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Words of Wisdom

From the Gnostic Nag Hammadi Library: On the Resurrection and the Father, Part 1 of 2

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The Nag Hammadi Library is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic manuscripts, also called codices, discovered in 1945 near the Upper Egyptian town called Nag Hammadi. The general dating of the books varies from the 2nd to the 4th century. The collection includes 13 ancient books containing over 50 spiritual texts. The discovery and translation of these scriptures helped scholars to re-evaluate early Christian history and the nature of Gnosticism, a Christian movement originating in the first and second century that emphasized “gnosis.” “Gnosis” means the direct knowing or acquaintance of the Divine through esoteric experience. We will now read an excerpt from the Nag Hammadi’s Treatise on the Resurrection, which is also referred to as “The Letter to Rheginos.” 
“Then, indeed, as the Apostle said, ‘We suffered with Him, and we arose with Him, and we went to Heaven with Him.’ Now if we are manifest in this world wearing Him, we are that One’s beams, and we are embraced by Him until our setting, that is to say, our death in this life. We are drawn to Heaven by Him, like beams by the sun, not being restrained by anything. This is the spiritual resurrection which swallows up the psychic in the same way as the fleshly.” 
“What, then, is the resurrection? It is always the disclosure of those who have risen. For if you remember reading in the Gospel that Elijah appeared and Moses with him, do not think the resurrection is an illusion. It is no illusion, but it is truth! Indeed, it is more fitting to say the world is an illusion, rather than the resurrection, which has come into being through our Lord the Savior, Jesus Christ.” 
“But the resurrection does not have this aforesaid character, for it is the truth which stands firm. It is the revelation of what is, and the transformation of things, and a transition into newness. For imperishability descends upon the perishable; the light flows down upon the darkness, swallowing it up; and the Pleroma (spiritual universe) fills up the deficiency. These are the symbols and the images of the resurrection. He it is who makes the good.”
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