PARAPHRASE OF SHEM (NHC VII, 1)
A Gnostic apocalypse in which Shem ascends to heaven and is given extensive revelations by a divine being called Derdekeas. Its title is given at the beginning of the tractate. The revelations consist of a cosmogony, an anthropology, and a Gnostic history of salvation. The cosmogonic myth reflects a system of three principles: Light, Darkness, and Spirit.
There are no obvious Christian features in the text. A somewhat similar system, though in a Christian dress, is found in a treatise called The Paraphrase of Seth, discussed by Hippolytus in his account of the doctrine of certain Sethians. Extant only in Coptic, Paraphrase of Shem was originally composed in Greek, probably in late third-century Syria.