Oxyrynchus: Place in Egypt, and adopted name for Greek fragmented copies (3, Oxy
654, 655, et sec), and of the Gospel of Thomas and other works. (See also; The
Five Gospels,” p. 546.)

Oxyrhynchos map

Oxyrhynchos map

A private letter on papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, written in a Greek hand of the second century A

A private letter on papyrus from Oxyrhynchus, written in a Greek hand of the second century A


Pachomius: (290-346) Founded the Christian monastery around Nag Hammadi Egypt. Thought by some to have held Gnostic beliefs. He is known as the most probable person to have had the Nag Hammadi texts. He is known to have met Basil of Caesaria, who studied Origen’s work. He is known to have met Basil. He opposed Athanasius who took over as the Orthodox authority in Alexandria around 297, ending the reign of Origen there. Athanasius, is said to have organized the books of Bible before the Nicean influence of Eusebius. He opposed the Gnostics, and is known to have posted himself in front of the Nag Hammadi mountains, where the texts were eventually found. (Encyclopaedia Britannica)


Saint Pachomius (ca. 292-348), also known as Abba Pachomius and Pakhom, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.

Saint Pachomius (ca. 292-348), also known as Abba Pachomius and Pakhom, is generally recognized as the founder of Christian cenobitic monasticism.


Panentheism: is the theological position that God is immanent within the universe, but also trancends it. It is distinguished from pantheism, which holds that God is synonymous with the material universe. In panentheism, God is viewed as creator and/or animating force behind the universe, and the source of universal morality. The term is closely associated with the Logos of Greek philosophy in the works of Herakleitos, which pervades the cosmos and whereby all things were made. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Panentheistic

This term seems to describe the basis for Sethian Gnosticism. Consider the Thomas saying, 77. ”I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained. Split a piece of wood; I am there. Lift up the stone, and you will find me there.”

Consider the following passage from ”Eugonostos the Blessed.”

”The Lord of the Universe is not rightly called ‘Father’ but ‘Forefather’. For the Father is the beginning (or principle) of what is visible. For he (the Lord) is the beginningless Forefather. He sees himself within himself, like a mirror, having appeared in his likeness as Self-Father, that is, Self-Begetter, and as Confronter, since he confronted Unbegotten First Existent. He is indeed of equal age with the one who is before him, but he is not equal to him in power.” http://www.gnosis.org/naghamm/eugn.html


Pantaenus: (b.?- 212) Appointed to head the Christian Catechise School of Alexandria by Peter. Originally, the Alexandrian church was thought to be founded by Mark, Peter, Barnabus, and Glaucius. Known to have been a Stoic, and teacher of Clement. Pantaenus is known to have done missionary work as far east as India. Claims to have discovered Eastern Christians in possession of the
”Gospel of Matthew,” written in Hebrew and presented by Bartholomew.


Papias: (70-155 A.D.) Papias had associations with Polycarp and with St. John himself, and known to have talked with Philip’s daughters, and of “others who had seen the Lord.” (Irenaeus, ”Against Heresies,” v.33.3) He is said to have been Bishop of Hierapolis, in Phrygia. Only fragments of his work have survived and they are called, “Exposition of the Oracles of the Lord.” Papias is said to have claimed that the ”Gospel of Matthew.” was written first, and Mark served as a scribe for Peter’s work. Three fragments from Clement of Alexandria’s work confirm this idea. (See; Clement’s Fragments- Online. See also; Works of Henry Barchlay Swete, 1835-1917. See also; ”New Testament Apochrapha” James, Apochrypile Press, 2004.)

”The Gospel of John was made public and given to the churches by John when he was still alive; as Papias by name, of Hierapolis, dear disciple of John, recalled in the “exoteric”, that is the outside, five books; he in fact wrote down the gospel correctly as John was dictating.” (Carlson)


Parable: Stories with a point that Jesus is believed to have spoken to the
multitudes around Galilee. (See the ”Gospel of Thomas;” Sayings 8, 9, 20, 57,
63, 64, 65, 76, 96, 97, 98, 107,109. According the “Apochryphon of James” and
Pistis Sophia” the parables are passages which relate or are intentional
mysteries. In Greek (parabole), meaning comparison, or similitude, placing
beside or together. Can also refer to the interior dimensions of a cone.
Clement of Alexandria writes:

“Wherefore the holy mysteries of the prophecies are veiled in the parables —
preserved for chosen men, selected to knowledge in consequence of their faith;
for the style of the Scriptures is parabolic. Wherefore also the Lord, who was
not of the world, came as one who was of the world to men. For He was clothed
with all virtue; and it was His aim to lead man, the foster-child of the world,
up to the objects of intellect, and to the most essential truths by knowledge,
from one world to another.
Wherefore also He employed metaphorical description; for such is the parable, —
a narration based on some subject which is not the principal subject, but
similar to the principal subject, and leading him who understands to what is the
true and principal thing; or, as some say, a mode of speech presenting with
vigor, by means of other circumstances, what is the principal subject.”
(”Stromata,” Bk. VI, et sec.)


Paraclete; Parakleiton: (puraclete) “Comforter” or one who pleads a case for
another. This word is sometimes used for the Holy Spirit or for the Logos. (See
“1st Book of Jeu”) ”The followers of Valentinus say that Jesus is the
Paraclete, because he has come full of the Aeons, having come forth from the
whole. For Christ left behind Sophia, who had put him forth, and going into the
Pleroma, asked for help for Sophia, who was left outside; and Jesus was put
forth by the good will of the Aeons as a Paraclete for the Aeon which had
passed. In the type of the Paraclete, Paul became the Apostle of the
Resur­rection.” (Theodotus, source, Dr. Andrew Criddle.)


Some people including Montanus in the mid 2nd century and Mani (210-276) claimed to be the promised paraclete of John 14:16.The leading authority on classical Greek ( Liddell, which is of course slightly different than biblical Koine Greek ) portrays the word Paraclete as an antonym for Diabolos, characterizing the former as a defender and the latter as an accuser. The ‘clete’ syllable derives from the same etymological origin as ‘ecclesia’ – the infinitive of which means “to call”. By the ‘ecclesia’, the church is called to assemble. Similarly, the Paraclete is “called” to the side of the one on trial.

Let us worship the spirit of the Paraclete (comforter).
Let us bless our Lord Jesus who has sent us the Spirit of Truth.
He came and separated us from the Error of the World.
He brought us a mirror. We looked into it, and saw in it the Universe.

When the Holy Spirit came,
he revealed to us the way of truth and taught us that there are two Natures,
that of the Light and that of the Darkness,
separated from each other since the beginning.

The Kingdom of Light consisted of five Greatnesses,
these are the Father and his twelve Aeons,
the Aeon of Aeons, the Living Air, and the Land of Light,
the Great Spirit blows in them and feeds them with its Light.

The Kingdom of Darkness, however, consisted in five Chambers,
these are Smoke, Fire, Wind and Water and Darkness.
Their resolution crawls in them,
moves them and spurs them on to make war with one another.

Now as they were warring with each other,
they made bold to attack the Land of Light,
considering themselves capable of conquering it.
Yet they know not that what they thought will recoil upon their own heads.

But there was a host of angels in the Land of Light
which possessed the power to issue forth and overcome the enemy of the Father,
whom it pleased that through the Word that he would send,
he would subdue the rebels
who desired to raise themselves above what was more exalted than they.

Like a shepherd who sees a lion approaching to destroy his sheepfold,
he uses guile, takes a lamb and sets it as a snare that he may catch it with it,
for with a single lamb he saves his sheepfold.
Afterwards he heals the lamb that has been wounded by the lion.

In this way too the Father acted,
who sent his stout Son.
He produced out of himself his Maiden, furnished with the five Powers
that she might fight against the five Abysses of the Dark.

When the Watchman stood fast within the frontiers of Light
he showed the powers of the Darkness his Maiden, who is his Soul.
They became agitated in the Abyss and wanted to possess her,
they opened their mouths and tried to swallow her.

He seized the Maidens power and spread it over the Powers of the Darkness,
like nets over fish, he rained her down on them.
Like purified clouds of water, she penetrated into them like a piercing lightning stroke.
She crept inside their insides and bound them all without their ever knowing.

When the First Man had ended his struggle the Father sent forth his Second Son.
He came and helped his brother out of the Abyss.
He built this whole world up out of the mixture
that had come into existence out of Light and Darkness.

All the Powers of the Abyss he spread out to the ten Heavens and to eight Earths,
he shut them up into this World and made it a dungeon for all the Powers of Darkness.
This World is also, however, a place of purification of the soul
which had been swallowed up in the Powers of Darkness.

The Sun and the Moon where set up and fixed in the heights, to purify the Soul.
They take the refined part daily upward to the heights but they destroy the deposit.
They convey it up and down.

This whole World stands firm for a Season,
since there is a great Building being erected outside the World.
At the Hour when the Architect shall complete it, the entire World shall be dissolved.
It shall be set afire, that the fire may melt it away.

All Life, the Remnants of Light in every Place
he shall gather to himself and form of it a Statue (Eidolon — image, likeness).
Even the Resolution of Death also, the whole of Darkness,
he shall gather in and make an image of itself along with the Archon.

In a moment the Living Spirit shall come.
It will succor to the Light,
but the Resolution of Death and the Darkness
lock away in the chamber that was built for it that it may lie in chains forever.

There is no other means save this means to bind the Enemy,
for he shall not be received into the Light because he is a stranger to it,
but he shall also not be left in his Land of darkness,
lest he may wage a greater war than the first.

A New Aeon shall be built in the place of this World, which shall be dissolved,
so that in it the Powers of Light may reign
since they have preformed and fulfilled the whole of the Father’s will.
They have overthrown the hateful one, they have defeated him forever.

This is the knowledge of Mani,
let us worship him and bless him.
Blessed is every man that may trust in him
for he shall live with the Righteous.

Honor and Victory to our Lord Mani, the Spirit of Truth,
that cometh from the Father and has revealed to us
the Beginning, the Middle, and the End.
Victory to the Soul of the Blessed Mary. Theona, Pshai, Jemnoute.

(Let us Worship the Spirit of the Paraclete–Manichean Writing)

Mani’s mystical teachings have profoundly enriched the Nazorean Way. His name means the “Vessel of Life” and he came to be regarded by his Christian disciples as the Paraclete, by his Persian followers as the Zoroastrian redeemer Saoshyant, and by his Buddhist adherents as the Avatar Maitreya. He was a gifted writer, teacher, artist, physician, astrologer, musician and a miracle-worker. He personally illuminated and illustrated many of his original scriptures, and could draw a fine line on silk and then erase it by removing one thin thread.

The term Paraclete is another term Gnostics have a special meaning for because he (Jesus) has come full of the Aeons, having come forth from the whole. This makes Jesus the carrier of the Word from the Pleroma. Because this is what Gnostics mean by Paraclete it doesn’t matter what the Church thinks it is, as far as to Gnostic content.

Mani and other Gnostics could have adopted the term to mean a number of things distorted by the Heresiologists, and anti-Gnostics. Some have meant paraclete to mean comforter. What the term conotes and denotes is largely gleaned from the context the term is placed. Both Comforter, or Paraclete imply a form of companionship between entities, and imply helping the other in the union. This is not that far from the concept of union with the Word.

Tom Saunders