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The Thought of Norea is a brief Sethian Gnostic text. The main surviving copies come from the Nag Hammadi library. The Thought of Norea is sometimes considered to belong to the New Testament apocrypha. It is one of the shorter texts of the Nag Hammadi collection and is estimated to have been written in the second century C.E.
The text, consisting of four paragraphs, is an ode to Norea, one of the emanations in Gnostic cosmology, the syzygy of Adam, and Sophia after her fall from grace. Norea has several identities within Gnosticism: she can be Eve’s daughter and Seth’s wife and sister, or she can be Noah or Shem’s wife. In the Thought of Norea, she is connected to Sophia. She furthermore exemplifies the journey of the soul to acquire the divine knowledge necessary for salvation
The text is thought to be from the Sethian sect of Gnostics, the sect who view biblical Seth as their hero, who was reincarnated as Jesus. Their other texts include the Apocalypse of Adam, Apocryphon of John, the Three Steles of Seth, the Trimorphic Protennoia, and the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians.
"Father of All, Ennoia of the Light, dwelling in the heights above the (regions) below, Light dwelling in the heights, Voice of Truth, upright Nous, untouchable Logos, and ineffable Voice, incomprehensible Father!
It is Norea who cries out to them. They heard, [and] they received her into her place forever. They gave it to her in the Father of Nous, Adamas, as well as the voice of the Holy Ones, in order that she might rest in the ineffable Epinoia, in order that [she] might inherit the first mind which [she] had received, and that [she] might rest in the divine Autogenes, and that she (too) might generate herself, just as she also has inherited the living Logos, and that she might be joined to all of the Imperishable Ones, and speak with the mind of the Father.
And she began to speak with the words of Life, and [she] remained in the presence of the Exalted One, possessing that which she had received before the world came into being. She has the great mind of the Invisible One, and she gives glory to [her] Father, and she dwells within those who [are actively awake] within the Pleroma, and she beholds the Pleroma.
There will be days when she will behold the Pleroma, and she will not be in deficiency, for she has the four holy helpers who intercede on her behalf with the Father of the All, Adamas. He it is who is within all of the Adams, possessing the thought of Norea, who speaks concerning the two names which create a single name."
In the Platonic, Neopythagorean, Middle Platonic, and Neoplatonic schools of philosophy, the demiurge is an artisan-like figure responsible for fashioning and maintaining the physical universe. The Gnostics adopted the term "demiurge". Although a fashioner, the demiurge is not necessarily the same as the creator figure in the monotheistic sense, because the demiurge itself and the material from which the demiurge fashions the universe are both considered to be consequences of something else. Depending on the system, they may be considered to be either uncreated and eternal or the product of some other entity.
Gnosticism is a collection of ancient religious ideas and systems which originated in the first century AD among early Christian and Jewish sects. These various groups emphasised personal spiritual knowledge (gnosis) over orthodox teachings, traditions, and ecclesiastical authority. Gnostic cosmogony generally presents a distinction between a supreme, hidden God and a malevolent lesser divinity responsible for creating the material universe. Viewing this material existence as flawed or evil, Gnostics considered the principal element of salvation to be direct knowledge of the supreme divinity in the form of mystical or esoteric insight. Many Gnostic texts deal not in concepts of sin and repentance, but with illusion and enlightenment.
The Nag Hammadi library is a collection of early Christian and Gnostic texts discovered near the Upper Egyptian town of Nag Hammadi in 1945.
The Secret Book of John, also called the Apocryphon of John or the Secret Revelation of John, is a second-century Sethian Gnostic Christian text of secret teachings. Since it was known to the church father Irenaeus, it must have been written before around 180 CE. It describes Jesus appearing and giving secret knowledge (gnosis) to John the Apostle. The author describes this having occurred after Jesus "has gone back to the place from which he came". This book is reputed to bear this revelation.
Barbēlō refers to the first emanation of God in several forms of Gnostic cosmogony. Barbēlō is often depicted as a supreme female principle, the single passive antecedent of creation in its manifoldness. This figure is also variously referred to as 'Mother-Father', 'First Human Being', 'The Triple Androgynous Name', or 'Eternal Aeon'. So prominent was her place amongst some Gnostics that some schools were designated as Barbeliotae, Barbēlō worshippers or Barbēlōgnostics.
The Letter of Peter to Philip is a Gnostic Christian epistle found in the Nag Hammadi Library in Egypt. It was dated to be written around late 2nd century to early 3rd century CE and focuses on a post-crucifixion appearance and teachings of Jesus Christ to the apostles on the Mount of Olives, or Mount Olivet.
Two versions of the formerly lost Holy Book of the Great Invisible Spirit, also informally called the Coptic Gospel of the Egyptians, were among the codices in the Nag Hammadi library, discovered in 1945. It received the name because towards the end of the text it is also expressed as the “Egyptian Gospel.” Although it is possible that it was written in Egypt, it is far more likely that the name is based on connections made between Seth of the Old Testament and Set, the ancient Egyptian god of violence, chaos, and storms. This Gospel differs from the Gospel of Philip and the Gospel of Truth in that it is not from a Valentinian perspective and instead focuses on a viewpoint rooted in Sethianism.
The Sethians were one of the main currents of Gnosticism during the 2nd and 3rd century CE, along with Valentinianism and Basilideanism. According to John D. Turner, it originated in the second-century CE as a fusion of two distinct Hellenistic Judaic philosophies, and was influenced by Christianity and Middle Platonism. However, the exact origin of Sethianism is not properly understood.
The Three Steles of Seth is a 3rd-century Sethian Gnostic text from the New Testament apocrypha.
Norea is a figure in Gnostic cosmology. Sometimes she is said to be the syzygy of Adam, or wife of Noah, and daughter of Eve. Norea is perceived within gnostic thought as Sophia after her fall from grace.
Allogenes is a repertoire, or genre, of mystical Gnostic texts dating from the first half of the Third Century, CE. They concern Allogenes, "the Stranger", a half-human, half-divine capable of communicating with realms beyond the sense-perceptible world, into the unknowable.
The Trimorphic Protennoia is a Sethian Gnostic text from the New Testament apocrypha. The only surviving copy comes from the Nag Hammadi library.
I [am] the Thought of the Father, Protennoia, that is, Barbelo, the perfect Glory, and the immeasurable Invisible One who is hidden. I am the Image of the Invisible Spirit, and it is through me that the All took shape, and the Mother the Light which she appointed as Virgin, she who is called 'Meirothea', the incomprehensible Womb, the unrestrainable and immeasurable Voice.
Valentinianism was one of the major Gnostic Christian movements. Founded by Valentinus in the second century AD, its influence spread widely, not just within Rome, but also from Northwest Africa to Egypt through to Asia Minor and Syria in the east.
Gnosticism refers to a collection of religious groups originating in Jewish religiosity in Alexandria in the first few centuries CE. Neoplatonism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy that took shape in the 3rd century, based on the teachings of Plato and some of his early followers. While Gnosticism was influenced by Middle Platonism, neo-Platonists from the third century onward rejected Gnosticism.
The Prayer of the Apostle Paul is a New Testament apocryphal work, the first manuscript from the Jung Codex of the Nag Hammadi Library. Written on the inner flyleaf of the codex, the prayer seems to have been added after the longer tractates had been copied. Although the text, like the rest of the codices, is written in Coptic, the title is written in Greek, which was the original language of the text. The manuscript is missing approximately two lines at the beginning.
Gnosticism used a number of religious texts that are preserved, in part or whole, in ancient manuscripts, or lost but mentioned critically in Patristic writings.
The Hypostasis of the Archons or The Reality of the Rulers is an exegesis on the Book of Genesis 1–6 and expresses Gnostic mythology of the divine creators of the cosmos and humanity.
In many Gnostic systems, various emanations of "God" are known by such names as One, Monad, Aion teleos, Bythos, Proarkhe, Arkhe, and Aeons. In different systems these emanations are differently named, classified, and described, but emanation theory is common to all forms of Gnosticism. In Basilidian Gnosis they are called sonships ; according to Marcus, they are numbers and sounds; in Valentinianism they form male/female pairs called syzygies.
Sophia is a major theme, along with Knowledge, among many of the early Christian knowledge-theologies grouped by the heresiologist Irenaeus as gnostikoi (γνωστικοί), ‘knowing’ or ‘men that claimed to have deeper wisdom’. Gnosticism is a 17th-century term expanding the definition of Irenaeus' groups to include other syncretic and mystery religions.
Eleleth is an angel in Gnostic cosmology and one of the four Sethian luminaries. Eleleth appears in Hypostasis of the Archons, Apocryphon of John, and The Three Forms of the First Thought found in the Nag Hammadi library in 1945 and is probably mentioned in the Gospel of Judas as El.