The Apocryphon of John



The Apocryphon of John also know as-

The Secret Book of John or

The Secret Revelation of John


A revelation about God the Father, the

Mother and the Son, and about creation,

paradise, the fall and redemption.


The Apocryphon of John is a Gnostic Gospel

discovered in 1945 at Nag Hammadi, Egypt.


Who were the Gnostics?


"The Gospel, originally, 'God Spell' means

unfoldment of the Gnosis or Holy Spirit.

The Nag Hammadi editor James Robinson

clearly shows that the Desert Fathers of

Christianity came from the Gnostic First

Christians who in turn had been Essenes.


Eusebius, the father of Church history,



"Those ancient Therapeutae were Christians,


and that their ancient writings were our


gospels and epistles."




Bishop Epiphanius (a.d. 310-403, is best


known for composing a compendium of


"heresies" up to his time) said of the




"They who believe on Christ were called


Jessaei (Essenes) before they were called


Christians. These derived their constitution


from the signification of the name Jesus,


which in Hebrew signifies the same as


Therapeutae, that is a savior or physician."






Clement of Alexandria (a.d. 150-215


a Church Father venerated as a saint in


Oriental Orthodoxy, Eastern Catholicism and


Anglicanism) tells us: "After the


resurrection the Lord delivered the Gnosis to


James the Just and John and Peter: they


delivered it to the other apostles." The


Gnostics were the "First Christians of Saint


John", otherwise known as the Nazarenes.



As Elaine Pagels writes

in The Gnostic Gospels,

“Some scholars have suggested that if the

names were changed the `living Buddha’

appropriately says what the Gospel of

Thomas attributes to the living Jesus.”


Jesus and the Buddha identify in being the

"true Light that enlightens every man".


"I am the Light of the world," said Jesus,

while those looking at John were told, "I am

not the Christ." (from the back cover of The

Buddhist Essene Gospel of Jesus, Volume





The Gnostic Society has this to say about

The Apocryphon of John:


Among the several dozen ancient Gnostic manuscripts rediscovered in modern times, the Secret Book of John is generally agreed to be the most important.

It has been called the locus classicus for the Gnostic mythological system – in sum, it is the preeminent “Gnostic Gospel”, a sacred reservoir for the defining essence of Gnostic myth and revelation. 

It breathes with the life of vision that vitalized early Christianity, a life suppressed and then largely forgotten in later ages.

From a modern reading of this crucially important and recently rediscovered "Gospel", we are granted fundamental insights into the lost foundations of Christian tradition.

Apocryphon Iohannis – the Apocryphon of John – is the title that appears on the original manuscripts, and by this title the text has been known in scholarly circles over the last fifty years.

In Greek, apocryphon literally means “hidden” or “secret”, thus in recent popular literature the title is usually translated as either the Secret Book of John or The Secret Revelation of John.   

By its own declaration, the Secret Book of John is a sacred text intended to be shared only with individuals properly prepared to receive its revelation.

In second-century Christian communions circulation of the text probably remained restricted. 

Amazingly, despite limited circulation and  the effective later efforts by evolving Christian orthodoxy to destroy all such “heretical” scriptures, four separate manuscripts of the SBJ have survived into our own age.

Three of these were found among the Nag Hammadi codices discovered in 1945, while a fourth copy was independently recovered fifty years earlier from another site in Egypt.

All four versions date to the fourth century. Three of the four appear to be independently produced Coptic translations of an original text in Greek.

Two of the four manuscripts (NHC II and NHC IV) are so similar that they most likely represent copies of a single common source.

To put in context the uniqueness of finding four complete copies of a document of this extreme antiquity, note that we possess only two fairly complete manuscripts of the canonical gospels of equal age (the Codex Vaticanus and Sinaiticus). 

Only a few fragments of canonical texts with dates of creation earlier than the fourth century have survived.

These four manuscripts of the Apocryphon of John represent some of the oldest known surviving books. From the ancient sands of Egypt, they come to our modern age bearing a timeless message.

The Secret Book of John is the one Gnostic text every student seeking to understand the roots of ancient Christianity must read. 

At first reading it will seem unlike anything encountered in the New Testament -- excepting perhaps the Apocalypse of John. Like the Apocalypse, this too is a revelation text, a secret and sacred vision. 

It is the story of God, and by reflection, the story of Humankind -- a penetrating psychological reflection on the source of consciousness and the existential predicament of an eternal light indwelling life.

It is not an intellectual curiosity, nor is it a text to be "surfed", in the perverse sense of modern internet reading.  As Prof Karen King notes:

In antiquity, readers studied the Secret Revelation of John in order to perfect the divine image of their souls; it was composed, translated, and distributed largely to further salvation—or to refute its claims to aid in salvation.

In the modern world, however, it has rarely been read with such goals in mind. It usually finds its place either in the theology of orthodox Christianity as a chapter on Gnostic heresy or in disputes about the history.

Within the academy more narrowly its value largely has to do with intellectual production and prestige, including concerns about tenure and promotion—salvation, if you will, of a rather different sort.

As the Secret Revelation of John becomes known more widely, we may expect it to have new and varied impacts on early Christian historiography, constructive theology, and personal appropriation.

In any case, modern readers do not stand outside the work's history, but take it up on a new historical stage. (King, p 23)

The resources in this collection are intended to assist study of the Secret Revelation -- the Secret Book, the Apocryphon -- of John,

to help it become more widely known, to aid the "personal appropriation" by modern readers who now surprisingly find themselves part of its history. (unquote by the Gnostic Society, Los Angeles, California, USA)




John is the most important Gnostic teacher and

is the author of the Apocryphon and Apocalypse

of John. John the Baptist and John the Apostle

Beloved of Christ are the same. John who wrote

the Gospel of John in the New Testament and

the Apocalypse on the island of Patmos are all

the same John. The Mandaeans in Iraq and Iran are

followers of John the Baptist. John, is the founder of

Christianity being the spokesperson for Christ.

Christ, the Son of God speaks to John spiritually,

and John relates what Christ says. Read The Buddhist

Essene Gospel of Jesus Trilogy for all the details on

how John was plotted against by Barabbas and

his sons, one of which was Judas Iscariot, and

how the plot backfired.


The Apocryphon reveals that

Jesus Christ is a Spiritual Emanation of God the

Father and God the Mother and not a

flesh born, mortal human.


John was reborn as the (grand) Son of Man and

the Son of Christ the ideal Spiritual Human modeled

after the spiritually emanated, Adamas the first Human.

Salvation comes through the Living Water Baptism of John,

meaning a diet of living water rich, fruits and vegetables.



The Apocryphon of John

 (The Secret Book of John - The Secret

 Revelation of John)

Translated by Frederik Wisse

The Apocryphon of John is commonly referenced by two other names: The Secret Book of John and The Secret Revelation of John,  depending upon how the word "Apocryphon" is translated.

Their are four surviving Coptic manuscripts of this text: two shorter versions found in the Berlin Codex; the Nag Hammadi Codex III, and two longer versions, found in the Nag Hammadi Codex II and IV.

Visit the Apocryphon of John Collection for more information




Michael Waldstein


Frederik Wisse



read it online here:


Short Version

(NHL Codex III,1 and Berlin Codex BG 8502,2)


Long Version

(NHL Codex II,1 and Codex IV,1)


a companion scripture is the Diamond Sutra

 which is the Buddha's highest teaching on insight



 The Diamond Sutra

The Diamond that Cuts through Illusion











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