The Gospel of Philip

Converts

Some are and make others like them, while others simply are.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

Slaves

A slave longs for freedom
and doesn’t hope to own a master’s estate.
A child claims the father’s legacy,
but those who inherit the dead are dead.
Heirs to the living are alive
and are heirs to life and death.
The dead are heirs to nothing.
How can the dead inherit?
Yet if the dead inherits the living,
the living won’t die and the dead will survive.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

Sow in Season

Those who sow in winter reap in summer.
Let us sow in the world to reap in summer.
Winter is the world, summer the other realm.
It is wrong to pray in winter.
From winter comes summer.
If you reap in winter you will not reap.
You will pull up young plants.
At the wrong season no crop is yours.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

CHRIST AND THE SOUL

Christ came to buy. He rescued and redeemed,
redeeming aliens. He made strangers his own.
He brought his own and made promises,
construing a strategy, and gave his life
when he appeared and when the world began.
Then he came and took back what he promised,
which fell into the hands of thieves. They captured it,
but he rescued it back. Then he redeemed
both the good and evil people in the world.
Light And Darkness
Light and darkness, life and death, on the right and left,
these are children, they are inseparably together.
But the good are not good, the wicked not wicked,
life not life, death not death.
Each element fades to an original source.
But those who live above the world cannot fade.
They are eternal.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

RULERS

The rulers wanted to fool us,
since they saw we were connected with the good.
They took the names of the good
and gave them to the not good
so with names they could trick
and rope us to the not good.
As though doing us a favor,
they took names from the not good
and placed them on the good.
They knew what they were doing.
They wanted to grab those of us who were free
and make us eternal slaves.
Forces
There are forces that don’t want us to be saved.
They act for their own sake. . . .
If we are saved there will be no sacrifices,
no animals offered to the forces.
Yes, they made sacrifices to the animals.
They were alive when they offered them,
and then they died.
They offered us dead to god,
and we lived.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

ONCE THERE WAS NO BREAD

Before Christ came there was no bread in the world,
just as paradise, with its Adam, had many trees
for nourishing animals but no wheat for humans.
Once we nourished ourselves like animals,
but when the perfect Christ came,
he carried bread down from heaven
so we could eat like humans.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

JESUS TRICKED EVERYONE

Jesus tricked everyone. He did not appear as he was
but in a way not to be seen.
Yet he appeared to all of them.
To the great he appeared as great,
to the small as small. To angels he appeared as an angel,
and to humans as a human.
And he hid his word from everyone.
Some looked at him and thought they saw themselves.
When before his students he appeared gloriously
on the mountain, he was not small.
No, he became great, and he made his students grow
so they would know his immensity.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

CONCEIVING WITH A KISS

The heavenly man has more children
than a man on earth. If the offspring of Adam
are many and die,
how many more are the offspring of perfect beings
who do not die and are born each second?
The father makes a child.
The child cannot make a son. He has not the power
to make children. One recently born is not a parent.
The son has brothers and sisters, not children.
In this world there is a natural order to birth,
and one is nourished by ordinary means.
We are nourished by the promise of heaven,
from the mouth of the word.
If the word emanated from the mouth, it is perfect.
By a kiss the perfect conceive and give birth.
That is why we kiss.
From the grace in others we conceive.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

FATHER AND CHILD

What a father has belongs to his child,
but not while the child is still little.
When the child is grown, however,
then the father turns over all he possesses.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THE LOST

Those who have gone astray are those born
of the spirit. And they are usually lost
because of the spirit. So from one single breath
of spirit the fire blazes and is blackened.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

CAIN

The one who has been created is beautiful,
and you would expect his sons to be noble creations.
If one was not created but engendered,
you would find his seed was noble,
but now he was created and he engendered.
Is this nobility? Adultery came into being,
then murder. One was engendered in adultery,
since he was the child of the serpent.
So like his father he too became a murderer and killed his brother.
Every sexual act between unlike persons is adultery.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

FAITH AND LOVE

If you give without love,
no one derives a thing from what is given.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

PEARL IN THE MUD

If a pearl is thrown into mud, it loses no value,
and if rubbed with balsam oil, it gains no value.
It always is precious in its owner’s eyes.
Wherever they are, the children of god
are precious in the eyes of the father.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

GOD IS A DYER

God is a dyer.
The good dyes, true dyes, dissolve into things
dyed in them.
So too for things god has dyed.
His dyes are imperishable because of their colors.
What god dips he dips in water.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THE LORD IN THE DYE WORKS OF LEVI

The lord went into the dye works of Levi
and took seventy-two different colors and threw them
into a vat. He drew them out perfectly white.
He said, “In this way the earthly son has come as a dyer.”

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

BEING

The lord said, “Blessings on you
who were before you came into being.
Whoever is, was, and will be.”

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

HUMANS AND ANIMALS

The superiority of humans is not obvious to the eye
but lies in what is hidden.
Consequently they have mastery over animals
who are stronger and larger in ways apparent
and hidden. So the animals survive.
When humans withdraw, the animals slay and devour
each other, because they do not find food.
Now they have food because humans plow the soil.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

WATER AND MYSTERY

If you go down into the water and come up,
receiving nothing, and say, “I am a Christian,”
you have borrowed the name at interest.
But if you receive the holy spirit,
you have the name as a gift. And a gift
you do not pay back.
But if you have borrowed at interest,
you must pay. So it works
when you have passed through mystery.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

NAMES OF JESUS

Well though out
The messengers who were before us had these names
for him: Jesus, the Nazorean, messiah,
that is, Jesus, the Nazorean, the Christ.
The last name is Christ,
the first is Jesus,
the middle name is the Nazarene.
Messiah has two meanings, both “Christ” and “measured.”
Jesus in Hebrew is “redemption.”
Nazara is “truth.”
Christ has been measured.
The Nazarene and Jesus are they who have been measured.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

MARRIAGE

Great is the mystery of marriage! Without it,
the world would not be.
The existence of the world depends
on marriage.
Think of sex. It possesses deep powers,
though its image is filthy.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

BRIDAL CHAMBER AND ANDROGYNY
MARRY JESUS

Among the forms of unclean spirits are male
and female ones. Males have sex with souls
who inhabit a female shape,
and females mingle promiscuously with souls
in a male form. No one escapes those spirits:
they seize you, unless you take on the power
of male or female, of groom and bride.
This power resides in the mirrored bridal chamber.
When wanton women see a man sitting alone,
the man is overcome. They fondle him
and pollute him. When wanton men see
a beautiful woman sitting alone, they overcome her,
and she is violated and polluted.
But when spirits see a man and his wife sitting together,
the female spirits cannot enter the male, nor the male
the woman. When the image and angel are joined,
none can force themselves on the man and woman.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

LEAVING THE WORLD

When you leave the world, nothing can stop you
because you were in the world. You are above desire
and fear. You are master of envy. If someone does not
leave the world, the forces grab and choke him.
How can one escape those great grasping rulers?
How can one hide from them? Some say,
“We were faithful,” to escape the filthy spirits and demons.
But if they had the holy spirit, nothing filthy
would cleave to them. Have no fear of the flesh.
Don’t love it. If you are fearful, it will gain mastery
over you. If you love the flesh,
it will swallow and paralyze you.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

IN THIS WORLD OR THE RESURRECTION

Either someone will be in this world
or in the resurrection or in the middle place.
God forbid that I be found in the middle!
In this world there is good and evil.
Its good is not good, and evil not evil.
But there is evil after this world
that is truly evil—which is called the middle.
The middle is death.
While we are in this world it is best to acquire resurrection
for ourselves
so when we strip off the flesh we may rest
and not walk in the middle.
Many go astray on the way.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

WILL AND SIN

It is good to leave the world before one has sinned.
Some have neither the will nor the ability to act.
Others, even if they have the will, are better off
if they do not act, for the act of the will makes them sinners.
But even if they have no will to act,
justice may be concealed from them,
whether they have the will or not.
Will, not action, is always primary.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

TRUTH AND NAKEDNESS

Truth didn’t come into the world naked
but in types and images. Truth is received only
that way. There is rebirth and its image.
They must be reborn through image.
What is the resurrection?
Image must rise again through image.
The bridegroom and image enter through image
into truth, which is restoration. It is right
that those who don’t have it take on the name
of the father and son and the holy spirit.
But they have not done so on their own.
If you do not take on the names for yourself,
the name “Christian” will be taken from you.
You receive them in the oil of the chrism,
the aromatic unction of the power of the cross.
The messengers called this power “the right and left.”
You are no longer a Christian but Christ.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

FIVE SACRAMENTS

The lord did everything through mystery:
baptism and a chrism and a eucharist
and a redemption and a bridal chamber.
o
baptism
awakening
o
chrism
revelations
o
eucharist
the way
o
redemption
the work
o
bridal chamber
one with christ

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THINGS BELOW LIKE THINGS ABOVE
PLACES OF THE SPIRIT

Before Christ, some came from a realm
they could not reenter,
and they went where they could not come out.
Then Christ came.
Those who went in he took out.
Those who went out he took in.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

EVE IN ADAM

separation
When Eve was in Adam there was no death.
When she was cut from him,
death came into being.
If he enters what he was and takes her in him fully,
death will disappear.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

RISING FROM THE DEAD

The lord rose from the dead.
He became as he was,
but now his body was perfect.
He possessed flesh,
but this was true flesh.
Our flesh isn’t true.
Ours is only an image of the true.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

BEDROOM

Animals don’t have a bridal bedroom,
nor do slaves or dirtied women.
Bedrooms are for free men and virgins.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THREE BUILDINGS IN JERUSALEM

There were three buildings in Jerusalem,
one facing west called “the holy,”
another facing south called “the holy of the holy.”
The third facing east was called “the holy of the holies,”
where only the high priest enters.
Baptism is the holy building.
Redemption is the holy of the holy.
The holy of the holies is the bridal chamber.
Baptism includes resurrection and redemption.
Redemption happens in the bridal chamber,
but the bridal chamber is part of something
superior to it and the others
because you will find nothing like it.
Those familiar with it are those who pray
in spirit and in truth
for they do not pray in Jerusalem.
There are some who pray in Jerusalem,
awaiting the kingdom of heaven,
called the holy of the holies.
Before the veil was rent we had no bridal chamber
but the image of the bridal chamber above.
So its veil was torn from top to bottom.
It was right for some below to ascend.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

GARMENT OF LIGHT

The perfect human can neither be restrained nor seen.
If they see him, they can stop him,
so there is no way to grace but to put on
the perfect light and become perfect.
All who put on that garment will enter the kingdom.
This is the perfect light.
We must become perfect before leaving this world.
Who is rich and has not thrown it off
will not share in the kingdom
but will go as imperfect into the middle.
Only Jesus knows where that will end.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

KNOWLEDGE AND LOVE

Whoever has knowledge of the truth is a free being,
but the free human doesn’t sin.
“Whoever sins is the slave of sin.”
Truth is the mother, knowledge the father.
Those who think that sinning does not apply to them
are called free by the world.
Knowledge of the truth can make one arrogant,
giving meaning to the words “being free.”
It makes them feel superior to the world.
But love builds up.
Who is really free through knowledge
is a slave because of love for those
who have not yet attained the freedom of knowledge.
Knowledge makes them capable of freedom.
Love never calls something its own,
yet it too may possess the same thing.
Love never says, “This is mine,” or “That is mine,”
but “All these are yours.”

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

SPIRITUAL FRAGRANCE

Spiritual love is wine and fragrance.
Those nearby also enjoy it
from those who are anointed.
But if the anointed withdraw and leave,
then those unanointed, who are hanging around,
remain in their bad odor.
The Samaritan gave nothing but wine and oil to the wounded.
Only the ointment. It healed the wounds,
for “love covers a multitude of sins.”

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

CHILDREN AND ADULTERY

The children a woman gives birth to
resemble the man who loves her.
If her husband loves her,
then they are like her husband.
If affections comes from an adulterer,
then the children are like him.
Often, if a woman sleeps with her husband
out of need, while her heart is with the adulterer
with whom she also has sex,
her child will look like the adulterer.
You who live together with the son of god,
love not the world but the lord,
so your children will look not like the world
but like the lord.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

SEX AND SPIRIT

Humans have sex with humans, horses with horses,
donkeys with donkeys.
Those of one sort usually linger with those like them.
So spirit mingles with spirit
and thought consorts with thought
and light shares light.
If you are born a person, a person will love you.
If you become a spirit, a spirit will join with you.
If you become thought, thought will mingle with you.
If you become light, light will share you.
If you are of those from above,
one of those from above will rest in you.
If you become a horse or a donkey or bull or dog or sheep
or another animal that is wild or tame,
then neither a person nor spirit nor thought nor light
can love you.
None of those from above or within can rest in you,
and you have no part in them.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

SLAVES AND FREEDOM

Those who are enslaved against their will
can be free.
Those who are freed by favor of a master
but have sold themselves into slavery
can no longer be free.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

FARMING

Farming in this world demands four elements.
A harvest is collected and taken into the barn
as a result of water, earth, wind, and light.
God’s farming also has four elements:
faith, hope, love, and knowledge.
Faith is our earth in which we take root.
Hope is the water through which we are nourished.
Love is the wind through which we grow.
Knowledge is the light through which we ripen.
Grace exists in four ways:
earthborn, heavenly, from highest heaven,
and living in truth.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

BLESSINGS ON ONE WHO NEVER HARMS A SOUL

How shall we be able to accomplish such a feat?
How will he comfort everyone?
Especially, it is improper to cause anyone distress,
whether that person be great or small,
infidel or believer.
Some find it useful to comfort one who is lucky.
You who do good deeds cannot comfort them,
for it goes against your will.
You cannot cause them distress, since you are not afflicting them.
Yet you who are lucky in life sometimes cause distress
unintentionally.
but the source is not you but the other person’s wickedness.
Whoever has the qualities of the perfect human
is happy in the good.
Yet some are enormously put out by these distinctions.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

A HOUSEHOLDER WITH EVERYTHING

There was a householder who had every possible thing,
be it son or slave or cattle or dog or pig or wheat
or barley or chaff or grass or castor oil or meat or acorn.
He was sensible and knew what each one’s food was.
He served children bread and meat.
He served slaves castor oil and meal.
He threw barley and chaff and grass to the cattle.
He threw bones to the dogs,
and to pigs he threw acorns and scraps of bread.
Compare the student of god.
If you are sensible, you understand the nature of learning.
Bodily forms will not deceive you,
since you will look at the condition of each person’s soul
and speak with that form.
There are many animals on earth in human form.
When you identify them,
then you throw acorns to swine,
barley and chaff and grass to cattle,
and bones to the dogs.
To slaves you will give only what is preliminary,
but to children you give what is complete.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THE EARTHLY SON AND HIS SON

There is the earthly son, and there is the son
of the earthly son.
The lord is the earthly son,
and the son of the earthly son is he who is created
through the earthly son.
The earthly son received the capacity to create from god.
He also had the ability to engender.
He who has the ability to create is a creature.
He who has the ability to engender is an offspring.
But he who creates cannot engender.
He who engenders also has the power to create.
Now they say, “He who creates engenders,”
but his so-called offspring is merely a creature;
therefore his children are not offspring but creatures.
He who creates works openly and is visible.
He who engenders does so in private. . . .

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

MYSTERY OF UNDEFILED MARRIAGE

If there is a hidden defilement in the marriage,
how much greater is the true mystery of the undefiled marriage!
It is not fleshly but pure.
It belongs not to desire but to the will.
It belongs not to the darkness of the night
but to the day and the light.
If a marriage is open to the public,
it has become prostitution,
and the bride plays the harlot
not only when impregnated by another man
but even if she slips out of her bedroom and is seen.
Let her show herself only to her father and her mother
and to the friend and attendants of the bridegroom.
They are permitted to enter every day into the bridal chamber.
But let the others yearn just to listen to her voice
and to enjoy her fragrant ointments,
and let them feed on the crumbs falling from the table,
like dogs.
Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber.
No one shall be able to see the bridegroom or bride
unless one becomes a bridegroom or bride.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

HIDDEN PARTS ARE UPRIGHT

As long as they are hidden, most things in the world
are upright and live.
If they are revealed they die,
as is clear by the example of the visible person:
as long as the intestines are hidden, a person is alive.
When the intestines are exposed and come out,
the person will die.
So also with a tree.
While its root is hidden, it sprouts and grows.
If its root is exposed, the tree dries up.
So it is with every birth that is in the world,
not only with the revealed but also the hidden.
As long as the root of wickedness is hidden, it is powerful.
But when it is recognized, it is dissolved.
When it is revealed, it perishes.
That is why the word says,
“Even now the ax lies set against the root of the trees.”
It will not merely cut—what is cut sprouts again—
but the ax penetrates deeply until it brings up the root.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

ROOT OF EVIL

Jesus pulled out the root of the whole place
while others did it only partially.
As for us, let each one dig down after the root of evil
that is within us
and pluck it out of our heart from the root.
It will be uprooted if we recognize it.
But if we are ignorant of it, it takes root in us
and produces fruit in our heart. It masters us.
We are its slaves. It takes us captive
to make us do what we do not want;
and what we do want we do not do.
It is powerful because we have not recognized it.
While it exists it is active.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

IGNORANCE

Ignorance is the mother of all evil.
Ignorance will eventuate in death,
because those who come from ignorance
neither were nor are nor will be.
But those who are in the truth will be perfect
when all the truth is revealed.
For truth is like ignorance: while hidden it rests in itself,
but when revealed and recognized,
it is praised in that it is stronger than ignorance and error.
It gives freedom. The word said,
“If you know the truth, the truth will make you free.”
Ignorance is a slave,
knowledge is freedom.
If we know the truth, we shall find the fruits of the truth
within us.
If we join it, it will fulfill us.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THE STRONG AND WEAK, THE MANIFEST AND HIDDEN

Now we have the manifest things of creation.
We say, “The strong are they who are held in high regard,
and the obscure are the weak who are despised.”
Contrast the manifest things of truth:
they are weak and despised, whereas the hidden things are strong
and held in high regard.
The mysteries of truth are revealed,
though, in type and image.
The bridal chamber remains hidden.
It is the holy in the holy.
The veil at first concealed how god controls creation,
but when the veil is torn and things inside are revealed,
this house will be left desolate,
or rather it will be destroyed.
But the whole inferior godhead will not flee from these places
into the holies of the holies,
for it cannot mix with the pure light and the perfect fullness.
Rather, it will be under the wings of the cross and under its arms.
This ark will be the salvation of people
when the floodwater surges over them.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone

THE PERFECT LIGHT

As long as the seed is hidden, wickedness is ineffectual,
but it has not yet been removed from the midst of the seed
of the holy spirit.
Everyone is a slave of evil.
But when the seed is revealed, the perfect light will flow out on everyone.
And all those who are in the light will receive the chrism.
Then the slaves will be free and the captives ransomed.
“Every plant that my heavenly father has not planted will be uprooted.”
Those who are separated will be joined and filled.
Everyone who enters the bridal chamber will kindle the light,
for it burns just as in marriages performed,
though they happen at night.
That fire burns only at night and is put out.
Yet the mysteries of this marriage are perfected
rather in the day and the light.
Neither that day nor its light ever sets.
If you become an attendant of the bridal chamber,
you will receive the light.
If you do not receive it while in those places,
you cannot receive it in the other place.
You who receive the light will not be seen nor detained.
And no one will be able to torment you
even while you live in the world.
And when you leave the world
you have already received the truth in the images.
The world has become the eternal realm,
because the eternal realm is fullness for you.
This is the way it is. It is revealed to you alone,
not hidden in the darkness and the night
but in a perfect day and a holy light.

The Gospel of Philip Translated by Willis Barnstone