A Gnostic Gospel of Simon Magus

by James Bean

As I understand it, Simon was a successor of Dositheus, who in turn was a successor of John the Baptist, and so Simon became the leader of a John the Baptist sect that was a rival of the Ebionites. Simon Magus is extensively quoted in the Clementine Recognitions and Clementine Homilies. His teachings are quite interesting! … mystical and Gnostic. I wonder if anyone has published a book of Simon Magus, extracting all of the quotes attributed to him in the Clementines? A good idea for this to be done, if it hasn’t been already, to create a Gnostic Gospel of Simon Magus.

Here are a couple of examples.

Simon: “Your Jesus, who appeared long after the patriarchs, says: ‘No one knows the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any one the Father, but the Son, and he to whom the Son has been pleased to reveal Him.’ Thus, therefore, even your Jesus confesses that there is another God, Incomprehensible and Unknown to all.”

Then Simon said: “Do you so far err, Peter, as not to know that our souls were made by that Good God, the most excellent of all, but they have been brought down as captives into this world?”

Simon answered: “Apply your mind to those things which I am going to say, and cause it, walking in peaceable paths, to attain to those things which I shall demonstrate. Listen now, therefore. Did you ever in thought reach forth your mind into regions or islands situated far away, and remain so fixed in them, that you could not even see the people that were before you, or know where yourself were sitting, by reason of the delightfulness of those things on which you were gazing.”

Simon: “In this way now reach forth your sense into heaven, yea above the heaven, and behold that there must be some place beyond the world, or outside the world, in which there is neither heaven nor earth, and where no shadow of these things produces darkness; and consequently, since there are neither bodies in it, nor darkness occasioned by bodies, there must of necessity be Immense Light; and consider of what sort that Light must be, which is never succeeded by darkness. For if the light of this sun fills this whole world, how great do you suppose that Bodiless and Infinite Light to be? So great, doubtless, that this light of the sun would seem to be darkness and not light, in comparison.”

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