The Pistis Sophia is named after a woman Gnostics say met Jesus when He ascended through different planes of consciousness between His death and resurrection. Like many Gnostic beliefs, the Pistis Sophia is heretical.
In Greek, Pistis Sophia means “Faith Wisdom,” but those words are not found in the document it titles. The document, along with Gnostic texts and “gospels,” was determined by early church fathers to contain false teaching and unorthodox theology that contradicts biblical canon and the four true Gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John.
The Pistis Sophia teaches that Jesus Christ spent 11 years (or maybe 11 months) with the disciples after His resurrection and then ascended through lightning and blinding light through various levels of consciousness. Below the thirteenth level, He met a distressed woman (Pistis Sophia) who was enamored with His light and she achieved salvation. In this story, Jesus then returned to the disciples before ascending to heaven. The Pistis Sophia was written nearly 200 years after Jesus' time on earth (maybe as late as the fourth century) and has not been found in its original Greek.
The Gnostics borrowed Christian phrases, language, and teaching to create their own set of beliefs that became popular during the first few centuries after Jesus' death and resurrection. Chief among them was that anything physical was evil and anything spiritual is good. Their beliefs differed from those of the Apostles' writings, so Gnostic leaders created their own sacred writings. These included the Pistis Sophia, the Gospel of Thomas, the Gospel of Philip, and the Gospel of Mary, among others. The Pistis Sophia is usually presented as an allegory of the journey a soul may take to achieve a growing amount of esoteric truth and a higher cosmic plane. It is soundly unbiblical.
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