Scripture: The Secret Book of John

For from the Light, which is the Christ, and the indestructability, through the gift of the Spirit the four lights (appeared) from the divine Autogenes.  He expected that they might attend him.  And the three (are) will, thought and life.  And the four powers (are) understanding, grace, perception, and prudence. … These are the four lights which attend the divine Autogenes.

The Secret Book of John is part of the Gnostic library now known as te Nag Hammadi Library.  I find this short section interesting mosttly because of it refering to Christ and the four powers (angels) who attended him as “lights”.  The word “Autogenes” means self-begotten so is a reference to God.  So, in essence, this passage seems to be saying that the four major powers of God and Christ are “understanding, grace, perception, and prudence”, but there is also the previous sentence that refers to the three: will, thought and life, which, to me, make more sense as the major powers of God.  Unfortunately, much of Gnostic scripture is similarly unclear today because the writers were more interested in expressing spiritual truths without much concern for intellectual clarity.


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