Treasures in the Heavens
Treasures in the Heavens*
As Christianity has been deeschatologized and demythologized in our own day, so in the Fourth Century it was thoroughly dematerialized, and ever since then anything smacking of “cosmism,” that is, tending to associate religion with the physical universe in any way, has been instantly condemned by Christian and Jewish clergy alike as paganism and blasphemy. Joseph Smith was taken to task for the crude literalism of his religion—not only talking with angels like regular people, but giving God the aspect attributed to him by the primitive prophets of Israel, and, strangest of all, unhesitatingly bringing other worlds and universes into the picture. Well, some of the early Christian and Jewish writers did the same thing; this weakness in them has been explained away as a Gnostic aberration, and yet today there is a marked tendency in all the churches to support the usual bloodless abstractions and stereotyped moral sermons with a touch of apocalyptic realism, which indeed now supplies the main appeal of some of the most sensationally successful evangelists.
Over a century ago, J. P. Migne argued that the medieval legends of the Saints were far less prone to mislead the faithful than those scientifically oriented apocrypha of the Early Church, since the former were the transparent inventions of popular fantasy that could never lead thinking people astray, while the latter by their air of factual reporting and claims to scientific plausibility led the early Christians into all manner of extravagant speculation, drawing the faithful astray in many directions. To appreciate the strength of their own position, Latter-day Saints should not be without some knowledge of both these traditions. Since the “cosmist” doctrines have been almost completely neglected, here we offer a look at some of them.
The canonical writings and the Apocrypha have a good deal to say about “treasures in the heavens.” If we compare the “treasures” passages in a wide sampling of these writings, including those of Qumran, Nag Hammadi and the Mandaeans, it becomes apparent that “treasures in the heavens” is a part of a much larger picture, a “cosmist” view of the plan of salvation that was rejected by the official Christianity and Judaism that emerged triumphant in the Fourth Century but seems to have been prevalent throughout the Near East in an earlier period. There is no better approach to the study of this strange and intriguing doctrine than an examination of the Treasures in Heaven. We begin with the surprising fact that the Treasures in the Heavens were not allegorical but real.
That the life-giving treasures of the earth, particularly the golden grain that was anciently kept in a sacred bin, really comes from the sky is apparent to everyone.1 The miracle of the bounties of heaven literally pouring from “the treasure-houses of the snow, . . . the terrible store-houses” is an awesome sight and a joyous one. 2 But without a benign intelligence to administer them, the same elements that bestow life on man can wreak frightful destruction; hence it is plain that a measure of knowledge, skill, and benevolence is necessary to convert the raw elements into useful gifts.3 Thus when one speaks of treasures in the heavens, one means not only the vast secret chambers of the rain, snow, and hail, but also the deep hidden wisdom and the power necessary to control them; God’s treasury is a source not only of the elements that sustain life but also of the light and knowledge that endow them with that power.4
The life-giving fusion of divine wisdom with primal element is often described in religious texts as a fountain, as “the overflowing waters which shine” coming from the “treasure-chest of radiance” along with all the other shining treasures.5 “Thou hast established every fountain of light beside Thee,” says Baruch, “and the treasures of wisdom beneath Thy throne hast Thou prepared.”6 The concept is more than a figure of speech; “the heavenly waters . . . important for life on earth,” to be effectively used, must be “gathered in and assigned . . . to particular treasurehouses.”7 We are introduced to that physical part of the heavenly treasure in a grandiose scene in which we behold a great council in heaven being held at the creation of the world; there God, enthroned in the midst of his heavenly hosts, explains the plan of creation to them8 and then opens his treasure chest before them to show them the wondrous store of stuff that is to be used in making a world;9 but the new world is still in a preliminary state, “like unripe fruit that does not know what it is to become.”10 It is not until we get to the doctors of the Church, wholly committed to the prevailing teachings of the schools, that we hear of creation ex nihilo.11 Before then, creation is depicted as a process of imposing form and order on chaotic matter: the world is created for the specific purpose of carrying out a specific plan, and the plan, like the creation itself, requires strict organization—all creatures have their work assigned them in the coming world, to be carried out at predetermined times and places.12 When the plan was announced to the assembled hosts, and the full scope and magnanimity of it dawned upon them, they burst into spontaneous shouts of joy and joined in a hymn of praise and thanksgiving, the Morning-song of Creation, which remains to this day the archetype of hymns, the great acclamatio, the primordial nucleus of all liturgy.13
The Creation drama, which is reflected in the great year-rites all over the ancient world, does not take place in a vacuum but “in the presence of God,” seated in the midst of “His holy ones” with whom he takes counsel, they being his mind and mouth on the occasion as he is theirs.14 Though the plan from first to last is entirely God’s own, he discusses it with others, “consulting the souls of the righteous before deciding to create the world,” not because he needs their advice, but because the plan concerns them and requires their maximum participation in it. The discussion was a lively one—apart from those rebellious angels who rejected it entirely, there was a general protest that the plan would be too painful for some parties and too risky for all; it was the generous voluntary offering of the Son of God that settled the question.15 Those who embrace the plan wholeheartedly on this earth are the Elect, “the people of the Plan,” chosen “from the foundation of the world”;16 they form on earth a community dedicated to “the faithful working out of God’s plan” in close cooperation with the heavenly hosts;17 they alone have access to the heavenly hidden treasure, because they alone covet and seek it.18
What most thrills the psalmist of Qumran as he sings of the bounteous fountain of God’s hidden treasures is the thought that he is not only a beneficiary of God’s plan, but was actually taken into his confidence in the making of it—he was there!19 When Clement of Alexandria recalls that “God knew us before the foundation of the world, and chose us for our faithfulness,” he is attesting a well-known teaching of the early Church.20 The recurring phrase “Blessed is he who is before he came into being” is not a paradox but refers to two states of being: 21 if (following Baruch) “we have by no means been from the beginning what we are now,” it does not follow that we did not exist, for it is equally true that “what we now are we shall not afterwards remain.” 22 We are dealing here not with existence and nonexistence but with a passing from one state to another, sometimes explained as a passing from one type of visibility to another.23 It is common to speak of the Creation as a renewing, 24 even as a reorganizing of old matter, nay as the building of a world from materials taken from the dismantling of older worlds.25 Preexistent man had been around a long time before it was decided to create this earth: the whole thing was produced, when the time came, for his benefit; and though he was created last of all to take it over, in his real nature he is older than any of it.26 He is the child of an earlier, spiritual birth or creation.27
Nothing could be more gratifying to the ego or consoling to the afflicted spirit of mortals than the secret intimation of a glorious past and an exalted parentage.28 The exciting foster-parent illusion was exploited by the Gnostics for all it was worth;29 but the idea was no invention of theirs: it was the thought of his preexistent glory that was Job’s real comfort—”Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth . . . when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” is not a rhetorical question. For it was the recollection of that same Creation-hymn of joy and their part in it that sustained the Sons of Light in the midst of terrible reverses.30 “If you could see your real image which came into being before you,” says a logion of Jesus, “then you would be willing to endure anything!”31 The author of the Thanksgiving Hymn is simply drunk with the idea of his own preexistent glory.32 Such glory, according to the Johannine writings, belongs not only to the Lord but to all who follow him.33
But why leave one’s heavenly home for a dismal earthly one? To that question, constantly reiterated in the Mandaean writings, the Gnostic answer was that we were forced to make the move as a punishment; but the “Treasure” doctrine was the very opposite—we are here as a reward, enjoying an opportunity to achieve yet greater things by being tried and tested, “that each one might be promoted, according to his intelligence and the perfections of his way, or be retarded according to his wrong-doings.”34 This is the well-known doctrine of the Two Ways: For this reason the world has existed through the ages, says the Clementine Recognitions, so that the spirits destined to come here might fulfill their number, and here make their choice between the upper and the lower worlds, both of which are represented here.35 In what has been regarded as the oldest ritual document in existence, the so-called Shabako Stone from Memphis, we find the concept full-blown: “To him who doeth good will be given Life and [of] Salvation [htp]. To him who doeth evil will be given the Death of the Condemned [criminal] . . . according to that decree, conceived in the heart and brought forth by the tongue, which shall be the measure of all things.” 36
The element of opposition necessary for such a test is provided by the adversary, who in the beginning openly mocked God’s plan and set up his own plan in opposition to it.37 Being cast out of heaven with his followers by main force, he continues upon this earth during the set time allowed him by God’s plan (for the irony of his situation is that he is Mephistopheles, unwillingly if not unwittingly contributing to the operation of that plan), attempting to wreck the whole enterprise by drawing off as many spirits and as much material as possible into his own camp.38 The devil and his hosts claim the Treasure for their own and attempt to pirate the treasure ships that cruise between the worlds, using the loot in the outfitting of their own dark worlds.39 A neglected leitmotif of the New Testament is the continuation on earth of the personal feud between the Lord and the adversary begun at the foundation of the world: from the first each recognizes the other as his old opponent and rival;40 they are matched at every point—each claims identical gifts, ordinances, signs, and wonders; each has his doctrine and his glory and his plan for the future of the race. 41 Above all, each claims to possess the Treasure, the Lord promising treasures in the heavens while the adversary offers a clever, glittering earthly imitation: it is the choice between these treasures (for no man can have both) that is a man’s real test here upon the earth, determining his place hereafter.42 It is the “poor” who recognize and seek the true treasures, since they who are “rich as to the things of this world” have deliberately chosen the fraudulent imitation.43
In coming to earth each man leaves his particular treasure, or his share of the Treasure, behind him in heaven, safely kept in trust (“under God’s throne”) awaiting his return. 44 One has here below the opportunity of enhancing one’s treasure in heaven by meritorious actions, and also the risk of losing it entirely by neglecting it in his search for earthly treasure.45 Hence the passionate appeals to men to remember their tremendous stake on the other side and “not to defraud themselves of the glory that awaits them” by seeking the things of the world.46 To make the “treasure” test a fair one, the two treasures are placed before us on an equal footing (the doctrine of the Two Ways), their two natures being mingled in exactly equal portions in every human being.47 To neutralize what would otherwise be the overpowering appeal of the heavenly treasure, the memory of its former glories has been erased from the mind of man, which is thus in a state of equilibrium, enjoying by “the ancient law of liberty” complete freedom to choose whatever it will.48 In this state, whatever choice is made represents the true heart and mind of the one who makes it. What conditions the Elect to make the right choice is no unfair advantage of instruction—for all men are aware of the issues involved—but a besetting nostalgia, a constant vague yearning for one’s distant treasure and happy heavenly home. This theme, akin to the Platonic doctrine of anamnesis, runs through all the Apocrypha and scriptures; it is beautifully expressed in the Hymn of the Pearl from the Acts of Thomas.
In this classic tale, a king’s son has come down to earth to find a pearl which he is to return to its heavenly depository; here below he becomes defiled with the things of the world until a letter from heaven, signed by all the Great and Mighty Ones, recalls to him his true heritage and his purpose in coming to earth, whereupon he casts off his earthly garments and with the pearl returns to the waiting arms of his loved ones in the royal courts on high and to his robe of glory that has been carefully kept for him in the Treasury.49 Our various “treasure” texts consistently refer to going to heaven as a return, a joyful homecoming, in which one follows the steps of Adam “back to the Treasury of Life from which he came forth.”50 A great deal is said about a garment that one changes in passing from one stage to another, the final garment of glory being often equated to the Treasure itself.51 This garment introduces us to the very important ritual aspect of the treasure story, for it is generally understood that one can return to one’s heavenly treasure only by the careful observance of certain rites and ordinances, which provide the means both of receiving instruction and demonstrating obedience.52 In the Mandaean economy the ordinances are the Treasure, the knowledge of the proper procedures being the very knowledge by which the elements are controlled and the spirit of man exalted.53 The other sectaries are hardly less concerned with ordinances, however, the paradox of Qumran being that a society that fled from the rites of the temple at Jerusalem should become completely engrossed in yet more rites and ordinances once it was in the desert.54 Moreover, the most elaborate of all discourses on the initiatory rites are those of the Coptic Christians. 55
As teacher and administrator of the ordinances, the priest holds the key to the spiritual Treasure House in which “the merit accruing from ceremonial worship is accumulated.”56 These ordinances, imported directly from that Treasury of Light to which they alone offer the means of return, are types of what is done above; through them “souls are led to the Treasury of Light. . . . Between us and the Great King of the Treasury of Light are many steps and veils,” and it is only by “giving the proper replies to the Guardians” that one is able to approach and finally enter the Treasury of Light.57 The ordinances are most secret (they are usually called “mysteries”), and it is through their scrupulous observance that every man “puts his own treasure in order.”58
The archetype whom all must follow in the ordinances as is Adam, whose true home is the “Treasury of Light,” and who belongs with all his children “to the Father who existed from the beginning.”59 The preexistent Adam, “the Adam of Light,” having descended to earth fell into a deep sleep, from which he awoke with his mind erased like that of a little child.60 He was thus in a state to undergo impartial testing, but in his new helplessness he needed instruction. This was provided by a special emissary from the Treasury of Light, the “Sent One.” The Sent One is often a commission of three, the “Three Great Men” who wakened Adam from his sleep and immediately set about teaching him what he should know and do in order to return to the House of Light from which he had come.61 The Sent One may be Michael, Gabriel, or the Lord himself, but whoever holds that office always has the same calling, namely to assist the souls of men to return to the Treasury of Light: when the Lord, as the supreme example of the Sent One, descends below to deliver the spirits that sit in darkness, they hail him as “Son of Glory, Son of Lights and of the Treasures.”62 Always a stranger on earth, recognized only by the “Poor,”63 the Sent One comes to bring a treasure, and indeed he is sometimes called the Treasure, for he alone brings the knowledge men must have to return to the Father of Lights.64 Letters sent from above to help men in their need—the prototype of those “Letters from Heaven” that have haunted Christian and Moslem society through the centuries—being directives or passports for getting to the Treasure House, if not written deeds to the Treasure itself (the scriptures are rated as such), are themselves among the Treasures of Heaven.65
While a treasure is anything precious and hidden, the early Christian idea of what was precious differed noticeably from the abstract and allegorical “spiritual” treasures of the philosophizing churchmen of a later time. The Patristic writers, trained in the schools, are offended and annoyed by the way in which many Christians cling to the old literalism of the Early Church.66 When primitive Christians thought of a treasure, it had to be something real and tangible; theirs was the tradition of the Jews before them, for whom the delights of the other world “though including spiritual and intellectual joys are most tangible delights of a completely pleasing physical and social environment.”67 Much has been written about early Christian and Jewish concepts of time, but where the other world is concerned, the ideas of space are at least equally important. With what care Luke tells us exactly where the angel stood in the temple and exactly where on the map he found Mary! What tireless comings and goings and what constant concern with being in one place or another fill the pages of the gospels! If we are not to think in terms of real time and place, why this persistent use of familiar words that suggest nothing else? Scholars have pointed out that it is impossible to take such formulaic expressions as “to visit the earth” and “he went and preached” (referring to the descensus) in any but the most literal sense.68 The insistence of our sources on depicting the hereafter in terms of “places” (topoi, the ma’man of the Dead Sea Scrolls) is a constant reminder that “heaven is not only a state but a place.”69 True, it is so far away that our sun “and all the world of men” look like nothing but a tiny speck of dust, “because of the vast distance at which it is removed”; but for all that it is still the same universe, and all made of the same basic materials.70
This preoccupation with locus assumes a plurality of worlds, and indeed in our “treasure” texts we often find worlds, earths, and kosmoses in the plural.71 It is only the fallen angels, in fact, led by the blind Samael, who insist: “We are alone, and there is none beside us”!72 To the Sons of Light, on the other hand, there is opened up the grandiose vision of the “worlds” united in the common knowledge of him who made them, exchanging joyful and affectionate messages as they “keep faith with one another” in the common plan and “talk to each other . . . and establish concord, each contributing something of its own” to the common interest.73 The members of the vast complex are kept in perfect accord by the sustaining Word of God, which reaches all alike, since it possesses “through the power of the Treasure” the capacity for traveling for unlimited distances with inexpressible speed. 74 This Word is also the Son, who “has betaken himself to the numberless hidden worlds which have come to know him.”75 The messages may also be borne by special messengers and inspectors, angels with special assignments and marvelous powers of getting around, who constantly go forth on their missions and return with their reports.76
With all its perfect unity and harmony, the system presents a scene not of monotonous uniformity but rather of endless and delightful variety: “They are all different one from the other, but He hath not made any one of them superfluous, the one exchangeth what is good, [in it] with the other.”77 At a new creation there is a reshuffling of elements, like the rearranging of notes in the musical scale to make a new composition;78 it is even suggested, as we have noted, that old worlds may be dismantled to supply stuff for the making of newer and better ones. 79
Beginning with the very old Egyptian idea, recently examined by E. A. E. Reymond, that the creation of the world was really a re-creation by “transforming substances” that had already been used in the creation of other worlds,80 the Jewish and Christian apocryphal writers envisage a process by which the stuff of worlds is alternately organized into new stars and planets, and when these have served their time, scrapped, decontaminated, and reused in yet more new worlds. This “Urstoff” that is being constantly recycled is the Tohuwabohu of some Jewish teachers, according to Weiss, who saw the ultimate forms of matter in fire and ice. 81 Likewise, according to the same authority, the world-holocaust of the Stoics was merely a necessary preparation for the making of new worlds from old materials. 82 The whole thrust of Weiss’s book is that until the early Christian apologists, we find no trace anywhere of a doctrine of creatio ex nihilo,83 the Creation being everywhere conceived of as the act of organizing “matter unorganized” (amorphos hyle), bringing order from disorder, the basic prerequisites for the work being space (chora) and unorganized matter.84
And so we have in the Pistis Sophia, continuing the Egyptian teachings, the picture of a constant remixing (kerasomos) going on in the universe in which old, wornout, contaminated substances, the refuse (sorm) of wornout worlds and kingdoms (247—250), is first thrown out on the scrap-heap and returned to chaos as “dead” matter (134, 41, 68), then melted down in a dissolving fire for many years (365f.), by which all the impurities are removed from it (249), and by which it is “improved” (41, 68), and is ready to be “poured from one kind of body into another” (251). This whole process by which souls as well as substances are “thrown back into the mixing” (14) is under the supervision of Melchizedek, the great reprocessor, purifier, and preparer of worlds (35f.). He takes over the refuse of defunct worlds or souls (36), and under his supervision five great Archons process (literally “knead”—ouoshm) it, separating out its different components, each one specializing in particular elements, which they thus recombine in unique and original combinations so that no new world or soul is exactly like any other (338).
In this full-blown pleniarism there is no waste and no shortage: “If any were superfluous or any lacking, the whole body would suffer, for the worlds counterpoise one another like the elements of a single organism.”85 The worlds go on forever: “They come and come and cease not, they ever increase and are multiplied, yet are not brought to an end nor do they decrease.”86
It was essential to the plan that all physical things should pass away; this idea is depicted by the ancient Egyptian symbol of the Uroboros, the serpent with his tail in his mouth, representing the frustration of material things or matter consuming itself by entropy. 87 Indeed, the Pistis Sophia describes the Uroboros (which means “feeding on its own tail”) in terms of the heat-death, when it reports that fire and ice are the end of all things, since ultimate heat and ultimate cold both mean an end to substance.88 Though matter is replaced through an endless cycle of creations and dissolution, only spirit retains conscious identity, so that strictly speaking “only progeny is immortal,” each “mounting up from world to world” acquiring ever more “treasure” while progressing toward His perfection, which awaits them all.89 When the apostles formed a prayer circle, “all clothed in garments of white linen,” Jesus, standing at the altar, began the prayer by facing the four directions and crying in an unknown tongue, “Iao, Iao, Iao!” The Pistis Sophia interprets the three letters of this word as signifying (1) Iota, because the universe took form at the Creation; (2) Alpha, because in the normal course of things it will revert to its original state, alpha representing a cycle; (3) Omega, because the story is not going to end there, since all things are tending towards a higher perfection, “the perfection of the perfection of everything is going to happen”—that is “syntropy.” (Pistis Sophia, 358.)
The eternal process is thus not a static one but requires endless expansion of the universe (p-sōr ebol mpterf) (193ff., 219, 225, etc.), since each dispensation is outgoing, tending to separation and emanation, that is, fissure (220), so that “an endless process in the Uncontainable fills the Boundless” (219). This is the Egyptian paradox of expanding circles of life that go on to fill the physical universe and then go on without end.90 Such a thing is possible because of a force that is primal and self-existent, having no dependence on other matter or its qualities. This is that “light-stream” that no power is able to hold down and no matter is able to control in any way. (Pistis Sophia, 227.) On the contrary, it is this light that imposes form and order on all else; it is the spark by which Melchizedek organizes new worlds (35); it is the light that purifies contaminated substances (388), and the light that enables dead matter to live (65; 134). Reduced to its simplest form, creation is the action of light upon matter (hyle) (64); matter of itself has no power, being burnt-out energy (65), but light reactivates it (134); matter is incapable of changing itself—it has no desire to, and so light forces it into the recycling process where it can again work upon it—for light is the organizing principle (50). If Melchizedek is in charge of organizing worlds, it is Michael and Gabriel who direct the outpouring of light to those parts of chaos where it is needed (130). As light emanates out into space in all directions it does not weaken but mysteriously increases more and more, not stopping as long as there is a space to fill. (129.) In each world is a gathering of light (“synergy”?), and as each is the product of a drive toward expansion, each becomes a source of new expansion, “having its part in the expansion of the universe.” (193ff.)
The mere mechanics of the creation process as described in our “treasure” texts display truly remarkable scientific insight. For the making of the world the first requirements, we are told, are a segment of empty space, pure and unencumbered,91 and a supply of primordial matter to work with.92 Mere empty space and inert matter are, however, forbidding and profitless things in themselves, disturbing and even dangerous things for humans to be involved with—contemplating them, the mind is seized with vertigo until some foothold is found in the void. 93 The order and stability of a foundation are achieved through the operation of a “Spark.” The Spark is sometimes defined as “a small idea” that comes forth from God and makes all the difference between what lives and what does not: “Compared with it all the worlds are but as a shadow, since it is the Spark whose light moves all [material] things.”94 It is the ultimate particle, the “ennas which came from the Father of those who are without beginning,” emanating from the Treasure House of Light from which all life and power is ultimately derived.95 Thanks to the vivifying and organizing power of the Spark, we find throughout the cosmos an infinity of dwelling-places (topoi), either occupied or awaiting tenants.96 These are colonized by migrants from previously established toposes or worlds, all going back ultimately to a single original center.97 The colonizing process is called “planting,” and those spirits that bring their treasures to a new world are called “Plants,” more rarely “seeds,” of their father or “Planter” in another world.98 Every planting goes out from a Treasure House, either as the essential material elements or as the colonizers themselves, who come from a sort of mustering-area called the “Treasure-house of Souls.”99
With its “planting” completed, a new world is in business, a new Treasury has been established from which new Sparks may go forth in all directions to start the process anew in ever new spaces;100 God wants every man to “plant a planting,” nay, “he has promised that those who keep his Law may also become creators of worlds.”101 But keeping the law requires following the divine pattern in every point; in taking the Treasure to a new world, the Sent One (who follows hard on the heels of the colonists) seeks nothing so much as complete identity with the One who sent him; hence, from first to last one mind alone dominates the whole boundless complex. Because each planting is completely dependent on its Treasure House or home base, the system never breaks up into independent systems; in this patriarchal order all remains forever identified with the Father from whom all ultimately come forth.102
We on earth are not aware of all this because we comprehend only what we are like.103 Not only is God rendered invisible by the impenetrable veil of light that surrounds him,104 but he has purposely “placed veils between the worlds,” that all treasures may be hid from those who do not seek them in the proper way.105 On the other side of the veil of the temple lay “the secrets of heaven,” the celestial spaces that know no bounds, and all that they contain.106 The wilon (veil) quarantines this polluted world mercifully from the rest.107 “Beyond the veil are the heavens,”108 and that goes for other worlds as well as this one, for each is shut off by its veil, for there are aeons and veils and firmaments: “He made a veil for their worlds, surrounding them like a wall.”109 Behind the ultimate veil sits Jeu, “the Father of the Treasury of Light,” who is separated from all others by the veils (katapetasmata), 110 a veil being that which separates that which is above from that which is below.111 When a cycle has been completed in the existence of things, “the Great Sabaoth the Good looks out” from behind the veil, and all that has gone before is dissolved and passes into oblivion.112 Only the qualified can pass by one of these veils, of course; when Pistis Sophia presumed to look behind the veil before she was ready, she promptly fell from her former glory.113 Only Jesus has passed through all the veils and all the degrees of glory and authority.114 As one grows in faith, more and more is revealed, until finally “the Watchers move the veils aside and you enter into the Presence of the Father, who gives you His name and His seal.”115
These veils seem to serve as protecting as well as confining fences around the worlds: The light of the sun in its true nature (morphe) is not seen in this place, we are told, because it passes through “many veils and regions (topoi)” before reaching us;116 its protective function is represented by a wonderful super-bird, called “the guardian of the inhabited earth,” because “by spreading out his wings he absorbs (dechetai) the fire-like (pyrimorphos) rays” of the sun; “if he did not receive [absorb] them, the human race could not survive, nor any other form of life.” On a wing of the bird is an inscription declaring, “Neither earth nor heaven begot me, but the wings of fire.” Baruch was informed by an angel that this bird is the phoenix, the sun-bird, which feeds on the manna of heaven and the dews of earth.117 It blocks the sun with its wings outspread, suggesting solar prominences or zodiacal light. At any rate, it is an interesting example of how the ancients explained things that most men cannot see or comprehend in terms of things they can.
The plan calls for universal participation in the accumulation of treasure in a course of eternal progression.118 The “Treasures in the Heavens” is heady stuff; E. L. Cherbonnier has observed that the discovery that man really belongs to the same family as God, “to share in the same kind of existence which God himself enjoys,” is “like learning that one has won the sweepstakes.”119 The Evangelium is good news—the only good news, in fact, since all else ends in nothing. But it is also news, the sort of thing, as C. S. Lewis points out, that no human being could possibly have invented. Granted that the Treasures in the Heavens are something totally alien to human experience, something that “eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath entered into the heart of man,” they must be nonetheless real.120 “For the plan of Salvation,” as E. Soggin has recently put it, “only exists when we are dealing with reality, not with artificial contrivances; . . . as Hesse notes, ‘We are only interested in what really took place, all the rest being of little or no concern whatever.'”121 Likewise the religion of Egypt “n’est pas une mystique, mais une physique,” as we are now discovering.122 This attitude, diametrically opposite to that of Christian and Jewish scholars (for example, C. Schmidt) in the past, is gaining ground today. The old literalism has been dismissed as Gnostic, and indeed much of the appeal of Gnosticism lay in its exploitation of certain “cosmist” aspects of early Christian teaching; but the basic teachings of Gnosticism and Neoplatonism were spiritualized concepts that followed the prevailing line of the schools and ran directly counter to the old literalism of the Treasures of Heaven.123
While our sources contain “extremely confused and contradictory records of creation,” all seem to betray “a single organic foundation.”124 And while the relationship between them all still remains to be established, it becomes clearer every day that there was a relationship.125 The “cosmist” idea is not the monopoly of any group, Gnostic or otherwise. Indeed, cosmism was essentially anti-Gnostic. 126 The doctors of the Christians and the Jews who adopted the Neoplatonic and Gnostic ideas of the schools opposed the old literalism with all their might, so that to this day cosmism has remained the very essence of heresy. 127 Still, the very fathers who opposed the old teaching admitted that it was the original faith of the Saints, and they could not rid themselves of it without a real struggle.128
In view of its age, its universality, its consistency, and its scientific and aesthetic appeal, the doctrine of the Treasures in the Heavens should be studied more closely than it has been. What we have presented in intensely concentrated form is enough to show that references to treasures in religious writings may well conceal far more than a mere figure of speech.
* “Treasures in the Heavens: Some Early Christian Insight into the Organizing of the Worlds” was published in Dialogue: A Journal of Mormon Thought 8 (Autumn/Winter 1973): 76—98.
1. We have treated this theme in “Sparsiones,” Classical Journal 40 (1945): 515—43.
2. Secrets of Enoch 5:1; cf. 6:1; Jer. 51:16; Ps. 135:7; Job 38:22; 1 Enoch 18:1; Slavonic Enoch (in J.A.T. Robinson, Apocrypha Anecdota [Cambridge: 1897], II, p. 58); Pseudo-Philo 32:7 (in M. R. James, Antiquities of Philo [SPCK, 1917], 176). “Clouds of radiance drip moisture and life,” Psalms of Thomas 1:11 (A. Adam, in Zeitschrift für die Neutestamentliche Wissenschaft [hereinafter, ZNTW], Beih. No. 24 , 2); text in A Manichaean Psalm-Book (Stuttgart: 1938), pp. 203—28. On the heavens as a general storehouse and treasure house, K. Ahrens, in Zeitschrift der Deutschen Morgenländischen Gesellschaft (hereinafter, “ZDMG“) 84 (1930): 163, discussing Koran 15:21; cf. Ben Sirach 43:14ff. In the Enuma Elish, Tab. 7:8, God’s “treasure is the abundance which is poured out over all.” On the relevance of this source, see W. Bousset, Hauptprobleme der Gnosis (Göttingen: 1907), p. 246.
3. They are “for a blessing or a curse as the Lord of Spirits willeth.” (1 Enoch 59:1ff.; 60:22.) They must undergo a transformation to be useful to man. (Deut. 28:12; 1 Enoch 18:2; 60:15, 21—22; 3 Baruch 10:9—10.) They may serve “against the day of battle and war” (Job 38:22—23), for unless benignly restrained they are dark and destructive. (J. A. T. Robinson, Apocrypha Anecdota; cf. Odes Sol. 16:15—17; Pseudo-Philo 15:5).
4. “I am the Treasure of Life who descended upon the King of Glory, so that he was radiant in his understanding,” M. Lidzbarski. (Das Johannesbuch der Mandäer [hereinafter, “Johannesbuch der Mand.”] [Giessen: 1905], p. 203, no. 57.) God holds the keys to control and administer the treasure (K. Ahrens, in ZDMG 84 : 163); he restrains the elements as by a dam. (1 Enoch 60:1ff.), keeping them “sealed up” (Pseudo-Philo 13:6—10) in places of peace and order. (1 Baruch 3:12—15). His treasury is a shrine of wisdom. (Jer. 51:15—16.) For the Mandaeans, treasure means “capability, ability, worthiness.” (E. S. Drower, The Thousand and Twelve Questions [hereinafter, “1012 Questions“] [Berlin: Akad-Verlag, 1960], p. 117, n. 8.) An impressive treatment of the theme is in the Thanksgiving Hymns (hereinafter, “IQH”), especially 1, 3, 10—11, and 14.
5. Quotation is from E. S. Drower, A Pair of Nasoraean Commentaries (hereinafter, “Nasoraean Commentaries“) (Leiden: Brill, 1963), p. 69, n. 1; cf. 2 Baruch 54:13; Odes Sol. 4:10. The treasure is a fountain. (Cf. Prov. 8:24.) He has “a multitude of waters in the heavens.” (Jer. 51:16.) The source of all earthly treasure is a pool in heaven. (3 Baruch 10:1—10.) The “treasures of glory” are the clouds and earthly fountains, says the Battle Scroll (hereinafter, “IQM”) 10:12, the latter being fed by the former. (Pseudo-Philo 19:10; cf. N. Sed, “Une Cosmologie juive du haut moyen-age,” in Revue des Etudes Juives 124 , 64—65.) In the treasuries of the heavens are “the living waters” (1 Enoch 17:5); blessings pour from “the holy dwelling and the eternal fountain that never deceives” (IQSb [Isaiah Scroll—Hebrew University] 1:3); this is also temple imagery (1 Enoch 39:5). God’s creative intelligence is “a strong fountain” (IQH 12:11); Pindar, Olympian Odes 1:1ff.; 3:65ff.; and Aeschylus, Persians, II. 234—47, 405; 1207—18, equate the life-giving gold and silver of the divine treasurehouse of oracular wisdom with golden grain and silver fountains. The light of the treasure is also a stream. (Pistis Sophia 65 [132—33]). The creative process is an ever-flowing Jordan of Light. (M. Lidzbarski, Ginza [Göttingen: 1925], pp. 61—63, 67.)
6. 2 Baruch 54:13.
7. K. Koch, “Wort und Einheit des Schöpfergottes im Memphis und Jerusalem,” Zeitschrift für Theologie und Kirche (hereinafter, “ZThK“) 62 (1965): 276. This is one of many recent studies pointing out the relevance and importance of early Egyptian texts for the study of Jewish and Christian concepts. So. L. V. Zabkar, Journal of Near Eastern Studies (hereinafter, “JNES“) 13 (1954): 87; R. Anthes, JNES 18 (1959): 169—212; L. Speleers, Les Textes des Cercueils (Brussels: 1946), p. 28. The five stoicheia “gush forth” from the five treasurehouses. (Manichäische Handschriften der Staatl. Museen Berlin [hereinafter, “Berlin Manich. Hs.”] [Stuttgart: 1940] 1:30.)
8. Such a scene is depicted in the archaic text of the so-called Shabako stone (K. Sethe, Das ‘Denkmal Memphitischer Theologie,’ der Schabakostein des Britischen Museums [Leipzig: 1928], pp. 23—32, 60—70); in the Pyramid Texts (Louis Speleers, Brussels: 1923—24), e.g., No. 468 (895); and Coffin Texts (A. de Buck, ed., Univ. of Chicago: 1938), e.g. no. 39 (166—67); in Enuma Elish, Tab. 3:132—38; 4:6. On the general Near Eastern background of the Council in Heaven, see F. M. Cross, JNES 12 (1953): 274—77; H. W. Robinson, Journal of Theological Studies (hereinafter, “JTS“) 45 (1944): 151—57. On the presentation of the plan, see J. Fichtner, Zeitschrift für die Alttestamentliche Wissenschaft (hereinafter, “ZATW“) 63 (1951): 16—33. The scene is presented in the Serekh Scroll (or Manual of Discipline; hereinafter, “IQS”) 10:1ff.; Ben Sirach 17:11—12; 1012 Questions, p. 112.
9. Thus in the Shabako stone (see above, note 8) as rendered by J. Breasted, The Development of Religion and Thought in Ancient Egypt (London: 1912), p. 46: “Then he assembled all the gods and their kas [saying to them]: ‘Come ye and take possession of the Meb-towe, the divine store-house . . . whence is furnished the Life of the Two Lands.'” Cf. Pindar, Pythian Odes 11:5: “Come to the hidden Melian treasury of the golden tripods, . . . the storehouse of true counsels, where the host of heroes assembles.” Cf. Jer. 10:12—13; 4 Ezra 8:20—21; Ben Sirach 39:12—17; IQH 1:10; 13:1; IQS 10:1—2; Odes Sol. 15 and 16; 19:1ff.; Acts of Thomas, ch. 136 (A. F. J. Klijn, The Acts of Thomas [Leiden: Brill, 1962], p. 137); Psalms of Thomas 1:7—14; the Second Gnostic Work, 39a (C. Schmidt, Texte u. Untersuchungen [hereinafter “TU“], 8 : 254, 301). At the great council in heaven the Son said to the father: “If it please Thee . . . speak, open Thy treasury, and take therefrom a boon,” the boon being the plan of salvation. (Prayerbook of the Mandaeans, No. 250, in E. S. Drower, The Canonical Prayerbook of the Mandaeans [hereinafter “CPM“] [Leiden: Brill, 1959], p. 207); the scene is also described on pages 225 (No. 318), 227 (No. 321), 228 (No. 323), 252 (No. 358, cf. 365—68), 269 (No. 375), 271ff. (No. 376). There is a dramatic description of the opening of the chest in the Alma Rishaia Zuta 3:199ff. (in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 69). So Ginza, p. 493. There are five treasuries of the senses; when the mind (enthymesis) wants to create, it opens the appropriate treasure chest to get the things it needs (Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:138—40), the things being the elements in an unformed state (ibid., p. 54). Though they were later corrupted by mixture with a lower state of matter or ground-substance, the physical elements are in themselves pure and holy (ibid., p. 239); in their corrupt earthly form they are gold, silver, copper, lead, and tin (ibid., p. 33). God also opens a treasure chest to bring forth healing elements for man. (Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 46.)
10. Gospel of Truth (M. Malinine et al., Evangelium Veritatis [Zürich: 1956], fol. XIVv, 5—7.) Smoke, fire, wind, and water were the chaotic contents of the divine storehouse. (Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 9.) In Ginza, p. 259, there is a leavening substance, a “Sauerteig der Welt,” kept in the divine treasure house, and from this the world and the planets are created, as higher worlds are created of a like substance (p. 261). God furnishes “the whole creation” from “the treasuries of all the winds” (1 Enoch 18:1), which are in the midst of “secret things” amidst mountains of precious stones and minerals (ibid. 52:5). On wind as the “Urstoff,” see Coffin Texts, Spell 162, II, 401; on water, see W. Lambert, JTS 16 (1965): 293.
11. For a thorough treatment, see H. F. Weiss, Untersuchungen zur Kosmologie des hellenistischen und Palästinischen Judentums (Berlin: Akad.-Verlag, 1966), pp. 59—74, and notes 81—84, below; see also W. Richter, “Urgeschichte und Hoftheologie,” Biblische Zeitschrift (hereinafter “BZ“), NF 10 (1966): 97; H. A. Brongers, De Scheppingstradities bij de Profeten (Amsterdam: 1945), pp. 3—18.
12. The idea is carried over into the widespread ritual dramatizations of the Creation, whose essence is the strict regulation of persons, times, and places. (S. Mowinckel, Religion und Kultus [Göttingen: 1953], pp. 53—59; see esp. Pistis Sophia 128—135 [pp. 325—57]).
13. This is an unfailing part of the picture: the Hallelujah chorus with its refrain of “Forever and ever!” is the closing section of almost any ritual text. See W. F. Otto, Die Musen und der göttlichen Ursprung des Singens und Sagens (Düsseldorf-Köln: E. Diederich, 1956); H. Nibley, “The Expanding Gospel,” BYU Studies 7 (1965): 3—27.
14. K. Koch, in ZThK 62 (1965): 271, 281—82, shows that the “creative word of God” originally refers to a conversation, a discussion with others. The Egyptian concept is discussed by H. Junker, Die Götterlehre von Memphis (Berlin: Akad. d. Wiss., 1940), pp. 36—37, 42, 55; the holy ones are “as it were extensions of the Great God.” (H. Grapow, Das 17. Kapitel des aeg. Totenbuches [Berlin: 1912], p. 40.) See above, notes 8 and 9. May not the logos of John 1 also be a “council” discussion?
15. Quotation from D. Winston, in History of Religions 5 (1966): 212, citing Jewish and Persian sources. It was a real discussion, in which many divergent views were expressed, as described in Timothy Archbishop of Alexandria, Discourse on Abbaton (hereinafter “Abp. Timothy on Abbaton”) fol. 10a—12a (in E. A. W. Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms [Br. Mus.: 1914], pp. 232—34); Ginza, pp. 331—33; Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 361 (CPM, 255); Alma Rishaia Zuta 3:215ff. (in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, pp. 67, 70); Alma Rishaia Rba 4:150ff. (in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 7).
16. IQM 12:2—3; IQSa (Isaiah Scroll—St. Marks) 1:1ff. The world was created on their behalf. (Ascension of Moses 1:12; 4 Ezra 9:13—14.) All the elect were known and the kingdom with “the riches of his glory” (i.e., the treasure) appointed to them “from the foundation of the world.” (Matt. 25:34, 41; Rom. 9:23; Odes Sol. 23:1—3; Psalms of Solomon 7:30; Didache 10:3; Test. Dom. nostri J. Christi [J. E. Rahmani, ed.; Mainz: 1899], p. 25.) They are the pearls in the treasure house of Life. (Ginza, pp. 590—91.) They alone share the secrets of the treasure. (Ibid., p. 296; cf. IQH 17:9.)
17. IQM 13:2; 7:6; 15:13; IQSa (Isaiah Scroll—St. Marks) 2:8—9, 14—15, 20; IQH 3:20—21. Every major event in the New Testament is marked by the presence on the scene of heavenly beings participating with the Saints in the activities.
18. IQM 5:10; Clementine Recognitions 3:53—54, 58; 5:5—7; Oxyrhynchus Frg., No. 654:5ff.; Gospel of Thomas 80:14—18; 94:14ff.; 19:1ff.; Gospel of Truth, fol. IXr, 2—4; Lactantius, Div. Inst. 4:2. “The Chosen people alone understand what the others have rejected.” (K. Koch, ZThK 62 : 292.)
19. IQH 1:21; 2:7, 13, 17; 3:19ff.; 4:27; 5:25; 6:10—11; 7:26—30; 10:4, 14ff., 22ff., 29; 11:4—8, 10; 27—28; 12:11—12; 13:18—19; 15:21—22; cf. IQS 11:6—7; 9:16—18; Isa. 45:3; Matt. 11:25ff.; Rom. 11:33, 12; Eph. 3:8—9; Col. 1:26—27; 2:2—3; Phil. 4:19; Ep. Barnab. 6; Odes Sol. 11:4—5; Gospel of Truth, fol. XVIr, 17; Test. Dom. nostri J. Christi 43 (Rahmani, 103); Ben Sirach 17:11—13; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 120, 126. “In a certain way, election is pre-existence,” writes J. Zandee in Numen 11 (1964): 46, citing Logion No. 49 of the Gospel of Thomas. Not only the Son of Man but Isaac, Jacob, Jeremiah, the Twelve Apostles, Peter, etc., are specifically said to have been chosen and set apart in the preexistence.
20. Clement of Alexandria, Paedagog., 1, 7 (in Migne, Patrologiae Gracae [hereinafter “PG“] 8:321), citing Jer. 1:7, 5; cf. Eph. 1:4; 1 Pet. 1:20. The awards and assignments handed out at the Creation must have been earned in a preexistent life. (Origen, De princip., I, 8:4; II, 9:6—8; cf. Zadokite Document 2:7; IQS 1:7; 3:15; 4:22.)
21. The expression occurs in Gospel of Thomas 84:17; Gospel of Philip 112:10; cf. Secrets of Enoch 23:4—6; IQH 1:19; 13:8; Odes Sol. 7:11.
22. 2 Baruch 21:16; cf. Gospel of Philip 112:10: “For he who is both was and shall be.” “By not yet existing, I do not mean that they do not exist at all.” (Gospel of Truth, fol. XIVv, 22—23.) The formula “out of the eternities and into the eternities” is found in IQS 2:1 and indicates an endless past as well as an endless future for man, “for Thou didst establish them before eternity.” (IQH 13:8.) “When he prepared the heavens I was there. . . . Then I was by him, as one brought up with him; and I was daily his delight.” (Prov. 8:27, 30; see H. Donner, Aegypt. Zeitschr. 81 : 8—18, for Egyptian parallels.)
23. With a new creation, things become visible on a new level. (Secrets of Enoch 24:5—25:1; 24:2; 30:10—11; 65; 2 Baruch 51:8.) This is consistent with the doctrine that one sees or comprehends only what one is like. (See below, note 103.) In the Genesis creation hymn, “everything is as it were created twice, in two different ways.” (J. B. Bauer, Theol. Zeitschr. 20 : 7.) Albright has shown that “in the beginning” does not refer to an absolute beginning but to the start of a new phase in a going concern. (Ibid., p. 1.) Ex ouk onton refers to such a phase rather than to creation ex nihilo. (W. Richter, BZ, NF 10 (1966): 97, citing 2 Macc. 7:28 and Homil. Clem. 19:4, 9, 16, 18.)
24. The concept of Gen. 1 and Ps. 94 and 104 is the same as the old Egyptian idea that the Creation was the beginning of a new cycle of time following a different kind of age. (K. Koch, ZThK 62 : 257.) At the Creation, God showed his children “what they did not know before, creating new things and abolishing old agreements, to establish that which should be eternally.” (IQH 13:10—12; Ben Sirach 36:6—8.) Passing from one life to another is a renewal (IQH 11:12ff.); one’s existence does not begin with the womb, though a new life begins there (IQH 15:12—15; Apocalypse of Adam 78:1). When the “treasury of the heavenly King is opened” the Saints become heirs to a new kingdom by a renewal of the mind. (Acts of Thomas, ch. 136.) To become a Christian is to accept a new creation. (Epist. to Diognetus 11.)
25. See below, note 79. The Egyptians taught that a creation was the reuniting of existing things in new forms. (R. Anthes, Aegypt. Zeitschr. 82 : 3.) Untamed chaotic matter is represented as a raging beast, e.g., Pistis Sophia 54 (104); 55 (105); when the beast is subdued, an orderly world is composed of its substance. (Ibid., 70 .) Can this be the origin of the common tradition of creation from the body of some slain monster?
26. Clementine Recognitions 1:28. So Ginza, pp. 506, 508—10, 438. The spirits are equal in age but not in power and glory, in which they compare as fathers to sons, without any rivalry or jealousy. (Sophia Christi 97:2ff.)
27. Every man has a dmuta—”likeness, counterpart, image”—which is the “spiritual or ideal counterpart or double. (1012 Questions, p. 11); it is “the pre-existent pneumatic part of man” (Ibid., pp. 122, n. 5; 161; 173, n. 3). Thus Paul (in the Apocalypsis Pauli 18:22ff.) and Tobit (in an Aramaic text of Tobit from Qumran) both see their spiritual doubles. In the remarkable Vision of Kenaz, in the Pseudo-Philo 28:8, that early prophet sees the spirits of men walking about in another spirit world while waiting for this world to be created. This is the Mandaean “Ether-Earth.” (Mandaean Prayerbook [CPM, p. 290, n. 4].) Before the creation of the world, “the souls still sat in the Kanna, without pain and without defect.” (Johannesbuch der Mand., 55, No. 13.) All creatures are double. (Pastor Hermae, II [Mand., 8], 1), and all souls existed before the formation of the world (Secrets of Enoch 23:5). The related Platonic doctrine “became a prevailing dogma in later Judaism,” according to R. H. Charles. (Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament [Oxford: 1913], II, 444, n. 5.)
28. “God has shed upon man the splendor of his glory at the creation of all things.” (IQH 16:9; 7:24ff.; Secrets of Enoch 24:1—5; 22:8B; Odes Sol. 28:14—15; 41; 24:5; 36:3—5; Gospel of Thomas 90:2; Gospel of Philip 112:12, 14—15; The Nature of the Archons 144:20 [in Theologische Literaturzeitung, 83 (1958), 668]; Pastor Hermae, Simil. 1:1; Mandaean texts cited by R. Bultmann, “Die neuerschlossenen mandäischen Quellen . . . ,” ZNTW 24 : 108—9.) One is awed by the thought that this thing of wet dust once “praised amongst the praising ones . . . [was] great . . . amongst the mighty ones.” (Odes Sol. 36:4; IQS 11:20—22; IQSb [Isaiah Scroll—Hebrew University] 3:28.) To know one’s true identity is the great treasure. (Gospel of Thomas 80:26; 81:3—4; 87:1—2.) “I am a Son and come out of the Father . . . descended from the pre-existing Father,” etc. (Apocryphon of James 1:333, 15—16.)
29. Thus a fragment from Turfan, cited by Bultmann, p. 126: “I come from the light as one of the gods, and here I have become a stranger.” With characteristic vanity, the Gnostics reserved such glory for themselves alone. (Irenaeus, adv. Haeres., I, 6; cf. Odes Sol. 41:8; The Pearl 11, 31—44, 56.)
30. Job 38:3—7, 21. This last is not stated as a question in the Masoretic Text, but as a flat declaration (IQM 17:20—27); “. . . peace was prepared for you before ever your war was,” and God will not take back the promises made at the Creation. (Odes Sol. 4:12—14.)
31. Gospel of Thomas, Log. 84. When Adam complained of his hard lot on earth, a heavenly messenger shamed him by reminding him of the throne awaiting him in heaven. (Johannesbuch der Mand., 57, No. 13.) “Endure much; then you will soon see your treasure!” (Ginza, p. 493; cf. Apocryphon of John 20:19—22; 7.)
32. E.g., IQH 3:22; 7:32; 10:1ff., and above, note 19; cf. Acts 1:23, 26.
33. Those who will go to heaven are they who came from there in the first place. (John 3:13.) They recognize the Lord on earth even as they once acclaimed him above. (John 17:8, 10—12.)
34. Justin Martyr, Apol., 1:10, 59; 2:4—5, 7. So Zadokite Frg. 2:3—6. “When you lay your hand on the treasure the soul enters the scales that will test her.” (Alma Rishaia Rba [in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, pp. 44—46].) Only when you have overcome here “is your name called out from the Book of Those Who Were Valiant, and you become the heir to our Kingdom.” (The Pearl 46—48.) For the reward aspect, see Origen, De princ., I, 8:4; II, 9:6—8; cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 4, 58, on this “world of testing.”
35. Clementine Recognitions 1:24.
36. K. Sethe, Das ‘Denkmal Memphitischer Theologie’ der Schabakostein des Britischen Museums (Leipzig: 1928), I, 64—65.
37. A specific counterplan is mentioned in Clementine Recognitions 3:61; cf. IQH 13:4; IQS 2:4ff.; 4QFlor. 1:8; Gospel of Philip 123:2ff.; 103:14ff.; Apocryphon of John 74:1ff.; 36:16ff.; 72:10ff.; Sophia Christi 122:1ff. There are those in the Church who preach the doctrine of the Serpent, according to the Pseudo-Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians in Bodmer Papyrus 10:54:15, describing his ambitious opposition to God’s plan in the beginning. (Ibid. 10:53:11—15.)
38. “Now the Prince, not being righteous and wanting to be God . . . enchains all the flesh of men.” (Bodmer Papyrus, 10:53.) So Irenaeus, adv. Haer., 5:25; Creation Apocryphon 151:11ff. (in A. Bohlig u. P. Labib, Die Koptisch-Gnostische Schrift ohne Titel aus Cod. II von Nag Hammadi [Berlin: Akad.-Verlag, 1962], pp. 48—49); 155:25ff.; 150:27, 35; 151:3, 7, 15, 18, 24; 154:19ff., 14—15; 156:1; Psalms of Thomas 2:1—2; 1:30—37, 22—25, 43—47; 7:1—3; Test. Dom. nostri J. Christi 23:43, Acts of Thomas (A. J. Klijn) 204:22—25; Book of John the Evangelist (ed. M. R. James), pp. 187—89; Vita Adae et Evae 15:3; 16:1, 4 (in R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, p. 137); hypostasis of the Archons 134:9 (after Isa. 46:9); 140:26; 141:1; Abp. Timothy on Abbaton, fol. XIIIa; Pseudo-Philo 34:2—3; Sibylline Oracles 3:105ff. (in Charles, 381); Ascension of Isaiah 2:1—9; 7:3—5, 9—10, 15; Secrets of Enoch 10:1—6; 31A:3—5; Johannesbuch der Mand., 3 (14—15, 17ff.), No. 2; Alma Rishaia Zuta 3:215ff. (in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 70); Ginza, pp. 18, 263.
39. When God sent forth a ship of light “laden with the riches of the Living,” Satan and his pirate crew coming “I know not from where” seized “the treasure of the Mighty One” and “distributed it among their worlds,” until they were forced to give it up. (Psalms of Thomas 3:1—15, 29—32, 35; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 53, 163, 178; cf. the image of the three ships, Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:50; Psalms of Thomas 12:1—13.) The Second Coptic Work 14a (ed. C. Schmidt, in TU 8:236, 286) has Christ coming out of the monas of Setheus “like a ship laden with all manner of precious things,” so also the Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 151—152, 168, 171, 174; in the Johannesbuch der Mand. 206, No. 58, a ship moves between the worlds bearing the glory of the Treasure of Life from one to the other. In the Egyptian Victory Over Seth 1:19—22, the god passes through dangerous straits in his ship while Seth and his robber band try to waylay him. (In the Book of the Dead, the battle of the gods takes place on board a ship [H. Grapow, Das 17. Kapitel des Totenbuches, p. 37].) When Adam returns to “the Treasure of Life,” he is asked by the guardians “what wares he is bringing in his ship.” (J. Leipoldt, Religionsgeschichte des Orients [Leiden: Brill, 1961], pp. 86—87). In numerous Acts of Thomas, the Captain of the ship or the rich merchant is Christ in disguise, e.g., A. Klijn, Acts of Thomas 2—3. The same commercial imagery of the ship appears in the Johannesbuch der Mand., 84—86, No. 20—21; cf. Ginza, p. 324. The seven planets are described as floating ships (Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 286 [CPM, p. 288]); these seven try to rob man of his treasure (Psalms of Thomas 5:4 [in ZNTW, Beih. 24 (1959): 123]); 1012 Questions, pp. 251, 258. The Ark itself was not a ship but a luminous cloud in space, according to the Apocryphon of John 73:5—12.
40. Mark 5:5ff.; Luke 4:34—35. The recognition is mutual. (Luke 4:41; 8:27—28; 10:17—18.) The contest is continued in the desert (Matt. 4:1), with Satan still claiming the rule and challenging the Lord’s title (Matt. 4:10, 3). The war we wage here (Eph. 6:12) is a continuation of the conflict in the beginning. (Hypostasis of the Archons 134:20). Those who follow either leader here, followed the same there. (John 8:44, 7; Odes Sol. 24:5—9.)
41. Apocryphon of James 53:12ff. (the gifts); Apocryphon of Adam 85:1—2 (ordinances); 1012 Questions, II, 3b, 86 (226—27) (signs); 2 Thes. 2:9 (wonders); Bodmer Papyrus 10:54 (doctrine); Apocalypse of Elias 1:8ff. (glory); they are even rival fishermen (Logion, No. 174, in M. Osin et Palacias, “Logia et agrapha D. Jesu,” Patrologia Orientalis [hereinafter “PO“] 19:574).
42. Matt. 6:19—21; 13:10ff.; 19:21, 29; Mark 10:21; 12:41ff.; Luke 18:21—22; 12:21, 32; Rom. 2:5; 1 Tim. 6:17—19; Jer. 48:7; Ben Sirach 5:2. Many Logia deal with the theme. (M. A. Palacias, “Logia et agrapha,” Nos. 13—14, 34, 42, 44, 50, 53—55, 77 [in Graffin, PO 13:357ff.].) So the Gospel of Thomas, 37, 137, 147; Apocalypse of Elias 8:12—13; Psalms of Thomas 1:17—19; Apocryphon of James 2:53; Acts of Thomas 37, 137, 147; Gospel of Thomas 85:6ff.; 86:24—29; 92; 94:14—22; 95:15; 98:31—99:4; Slavonic Adam and Eve 33:1ff. It is important not to confuse the treasure or to falsify. (Ginza, pp. 19, 40, 123—24, 334, 394, 433; cf. Pistis Sophia 100 [249—51]; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:223, 228—29; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 75, 79, 82.)
43. Hence the paradox that the “poor” are the rich. (Epist. to Diognetus 5; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 157.) See below, note 45.
44. Treasures now “prepared” and awaiting the righteous on the other side ( Mark 10:40; Gospel of Truth, fol. XXIv, 11—17) can be claimed only by meeting certain stipulations (Gospel of Philip 108:1ff.). All treasures are held in trust, “dedicated” (1 Chron. 26:20; Pseudo-Philo 21:3), and will be handed over when the time comes (1 Enoch 51:1). The righteous “without fear leave this world,” because they have with God “a store of works preserved in treasuries.” (2 Baruch 14:12; 24:1.) Whatever part of the Treasure we enjoy on earth is not ours but has only been entrusted to our keeping. (1012 Questions, I, i; 111—12; 122—23.) On the “treasury of good works” as an old Oriental doctrine, see K. Ahrens, ZDMG 84 (1930): 163. One’s good works will lead to future rewards and recompense, says Ignatius, Epist. ad Polycarp 6. The Christian (Manichaean) and Chinese versions are compared by A. Adam, in J. Leipoldt, Religionsgeschichte des Orients, p. 109; for the Iranian version, see D. Winston, in History of Religions 5 (1966): 194—95, who also mentions concealing the treasure under God’s throne (p. 212), to which parallels are supplied by 2 Baruch 54:13; Ginza, p. 281; the Shabako Stone, line 61; and the Ark of the Covenant “under the feet of the statue of God,” W. H. Irwin, Revue Biblique 72 (1965): 164. This is the theme of The Pearl.
45. Matt. 25:14—29. The rich man is welcome to his treasures on earth but cannot claim treasures in heaven. (Matt. 19:21, 24; 6:19—20; Mark 10:25; Luke 18:22; 12:33—34; 2 Baruch 44:13—15; Secrets of Enoch 1:5; Gospel of Thomas 88:34—35; 89:1ff.; Acts of Thomas 146; 1012 Questions, II, iv, 159 .) It is a Jewish, Christian, and Mandaean tradition that earthly prayers are laid up in God’s treasure-house. (Johannesbuch der Mand., 10, n. 2; Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 379 [CPM, 293].) If a righteous one strays, “his treasure will be taken from him.” (Alma Rishaia Zuta, 1 [in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 55]; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:73.)
46. Apocalypsis Pauli, 19 (text in Orientalia 2 : 22); cf. 2 Baruch 52:7; 1012 Questions, vib, 379 (279).
47. IQS 4:16—18. This is an “Abbild” of the cosmic struggle. (J. Schreiner, in BZ, NF 9 (1965): 180; J. M. Allegro, in Jnl. of Semit. Stud. 9 (1964): 291—94.
48. For the erasing of the memory, see below, note 60. The “Law of Liberty” (Khoq kherut) of IQS 10:6, 11, is “the Ancient Law of Liberty” of Clementine Recognitions 2:23—25; 3:26, 59; 4:24, 34:10:2; cf. Minucius Felix, Octav. 27; Cyril of Jerusalem, Catehesis 4:19—20 (in Migne, PG 33:481). Having such freedom, the wicked have deliberately rejected God’s plan. (IQS 4:25—26.) Though the evil spirits are fiercely opposed to this liberty (Clementine Recognitions 1:42), the “testing of election for every single individual” goes on without coercion in “truth, righteousness, humility, judgment,” etc., while the self-willed are free “to go the way of their own heart . . . according to the plan of his own devising” (IQS 5:3—5), the spirit being “immortal, rational and independent” (Const. Apostol. 6:11; Tatian, Adv. Graecos 7). The present test was appointed from the beginning. (IQM 13:14ff.) “This is the condition of the contest which every man who is born on the earth must wage; if he be overcome, he shall suffer; . . . if he be victorious, he shall receive what I said.” (4 Ezra 7:127—29; cf. IQH 14:23.) It is “a testing-time in the common light.” (Sibylline Oracles, frg. 18.) See further J. B. Bauer, Theolog. Zeitschr. 20 (1964): 2—3.
49. A. Adam, “Die Psalmen des Thomas u. das Perlenlied,” ZNTW, Beih. 24 (1959): 49—54. The Syriac text is given by G. Hoffman in ZNTW 4 (1903): 273—83, bearing the title “Song of Judas Thomas the Apostle in the Land of India.” Thomas’s situation in India resembles that of the hero in the Land of Egypt. The pearl itself comes from the other world and is that part of the heavenly knowledge that is to be found here (Mandaean Prayerbook. No. 252 [CPM, 208—9]); when it is taken away the world collapses (Ginza, p. 517); it is the pure pearl that was transported from the treasuries of Life (Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 69). The robe of glory, left behind with the Treasure, is to be regained with it. (Bartholomew, “Book of the Resurrection of Christ,” Fol. 18b [in E. A. W. Budge, Coptic Apocrypha, p. 208]; Pistis Sophia 6 [9—10].)
50. J. Leipoldt, Religionsgeschichte des Orients, p. 86; Abp. Timothy on Abbaton, fol. 20b. The joyful homecoming is a conspicuous Egyptian theme from the beginning: there is rejoicing among the great ones, for one of their own has returned. (Pyramid Texts, No. 606 , 217 ; 222 ; 212, 213, etc.; Coffin Texts [de Buck], II, Spells 31, 132.) The theme is discussed by H. Brunner, in Aegypt. Zeitschr. 80 (1955): 6—7. The righteous are homesick. (1 Enoch 14:4; 42:1ff.; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 197—200, 87.) Going to heaven is a return. (4 Ezra 7:78; John 17:5—6; 3:7—13; Rev. 5:12.) The Saints desire “to be received back again” into “the first Church [that] . . . existed from the beginning,” before the Creation. (2 Clem. Epist. 14; Clementine Recognitions 3:26; Test. Dom. nostri J. Christi, 28 ; Abp. Timothy on Abbaton, fol. 20b; 12a; Gospel of Phillip 115:13.) The Saints find the Kingdom because they came from there. (Gospel of Thomas 89:27; Pastor Hermae, III [Simil. 1, the Pearl motif]; Apocalypsis Pauli 43:9; 44:6ff.; Apocryphon of James 1:27:5ff., 12; 31:13—25; 2:58:2ff.) “The Living Ones will return again to the Treasure which is theirs.” (Psalms of Thomas 1:49; cf. 18:1ff.; 17:20ff.) In the end everything returns to its “root.” (Creation Apocryphon 175:4; cf. J. Zandee, Numen 11 : 66.) Those above are equally impatient for the reuniting. (Pistis Sophia, 10 [16—19]; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 201, 72, 136.)
51. In reclaiming its treasure, the spirit “becomes what it was before removing its garment.” (Apocryphon of James 2:56:11ff.; cf. Gospel of Philip 105:19; Psalms of Thomas 2:70—72, 74, 77; Acts of Thomas 6—7 (lines 35—55 of The Pearl); Second Gnostic Work i—a; Ginza pp. 487, 26—27; Odes Sol. 11:10.) The garment is the treasure for both men and angels (Ginza, p. 13); the garment of Adam and Eve “was like the Treasure of Life” (ibid., p. 243); it is a protection for the righteous that the evil ones try to seize and possess (ibid., pp. 247, 259, 132).
52. The garment represents ritual in general. (C. Schmidt, in TU 8 : 347.)
53. 1012 Questions, pp. 212, 241; the ordinances are “the treasures that transcend the world.” (Ibid., p. 245.) “Ginza” means “a treasure, mystery, sacrament, . . . what is hidden and precious.” (Ibid., p. 12.) As guardian of these secrets and mysteries, the Eldest Son is called “the Treasurer.” (Ginza, p. 150.) The eldest are they who observe the ordinances secretly in this world (ibid., pp. 153—54), and their highest duty is to transmit and explain these rites to their children (Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 373 [CPM, 266]). See S. A. Pallis, Mandaean Studies, p. 192.
54. Discussed by B. Gärtner, The Temple and Community in Qumran and the New Testament (Cambridge Univ.: 1965), pp. 16ff. The temple with its rites is the earthly counterpart of the heavenly treasury. (1 Baruch 4:3—5.) Since the Creation, the ordinances have been essential to God’s plan. (Jubilees 6:18.) It is in the cultus that the cosmic plan is unfolded. (N. A. Dahl, in W. D. Davies and D. Daube, eds., Background of the New Testament, pp. 430—31.) And the return of the temple is the return of the heavenly order. (4QFlor. 1; 6.)
55. That is, 1 and 2 Jeu and the Second Gnostic Work. Without the “mysteries,” one has no power and no light (Pistis Sophia 55 ); this is a “Hauptthema” of the Gospel of Phillip 124. The old temple rite of the shewbread is an initiation to the Treasury of Light (Pistis Sophia 4:142). One’s station (taxis) hereinafter depends entirely on the mysteries one has “received” on earth. (Ibid., 90 ; 86 ; 32 ; 125 ; 129 .) Without the performance of certain ordinances, no one, no matter how righteous, can enter into the Light. (Pistis Sophia 103 .) Hence the rites are all-important. (Ibid., 107, 11 , 100 [249—250].) One becomes “an heir of the Treasure of Light by becoming perfect in all the mysteries.” (2 Jeu 76; 1 Jeu 5; Apocryphon of John 53:11ff.)
56. K. Ahrens, in ZDMG 84 (1930): 163; quotation is from D. Winston, History of Religions 5 (1966): 195, giving Jewish and Avestan sources; cf. 1QS 10:4, 2:3, Secrets of Enoch 40:9—10. At the fall of the temple “the heavens shut up the treasure of the rain” and the priests “[took] the Keys of the sanctuary, and cast them into the height of heaven.” (2 Baruch 10:18.) The key to the Mandaean kushta (initiation rights) is held by the Master of the Treasurehouse. (Ginza, pp. 429—30.) So also in the Pistis Sophia 133 (351), the ordinances are “the keys to the Kingdom of Heaven.” The keys that Christ gave to Peter were those to “the Heavenly Treasure.” (Epistola XII Apostolorum, Frg. 2, in Migne, PO 2:147.)
57. 2 Jeu 73 (in C. Schmidt, TU 8:211—12); the same image is in Pistis Sophia 14 (23); cf. IQH 17:21: “God has chosen his elect . . . instructed him in the understanding of his mysteries so that he could not go astray . . . fortified by his secrets.” Through definite ordinances one progresses in the community and helps others to progress (IQH 14:17—18), teaching of “the Creation and of the Treasures of Glory” (IQM 10:12—13), and testing the knowledge of the members (IQM 17:8; IQSb [Isaiah Scroll—Hebrew University] 3:22—26). In the Coptic works, all the rites “serve a single oekonomia, i.e., the gathering in of the spirits who have received the mysteries, so that they can be sealed . . . and proceed to the kleronomia (heritage) of Light . . . called in the literal sense of the word of the Treasure of Light.” (C. Schmidt, in TU 8 : 365.) In Pastor Hermae, I, Vision 3:5, the Saints are raised up by degrees, being tested at each step, to be incorporated into the precious tower.
58. 1012 Questions, pp. 212, 241. See Morton Smith, The Secret Gospel (N.Y.: Harpers, 1972), pp. 96, 115, 83.
59. J. Zandee, in Numen 11 (1964): 44. Adam is the type of the initiate (Ep. Barnab. 6:11—16) from whom the mysteries have been handed down (Apocryphon of Adam 85:19ff.). He was privy to the whole plan of creation (2 Baruch 4:2ff.; Secrets of Enoch 30:13ff.), being in the “Creation Hymn” (Gen. 1:26ff.) as “God’s counterpart as a speaking, active, personal being” (J. B. Bauer, in Theol. Zeitschr. 20:8), a historical, not a mythological, character (ibid., p. 7). He “came forth out of the light of the invisible place” (Pseudo-Philo 28:9) and received the first anointing (Creation Apocryphon 159:5; Clementine Recognitions 1:47). It is “the light of Adam” that leads men back to the Light (Psalms of Thomas 4:9ff.); and the faithful are promised “all the glory of Adam” (IQS 4:23). He is called “the son of the Treasuries of Radiance” in the Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 379 (CPM, 290).
60. On the sleep of forgetting, see The Pearl 34; Psalms of Thomas 15:5—10; Apocryphon of Adam 65:14—21; Abp. Timothy on Abbaton, fol. 15b; Sophia Christi 106:1—10; Creation Apocryphon 158:25; Apocryphon of James 1:28:14, 22—23; Hypostasis of the Archons 137:1—5. It is the “Sem-sleep” of the Egyptian initiation rites. It is also expressed in terms suggesting Plato’s Cup of Lethe (Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 7, 57, 117), and as the dropping of a veil (Sophia Christi 120 [in TU, 60:280]; Pistis Sophia 131 [336—38]; Ginza, p. 34); the Cup of Lethe plays an important role in the Greek mysteries; to a lesser extent the Cup of Memory is discussed by C. Schmidt in TU 8 (1892); 405—6.
61. Called “Three Great Men” in Apocryphon of Adam 66:12ff., they are three archangels. (Creation Apocryphon 152:23; Sophia Christi 96:3ff.; Second Gnostic Work 19a.) They are sent down to instruct and accompany Adam. (Ginza, pp. 15, 33—35.) They are the Three Uthras, “sent into the world to fetch the Elect . . . back to the House of Light.” (R. Bultmann, in ZNTW 24 : 132.) Thus Enoch is fetched by three men in white (1 Enoch 90:31), who also visit Abraham (Gen. 18:1—2;Genesis Apocryphon 21:21). For the Jewish version of the Three Men in White, see R. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period (New York: Pantheon, 1958) 9:102—4, 84—89; 10:91—96. Cf. J. Barbel, “Zur Engel-trinitätslehre im Urchristentum,” in Theological Review 54 (1954): 48—58, 103—12; K. Rudolph, Die Mandäer, I, 162, noting that these three were the arch-types of the Sent Ones in general.
62. Cf. Odes Sol. 29:1ff.; 22:1; Psalms of Thomas 5:28; Gospel of Truth, fol. XIv, 22; 1 Jeu 3; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:56; not only Adam but every patriarch after him is instructed by a Sent One. (Johannesbuch der Mand., 57ff., No. 13, 14; 60, n. 6.) Indeed, the Sent Ones are to help every mortal back “to the place from which he came.” (Ginza, p. 244; cf. IQS 11:1; Luke 1:76—79 Johnthe Baptist as a Sent One].) The adversary also has his sent ones. (Pistis Sophia 66 .)
63. Being rejected like the poor, the Sent Ones may be identified with them. (R. Bultmann, in ZNTW 24 : 124.) The evil spirits accuse the Sent Ones of being aliens and meddlers in the earth (Ginza, pp. 263—64) and accuse Adam and his descendants of the same thing. The poor are the true heirs. (4QPs 37:3—10; Odes Sol. 8:6—13); see K. Romaniuk, in Aegyptus 44 (1964): 85, 88, citing Old Testament and New Testament parallels to Egyptian teachings. Their “angels” have unbroken contact with the Father. ( Matt. 18:10.)
64. The Sent One is the treasure. (C. Schmidt, in TU 8 : 349.) The Saints receive the law “by angels” (literally, “sent ones”) (Acts 7:53), there being six angels (cf. six dispensations) (Pastor Hermae, I, Vision 3:4). “For there has come from the plains of heaven a blessed man . . . and [he] has restored to all the good the wealth [treasure] which the former men took away,” namely, the ordinances of the temple. (Sibylline Oracles 5:414—33.) “Thou didst appoint from the beginning a Prince of Light to assist us.” (IQM 13:10.) Enos, Enoch, Moses, and Joshua were such Sent Ones (Const. Apostol. 7:38), as was John the Baptist, restoring lost ordinances and preparing the people for things to come (John 1:6; Luke 1:16—17; Heb. 1:14; cf. IQS 9:11). Those who accept the plan had a pure begetting through the First Sent One. (Sophia Christi 82:12.) Like Adam, everyone is awakened from the sleep of forgetfulness by a Sent One. (Ibid., 94:5ff.) Angels and prophets are sent to bring men “what is theirs” (Gospel of Thomas 96:7), instructing them in the mysteries (Mysteries of Heaven and Earth 4:1, in Graffin, PO, 4:428; Bodmer Papyrus, 10:53). Adam himself became a Sent One to help his children. (Psalms of Thomas 5:26—28; 4:1—10, 12—17.) The instructions to the Sent One and his two counselors were to teach Adam and his posterity what they must know and do to return to the Light. (Ginza, pp. 16, 17, 18, 41, 57ff., 113 [on the teaching of ordinances], 119); for the Sent One is in special charge of the Treasure of Life in this world and the other (ibid., p. 96).
65. It was by “a letter of command from the Father” that “the Son of Truth inherited and took possession of everything.” (Odes Sol. 23:15—17; The Pearl.) The “King’s Letter” is one’s passport to heaven. (1012 Questions, p. 198.) As a knowledge of the ordinances, the Treasure is an actual scroll, written by the hand of the Lord of Greatness. (Alma Rishaia Zuta 72.) Writing is one of the Ten Treasures of the Creation. (Pesachim, fol. 54a.) The heavenly books are “Beweisdokumente” (L. Koep, Das himmlische Buch . . . [Bonn: Hanstein, 1952], pp. 54—61); for example, The Book of Deeds is a written contract between Christ and Adam (ibid., p. 64). “Thou hast engraved them on the Tablets of Life for kingship.” (IQM 12:3, discussed by F. Notscher in Revue de Qumran 1 : 405—12.) For the Mandaeans the holy books are heavenly treasures. (1012 Questions, p. 158—59, 170, 252.) The holy books were often literally treasures, being inscribed on precious metals and buried in the earth like other treasures. (H. Nibley, “Qumran and the Companions of the Cave,” Revue de Qumran 5 : 191—92.) The idea of books as treasures is a natural one. “The treasures of the wise men of old are the books they have left us.” (Xenophon, Memorab., I, 4:14.)
66. We have given some examples in “Christian Envy of the Temple,” Jewish Quarterly Review (hereinafter cited as “JQR“) 50 (1959): 97ff., 229ff.; reprinted in When the Lights Went Out (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Co., 1970), pp. 54ff.
67. J. B. Frey, in Biblica 13 (1932): 164.
68. For the first formula, see M. R. James, Biblical Antiquities of Philo, pp. 44, 56. Luther called the second “locus vexatissimus,” and indeed it “makes impossible a spiritual interpretation” of the kerygma. (M. H. Scharlemann, in Concordia Theological Monthly 27 : 86, 89—90.)
69. Quotation from J. Frankowski, in Verbum Domini 43 (1965): 149. See also below, notes 91, 96, 97.
70. Pistis Sophia 84 (185—86), 85 (189); on the basic materials, ibid., pp. 247—48.
71. In the Genesis Apocryphon 2:4, Lamech swears by “the King of all the Ages [‘olamim]” (cf. the common Moslem expressions); God made the “worlds” (Odes Sol. 16:19; 12:4, 8); all the worlds worship the Sent One as “Illuminator of their worlds” (ibid., 11:12; so Psalms of Thomas 8:13, 6ff.; 1012 Questions, p. 112); “other worlds” have been going on forever (Gospel of Philip 106:18—19). The created world is plural in Apocryphon of John 21:22; the worlds assemble before him (Psalms of Thomas 8:6). The angel who came to Isaiah was of another firmament and another world. (Ascension of Isaiah 6:13.) The adversary opposed the plan of God “to create another world” and to put Adam in charge. (Secrets of Enoch 31:3.) A logion depicts the Saints hereafter moving freely through space among the spheres. (“Logia et agrapha,” No. 127, in Graffin, PO 19:547; cf. 2 Baruch 48:9.) The Father is in the worlds (kosmois), and the Son is first and highest among those worlds (en toisde tois kosmois), according to an early Liturgy, in Graffin, PO 18:445—46, 448. Each heaven is completely equipped with thrones, dwellings, temples, etc., and there are many such heavens. (Creation Apocryphon 150:18ff., 23—25.) The Archon Jaldaboth created beautiful heavens for his sons (ibid., 150:9—10; Hypostasis of the Archons 144:5—10), furnished with stolen materials (see above, note 39).
72. Ascension of Isaiah 10:13; Creation Apocryphon 148:29—30; Ginza, p. 80; they say, “There is only one world—ours!”
73. Odes Sol. 12:3; 16:14—16; Gospel of Truth, fol. XIVr, 11—16; Apocryphon of John 26:2—3; 21:1ff.; 1 Enoch 2:1; 43:1;2 Baruch 43:9; Epist. 1 Clement 20. When God created this world, all the other worlds rejoiced together. (Second Gnostic Work 47a.) The worlds borrow light from each other and exchange all they know (Ginza, pp. 10—11); they form a single lively community (Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 379, 303, 298—99), all the mysteries being” shared out amongst the worlds of light” (1012 Questions, pp. 112, 164). In a pinch, the “Treasures” help each other out. (Psalms of Thomas 23:25.)
74. Quotation is from the Johannesbuch der Mand 207, No. 59. See also Odes Sol. 12:4—9; 1012 Questions, p. 213; Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 379 (CPM, p. 296). This seems to be an Eastern tradition, the others being more concerned with emissaries and messengers; see the following notes.
75. Second Gnostic Work 45a; cf. Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 23, 66. On his visits each world implores him to stay “and be our King and bring peace to our city!” (Ginza, p. 258.) In other words, it is a true Parousia. (Psalms of Thomas 8:1—14; cf. John 10:16.)
76. Two hundred angels act as interplanetary messengers. (Secrets of Enoch 4:1.) The business of the angels is to coordinate the working of the central plan among the worlds. (F. Dieterici, Thier und Mensch vor dem König der Genien [Leipzig: 1881], pp. 78—79.) The heavenly bodies receive commands from a single center (M. R. James, Biblical Antiquities of Philo, p. 43), the highest heaven being the “indispensable exchange-center between the spheres” (K. Koch, in ZThK 62 : 275); the affairs of “the incomprehensible expanse of the structure of heaven” are directed from a command-post in the center (Creation Apocryphon 146:15—20). The rulers dispatch “letters from world to world and reveal the truth to each other, and there are some souls that travel like an arrow and cleave through all the worlds.” (1012 Questions, p. 192, cf. p. 164.) Adakas “is a ‘go-between’ between the worlds” (Mandaean Prayerbook, p. 293), and Manda d-Haiai, called “the Capable” by his brother Ãºthras, is called “to regulate and to station the Ãºthras in their places” among the worlds (ibid., p. 294). In the beginning of the Apocalypse of Paul 1:1—2, Paul is ordered “to go down and speak to the planet earth” (lé alma de arga). Visitors to celestial regions in the various Testaments (Abraham, Isaac, Isaiah, the 12 Patriarchs, Adam, etc.) report a traffic of chariots in the spaces. (See, for example, 1 Enoch 75:8.) By whatever means, they circulate ceaselessly among the worlds with marvelous ease. (Ginza, pp. 13, 42.) The Mandaean faithful are urged to “be informed about all worlds” as far as possible. (1012 Questions, p. 289.) The worlds of darkness also communicate, but on another level. (Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:32.)
77. Ben Sirach 42:24—25; Odes Sol. 12:9; “each is more wonderful than the other!” (Ginza, pp. 11—13); so also Johannesbuch der Mand., No. 59, 207, explaining that it is “the power of the Treasure” that makes such rich variety possible. Among ten thousand times ten thousand worlds “every world is different from the others.” (Ginza, p. 152.) Even the worlds of darkness are all different. (Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:68.) One cannot describe how another world differs entirely from every other (Pistis Sophia 88:199); no other world can be described in terms of this one, so different are they all (ibid., p. 84 ).
78. Wisdom of Solomon 19:18. On the letters of the alphabet as elements of creation, see “Sefer Yeshira,” texts by P. Mordell, in JQR, N.S. 3 (1913): 536—44.
79. The Creation is compared to the smashing of inferior vessels to use their substance for better ones (Gospel of Truth, fol. XIIIv, 25ff.), or the melting down of scrap metal for reuse (Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 11), or the breaking of an egg that a more perfect form might emerge (Clementine Recognitions 3:27—29; cf. 1012 Questions, p. 183; Ginza, pp. 83—84). God spares some worlds from dismantling until they have fulfilled their purpose. (Psalms of Thomas 2:30—31.) While treasure ships carry matter through space (see above, note 38), the Seven Planets “intercept all the goods bestowed by the constellations and divert them to the use of the demons” in furbishing their worlds. (D. Winston, History of Religions 5 : 193.) The fullest treatment is in Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:109, 111—14, 177, where it is even necessary to decontaminate older materials before reusing! (Ibid., pp. 113—14, 130.)
80. E. A. E. Reymond, The Mystical Origin of the Egyptian Temple (Manchester Univ. Press: 1969), p. 187.
81. H. F. Weiss, Hellenist. Judentum, pp. 92—99.
82. Ibid., pp. 22ff.
83. Ibid., p. 146.
84. Ibid., pp. 29—36, citing many sources. It is the business of the Demiurge to organize rather than to produce out of nothing. (Ibid., pp. 44ff.)
85. 1012 Questions, p. 164. “There is abundant room in thy Paradise, and nothing is useless therein.” (Odes Sol. 11:20.) There is a remarkable picture of the struggle for survival, however, when life began in the waters: “They attacked one another and slew one another, saying to one another: ‘Move off out of my way. . . . Move on that I may come!'” (1012 Questions, p. 184.)
86. 1012 Questions, p. 111; Gospel of Philip 104:18—19; the physis itself is “imperishable, complete, and boundless” (Creation Apocryphon 146:11).
87. It represents “die Begrenzung und Begrenztheit der Welt.” (E. Hornung, Aegypt. Zeitschr. 97 : 78.)
88. Pistis Sophia 127 (323—24); L. Kakosy, in Aegypt. Zeitschr. 97 (1971): 104—5.
89. Worlds come and go; only progeny (sonship) is eternal (Gospel of Philip 123:6—13); “The man of heaven, many are his Sons, more than the man of earth. If the sons of Adam are many but die, how many more the sons of the perfect man, they who do not die but are begotten at all times” (ibid., 106:17). “Mounting up from world to world” is from 1012 Questions, p. 192, and his “perfection” from the Gospel of Truth, fol. XXV, 4—14. The ultimate objective is to receive the same glory that the Son received from the Father in the beginning (John 17:22); the Epistle to Diognetus 10 tells us not to marvel at this—man must become the heir of divinity in the fullest sense (C. Schmidt, in TU 8 : 319—20; Gospel of Philip 100:1ff., 11; 101:1ff.; Psalms of Solomon 1:3—4). It is important not to get stuck “in the middle” and so delay progress (C. Schmidt, op. cit., p. 335), this world being merely a bridge, according to the famous logion (Graffin, PO, 13, No. 75). The fundamental nature of Godhood is to beget and create. (Sophia Christi 87:1—88:1.)
90. G. Thausing, Mitt. dt. Inst. Kairo 8 (1939): 63—64.
91. This is the ametretos bathos in which a sector is staked out for a new creation. (Second Gnostic Work 9a.) Ptahil-Uthra is ordered: “Go down to a place where there are no Shkinas (dwellings) and no other worlds, and make thee a world as the Sons of Salvation do.” (Ginza, p. 98.) God plans for the occupancy of all the “spaces” ahead of time. (Gospel of Truth, fol. XIVr, 11—16.) One seeks release by moving “from the more confined to the more spacious places.” (Pistis Sophia 47 .) The role of space in creation is vividly depicted in Egyptian temple-founding rites, in which the king, representing God creating the world, takes sightings on the stars in a pure and empty place. (A. Moret, Du caractere religieux de la royaute pharaonique [Paris: 1902], pp. 130—42; R. T. R. Clark, Myth and Symbol in Ancient Egypt [London: Thames, 1959], p. 80.) Preparing for the creation of the world, “Marduk went into the heavens, inspecting the places, and there he established a new one, an exact replica . . . of the dwelling place of Ea.” (Enuma Elish 4:142.) “Space and time are the plan of the world-system.” (G. S. Fullerton, Philosophical Review 10 : 595.)
92. The work begins with hyle. (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 365, 372.) Although “we do not know whether Hyle was already present in the Treasury of Light or not,” there was a “kerasmos in which Light and Matter are mixed in various proportions.” (Ibid., p. 383.) “Kenaz” in the Visio Kenaz (M. R. James, Apocr. Anecdota, II, No. 3 [Cambridge: 1893], pp. 178—79) sees “flames that do not consume and fountains stirring into life” amid a vague substance taking form at the Creation. Those who were with God “before his works of old” are later “to inherit substance, and fill their treasures” (Prov. 8:19—22), referring perhaps to a new, material phase of creation; see above, notes 80—84.
93. It is well for men not to contemplate the bathos too intently. (Gospel of Truth, fol. XIXr, 8—9; 1 Enoch, frgs. in R. H. Charles, The Book of Enoch [Oxford: 1912], p. 297; Evang. Barthol., frg. 3, in Revue Biblique 10 : 326.) “Matter having no fixity or stability” is repellent. (Gospel of Truth, fol. XIIIv, 15ff.; Pistis Sophia 39 ; Apoc. of Abraham 16—17.) Sophia’s first advice to her son was, “Get a foothold, O youth, in these places!” (Creation Apocryphon 148:12; 149:6.) The foothold idea may have inspired the ubiquitous image of the “Rock,” e.g., in IQS 11:5; R. Eisler, Iesous Basileus (Heidelberg: 1930), II, 286—87. Preparing for the Creation, Marduk, having found his space, established the stations (fixed points of reference) beside the star Nibiru, firmly bolted on the left and on the right. (Enuma Elish 5:8—10.)
94. Second Gnostic Work 2a—3s; 18a. The fundamentum of a world begins to take form when touched by a scintilla, but “the spark ceases and the fountain is stopped” when the inhabitants transgress. (Visio Kenaz.) Matter without Light is inert and helpless (Pistis Sophia 55 ; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:130); it is the “first light” which reproduces “the pattern of the heavenly model” wherever it touches. (Creation Apocryphon 146:20.) For “rays from the worlds of light stream down to the earthly world” for the awakening of mortals (1012 Questions, pp. 199—200); sometimes a column of light joins earth to heaven (“Synax. Arab.,” in Graffin PO 11:754), even as the divine plan is communicated to distant worlds by a spark (Second Gnostic Work 29a—30a); it is the “dynamis of Light” that animates one world from another (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 331). God’s assistants, “the faithful servants of Melchizedek,” rescue and preserve the light particles lest any be lost in space. (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 404; cf. Second Gnostic Work.) The spark is also called a “drop” (Sophia Christi 104:7ff.); it is “the divine drop of light that he [man] brought with him from above” (ibid., 119:1ff.). The Spark can reactivate bodies that have become inert by the loss of former light. (Pistis Sophia 65 .) It is like a tiny bit of God himself, “die kleine Idee.” (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 396; H. Zandee, Numen 11 : 67.)
95. C. Schmidt, TU 8 (1892): 333. Knowledge of the divine plan is communicated to the worlds by a spark (Second Gnostic Work 29a—30a); the Father “let an idea come out of His Treasury” (1 Jeu 7), even as “the Son of Radiance” is sent forth to enlighten the worlds” (Psalms of Thomas 8:12); such an ambassador is himself a “treasure-chamber of Life” (ibid., 3:18). All the mysteries are “shared out” among 380 Worlds of Light “as they emanate from the Supreme Celestial World.” (1012 Questions, p. 112.) God is “pure radiance, a precious Treasure of Light, the Intelligence which correcteth the hearts of all our kings!” (Ibid., p. 123.) The “Emanation” (probole) is a sharing of treasures, so that “der Lichtschatz ist also der Gipfelpunkt des Universums.” (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 325, 266.) “The sparks from the Crown scatter to every Place” (Ginza, p. 7); the Power of Light, radiating into surrounding chaos, produces a higher type of topos wherever it goes (Pistis Sophia, 58 ), the creation process being the adding of Light and its power to dark chaotic matter (ibid., 47 , 48 [85—86], 50 ). Every phoster goes back to the same Root. (Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 26, 138.)
96. An important part of God’s plan is the providing of a proper topos for the Saints. (Pastor Hermae, III, Simil. 5:6.) Each topos awaiting occupants is the result of the diffusion of the Treasure. (1 Jeu 11.) For “there has previously been prepared a place [topos] for every soul of man” (Secrets of Enoch 49:2; 58:4ff.), “mansions . . . without number” (6:12). The work of Jesus was to collect the treasures of the Father into one blessed topos of meeting. (Acts of Thomas 48.) While the elect have their mansions (1 Enoch 41:1—9), there are special places set apart for spirits in transition (ibid., 22:3, 9). For each specific group yet to be born, a place has been prepared. (2 Baruch 23:4.) The earthly and heavenly hosts alike have their assigned places. (IQM 12:1—2.) There is an assigned place of glory for each hereafter (Epist. 1 Clem. 5, 6; Polycarp, Epist. ad Phil. 9; Apocryphon of Adam 69:19ff.); everyone should know to what topos he has been called and live accordingly (Epist. 2 Clem. 1, 5; Ignatius, ad Magnes. 5; Polycarp, 11; Oxyrhynchus Frg., No. 654:22). No one gets a topos without earning it. (Ignatius, ad Smyrn. 6; Pastor Hermae, III, Simil. 8:3, 5, 8; Apocalypse of Elias 6:6ff.) The topothesias of the angels greatly interested the early Saints. (Ignatius, ad Trall. 5.)
97. The central topos is the Treasury of the true God (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 367); it is “the topos from which all aeons and all cosmoses take their pattern and their origin” (Sophia Christi 116 [in TU 60:266ff.]). It is “the self-produced and self-begotten topos” from which all others are derived (Second Gnostic Work 1a); it is called “the God-bearing” topos, or “land of the begetting of gods” (ibid., 21a). Early views of the Creation can be related to the establishment of God’s reign over a particular land. (W. Richter, BZ, NF 10 : 96—105.) The colonization of worlds is always a family affair: “All of them He raised Him up” to “fill the face of the earth with their seed.” (Zadokite Doc. 2:10.) The inhabitants are the progeny or seed of those who sent them (1 Enoch 39:1; 1012 Questions. pp. 118, 170—71; Sophia Christi 88:7ff.; 98:1—99:5ff.; Apocryphon of James 1:43:5ff.), called “chosen seed, or seed of promise” (J. Zandee, in Numen 11 : 45—46). When “elect and holy children . . . descend from heaven, . . . their seed will become one with the children of men.” (1 Enoch 39:1.) Simat-Hiia, the primordial Eve, is “mother of all kings, from whom all worlds proceeded.” (Alma Rishaia Rba 6:388ff. [in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 29].) A colonizing activity is described in Pistis Sophia 16 (26—27), 25 (36—37), 24 (34—35). Lactantius mentions polemically the idea of real seeds floating around in space. (Div. Inst. 3:17.)
98. “Planting” can here mean create, beget, establish, or assist; that is, it is the proper work of the “Sent One,” according to M. Lidzbarski, Johannesbuch der Mand., p. 60, n. 6, and Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:53—54. Eden was God’s planting on earth. (W. Richter, BZ, NF, 10 : 101—2.) “I said that the world should be, . . . [saying] I will plant a great vineyard, and out of it I will choose a plant,” that is, the Chosen People (Pseudo-Philo 28:4); the Qumran Community calls itself a planting (IQS 8:5; 11:15), as does the early Church (Irenaeus, adv. Haeres., V, 36:1). God’s “planting in the world of men” includes providing necessary physical substances (Psalms of Thomas 3:29—35) and the “planting” of light in a place of darkness (ibid. 7:17). God, before the world existed, planted the earth and then planted the Garden in it (4 Esdras 3:4, 6); He is the “Greatest of Gardeners,” “the Planter” par excellence (H. F. Weiss, Hell. Judent., p. 50). Those who share in God’s plan are his “plants” (1012 Questions, pp. 127, 140, 150), who in turn have their disciples or plants (ibid., pp. 130, 216—17). The human race is Adam’s “planting” (Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 378 [CPM, 283, 286]; No. 386 [CPM, 290]). The elect are “the plants that God has planted,” and they must plant their own plants through marriage. (Ginza, pp. 61—62.) The “planting” of the earth is described as a colonizing enterprise in Ginza, pp. 335, 337; they move from place to place in winged wagons, looking for places to settle (ibid., pp. 337—40); the Planter is expected to provide the necessary helpers for new settlers (ibid., p. 404). Ritually, the planting is a sparsio, a sowing or begetting of the race. (H. Nibley, “Sparsiones,” Classical Journal 40 : 515ff.)
99. On the “Treasure-house of Souls,” see R. H. Charles, note on 4 Ezra 4:35 (Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament. II, 567); 2 Baruch 30:2; Pseudo-Philo 32:13; C. Schmidt, in TU 8 (1892): 368. The souls of the righteous, like the Treasure itself, are beneath the throne of God. (Sabbath, fol. 152b.; cf. Rev. 7:9.) The “planting” of a world is always from the “House of Light, the shining Home,” in other words, the Treasure-house. (Johannesbuch der Mand., p. 218, No. 63.) It is “through the power of the Treasure” that “earths of radiance” are created, “thrones of glory are established and Chiefs of worlds appointed” (ibid., p. 207, No. 59), the Treasure being the source of everything within as well as between the worlds (ibid., No. 57, 203—5). Every world comes into existence by a sort of fission from the Treasure of the Secret Mysteries. (Oxford Mand. Scroll 55—56.) What Adam plants then grows and so increases his Treasure. (Mandaean Prayerbook, p. 285.) The bestowing of the “Treasure of the Mighty One” on men to test them is called a “planting of plants” in Psalms of Thomas 13:5—14; 3:24—27; Acts of Thomas 10.
100. On the hierarchy of emanations, see C. Schmidt, TU 8 (1892): 367. In the system of 1 Jeu 5—7, one put in charge of a new topos as “Chief” is a Jeu, who then becomes the Father of “other emanations to fill other toposes,” each of which in turn becomes a “Father of Treasures”; in the end “myriads of myriads will go forth from them.” (Ibid., 6.) Every Son begets sons, and these in turn consult in the making of “other worlds” (Ginza p. 240); just so “a Jordan produces Jordans without number and without end—living waters” (ibid., pp. 65—67). Through the power of the Treasure, earths are created, places made inhabitable, “chiefs of worlds are appointed,” so that the Treasures may be handed down from the older worlds to newer ones. (Johannesbuch der Mand., p. 207, No. 59.) It is perhaps from this Manichaean experience that St. Augustine derives the image of sparks springing from a central fire, each becoming a focal center for more sparks, an idea conveyed in the Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:35—36.
101. Quotation from the Second Gnostic Work 49a. He who is begotten is expected to beget. (Gen. 1:29;9:1.) In the Egyptian rites, the First-born is commanded “to create men, to give birth to the gods, to create all that should exist” (R. Reymond, in Chronique d’ Egypte 40 (1965): 61); the work of the Creation is repeated indefinitely and daily in ritual (H. Kees, in Aegypt. Zeitschr. 78 : 48). One becomes a Son in order to become a Father; one receives in order to give. (Gospel of Philip 123:10—14.) The Son is commanded, “Go, confirm kings, create new Jordans, and help Chosen Ones [to] arise with thee to the Father,” (1012 Questions, p. 123.) The Sent Ones say to the Father, “O our Lord, Lord of all worlds, Thou didst command that we should create worlds and propagate species!” and God informs them that that is the secret treasure, bestowed only on “one who is our son (plant).” (Ibid., p. 137.) All who behold the creative process have a normal desire to become creators themselves (Ginza, pp. 67—68), creation being the essence of godhood (see above, notes 8, 9, 14).
102. The patriarchal line is never broken: “Let us, Father, create other worlds in order to raise to Thee a planting.” (Ginza, p. 241.) One does not create without the express permission of the “Creator of the Treasures.” (Ibid., pp. 67—68.) He who is “planted from above” does his own “pure planting” under the auspices of his Planter. (Johannesbuch der Mand., p. 207, No. 59.) Hence “all gloried in the knowledge that their Father had transplanted them from the House of life” (Alma Rishaia Rba 1 [in E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries]); in the end, all come “into existence for his sake” (Johannesbuch der Mand., pp. iv, 30—35, 70). Even to the greatest Sent Ones he is the “lofty King by Whom our Treasure ascends!” (Alma Rishaia Zuta 64—65.) At the council in heaven the Son was hailed as “the Father of those who believe” (Second Gnostic Work 29a—30a); this identity of Father and Son to and with believers is a basic teaching of the Fourth Gospel (R. Bultmann, ZNTW 24 : 122).
103. “The dwellers upon earth can understand only what is upon the earth ” (4 Ezra 4:21), and the same applies to other worlds. Beings comprehend only what they are like, so that the Lord must take the form of those to whom he appears (C. Schmidt, Kopt-Gnost. Schrift, I, 342; Gospel of Philip 101:27—36; 105—106;10; Ascension of Isaiah 7:25; Pistis Sophia 7 ; cf. U. Bianchi, in Numen 12 : 165; Manichaean Psalm-Book, II, 42.)
104. Gospel of Thomas 95:20—23; cf. Gospel of Truth, fol. Xv, 20—23; Ex. 3:6; Matt. 17:5—6; Mark 9:5—7; E. L. Cherbonnier, Harvard Theological Review 55 (1962): 198—99. “He . . . is within the Veil, within his own shkinta” (dwelling tabernacle). Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 374 (CPM, 267); his topos is completely out of our cosmos, being the ultimate Treasure, “the Treasure of the Outer Ones” (1 Jeu 5; 59; Second Gnostic Work 2a), surrounded by veils and guarded gates (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 402); hence it is “beyond the veil, a place of shadowless light” (ibid., p. 366; Sophia Christi 116:9ff.), “the great secret Dwelling of Light” (1012 Questions, p. 163). By night all the other worlds strain to see the Father . . . because of the invisibility that surrounds him” (Second Gnostic Work 5a), even as the angels yearn to see the ultimate place of the Saints (L. Guerrier, in Graffin, PO 9:153; cf. 1 Pet. 1:12).
105. Sophia Christi 118; Second Gnostic Work 47a; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:118; “the veil at first concealed how God controlled the creation” (Gospel of Philip 132:23); there is a veil between us and the heavens (N. Sed, Revue des Etudes Juives 124 : 39). All treasures are hidden treasures until God reveals them. (Zadokite Doc. 5:1; 2 Baruch 51:7—8; Evang. Barthol. 3:2—7; Gospel of Thomas 86:4—5, 24.) “If you want to go to the Father you must pass through the veil.” (2 Jeu 42.) God isolates hostile worlds from each other lest they unite against him. (Ginza, p. 177.) “As the doctrine of the body is hidden in its treasure-house, so God the Father is hidden in his Kingdom, invisible to the wastelands without.” (Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:151.)
106. A. Pelletier, Syria 35 (1958): 225—26.
107. M. J. bin Gorion, Sagen der Juden (1913), I, 59.
108. N. Sed, Revue des Etudes Juives 124 (1965): 39.
109. Second Gnostic Work 47a; Pistis Sophia 125 (317); Sophia Christi 118.
110. C. Schmidt, in TU 8 (1892): 368.
111. Hypostasis of the Archons 143:20.
112. Pistis Sophia 139 (366).
113. Ibid., 28 (42—44).
114. Ibid., 14 (23).
115. 1 Jeu 39; Pistis Sophia 125 (317—18).
116. Pistis Sophia 84 (184).
117. 3 Baruch 6:3ff.
118. The progress of the soul in the afterworld, with three main degrees of glory, is found in the Egyptian funerary literature, that is, the Book of Breathings, lines 2—3, in Biblioth. Egyptol. 17:113. So Pindar, Olymp. 2:75. For Jewish and Christian concepts, see H. P. Owen, New Testament Studies 3 (1957): 243—44, 247—49; K. Prumm, Biblica 10 (1929): 74; K. Kohler, JQR 7 (1894/5): 595—602; C. Schmidt, in TU 8 (1892): 478, n. 1; 489—91, 496—97, 519—21, 524—25. Eternal progression is indicated in IQH 7:15, and in the formula “out of the eternities and into the eternities” (IQS 2:1); “press on from glory to glory,” says “Hymn of Serverus” (in Graffin, PO 5:683; Second Gnostic Work 5a; Gospel of Thomas 90:4ff.) (“a forward motion, and then a resting-time.”). You master the places in this world so that you can master them in the next. (Gospel of Philip 124:33—34.) He who receives all the ordinances “cannot be held back in the way.” (Ginza, p. 19.)
119. E. L. Cherbonnier, Harvard Theological Review 55 (1962): 206.
120. This idea is forcibly expressed in the Pistis Sophia 88—89 (199), 84 (183); Ginza, pp. 14, 493—94.
121. J. Soggin, Theologische Literaturzeitung 89 (1966): 729. Those who receive the mysteries of the gospel will also come to know the mysteries of the physical Cosmos. (Pistis Sophia 96 .)
122. A. Piankoff, in Inst. FranÃ§ais Archeol. Orient., Bibl. Et., 19, 1.
123. The Schoolmen have always avoided “cosmism” and still do. (See H. F. Weir, Hell. Judaism., 79ff.; K. Koch, Ratlos vor der Apokalyptik [Gütersloher Verlag, 1970], esp. 55ff.)
124. The contradictions are emphasized by S. A. Pallis, Mandaean Studies, pp. 1, 2, 4, 8, 188, and by A. Brandt, Mandäische Religion, 48ff., while the “einheitliche und organische Grundlage” is noted by K. Rudolph, Mandäer, I, 141, following H. Jonas. The Mandaeans frequently refer to other sects, Jewish and Christian, as bitter rivals, not because of the differences but because of the many resemblances and common claims between them. (See, for example, Ginza, pp. 28—30, 48—52, 135, n. 4, 223—32; Mandaean Prayerbook, No. 357, 251; Berlin Manich. Hs. 1:21.) While A. Loisy, Le Mandeisme et les Origines Chretiennes (Paris: Nourry, 1934), p. 142, maintains that “le Mandeisme n’est intelligible qu’en regard du chrétianisme,” M. Lidzbarski, Ginza, p. 9, insists that it is older than the captivity of 587 B.C. Such disagreements are typical.
125. See K. Rudolph, Mandäer, I, 19—22, 36—41, 59ff., 112ff., 173—75, 251—54, seeing the common source in the early Taufsekten. Since the rites are “sinnlos und unerklärbar” without the peculiar doctrines (ibid., I, 254), the common rites indicate a common doctrinal tradition (E. Drower, Nasoraean Commentaries, p. 7).
126. In their main points, the two doctrines are in striking contrast, for example: (1) The idea that all matter is evil heads the list of “orthodox” charges against the Gnostics. (Bodmer Papyrus 10:51:10; Const. Apostol. 6:10; C. Schmidt TU, 8 : 402—3; cf. Clementine Recognitions 4:23: “absolute dicimus in substantia nihil esse mali.”) Cf. the Gnostic denial of a physical resurrection with the attitude of the Gospel of Philip 105:9—19. (2) The Gnostic idea that Adam was “predisposed to evil” and that souls come to the earth to be punished is the opposite of that of man’s preexistent glory. (J. Zandee, Numen 11 : 31; Creation Apocryphon 171:10ff.; Cyril of Jerusalem, Migne, PG 33:481. (3) Gnostic dualism—between physical and non-physical states of being—is anti-cosmist. (U. Bianchi, Numen 12 : 165—66, 174, 177; S. Giverson, Studia Theologica 17 : 69—70. (4) The Gnostics put God utterly beyond man’s comprehension, not in the same family as the “Treasure” concept does (Bodmer Papyrus 10:51:10; Const. Apostol. 6:1); Israel means “man who is God,” according to the Creation Apocryphon 153:25. (5) Whereas the true Gnostic achieves complete spirituality on earth and goes directly to heaven (or the sun) at death (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 521ff.; Puech, “Epist. to Rheginos,” in Vigiliae Christianae 8 : 44—46), the idea of a long and gradual progress of the soul is older than the Gnostics (K. Kohler, JQR 7:598; cf. IQS 2:23ff.; IQH 10:28). (6) Whereas pessimism is the hallmark of all Gnostic systems (Numen 11 : 17; 12 : 165), the “Treasure” doctrine is completely optimistic and joyful. (7) The Gnostics show the influence of the schools (Bianchi, Numen 12 : 162), while the other teaching is characteristic neither of the schools nor of religions in general (K. Koch, ZThK 62 : 263). (8) Following the schools, Gnosticism shuns literalism and turns everything into abstraction and allegory: it is not a real system but poetic fantasy (C. Schmidt, TU 8 : 397, 413, 421—22); but “of mystical rapture there is no hint” in the other tradition (H. P. Owen, New Testament Studies 3 : 251; K. Koch, ZThK 62 : 263).
127. C. Schmidt, TU 8 (1892): 345—46; there was nothing the Patristic Fathers combatted more vigorously than “the cosmist heresy.” Having chosen the way of the Gnostics and Neoplatonics, they condemned all literalism. (Ibid., p. 421, and C. Schmidt, TU 43:524—25.)
128. Tertullian and Irenaeus wavered between the two views. (C. Schmidt TU 43:520—21.) The fundamental “Treasure” doctrine of the descensus disappears after the 3rd century. (F. Kattenbach, Das Apostolische Symbol [Leipzig: 1894], I, 104; II, 913—14.) The Epist. to Diognetus, 6, compromises, but for Athanasius, Basil, John Chrysostom, and so on, heaven has become a state of mind, pure and simple.