YT description: Pistis Sophia
Translated by G. R. S. Mead
The Nag Hammadi Library, a collection of thirteen ancient books (called “codices”) containing over fifty texts, was discovered in upper Egypt in 1945. This immensely important discovery includes a large number of primary “Gnostic Gospels” – texts once thought to have been entirely destroyed during the early Christian struggle to define “orthodoxy” – scriptures such as the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Truth. The discovery and translation of the Nag Hammadi library, initially completed in the 1970’s, has provided impetus to a major re-evaluation of early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism.
Title: Pistis Sophia, Female Voice, Audio Book (YT link) Uploaded by Spoken Scriptures.
Pistis Sophia by G R S Mead – (1921) 3 stars
Run time: 2 hours, 44 minutes. In my point of view, Gnosticism has fallen by another couple of notches. What I see here is a core belief system hidden under several layers of allegory. In this case, fictional characters have been usurped from Christianity, such as Jesus and Mary, and probably because they were easily identifiable to the people that were contemporary to when Gnosticism was first circulating. These characters go on to say and do things that reflect the core teachings, because people like a good story they can relate to more than a dry lecture or book on philosophy. In several instances, we see Pistis Sophia and Jesus going back and forth in philosophical discussion. However, these talks are depicted as the characters moving from one dimension to another to reinforce the words.
That’s all fine for instructing followers in the slow process of ascension, except later on we see clear pagan / primitive understandings that should not have been included in a metaphysical / philosophical tome. We have the Jesus figure praying for god to help him and to hurt his enemies. We are told that a sun halo forms around Sophia’s head, just like it would have appeared over Apollo, Hercules, and of course in Catholic depictions of Jesus. Then comes the most ridiculous example, akin to how in Islam’s Satanic Verses, Mohammed was approached by Satan but somehow mistook Satan for god. In this case, we are given a story that Jesus came to Mary in spirit form. Mary was terrified, for she could not tell whether this spirit was angel or demon. So what does she do but ‘bind’ the spirit to her bed, before she runs out to grab a couple more people who will help her to identify what she has caught. It’s Jesus, dummy! Yeah… I don’t think I believe any of that, and it certainly doesn’t solidify Gnosticism as the end all, be all religion that I had hoped it would be.