Dialogue of the Savior

This ancient lost Gospel text was found among the Nag Hammadi library discovered in the desert of Egypt. The text is thought to have been written in the middle to late First Century. Multiple missing sections of the manuscript are balanced by a significant amount of legible text. 

Nag Hammadi manuscript Dialogue of the Savior

The Dialogue of the Savior

1. The Savior said to his students, “Brothers, the time has now come for us to forego our labor and seek refuge. Because one who seeks refuge will have eternal sanctuary. I am thus telling you, remain transcendent [multiple sections of missing text]

2. “[missing text] they accepted the teachings with reverence and fear. The authorities were set up and from this came nothing. But when I appeared, I revealed the path. I taught the chosen and solitary ones about the path – those who have come to know the Creator, having trusted in the Truth and every glorification of the prayer offerings.

3. “Thus when you offer your prayers, do it like this: ‘Hear us, Creator, just as you heard your intimate servant and accepted him, and provided him refuge from everything [missing text]. You are the Almighty One [missing text]. You are the knowledge and the serenity for the lonely. Please listen to us as you listen to Your chosen. By their offerings to You, they will return. Through their devoted activities, they have saved their souls from the limbs of ignorance in order to live eternally. Amen.’

4. “I will teach you. When the time of death comes, you will initially be met with darkness. Don’t be afraid and say, ‘Look out, the time has come.’ Rather, when you see…

[multiple sections of missing text]

5. Truly, fear provides power [missing text]. Thus by being afraid of what is happening to you, it will swallow you up. Because no one among them will release you or show you mercy.

[multiple sections of missing text]

6. Matthew said, “How [missing text]?”

7. The Savior said “[missing text] the things inside you [missing text] will remain, you [missing text].”

8. Judas asked, “Master [missing text] the activities [missing text] these souls, these [missing text] these humble ones, when [missing text] where will they be? [missing text] the spirit [missing text]?”

9. The Master said, “[missing text] receive them. They will not die. [missing text] they won’t be harmed, because they knew their associates and He who receives them. For Truth seeks the wise and the devoted.”

10. The Savior said, “The light of the body is the soul. So long as what is within you becomes a priority, then [missing text] your body becomes illuminated. So long as your heart has darkness, the illumination you expect [missing text].

[multiple sections of missing text]

11. His students asked, “Master, who becomes a seeker and [missing text] reveals?”

12. The Master told them, “One who seeks [missing text] reveals [missing text].”

13. Matthew asked, “Master, when I [missing text] and when I begin to talk, who [missing text] and who hears?”

14. The Master said, “One who speaks also listens, and one who sees also reveals.”

15. Mary said, “Look, Master. From what can I bear the body when I cry? And from what when I laugh?”

16. The Master said, “[missing text] cries on behalf of its activities [missing text] remain and the soul laughs [missing text] spirit. If one doesn’t [missing text] darkness, he will be able to see [missing text].

[multiple sections of missing text]

17. Then all the authorities from above, along with those from below, will [missing text] you. Within that place will be crying and suffering about the results of everything.

18. Judas said, “Master, teach us about what existed [missing text] prior to heavens and the earth.

19. The Master said, “There was darkness, and the Spirit was upon the water. And I tell you [missing text].

[multiple sections of missing text]

20. “Master, teach us where the [missing text] is manifested. And where the pure soul dwells.”

21. The Master replied, “The fire of the spirit came into existence [missing text] both. Because of this, the [missing text] became manifest and the pure souls became manifest within them [missing text]. If a person focuses his soul upwards, then will he be exalted.”

22. And Matthew asked him, [multiple sections of missing text]

23. The Master said, “[multiple sections of missing text] to follow you and all your activities [missing text] your hearts. For just as your hearts [multiple sections of missing text] the ability to surpass the authorities above along with those who are below. [missing text]

24. I tell you, one who has authority can renounce it and have a change of heart. Then he can [missing text] search, discover and rejoice.”

25. Judas said, “Look, I see that everything was created [missing text] like marks upon [text missing]. Because of this, they happened like this.”

26. The Master replied, “When the Creator manifested the universe, He [missing text] water from it and His Wisdom arose from it and it was populated by many [missing text].

27. It was above the pathway [missing text] envelopes the whole material world [missing text] the pooled water [missing text] existed apart from them. [missing text] the water, like a wall, a barrier of flames surrounds them [missing text] time when numerous things were disconnected from that which is inside. Once the [missing text] became manifest, He saw it [missing text] and told it, “Depart and [missing text] from you so that [missing text] will continue from lifetime to lifetime and generation to generation.”

28. From Him came manifested a pouring of milk and honey, and olive oil and grape juice with other delicious fruits with exquisite flavors and deep roots – so there was plenty from lifetime to lifetime and generation to generation, and above all [missing text] stood [missing text] His beauty [missing text] and beyond Him came an expansive and powerful illumination [missing text] similar to it, for He [missing text] governs every universe higher and lower. [missing text] came from the burning [missing text] it became spread through the [missing text] higher and lower, every action dependent upon them. He is [missing text] over the spiritual realm above, down through to the material universe below, so all constantly partake in activities.”

29. When Judas heard this, he laid down prostrated [missing text] and offered glorifications to the LORD.

30. Mary called on her brothers and asked, “What will you do with those about whom is asked of the student [missing text]?”

31. The Master replied, “Sister, none can ask about these things unless they have a place for them within their heart [missing text] to approach [missing text] for entering [missing text] to allow them to not resist [missing text] this empty world.”

32. Matthew said, “Master, I would like to see that dwelling place where there is no wickedness, but rather, there is only pure illumination!”

33. The Master replied, “Brother Matthew, you won’t be able to see it so long as you are carrying around a physical body.”

34. Matthew said, “Master, though I won’t be able to see it, please let me understand it.”

35. The Master replied, “Anyone who gains knowledge of oneself will see it within all the opportunities given to him [missing text] then will arise [missing text] by one's devotion.”

36. Judas then asked, “Master, please tell me how [missing text] that agitates the motion of the earth.”

37. The Master picked up a stone with his hand and held it up. He said, “What do I hold here in my hand?”

38. He replied, “a stone.”

39. He told them, “What supports the heavens also supports the earth. When Wisdom arises from the Majesty, it proceeds upon what supports the heavens and earth. For the earth does not change course. If it changed course, it would crash. Rather, it doesn’t change course or crash, so that the initial Wisdom would succeed. For it was this that manifested the material universe and occupied them. Then breathed its air and because [missing text] that does not change course, myself [missing text] yourselves, all the servants of humanity.

40. Because you originate from there, you live within the hearts of those who teach from joy and truth. Though it arises from the body from the Creator and isn’t accepted, it will still [missing text] return to its home.

41. One who doesn’t know these perfect activities doesn’t know anything. One who doesn’t stand in the darkness will not be able to recognize the light. Should one not understand what fire is, one will become burnt by it. For he doesn’t know the basics about it. If one doesn’t first understand water, he knows nothing. For what use will he have to become baptized?

42. One who doesn’t know the wind is blowing will get blown away with it. If one doesn’t know about the separate existence of the body, he will die with it. Then how can someone who doesn’t know the Representative know the Creator?

43. Thus, one who doesn’t know the root of everything will remain ignorant. One who doesn’t know the root of wickedness is no stranger to it. One who knows not how he came will not know how he will go. And he is not a stranger to this material universe that will [missing text] become humbled.”

44. Next he [missing text] Judas, Matthew and Mary [missing text] the boundary between the spiritual realm and the material world. Then he laid his hand on them. Then they hoped they could [missing text] him.

45. Judas looked up and saw an extraordinary place above. He also looked down and saw the lowest region below. Judas told Matthew, “Brother, who can ascend to this high place or descend to the bottom of the lowest region? For a there is an enormous fire down there – which is very scary!”

46. Just then Wisdom appeared from it. During its appearance, he understood how he had descended. Then he said to him, “Why did you descend?”

47. Then the Servant of Humanity greeted them and told them, “The seed of an authority became impaired. Then he descended to the lowest regions of the material world. And the Almighty remembered him. So He sent Wisdom to it. This delivered him upwards, into His presence, thus the original Wisdom cannot fail.”

48. And his students were astounded by everything he had told them. And they trusted and accepted them. They concluded that wickedness has no value.

49. Next, he told his disciples, “Didn’t I tell you that the devoted will return to the illumination just as a voice is heard or lightning flashes?

50. Then all the disciples glorified him, and asked, “Master, before you appeared here, who was it who glorified you? For all glories exist for you. Who will bless you? For all blessings arise from you.”

51. As they were standing there, with a flash of lightning, they saw two spirits carrying a single soul with them. Then Wisdom came forth from the Servant of Humanity and said, “Give them their clothing.” Then the humble one became like the great one. They were [missing text] those who accepted them [missing text] each other. Next [missing text] students, whom he had [missing text].

52. Mary said, “[missing text] see wickedness [missing text] from the first [missing text] one another.

53. The Lord said, “[missing text] whereupon you see them [missing text] turn tremendous, they [missing text] – yet the great vision is seeing the Eternal Supreme Being.

54. All then said to him, “Teach us about this.”

55. He told them, “How do you want to see Him? Through temporary vision or by eternal vision?”

56. Continuing, he said, “Endeavor to save those that can follow you. Seek them out and teach from within, so as you seek, you come into harmony with everything. For truly I tell you, the living God [missing text] with you [missing text] with Him.

[multiple sections of missing text - within questions and answers between Jesus and Judas]

57. Judas said, “Look, the authorities live above us, so they rule over us.”

58. The Master replied, “It is you that will rule over them. Once you cleanse yourselves of enviousness, you will clothe yourselves in illumination and enter the Sanctuary.”

59. Judas asked, “How will we receive our clothing?

60. The Master replied, “Some will receive and others will provide for you. From these you will be clothed. How else will you reach that prized place? The clothing of life is given only to those of humanity who understand the pathway through which he can depart. And this is difficult even for me to reach this.”

61. Mary said, “This explains the wickedness of each day; the worker being worthy of his food; and the student mirroring his teacher.” She spoke this as a woman who understood everything.

62. The disciples asked him, “What is perfection and what is delusion?”

63. He said to them, “You are from perfection, and where you live has the delusion. But surely, His illumination flows down upon me.”

64. Matthew asked, “Tell me Master, how do the dead die, and how do the living live?”

65. The Master said, “You are asking me about a proverb [missing text] which the eyes have neither seen, nor have I even heard it apart from you.

66. “Yet I tell you, when that which gives life to a human departs, he is called 'dead.' And when one who is alive departs that which is dead, what is alive will be called upon.”

67. Judas asked, “Why should they, for the sake of truth, live and die?”

68. The Master said, “One who is born of truth does not die. That which is born from a woman dies.”

69. Mary asked, “Master, tell me why I came to this place – to profit or sacrifice.”

70. The Master replied, “You are clarifying the bounty of the teacher.”

71. Mary asked him, “Master, then is there anyplace that is [missing text] or lacks the Truth?”

72. The Master said, “It is that place where Yahweh is not.”

73. Mary said, “Master, you are revered and awesome and [missing text] those who don’t know you.”

74. Matthew asked, “Can we have tranquility at the same time?”

75. The Master said, “When you abandon the shackles.”

76. Matthew asked, “How can the humble connect with the great?”

77. The Master said, “When you abandon the activities that won’t accompany you, then you can have tranquility.”

78. Mary said, “I would like to know the reality of everything.”

79. The Master said, “One who seeks life – this is their fortune. For the [missing text] of this universe is [missing text] and its gold and silver are illusory.”

80. Then his disciples asked him, “What should we do to secure perfect activities?”

81. The Master told them, “Become prepared to face anything. Blessed is one who finds [missing text] the struggle [missing text] his vision. He did not murder. Nor was he murdered. Rather, he emerged the victor.”

82. Judas asked, “Master, tell me where the path is begun.”

83. He replied, “With love and devotion. For if the authorities had just one of these, wickedness would not be present.”

84. Matthew said, “Master, you teach concerning the complete conclusion, with no anxiety.”

85. The Master said, “You have heard and understood everything I have said. And you accepted them with trust. If you understand them, they belong to you. If you don’t, then they won’t belong to you.”

86. They asked him, “What place will we be going to?”

87. The Master replied, “Stay in that place you can attain.”

88. Mary then said, “All that has manifested will then be seen.”

89. The Master replied, “I have said to you that one who sees reveals.”

90. His twelve disciples asked him, “Teacher, [missing text] tranquility [missing text] tell us [missing text].”

91. The Master replied, “[missing text] all that I have [missing text] you will [missing text] you [missing text] all things.”

92. Mary said, “But there is one proverb I tell the Master regarding the secret truth. ‘For this we have stood our ground, and to the universe we are revealed.’

93. Judas told Matthew: “We wish to know the type of clothing we will wear when we leave the decomposing flesh.”

94. The Master replied, “The rulers and authorities wear temporary clothing granted only for a time. That clothing will not last. But you, the children of truth, will not clothe yourselves in these temporary garments. Rather, I tell you, you will be blessed as you bear yourselves. For there is no big issue [missing text] outside.”

95. [missing text] said [missing text] speak, I [missing text].”

96. The Master replied, “[missing text] your Creator [missing text].”

97. Mary asked, “What about the mustard seed? Is this about the spiritual realm or about the material world?”

98. The Master replied, “When the Creator manifested the creation for Himself, there was much more left for the Universal Mother. Thus, there is speaking and action.”

99. Judas said, “You have taught us from the Heart of Truth. Now how should we pray?”

100. The Master said, “Pray from the place where there is no womanhood.”

101. Matthew said, “'Pray from the place where there is no womanhood,' he says to us. This means, condemn the actions of women, not because of the arrangement of birth, but because they will stop giving birth.”

102. Mary said, “They will never be destroyed.”

103. The Master said, “Who knows they won’t be destroyed and [missing text].”

104. Judas told Matthew, “The activities of womanhood will be destroyed [missing text] the authorities will [missing text]. As a result, we will be prepared for them.”

105. The Master said, “True, for will they see you? Will they see those who accept you? Now look, the pure Wisdom descends from the Creator into the depths – rendering birth without a sound, in a flash of illumination. Can they see this or overcome this?

106. “Yet this path is truly revealed to you. This even before either the angel or authority has [missing text] Instead, this is connected to the Creator and the Representative, for they are individually united [missing text]. Then you will travel the pathway that you understand. Should the authorities become great, even they will not be able to attain this. Yet listen to me, I tell you it is even difficult for me to attain it.”

107. Mary asked the Master, “When the activities [missing text] that dissolve an action.”

108. The Lord said, “True. Because you understand [missing text] if I dissolve [missing text] will one go to that place.”

109. Judas said, “How is the spirit evident?”

110. The Master replied, “How is the sword evident?”

111. Judas said, “How is the illumination evident?”

112. The Master replied, “[missing text] with it eternally.”

113. Judas asked, “Who will forgive whose activities? The activities that [missing text] the universe [missing text] who forgives the activities.”

114. The Master said, “Who [missing text]? It is necessary that one who understands their activities should do what pleases the Creator. Then as for you, endeavor to abandon anger and enviousness from yourselves, and unclothe yourselves from your [missing text] and don’t [missing text]

[multiple sections of missing text]

115. [missing text] one will live forever. And I tell you [missing text] in order that you won’t guide your minds and your souls into delusion.”

Continue on to the Gospel of James the Grieving