Valentinian Cosmology in the Tripartite Tractate

Valentinian Cosmology in the Tripartite Tractate


the Tripartite Tractate Cosmology is very different to other Valentinian documents to have come down to us 

first there is no doctrine of an emanation of 30 aions 

there no doctrine of the fall of Sophia instead it is the logos who falls 

The Aions are emanations of the Divine Mind as well as Divine Beings
(For each of the aions is a name corresponding to each of the Father's qualities and powers the Tripartite Tractate)

This Fragment from Heracleon's Commentary on the Gospel of John is in agreement with the Tripartite Tractate:


Over all the archons he appointed an Archon with no one commanding him. He is the lord of all of them, that is, the countenance which the Logos brought forth in his thought as a representation of the Father of the Totalities. Therefore, he is adorned with every <name> which <is> a representation of him, since he is characterized by every property and glorious quality. For he too is called "father" and god" and "demiurge" and "king" and "judge" and "place" and "dwelling" and "law."

The Logos uses him as a hand, to beautify and work on the things below, and he uses him as a mouth, to say the things which will be prophesied.

The things which he has spoken he does



God came forth: the Son, Mind of the All, that is, it is from the Root of the All that even his Thought stems, since he had this one (the Son) in Mind. The Nag Hammadi Library A Valentinian Exposition

The logos here is a personification of the mind of God or the Father's first thought. We will look more at personifications later. 


This logos which is mind and truth can be compared with the The Tripartite Tractate:


The Father, in the way we mentioned earlier, in an unbegotten way, is the one in whom he knows himself, who begot him having a thought, which is the thought of him, that is, the perception of him, which is the [...] of his constitution forever. That is, however, in the proper sense, the silence and the wisdom and the grace, if it is designated properly in this way.

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