Why, you who hate me, do you love me, and hate those who love me?
You who deny me, confess me, and you who confess me, deny me.
You who tell the truth about me, lie about me,
and you who have lied about me, tell the truth about me.
You who know me, be ignorant of me,
and those who have not known me, let them know me.
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and boldness.
I am shameless;
I am ashamed.
I am strength and I am fear.
I am war and peace.
Give heed to me.
I, I am godless, and I am the one whose God is great.
I am the one whom you have reflected upon,
and you have scorned me.
I am unlearned, and they learn from me.
I am the one that you have despised,
and you reflect upon me.
I am the one whom you have hidden from,
and you appear to me.
But whenever you hide yourselves, I myself will appear.
For whenever you appear, I myself will hide from you.
The Thunder, Perfect Mind”
The Nag Hammadi Library
(Translated by George W. MacRae)
The Nag Hammadi library (also known as the “Gnostic Gospels”) is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945.
Thirteen leather-bound papyrus codices buried in a sealed jar were found by a local farmer named Muhammed al-Samman. The writings in these codices comprise 52 mostly Gnostic treatises, but they also include three works belonging to the Corpus Hermeticum and a partial translation/alteration of Plato’s Republic. In his introduction to The Nag Hammadi Library in English, James Robinson suggests that these codices may have belonged to a nearby Pachomian monastery and were buried after Saint Athanasius condemned the use of non-canonical books in his Festal Letter of 367 A.D. The discovery of these texts significantly influenced modern scholarship’s pursuit and knowledge of early Christianity and Gnosticism.