“Ilda-Baoth had already sent his own agent, John the Baptist, from the race of Seth, whom he protects – as a prophet to his people; but only a small portion listened to him – the Nazarenes, the opponents of the Jews, on account of their worshipping Iurbo-Adunai. Achamoth had assured her son, Ilda-Baoth, that the reign of Christos would be only temporal, and thus induced him to send the forerunner, or precursor. Besides that, she made him cause the birth of the man Jesus from the Virgin Mary, her own type on earth, “for the creation of a material personage could only be the work of the Demiurgus, not falling within the province of a higher power.
As soon as Jesus was born, Christos, the perfect, uniting himself with Sophia, (wisdom and spirituality), descended through the seven planetary regions, assuming in each an analogous form, and concealing his true nature from their genii, while he attracted into himself the sparks of divine light which they retained in their essence. Thus, Christos entered into the man Jesus at the moment of his baptism in the Jordan. From that time Jesus began to work miracles; before that, he had been completely ignorant of his mission.”
Ilda-Baoth, discovering that Christos was bringing to an end his own kingdom of matter, stirred up the Jews against him, and Jesus was put to death. When on the Cross, Christos and Sophia left his body and returned to their own sphere. The material body of the man Jesus was abandoned to the earth, but he himself was given a body made up of aether, (astral soul). “Thenceforward he consisted of merely soul and spirit, which was the reason why the disciples did not recognize him after the resurrection. In this spiritual state of a simulacrum, Jesus remained on earth for eighteen months after he had risen. During this last sojourn, he received from Sophia that perfect knowledge, that true Gnosis, which he communicated to the very few among the apostles who were capable of receiving the same.”
“Thence, ascending up into the middle space, he sits on the right hand of Ilda-Baoth, but unperceived by him, and there collects all the souls which shall have been purified by the knowledge of Christ. When he has collected all the spiritual light that exists in matter, out of Ilda-Baoth’s empire, the redemption will be accomplished, and the world will be destroyed. Such is the meaning of the re-absorption of all the spiritual light into the pleroma or fulness, whence it originally descended.”
The foregoing is from the description given by Theodoret and adopted by King in his Gnostics, with additions from Epiphanius and Irenaeus. But the former gives a very imperfect version, concocted partly from the descriptions of Irenaeus, and partly from his own knowledge of the later Ophites, who, toward the end of the third century, had blended already with several other sects. Irenaeus also confounds them very frequently, and the real theogony of the Ophites is given by none of them correctly. With the exception of a change in names, the above-given theogony is that of all the Gnostics, and also of the Nazarenes.”