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Gospel of Philip: Coptic 


ABRAHAM (132): Hebrew "father of many"--the first Hebrew patriarch (Gen 11:26 etc.)

ADAM (15): Hebrew "blood-red, clay"--the original human, mankind (see Th 46, 85)

AEON (7): Greek AIWN ("unconditional")--used to designate either a specific limited era of time or eternity

ANGEL (21 21 29 30 56 59 65 ): Greek AGGELOC   ("emissary, messenger")--here the observing angel/child of God, and thus one's true self (Mt 18:10, Lk 20:36, Comment following Tr below)

ANOINTED (20): Hebrew "Messiah" = Greek XPICTOC--in  ancient Israel priests and prophets and monarchs were installed by crowning with an olive-oil ointment (Ex 29:7, I-Ki 19:16, II-Sam 2:4--hence Lk 4:18, Mt 26:6-7); see Gen 28:18, Ex 30:22-33

APOSTLE (18): Greek APOSTOLOS ("sent forth")--one who is commissioned

APOSTOLIC (18): Greek  APOSTOLIKOS ("follower of the Apostles")

ARAMAIC (20): Semitic common language in the later ancient world (II-Ki 18:26), source of Hebrew square-letter alphabet and the language of Abraham (Dt 26:5) as well as of Christ in his ministry (Mk 5:41, 7:34, 15:34, Mt 27:46)

ATONE (8): Greek LYTPOW ("cover, substitute"; as in "Yom Kippur": "Day of Atonement")--personal sacrifice or suffering by the guilty or by the innocent which reconciles the guilty (Lev 1:1-4, 16:1-34, Mt 5:10-12, 20:28, Th 58, 68, 69a); see Ph 73 and SACRAMENT

AUTHORITY (13): Greek APXWN ("original-being")--an official within the system

BAPTISM (47 73 81 82 96 97 101 115): GkBAPTISMA (immersion); the sacrament of spiritual cleansing re the Torah— see Sacrament, Isa 1:16-17, Mk 1:4, Mt 28:19, Ac 1:22, Tr 37,



BRIDAL-BED (79): Greek   KOITWN  

BRIDAL-CHAMBER  (65 71 72 73 82 94 95 101 108 112 131 143:); (79 84 86 87 89: Gk PASTOSsee also Bedroom, Sacrament, and Ph 64 (the Sacrament of Marriage, the Pure Mating), 85 (the Sacrament of the Mating), 104 109 131 (the Immaculate Marriage), 142 (the Sacraments of this Marriage).

CAIN (46): Hebrew "production, possession"--that is, "(son) of me" rather than "(son) of God", perhaps indicating the original transgression of humans as claiming (Godlike) to create and hence to judge their offspring

CHRISM (28 51 52 71 72 73 80 81 88 98 101 118 141): : Greek  CRISMA  =  (unguent) =  the sacrament of anointing with olive oil, christification; see Anointed, Sacrament, Tr 41.


CHRISTIC (6 14 48 53 63 72 101 103 108): Greek CRISTIKOS  ("follower of Christ") = Hebrew "Messianic" ("follower of the Messiah")

COMMUNION (106):  communicating with God, prayer: The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary, 5th edition, CD-ROM version 2.0: ‘Communion: 3. Intimate mental or spiritual communing’, i.e. silent prayer— see Mt 6:6; (note that in Lk 18:1, PANTOTE PROSEUCESQAI enjoins praying continually).

COMPANION  (36 59): Gk KOINWNOS (companion, partner; NB plural at Lk 5:10!); the feminine of this Gk word never means ‘wife’ (which would have to be GAMETH or perhaps GUNH, as in Mt 1:24); contrary to the claim made in the popular novel The Da Vinci Code (2003), the underlying Hebrew, (khaverét: companion), does not mean ‘wife’; it is found only at Mal 2:14, where it is explicitly distinguished from) (ishsha: woman, wife)— thus the commonplace masculine form: rbx (kháver: associate, companion, as in Ecc 4:10); furthermore, in his highly secretive Notebooks I.665, Leonardo himself unambiguously refers to that figure in his famous painting as a male! (‘Notes on the Last Supper’,); see Mate.

CONTEMPLATION (95): Greek QEWRIA -here meaning to behold thy imagery as God's own manifested imagination (Mt 18:10)

CONVOCATION (10): Greek EKKLHSIA ("called-out")--the assembly of those "called out" of the world (Mt 16:18, 18:15-20); this had been the term for the Athenian Assembly

DELUSION  Confusion (10 18 22 74b 97 134): Greek  PLANH ("confusion, straying")--hence "planet" as a celestial body which appears to stray relative to the fixed stars

DISCIPLE (19): Greek MAQHTHS("pupil, follower")in Attic Gk, used of the pupils of the philosophers and rhetoricians, as in Plato's Protagoras 315A--compare APOSTLE

DISPARITY (65): ("not in agreement, not conjoined")

ETERNAL, ETERNITY (9 10 109 143): see AEON

EUCHARIST (30 57 73 106):  Greek EYXAPICTIA ("well-joying, thanksgiving")--the sacrament of the bread and wine (Lk 22:14-20)

FEMALE (18): here emphasizing the Holy Spirit as our Mother; see SPIRIT

GENTILE (4): Hebrew GOY ("body"!) = Greek ENIKOC--non-Israelite, pagan, nationalist, as in Ps 2, Mt 18:17, 20:25, 24:9, Ac 4:25-26

HEBREW (1 6 18 50)  "cross over, beyond, passer-by, transient" (Th 42!)--the lineage of Shem and especially of Abraham (Gen 10:21, 14:13, 16:15: Ishmaelites!)

HEIR  (98):  ( seed, sperm); in light of Ph 18, and as with Gk SPERMA in Ph 108, this term must here be a metaphor for ‘heir’ rather than meaning literally ‘progeny’.

HOPE (122): Greek ELIC ("expectation")--not mere wishing, but rather anticipation

IONIAN (20): Greek IONIOC ("violet") = Hebrew ("wine")--Hebrew name for the Greeks (Gen 10:2-4, Isa 66:19, Dan 8:21); the coast of Asia Minor (now Turkey) was where Greeks met the middle-eastern civilizations, acquiring the Semitic alphabet via the Phoenicians ("violets", Greek name for the Canaanites of Gen 10:6-19, 12:5-7)

JERUSALEM (22): Hebrew "foundations/city of peace"--Hebrew YARAH ("directive") is the root of both "Jeru-" and "Torah"

JORDAN (88): Hebrew "descender"--the river of the Holy Land

JOSEPH THE CARPENTER (98): Joseph = Hebrew "addition" (Mt 1:18, 13:55)

LEVI (58): Hebrew "join, convert"--the OT patriarch of the priestly line; Ph 58 could thus be interpreted: "The Lord went into the dyeworks of conversion...." (Isa 14:1, Zech 2:11)

MAGDALEN (36): Hebrew "great, watchtower" (Lk 8:2, Jn 20:1-18); it should be noted that ATW in Jn 20:17 means not "touch" but rather "kindle"

MATE (30 36 64 65 80 86 87 89 119 120 131 134 142 ):  Greek KOINWNIA ("common-being")--communion, union between the sexes cp. Israelite ‘concubinage’, non-marital sexual union (in which any offspring do not inherit), as Abraham with Hagar and Ketura (Gen 16 & 25:1-6) or King David (II‑Sam 15:16)— forbidden neither by the Torah nor by Christ (Ex 20:14, Lev 20:10, Mt 5:28 refer only to the wife of another man, not to an unmarried woman or a widow); see Companion, Prostitution, Sacrament and Unite.

MEASUREMENT (51):  ("of-weighing") is apparently here being punned with  ("Messiah")

MESSIAH (20): Hebrew  --see ANOINTED

MESSIANIC (6): Hebrew "Messiah" with Greek suffix -IKOC (thus "follower of the Messiah")--see CHRISTIC

MIRRORED (65 93): Gk EIKONIKOS: imaged;

MODE (122): Greek EIDOC ("form")--the term for the Platonic forms (often as IDEA) as well as the Aristotelian species; note also the evident allusion to the four primary elements of ancient physics: earth, water, air, and fire (recast in modern formulation as the four basic states of matter: solid, liquid, gas, and plasma)

MYSTERY (21 64 73 85 89 104 131 136 142)  Greek MYCTHPION--secret or sacrament, a term borrowed from the ancient Mediterranean "Mystery Religions"; see Ph 73

NAZARENE (20): Hebrew "of Nazareth" (NT Greek spelling NAZAPHNOC, as in Mk 1:24); to be carefully distinguished from:

NAZIRITE (51): Hebrew "consecrated, crowned" (LXX and NT Greek spelling NAZWPAIOC, as in Num 6:1-8, Jud 13:5-¯Mt 2:23)--Hebrew holy man or woman with uncut hair, abstaining from products of the grapevine, and avoiding corpses

NOVICE (1): Greek POCHLYTOC ("proselyte, toward-comer")--a Torah convert (Num 9:14) such as St. Nicholas of Antioch ("Santa Claus", the first Gentile disciple) at Ac 6:5; see LEVI, also Jn 21:3-6 re "fishing for men"

OINTMENT (104): the Chrism or oil of anointing--see CHRISM

PARADISE (15): Greek APADEICOC--Persian word meaning "garden/park"

PATRIMONY (64): ritualistic attribution of the begetting of children to human parents rather than directly to God ("matrimony ®-¯ patrimony" or "marriage ®-¯ inheritance" signifies mutual logical entailment, as in Gen 25:5-6)--see CAIN, Dt 14:1, Hos 1:10, Mt 23:8-9, Jn 1:12-13, 11:52, (15): Greek TELEIOC ("completed")--Biblical morality exhibits a three-valued rather than a binary logic: evil/wrong (in violation of the Torah), good/right (in accordance with the Torah), and perfect (in accordance with the Messiah); see Mt 5:48, 19:16-21

PHILIP THE APOSTLE (98): Mk 3:18 ("Philip" = Greek FILOS-IPPOS ® FILIPPOS:: "friend of horses")--to be distinguished from:

PHILIP THE EVANGELIST (Colophon): Ac 6:1-6, 8:4-40, Ac 21:8 ff.--author of this text

PROSTITUTION (131): Greek  PORNEIA (from PERNHMI:  "to sell")--means not "fornication" (non-adulterous sexual relations outside of marriage) but rather "prostitution" (commercial or cultic sexual relations, as in "porno-graphy"); see Mk 7:21, Th 105, as well as Bruce Malina's article in the journal Novum Testamentum 1972; forbidden by Dt 23:17

REBIRTH (72):   Greek   GENETH ANW0EN (both: "generation up-place")--can equally mean "birth from above" or "birth again" (compare Jn 3:3 with 3:31)

RECOGNITION (13 116 122 127 133 134 ) Greek GNWCIC ("gnosis")--this important term means personal acquaintance rather than mere intellectual knowledge; see Th 3, 5, Tr 1

SABBATH (7): Hebrew "repose"--the (7th) day of rest; see Ex 21:8-11, Lk 6:1-11 (especially Lk 6:4+ in Codex D [Bezae]: "laboring on the Sabbath"; Nestle-Aland Greek NT textual notes), Th 27, P. Brown in Novum Testamentum 1992 [Jn 5:19!]

SACRAMENT (64 73 85 104 131 142) see MYSTERY--Ph 73 gives a list of five Sacraments

SPIRIT (6): Greek NEYMA = Hebrew RUAKH (a feminine word!)--in both languages the word for "spirit" is like "breath" or "wind"

SYMBOL (72 74a 106 136 140) Greek TUPOS ("mark, alphabetical letter, pattern, model")

TORAH (100): Hebrew "directive"--the 613 commandments or "mitzvot" of the Old Testament Law, also specifically the five books of Moses (Gen-¯Dt); Mt 5:17-19

TRANSITION (68): Greek MESOTHS  ("middle")--between two alternatives, neither the one nor the other (Rev 3:16)

TRUST (4) (122): Greek PISTIS  ("trust, faith")--not mere factual opinion, but rather personal confidence in someone or something

UNITE (65 116 120 137):  ("combine or couple, copulate")

WISDOM   (39 40 43 59): Gk SOFIA = Aram  (khokmát, Ex 35:35); see Tr 16 30 34,.


Nag Hammadi Library

The Nag Hammadi library (popularly known as The Gnostic Gospels) is a collection of early Christian Gnostic texts discovered near the town of Nag Hammâdi in 1945. That year, twelve leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local peasant named Mohammed Ali. The writings in these codices comprised fifty-two mostly Gnostic tractates (treatises), but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation / alteration of Plato's Republic. In his "Introduction" to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery, and were buried after Bishop Athanasius condemned the uncritical use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 AD.

The contents of the codices were written in Coptic, though the works were probably all translations from Greek. The best-known of these works is probably the Gospel of Thomas, of which the Nag Hammadi codices contain the only complete text. After the discovery it was recognized that fragments of these sayings of Jesus appeared in manuscripts discovered at Oxyrhynchus in 1898, and matching quotations were recognized in other early Christian sources. Subsequently, a 1st or 2nd century date of composition circa 80 AD for the lost Greek originals of the Gospel of Thomas has been proposed, though this is disputed by many if not the majority of biblical matter researchers. The once buried manuscripts themselves date from the 3rd and 4th centuries.

The Nag Hammadi codices are housed in the Coptic Museum in Cairo, Egypt. To read about their significance to modern scholarship into early Christianity, see the Gnosticism article.


The first edition of a text found at Nag Hammadi was from the Jung Codex, a partial translation of which appeared in Cairo in 1956, and a single extensive facsimile edition was planned. Due to the difficult political circumstances in Egypt, individual tracts followed from the Cairo and Zurich collections only slowly.

This state of affairs changed only in 1966, with the holding of the Messina Congress in Italy. At this conference, intended to allow scholars to arrive at a group consensus concerning the definition of gnosticism, James M. Robinson, an expert on religion, assembled a group of editors and translators whose express task was to publish a bilingual edition of the Nag Hammadi codices in English, in collaboration with the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity at the Claremont Graduate University in Claremont, California. Robinson had been elected secretary of the International Committee for the Nag Hammadi Codices, which had been formed in 1970 by UNESCO and the Egyptian Ministry of Culture; it was in this capacity that he oversaw the project. In the meantime, a facsimile edition in twelve volumes did appear between 1972 and 1977, with subsequent additions in 1979 and 1984 from publisher E.J. Brill in Leiden, called The Facsimile Edition of the Nag Hammadi Codices, making the whole find available for all interested parties to study in some form.

At the same time, in the former German Democratic Republic a group of scholars - including Alexander Bohlig, Martin Krause and New Testament scholars Gesine Schenke, Hans-Martin Schenke and Hans-Gebhard Bethge - were preparing the first German translation of the find. The last three scholars prepared a complete scholarly translation under the auspices of the Berlin Humboldt University, which was published in 2001.

The James M. Robinson translation was first published in 1977, with the name The Nag Hammadi Library in English, in collaboration between E.J. Brill and Harper & Row. The single-volume publication, according to Robinson, 'marked the end of one stage of Nag Hammadi scholarship and the beginning of another' (from the Preface to the third revised edition). Paperback editions followed in 1981 and 1984, from E.J. Brill and Harper respectively.

Gospel of Thomas

The author of the Gospel of Thomas is recorded as Thomas the Apostle, one of the Twelve. The text is a collection of over one hundred sayings and short dialogues of the Savior, without any connecting narrative. A few Christian authors in antiquity quoted one or another of its logia as Scripture— for example Sayings 2 22 27 37 by Clement of Alexandria (circa50-211 AD) in hisStromata(Patches)— but without explicit attribution to Thomas.

Gospel of Philip

The Gospel of Philip— as can be inferred from its entries 51 82 98 101 137— was composed at least in part after 70 AD by Philip called the Evangelist (notthe Apostle), who appears in the Book of Acts at 6:1-6 8:4-40 21:8-14. There is no known previous reference to or citation of this complex scripture, which is an elegant series of reflections on the Abrahamic tradition, on Israel and the (incarnate) Messiah, whilst elaborating a metaphysic of Spiritual Idealism.

Gospel of Truth

The Gospel of Truth was composed in about 150 AD by Valentine, the famous saint of Alexandria (born)circa100 AD). A continuous interwoven meditation on the Logos, it was scarcely mentioned in antiquity— and until the Nag Hammadi discovery not even a phrase from this noble composition was known to have survived.