Age and Authorship:
Different sources give a wide range of sources of the original tablet. Some claim it was originally written in Syriac, Phoenician, or Chaldean. It's been suggested that Adam and Eve's third child, Seth, from whom all of humanity is descended, originally wrote it. It might have been contained within the Ark of the Covenant. Some modern students of the tablet have suggested Atlantis as the original source.
The first clear evidence of it is about 1000 years old in an Arabic document known as the Kitab Sirr al-Assar. It claims to be a translation of an ancient Greek document, although such a document no longer exists, if it existed at all. The Emerald Tablet is a small portion of the Kitab Sirr al-Assar.
Most commonly, authorship of the tablet is credited to the mythical Hermes Trismegistus. In the Middle Ages, Hermes was thought to be an ancient academic, a possible contemporary of Moses. He was highly respected as one of history's greatest scholars and considered by many to be a pagan prophet who foretold the coming of Christianity and its teachings. He was also considered the author of the Corpus Hermeticum, the basis of hermeticism.
In the 1600s, however, it was shown that the Corpus Hermeticum was actually composed around the 2nd century CE. Today, we accept that the texts were actually written my multiple anonymous authors, not a single one.
- [It is] true, without a lie, certain and most true,
- That which is below is as that which is above, and that which is above is as that which is below, to perform the miracles of the one thing.
- And as all things were from the one, by means of the meditation of the one, thus all things were born from the one, by means of adaptation.
- Its father is the Sun, its mother is the Moon, the Wind carried it in its belly, its nurse is the earth.
- The father of the whole world [or "of all of the initiates"?] is here.
- Its power is whole if it has been turned into earth.
- You will separate the earth from the fire, the subtle from the dense, sweetly, with great skill.
- It ascends from earth into heaven and again it descends to the earth, and receives the power of higher and of lower things.
- Thus you will have the Glory of the whole world.
- Therefore will all obscurity flee from you.
- Of all strength this is true strength, because it will conquer all that is subtle, and penetrate all that is solid.
- Thus was the world created.
- From this were wonderful adaptations, of which this is the means. Therefore am I named Thrice-Great Hermes, having the three parts of the philosophy of the whole world.
- It is finished, what I have said about the working[s] of the Sun.