Manuscripts and sources
Tischendorf "Evangelia Apocrypha" whichs uses three versions of Part I:
1.-Coptic, preserved in an early papyrus at Turin and fragments in Paris, last edited by Revillout in Patrolagia orientialis, ix.
2.-Siriac, edited by Rahmaui in Studia Syriaca, II.
3.- Armanian, edited by F.C. Conybeara in Studia Biblica, IV(Oxford, 1896).
Date of manuscript
Part I not earlier than fourth century. Part II from second to fourth century.
Bibliography and sources
"The Other Bible", Edited by Willis Barnstone. HarperSanFrancisco
Wester Center Online (http://wesley.nnu.edu/noncanon/gospels/gosnic.htm)
Ananias, an officer of the guard, being learned in the law,
came to know our Lord Jesus Christ from the sacred scriptures,
I approached with faith, and was accounted worthy of holy baptism.
And having searched for the reports made at that period in the
time of our Lord Jesus Christ which the Jews committed to writing
under Pontius Pilate, I found these acts in the Hebrew language
and according to God's good pleasure I translated them into Greek
for the information of all those who call upon the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, in the eighteenth year of the reign of our Emperor
Flavius Theodosius and in the fifth year of the "Nobility" of
Flavius Valentinianus, in the ninth indiction.
Therefore all you who read this and copy it out, remember me and pray for me that God may be gracious to me and forgive my sins which I have sinned against him. Peace be to those who read and hear it, and to their servants. Amen. In the nineteenth year of the reign of the Roman Emperor Tiberius, when Herod was king of Galilee, in the nineteenth year of his rule, on the eighth day before the Kalends of April, that is, the 25th of March, in the consulate of Rufus and Rubellio, in the fourth year of the two hundred and second Olympiad, when Joseph Caiaphas was high priest of the Jews.
What Nicodemus after the passion of the Lord upon the cross recorded and delivered concerning the conduct of the chief priests and the rest of the Jews— and the same Nicodemus drew up his 7 •''' The chief priests and scribes assembled in council, Annas and Caiaphas, Semes Dathaes and Gamaliel, Judas, Levi and Nephthalim, Alexander and Jairus, and the rest of the Jews, and came to Pilate accusing Jesus of many deeds. They said "We know that this man is the son of Joseph the carpenter and was born of Mary; but he says he is the Son of God and a king. Moreover he pollutes the Sabbath and wishes to destroy the law of our fathers." Pilate said: "And what things does he do that he wishes to destroy it?" The Jews say: "We have a law that we should not heal anyone on the Sabbath. But this man with his evil deeds has healed on the Sabbath the lame, the bent, the withered, the blind, the paralytic, and the possessed." Pilate asked them: "With what evil deeds?" They answered him: "He is a sorcerer, and by Beelzebub the prince of the devils he casts out evil spirits, and all are subject to him." Pilate said to them: "This is not to cast out demons by an unclean spirit but by the god Asclepius."
The Jews said to Pilate: "We beseech your excellency to place him before your judgment seat and to try him." And Pi late called them to him and said: "Tell me! How can I, a governor, examine a king?" They answered: "We do not say that he is a king, but he says he is." And Pilate summoned his messenger and said to him: "Let Jesus be brought with gentleness." So the messenger went out, and when he perceived him, he did him reverence, and taking the kerchief which was in his hand, he spread it upon the ground, and said to him: "Lord, walk on this and go in, for the governor calls you." But when the Jews saw what the messenger had done, they cried out against Pilate and said: "Why did you not order him to come in by a herald, but by a messenger? For as soon as he saw the messenger reverenced him, and ad out his kerchief on the ground, d made him walk on it like a king." Then Pilate called for the messenger and said to him: "Why have you done this and spread your kerchief on the ground and made Jesus walk on it?" The messenger answered him: "Lord governor, when you sent me to Jerusalem to Alexander, I saw him sitting on an ass,
and the children of the Hebrews held branches in their hands and cried out; and others spread their garments before him, saying: 'Save now, you who are in the highest! Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord!' "
The Jews cried out to the messenger:
The children of the Hebrews cried out in Hebrew; how do you know it in Greek?" The messenger replied: "I asked
one of the Jews, and said: What is it that they cry out in Hebrew? And he interpreted it to me." Pilate said to them: And what did they cry out in Hebrew?" The Jews answered: "Hosanna membrome baruchamma adonai." Pilate asked again: "And the Hosanna and the rest, how is it translated?" The Jews replied: "Save now, you who are in the highest. Blessed is he that comes in the name of the Lord." Pilate said to them:
" If you testify to the words of the children, what sin has the messenger committed?" And they were silent. The governor said to the messenger: "Go out and bring him in in whatever way you wish."
And the messenger went out and did as before and said to Jesus: "Enter, the governor calls you."
Now when Jesus entered in, and the
standard bearers were holding the standards, the images of the emperor on the
standards bowed and did reverence to Jesus. And when the Jews saw the behavior of the standards, how they bowed down and did reverence to Jesus, they cried out loudly against the standard bearers. But Pilate said to them: "Do you not marvel how the images bowed and did reverence to Jesus?" The Jews said to Pilate: "Who saw how the standard bearers lowered them and reverenced him." And the governor summoned the standard bearers and asked them: "Why did you do this?" They answered: "We are Greeks and servers of temples, and how could we reverence him? We held the images; but they bowed down of their own accord and reverenced him."
Then Pilate said to the rulers of the synagogue and the elders of the people: "Choose strong men to carry the standards, and let us see whether the images bow by themselves." So the elders of the Jews took twelve strong men and made them carry the standards by sixes, and they were placed before the judgment seat of the governor. And Pilate said to the messenger: "Take him out of the praetorium and bring him in again in whatever way you wish." And Jesus left the praetorium with the messenger. And Pilate summoned those who before carried the images, and said to them: "I have sworn by the safety of Caesar that, if the standards do not bow down when Jesus enters, I will cut off your heads." And the governor commanded Jesus to enter in the second time. And the messenger did as before and besought Jesus to walk upon his kerchief. He walked upon it and entered in. And when he had entered in, the standards bowed down again and did reverence to Jesus.
When Pilate saw this he was afraid, and sought to rise from the
judgment seat. And while he was still thinking of rising up,
his wife sent
to him saying: Have nothing to do with this righteous man. For
I have suffered many things because of him by night [Matt. 27:19].
And Pilate summoned all the Jews, and stood up and said to them: "You
know that my wife fears God and favors rather the customs of the
Jews, with you." They answered him: "Yes, we know it." Pilate
said to them: "See, my wife sent to mo saying: Have nothing
to do with this righteous man. For I have suffered many things because
of him by night." The Jews answered Pilate: "Did we not
tell you that he is a sorcerer? Behold, he has sent a dream to
your wife." And Pilate called Jesus to him and said to him: "What
do these men testify against you? Do you say nothing?" Jesus
answered: "If they had no power, they would say nothing; for
each man has power over his own mouth, to speak good and evil.
They shall see to it."
Then the elders of the Jews answered and said to Jesus: "What should we see? Firstly, that you were born of fornication; secondly, that your birth meant the death of the children in Bethlehem; thirdly, that your father Joseph and your mother Mary fled into Egypt because they counted for nothing among the people." Then some of the Jews that stood by, devout men, declared: "We deny that he came of fornication, for we know that Joseph was betrothed to Mary, and he was not born of fornication." Pilate then said to the Jews who said that he came of fornication: "Your statement is not true; for there was a betrothal, as your own fellow countrymen say." Annas and Caiaphas say to Pilate: "We, the whole multitude, cry out that he was born of fornication, and we are not believed; these are proselytes and disciples of his." And Pilate called Annas and Caiaphas and said to them: "What are proselytes?" They answered: "They were born children of Greeks, and now have become Jews." Then those who said that he was not born of fornication, namely Lazarus, Asterius, Antonius, Jacob, Amnes, Zeras, Samuel, Isaac, Phinees, Crispus, Agrippa, and Judas said: "We are not proselytes, but are children of Jews and speak the truth; for we were present at the betrothal of Joseph and Mary."
And Pilate called to him these twelve men who denied that he was born of fornication, and said to them: "1 put you on your oath, by the safety of Caesar, that your statement is true, that he was not born of fornication." They said to Pilate: "We have a law not to swear because it is a sin. But let them swear by the safety of Caesar that it is not as we have said, and we will be worthy of death." Pilate said to Annas and Caiaphas: "Do you not answer these things?" And Annas and Caiaphas said to Pilate: "These twelve men who say that he was not born of fornication are believed. But we, the whole multitude, cry out that he was born of fornication and is a sorcerer, and claims to be the Son of God and a king, and we are not believed." And Pilate sent out the whole multitude, except the twelve men who denied that he was born of fornication, and commanded Jesus to be set apart. And he asked them: "For what cause do they wish to kill him?" They answered Pilate: "They artincensed because he heals on the Sabbath." Pilate said: "For a good work do they wish to kill him?" They answered him: "Yes."
And Pilate was filled with anger and went out of the praetorium
and said to them: "I call the sun to witness that I find
no fault in this man." The Jews answered and said to the
this man were not an evildoer, we would not have handed him over
to you" [John 18: 30]. And Pilate said: "Take him yourselves
and judge him by your own law." I The Jews said to Pilate: "It
is not lawful for us to put any man to death" [John 18:31].
Pilate said: "Has God forbidden you to slay, but allowed me?"
And Pilate entered the praetorium again and called Jesus apart and asked him: "Are you the king of the Jews?" Jesus answered Pilate: "Do you say this of your own accord, or did others say it to you about me?" Pilate answered Jesus: "Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests have handed you over to me. What have you done?" Jesus an swered: "My kingship is not of this world; for it my kingship were of this world, my servants would fight, that I might not be handed over to the Jews. But now is my kingship not from here." Pilate said to him: "So you are a king?" Jesus answered him: "You say that I am a king. For this cause I was born and have come, that everyone who is of the truth should hear my voice." Pilate said to him: "What is truth?" [John 18:3338]. Jesus answered him: "Truth is from Heaven." Pilate said: "Is there not truth upon earth?" Jesus said to Pilate: "You see how those who speak the truth are judged by those who have authority on earth."
And Pilate left Jesus in the praetorium and went out to the Jews
and said to them: "I find no fault in him" [John 18:
38]. The Jews said to him: "He said, T am able to destroy
this temple and build it in three days'" [Matt. 26:61]. Pilate
said: "What temple?" The Jews said: "That which
Solomon built in forty-six years; but this man says he will destroy
it and build it in three days." Pilate said to them: "I
am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; see to it yourselves." The
Jews replied "His blood be on us and on our children" [Matt.
27:24f.]. And Pilate called to him the elders and the priests and
the Levites and said to them secretly: "Do not act thus; for
nothing of which you have accused him deserves death. For your
accusation concerns healing and profanation of the Sabbath." The
elders and the priests and the Levites answered: "If a man
blasphemes against Caesar, is he worthy of death or not?" Pilate
said: "He is worthy of death." The lews said to Pilate: "If
a man blasphemes against Caesar, he is worthy of death, but this
man has blasphemed against Cod."
Then the governor commanded the Jews to go out from the praetorium, and ho called Jesus to him and said to him: "What shall I do with you?" Jesus answered Pilate: "As it was given to you."
Pilate said: "How was it given?" Jesus said: "Moses
and the prophets foretold my death and resurrection." The Jews
had been eavesdropping and heard, and they said to Pilate: "What
further need have you to hear of this blasphemy?" Pilate said
to the Jews: "If this word is blasphemy, take him, bring him
into your synagogue and judge him according to your law" [John
18:31]. The Jews answered Pilate: "It is contained in our law,
that if a man sins against a man, he must receive forty strokes save
one, but he who blasphemes against God must be stoned."
Pilate said to them: "Take him yourselves and punish him as you wish." The Jews said to Pilate: "We wish him to be crucified." Pilate said: "He does not deserve to be crucified." The governor looked at the multitudes of the Jews standing around, and when he saw many of the Jews weeping, he said: "Not all the multitude wishes him to die." But the elders of the Jews said: "For this purpose has the whole multitude of us come, that he should die." Pilate said to the Jews: "Why should he die?" The Jews said: "Because he called himself the Son of God and a king."
Now Nicodemus, a Jew, stood before the governor, and said: "I
beseech you, honorable governor, to allow me a few words." Pilate
said: "Speak." Nicodemus said: "I said to the elders
and the priests and the Levites and to all the multitude in the synagogue:
What do you intend to do with this man? This man does many signs
and wonders, which no one has done nor will do. Let him alone and
contrive no evil against him. If the signs which he does are from
God, they will stand; if they are from men, they will come to nothing
[Acts 5:38f.]. For Moses also, when he was sent by God into Egypt,
did many signs which God commanded him to do before Pharaoh, king
of Egypt. And there were there servants of Pharaoh, Jannes and Jambres,
and they also did signs not a few which Moses did, and the Egyptians
held them as gods, Jannes and Jambres. And since the signs which
they did were not from God, they perished as well as those who believed
them. And now let this man go, for he does not deserve death."
The Jews said to Nicodemus: "You became his disciple and speak on his behalf." Nicodemus answered them: "Has the governor also become his disciple, and speaks on his behalf? Did not Caesar appoint him to this high office?" Then the Jews raged and gnashed their teeth against Nicodemus. Pilate said to them: "Why do you gnash your teeth against him, when you hear the truth?" The Jews said to Nicodemus: "Receive his truth and his portion." Nicodemus said: "Amen, may it be as you have said."
Then one of the Jews hastened forward and asked the governor that
he might speak a word. The governor said: "If you wish to say
anything, say it." And the Jew said: "For thirty-eight
years I lay on a bed in anguish of pains, and when Jesus came many
demoniacs and those lying sick of diverse diseases were healed by
him. And certain young men took pity on me and carried me with my
bed and brought me to him. And when Jesus saw me he had compassion,
and spoke a word to me: Take up your bed and walk. And I took up
my bed and walked" [Mark 2:lff.; John 5:lff.]. The Jews said
to Pilate: "Ask him what day it was on which he was healed." He
that was healed said "On a Sabbath." The Jews said: "Did
we not inform you so, that on the Sabbath he heals and casts out
And another Jew hastened forward and said: "I was born blind; I heard any man's voice, but did not see his face. And as Jesus passed by I cried with a loud voice: Have mercy on me, Son of David. And he took pity on me and put his hands on my eyes and I saw immediately" [Mark 10:46ff.]. And another Jew hastened forward and said "I was bowed, and he made me straight with a word." And another said: "I was a leper, and he healed me with a word."
And a woman called Bernice, crying out from a distance, said: "I had an issue of blood and I touched the hem of his garment, and the issue of blood, which had lasted twelve years, ceased" [Mark 5:25ff.]. The Jews said "We have a law not to permit a woman to give testimony."
"I And others, a multitude of men and women, cried out: "This man is a prophet, and the demons are subject to him." Pilate said to those who said the demons were subject to him: "Why are your teachers also not subject to him?" They said to Pilate: "We do not know." Others said: "Lazarus who was dead he raised up out of the tomb after four days." Then the governor began to tremble and said to all the multitude of the Jews: "Why do you wish to shed innocent blood?"
And he called to him Nicodemus and the twelve men who said he
was not born of fornication and said to them: "What shall
I do? The people are becoming rebellious." They answered him: "We
do not know. Let them see to it." Again Pilate called all
the multitude of the Jews and said: "You know the custom that
at the feast of unleavened bread a prisoner is released to you,
I have in the prison one condemned for murder, called Barabbas,
and this Jesus who stands before you, in whom I find no fault.
Whom do you wish me to release to you?" They cried out: "Barabbas." Pilate
said: "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?" The
Jews cried out: "Let him be crucified" [Matt. 27:15ff.].
But some of the Jews answered: "You are not Caesar's friend
if you release this man [John 19:12], for he called himself the
Son of God and a king. You wish him therefore to be king and not
And Pilate was angry and said to the Jews: "Your nation is always seditious and in rebellion against your benefactors." The Jews asked: "What benefactors?" Pilate answered: "As I have heard, your God brought you out of Egypt out of hard slavery, and led you safe through the sea as if it had been dry land, and in the wilderness nourished you and gave you manna and quails, and gave you water to drink from a rock, and gave you the law. And despite all this you provoked the anger of your God: you wanted a molten calf and angered your God, and he wished to destroy you; and Moses made supplication for you, and you were not put to death. And now you accuse me of hating the emperor."
And he rose up from the judgment seat and sought to go out. And the Jews cried out: "We recognize as king Caesar alone and not Jesus. For indeed the wise men brought him gifts from the east, as if he were a king. And when Herod heard from the wise men that a king was born, he sought to slay him. But when his father Joseph knew that, he took him and his mother, and they fled into Egypt. And when Herod heard it, he destroyed the children of the Hebrews who were born in Bethlehem."
When Pilate heard these words, he was afraid. And he silenced the multitudes, because they were crying out, and said to them: "So this is he whom Herod sought?" The Jews replied: "Yes, this is he." And Pilate took water and washed his hands before the sun and said: "I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man. You see to it." Again the Jews cried out: "His blood be on us and on our children" [Malt. 27:241.|.
Then Pilate commanded the curtain to be drawn1 before the judgment seat on which he sat, and said to Jesus: "Your nation has convicted you of claiming to be a king. Therefore I have decreed that you should first be scourged according to the law of the pious emperors, and then hanged on the cross in the garden where you were seized. And let Dismals and Gestas, the two malefactors, be crucified with you."
And Jesus went out from the praetorium, the two malefactors with
him. And when they came to the appointed place, they stripped him
and girded him with a linen cloth and put a crown of thorns on
his head. Likewise they hanged up also the two malefactors. But
said: "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" [Luke
23:34]. And the soldiers parted his garments among them. And the
people stood looking at him. And the chief priests and the rulers
with them scoffed at him, saying: "He saved others, let him
save himself. If he is the Son of God, let him come down from the
cross." And the soldiers also mocked him, coming and offering
him vinegar with gall, and they said: "If you are the king of
the Jews, save yourself" [Luke 23:35ff.]. And after the sentence
Pilate commanded the crime brought against him to be written as
a title in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew, according to the accusation
the Jews that he claimed to be king of the Jews [John 19:19f.].
One of the malefactors who were crucified said to him: "If you are the Christ, save yourself and us." But Dysmas rebuked him: "Do you not at all fear God, since you are in the same condemnation? And justly so. For we are receiving the due reward of our deeds. But this man has done nothing wrong." And he said to Jesus: "Lord, remember me in your kingdom." And Jesus said to him: "Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise" |Luke 23;39ff,|.
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the
land until the ninth hour, for the sun was darkened. And the curtain
of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus cried with a loud voice: "Father,
baddach ephkid rouel," which means: "Into thy hands I
commit my spirit." And having said this he gave up the ghost.
And when the centurion saw what had happened, he praised God, saying: "This
man was righteous." And all the multitudes who had come to
this sight, when they saw what had taken place, beat their breasts
and returned [Luke 23:4448].
But the centurion reported to the governor what had happened. And when the governor and his wife heard, they were greatly grieved, and they neither ate nor drank on that day. And Pilate sent for the Jews and said to them: "Did you see what happened?" But they answered: "There was an eclipse of the sun in the usual way." And his acquaintances had stood far off and the women who had come with him from Galilee, and saw these things. But a certain man named Joseph, a member of the council, from the town of Arimathaea, who also was waiting for the kingdom of God, this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in a rock hewn tomb, in which no one had ever yet been laid [Luke 23: 5053].
When the Jews heard that Joseph had asked for the body, they sought
him and the twelve men who said that Jesus was not born of fornication,
and Nicodemus and many others, who had come forward before Pilate
and made known his good works. But they all hid themselves, and only
Nicodemus was seen by them, because he was a ruler of the Jews. And
Nicodemus said to them: "How did you the synagogue?" The
Jews answered him: "How did you enter the synagogue? You are
an accomplice of his, and his portion shall be with you in the world
to come." Nicodemus said: "Amen, amen." Likewise also
Joseph came forth from his concealment and said to them: "Why
are you angry with me because I asked for the body of Jesus? See,
I have placed it in my new tomb, having wrapped it in clean linen,
and I rolled a stone before the door of the cave. And you have not
done well with the righteous one, for you did not repent of having
crucified him, but also pierced him with a spear."
Then the Jews seized Joseph and commanded him to be secured until the first day of the week. They said to him: "Know that the hour forbids us to do anything against you, because the Sabbath dawns. But know also that you will not even be counted worthy of burial, but we shall give your flesh to the birds of the heaven." Joseph answered: "This word is like that of the boastful Goliath who insulted the living God and the holy David. For God said by the prophet: Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord [Rom. 12:19; cf. Deut. 32:35]. And now he who is uncircumcised in the flesh, but circumcised in heart, took water and washed his hands before the sun, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man. You see to it. And you answered Pilate: His blood be on us and on our children [Matt. 27:25]. And now I fear lest the wrath of God come upon you and your children, as you said." When the Jews heard these words, they were embittered in their hearts, and laid hold of Joseph and seized him and shut him in a building without a window, and guards remained at the door. And they sealed the door of the place where Joseph was shut up.
And on the Sabbath the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites ordered that all should present themselves in the synagogue on the first day of the week. And the whole multitude rose up early and look counsel in the synagogue concerning how he should be killed. And when the council was in session they commanded him to be brought with great dishonor. And when they opened the door they did not find him. And all the people were astonished and filled with consternation because they found the seals undamaged, and Caiaphas had the key. And they dared no longer lay hands on those who had spoken before Pilate on behalf of Jesus.
And while they still sat in the synagogue and marveled
because of Joseph, there came some of the guard which the Jews
Pilate to guard the tomb of Jesus, lest his disciples should come
and steal him. And they told the rulers of the synagogue and the
priests and the Levites what had happened, how there was a great
earthquake. "And we saw an angel descend from heaven, and he
rolled away the stone from the mouth of the cave, and sat upon it,
and he shone like snow and like lightning. And we were in great fear,
and lay like dead men [Matt. 28:24]. And we heard the voice of the
angel speaking to the women who waited at the tomb: Do not be afraid.
I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here. He
has risen, as he said. Come and see the place where the Lord lay.
And go quickly and tell his disciples that he has risen from the
dead and is in Galilee" [Matt. 28:5-7].
The Jews asked: "To what women did he speak?" The members of the guard answered: "We do not know who they were." The Jews said: "At what hour was it?" The members of the guard answered: "At midnight." The Jews said: And why did you not seize the women?" The members of the guard said: "We were like dead men through fear, and gave up hope of seeing the light of day; how could we then have seized them?" The Jews said: "As the Lord lives, we do not believe you." The members of the guard said to the Jews: "So many signs you saw in that man and you did not believe; and how can you believe us? You rightly swore: As the Lord lives. For he does live." Again the members of the guard said: "We have heard that you shut up him who asked for the body of Jesus, and sealed the door, and that when you opened it you did not find him. Therefore give us Joseph and we will give you Jesus." The Jews said: "Joseph has gone to his own city." And the members of the guard said to the Jews: "And Jesus has risen, as we heard from the angel, and is in Galilee."
And when the Jews heard these words, they feared greatly and said: "Take heed lest this report be heard and all incline to Jesus." And the Jews took counsel, and offered much money and gave it to the soldiers of the guard, saying: "Say that when you were sleeping his disciples came by night and stole him. And if this is heard by the governor, we will persuade him and keep you out of trouble" [Matt. 28:12-14].
Now Phinees, a priest, and Adas, a teacher, and Angaeus, a Levite,
came from Galilee to Jerusalem, and told the rulers of the synagogue
and the priests and the Levites: "We saw Jesus and his disciples
sitting upon the mountain which is called Mamilch. And he said
to his disciples: Go into all the world and preach the gospel to
the whole creation. He who believes and is baptized will be saved;
but he who does not believe will be condemned. And these signs
will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out
demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up serpents;
and if they drink any deadly thing, it will not hurt them; they
will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover [Mark 16:15-18],
And while Jesus was still speaking to his disciples, we saw him
taken up into Heaven," Then the elders and the priests and
the Levites said: "Give glory to the God of Israel, and confess
before him if you indeed heard and saw what you have described." Those
who told them said: "As the Lord God of our fathers Abraham,
Isaac, and Jacob lives, we heard these things and saw him taken
up to Heaven." The elders and the priests and the Levites
said to them: "Did you come to tell us this, or did you come
to offer prayer to God?" They answered: "To offer prayer
to God." The elders and the chief priests and the Levites
said to them: "If you came to offer prayer to God, to what
purpose is this idle tale which you have babbled before all the
people?" Phinees, the priest, and Adas, the teacher, and Angaeus,
the Levite, said to the rulers of the synagogue and priests and
Levites: "If the words which we spoke concerning what we heard
and saw are sin, see, we stand before you. Do with us as it seems
good in your eyes." And they took the law and adjured them
to tell this no more to any one. And they gave them to eat and
drink, and sent them out of the city, having given them money and
three men to accompany them, and ordered them to depart as far
as Galilee; and they went away in peace.
But when those men had departed to Galilee, the chief priests and the rulers of the synagogue and the elders assembled in the synagogue, and shut the gate, and raised a great lamentation, saying: "Why has this sign happened in Israel?" But Annas and Caiaphas said: "Why are you troubled? Why do you weep? Do you not know that his disciples gave much money to the guards of the tomb, took away his body, and taught them to say that an angel descended from Heaven and rolled away the stone from the door of the tomb?" But the priests and the elders replied: "Let it be that his disciples stole his body. But how did the soul enter again into the body, so that Jesus now waits in Galilee?" But they, unable
to give an answer, came with difficulty to say: "It is not lawful for us to believe the uncircumcised."
And Nicodemus stood up and stood before the council and said: "What
you say is right. You know, people of the Lord, that the men who
came from Galilee fear God and are men of substance, that they
hate covetousness,2 and are men of peace. And they have declared
on oath: We saw Jesus on the mountain Mamilch with his disciples.
He taught them what you have heard from them. And we saw him taken
up into Heaven. And no one asked them in what manner he was taken
up. Just as the holy Scriptures tell us that Elijah also was taken
up into Heaven, and Elisha cried with a loud voice, and Elijah
cast his sheepskin cloak upon Elisha, and Elisha cast his cloak
upon the Jordan, and crossed over and went to Jericho. And the
sons of the prophets met him and said: 'Elisha, where is your master
Elijah?' And he said that he was taken up into Heaven. But they
said to Elisha: 'Has perhaps a spirit caught him up and cast him
on one of the mountains? But let us take our servants with us and
search for him.' And they persuaded Elisha, and he went with them.
And they searched for him for three days and did not find him,
and they knew that he had been taken up [2 Kings 2]. And now listen
to me, and let us send to every mountain of Israel and see whether
the Christ was taken up by a spirit and cast upon a mountain." And
this proposal pleased them all. And they sent to every mountain
of Israel, and searched for Jesus and did not find him. But they
found Joseph in Arimathaea and no one dared to seize him.
And they told the elders and the priests and the Levites: "We went about to every mountain of Israel, and did not find Jesus. But Joseph we found in Arimathaea." And when they heard about Joseph, they rejoiced and gave glory to the God of Israel. And the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites took counsel how they should meet with Joseph, and they took a roll of papyrus and wrote to Joseph these words. "Peace be with you. We know that we have sinned against God and against you, and we have prayed to the God of Israel that you should condescend to come to your fathers and your children, because we are all troubled. For I when we opened the door we did not find you. We know that we devised an evil plan against you; but the Lord helped you, and the Lord himself has brought to nothing our plan against you, honored father Joseph."
And they chose from all Israel seven men who were friends of Joseph, whom also Joseph himself acknowledged as friends, and the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites said to them: "See! If he receives our letter and reads it, know that he will come with you to us. But if he does not read it, know that he is angry with us, and salute him in peace and return to us." And they blessed the men and dismissed them. And the men came to Joseph and greeted him with reverence, and said to him: "Peace be with you!" He replied: "Peace be with you and all Israel!" And they gave him the roll of the letter. Joseph took it and read it and kissed the letter, and blessed God and said: "Blessed be God who has delivered the Israelites from shedding innocent blood. And blessed be the Lord, who sent his angel and sheltered me under his wings." And he set a table before them, and they ate and drank and lay down there.
And they rose up early in the morning and prayed. And Joseph saddled his sheass and went with the men, and they came to the holy city Jerusalem. And all the people met Joseph and cried: "Peace be to your entering in!" And he said to all the people: "Peace be with you!" And nil kissed him, and prayed with Joseph, and were beside themselves with joy at seeing him. Ami Nicodemus received him into his house and made a great feast, and called the elders and the priests and the Levites to his house, and they made merry, eating and drinking with Joseph. And after singing a hymn each one went to his house; but Joseph remained in the house of Nicodemus.
And on the next day, which was the preparation, the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites rose up early and came to the house of Nicodemus. Nicodemus met them and said: "Peace be with you!" They answered: "Peace be with you and with Joseph and with all your house and with all the house of Joseph!" And he brought them into his house. And the whole council sat down, and Joseph sat between Annas and Caiaphas. And no one dared to speak a word to him. And Joseph said: "Why have you called me?" And they beckoned to Nicodemus to speak to Joseph. Nicodemus opened his mouth and said to Joseph: "Father, you know that the honorable teachers and the priests and the Levites wish information from you." Joseph answered: "Ask me." And Annas and Caiaphas took the law and adjured Joseph, saying: "Give glory to the God of Israel and make confession to him. For Achan also, when adjured by the prophet Joshua, did not commit perjury, but told him everything and concealed nothing from him [Joshua 7], So do you also not conceal from us a single word." Joseph answered: "I will not conceal anything from you." And they said to him: "We were very angry because you asked for the body of Jesus, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in a tomb. And for this reason we secured you in a house with no window, and locked and sealed the door, and guards watched where you were shut up. And on the first day of the week we opened it, and did not find you, and were much troubled, and all the people of God were amazed until yesterday. And now tell us what happened to you." And Joseph said: "On the day of preparation about the tenth hour you shut me in, and I remained the whole Sabbath. And at midnight as I stood and prayed, the house where you shut me in was raised up by the four corners, and I saw as it were a lightning flash in my eyes. Full of fear, I fell to the ground. And someone took me by the hand and raised me up from the place where I had fallen, and something moist like water flowed from my head to my feet, and the smell of fragrant oil reached my nostrils. And he wiped my face and kissed me and said to me: 'Do not fear, Joseph. Open your eyes and see who it is who speaks with you.' I looked up and saw Jesus. Trembling, I thought it was a phantom, and I said the ten commandments. And he said them with me. Now as you well know, a phantom immediately flees if it meets anyone and hears the commandments. And when I saw that he said them with me, I said to him: 'Rabbi Elijah!' He said: 'I am not Elijah.' And I said to him: 'Who are you, Lord?' He replied: 'I am Jesus, whose body you asked for from Pilate, whom you clothed in clean linen, on whose face you placed a cloth, and whom you placed in your new cave, and you rolled a great stone to the door of the cave.' And I asked him who spoke to me; 'Show me the place where I laid you.' And he took me and showed me the place where I laid him. And the linen cloth lay there, and the cloth that was upon his face. Then I recognized that it was Jesus. And he took me by the hand and placed me in the middle of my house, with the doors shut, and led me to my bed and said to me: 'Peace be with you!' Then he kissed me and said to me: 'Do not go out of your house for forty days. For see, I go to my brethren in Galilee.' "
And when the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites
heard these words from Joseph, they became as dead men and fell
to the ground and fasted until the ninth hour, And Nicodemus and
Joseph comforted Annas and Caiaphas and the priests and Levites,
saying: "Get up and stand on your feet, and taste
bread and strengthen your souls. For tomorrow is the Sabbath of
the Lord." And they rose up and prayed to God, and ate and
drank, and went each to his own house.
And on the Sabbath our teachers and the priests and the Levites sat and questioned one another, saying: "What is this wrath which has come upon us? For we know his father and his mother." Levi the teacher said: "I know that his parents fear God and do not withhold their prayers and pay tithes three times a year. And when Jesus was born, his parents brought him to this place, and gave God sacrifices and burnt offerings. And the great teacher Symeon took him in his arms and said: Lord, now let your servant depart in peace, according to your word; for my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the presence of all peoples, a light for revelation to the Gentiles, and for glory to your people of Israel. And Symeon blessed them and said to Mary, his mother: I give you good tidings concerning this child. And Mary said: Good, my lord? And Symeon said to her: Good. Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against and a sword will pierce through your own soul also, that thoughts out of many hearts may be revealed" [Luke 2:28-35].
They said to Levi, the teacher: "How do you know this?" Levi answered them: "Do you not know that I learned the law from him?" The council said to him: "We wish to see your father." And they sent for his father. And when they questioned him, he said to them: "Why did you not believe my son? The blessed and righteous Symeon taught him the law." The council said: "Rabbi Levi, is the word true which you have spoken?" He answered: "It is true." Then the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites said among themselves: "Come, let us send to Galilee to the three men who came and told us of his teaching and of his being taken up, and let them tell us how they saw him taken up." And this word pleased them all. And they sent the three men who before had gone to Galilee with them, and said to them: "Say to Rabbi Adas and Rabbi Phinees and Rabbi Angaeus: Peace be with you and all who are with you. Since an important inquiry is taking place in the council, we were sent to you to call you to this holy place Jerusalem."
And the men went to Galilee and found them sitting and studying the law, and greeted them in peace. And the men who were in Galilee said to those who had come to them: "Peace be to all Israel." They answered: "Peace be with you." And again they said to them: "Why have you come?" Those who had been sent replied: "The council calls you to the holy city Jerusalem." When the men heard that they were sought by the council, they prayed to God and sat down at table with the men and ate and drank, and then arose and came in peace to Jerusalem.
And on the next day the council sat in the synagogue and questioned them, saying: "Did you indeed see Jesus sitting on the mountain Mamilch, teaching his eleven disciples? And did you see him taken up?" And the men answered them and said: "As we saw him taken up, so we have told you." Annas said: "Separate them from one another, and let us see if their accounts agree." And they separated them from one another. And (hey called Adas first and asked him: "How did you see Jesus taken up?" Adas answered: "As he sat on the mountain Mamilch and taught his disciples, we saw that a cloud overshadowed him and his disciples. And the cloud carried him up lo Heaven, and his disciples lay on their faces on the ground." Then they called Phinees the priest and asked him also: "How did you see Jesus taken up?" And he said the same thirty. And again they asked Angaeus, and he said the same thing. Then the members of the council said: "At the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every matter be established" [Deut. 19:15]. Abuthem, the teacher, said: "It is written in the law: Enoch walked with God, and was not, for God took him" [Gen. 5:24]. Jairus, the teacher, said: "Also we have heard of the death of the holy Moses, and we do not know how he died. For it is written in the law of the Lord: And Moses died as the mouth of the Lord determined, and no man knew of his sepulcher to this day" [Deut. 34:5f.]. And Rabbi Levi said: "Why did Rabbi Symeon say, when he saw Jesus: Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against? [Luke 2:34]. And Rabbi Isaac said: "It is written in the law: Behold, I send my messenger before your face. He will go before you to guard you in every good way. In him my name is named" [Exod. 23:20f.].
Then Annas and Caiaphas said: "You have rightly said what is written in the law of Moses, that no one knows the death of Enoch and no one has named the death of Moses. But Jesus had to give account before Pilate; we saw how he received blows and spitting on his face, that the soldiers put a crown of thorns upon him, that he was scourged and condemned by Pilate and then was crucified at the place of a skull; he was given vinegar and gall to drink, and Longinus the soldier pierced his side with a spear. Our honorable father Joseph asked for his body; and, he says, he rose again. And the three teachers declare: We saw him taken up into Heaven. And Rabbi Levi spoke and testified to the words of Rabbi Symeon: Behold, this child is set for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign that is spoken against [Luke 2:34]." And all the teachers said to all the people of the Lord: "If this is from the Lord, and it is marvelous in your eyes, you shall surely know, O house of Jacob, that it is written: Cursed is everyone who hangs on ,i tree [Dent. 2I:23|. And another passage of scripture teaches: The gods who did not make the Heaven and the earth shall perish [Jer. 10:11]." And the priests and the Levites said to one another: "If Jesus is remembered after fifty years,3 he will reign forever and create for himself a new people." Then the rulers of the synagogue and the priests and the Levites admonished all Israel: "Cursed is the man who shall worship the work of man's hand, and cursed is the man who shall worship created things alongside the creator." And the people answered: "Amen, amen."
And all the people praised the Lord God and sang: "Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to the people of Israel according to all his promises. Not one word remains unfulfilled of all the good which he promised to his servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers. May he not forsake us. May he not let the will die in us, to turn our heart to him, and walk in all his ways, and keep his commandments and laws which he gave to our fathers. And the Lord shall be king over all the earth on that day. And there shall be one God and his name shall be one, our Lord and king. He shall save us. There is none like you, O Lord. Great art you, O Lord, and great is your name. Heal us, O Lord, in your power, and we shall be healed. Save us, Lord, and we shall be saved. For we are your portion and inheritance. The Lord will not forsake his people for his great name's sake, for the Lord has begun to make us his people/' After this hymn of praise they all departed, every man to his house, glorifying God. For his is the glory forever and ever. Amen.
Joseph said: "Why then do you marvel at the resurrection
of Jesus? It is not this thai is marvelous, but rather that he
not raised alone, but raised up many other dead men who appeared
many in Jerusalem. And if you do not know the others, yet Symeon,
who took Jesus in his arms, and his two sons, whom he raised up,
you do know. For we buried them a little while ago. And now their
sepulchers are to be seen opened and empty, but they themselves
are alive and dwelling in Arimathaea." They therefore sent
men, and they found their tombs opened and empty. Joseph said: "Let
us go to Arimathaea and find them."
Then arose the chief priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Joseph and Nicodemus and Gamaliel and others with them, and went to Arimathaea and found the men of whom Joseph spoke. So they offered prayer, and greeted one another. They then went with them to Jerusalem, and they brought them into the synagogue, and secured the doors, and the chief priests placed the Old Testament of the Jews in the midst and said to them: "We wish you to swear by the God of Israel and by Adonai and so speak the truth, how you arose and who raised you from the dead." When the men who had arisen heard that, they signed their faces with the sign of the cross, and said to the chief priests: "Give us paper and ink and pen." So they brought these things. And they sat down and wrote as follows:
"O Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection and
the life of the world, give us grace that we may tell of your resurrection
and of your miracles which you performed in Hades. We, then, were
in Hades with all who have died since the beginning of the world.
And at the hour of midnight there rose upon the darkness there
something like the light of the sun and shone, and light fell upon
us all, and we saw one another. And immediately our father, Abraham,
along with the patriarchs and the prophets, was filled with joy,
and they said to one another: "This shining, comes from a
great light." The prophet Isaiah, who was present there, said: "This
shining comes from the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.
This I prophesied when I was still living: The land of Zabulon
and the land of Nephthalim, the people that sit in darkness saw
a great light"
Then there came into the midst another, an anchorite from the wilderness. The patriarchs asked him: "Who are you?" He replied: "I am John, the last of the prophets, who made straight the ways of the Son of God, and preached repentance to the people for the forgiveness of sins. And the Son of God came t( me, and when I saw him afar off, I said to the people: Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world [John 1:29]. And with my hand I baptized him in the river Jordan, and I saw the Holy Spirit like a dove coming upon him, and heard also the voice of God the Father speaking thus: This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased [Matt. 3:16f.]. And for this reason he sent me to you, to preach that the only begotten Son of God comes here, in order that whoever believes in him should be saved, and whoever does not believe in him should be condemned. Therefore I say to you all: When you see him, all of you worship him. For now only nave you opportunity for repentance because you worshiped idols in the vain world above and sinned. At another time it is impossible."
Now when John was thus teaching those who were in Hades, the first-created,
the lust father Adam heard, and said to his
son Soth: My son, I wish you to tell the forefathers of the race of men and the prophets where I sent you when I fell into mortal sickness." And Seth said:
Prophets and patriarchs, listen. My father Adam, the first-created, when he fell into mortal sickness, sent me to the very gate of Paradise to pray to God that he might lead mo by an angel to the tree of mercy, that I might take oil and anoint my father, and he arise from his sickness. This also I did. And after my prayer an angel of the Lord came and asked me: 'What do you desire, Seth? Do you desire, because of the sickness of your father, the oil that raises up the sick, or the tree from which flows such oil? This cannot be found now. Therefore go and tell your father that after the completion of fifty-five hundred years from the creation of the world, the only-begotten Son of God shall become man and shall descend below the earth. And he shall anoint him with that oil. And he shall arise and wash him and his descendants with water and the Holy Spirit. And then he shall be healed of every disease. But this is impossible now.' " When the patriarchs and prophets heard this, they rejoiced greatly.
1 And while all the saints were rejoicing, behold Satan the prince and chief of death said unto Hell: Make thyself ready to receive Jesus who boasteth himself that he is the Son of God, whereas he is a man that feareth death, and sayeth: My soul is sorrowful even unto death. And he hath been much mine enemy, doing me great hurt, and many that I had made blind, lame, dumb, leprous, and possessed he hath healed with a word: and some whom I have brought unto thee dead, them hath he taken away from thee.
2 Hell answered and said unto Satan the prince: Who is he that is so mighty, if he be a man that feareth death? for all the mighty ones of the earth are held in subjection by my power, even they whom thou hast brought me subdued by thy power. If, then, thou art mighty, what manner of man is this Jesus who, though he fear death, resisteth thy power? If he be so mighty in his manhood, verily I say unto thee he is almighty in his god-head, and no man can withstand his power. And when he saith that he feareth death, he would ensnare thee, and woe shall be unto thee for everlasting ages. But Satan the prince of Tartarus said: Why doubtest thou and fearest to receive this Jesus which is thine adversary and mine? For I tempted him, and have stirred up mine ancient people of the Jews with envy and wrath against him. I have sharpened a spear to thrust him through, gall and vinegar have I mingled to give him to drink, and I have prepared a cross to crucify him and nails to pierce him: and his death is nigh at hand, that I may bring him unto thee to be subject unto thee and me.
3 Hell answered and said: Thou hast told me that it is he that hath taken away dead men from me. For there be many which while they lived on the earth have taken dead men from me, yet not by their own power but by prayer to God, and their almighty God hath taken them from me. Who is this Jesus which by his own word without prayer hath drawn dead men from me? Perchance it is he which by the word of his command did restore to life Lazarus which was four days dead and stank and was corrupt, whom I held here dead. Satan the prince of death answered and said: It is that same Jesus. When Hell heard that he said unto him: I adjure thee by thy strength and mine own that thou bring him not unto me. For at that time I, when I heard the command of his word, did quake and was overwhelmed with fear, and all my ministries with me were troubled. Neither could we keep Lazarus, but he like an eagle shaking himself leaped forth with all agility and swiftness, and departed from us, and the earth also which held the dead body of Lazarus straightway gave him up alive. Wherefore now I know that that man which was able to do these things is a God strong in command and mighty in manhood, and that he is the saviour of mankind. And if thou bring him unto me he will set free all that are here shut up in the hard prison and bound in the chains of their sins that cannot be broken, and will bring them unto the life of his god head for ever.
1 And as Satan the prince, and Hell, spoke this together, suddenly there came a voice as of thunder and a spiritual cry: Remove, O princes, your gates, and be ye lift up, ye everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. When Hell heard that he said unto Satan the prince: Depart from me and go out of mine abode: if thou be a mighty man of war, fight thou against the King of glory. But what hast thou to do with him? And Hell cast Satan forth out of his dwelling. Then said Hell unto his wicked ministers: Shut ye the hard gates of brass and put on them the bars of iron and withstand stoutly, lest we that hold captivity be taken captive.
2 But when all the multitude of the saints heard it, they spake with a voice of rebuking unto Hell: Open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in. And David cried out, saying: Did I not when I was alive upon earth, foretell unto you: Let them give thanks unto the Lord, even his mercies and his wonders unto the children of men; who hath broken the gates of brass and smitten the bars of iron in sunder? he hath taken them out of the way of their iniquity. And thereafter in like manner Esaias said: Did not I when I was alive upon earth foretell unto you: The dead shall arise, and they that are in the tombs shall rise again, and they that are in the earth shall rejoice, for the dew which cometh of the Lord is their healing? And again I said: O death, where is thy sting? O Hell, where is thy victory?
3 When they heard that of Esaias, all the saints said unto Hell: Open thy gates: now shalt thou be overcome and weak and without strength. And there came a great voice as of thunder, saying: Remove, O princes, your gates, and be ye lift up ye doors of hell, and the King of glory shall come in. And when Hell saw that they so cried out twice, he said, as if he knew it not: Who is the King of glory? And David answered Hell and said: The words of this cry do I know, for by his spirit I prophesied the same; and now I say unto thee that which I said before: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, he is the King of glory. And: The Lord looked down from heaven that he might hear the groanings of them that are in fetters and deliver the children of them that have been slain. And now, O thou most foul and stinking Hell, open thy gates, that the King of glory may come in. And as David spake thus unto Hell, the Lord of majesty appeared in the form of a man and lightened the eternal darkness and brake the bonds that could not be loosed: and the succour of his everlasting might visited us that sat in the deep darkness of our transgressions and in the shadow of death of our sins.
1 When Hell and death and their wicked ministers saw that, they were stricken with fear, they and their cruel officers, at the sight of the brightness of so great light in their own realm, seeing Christ of a sudden in their abode, and they cried out, saying: We are overcome by thee. Who art thou that art sent by the Lord for our confusion? Who art thou that without all damage of corruption, and with the signs (?) of thy majesty unblemished, dost in wrath condemn our power? Who art thou that art so great and so small, both humble and exalted, both soldier and commander, a marvelous warrior in the shape of a bondsman, and a King of glory dead and living, whom the cross bare slain upon it? Thou that didst lie dead in the sepulchre hast come down unto us living and at thy death all creation quaked and all the stars were shaken and thou hast become free among the dead and dost rout our legions. Who art thou that settest free the prisoners that are held bound by original sin and restorest them into their former liberty? Who art thou that sheddest thy divine and bright light upon them that were blinded with the darkness of their sins? After the same manner all the legions of devils were stricken with like fear and cried out all together in the terror of their confusion, saying: Whence art thou, Jesus, a man so mighty and bright in majesty, so excellent without spot and clean from sin? For that world of earth which hath been always subject unto us until now, and did pay tribute to our profit, hath never sent unto us a dead man like thee, nor ever dispatched such a gift unto Hell. Who then art thou that so fearlessly enterest our borders, and not only fearest not our torments, but besides essayest to bear away all men out of our bonds? Peradventure thou art that Jesus, of whom Satan our prince said that by thy death of the cross thou shouldest receive the dominion of the whole world.
2 Then did the King of glory in his majesty trample upon death, and laid hold on Satan the prince and delivered him unto the power of Hell, and drew Adam to him unto his own brightness.
Then Hell, receiving Satan the prince, with sore reproach said unto him: O prince of perdition and chief of destruction, Beelzebub, the scorn of the angels and spitting of the righteous why wouldest thou do this? Thou wouldest crucify the King of glory and at his decease didst promise us great spoils of his death: like a fool thou knewest not what thou didst. For behold now, this Jesus putteth to flight by the brightness of his majesty all the darkness of death, and hath broken the strong depths of the prisons, and let out the prisoners and loosed them that were bound. And all that were sighing in our torments do rejoice against us, and at their prayers our dominions are vanquished and our realms conquered, and now no nation of men feareth us any more. And beside this, the dead which were never wont to be proud triumph over us, and the captives which never could be joyful do threaten us. O prince Satan, father of all the wicked and ungodly and renegades wherefore wouldest thou do this? They that from the beginning until now have despaired of life and salvation-now is none of their wonted roarings heard, neither doth any groan from them sound in our ears, nor is there any sign of tears upon the face of any of them. O prince Satan, holder of the keys of hell, those thy riches which thou hadst gained by the tree of transgression and the losing of paradise, thou hast lost by the tree of the cross, and all thy gladness hath perished. When thou didst hang up Christ Jesus the King of glory thou wroughtest against thyself and against me. Henceforth thou shalt know what eternal torments and infinite pains thou art to suffer in my keeping for ever. O prince Satan, author of death and head of all pride, thou oughtest first to have sought out matter of evil in this Jesus: Wherefore didst thou adventure without cause to crucify him unjustly against whom thou foundest no blame, and to bring into our realm the innocent and righteous one, and to lose the guilty and the ungodly and unrighteous of the whole world? And when Hell had spoken thus unto Satan the prince, then said the King of glory unto Hell: Satan the prince shall be in thy power unto all ages in the stead of Adam and his children, even those that are my righteous ones.
1 And the Lord stretching forth his hand, said: Come unto me, all ye my saints which bear mine image and my likeness. Ye that by the tree and the devil and death were condemned, behold now the devil and death condemned by the tree. And forthwith all the saints were gathered in one under the hand of the Lord. And the Lord holding the right hand of Adam, said unto him: Peace be unto thee with all thy children that are my righteous ones. But Adam, casting himself at the knees of the Lord entreated him with tears and beseechings, and said with a loud voice: I will magnify thee, O Lord, for thou hast set me up and not made my foes to triumph over me: O Lord my God I cried unto thee and thou hast healed me; Lord, thou hast brought my soul out of hell, thou hast delivered me from them that go down to the pit. Sing praises unto the Lord all ye saints of his, and give thanks unto him for the remembrance of his holiness. For there is wrath in his indignation and life is in his good pleasure. In like manner all the saints of God kneeled and cast themselves at the feet of the Lord, saying with one accord: Thou art come, O redeemer of the world: that which thou didst foretell by the law and by thy prophets, that hast thou accomplished in deed. Thou hast redeemed the living by thy cross, and by the death of the cross thou hast come down unto us, that thou mightest save us out of hell and death through thy majesty. O Lord, like as thou hast set the name of thy glory in the heavens and set up thy cross for a token of redemption upon the earth, so, Lord, set thou up the sign of the victory of thy cross in hell, that death may have no more dominion.
2 And the Lord stretched forth his hand and made the sign of the cross over Adam and over all his saints, and he took the right hand of Adam and went up out of hell, and all the saints followed him. Then did holy David cry aloud and say: Sing unto the Lord a new song, for he hath done marvelous things. His right hand hath wrought salvation for him and his holy arm. The Lord hath made known his saving health, before the face of all nations hath he revealed his righteousness. And the whole multitude of the saints answered, saying: Such honour have all his saints. Amen, Alleluia.
3 And thereafter Habacuc the prophet cried out and said: Thou wentest forth for the salvation of thy people to set free thy chosen. And all the saints answered, saying: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord. God is the Lord and hath showed us light. Amen, Alleluia. Likewise after that the prophet Micheas also cried, saying: What God is like thee, O Lord, taking away iniquity and removing sins? and now thou withholdest thy wrath for a testimony that thou art merciful of free will, and thou dost turn away and have mercy on us, thou forgivest all our iniquities and hast sunk all our sins in the depths of the sea, as thou swarest unto our fathers in the days of old. And all the saints answered, saying: This is our God for ever and ever, he shall be our guide, world without end. Amen, Alleluia. And so spake all the prophets, making mention of holy words out of their praises, and all the saints followed the Lord, crying Amen, Alleluia.
But the Lord holding the hand of Adam delivered him unto Michael the archangel, and all the saints followed Michael the archangel, and he brought them all into the glory and beauty (grace) of paradise. And there met with them two men, ancients of days, and when they were asked of the saints: Who are ye that have not yet been dead in hell with us and are set in paradise in the body? then one of them answering, said: I am Enoch which was translated hither by the word of the Lord, and this that is with me is Elias the Thesbite which was taken up in a chariot of fire: and up to this day we have not tasted death, but we are received unto the coming of Antichrist to fight against him with signs and wonders of God, and to be slain of him in Jerusalem, and after three days and a half to be taken up again alive on the clouds.
And as Enoch and Elias spake thus with the saints, behold there came another man of vile habit, bearing upon his shoulders the sign of the cross; whom when they beheld, all the saints said unto him: Who art thou? for thine appearance is as of a robber; and wherefore is it that thou bearest a sign upon thy shoulders? And he answered them and said: Ye have rightly said: for I was a robber, doing all manner of evil upon the earth. And the Jews crucified me with Jesus, and I beheld the wonders in the creation which came to pass through the cross of Jesus when he was crucified, and I believed that he was the maker of all creatures and the almighty king, and I besought him, saying: Remember me, Lord, when thou comest into thy kingdom. And forthwith he received my prayer, and said unto me: Verily I say unto thee, this day shalt thou be with me in paradise: and he gave me the sign of the cross, saying: Bear this and go unto paradise, and if the angel that keepeth paradise suffer thee not to enter in, show him the sign of the cross; and thou shalt say unto him: Jesus Christ the Son of God who now is crucified hath sent me. And when I had so done, I spake all these things unto the angel that keepeth paradise; and when he heard this of me, forthwith he opened the door and brought me in and set me at the right hand of paradise, saying: Lo now, tarry a little, and Adam the father of all mankind will enter in with all his children that are holy and righteous, after the triumph and glory of the ascending up of Christ the Lord that is crucified. When they heard all these words of the robber, all the holy patriarchs and prophets said with one voice: Blessed be the Lord Almighty, the Father of eternal good things, the Father of mercies, thou that hast given such grace unto thy sinners and hast brought them again into the beauty of paradise and into thy good pastures: for this is the most holy life of the spirit. Amen, Amen.
These are the divine and holy mysteries which we saw and heard, even I, Karinus, and Leucius: but we were not suffered to relate further the rest of the mysteries of God, according as Michael the archangel strictly charged us, saying: Ye shall go with your brethren unto Jerusalem and remain in prayer, crying out and glorifying the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath raised you from the dead together with him: and ye shall not be speaking with any man, but sit as dumb men, until the hour come when the Lord himself suffereth you to declare the mysteries of his god head. But unto us Michael the archangel gave commandment that we should go over Jordan unto a place rich and fertile, where are many which rose again together with us for a testimony of the resurrection of Christ the Lord. For three days only were allowed unto us who rose from the dead, to keep the passover of the Lord in Jerusalem with our kindred (parents) that are living for a testimony of the resurrection of Christ the Lord: and we were baptized in the holy river of Jordan and received white robes, every one of us. And after the three days, when we had kept the passover of the Lord, all they were caught up in the clouds which had risen again with us, and were taken over Jordan and were no more seen of any man. But unto us it was said that we should remain in the city of Arimathaea and continue in prayer.
These be all things which the Lord bade us declare unto you: give praise and thanksgiving (confession) unto him, and repent that he may have mercy upon you. Peace be unto you from the same Lord Jesus Christ which is the Saviour of us all. Amen.
And when they had finished writing all things in the several volumes of paper they arose; and Karinus gave that which he had written into the hands of Annas and Caiaphas and Gamaliel; likewise Leucius gave that which he had written into the hands of Nicodemus and Joseph. And suddenly they were transfigured and became white exceedingly and were no more seen. But their writings were found to be the same (lit. equal), neither more nor less by one letter.
And when all the synagogue of the Jews heard all these marvelous sayings of Karinus and Leucius, they said one to another: Of a truth all these things were wrought by the Lord, and blessed be the Lord, world without end, Amen. And they went out all of them in great trouble of mind, smiting their breasts with fear and trembling, and departed every man unto his own home.
And all these things which were spoken by the Jews in their synagogue, did Joseph and Nicodemus forthwith declare unto the governor. And Pilate himself wrote all the things that were done and said concerning Jesus by the Jews, and laid up all the words in the public books of his judgement hall (praetorium).
This chapter is not found in the majority of copies.
After these things Pilate entered into the temple of the Jews and gathered together all the chief of the priests, and the teachers (grammaticos) and scribes and doctors of the law, and went in with them into the holy place of the temple and commanded all the doors to be shut, and said unto them: We have heard that ye have in this temple a certain great Bible; wherefore I ask you that it be presented before us. And when that great Bible adorned with gold and precious jewels was brought by four ministers, Pilate said to them all: I adjure you by the God of your fathers which commanded you to build this temple in the place of his sanctuary, that ye hide not the truth from me. Ye know all the things that are written in this Bible; but tell me now if ye have found in the scriptures that this Jesus whom ye have crucified is the Son of God which should come for the salvation of mankind, and in what year of the times he must come. Declare unto me whether ye crucified him in ignorance or knowingly.
And Annas and Caiaphas when they were thus adjured commanded all the rest that were will them to go out of the temple; and they themselves shut all the doors of the temple and of the sanctuary, and said unto Pilate: Thou hast adjured us, O excellent judge, by the building of this temple to make manifest unto thee the truth and reason (or a true account). After that we had crucified Jesus, knowing not that he was the Son of God, but supposing that by some chance he did his wondrous works, we made a great assembly (synagogue) in this temple; and as we conferred one with another concerning the signs of the mighty works which Jesus had done, we found many witnesses of our own nation who said that they had seen Jesus alive after his passion, and that he was passed into the height of the heaven. Moreover, we saw two witnesses whom Jesus raised from the dead, who declared unto us many marvelous things which Jesus did among the dead, which things we have in writing in our hands. Now our custom is that every year before our assembly we open this holy Bible and inquire the testimony of God. And we have found in the first book of the Seventy how that Michael the angel spake unto the third son of Adam the first man concerning the five thousand and five hundred years, wherein should come the most beloved Son of God, even Christ: and furthermore we have thought that peradventure this same was the God of Israel which said unto Moses: Make thee an ark of the covenant in length two cubits and a half, and in breadth one cubit and a half, and in height one cubit and a half. For by those five cubits and a half we have understood and known the fashion of the ark of the old covenant, for that in five thousand and a half thousand years Jesus Christ should come in the ark of his body: and we have found that he is the God of Israel, even the Son of God. For after his passion, we the chief of the priests, because we marvelled at the signs which came to pass on his account did open the Bible, and searched out all the generations unto the generation of Joseph, and Mary the mother of Christ, taking her to be the seed of David: and we found that from the day when God made the heaven and the earth and the first man, from that time unto the Flood are 2,212 years: and from the Flood unto the building of the tower 531 years: and from the building of the tower unto Abraham 606 years: and from Abraham unto the coming of the children of Israel out of Egypt 470 years: and from the going of the children of Israel out of Egypt unto the building of the temple 511 years: and from the building of the temple unto the destruction of the same temple 464 years: so far found we in the Bible of Esdras: and inquiring from the burning of the temple unto the coming of Christ and his birth we found it to be 636 years, which together were five thousand and five hundred years like as we found it written in the Bible that Michael the archangel declared before unto Seth the third son of Adam, that after five thousand and a half thousand years Christ the Son of God hath (? should) come. Hitherto have we told no man, lest there should be a schism in our synagogues; and now, O excellent judge, thou hast adjured us by this holy Bible of the testimonies of God, and we do declare it unto thee: and we also have adjured thee by thy life and health that thou declare not these words unto any man in Jerusalem.
And Pilate, when he heard these words of Annas and Caiaphas, laid them all up amongst the acts of the Lord and Saviour in the public books of his judgement hall, and wrote a letter unto Claudius the king of the city of Rome, saying:
[The following Epistle or Report of Pilate is inserted in Greek into the late Acts of Peter and Paul ( 40) and the Pseudo-Marcellus Passion of Peter and Paul ( 19). We thus have it in Greek and Latin, and the Greek is used here as the basis of the version.]
Pontius Pilate unto Claudius, greeting.
There befell of late a matter which I myself brought to light (or made trial of): for the Jews through envy have punished themselves and their posterity with fearful judgements of their own fault; for whereas their fathers had promises (al. had announced unto them) that their God would send them out of heaven his holy one who should of right be called their king, and did promise that he would send him upon earth by a virgin; he, then (or this God of the Hebrews, then), came when I was governor of Judaea, and they beheld him enlightening the blind, cleansing lepers, healing the palsied, driving devils out of men, raising the dead, rebuking the winds, walking upon the waves of the sea dry-shod, and doing many other wonders, and all the people of the Jews calling him the Son of God: the chief priests therefore, moved with envy against him, took him and delivered him unto me and brought against him one false accusation after another, saying that he was a sorcerer and did things contrary to their law.
But I, believing that these things were so, having scourged him, delivered him unto their will: and they crucified him, and when he was buried they set guards upon him. But while my soldiers watched him he rose again on the third day: yet so much was the malice of the Jews kindled that they gave money to the soldiers, saying: Say ye that his disciples stole away his body. But they, though they took the money, were not able to keep silence concerning that which had come to pass, for they also have testified that they saw him arisen and that they received money from the Jews. And these things have I reported for this cause, lest some other should lie unto thee (lat. lest any lie otherwise) and thou shouldest deem right to believe the false tales of the Jews.