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Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations: Ante Nicene Christian Library Tranlations of the Fathers Down to AD 325 Part Sixteen

4 Apr

Apocryphal Writings.

 Introduction. 

Our aim in these translations has been to give a rendering of the original as literal as possible; and to this we have adhered even in cases–and they are not a few–in which the Latin or the Greek is not in strict accordance with grammatical rule. It was thought advisable in all cases to give the reader the means of forming an accurate estimate of the style as well as the substance of these curious documents.

Rev. Alexander Roberts, DD and James-Donaldson, L.L.D. Eds,

(Edinburgh T & T. Clark, 38, George Street MDCCCLXX)

Thou wilt not believe thyself not to be Christ.

27 Mar

Simon said :  I spare you until I shall receive my power.

Paul said : See if you will go out hence safe.

Peter said : If thou do not see, Simon, the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, thou wilt not believe thyself not to be Christ.

Simon said : Most sacred emperor, do not believe them, for they are circumcised knaves.

Paul said : Before we knew the truth, we had the circumcision of the flesh ; but when the truth appeared, in the circumcision of the heart we both are circumcised, and circumcise.

Peter said : If circumcision be a disgrace,why hast thou been circumcised, Simon?

Nero said : Has, then, Simon also been circumcised?

Peter said : For not otherwise could he have deceived souls, unless he feigned himself to be a Jew, and made a show of teaching the law of God.

Nero said : Simon, thou, as I see being carried away with envy, persecutest these men. For as it seems, there is great hatred between thee and their Christ : and I am afraid that thou wilt be worsted by them, and involved in great evils.

Simon said : Thou art led astray, O emperor.

Nero said : How am I led astray ?  What I see in thee, I say.  I see that thou art manifestly an enemy of Peter and Paul and their master.

Simon said :  Christ was not Paul’s master.

Paul said : Yes ; through revelation. he taught me also. But tell me what I asked thee–Why wast thou circumcised ?

Simon said : Why have you asked me this?

Paul said : We have a reason for asking you this.

Nero said : Why art thou afraid to answer them?

Simon said : Listen, O emperor.  At that time circumcision was enjoined by God when I received it.  For this reason was I circumcised.

Paul said :  Hearest thou, O good emperor, what has been said by Simon?  If, therefore, circumcision be a good thing, why hast thou, Simon, given up those who have been circumcised, and forced them, after being condemned, to be put to death?

Nero said : Neither about you do I perceive anything good.

Peter and Paul said : Whether this thought about us be good or evil has no reference to the matter, but to us it was necessary that what our Master promised should come to pass.

The Acts of the Holy Apostles Peter and Paul

Rev.  Alexander Roberts, DD and James-Donaldson, L.L.D.  Eds, Apochryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations:  Ante Nicene Christian Library Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325 Part Sixteen (Edinburgh T & T. Clark, 38,  George Street MDCCCLXX  pp. 270-271

 

The Acts of Philip • Apocryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations

18 Mar

And as Philip was just speaking, behold, also John entered into the city like one of their fellow-citizens; and moving about in the street , he asked: Who are these men, and why are they punished? And they said to him: It cannot be that thou art of our city, and askest about these men, who have wronged many: for they have shut up our gods, and by their magic have cut off both the serpents and the dragons; and they have also raised many of the dead, who have struck us with amazement, detailing many punishments (against us): and they wish also, these strangers who are hanging, to pray for fire out of heaven, and to burn up us and our city.

Then says John: Let us go, and do you show me them. They led John, therefore, as their fellow citizen, to where Philip was: and there was there a great crowd, and the consul and the priests. And Philip, seeing John, said to Bartholomew in Hebrew: Brother, John has come, who was in Barek, where the living water is.
And John saw Philip hanging head downwards both by the ankles and the heels; and he also saw Bartholomew stretched out on the wall of the temple; and he said to them: The mystery of him that was hanged between the heaven and the earth shall be with you.
And he said also to the men of the city: Ye men who dwell in Ophioryma Hierapolis, great is the ignorance which is among you, for you have erred in the path of error. The dragon breathing has breathed upon you, and blinded you in three ways: that is, he has made you blind in body, and blind in soul, and blind in spirit: and you have been struck by the destroyer. Look upon the whole creation, whether in the earth or in the heaven, or in the waters, that the serpent has no resemblance to anything above: but he is of the stock of corruption, and has been brought to nothing by God; and on this account he is twisted and crooked, and there is no life in him; and anger, and rage, and darkness and fire. and smoke are in all his members. And now therefore, why do you punish these men because they have told you that the serpent is your enemy?
And when they heard these words from John, they raised their hands against him saying: We thought thee to be a fellow-citizen but now thou hast shown thyself that thou art their companion. Like them, so also thou shalt be put to death; for the priests have intended to squeeze out your blood, and having mixed it with wine, to bring it to the viper to drink it. When therefore, the priests attempted to lay hold of John , their hands were paralyzed.

The Acts of Paul and Thecla

29 Oct

And the crowd when Paul had been brought, vehemently cried out:  He is a magician! away with him! But the proconsul gladly heard Paul upon the holy works of Christ.  And having called a council he summoned Thecla, and said to her:  Why dost thou not obey Thamyris, according to the law of the Iconians?  But she stood looking earnestly at Paul.  And when she gave no answer, her mother cried out, saying:  Burn the wicked [wretch]; burn in the midst of the theatre her that will not marry, in order that all the women that have been taught by this man be afraid.

And the governor was greatly moved; and having scourged Paul, he cast him out of the city, and condemned Thecla to be burned.  And immediately the governor went away to the theatre, and all the crowd went forth to the spectacle of Thecla.  But as a lamb in the wilderness looks round for the shepherd so she kept searching for Paul.  And having looked upon the crowd, she saw the Lord sitting in the likeness of Paul, and said:  As I am unable to endure my lot. Paul has come to see me.  And she gazed upon him with great earnestness, and he went up into heaven.

But the maid-servants and virgins brought the faggots, in order that Thecla might be burned.  And when she came in naked, the governor wept, and wondered at that power that was in her.  And the public executioners arranged the faggots for her to go up on the pile.  And she having made the sign of the cross, went up on the faggots; and they lighted them.  And though a great fire was blazing, it did not touch her; for God, having compassion upon her, made an underground rumbling, and a cloud overshadowed them from above, full of water and hail;  and all that was in the cavity of it was poured out, so that many were in danger of death.  And the fire was put out, and Thecla saved.

Rev.  Alexander Roberts, DD and James-Donaldson, L.L.D.  Eds, Apochryphal Gospels, Acts and Revelations:  Ante Nicene Christian Library Translations of the Writings of the Fathers Down to AD 325 Part Sixteen (Edinburgh T & T. Clark, 38,  George Street MDCCCLXX p.283-284)

 

 

The Revelation of St John the Theologian

5 Dec

AFTER the taking up of our Lord Jesus Christ, I John was alone upon Mount Tabor, (1) where also He showed us His undefiled Godhead; and as I was not able to stand, I fell upon the ground, and prayed to the Lord, and said: O Lord my God, who hast deemed me worthy to be Thy servant, hear my voice, and teach me about Thy coming. When Thou shall come to the earth, what will happen? The heaven and the earth, and the sun and the moon, what will happen to them in those times? Reveal to me all; for I am emboldened, because Thou listenest to Thy servant.

And I spent seven days praying; and after this a cloud of light caught me up from the mountain, and set me before the face of the heaven. And I heard a voice saying to me: Look up, John, servant of God, and know. And having looked up, I saw the heaven opened, and there came forth from within the heaven a smell of perfumes of much sweet odour; and I saw an exceeding great flood of light, more resplendent than the sun. And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I directed my sight, and saw a book lying, of the thickness, methought, of seven mountains; (2) and the length of it the mind of man cannot comprehend, having seven seals. And I said: O Lord my God, reveal to me what is written in this book. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. In this book which thou seest there have been written the things in the heaven, and the things in the earth, and the things in the abyss, and the judgments and righteousness of all the human race. (3) And I said: Lord, when shall these things come to pass? and what do those times bring? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. (4) There shall be in that time abundance of corn and wine, such as there hath never been upon the earth, nor shall ever be until those times come. Then the ear of corn shall produce a half choenix, (5) and the bend of the branch shall produce a thousand clusters, and the cluster shall produce a half jar of wine; and in the following year there shall not be found upon the face of all the earth a half choenix of corn or a half jar of wine.

And again I said: Lord, thereafter what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall appear the denier, and he who is set apart in the darkness, who is called Antichrist. And again I said: Lord, reveal to me what he is like. And I heard a voice saying to me: The appearance of his face is dusky; (6) the hairs of his head are sharp, like darts; his eyebrows like a wild beast’s; his right eye like the star which rises in the morning, and the other like a lion’s; his mouth about one cubit; his teeth span long; his fingers like scythes; the print of his feet of two spans; and on his face an inscription, Antichrist; he shall be exalted even to heaven, and shall be cast down even to Hades, making false displays. (7) And then will I make the heaven brazen, so that it shall not give moisture (8) upon the earth; and I will hide the clouds in secret places, so that they shall not bring moisture upon the earth; and I will command the horns of the wind, so that the wind shall not blow upon the earth. (9)

And again I said: Lord, and how many years will he do this upon the earth? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Three years shall those times be; and I will make the three years like three months, and the three months like three weeks, and the three weeks like three days, and the three days like three hours, and the three hours like three seconds, as said the prophet David, His throne hast Thou broken down to the ground; Thou hast shortened the days of his time; Thou hast poured shame upon him. (1) And then I shall send forth Enoch and Elias to convict him; and they shall show him to be a liar and a deceiver; and he shall kill them at the altar, as said the prophet, Then shall they offer calves up Thine altar. (2)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what will come to pass? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then all the human race shall die, and there shall not be a living man upon all the earth. And again I said: Lord, after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels, and they shall take the ram’s horns that lie upon the cloud; and Michael and Gabriel shall go forth out of the heaven and sound with those horns, as the prophet David foretold, With the voice of a trumpet of horn. (3) And the voice of the trumpet shall be heard from the one quarter of the world to the other; (4) and from the voice of that trumpet all the earth shall be shaken, as the prophet foretold, And at the voice of the bird every plant shall arise; (5) that is, at the voice of the archangel all the human race shall arise. (6)

And again I said: Lord, those who are dead froth Adam even to this day, and who dwell in Hades from the beginning of the world, and who die at the last ages, what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. All the human race shall arise thirty years old.

And again I said: Lord, they die male and female, and some old, and some young, and some infants. In the resurrection what like shall they arise? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Just as the bees are, and differ not one from another, but are all of one appearance and one size, so also shall every man be in the resurrection. There is neither fair, nor ruddy, nor black, neither Ethiopian nor different countenances; but they shall all arise of one appearance and one stature. All the human race shall arise without bodies, as I told you that in the resurrection

And again I said: Lord, is it possible in that world to recognise each other, a brother his brother, or a friend his friend, or a father his own children, or the children their own parents? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, John. To the righteous there is recognition, but to the sinners not at all; they cannot in the resurrection recognise each other. And again I John said: Lord, is there there recollection of the things that are here, either fields or vineyards, or other things here? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. The prophet David speaks, saying, I remembered that we are dust: as for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field, so he shall flourish: for a wind hath passed over it, and it shall be no more, and it shall not any longer know its place. (8) And again the same said: His spirit (9) shall go forth, and he returns to his earth; in that day all his thoughts shall perish. (10)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then will I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall lift off the earth everything honourable, and everything precious, and the venerable and holy images, and the glorious and precious crosses, and the sacred vessels of the churches, and the divine and sacred books; and all the precious and holy things shall be lifted up by clouds into the air. And then will I order to be lifted up the great and venerable sceptre, (11) on which I stretched forth my hands, and all the orders of my angels shall do reverence to it. And then shall be lifted up all the race of men upon clouds, as the Apostle Paul foretold. (12) Along with them we shall be snatched up in (13) clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And then shall come forth every evil spirit, both in the earth and in the abyss, wherever they are on the face of all the earth, from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and they shall be united to him that is served by the devil, that is, Antichrist, and they shall be lifted up upon the clouds.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I send forth mine angels over the face of all the earth, and they shall burn up the earth eight thousand five hundred (1) cubits, and the great mountains shall be burnt up, and all the rocks shall be melted and shall become as dust, and every tree shall be burnt up, and every beast, and every creeping thing creeping upon the earth, and every thing moving upon the face of the earth, and every flying thing flying in the air; and there shall no longer be upon the face of all the earth anything moving, and the earth shall be without motion.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall I uncover the four parts of the east, and there shall come forth four great winds, and they shall sweep (2) all the face of the earth from the one end of the earth to the other; and the Lord shall sweep sin from off the earth, and the earth shall be made white like snow, and it shall become as a leaf of paper, without cave, or mountain, or hill, or rock; but the face of the earth from the rising even to the setting of the sun shall be like a table, and white as snow; and the reins of the earth shall be consumed by fire, and it shall cry unto me, saying, I am a virgin before thee, O Lord, and there is no sin in me; as the prophet David said aforetime, Thou shall sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be made pure; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. (3) And again he (4) said: Every chasm shall be filled up, and every mountain and hill brought low, and the crooked places shall be made straight, and the rough ways into smooth; and all flesh shall see the salvation of God. (5)

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then shall the earth be cleansed from sin, and all the earth shall be filled with a sweet smell, because I am about to come down upon the earth; and then shall come forth the great and venerable sceptre, with thousands of angels worshipping it, as I said before; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man from the heaven with power and great glory. (6) And then the worker of iniquity with his servants shall behold it, and gnash his teeth exceedingly, and all the unclean spirits shall be turned to flight. And then, seized by invisible power, having no means of flight, they shall gnash their teeth against him, saying to him: Where is thy power? How hast thou led us astray? and we have fled away, and have fallen away from the glory which we had beside Him who is coming to judge us, and the whole human race. Woe to us! because He banishes us into outer darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then will I send an angel out of heaven, and he shall cry with a loud voice, saying, Hear, O earth, and be strong, saith the Lord; for I am coming down to thee. And the voice of the angel shall be heard from the one end of the world even to the other, and even to the remotest part of the abyss. And then shall be shaken all the power of the angels and of the many-eyed ones, and there shall be a great noise in the heavens, and the nine regions of the heaven shall be shaken, and there shall be fear and astonishment upon all the angels. And then the heavens shall be rent from the rising of the sun even to the setting, and an innumerable multitude of angels shall come down to the earth; and then the treasures of the heavens shall be opened, and they shall bring down every precious thing, and the perfume of incense, and they shall bring down to the earth Jerusalem robed like a bride. (7) And then there shall go before me myriads of angels and archangels, bearing my throne, crying out, Holy, holy, holy, Lord of Sabaoth; heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. (8) And then will I come forth with power and great glory, and every eye in (9) the clouds shall see me; and then every knee shall bend, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth. (10) And then the heaven shall remain empty; and I will come down upon the earth, and all that is in the air shall be brought down upon the earth, and all the human race and every evil spirit along with Antichrist, and they shall all be set before me naked, and chained by the neck.

And again I said: Lord, what will become of the heavens, and the sun, and the moon, along with the stars? And I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, righteous John. And I looked, and saw a Lamb having seven eyes and seven horns. (11) And again I heard a voice saying to me: I will bid the Lamb come before me, and will say, Who will open this book? And all the multitudes of the angels will answer, Give this book to the Lamb to open it. And then will l order the book to be opened. And when He shall open the first seal, the stars of the heaven shall fall, from the one end of it to the other. And when He shall open the second seal, the moon shall be hidden, and there shall be no light in her. And when He shall open the third seal, the light of the sun shall be withheld, and there shall not be light upon the earth. And when He shall open the fourth seal, the heavens shall be dissolved, and the air shall be thrown into utter confusion, as saith the prophet: And the heavens are the works of Thy hands; they shall perish, but Thou endurest, and they shall all wax old as a garment. (1) And when He shall open the fifth seal, the earth shall be rent, and all the tribunals upon the face of all the earth shall be revealed. And when He shall open the sixth seal, the half of the sea shall disappear. And when He shall open the seventh seal, Hades shall be uncovered.

And I said: Lord, who will be the first to be questioned, and to receive judgment? And I heard a voice saying to me, The unclean spirits, along with the adversary. I bid them go into outer darkness, where the depths (2) are. And I said: Lord, and in what place does it lie? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As big a stone as a man of thirty years old can roll, and let go down into the depth, even falling down for twenty years will not arrive at the bottom of Hades; as the prophet David said before, And He made darkness His secret place. (3)

And I said: Lord, and after them what nation (4) will be questioned? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. There will be questioned of Adam’s race those nations, both the Greek and those who have believed in idols, and in the sun, and in the stars, and those who have defiled the faith by heresy, and who have not believed the holy resurrection, and who have not confessed the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost: then will I send them away into Hades, as the prophet David foretold, Let the sinners be turned into Hades, and all the nations that forget God. (6) And again he said: They were put in Hades like sheep; death shall be their shepherd. (7)

And again I said: Lord, and after them whom wilt Thou judge? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. Then the race of the Hebrews shall be examined, who nailed me to the tree like a malefactor. And I said: And what punishment will these get, and in what place, seeing that they did such things to Thee? And I heard a voice saying to me: They shall go away into Tartarus, as the prophet David foretold, They cried out, and there was none to save; to the Lord, and He did not hearken to them. (8) And again the Apostle Paul said: As many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law, and as many as have sinned in law shall be judged by means of law. (9)

And again I said: Lord, and what of those who have received baptism? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then the race of the Christians shall be examined, who have received baptism; and then the righteous shall come at my command, and the angels shall go and collect (10) them from among the sinners, as the prophet David foretold: The Lord will not suffer the rod of the sinners in the lot of the righteous; (11) and all the righteous shall be placed on my right hand, (12) and shall shine like the sun. (13) As thou seest, John, the stars of heaven, that they were all made together, but differ in light, (14) so shall it be with the righteous and the sinners; for the righteous shall shine as lights and as the sun, but the sinners shall stand in darkness.

And again I said: Lord, and do all the Christians go into one punishment?–kings, high priests, priests, patriarchs, rich and poor, bond and free? And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. As the prophet David foretold, The expectation of the poor shall not perish for ever. (15) Now about kings: they shall be driven like slaves, and shall weep like infants; and about patriarchs, and priests, and Levites, of those that have sinned, they shall be separated in their punishments, according to the nature (16) of the peculiar transgression of each,–some in the river of fire, and some to the worm that dieth not, and others in the seven-mouthed pit of punishment. To these punishments the

And again I said: Lord, and where will the righteous dwell? And I heard a voice saying to me: Then shall paradise be revealed; and the whole world and paradise shall be made one, and the righteous shall be on the face of all the earth with my angels, as the Holy Spirit foretold through the prophet David: The righteous shall inherit the earth, and dwell therein for ever and ever. (17)

And again I said: Lord, how great is the multitude of the angels? and which is the greater, that of angels or of men? And I heard a voice saying to me: As great as is the multitude of the angels, so great is the race of men, as the prophet has said, He set bounds to the nations according to the number of the angels of God. (18) And again I said: Lord, and after that what wilt Thou do? and what is to become of the world? Reveal to me all. And I heard a voice saying to me: Hear, righteous John. After that there is no pain, there is no grief, there is no groaning; there is no recollection of evils, there are no tears, there is no envy, there is no hatred of brethren, there is no unrighteousness, there is no arrogance, there is no slander, there is no bitterness, there are none of the cares of life, there is no pain from parents or children, there is no pain from gold, there are no wicked thoughts, there is no devil, there is no death, there is no night, but all is day. (1) As I said before, And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, that is, men who have been made like the angels through their excellent course of life; them also must I bring, and they will hear my voice, and there shall be one fold, one shepherd. (2)

And again I heard a voice saying to me: Behold, thou hast heard all these things, righteous John; deliver them to faithful men, that they also may teach others, and not think lightly of them, (3) nor cast our pearls before swine, lest perchance they should trample them with their feet. (4)

And while I was still hearing this voice, the cloud brought me down, and put me on Mount Thabor. And there came a voice to me, saying: Blessed are those who keep judgment and do righteousness in all time. (5) And blessed is the house where this description lies, as the Lord said, He that loveth me keepeth my sayings (6) in Christ Jesus our Lord; to Him be glory for ever. Amen. (7)

http://gnosis.org/library/revjon2.htm

 

Simon says

11 Nov

Then Nero said to Simon: What is it Simon? I think we have got the worst of it. Simon said: This man both in Judea and in all Palestine and Caesaria, has done the same to me; and from very often striving with me, he has learned that this is adverse to them. This then, he has learned how to escape from me; for the thoughts of men no one knows but God alone. And Peter said to Simon: Certainly though feignest thyself to be a god; why, then, dost not thou reveal the thoughts of every man?

Then Nero, turning to Paul, said: Why dost thou say nothing Paul? Paul answered and said: Know this O emperor, that if though permittest this magician to do such things, it will bring access of the greatest mischief to thy country, and will bring down thine empire from its position. Then Nero said to Simon: What sayest thou? Simon said: If I do not manifestly hold myself out to be a god, no one will bestow upon me due reverence.

 

The Council of Nicaea and the Bible

3 Nov

There seem to be a number of legends about the First Council of Nicaea (325AD) in circulation on the internet, presented as fact. Some people seem to think that the council, which was the first council of all the Bishops of the Christian Church, either invented the New Testament, or edited it to remove references to reincarnation (or whatever) or burned large numbers of heretical works, or whatever. This is not the case. This page documents the problem, and provides links to all the ancient source material in order to allow everyone to check the truth for themselves.

In tracing the origin of the Bible, one is led to AD 325, when
> Constantine the Great called the First Council of Nicaea, composed of
> 300 religious leaders. Three centuries after Jesus lived, this council
> was given the task of separating divinely inspired writings from those
> of questionable origin.
> The actual compilation of the Bible was an incredibly complicated
> project that involved churchmen of many varying beliefs, in an
> atmosphere of dissension, jealousy, intolerance, persecution and
> bigotry.
> At this time, the question of the divinity of Jesus had split the
> church into two factions. Constantine offered to make the little-known
> Christian sect the official state religion if the Christians would
> settle their differences. Apparently, he didn’t particularly care what
> they believed in as long as they agreed upon a belief. By compiling a
> book of sacred writings, Constantine thought that the book would give
> authority to the new church.

http://www.tertullian.org/rpearse/nicaea.html