Introduction and translation by Robert Price
Simon Magus (the Mage, the Magician) is a fascinating character whom we meet in Acts 8, where he is depicted as a charlatan, though perhaps with real supernatural powers. He is a temporary and easily vanquished competitor of Christianity in Samaria. There he is said to have aggrandized himself as the Great Power, i.e., God himself come to earth. A number of Church Fathers mention him, too. They speak of him as the father of all heresies, and of Gnosticism in particular. Some speak of him as accompanied by one Helen, a woman he rescued from a brothel in Tyre once he recognized in her the incarnation of heavenly Wisdom (the Epinoia, or Ennoia, the First Thought). She had been abducted and ravished by the evil angels who made the world, and then she had passed into forgetfulness, to be reincarnated ever and again into one earthly, fleshly life after another till Simon, having himself entered the time-stream, came to earth to deliver her. In her, the Mother of all souls, he had redeemed all the souls of the elect, contained in her. And one might attain salvation, return to the Godhead, by accepting the saving grace of Simon Magus. Simon taught that his previous appearances on earth included one in Judea, where he had been crucified but only appeared to suffer. This implicit identification with Jesus probably has something to do with the Synoptic story about the cross of Jesus being born instead by Simon of Cyrene, a Phoenician, especially since Simon Magus, hailing from Gitta, might be either a Samaritan or a Phoenician (Gitta = Gath, Goliath’s hometown), and Phoenicians were called the Kittim, easily confused with Gitta. So Simon of Cyrene and Simon of Gitta might easily be intended as the same character.
Many and conflicting tales are told in early Christian literature concerning Simon, and some portray him as a kind of evil twin of the Apostle Paul. F.C. Baur, to whose work virtually all subsequent New Testament scholarship is pretty much a massive set of footnotes, was the first to see this. In the Preaching of Peter, we read of a replay of the Acts 8 encounter between Simon Magus and Simon Peter. It becomes clear immediately that Simon Magus stands for Paul. Peter rebukes him for daring to claim equal apostleship on the basis of having merely seen a vision of the Risen Christ, when Peter and his brethren have the benefit of having been instructed in person by Jesus for a whole year. Also Simon Magus is there shown teaching something astonishingly close to Marcionite doctrine, rejecting the Creator and his Torah. Here Simon is a rival, not of Christianity per se, but of Petrine (i.e., Jewish or Catholic) Christianity. Looking back at Acts 8, Baur was able to recognize that, there, too, Simon stood for Paul. In all such stories of Peter versus Paul what we have is a set of refracted images of the public showdown between Peter and Paul in Antioch (Galatians 2:10-21). When Simon converts to Christianity in Acts 8, then seeks to purchase the apostolic privilege of imparting the Holy Spirit, the point is to parody Paul’s attempt (as some viewed it) to buy recognition of his apostolate from the Jerusalem Pillars by agreeing to collect funds for their community among his own constituency, the Gentiles (Galatians 2:9-10). Simon, portrayed as merely trying to buy a magic trick from Peter (Acts 8:19), but Peter’s response, that Simon can have “neither part nor lot in this word” (8:21) reveals that what was at stake was a role in the apostolic mission.
Does this identification mean that some Christian authors occasionally used Simon Magus as a satirical mask for Paul, as Baur thought? Or does the identification go deeper? It is possible that the historical Simon was none other than Paul? Hermann Detering and Stephan Hermann Huller think so. This would certainly explain the business about Simon being the father of heresy and Gnosticism, because it would mean the same as Tertullian’s famous description of Paul as the favorite “apostle of Marcion and the apostle of the heretics.” The earliest Paulinists we know of, including the earliest to write commentaries on his epistles, were Marcionites and Gnostics. As the Church Fathers make them the whelps of Simon, the Gnostic themselves claim to hail from Paul (as well, admittedly, as from other apostles). Detering and Huller turn Baur’s position on its head: instead of “Simon” being a polemical mask for Paul, an “evil twin” for Paul, “Paul” turns out to be an orthodox, sanitized Simon for use as a ventriloquist dummy for orthodoxy once Simon and his letters had been coopted by the emerging Catholic church. If this is true, it would enable us to look at Acts 13:6-12 in a new way. Simon Magus reappears there under an alternate name, Elymas/Etoimas, which seems the same as Atomus, an alternative name for Simon Magus in Josephus. There is a striking and implicit identification between Paul and this Simon, since, in connection with the conversion of a “Paul” (Sergius Paulus), Elymas is temporarily blinded–just as Saul was in Acts 9. And it is at this point in Acts when Saul is first called Paul, as if he had converted from one to the other, in the manner of Jacob becoming Israel, or Abram becoming Abraham. Whatever else is going on in this story, there appears to be an effort to dissociate Paul from Simon Magus, presupposing that someone was identifying the two.
As for the names “Paul” and “Saul,” it may be that both are secondary appellations. As G.R.S. Mead notes (see the Book of John the Baptizer), the Mandaeans identified Paul with Jesus, both being tantamount to the Antichrist, since “Paulis” is a transliteration into Aramaic of a Persian word for “deceiver,” exactly the epithet Robert Eisenman sees Paul bearing as the Spouter of Lies in the Dead Sea Scrolls, where he is excoriated as the opponent of James the Just, the Teacher of Righteousness. However, as Huller notes, “paulat” means “advocate,” paraklete, in Aramaic, which might mean his followers identified him with the Johannine Paraclete and eventually began simply referring to their founder by his title as if it were his name, just as “Christ” became the last name of Jesus. I would say this was a case of the common phenomenon whereby a sect takes on a label of belittlement and turns it into a badge of pride (as with the Methodists, Moonies, and Pharisees, who re-explained their epithet “Parsees,” closet Zoroastrians, as “Perushim,” Separated Ones). What of “Saul”? I think it was a compromise name to ease the transition between Shimon and Paul. What name sounds like half and half? Shaul, of course!
Detering even thinks the double name “Simon Peter” is secondary, denoting a subsequent Catholic coopting of Paul as an apostle of orthodoxy: Peter has bested his rival Simon Magus (Paul) and in effect been merged with him. That is quite likely, since it is the same process we can observe in Catholicizing documents such as 1 and 2 Peter and Acts 15, where Peter is remodeled as sounding very Pauline, so as to assimilate the two factions by assimilating their figureheads.
We learn an astonishing bit of information from both the Clementine Recognitions and the Homilies, two different versions of the same work, or two kindred works drawing on the same sources, some of them early Jewish-Christian in character. The Homilies (1:23) and the Recognitions (2:8) tell us that Simon Magus had been one if the thirty disciples of John. Membership was restricted to thirty so as to match the days of a lunar month as well as the Pleroma of the Aeons. Simon was John’s favorite and his chosen successor. But Simon happened to be away in Egypt when John was killed, and so another disciple, Dositheus the Samaritan, succeeded John. After Simon’s return, he “began to depreciate Dositheus himself, saying that he did not teach purely or perfectly and that this was the result not of ill intention, but of ignorance. But Dositheus, when he perceived that Simon was depreciating him, fearing lest his reputation among men might be obscured (for he himself was supposed to be the Standing One), moved with rage, when they met as usual at the school, seized a rod, and began to beat Simon; but suddenly the rod seemed to pass through his body, as if it had been smoke. On which Dositheus, being astonished, says to him, ‘Tell me if you are the Standing One, that I may adore you.’ And when Simon answered that he was, then Dositheus, perceiving that he himself was not the Standing One, fell down and worshipped him, and gave up his own place as chief to Simon, ordering all the rank of thirty men to obey him; himself taking the inferior place which Simon formerly occupied. Not long after this he died” (chapter 11). Dositheus of Samaria was another Gnostic sect leader (see The Revelation of Dositheus elsewhere in this collection). In this story of Dositheus yielding to Simon we must recognize another application of the same story we find in John 1:35-37; 3:30, where John gladly yields priority to Jesus.
If this were anything like the historical truth about Simon, it would fit nicely with Eisenman’s identification of Paul with the Qumran Spouter of Lies, an apostate from the Torah arising within the primitive baptizing community of Palestine, eventually headed by James the Just. We would have in the “James versus Paul” scenario yet another refraction of the sectarian succession strife we see in the Jesus-John friction, as well as the “Simon versus Dositheus” competition.
One more item from Eisenman: Kunsoo Choi rejects the identification of Simon with Paul partly on the basis that there is no Pauline analogue to Simon’s association with Helen. But perhaps there is. Some have nominated Thecla for this position, while Huller believes Paul/Simon was associated with Mary Magdalene. But may we not see Simon’s association with Helen (said to be a reincarnation of Queen Helen of Troy) as a reflection of Paul’s possible association with Queen Helen of Adiabene, who, with her sons Izates and Monobazus, converted to sectarian, baptizing Judaism under the tutelage of Jewish missionaries who taught circumcision was not necessary? It may have been Helen’s famine relief to Jerusalem that Paul brought in Acts 11:27-30 from “Antioch,” i.e., Edessa.
At any rate, Epiphanius of Salamis, the great heresiologist of the fourth century, includes in his Panarion, an encyclopedic catalogue of unorthodox beliefs, what appears to be the greater part of a whole treatise attributed to Simon Magus, the Megale Apophasis, or Great Declaration. He seems largely to be quoting it, adding only by way of punctuation, occasional phrases like “he says,” to remind the reader whose notions he is reading. Sometimes Epiphanius appears perhaps to be summarizing, but even here the words appear to be from the original. Thus, for the most part, it is not difficult simply to extract the text of the original document from the Panarion, and I have done so here. An element of doubt, and therefore of conjecture, arises toward the end of Epiphanius’ discussion, where he starts to quote Simon’s, or Simonian. teaching about Simon’s own Christlike role in the Simonian system of salvation. Has Epiphanius moved on to utilize other sources? Or is still quoting, albeit more patchily, from the Great Declaration? My guess is that he is continuing with the Great Declaration, mainly because the body of the text seems to be laying the groundwork for the appearance in human history of the double divine principle of Voice and Name as male and female, so I take the explicit discussion of Simon and Helen to be the culmination of the earlier train of thought, and so I present it in the text, though this last material is set in brackets. Inside these you will find the rest of the material from Epiphanius as well as, in italics, connective prose I have supplied to replace what Epiphanius must have omitted as he selected his quotations more sporadically.
The Great Declaration of Simon Magus
This is the writing down of the declaration of Voice and Name from Thought, which is the Great Power, the Boundless. Thus it shall be sealed up, hidden, concealed, placed in the Dwelling which rests upon the Universal Root. To you, then, I say what I have to say, and I write what I have to write. And this is the writing thereof.
From the Universal Aeons spring two shoots, which are without beginning or ending, stemming forth from a single Root, which is that invisible Power, unknowable Silence. Of the two shoots, one appears from above. This is the Great Power, the Universal Mind that sets all things in order, being male. The other appears from below. It is the Great Thought, which is female and brings forth all things.
From this state they pair off with each other, uniting and appearing in the Middle Distance, the incomprehensible Air, without beginning or end. Here is to be found the Father by whom are all things sustained, and by whom are nourished those things which do partake of beginning and ending.
Such is he who has Stood, who Stands, and who will Stand, a male/female Power like unto that Boundless Power which is a stranger equally to beginning and ending, existing in Oneness. For it was from this that the Thought within the Oneness proceeded and became Two.
Thus was he one; for, as he had her in himself, he was yet alone. He had not been so at first because, though pre-existent, by revealing himself to himself, he became a second. Nor could he be called Father till Thought named him so.
Thus producing himself by himself, he revealed to himself his own Thought. In the same way, the Thought that was revealed did not make the Father known but rather concealed him by contemplating him, that is, the Power, in herself, the result being male-female, Power and Thought.
Thus do they pair off with each other, yet being one, there being no difference between Power and Thought. Power is revealed from the things above, while Thought is revealed by the things below.
In the same way, too, that which was revealed from them, though it is one, is however found as two, the male-female having the female in itself. Thus is Mind contained within Thought, things inseparable one from the other, which though in reality One, are seen as Two.
Man, here below, born from blood, is the Dwelling, and the Boundless Power dwells in him, and it is the Universal Root. Nor is the Boundless Power, that is, Fire, one. The Fire is in being twofold, one side being manifest, the other concealed. And the concealed things of Fire are within the manifest ones, while those revealed are produced by those hidden. The manifest side of Fire contains all things within itself that are visible and that one may perceive, as well as those which one neither suspects nor perceives. But in the concealed side of Fire may be found all that is conceived and that is intelligible, even if it surpasses the senses, or that one is unable to conceive.
In general one may say concerning all things, the visible and the intelligible, that is the concealed and manifested, that they are contained in the Fire which overpasses the very heavens, even as a great Tree like unto that glimpsed in a vision by Nebuchadnezzar[i] which nourishes all flesh. Of this, the manifested side corresponds to the trunk, limbs, leaves and encasing bark. All these members of the Tree are set ablaze from the all-consuming flame of the Fire and destroyed. But as for the fruit of the Tree, if its form is perfect and it assumes the true shape, it is gathered into the storehouse, not thrown into the Fire.[ii] For the fruit is produced in order to be stored away, but the bark of the tree, (having served its purpose,) is destined for the Fire, as it was produced for no purpose in its own right but only to protect the fruit.
As it is written in Scripture: “For the vineyard of the Lord Sabaoth is the house of Israel, and a man of Judah is a well-loved shoot.”[iii] And if a man of Judah is a well-loved shoot, it is evident that a tree is nothing but a man. As to its being divided and distributed, Scripture has spoken plainly enough and suffices for the instruction of those who have ripened unto perfection, to wit: “All flesh is mere grass, and everything in which mortals glory is like the wildflower. The grass is dried up, and the wildflower droops, but the word of the Lord endures through the aeon.”[iv] Now the word of the Lord is the speech which comes to flower in the mouth and in the Word, for where else may it be produced?
In sum, therefore, the Fire, partaking of such a nature, containing both all things visible and invisible, and in like manner, those heard within and those heard aloud, the numerable and the innumerable, may be called the Perfect Intellect, since it is everything one can think of an infinite number of times, in an infinite number of ways, whether of speech, thought, or deed. For I judge that all parts of the Fire, both seen and unseen, possess awareness and a modicum of intelligence. Thus the contingent cosmos was generated out of the unbegotten Fire. And it began to be generated in this manner. The first six Roots of the Principle of generation which the cosmos received came from that Fire. And the Roots themselves were begotten of the Fire by pairs, which are Mind and Thought, Voice and Name, Reason and Reflection. In these six Roots was contained all the totality of the Boundless Power, albeit only in potentiality, not yet in actuality. And this Boundless Power is he who has Stood, Stands, and will Stand. This one, if he matures to perfection while within the six Powers, will himself be, in essence, power, greatness, and completeness, one and the same with the Unbegotten and Boundless Power, in no respect inferior to that Unbegotten, Immutable, and Boundless Power. But if it remains in potentiality only and it never attains unto its proper image, then it is doomed to vanish and perish, just like the (unused) knowledge of grammar and geometry latent in the mind. For if something potential is exercised, it comes to light among created things. But if it is never realized, it lapses into darkness, as if it had never been there in the first place. And when one dies, it dies with him.
Of these six Powers and of the seventh which lies beyond the six, the initial pair are Mind and Thought, or heaven and earth. The male gazes down from the height and remembers its partner, while the earth below receives from the heaven the fruits of intellect that rain down upon it and correspond to the things of earth. For this reason does the Word often and faithfully contemplate those things generated from Mind and Thought, heaven and earth, and says, “Hear, O heaven! Give ear, O earth, for the Lord has said, ‘I have begotten sons and raised them up, but they have shoved me aside!'”[v] And who says this? It is the seventh Power, he who has Stood, who Stands, and who will Stand, for he is the creator of those things Moses eulogized, saying that they were very good.[vi]
Next come Voice and Name, which are sun and moon. After them are Reason and Reflection, or air and water. And in all of them was mixed and mingled the Great Power, the Boundless, he who has Stood, who Stands, and who will Stand.
And when Moses says, “In six days God made the heaven and the earth, and on the seventh rested from all his labors,”[vii] (He tells of a great mystery. And this one may see from the absurdities that confound those who take his words as a literal account. For upon the fourth day, Moses says, God made the sun and the moon to exist.[viii] Yet he had called the light into being already on the first day!) When, therefore, (Moses says) that there are three days before the generation of the sun and the moon, (he means) esoterically Mind and Thought, or heaven and earth, and the seventh Power, the Boundless. For these three Powers were begotten before all others. And when (he says), “He has begotten me before all the Aeons,”[ix] the words are used with reference to the seventh Power. Now this seventh Power, which was the first Power subsisting in the Boundless Power, which was begotten before all Aeons, this is the seventh Power of which Moses says, “And the Spirit of God hovered over the water,”[x] which means the Spirit which holds all things in itself, the Image of the Boundless Power, the Image reflecting the eternal Form which by itself orders everything. For the Power hovering above the water is begotten by an Immortal Form and by itself orders everything.
Having made the world in some such fashion, God, Moses says, formed man by taking dirt from the ground. And he made him not single but double, according to both the image and the likeness. And the Image is that Spirit hovering over the water, which, if it does not mature into its true form, perishes along with the world, since it has lingered in potentiality and never attains unto actuality. And this is what Scripture means when it says, “So we may not be condemned among with the world.”[xi] But if it matures perfectly into its intended image, and it is begotten from an indivisible point, the small shall become great. And this great thing shall persist through the endless and eternal Aeon, since it no longer belongs to the process of becoming.
How and in what manner does God fashion man? In the Garden. We must view the womb as a garden, the cave Scripture is talking about when it says, “It was you who formed my inner parts, you who knitted me together in my mother’s womb… my frame was not unknown to you when I was being made in secret, intricately crafted in the caverns of the earth.”[xii] This is why he chose this metaphor. So when he speaks of the Garden, Moses referred allegorically to the womb. (Or so he must,) if we are to believe the word (and not dismiss it as nonsense).
And if God fashions man in his mother’s womb, that is, the Garden, as I have said, not only must the womb be understood for the Garden, but Eden is to be understood as the area around the womb and the “river going out of Eden to water the Garden” as the umbilical cord. This cord is divided into four channels. On either side of the cord are a pair of air ducts so the fetus may breathe, and a pair of veins to carry blood. But when the cord extending from the area of Eden connects to the fetus in the epigastric region, and the pair of veins through which the blood flows carry it from the Edenic region through the so-called gates of the liver, they nourish the fetus. And the air-ducts, channels for the breath, which surround the bladder on either side in the pelvic region, are united at the great duct called the dorsal aorta. In this way the breath passing through the lateral doors into the heart provokes the motion of the embryo. For as long as the babe is being fashioned in the Garden, it neither receives nourishment by the mouth nor breathes through the nostrils. As it is completely surrounded in water, death would strike as soon as it were to take a breath. It would inhale the fluid and die. Rather, the whole is contained in an envelope called the amnion and is nourished through the umbilical cord and receives the same thing breath conveys through the dorsal duct, as I said.
Thus the river which goes out of Eden and divides into four streams, four ducts, speaks in reality of the four senses of the fetus: vision, smelling, taste, and touch, these being the only senses possessed by the child while still in the womb.
Such is the Law laid down by Moses, and it was on the pattern of it that he wrote each of his books, as the titles tell. The first (of them) is “Genesis,” and this title in and of itself bespeaks the whole matter. For this “Genesis” denotes vision, one of the divisions of the river. For it is through sight that one perceives the creation. The second book has the title “Exodus,” for everyone who is born must needs travel through the Red Sea and cross the wilderness, the red denoting blood, and taste the bitter water (at Marah).[xiii] This bitterness is that of the water beyond the Red Sea, referring to the painful, bitter path of learning we must walk through life. But when it is transformed by Moses, really by the Word, what was bitter becomes sweet. This is attested even by secular sources, as witness the poet: “Its root was black, but the flower was like unto milk. Moly, the immortals name it. How hard for mortals to dig up, but for the gods all is child’s play.” What the Gentiles say here is enough to give knowledge of the whole thing, as long as one has ears to hear. Whoever tasted of this fruit was not only immune from Circe’s spell, changing men into pigs, but it had the power to restore those so cursed. Regaining their proper shape, they were like a defaced coin melted down again and struck again according to the type. By the use of this fruit, as white as milk, one discovered the true man, beloved of the wizardress.
In the same way, the third book, Leviticus, concerns smelling or breathing, since the entire content of the book is taken up with sacrifices and offerings. And inseparable from sacrificing is the ascending odor of the incense accompanying the sacrifice, and it is the olfactory sense that determines the propriety of the scent.[xiv] Numbers, the fourth book, refers to taste, which is activated by speaking. The book receives its name from the listing of everything in numerical order.
All eternal ideas, like grammar or geometry, are inside us as potential, but not as actual. And if they encounter appropriate discourse and teaching, and if the bitter thus becomes sweet, like spears turned to pruning hooks and swords into ploughshares,[xv] the Fire will not have reaped husks and sticks, but perfect fruit, not malformed, as I said above: equal and similar to the Unbegotten and Boundless Power. For now the axe is set at the root of the tree. Every tree that fails to bear good fruit is chopped down and flung onto the fire.”[xvi]
And so that blessed and immortal Principle (Power) is concealed in everything potentially if not actually, which is he who has Stood, who Stands, and who will Stand, who has Stood above in the Unbegotten Power, who Stands below in the stream of the waters, begotten in an image, and who shall Stand above, at the side of the blessed and Boundless Power, providing there is perfect conformity to the image (he bears). For those who Stand are three, and if there were not three Standing Aeons, there would be no ordering of the creation which hovers over the water and which has been created in the likeness into a perfect celestial being, which becomes in no way inferior to the Unbegotten Power, (so that one shall say to the other:) You and I are one; you are before me that I may be after you. This is the one Power, divided into the above and the below, begetting itself, multiplying itself, seeking itself, finding itself, mother unto itself and father, sister, mate: the daughter, the son, the mother, and the father of itself: One, the Universal Root.
Of all things generated, the spark of desire for their generation comes from Fire, just as the desire for physical begetting is called “being on fire.” And though Fire is one thing, still it admits of two modes of change. For in the male the blood, being hot and yellow, like fire when newly kindled, is changed into semen. But in the female, the same blood becomes milk. And this transformation in the male accounts for the generative function, while the transmutation in the female results in the ability to nurse the child. And this is what is meant by “the flaming sword that turned this way and that, to guard the path to the Tree of Life.”[xvii] This, because the blood turns this way into semen and that way into milk, and (like the Tree) this Power becomes both mother and father, father of all who are born and mother of those who are nourished. It stands in need of nothing, self-sufficient. And the Tree of Life, guarded by the whirling, fiery sword, is the seventh Power which proceeds from itself, containing all and (yet) latent in the six Powers. For if the fiery sword did not turn about, that beautiful tree would be despoiled and die. But if it is turned into semen and milk, what is stored in them potentially, having come finally to the age of reason and found an appropriate place where reason may mature, beginning from the merest spark, it will increase to mature protection and expand till it becomes an infinite Power, immutable, equal (in power) and alike (in form) to the immutable Aeon, which is no more begotten for an illimitable eternity.
[And in this manner did the Fire assume both male and female forms, the one from above and the other from below, as each did mature unto perfect conformity with the heavenly Power whose likeness and image they were. And when they appeared in the midst of the rushing water of this realm of becoming, the female Thought was set upon and defiled by the Angels and lower Powers who made this world of matter. And they used the fiery power within her to give life to their creations.
[It is Thought who is the lost sheep of the parable, and Mind who seeks her out at the cost of abandoning all his goods. For she passes from body to body, ever abiding in the forms of women, and ever does she hurl the Powers of the world into confusion, pitting the one against the other, by reason of her superlative beauty, as of the heavens themselves. And in this manner did the Trojan War erupt on account of her. For this Thought took up its residence in the contemporary Helen, and it was because all the Powers, both governing Achaia and ruling Troy, laid claim to her, that schism and war erupted among the nations to whom she was made manifest. Thus it was not Helen at fault, but those covetous Powers who lusted for her and fought with each other on the plains of Illium, Zeus against Skamander, Apollo against Memnon.
[This is why, in truth, the poet Stesichorus was deprived of his sight when he treated her rudely in his verses. This is the reason, too, when he afterward recanted, and wrote new verses extolling her virtues, he received his sight again.
[After these things, when her body was exchanged by the Angels and Powers, she was exposed in the streets of Tyre in Phoenicia as an infant, taken up by a brothel master, and raised in a brothel, where she knew no other life save that of degradation. But as the poet recounts the stratagem of the Achaians whereby they infiltrated the fastness of Troy inside a great toy horse, so did her yoke-mate Mind, the male, gain entry to the realm of her captors by appearing in the likeness of their creatures, as a man.
[The Angels who governed the world were corrupt by reason of their lust for power, and so I appeared to set things right, transforming myself and making myself like unto the Dominions, Principalities, and Angels, so that I manifested myself as a man, though I was not really a man. And I seemed to suffer in Judea, although I did not really undergo it. I was manifested to the Jews as the Son, in Samaria as the Father, and among the Gentiles as the Holy Spirit, and I permitted them to call me by whatever name they pleased. The Angels who made the world issued whatever laws amused them, thinking thus to enslave all humanity. And I sought her out. I arrived in Tyre and found her and purchased her freedom. Thus I wrought the ransoming of the human race, recalling to myself the sparks of the latent Fire which the Angels used to order their creation, and this must issue in the dissolution of the world, but equally in the redemption of all who believe in me.]
Introduction and translation kindly offered from The Pre-Nicene New Testament: Fifty-four Formative Texts by Robert M. Price
Get the book and help both Barbelo Bob and Abaxas out:
[i] [Daniel 4:4-17]
[ii] [Luke 3:9, 17]
[iii] [Isaiah 5:7]
[iv] [Isaiah 40:6-9]
[v] [Isaiah 1:2]
[vi] [Genesis 1:4, 10, 12, 18, 21, 25, 31]
[vii] [Genesis 2:2]
[viii] [Genesis 1:16-17]
[ix] [Proverbs 8:22-23]
[x] [Genesis 1:2]
[xi] [1 Corinthians 11:32]
[xii] [Psalm 139:13, 15]
[xiii] [Exodus 15:23-24]
[xiv] [Genesis 8:21. It is God’s nose that is pleased or not!]
[xv] [Isaiah 2:4]
[xvi] [Luke 3:9]
[xvii] [Genesis 3:24]