Rel. 222

Themes of Creation and Redemption in Two Fragments of Valentinus

Fragment C

And even as awe (phobos) overcame the angels in the presence of that modeled form (plasma) because it uttered sounds (ephthengxato) superior (meidzona) to its modeling (plasis), because of the one (masc. article) who invisibly (aoratos) deposited in it a seed (sperma) of the essence from above (tes anothen ousias) and who spoke freely (parresiadzomenon - masc. participle). Thus also among the races (geneais) of cosmic human beings (kosmikon anthropon), the works (erga) of human beings (anthropon) become objects of awe (phoboi) to those who make them (poiousin), for example, statues (andriantes) and paintings (eikones) and everything that hands make in the name of God (eis onoma theou). For Adam, modeled (plastheis) in the name of Anthropos (eis onoma Anthropou), made them stand in awe (phobos) of the preexistent Anthropos (proontos Anthropou), for precisely this one stood (kathestotos) in him. And they were stricken with terror (kateplangesan) and quickly marred/destroyed (ephanisan) the work (ergon).

Fragment D

However much a portrait (eikon) is inferior to a living face (zontos prosopou),  so is the cosmos (kosmos) inferior to the living aeon (zontos aionos).

Now what is the cause of the cause of the effectiveness (aitia) of the portrait (eikon)? It is the majesty (megalsyne) of the face (prosopou) that has furnished to the painter (zographos) a prototype (typos) so that the portrait (eikon) might be honored through its name (dí onomatos autou). For the form (morphe) was not reproduced with perfect fidelity (authentikos), but the name (onoma) completed (eplerosen) the lack (hysteran) in the modeling (en plasei). And also the invisible of God (to tou theou aoraton; neuter) cooperates (synergei) with the modeled form (peplasmenou) to lend it credence (eis pistin; alternate translation: unto faith, possibly its faith).

Terms repeated in Fragments C and D:

phobos - awe, fear

plasma, plasis - modeled form, modeling

anthropos - first in reference to kosmikoi anthropoi, then in reference to the preexistent Anthropos in whose name Adam is made.

ergon (p1. erga) - work, product.

eis onoma - in the name of, representing (Layton's translation)

Other significant terms in Fragment C and D:

parresia - bold speech;

perresiazo - to speak boldly

sperma - seed

kosmikos - cosmic, worldly;

kosmos - world, cosmos

typos - type, prototype