed, and he thought that he had done this evil of himself, not knowing that, had I not been brought low according to thy command, he would not have had any authority over me.
"'26. But when thou hadst by thy command brought me low, they pursued me the more, and their emanations added pain to my humiliation.
"'27. And they have taken light-power from me and fallen again to pressing me sore, in order to take away all the light in me. Because of this in which they have set me, let them not ascend to the thirteenth Šon, the region of Righteousness.
"'28. But let them not be reckoned in the lot of those who purify themselves and the light, and let them not be reckoned with those who will quickly repent, that they may quickly receive mysteries in the Light.
"'29. For they have taken my light from me, and my power hath begun to cease in me and I am destitute of my light.
"'30. Now, therefore, O Light, which is in thee and is with me, I sing praises to thy name, O Light, in glory.
"'31. May my song of praise please thee, O Light, as an excellent mystery, which leadeth to the gates of the Light, which they who shall repent will utter, and the light of which will purify them.
"'32. Now, therefore, let all matters rejoice; seek ye all the Light, that the power of the stars which is in you, may live.
"'33. For the Light hath heard the matters, nor will it leave any without having purified them.
"'34. Let the souls and the matters praise the Lord of all Šons, and [let] the matters and all that is in them [praise him].
"'35. For God shall save their soul from all matters, and a city shall be prepared in the Light, and all the souls who are saved, will dwell in that city and will inherit it.
"'36. And the soul of them who shall receive mysteries will abide in that region, and they who have received mysteries in its name will abide therein.'"
It came to pass then, when Jesus had spoken these words unto his disciples, that he said unto them: "This is the song of praise which Pistis Sophia uttered in her first repentance, repenting of her sin, and reciting all which had befallen her. Now, therefore: 'Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.'"
Mary again came forward and said: "My Lord, my indweller of light hath ears, and I hear with my light-power, and thy spirit which is with me, hath sobered me. Hearken then that I may speak concerning the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered, speaking of her sin and all that befell her. Thy light-power hath prophesied thereof aforetime through the prophet David in the sixty-eighth Psalm:
"'1. Save me, O God, for the waters are come in even unto my soul.
"'2. I sank, or am submerged, in the slime of the abyss, and power was not. I have gone down into the depths of the sea; a tempest hath submerged me.
"'3. I have kept on crying; my throat is gone, my eyes faded, waiting patiently for God.
"'4. They who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head; mighty are my foes, who violently pursued me. They required of me that which I took not from them.
"'5. God, thou hast known my foolishness, and my faults are not hid from thee.
"'6. Let not them that wait on thee, O Lord, Lord of powers, be ashamed for my sake; let not those who seek thee be ashamed for my sake, O Lord, God of Israel, God of powers.
"'7. For thy sake have I endured shame; shame hath covered my face.
"'8. I am become a stranger to my brethren, a stranger unto the sons of my mother.
"'9. For the zeal of thy house hath consumed me; the revilings of them that revile thee have fallen upon me.
"'10. I bowed my soul with fasting, and it was turned to my reproach.
"'11. I put on sackcloth; I became unto them a bye-word.
"'12. They who sit at the gates, chattered at me; and they who drink wine, harped about me.
"'13. But I prayed with my soul unto thee, O Lord; the time of thy well-liking is [now], O God. In the fulness of thy grace give ear unto my salvation in truth.
"'14. Save me out of this slime, that I sink not therein; let me be saved from them that hate me, and from the deep of waters.
"'15. Let not a water-flood submerge me, let not the deep swallow me, let not a well close its mouth above me.
"'16. Hear me, O Lord, for thy grace is good; according to the fulness of thy compassion look down upon me.
"'17. Turn not thy face away from thy servant, for I am oppressed.
"'18. Hear me quickly, give heed to my soul and deliver it.
"'19. Save me because of my foes, for thou knowest my disgrace, my shame and my dishonour; all my oppressors are before thee.
"'20. My heart awaiteth disgrace and misery; I waited for him who should sorrow with me, but I could not come at him, and for him who should comfort me, and I found him not.
"'21. They gave me gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
"'22. Let their table be unto them for a trap and for a snare and for a retribution and for a stumbling-block.
"'23. Mayest thou bend their backs at all time.
"'24. Pour out thy anger upon them, and let the wrath of thy anger lay hold upon them.
"'25. Let their encampment be desolate, let there be no dweller in their habitations.
"'26. For they persecuted him whom thou hast smitten, and added to the smart of their woundings.
"'27. They added iniquity to their iniquities; let them not come into thy righteousness.
"'28. Let them be wiped out of the book of the living, and let them not be written in among the righteous.
"'29. I am a poor wretch who is heart-broken too; it is the salvation of thy face which hath taken me unto itself.
"'30. I will praise the name of God in the ode, and exalt it in the song of thanksgiving.
"'31. This shall please God better than a young bull which putteth forth horns and hoofs.
"'32. May the wretched see and make merry; seek ye God, that your souls may live.
"'33. For God hath heard the wretched and despiseth not the prisoners.
"'34. Let heaven and earth praise the Lord, the sea and all that is therein.
"'35. For God will save Zion, and the cities of JudŠa will be built up, and they will dwell there and inherit it.
"'36. The seed of his servants shall possess it, and they who love his name shall dwell therein.'"
It came to pass then, when Mary had finished speaking these words unto Jesus in the midst of the disciples, that she said unto him: "My Lord, this is the solution of the mystery of the repentance of Pistis Sophia."
It came to pass then, when Jesus had heard Mary speak these words, that he said unto her: "Well said, Mary, blessed one, the fulness, or all-blessed fulness, thou who shalt be sung of as blessed in all generations."
Jesus continued again in the discourse and said: "Pistis Sophia again continued and still sang praises in a second repentance, saying thus:
"'1. Light of lights, in whom I have had faith, leave me not in the darkness until the end of my time.
"'2. Help me and save me through thy mysteries; incline thine ear unto me and save me.
"'3. May the power of thy light save me and carry me to the higher Šons; for thou wilt save me and lead me into the height of thy Šons.
"'4. Save me, O Light, from the hand of this lion-faced power and from the hands of the emanations of god Self-willed.
"'5. For it is thou, O Light, in whose light I have had faith and in whose light I have trusted from the beginning.
"'6. And I have had faith in it from the time when it emanated me, and thou thyself didst make me to emanate; and I have had faith in thy light from the beginning.
"'7. And when I had faith in thee, the rulers of the Šons mocked at me, saying: She hath ceased in her mystery. Thou art my saviour and thou art my deliverer and thou art my mystery, O Light.
"'8. My mouth was filled with glorifying, that I may tell of the mystery of thy grandeur at all times.
"'9. Now, therefore, O Light, leave me not in the chaos for the completion of my whole time; forsake me not, O Light.
"'10. For all the emanations of Self-willed have taken from me my whole light-power and have surrounded me. They desired to take away my whole light from me utterly and have set a watch on my power,
"'11. Saying one to another together: The Light hath forsaken her, let us seize her and take away the whole light in her.
"'12. Therefore then, O Light, cease not from me; turn thee, O Light, and save me from the hands of the merciless.
"'13. May they who would take away my power, fall down and become powerless. May they who would take away my light-power from me, be enwrapped in darkness and sink into powerlessness.'
"This then is the second repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered, singing praises to the Light."
It came to pass then, when Jesus had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, that he said unto them: "Do ye understand in what manner I discourse with you?"
And Peter started forward and said unto Jesus:
"My Lord, we will not endure this woman, for she taketh the opportunity from us and hath let none of us speak, but she discourseth many times."
And Jesus answered and said unto his disciples: "Let him in whom the power of his spirit shall seethe, so that he understandeth what I say, come forward and speak. But now, Peter, I see thy power in thee, that it understandeth the solution of the mystery of the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered. Now, therefore, Peter, speak the thought of her repentance in the midst of thy brethren."
And Peter answered and said unto Jesus "O Lord, give ear that I may speak the thought of her repentance, of which aforetime thy power prophesied through the prophet David, uttering her repentance in the seventieth Psalm:
"'1. O God, my God, I have trusted in thee, let me no more be put to shame for ever.
"'2. Save me in thy righteousness and set me free; incline thine ear unto me and save me.
"'3. Be unto me a strong God and a firm place to save me; for thou art my strength and my refuge.
"'4. My God, save me from the hand of the sinner and from the hand of the transgressor and from the impious [one].
"'5. For thou art my endurance, O Lord, thou art my hope from my youth up.
"'6. I have trusted myself to thee from my mother's womb; thou hast brought me out of my mother's womb. My remembrance is ever in thee.
"'7. I have become as the crazy for many; thou art my help and my strength, thou art my deliverer, O Lord.
"'8. My mouth was filled with glorifying, that I may praise the glory of thy splendour the whole day long.
"'9. Cast me not away in the time of age; if my soul fades, forsake me not.
"'10. For mine enemies have spoken evil against me and they who lay in wait for my soul, have taken counsel against my soul,
"'11. Saying together: God hath forsaken him; pursue and seize him, for there is no saviour.
"'12. God, give heed to my help.
"'13. Let them be ashamed and destroyed who calumniate my soul. Let them be enwrapped in shame and disgrace who seek evil against me.'
"This then is the solution of the second repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."
The Saviour answered and said unto Peter: "Finely, Peter; this is the solution of her repentance. Blessed are ye before all men on the earth, because I have revealed unto you these mysteries. Amēn, amēn, I say unto you: I will perfect you in all fulness from the mysteries of the interior to the mysteries of the exterior and fill you with the spirit, so that ye shall be called 'spiritual, perfected in all fulness.' And, amēn, amēn, I say unto you: I will give unto you all the mysteries of all the regions of my Father and of all the regions of the First Mystery, so that he whom ye shall admit on earth, shall be admitted into the Light of the height; and he whom ye shall expel on earth, shall be expelled from the kingdom of my Father in the heaven. But hearken, therefore, and give ear attentively to all the repentances which Pistis Sophia hath uttered. She continued again and uttered the third repentance, saying:
"'1. O Light of powers, give heed and save me.
"'2. May they who would take away my light, lack and be in the darkness. May they who would take away my power, turn into chaos and be put to shame.
"'3. May they turn quickly to darkness, who press me sore and say: We have become lords over her.
"'4. May rather all those who seek the Light, rejoice and exult, and they who desire thy mystery, say ever: May the mystery be exalted.
"'5. Save me then now, O Light, for I lacked my light, which they have taken away, and I needed my power, which they have taken from me. Thou then, O Light, thou art my saviour, and thou art my deliverer, O Light. Save me quickly out of this chaos.'"
And it came to pass, when Jesus had finished speaking these words unto his disciples, saying: "This is the third repentance of Pistis Sophia," that he said unto them: "Let him in whom a sensitive spirit hath arisen, come forward and speak the thought of the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."
It came to pass then, before Jesus had finished speaking, that Martha came forward, fell down at his feet, kissed them, cried aloud and wept with lamentation and in humbleness, saying: "My Lord, have mercy upon me and have compassion with me, and let me speak the solution of the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."
And Jesus gave his hand unto Martha and said unto her: "Blessed is every one who humbleth himself, for on him they shall have mercy. Now, therefore, Martha, art thou blessed. But proclaim then the solution of the thought of the repentance of Pistis Sophia."
And Martha answered and said unto Jesus in the midst of the disciples: "Concerning the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered, O my Lord Jesus, of it thy light-power in David prophesied aforetime in the sixty-ninth Psalm, saying:
"'1. O Lord God, give heed to my help.
"'2. Let them be put to shame and confounded who seek after my soul.
"'3. May they turn straightway and be put to shame, who say unto me: Ha, ha.
"'4. May all who seek thee, be joyful and exult because of thee, and they who love thy salvation, say ever: May God be exalted.
"'5. But I am wretched, I am poor; O Lord, help me. Thou art my helper and defence; O Lord, delay not.'
"This then is the solution of the third repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered, singing praises to the height."
It came to pass then, when Jesus had heard Martha speak these words, that he said unto her: "Well said, Martha, and finely."
And Jesus continued again in the discourse and said unto his disciples: "Pistis Sophia again continued in the fourth repentance, reciting it before she was oppressed a second time, in order that the lion-faced power and all the material emanations with it, which Self-willed had sent into the chaos, might not take away her total light in her. She uttered then this repentance as follows:
"'1. O Light, in whom I have trusted, give ear to my repentance, and let my voice reach unto thy dwelling-place.
"'2. Turn not away thy light-image from me, but have heed unto me, if they oppress me; and save me quickly at the time when I shall cry unto thee.
"'3. For my time is vanished like a breath and I am become matter.
"'4. They have taken my light from me, and my power is dried up. I have forgotten my mystery which heretofore I was wont to accomplish.
"'5. Because of the voice of the fear and the power of Self-willed my power is vanished.
"'6. I am become as a demon apart, who dwelleth in matter and light is not in him, and I am become as a counterfeiting spirit, which is in a material body and light-power is not in it.
"'7. And I am become as a decan who is alone in the air.
"'8. The emanations of Self-willed have sore oppressed me, and my pair hath said unto himself:
"'9. Instead of with light which was in her, they have filled her with chaos. I have devoured the sweat of my own matter and the anguish of the tears from the matter of my eyes, so that they who oppress me may not take the rest.
"'10. All this hath befallen me, O Light, by thy commandment and thy command, and it is thy commandment that I am here.
"'11. Thy commandment hath brought me down, and I am descended as a power of the chaos, and my power is numbed in me.
"'12. But thou, O Lord, art Light eternal, and dost visit them who are for ever oppressed.
"'13. Now, therefore, O Light, arise and seek my power and the soul in me. Thy commandment is accomplished, which thou didst decree for me in my afflictions. My time is come, that thou shouldst seek my power and my soul, and this is the time which thou didst decree to seek me.
"'14. For thy saviours have sought the power which is in my soul, because the number is completed, and in order that also its matter may be saved.
"'15. And then at that time shall all the rulers of the material Šons be in fear of thy light, and all the emanations of the thirteenth material Šon shall be in fear of the mystery of thy light, so that the others may put on the purification of their light.
"'16. For the Lord will seek the power of your soul. He hath revealed his mystery,
"'17. So that he may regard the repentance of them who are in the regions below; and he hath not disregarded their repentance.
"'18. This is then that mystery which is become the type in respect of the race which shall be born; and the race which shall be born will sing praises to the height.
"'19. For the Light hath looked down from the height of its light. It will look down on the total matter,
"'20. To hear the sighing of those in chains, to loose the power of the souls whose power is bound, --
"'21. So that it may lay its name in the soul and its mystery in the power.'"
It came to pass while Jesus spake these words unto his disciples, saying unto them: "This is the fourth repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered; now, therefore, let him who understandeth, understand," -- it came to pass then, when Jesus had spoken these words, that John came forward, adored the breast of Jesus and said unto him: "My Lord, give commandment to me also, and grant me to speak the solution of the fourth repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."
Jesus said unto John: "I give thee commandment, and I grant thee to speak the solution of the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."
John answered and said: "My Lord and Saviour, concerning this repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered, thy light-power which was in David, hath prophesied aforetime in the one-hundred-and-first Psalm:
"'1. Lord, give ear unto my supplication and let my voice reach unto thee.
"'2. Turn not away thy face from me; incline thine ear unto me in the day when I am oppressed; quickly give ear to me on the day when I shall cry unto thee.
"'3. For my days are vanished as smoke and my bones are parched as stone.
"'4. I am scorched as the grass, and my heart is dried up; for I have forgotten to eat my bread.
"'5. From the voice of my groaning my bones cleaved to my flesh.
"'6. I am become as a pelican in the desert; I am become as a screech-owl in the house.
"'7. I have passed the night watching; I am become as a sparrow alone on the roof.
"'8. My enemies have reviled me all the day long, and they who honour me, have injured me.
"'9. For I have eaten ashes instead of my bread and mixed my drink with tears.
"'10. Because of thy wrath and thy rage; for thou hast lifted me up and cast me down.
"'11. My days have declined as a shadow, and I am dried up as the grass,
"'12. But thou, O Lord, thou endurest for ever, and thy remembrance unto the generation of generation[s].
"'13. Arise and have mercy upon Zion, for the time is come to have mercy upon her; the proper time is come.
"'14. Thy servants have longed for her stones, and will take pity on her land.
"'15. And the nations will have fear of the name of the Lord, and the kings of the earth have fear of thy sovereignty.
"'16. For the Lord will build up Zion and reveal himself in his sovereignty.
"17. He hath regarded the prayer of the humble and hath not despised their supplication.
"'18. This shall be recorded for another generation, and the people who shall be created will praise the Lord.
"'19. Because he hath looked down on his holy height; the Lord hath looked down from the heaven on the earth,
"'20. To hear the sighing of those in chains, to loose the sons of those who are slain.
"'21. To proclaim the name of the Lord in Zion and his praise in Jerusalem.'
"This, my Lord, is the solution of the mystery of the repentance which Pistis Sophia hath uttered."