Gospel of Philip:

Passages on the Bridal Chamber


59: "by means of this image (resurrection), the bridal chamber and the image must embark upon the realm of truth, that is, embark upon the return."

60: The Lord did all things by means of a mystery: baptism, chrism, eucharist, ransom, and bridal chamber."

66. free men and virgins have a bridal bedroom.

68. the holy building is baptism, the holy of the holy is ransom, the holy of holies is the bridal chamber. Baptism possesses resurrection and ransom; ransom is in the bridal chamber.....its veil was torn from top to bottom, because certain people from below had to ascend. (see also 105 on veil being torn).

70. Christ came to rectify the separation that had been present since the beginning and join the two; and to give life unto those who had died by separation and join them together. Now, a woman joins with her husband in the bridal bedroom, and those who have joined in the bridal bedroom will not reseparate.

73. How fitting it is to speak of a mystery! The parent of the Entirety joined with the Virgin who came down, and fire illuminated him. On that day he revealed the great bridal bedroom; it was for this purpose that his body came into being...disciples enter into repose.

77. Attendants of bridegroom are in one and the same condition: repose. Being assembled, they have no need of transformation, since they are engaged in contemplation.

83. Whoever has been anointed has everything: resurrection, light, cross, holy spirit; the father has given it to that person in the bridal chamber, and the person has received it.

87. A horse begets horses, a human being begets human beings, deity begets deity. Just so in the case of bridegrooms and brides - they are form the ....the chosen people of the ...and the true human being and the child of the human being and the posterity of the child of the human being. This true people is renowned in the world; here is where the bridegroom 's attendants are.

102. The marraige of this world is a mystery for those who have married. If the marriage of pollution is hidden, how much more is unpolluted marraige a genuine mystery! It is not concerned with flesh, but rather is sanctified. It belongs not to desire but to will, not to darkness or night but to daytime and light. ...Let the bride appear only to her father and her mother and the best man and ;the attendants of the bridegroom. these are permitted to enter the bridal chamber every day. But let the others desire merely to hear her voice and enjoy her ointment, and let them be nourished, like dogs, by the scraps beneath the table. Bridegrooms and brides belong to the bridal chamber. No one can see a bridegroom or a bride except by becoming such.

105. At present we have access to the visible aspects of creation....hidden aspects are mighty, glorious. NOw the mysteries of truth are manifestly types and images. Thus the bedroom is hidden away: this stands for the holy within the holy. For originally the veil concealed how god controls creation; but when the veil is torn and what is inside appears, then this building will be left desolate, or, rather, be destroyed. And all deity will flee from here: but it will not flee into the holy of holies, for it cannot mix with unalloyed light and the fullness that has no defect. RAther, it will dwell under the wings of the cross and under its arms. This ark will be for people's salvation when the watery flood rages over them. ....those who belong to tribe of the priesthood will be able to enter inside the veil along with the high priest. For this reason, the veil was not torn only at the top....nor only at the bottom. ...Rather, it was torn from top to bottom. The upper realm was opened for us in the lower realm, so that we might enter in the hidden realm of truth: this is what is truly glorious and mighty. And it through contemptible types and powerless things that we shall enter...Thus perfect things were opened to us, along with the hidden aspects of truth. And the holies of holies was uncovered. And the bedroom invites us in.

107. Every person who enters the bedroom will kindle the light...the mysteries of that marriage are performed in day and light; and that day, or rather it lights, does not set. If someone becomes a n attendant of the bridegroom, that person will receive the light. If one does not receive it while here, one cannot receive it elsewhere. Whoever receives that light will be invisible and cannot be restrianed. And nothing can harass such a person even while living in the world. ...he or she has already received the truth in the form of images, and the world has already become the aeon. For, to this person the aeon is fullness and as such is manifest to him or her alone - hidden not in the darkness and night but hidden in perfect day and holy light.



Notes from Recent Scholarship on the Bridal Chamber

J.J. Buckley, "The Holy Spirit is a Double Name,"

213: "In the enactment of the bridal chamber, "The world has become the aeon," that is, the world with its divisions has been abolished." (also p. 218).

220 "To enter the bridal chamber means both to be joined spiritually...and to be reborn."

226 "The two marriages corespond to other patterns of complementary opposition in the text...For all of these, unification is a goal....the aeonic goal is a third, unique state beyond the oppositional models."


K. Rudolph, Response to JJB, IFG

230 A "master key" for understanding the entire homily is its "language theory" or "philosophy of names."

236 There are two bridal chambers:

1) the great bridal chamber 71,2-15 Pleroma. "a super-mundane world of light."

2) worldly marraige - defiled.

No doubt bridal chamber is also an expression of a ceremony of part of one." Perhaps bridal chamber is lifelong practice os "spiritual marriages."



267 Is celestial marriage only a mythic reference or does there correspond to celestial marriage an ideal system of relationship?

267 "The importance of cele. marr. in GP consists in the fact that it confers salvation. ...268 the solution consists in the reunification off the human with his separated part to reconsttitue the original androgyne."

269 From Sevrin - point that each sacrament is an anticipation of the eschatological union. (bridal chamber in one sense??).

Insistence with which GP emphasizes relation between baptism, chrism, and bidal chamber imakes us think that we would have in cel. marriage a metaphor of baptism and chrism."

269 Celestial marriage is presented in two ways:

1) mythic recital of an original marriage

2) final act inaugurating the new age.

AM: what she leav es out: present ritual expereince that brings the two together in the present, thus collapsing temporal and ontological divisions.

272 GP privileges the Male. "The model of savlation as restoration of androgyne..Feminine is reabsorbed in the masculine...The masculine is dominant. 76,6-8.

Begetting and ideal lines of relationship.

Identity and Hierarhcy at some time. Father-Son-Brother.

GP prohibition of procreation abolishes all fathers but one, posing a unique father.

Identity of F and Son: poses the similarity and affirms the difference at the same time.


Koschorke, K. Die Namen

310 Difficulties of understanding GP - lie in the uncertainty whether a concept is used propoerly or improperly, whether its significance lies

"in the kosmos" or "in Truth."

311 Names concretize the place in which Error arises and where their solution is to be established. Names can mediate access to salvation (54,14f) or misplace it. (Seee also PCM).


Buckley, Conceptual Models

4170 "The Gospel of Philip as a whole is keenly interested in the theme of transformation, in changes requiring insight as well as action."

4183 "Kissing is an allusion to the spir. rebirth taking place in the sacramental bridal chamber, the most important ritual, a true mysterion." Gaffron, 108-09.

This ritual is the locus for the rebirth.



56 One can truly understand the notion of spir. marriage in Val only by placing it in the larger context of this gnostic system, that is, in the syzygial structure of the pneumatic and in the developments of the cosmic process to its 3 levels."

57 The sacraments (like words)

symbols which are contemptible and weak but as images of a superior rality they are the bond between this world and the world above. Also they are the carriers of salvation.

[AM: Bond - union, conjunction]

"Nothing suprising then that the GP sees in the mystical union of the bridal chamber the most perfect image of the Truth."

59 "The thought of the Gospel of Philip places...the whole event of salvation under the sign of separation and reunion. For Ph, the bridal chamber is not only an eschatological dimension, but it is also a pre-existence dimention, because it re-presents the whole celesital world as a grand "bridal chamber."