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The Sophia of Jesus Christ

The Sophia of Jesus Christ is one of many Gnostic tractates from the Nag Hammadi codices, discovered in Egypt in 1945. Sophia is the Greek for wisdom, which in a Gnostic context has an esoteric meaning.

The manuscript itself has been dated to the 4th century, although it is possible that the Sophia codex was transcribed from an earlier document, as it has apparent similarities to Eugnostos, another manuscript found in two copies in Nag Hammadi. Most scholars argue that the text is of Gnostic origin, based on the similarities between the mystical teachings found in the text itself and standard Gnostic themes. If the original tractate should date from the 1st century, we have a rare glimpse at a conversation between Jesus Christ and his disciples after his resurrection from the dead. Highly mystical, the content of this text concerns creation of gods, angels and the universe with an emphasis on infinite and mystical truth.

Mary [Magdalene] said to him: "Lord, then how will we know that?"

The perfect Savior said: "Come (you) from invisible things to the end of those that are visible, and the very emanation of Thought will reveal to you how faith in those things that are not visible was found in those that are visible, those that belong to Unbegotten Father. Whoever has ears to hear, let him hear!"

† from The Sophia of Jesus Christ

The debate about dating is critical since some argue that they reflect the 'true, recorded, sayings' of Jesus Christ, which is possible should they date back as far as the 1st century. Others argue that they are in fact considerably later and an unreliable secondary source, at best post facto hearsay.

Curiously, the writings of four Synoptic Gospels of the New Testament - Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John - are dated after the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A. D. or later, placing them in the historical range some scholars identify for the gnostic writings. Therefore, one could conclude that the early Christians had a much different Bible than exists today. Some scholars believe the Gnostic texts were written later than the New Testament.

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