The following is a translation of a Coptic manuscript by Wayland Jackson, AB, BD, M.Div.,
BS. The manuscript, overlooked by earlier scholars, dating to the late first or early second
century of the Common Era, was found in upper Egypt by Bedouins in 1948. The working title
was Revelation 2.0, but according to academic custom, the official title is the first words of the
document. Chapter and verse numbers have been assigned for use in scholarly study

Grace, to You

1. Grace, to you, and to Charity, and to all
who hear the words recorded in this

2. Being in the spirit on a Wednesday, I saw a
vision of things that are, but are not.

3. An angel of sorts spoke to me of things visible
and things invisible.

4. He was about four cubits
tall, his hair was beginning to turn gray, his
clothing shone like the noonday sun. He was
wearing Nikes.

5. When I saw the angel, I fell to my knees. I
would have fallen at his feet, but I wasn’t sure
how long he had been wearing the Nikes with
no socks.

6. Seven rings were on his right hand.
Light from his eyes was like rays you might
Expect from the eyes of a superhero.

7. His voice was like the sound of many rushing
waters, only a little slower.

8. He commanded me: Rise. Come. Write these
words about things that your eyes have never
seen before.

9. Do not worry about plagiarism. Most of what
I tell you to write is in the public domain,
although not visible to many.

10. Write to the seven nations and to their
seven rulers, arranged in the order of their
Gross Domestic Product, California being
number five.

11. Blessed are they that hear the words of this
revelation and mull over them, for the time is
far gone, and we could use a lot more mulling.

2.I asked the Spirit, What is this great
thing you are going to show me? The
Spirit said, I will show you a city on a hill
which cannot be measured.

2. Like all cities set on a hill, it has twelve
foundations and iswalled.

3. The wall has twelve gates, three gateson each
of its four sides: east, north, south, andwest,
arranged alphabetically and hypothetically.

4. The spirit said to me, If you don’t understand
three’s and four’s, seven’s and twelve’s, go to
your local library.

5. Check out a book on numerology.

6. As a start, imagine the number three. That’s
an exalted oration, high, lofty, with three
points. Four is the mundane: earth’s four
corners, four directions, four winds. Three and
four added together become seven and
multiplied they become twelve.

7. Therefore, seven and twelve are complete numbers,
the exalted and mundane in union, like in a marriage,
not like the AFL/CIO.

8. I will show you many things, the Spirit said.
When we have exhausted the number
metaphor, count the things I have shown you.
Insert that number here: ____

9. Then the Spirit led me through a deep
chasm. I looked up and beheld immense walls
that reached to the heavens.

10 It was a great city, bigger than Chicago.

3. I saw twelve huge gates, actually only the
three on my side of the great city; but
based on what the Spirit said and simple
logic, I assumed the other nine.

2. The gates I beheld looked like your average
bejeweled gates, and the double doors looked
as secure as the vaults at Fort Knox.

3. The Spirit said, The gates before you are
ordinary, with one major exception. They are
one-way gates.

4. You may enter by the gates, but, once in,
I just dare you to try to find your way out.

5. Nevertheless, said the Spirit, it can be done,
and it has been done by a few.

6. I beheld a few, wandering outside the walls.

7. I asked, Spirit, who are these outside the
wall, and what are they called?

8. They are called the Select. Unlike the Elect who live in
the city, the Select live outside the wall. They
are not homeless, but they are city-less.

9. They live less in the urbs and more in the sub-urbs.

10. Oh, I said, not understanding.

11. The Spirit said, The Select, who live in suburbs,
have found, by experiment or by accident, that the
walls of the city are permeable.

12. From the outside, the walls seem to be insurmountable.
From inside, the walls are invisible.

14. Once inside, people are not aware that they
are walled in.

13. They may leave their square or leave the city at any time,
but the exits open only to seekers. 14The Select came through
the doors unhindered and without injury.

15 They feel no urgency to persuade those inside
the city to join them.

16 What good would it do? they ask. None,
they tell themselves. 17 If their former friends
are happy, what’s the point? said the Spirit.

4. I said, Spirit, what will you show me

2. First, said the Spirit, we must enter the city.

3. I said, How shall we open the great door seeing we
have no key?

4. The Spirit said, Not to worry. The doors are not
locked. However, every gate has its own entry

5. Come, I will show you what’s behind door number one.

6. Door One had a steeple above it with a
thousand tiny silver bells that hung in great
clusters like grapes.

7. As we approached, the doors swung open freely and
the bells tingled,raising peals of joy that echoed
across the city.

8. The Spirit said, Entering the city involves a
gatekeeper and water.

9. I get it, I said. The gatekeeper is like a
butler or a tour guide,but teach me about the water.

10. The water is real, said the Spirit. You are
going to get wet, very wet, or maybe only a
little, but wet you will get.

11. I asked, And what is the purpose of the

12. The Spirit said, Water is a great symbol.

13. It is essential to sustain life. Remember to
hydrate. It is useful for cleaning, both hands,
and laundry. It’s also an extender. If you have
food for twelve, but thirteen guests show up,
add water.

14. Today you get the deluxe treatment, said
the Spirit.

15. Suddenly, as if I were on a conveyor belt,
I began to move forward.

16. I heard the sound of many machines.

17. Brushes swirled, soap splatted on me, and
was rinsed off.

18. But at the end, no one sopped up the
excess water or wiped my glasses.

19. I dripdried as our journey continued.

5.Before me, a great city that no man can
measure was laid out like a gigantic
grid, with a multitude of perfect
squares, separated by gray streets to the right,
to the left, and straight ahead.

2. Each square held a multitude of people.

3. The Spirit said, Pulses from the center of the
great city roll over the city and its inhabitants

4. They all feel better after a good pulse.

5. The pulses are pulses of affirmation. “Yes,
you are right,” the pulses say. “You’re
superior. Your life has meaning. You’re the

6. But we must see other things first.

7. Spirit, I said, the gray roads that separate
the squares look odd, but the inhabitants inside the
squares look normal.

8. The Spirit answered, What did you expect?
In a vision, something has to relate to the real
world or it will get too fantasmagorical.

9. I said, I see bistros around each square with
people seated on sidewalks, eating, drinking,
and laughing.

10. But the patrons’ backs are turned to the
gray way that separates them from other squares.
What’s up with that?

11. The backs of the people form a wall.

12. Walls keep things out. Walls keep things in.

13. You can’t wall someone out without walling
yourself in. The bars on your neighbor’s
windows work both ways.

14. I asked the Spirit, why are the gray streets
almost deserted? Don’t the groups have intercourse?

15. Don’t get cute with your little double
entendre. And don’t say, Look it up.

16. Behold those two trying to talk across
squares. Their words are both audible and

17. Notice that the words of one fly over the
head of the other, and vice versa. They talk
over each other’s heads, not to each other.

18. The Head of each block maintains that
other blocks are dangerous. “Patrons in other
blocks,” he tells them, “are different.

19. They look the same on the outside, but
their minds are disoriented.”

20. The block Head says, “People in other squares
cannot tell north from south, or up from down
as we can.” For themost part, people in his square
believe what the Block head tells them.

21. A few may be pushed, jump, or fall into the
gray area, or be set adrift, fly, or vault into
another square.

22. Those who move to a different square can look
back and see the square they have left, completely
unaware that they are still in a square, just a
different square.

6.Let’s move on, said the Spirit.

2. Inside one square, I beheld a building
that reached up to the clouds. Yes, there
were clouds—regular, fluffy clouds.

3. Across the building entrance was emblazoned the

4. I asked the Spirit, What’s the purpose of a brokerage
in the walled city?

5. The Spirit said, What do you think? Everything
runs on money.

6. He said, Think infra-structure. Even a street
of gold gets potholes. Every million years or so,
a fire breaks out, and they deal with it.

7. But, I said to the Spirit, if this is heaven,
what is the need of a brokerage, or money of
any kind?

8. Heaven? said the Spirit. Who said this is heaven?
This revelation is of things you see every day that
are invisible to the eye.

9. The Brokerage is a reminder that while money is
not the wheel, it is the grease.

10. And if you want to grease someone’s wheels, green
is best, depending on the kind of currency you’re using.

11. I said to the Spirit, What a great mystery.
In a visionary world, I would never have
expected the inhabitants to use currency,
green or any other color.

12. The Spirit said, Don’t be daft. The color is
irrelevant. The wheels they grease are real and
not real. 13They are real in a pump, sucking oil
from the earth, but almost completely invisible
in the halls of power.

7.The facade of the next great building bore
in large block letters the word: EDUFACE.

2. What is this mystery? I asked the Spirit.

3. The Spirit said, EDUFACE is the education center.

4. When a person steps inside a square, the word on
the building looks like EDUCATION. But when one looks
across into a neighboring square, one sees EDUFACE and
knows his square is superior

5. So, I said, are the people still learning
literature, science, the arts?

6. No, answered the Spirit. That would be education.
EDUFACE is not a misspelling. It’s education—in your

7. So, Spirit, is there education or is there not?

8. Loosely speaking, yes; actually, no. Indoctrination
is more accurately what they do, said the Spirit.

9. Each block has its own ways, facts, prejudices,
and fears.

10. The job of EDUFACE is to perpetuate the mores
of the people in its square, to inculcate their
facts and prejudices, and to sustain their fears.

11. Once a person gets inside a square, what is
done there will seem right and true to him–or
her, to be inclusive.

12. I said, That doesn’t sound like any kind of
education I’ve ever encountered.

13. It’s all in the viewpoint, the Spirit answered.

14. So, Spirit, is the purpose of education to
keep people in their square?

15 The Spirit said, Not only keep them in but also
to entertain them.

16 Spirit, that sounds to me like Fantasy Land.

17. The Spirit corrected me, Disney
engineers on their best day could not have
imagined this walled city.

I said to the Spirit. Do I understand

2. Each square is a world of its own? Its
inhabitants do not question its values or
ethics and view all other squares as somehow

3. The Spirit said, Yes. The people of each
square think that they are the elect Elect.

4. They do not question themselves or their
own lives.

5. The major fear in every square of the walled
city is fear of self. Second like unto that is fear
of someone who is different.

6. The people are taught, and they believe, that
the gray areas that separate them are fraught with
uncertainty and danger, and they are not
entirely wrong.

7. Oh, I said, ‘gray areas’ is a metaphor?

8. Correct, but not a very good one if it has to be

9. Is there more you want to show me?
The Spirit said, The city set on a hill is
ruled by a great one, not visible to the
eyes. But he’s there, or she is, whatever.
I cannot say for sure. 2 I said, Do you mean like
the Wizard of Oz, a great one whose voice is
heard but whose countenance no one has ever
looked upon? 3 The Spirit said, Don’t be simple.
Everyone has seen the Great One in the
Wizard of Oz if you’ve ever watched Turner
Classic Movies. It’s all a trick.
4 I said to the Spirit, Then, is the city ruled by
God? Is God the ruler over the great walled
city? 5 No, said the Spirit. The ruler is called
the Nameless One, or One with a Thousand
6 Doesn’t that make him, her, or it, God? I
asked. 7 You can call her, him, or it, God, if you
wish. That doesn’t make it God, just as you can
call this place heaven, but that doesn’t make it
heaven. For all I know, it’s hell.

8 Hell? I said. How can that be? The people
seem happy. The chatter is endless. The
squares seem lively.
9 Staying in one square, never venturing into
gray areas, hearing the same message day
after day is like eating the same food at every
meal, said the Spirit. 10 Eating butter fudge
chocolate brownies for a million days, even
with a tall glass of cold milk, is anesthetizing.
11 In their hearts, they know there is more.
12 More what? I asked the Spirit.13 More dessert, more of everything. Baklava, lemon
meringue pie. A better menu. Freedom.
14 Spirit, I said, are the people like mountain
climbers who reach a peak every day, then
look ahead to discover only another horizon?
15 Cliché alert! Let’s just stick with the walled
city, said the Spirit.
Spirit, I don’t see any birds. Why is
that? 2 I don’t know. I like birds. I
didn’t decorate the place.
3 Does that mean we cannot get a bird’s-eye
view of the city? 4 Of course not. You don’t have
to stand in a tunnel to have tunnel vision.
5 Then, we soared to great heights, but not too
high, because I get air-sick. 6 I saw people
sitting in a gigantic circle inside one square.
No one spoke or moved.
7 Spirit, I said, Who’s in that square? Are they
calm, or are they dead?
8 Those are Quakers. They are dreaming of a
world where thunder makes no sound. 9 You
know their motto: In case of emergency,
please be quiet.
10 And Spirit, the square over there is
surrounded by shades.
11 Spirit said, Correct. No one can see in or out.
They’re nudists. Shades keep outsiders from
viewing all that flesh, and they keep the insiders from the looks of horror and amusement
on faces looking in.
12 I see a busy square, Spirit, people marching
around, holding signs. A few have
13 Those are protesters, said the Spirit. Those
with megaphones are their leaders. Something
is always wrong, and they always feel a need
to fix it. 14 They protest climate change, high
taxes, clowns, the right to bear arms,
government meddling. 15 See? said the Spirit.
One protester has a sign protesting protesters.
16 It’s a serious business. No one smiles, and
no one fools around.
17 I said, A barber would have a field day in
that square. Every man has a beard. 18 A
barber would be out of business in that square,
said the Spirit. Those are Sikhs. They never
cut their hair. Something about their religion.
19 The Sikh square has one door on each side,
just like the Golden Temple.
20 I see a square with polka dots on the floor
and people going from one dot to another, I
said. Who are they?
21 They’re historians. Each dot is a verifiable
fact. They spend their days trying to connect
the dots with theory thread. 22 They resemble
the ancients who drew pictures by connecting
stars in the sky, you know, a fish, a hunter, a
dipper. They saw the stars but lacked depth
perception. 23 History buffs create pictures of
a past that never was and never will be.
Spirit, there’s a square shaking like
gelatin. 2 Everyone has side-burns,
gyrating hips, and a microphone. 3 Those, said the Spirit, are Elvis
impersonators. 4 Spirit, I see one square full of
smoke. Let me guess who’s in that one. 5 Spirit
said, be my guesser. Ha, ha.
6 Those must be pot smokers, I said. They
couldn’t find a door if they wanted to. They
can’t even find a wall, can they? 7 Spirit said,
They’re not looking for a wall or a door. They’re
looking for a chair.
8 Spirit, that square reminds me of an old TV
ad in which apes tossed suitcases around their
cage to test them. Can it be? 9 It can, he said.
10 Baggage handlers throw suitcases and bags,
bouncing them off the walls, stomping on
them. Some of them rummage through the
bags. 1 1 Spirit said.
12 And who are the strange-looking people in
that square? Their eyes are bugged out, a box
rests on their chests, and they all have four
13 Those are accordion players. After only a few
minutes in there, everyone’s eyes are buggy.
They use the extra hands to stop their ears. 14
Those people think they are in hell. So, do I. 15
Whatever occurs to you, we have a square for
it, said the Spirit: Sunnis, libertarians,
feminists, generals, popes, Okies, terrorists,
Inuits, lumberjacks, surgeons, 16 used car
sales-people, the homeless, hospital orderlies,
fighters (or pugnacionists), airline landing
crews, and pilots of all sorts. There are
bazillions of squares.
17 Bazillions?
18 Bazillions.
You won’t remember all the squares,
said the Spirit, but let me give you a
few to choose from when you write.
2 There is a nerd square. It requires a test of
computer language and knowledge of
connectors to get in.
3 The square with people pounding nails in,
and pulling them out, and nailing them in
again, is for handymen. A few are
4 There are squares for pet lovers: lovers of
dogs, cats, ponies, snakes—you name it.
5 There is a square for people-pleasers who
can’t stop smiling. They just want everyone to
like them.
6 The square with people dressed loudly
wearing floppy shoes standing around a VW
automobile is for clowns.
7 The people running amok are gun lovers.
They take turns shooting and being shot at. No
one ever gets hurt.
8 The square with a stage is for standup
comics. They rate each other by holding up
cards numbered from one to five.
9 Spirit, I said, who is that motley crew? They
look so confused. 10 Those, said the spirit, are writers. See? They
all have pens, paper, and laptops. Indeed, they
are a motley crew.
11 What is this square next to them? People
there also have pens, paper, and laptops, but
they are drinking wine and eating cheese. 12
Those, said the Spirit, are writers who have
sold something. Ah, yes, I grimaced.
Spirit, let me put some questions to
you as we travel. 2 Fine, I can do
questions, he said.
3 What if a person fits in more than one
square? For instance, what if a person is a
feminist as well as a terrorist?
4 Spirit joked, Aren’t they the same things?
Ha, ha, ha. Take my wife, please! I’m on a roll!
5 But seriously, the answer is that if a person
has more than one label, one of the labels
floats to the top, and that’s where he goes. For
instance, a person who is gay and likes drums
might end up in a square with other gays,
prioritizing his gay identity over his love of
bongos. Next.
6 Why are some blocks more densely
populated than others? 7 Because some blocks
are more densely populated than others. Next.
8 What things, I asked the Spirit, are common
to all groups? 9 All have financial institutions
and educational institutions. They all have
Heads, bosses I mean, not toilets. And they all
10 Shun? I said. 11 Yes, shun. If an individual
gets too far out of line, he or she is relabeled
and shunned. 12 I asked the Spirit, How is a
person shunned?
13 You get the “look,” the message. One way or
another you will leave the group, voluntarily
or forcibly. 1 4 You might move to a more
compatible group, or just wander around in
gray areas. Or, you might find the invisible
gate in the invisible wall, and go live in the
15 It’s like this, said the Spirit. Every group
believes it has the truth by the big toe when
all it has is a big toe. 16 It clings to its truth to
justify its existence.
17 If they question themselves, it will only
be in superficial ways.
18 Meaning what? I asked. 19 Well, for example, a doctor’s group might argue the differences between saline solutions and sucrose
solutions. They would never question the importance of the heart as an organ. 20 Or,
another example, A religious group might
argue about the best way to baptize, but it
would never ask, Should we worship at all?
21 You see, said the Spirit, all of them are all
right because all of them are wrong. No one
owns truth, not even God.
Spirit, what is at the center of the city?
If it is not like the Wizard of Oz, then
what is it like, and who dwells there? 2
The Spirit moved us north, or was it west,
toward the center. 3 Was it like California? I
4 The sound of mighty waters grew to an
unspeakable roar. 5 Yes, I thought. This is
California. 6 No, said the Spirit, it’s not
13 14
7 And don’t get close to the center. 8 Those who
do may be drawn into a hole. 9 It resembles a
black hole, but it could be any color. 10 The
point is this: once you start down the pike,
there is no escape, no returning. 11 You will
never be heard from or thought of again. So,
don’t get too near.
12 The main thing to remember is the noise.
The center is full of noisy noise. 13 You’ll not
find a Quaker within a mile.
14 The Spirit added, This would be a good
place to use one of my favorite words: cacophony. Look it up.
I am puzzled, Spirit. 2 Can you explain
why I saw no jail or prison in any of
the squares?
3 Because each square is itself a jail, said the
Spirit. The people are all prisoners of their
environment. A way out only seems to be a way
out. 4 The beings who have escaped and think
they are superior have not gone much further
than the sub-urbs.
5 Spirit, I notice the glaring absence of oriental
or Near Eastern references. Why is that? 6
That, said the Spirit, is because I am a
Western spirit. In a way, I too am in a square.
I have spent my life with my back turned to
the East. 7 At times, I feel like a mad man
in a straightjacket of Westernism.
8 I said, Spirit, given all the commonalities,
the city still doesn’t make sense. Where is the
pattern? What unifies it? Where is the plot? 9
The Spirit said, Those elements are all
missing because this is life. Life is messy, not
like a story, which is logical and orderly, with
great dialog and sharply drawn characters. 10
Life doesn’t make sense, said the Spirit. It
never has. Never will. 11 If you want to go to a
place that makes sense, go to the bank. Ha,
ha, ha—a little Spirit humor.
Spirit, What gems of wisdom can I
write that you have not yet revealed to
me? 2 The Spirit said, I apologize. I am
all out of gems.
3 Surely, Spirit, there must be something.
We’ve come so far. 4 And learned so little, said
the Spirit. All right, he said, I’ll give it a try.
5 No one knows, he said. 6 No one knows—
what? I asked. 7 No one knows much compared
to what there is to know. Everyone is smart
compared to when he or she was born, but
overall, none of us knows much.
8 What can we learn from that? I asked. 9 He
said, That ‘none’ takes a singular verb.
10 Sorry, Spirit, that won’t cut it. That’s not
enough. 11 Spirit said, How about this? Even
though we are all wrong, it’s okay for everyone
to think he or she is all right.
12 But Spirit, What if someone who thinks
that he or she is right wants another to adopt
his or her brand of ‘all right?’ 13 The Spirit said,
I’m embarrassed to answer in this way, but
that’s life.
14 I will offer an observation, though observations are not my favorite things: 15 Every
moment in a person’s life is unique.
Therefore, there can be no rules that always
16 Spirit, I feel like a dog chasing its tail. Does
life go in circles? 17 I don’t do geometry, said
the Spirit. I’ll have to take a pass on that.
18 Then the Spirit brightened and said, How
about this for a take away? Offer $5 to anyone
who has read this to the end. Make it
worthwhile to a few at least. 19 I said, I’ve only
got $65. If thirteen people read this and ask
for the $5, I will be flat broke. 20 Spirit said,
Trust me. You’re not going to run out of
21 It’s my turn to ask a question, said the
Spirit. The degrees of the translator listed at
the beginning of this work, I understand all of
them except the last one, BS.
22 You’re kidding. You don’t know what BS
is? I said.