Already in John’s gospel the ruler of the material world is identified with the principle of evil Jn 12:31: now shall the prince of this world be cast out; 14:30: the prince of this world is coming. St. Paul relates darkness to the powers that rule the world, presenting them as enemies against whom human beings fight Eph 6:12: We are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, the powers, the rulers of this present darkness. Origen has this Pauline passage in mind when he speaks of the light of the logos lo,goj reaching into the darkness: it has reached the dwelling of the principalities kosmokra,torej, Comm. in Jo. II, 26 84, 2-3 Preuschen. In gnosticism, the Valentinians identify the ruler of this world called the prince of this world a;rcwn as in John’s gospel, or cosmocrator kosmokra,twr under the influence of the Pauline passage cited above with the devil, and relates him closely to the spirits of evil, produced by the grief lu,ph of Sophia Sofi,a, the aeon expelled from the pleroma: see Hippolytus, Ref.
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