Pistis Sophia is an important Gnostic text, possibly written as early as the Second Century. The five remaining copies, which scholars place in the Fifth or Sixth Centuries, relate the Gnostic teachings of the transfigured Jesus to the assembled disciples (including his mother Mary, Mary Magdalene, and Martha), when the risen Christ had accomplished eleven years speaking with his disciples. In it the complex structures and hierarchies of heaven familiar in Gnostic teachings are revealed.
The female divinity of gnosticism is Sophia, a being with many aspects and names. She is sometimes identified with the Holy Spirit itself but, according to her various capacities, is also the Universal Mother, the Mother of the Living or Resplendent Mother, the Power on High, She-of-the-left-hand (as opposed to Christ, understood as her husband and he of the Right Hand), as the Luxurious One, the Womb, the Virgin, the Wife of the Male, the Revealer of Perfect Mysteries, the Holy Dove of the Spirit, the Heavenly Mother, the Wandering One, or Elena (that is, Selene, the Moon). She was envisaged as the Psyche of the world and the female aspect of Logos.
The title Pistis Sophia is obscure, and is sometimes translated Faith wisdom or Wisdom in faith or Faith in wisdom. A more accurate translation taking into account its gnostic context, is the faith of Sophia, as Sophia to the gnostics was a divine syzygy of Christ, rather than simply a word meaning wisdom. In an earlier, simpler version of a Sophia, in the Berlin Codex and also found in a papyrus at Nag Hammadi.
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