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"Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility." : an exploration of the figure of Sophia in The Hypostasis.. O'Farrell, Aoife 2010

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“Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility.” An Explorationof theFigure of Sophia in The Hypostasisofthe Archons.byAoife 0’ FarrellB.A., University College Cork, 2007A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREEOFMASTER OF ARTSinThe Faculty of Graduate Studies(Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)August 2010© Aoife 0’ Farrell, 2010ABSTRACTThis dissertation looks at the Sophia narrative in the Gnostic text The Hypostasis of theArchons. The figure of Sophia has long been considered an integral figure in Gnosticcosmology but one who is consistently identified as a fallen entity. I shall argue that thefigure of Sophia is not a fallen figure in this tractate but rather conforms to the dual traditionof the entity found in the Valentinian tradition, whereby Wisdom is split into higher andlower forms. This allows for a higher, unblemished manifestation of the figure and a lowerincarnation of the aeon that retains the fallen characteristics of the narrative. In this case Evefunctions as the lower manifestation of Wisdom and Sophia can be viewed as the highermanifestation of the aeon. My approach to the subject of Sophia in The Hypostasis of theArchons incorporates social scientific criticism and textual analysis. The main body of myargument utilizes the work of Ingvild Gilhus: 1985, Elaine Pagels: 1988, and DeirdreGood: 1987, who concur that the figure of Sophia in The Hypostasis ofthe Archons representsa unique portrayal of the traditional entity and one which can be viewed as an ‘unfallen’figure. The social scientific segment of this dissertation employs theory developed fromcultural anthropology, specifically the work of Bruce Malina:200 1 and Mary Douglas: 1966.This line of reasoning posits that if the Pleroma is analyzed as a community of beings thatSophia adheres to the purity laws of the Pleroma and is thus,in this context not a fallen orostracized figure. In conducting this study of The Hypostasisof the Archons I hope tohighlight to unique nature of the figure of Wisdom in the tractate andsuggest that the textshows elements of the dual tradition of Sophia found in Valentinian theology11TABLE OF CONTENTSABSTRACT.iiTABLE OF CONTENTS iiiACKNOWLEDGEMENTS iv1 INDRODUCTION 12 CHAPTER ONE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE NARRATWE 52.1 Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses and Hippolytus’ Haereses 62.2 The Apocryphon ofJohn 92.3 On the Origin ofthe World and The Hypostasis ofthe Archons 132.4 Summary 223 CHAPTER TWO: THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE ARCHONS AND THE VALENT1NIANTRADITION 243.1 Sophia- The Higher Manifestation of Wisdom 253.1.1 Characteristics 253.1.2Genetress 283.1.3 Redeemer 323.2 Eve- The Lower Manifestation of Wisdom 343.2.1 Plurality 343.3 Parallel Narratives: The Descent of Sophia and Eve 393.3.1 Sophia’s Descent 403.3.2 Eve’s descent 433.4 Summary 454 CHAPTER THREE: DEGREES OF PURITY 464.1 Methodology 474.1.1 The Malina Model 474.1.2 Classification of People: Exclusive/Non-Exclusive 484.1.3 Geographical Measures of Purity494.1.4 The Douglas Model 504.2 The Pleroma514.3 The Geography of the Pleroma524.5 The Hierarchy in the Pleroma534.5 The Social construction of the Pleroma554.5.1 Sophia554.5.2 Eve584.6 Summary595 CONCLUSION61BIBLIOGRAPHY64111ACKNOWLEDGEMENTSI would first and foremost like to thank warmly my supervisor, Dr. Arbel for her patience,help, and supervising this thesis. Thanks are also due to Dr. Neufeld, and the faculty of theClassical, Near Eastern and Religious studies for all their help. I cannot neglect to thank myfamily for their endless support, in particular, my mother for her invaluable help with theediting process. Finally, sincere thanks to all the graduate students without whose support thetwo years at UBC would not have been the enjoyable experience it has been.ivINDRODUCTION“Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility. Sophia, who is called Pistis, wanted to createsomething, alone without her consort; and her product was a celestial thing.“This dissertation seeks to address the scholarship on Gnosticism, specifically thegnostic figure of Sophia as she is represented in the Nag Hammadi Codex, The Hypostasisofthe Archons. I shall focus on the representation of the figure of Sophia in the ‘mythofSophia’, or the ‘pre-creation myth’2 which details the creation of the material world.I propose to argue for a reading of the narrative as representing a secondary traditionof the Sophia account. I believe that the narrative contained in the tractatecould be ofValentinian provenance and thus, the figure of Sophia can be interpreted as conforming to thedivided tradition. According to this perspective, Sophia maintains a consistent distancefromthe material world and narrative elements associated with her fallen manifestation. In contrastEve embodies these attributes identifying her as the lower manifestationof Sophia.3Scholarship on The Hypostasis of the Archons has been reluctant to engage ina discussion ofthe tractate and the Valentinian tradition, though scholars such as Gilhus:1985 andPagels: 1988 contend that the figure in the codex does not conformto the traditional ideal of afallen figure.The pre-creation account of Sophia contained in this text, presents a differentdepiction of the narrative to that which is found in related literature.4Sophiais explicitlydistanced from aspects of the narrative which would identify heras a fallen figure and creator‘The Hypostasis of the Archons, 94.1-10.2refer to the nairatjve as myth here as the account is referred to as thus,in the scholarship and in both Irenaeusand Hippolytus. However, I shall use the term account or narrativeand not myth to refer to the pre-creationstory of Sophia throughout this thesis.The fallen attributes I shall discuss are the creation of and interaction with the material world.Both narrativeelements are under-played in this text. In contrast to Sophia, the authordevotes much of the narrative to thedepiction of Eve as a fallen figure seeking redemption.The related texts to be discussed in this thesis are The ApocryphonofJohn, and On the Origin of the World.Iof the material world. Previous studies on the Sophia narrative emphasize the fallennature ofthe aeon, one which embodies the thought process of Gnosticism, fall and redemption.5Iintend to draw upon recent studies which advocate for a revision of the accepted viewof auniversal tradition of the fallen Sophia, to a text oriented approach tothe pre-creationaccount. This method of analysis will emphasize the unique portrayal of Sophiain TheHypostasis of the Archons and suggest that the document displays elementsof Valentiniandoctrine, specifically the divided nature of Sophia.6In addressing the figure ofSophia in thistractate I shall engage with the works of Ingvild Selid Gilhus: 1985 in her seminalwork, TheNature of the Archons, and Elaine Pagels: 1988, “Pursuing the Spiritual Eve: ImageryandHermeneutics in The Hypostasis of the Archons and the Gospel of Philip”. Thesescholarsmaintain that the image of Sophia in the tractate demonstratesa divergence from the traditionof the pre-creation account in related literature.An associated aspect of my approach to the examinationof Sophia will utilize theworks of Deirdre Good: 1987, Sergio La Porta: 1997 and GeorgeC. Stead: 1969 and theircontribution to the reconstruction of the tradition of the Sophia narrative. Inusing theseworks, my focus will be to demonstrate there is no oneunified tradition of Sophia in gnosticliterature and the narrative necessitates an individual readingof each text.In chapter one, I shall survey the development of the pre-creationnarrative from theoriginal Valentinian account detailed in book one of Irenaeus’Adversus Haereses andHippolytus’ Haereses through the Apocryphon of John,On the Origin of the World andfinally The Hypostasis of the Archons. This will enableme to trace and highlight theWhile recent scholarship on the figure of Sophia in gnostic textsis moving toward a text orientated approachto the representation of the pre-creation account the traditional readingof the narrative is one of transgressionand fall. Cf. Schenke:1962; Perkins:1971; Wilckins: 1971 and Goehring:198l.6The Valentinian school of Gnosticism produced a particular formof the narrative in which the figure of Sophiais divided into higher and lower manifestations.2divergence in tradition found in the tractate and to suggest that the documentdisplayselements of Valentinian doctrine in the pre-creation account. Furthermore,I shall discussscholarly views related to the fallen tradition of Sophia found in the texts aboveas well asaddressing the role of Sophia in gnostic theology.Chapter two will form the main body of my argument. The narrativecontained in TheHypostasis of the Archons and its connection with the Valentinian tradition of theduality ofSophia in which the entity is divided into a higher and lowermanifestation will be explored.Primarily, I shall argue that the account functions on two levels. The moreconceptual level ofthe narrative centers on Sophia’ s role as the higher manifestation ofWisdom in the precreation account. The lower manifestation of this aeon is more visceraland is embodied bythe spiritual Eve in the Genesis exegesis. Specifically, I intend to discussthe link betweenSophia and Ennoia, the highest female entity in the Pleroma. Althoughthis figure is notmentioned in connection with Sophia in The Hypostasisof the Archons, the two figures havebeen linked in related literature.7In The Hypostasisof the Archons Sophia is depicted ashaving a number of important characteristics namely thatof Wisdom, Genetress/ Mother,Redeemer and Plurality. These traits are important, as theportrayal of wisdom in the tractateis unique and identifies her as a higher manifestationof wisdom rather than the traditionalSophia.In the final chapter I propose to employ cultural anthropologicaltheories of purity toanalyze this concept in the tractate. In particular, the workof Mary Douglas:19668and BruceBuckley: 1986 notes that the figures of Ennoia and Sophia becomeinterchangeable at points in the ApocryphonofJohn.In her book, Purity and Danger, Mary Douglas contends that thebody symbolizes society. The body is a modelwhich can stand for any bounded system and its boundaries can representany which are threatened or precariouswithin a certain society. These boundaries representedin the body are contingent upon the rules governingpurity/impurity and clean/unclean within that society. Cultures oftenuse purity and pollution schemes toorganize everything into its proper place and to defineand demarcate what is complete or incomplete, damagedor whole, what is allowed or forbidden, who belongs tothe society and who does not and what preserves the3Malina:20019will be reviewed. For the purpose of this analysis,the Pleroma will beconceptualized as a community. The rules and ideas contained in this communitytherefore,dictate the concept and rules of purity to which the entities are heldto account.’0Thus, I shallprove that in the society of the Pleroma, Sophia conforms tothe purity laws that govern theentities and can be considered an untarnished figure.The discussion of the nature of Sophia in gnostic ideology hasbeen significantlyinfluenced by the heresiological accounts of the Irenaeus and Hippolytusand I aim in thistextual examination to demonstrate that there are variationsin tradition that need to beaddressed. I will endeavour to establish that The Hypostasisof the Archons contains many ofthe features congruent with the divided tradition ofSophia which necessitate an alternatereading of the text.society and what endangers it. Consequently, when a personis called unclean or impure is to evaluate them asout of order or incomplete thus, rendering them as outside society.Malina’s work on purity concepts in the first century C.E. in Israelbuilds upon Douglas’ theories. He contendsthat purity within this society was defined in terms of the sacred andthe profane. He contends that what wassacred to God was what was exclusive to God, while the profane ornonexclusive to God consisted of all thingscategorized in terms of a system that would allow everything andeveryone a certain meaning-endowed, orderinducing situation or place. This classification can alsobe applied to people. Those who observe societal rulesand are as exclusive to God as their God is exclusive thena parallel is established between ritually exclusive andsocially in place. This parallel and classification is further developedin the hierarchy of the temple and society,with those at the highest level of the temple the Priests signifyingthe purest and most exclusive in society andthe marginalized signifying the non-exclusive and impure withinsociety. The classification is further subdividedand reinforced by geographical restrictions within the temple and puritylaws governing marriage.‘°The idea of promiscuity and impurity is associated with Sophia in relatedliterature, specifically theApocryphon ofJohn and in Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses.The emphasis placed upon this aspect of her characterin these tractates and other gnostic texts of varying provenance suggeststhat the motif was a prevalent one. Thetitle prounikos (lewd), found in the tractates mentioned above, is neverapplied to Sophia in the text of theHypostasis of the Archons which marks a divergence fromthe traditional depiction of the aeon.4“Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility.”An Exploration of theFigure of Sophia in The Hypostasisof the Archons.byAoife 0’ FarrellB.A., University College Cork, 2007A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENTOFTHE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OFMASTER OF ARTSinThe Faculty of Graduate Studies(Ancient Culture, Religion and Ethnicity)THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA(Vancouver)August 2010© Aoife 0’ Farrell, 2010CHAPTER ONE: THE DEVELOPMENT OF THENARRATIVEThe main premise of this chapter is to give a detailed review of the sources which willbe utilized in this thesis and to give an account of the scholarship related to the traditionofthe pre-creation account. To this end I shall concentrate the review of scholarshipprimarilyon scholars who address the tradition of Sophia. I intend to survey the followingtexts,frenaeus’ and Hippolytus’ heresiological texts, the Apocryphon ofJohn, On the Originof theWorld and The Hypostasis of the Archons.I shall begin with Ireneaus’ and Hippolytus’ heresiological accounts of the narrative.These sources provide much of the information which is used tosupport the assertions of thetraditional scholarly views of the fallen Sophia. Next I shall discussthe pre-creation accountfound in the Apocryphon of John. Many scholars believe that this form of the narrativeis alater more developed version of that found in the heresiologicaltexts. Finally the primaryscholarly views on the narrative of the Hypostasis of the Archons will be discussed.I shallsupplement the discussion of this text with reference to On the Origin of theWorld as thistext is of related literary tradition and often provides an expandedform of the narrative foundin The Hypostasis of the Archons.Before beginning a discussion of the sources it is necessaryto provide information onthe pre-creation account of Sophia. This narrative, commonlyreferred to as the ‘myth ofSophia’, or the ‘pre-creation myth”, details the creationof the material world. Therepresentation of Sophia presented in gnostic literaturedoes not appear in a consistent form.The details of the fall and the process of redemption vary inthe tractates. However, recurrentnarrative features can be identified in much of theliterature namely, a) Sophia’ s fall anddeparture from the Pleroma, b) the creation of the corruptmaterial world as a direct result ofI refer to the narrative as myth here as the account is referred to as thus inthe texts. See footnote 2.5her actions, c) her repentance and eventual restoration to the Pleroma. Regardless ofprovenance these main features form the basic narrative of the Sophia accounts.2.1 Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses and Hippolytus’ HaeresesThe account of the narrative contained in the works of Ireneaus’ and Hippolytus’ hashad a pronounced affect on the scholarship related to the tradition of Sophia. Both of theseheresiological works describe a complex pre-creation story centered on the figure ofSophia.’2 In his work the Adversus Haereses Book one, lrenaeus describes what manyscholars argue is the original form of the Sophia narrative.’3Irenaeus is believed to havedirected his polemic against a group of Gnostics who are believed to havebeen members ofhis own congregation called the Valentinians.’4In his work, he gives two accountsof the precreation narrative. The myth paraphrased in the Adversus Haereses 1.29begins with atheogony featuring the Father and Ennoia (Thought).15 Ennoia is the firstemanation of theFather, after whom further entities are produced, known as aeons.’6These include Christ,four luminaries, and the Adams. The creation of the material world is attributedto a loweraeon. Sophia-specifically referred to as Sophia prunicus.’7In her arroganceand ignorance shecreates the imperfect being, laldaboath, who in turn creates the material world.The second12Stead, 1969:75-77. In this article Stead contends that the myth of Sophia thatis preserved in the NagHammadi texts is heavily influenced by Valentinian ideology. He argues that the accountsof the myth detailedin Irenaeus’ Ad. Haer. xxix and Hippolytus’ Haer. 22.2; 29.3; 30.4; 31.3 are pivotal tothe reconstruction of theoriginal myth. cf. Fallon: 1978; Pagels; 1988; Gilhus: 1985; Wisse:1988.13Ibid. 1969: 75-79.14These Gnostics followed the teachings of one particular teacher, Valentinus.He appears to have joined thechurch in Rome some forty years before Irenaeus became bishopc. 140-160 C.E. having established himself aspiritual teacher in Alexandria.( Pagels, 1988: 60-6 1). For a detailed discussionof Valentinian doctrine seeThomassen:2006.5Ennoia is also called Barbelo in this account. Ennoia is the consort of theFather and the highest female entityin the Pleroma.16According to the writings of Ptolemy and Irenaeus the original Valentinianmyth began with the creation ofeight aeons by the Father. These were including Thought (Ennoia),Mind (Nous), Truth (Aletheia), Word(Logos), Life (Zoe), Man (Anthropos) and Church (Ekklesia). Theseaeons bring forth further aeons of whichSophia is the last. (Pearson, 2007: 154-155).7Lewd Sophia. Adversus Haereses, 1.29.4.6account that follows features a variant theogony in which Irenaeus elaborates uponthe beingcreated by Sophia, named Ialdabaoth.18Irenaeus also gives an account of thegenesis exegesisfound in many of the gnostic texts and illustrates how the authors reinterpretedthe myth toform a continuous narrative which included the pre-creation account. Logan: 1996contendsthat Irenaeus’ polemic contains a record of the original doctrine ofthe pre-creation story andposits that the account may be more original than that contained in theApocryphon ofJohn.’9While this indeed may be true, there appears to havebeen an additional tradition of theaccount rendered by Hippolytus. Both Irenaeus’ and Hippolytus’ descriptionsof the narrativeof Sophia differ mainly in the detail surrounding the creation ofthe material realm.Stead: 1969 has identified two main versions of the Sophia mythwhich he titles A and B. Inthe Hippolitian account the differences between the twoare found in the presentation of thesupreme aeon.In version A, this aeon named variously as Bythos, the Father, andPropator is linkedwith a consort known as Ennoia, Sige or Enthymesis,while in version B the principal aeonexists outside the system without a consort. The second divergence betweenthe two concernsthe circumstances surrounding the fall of Sophia andthe creation of the material world.While in both accounts Sophia transgresses by actingwithout her consort, her desire topenetrate the mystery which surrounds the Father is givenas the principal reason for her fallin version A by Irenaeus’ Adversus Haereses. The Hippolitianversion B, attributes her fall toher attempt to imitate the creative power of the Propatorwhich results in a defective being.Stead: 1969 contends that within the heresiologicalaccounts of Gnosticism which he ascribesto Valentinian teaching, at least five conceptualizationsof Sophia are depicted.Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, 1.30.19Logan, 1996:xiii-1.7She is identified variously as God’s perfect consort; the source of matter, evil anddeath; a fallen entity who leaves the Pleroma but is pardoned and restored; an aeon who sins,is forgiven, does not leave the Pleroma, and finally as a lower Sophia who remains outsidethe Pleroma, and awaits her eventual restoration.20 He maintains that later Valentiniandoctrine attempted to consolidate the Sophia narrative by amalgamating the conceptofSophia as the highest aeon with that of the Father’s agent in dealing with the imperfectworld.2’This resulted in the divided tradition of Sophia in which she is depictedas havingboth a higher and lower manifestation.22Filoramo: 1990 contends that the main purpose of the Pleromatic Sophia isto be thesource of spiritual knowledge to the material world. She is destined to be cast into thisworldso that she may return to the Pleroma after purification from her contact with matter.However, this destiny is described in terms of her disobedience; adisobedience that isexpressed through sexual promiscuity. The title prunicus, which generallyindicates lewdnessor prostitution, reveals much about the nature of Sophia. She cannot controlher sexuality andbecause of the overpowering nature of her femininity is compelled tosin.23 Pearson’sdiscussion of the Church Fathers’ rendition of the pre-creation narrative,argues that thisdesignation of Sophia as a fallen entity can be accounted forby viewing her as a heavenlyprojection of Eve, whose fall is narrated in the Genesis narrative. Pearsonmaintains thatmuch of the narrative of Sophia is a heavenly counterpointto the Genesis narrative and thatEve and Sophia are dual and contrasting images of each other.24 Thoughthere are several20Stead, 1969:93.21Ibid. 1969:103.22Ibid, 1969:88-103 Stead argues that in the divided tradition of the Sophiamyth the lower element iscompelled to wander the earth until her ultimate salvation by Christ whilethe higher concept of Sophia, PistisSophia, never leaves the Pleroma. Cf. Pearson, 2007:110.23Filoramo, 1990:68-69.24Pearson, 2007:1 10- 112.8versions of the narrative, the themes of fall and restoration are prominent in theheresiologicalaccounts of Sophia.2.2 The Apocryphon ofJohnThe Apocryphon ofJohn provides a detailed description of the creation of the materialworld and is believed by scholars to be a later more developed formof the account given inIrenaeus.25 The pre-creation account of the Apocryphon of John contains elementsof bothversions A and B as previously discussed. In the document, Ennoia, is describedas theconsort of the Supreme aeon and the creation of the material world occurs as a directresult ofSophia’ s desire to produce something without the consent of the Father or her consort.The figure of Sophia in the Apocryphon ofJohn is a complex one as she is describedwith more than one name and multiple identities throughoutthe text.26 In an effort to unravelthe complexity and understand its chronology the work of Buckley:1986 is useful. Shecontends that the figure of Sophia appears first in thetractate as a female entity in thePleroma known as Ennoia. She is created from the Father when he is reflected in water.27For it is he who looks at himself in his light which surrounds him, namelythe spring of the water of life. And it is he who gives to all the aeons and inevery way, (and) who gazes upon his image which he seesin the spring ofthe Spirit. It is he who puts his desire in his water-light which is in thespring of the pure light-water which surrounds him.“And his thoughtperformed a deed and she came forth, namely she who had appearedbeforehim in the shine of his light. This is the first power which was before allofthem (and) which came forth from his mind, She is theforethought of the25Pearson, 2007:10-11; 110-112. Cf. Wisse:1988. Wisse maintainsthat the reports of the church fathers indicatethat they were familiar with the contents of the tractate and the teachingsof some Gnostics. He also states thatthe cosmological teachings in the Apocrvphon ofJohn are very similar tothose attributed to Valentinus byIrenaeus though the teachings may have existed prior to the account foundin Adversus Hoereses.(Wisse, 1988:104).26There are three versions of the Apoctyphon ofJohn known as III, 1 and BG,2 which represent independentCoptic translations of a short Greek recension of the work. Additional copies,II, 1 and IV, 1, of the same Coptictranslation of a longer Greek recension of the document. (Wisse, 1988:104).27Buckley, 1986: 39.9All - her light shines like his light - the perfect power which is the imageofthe invisible, virginal Spirit who is perfect.28She is identified by the names Pronoia and Barbelo in this account which marks herasthe highest ranking female entity in the Pleroma as both names are associated withtheconsort of the Father. The figure of Sophia, or the named figure of Sophia, appearslater inthe text.An explicit connection between Sophia and the higher entity is establishedby thename ‘Sophia of the Epinoia’. The account of laldaboath’ s creationin the Apocryphon ofJohn is very detailed and emphasizes the link between Sophiaand transgression. The textrepeatedly reinforces the notion that Sophia is actingon her own authority in producinglaldaboath. The creation of the material world begins withthe birth of laldaboath’s asfollows:And the Sophia of the Epinoia, being an aeon, conceiveda thought fromherself and the conception of the invisible Spiritand foreknowledge. Shewanted to bring forth a likeness out of herself withoutthe consent of theSpirit, - he had not approved - and without herconsort, and without hisconsideration. And though the person of her malenesshad not approved,and she had not found her agreement, and she had thoughtwithout theconsent of the Spirit and the knowledge ofher agreement, (yet) shebrought forth. And because of the invincible power whichis in her, herthought did not remain idle, and something cameout of her which wasimperfect and different from her appearance, because shehad created itwithout her consort. And it was dissimilar tothe likeness of its mother,for it has another form.29Following his creation, the Apocryphon of John details howhe was cast away to aplace where no immortal might see what she hadcreated from ignorance. The tractateelaborates upon this realm, describing it asa luminous cloud with a throne in the middle. Hisform was that of a lion faced serpent witheyes that flashed like lightening. His name28Apocryphon ofJohn, 4.20-5.1.29Apocihon ofJohn, 9.25-10.8.10laldaboath was given to him by Sophia.3°At this point in the text the creation oflaldaboathby Sophia is predominantly the same as that found in The Hypostasisof Archons. Theprincipal divergence emerges in the assertion that Sophia created the realm andnamed himlaldaboath. According to this account, Sophia is aware of hercreation and gives him formand place in the world.The idea of repentance can be seen to arise and is attributed to thefigure of Sophia inthe Apocryphon ofJohn. Understanding the extent of her mistake,“She became aware of thedeficiency when the brightness of her light diminished. And she became darkbecause herconsort had not agreed with her.”3’She realizes that she cannot returnto the Pleroma andbegins to lament. This is heard by the entire Pleroma, andthe Holy Spirit, another aeon,descends with the consent of the Father in order that she mightcorrect her deficiency.32laldaboath’ s imperfection cannot be healed at this juncture in theaccount, but Sophia’ s owndeficiency is corrected by the intervention of the Pleroma.Buckley:1986 maintains that the consent of the Spirit,the Father, is crucial in thisintervention as it is his consent that has been absent fromher actions to this point. She alsocontends that the Spirit is Sophia’ s higher female self and inthe syzygial sense, her consort.33Thus, Sophia restores her connection to her higher self through herrepentance. However, sheis not immediately restored to the Pleroma but is temporarilyforgiven for her sin and placedin a realm above Jaldaboath. There, she is able to contemplate correctingher mistake andconsequently restore order within the cosmos.This will entail the destruction of the false hierarchy createdby laldaboath in the materialrealm. Buckley notes that Sophia’ s transgressionis twofold, in addition to acting without the30Apocrvphon of John, 9.25- 0.20.‘Apocryphon ofJohn, 13.10-20.32Apocryphon ofJohn, 14.1-10.Buckley, 1986: 47.11consent of her mate, her second action the creation of laldaboath results in an objectifiedtransgression, her son.34Much of the scholarly work on the figure of Sophia in this text has focused her role asa fallen figure in the theology. Buckley:1986 and Doniger-O’Flaherty:1999 maintain theimage presented in the Apocryphon ofJohn is one which expresses how her generative powerand sexuality were a threat to male powers.35 Doniger-O ‘Flaherty contends that theproductof her solitary creation, laldaboath, displays his mother’s illegitimate creativecapacityspecifically in the form attributed to him, the serpent. She creates a male powerthat by hisvery form manifests her lack. Doniger contends that androgyny allows for autonomybut ifthe androgyny is outspokenly female, negativity adheres to it.36 Buckleycontends that thespiritual power that laldaboath steals from his mother is indistinguishable fromher sexualpower and she needs to regain both before she can be reinstated to the Pleroma.Theandrogynous nature of the entities in the text is contrasted with the need for complimentarycouples, while Sophia is androgynous and therefore, capable of creating on herown, the textreinforces the notion that creation should not occur in this mannerand only with her ordainedconsort.37Buckley maintains that the threat of a femaleacting in a male manner makesandrogynous sexuality the main point of contention in thedepiction of Wisdom in theApociyphon ofJohn. This idea of her sexuality as the root of the classificationas a tarnishedaeon is found in the work of many scholars such as Stroumsa: 1984and La Porta: 1997.Buckley, 1986: 47.Doniger’s work on female figures in myth is not specifically directedtoward Gnosticism. However, herobservations are very useful in deconstructing the figure of Sophia inthe Apocryphon of John.36For further discussion see Doniger (0’ Flaherty): 1999. This observationdoes not withstand examination asBarbelo and Epinoia are not portrayed in a negative fashion though bothare of androgynous nature also. I thinkperhaps the issue is the out of union creation of laldaboath-an action thatappears to be reserved only for thefather.Buckley, 1986:128-132.12La Porta maintains that the author of the Apocryphon of John expressly portrayedSophia in terms of a fallen figure by emphasizing her flaws. He arguesthat this isaccomplished in three ways: labeling her as prunicus and furnishingher with the power toprocreate, describing her in terms representing instability, and in her placement asthe lastaeon, furthest away from the father.38 Stroumsa contends that the figureof Sophia and herrepresentation as a fallen figure are contingent on the tradition ofthe fallen woman, Eve, inGenesis. He argues that both figures are inextricably linkedin the Gnostic texts and theSophia narrative is best understood though consideration of the fallof Eve, as Sophia can beseen as representing a Pleromatic version of Eve.39 This connection between Eveand Sophiawill be explored in chapter two.The portrayal of Sophia in the Apocryphon of John differs fromthose found in theheresiological accounts, yet depiction of the aeonas a disruptive and promiscuous forceremains. The connection to Ennoia is often underminedby the adherence to the traditionaldescription of Sophia as a fallen figure.2.3 On the Origin ofthe World andThe Hypostasis of the ArchonsThe Hypostasis of the Archons is the first of the seventexts from Codex II of the NagHammadi scrolls.4°There is no exact date prescribedto the text. Scholars contend that it waswritten approximately the third century C.E. before thefourth century date assigned to theLaPorta, 1997:194.‘Stroumsa, 1984:171. Cf. McRae:1970. MacRae alsosees the fall of Eve as the main source for the fallennarrative of Sophia. He contends that there are three principal textualallusions which allow for this; 1) both arewomen. 2) the motivation for the falls are thesame, and 3) there is a close association between Sophia andZoe.(McRae, 1970: 100).°This is an anonymous tractate from the Nag Hammadi Library.(Bullard, 1988: 161) According to Bullard thetext contains clear Christian features and thus canbe considered a Christian text. It contains wide rangingHellenistic and Jewish syncretism.13Codex.4’It is thought that the tractate was originally written in Greek and later translated intoCoptic as it retains Greek inflection in some of the Greek loan words in the Coptic text.42 Thenarrative in the text is based primarily around the exegesis of the creation myth inGenesis 1-4 but told in the gnostic fashion. It also contains the pre-creation account of Sophia toldtoNorea by the angel Eleleth. Though provenance of the tractate has notbeen agreed upon,reference to the pre-creation story may suggest that it is written in the Valentinian tradition.43Scholars have posited that the text is composed of two individual sources which havebeenunited by a redactor.44 Bullard: 1988 elaborates on this concept by posing the questionas towhether non-Christian sources may have been Christianized by the redactor sincethere arereferences to Ephesians 6:21 at 86(134).23-24 and allusion to another Christiantext at96( 144).33-97•15The general consensus is that the tractate contains at least two mainsources,the Genesis narrative and the apocalyptic source. It is in this context that thenarrative ofSophia can be understood.The pre-creation account of Sophia is placed at the endof the tractate. The accountmaintains the basic features of the Sophia narrative, the creationof laldaboath and the41Fallon, 1978: 4.42Ibid. 1978: 3.Pagels, 1988:74. Pagels contends that the Valentinian branch of Gnosticism made use ofa pre-creation mythin their exegesis of the Genesis myth to explain the original sin.This pre-creation myth is described in Ireneaus’Adversus Haereses in connection with his polemic against the ValentinianGnostics.However, the affiliations of the text are debatable as Bullardsuggests that this text may be of the Sethiantradition.( Bullard, 1988: 161)Fallon, 1978: 4 cf. Schenke: 1958. Scholars contend that a numberof different sources are present in the text.Logan: 1996 maintains that by the use of concepts such as the figuresof the Invisible Spirit, the fourIlluminators, Sophia, Norea and the kingless race suggests that thetext originates in the Barbelognostictradition which developed from earlier elements of Jewish material.(Logan, 1996: 121.). Bullard and Krause:1972 completed an examination of the sources of the tractate and assert thatthere are two main sources the firstis the exegesis of Genesis and the second is the apocalypticsource. The Genesis narrative begins at 87:11 to92:18 though there is no direct model in Genesis for passages92: 18-32. This section of the tractate appears tobe sourced from an apocalyptic text. (Bullard, 1970: 115 & Krause, 1972: 16). Gilhus:1985argues that apartfrom the Genesis and apocalyptic sources, there are alsotwo additional sources that should be taken intoaccount. These are an introductory citation from Paul, Ephesians 6:12 andanother fragment of a source thatseems to inspire the passages 94: 2-96 which depict the attemptedseduction of Norea and the revelation of theangel Eleleth. (Gilhus, 1985: 11-13).uBullard, 1988: 113-114.14material realm, his destruction and the restoration of order by Sophia. While thesefeaturesremain consistent with the tradition, the concepts of fall, repentance and redemptionare notemphasized in the text.The Sophia narrative detailed in The Hypostasis of the Archons contains similarliterary material to that contained in the tractate On the Originof the World.46 Arthur: 1984contends that this indicates that both texts appear to exist in a dependant literaryrelationship.She suggests that The Hypostasis of Archons was actually the name givento the tractateknown now as On the Origin of the World as the title of the manuscript reads,The Hypostasisof the Archons followed by the text of On the Origin of the World. This idea can be furthersupported by the appearance of both texts in contiguous order in Codex two. Thissuggeststhat the same version of the myth forms the basis for both texts. While this maybe the casethere are some differences within the accounts containedin both tractates. Fallon: 1978maintains that the common tradition behind both works maybe part of a book entitled Norea,which Epiphanius refers to in his work Panarion.47The pericope detailing the narrative of Sophia is found at the beginningof thistractate. Though many of the details are similar to The Hypostasisof the Archons, it providesa more detailed rendition of the pre-creation story. The narrative structure ofthe myth issimilar as the events in both occur in the same consecutive order. However,many of thecritical aspects, as outlined by Gilhus:1985, are not emphasizedin the pericope. Theseparation between Sophia and laldaboath that is preservedin the Hypostasis of the Archonsis not emphasized in this tractate. When Sophia sees hercreation moving about in the watersbelow she calls to him to move through them andjoin her above.48 “. . .she said to him,Arthur, 1984: 93“Fallon, 1978: 15. Epiphanius, Panarion, 26.1.3-9.48on the Origin of the World, 11.5.100.10-15.15“Child, pass through to here.”49 Sophia is represented as creatinglaldaboath in order to ruleover matter and her forces.50She gives him form and shape which resulted inhis leonineappearance. The boundaries between them are those of ignorance. He,laldaboath, does notknow of his origins or even about Sophia. The account of his creationdiffers primarily in thatSophia does not distance herself from him in the same way as outlinedin the Hypostasis ofthe Archons. His appearance as a lion is not describedas monstrous or beastly in contrast tothe Apocryphon of John, rather the opposite,as it is a form given to him by Sophia herself.The capture of laldaboath which occurs in both accounts also differ.In On the Origin of theWorld, Sophia captures laldaboath and sends him to Tartaros,5’thus she leavesthe Pleromain order to administer justice to Ialdaboath.52This is an aspect of the narrative which does not receive thesame treatment in TheHypostasis of the Archons. Rather, the text emphasizesthe separation of Sophia andlaldaboath.‘Within limitless realms dwells incorruptibility.Sophia, who is calledPistis, wanted to create something, alonewithout her consort; and herproduct was a celestial thing. A veil exists betweenthe world above andthe realms that are below; and shadow came into beingbeneath the veil;and that shadow became matter; and that shadow was projectedapart.And what she had created became a product in thematter, like anaborted fetus. And it assumed a plastic form moulded outof shadow,and became an arrogant beast resembling a lion. It wasandrogynous,...,because it was from matter that it derived.53Sophia is theoretically the creator of laldaboath and thereforeresponsible for thecreation of the corrupt realm of existence that heinstituted. However, she is not directlycredited with his parentage in the text. Here the Abyss,pnoun, is presented as the mother of‘on the Origin of the World, 11.5.100.10-15.°On the Origin of the World, 11.5.100.1-10.51Tartaros is a term from Greek mythology. It was a realm in the Underworldwhere souls were sent after deathto suffer eternal punishment. (Powell, 2004:76-77).52On the Origin of the World, 11.5. 102. 30-35.The Hypostasis of the Archons, 94.5-20.16laldaboath. Thus, Sophia is never directly named in this role. “. . . .and whatshe had createdbecame a product in the matter,”54 Sophia relinquishes her claim on laldaboathand he isreborn to the Abyss. Eleleth describes his initial birth as analogousthat of an aborted fetus.She does not complete the act of creating him and thus cannot be namedas his mother, sinceit is the Abyss who actually gives birth to him and assignsa form to him.laldaboath’ s separation from Sophia is further emphasized in that hedoes notresemble her or the other divine being except in his androgynous nature.He is described asresembling an arrogant beast, a lion.55 The idea of dualityso prevalent in gnostic ideology isonce again seen in the dual nature of his birth and form. Gilhus:1985 maintains that the twoexplanations for the origin of laldaboath are related, as the Abysswas regarded as the greatwomb in which both laldaboath and matter were created.56 Thus,from the beginning of thisnarrative Sophia is irrevocably distanced from laldaboathand the fallen aspect of hercharacter witnessed in other retellings of the myth. Pagels: 1988makes reference to the linkbetween sexuality and spirituality; thus, if the Sophia figurein this myth represents the highermanifestation of Wisdom, then she must remain untarnishedin her dealings with laldaboath.Similar narrative features are replicated in the Apocryphonof John but with one mainexception, the Abyss is not named as the mother of laldaboathin the birth narrative.The account of how Sophia introduces light into the darkness receivesmore attentionin On the Origin of the World. Light in this case functionsas a metaphor for knowledge andspiritual authority. This meta-narrative further demonstratesthat Sophia embodies the role ofthe higher manifestation of wisdom. The text states thatSophia acted like a veil dividingmankind from the things above.57 Thus, she controlledhumanity’s access to knowledge. TheThe Hypostasis of the Archons, 11.4. 94. 10-20.The Hypostasis of the Archons, 11.4. 94. 15.Gilhus, 1985: 97.On the Origin ofthe World, 11.5.98.20-25.17illumination of the darkness, chaos, by Sophia had a twofold effect. The first is thecreationof matter from the darkness and the second is the creation of laldaboath. This explanationalso provides a context in which to read the rather cryptic line in The Hypostasis of theArchons, “and immediately Sophia stretched forth her finger and introduced lightinto matterand pursued it down to the region of chaos.”58 This account of the light is found in all threetexts, the Apoctyphon of John, On the Origin of the World and, The Hypostasis of theArchons. However, in The Hypostasis of the Archons, the account is not directly connectedtothe birth of laldaboath unlike the other two texts. This suggests that the author did not wish toconnect Sophia with the creation of matter and as such the account, found inlengthier form inrelated literature is condensed to retain her separation from pollution. Filoramo:1992contends that the interaction between Sophia and chaos can be seen in termsof an interactionbetween male and female elements.59There are two Sophia’s named in On the Origin of the World. The first is Sophia, themother of laldaboath and the second is Sophia (Astaphaios), the daughterof Ialdaboath.6°It isthe second Sophia, who is credited with maintaining order amid thechaos of heaven andearth following the destruction of Ialdaboath.6’The account surroundingthe redemption andenthronement of Saboath is similar, following the same narrative sequencebut with some58The Hypostasis of the Archons, 11.4. 94. 30-35.Filoramo, 1992: 75-76. He argues that the encounter between the two entities alsoconforms to Aristotle’sconcept of relations between a male and female element. The male element is thebringer of movement and thegiver of form while the female element provides substance. Sophiarepresents the male aspect of her naturewhile chaos, the Abyss, represents the female element. Thus, as the male element Sophia islimited to acting asthe fertilizing power which does not lead to a loss or diminutionof her own nature. She does not have to leavethe Pleroma to provide this force for the union but can maintainher residence with the other entities in theeighth heaven. The creation of the demiurge serves to support the idea that the Sophia representedin these twoaccounts conforms to the higher manifestation of her character.60The two are distinguished from each other at this point by the fact thatthe older Sophia is referred to as PistisSophia.61on the Origin of the World, 11.5.103. 1-5.18variation.62 Though Zoe instructs Saboath on the teachings of theeighth heaven, later in theaccount, Pistis Sophia, places Saboath on her right in the seventh level and the prime parent,laldaboath on her left.63Fischer-Mueller: 1990 contends that the figure of Wisdom,Sophia, enlightensSaboath as he represents the female that has lost its place. In this encounter Sophiaacts as themale principle. This echoes her own earlier mistake, the begetting of laldaboathby actingwithout the male principle and consequently the world and chaos. In reversing herrole, shethen becomes a savior figure who restores the fallen female principle to the heavenlyabodein which it belongs.64 Fallon maintains that certain elements inthe account had to be changedto reflect the particular theology of the tractate. Pistis Sophia is requiredto take a more activerole in the events surrounding laldaboath and Saboath as dictatedby Valentinian ideology.He maintains that the account shows distinct influences fromValentinianism in theinstruction of Saboath by Pistis Sophia and her separationof Saboath from darkness.65In the accounts discussed above, Sophia’s disobedience resultsin a cosmogonic fallwhich is followed by her conversion or repentance.66 Allof her activity is limited to thehigher levels of the cosmos. Stead: 1969 contends that Valentinusenvisaged an ‘unfallen’female figure in the cosmogony of the Pleroma.67 Gilhus:1985 argues that while this thesishas merit it does not apply to the representation of Sophia in theHypostasis of the Archons.She argues that more likely the text draws from the originaltradition of the Sophia myth in62In The Hypostasis of the Archons, Saboath, the son of laldaboath,condemns his father and offers praise toSophia and the Father. His prayers are heard and Sophia sends herdaughter Zoe down to material world to raiseSaboath to the seventh heaven. Here he receives instruction concerningthe nature and teachings of the Pleromafrom Zoe. For a detailed discussion of this account see Fallon: 1978.63On the Origin of the World, 11.5.106. 10-15.Fischer-Mueller, 1990: 90.65Fallon, 1979: 112-113.66Gilhus, 1985: 97.cf the Apocryphon of John; Pistis Sophia; IrenaeusAd. Hoer. 1,4, 2; Hippolytus Ref. VI. 32.5-7.67Stead, 1969: 88.19the mythologemes assigned to Sophia.68 However, her main function in this textis that ofgnosis, where she represents the eternal wisdom upon which all things are ordered.I agreewith Gilhus in her observations concerning the nature of the higher Pistis Sophiaand her roleas the eternal wisdom. But I do not think that the Valentinian context of the text canbeignored. The complementary themes in the accounts of the Sophia narrativeand the Genesisexegesis suggest that the duality of Sophia underscores the entire text andappears throughoutthe tractate. The polarity between carnal and spiritual knowledge, ignoranceand awarenesspermeate the text. Therefore the duality and polarity of the nature of Sophiacan be arguedwithin this context.Gilhus: 1985 contends that The Hypostasis of the Archons expressesthe view thatSophia is not a fallen entity rather she is symbolic of a higher form in thePleroma and doesnot engage with matter or the material world. This perspective deviatesfrom that evident inthe Apocryphon of John, and even the testaments of the Church Fathers,in which one of theprincipal aspects of her character is that of a fallen figure.69 Though the narrativeof Sophia isreworked in the context of the Valentinian ideology, the basic sequenceand structure remainintact, namely that she conceived laldaboath without herconsort.Gilhus: 1985 argues that the principal deviance in the account of Sophiais that shedoes not fall beneath the cosmological veil which she created by conceiving laldaboath.Shefurther contends that The Hypostasis of the Archons maintains andsustains the view thatSophia’s fall and repentance is transferred to lowerentities that do not originate in thePleroma. Thus, laldaboath fulfills the role of the deity whofalls, Saboath becomes the deityof the repentance while Sophia remains free of any guilt or sin.7068Gilhus, 1985: 103.69Ibid. 1985: 95.°Ibid, 1985: 97.20This concept is essential for the sanctioned reorganization of the cosmos by Sophiaafter the banishment of laldaboath. She needs to be a pure deity with an unblemished historyin order to successfully reorganize the realms of Chaos and recreate the order whichlaldaboath and the Archons perverted.7’She projects a higher form of authority throughoutthe text.72 She does not mete out punishment to laldaboath or reorganize the lower realms ofthe cosmos. These duties are carried out by the angel created by Zoe and Deathrespectively.73 Sophia remains consistently separated from any contact with laldaboath andthe corrupt entities of the lower regions and thus remains uncontaminated. While I agree withthis line of reasoning I also believe that Sophia leaves the Pleroma and interacts withlaldaboath and the material world in her lower manifestation as Eve.Pagels’ approach to the text centers on the figure of the spiritual Eve in the Genesisexegesis. She contends that there is a direct connection between Eve and the aeon Sophia.Pagels treats the text primarily as a Christian document and as such does not examinethe precreation in detail narrative. However, she contends that the principal contrast in thetext isbetween the psychic and the pneumatic forms of perception. This is shown in the comparisonbetween the Incorruptibility and the Archons, and the contrast between carnal andspiritualknowledge. As such the figure of Sophia can be contrasted with the Eve. Sophia remainspureand untarnished while Eve is violated by the Archons. She maintains that TheHypostasis of‘Chaos is the term given to describe all the planes and realms. It is without form until given oneby Sophia inthis text. Chaos existed prior to the creation of the entities by the Father. The seven planets here referto theseven realms below the Pleroma which Sophia establishes by designating each witha ruler. This concept of theseven planets may refer to the Platonic myth of creation in the Timaeuswhereby the Father creates the worldaccording to a particular model; this includes the creation of seven planets. For further discussionsee J.Dillon: 1981.72She is able to offer redemption to Saboath by establishing him as ruler of the seventh heavenand creates thehigher parts of Chaos with the seven rulers of the planets.Gilhus, 1985: 101. The angel binds laldaboath and Death regulates the lower realms unconsciously carryingout the will of the Father.21the Archons sustains the view that sexuality has a direct but antithetical relationship tospirituality.74While scholarship on the tradition of Sophia has been extensive, recent work onthetradition posits that the traditional view of the aeon as a fallen figure needsto be revised.Good maintains that the concept of the fallen Sophia can be retainedonly by selectiveapplication of available material. In support of this argument, she citesthe existence of textsknown prior to the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library, as well as texts withinthe Librarywherein Sophia is described as Genetress, Mother and Consortto a number of divine beings.She believes these necessitate a revision of this standard scholarly view ofSophia. Work onThe Hypostasis of the Archons often does not focus on the figure of Sophiaand as such theview of her as a fallen figure is still in effect. Arthur: 1984 contendsthat the narrativecontained in the narrative of Sophia in The Hypostasis of the Archons issimply a condensedaccount of the fallen narrative found in On the Origin of the World. However,there aresufficient differences in both accounts to view the text of The Hypostasisof the Archons as aunique version of the narrative.2.4 SummaryThe tradition of Sophia as represented in the Apocryphonof John and the accounts of theChurch Fathers has received much attention. The dominant view of thenarrative is one of afallen figure. The text of the Hypostasis of the Archonsdoes not maintain this same view ofSophia, rather it emphasizes the unblemished nature ofthe figure. Though, the divergencefrom the tradition has been acknowledged by scholars,there has been no analysis of thetradition to determine the reasons for this alternativedepiction of the aeon. In the next chapterPagels, 1988:205-206.22I shall address this issue; specifically I intend to link the text of The Hypostasisof theArchons with the Valentinian tradition of a dual figure and to examinethe connectionbetween Eve and Sophia.23CHAPTER TWO: THE HYPOSTASIS OF THE ARCHONS ANDTHE VALENTINIAN TRADITIONIn support of my argument, there are two central points in the discussionof thenarrative of Sophia that require review in this chapter. Firstly, I shall argue that the narrativecontained in the primary tractate, The Hypostasis of the Archons, conforms tothe Valentiniantradition of dividing Sophia into a higher and lower manifestation. This divisionrendersSophia as a pure entity; thus, transferring the status of a fallen figure to Eve as the lowermanifestation of Sophia. The second concerns the unique portrayal of the figure of Sophiafound in The Hypostasis of the Archons. This particular depiction will be discussed withaview to highlighting the divergence in tradition found in the tractate. I shall suggest thatthereis a connection between Sophia and the entity Ennoia in the document. In doingthis, I shallilluminate the characteristics ascribed to Sophia which warrant the connection to Ennoia.Sophia is known by many titles in the Nag Hammadi codices ranging from BarbelotoEpinoia depending on the tractate. Similarly, in The Hypostasisof the Archons, Sophia isdepicted as having a number of important characteristics namelythose of Genetress/ Mother,Redeemer and Plurality. It is precisely these characteristics that establish heras the highestmanifestation of wisdom within the tractate. I propose to examinethese three character traitsand discuss their relevance for its interpretation. I also intendto briefly address the concept ofthe link between Ennoia and Sophia in The Hypostasis of the Archons. In undertakingthisreview, I shall primarily address the work of La Porta: 1997and Good:1987, whose workaddresses the assignation of certain character traits to the higherand lower manifestations ofwisdom in the Nag Hammadi texts.2431 Sophia- The Higher Manifestation of Wisdom3.1.1 CharacteristicsRecent scholarship on the tradition of the higher manifestation of Sophia has focusedonthe characteristics of the aeon. This dichotomy in the nature of Sophia, offersthe opportunityto examine the characteristics that differentiate between higher and lower formsof theWisdom. These can be used to support the argument in favor of such a separationand toelucidate a possible older tradition of the myth which identifies the higher manifestationofSophia with Ennoia, the consort of the father. This view has been raisedby scholars such asLa Porta: 1997, Good: 1987 and Buckley: 1986.La Porta proposes a model of the dichotomy of the myth of Sophia. He dividesthefigure of Sophia into positive and negative characteristics and usesthese to illustrate thecomplex and conflicting representation of this aeon.In his article, “Sophia-Meter:Reconstructing a Gnostic Myth”, La Porta schematizesthe dichotomy of the higher and lowerforms of Wisdom as follows:I. Glorifying and Stabilizing Emanation/Disobedient and DestabilizingEmanationII. Mother of the Living/Mother of laldaboathIII. Descent with Revelatory Effects/ Descent with DisruptiveEffects75La Porta’ s observations are focused primarily on the tractate the Apocryphonof Johnand presented in that version of the narrative. He maintainsthat the dichotomy occurred in c.2’’ to1Stcentury B.C.E. and was a result of contemporary intellectualor historical factors,namely the Neopythagorean concepts ofthe creation of the Universe. The attributesassociated with the lower manifestation of Wisdomare ascribed to a purely female figure,Sophia, who engaged with the world as a revealer/redeemer.The higher form of Wisdom wasLa Porta, 1997: 203-204.25retained by Barbelo, who maintained the androgynous nature of the firstcreated being andwas the Ennoia of the Invisible spirit. He further contends that thefinal separation of theBarbelo and Sophia figures occurred as a result of the conflict inherent in recognizingaredeemer figure who was also the creator of evil beings. This outcome confirmed the schismand Sophia was relegated to the position of the lowest aeon.76Pearson: 2007 agrees with this view and argues for this split to be formalizedintohigher and lower manifestations. In the Sethian system, reflectedin the Apocryphon ofJohn,Barbelo is the higher form while Sophia functions as the lowerfallen manifestation. Pearsoncontends that the fallen aspect of the figure is centered around her role inthe creation of thematerial realm namely by the birth of the Demiurge.77 However, as a repentantfallen figureshe can play a role as mediator between the two worlds. In addition,she is also provider ofsalvific gnosis to the elect.78 While there is some agreementconcerning these forms, theirexact nature and typology is largely dependant on theprovenance to which the text conforms.Good’s (1987) work on the tradition of Sophia argues for an individualtext basedapproach to the study of the Sophia narrative. She maintainsthat the Sophia narrative asrepresented in the gnostic texts is part of a greatermilieu of wisdom literature. The mostnotable example of this is Proverbs. Here, the figure of Wisdomis not a personified attributeof God but rather an independent entity presentat the creation of the world. Wisdom can beread as the consort of the father and therefore, not as a fallenfigure.79 Good maintains that76Barbelo in the Apocryphon ofJohn is described as firstcreation of the Father. She is formed from his thoughtand is described as the first human being, the virgin spirit and androgynousin nature. Barbelo is often referredto as EnnoialEpinoia in other gnostic texts. (Roukema,1998:39).Pearson: 2007: 110. Pearson maintains that the ApocryphonofJohn is of Sethian provenance while otherscholars such as Stead:1969 and Wisse:1988 argue that it ismore closely linked with the teachings ofValentinus. I propose to address the text in light of the viewsof Stead and Wisse though still discussing thecharacteristics outlined in Pearson.78Ibid,2007: 110.Good, 1987:xiv-xv. A group of scholars comprising Ringgren:l947; Mack:1973;Lang:1976; Crenshaw:1976; Nickelsberg and Stone:1983 have concluded that in Proverbs8.22-31 Sophia is not a personified attributeof God but rather an independent entity present at the creationof the world.26the concept of the fallen Sophia can be retained onlyby selective application of availablematerial. In support she cites the existence of texts knownprior to the discovery of the NagHammadi Library as well as texts within it, wherein Sophia is describeda Genetress, Motherand Consort to a number of divine beings. She believes these necessitatea revision of thestandard scholarly view of Sophia.8°La Porta maintains thatSophia’ s faults which conthbuteand result in her classification as a fallen entity can be summarizedusing the concept ofprouneikos81.This refers to her power to procreate,and its capacity to represent instabilityasan anti-wisdom figure; and finally to her placing asthe last aeon. Though there is a differencein The Hypostasis of the Archons and The Apocryphonof John in this regard, the format andbasic structure of the myth derive from a common sourceas discussed above.The term prounikos does not appear in the text of The Hypostasisof the Archons andtherefore, the taint of lewdness cannot be applied tothe character of Sophia. Great emphasisis placed upon this aspect of her character in othergnostic texts of varying provenance,indicating that the motif was a prevalentone.82 Sophia is also referred to as prounikosin“I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or everthe earth was. When there were no depths, I wasbrought forth; when there were no fountains abounding with water.Before the mountains were settled, beforethe hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the earth,nor the fields, nor the highest part of thedust of the world. When he prepared the heavens, I was there: whenhe set a compass upon the face of the depth:When he established the clouds above: when he strengthened thefountains of the deep: When he gave to the seahis decree, that the waters should not pass his commandment: whenhe appointed the foundations of the earth:Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: andI was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him;Rejoicing in the habitable part of his earth; and mydelights were with the sons of men.” (Pry. 8.22-31)80Good, 1987:xiv-xxi. The manuscripts, Sophia of Jesus Christ andApociyphon ofJohn describe Sophia asGenetress, Mother and Consort.81La Porta takes prounikos (prunicus) in this contextto mean lewd or lascivious. However, in her article on thistopic Anne Pasquier: 1988 suggests an alternative readingfor prounikos. She uses ancient etymologies of theterm prounikos to argue that the term meant an impulsive person (tpó+ vcucoç) or a porter (itpó + cvciicw, aform of ppw). She analyses the use of the latter in comic plays in whichit conveyed a sense of haste andaudacity and conversely an impulsive person. She contends that prounikosthen represents a character who isuntamed or untamable, rushes audaciously and impetuouslyto the outside provoking dissent or discord. She alsoexamines a range of Nag Hammadi texts and applies this definitionto Sophia. She concludes that ‘SophiaProunikos’ does not bring about the creation of thematerial world but merely prepares the separation whilelaldaboath holds the position of dissent (veucoç). (Pasquier,1988: 47-66).82The title prounikos is applied to Sophia in the Second Treatise of GreatSeth, Epihanius Haer. in reference tothe Nicolaitians and Simonians and in the Apocryphon of John.27Irenaeus Ad Haer.83 However, a more recent definition offered by Pasquier: 1988 suggestsan alternative interpretation.843.1.2 GenetressLa Porta assigns both the title ‘Mother of the Living’ and ‘Mother of laldaboath’ tothe higher manifestation of wisdom in his analysis. However, I would suggestthat only oneshould be applied to the higher element- ‘Mother of the Living’. The distancebetween theSophia and laldaboath is emphasized consistently throughout the pericope and throughoutthetext as a whole. Consequently, she is not depicted as embodying theparticular character trait,‘Mother of laldaboath’, which is explicitly associated with the fallen Sophia. Gilhus:1985contends that the original connection between Sophia and laldaboath is maintainedin TheHypostasis of the Archons, as it forms an essential part of the frameworkfor the account.However, in contrast to related gnostic literature, she is not namedas his mother nor he as herson.85Sophia’s connection to this title ‘Mother of the Living’ can be establishedbeexamining the hymn in the Genesis exegesis and also herrole in introducing light into matter.Both passages in the document serve to connect herto Ennoia and the higher attributes ofWisdom. In the Apocryphon ofJohn the creationof EnnoialBarbelo is followed by a hymn ofpraise, “This is the first thought, his image; she became thewomb of everything for it is shewho is prior to them all.”86 The sentiments expressedin this hymn can also be found in apraising hymn in The Hypostasis of the Archons. Thispraise is given to Eve by Adam intribute to her higher form, Sophia. “It is you whohave given me life, you will be calledIrenaeus, Ad. Haer. 1 .29;30.3.Pasquier, 1988: 47-66. cf footnote 7 above.85Gilhus, 1985: 95-97.86Apocryphon of John, 5.5-8.28‘Mother of the Living’. For it is she who is my mother. It is she who is the physician, and thewoman, and she who has given birth.”87 Both passages emphasize the creativeprocesses ofthe female entities. In The Hypostasis of the Archons Adam is created in two distinct stages.The first occurs when the Archons construct his physical form fromthe soil of the earth. Thefirst stage does not result in any further development as the Archons are unableto awakenAdam to consciousness. The second stage in his creation takes place whenthe spirit descendsfrom the Pleroma to dwell in him and he becomes a ‘livingsoul’88Though Sophia is notdirectly credited with the creation of Adam, her manifestation Eve completes theprocess andthrough her Sophia is recognized as the ultimate creator of Adam.Though, the text maintains a clear separation between Sophia and thematerial realm.Without the intervention of the spirit acting on behalf of Sophia,Adam would have remainedin an unconscious state. Upon seeing the spiritual womanAdam offers a salutary hymn inpraise of his awakening. Gilhus maintains that through the formand content of the hymn Eveis identified as a mother goddess and as a result of subsequentevents, specifically in beingboth mother and daughter and giving birth to Seth and Norea,is this too much informationbecomes a universal goddess.89Arthur: 1984 agrees with this assessment and contendsthat the hymn of praise,spoken by Eve, which also appears in longer form in Onthe Origin of the World, is atraditional piece of poetry.9°This hymn is attributed toAdam in The Hypostasis of theArchons. Arthur maintains that its inclusion in TheHypostasis of the Archons in the thirdperson form indicates that the author has moved theattention from the genesis narrative to°The Hypostasis of the Archons, 89.14-19.88The Hvpostasis of the Archons, 88.15.89Gillhus, 1985:56.‘°Arthur, 1984: 132-133.29another narrative. She agrees that the hymn is a form of traditional poetry andasserts that thechange from the second to third person narration, confirms that it is also a citation.9’Gilhus: 1985 maintains that the salutary hymn contains several word-plays on thename Eve which in the Coptic text and the hymnological typehas its predecessors inaretalogies of Isis.92 She argues that the spirit in this context alludes to the feminine natureofGod and that while the hymn is explicitly directed to Eve there isan implicit allusion to Godthe Mother. This establishes yet another connection between the figuresof Eve, Sophia andEnnoia. Ennoia is the female consort of the father and thus can fulfill the role of GodtheMother and Eve’s link to Isis also serves to connect to her toSophia. However, it may bemore probable to suggest that since the feminine aspect of the Fatheris not emphasized inThe Hypostasis of the Archons the hymn refers to either Sophia or Ennoia whoare creditedwith the birth of humanity in On the Origin of the Worldand The Apocryphon of John.Secondly, there is an established connection between Isis andSophia.93In the text On the Origin of the World Sophia creates thefirst human from a drop oflight. In gnostic cosmogonies, Sophia’s loss of light power isusually a crucial point in thenarrative. It highlights the enormity of her mistake. However,this point has been reduced inthe tractate so that no taint of the material plane or mattercan be attributed to her.94 Theplacement of the light pericope is significant as it occursafter the birth of laldaboath. Thisconnection between Sophia and light further underscoresher role indirectly as the creator ofIbid. 1984: 132. cf. Bohlig, 1962: 74-75; Tardieu, 1974: 107:117.92For the connection between Isis and Sophia see W.L. Knox:1937;Conzelman:1971; Kloppenborg:1982.‘°on the Origin of the World, 113.20-30. In this narrative the creationof the first human occurs when Sophia letfall a droplet of light into water and it formed the first androgynoushuman. The connection between Sophia andlight is maintained in the Hypostasis of the Archons but there isno explicit allusion to the creation of Adam, thefirst human in this text. Arthur: 1984 argues for the preferenceof On the Origin of the World over the text of theHypostasis of the Archons and maintains that the latter is a condensedversion of the myths contained in On theOrigin of the World. There she maintains that many of the motifsand narratives contained in the Hypostasis ofthe Archons are elaborated upon in the related text. (Arthur, 1984:143-146). For the isis connection seefootnote 27.Gilhus, 1985:103.30humanity. “And immediately Sophia stretched forth her finger and introduced lightintomatter; and she pursued it down to the region of chaos.”95 The description of the first humanin On the Origin of the World contains a complimentary description of Sophia’s role inproviding light to the world. “When Sophia let fall a droplet of light,it flowed onto thewater, and immediately a human appeared, being androgynous.”96The role of light in the creation of the first human is a motif that also occurs in TheApocryphon of John, when laldaboath speaks of creating Adam. “Come letus create a manaccording to the image of God and according to our likeness that his image mightbecome alight for us.”97Schenke: 1958 argues that the Archons believed that their divine nameand formguaranteed that their image would shine.98 Giverson however, arguesthat their decision tocreate Adam is based upon his connection to the lightand not to the earth.99 The role ofSophia in both accounts is attested to in the narratives. Therefore, Iwould suggest that theotherwise obscure reference to Sophia’s release of light into matteris an allusion to her rolein the creation of Adam. In On the Origin of the Worldit is through the power of light thatlaldaboath and the Archons are able to create Adam.1°°Though theconnection is not explicitwithin the text of The Hypostasis of the Archons, nonethelessthe explicit descriptions of thecreation of the first androgynous being by Sophia and heruse of light in the creation processcannot be ignored. The title ‘Mother of the Living cantherefore be applied to Sophia in thiscontext.The Hypostasis of the Archons, 94. 29-33.On the Origin of the World, 113.22-25.The Apocryphon of John, 15.1-5.Schenke, 1958: 665.Giverson, 1963:178.100The separation of the description from the genesis narrative is dueto the binary nature of the Sophia tradition.The relationship between light and the Pleroma is a prevalent one andalso occurs in the Sophia ofJesus Christ.The beings which come into the world do so through light,a light which has direct connections to Sophia.(Good, 1987:37-38).313.1.3 RedeemerGilhus: 1985 maintains that The Hypostasis of the Archons adopts a special view ofSophia as it transfers her fall and repentance to lower entities that do not have their origin inthe World Above.10’Thus, she contends that laldaboath becomes the deity of the fall andSaboath the deity of the repentance. laldaboath therefore, fulfills the role of the anti-wisdomfigure and represents instability. Conversely, Sophia is establishedas a stabilizing emanation.The threat of instability is most evident from statement “It is I who amGod, and there is noneapart from me”)°2This declaration confirms his role as the anti-wisdom figurein the text.His ignorance and false claim to be the ultimate God lends the element of instabilityto thecosmos. Prior to his creation of the material world, the Pleroma existed pureand stable,populated by entities created by the Incorruptibility. laldaboath createdthe material world ina comparable manner but it is imperfect as he himself is inherentlyflawed.’°3In reviewinghis declaration of supremacy, Gilhus: 1985 maintains that two importantaspects need to beconsidered. Firstly, following his claim to bethe only ruler of the Universe he is corrected bya voice from the Pleroma. This is significant as he asks to see the thingthat existed beforehim. He is then given a vision of Sophia and her light.Thus he becomes aware of theexistence of divine beings in the Pleroma. By reiteratinghis claim that he is the only God tohis followers and emanations he is seeking to usurp the Father.’°4The narrative following hisGilhus, 1985:97.to’The Hypostasis of the Archons, 94. 21-22.103laldaboath is imperfect in both form and gender. In the previoussection the appearance and significance ofthat appearance were discussed, namely that he does not resemblethe divine beings originating in the Pleroma.Fischer-Mueller: 1990 argues that laldaboath is lacking in the maleelement of his androgynous nature due to hissingular birth. She maintains that laldaboath is weakas he is lacking in maleness except for the power which heis able to take from his mother. She draws upon the Hellenistic medicalbeliefs outlined in Hippocrates andAristotle that the female is a deformity and if the female nature prevailsduring the pregnancy the product willbe imperfect and deformed. Fischer-Mueller, 1990:79-87. I aminclined to agree with her assessment of thedeficiency in the form of laldaboath however, many of the gnosticaeons though described as aeons seem tofavor one gender over the other and are referred to predominantlyas being one primary sex throughout the texts.Sophia is described as androgynous in nature but if most often referredto in the feminine.104Gilhus, 1985:98-99.32claim supports this view. laldaboath’ s fate is tobe cast down to Tartaros. He is punished forintroducing an unstable element in to the gnostic cosmos.His role as a destabilizing force is countered-balancedby Sophia’s role as astabilizing entity. Sophia brings order to the cosmos by introducinglight into the materialrealm. This acts as a driving force in the battle between ignoranceand wisdom on thematerial plane. Sophia is responsible for bringing laldaboathto account. She does not do thisdirectly thus avoiding any descent to matterand retaining her status as a higher aeon.Following the dethronement of laldaboath, Sophia reorganizes theseven planets/realmswhich may be taken as a corrective influence followingthe corruption of gnosis by theDemiurge.This glorifying element of the Sophia character can alsobe seen in her ability toenthrone other divine beings most notably in the Hypostasisof the Archons where it isapplied to Saboath. Upon his repentance, Sophia raiseshim up to the seventh realmestablishing him as ruler.’°5 Fallon: 1978 maintainsthat heavenly enthronement can beinterpreted as a metaphor for the heavenly realm andaccession to power. It does not havetorefer specifically to placement ona throne.106 If this is the case then Sophia is ultimatelyresponsible for the enthronement not onlyof Saboath but of all who ascend to the Pleroma.She has created the means by which humanity can achievegnosis and attain this goal. Herrole as a wisdom figure and a glorifying emanation isexplicit.The position of Sophia and her placementas the twelfth aeon is more problematic andless easily resolvable particularly with referenceto The Hypostasis of the Archons. It may notbe possible to resolve this question of placementconclusively, as there is no mention oftheorder of the aeons in the tractate itself. However,in light of the Valentinian tradition quotedThe Hyposrasis of the Archons, 95.13-96.3.106Fallon, 1978:42.33in Stead: 1969, I believe that a case can be made for the classificationof the spiritual womanas a lower aeon than Pistis Sophia within the tractate. Giverson:1963 maintains that she wasplaced in this position so that her subsequent failure was understandable.She is placedfurthest away from the father and his influence.’07 This emphasison understanding andaccounting for the fall of Sophia is not a prevalent topic in TheHypostasis of the Archons.’°8Sophia is not always found in the position of twelfth aeon. However,in The Sophia of JesusChrist she is specifically identified as the first aeon. Therefore,there is precedence forconsidering her as a higher form even without the nomenclature ofBarbelo or Ennoia. In TheHypostasis of the Archons Sophia conforms to themodel of the higher manifestation ofwisdom and portrays the relevant characteristics for suchmanifestations.3.2 Eve- The Lower Manifestation of Wisdom3.2.1 PluralityThus far the discussion of the texthas centered on the figure of Sophia in TheHypostasis of the Archons and her role as thehigher manifestation of wisdom. To establishthe concept of a dual Sophia in accordance withthe Valentinian tradition, the lowermanifestation of Sophia must also be addressed.One of the main arguments in support ofthe fallen representation of Sophia is her roleas the mother of laldaboath. This role identifies heras not only a transgressor but also thecreator of the material world and thesource of all its woes. Her role is integralto Gnostic107Giverson, 1963:182.La Porta: 1997 maintains that the placement of Sophiaas the final aeon may be a mistake and that she mayhave been found as the fourth aeon in the same tradition. Irenaeusnotes that Sophia was brought forth from thefirst angel asd is identified with the Holy Spirit.It is not within the scope of this paper to look at the placementof Sophia in the order of the aeons and the history of this topic.I do believe that the author of the Hypostasis didnot have the traditional character of Sophia in mind whenwriting the text as there are very noticeabledifferences in the formation of the material worldand the character of Sophia. Therefore, the order of heremanation though while not unimportant in this case is not of primaryimportance in the discussion of her status.34ideology otherwise it would not be possible to explain the existence of this perfectrealm. Itcould not be ascribed to the agency of the Father whose creationsare all of a higher form andauthority than those present in the material world.Sophia begins the process of her redemption through her repentance.The creation ofAdam, located in the Genesis exegesis, symbolizes the correctionof the mistake. Sophiamanipulates laldaboath into giving Adam the power that hetook from her.’°9 She petitionsthe Father to send messengers from the Pleromato laldaboath instructing him to blow intoAdam’s face in order to awaken him. This marks the beginningof laldaboath’s demise.However, he is not banished entirely, as is seen in The Hypostasisof the Archons; ratherSophia gives humanity the tools to defeat his corruption. Followingthe birth of Seth, shesends a manifestation of herself to the material world to prepare thisworld for the aeons thatwill descend from the Pleroma. Thus, through the agencyof Seth, the manifestation of Sophiaand the future aeon, most likely, Jesus Christ, the deficiencyof laldaboath will be correctedand the Pleroma will once again become wholeand This aspect of Sophia is notemphasized in The Hypostasis of the Archons and sheis explicitly distanced from anyinteraction with laldaboath. She does not repent nor isshe relegated to a lower realm orforced to correct the mistake of laldaboath, as his birthis linked to the Abyss rather thanSophia. Thus, the account in The Hypostasisof the Archons needs further examination todetermine the purpose behind this retellingof the traditional myth.”The Genesis exegesis comprises a large part of thetext of The Hypostasis of theArchons and begins with the creation of the first human,Adam, through the agency of the109The Apocrvphon ofJohn, 19.15-30.110The Apociyphon ofJohn, 25.1-15.The Apocr-yphon ofJohn is often connected withthe Sethian branch of Gnosticism. Pearson:2007; Buckley:1986; Wisse: 1988 and not explicitly with the Valentinian tradition.This is also the case with the Hypostasisofthe Archons however scholars do agree that both tractates containaspects of Valentinian doctrine. Pearson:2007;Gilhus:1985; Petrement: 1984.35Archons. Adam is created by the Archons to entice Eve, the female spirit, from the Pleromato their plane. Once she descends to join him he is rendered complete, possessingboth a souland spirit.’12In this mode, the figure of Eve is an interesting one. She is introducedas amanifestation of Sophia, though not Sophia herself. There is a duality to the figureof Eve likethat of Sophia. Eve appears alternately in pneumatic and sarcic form throughoutthe Genesisexegesis. The Genesis account in The Hypostasisof the Archons begins at 87.10 when theArchons see the reflection of the female figure in the waters and decideto create Adam inorder to entice her from the Pleroma. Though the figure of Eveis not named as that ofSophia, I believe that building on the knowledge of the mythfrom The Apocryphon of John,in which Eve and Sophia are one and the same, this conceptcan be applied to the text. In Onthe Origin of the World Sophia begets the androgynous figure, the livingEva to save manfrom the evil Archons.”3In The Hypostasis of the ArchonsAdam refers to the spiritual Eveas: you who have given me life; you will be called ‘Motherof the Living.”4 Pagels: 1988asserts that in referring to Eve as the mother of all, theauthor is signifying that the spiritualwoman is not only his pneumatic co-image but alsoa manifestation of Wisdom, his spiritualmother.”5The figure of Eve functions as the lower manifestationof Sophia and as Gilhus: 1985contends, Sophia’ s fall and repentance are transferred toa lower entity that did not originatein the Pleroma.’16 This idea can be supportedby the fact that the physical Eve is created inthe material realm by Archons. Prior to thisshe is merely a thought manifestation, a form ofconsciousness or knowledge that exists withinAdam. Her purpose in descending is to bring112The Hypostasis of the Archons, II. 88.3OntheOriginofthe World, 113.30-33.114The Hypostasis of the Archons, II. 89.10-15.115Pagels, 1988: 195.116Gilhus, 1985: 97.36knowledge to Adam. She accomplishes this aim and her presence in his consciousness isverified by the Archons who bring the animals to him so that he may name them.”7However, unlike Sophia, the spiritual Eve does not remain pure throughout her ordealin the material world nor does she retain a higher form of authority. The fallbegins with herseparation from Adam by the Archons. She is separated from her consort and her purposewhich is to join with him to achieve gnosis. This leads to the events that renderher impure.The rape of Eve suggests a context for a fallen figure; thoughshe flees from her physicalbody she does not escape untainted.“And she laughed at them for their witlessness and their blindness; and in their clutches,shebecame a tree, and left before them her shadowy reflection resemblingherself; and theydefiled it foully. And they defiled the stamp of her voice..,,118The Hypostasis of the Archons expresses the opinionthat sexuality bears a direct butantithetical link to spirituality. Thus, Eve’s association with this sexual actimpacts negativelyon her as a higher element.’19The carnal female is violatedby the Archons, and though she isnot the spiritual Eve, she is nonetheless a version ofher. The Archons have succeeded increating for their purposes, a carnal Eve, one who is the binaryopposite of the spiritual Eve.The violation of the spiritual Eve and the creation of thecarnal woman also represents amoment of horror in the narrative, horror for the bodilyEve; her victory comes at a cost thatis the division of her self and the denial of her materialself, the carnal woman.’20‘ The Hypostasis of the Archons, 88.15-25. Gilhus, 1985: 52. Gilhus:1985 maintains that the naming is a testto ensure that the pneumatic Eve is within Adam, knowing that the Archonscan then proceed to capture her forthemselves.The Hypostasis oftheArchons, 89.20-30.119Pagels:1988.120King: 1993 as cited in McGuire, 1999:271 The separation of thespirit from her bodily form in the wake ofthe assault by the Archons is cited by McGuire 1999, as being reminiscentof the disassociation of mind andbody that occurs as a survival mechanism among rape victims.37The significance of the attack is reinforced later in the text when Norea is born to Eve.She refers to her as “. . .the virgin whom the forces did not defile”2’This refers to Norea’spursuit by the Archons and the intercession of the Angel Eleleth, as a resultof which sheremains undefiled. McGuire: 1999 contends that Norea is a powerfulfemale model ofredemptive subversion. She is represented as the subversion of all Powersthat falsely claimto rule the cosmos, social order and body. She participates in a system of power in whichtrueidentity and value reside only in the spiritual.122 By implication Evedoes not reside in thisplace. Thus, the rape of the Archons had a lasting effect on more than justher bodily self.Following her ascent to the Pleroma Eve next appears as the serpentin order toeducate Adam and the sarcic woman about the tree of knowledge. Shetakes the form of asnake or inhabits the body of a snake in order to escape the notice of the Demiurgeand theArchons. Pagels makes an interesting point regarding the relationship betweenEve and theserpent, Adam and the carnal woman. This is the conceptthat first sin is adultery. Accordingto the Gospel of Philip, Eve is committing a form ofspiritual adultery with the serpent forwhich Adam retaliates by knowing the carnal woman.123She contends that as they arealienated from one another, each becoming involved in inferior relationships.Pagels definesadultery through the terms of the Gospel of Philip; thatis every act of sexual intercoursewhich has occurred between those unlike one anotheris adultery.’24 The act of Eve joiningwith the serpent signifies how the pneumatic being, Eve,separated from the psyche, Adam,joins instead with matter or hylë, the snake. LikewiseAdam undergoes an analogousexperience with the sarcic woman.121The Hypostasis oftheArchons, II. 92.1-5.122McGuire, 1999: 272123Pagels, 1988: 199. Cf. Gero:1987.124Pagels, 1988:199 and Gospel of Philip, 61.10-11.38Furthermore, the carnal woman gives birth to Cainand Abel, both products of animpure mamage. The violation of the woman prior to her marriageto Adam renders herimpure and her offspring are by implication also impure. Thistaint on the children of theirunion can be seen in their behavior, since Cain is referred to as the“carnal Cain”.’25 Since thecarnal woman is a manifestation of Eve these children are further evidenceof her fall and herrepentance. Cain kills Abel, which is a deed that would not occurhad the spiritual Eve notabandoned her consort Adam and opened the way forthe birth of an impure being such asCain.The idea of redemption and repentance is introducedsubtly throughout the Genesisnarrative. Gilhus: 1985 contends that the sarcic woman providespositive soteriologicalfunctions in the text. She provokes Adam to eat from thetree of knowledge.’26This beginsthe process of reconciliation between Adam andthe spiritual Eve which results in the creationof Seth and Norea. The tractate states that following thebirth of Seth and Norea humanitybegan to multiply and improve.’27Thus, Eve redeemsherself and provides humanity with themeans to subvert the corruption of laldaboath.3.3 Parallel Narratives: The Descent of Sophia andEveThe descent or the non descent of Sophia is a topic of somecontention within Gnostictexts. Stead: 1969 states that the Valentinian teachings maintaineda tradition where the lowermanifestation of Sophia wandered the earth until her salvationby Christ. The higher element,Pistis Sophia, never left the Pleroma and therefore,avoided any association or taint with the125The Hypostasis of the Archons, II. 91. 10-25, pp.165-166.126Gilhus, 1985: 65.127The Hypostasis of the Archons, 92.1-5.39material realm and the birth of Ialdaboath.’28 Herdescent is not depicted within TheHypostasis of the Archons. The text explicitlydesignates that role to Eve, the spiritualwoman. This contrasts with Sophia’ s role in related gnostic textsuch as The Apocryphon ofJohn. However, I believe that the descent can be explained in the context ofthe dividedtradition of Sophia. Eve maintains the role of revelatory figurein the material realm while therole of Sophia is confined to the higher levels. Sophia functionsas a revelatory figure forSaboath and is responsible for enthroning and teaching him aboutthe eighth heaven. Thus, Ipropose that there is a parallel narrative construction in play within thetext. Eve descends tothe material world with revelatory effects while Sophia descendsfrom the eighth heaven toreveal the truth to Saboath. Therefore, both maintaintheir respective roles in the tradition,Sophia as the higher form of Wisdom and Eve as its lower manifestation.3.3.1 Sophia’s DescentThe descent of Sophia forms the basis for the pericopedetailing the enthronement ofSaboath who, upon seeing the fiery angel created by Zoe,condemns his father and motherand praises Sophia and Zoe.And Sophia and Zoe caught him up and gave him charge ofthe seventh heaven, below theveil between above and below. And he is called the‘God of the forces, Saboath’, since he isup above the forces of chaos, for Sophia establishedhim.129Fallon: 1978 maintains that this account of Saboath’s enthronement is influenced by twodistinctly Jewish traditions. The first is that of theapocalyptic visionary and the second, theheavenly enthronement. Both are conflated in thisaccount. Fallon suggests that there are twospecifically new interpretations to these traditions in this account.130Firstly, Saboath is raisedto the seventh heaven by Sophia and Zoe rather thanby an angel or angels. This is contrary to128Stead, 1969:88.129The Hypostasis of the Archons, 95.15-30.131)Fallon, 1978:38-41.40the versions found in apocalyptic literature.’3’Secondly, he is immortalrather than mortal ashas been recounted in the apocalyptic accounts of this tradition.Thus, the reading of thepericope differs to related accounts. Arthur: 1984 classifiesthe pericope as a revelationthrough cosmogonic narrative.’32The significance of Saboath shouldnot be overlooked. Whydid the author break the tradition of a mortal ascending to heavenand choose to consign thisrole to SaboathThe tractate maintains a consistent separation betweenSophia and the material realm.Thus, it can be suggested that the use of Saboath supports a narrativedevice which allows themaintenance of detachment while conferring the characteristicsassociated with the higherform of wisdom, namely revelation. Sophia functionssolely as an aeon of the Pleroma. It isonly as the manifestation Eve that she has any dealings with thelower realms of existence.This view is further supported when she does not instructSaboath about the mysteries of theeighth heaven but assigns her daughter Zoeto the task. “And Sophia took her daughter Zoeand had her sit upon his right to teach him about the thingsthat exist in the eighth heaven;”33Gilhus: 1985 contends that Saboath’ s primary role is asa soteriological paradigm onthe cosmological level which corresponds to Adam’s roleas a similar paradigm on theanthropological level.’34 Sophia and Zoe raise him to the seventhheaven and the gnosis of theeighth heaven is revealed to him. Though Zoeis responsible for initiating him into theteachings of the Pleroma the ultimate acknowledgementis given to Sophia. “. . . since he is upabove the forces of chaos, for Sophia establishedhim”.’35131Ibid, 1978: 41. In 2 Enoch, Enoch is taken up by angelsof the Lord and views the different heavens. 2Enoch(3:2-19:6).Similarly, Levi ascends through the three heavensat the bidding of an angel and the contents ofheaven are revealed to him by the same angel (The Testamentof Levi, 2:7, 2:8-3:10).132Arthur, 1984: 106.133The Hypostasis of the Archons, 95.30-35.‘34Gilhus, 1985: 105-106.135The Hypostasis of the Archons, 95.25.41Gilhus argues that there are structural similarities between Sophiaand Zoe; theImpenetrability and the spiritual woman, as each engage in actions of revelationand descentin both episodes. The Imperishability remains hidden in the Pleroma, whileonly her image isprojected to the world below while the spirit operates in that world.’36 Similarly Sophiaisrestricted to the World above and projects only an image below, whileher daughter Zoe actsbeneath the veil.There is some overlap between the figures in that the identity of the Imperishabilityand Sophia are intertwined in the text.’37 Both the spiritual Eve and Zoe areagents of Sophiaand maintain her ordinances in the lower realms. Though revelation isnot propagated bySophia directly the ultimate acknowledgement of the revelations are awarded to her.There isno disruptive effect associated with the revelation and enthronement ofSaboath rather theopposite holds true. After establishing Saboath as ruler of the seventhheaven, Sophiareorganizes the cosmos and creates order over not only the Pleroma,but also through theagency of Zoe and Eve, removes the corrupting influenceof laldaboath. However, thedescent of the spiritual woman, Eve and the events surrounding her descentto the materialworld are not without disruptive consequences.36Gilhus, 1985:106.Bullard, 1970: 56-57 maintains that the Imperishability and Sophiaare one and the same. HoweverGilhus: 1985 argues against this identification and maintains thatSophia is the last of the aeons while theImperishability is the highest of the female saviors. She contends that the Imperishabilityinitiates the process ofsalvation while Sophia initiates the process of the fall. I find that laminclined to agree with Bullard’sassessment of the two entities in that there are unmistakable links betweenthe Imperishability and Sophia. TheImperishability is not identified with the father but with Ennoia orBarbelo. In the text Sophia is not described asthe twelfth aeon nor as I have argued in this dissertation is she associatedwith the ‘fallen’ Sophia found in TheApocryphon ofJohn and On the Origin of the World. Thus, Sophiais identified with the higher forms ofWisdom namely Barbelo and Ennoia.423.3.2 Eve’s descentThe narrative surrounding the descent of the spiritual woman forms an essentialcontrast to the descent of Sophia. Though the spiritual woman is acting inthe interests of thePleroma the account of her operations in the material world are not detailedin terms of anuneventful descent with only revelatory effects. That Eve represents a disruptiveforce in thematerial realm must be acknowledged as that is her purposein descending. Her role is tocounteract laldaboath’ s and the Archons’ ignorant influence over Adamand to reveal thepath of gnosis to humanity. In this role she is compelled to act as a disruptingforce againstthe tyranny of laldaboath. Her revelation to Adam begins the processof salvation (Gilhus:1985). However, in contrast to the descent of Sophia, Eve is forced to returnto the Pleromafollowing the Archon attack. She returns to the material realm to give birthto Seth andNorea. Her revelations are accompanied by actions that are violentand sexual in nature.Though Eve is responsible for awakening Adam he praises wisdom.And when he saw her, he said, It is you who have given me life;you will be called Mother ofthe living. - For it is she who is my mother. It is she who is thephysician, and the woman,and she who has given birth.’38The wording of the hymn alludes to the connection to Wisdom/Sophia andJewish Proverbsand establishes the link between Eve and Sophia. The title ‘mother of theliving’ attributed toEve is used to connect her to Sophia, who is the real motherof the living; Eve is merely anearthly manifestation of Sophia. The spiritual woman’s/Eve’s revelationsoccur in asequential order. The first is her command for Adam to wake. Thisaction results in hereventual separation and flight to the Pleroma. Scholars agreethat the genesis narrative andthe joining of Adam and Eve is an allegory for the processof spiritual enlightenment thatoccurs within the individual seeking gnosis.’39 I propose to treat the pericopeas a narrative138The Hypostasis of the Archons, 89.10-20.Pagels:1988 cf. Logan:1996; Pearson:1988; Buckley:1986.43for the purpose of examining the events following Eve’s revelations.Upon separation fromher consort Adam, Eve is pursued and her image is defiledby the Archons. Eve does notmaintain a pure image and is contrasted in the remainderof the tractate with Norea, “thevirgin whom the forces did not defile”.’40Pagels: 1988maintains that the central theme in thetractate is the contrast between carnal and spiritual knowledge. Thus,the connection betweencarnal knowledge and Eve is unmistakable. The sexual and violentreaction that herrevelation provokes is contrary to that of the revelation of Sophia.Eve’s first revelation has athreefold result namely, her defilement, separation andflight.The second revelation occurs while in the form ofthe serpent. The connection towisdom is again explicit as the snake was anessential figure in wisdom iconography in theclassical world. The serpent advises Adam and the carnalwoman to eat from the tree of goodand evil. This brings about their expulsion from thegarden. The violence and disruptionoccurs later after their expulsion when Cain kills Abeland mankind is thrown into greatturmoil. This could be explained as the process of relearninggnosis after losing the path ofenlightenment. The death of Abel could also be seenas relinquishing the trappings of the oldway of living in preparation for a life dedicated to gnosis.However, this it is not the centralpoint of contention. Eve’s final revelation occurs whenshe knows Adam again and givesbirth to Norea and Seth both of whom contribute to the goodfortune of humanity.In contrast to the actions of Sophia, Eve’s actions arenot seamless. Though she is aheavenly aeon she does not maintain the same purityor authority as Sophia and therefore, herrevelations are not as highly developed or sophisticated.Sophia’s descent is described solelyin terms of stabilizing revelation, whereas, Eve’saction as a revelatory figure results in‘4°The Hypostasis of the Archons, 92.1-544disruptive effects. This is accomplished without intent on her part. Similar to Stroumsa,’4’Iagree that the pericope detailing the fall of Eve/the Spiritual woman is in part a result of theinclusion of the Genesis narrative and also influenced by the divided tradition of Wisdom.Authors seeking to rework the narrative would doubtless have been influenced by earlyChristian accounts of Eve’s fall and thus have included this significant theology into thenarrative. Regardless of the reason, the contrast between the two figures remains.3.4 SummaryIn this chapter I have discussed the dual nature of Sophia with references to selectedsources and in particular to The Hypostasis of the Archons. The specificcharacteristicsexamined are ones associated most commonly with the higher manifestationof Wisdom.These can be clearly identified in the figure named as Sophia in the tractate. Sheis notascribed the role of mother of the demiurge nor does she repent her actions. She is distancedfrom all interactions with matter and the corrupt material world. The role of the‘fallen’ figureis ascribed to Eve who is tarnished by the Archons and must redeem herself and humanitythrough the birth of Seth and Norea. The next chapter applies social-scientific theoryto thefindings reached in this section, namely that Sophia is a pure and untamished figure.141Stroumsa, 1984:171. Cf. McRae:1970.45CHAPTER THREE: DEGREES OF PURITYIn this chapter I propose to introduce theories of purity and pollution derived fromcultural anthropology in order to examine whether Sophia conforms to socially constructedpurity models. The concepts of purity and pollution and their relationship to the figure ofSophia are of seminal importance in this dissertation. I propose to analyze the concept ofpurity on a macrocosmic level, namely the wider conventional purity norms found in thePleroma, and secondly at the microcosmic level, to demonstrate its application to the personof Sophia. For the purpose of this examination I shall treat the Pleroma as a community ofpeople and Sophia as an elite member of this group.In undertaking this analysis I intend to utilize two main theories, those outlined inDouglas: 1966 and Malina: 2001, which combined, form the basis of a Purity Modelofanalysis. I shall utilize these to examine the community represented in the text, in particular,the hierarchy of the Pleroma and Sofia’s place within this grouping. Using Malina’s model, Iintend to discuss the ramifications_of the findings in terms of her classification withinthe textas a pure/impure aeon. The primary objective in using this approach is to clarifyaspectsregarding the nature and role of Sophia in the Pleroma. In applying the modelto the characterof Sophia I intend to expand the discussion of her place within the hierarchy and to determinewhether she conforms to the ideal of purity in the classification of persons in the Pleroma)42The use of purity and pollution schemes to create order and structure in society is wellattested to in anthropology. Douglas: 1966 maintains that cultures use purity and pollutionschemes variously as a means of organizing and maintaining social structuresand defining142The model outlined in Malina is based upon the purity laws in effect in Israel inthe first century C.E. Thoughthe model is based upon Judaic scripture and cultural practices it establishesa precedent for classifying theseconcepts in a contemporary or at least related time period. There are both Jewish and Christian elementswithinthe text which while not supporting the use of this model as a method of exclusively determining thenature ofSophia do not preclude it. The author of the text may indeed have been aware of the hierarchy of the JewishTemple which in turn influenced the structure of the Orthodox Church.46the status quo; of identifying the criteria by which individuals are included or excluded;andillustrating those essential elements which preserve or endanger society. An object, personorthing which is classified as impure/unclean is thus marked as out of place damagedorincomplete.’43The Malina model is based on a similar premise. Such schemes aregenerallyaccepted as classification systems which are used to delineate concepts of orderand reinforcecodes of belonging and behavior.’444.1 MethodologyTo begin it is necessary to give a brief account of the Douglas and Malinamodelswhich will provide the basis for the purity model analysis.4.1.1 The Malina ModelMalina’ s model is primarily focused on and applied to Israelite societyin the periodof second temple Judaism. Though the text in question is not ofthis exact origin many of theclassifications present in this model are found within it. Thus, it provides auseful basis toestablish general trends within the community of the Pleroma.In approaching the concept ofpurity laws and the rules that uphold them, Malina identifiesthe two major categories or setsof protocols governing the organization of Israelite society;these are according to nature andcontrary to nature. This dichotomy is found within thestructure of The Hypostasis of theArchons where the Pleroma can be said to represent theaccording to nature category and thematerial realm relegated to the category of contraryto nature due to the manner of itscreation.143Douglas, 1966:54.144Elliot, 1993:73-74.47These two categories can be divided into further subsets, of exclusive,meaning holy,sacred, in place, clean and pure and non exclusive meaning profane,out of place or impure.These designations can be applied to all five major classificationscommonly found insocieties: namely self and others, animate and inanimate objects, time andspace. Templearrangements especially illustrate the application of these categoriesboth in the compositionof the space and to the groups permitted to use it.’454.1.2 Classification of People: Exclusive/Non-ExclusiveThe classification of persons and the construction of hierarchyin first century Israelitesociety was dependant upon the categories above. The social constructionof Israelite societywas contingent upon the purity system discussed previously. The hierarchyof the society wasdetermined by a continuum ranging from most pure tomost impure. The rating ofpure/impure was accomplished by a further subdivisionof exclusive (sacred) and non-exclusive (profane).’46The exclusive and non-exclusive subsets were dependantupon a number of factors.Primary among these were inclusion in the house of Israeland the ability to procreate, bothinterconnected as marriage laws dictated that marriagepartners had to come from the houseof Israel. Status was based on birth and dependant onwholeness of the family unit.147Thosewithout a father or born with physical or mentaldeformities were relegated to the lowest‘‘Malina, 2001: 171.146Malina: 2001 defines sacred as that which is set apart to orfrom some person. It includes persons, places,things and times that are symbolized or understood to be set apart fromeveryday activity and use. The oppositeto the sacred is the profane which can be identified as that whichis not set apart in any exclusive way and whichcan be viewed as belonging to everyone and no-one in varyingdegrees. Malina contends that the sacred andprofane are subsets of purity rules dealing with differences inexclusivity (sacred) and non-exclusivity (profane).These concepts are dependant on the cultural and social contextin which they are based. (Malina, 2001:163-165).‘‘The Priests, Levites and full blooded Israelites formed thehigher levels of society as they conformed to boththe pure and exclusive subsets of the scheme, being able to tracetheir lineage and originate from complete andestablished families.48level. They were non exclusive and out of place as they either did not possess covenantmembership at birth, since this was traced through the paternal line, or were incapable oftransmitting the status of Israelite. Therefore, they were not considered whole and were out ofplace within the society)48 These further defining factors will be instrumental in assigningaprovisional status to Sophia and later Eve within the context of their communities.1494.1.3 Geographical Measures of PurityThe spatial arrangement of the Temple replicated the social construction of first centuryIsrael. Much of the interaction within this space mimicked the established hierarchy in thatthe elite/pure in society interacted to the highest degree in the temple while those in the non-elite/non-exclusive bracket had only limited access to this space. The temple was dividedintozones, which were accessible to different groups based on their purity status in the society.There were three main zones of interaction within the Temple. The temple was surroundedbyan area which was considered profane and thus, could be utilized by allregardless of theirplace or ethnicity in society. This place known as Zone A, (Malina:2001) was aplace ofassembly for those who are members of the house of Israel regardless of their standing insociety. Zone B was the zone of interaction, in which all other activities took place. Thiszonewas more restrictive and required the facilitation of a priest to effect entry. ZoneC formedthe most sacred part of the temple, as it was dedicated solely to God. These zones, whilenotso rigid in their classification, are also found in the Hypostasis of the Archons. Thereare threemain spatial definitions within the text, the Pleroma, the material world and thezone of148Malina, 2001:173-176.149I have chosen to focus primarily on the according to nature category as this is the grouping in whichSophiais placed. For discussion of anomalous/abominations, the final category of people who werethose of all otherethnic groups, including Gentiles see Malina:200 I .This grouping is notconsidered to be outside the Israelitesociety and therefore, does not conform to the social norms in any wayand cannot be included even in theimpure subset; rather their fate is left to God or to be destroyed. Malina, 2001:175-177.49interaction between the Pleroma and the material world .This area was restrictedto Priestsand Levites alone. Thus, much like the structure of the Pleroma and the materialplane, thecloser the space and aeon to the Father, the more sacred/pure they become.1504.1.4 The Douglas ModelDouglas’ work on the concept of purity within society provides insightinto therationale behind the ostracism or separation of the individual in certainsocieties. Culturesoften use purity and pollution schemes to organize everything into itsproper place and todefine and demarcate what is complete or incomplete, damagedor whole, what is allowed orforbidden, who belongs to the society and who does not and what preservesthe society andwhat endangers it. Consequently, when a person is considered uncleanor impure they areevaluated as out of order or incomplete thus, rendering them as outside society.’5’She arguesthat purity and pollution should be viewed in symbolic terms.152 Sheargues that the bodysymbolizes society. The body is a model which can standfor any bounded system, and itsboundaries can represent any system which is threatenedor precarious within a certainsociety.’53Douglas maintains that the wider social norms and concerns ofsociety can be seen tobe reflected in the rules imposed upon the physical body.’54These boundaries represented inthe body are contingent upon the rules governing purity/impurity and clean/uncleanwithin150Malina, 2001:182-184. Though this overview of the temple maybe further subdivided for a comprehensiverendering of Temple space, for the purpose of this paper I intend to givea survey of the main points of the puritystructure.151Douglas, 1966:54.152Douglas, 1966:6. Douglas’ observations on these concepts are centeredon how dirt is perceived. Shecontends that “dirt” can be viewed as a code word for polluted/uncleanor taboo, as reflections on dirt ofteninvolve reflection on the relations of order to disorder, being to non-beingand life to death among other things153An example of a threatened boundary in Douglas is the conceptof purity in Israelite society. Douglas, Cf.Malina:2001, maintains that the purity laws and their application to thebody indicate an underlying societalconcern with pollution and how this affects the order of society.154Douglas contends that the physical body represents a microcosm ofsocial order and is very important forunderstanding and interpreting the main causes of concern withina society.50that society.’55 Consequently this theory is of central importance whenanalyzing the figure ofSophia in The Hypostasis of the Archons as it offers a basis withwhich to discuss herdepiction and actions within a community, specifically the Pleroma.’56Hence, it can be determined whether her actions in The Hypostasisof the Archonsresult in a separation from the community as is the case in The Apociyphonof John and Onthe Origin of the World. While it may be argued that the model deals only withthe physicalcommunity and holds no relevance for a constructed spiritualgrouping such as the Pleroma,beliefs which attribute spiritual power to individuals are rarelyneutral or devoid of thedominant social patterns. In essence the text reflects the dominantsocial structure and beliefof the community that produced it. Though this community cannotbe conclusively identified,Douglas’ seminal work has been utilized in the analysis ofboth Jewish and Christian textspreviously and has proved invaluable.’574.2 The PleromaI shall begin by discussing the Pleroma andestablishing its general structure andformat in order to provide a concrete basis by whichSophia’s status and lineage within thiscommunity can be determined. The Pleroma represented inThe Hypostasis of the Archonsappears to conform to the model of the Israelitesociety outlined in Malina. This model ofpure/impure is not restricted to the Israelite communitybut rather serves to provide onemeans of analyzing a community. Early societies cannotbe considered to be secular in anyway but rather religion formed an integral partof the governmental force and therefore,served to reinforced these concepts of pureand impure among the inhabitants. The155Douglas, 1966:115156Both the figure of Sophia and Eve will be analyzed with particularattention to the physical imagery andactions ascribed to each in order to show the dichotomy which isupheld using this theory.157Neyrey, 1996:87.51prevalence of this system in ordering societies can be found in much of theearly Christianliterature.’58Elliot: 1993 observes that purity concepts and regulations formedcomprehensiveand internally consistent patterns for ordering personal and sociallife in consonance withstructures at the cosmological level. He maintains that these conceptswere integral to theconstruction of not only Jewish but also early Christian conceptualizations of wholeness,social identity, and communal4.3 The Geography of the PleromaThe text clearly divides the realms in the narrative. The Pleroma was createdfirst,followed later by the material plane. The Pleroma was createdby the Father, the highest formof authority within the text. Consequently, the concepts of purity and sacredare measuredagainst his creation thus, it conforms to the category of accordingto nature. Furthermore, itis an exclusive space geographically, being inhabited by only those created by theFather andof the highest lineage.’60 It is a place reserved for the eliteof the community represented inthe text. Sophia automatically conforms to this elite categoryof according to nature merelyby her inhabitance of the realm.The geographical layout of the Pleroma reflects a similarityto the spatial plan of theTemple. It represents the most sacred of space andis accessible to only the most pure andexclusive in the community. Sophia’ s residence in thePleroma immediately identifies her asa member of this elite, specifically a member of the spiritualelite as Malina contends this158Elliot:1991;1993 uses this model of purity to analyze Luke-Acts and TheEpistle of James. For furtherdiscussion on the history of scholarship see Neyrey: 1996.Elliot, 1993:74. The text in question cannot be conclusively dated exceptto an approximate date no laterthan the fourth century C.E. Nonetheless, in utilizing the observationsof Malina as a basic outline, the text canbe seen to employ these purity systems found in the early Christianand Jewish communities.160The Hypostasis of the Archons makes no reference to any individualsnot born of the Father residing in thePleroma. When Saboath is raised from the material realm he is placedin the seventh heaven not the eighth realmwith the Father. (The Hypostasis of the Archons, 95.14-96).52space is reserved for the priests and the most pure of the community. The eighthheaven, therealm of the Father is comparable to zone C as it is the least accessible of the realmsandrestricted to those members directly related to the Father and their offspring. Thisis mostapparent in the text when Saboath is raised from the material realm to the Pleroma.He is notpermitted access to the seventh heaven but rather a lower realm, perhaps comparableto zoneB where interactions between the Father and those not ofthe priestly class could take place.And Sophia and Zoe caught him up and gave him charge of the seventhheaven , below the veil between above and below.. .And Sophia took herdaughter Zoe and had her it upon his right to teach him the aboutthe thingsthat exist in the eighth [heavenj.16’4.5 The Hierarchy in the PleromaAs Malina’ s model outlines, the status of member of the house of Israel wasconferredupon the child through the paternal line, the same can be appliedto membership of thePleroma. Whether Sophia is termed as the daughter of the Father,or the consort of the Father,either designation legitimates her place as a respectable member of the Pleroma.Furthermore,her parents are placed at the highest stratum of the social orderand she can be categorized asmuch like the priestly class. In the description of her birthfound in the Apocryphon of Johnthis is corroborated. Sophia, Wisdom, is the twelfth aeoncreated by the Father andBarbelo.’62Her residence in the Pleroma is an important factor. She residesin the Pleroma withthe other members of the group and is neither ostracized norcast down to a lower realm.Thus, those that reside in the Pleroma can be thoughtof as equal to the highest level ofsociety. In accordance with marriage and procreation practices,Sophia herself has a consort161The Hypostasis of the Archons, 95.14-96.162The Apociyphon of John, 8.5-25. The placement and birth of Sophiaare not included in the account of thepre-creation narrative in The Hypostasis of the Archons. However, the figureof Sophia has a standard lineage inmany of the accounts and therefore, I believe that it can be extrapolatedfrom the long standing tradition.53who is also a member of the Pleroma and she is able to give birth to children,such as Zoe,who retain the right of residence there. This is further evidence of her status in the societyofthe text. She complies with the necessary rules which maintain her classification, marryingwithin her class and providing the Pleroma with children of equal standing.Further evidence of her spiritual status within the hierarchy of the Pleroma can befound in her role as a mediator between the lower entities such as Saboath. Sophia fulfillstherole of priest in her actions in the eighth heaven. Here it can be suggested that Sophiareplicates the role of the priest or spiritual aid in facilitating access. However, Sophia is nomere priest. Rather, her actions portray her as one of the principal mediators in thePleromabut one who does not ordinarily interact with those of the lower levels. Thus, I would arguethat she functions like the high priest of the temple. She has access to the highest formofknowledge and acts as the spokesperson for the Father. This canbe corroborated by herdelegation of certain tasks to Zoe and Eve as it demonstrates the authority she wields,namelyher ability to organize the cosmos following the ostracism of Ialdaboath.’63These actions alone would render her above taint and in accordance with theclassification, the purest of the pure! exclusive grouping. While these factors markSophia asa member of the pure!elite, her continued membership of the class is dependantupon theadherence to the norms that govern the society. Thus, as is seen in the Apocryphon ofJohn,Sophia loses her status and place within the society of the Pleroma following the creationoflaldaboath. She is excluded and cast down to the realm just above the material worlduntil hermistake can be corrected. She is no longer considered a member of the societyof thePleroma as she has transgressed the rules which define and demarcate what is acceptableand163The text of On the Origin of the World assigns the task of banishing laldaboath to Sophia (102.30-35)butThe Hypostasis of the Archons names Zoe as the banisher (95.5-15). I believe that the explicit separationoflaldaboath and Sophia in The Hypostasis of the Archons necessitated the change in the text. However,as Sophiais depicted as the ultimate authority in the reorganization of the cosmos I believe that it can beargued that theaction takes place at her behest.54what is forbidden within the society. Malina’ s model is valuable for examiningthe structureof a society where status is determined by these factors. In order to maintain theirstatuswithin the society the individual must adhere to the laws of the purity system that governs it.4.5 The Social construction of the Pleroma4.5.1 SophiaThe microcosmic analysis of Sophia can be undertaken using Douglas’ work whichisinvaluable in this regard. Douglas contends that labeling personsor things as pure or pollutedserves to establish identity and maintain group identity. Withthese labels, the group now hasthe power to include or exclude individuals. The use ofsuch terms is designed to aid withmaintaining order within the community as the labels support clarification,maintainsocial/group boundaries, and reduce dissonance.’64 Pollution is notalways an intentionalaction. However, whether deliberate or accidental the resultis the same. A polluting personwill always be in the wrong and will be subject to repercussions.’65The principal action in question which has definedSophia’ status in many texts as animpure aeon is her role in the creation of laldaboathand the material world. In the accountsof this pericope in both the Apociyphon ofJohn and Onthe Origin of the World the outcomeof this action is temporary banishment until such timeas the mistake has been corrected andorder has been restored. The birth of laldaboath is a primeof example of how the body cansymbolize society. His creation results in both cosmicand hierarchical disorder. Prior to hiscreation there was only one plane of existence, thePleroma, and it functioned with anDouglas, 1966:133.165Douglas, 1966:106.55established and ordered hierarchy maintained through proper ‘marriage’166and socialfunctions. When Sophia transgresses and produces her own offspring itis tantamount toadultery, the child creates an alternate social hierarchy and refusesto acknowledge theFather. Rather laldaboath challenges his authority. “. . .“I have noneed of anyone,” he said,“It is I who am God and there is no other that exists apart from me.”67Thus, the creation of the child outside the union of her consortsymbolizes all of theconcerns present in the community: illegitimacy/adultery, the completebreakdown of socialand familial order. laldaboath is vilified, though his identificationas an impure aeon isinitially through no fault of his own. His characteristicsare described in the worst possibleterms, ‘arrogant’ and ‘ignorant’. The description of his appearanceis also described in termsdesigned to shock and also to place him irrevocablyoutside the community of the Pleroma.“. . . something came out of her which was imperfectand different from her appearance.. . itchanged into a form of a lion-faced serpent.”68Sophia is described in terms of heruncontrollable sexuality. She is defined by her inabilityto control her bodily urges whichsymbolize her inability to conform to the social norms. By allowingthe sanctity of her bodyto be breached she has transgressed the very ruleswhich it upholds.Israelite and Greek beliefs on impurity dictate thatmany bodily functions werepolluting, in particular semen and blood. Thus,childbirth was considered to be socontaminating that it required a period of ritual cleansingbefore a woman could interact insociety after childbirth.’69In addition to this taint, Sophiaalso must contend with the birth ofa child outside of her union with her consort whichcompounds her impurity.166use the term marriage here in place of the consort arrangementof the Pleroma to establish a moreinstitutional convention and one which reflects therigidness of the arrangement which exists within thehierarchy of the Pleroma.167w,,the Origin of the World, 103.10-15‘68The Apocryphon of John, 10.4-10.169For further discussion see Burkert: 1985.56In the society under review, the women of the household and in particular thewife,personified the very heart of the family. Any misdeed or mistake on her partimpacted notonly her consort but also the entire family line. The worst fears of ancient society areenactedin the Sophia narrative; an illegitimate child who brings shame and pollutionto an otherwiseexemplary figure and challenges the ultimate male authorityof the community resulting inchaos. These fears and repercussions are narrated on an individuallevel and developed indepictions of Sophia and laldaboath.The account of the narrative found in the Hypostasisof the Archons contains no suchaccount of Sophia. Rather, the author zealously protectsthe purity of the aeon throughout therendition. Sophia’s actions are above reproachand never lead to the consequences seen inrelated literature. She is never referred to as prounikosnor connected to laldaboath or thematerial world. Sophia is never ostracized from thecommunity of the Pleroma. Sincecontamination with pollution can occur with contact,Sophia is explicitly distanced from allpossible contagion and resides safely in the Pleroma.Thus, since the birth of laldaboathisnot attributed to Sophia and the action doesnot result in any lessening of her status, itcan bedetenriined that she maintains her pure statuswithin this text. Her authority within the textremains unchallenged or lessened withinthe community. She controls the orderingof thePleroma, an action which would not be entrustedto her if the taint of pollution were attachedto her character. The avoidance of anyand all bodily images in the depiction ofSophiaprevents any hint of contamination withpollution. Her observation of the conventionsof thePleroma and her classification as a memberof the elite render her a pure aeon.574.5.2 EveThe purity and maintenance of this status by Sophia is further evident in thedichotomy between her character and that of Eve. As the higher manifestationSophia is onlydescribed in terms of her spirituality and authority while Eve is depictedin terms of herphysical weakness. The differences between the two figures serve to emphasizethe virtues ofSophia and the weaknesses of Eve. Though the violationof her physical body is not an actionwhich she can avoid or control, it nonetheless reducesher standing and authority. She isforced to flee from the material realm in horror. Whenher daughter Norea is born, Evedescribes her as “the virgin whom the forces did notdefile”.’70 Like Sophia in theApocryphon of John, Eve must rectify the problems causedby the violation of her physicalbody, namely her separation from Adam and the birthof Cain and Abel before she can regaina semblance of her former stature.And Adam [knew] his female counterpart Eve,and she became pregnant, andbore [Seth] to Adam,.. .Again Eve became pregnant,and bore [Norea]. Andshe said, ‘He has begotten on [me a] virgin whom theforces did not defile.Then mankind began to multiply and improve.’7’The chaos caused by the violation is reflectedin the Cain and Abel pericope.Both are thechildren of the carnal woman, the lesser image of Eve.The fratricide that occurs in thispericope signifies the disorder of the family and thetransgression of the social morals that isa direct result of the violation of the heart of thefamily. The message is clear, the stateofmankind is reflected in microcosm, thus withthe breaking of social boundaries comes chaos.Eve was violated and left the family.Her return and the reunification signifieda return to thenorm and the family/mankind began to thrive. However,Eve does not ever attain the statusthat she once had as a pure entity and theattack results in a lasting impurity.170The Hypostasis of the Archons, 92.2-4.171The Hypostasis of the Archons, 91.30-92.5.58In contrast to the figure of Eve, Sophia and even Norea areportrayed as idealizedfigures. Since the tractate embodies the idea that carnal knowledge is antitheticalto spiritualknowledge it is not surprising that the author maintains an explicitdistance between theprincipal spiritual figures and this impure knowledge. Nonetheless,the text still depicts theconcerns and cultural beliefs of the community in which it wasproduced.In analyzing the community of the Pleroma and establishing therules and hierarchy inwhich Sophia must function it is clear that she deservesthe label of a pure entity within thisgroup. She adheres to the rules governing the puritysystem of the Pleroma and maintains aclear distance from any and all activities which may compromiseher status. Unlike theApocryphon of John or On the Origin of the WorldSophia never leaves the Pleroma, neveracknowledges laldaboath or engages in discussion withhim. All activity of that nature ispassed to lower aeons. Her role as spiritualauthority is paramount. As the heart of her ownfamily and spiritual community she remains untouched andin charge.4.6 SummaryThe models used above are but oneway in which the society of the textcan beanalyzed. In using these models it is apparentthat the figure of Sophia in the Hypostasisofthe Archons can be seen as one who conformsto the model of a high ranking member of theelite within this Pleromatic society. Whilein other accounts of the pre-creationnarrativeSophia is portrayed as a figure who transgressesand is ostracized the opposite is true of thisdocument. Authority and purity are the central focusof this analysis as one cannot beconferred on the individual without theother existing also. Therefore, in retainingherauthority throughout the account, it can besuggested that she likewise retains her purity.Ihave briefly discussed the figure of Eve asshe experiences quite the opposite treatmentin the59tractate. Eve’s violation results in her temporary flight from thematerial realm and loss of herauthority. Mankind does not thrive nor is she able to fulfill her role. Thecontrast between thetwo figures serves to reinforce both the fallen image of Eve and thepure image of Sophia.60CONCLUSIONThe figure of Sophia in the Hypostasis of the Archons is a complex one and one whichis in some ways congruent with the image of the figure represented in the Apocryphon ofJohn and On the Origin of the World. However, there are sufficient differences to warrant analternate reading of the specific account detailed in the Hypostasis of the Archons.In thecourse of this thesis I have strived to highlight the unique nature of the Sophia narrative inthis tractate. The text presents an alternate view of the figure of Wisdom thanthat found inother related gnostic texts and one that has received little attention in scholarship.My mainobjective in undertaking this research was to explore whether an argument couldbe made tosupport an alternate reading of the text to include an unfallen’ figureof Sophia. I believe thatthis can be done. By comparing the account of the pre-creationmyth in the Hypostasis of theArchons to that found in frenaeus, Hippolytus, the Apocryphonof John and On the Origin ofthe World it is clear that there are significant divergencesin the narrative. While there aremany versions of the pre-creation account there is a unifyingfactor and that is the fall ofSophia, her repentance and eventual restoration. Sincethis is not the case in the Hypostasis ofthe Archons further research needed to be completed.The Valentinian tradition, in which higher and lower manifestations ofthe figure ofSophia are recognized, is a valuable tool for the analysisof the text. While it cannot beasserted that the text is of Valentinian provenance I believethat the tradition itself is mucholder.’72 Thus, the version of the narrative in the Hypostasisof the Archons may indeed bedrawing upon this alternate tradition of Sophia. Gilhus:1985 in her seminal work on the textmaintained that the fall of Sophia was indeed absentfrom the tractate and the flaws andrepentance so prevalent in the figure were transferredto lower entities. It is my assertion that172La Porta, 1997:203-205. La Porta maintains that this dichotomy betweenthe higher and lower forms ofWisdom was first evident in the Jewish Proverbs tradition. This later influencedHellenistic philosophy andGnostic theology.61Eve represents the lower manifestation of the aeon and is the bearer of the flawsof wisdom. Ihave examined the features of both figures to demonstratehow they form paralleldichotomous narratives in the text.While much of my analysis remained literary I thought that it would be interestingtoexamine the social context of the text in as much as this canbe done with a text like theHypostasis of the Archons. By using the models of Malina:2001 and Douglas:1966 I was ableto analyze the concepts of purity and pollution in the text. Thesociety of the Pleroma wasrepresentative of the kind of community found in other ancienttexts, family unity, honor andfear of disorder. Furthermore by examining Sophia’ s rolein this community of the Pleroma itcould be stated that she fulfilled the role ofa pure, ‘unfallen’ figure within the document.There are essentially two narratives in the Hypostasis of theArchons, one which deals with ahigher more conceptual way of thinking and the materialrealm which represents the humanway of life. Though it was not the purposeof this thesis to analyze the possible ramificationsof this division in terms of the audienceof the text it would certainly be interesting toinvestigate this area. Pheme Perkins: 1988 maintainsthat the fallen narrative would haveappealed to many ordinary women in the gnosticcommunities and they would be able toidentify with the message of hope and restoration. Whothen was the target of the moreesoteric narrative in the Pleroma? Were the narrativescombined in order to maximize theaudience? These are questions which warrantfurther research.In completing this preliminary analysis ofthe text I hope to demonstrate that thetractate does not conform to the fallenSophia tradition. There intriguing similaritiesto theValentinian tradition of the higher andlower forms of Wisdom. Indeed Sophiaappears topossess more of the characteristics found in Ennoia moreso than the Pistis Sophia found inrelated literature. The social context ofthe text is of particular interest and an areaI believe62could benefit from further research. The application of social scientific methodologyto a textof this kind could result in perhaps more information about the community inwhich it wasproduced. Therefore, I would like to conclude this thesis witha call for scholarship as Ibelieve that the tractate has a wealth of wisdom yet to bear.63BIBLIOGRAPHYPrimary SourcesAnonymous, The Hypostasis of the Archons, translated by R.A. Bullard and B. Layton,(1988), in J.M. Robinson (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Library in English, San Francisco: HarperRow Publishers,pp.16 1-170.Anonymous, On the Origin ofthe World, translated by H.G. Bethge and B. Layton, (1988), inJ.M. Robinson (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Library in English, San Francisco: Harper RowPublishers,pp.170-189.Anonymous, Apocryphon ofJohn, translated by F. Wisse, (1988), in J.M. Robinson (ed.), TheNag Hammadi Library in English, San Francisco: Harper Row Publishers,pp.104-123.Irenaeus, Adversus Haereses, translated by R. M. Grant, (1997), in Irenaeus ofLyon, NewYork: Routledge.Hippolytus, Haereses, translated by J. Donaldson, (2001), in The Refutation ofAll Heresies,Edinburgh: T & T Clark.Harper Bible: New Revised Standard Version, ed. by Verlyn Verbrugge, (1991), Zondervan:Michigan.Secondary SourcesArthur, R. H., (1984), The Wisdom Goddess: Feminine Motifsin Eight Nag HammadiDocuments, New York: University Press of America.Bohlig, A. und Labib, P., (1962), Die koptisch-gnostische Schr/iohne Titel aus Codex II vonNag Hammadi im Koptischen Museum zu Alt-Kairo, Berlin: Akademie-Verlag.Buckley, J. J., (1986), Femalefault andfuflllment inGnosticism, Chapel Hill: University ofNorth Carolina Press.64Bullard, R.A., (1970), “The Hypostasis ofthe Archons. The Coptic Text with Translationand Commentary”, Patristische Texte und Studien 10, Berlin: W. de Gruyter.Burkert, W., (1985), Greek Religion, Massachusetts: Basil Blackwell Publishers.Conzelmann H., (1971), “The Mother of Wisdom”, in J. M. Robinson (ed.), The Future ofOur Religious Past: Essays in Honour ofRudolfBultmann, New York: Harper,pp. 230-243.Crenshaw, J. L., (1981), Old Testament Wisdom: An Introduction, Atlanta: John Knox.Domger (O’Flaherty), W., (1999), Splitting the dlfference: gender and myth in ancientGreece and India, Chicago: Chicago University Press.Douglas, M., (1966), Purity and Danger: An Analysisof Concepts ofPurity and Taboo,New York: Frederick A. Praeger.Dillon, J., (1981), “The Descent of the Soul in Middle Platonic and Gnostic Theory”,inB. Layton (ed.), The Rediscovery ofGnosticism, Leiden: Brill,pp.357-364.Elliot, J.H., (1991), “Household and Mealsvs. Temple Purity Replication Patterns inLuke Acts”, Biblical Theological Bulletin 21,pp.102-108.Elliot, J.H., (1993), “The Epistle of James in Rhetoricaland Social Scientific PerspectiveHoliness-Wholeness and Patterns of Replication”, Biblical TheologicalBulletin 23,pp.71-81.Fallon, F. T., (1978), The Enthronement ofSaboath: Jewish Elements in Gnostic Creationmyths, Leiden: Brill.Filoramo, G., (1992), A History ofGnosticism, Massachusetts: Blackwell Publishers.Fisher-Mueller, A., (1990), “Yaldaboath:The Gnostic Female Principle in ItsFallenness”, Novum Testamentum, Vol.32, Fasc. 1,pp.79-95.65Gero, S, (1987), “The Seduction of Eve and the Trees of Paradise: A note on a GnosticMyth’, The Harvard Theological Review, Vol. 71, No.3/4, pp. 299-30 1.Githus, I. 5, (1984), “The Gnostic Demiurge- An Agnostic trickster”, Religion 14,pp.301-311.Githus, I. S., (1985), The Nature ofthe Archons, Wiesbaden: Otto Harrasowitz.Giversen, S., (1963), Apocryphon Johannis. The Coptic Text ofthe Apocryphon Johannisin the Nag Hammadi Codex II with Translation, Introduction and Commentary, Leiden:Brill.Goehring, J. E.,(1988), “Libertine or Liberated: Women in the So-called LibertineGnostic Communities”, in Karen L. King (ed.), Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism,Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.329-345.Goehring, 3. E., (1981), “A Classical Influence on the Gnostic Sophia Myth”, VigiliaeChristianae, Vol. 35, No. 1,pp.16-23.Good, D.J., (1987), Reconstructing the Tradition ofSophia in Gnostic Literature, Atlanta:Scholars Press.Kloppenborg, J., (1982), “Isis and Sophia in the Book of Wisdom”, Harvard TheologicalReview,pp.57-84.Knox, W. L., (1937), “Divine Wisdom”, Journal of Theological Studies 38,pp.230-37.Krause, M., (1972), “Zur ‘Hypotase der Archonten’ in Codex II von Nag Hammadi”,Enchoria, Zietschrfifür Demotistik Koptologie 2,pp.1-20.Lang, B., (1975), Frau Weisheit, Düsseldorf: Patmos.La Porta, 5., (1997), “Sophia-Meter: Reconstructing a Gnostic Myth” in 3. Turner & A.McGuire (ed.), The Nag Hammadi Library after Fifty Years, New York.66Logan, Alastair H.B., (1996), Gnostic Truth and Christian Heresy: A Study in the HistoryofGnosticism, Edinburgh: T & T Clark Ltd.Mack, B. L., (1973), Logos und Sophia. Studien zum Umwelt des Neuen Testaments 10,Gottingen: Vandenhoeck und Ruprecht.Malina, B.J.,(2001), The New Testament World: Insights from Cultural Anthropology,Louisville: John Knox Press.McGuire, A., (1999), “Women, Gender and Gnosis in Gnostic Texts and Traditions”, inR. S. Kraemer and M.R. D’Angelo (ed.), Women & Christian Origins, New York: OxfordUniversity Press, pp.257-300.McGuire, A., (1988), “Virginity and Subversion: Norea Against the Powers in theHypostasis of the Archons”, in Karen L. King (ed.), Images of the Feminine inGnosticism, Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.23 9-259.McRae, G. W., (1970), “The Jewish Background of the Gnostic Sophia Myth”, NovumTestamentum 12,PP.86-10 1.Neyrey, J.H., (1996), “Readers Guide to Clean/Unclean, Pure/Polluted, and Holy/Profane:the idea and system of purity”, in R.L. Rohrbaugh (ed.), The Social Sciences and NewTestament Interpretation, Hendrickson: Peabody, pp. 80-104.Nickelsberg, G.W. and Stone, M. E., (1983), Faith and Piety in Early Judaism,Philadelphia: Fortress.Pagels, E., (1988), “Pursuing the Spiritual Eve: Imagery and Hermeneutics in theHypostasis of the Archons and the Gospel ofPhilip”, in Karen L. King (ed.), Imagesofthe Feminine in Gnosticism, Pennsylvania: Trinity InternationalPress,pp.187-207.Pagels, E., (1988), Adam, Eve and the Serpent, London: George Weidenfeld & NicholsonLtd,PP.57-77.67Pasquier, A., (1988), “Prouneikos. A Colorful Expression to Designate Wisdom inGnostic texts”, in Karen L. King (ed.), Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism,Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.47-67.Pearson, B. A., (1976), “She became a Tree, a note on CG II, 4: 89, 25-26”, The HarvardTheological Review, Vol. 69,pp.413-415.Pearson, B. A., (1988), “Revisiting Norea”, in Karen L. King (ed.), Images of theFeminine in Gnosticism, Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.265-276.Pearson, B.A., (2007), Ancient Gnosticism: Traditions and Literature, Minneapolis:Fortress Press.Perkins, P., (1971), “The Soteriology of the Sophia of Jesus Christ”, in Proceedings oftheSociety of Biblical Literature: Seminar Papers, Massachusettes: Society of BiblicalLiterature,pp.165-181.Perkins, P., (1988), “Sophia as Goddess in the Nag Hammadi Codices”, in Karen L. King(ed.), Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism, Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.96-113.Pétrement, 5., (1984), A Separate God: The Christian Origins of Gnosticism, SanFrancisco.Powell, B., (2004), Classical Myth, New Jersey: Pearson Education Inc.Ringgren, H., (1947), Word and Wisdom, Uppsala: Lund.Roukema, R., (1999), Gnosis and Faith in Early Christianity, Pennsylvania: Trinity PressInternational.Schenke, H.M., (1958), “Das Wesen der Archonten”, Theologische Literaturzeitung 83,pp.661-670.68Schenke, H.M., (1962), “Nag Hammadi Studien II. Das System der Sophia Jesu Christu.”,Zeitchrfl für Religions und Geistgeschichte 14, pp. 263-278.Schenke, H.M., (1962), “Nag Hammadi Studien III. Die Spitze des dem ApokryphonJohannis und der Sophia Jesu Christi Zugrundeliegenden gnostischen systems.”, Zeitchrflfür Religions und Geistgeschichte 14,pp.352-361.Scopello, M., (1988), “Jewish and Greek Heroines in the Nag Hammadi Library”, inKaren L. King (ed.), Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism, Pennsylvania: TrinityInternational Press, pp.71-91.Stead, G.C., (1969), “The Valentinian Myth of Sophia”, The Journal of TheologicalStudies 20,pp.75-104.Stroumsa, G., (1984), Another Seed: Studies in Gnostic Mythology, Leiden.Tardieu, M., (1974), Trois mythes gnostique: Adam, Eros, et les animaux d’Egypte dansun écrit de Nag Hammadi(IL2), Paris: Etudies Augustmiennes.Thomassen, E., (2006), The Spiritual Seed: The Church ofthe Valentinians, Leiden: Brill.Wilckins, U. and Fohrer, G., (1971), “Sophia”, Theological Dictionary of the NewTestament, Vol. 7, Michigan: Eerdemans,pp.465-529.Wisse, F., (1971), “The Nag Hammadi Library and the Heresiologists,” VigiliaeChristianae 25,pp.205-223.Wisse, F., (1988), “Flee Femininity: Antifemininityin Gnostic Texts and the Question ofSocial Milieu”, in Karen L. King (ed.),Images of the Feminine in Gnosticism,Pennsylvania: Trinity International Press,pp.297-308.Zandee, J, (1964), “Gnostic Ideas on the Fall andSalvation”, Numen 11,pp.13-74.69

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