Nag Hammadi Codex
The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth, c.348 CE
The primary purpose of this article is the examination of the Nag Hammadi
Codexes, which include both Non-Christian writings, and Christian writings,
and also writings which were in the process of "Christianisation".
See Robert Lane Fox's summary of the Nag Hammadi scrolls.
See Arnaldo Momigliano on the "christianisation" of literature.
Carbon dating analysis of the binding of the Gospel of Thomas
found as part of this collection has yielded the date 348 CE.
Here is the C14 report reference.
Here follows the text of the Nag Hammadi Codex - re: HERMES
entitled The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth..
Comments in regard to this thesis in the field of ancient history
may be sent to arius at the domain name of this website.
Best wishes to the students of life,
Southern Spring 2007
Hermes and The Discourse on the Eighth and Ninth
"So shall I do it, my father."
"My father, yesterday you promised me
Your providence protects.
that you would bring my mind
into the eighth and afterwards
you would bring me into the ninth.
You said that this is the order of the tradition.
"My father, you have spoken every word well to me.
indeed this is the order.
But the promise was according to human nature.
For I told you when I initiated the promise, I said,
'If you hold in mind each one of the steps.'
After I had received the spirit through the power,
I set forth the action for you.
Indeed, the understanding dwells in you;
in me (it is) as though the power were pregnant.
For when I conceived from the fountain
that flowed to me, I gave birth."
But I am amazed at this statement that you have just made.
For you said, 'The power that is in me'."
"Then, my father, I have many brothers,
"I gave birth to it (the power),
as children are born."
if I am to be numbered among the offspring."
"Right, my son!
"Then, my father, do they have (a) day?"
This good thing is numbered by ...
(3 lines missing) ...
and [...] at all times.
Therefore, my son,
it is necessary for you
to recognize your brothers
and to honor them
rightly and properly,
because they come from
the same father.
For each generation I have called.
I have named it, because they were
offspring like these sons."
"Your word is true; it has no refutation from now on.
they are spiritual ones.
For they exist as forces
that grow other souls.
Therefore I say that
they are immortal."
My father, begin the discourse on the eighth and the ninth,
and include me also with my brothers."
"Let us pray, my son,
"How do they pray, my father,
to the father of the universe,
with your brothers who are my sons,
that he may give the spirit of eloquence."
when joined with the generations?
I want to obey, my father."
(2 lines missing) ...
"My father, the progress that has come to me now,
But it is not [...]. Nor is it a [...].
But he is satisfied with her [...] him [...].
And it is right for you to remember the progress
that came to you as wisdom in the books, my son.
Compare yourself to the early years of life.
As children (do), you have posed senseless, unintelligent questions."
and the foreknowledge, according to the books,
that has come to me, exceeding the deficiency -
these things are foremost in me."
"My father, I understand nothing else except the beauty
when you understand the truth of your statement,
you will find your brothers, who are my sons, praying with you."
that came to me in the books."
"This is what you call the beauty of the soul,
"I have understood, my father, each one of the books.
the edification that came to you in stages.
May the understanding come to you, and you will teach."
And especially the ...
(2 lines missing)
... which is in [...]."
"My son, [...]
"My father, from you I will receive the power
in praises from those who extolled them."
of the discourse that you will give.
As it was told to both (of us), let us pray, my father."
"Let us pray, my father: I call upon you,
what is fitting is to pray to God
with all our mind and all our heart and our soul,
and to ask him that the gift of the eighth extend to us,
and that each one receive from him what is his.
Your part, then, is to understand;
my own is to be able to deliver the discourse
from the fountain that flows to me."
who rules over the kingdom of power,
whose word comes as (a) birth of light.
And his words are immortal.
They are eternal and unchanging.
"I am silent, my father. I want to sing
He is the one whose will begets life
for the forms in every place.
His nature gives form to substance.
By him, the souls of the eighth
and the angels are moved ...
(2 lines missing)
... those that exist.
His providence extends to everyone
[...] begets everyone.
He is the one who [...]
the aeon among spirits.
He created everything.
He who is self-contained
cares for everything.
He is perfect, the invisible God
to whom one speaks in silence -
his image is moved when it is directed,
and it governs - the one mighty power,
who is exalted above majesty,
who is better than the honored (ones),
Zoxathazo a oo ee ooo eee oooo ooo Zozazoth.
"Lord, grant us a wisdom
from your power that reaches us,
so that we may describe to ourselves
the vision of the eighth and the ninth.
We have already advanced to the seventh,
since we are pious and walk in your law.
And your will we fulfill always.
For we have walked in your way,
and we have renounced [...],
so that your vision may come.
Lord, grant us the truth in the image.
Allow us through the spirit to see the form
of the image that has no deficiency,
and receive the reflection of the pleroma
from us through our praise.
"And acknowledge the spirit that is in us.
For from you the universe received soul.
For from you, the unbegotten one,
the begotten one came into being.
The birth of the self-begotten one is through you,
the birth of all begotten things that exist.
Receive from us these spiritual sacrifices,
which we send to you with all our heart
and our soul and all our strength.
Save that which is in us
and grant us the immortal wisdom."
"Let us embrace each other affectionately, my son.
Rejoice over this! For already from them the power,
which is light, is coming to us.
For I see! I see indescribable depths.
How shall I tell you, my son? [...]
from the [...] the places.
How shall I describe the universe?
I am Mind, and I see another Mind,
the one that moves the soul!
I see the one that moves me
from pure forgetfulness.
You give me power! I see myself!
I want to speak! Fear restrains me.
I have found the beginning
of the power that is above all powers,
the one that has no beginning.
I see a fountain bubbling with life.
I have said, my son, that I am Mind.
I have seen! Language is not able to reveal this.
For the entire eighth, my son,
and the souls that are in it, and the angels,
sing a hymn in silence.
And I, Mind, understand."
"What is the way to sing a hymn through it (silence)?"
"Have you become such that you cannot be spoken to?"
a hymn to you while I am silent."
"Then sing it, for I am Mind."
"I understand Mind, Hermes,
who cannot be interpreted,
because he keeps within himself.
And I rejoice, my father,
because I see you smiling.
And the universe rejoices.
Therefore, there is no creature
that will lack your life.
For you are the lord
of the citizens in every place.
I call you 'father', 'aeon of the aeons',
'great divine spirit'.
And by a spirit he gives
rain upon everyone.
What do you say to me,
my father, Hermes?"
"Concerning these things,
I do not say anything, my son.
For it is right before God
that we keep silent
about what is hidden."
let not my soul be deprived
of the great divine vision.
For everything is possible for you
as master of the universe."
"Return to praising, my son,
What he had finished praising, he shouted,
and sing while you are silent.
Ask what you want in silence."
What shall I say?
We have received this light.
And I myself see this same vision in you.
And I see the eighth, and the souls that are in it,
and the angels singing a hymn
to the ninth and its powers.
And I see him who has the power of them all,
creating those in the spirit."
"It is advantageous from now on,
"What you sing, my father, I too want to sing."
that we keep silence in a reverent posture.
Do not speak about the vision from now on.
It is proper to sing a hymn to the father
until the day to quit (the) body."
"I am singing a hymn within myself.
"But is it proper, my father, that I praise
While you rest yourself, be active in praise.
For you have found what you seek."
because I am filled in my heart?"
"What is proper is your praise that you will sing to God,
"I will offer up the praise in my heart,
so that it might be written in this imperishable book."
as I pray to the end of the universe
and the beginning of the beginning,
to the object of man's quest, the immortal discovery,
the begetter of light and truth, the sower of reason,
the love of immortal life.
No hidden word will be able to speak about you, Lord.
Therefore, my mind wants to sing a hymn to you daily.
I am the instrument of your spirit; Mind is your plectrum.
And your counsel plucks me. I see myself!
I have received power from you.
For your love has reached us."
"Grace! After these things,
I give thanks by singing a hymn to you.
For I have received life from you,
when you made me wise.
I praise you. I call your name that is hidden within me:
a o ee o eee ooo iii oooo ooooo ooooo uuuuuu oo ooooooooo ooooooooo oo.
You are the one who exists with the spirit.
I sing a hymn to you reverently."
"My son, write this book for the temple
"I will do it, my father, as you command now."
at Diospolis in hieroglyphic characters,
entitling it 'The Eighth Reveals the Ninth.'"
"My son, write the language of the book on steles of turquoise.
"My father, everything that you say I will do eagerly."
My son, it is proper to write this book on steles of turquoise,
in hieroglyphic characters.
For Mind himself has become overseer of these.
Therefore, I command that this teaching be carved on stone,
and that you place it in my sanctuary.
Eight guardians guard it with [...] of the Sun.
The males on the right are frog-faced,
and the females on the left are cat-faced.
And put a square milk-stone at the base of the turquoise tablets,
and write the name on the azure stone tablet in hieroglyphic characters.
My son, you will do this when I am in Virgo,
and the sun is in the first half of the day,
and fifteen degrees have passed by me."
"And write an oath in the book, lest those
who read the book bring the language into abuse,
and not (use it) to oppose the acts of fate.
Rather, they should submit to the law of God,
without having transgressed at all,
but in purity asking God for wisdom and knowledge.
And he who will not be begotten at the start by God
comes to be by the general and guiding discourses.
He will not be able to read the things written in this book,
although his conscience is pure within him,
since he does not do anything shameful,
nor does he consent to it.
Rather, by stages he advances and enters
into the way of immortality. And thus he enters
into the understanding of the eighth
that reveals the ninth."
"This is the oath: I make him
who will read this holy book
swear by heaven and earth,
and fire and water,
and seven rulers of substance,
and the creating spirit in them,
and the God,
and the self-begotten one,
and him who has been begotten,
that he will guard the things
that Hermes has said.
And those who keep the oath,
God will be reconciled with them
and everyone whom we have named.
But wrath will come to each one of those
who violate the oath.
This is the perfect one who is, my son."
Selection made from James M. Robinson, ed.,
The Nag Hammadi Library, revised edition.
HarperCollins, San Francisco, 1990.
Translated by James Brashler,
Peter A. Dirkse, and Douglas M. Parrott
Mountain Man Graphics