The Authoritative Teaching

The Authoritative Teaching is a Nag Hammadi lost Gospel (Codex VI) found buried in Egypt in 1945. It was likely written in the first or second century AD. The discourse reflects early Christian teachings eventually banned by the Romans following the creation of the Roman Catholic sect. This text also includes some parables utilized by Jesus in his teachings. The Authoritative Teaching also explains the origin of the entity Jesus often referred to as the "soul."



1. [missing text] from the spiritual realm [missing text] through Him [missing text] everyone is manifest [missing text] the shrouded realms [missing text] are manifested prior to the manifestation of the unseen, mysterious universes.

2. The imperceptible soul of virtue was manifested from these. She was a companion, family member and fellow spirit of the community.

3. Whether fallen or within the spiritual realm, she is neither separated from them. Yet they see her, and she sees them through the unseen teachings.

4. Her Lord secretly provided the teachings to her, as one would feed the mouth with food. Like a medicine, He applied it to her eyes to help her see with her mind.

5. This allowed her to perceive her community and her heritage, so that she might remain on that branch from which she was manifest, in order to receive her inheritance and denounce materialism.

6. [missing text] He dwelled [missing text] having [missing text] dedicated followers. These followers [missing text] those who were truly born from Him call the servants of their Lord their companions.

7. But when the spiritual soul was cast within the physical body, she became a companion of lust, hatred and enviousness, and the materialistic mind.

8. Thus the physical body manifested through lust, and lust manifested from materialism. It is for this reason that the soul became their companion.

9. But they are outcasts, having no authority coming from the Creator. Their inheritance comes only from their mother.

10. Thus, when the soul desires to gain from the outcasts, what is received from the outcasts become pride, passion, sensual pleasures, hatred, enviousness, vanity and nonsense.

11. After allegations of [missing text] impropriety, He banned her and sent her to the den of iniquity. Because [missing text] her debauchery, she abandoned modesty, and now she faces life and death. Of these two, everyone makes their own choices.

12. One might then descend into alcoholism and depravity. For drink is the depraver. Because pleasure and attractive rewards deceive her, she forgets her Creator and family members.

13. After leaving behind knowledge, she falls into animal life. For a senseless person lives as an animal, not understanding what is appropriate.

14. Yet regardless, the gentle follower will joyfully inherit from the Creator, and the Creator rejoices over such a follower because He is honored on their behalf by the multitudes.

15. The follower seeks to multiply those things that have been given. Because the outcasts [missing text] combine through the [missing text].

16. For when thoughts of lust enter a pure person, that person becomes contaminated. Then their greed can’t be moderated.

17. When chaff is mixed with wheat, the chaff is not contaminated – the wheat is. When they are blended together, no one will buy this wheat because it is contaminated.

18. Yet they will still plead to give them the chaff. As they see the wheat blended into it, they will cast it out with the rest of the chaff. Then they will toss it out with all the rest of the chaff, mixing chaff with everything else.

19. But a pure seed is kept in storehouses that are secure. We have spoken about all these things.

20. The Creator alone lived prior to anything becoming manifest. This was before the universes were created and before the material world was manifest.

21. And before the manifestation of the demigods and their authority. [missing text] manifest [missing text] and [missing text]. Thus, nothing existed without His intention.

22. The Creator wished to reveal his opulence and His glory. So He created a great competition within this material universe.

23. He manifested the competitors, and arranged for the competitors to appear in the world and then lose those things that appeared, and despise those things by developing superior imperceptive wisdom allowing an escape to the Living One.

24. Regarding those who compete with us as adversaries: Through our wisdom we become the victors over their ignorance, since we already know the Unfathomable One who created us.

25. In this world we have nothing except the authority manifest to us by the universe, This includes those for which materialistic death occurs, revolving around individual [missing text] materialism.

26. We have indeed been troubled by the material world, although we are not interested in them blaming us. We ignore them as they blaspheme us. When they point their blame at us, we see them but do not speak.

27. For while they endeavor in their occupations, we are met with hunger, thirst and gaining refuge – that place where our actions and consciousness seek – not hanging onto the temporary things, but withdrawing from them.

28. Our hearts are fixed upon things that exist, though we are afflicted, weak, sore. Yet hiding within us is great power.

29. Our soul is afflicted because she resides within a house of destitution. Materialism smacks her eyes, wanting to blind her.

30. So she seeks the doctrine and like a medicine, applies it to her eyes to cast away [missing text] thinking with [missing text] blindness within [missing text]. Once she is again in ignorance, it is totally dark and materialistic.

31. Then the soul [missing text] the doctrine hourly, like medicine, applying it to her eyes so she can see. Then her radiance can overshadow the malicious forces she struggles with, and she can blind them with her light, overwhelm them with her presence, and make them stumble from restlessness. She might act potently with her rod, authority and scepter.

32. She flees to her place of treasure, within her mind, as her adversaries watch with disappointment. Her compartment seems secure, since nothing has appeared to capture her.

33. Neither has she taken a stranger into her place. For many who surround her battle her day and night – taking no rest at any time due to the shackles of their desires.

34. It is for this reason that we don’t sleep or forget the unseen nets laid out waiting to be caught in.

35. For if we are caught in a single net, it will draw us down into its mouth, while the water rises above us and washes over our face.

36. Then we will be drawn down into the dragnet and be caught within it, due to the high waters that flow over us downward from above, drowning our hearts within the dirty mud.

37. And we won’t be able to escape from them, because flesh-eaters will grab us and swallow us, enjoying themselves like fishermen casting hooks into the water.

38. For he casts different types of food in the water because each fish has its own food. After sniffing it and pursuing the scent, he bites.

39. But the hook hidden within the bait snatches him and jerks him up forcefully from the deep waters. Catching that fish within the deep waters cannot be done except through the guise of the bait on the hook.

40. It is like this fish that we live in this material world. The adversary watches us and lies in wait like the fisherman, wanting to seize us, to enjoy swallowing us.

41. Thus he manifests different foods before our eyes – the things of this material world. He wants to have us desire one of them and have a little taste, so he can ensnare us with his hidden poison and take us from freedom into slavery.

42. For when he ever catches us with a single food, this will make us desire the rest. Lastly, these things turn into the food of death.

43. These are the kinds of foods the adversary uses to lie in wait for us:

44. First he sends a little pain into your heart, causing heartache about a trivial thing. Then he ensnares you with his poison.

45. After this come the desires of the body, bringing pride and with it, the love of money, self-centeredness, enviousness of others, pretentiousness, and the worst of these, ignorance and laziness.

46. All these things are appealingly prepared by the adversary and dispersed through the body.

47. These intend to draw the soul’s mind toward one of them and overcome her just as the hook – to pull her forcefully into ignorance.

48. This deludes her until she embraces evil and brings forth the fruits of materialism, and acts with wretchedness in the pursuit of a myriad of desires and self-centeredness, being seduced by the pleasures of the body.

49. Yet the soul who has tasted these things may realize these attractive passions are fleeting. She has learned about wickedness.

50. But she escaped them and had a change of heart. Subsequently, she comes to despise that existence because it is fleeting.

51. Then she searches for the foods that will bring her life, leaving behind those illusory foods.

52. Then she learns about her illumination as she removes this material world from herself.

53. Meanwhile, her true form clothes her from within, her matrimonial clothing is placed upon her with the beauty of the spirit, rather than the pride of the flesh.

54. Then she learns about the depth of her existence and becomes part of her fold, as her shepherd stands in the doorway.

55. In return for the shame and scorn she received in the material world, she receives ten thousand times the mercy and joy.

56. She left the body to those who gave it to her, and they were ashamed.

57. Meanwhile, the merchants of the body sat down and cried, for they could not render business with that body. Nor could they find any stock outside of it.

58. They had worked hard to shape the body of this soul, intending to eliminate the unseen soul.

59. As a result, they were ashamed of their efforts. They suffered, losing the one for whom they had worked.

60. They did not realize that she has an invisible spiritual body. They thought, ‘We are her shepherd who provides for her.’

61. Yet they didn’t realize she knew another path – one that is hidden from them. This is what the true shepherd had taught her through knowledge.

62. But these ignorant ones do not seek God. They also don’t seek their home – their place of refuge.

63. Instead, they live like animals. Their wickedness exceeds the pagans.

64. First of all, they don’t seek God. Their hard hearts drag them down into their ruthlessness.

65. Indeed, if they discover a person seeking salvation, their hard heart begins to work on that person.

66. And if the person doesn’t stop their search, they ruthlessly murder him and think they have done the right thing.

67. Certainly they are followers of the adversary. Because even pagans will be charitable.

68. And ultimately they know God exists in the spiritual realm – ruling over the idols they worship. They just haven’t heard the teachings so they could seek His path.

69. Therefore, the irrational person hears the call but ignores the place they are being called to.

70. That person does not ask when hearing the teaching: ‘Where is the temple within which I should worship and practice my faith?

71. Due to his irrationality, this person is actually worse than a pagan. Because the pagans understand the path to their stone temple – which will be destroyed.

72. They worship the idol their hearts are set on because they have faith.

73. But the irrational person, to whom the teachings have taught, ‘Seek and investigate the paths you should take, because there is nothing better than this.’

74. In the end, what makes the heart hard impacts the spirit, together with the power of ignorance and the wickedness of wrong-doing.

75. These do not allow the spirit to rise up, preventing the person from working to understand what there is to learn about trusting in Him.

76. Yet the rational soul who has worked hard in her search came to know God.

77. She worked on learning and endured the body’s suffering, her feet worn from following after the teachers as she learned about the Mysterious One.

78.
She discovered her rising
She took shelter in Him who provides shelter.
She lounged in the temple.
She consumed the feast she had hungered for.
She devoured the eternal food.
She found what she was searching for.
She took refuge from her suffering,
And the light that illuminates her never sets.
As it belongs to the glory
And the power
And the revelation
For ever and ever.
Amen.

Continue on to the Treatise on Resurrection