Paraphrase of Shem

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The Paraphrase of Shem is an apocryphal Gnostic writing discovered in the Codex VII of the Nag Hammadi Codices. It starts off saying that it is "[The] paraphrase which was about the unbegotten Spirit." It's an apocalyptic writing that talks of Shem's ascension and recension to Earth. It also throws its own spin on the Biblical Flood, Sodom's destruction, and the baptism and resurrection of the Savior.

It also refers to Shem as the first person on Earth which is similar to Old Testament teaching regarding Adam, but can also be connected to Jesus who, according to the New Testament said "Before Abraham was, I AM."[John 8:58]

The Paraphrase of Shem ends saying:

Henceforth, O Shem, go in grace and continue in faith upon the earth. For every power of light and fire will be completed by me [49] because of you. For without you they will not be revealed until you speak them openly. When you cease to be upon the earth, they will [5] be given to the worthy ones. And apart from this proclamation, let them speak about you upon the earth, since they will take the carefree and agreeable land.

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