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Apocryphal New Testament Writings

Gospel of Thomas 140-180 CE
Gospel of Truth 140-180 CE
Gospel of the Twelve - east of Jordan 100-150 CE
Gospel of Peter  70-160 CE
Gospel of Basilides -Alexandria, 117-138 CE
Gospel of the Egyptians - Egypt, 100-150 CE
Gospel of the Hebrews - Egypt, mid 2nd century CE
Gospel of Matthias - Alexandria, 100-150 CE
Traditions of Matthias - Alexandria 100-150 CE
Preaching of Peter Kerygma Petri - Egypt, early 2nd century CE
Acts of Andrew 150 - 200 CE
Acts of Paul - Asia Minor, 185-195 CE
Acts of John - Ephesus, 150-200 CE
Epistle to the Laodiceans - close to the 3rd century CE
I Clement  95-96 CE
Epistle of Barnabas - Alexandria 70-135 CE
Didache - about 70 CE
Shepherd of Hermas  - mid 2nd Century CE
Apocalypse of Peter  - Egypt about 135 CE
Gospel of Judas - 3rd century
Gospel According to Mary Magdalene


Gospel of Thomas 140 -180 CE
Hippolytus of Rome, in his report on the Naassenes (Philos. v. 7, 200-235 CE), mentions a 'Gospel of Thomas' and quotes from it (the quotation probably has some connection with logion 4 from the Coptic Gospel of Thomas discussed below). About 233 CE Origen mentions it among the heterodox gospels. His testimony was taken over in a Latin translation or paraphrase by Jerome, Ambrose, and Venerable Bede. Eusebius, probably following Origen, includes a Gospel of Thomas in the heretical category. It is also mentioned by Cyril of Jerusalem, and Philip of Side (about 430), and appears in the Stichometry of Nicephorus. It is certain that the gospel was known and used in Manicheism.

With the discovery of the Nag Hammadi Library in 1945, we know of a collection of 114 logia (sayings), written in Sahidic, which is described in the colophon as 'Gospel according to Thomas'. The introduction confirms this title.

Codex II from Nag Hammadi can be dated to about 400 CE. It can however be demonstrated that it had a significantly older Coptic Vorlage. As early as 1952 H.-Ch. Puech established that parts of this gospel had already long been known in Greek.



Gospel of Truth  140-180 CE

Irenaeus reports that the Valentineans used of the Gospel of Truth as scripture. Unfortunately, he reveals little about the content of the work, except that it differed significantly from the canonical Gospels. Scholars are divided as to whether the Nag Hammadi Gospel of Truth  derives from Valentinus. More like a meditation on the Christian life and salvation than a traditional gospel, the treatise shows little trace of the elaborate speculations that are associated with the Valentinian system. Some scholars, however, believe that these speculations are not emphasized in order to conciliate orthodox opinion. If so, a date of composition in the middle of the 2nd century would be established.

On the basis of literary and conceptual affinities between the Nag Hammadi text and the exiguous fragments of Valentinus, some scholars have suggested that Valentinus himself was the author. Whatever the precise date and authorship, the work was certainly composed in Greek in an elaborate rhetorical style, by a consummate literary artist.

Despite its title, this work is not a gospel of the sort found in the New Testament, since it does not offer a continuous narration of the deeds, teachings, passion, and resurrection of Jesus. The term "gospel" in the first line preserves its early sense of "good news". It defines the text's subject, not its genre, which is best understood as a homily. Like other early Christian homilies, such as the Epistle to the Hebrews, The Gospel of Truth alternates doctrinal exposition with paraenesis and like that canonical work, it reflects on the significance of the salvific work of Jesus from a special theological perspective.

The Gospel of Truth's combination of literary and conceptual sophistication with genuine religious feeling suggests much better than the rather dry accounts of Gnostic systems in the heresiologists why the teaching of Valentinus and his school had such an appeal for many Christians of the 2nd century.

Gospel of the Twelve - east of Jordan 100-150 CE

Nothing from the Gospel of the Twelve (Apostles) survives to us. The book is mentioned by Origen, Ambrose, Jerome, Philip of Side, Venerable Bede, and Theophylactus.

The majority of critics today are inclined to identify it with the Gospel of the Ebionites, of which fragments quoted by Epiphanius survive. This Gospel is of the synoptic type and was probably written in the 1st half of the 2nd century in the region east of Jordan

Gospel of Peter  70 -160 CE

Down to 1886 scholars were aware of a Gospel of Peter, but not so much as a single quotation from it was known. Origen casually refers to it in his Commentary on Matthew (10.17) when discussing the brethren of Jesus, and Eusebius records the negative opinion expressed by Bishop Serapion of Antioch after he had read a copy of this apocryphal gospel:

... most of it is indeed in accordance with the true teaching of the Savior, but some things are additions to that teaching, which items also we place below for your benefit.

Unfortunately, Eusebius, to whom we are indebted for a copy of this part of Serapion's letter, did not quote the specific points which the bishop found objectionable; he apparently brought it into connection with 'Docetists'. In another place, Eusebius classifies the Gospel of Peter as one of the heretical writings.

In the winter of 1886-7 a large fragment of the Greek text of the Gospel of Peter was discovered in a tomb of a monk at Akhmîm in Upper Egypt. It is a manuscript from the 8th century - an online is available. A smaller 2nd-3rd century fragment was discovered later at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt.

The text, which is translated in Schneemelcher  v. 1 pp. 223-226, tells of the passion, death, and burial of Jesus, and embellishes the account of his resurrection with details concerning the miracles that followed. The responsibility for Christ's death is laid exclusively on the Jews, and Pilate is exonerated. Here and there we find traces of the Docetic heresy, and perhaps this is the reason why Jesus' cry of dereliction on the cross is given in the form 'My Power, my Power, why have you forsaken me?'.

Written probably in Syria between 100-130 CE the Gospel of Peter shows acquaintance with all 4 canonical Gospels but seems, in general, to have taken only limited notice of them. According to the investigation made by  Denker pp. 58-77, it appears that almost every sentence of the passion narrative was composed on the basis of Scriptural references in the Old Testament, particularly in Isaiah and the Psalms. He argues that the work is a product of Jewish Christianity written sometime between the two Jewish uprisings.


Gospel of Basilides  -Alexandria, 117-138 CE

Nothing from the Gospel of Basilides survives to us. The book is mentioned by Origen, Jerome, Ambrose, Philip of Side, and Venerable Bede.

Basilides was a scholarly Gnostic who taught in Alexandria during the reign of Emperor Hadrian 117-138 CE. In the 130s he wrote the Exegetica, a considerable work comprising 24 books of which only a few fragments have been preserved in quotes from  Clement, Origen, and Irenaeus. From these fragments some scholars have put forth conjectures on what this Gospel may be like, but all of them must remain uncertain.

Gospel of the Egyptians  Egypt, 100-150 CE

All that survives to us from the 'Gospel of the Egyptians' are several quotations made by Clement, Hippolytus, and Epiphanius. It was probably written in the first half of the first century (in Greek) and in Egypt, and its purpose was to promote doctrines held by the Encratites (such as rejection of marriage). Some of the sayings clearly demand sexual asceticism and the elimination of the sexual differences between male and female, a doctrine that is presented in other Gnostic writings from Egypt, e.g. Logia 37 and 114 of the  Gospel of Thomas.


Gospel of the Hebrews   Egypt, mid 2nd century CE

All that survives to us from the 'Gospel of the Hebrews' are several quotations made by Clement, Origen, Jerome, and Cyril of Jerusalem. Jerome took a lively interest in this book, an Aramaic copy of which he found in the famous library at Caesarea in Palestine. More than once he tells us (and with great pride) that he made translations of it into Greek and Latin. Unfortunately, these translations have been lost. According to the Stichometry of Nicephorus, it comprised 2200 lines, which is only 300 fewer than the length of the Gospel according to Matthew.

The time and place of origin are disputed, but since Clement used it in the last quarter of the 2nd century, it is usually dated to about the middle of that century. Egypt is indicated as its place of origin by the fact that its principal witnesses are the Alexandrians Clement and Origen, by the religio-historical character of two of the fragments, and by the conception of Jesus as the Son of the Holy Spirit, which is documented for Egypt by the Coptic Epistle of James. The original language of the gospel suggests that it was drawn up for Hebrew and Aramaic-speaking Jewish Christians in Palestine and Syria.

Gospel of Matthias  Alexandria, 100-150 CE

Nothing from the Gospel of Matthias survives to us. The book is mentioned by Origen, Eusebius, Ambrose, Jerome, and the Venerable Bede. It also appears in two lists: the 6th century South Gallic list known as the Decretum Gelasianum, and the 7th-century Byzantine list known as The Catalogue of the Sixty Canonical Books.

The Gospel of Matthias was probably written in the 1st half of the 2nd century in Alexandria, or at any rate in Egypt. It may be the same as the Traditions of Matthias.

Traditions of Matthias  Alexandria 100-150 CE

The Traditions of Matthias survives today only in fragments as quotations from Clement. These quotations, except for the second, have no marked gnostic character.

The Traditions of Matthias was probably written in the 1st half of the 2nd century in Alexandria, or at any rate in Egypt. It may be the same as the  Gospel of Matthias.

Preaching of Peter   Kerygma Petri - Egypt, early 2nd century CE

The Preaching of Peter (Kerygma Petri or simply KP) survives today only in fragments as quotations from Clement and Origen.  Clement quotes from it approvingly, but Origen does not. The small amount of extant text makes it almost impossible to voice any conjectures about the structure of this work. One can probably demonstrate a connection in terms of content between individual fragments, but a coherent text cannot be reconstructed out of this. It is also scarcely possible to show the original sequence of the fragments.

The KP is to be understood as a combination of ideas which occur in the New Testament (e.g. I Thess. 1:9f, Rom. 1:18ff; Acts 17) with elements which derive from Jewish apologetic. The significance of the KP seems to lie in the fact that here we have a middle term in the preaching tradition between the early Christian missionary preaching, which has left traces for example in Acts, and the Greek apologetic. It is the more regrettable that so few fragments of this important document have survived.

Acts of Andrew  150 - 200 CE

The oldest direct mention of the Acts of Andrew is by Eusebius who lists it among the writings that are written by heretics and are absurd and impious. The Coptic Papyrus Utrecht I, which contains a translation of a section from the Acts of Andrew, confirms that it was known in Egypt in the 4th century (the papyrus is dated to this period). In his Panarion Epiphanius reports that the writing was used by the Encratites, the Apostolici, and the Origenists. The Acts of Andrew was probably written in the second half of the 2nd century. The place of origin is unknown.

Between the 3rd and the 9th century it became known and read everywhere, in Africa, Egypt, Palestine, Syria, Armenia, Asia Minor, Greece, Italy, Gaul, and Spain. It was particularly successful in circles of a dualistic and ascetic tendency, especially among the Manicheans and Priscillianists. It was condemned in the Decretum Gelasianum,  but this did not result in its disappearance. Rather it lived on in the form of revisions and extracts. The trail vanishes in the West in the 6th century, in the East in the 9th.

The Acts of Andrew has not come down to us in the primary form of their original Greek text. The English translation in Schneemelcher v. 2 pp. 118-151 is taken from these witnesses:

Liber de miraculis by Gregory of Tourscomplete except for suppressed speeches
P. Utrech 1 (Coptic)corresponds to c. 18 of the previous work
Armenian Martyrdomfinal part
5 Greek recensionsfinal part
Extracts handed down in Greekvarious fragments

Acts of Paul - Asia Minor, 285-195 CE

The Acts of Paul is a romance that makes arbitrary use of the canonical Acts and the Pauline Epistles. Many manuscripts have survived, there is an English translation in Sheneemelcher v. 2 pp. 237-265, but there is not yet a critical edition. The canon list in the 6th century codex Calromontanus includes it with an indication that it contains 3560 lines, somewhat longer than the canonical Acts with 2600 lines.

The author, so Tertullian tells us, was a cleric who lived in the Roman province of Asia in the western part of Asia Minor, and who composed the book about 170 CE with the avowed intent of doing honor to the Apostle Paul. Although well-intentioned, the author was brought up for trial by his peers and, being convicted of falsifying the facts, was dismissed from his office. But his book, though condemned by ecclesiastical leaders, achieved considerable popularity among the laity.

Certain episodes in the Acts of Paul, such as the 'Journeys of Paul and Thecla', exist in a number of Greek manuscripts and in half a dozen ancient versions. Thecla was a noble-born virgin from Iconium and an enthusiastic follower of the Apostle; she preached like a missionary and administered baptism. It was the administration of baptism by a woman that scandalized Tertullian and led him to condemn the entire book. In this section we find a description of the physical appearance of Paul:

A man small in size, with a bald head and crooked legs; in good health; with eyebrows that met and a rather prominent nose; full of grace, for sometimes he looked like a man and sometimes he looked like an angel.

Another episode concerns the Apostle and the baptized lion. Although previously known from allusions to it in patristic writers, it was not until 1936 that the complete text was made available from a recently discovered Greek papyrus. Probably the imaginative writer had read Paul's rhetorical question: 'What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with the wild beasts at Ephesus?' (I Cor. 15:32). Wishing to supply details to supplement this allusion, the author supplies a thrilling account of the intrepid apostle's experience at Ephesus. Interest is added when the reader learns that some time earlier in the wilds of the countryside Paul had preached to that very lion and, on its profession of faith, had baptized it. It is not surprising that the outcome of the confrontation in the amphitheater was the miraculous release of the apostle.


Acts of John    Ephesus, 150-200 CE

The Acts of John purports to give an eyewitness account of the missionary work of the apostle John in and around Ephesus; it may therefore be of Ephesian provenance. It probably dates to the 2nd half of the 2nd century. Although no complete text is extant, we have considerable portions in Greek and in Latin. The Stichometry of Nicephorus gives its length as 2500 lines, the same number as for the Gospel according to Matthew. An English translation is in Schennemelcher v. 2 pp. 172-212.

The author of the Acts of John, said to be Leucius, a real or fictitious companion of the apostle John, narrates his miracles, sermons, and death. The sermons display unmistakable Docetic tendencies, especially in the description of Jesus and the immateriality of his body:

.... Sometimes when I meant to touch him [Jesus], I met with a material and solid body; but at other times when I felt him, his substance was immaterial and incorporeal, as if it did not exist at all ... And I often wished, as I walked with him, to see his footprint, whether it appeared on the ground (for I saw him as it were raised up from the earth), and I never saw it. (§ 93)

The author also relates that Jesus was constantly changing shape, appearing sometimes as a small boy, sometimes as a beautiful man; sometimes bald-headed with a long beard, sometimes as a youth with a pubescent beard (§ 87-89).

The book includes a long hymn (§ 94-96), which no doubt was once used as a liturgical song (with response) in some Johannine communities. Before he goes to die, Jesus gathers his apostles in a circle, and, while holding one another's hands as they circle in a dance around him, he sings a hymn to the Father. The terminology of the hymn is closely related to that of the Johannine Gospel, especially its prologue. At the same time, the author gives the whole a Docetic cast.

Besides presenting theologically-oriented teaching, the author knows how to spin strange and entertaining stories. There is for example, the lengthy account of the devout Drusiana and her ardent lover Callimachus in a sepulchre (§ 63-86), which was no doubt intended to provide Christians with an alternative to the widely-read libidinous story of the Ephesian widow and the guard at her late husband's tomb. For a lighter touch the author entertains his readers with the droll incident of the bedbugs (§ 60-61).

Although the Acts of John is without importance for the historical Jesus and the apostle John, it is nevertheless valuable for tracing the development of popular Christianity. It is, for example, the oldest source recording the celebration of the Eucharist for the dead (§ 72).

The Acts of John may have been composed by a member of the Hellenistic cultivated classes, who drew upon various literary genuses and in so doing, without any specific attachment to a concrete community, sought to propagate a Christianity as he understood it, as the expression of certain aspirations of a philosophical attitude to the world which he had held even before his conversion.


Epistle to the Laodiceans   - close to the 3rd century CE

At the close of the Epistle to the Colossians this request is made of its recipients:

When this epistle has been read among you, have it read also in the church of the Laodiceans; and see that you read the epistle from Laodicea. (Col. 4:16)

This tantalizing reference, though somewhat ambiguous as to who wrote whom (see Lightfoot for a discussion), offers a tempting invitation to some unknown author to provide the text of an Epistle of Paul to the Laodiceans, who were the neighbors of the congregation at Colossae.

The epistle discussed below is probably not the one mentioned in the Muratorian Canon, see pp. 42-44 v. 2 of  Schneemelcher for discussion of this unsettled matter. Composed perhaps at the close of the 3rd century, by the 4th century Jerome reports that 'some read the Epistle to the Laodiceans, but it is rejected by everyone' (De viris ill. 5). Of all the spurious pieces produced in the early Church, this is one of the most feeble. It is mystifying how it could have commanded so much respect in the Western Church for period of 1000 years. Comprising only 20 verses, the epistle is a pedestrian patchwork of phrases and sentences plagiarized from the genuine Pauline Epistles, particularly Philippians. After the author has expressed his joy at the faith and virtue of the Laodiceans, he warns them against heretics, and exhorts them to remain faithful to Christian doctrines and the Christian pattern of life. The epistle purports to have been written from prison.

There is no evidence of a Greek text. The epistle appears in more than 100 manuscripts of the Latin Vulgate (including the oldest, the celebrated codex Fuldensis, 546 CE), as well as in manuscripts of early Albigensian, Bohemian, English, and Flemish versions. At the close of the 10th century Aelfric, a monk in Dorset, wrote a treatise in Anglo-Saxon on the Old and New Testaments, in which he states that the apostle Paul wrote 15 Epistles. In his enumeration of them he place Laodiceans after Philemon. About 1165 CE John of Salisbury, writing about the canon to Henry count of Champagne (Epist. 209), acknowledges that 'it is the common, indeed almost universal, opinion that there are only 14 Epistles of Paul ... But the 15th is that which is written to the church of the Laodiceans'.

The Epistle to the Laodiceans is included in all 18 German Bibles printed prior to Luther's translation, beginning with the first German Bible, issued by Johann Mental at Strassburg in 1488. In these the Pauline Epistles, with the Epistle to the Hebrews, immediately follow the Gospels, with Laodiceans standing between Galatians and Ephesians. In the first Czech (Bohemian) Bible, published at Prague in 1488 and reprinted several times in the 16th and 17th centuries, Laodiceans follows Colossians and precedes I Thessalonians. Thus, as Bishop Lightfoot phrased it:

... for more than nine centuries this forged epistle hovered about the doors of the sacred Canon, without either finding admission or being peremptorily excluded. (Lightfoot p. 297)

It was not until the Council of Florence (1439-43) that the See of Rome delivered for the first time a categorical opinion on the Scriptural canon. In the list of 27 books of the New Testament there are 14 Pauline Epistles, that to the Hebrews being last, with the book of Acts coming immediately before the Revelation of John. The Epistle to the Laodiceans is not even mentioned.

Epistle to the Laodiceans

1. Paul, an apostle not of men and not through man, but through Jesus Christ, to the brethren who are in Laodicea: 2. Grace to you and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. 3. I thank Christ in all my prayer that you are steadfast in him and persevering in his works, in expectation of the promise for the day of judgment. 4. And may you not be deceived by the vain talk of some people who tell (you) tales that they may lead you away from the truth of the gospel which is proclaimed by me. 5. And now may God grant that those who come from me for the furtherance of the truth of the gospel (...) may be able to serve and to do good works for the well-being of eternal life. 6. And now my bonds are manifest, which I suffer in Christ, on account of which I am glad and rejoice. 7. This ministers to me unto eternal salvation, which (itself) is effected through your prayers and by the help of the Holy Spirit, whether it be through life or through death. 8. For my life is in Christ and to die is joy (to me). 9. An this will his mercy work in you, that you may have the same love and be of one mind. 10. Therefore, beloved, as you have heard my presence, so hold fast and do in the fear of God, and eternal life will be your portion. 11. For it is God who works in you. 12. And do without hesitation what you do. 13. And for the rest, beloved, rejoice in Christ and beware of those who are out for sordid gain. 14. May all your requests be manifest before God, and be yea steadfast in the mind of Christ. 15. And what is pure, true, proper, just and lovely, do. 16. And what you have heard and received, hold in your heart and peace will be with you. [17. Salute all the brethren with the holy kiss.] 18. The Saints salute you. 19. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. 20. And see that this epistle is read to the Colossians and that of the Colossians among you.

(translation from pp. 43-44 v 2. of Schneemelcher)

And from the Vulgate:

Epistula ad Laodicaeos

1:1 Paulus apostolus non ab hominibus neque per hominem sed per Iesum Christum, fratribus qui sunt Laodiciae. 1:2 gratia vobis et pax a Deo Patre et Domino Iesu Christo. 1:3 gratias ago Christo per omnem orationem meam, quod permanentes estis in eo et perseverantes in operibus eius, promissum expectantes in diem iudicii. 1:4 neque destituant vos quorundam vaniloquia insinuantium, ut vos evertant a veritate evangelii quod a me praedicatur. 1:5 et nunc faciet Deus, ut qui sunt ex me ad profectum veritatis evangelii deservientes et facientes benignitatem operum quae salutis vitae aeternae 1:6 et nunc palam sunt vincula mea quae patior in Christo; quibus laetor et gaudeo. 1:7 et hoc mihi est ad salutem perpetuam; quod ipsum factum orationibus vestris et administrantem Spiritum Sanctum, sive per vitam sive per mortem. 1:8 est enim mihi vere vita in Christo et mori gaudium. 1:9 et in ipsum in vobis faciet misericordiam suam, ut eandem dilectionem habeatis et sitis unianimes. 1:10 ergo, dilectissimi, ut audistis praesentia mei, ita retinete et facite in timore Dei, et erit vobis vita in aeternum; 1:11 est enim Deus qui operatur in vos. 1:12 et facite sine retractu quaecumque facitis. 1:13 et quod est, dilectissimi, gaudete in Christo. et praecavete sordidos in lucro. 1:14 omnes sint petitiones vestrae palam apud Deum. et estote firmi in sensu Christi. 1:15 et quae integra et vera et pudica et iusta et amabilia facite. 1:16 et quae audistis et accepistis, in corde retinete, et erit vobis pax. 1:17 salutate omnes fratres in osculo sancto. 1:18 salutant vos sancti. 1:19 gratia Domini Iesu cum spiritu vestro. 1:20 et facite legi Colosensium vobis.

(from The World)



I Clement   95-96 CE

The letter from the Christians in Rome to their fellow believers in Corinth known as I Clement is one of the earliest extant Christian documents outside the New Testament. There is widespread agreement in dating this letter 95-96 CE, in the year of the emperor Domitian or the first of his successor, Nerva. The letter reveals something of both the circumstances and attitudes of the Roman Christians, and how they differ from those of their fellow Christians in Asia Minor to whom the Revelation of John was addressed. Whereas in the Revelation of John, Rome is presented as the great harlot whose attacks upon the Church must be resisted, in I Clement one finds a much more positive view of the Roman government, and the elements of peace, harmony, and order that are so important to the author of this letter reflect some of the fundamental values of Roman society.

While the letter, which was sent on behalf of the whole church, does not name its writer, well-attested ancient tradition identifies it as the work of Clement, although precisely who he is is not clear. Tradition identifies him as the 3rd bishop of Rome after Peter, but this is unlikely because the office of monarchical bishop, in the sense intended by this later tradition, does not appear to have existed in Rome at this time.

Despite the popularity of this document in antiquity, relatively few manuscripts have survived. It was not until 1873 that a complete copy of the text was discovered by Bryennios in codex Hierosolymitanus that also includes II Clement, Epistle of Barnabas, and the Didache. The sources for the English translation in LHH 28-64 are:

  • codex Alexandrinus (5th century, lacks 57.7-63.4)
  • codex Hierosolymitanus (1056 CE)
  • Latin translation (in a single 11th century MS)
  • Syriac translation (in a New Testament MS, 1169-70 CE)
  • Coptic translation (in 2 MSS, 4th and 7th century)


Epostle of Barnabas    Alexandria 70-135 CE

The Epistle of Barnabas is a theological tract (not an epistle) that discusses questions that have confronted the followers of Jesus since the earliest days of his ministry: How ought Christians to interpret the Jewish Scriptures? What is the nature of the relationship between Christianity and Judaism?

Writing at a time when the level of antagonism between church and synagogue still ran high, the anonymous author of the "epistle" is concerned to prove that the death of Christ on the cross is a sacrifice that fulfills a plan set forth in the Old Testament (9.7-9). Throughout his interpretation of the Old Testament he takes a radically anti-Jewish attitude that was unique in primitive Christian literature. In a sustained attack upon Judaism, the writer declares that the distinctive enactments of the Mosaic Law, including animal sacrifices and the material temple, are mistakes arising from Jewish blindness and reliance upon an evil angel (9.4). By means of allegorical interpretation he imposes upon the Old Testament, including even the dietary laws in Leviticus, a meaning totally foreign to the intention of the original authors. The author attempts to show that only Christians understand the true meaning of the Scriptures (10.12) and that they are the true and intended heirs of God's covenant. In short, the Epistle of Barnabas is a good and early example of what became the dominant method of interpreting the Bible in the early and medieval church.

It is generally agreed that the author was from Alexandria, in view of his fondness of the allegorical approach for which Alexandria was well-known and the fact that all the earliest evidence for the existence of the document derives from there. It appears to have been written after the destruction of the temple in Jerusalem in 70 CE (16.3-5) but before the city was rebuilt by Hadrian following the revolt of 132-135 CE. Within these limits it is not possible to be more precise.

The text has been reconstructed on the basis of the following witnesses:

  • codex Sinaiticus 4th. c. (Greek)
  • codex Hierosolymitanus 1056 CE (Greek)
  • 9 late related MSS (Greek)
  • a papyrus fragment of 9.1-6 (Greek)
  • translation of chapters 1-17 only (Latin)


Didache   about 70CE

The Didache ("The Teaching") is one of the most fascinating yet perplexing documents to emerge from the early church. The title (in ancient times "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles") was known from references to it by Athanasius, Didymus, and Eusebius, and Serapion of Thmuis (4th century) has a quotation from it in his Eucharistic prayer Richardson p. 163. But no copy was known until 1873, when Bryennios discovered the codex Hierosolymitanus, which contained the full text of the Didache which he published in 1883. Since then it has been the focus of scholarly attention to an extent quite out of proportion to its modest length. Yet such basic information as who wrote and where and when remain as much as mystery as when it was first discovered.

The document is composed of two parts: (1) instruction about the "Two Ways", and (2) a manual of church order and practice. The "Two Ways" material appears to have been intended as a summary of basic instruction about the Christian life to be taught to those who were preparing for baptism and church membership. In its present form it represents the Christianization of a common Jewish form of moral instruction. Similar material is found in a number of other Christian writings from the 1st to the 5th centuries, e.g. the Epistle of Barnabas, the Didascalia, the Apostolic Church Ordinances, the Summary of Doctrine, the Apostolic Constitutions, the Life of Schnudi, and On the Teaching of the Apostles (or Doctrina), some of which are dependent on the Didache. The interrelationships between these documents has not been completely worked out.

The second part consists of instructions about food, baptism, fasting, prayer, the Eucharist, and various offices and positions of leadership. In addition to providing the earliest evidence of a mode of baptism other than immersion, it records the oldest known Christian Eucharist prayers and a form of the Lord's Prayer quite similar to that found in the Gospel according to Matthew.

The document closes with a brief apocalyptic section that has much in common with the so-called Synoptic Apocalypse (Mark 13; Matthew 24-25; Luke 24).

Dating the Didache is difficult because there is a lack of hard evidence and it is a composite document. It may have been put into its present form as late as 150 CE, though a date considerably closer to the end of the 1st century seems more probable. The materials from which it was composed, however, reflect the state of the church at an even earlier time. A very thorough commentary, Audet, suggests about 70 CE and he is not likely to be off by more than a decade.

Egypt or Syria are mentioned most often as possible places of origin, but the evidence is indirect and circumstantial. The reference to "mountains" (9.4) would appear to suggest a Syrian (or Palestinian) provenance. The final editing, however, may have occurred elsewhere.

The English translation in LHH pp. 149-158 is taken from these witnesses:

codex Hierosolymitanus 1056 CE (Greek)complete
translation, 5th century MS (Coptic)10.3b-12.2a
a papyrus fragment of 9.1-6 (Georgian)complete
translation, 3rd century? MS (Latin)Two Ways

Shepherd of Hermas   mid 2nd Century CE

The Shepherd of Hermas was one of the most popular books produced in the early Church, and for a time it was frequently quoted and regarded as inspired. The book is a picturesque religious allegory, in most of which a rugged figure dressed like a shepherd is Hermas' guide. From this the book took its name, 'The Shepherd'. Comprising a rambling mélange of 5 Visions, 12 Mandates, and 10 Similitudes, the book is characterized by strong moral earnestness. It is primarily a call to repentance and adherence to a life of strict morality, addressed to Christians among whom the memory of persecution is still fresh., and over whom now hangs the shadow of another great tribulation.

The genre of Visions 1-4 is that of a Jewish-Christian apocalypse; except that the interpretation of the vision does not concern the end times, but the possibility of repentance because the end is not yet. The Mandates reflect the form of a typical Jewish-Hellenistic homily. The closest parallels to the Similitudes are the parables in the book of I Enoch. These parables, in which typically the telling of a parable is followed by a request for and granting of an interpretation, and finally blessings and curses upon those who either do or do not heed it, are more like allegorical similes than the more familiar parables of the synoptic Gospels.

The questions of date and authorship are still unresolved. Perhaps the least unsatisfactory resolution of the conflicting evidence is to suppose that Hermas was a younger contemporary of Clement and wrote (and perhaps published) sections of his rambling treatise at intervals over a considerable period of time, finally gathering them together in one volume toward the middle of the 2nd century. For more discussion of the evidence, see Metzger pp. 64-65 and LHH pp. 190-191.

The personality of Hermas is clearly revealed in the book. With garrulous naïveté he relates all manner of intimate details concerning himself and his family. We learn that, as a Christian slave, he had been sold in Rome to a woman called Rhoda, who set him free. As a freedman he married, acquired a fortune (though not always by lawful transaction), and through ill luck had again been reduced to poverty. He tells us that during the persecution his children apostasized, that they betrayed their own parents, and that they led a disorderly life. Hermas depicts himself as slow of understanding but insatiable in curiosity, and at the same time as 'patient and good tempered, and always smiling', 'full of all simplicity and of great guilelessness' (Vision 1.2). We may conclude that he was a simple man of limited outlook, but genuinely pious and conscientious.

The text of the Shepherd has not been well preserved. Only 3 incomplete Greek manuscripts and a number of small fragments have been discovered, and no Greek text is available for nearly all of 107.3-114.5. The major extant witnesses are:

codex Sinaiticus, 4th. c. (Greek)1.1-31.6
codex Athous, 14-15th c (Greek)1.1-107.2
P. Michigan 129, 3rd c., (Greek)51.8-82.1
Vulgate translation (Latin)the text used for 107.3-114.5
MS (Ethiopic) 

There are also many small fragments in Greek, and fragments of a Middle Persian translation have also been discovered. The book is fairly lengthy; an English translation can be found in LHH pp. 194-290.


Apocalypse of Peter  Egypt about 135 CE

The Apocalypse of Peter is best known for its lurid descriptions of the punishments of hell. It is an outstanding an ancient example of that type of writing by means of which the pictorial ideas of Heaven and Hell were taken over into the Christian Church. In contrast to the Revelation of John which displays the final struggle and triumph of Jesus Christ, its interest no longer lies on the person of the Redeemer, but on the situation in the after-life, on the description of different classes of sinner, on the punishment of the evil and the salvation of the righteous. If the Apocalypse of Peter as a book lost its meaning in time, the ideas represented in it lived on in various ways -- Sybyllines II; Apocalypse of Paul; apocalypsis seu visio Mariae virginis; right up to the full tide of description in Dante's Divina Commedia.

For the identification of the Apocalypse of Peter and the assessment of its significance and influence, the citations in the Church Fathers are particularly important. Theophilus of Antioch (about 180 CE) alludes to a verse of the Akhmîm fragment (see below).
Clement of Alexzandria (before 215) twice quotes chapters 4 and 5. Methodius of Olympus (about 311) once quotes chapter 8. Macarius Magnes (about 400) quotes chapters 4 and 5 once each.

The full text has been known to us for only a century. During the excavations instigated by S. Grébaut in the winter of 1886/87 in cemetery A at al-Hawawis in the desert necropolis of Akhmîm, parchment leaves of the Greek version were discovered in the grave of a Christian monk. In addition to this fragment of text, some further unpaginated leaves were found with parts of the Book of Enoch and the Gospel of Peter. The three texts, which are today in Cairo, are all from the same hand and were written in the 8th or 9th century. The Greek text, which occupies not quite half of the original book, was divided by Harnack into 34 verses. The identification of the text results from a quotation adduced by Cl;ement of Alexandria in his Eclogae Propheticae.

The Ethiopic translation has been known since 1910. A. Dillmann had already referred to the extensive Ethiopic translation of the Corpus Clementinum, which may go back to the 7th-8th century. S. Grébaut finally published Pseudo-Clementine literature from MS No 51 of the Abbadie collection, and added a French translation. It was however M. R. James who, in a fundamental study, first succeeded in classifying the Ethiopic text correctly.

We do not know the original text of the Apocalypse, the Greek and Ethiopic texts frequently diverge from each other.

The earliest possible date of origin can be determined through the date of 4 Esdras -- about 100 CE -- which was probably used in the Apocalypse of Peter and 2 Peter, the priority of which was demonstrated by F. Spitta. The latest possible date, using the quotations of Theophilus above, is 180. We thus come, with H.Weinel, if in interpreting the parable of the fig-tree in c. 2 we also relate the Jewish Antichrist who persecutes the Christians to Bar Chocba, to approximately the year 135 as the probable time of origin.

The Apocalypse presumably came into being in Egypt (c.f. Clement); the reference to Egyptian worship of animals also points in this direction. In this connection however we must refer above all to the ancient Egyptian Peter tradition. Starting from a first rendering into Coptic, the Ethiopic translation probably came into being - as usual - through Arabic versions. To this extent our Ethiopic text, linguistically not altogether unexceptional, is only the last in a series, with all the imponderables that entails.

In its description of heaven and hell the Apocalypse draws on the Orphic-Pythagorean mystery religions. The motif of the river of fire, certainly goes back to ancient Egypt. The ideas of the last judgment, the resurrection of the dead, the destruction of the world by fire, etc., are to be traced back, through the medium of Jewish Apocalyptic (the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Zephaniah, Wisdom of Solomon, etc.) to oriental origins.


 

Apocryphal Gospels


THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS

Translated by Rodolphe Kasser, Marvin Meyer, and Gregor Wurst, in collaboration with François Gaudard

INTRODUCTION: INCIPIT

The secret account of the revelation that Jesus spoke in conversation with Judas Iscariot during a week three days before he celebrated Passover.

THE EARTHLY MINISTRY OF JESUS

When Jesus appeared on earth, he performed miracles and great wonders for the salvation of humanity. And since some [walked] in the way of righteousness while others walked in their transgressions, the twelve disciples were called. 

He began to speak with them about the mysteries beyond the world and what would take place at the end. Often he did not appear to his disciples as himself, but he was found among them as a child.

SCENE 1: Jesus dialogues with his disciples: The prayer of thanksgiving or the eucharist

One day he was with his disciples in Judea, and he found them gathered together and seated in pious observance. When he [approached] his disciples, [34] gathered together and seated and offering a prayer of thanksgiving over the bread, [he] laughed. 

The disciples said to [him], “Master, why are you laughing at [our] prayer of thanksgiving? We have done what is right.” 

He answered and said to them, “I am not laughing at you. <You> are not doing this because of your own will but because it is through this that your god [will be] praised.” 

They said, “Master, you are […] the son of our god.” 

Jesus said to them, “How do you know me? Truly [I] say to you, no generation of the people that are among you will know me.”

THE DISCIPLES BECOME ANGRY

When his disciples heard this, they started getting angry and infuriated and began blaspheming against him in their hearts.

When Jesus observed their lack of [understanding, he said] to them, “Why has this agitation led you to anger? Your god who is within you and […] [35] have provoked you to anger [within] your souls. [Let] any one of you who is [strong enough] among human beings bring out the perfect human and stand before my face.”

They all said, “We have the strength.”

But their spirits did not dare to stand before [him], except for Judas Iscariot. He was able to stand before him, but he could not look him in the eyes, and he turned his face away.

Judas [said] to him, “I know who you are and where you have come from. You are from the immortal realm of Barbelo. And I am not worthy to utter the name of the one who has sent you.”

JESUS SPEAKS TO JUDAS PRIVATELY

Knowing that Judas was reflecting upon something that was exalted, Jesus said to him, “Step away from the others and I shall tell you the mysteries of the kingdom. It is possible for you to reach it, but you will grieve a great deal. [36] For someone else will replace you, in order that the twelve [disciples] may again come to completion with their god.”

Judas said to him, “When will you tell me these things, and [when] will the great day of light dawn for the generation?”

But when he said this, Jesus left him.

SCENE 2: Jesus appears to the disciples again

The next morning, after this happened, Jesus [appeared] to his disciples again.

They said to him, “Master, where did you go and what did you do when you left us?”

Jesus said to them, “I went to another great and holy generation.”

His disciples said to him, “Lord, what is the great generation that is superior to us and holier than us, that is not now in these realms?”

When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to them, “Why are you thinking in your hearts about the strong and holy generation? [37] Truly [I] say to you, no one born [of] this aeon will see that [generation], and no host of angels of the stars will rule over that generation, and no person of mortal birth can associate with it, because that generation does not come from […] which has become […]. The generation of people among [you] is from the generation of humanity […] power, which [… the] other powers […] by [which] you rule.”

When [his] disciples heard this, they each were troubled in spirit. They could not say a word.

Another day Jesus came up to [them]. They said to [him], “Master, we have seen you in a [vision], for we have had great [dreams …] night […].”

[He said], “Why have [you … when] <you> have gone into hiding?” [38]

THE DISCIPLES SEE THE TEMPLE AND DISCUSS IT

They [said, “We have seen] a great [house with a large] altar [in it, and] twelve men----they are the priests, we would say----and a name; and a crowd of people is waiting at that altar, [until] the priests [… and receive] the offerings. [But] we kept waiting.”

[Jesus said], “What are [the priests] like?”

They [said, “Some …] two weeks; [some] sacrifice their own children, others their wives, in praise [and] humility with each other; some sleep with men; some are involved in [slaughter]; some commit a multitude of sins and deeds of lawlessness. And the men who stand [before] the altar invoke your [name], [39] and in all the deeds of their deficiency, the sacrifices are brought to completion […].”

After they said this, they were quiet, for they were troubled.

JESUS OFFERS AN ALLEGORICAL INTERPRETATION OF THE VISION OF THE TEMPLE

Jesus said to them, “Why are you troubled? Truly I say to you, all the priests who stand before that altar invoke my name. Again I say to you, my name has been written on this […] of the generations of the stars through the human generations. [And they] have planted trees without fruit, in my name, in a shameful manner.”

Jesus said to them, “Those you have seen receiving the offerings at the altar----that is who you are. That is the god you serve, and you are those twelve men you have seen. The cattle you have seen brought for sacrifice are the many people you lead astray [40] before that altar. […] will stand and make use of my name in this way, and generations of the pious will remain loyal to him. After hi another man will stand there from [the fornicators], and another [will] stand there from the slayers of children, and another from those who sleep with men, and those who abstain, and the rest of the people of pollution and lawlessness and error, and those who say, ‘We are like angels’; they are the stars that bring everything to its conclusion. For to the human generations it has been said, ‘Look, God has received your sacrifice from the hands of a priest’----that is, a minister of error.

But it is the Lord, the Lord of the universe, who commands, ‘On the last day they will be put to shame.’” [41]

Jesus said [to them], “Stop sac[rificing …] which you have […] over the altar, since they are over your stars and your angels and have already come to their conclusion there. So let them be [ensnared] before you, and let them go [----about 15 lines missing----] generations […]. A baker cannot feed all creation [42] under [heaven]. And […] to them […] and […] to us and […].

Jesus said to them, “Stop struggling with me. Each of you has his own star, and every[body----about 17 lines missing----] [43] in […] who has come [… spring] for the tree […] of this aeon […] for a time […] but he has come to water God’s paradise, and the [generation] that will last, because [he] will not defile the [walk of life of] that generation, but […] for all eternity.”

JUDAS ASKS JESUS ABOUT THAT GENERATION AND HUMAN GENERATIONS

Judas said to [him, “Rabb]i, what kind of fruit does this generation produce?”

Jesus said, “The souls of every human generation will die. When these people, however, have completed the time of the kingdom and the spirit leaves them, their bodies will die but their souls will be alive, and they will be taken up.”

Judas said, “And what will the rest of the human generations do?”

Jesus said, “It is impossible [44] to sow seed on [rock] and harvest its fruit. [This] is also the way […] the [defiled] generation […] and corruptible Sophia […] the hand that has created mortal people, so that their souls go up to the eternal realms above. [Truly] I say to you, […] angel […] power will be able to see that […] these to whom […] holy generations […].”

After Jesus said this, he departed.

SCENE 3: Judas recounts a vision and Jesus responds

Judas said, “Master, as you have listened to all of them, now also listen to me. For I have seen a great vision.”

When Jesus heard this, he laughed and said to him, “You thirteenth spirit, why do you try so hard? But speak up, and I shall bear with you.”

Judas said to him, “In the vision I saw myself as the twelve disciples were stoning me and [45] persecuting [me severely]. And I also came to the place where […] after you. I saw [a house …], and my eyes could not [comprehend] its size. Great people were surrounding it, and that house <had> a roof of greenery, and in the middle of the house was [a crowd----two lines missing----], saying, ‘Master, take me in along with these people.’”

[Jesus] answered and said, “Judas, your star has led you astray.” He continued, “No person of mortal birth is worthy to enter the house you have seen, for that place is reserved for the holy. Neither the sun nor the moon will rule there, nor the day, but the holy will abide there always, in the eternal realm with the holy angels. Look, I have explained to you the mysteries of the kingdom [46] and I have taught you about the error of the stars; and […] send it […] on the twelve aeons.”

JUDAS ASKS ABOUT HIS OWN FATE

Judas said, “Master, could it be that my seed is under the control of the rulers?”

Jesus answered and said to him, “Come, that I [----two lines missing----], but that you will grieve much when you see the kingdom and all its generation.”

When he heard this, Judas said to him, “What good is it that I have received it? For you have set me apart for that generation.”

Jesus answered and said, “You will become the thirteenth, and you will be cursed by the other generations----and you will come to rule over them. In the last days they will curse your ascent [47] to the holy [generation].”

JESUS TEACHES JUDAS ABOUT COSMOLOGY: THE SPIRIT AND THE SELF-GENERATED

Jesus said, “[Come], that I may teach you about [secrets] no person [has] ever seen. For there exists a great and boundless realm, whose extent no generation of angels has seen, [in which] there is [a] great invisible [Spirit], which no eye of an angel has ever seen, no thought of the heart has ever comprehended, and it was never called by any name.

“And a luminous cloud appeared there. He said, ‘Let an angel come into being as my attendant.’

“A great angel, the enlightened divine Self-Generated, emerged from the cloud. Because of him, four other angels came into being from another cloud, and they became attendants for the angelic Self-Generated. The Self-Generated said, [48] ‘Let […] come into being […],’ and it came into being […]. And he [created] the first luminary to reign over him. He said, ‘Let angels come into being to serve [him],’ and myriads without number came into being. He said, ‘[Let] an enlightened aeon come into being,’ and he came into being. He created the second luminary [to] reign over him, together with myriads of angels without number, to offer service. That is how he created the rest of the enlightened aeons. He made them reign over them, and he created for them myriads of angels without number, to assist them.

ADAMAS AND THE LUMINARIES

“Adamas was in the first luminous cloud that no angel has ever seen among all those called ‘God.’ He [49] […] that […] the image […] and after the likeness of [this] angel. He made the incorruptible [generation] of Seth appear […] the twelve […] the twentyfour […]. He made seventy-two luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit. The seventy-two luminaries themselves made three hundred sixty luminaries appear in the incorruptible generation, in accordance with the will of the Spirit, that their number should be five for each.

“The twelve aeons of the twelve luminaries constitute their father, with six heavens for each aeon, so that there are seventy-two heavens for the seventy-two luminaries, and for each [50] [of them five] firmaments, [for a total of] three hundred sixty [firmaments …]. They were given authority and a [great] host of angels [without number], for glory and adoration, [and after that also] virgin spirits, for glory and [adoration] of all the aeons and the heavens and their firmaments.

THE COSMOS, CHAOS, AND THE UNDERWORLD

“The multitude of those immortals is called the cosmos---- that is, perdition----by the Father and the seventy-two luminaries who are with the Self-Generated and his seventytwo aeons. In him the first human appeared with his incorruptible powers. And the aeon that appeared with his generation, the aeon in whom are the cloud of knowledge and the angel, is called [51] El. […] aeon […] after that […] said, ‘Let twelve angels come into being [to] rule over chaos and the [underworld].’ And look, from the cloud there appeared an [angel] whose face flashed with fire and whose appearance was defiled with blood. His name was Nebro, which means ‘rebel’; others call him Yaldabaoth. Another angel, Saklas, also came from the cloud. So Nebro created six angels----as well as Saklas----to be assistants, and these produced twelve angels in the heavens, with each one receiving a portion in the heavens.

THE RULERS AND ANGELS

“The twelve rulers spoke with the twelve angels: ‘Let each of you [52] […] and let them […] generation [----one line lost----] angels’: The first is [S]eth, who is called Christ.

The [second] is Harmathoth, who is […].

The [third] is Galila.

The fourth is Yobel.

The fifth [is] Adonaios.

These are the five who ruled over the underworld, and first of all over chaos.

THE CREATION OF HUMANITY

“Then Saklas said to his angels, ‘Let us create a human being after the likeness and after the image.’ They fashioned Adam and his wife Eve, who is called, in the cloud, Zoe. For by this name all the generations seek the man, and each of them calls the woman by these names. Now, Sakla did not [53] com[mand …] except […] the gene[rations …] this […]. And the [ruler] said to Adam, ‘You shall live long, with your children.’”

JUDAS ASKS ABOUT THE DESTINY OF ADAM AND HUMANITY

Judas said to Jesus, “[What] is the long duration of time that the human being will live?”

Jesus said, “Why are you wondering about this, that Adam, with his generation, has lived his span of life in the place where he has received his kingdom, with longevity with his ruler?”

Judas said to Jesus, “Does the human spirit die?”

Jesus said, “This is why God ordered Michael to give the spirits of people to them as a loan, so that they might offer service, but the Great One ordered Gabriel to grant spirits to the great generation with no ruler over it----that is, the spirit and the soul. Therefore, the [rest] of the souls [54] [----one line missing----].

JESUS DISCUSSES THE DESTRUCTION OF THE WICKED WITH JUDAS AND OTHERS

“[…] light [----nearly two lines missing----] around […] let […] spirit [that is] within you dwell in this [flesh] among the generations of angels. But God caused knowledge to be [given] to Adam and those with him, so that the kings of chaos and the underworld might not lord it over them.”

Judas said to Jesus, “So what will those generations do?”

Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, for all of them the stars bring matters to completion. When Saklas completes the span of time assigned for him, their first star will appear with the generations, and they will finish what they said they would do. Then they will fornicate in my name and slay their children [55] and they will […] and [----about six and a half lines missing----] my name, and he will […] your star over the [thir]teenth aeon.”

After that Jesus [laughed].

[Judas said], “Master, [why are you laughing at us]?”

[Jesus] answered [and said], “I am not laughing [at you] but at the error of the stars, because these six stars wander about with these five combatants, and they all will be destroyed along with their creatures.”

JESUS SPEAKS OF THOSE WHO ARE BAPTIZED, AND JUDAS’S BETRAYAL

Judas said to Jesus, “Look, what will those who have been baptized in your name do?” 

Jesus said, “Truly I say [to you], this baptism [56] […] my name [----about nine lines missing----] to me. Truly [I] say to you, Judas, [those who] offer sacrifices to Saklas […] God [----three lines missing----] everything that is evil.

“But you will exceed all of them. For you will sacrifice the man that clothes me. Already your horn has been raised, your wrath has been kindled, your star has shown brightly, and your heart has […]. [57]

“Truly […] your last […] become [----about two and a half lines missing----], grieve [----about two lines missing----] the ruler, since he will be destroyed. And then the image of the great generation of Adam will be exalted, for prior to heaven, earth, and the angels, that generation, which is from the eternal realms, exists. Look, you have been told everything. Lift up your eyes and look at the cloud and the light within it and the stars surrounding it. The star that leads the way is your star.”

Judas lifted up his eyes and saw the luminous cloud, and he entered it. Those standing on the ground heard a voice coming from the cloud, saying, [58] […] great generation […] … image […] [----about five lines missing----].

CONCLUSION: JUDAS BETRAYS JESUS

[…] Their high priests murmured because [he] had gone into the guest room for his prayer. But some scribes were there watching carefully in order to arrest him during the prayer, for they were afraid of the people, since he was regarded by all as a prophet. They approached Judas and said to him, “What are you doing here? You are Jesus’ disciple.”

Judas answered them as they wished. And he received some money and handed him over to them.

THE GOSPEL OF JUDAS

 

 

The Gospel of Thomas

The Gospel of Thomas


Translated by Stephen Patterson and Marvin Meyer

 

These are the secret sayings that the living Jesus spoke and Didymos Judas Thomas recorded.

1. And he said, "Whoever discovers the interpretation of these sayings will not taste death."

2. Jesus said, "Those who seek should not stop seeking until they find. When they find, they will be disturbed. When they are disturbed, they will marvel, and will reign over all. [And after they have reigned they will rest.]"

3. Jesus said, "If your leaders say to you, 'Look, the (Father's) kingdom is in the sky,' then the birds of the sky will precede you. If they say to you, 'It is in the sea,' then the fish will precede you. Rather, the (Father's) kingdom is within you and it is outside you.

When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father. But if you do not know yourselves, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty."

4. Jesus said, "The person old in days won't hesitate to ask a little child seven days old about the place of life, and that person will live.

For many of the first will be last, and will become a single one."

5. Jesus said, "Know what is in front of your face, and what is hidden from you will be disclosed to you.

For there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed. [And there is nothing buried that will not be raised.]"

6. His disciples asked him and said to him, "Do you want us to fast? How should we pray? Should we give to charity? What diet should we observe?"

Jesus said, "Don't lie, and don't do what you hate, because all things are disclosed before heaven. After all, there is nothing hidden that will not be revealed, and there is nothing covered up that will remain undisclosed."

7. Jesus said, "Lucky is the lion that the human will eat, so that the lion becomes human. And foul is the human that the lion will eat, and the lion still will become human."

8. And he said, "The person is like a wise fisherman who cast his net into the sea and drew it up from the sea full of little fish. Among them the wise fisherman discovered a fine large fish. He threw all the little fish back into the sea, and easily chose the large fish. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

9. Jesus said, "Look, the sower went out, took a handful (of seeds), and scattered (them). Some fell on the road, and the birds came and gathered them. Others fell on rock, and they didn't take root in the soil and didn't produce heads of grain. Others fell on thorns, and they choked the seeds and worms ate them. And others fell on good soil, and it produced a good crop: it yielded sixty per measure and one hundred twenty per measure."

10. Jesus said, "I have cast fire upon the world, and look, I'm guarding it until it blazes."

11. Jesus said, "This heaven will pass away, and the one above it will pass away.

The dead are not alive, and the living will not die. During the days when you ate what is dead, you made it come alive. When you are in the light, what will you do? On the day when you were one, you became two. But when you become two, what will you do?"

12. The disciples said to Jesus, "We know that you are going to leave us. Who will be our leader?"

Jesus said to them, "No matter where you are you are to go to James the Just, for whose sake heaven and earth came into being."

13. Jesus said to his disciples, "Compare me to something and tell me what I am like."

Simon Peter said to him, "You are like a just messenger."

Matthew said to him, "You are like a wise philosopher."

Thomas said to him, "Teacher, my mouth is utterly unable to say what you are like."

Jesus said, "I am not your teacher. Because you have drunk, you have become intoxicated from the bubbling spring that I have tended."

And he took him, and withdrew, and spoke three sayings to him. When Thomas came back to his friends they asked him, "What did Jesus say to you?"

Thomas said to them, "If I tell you one of the sayings he spoke to me, you will pick up rocks and stone me, and fire will come from the rocks and devour you."

14. Jesus said to them, "If you fast, you will bring sin upon yourselves, and if you pray, you will be condemned, and if you give to charity, you will harm your spirits.

When you go into any region and walk about in the countryside, when people take you in, eat what they serve you and heal the sick among them.

After all, what goes into your mouth will not defile you; rather, it's what comes out of your mouth that will defile you."

15. Jesus said, "When you see one who was not born of woman, fall on your faces and worship. That one is your Father."

16. Jesus said, "Perhaps people think that I have come to cast peace upon the world. They do not know that I have come to cast conflicts upon the earth: fire, sword, war.

For there will be five in a house: there'll be three against two and two against three, father against son and son against father, and they will stand alone."

17. Jesus said, "I will give you what no eye has seen, what no ear has heard, what no hand has touched, what has not arisen in the human heart."

18. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us, how will our end come?"

Jesus said, "Have you found the beginning, then, that you are looking for the end? You see, the end will be where the beginning is.

Congratulations to the one who stands at the beginning: that one will know the end and will not taste death."

19. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the one who came into being before coming into being.

If you become my disciples and pay attention to my sayings, these stones will serve you.

For there are five trees in Paradise for you; they do not change, summer or winter, and their leaves do not fall. Whoever knows them will not taste death."

20. The disciples said to Jesus, "Tell us what Heaven's kingdom is like."

He said to them, "It's like a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, but when it falls on prepared soil, it produces a large plant and becomes a shelter for birds of the sky."

21. Mary said to Jesus, "What are your disciples like?"

He said, "They are like little children living in a field that is not theirs. When the owners of the field come, they will say, 'Give us back our field.' They take off their clothes in front of them in order to give it back to them, and they return their field to them.

For this reason I say, if the owners of a house know that a thief is coming, they will be on guard before the thief arrives and will not let the thief break into their house (their domain) and steal their possessions.

As for you, then, be on guard against the world. Prepare yourselves with great strength, so the robbers can't find a way to get to you, for the trouble you expect will come.

Let there be among you a person who understands.

When the crop ripened, he came quickly carrying a sickle and harvested it. Anyone here with two good ears had better listen!"

22. Jesus saw some babies nursing. He said to his disciples, "These nursing babies are like those who enter the (Father's) kingdom."

They said to him, "Then shall we enter the (Father's) kingdom as babies?"

Jesus said to them, "When you make the two into one, and when you make the inner like the outer and the outer like the inner, and the upper like the lower, and when you make male and female into a single one, so that the male will not be male nor the female be female, when you make eyes in place of an eye, a hand in place of a hand, a foot in place of a foot, an image in place of an image, then you will enter [the kingdom]."

23. Jesus said, "I shall choose you, one from a thousand and two from ten thousand, and they will stand as a single one."

24. His disciples said, "Show us the place where you are, for we must seek it."

He said to them, "Anyone here with two ears had better listen! There is light within a person of light, and it shines on the whole world. If it does not shine, it is dark."

25. Jesus said, "Love your friends like your own soul, protect them like the pupil of your eye."

26. Jesus said, "You see the sliver in your friend's eye, but you don't see the timber in your own eye. When you take the timber out of your own eye, then you will see well enough to remove the sliver from your friend's eye."

27. "If you do not fast from the world, you will not find the (Father's) kingdom. If you do not observe the sabbath as a sabbath you will not see the Father."

28. Jesus said, "I took my stand in the midst of the world, and in flesh I appeared to them. I found them all drunk, and I did not find any of them thirsty. My soul ached for the children of humanity, because they are blind in their hearts and do not see, for they came into the world empty, and they also seek to depart from the world empty.

But meanwhile they are drunk. When they shake off their wine, then they will change their ways."

29. Jesus said, "If the flesh came into being because of spirit, that is a marvel, but if spirit came into being because of the body, that is a marvel of marvels.

Yet I marvel at how this great wealth has come to dwell in this poverty."

30. Jesus said, "Where there are three deities, they are divine. Where there are two or one, I am with that one."

31. Jesus said, "No prophet is welcome on his home turf; doctors don't cure those who know them."

32. Jesus said, "A city built on a high hill and fortified cannot fall, nor can it be hidden."

33. Jesus said, "What you will hear in your ear, in the other ear proclaim from your rooftops.

After all, no one lights a lamp and puts it under a basket, nor does one put it in a hidden place. Rather, one puts it on a lampstand so that all who come and go will see its light."

34. Jesus said, "If a blind person leads a blind person, both of them will fall into a hole."

35. Jesus said, "One can't enter a strong person's house and take it by force without tying his hands. Then one can loot his house."

36. Jesus said, "Do not fret, from morning to evening and from evening to morning, [about your food--what you're going to eat, or about your clothing--] what you are going to wear. [You're much better than the lilies, which neither card nor spin.

As for you, when you have no garment, what will you put on? Who might add to your stature? That very one will give you your garment.]"

37. His disciples said, "When will you appear to us, and when will we see you?"

Jesus said, "When you strip without being ashamed, and you take your clothes and put them under your feet like little children and trample then, then [you] will see the son of the living one and you will not be afraid."

38. Jesus said, "Often you have desired to hear these sayings that I am speaking to you, and you have no one else from whom to hear them. There will be days when you will seek me and you will not find me."

39. Jesus said, "The Pharisees and the scholars have taken the keys of knowledge and have hidden them. They have not entered nor have they allowed those who want to enter to do so.

As for you, be as sly as snakes and as simple as doves."

40. Jesus said, "A grapevine has been planted apart from the Father. Since it is not strong, it will be pulled up by its root and will perish."

41. Jesus said, "Whoever has something in hand will be given more, and whoever has nothing will be deprived of even the little they have."

42. Jesus said, "Be passersby."

43. His disciples said to him, "Who are you to say these things to us?"

"You don't understand who I am from what I say to you.

Rather, you have become like the Judeans, for they love the tree but hate its fruit, or they love the fruit but hate the tree."

44. Jesus said, "Whoever blasphemes against the Father will be forgiven, and whoever blasphemes against the son will be forgiven, but whoever blasphemes against the holy spirit will not be forgiven, either on earth or in heaven."

45. Jesus said, "Grapes are not harvested from thorn trees, nor are figs gathered from thistles, for they yield no fruit.

Good persons produce good from what they've stored up; bad persons produce evil from the wickedness they've stored up in their hearts, and say evil things. For from the overflow of the heart they produce evil."

46. Jesus said, "From Adam to John the Baptist, among those born of women, no one is so much greater than John the Baptist that his eyes should not be averted.

But I have said that whoever among you becomes a child will recognize the (Father's) kingdom and will become greater than John."

47. Jesus said, "A person cannot mount two horses or bend two bows.

And a slave cannot serve two masters, otherwise that slave will honor the one and offend the other.

Nobody drinks aged wine and immediately wants to drink young wine. Young wine is not poured into old wineskins, or they might break, and aged wine is not poured into a new wineskin, or it might spoil.

An old patch is not sewn onto a new garment, since it would create a tear."

48. Jesus said, "If two make peace with each other in a single house, they will say to the mountain, 'Move from here!' and it will move."

49. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who are alone and chosen, for you will find the kingdom. For you have come from it, and you will return there again."

50. Jesus said, "If they say to you, 'Where have you come from?' say to them, 'We have come from the light, from the place where the light came into being by itself, established [itself], and appeared in their image.'

If they say to you, 'Is it you?' say, 'We are its children, and we are the chosen of the living Father.'

If they ask you, 'What is the evidence of your Father in you?' say to them, 'It is motion and rest.'"

51. His disciples said to him, "When will the rest for the dead take place, and when will the new world come?"

He said to them, "What you are looking forward to has come, but you don't know it."

52. His disciples said to him, "Twenty-four prophets have spoken in Israel, and they all spoke of you."

He said to them, "You have disregarded the living one who is in your presence, and have spoken of the dead."

53. His disciples said to him, "Is circumcision useful or not?"

He said to them, "If it were useful, their father would produce children already circumcised from their mother. Rather, the true circumcision in spirit has become profitable in every respect."

54. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the poor, for to you belongs Heaven's kingdom."

55. Jesus said, "Whoever does not hate father and mother cannot be my disciple, and whoever does not hate brothers and sisters, and carry the cross as I do, will not be worthy of me."

56. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered a carcass, and whoever has discovered a carcass, of that person the world is not worthy."

57 Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who has [good] seed. His enemy came during the night and sowed weeds among the good seed. The person did not let the workers pull up the weeds, but said to them, 'No, otherwise you might go to pull up the weeds and pull up the wheat along with them.' For on the day of the harvest the weeds will be conspicuous, and will be pulled up and burned."

58. Jesus said, "Congratulations to the person who has toiled and has found life."

59. Jesus said, "Look to the living one as long as you live, otherwise you might die and then try to see the living one, and you will be unable to see."

60. He saw a Samaritan carrying a lamb and going to Judea. He said to his disciples, "that person ... around the lamb." They said to him, "So that he may kill it and eat it." He said to them, "He will not eat it while it is alive, but only after he has killed it and it has become a carcass."

They said, "Otherwise he can't do it."

He said to them, "So also with you, seek for yourselves a place for rest, or you might become a carcass and be eaten."

61. Jesus said, "Two will recline on a couch; one will die, one will live."

Salome said, "Who are you mister? You have climbed onto my couch and eaten from my table as if you are from someone."

Jesus said to her, "I am the one who comes from what is whole. I was granted from the things of my Father."

"I am your disciple."

"For this reason I say, if one is whole, one will be filled with light, but if one is divided, one will be filled with darkness."

62. Jesus said, "I disclose my mysteries to those [who are worthy] of [my] mysteries.

63 Jesus said, "There was a rich person who had a great deal of money. He said, 'I shall invest my money so that I may sow, reap, plant, and fill my storehouses with produce, that I may lack nothing.' These were the things he was thinking in his heart, but that very night he died. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

64. Jesus said, "A person was receiving guests. When he had prepared the dinner, he sent his slave to invite the guests.

The slave went to the first and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said, 'Some merchants owe me money; they are coming to me tonight. I have to go and give them instructions. Please excuse me from dinner.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master has invited you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought a house, and I have been called away for a day. I shall have no time.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'My friend is to be married, and I am to arrange the banquet. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me from dinner.'

The slave went to another and said to that one, 'My master invites you.' That one said to the slave, 'I have bought an estate, and I am going to collect the rent. I shall not be able to come. Please excuse me.'

The slave returned and said to his master, 'Those whom you invited to dinner have asked to be excused.' The master said to his slave, 'Go out on the streets and bring back whomever you find to have dinner.'

Buyers and merchants [will] not enter the places of my Father."

65. He said, "A [...] person owned a vineyard and rented it to some farmers, so they could work it and he could collect its crop from them. He sent his slave so the farmers would give him the vineyard's crop. They grabbed him, beat him, and almost killed him, and the slave returned and told his master. His master said, 'Perhaps he didn't know them.' He sent another slave, and the farmers beat that one as well. Then the master sent his son and said, 'Perhaps they'll show my son some respect.' Because the farmers knew that he was the heir to the vineyard, they grabbed him and killed him. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

66. Jesus said, "Show me the stone that the builders rejected: that is the keystone."

67. Jesus said, "Those who know all, but are lacking in themselves, are utterly lacking."

68. Jesus said, "Congratulations to you when you are hated and persecuted; and no place will be found, wherever you have been persecuted."

69. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who have been persecuted in their hearts: they are the ones who have truly come to know the Father.

Congratulations to those who go hungry, so the stomach of the one in want may be filled."

70. Jesus said, "If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you [will] kill you."

71. Jesus said, "I will destroy [this] house, and no one will be able to build it [...]."

72. A [person said] to him, "Tell my brothers to divide my father's possessions with me."

He said to the person, "Mister, who made me a divider?"

He turned to his disciples and said to them, "I'm not a divider, am I?"

73. Jesus said, "The crop is huge but the workers are few, so beg the harvest boss to dispatch workers to the fields."

74. He said, "Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well."

75. Jesus said, "There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite."

76. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a merchant who had a supply of merchandise and found a pearl. That merchant was prudent; he sold the merchandise and bought the single pearl for himself.

So also with you, seek his treasure that is unfailing, that is enduring, where no moth comes to eat and no worm destroys."

77. Jesus said, "I am the light that is over all things. I am all: from me all came forth, and to me all attained.

Split a piece of wood; I am there.

Lift up the stone, and you will find me there."

78. Jesus said, "Why have you come out to the countryside? To see a reed shaken by the wind? And to see a person dressed in soft clothes, [like your] rulers and your powerful ones? They are dressed in soft clothes, and they cannot understand truth."

79. A woman in the crowd said to him, "Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you."

He said to [her], "Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, 'Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.'"

80. Jesus said, "Whoever has come to know the world has discovered the body, and whoever has discovered the body, of that one the world is not worthy."

81. Jesus said, "Let one who has become wealthy reign, and let one who has power renounce <it>."

82. Jesus said, "Whoever is near me is near the fire, and whoever is far from me is far from the (Father's) kingdom."

83. Jesus said, "Images are visible to people, but the light within them is hidden in the image of the Father's light. He will be disclosed, but his image is hidden by his light."

84. Jesus said, "When you see your likeness, you are happy. But when you see your images that came into being before you and that neither die nor become visible, how much you will have to bear!"

85. Jesus said, "Adam came from great power and great wealth, but he was not worthy of you. For had he been worthy, [he would] not [have tasted] death."

86. Jesus said, "[Foxes have] their dens and birds have their nests, but human beings have no place to lay down and rest."

87. Jesus said, "How miserable is the body that depends on a body, and how miserable is the soul that depends on these two."

88. Jesus said, "The messengers and the prophets will come to you and give you what belongs to you. You, in turn, give them what you have, and say to yourselves, 'When will they come and take what belongs to them?'"

89. Jesus said, "Why do you wash the outside of the cup? Don't you understand that the one who made the inside is also the one who made the outside?"

90. Jesus said, "Come to me, for my yoke is comfortable and my lordship is gentle, and you will find rest for yourselves."

91. They said to him, "Tell us who you are so that we may believe in you."

He said to them, "You examine the face of heaven and earth, but you have not come to know the one who is in your presence, and you do not know how to examine the present moment."

92. Jesus said, "Seek and you will find.

In the past, however, I did not tell you the things about which you asked me then. Now I am willing to tell them, but you are not seeking them."

93. "Don't give what is holy to dogs, for they might throw them upon the manure pile. Don't throw pearls [to] pigs, or they might ... it [...]."

94. Jesus [said], "One who seeks will find, and for [one who knocks] it will be opened."

95. [Jesus said], "If you have money, don't lend it at interest. Rather, give [it] to someone from whom you won't get it back."

96. Jesus [said], "The Father's kingdom is like [a] woman. She took a little leaven, [hid] it in dough, and made it into large loaves of bread. Anyone here with two ears had better listen!"

97. Jesus said, "The [Father's] kingdom is like a woman who was carrying a [jar] full of meal. While she was walking along [a] distant road, the handle of the jar broke and the meal spilled behind her [along] the road. She didn't know it; she hadn't noticed a problem. When she reached her house, she put the jar down and discovered that it was empty."

98. Jesus said, "The Father's kingdom is like a person who wanted to kill someone powerful. While still at home he drew his sword and thrust it into the wall to find out whether his hand would go in. Then he killed the powerful one."

99. The disciples said to him, "Your brothers and your mother are standing outside."

He said to them, "Those here who do what my Father wants are my brothers and my mother. They are the ones who will enter my Father's kingdom."

100. They showed Jesus a gold coin and said to him, "The Roman emperor's people demand taxes from us."

He said to them, "Give the emperor what belongs to the emperor, give God what belongs to God, and give me what is mine."

101. "Whoever does not hate [father] and mother as I do cannot be my [disciple], and whoever does [not] love [father and] mother as I do cannot be my [disciple]. For my mother [...], but my true [mother] gave me life."

102. Jesus said, "Damn the Pharisees! They are like a dog sleeping in the cattle manger: the dog neither eats nor [lets] the cattle eat."

103. Jesus said, "Congratulations to those who know where the rebels are going to attack. [They] can get going, collect their imperial resources, and be prepared before the rebels arrive."

104. They said to Jesus, "Come, let us pray today, and let us fast."

Jesus said, "What sin have I committed, or how have I been undone? Rather, when the groom leaves the bridal suite, then let people fast and pray."

105. Jesus said, "Whoever knows the father and the mother will be called the child of a whore."

106. Jesus said, "When you make the two into one, you will become children of Adam, and when you say, 'Mountain, move from here!' it will move."

107. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a shepherd who had a hundred sheep. One of them, the largest, went astray. He left the ninety-nine and looked for the one until he found it. After he had toiled, he said to the sheep, 'I love you more than the ninety-nine.'"

108. Jesus said, "Whoever drinks from my mouth will become like me; I myself shall become that person, and the hidden things will be revealed to him."

109. Jesus said, "The (Father's) kingdom is like a person who had a treasure hidden in his field but did not know it. And [when] he died he left it to his [son]. The son [did] not know about it either. He took over the field and sold it. The buyer went plowing, [discovered] the treasure, and began to lend money at interest to whomever he wished."

110. Jesus said, "Let one who has found the world, and has become wealthy, renounce the world."

111. Jesus said, "The heavens and the earth will roll up in your presence, and whoever is living from the living one will not see death."

Does not Jesus say, "Those who have found themselves, of them the world is not worthy"?

112. Jesus said, "Damn the flesh that depends on the soul. Damn the soul that depends on the flesh."

113. His disciples said to him, "When will the kingdom come?"

"It will not come by watching for it. It will not be said, 'Look, here!' or 'Look, there!' Rather, the Father's kingdom is spread out upon the earth, and people don't see it."

[Saying probably added to the original collection at a later date:]
114. Simon Peter said to them, "Make Mary leave us, for females don't deserve life."

Jesus said, "Look, I will guide her to make her male, so that she too may become a living spirit resembling you males. For every female who makes herself male will enter the kingdom of Heaven."

 

 

The Gospel According to

 Mary Magdalene

 (Pages 1 to 6 of the manuscript, containing chapters 1 - 3, are lost.  The extant text starts on page 7...)

Chapter 4

. . . Will matter then be destroyed or not?

22) The Savior said, All nature, all formations, all creatures exist in and with one another, and they will be resolved again into their own roots.

23) For the nature of matter is resolved into the roots of its own nature alone.

24) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

25) Peter said to him, Since you have explained everything to us, tell us this also: What is the sin of the world?

26) The Savior said There is no sin, but it is you who make sin when you do the things that are like the nature of adultery, which is called sin.

27) That is why the Good came into your midst, to the essence of every nature in order to restore it to its root.

28) Then He continued and said, That is why you become sick and die, for you are deprived of the one who can heal you.

29) He who has a mind to understand, let him understand.

30) Matter gave birth to a passion that has no equal, which proceeded from something contrary to nature. Then there arises a disturbance in its whole body.

31) That is why I said to you, Be of good courage, and if you are discouraged be encouraged in the presence of the different forms of nature.

32) He who has ears to hear, let him hear.

33) When the Blessed One had said this, He greeted them all,saying, Peace be with you. Receive my peace unto yourselves.

34) Beware that no one lead you astray saying Lo here or lo there! For the Son of Man is within you.

35) Follow after Him!

36) Those who seek Him will find Him.

37) Go then and preach the gospel of the Kingdom.

38) Do not lay down any rules beyond what I appointed you, and do not give a law like the lawgiver lest you be constrained by it.

39) When He said this He departed.


Chapter 5

1) But they were grieved. They wept greatly, saying, How shall we go to the Gentiles and preach the gospel of the Kingdom of the Son of Man? If they did not spare Him, how will they spare us?

2) Then Mary stood up, greeted them all, and said to her brethren, Do not weep and do not grieve nor be irresolute, for His grace will be entirely with you and will protect you.

3) But rather, let us praise His greatness, for He has prepared us and made us into Men.

4) When Mary said this, she turned their hearts to the Good, and they began to discuss the words of the Savior.

5) Peter said to Mary, Sister we know that the Savior loved you more than the rest of woman.

6) Tell us the words of the Savior which you remember which you know, but we do not, nor have we heard them.

7) Mary answered and said, What is hidden from you I will proclaim to you.

8) And she began to speak to them these words: I, she said, I saw the Lord in a vision and I said to Him, Lord I saw you today in a vision. He answered and said to me,

9) Blessed are you that you did not waver at the sight of Me. For where the mind is there is the treasure.

10) I said to Him, Lord, how does he who sees the vision see it, through the soul or through the spirit?

11) The Savior answered and said, He does not see through the soul nor through the spirit, but the mind that is between the two that is what sees the vision and it is [...]

(pages 11 - 14 are missing from the manuscript)


Chapter 8:

. . . it.

10) And desire said, I did not see you descending, but now I see you ascending. Why do you lie since you belong to me?

11) The soul answered and said, I saw you. You did not see me nor recognize me. I served you as a garment and you did not know me.

12) When it said this, it (the soul) went away rejoicing greatly.

13) Again it came to the third power, which is called ignorance.

14) The power questioned the soul, saying, Where are you going? In wickedness are you bound. But you are bound; do not judge!

15) And the soul said, Why do you judge me, although I have not judged?

16) I was bound, though I have not bound.

17) I was not recognized. But I have recognized that the All is being dissolved, both the earthly things and the heavenly.

18) When the soul had overcome the third power, it went upwards and saw the fourth power, which took seven forms.

19) The first form is darkness, the second desire, the third ignorance, the fourth is the excitement of death, the fifth is the kingdom of the flesh, the sixth is the foolish wisdom of flesh, the seventh is the wrathful wisdom. These are the seven powers of wrath.

20) They asked the soul, Whence do you come slayer of men, or where are you going, conqueror of space?

21) The soul answered and said, What binds me has been slain, and what turns me about has been overcome,

22) and my desire has been ended, and ignorance has died.

23) In a aeon I was released from a world, and in a Type from a type, and from the fetter of oblivion which is transient.

24) From this time on will I attain to the rest of the time, of the season, of the aeon, in silence.


Chapter 9

1) When Mary had said this, she fell silent, since it was to this point that the Savior had spoken with her.

2) But Andrew answered and said to the brethren, Say what you wish to say about what she has said. I at least do not believe that the Savior said this. For certainly these teachings are strange ideas.

3) Peter answered and spoke concerning these same things.

4) He questioned them about the Savior: Did He really speak privately with a woman and not openly to us? Are we to turn about and all listen to her? Did He prefer her to us?

5) Then Mary wept and said to Peter, My brother Peter, what do you think? Do you think that I have thought this up myself in my heart, or that I am lying about the Savior?

6) Levi answered and said to Peter, Peter you have always been hot tempered.

7) Now I see you contending against the woman like the adversaries.

8) But if the Savior made her worthy, who are you indeed to reject her? Surely the Savior knows her very well.

9) That is why He loved her more than us. Rather let us be ashamed and put on the perfect Man, and separate as He commanded us and preach the gospel, not laying down any other rule or other law beyond what the Savior said.

10) And when they heard this they began to go forth to proclaim and to preach.


The Gospel According to Mary

 

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