The following text is excerpted from Bentley Layton in The Gnostic Scriptures (Doubleday 1987), p. 241. The text comes from Clement of Alexandria, Stromateis 4.89.1-3. Please refer to Layton for background, bibliography, and notes.
From the beginning you (plur.) have been immortal, and you are children of eternal life. And you wanted death to be allocated to yourselves so that you might spend it and use it up, and that death might die in you and through you. For when you nullify the world and are not yourselves annihilated, you are lord over creation and all corruption.
Now, like Basilides, he supposes that there is a people that by its very nature is saved; that this race, indeed, has come down to us for the destruction of death; and that the origination of death is the work of the creator of the world. Accordingly, he understands the scriptural passage (Ex 33:20) "No one shall see the face of god and live" as though god were the cause of death.
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