The Sentences of Sextus

I love “sayings” texts. They are easy to read and after each sentence, you can stop and take in what it said. I wanted to highlight this particular text that was found in the Nag Hammadi library. The above video is a reading of the text but for below, I am quoting a slightly different translation. If you are like I am, you read various translations of texts as they all add a different take on texts (and at times, can make them flow more poetically rather than dry academia). Below are some of my favorite quotes from this translation:

(163b) When it is proper to act, do not use a word.

Actions speak louder than words!

(164b) While it is a skill to speak, it is also a skill to be silent.

Now this is a skill our modern society should consider implimenting!

(178) What it is not right to do, do not even consider doing it.

(179) What you do not want to happen to you, do not do it yourself either.

The ole “practice what you preach” mentality.

(323) The fear of death grieves man because of the ignorance of the soul.

I see this as an issue with a lot of people who are afraid of dying. If you know the Father, there should absolutely be no fear of death.

(328) Let not an ungrateful man cause you to cease to do good.

Another lesson I would LOVE to see our modern society take hold. I’ve heard this excuse from people all the time on why they should not help someone. That is definitely not the way to go.

(331) Persuade a senseless brother not to be senseless; if he is mad, protect him.

Those taking up this cause, it can be very aggravating if you do not have patience especially if the one who is senseless is very persistent.

(336) It is better to serve others than to make others serve you.

I live to serve! 😀 I always tell my kids, help whoever you can, whenever you can. Do not ask for anything in return and you will be amazed with what happens in your life.

(343/344) Do not provoke the anger of a mob. Know, then, what is fitting for the fortunate man to do.

I am guilty of this at my workplace though in the past few years, I have gone the other way (even when my co-workers still partake in this). This is another example where our current society could learn a lot from this advice. Social media has made it all too easy to get caught up in the mob mentality.

(350) Do not give the word of God to everyone.

(351) For those who are corrupted by glory it is not assuring to hear about God.

(352/353) It is not a small danger for us to speak the truth about God; do not say anything about God before you have learned from God.

(354/356) Do not speak with a godless person about God; if you are polluted on account of impure works, do not speak about God.

(355) Speak concerning the word about God as if you were saying it in the presence of God.

(358) If first your mind is persuaded that you have been god-loving, then speak to whomever you wish about God.

(360) Do not wish to speak with a crowd about God.

(361) Be (more) sparing with a word about God (than) about a soul.

(362) It is better to dispose of a soul than to discard at random a word about God.

(365) He who speaks the word of God to those for whom it is not lawful, he is the betrayer of God.

(366) It is better for you to be silent about the word of God, than to speak recklessly.

(367/368) He who speaks lies about God is lying to God; a man who does not have anything truthful to say about God is abandoned by God.

I grouped these sayings all together since they refer to speaking of the Father. Living in the USA, I am full aware of the TV evangelicals that I believe do much more harm than good. Based on these sayings, those people go against quite a few of them. But to each their own. Speaking of the Father should be personal and pure, and to those who wish to seek the wisdom of the Father. Cast not pearls before swine, as the saying goes.

(380) He who thinks that no one is in the presence of God, he is not humble towards God.

The Father is everywhere and in everything. Know this!

Those are just some of my favorite sayings but really, the whole text is quite lovely and I highly recommend it.

Published by bP

A gnostic wanderer

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