Context and Textual Parallels
1. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 3.6 (45.3):
ἔπειτα καὶ διαστρεπτέον αὐτοὺς τὰ ὑπ' αὐτῶν φερόμενα διαλύοντας ὧδέ πως· τῇ Σαλώμῃ ὁ κύριος πυνθανομένῃ, «μέχρι πότε θάνατος ἰσχύσει;» οὐχ ὡς κακοῦ τοῦ βίου ὄντος καὶ τῆς κτίσεως πονηρᾶς, «μέχρις ἂν» εἶπεν «ὑμεῖς αἱ γυναῖκες τίκτητε,» ἀλλ' ὡς τὴν ἀκολουθίαν τὴν φυσικὴν διδάσκων· γενέσει γὰρ πάντως ἕπεται καὶ φθορά. / Next we may destroy their case on the ground that they pervert the sense of the books they quote, as follows. Salome inquired: Until when will death be strong? The Lord said, not as if life were bad or the creation evil, but rather as teaching the natural sequence: as long as you women give birth. For in all ways birth is followed by corruption.
Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 3.9 (64.1):
ὅθεν εἰκότως περὶ συντελείας μηνύσαντος τοῦ λόγου ἡ Σαλώμη φησί· «μέχρι τίνος οἱ ἄνθρωποι ἀποθανοῦνται;» ἄνθρωπον δὲ καλεῖ ἡ γραφὴ διχῶς, τόν τε φαινόμενον καὶ τὴν ψυχήν, πάλιν τε αὖ τὸν σῳζόμενον καὶ τὸν μή. καὶ θάνατος ψυχῆς ἡ ἁμαρτία λέγεται. διὸ καὶ παρατετηρημένως ἀποκρίνεται ὁ κύριος· »μέχρις ἂν τίκτωσιν αἱ γυναῖκες,» τουτέστι μέχρις ἂν αἱ ἐπιθυμίαι ἐνεργῶσι. / Whence reasonably, after the word had told about the consummation, Salome says: Until when will men die? But the scripture calls him man in two ways, the one that is apparent and the soul, and again that being saved and that not being saved. And sin is said to be the death of the soul. And in keeping with this the Lord answers: As long as women give birth, that is, as long as desires are at work.
Clement of Alexandria, Excerpts from Theodotus 67:
Καὶ ὅταν ὁ Σωτὴρ πρὸς Σαλώμην λέγῃ «μέχρι τότε εἶναι θάνατον ἄχρις ἂν αἱ γυναῖκες τίκτωσιν», οὐ τὴν γένεσιν κακίζων ἔλεγεν, ἀναγκαίαν οὖσαν διὰ τὴν σωτηρίαν τῶν πιστευόντων. / And when the savior says to Salome: There shall be death as long as women give birth, he did not say this to make childbirth bad, it being one of the things necessary on account of the salvation of those who believe.
Dialogue of the Savior 58-59:
Matthew said, "Tell me, Lord, how the dead die, and how the living live." The Lord said, "You have asked me about a saying [...] which eye has not seen, nor have I heard it, except from you. But I say to you that when what invigorates a man is removed, he will be called 'dead'. And when what is alive leaves what is dead, what is alive will be called upon." Judas said, "Why else, for the sake of truth, do they <die> and live?" The Lord said, "Whatever is born of truth does not die. Whatever is born of woman dies."
Dialogue of the Savior 90-95:
Judas said, "You have told us this out of the mind of truth. When we pray, how should we pray?" The Lord said, "Pray in the place where there is no woman." Matthew said, "'Pray in the place where there is no woman,' he tells us, meaning 'Destroy the works of womanhood,' not because there is any other manner of birth, but because they will cease giving birth." Mary said, "They will never be obliterated." The Lord said, "Who knows that they will not dissolve and ... [2 lines missing]?" Judas said to Matthew, "The works of womanhood will dissolve [...] the governors will [...]. Thus will we become prepared for them."
2. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 3.9 (63.1):
Οἱ δὲ ἀντιτασσόμενοι τῇ κτίσει τοῦ θεοῦ διὰ τῆς εὐφήμου ἐγκρατείας κἀκεῖνα λέγουσι τὰ πρὸς Σαλώμην εἰρημένα, ὧν πρότερον ἐμνήσθημεν· φέρεται δέ, οἶμαι, ἐν τῷ κατ' Αἰγυπτίους εὐαγγελίῳ. φασὶ γάρ, ὅτι αὐτὸς εἶπεν ὁ σωτήρ· «ἦλθον καταλῦσαι τὰ ἔργα τῆς θηλείας,» θηλείας μὲν τῆς ἐπιθυμίας, ἔργα δὲ γένεσιν καὶ φθοράν. / But those who order themselves against the creation of God on account of the euphemism of Encratism also say those things that were said to Salome, of which we first made mention. And they are extant, I suppose, in the gospel according to the Egyptians. For they say that the savior himself said: I came to abolish the works of the female. What are of the female are desires, but the works are birth and corruption.
3. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 3.9 (66.1-2):
τί δὲ οὐχὶ καὶ τὰ ἑξῆς τῶν πρὸς Σαλώμην εἰρημένων ἐπιφέρουσιν οἱ πάντα μᾶλλον ἢ τῷ κατὰ τὴν ἀλήθειαν εὐαγγελικῷ στοιχήσαντες κανόνι; φαμένης γὰρ αὐτῆς «καλῶς οὖν ἐποίησα μὴ τεκοῦσα», ὡς οὐ δεόντως τῆς γενέσεως παραλαμβανομένης, ἀμείβεται λέγων ὁ κύριος· «πᾶσαν φάγε βοτάνην, τὴν δὲ πικρίαν ἔχουσαν μὴ φάγῃς.» / But those who [prefer] all things rather than to conform to the evangelical rule according to the truth, why do they not quote the things that follow those said to Salome? For when she says: I did well, then, in not giving birth, as if not accepting childbirth as fitting, the Lord responds saying: Eat every plant, but do not eat the one that has bitterness.
4. Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies 3.13 (92.2-93.1):
διὰ τοῦτό τοι ὁ Κασσιανός φησι· «πυνθανομένης τῆς Σαλώμης πότε γνωσθήσεται τὰ περὶ ὧν ἤρετο, ἔφη ὁ κύριος· ὅταν τὸ τῆς αἰσχύνης ἔνδυμα πατήσητε καὶ ὅταν γένηται τὰ δύο ἓν καὶ τὸ ἄρρεν μετὰ τῆς θηλείας οὔτε ἄρρεν οὔτε θῆλυ.» Πρῶτον μὲν οὖν ἐν τοῖς παραδεδομένοις ἡμῖν τέτταρσιν εὐαγγελίοις οὐκ ἔχομεν τὸ ῥητόν, ἀλλ' ἐν τῷ κατ' Αἰγυπτίους. / On account of this Cassianus says: When Salome inquired when the things about which she had asked would be known, the Lord said: When you have trampled the garment of shame, and when the two become one, and the male with the female, neither male nor female. First, then, we do not have this word in the four gospels delivered to us, but in that according to the Egyptians.
1 Corinthians 12.13:
καὶ γὰρ ἐν ἑνὶ πνεύματι ἡμεῖς πάντες εἰς ἓν σῶμα ἐβαπτίσθημεν, εἴτε Ἰουδαῖοι εἴτε Ἕλληνες εἴτε δοῦλοι εἴτε ἐλεύθεροι, καὶ πάντες ἓν πνεῦμα ἐποτίσθημεν. / For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body, whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free, and we were all made to drink of one Spirit.
27 ὅσοι γὰρ εἰς Χριστὸν ἐβαπτίσθητε, Χριστὸν ἐνεδύσασθε. 28 οὐκ ἔνι Ἰουδαῖος οὐδὲ Ἕλλην, οὐκ ἔνι δοῦλος οὐδὲ ἐλεύθερος, οὐκ ἔνι ἄρσεν καὶ θῆλυ· πάντες γὰρ ὑμεῖς εἷς ἐστε ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ. / 27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ. 28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free man, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.
10 καὶ ἐνδυσάμενοι τὸν νέον τὸν ἀνακαινούμενον εἰς ἐπίγνωσιν κατ᾽ εἰκόνα τοῦ κτίσαντος αὐτόν, 11 ὅπου οὐκ ἔνι Ἕλλην καὶ Ἰουδαῖος, περιτομὴ καὶ ἀκροβυστία, βάρβαρος, Σκύθης, δοῦλος, ἐλεύθερος, ἀλλὰ [τὰ] πάντα καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν Χριστός. / 10 ...and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created him 11 -- a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.
22 Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom." They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?" Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter."
37 His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?" Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample them, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."
2 Clement 12.1-6:
1. Ἐκδεχόμεθα οὖν καθ’ ὥραν τὴν βασιλείαν τοῦ θεοῦ ἐν ἀγάπῃ καὶ δικαιοσύνῃ, ἐπειδὴ οὐκ οἴδαμεν τὴν ἡμέραν τῆς ἐπιφανείας τοῦ θεου. 2. ἐπερωτηθεὶς γὰρ αὐτὸς ὁ κύριος ὑπό τινος, πότε ἥξει αὐτοῦ ἡ βασιλεία, εἶπεν· Ὅταν ἔσται τὰ δύο ἕν, καὶ τὸ ἔξω ὡς τὸ ἔσω, καὶ τὸ ἄρσεν μετὰ τῆς θηλείας οὔτε ἄρσεν οὔτε θῆλυ. 3. τὰ δύο δὲ ἕν ἐστιν, ὅταν λαλῶμεν ἑαυτοῖς ἀλήθειαν καὶ ἐν δυσὶ σώμασιν ἀνυποκρίτως εἴη μία ψυχή, 4. καὶ τὸ ἔξω ὡς τὸ ἔσω, τοῦτο λέγει· τὴν ψυχὴν λέγει τὸ ἔσω, τὸ δὲ ἔξω τὸ σώμα λέγει· ὃν τρόπον οὖν σου τὸ σῶμα φαίνεται, οὕτως καὶ ἡ ψυχή σου δῆλος ἔστω ἐν τοῖς καλοῖς ἔργοις. 5. καὶ τὸ ἄρσεν μετὰ τῆς θηλείας, οὔτε ἄρσεν οὔτε θῆλυ, ταῦτο λέγει· ἵνα ἀδελφὸς ἰδὼν ἀδελφὴν οὐδὲν φρονῇ περὶ αὐτῆς θηλυκόν, μηδ̀ φρονῇ τι περὶ αὐτοῦ ἀρσενικόν. 6. ταῦτα ὑμῶν ποιούτων, φησίν, ἐλεύσεται ἡ βασιλεία τοῦ πατρός μου. / 1 Let us, therefore, in love and righteousness expect every hour the kingdom of God, since we know not the day of the appearing of God. 2 For the Lord himself, when he was asked by a certain man when his kingdom should come, replied, When two shall be one, and that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female neither male nor female. 3 Now two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is, without hypocrisy, one soul in two bodies. 4 And by that which is without being as that which is within, he meaneth this: He calleth the soul that which is within, and the body that which is without; in like manner, therefore, as thy body is visible, let thy soul be made manifest by good deeds. 5 And by the male with the female neither male nor female, he meaneth this: When a brother seeing a sister doth not in any way regard her as a female, nor doth she regard him as a male; 6 when ye do these things, he saith, the kingdom of my Father will come.
Acts of Peter 38:
Περὶ ὧν ὁ κύριος ἐν μυστηρίῳ λέγει· Ἐὰν μὴ ποιήσητε τὰ δεξιὰ ὡς τὰ ἀριστερὰ καὶ τὰ ἀριστερὰ ὡς τὰ δεξιὰ καὶ τὰ ἄνω ὡς τὰ κάτω καὶ τὰ ὀπίσω ὡς τὰ ἔμπροσθεν, οὐ μὴ ἐπιγνῶτε τὴν βασιλείαν. / Concerning this the Lord says in a mystery: Unless you make what is on the right hand as what is on the left and what is on the left hand as what is on the right, and what is above as what is below, and what is behind as what is before, you will not know the kingdom of God.
Acts of Philip 140:
Εἶπεν γάρ μοι ὁ κύριος· Ἐὰν μὴ ποιήσητε ὑμῶν τὰ κάτω εἰς τὰ ἄνω, καὶ τὰ ἀριστερὰ εἰς τὰ δεξιά, οὐ μὴ εἰσέλθητε εἰς τὴν βασιλείαν μου. / For the Lord said to me: If you do not make your lower part into the higher, and the left into the right, you will not enter into my kingdom.
Dialogue of the Savior 49-52:
Judas said, "Behold! The governors dwell above us, so it is they who will rule over us!" The Lord said, "It is you who will rule over them! But when you rid yourselves of jealousy, then you will clothe yourselves in light and enter the bridal chamber." Judas said, "How will our garments be brought to us?" The Lord said, "There are some who will provide for you, and there are others who will receive [...]. For it is they who will give you your garments. For who will be able to reach that place which is the reward? But the garments of life were given to man because he knows the path by which he will leave. And it is difficult even for me to reach it!"
Dialogue of the Savior 84-85:
Judas said to Matthew, "We want to understand the sort of garments we are to be clothed with when we depart the decay of the flesh." The Lord said, "The governors and the administrators possess garments granted only for a time, which do not last. But you, as children of truth, not with these transitory garments are you to clothe ourselves. Rather, I say to you that you will become blessed when you strip yourselves! For it is no great thing [...] outside."
Hippolytus, Refutation of All Heresies 5.7.8b-9a:
εἶναι δέ φασι τὴν ψυχὴν δυσεύρετον πάνυ καὶ δυσκατανόητον· οὐ γὰρ μένει ἐπὶ σχήματος οὐδὲ μορφῆς τῆς αὐτῆς πάντοτε, οὐδὲ πάθους ἑνός, ἵνα τις αὐτὴν ἢ τύπῳ εἴπῃ ἢ οὐσίᾳ καταλήψεται. τὰς δὲ ἐξαλλαγὰς ταύτας τὰς ποικίλας ἐν τῷ ἐπιγραφομένῳ κατ' Αἰγυπτίους εὐαγγελίῳ κειμένας ἔχουσιν. ἀποροῦσιν οὖν – καθάπερ <καὶ> οἱ ἄλλοι πάντες τῶν ἐθνῶν ἄνθρωποι – πότερόν ποτε ἐκ τοῦ προόντος ἐστὶν <ἢ> ἐκ τοῦ αὐτογενοῦς ἢ ἐκ τοῦ ἐκκεχυμένου χάους. / And they say that the soul is unfindable and unknowable; for it remains neither upon the same scheme or form always nor in one passive [state], that one might speak of it by a type or comprehend it in being. But they have these various changes set down in the gospel inscribed according to the Egyptians. They are therefore in doubt, just as all the other men of the gentiles, whether it is at all from the pre-being, from the self-born, or from the poured-out chaos.
Origen, Homily on Luke 1.1: Ecclesia quator habet evangelia, haeresis plurima, e quibus quoddam scribitur secundum Aegyptios [
τὸ μέντοι ἐπιγεγραμμένον κατὰ Αἰγυπτίους εὐαγγέλιον], aliud iuxta duodecim [
τὸ ἐπιγεγραμμένον τῶν Δώδεκα εὐαγγέλιον] apostolos. ausus fuit et Basilides scribere evangelium et suo illud nomine titulare.
/ The church has four gospels, heresy many, from among which a certain one is written according to the Egyptians, another according to the twelve apostles. Even Basilides dared to write a gospel and to entitle it by his own name.
Ephiphanius, Panarion 62.2, writing concerning the Sabellians:
Τὴν δὲ πᾶσαν αὐτῶν πλάνην καὶ τὴν τῆς πλάνης αὐτῶν δύναμιν ἔχουσιν ἐξ ἀποκρύφων τινῶν, μάλιστα ἀπὸ τοῦ καλουμένου Αἰγυπτίου εὐαγγελίου, ὥς τινες τούτῳ ὄνομα ἐπέθεντο. ἐν αὐτῷ γὰρ πολλὰ τοιαῦτα ὡς ἐν παραβύστῳ μυστηριωδῶς ἐκ προσώπου τοῦ σωτῆρος ἀναφέρεται, ὡς αὐτοῦ δηλοῦντος τοῖς μαθηταῖς τὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι πατέρα, τὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι υἱόν, τὸν αὐτὸν εἶναι ἅγιον πνεῦμα. / But their whole deception, and the whole power of their deception, they have from certain apocrypha, especially from the gospel called Egyptian, upon which some place this name. For in it many such things are quoted mysteriously, as if in a corner, as if from the person of the savior, such as when he makes clear to the disciples that he himself is the father, that he himself is the son, and that he himself is the holy spirit.
Works Consulted and Links
John Dominic Crossan
, The Historical Jesus
Bart Ehrman and Zlatko Plese
, The Apocryphal Gospels: Texts and Translations
, New Testament Apocrypha
, English translation of Dialogue of the Savior
Early Christian Writings: The Gospel of the Egyptians
TextExcavation: The Gospel of the Egyptians
Biblical Criticism & History Forum: Other Gospel Texts