Chapter XII.—Simons Opinions Expounded by Peter.
“We, Simon, do not assert that from the great power, which is also called the dominant 1382 power, two angels were sent forth, the one to create the world, the other to give the law; nor that each one when he came proclaimed himself, on account of what he had done, as the sole creator; nor that there is one who stands, will stand, and is opposed. 1383 Learn how you disbelieve even in respect to this subject. If you say that there is an unrevealed power, that power is full of ignorance. For it did not foreknow the ingratitude of the angels who were sent by it.” And Simon became exceedingly angry with Peter for saying this, and interrupted his discourse, saying: “What nonsense is this you speak, you daring and most impudent of men, revealing plainly before the multitudes the secret doctrines, so that they can be easily learned?” And Peter said: “Why do you grudge that the present audience should receive benefit?” And Simon said: “Do you then allow that such knowledge is a benefit?” And Peter said: “I allow it: for the knowledge of a false doctrine is beneficial, inasmuch as you do not fall into it because of ignorance.” And Simon said: “You are evidently not able to reply to the propositions I laid before you. I maintain that even your teacher affirms that there is some Father unrevealed.”
The text is corrupt. Various emendations have been proposed, none of which are satisfactory. Uhlhorn proposes, “That there is a standing one, one who will stand. You who are opposed, learn how you disbelieve, and that this subject which you say is the power unrevealed is full of ignorance.” P. 328, note 1.