The Acts of the Holy Apostle Thomas
Summary of Contents
I. Judas Thomas is sold to the merchant Abban and taken to India. The royal wedding party. Thomas succeeds in urging celibacy on the bridal couple (1–16).
II. Thomas meets King Gundaphorus, who commissions him to build a royal palace (17–29).
III. Raising of a man killed by a serpent (30–8).
IV. The speaking colt (39–41).
V. Exorcism of the woman possessed by a demon (42–50).
VI. Raising the woman murdered by her lover. Her vision of hell (51–61).
VII. Siphor the captain of King Misdaeus finds Thomas to ask him to exorcize his wife and daughter. Thomas agrees to visit them (62–7).
VIII. The wild asses deliver Thomas and the captain to his family. Thomas addresses and exorcizes the demon(s) (68–81).
IX. Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius a kinsman of the king, is converted by Thomas. Charisius reacts by having the king agree to kill Thomas. Siphor testifies on Thomas' behalf to the king. The Hymn of the Pearl is sung by Thomas in prison (82–118).
X. Mygdonia is baptized (119–33).
XI. King Misdaeus' wife, Tertia, is also converted. Misdaeus has Thomas arrested again (134–8).
XII. Misdaeus' son Vazan is converted by Thomas in prison (139–49).
XIII. Vazan is baptized (150–8).
XIV. Martyrdom of Thomas. Conversion of Misdaeus as a result of the healing of one of his sons after an appearance by Thomas (159–70/1).
First Act of the Apostle Judas Thomas. How the Lord Sold Him to the Merchant Abban, That He Should Go Down and Convert India 1 This title comes from the Syriac.
1. At that time we apostles were all in Jerusalem—Simon called Peter, and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the taxgatherer, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Cananaean, and Judas the son 2 Brother? of James—and we portioned out the regions of the world, in order that each one of us might go into the region that fell to him by lot, and to the nation to which the Lord had sent him. By lot India fell to Judas Thomas, also called Didymus. And he did not wish to go, saying that he was not able to travel on account of the weakness of his body. He said, ‘How can I, being a Hebrew, go among the Indians to proclaim the truth?’ And while he was considering this and speaking, the Saviour appeared to him during the night and said to him, ‘Fear not, Thomas, go away to India and preach the word there, for my grace is with you.’ But he would not obey saying, ‘Wherever you wish to send me, send me, but elsewhere. For I am not going to the Indians.’
2. And as he was thus speaking and considering, it happened that a merchant named Abban, who had come from India, was there, sent from King Gundaphorus, having received an order from him to buy a carpenter and bring him to him. And the Lord, having seen him walking about in the market at noon, said to him, ‘Do you wish to buy a carpenter?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ And the Lord said to him, ‘I have a slave who is a carpenter, and I wish to sell him.’ And having said this he showed him Thomas from a distance and agreed with him for three pounds of uncoined silver, and wrote a bill of sale saying, ‘I, Jesus, son of the carpenter Joseph, declare that I have sold my slave, Judas by name, to you, Abban, a merchant of Gundaphorus, king of the Indians.’ When the purchase was completed the Saviour took Judas, also called Thomas, and led him to Abban, the merchant. When Abban saw him he said to him, ‘Is this your master?’ The apostle answered and said, ‘Yes, he is my Lord.’ And he said, ‘I have bought you from him.’ And the apostle held his peace.
3. On the following morning the apostle prayed and entreated the Lord, saying, ‘I go wherever you wish, O Lord Jesus, your will be done.’ 3 Matt. 6: 10; Luke 22: 42 . And he went to the merchant Abban, carrying nothing at all with him, but only his price. For the Lord had given it to him, saying, ‘Let your worth also be with you along with my grace, wherever you may go.’ And the apostle came up with Abban, who was carrying his luggage into the boat. He too began to carry it along with him. And when they had gone on board and sat down, Abban questioned the apostle, saying, ‘What kind of work do you know?’ And he said, ‘In wood, ploughs and yokes and balances and ships and boats' oars and masts and small blocks; in stone, pillars and temples and royal palaces.’ And Abban the merchant said to him, ‘We need such a workman.’ They began their voyage. And they had a fair wind; and they sailed cheerfully till they came to Andrapolis, a royal city.
4. And leaving the boat they went into the city. And behold, the sounds of flute‐players and water‐organs and trumpets echoed round them. And the apostle inquired saying, ‘What festival is it in this city?’ And the inhabitants there answered, ‘The gods have brought you to keep festival in this city. For the king has an only daughter and now he is going to give her to a husband in marriage. This festival, then, which you see to‐day, is the rejoicing and public assembly for the marriage. And the king has sent forth heralds to proclaim everywhere that all are to come to the marriage, rich and poor, bond and free, strangers and citizens. But if anyone should refuse and not come to the marriage, he is answerable to the king. And Abban, having heard this, said to the apostle, ‘Let us also go so that we give no offence to the king, especially as we are strangers.’ And he said, ‘Let us go.’ And having obtained lodgings at the inn and rested a little they went to the wedding. And the apostle, seeing them all reclining, reclined also in their midst. And they all looked at him as at a stranger, a man coming from a foreign land. And Abban the merchant, being the master, reclined in another place.
5. And whilst they were eating and drinking, the apostle tasted nothing. Those about him said to him, ‘Why have you come here, neither eating nor drinking?’ And he answered and said to them, ‘For something greater than food or even drink have I come here, that I might accomplish the will of the king. For the heralds proclaim the wishes of the king, and whoever will not hear the heralds will be liable to the judgement of the king.’ When they had dined and drunk, and crowns and perfumes had been brought, each took perfume, and one anointed his face, another his beard, and others different parts of the body. And the apostle anointed the crown of his head, and put a little of the ointment in his nostrils, and dropped it also in his ears, and applied it also to his teeth, and carefully anointed the parts round about his heart; but the crown that was brought to him, wreathed with myrtle and other flowers, he put on his head, and he took a branch of reed in his hand and held it. And the flute‐girl, holding her flute in her hand, went round them all; and when she came to the place where the apostle was she stood over him, playing the flute over his head a long time. And that flute‐girl was a Hebrew by race.
6. And as the apostle looked to the ground, one of the cupbearers stretched forth his hand and struck him. And the apostle, having raised his eyes, looked at the man who had struck him, saying, ‘My God will forgive you for this wrong in the world to come, but in this world he will show his wonders, and I shall soon see that hand that struck me dragged along by dogs.’ And having spoken he began to sing this song:
‘The maiden is the daughter of the light, On whom rests the majestic splendour of kings; Delightful is the sight of her, Resplendent with brilliant beauty. Her garments are like spring flowers Sending forth sweet fragrance. On the crown of her head the king is seated Feeding with his own ambrosia those who live under him. Truth rests upon her head, Joy she shows forth with her feet. Her mouth is opened, and becomingly. 4 Syriac adds ‘She sings loud songs of praise’. Thirty‐and‐two are they who praise her. Her tongue is like a door‐curtain, Drawn back for those who go in. 5 Syriac adds ‘Her neck ascends like steps’. Made by the first creator. Her two hands point and make secret signs predicting the chorus of the blessed ages, Her fingers show the gates of the city. Her chamber is bright, Breathing forth scent from balsam and every perfume, Sending forth a sweet smell of myrrh and herbs. Within are strewn myrtle‐branches and all manner of sweet‐smelling flowers, The portal is adorned with reeds.
7. She is surrounded by her groomsmen, seven in number,
Chosen by herself; Her bridesmaids are seven, Who dance before her. Twelve in number are they who minister before her And are at her bidding. Their gaze is attentively directed at the bridegroom, That they be enlightened by his sight, And be for ever with him in that everlasting joy, And sit down at that wedding to which the princes assemble, And abide at the supper, of which the eternal ones are deemed worthy, And put on royal garments, and be dressed in splendid robes That both may rejoice and exult And praise the Father of all, Whose majestic light they have received And have been enlightened by the sight of their Lord, Whose ambrosial food they received, Of which there is no deficiency, And drank also of his wine, Which brings to them neither thirst nor desire, And they praised and glorified with the living spirit The Father of truth and the mother of wisdom.’
8. And when he had finished this song all who were present looked at him. He kept silence. They also saw his form changed, but they did not understand his words, as he was a Hebrew and his words were spoken in Hebrew. Only the flute‐girl understood him, being of the Hebrew race; and leaving him she played the flute to the others, but repeatedly looked back and gazed at him. For she loved him as one belonging to her race, and he was also beautiful in appearance above all who were there. And when the flute‐girl had finished her flute‐playing, she sat down opposite him, and looked steadily at him. But he looked at no one at all, neither did he pay attention to any one, but kept his eyes only on the ground, waiting until he could depart. And the cupbearer that struck him came down to the fountain to draw water. And there happened to be a lion there which killed him and left him lying in the place, after tearing his limbs asunder. And dogs immediately seized his limbs, among them a black dog, which grasped his right hand in his mouth and brought it to the place of the banquet.
9. When they all saw it they were frightened and inquired who was absent. And when it became known that it was the hand of the cupbearer that struck the apostle, the flute‐girl broke her flute and threw it away, and went and sat at the feet of the apostle, saying, ‘This man is either God or God's apostle. For I heard him say in Hebrew to the cupbearer, “I shall soon see the hand that struck me dragged about by dogs.” This you have now seen. For just as he said, so also it has come to pass.’ Some believed her, and some not. And when the king heard of it he came and said to the apostle, ‘Rise up and go with me, and pray for my daughter. For she is my only child and to‐day I give her away in marriage.’ And the apostle would not go with him, for the Lord had not yet been revealed to him there. But the king took him away against his will to the bridal chamber, that he might pray for them.
10. And the apostle stood and began to pray and speak thus: ‘My Lord and my God, 6 John 20: 28 . who accompanies his servants, guide and leader of those who believe in him, refuge and repose of the afflicted, hope of the poor and deliverer of the captives, physician of the souls laid low by disease, and saviour of every creature, who gives life to the world and strengthens the souls, you know the future and accomplish it through us; you, Lord, who reveal hidden mysteries and declare secret words; you, Lord, are the planter of the good tree and by your hand all good works are produced; you, Lord, are in all, and come through all, and exist in all your works and make yourself manifest through the working of them all; Jesus Christ, the Son of compassion and perfect Saviour; Christ, Son of the living God, the undaunted power which has overthrown the enemy; the voice, heard by the rulers, which shook all their powers; messenger, sent from on high, who went down even to Hades; who also, having opened the doors, brought out from there those who had been shut in for many ages in the treasuries of darkness, and showed them the way that leads up on high—I beseech you, Lord Jesus, offering you supplication for these young persons, that you may do to them what helps, benefits, and is profitable for them.’ And having laid his hands on them and said, ‘The Lord be with you’, he left them in that place and went away.
11. The king requested the groomsmen to leave the bridal chamber. When all had left, and the doors were shut, the bridegroom raised the curtain of the bridal chamber, that he might bring the bride to himself. And he saw the Lord Jesus talking with the bride. He had the appearance of Judas Thomas, the apostle, who shortly before had blessed them and departed; and he said to him, ‘Did you not go out before them all? And how is it that you are here now?’ And the Lord said to him, ‘I am not Judas Thomas, I am his brother.’ And the Lord sat down on the bed and ordered them to sit down on couches, and he began to speak to them.
12. ‘Remember, my children, what my brother said to you, and to whom he commended you; and know that if you refrain from this filthy intercourse you become temples holy and pure, being released from afflictions and troubles, known and unknown, and you will not be involved in the cares of life and of children, whose end is destruction. But if you get many children, for their sakes you become grasping and avaricious, plundering orphans and deceiving widows, and by doing this you subject yourselves to most grievous punishments. For most children become unprofitable, being possessed by demons, some openly and some secretly. For they become either lunatics or half‐withered or crippled or deaf or dumb or paralytics or idiots. And though they be healthy, they will be again good‐for‐nothing, doing unprofitable and abominable works. For they will be detected either in adultery or in murder or in theft or in unchastity, and by all these you will be afflicted. But if you obey and preserve your souls pure to God, there will be born to you living children, untouched by these hurtful things, and you will be without care, spending an untroubled life, free from grief and care, looking forward to receive that incorruptible and true marriage, and you will enter as groomsmen into that bridal chamber full of immortality and light.’
13. And when the young people heard this, they believed the Lord and gave themselves over to him and refrained from filthy lust, and remained thus spending the night in the place. And the Lord went away from them saying, ‘The grace of the Lord be with you!’ 7 1 Cor. 16: 23 . And when dawn came the king arrived, and having furnished the table brought it in before the bridegroom and the bride. And he found them sitting opposite each other, and he found the face of the bride uncovered, and the bridegroom was very cheerful. And the mother came in and said to the bride, ‘Why do you sit thus, child, and are not ashamed, but act as if you had lived for a long time with your own husband?’ And her father said, ‘Is it because of your great love to your husband that you are unveiled?’
14. The bride answered and said, ‘Truly, father, I am in great love, and I pray to my Lord that the love which I have experienced this night may remain, and that I obtain that man whom I have experienced today. That I do not veil myself is because the mirror of shame has been taken away from me; I am no longer ashamed or abashed, since the work of shame and bashfulness has been removed far from me. And that I am not frightened is because alarm did not abide in me. And that I am cheerful and glad is because the day of joy has not been disturbed. And that I have set at naught this husband and these nuptials which have passed away from before my eyes is because I have been joined in a different marriage. And that I had no conjugal intercourse with a temporary husband, whose end is repentance and bitterness of soul, is because I have been united to the true husband.’
15. And when the bride was saying even more, the bridegroom answered and said, ‘I thank you, Lord, who have been proclaimed by the stranger and found in us; who have put corruption far from me, and have sown life in me, who have delivered me from this disease, hard to heal, hard to cure and abiding for ever, and established in me sound health; who have shown yourself to me, and have revealed to me my condition, in which I am; who have redeemed me from falling, and have led me to something better, and who have released me from things temporary, but have deemed me worthy of things immortal and everlasting; who have humbled yourself to me and my weakness, to place me beside your greatness and to unite with you; who have not kept your compassion from me, who was lost, but have shown me how to seek myself, and to know who I was and who and how I now am, that I may become again what I was; whom I did not know, but you have sought me out; of whom I did not know, but you stood by me; whom I have experienced and am not able to forget; whose love is fervent in me and of whom I cannot speak as I ought. But what I have to say about him is short and very little, and is not in proportion to his glory; but he does not find fault with me if I dare to tell him even what I know not; for it is out of love to him I say this.’
16. And when the king heard these things from the bridegroom and the bride, he rent his garments and said to those standing near him, ‘Go out quickly, and search the whole city, and seize and bring that man, the sorcerer, who has come by evil chance into this city. For I led him with my own hands into my house, and I told him to pray for my most unfortunate daughter. Whoever shall find him and bring him to me, I give him whatever he shall ask of me.’ They departed, therefore, and went round seeking him, and did not find him; for he had set sail. They also went into the inn where he had stayed, and found there the flute‐girl weeping and in distress, because he had not taken her with him. And when they told her what had taken place with the young people, she rejoiced greatly upon hearing it, setting aside her grief, and said, ‘Now I also have found repose here!’ And she arose and went to them, and was with them a long time, until they had instructed the king also. And many of the brethren also met there, until the rumour had spread that the apostle had gone to the cities of India, and was teaching there. And they went away and joined him.
Second Act of the Apostle Thomas Concerning His Appearance Before King Gundaphorus
17. When the apostle came into the cities of India with Abban the merchant, Abban went away to greet King Gundaphorus and told him about the carpenter whom he had brought with him. And the king was glad and ordered him to appear before him. When he had come in the king said to him, ‘What trade do you know?’ The apostle said to him, ‘That of the carpenter and the house‐builder.’ The king said to him, ‘What work in wood do you know and what in stone?’ The apostle said, ‘In wood, ploughs, yokes, balances, pulleys, and ships and oars and masts; in stone, monuments, temples, and royal palaces.’ And the king said, ‘Will you build me a palace?’ And he answered, ‘Yes, I shall build it and finish it; for because of this I have come, to build and to do carpenter's work.’
18. And the king, having accepted him, took him out of the gates of the city, and on the way began to discuss with him the building of the palace, and how the foundations should be laid, till they came to the place where the work was to be carried out. And he said, ‘Here is where I wish the building to be!’ And the apostle said, ‘Yes, this place is suitable for the building.’ For the place was wooded and there was water there. And the king said, ‘Begin at once!’ And he answered, ‘I cannot commence now.’ The king said, ‘When can you?’ He said, ‘I shall begin in November and finish in April.’ And the king was surprised, and said, ‘Every building is built in the summer, but can you build and finish a palace in the winter?’ And the apostle replied ‘Thus it must be done; it is impossible any other way.’ And the king said, ‘If you have resolved upon this, draw a plan for me how the work is to be done, since I shall come here after some time.’ And the apostle took a reed, measured the place, and marked it out: the doors to be set towards the rising of the sun, to face the light; the windows toward the west, to the winds; the bakehouse he made toward the south; and the water‐pipes necessary for the supply toward the north. When the king saw this, he said to the apostle, ‘You are truly a craftsman, and it is fitting that you should serve kings.’ And having left a lot of money with him, he went away.
19. And at the appointed times the king sent coined silver and the necessities for his and the workmen's living. And the apostle took everything and divided it, going about in the cities and surrounding villages, distributing to the poor and needy, and bestowing alms, and gave them relief, saying, ‘The king knows that he will receive royal recompense, but the poor must be refreshed, as their condition requires it.’ After this the king sent a messenger to the apostle, having written the following: ‘Let me know what you have done or what I should send to you or what you need.’ The apostle sent word to him saying, ‘The palace is built, and only the roof remains to be done.’ Upon hearing this the king sent him again gold and uncoined silver and wrote, ‘If the palace is built, let it be roofed.’ And the apostle said to the Lord, ‘I thank you, Lord, in every respect, that you died for a short time, that I may live in you for ever, and that you have sold me, to deliver many through me.’ And he did not cease to teach and refresh the afflicted, saying, ‘The Lord has dispensed this to you and he gives to each his food. For he is the support of the orphans and the nourisher of the widows, and rest and repose to all who are afflicted.’
20. When the king came to the city he inquired of his friends concerning the palace which Judas, surnamed Thomas, had built for him. And they said to him, ‘He has neither built a palace, nor did he do anything of that which he promised to do, but he goes about in the cities and villages, and if he has anything he gives it to the poor, and teaches a new God, heals the sick, drives out demons, and performs many miracles. And we believe that he is a magician. But his acts of compassion and the cures done by him as a free gift, still more his simplicity and gentleness and fidelity, show that he is a just man, or an apostle of the new God, whom he preaches. For he continually fasts and prays and eats only bread with salt, and his drink is water, and he wears one coat, whether in warm weather or in cold, and he takes nothing from anyone but gives to others what he has.’ Upon hearing this the king hit his face with his hands, shaking his head for a long time.
21. And he sent for the merchant who had brought him, and for the apostle, and said to him, ‘Have you built the palace?’ And he said, ‘Yes, I have built it.’ The king said, ‘When shall we go to inspect it?’ And he answered and said, ‘Now you cannot see it, but you shall see it when you depart this life.’ And the king was very angry and ordered both the merchant and Judas Thomas to be bound and cast into prison, until he should find out to whom the property of the king had been given, and so destroy him and the merchant. And the apostle went to prison rejoicing and said to the merchant, ‘Fear nothing, believe only in the God who is preached by me, and you shall be freed from this world, and obtain life in the world to come.’
And the king considered by what death he should kill them. He decided to flog them and burn them with fire. On that very night Gad, the king's brother, fell ill; and through the grief and disappointment which the king had suffered he was grievously depressed. And having sent for the king he said to him, ‘Brother and king, I commend to you my house and my children. For I have been grieved on account of the insult that has befallen you, and lo, I am dying, and if you do not proceed against the life of that magician you will give my soul no rest in Hades.’ And the king said to his brother, ‘I considered the whole night by what death I should kill him, and I have decided to flog him and burn him with fire, together with the merchant who brought him.’
22. While they were talking, the soul of Gad, his brother, departed, and the king mourned for Gad exceedingly, because he loved him, and ordered him to be prepared for burial in a royal and costly robe. While this was going on, angels received the soul of Gad, the king's brother, and took it up into heaven, showing him the places and mansions there, asking him, ‘In what place do you wish to dwell?’ And when they came near the edifice of the apostle Thomas, which he had erected for the king, Gad, upon beholding it, said to the angels, ‘I entreat you, my lords, let me dwell in one of these lower chambers.’ But they said to him, ‘In this building you cannot dwell.’ And he said, ‘Why not?’ They answered, ‘This palace is the one which that Christian has built for your brother.’ But he said, ‘I entreat you, my lords, allow me to go to my brother to buy this palace from him. For my brother does not know what it is like, and he will sell it to me.’
23. And the angels let the soul of Gad go. And as they were putting on him the burial robe his soul came into him. And he said to those standing round him, ‘Call my brother to me, that I may beg of him a request.’ Straightway they sent the good news to their king, saying, ‘Your brother has become alive again!’ And the king arose and with a great multitude went to his brother. And coming in he went to the bed as if stupefied, unable to speak to him. And his brother said, ‘I know and I am convinced, brother, that if anyone had asked of you the half of your kingdom, you would give it for my sake. Wherefore I entreat you to grant one favour, which I beg of you to do: that you sell to me that which I ask from you.’ And the king answered and said, ‘And what is it that you wish me to sell to you?’ And he said, ‘Assure me by an oath that you will grant it to me.’ And the king swore to him, ‘Whatever of my possession you ask, I will give you.’ And he said to him, ‘Sell me the palace which you have in heaven.’ And the king said, ‘A palace in heaven—where does this come to me from?’ And he said, ‘It is the one that Christian built for you, the man who is now in prison, whom the merchant brought, having bought him from a certain Jesus. I mean that Hebrew slave whom you wished to punish, having suffered some deception from him, on account of whom I also was grieved and died, and now have come alive again.’
24. Then the king heard and understood his words about the eternal benefits that were conferred upon him and destined for him, and said, ‘That palace I cannot sell you, but I pray to be permitted to enter into it and to dwell there, being deemed worthy to belong to its inhabitants. And if you really wish to buy such a palace, behold, the man is alive, and will build you a better one than that.’ And immediately he sent and brought the apostle out of prison, and the merchant who had been shut up along with him, saying, ‘I entreat you, as a man entreating the servant of God, pray for me, and ask him, whose servant you are, to pardon me and to overlook what I have done to you or intended to do, and that I may become worthy to be an inhabitant of that house for which indeed I have done nothing, but which you, labouring alone, have built for me with the help of the grace of your God, and that I may also become a servant and serve this God, whom you preach’. His brother also fell down before the apostle and said, ‘I entreat you and supplicate before your God that I may become worthy of this service and become partaker of that which was shown to me by his angels.’
25. And the apostle, seized with joy, said, ‘I give thanks to you, Lord Jesus, that you have revealed your truth in these men. For you alone are the God of truth and not another; and you are he who knows all things that are unknown to many; you, O Lord, are he who in all things shows mercy and compassion to men. For men, through the error that is in them, have overlooked you, but you have not forsaken them. And now, because I entreat you and supplicate you, accept the king and his brother and unite them with your flock, cleanse them by your baptism and anoint them with your oil from the error which encompasses them. Protect them also from the wolves and bring them into your meadows. Give them to drink of your ambrosial fountain, which is never fouled and never dries up. For they entreat and supplicate you and wish to become your servants, and on this account they have also resolved to be persecuted by your enemies and to endure for your sake hatred, insult, and death, as you also have suffered all this for our sakes, in order to gain us. You are Lord and truly a good shepherd. Grant to them that they put their trust in you alone, and obtain the help coming from you and hope of their salvation, which they expect from you alone, and that they may be confirmed in your mysteries and receive the perfect benefits of your graces and gifts, and flourish in your service and bear fruit to perfection in your Father.’
26. Being well disposed now toward the apostle, King Gundaphorus and his brother Gad followed him, never leaving him, providing for the poor, giving to all, and relieving all. And they entreated him that they might also receive the seal of the word, saying to him, ‘Since our souls are at ease, and as we are earnest about God, give us the seal. For we heard you say that the Lord whom you preach knows his own sheep through his seal.’ And the apostle said to them, ‘I am glad and entreat you also to receive this seal, and to take part with me in this eucharist and blessed meal of the Lord, and to be made perfect by it. For he is the Lord and God of all, Jesus Christ, whom I preach, and he is the Father of truth, in whom I have taught you to believe.’ And he ordered them to bring oil, that through the oil they might receive the seal. And they brought oil and lighted many lamps. For it was night.
27. And the apostle arose and sealed them. And the Lord was revealed to them through a voice saying, ‘Peace be with you, 8 John 20: 19, 21, 26 . brethren!’ And they heard his voice only, but his form they did not see, for they had not yet received the further sealing of the seal. And the apostle took the oil, poured it over their heads, anointed and chrismed them, and began to say:
‘Come, holy name of Christ, which is above every name; 9 Phil. 2: 9 . Come, power of the Most High, and perfect compassion; Come, gift most high; Come, compassionate mother; Come, fellowship of the male; Come, revealer of secret mysteries; Come, mother of the seven houses, that there may be rest for you in the eighth house. Come, elder of the five members: intelligence, thought, prudence, reflection, reasoning, 10 James (ANT 378) includes a note by F. C. Burkitt on these five words for ‘mind’ in Syriac. Communicate with these young men! Come, Holy Spirit, and purify their loins and their hearts, And seal them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.’
And when they had been sealed, there appeared to them a young man holding a blazing lamp, so that the other lamps were darkened by the emanation of its light. And he went out and disappeared from their sight. And the apostle said to the Lord, ‘Your light is too great for us, Lord, and we cannot bear it. For it is too much for our sight.’ And when dawn came and it was light, he broke bread, and made them partakers of the eucharist of Christ. And they rejoiced and exulted. And many others also believed and were added to the faithful, and came to the refuge of the Saviour.
28. And the apostle did not cease preaching and saying to them, ‘Men and women, boys and girls, young men and maidens, vigorous and aged, both bond and free, withhold yourselves from fornication, covetousness, and gluttony. For under these three heads all wickedness comes. For fornication destroys the mind and darkens the eyes of the soul and becomes a hindrance to the right regulation of the body, changing the whole man into feebleness and throwing the whole body into disease. Greediness brings the soul into fear and shame, being inside the body, and robs what belongs to another, and suspects that, in returning to the owners their property, it will be put to shame. Gluttony plunges the soul into cares, troubles, and sorrows, fearing that it will be wanting, and reaches out for that which is far away. In refraining from these things, you are without care, without grief, and without fear, and there remains to you that which was said by the Saviour: “Take no care for the morrow, for the morrow will take care of itself.” 11 Matt. 6: 34 . Remember also the word spoken before: “Look at the ravens, and behold the fowls of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap, nor gather into barns, and God takes care of them. How much more for you, 12 Matt. 6: 26 . O you of little faith!” But look for his coming, set your hope in him, and believe in his name. For he is the judge of the living and of the dead, 13 Acts 10: 42 . and he gives to each one according to his works. 14 Matt. 16: 27 . And at his coming and appearance at the end time, no one who is about to be judged by him has a word of excuse, as if he had not heard. For his heralds preach in the four quarters of the globe. Repent, therefore, and believe the preaching and take upon you an easy yoke and a light burden, 15 Matt. 11: 29–30 . that you may live and not die. These things lay hold of, these things keep; come forth from the darkness, that the light may receive you! Come to him who is truly good, that from him you may receive grace and place his sign upon your souls!’
29. When he had said this, some of the bystanders said to him, ‘It is time for the creditor to receive his debt.’ And he said to them, ‘The creditor, indeed, always wishes to receive more, but let us give him what is proper.’ And having blessed them he took and blessed bread, oil, herbs, and salt, and gave to them. But he continued in his fastings, for the Lord's day was about to dawn. And as night fell, while he was asleep, the Lord came and stood by his head and said, ‘Thomas, rise up early and bless them all; and after the prayer and service go along the eastern road two miles, and there I will show my glory in you. For because of the work, for which you go away, many will take refuge in me, and you shall reprove the nature and power of the enemy.’ And he rose from his sleep and said to the brethren who were with him, ‘Children and brethren, the Lord wishes to perform something through me today. Let us, however, pray and entreat him that nothing may be a hindrance for us toward him, but that as at all times let it now also be done to us according to his purpose and will.’ And having thus spoken he laid his hands upon them and blessed them. And having broken the bread of the eucharist, he gave it to them, saying, ‘May this eucharist be to you for compassion and mercy, and not for judgement and retribution!’ And they said, ‘Amen.’
Third Act Concerning the Serpent
30. And the apostle went out to go where the Lord had commanded him. And when he was near the second milestone he turned a little out of the way and saw the body of a beautiful youth lying there, and he said, ‘Lord, was it for this that you brought me out to come here, that I might see this temptation? Your will, therefore, be done, as you intend!’ And he began to pray, and to say, ‘Lord, judge of the living and the dead, of the living who stand here, and of the dead who are lying here, Lord of all and Father—Father not of the souls that are still in bodies, but of those who have left them, because you are Lord and judge of the souls still in the bodies 16 Literally ‘pollutions'. —come in this hour in which I call upon you, and show your glory to him who is lying here.’ And he turned to his companions and said, ‘This work has happened for a purpose, but the enemy has wrought and effected this to make an assault, and you see that he has availed himself of no other form, and has wrought through no other living being than that which is his subject.’
31. And when he had said this, behold, a great serpent came from his den, beating his head and brandishing his tail on the ground, and said with a loud voice to the apostle, ‘I will say before you why I have killed him, since you have come here to reprove my works.’ The apostle said, ‘Yes, say on.’ And the serpent said, ‘There is a certain woman in this place who is exceedingly beautiful. And as she was passing by I saw her and fell in love with her, followed her, and watched her. And I found this young man kissing her, and he had intercourse with her and did other shameful things with her. And it would be an easy matter for me to tell you this, but I dare not. For I know that you are the twin brother of Christ and always bring our race to naught. Not wishing to harass her, I did not kill him in that hour, but I watched him passing by in the evening, struck him, and killed him, especially as he had dared to do this on the Lord's day.’ And the apostle enquired of him, saying, ‘Tell me, of what seed and of what race are you?’
32. And he said to him, ‘I am the offspring of the serpent, and the baleful son of a baleful father; I am a son of him who hurt and struck the four standing brothers. I am a son of him who sits on the throne which is under heaven, who takes his own from those who borrow; I am the son of him who encircles the globe; I am kinsman to him who is outside the ocean, whose tail lies in his mouth; I am he who went into Paradise through the fence, and said to Eve what my father bade me speak to her; I am he who inflamed and fired Cain to kill his own brother, and through me thorns and thistles sprang up in the ground; I am he who cast down the angels from above, and bound them by the desire of women, that earthborn children might be produced by them, and that I might fulfil my will in them; I am he who hardened Pharoah's heart, that he might kill the children of Israel and subjugate them through hard servitude; I am he who deceived the multitude astray in the desert, when they had made the calf; I am he who kindled Herod and inflamed Caiaphas to the lying accusation before Pilate, for this was fitting for me; I am he who inflamed Judas and bribed him to deliver the Messiah to death; I am he who inhabits and holds the abyss of Tartarus, but the Son of God has wronged me against my will and selected his own out of me; I am a kinsman of him who is to come from the east, to whom also power is given to do whatever he will upon earth.’
33. When the serpent had spoken these things in the hearing of the multitude, the apostle lifted up his voice and said, ‘Stop now, O you most shameless one, and be ashamed that you are wholly powerless. For your end, destruction, has come. And do not dare to say what you have done through your dependants. But I command you in the name of that Jesus who even until now contends with you for the sake of those who are his own, to suck out the poison which you put into this man, and to draw it forth and take it out of him!’ And the serpent said, ‘The time of our destruction has not yet come as you have said. Why do you force me to take out what I have put in him, and to die before the time? For my father shall also find his end when he draws forth and sucks out what he has put into the creation.’ And the apostle said to him, ‘Show now the nature of your father!’ And the serpent came, put his mouth upon the wound of the young man, and sucked the gall out of it. And in a short time the colour of the young man, which was like purple, grew white, but the serpent swelled up. And when the serpent had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man sprang up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle's feet. And the serpent, being swollen up, burst and died, and his poison and gall poured out. And in the place where his poison was poured out there was a great chasm, and the serpent was swallowed up. And the apostle said to the king and to his brother, ‘Take workmen, and fill up the place and lay foundations and build houses above it, that there be a dwelling place for strangers.’
34. And the young man said to the apostle with many tears, ‘In what way have I sinned against you? For you are a man having two forms, and wherever you wish, you are found, and are not prevented by anyone, as I see. For I saw how that man standing beside you said to you, “I have many wonders to show through you, and I have to accomplish great works through you, for which you shall obtain a reward, and you shall make many live, and they shall be in repose in eternal life, as the children of God. Therefore”, said he, “raise this young man—whereby he meant me—stricken by the enemy and become his guardian for all time.” You have done well to come here, and again you shall do well to depart to go to him, for indeed he never forsakes you. I have been released from care and reproach; he has enlightened me from the care of the night and from daily work. I was also released from him who urged me to do these things. I sinned against him who taught me the contrary, and I have destroyed that kinsman of the night, who forced me to sin by his own practices; but I found, however, that kinsman of mine who is the light. I have destroyed him who darkens and obscures his subjects, that they know not what they do, and being ashamed of their works they abandon them, and their deeds have an end. But I found him whose works are light and whose deeds are truth, of which no one repents, whoever does them. I was released from him in whom falsehood abides, before whom darkness goes as a veil, and behind whom is shame, impudent in idleness. But I found him who revealed to me what is beautiful to lay hold of, the Son of truth, the kinsman of concord, who, driving away the mist, enlightens his creation, heals its wounds, and overthrows its enemies. But I entreat you, man of God, make me again to behold and see him who is now hidden from me, that I may also hear his voice, whose wonder I cannot express. For it is not of the nature of this bodily organ.’
35. And the apostle answered and said to him, ‘If you are freed from those things whose nature, as you have said, you have known, and know who he is who has wrought these things in you, and have learned and become a follower of him after whom you now seek in your ardent love, you shall see him and be with him for ever in his repose and in his joy. But if you are rather carelessly disposed toward him, and return to your former deeds, and let go that beauty and that radiant countenance which has now been displayed to you, and if the splendour of his light, which you now desire, is entirely hidden from you, you shall be deprived not only of this life, but also of the future, and you shall go to him whom you said that you had lost, and you shall see no more him whom you said you had found.’
36. And when the apostle had said this he went to the city, holding the young man by the hand and saying, ‘What you have seen, child, is only a little of the many things which God has. For it is not concerning these visible things that he preaches the gospel to us, but greater things than these he promises. So long as we are in the body we cannot tell and say what he will give to our souls in the future. For if we say that he gives us light, this is something visible and we have it already. But if we say that he will give us riches, they exist and appear already in this world, and we name them and we do not long for them, since it has been said: “With difficulty will a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven.” 17 Matt. 19: 23 . And if we speak of fine cloaks, which the luxurious in this life put on, we name them, and it has been said, “Those who wear soft raiment are in kings' houses.” 18 Matt. 11: 8 . And when we speak of costly dinners, we mention things that exist, and concerning these we have received a commandment to beware of them, lest at any time our hearts be weighed down with surfeiting and drunkenness and cares of this life; 19 Luke 21: 34 . and it has been said, “Take no thought for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink; nor for your body, what you shall put on. For life is more than meat and body more than raiment.” 20 Matt. 6: 25 . And if we speak of this temporary rest, judgement has been appointed for it. We speak about the world above, about God and angels, about watchmen and saints, about the ambrosial food and the drink of the true wine, about enduring and not obsolescent garments, about things “which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither have they entered into the heart of sinful men, which God has prepared for those who love him.” 21 1 Cor. 2: 9 . Of these things we speak, and concerning these things we preach the gospel. You also, therefore, believe in him, that you may live; put your trust in him, and you shall not die. For he is not persuaded by gifts, that you should offer them to him; nor does he need sacrifice, that you should sacrifice to him. But look to him, and he will not disregard you; turn to him, and he will not forsake you. For his comeliness and beauty will make you love him, but it does not allow you to turn away from him.’
37. And after the apostle had said this, many people joined the young man. And looking about the apostle noticed how they lifted themselves up to see him, and they went up to elevated places. And the apostle said to them, ‘Men who have come to the assembly of Christ, and who wish to believe in Jesus, learn from this, and see that if you do not get high up you cannot see me, who am small, and cannot look at me, who am like yourselves. Now if you cannot see me, who am like yourselves, unless you raise yourselves a little from the earth, how can you see him who lives above and now is found below, unless you first raise yourselves out of your former condition and unprofitable deeds and desires, which do not endure, and your riches, which must be left behind, and the possession which is of the earth and grows old, and garments which deteriorate, and beauty which ages and vanishes, indeed the whole body, in which all this is kept, grows old and becomes dust, returning to its own nature? For all these things support the body. But, rather, believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, whom we proclaim, that your hope may be upon him and you may have in him eternal life, that he may be your companion in this land of error, a haven in this troubled sea and an overflowing fountain in this thirsty land 22 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13. and a chamber full of food in the place of the hungry, and rest for your souls, and also a physician of your bodies.’
38. When the multitude of those assembled heard these things, they wept and said to the apostle, ‘Man of God, we dare not say that we belong to that God whom you preach, because our works which we have done are alien to him, not pleasing to him. But if he has compassion upon us and pities us and delivers us, overlooking our former deeds, and frees us from the evil which we have done when we were in error, and takes not into account nor recollects our former sins, we shall become his servants and we shall do his will to the end.’ And the apostle answered and said to them, ‘He neither condemns you nor does he count against you the sins done by you, being in error, but he overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance.’
Fourth Act Concerning the Colt
39. Whilst the apostle was still standing in the road speaking to the multitude, a colt of an ass came up to him and, opening its mouth, said, ‘Twin brother of Christ, apostle of the Most High and initiated into the hidden word of Christ, who receives his secret utterances, fellow worker of the Son of God, who, though free, has been a servant, and, being sold, has brought many to freedom, kinsman of the great race which condemned the enemy and redeemed his own, who to many in the land of the Indians became a cause of life—because you came to erring men, and through your appearance and your divine words they now turn to the God of truth who sent you—mount, sit on me, and rest, until you come to the city.’ And the apostle answered, ‘O Jesus Christ, Son of the perfect mercy, O rest and calmness, and you of whom even the unreasoning animals speak; O hidden rest, and you who are manifest by your working as our Saviour and nourisher, keeping us and making us rest in strange bodies, Saviour of our souls, sweet and inexhaustible spring, secure, pure fountain which is never troubled, 23 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13. helper and defender of your servants in the struggle, who turn aside and drive away from us the enemy, who fight for us in many battles, and make us victorious in all, our true and invincible champion, our holy and victorious general, most glorious, who give to your people imperishable joy and rest which knows of no affliction, good shepherd, who offered yourself for your sheep, overcame the wolf, and redeemed your sheep and led them to good pastures—we praise and glorify you and your invisible Father and your Holy Spirit and the mother of all creation.’
40. When the apostle said this, the whole multitude looked at him, waiting to hear what he would answer the colt. And after the apostle remained silent for a time, as if in a trance, and looking toward heaven, he said to the colt, ‘Who are you, and to whom do you belong? For surprising and strange is that which was spoken by you. These things are also hidden from many.’ And the colt answered and said, ‘I am of that family which served Balaam, and to which also belonged that colt on which sat your Lord and your Master. And now I have been sent to give you rest as you sit on me, that these may believe and I may obtain that portion which I am about to receive through the service now offered to you, and which shall be taken from me if I do not serve you.’ And the apostle answered, ‘He who gave you this gift of speech can give it to you and to those belonging to your race until the end. Compared to this mystery I am powerless and weak.’ And he would not mount. But the colt entreated him that by riding on it he might bless it. And the apostle mounted and sat down and everyone went with him, some going before, others following him, and they all ran, anxious to see how he would dismiss the colt.
41. And when he came near the gates of the city, he dismounted and said, ‘Go and be kept safe where you were.’ And immediately the colt fell to the ground at the feet of the apostle and died. All of those who were present were sorrowing and said to the apostle, ‘Make it alive.’ And he answered and said to them, ‘I could do it indeed through the name of Jesus. But this would not help it. For he who gave it the speech that it spoke could also make it not die. I shall not raise it, not because I could not do it, but because this is the best for it.’ And he ordered those present to dig a hole and bury the carcass. And they did as he commanded.
Fifth Act Concerning the Demon That Dwelt in the Woman
42. And the apostle went into the city followed by all the multitude. And he thought of going to the parents of the young man whom he had revived after he had been killed by the serpent, because they entreated him very much to come and to enter their house. Suddenly an exceedingly beautiful woman cried out, ‘Apostle of the new God, who have come to India, and servant of that holy and only good God—for by you he is proclaimed the Saviour of the souls of those who come to him, and by you the bodies of those are healed who are punished by the enemy, and you have become the cause of life of all who turn to him—command that I be brought to you, that I may tell you what happened to me, and perhaps there may be hope for me and for those who stand beside you to be more confident in the God whom you preach. For not a little have I already been tormented by the enemy for five years. As a woman I formerly had rest, surrounded everywhere by peace, and I had anxiety for nothing. I had none to care for.
43. ‘And one day when I left the bath, it happened that I met a man who looked troubled and disturbed. And his voice and answer seemed to be very faint and thin. And coming up to me he said, “Let us unite in love and have intercourse with each other as a man with his wife.” And I answered and said, “I had no intercourse with my betrothed, as I refused to be married—how should I give myself up to you, who wish to have intercourse with me in adultery?” And having said this I passed on. And to my maid I said, “Did you see the young man and his impudence, how shamelessly and boldly he talked to me?” And she said, “I saw an old man talking with you.” When I had come to my house and dined, my mind suggested to me a certain suspicion, especially as he appeared to me in two forms. And with this in my thoughts, I fell asleep. In that night he came in to me and made me share in his foul intercourse. I saw him also when it was day, and fled from him. According to his wont, he came at night and abused me. And now as you see me, I have been tormented by him five years, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that even demons and spirits and monsters are subject to you and tremble at your prayer. Pray, then, for me, and drive away from me the demon which torments me continually, that I also may become free, and may be brought to my original nature and receive the gift which has been granted to my kind.’
44. And the apostle said, ‘O irrepressible wickedness! O shamelessness of the enemy! O jealous one that is never at rest! O hideous one who subjects the beautiful ones! O many‐formed one—he appears as he wishes, but his nature cannot be changed! O crafty and perfidious one! O bitter tree, whose fruits are like it! O traducer, fighting over that which is not his! O deceit which uses shamelessness! O wickedness that creeps like a serpent and is related to it!’ And when the apostle had spoken the enemy stood before him, no one seeing him except the apostle and the woman, and said in the hearing of all with a very loud voice:
45. ‘What have we to do with you, apostle of the Most High? 24 Cf. Mark 5: 7 . What have we to do with you, servant of Jesus Christ? What have we to do with you, counsellor of the Holy Son of God? Why will you destroy us before our time? Why will you take our power? For until the present hour we had hope and time left to us. What have we to do with you? You are powerful in your own, and we in our own. Why will you use tyranny against us, since you teach others not to use violence? Why do you covet that which is not your own like one who is not satisfied with what he has? Why do you liken yourself to the Son of God, who wronged us? For you are altogether like him, as if you had him for a father. For we thought to bring him also under the yoke, like the rest. But he turned and left us under his power, because we knew him not. He deceived us by his unattractive form and his poverty and want. For when we saw him like this, we thought him to be a man clothed with flesh, not knowing that it was he who makes men live. And he gave us power over our own, and for the time being not to abandon our own, but to abide in them. But you wished to get more than is due and has been given you and to do violence to us!’
46. And having thus spoken the demon wept and said, ‘I leave you, my most beautiful consort, whom I found long ago and with whom I was at rest. I leave you, my beloved, trusty sister, in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do or whom I shall call upon to hear me and protect me, I know not. I know what I shall do: I shall go to places where the fame of this man has not been heard; and in your stead, my beloved, I may perhaps find one with another name.’ And lifting up his voice he said, ‘Remain in peace since you have taken refuge with one greater than I. I will go away, and seek one like you; and if I find her not, I shall return again to you. For I know that when you are near this man you have a place of refuge in him; but when he has gone away you shall be as you were before he appeared; and you will forget him, but for me there will be again opportunity and boldness. But now I fear the name of him who has protected you.’ And having thus spoken the demon disappeared. And after he had gone, fire and smoke were seen, and all present were struck with amazement.
47. And the apostle, seeing this, said to them, ‘Nothing strange or unusual has the demon shown, but the element by which he shall be burned. For the fire shall consume him, and the smoke shall be scattered abroad.’ And he began to say, ‘Jesus, hidden mystery which has been revealed to us; you are he who made known to us many secrets, who separated me from all my companions and told me three words with which I am inflamed, but which I cannot communicate to others; Jesus, man, slain, dead, buried; Jesus, God of God and Saviour, who enlivens the dead, and heals the sick; Jesus, who appears to be in want, and saves as if in want of nothing, catching the fishes for the morning and evening meal, and satisfying all with a little bread; Jesus, who rests from the toil of the journey like a man, and walks upon the waves like a God; (48.) Jesus Most High, voice arising from perfect compassion, Saviour of all, right hand of the light, prostrating the wicked through his own nature, and bringing all his kind into one place; polymorphous, who are the only‐begotten, the first‐born among many brethren; 25 Rom. 8: 29 . God of God Most High and man, despised until now; Jesus Christ, who do not neglect us when we call upon you; who have become the cause of life to the whole human race; you who were judged for our sakes and kept in prison, whereas you free all who are in bonds; you who were called a deceiver, whereas you deliver your own from deception—I pray you for these present and who believe in you. They wish to obtain your gifts, having a joyous hope in your help and taking refuge in your majesty. Their ears are open to hear the words which are spoken to them. May your peace come and dwell in them, and renew them by cleansing them from their former deeds, and let them put off the old man with his deeds and put on the new man now declared to them by me!’ 26 Col. 3: 9–10 .
49. And he laid his hands on them and blessed them saying, ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus be upon you for ever!’ 27 Rom. 16: 20 . And they said, ‘Amen.’
And the woman begged him and said, ‘Apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, that that foe may not come back to me again.’ And he made her come near to him, laid his hands on her, and sealed her in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And many others were also sealed with her. And the apostle ordered his deacon to set out a table. And they set out a stool which they found there. And having spread a linen cloth upon it, he put on it the bread of blessing. And the apostle stood by it and said, ‘Jesus, who have deemed us worthy to partake of the eucharist of your holy body and blood, behold, we are emboldened to come to your eucharist and to invoke your holy name; come and commune with us.’
50. And he began to say:
‘Come, perfect compassion; Come, fellowship with the male; Come, you who know the mysteries of the Chosen One; Come, you who have partaken in all the combats of the noble combatant; Come, rest, that reveals the great deeds of the whole greatness; Come, you who disclose secrets And make manifest the mysteries; Come, holy dove, Who bear the twin young; Come, secret mother; Come, you who are manifest in your deeds; Come, giver of joy And of rest to those who are united to you; Come and commune with us in this eucharist, Which we celebrate in your name, And in the agape In which we are united at your calling.’
And having thus spoken he made the sign of the cross upon the bread, broke it, and began to distribute it. And first he gave it to the woman and said, ‘This shall be to you for remission of sins and everlasting transgressions.’ And after her he gave also to all the others who had received the seal.
Sixth Act Concerning the Young Man Who Killed the Maiden
51. Now there was a certain young man, who had committed a nefarious deed. He came and partook of the eucharist. And his two hands withered, so that he could no longer put them to his mouth. When those present saw him, they told the apostle what had happened. And the apostle called him and said, ‘Tell me, my son, and be not afraid of what you have done before you came here. For the eucharist of the Lord has convicted you. For this gift, by entering many, brings healing, especially to those who come in faith and love; but you it has withered away, and what has happened has happened not without some justification.’ And the young man convicted by the eucharist of the Lord came up, fell at the apostle's feet, and besought him and said, ‘An evil deed has been done by me, whilst I thought to do something good. I loved a woman who lived in an inn outside the city, and she loved me also. And when I heard about you, believing that you proclaim the living God, I came and received the seal from you along with the others. And you said, “Whoever shall indulge in impure intercourse, especially in adultery, shall not have life with the God whom I preach.” As I loved her very much, I entreated her and tried to persuade her to live with me in chaste and pure conduct, as you teach. And she would not. Since she would not, I took a sword and killed her. For I could not see her commit adultery with another.’
52. When the apostle heard this he said, ‘O insane intercourse, how you lead to shamelessness! O unrestrained lust, how have you excited this man to do this! O work of the serpent, how you rage in your own!’ And the apostle ordered some water to be brought in a dish. And when the water had been brought he said, ‘Come, waters from the living waters; everlasting, sent to us from the everlasting; rest, sent to us from the one who gives rest; power of salvation, proceeding from that power which overcomes all and subjects it to its will—come and dwell in these waters, that the gift of the Holy Spirit may be completely fulfilled in them!’ And to the young man he said, ‘Go, wash your hands in these waters.’ And when he had washed them they were restored. And the apostle said to him, ‘Do you believe in our Lord Jesus Christ, that he can do all things?’ And he said, ‘Though I am the least, yet I believe. But I did this in the hope of doing something good. For I entreated her, as I told you already, but she would not be persuaded by me to keep herself chaste.’
53. And the apostle said to him, ‘Come, let us go to the inn where you committed the deed, and let us see what happened.’ And the young man went before the apostle on the road. When they had come to the inn they found her lying there. And when the apostle saw her he was sad, for she was a beautiful girl. And he ordered her to be brought into the middle of the inn. And putting her on a couch they carried it out and set it in the midst of the courtyard of the inn. And the apostle laid his hand on her and began to say, ‘Jesus, who appear to us at all times—for this is your will, that we should always seek you, and you have given us the right to ask and to receive, and have not only permitted us this, but have also taught us how to pray—who are not seen by us with the bodily eyes, but who are never hidden from those of our soul, and who are hidden in form, but manifested to us by your works; by your many deeds we have recognized you as much as we are able, and you have given us your gifts without measure saying, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and you shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.” 28 Matt. 7: 7 . We pray, therefore, being afraid of our sins. And we ask you not for riches or gold or silver or possessions or any of those things that come from earth and go into the earth again; but we beg of you and entreat that in your holy name you raise this woman lying here by your power, to your glory and to an awakening of faith in those who stand by.’
54. And he said to the young man, after sealing him, ‘Go and take her hand and say to her, “With iron I killed you with my hands, and with my hands I raise you because of faith in Jesus.” ’ And the young man went and stood by her, saying, ‘I have believed in you, O Christ Jesus.’ And looking upon Judas Thomas the apostle, he said to him, ‘Pray for me, that my Lord, upon whom I call, may come to my help.’ And laying his hand on her hand he said, ‘Come, Lord Jesus Christ, give her life and me the reality of your faith.’ And he drew her by the hand, and she sprang up and sat looking at the great multitude standing around. And she also saw the apostle standing opposite her, and leaving her couch she sprang up and fell at his feet and took hold of his garments, saying, ‘I pray, Lord, where is your companion who has not left me to remain in that fearful and grievous place, but has given me up to you, saying, “Take this one, that she may be made perfect, and thereafter be brought into her own place”?’
55. And the apostle said to her, ‘Tell us where you have been.’ And she answered, ‘Do you, who were with me, to whom also I was entrusted, wish to hear?’ And she commenced thus: ‘An ugly‐looking man, entirely black, received me; and his clothing was exceedingly filthy. And he took me to a place where there were many chasms, and a great stench and most hateful vapour were given forth thence. And he made me look into each chasm, and in the first I saw blazing fire, and fiery wheels running, and souls were hung upon these wheels, dashing against each other. And there was crying and great lamentation and no Saviour was there. And that man said to me, “These souls are akin to you, and in the days of reckoning they were delivered to punishment and destruction. And then others are brought in their stead; in like manner all these are again succeeded by others. These are they who perverted the intercourse of man and wife.” And again I looked down, and saw infants heaped upon each other, struggling and lying upon each other. And he said to me, “These are their children, and for this they are placed here for a testimony against them.”
56. ‘And he brought me to another chasm, and as I looked into it I saw mud and worms spouting forth, and souls wallowing there; and I heard a great gnashing of teeth come from them. And that man said to me, “These are the souls of women who left their husbands and committed adultery with others, and they have been brought to this torment.” And he showed me another chasm, and looking into it I saw souls hung up, some by the tongue, some by the hair, some by the hands, others by the feet, head downward, and reeking with smoke and sulphur. Concerning these the man who accompanied me said the following: “The souls hung up by the tongue are slanderers and such as have spoken false and disgraceful words and are not ashamed. Those hung up by their hair are the shameless, who are not ashamed at all and go about with uncovered heads in the world. Those hung up by the hands are they who took that which did not belong to them and have stolen, and who never gave anything to the poor, nor helped the afflicted; but they did so because they wished to get everything, and cared neither for law nor right. And these hung up by the feet are those who lightly and eagerly walked in wicked ways and disorderly paths, not visiting the sick nor escorting those who depart this life. On this account each soul receives what it has done.”
57. ‘And again he led me forth and showed me a very dark cavern, exhaling a very bad stench. Many souls were peeping out thence, wishing to get some share of the air. And their keepers would not let them look out. And my companion said to me, “This is the prison of those souls which you saw. For when they have fully received their punishment for that which each has done, others succeed them. Some are fully consumed, others are given up to other punishments.” And the keepers of the souls in the dark cavern said to the man that had charge of me, “Give her to us, that we may bring her to the others till the time comes when she is handed over to punishment.” But he said to them, “I will not give her to you, because I am afraid of him who delivered her to me. For I was not told to leave her here; I shall take her back with me, till I get an injunction about her.” And he took me and brought me to another place, where there were men who were cruelly tortured. He who is like you took me and gave me up to you, saying to you, “Take her, for she is one of the sheep which have wandered away.” And received by you, I now stand before you; I beg, therefore, and supplicate you that I may not come to those places of punishment which I have seen.’
58. And the apostle said, ‘You have heard what this woman has recounted. And these are not the only punishments, but there are others worse than these. And you too, unless you turn to the God whom I preach, and abstain from your former works and from the deeds which you did in ignorance, shall find your end in these punishments. Believe, therefore, in Christ Jesus, and he will forgive you the former sins and will cleanse you from all your bodily desires that remain on the earth, and will heal you from the faults that follow after you and go along with you and are found before you. Let every one of you put off the old man and put on the new, 29 Cf. Col. 3: 9 . and leave your former course of conduct and behaviour. Those who steal, let them steal no more, but let them live, labouring and working. 30 Cf. Eph. 4: 28 . The adulterers are no more to commit adultery, lest they give themselves up to everlasting punishment. For with God adultery is an evil exceedingly wicked above all other evils. Put away also covetousness and lying and drunkenness and slandering, and do not return evil for evil! 31 Cf. 1 Pet. 3: 9 . For all these are alien and strange to the God whom I preach. But walk rather in faith and meekness and holiness and hope, in which God rejoices, that you may become his kinsmen, expecting from him those gifts which only a few receive.’
59. The whole people therefore believed and presented obedient souls to the living God and Christ Jesus, rejoicing in the blessed works of the Most High and in his holy service. And they brought money for the service of the widows. For he had them gathered together in the cities, and he sent to all of them by his deacons what was necessary, both clothing as well as food. He himself did not cease to preach and to speak to them and to show that this Jesus is the Messiah of whom the Scriptures have spoken that he should be crucified and be raised after three days from the dead. He also showed to them and explained, beginning from the prophets, what was said concerning the Messiah, that it was necessary for him to come, and that everything had to be accomplished which had been prophesied of him. And the fame of him spread over all the cities and villages, and all who had sick persons or such as were troubled by unclean spirits brought them to him; and some they laid on the road by which he was to pass, and he healed all by the power of the Lord. And those who were healed by him said with one accord and one voice, ‘Glory to you, Jesus, who in like manner has given healing to all through your servant and apostle Thomas! And being in good health and rejoicing, we pray that we may become members of your flock and be counted among your sheep. Receive us, therefore, O Lord, and consider not our trespasses and our former transgressions, which we did while we were in ignorance!’
60. And the apostle said, ‘Glory be to the only‐begotten of the Father, 32 John 1: 14 . glory to the first‐born of many brethren; 33 Rom. 8: 29 . glory to you, the helper and defender of those who come to your refuge. You are the sleepless one who awaken those who sleep, and who live and bring to life those lying in death; O God Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, redeemer and helper, refuge and rest of all those that labour in your work, who heal those who for your name's sake bear the burden and heat of the day, 34 Matt. 20: 12 . we give thanks for the gifts given to us by you, and for the help from you bestowed upon us, and your providential care that has come upon us from you.
61. ‘Perfect these things upon us to the end, that we may have confidence in you. Look upon us because for your sake we have left our houses and our patrimony, and for your sake we have gladly and willingly become strangers. Look upon us, O Lord, because for your sake we have given up our own possessions, that we might obtain you for a possession that shall not be taken away. Look upon us, O Lord, because we have left those related to us by ties of kindred, in order that we may be united in relationship to you. Look upon us, O Lord, who have left our fathers and mothers and guardians, that we may behold your father and be satisfied with his divine nourishment. Look upon us, O Lord, because for your sake we have left our bodily consorts and our earthly fruit, in order that we may share in that true and lasting communion and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above, which no one can take from us, in which we abide and they abide with us.’
Seventh Act Concerning the Captain
62. While the apostle Judas Thomas was preaching the word of God in India, a captain of King Misdaeus came to him and said to him, ‘I have heard that you do not take a reward but give to the poor what you have. For if you did take a reward I should have sent you a large sum of money, and I would not have come myself, since the king does nothing without me. For my possessions are great and I am rich, one of the wealthiest in India. But I never did anything wrong to anyone. But the reverse I have experienced. I have a wife, and I had a daughter by her, and I love her very much, as nature demands, and I had no intercourse with another woman. And it happened that there was a wedding in our city, and those who made the wedding were good friends of mine. So they came and asked me, also inviting my wife and daughter. As they were my friends I could not refuse. So I sent her, though she did not wish to go, and I also sent many slaves with them. So they went away, decked with much jewellery, she and her daughter.
63. ‘And when it was evening and the time had come to leave the wedding, I sent lamps and torches to meet them, and I stood looking out when they should come, and I could see her and my daughter. And as I stood I heard a lamentation. “Woe to her!” was heard from every mouth. And the slaves returned with torn garments and told me what had happened. “We saw”, they said, “a man and a boy with him; the man had his hand upon your wife, the boy upon your daughter. But they ran away from them. And we wounded them with swords, but the swords fell to the ground and the women also fell, gnashing their teeth and knocking their heads against the ground. And when we saw this, we came to tell you.” Upon hearing this I tore my garment and struck my face with my hands, and ran like a madman all the way. And having gone I found them prostrate in the market. And I took them and brought them into my house, and having regained their senses they eventually calmed down and rested.
64. ‘I now began to ask my wife, “What happened to you?” And she said, “Do you not know what happened to me? I asked you not to let me go to the wedding, since I did not feel very well. And as I walked along the street and came to the aqueduct, I saw a black man before me, his head shaking a little, and a boy like him, standing by his side. And I said to my daughter, “Look at these two ugly men, whose teeth are like milk and whose lips are like soot.” And we left them at the aqueduct and went on. After sunset, when we had come away from the wedding and were going with the slaves through the city, near the aqueduct my daughter noticed them first, and she came to me. And afterwards I saw them also, coming towards us, and we ran away from them. And the slaves who were with us ran away. And the men beat us and threw us down.” And as she told me this the demons came near again and threw them down. And since that hour they can go out no more, being locked up in one room or another. And on their account I suffer much and am troubled. For wherever they are the demons throw them down and strip them naked. I ask you, therefore, to pray to God: help me and have mercy upon me! For three years no table has been set in my house, and my wife and my daughter have not sat at table. Especially I ask you for my unhappy daughter, who has not seen anything good in this world.’
65. When the apostle heard this from the captain he felt very sorry for him. And he said to him, ‘Do you believe that Jesus can heal?’ And the captain said, ‘Yes.’ And the apostle said, ‘Commit yourself to Jesus, and he will heal and help them.’ The captain said, ‘Show him to me, that I may ask him and believe in him.’ And the apostle said, ‘He appears not to these bodily eyes, but is only found with the eyes of the mind.’ And the captain lifted up his voice and said, ‘I believe in you, Jesus, and I beseech and ask of you, help my little faith, which I have toward you.’ The apostle commanded the deacon Xenophon to bring everybody together in one place. And when the multitude was assembled, the apostle spoke, standing in the midst:
66. ‘My children and brethren, who believe in the Lord, remain in this faith by preaching Jesus, who has been preached to you by me and by putting your hope in him. Forsake him not, and he shall not forsake you. When you sleep in this slumber weighing down the sleepers, he sleeps not and watches. And when you travel by sea and are in danger and there is no one to help, he walks upon the waters and helps. I am now about to go from you, and it is uncertain whether I shall see you again in my body. Be not like the people of Israel who fell, when left alone for a short time by their shepherd. I leave with you in my place deacon Xenophon, for he also preaches Jesus like myself. I am nothing; neither is he. Only Jesus is something. For I also am a man, clothed with a body, a son of man, like one of you. I have no riches, unlike some of you; these convict their possessors as they are entirely useless, since they are left behind on earth, whence they came. But the trespasses which come upon men on their own account and the filth of sin they take with them. The rich are seldom found in the practice of mercy. But the merciful and the meek of heart shall inherit the Kingdom of God. Even beauty does not remain with man. For those who rely on it shall suddenly be confounded when old age comes. Everything has its time. There is a time to love, a time to hate. 35 Eccles. 3: 8 . Let the hope, therefore, be in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who is always loved and desired, and remember us, as we remember you. For we also, unless we carry the burden of the commandments, are not worthy to be preachers of that name and shall be punished there afterward.’
67. And having prayed with them, he remained a long time in prayer and supplication, and commended them to the Lord, and said, ‘Lord, the Lord of each soul, which is in a body; Lord, Father of the souls who hope in you and wait for your mercy, you who redeem your men from error, and free from servitude and corruption those who are subject to you and take refuge with you, come to the flock of Xenophon, anoint them with holy oil, heal their wounds and keep them from the grievous wolves.’ And he laid his hands upon them and said, ‘The peace of the Lord come upon you and go also with us!’
Eighth Act Concerning the Wild Asses
68. And the apostle went forth to go on his way. And they all accompanied him with tears and adjured him to remember them in his prayers and not to forget them. And when he had mounted the wagon and all the brethren were left behind, the captain came, ordered the driver to rise, and said, ‘I pray and supplicate to be deemed worthy to sit under his feet and to become his driver on this road, that he may become my companion on that way, by which only a few travel.’
69. And having gone about two miles the apostle bade the captain to rise and sit beside him, allowing the driver to take his own seat. And as they went off it happened that on account of the great heat the beasts became tired and could move no more. And the captain became very vexed and discouraged, and thought of running by foot to fetch other animals for the wagon. But the apostle said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid; but believe in Jesus Christ, whom I have preached to you, and you shall see great wonders.’ And looking about he saw a herd of wild asses grazing by the way. And he said to the captain, ‘If you believe in Jesus Christ, go to the herd of wild asses and say, ‘Judas Thomas, the apostle of Christ, the new God, says: Let four of you come, because we need you!” ’
70. And the captain went, seized by fear because they were so many. And as he went, they came to meet him. And coming near he said to them, ‘Judas Thomas, the apostle of the new God, commands you that four of you should come, because I need them!’ And the wild asses, upon hearing this, came to him running with one accord; and having come, they fell upon their knees. 36 The Syriac inserts here a hymn. And the apostle said to them, ‘Peace be with you! Yoke four in place of these beasts who are at a standstill!’ And every one of them came and crowded to be yoked. But there were four stronger than the rest, and these were yoked. Of the others, some went before, some followed. And having gone a short distance he dismissed them, saying, ‘To you, the inhabitants of the desert, I say, go to your pastures! For if I needed all, you would all go with me. But now go to your place where you were.’ And they quietly went away till they were out of sight.
71. While the apostle, the captain, and the driver went on, the wild asses walked quietly and evenly, in order not to disturb the apostle of God. And when they had come near the gate of the city, they turned aside and stopped before the house of the captain. And the captain said, ‘It is not possible to tell what happened, but I will await the end and then I will speak.’ And the whole city came, having seen the wild asses yoked. And the rumour also spread that the apostle intended to remain there. The apostle asked the captain, ‘Where is your house and where are you bringing us?’ And he said to him, ‘You yourself know that we are at the door, and these which have come along at your behest know it better than I.’
72. Having said this, they alighted from the wagon. And the apostle began to say, ‘Jesus Christ, whose knowledge is despised in this country; Jesus Christ, of whom nothing has been heard in this country; Jesus, who receives all apostles in every country and every city, and by whom all worthy of you are glorified; Jesus, who has taken a form and become like a man and appeared to all of us in order not to separate us from your love; Lord, you are he who has given himself for us and has bought us with a price by his blood, as a precious possession. But what have we, Lord, to offer in exchange for your life which you have given for us? For what we have is your gift. We entreat you and thereby have life.’
73. And when he had spoken thus many came from all sides to see the apostle of the new God. And the apostle said again, ‘Why do we stand idle? Lord Jesus, the hour has come. What do you wish that should be done? Command, therefore, that what must come to pass be accomplished.’ And the wife and daughter of the captain were very troubled by the demons, in such a way that the inmates of the house thought that they would rise no more. For the demons would not allow them to eat anything at all, but threw them on their beds, and they recognized no one till the day on which the apostle came. The apostle said to one of the wild asses, which were yoked on the right side, ‘Go into the court and, standing there, call the demons, and say to them, “Judas Thomas, the apostle and disciple of Jesus Christ says: Come out here! For for your sakes and against your race I have been sent to destroy you and to persecute you to your place, till the time of consummation comes and you go down into your depth of darkness.” ’
74. The wild ass, accompanied by many people, went in and said, ‘I speak to you, the enemies of Jesus the Christ, I speak to you who close your eyes not to see the light—since the worst nature cannot be changed for good—to you I say, the children of hell and destruction, the children of him who unceasingly does evil, who always renews his operations and those things which belong to his nature, to you I speak, most shameless, who shall be destroyed by yourselves—but what I should say concerning your destruction and end and what I should advise, I know not. For there are innumerable things to hear. But your trespasses are greater than the punishment which is reserved for you. But to you, demon, and your son, who follows you, I speak—for now I have been sent against you—but why make many words about your nature and origin, which you know yourselves and of which you are nevertheless unashamed? Judas Thomas, the apostle of Jesus Christ, who has been sent here out of much love and kindness, commands you, “Go out in the presence of all the people here and tell me of what race you are!” ’
75. And immediately the woman and her daughter came forth, like people dead and dishonoured. And when the apostle saw them he was sad, especially on account of the girl, and said to the demons, ‘Let no forgiveness and forbearance fall to your lot, for you know no forbearance or compassion! But, in the name of Jesus, leave them and stand aside!’ When the apostle had said this, the women fell down and died. For they neither had breath nor did they speak. And the demon answered with a loud voice, ‘Have you come again, mocker of our nature and kindred? Have you come again to thwart our plans? And I think you will not suffer us to remain upon earth. But this you cannot do at this time.’ The apostle, however, recognized that this was the same demon that had been driven out from that woman.
76. And the demon said, ‘I beseech you, let me go and dwell where you wish, and command me for that purpose, then I shall not fear the mighty one who has power over me. For as you have come to preach, so have I come to destroy. As he who sent you punishes you for not fulfilling his will, so, unless I do the will of him who has sent me, I am sent before the time and season appointed to my nature. And as Christ helps you in your work, so my father helps me in that which I do. And as he prepares for you the vessels worthy for your habitation, so my father selects vessels by which I accomplish his deeds. And as he nourishes and provides for his subjects, so my father prepares for me and those in whom I dwell punishments and torments. And as he gives you eternal life as reward for your work, so my father offers me as recompense for my works everlasting destruction. And as you enjoy your prayer and good works and spiritual hymns, so I enjoy murders and adulteries and the sacrifices offered with wine upon the altars. And as you turn men over to everlasting life, I turn those who obey me to everlasting damnation and punishment. You receive your reward, I mine.’
77. When the demon had spoken this and much more, the apostle said, ‘Jesus commands you and your son through me, that you no more enter into a human dwelling, but go out and depart and dwell completely outside the dwelling of men!’ And the demons said to him, ‘You have given us a hard order. But what will you do to those now hidden from you? For the markers of idols rejoice in them more than you, and the multitude worships them and does their will, bringing sacrifices to them and offering wine and water libations as food and presenting gifts.’ And the apostle said, ‘They shall now be destroyed with their deeds.’ And suddenly the demons became invisible. But the women lay like dead people upon the ground, making no sound.
78. And the wild asses stood together and did not leave. But the wild ass which by the power of God was able to speak said to the apostle, whilst all were silent and looked on to see what they would do, ‘Why do you stand idle, apostle of the Most High, who waits for you to beseech him for the greatest knowledge? Why do you delay? For your teacher wishes to show his great deeds by your hands. Why do you tarry, herald of the hidden One? For your Master will make known through you secrets, reserving them for those whom he deems worthy to hear them. Why do you rest, who perform great deeds in the name of the Lord? For your Lord encourages you, by giving you courage. Be not afraid. For he will forsake no soul which according to race belongs to you. Begin, therefore, to call upon him, and he shall willingly hear you. Why do you stand and admire all his deeds and effects? For these things are small which he has shown through you. And what will you say of his great gifts? For you shall not be able to tell them fully. Why do you wonder at his bodily cures, which are transient, especially when you know the true and lasting healing which he gives to those who belong to him? And why do you look at this temporal life, and give no thought of the eternal?
79. ‘And to you, multitudes standing here expecting that the prostrated women shall be raised, I say: Believe the apostle of Jesus Christ; believe the teacher of truth; believe him who shows you the truth; believe in Jesus; believe in the Messiah who was born, that the born might have life through his life; who also became a child and was educated, that perfect humanity might appear through him. He taught his own teacher, because he is the teacher of truth 37 Infancy Gospel of Thomas 6–8, 14, 15. and the wisest of the wise; he offered sacrifice in the temple, to show that every offering is hallowed. This man is his apostle, the revealer of truth. It is he who does the will of him who sent him. But false apostles and prophets of lawlessness shall come, whose end shall be according to their deeds, who indeed preach and give laws that one should flee lawlessness, but they are found at all times in sins. They are clothed indeed in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves, 38 Matt. 7: 15 . they are not satisfied with one wife, but corrupt many women; they say that they despise children, yet ruin many children and suffer for them; they are not satisfied with what they possess, but wish that everything should serve them alone, whereas they pretend to be his disciples; they say one thing with their mouth, but in their heart they think otherwise; they command others to refrain from wickedness, but they themselves do nothing good; they are regarded as temperate and command others to abstain from fornication, theft, and avarice, but in secret they do all these things themselves, while teaching others not to do these things.’
80. While the wild ass was talking, everybody looked at it. And when it was silent, the apostle said, ‘What I am to think of your beauty, O Jesus, and what I am to say about you, I know not; rather, I cannot. For I am not able, O Christ, to declare it, O you who are at rest and alone are wise, who alone know what is in the heart and the contents of thought—glory be to you, merciful and tranquil; glory be to you, wise word; glory to your mercy, which is shed over us; glory to your compassion which is spread over us; glory to your majesty, who came down for our sakes; glory to your most exalted kingship, which humbled itself for our sakes; glory to your strength, which became weak for our sakes; glory to your Godhead, which for our sakes appeared in the image of man; glory to your humanity, which died for our sakes, to make us alive; glory to your resurrection from the dead, for by it our souls shall share in the resurrection and rest; glory and praise to your ascension into heaven, for by it you showed us the way to the highest, having promised that we shall sit on your right hand and judge with you the twelve tribes of Israel. You are the heavenly word of the Father; you are the hidden light of the mind; you are he who shows the way of truth, persecutor of darkness and destroyer of error.’
81. When the apostle had spoken he went to the women and said, ‘My Lord and my God, I doubt not in you, nor do I call upon you in unbelief. You are always our helper and assistance and restorer who give us your strength, encourage us, and give your servants freedom in love. I beseech you, let these women rise up healed, and become again as they were before the demons struck them.’ When he had thus spoken the women turned and sat up. And the apostle ordered the captain that his servants should take them and bring them indoors. And when they had gone in, the apostle said to the wild asses, ‘Follow me.’ And they followed him till they were outside the gates. And when they came out, he told them, ‘Go in peace to your pastures!’ And the wild asses went away willingly, the apostle standing and seeing to it that no harm was done to them by anyone, till they were far off and out of sight. And the apostle returned with the people into the house of the captain.
Ninth Act About the Wife of Charisius
82. It came to pass that a woman named Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, the near relative of the king, came to see and to behold the new appearance of the new God, who was being preached, and the new apostle, who abode in their country. And she was carried by her slaves, but could not be brought to him on account of the great crowd and the narrow space. So she sent to her husband for more servants. They came and went before her, pushing and beating the people. When the apostle perceived this he said to them, ‘Why do you make those go away who come to hear the word and show willingness for it? You wish to be near me, whereas you are far off—as it has been said of the people who came to the Lord: “Having eyes you see not, and having ears you hear not.” 39 Mark 8: 18 . And to the multitudes he said, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear;” 40 Matt. 11: 15 and elsewhere. and “Come to me all who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” ’ 41 Matt. 11: 28 .
83. And looking at her carriers, he said to them, ‘This beatitude, which was given to them, is now also given to you who are heavy laden. You are those who carry burdens grievous to be borne, and are driven onward by her behest. And although you are men they lay burdens upon you, as upon the irrational beasts, because your lords think that you are not men like themselves . . . . whether they be bond or free. For neither shall riches help the rich, nor will poverty save the poor from judgement. For we did not receive a commandment which we cannot fulfil, nor did he put upon us heavy burdens grievous to be borne, which we cannot carry. Nor did he put upon us such a building as men build, nor stones to be hewn and houses to be established, as your craftsmen prepare by their intelligence, but we received the commandment from the Lord, that what is displeasing to us when done to us by another we should not do to another man.
84. 42 I follow the Rome manuscript U for chs. 84–5. The text is corrupt but is longer than that in the Paris manuscript P. ‘First of all abstain from adultery, for it is the cause of every evil . . . also from theft, which ensnared Judas Iscariot and caused him to hang himself . . . for those who are given to avarice see not what they do; and from ostentation and all disgraceful deeds, especially the carnal . . . 43 The Syriac refers to sexual intercourse here. the end of which is eternal damnation. For this uncleanliness is the starting point of every evil. In like manner, it also leads those who are proud into servitude, drawing them down to the depth and subjecting them under its hands, that they see not what they do, so that their deeds are unknown to them.
85. ‘You, however, . . . 44 The Syriac includes ‘walk in holiness’. and become thereby well‐pleasing to God . . . and gives life eternal and despises death. And walk in kindness, for it overcomes the enemy and alone obtains the crown of victory. And walk in gentleness, helping the poor and satisfying the want of the needy, by bringing your possessions and distributing them to the needy, especially to those who walk in holiness, for this is chosen by God and leads to eternal life. Before God this is the chief city of all good. Those who do not contend in the stadium of Christ shall not obtain holiness. Holiness is of God, destroying fornication, overcoming the foe, well‐pleasing to God. It is an invincible athlete, it is highly esteemed of God and is glorified by many. It is the messenger of peace, preaching peace. If any one acquires temperance, he is without cares because he pleases the Lord and waits for the time of redemption. For it does nothing which is wrong, and gives life and rest and joy to all who obtain it.
86. ‘But meekness has subdued death, bringing it under authority. Meekness has overcome the enemy. Meekness is a good yoke. Meekness fears none and resists not. Meekness is peace and joy and enjoyment of rest. Remain, therefore, in holiness and take freedom from care and approve meekness. For in these three main parts the Messiah is portrayed, whom I preach to you. Holiness is a temple of the Messiah, and whoever lives in it obtains him as an inhabitant. For he fasted forty days and forty nights, without tasting anything. And whoever observes temperance shall live in it as upon a mountain. Meekness, however, is his glory, for he said to our fellow‐apostle Peter, “Replace your sword and put it again into its sheath. For if I wanted to do this could I not have brought more than twelve legions of angels from my Father on my side?” ’ 45 Matt. 26: 52–3 .
87. When the apostle spoke this and the whole multitude heard it, they crowded and came near. But the wife of Charisius, the relative of the king, sprang up from the palanquin, threw herself to the ground before the apostle, took hold of his feet, beseeching him and saying, ‘Disciple of the living God, you have come into a desert country. For we live in a desert, because by our life we are like the unreasoning animals; but now we shall be saved through your hands. I beseech you, therefore, care for me and pray for me, that the mercy of God, whom you preach, may come upon me and I become his dwelling place and be joined in the prayer and in the hope and in the faith in him, and receive also the seal and become a holy temple and he dwell in me.’
88. And the apostle said, ‘I pray and ask for all you brethren who believe in the Lord, and for you, sisters, who hope in Christ, that the word of God may rest on you all and dwell in you; for we have no power over you.’ And he began to speak to the woman, Mygdonia, ‘Rise up from the ground and remove your adornments. For this ornament which you have on will not help you at all, nor the beauty of your body nor your garments. Neither the fame of the authority which surrounds you nor the power of this world nor this filthy intercourse with your husband will be of use to you if you are deprived of the true intercourse. For the exhibition of jewellery is destroyed, and the body ages and changes, and garments wear out, and power and dominion pass away . . . 46 Greek corrupt. And the communion of begetting children also passes away, since it is an object of contempt. Jesus alone remains for ever and they who hope in him.’ When he had spoken this, he said to the woman, ‘Go in peace, and the Lord will make you worthy of his mysteries.’ And she said, ‘I am afraid to go away, fearing lest you leave me and go to another people.’ And the apostle said to her, ‘Even if I go away, I shall not leave you alone, but Jesus will be with you because of his compassion.’ And she fell down, worshipped him, and went to her house.
89. And Charisius, the relative of King Misdaeus, after having bathed, went up to recline at dinner. And he inquired after his wife, where she was. For she had not come as usual from her chamber to meet him. And her servants said to him, ‘She is unwell.’ And he quickly went to the chamber and found her on the couch and veiled. And he unveiled her, kissed her, and said to her, ‘Why are you so sad?’ And she said, ‘I am unwell.’ He said to her, ‘Why did you not observe the decency becoming a free woman and stay at home, but went to listen to idle words and look at works of sorcery? But rise, dine with me, for I cannot eat without you.’ But she said to him, ‘Excuse me for today, for I am very much afraid.’
90. Upon hearing this from Mygdonia, Charisius would not partake of the meal, but ordered his servants to bring her to eat with him. And when they brought her he demanded that she should eat with him. And she excused herself. As she would not, he ate alone, saying to her, ‘On your account I refused to eat with King Misdaeus and why would you not eat with me?’ And she said, ‘Because I am unwell.’ Having risen up, Charisius intended to sleep with her as usual. But she said, ‘Have I not told you that I refused for today?’
91. Upon hearing this he went away to sleep on another couch. When he awoke from his sleep he said, ‘My mistress Mygdonia, hear the dream which I have seen. I saw myself at a meal near King Misdaeus, and beside us stood a table fully laden. And I saw an eagle coming down from heaven taking away two partridges from the place before me and the king, which he carried into his nest. 47 Greek ‘heart’. And he came near again fluttering about us. And the king ordered a bow to be brought to him. The eagle took a dove and a pigeon from the place before us. The king shot an arrow at him which passed through him from one side to the other without hurting him. And he flew to his nest unscathed. And now that I am awake, I am frightened and very sad because I had tasted the partridge and he would not allow me to put it to my mouth again.’ And Mygdonia said to him, ‘Your dream is good, for you eat partridges daily, whereas this eagle has not till now tasted a partridge.’
92. When it was morning, Charisius went and dressed and put the left shoe on the right foot. 48 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 22. And pausing, he said to Mygdonia, ‘What does this mean? For behold the dream and this act!’ Mygdonia said to him, ‘This also is not bad, but seems to me very good: from a bad thing comes the better.’ Having washed his hands, he went to greet King Misdaeus.
93. Likewise also Mygdonia went early in the morning to greet the apostle Judas Thomas. She met him talking to the captain and the multitude. And he exhorted them by speaking of the woman who had received the Lord into her soul, and asked whose wife she was. The captain said, ‘She is the wife of Charisius, the relative of King Misdaeus. And her husband is very severe, and the king obeys him in everything which he says. And he will not allow her to remain in the opinion which she professes. He has also often praised her in the presence of the king by saying none were so good for love as she. Everything of which you speak to her is strange to her.’ And the apostle said, ‘If the Lord has truly and indeed risen in her soul and she has received the sown seed, she will neither care for this earthly life nor fear death, nor will Charisius be able to harm her in any way. For he whom she has received into her soul is greater, if indeed she has truly received him.’
94. When Mygdonia heard this she said to the apostle, ‘In truth, my lord, I have received the seed of your words and shall bring forth fruits from such seed.’ The apostle said, ‘Lord, these souls which are yours praise and thank you; the bodies which you deemed worthy to be habitations of your heavenly gift thank you.’ And he also said to those about him, ‘Blessed are the saints, whose souls have never condemned them; because they have gained them, they doubt not in themselves. Blessed are the spirits of the saints who have safely received the heavenly crown intact from the aeon appointed to them. Blessed are the bodies of the saints, because they were deemed worthy to become temples of God, that Christ might dwell in them. Blessed are you, because you have power to remit sins. Blessed are you, if you lose not that which is committed to you but take it with you with joy and gladness. Blessed are you saints, because it is given to you to ask and to receive. Blessed are you meek, 49 Matt. 5: 5–8 . because God has deemed you worthy to become heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Blessed are you meek, for you have overcome the wicked one. Blessed are you meek, because you shall see the face of the Lord. Blessed are you who hunger for the Lord's sake, for rest is preserved for you and your souls rejoice from now on. Blessed are you quiet ones, because you were found worthy to be delivered from sin.’ When the apostle had said this in the hearing of the whole multitude Mygdonia was more strengthened in the faith and in the glory and majesty of Christ.
95. But Charisius, the king's relative and friend, came to the breakfast and did not find his wife at home. And he asked all in his house, ‘Where has your mistress gone?’ And one of them said, ‘She went to that stranger.’ Upon hearing this from his servant he was angry at the others because they did not report to him at once what had happened. And he sat down and waited for her. And when it was evening and she entered the house, he said to her, ‘Where have you been?’ She answered and said, ‘To the physician.’ He said, ‘Is the stranger a physician?’ She said, ‘Yes, a physician of souls. Most physicians heal bodies, which decay; but he heals souls, which do not perish.’ When Charisius heard this he was angry at heart at Mygdonia on account of the apostle. But he answered nothing, for he was afraid, as she was superior to him in riches and intelligence. He went to dinner, but she went to her chamber. And he said to his servants, ‘Call her to dinner.’ But she would not come.
96. When he heard that she would not leave her chamber, he went in and said to her, ‘Why will you not eat with me? And will you not also have intercourse with me according to custom? And in this respect I am more suspicious, for I heard that this sorcerer and deceiver teaches that no man should cohabit with his wife, and he reverses what nature demands and the deity has ordered.’ When Charisius said this Mygdonia held her peace. Again he said to her, ‘My lady and wife Mygdonia, be not led astray by deceitful and foolish words, nor by the works of sorcery which this man, as I heard, does in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. In this world it has never been heard that anyone has raised the dead. But, as I hear, he is reported to raise the dead. And as he neither eats nor drinks, do not assume that he neither eats nor drinks for righteousness' sake. He rather does it because he has nothing. For what should he do who has not even his daily bread? And he has only one garment because he is poor. And as for his not receiving anything from anyone, he does it because he is aware that no one has been healed by him.’
97. When Charisius said this, Mygdonia was silent like a stone. She prayed, however, for daylight, that she might go to the apostle of Christ. He left her and sadly partook of his meal, for he was anxious to have intercourse with her. When he had left, she bent her knees and prayed thus: ‘Lord God, merciful Father, and Redeemer Christ, give me strength that I overcome Charisius' shamelessness, and grant me to keep the holiness which is well‐pleasing to you, that through it I too may find eternal life.’ Having thus prayed she betook herself, veiled, to her bed.
98. Having eaten, Charisius came near her. And she cried, ‘Henceforth you have no place beside me, for my Lord Jesus, who is with me and rests in me, is better than you.’ And laughingly he said, ‘Well do you mock saying these words about that sorcerer, and well do you laugh at him who says, “You have no life with God unless you sanctify yourselves!” ’ Having said this, he tried to sleep with her. But she would not allow it and cried out with a piercing voice, ‘I call upon you, Lord Jesus, forsake me not! I have taken refuge in you! As I have perceived that it is you who seek those who are imprisoned in ignorance and save those who are kept in error, so now I pray to you whose report I heard and in whom I believed. Come to my assistance and save me from Charisius' shamelessness, that his impurity have no power over me.’ And she put her hands to her face and ran away naked. And upon leaving she tore down the curtain of her chamber, put it around her, went to the nurse, and slept there with her.
99. And Charisius spent the whole night in sadness, beating his face with his hands. And he thought of going immediately to the king to report to him about the power which had come upon him. But on reflection he said within himself, ‘If the great sadness which now fills my heart obliges me to go to the king, who will introduce me to him? For I know that an evil report has thrown me down from my pride and vainglory and greatness and brought me to this pettiness and separated my sister Mygdonia from me. Even if the king stood at the door I could not have come out at this time and given him an answer. But I shall wait till it is day. I know that the king will grant what I ask of him. And I will speak of the madness of the stranger, whose tyranny throws the great and illustrious into the abyss. For it pains me not that I am deprived of her intercourse, but I sorrow for her because her noble soul has been humbled. She, a woman of nobility, in whom none of the servants has ever detected a fault, ran uncovered from her chamber, and I do not know where she went. But it is possible that having been made mad by that sorcerer she went in her frenzy to the market to seek him. For nothing seems lovable to her except that man and his words.’
100. Having spoken thus, he began to lament and say, ‘Woe to me, wife, and woe to you also! For too soon have I been deprived of you! Woe to me, most beloved, for you are better than my whole kindred. For I have neither a son nor a daughter from you that I could enjoy them. You have not even lived with me a year, and an evil eye has snatched you from me. Would that the power of death had taken you away, then I should have counted myself a king and leader! But that I should suffer this at the hand of a stranger! And possibly he is a runaway slave, to my harm and to that of my most unhappy soul. But let nothing come in my way till I have destroyed him and avenged this night. And let King Misdaeus not find pleasure in me unless he gives me revenge with the head of the stranger, and I will also tell him of captain Siphor, who was the cause of this destruction. For through him he came here and lodges with him. And many come into contact with him who teaches a new doctrine by saying that none can live unless he free himself from all his possessions and like himself become an abstainer. And he endeavours to make many converts.’
101. As Charisius was considering this, day broke. And having passed the night waking, he put on a cheap garment, and shoes on his feet, and looking sad and dejected he went to greet the king. Upon seeing him the king said, ‘Why are you so sad, and why did you come in such attire? And your face is also changed.’ Charisius answered and said to the king, ‘I have to tell you of something new, and of a new devastation which captain Siphor has brought to India: a Hebrew magician whom he has in his house and who does not leave him. Many go to him and he teaches a new God and gives them new laws, of which no one has ever heard, by saying, “It is impossible that you enter into the eternal life which I preach to you unless you give up your wives and the wives also give up their husbands.” It happened that my ill‐fated wife also went to him and heard his words. And she believed them, left me during the night, and ran to the stranger. But let Siphor and the sorcerer hidden in his house be brought to you, and punish them, that all of our people do not perish.’
102. When his friend Misdaeus heard this he said to him, ‘Be not sad and discouraged! I will have him brought here, and I will avenge you, and you shall have your wife again. For if I avenge others who cannot avenge themselves, I will avenge you above all.’ And the king went out and sat upon the seat of judgement. Being seated, he ordered Siphor, the captain, to be called. And having come into his house, they found him at the right hand of the apostle, and Mygdonia at his feet, listening to him with the whole people. And the king's messengers came to Siphor and said, ‘You are sitting here listening to foolish words, and King Misdaeus is enraged thinking how to destroy you because of this sorcerer and deceiver, whom you have brought into your house!’ Upon hearing this, Siphor was dismayed, not because of the king's threat against him, but on account of the apostle, because the king was opposed to him. And he said to the apostle. ‘I am distressed about you. For I told you from the beginning that that woman is the wife of Charisius, the relative and friend of the king, and he does not allow her to do what she has promised, and the king grants him everything which he asks.’ And the apostle said to Siphor, ‘Fear nothing, but believe in Jesus, who comes to our defence. For we have been gathered to his place of refuge.’ Upon hearing this, Siphor put on his cloak and went to King Misdaeus.
103. And the apostle inquired of Mygdonia, ‘What is the cause that your husband is so enraged and has prepared these devices against us?’ She said, ‘Because I did not yield to his desire. In the evening he wanted to force me and to subject me to that lust which he indulges. But he to whom I commended my soul delivered me from his hands. And I ran away naked and slept with my nurse. But what happened to him that he made these cunning devices, I know not.’ The apostle said, ‘These things will not hurt us. Believe in Jesus, and he will destroy Charisius' wrath and madness and passion, and he will be your companion on the dangerous road and guide you into his kingdom; and he shall bring you to eternal life by giving you a sure hope which does not pass away nor change.’
104. And Siphor stood before the king, who asked him, ‘Who is he and where is he from and what does that magician teach whom you have in your house?’ And Siphor answered the king, ‘O king, you are not ignorant of the trouble and sadness which I and my friends suffered because of my wife, whom you know and others remember, and because of my daughter, whom I regard more than all my possessions, what a time of trial I had to undergo. For I became an object of derision and curse for our whole country. But I heard of that man, went to him, besought him, and took him and brought him here. And on the way I perceived wonderful and surprising things, and many here heard of the wild ass and of the demon which he drove out; and he healed my wife and daughter, and now they are well. He asks no reward, but demands faith and holiness that men become fellow workers in his labours. He teaches men to worship and fear one God, the Lord of all, and Jesus Christ, his Son, that they may have life eternal. He eats only bread and salt, and drinks water from evening to evening; and he prays a great deal, and whatever he asks of God is given to him. And he teaches that this God is holy and mighty, and that Christ is life and makes alive. Therefore he exhorts those who are with him to come to God in holiness, purity, love, and faith.’
105. When Siphor had spoken thus, King Misdaeus sent many soldiers into the house of Siphor, the captain, to bring Thomas and all those who should be found there. And when the messengers came into the house, they found him teaching a great multitude, and Mygdonia sitting at his feet. And when the messengers saw the multitude they were afraid, went to the king and said, ‘We did not dare to say anything to him on account of the many people around him; Mygdonia also was listening to his words, sitting at his feet.’ When King Misdaeus and Charisius heard these things, Charisius sprang up, took many people with him, and said, ‘I shall bring him, O king, and Mygdonia, whose mind he has disturbed.’ And greatly perplexed, he came into the house of Siphor. And he found him teaching; but Mygdonia he found not, because she had returned to her house, having perceived that her husband knew of her presence there.
106. And Charisius said to the apostle, ‘Rise, wicked man and destroyer and enemy of my house, for your sorcery harms me not; and I shall visit your sorcery upon your head.’ When he had said this, the apostle looked at him and said, ‘Your threats shall turn against you, for you shall not harm me. For greater than you and your king and your whole army is the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I put my hope.’ And Charisius took a kerchief from one of his servants, put it on the neck of the apostle, and said, ‘Drag him off and take him away; I shall see whether God can save him from my hands.’ And they dragged him off and took him to King Misdaeus. When the apostle came into the presence of the king, the king said to him, ‘Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things’. But the apostle held his peace. And the king ordered his subjects to scourge him with one hundred and twenty‐eight lashes and cast him bound into the prison. And they bound him in chains and led him away. And the king and Charisius considered how to kill him, but the multitude worshipped him upon their knees like a God. And they had it in their mind to say this: ‘The stranger acted wickedly against the king, and is a deceiver.’
107. And when the apostle went to the prison, he said with gladness and rejoicing, ‘I praise you, Jesus, that you have not only deemed me worthy to believe in you, but also to suffer much for you. I thank you, Lord, that you have cared for me and have given me patience. I thank you, Lord, that on your account I have been called a sorcerer and magician. May I also receive of the blessings of the lowly, and of the rest of the weary, and of the blessings of those whom men hate and persecute and revile by speaking evil against them. 50 Cf. Matt. 5: 11 . For, behold, on your account I am hated; behold, on your account I am avoided by the multitude, and on your account they call me what I am not.’
108. And all the prisoners saw him pray and asked him to pray for them. And when he had sat down he began to utter the following psalm:
1 108. 51 Line numbers follow the Syriac. When I was a little child, in my father's palace,
2 And enjoyed the wealth and luxury of those who nurtured me,
3 My parents equipped me with provisions and sent me out from the East, our homeland.
4 From the wealth of our treasury they gave me a great burden,
5 Which was light so that I could carry it by myself:
6 Gold from the land above, silver from great treasuries,
7 And stones, chalcedonies of India and agates from Kushan.
8 And they girded me with steel,
9 And they took away from me the garment set with gems and spangled with gold
Which they had made out of love for me
10 And the yellow robe which was made for my size,
11 And they made a covenant with me
And wrote it in my mind that I might not forget:
12 ‘If you go down to Egypt and bring the one pearl
13 Which is in the land of the devouring serpent,
14 You shall put on again that garment set with stones and the robe which lies over it,
15 And with your brother, our next in command, you shall be a herald for our kingdom.’
16 109. So I departed from the East on a difficult and frightening road led by two guides,
17 And I was very young to travel on it.
18 I passed over the borders of the Mosani, where there is the meeting‐place of the merchants of the East,
19 And reached the land of the Babylonians.
20 I went down to Egypt, and my companions parted from me.
21 I went straight to the serpent and stayed near his den
22 Until he should slumber and sleep, so that I might take the pearl from him.
23 Being alone I altered my appearance and seemed an alien even to my own people,
24 But I saw one of my kinsmen there, a free‐born man from the East,
25 A youth fair and beautiful, the son of courtiers.
26 He came and kept me company.
27 And I made him my intimate friend, a comrade with whom I communicated my business.
28 Being exhorted to guard against the Egyptians and against partaking of unclean things,
29 I clothed myself in garments like theirs, so that I would not be seen as a stranger
30 And as one who had come from abroad to take the pearl, Lest the Egyptians might arouse the serpent against me.
31 But somehow they learned that I was not their countryman.
32 They dealt with me treacherously, and I tasted their food.
33 I no longer recognized that I was a king's son, and I served their king.
34 I forgot the pearl for which my parents had sent me.
35 And I fell into a deep sleep because of the heaviness of their food.
36 While I was suffering these things my parents were aware of it and grieved over me . 110.
37 And a proclamation was heralded in our kingdom that all should present themselves at our doors.
38 The kings of Parthia and those in office, and the great men of the East
39 Resolved that I should not be left in Egypt.
40 So the courtiers wrote me a letter:
41 ‘From your father the king of kings and your mother, the mistress of the East
42 And their brothers, who are second to us,
To our son in Egypt, greetings!
43 Awake, and rise from your sleep.
44 Listen to the words in this letter,
Remember you are the son of kings,
You have fallen beneath the yoke of slavery.
45 Remember your gold‐spangled garment,
46 Recall the pearl for which you were sent to Egypt,
47 Your name has been called to the book of life,
48 Together with that of your brother whom you have received in our kingdom.’
49 And the king sealed it to make it an ambassador , 111.
50 Because of the wicked Babylonian children and the tyrannical demons of the Labyrinth.
53 52 In Syriac are found vv. 51–2: (51) ‘It flew in the form of an eagle, the king of birds, (52) It flew and alighted beside me and became all speech.’ I rose from sleep when I recognized its voice, 53 Literally ‘ . . . at its voice and perception’.
54 I took it up and kissed it and I read.
55 And what was written concerned that which was engraved on my heart.
56 And I immediately remembered that I was a son of kings and that my freedom demanded my people. 54 Greek obscure. Syriac has ‘My noble birth asserted itself’.
57 I remembered the pearl for which I had been sent to Egypt,
58 And the fact that I had come to snatch it from the terrifying serpent.
59 I subdued it by calling out my father's name,
61 55 Syriac adds v. 60: ‘And the name of our second in rank and of my mother, the Queen of the East’. And I snatched the pearl and turned about to go to my parents.
62 And I took off the dirty clothing and left it behind in their land.
63 And directed my way forthwith to the light of our Eastern home.
64 And on the road I found a female 56 Syriac: ‘my letter’. who lifted me up.
65 She awakened me, giving me an oracle with her voice, and guided me to the light.
66 The Royal silken garment shone before my eyes.
68 57 Syriac adds v. 67: ‘And with its voice and its guidance encouraging me to speed’. And with familial love leading me and drawing me on
69 I passed by the Labyrinth,
And leaving Babylon behind on the left,
70 I reached Meson which is a great coast.
75 112. 58 Syriac adds vv. 71–4: ‘And my splendid robe which I had taken off | And my toga with which it was wrapped about | From the heights of Hyrcania | My parents sent there | By the hand of their treasurers, | Who for their faithfulness were so entrusted.’ But I could not recall my splendour,
For it had been when I was still a child and quite young that I had left it behind in my father's palace.
76 But, when suddenly I saw my garment reflected as in a mirror,
77 I perceived in it my whole self as well
And through it I knew and saw myself.
78 For though we originated from the one and the same we were partially divided,
Then again we were one, with a single form.
79 The treasurers too who had brought the garment
80 I saw as two beings, but there existed a single form in both,
One royal symbol consisting of two halves.
81 And they had my money and wealth in their hands and gave me my reward:
82 The fine garment of glorious colours,
83 Which was embroidered with gold, precious stones, and pearls to give a good appearance.
84 It was fastened at the collar
86 59 Syriac adds v. 85: ‘And with stones of adamant all its seams were fastened.’ And the image of the King of Kings was all over it.
87 Stones of lapis lazuli had been skilfully fixed to the collar,
88 And I saw in turn that motions of knowledge were stirring throughout it , 113.
89 And that it was prepared to speak.
90 Then I heard it speak:
91 ‘It is I who belong to the one who is stronger than all men and for whose sake I was written about by the father himself.’
92 And I took note of my stature,
93 And all the royal feelings rested on me as its energy increased.
94 Thrust out by his hand the garment hastened to me as I went to receive it,
95 And a longing aroused me to rush and meet it and to receive it.
96 60 Greek corrupt. Syriac has: ‘And I stretched out and took it and adorned myself with the beauty of its colours.’
97 And I covered myself completely with my royal robe over it.
98 When I had put it on I ascended to the land of peace and homage.
99 And I lowered my head and prostrated myself before the splendour of the father who had sent it to me.
100 For it was I who had obeyed his commands
And it was I who had also kept the promise,
101 And I mingled at the doors of his ancient royal building.
102 He took delight in me and received me in his palace.
103 All his subjects were singing hymns with harmonious voices.
104 He allowed me also to be admitted to the doors of the king himself,
105 So that with my gifts and the pearl I might appear before the king himself.
114. Charisius went home rejoicing, believing that his wife would live with him again and be as she was before she heard the divine word and believed in Jesus. Coming back, he found her hair cut off and her garment rent. Seeing her, he said to her, ‘My lady Mygdonia, why does this nauseous disease take possession of you? And why have you done this? I am your husband since the time of your virginity, and the gods as well as the laws give me the right to rule over you. What is this great madness of yours that makes you ridiculous in the eyes of all the people? Put away the anxiety which comes from that sorcerer. I shall remove him from sight, so that you may see him no more.’
115. When Mygdonia heard these words, she gave vent to her feelings and sighed and lamented. And Charisius said again, ‘I must have greatly sinned against the gods, that they have afflicted me with such a disease. I pray you, Mygdonia, torment not my soul by this your lamentable sight and humble appearance, and do not make my heart heavy through care over you. I am your husband Charisius, whom all the people honour and fear. What shall I do? I know not how to act. What shall I think? Shall I keep silence and endure? Who can bear it when his treasure is taken from him? And who could tolerate to be deprived of your delightful ways? Your fragrance is in my nostrils, and your cheerful face is in my eyes. They take away my soul, and they destroy the beautiful body which I enjoyed when I saw it. They blind the sharpest eye and cut off my right hand. My joy is turned into sadness, and my life into death; the light is plunged into darkness. None of my relatives shall see me any more, none of whom have helped me, and the gods of the East I shall worship no more, who have surrounded me with such great misfortune. And indeed I shall no more pray to them nor sacrifice to them, having been deprived of my wife. What else shall I ask of them? All my glory has been taken away. And I am a prince, second in authority to the king. All this Mygdonia has taken from me by rejecting me. Would that they pluck my eyes out, if only you turn your eyes upon me as of old!’
116. While Charisius was speaking with tears, Mygdonia sat silent and looked on the ground. He came near and said, ‘My most beloved lady Mygdonia, remember that of all the women in India I selected you as the most beautiful and took you, although I could have married others, more beautiful than you. But no, I lie, Mygdonia. For by the gods it is impossible to find one like you in the land of the Indians. Woe to me for ever, that you do not even answer me! Abuse me, if it pleases you, but speak. Look at me. I am far more handsome than that sorcerer. I have riches and honour, and everybody knows that none has such a family as mine. But you are my riches and honour, you are my family and kindred. And behold, he separates you from me.’
117. When Charisius had said this, Mygdonia said to him, ‘He whom I love is better than you and your possessions. For your possessions, being earthly, return to earth. But he whom I love is heavenly and shall bring me also into heaven. Your riches shall pass away, and your beauty shall be destroyed, so likewise your garments and your many works. And you will remain alone with your trespasses. But do not remind me of your actions to me. For I pray to the Lord that you would forget and think no more of the former pleasures and the bodily intercourse, which shall pass like a shadow. Jesus alone remains forever, and the souls which trust in him. Jesus himself shall free me from the shameful deeds which I did before with you.’
Upon hearing this, Charisius, broken in his soul, turned to sleep, saying to her, ‘Think the matter over during the night! If you will be with me as you were before you saw that sorcerer, I will fulfil all your wishes, and if it pleases you on account of your kind disposition toward him, I shall release him from the prison and set him free and let him go to another country. And I shall not trouble you, for I know how much you think of the stranger. He did not begin with you, but along with you he also deceived many other women. These have come to their senses and think differently. Now consider my words and make me not a reproach among the Indians.’
118. Thus speaking, he fell asleep. And she took ten denarii, and went secretly away to give them to the jailers in order to be permitted to go to the apostle. On the way Judas Thomas met her and went to her. Upon seeing him, she was afraid, because she took him for one of the princes, for a great light went before him. And running away, she said within herself, ‘I have ruined you, poor soul, for you shall not again see Judas, the apostle of the living God, and you have not received the holy seal.’ And as she fled she went to a narrow place and hid herself there, saying, ‘It is better to be caught by poorer people whom one can persuade, than to meet this powerful prince, who despises gifts.’
Tenth Act How Mygdonia Receives Baptism
119. As Mygdonia was considering this within herself, Judas came and stood over her. And seeing him, she was afraid, and fell down as if dead. He came to her, took her by the hand, and said to her, ‘Fear not, Mygdonia; Jesus will not forsake you and your Lord will not neglect you, to whom you have given yourself; his merciful rest will not fail you; he who is kind will not forsake you on account of his great kindness, and he who is good because of his goodness. Arise from the ground, since you are raised above it. Behold the light, for the Lord does not allow those who love him to walk in darkness. Look at the companion of his servants, because he is their ally in dangers.’ And Mygdonia stood up, looked at him, and said, ‘Where did you go, my lord? And who is it who brought you out from prison to see the sun?’ Judas Thomas said to her, ‘My Lord Jesus is more powerful than all powers and kings and princes.’
120. And Mygdonia said, ‘Give me the seal of Jesus Christ, and let me receive a gift from your hands before you depart from life!’ And she took him, went into the court, awoke the nurse, and said to her, ‘My mother and nurse Marcia, all the services and joys which you have given me from childhood were vain, and I owe you only temporal thanks. And now do me a favour, that you may for ever receive recompense from him who gives the great gifts.’ At this Marcia said, ‘What is your wish, my daughter Mygdonia, and what can be done for your pleasure? The honours which you promised to me before, the stranger did not allow you to fulfil, and you have made me a reproach among the whole people. And now, what is the new thing you ask of me?’ Mygdonia said, ‘Be my partner for eternal life, that I may receive from you perfect nourishment. Take a loaf and bring it to me, also a very small measure of water, having regard for my free birth.’ And the nurse said, ‘I will bring you many loaves, and instead of water I will bring gallons of wine and fulfil your wish.’ And she said to the nurse, ‘I need no gallons, nor the many loaves, but bring only this: a small measure of water, a loaf, and oil.’
121. When Marcia had brought these things, Mygdonia stood before the apostle with uncovered head. And he took the oil, poured it upon her head, and said, ‘Holy oil, given to us for sanctification; hidden mystery, in which the cross was shown to us; you are the straightener of bent limbs; you are the humbler of hard works; you point out the hidden treasures; you are the sprout of goodness. Let your power come and rest on your servant Mygdonia, and heal her by this liberty.’ Having poured out the oil, he bade the nurse undress her and put around her a linen dress. And there was in that place a spring to which the apostle went and he baptized Mygdonia in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost. And when she was baptized and had dressed herself, he broke bread, took a cup of water, and made her partake of the body of Christ and of the cup of the Son of God, saying, ‘You have received your seal and obtained eternal life!’ And instantly a voice was heard from above saying, ‘Yea, Amen!’ When Marcia heard this voice, she was afraid, and asked the apostle to give her the seal also, and the apostle did so and said, ‘May the zeal of the Lord encompass you like the others!’
122. When the apostle had done this, he returned to the prison, but found the doors open and the keepers sleeping. And Thomas said, ‘Who is like you, God, who withhold your tender love and your zeal from none; who is like you, merciful, who have delivered your creatures from evil? Life, which has overcome death; rest, which has ended toil! Glory be to the only‐begotten of the Father, 61 Cf. John 1: 14 . glory to the Merciful, who was sent out of his heart!’ When he had said this, the keepers woke up and saw all the doors opened, but the prisoners within. And they said among themselves, ‘Have we not secured the doors? How are they now opened and the prisoners within?’
123. When it was day Charisius went to Mygdonia. And he found the women praying and saying, ‘New God who has come to us through the stranger; God, hidden from the inhabitants of India; God, who have shown your glory through your apostle Thomas; God, of whom we heard and in whom we believe; God, to whom we have come to be saved; God, who out of kindness and compassion descended to our weakness; God, who sought us when we did not know you; God, who dwells in the heights and is not hidden from the depths, take from us the madness of Charisius.’ Upon hearing this, Charisius said to Mygdonia, ‘Justly you call me evil and ugly and mad! For had I not tolerated your disobedience and given you freedom, you would not have called out against me and mentioned my name before God. But believe me, Mygdonia, that nothing is to be gained from the sorcerer, and he cannot do what he promises. But I do everything that I promise before your eyes, that you may believe and endure my words and be toward me as before.’
124. And coming near, he asked her again, and said, ‘If you obey me, I shall have no more grief. Remember that day on which we first met. Tell the truth: did I not appear to you then more beautiful than Jesus now?’ And Mygdonia said, ‘That time required its own, and this time requires its own. That time was of the beginning, but this is of the end. That time was of the earthly life, this of the everlasting. That was of a transient pleasure, this of an everlasting. That was of the day and of the night, this of the day without night. You have seen the wedding which passed over and remains here. This wedding remains in eternity. That communion was of destruction, this is of eternal life. Those groomsmen and bridesmaids are temporary men and women; but these now remain to the end. That wedding . . . That bride chamber passes away, but this remains for ever. That bed was covered with mantles, but this with charity and faith. You are a bridegroom who pass away and are destroyed, but Jesus is the true bridegroom, remaining immortal in eternity. That bridal gift was treasures and garments which grow old; this, however, is living words which never pass away.’
125. Having heard this, Charisius went to the king, and told him all. And the king ordered Judas to be brought that he might judge him and kill him. But Charisius said, ‘Have a little patience, O king; frighten the man first by words, and persuade him to induce Mygdonia that she behave towards me as before.’ And Misdaeus sent for the apostle of Christ and had him brought from the prison. And all the prisoners were sad because the apostle went away from them, for they all loved him very much and said, ‘Even this consolation which we had is taken from us!’
126. And Misdaeus said to the apostle, ‘Why do you teach this new doctrine, which gods and men hate and in which there is no profit?’ And Judas said, ‘What evil do I teach?’ Misdaeus said, ‘You teach that it is impossible for men to live well unless they keep pure for the God whom you preach.’ Judas said, ‘You speak true, O king; this I teach indeed. For tell me: are you not indignant when your soldiers accompany you in filthy garments? Now, if you, who are an earthly king and return to earth, demand that your subjects are decent in their exterior, how could you be angry and say that I teach evil by saying: Those who serve my king must be holy and pure and free from grief and care for children and unnecessary riches and transitory troubles? You require your subjects to follow your behaviour and manners, and when they despise your commandments you punish them; how much more ought they who believe in my God to serve him with great holiness, purity and chastity, free from all fleshly pleasures, from adultery and dissipation, theft, drunkenness, gluttony and other dishonourable acts!’
127. When Misdaeus heard these things he said, ‘Behold, I set you free. Go and persuade Mygdonia, Charisius' wife, that she separate not from him.’ Judas said to him, ‘Delay not, if you have to do something. For if she has correctly received what she has learned, neither iron, nor fire, nor anything else which is stronger than these things will be able to harm her nor to separate him whom she retains in her soul.’ Misdaeus said to Judas, ‘Some remedies nullify others and a theriac makes the viper's bites ineffective. And if you wish you can make poisons ineffective and bring peace and concord to this marriage. For by doing so you can save yourself. For you have not yet lived your life to the full. But know, if you do not persuade her I shall remove you from this life desirable to all.’ And Judas said, ‘This life is given to us as a loan, and this time changes. The life which I teach is imperishable, whereas beauty and conspicuous youth shall be no more after a short time.’ And the king said, ‘I advised you what is expedient, but you make your position worse.’
128. When the apostle was leaving the king Charisius came and said to him beseechingly, ‘I pray you, O man—for I never did anything wrong to you or anybody else nor against the gods—why have you brought such great misery upon me? Why have you incited such sedition against my house? And what profit do you have from it? But if you think to profit by it, tell me what kind of profit it is, and I will obtain it for you without trouble. Why make me mad and destroy yourself? For if you persuade her not I shall slay you and finally kill myself. But if, as you say, there is life and death after this life, and also condemnation and victory and a judgement, I shall appear there also and be judged with you, and if God, whom you preach, is just and judges justly, I know that I shall be vindicated. For you harmed me, without your ever having been harmed by me. Here I can avenge myself for everything that you did against me. Obey me, therefore, and go into my house and persuade Mygdonia to behave toward me as she did before she saw you.’ Judas said to him, ‘Believe me, my son, if men loved God as much as one another they would receive from him everything that they ask, without being forced by anyone.’
129. While Thomas was saying this they came into the house of Charisius and found Mygdonia sitting, and Marcia standing by her, with her hand on Mygdonia's cheek. And she said, ‘Mother, may the remaining days of my life be shortened and all the hours be like one hour, and I could leave this life to depart more quickly and see that beautiful one of whom I heard, that living one who gives life to all who believe in him, where there is neither day and night nor light and darkness, neither good and bad nor poor and rich, male and female, free or bond, no proud one subduing the meek.’ And while she was speaking, the apostle came to her. And immediately she rose up and fell down before him. And Charisius said to him, ‘Do you see how she fears and honours you and willingly does what you command?’
130. As he said this, Judas said to Mygdonia, ‘My daughter Mygdonia, obey what brother Charisius says.’ And Mygdonia said, ‘If you could not express the thing by a word, how will you force me to suffer the deed? For I heard you say that this life is only a loan, and that this rest is only temporary and these possessions transient. And again you said that he who renounces this life shall receive the everlasting life, and whoever hates the light of the day and of the night shall see light which is not extinguished, and he who despises these treasures shall find other everlasting treasures. And now you say this because you are afraid. Who changes a work which he has executed and in which he has been praised? Who builds a tower and destroys it again? Who fills in again a well which he dug in a dry place? Who finds a treasure and does not use it?’ Upon hearing this Charisius said, ‘I shall not imitate you nor hasten to destroy you. Since I have the power, I will put you in fetters and not permit you to speak with the sorcerer. And if you do not obey me, I know what I have to do.’
131. Judas left the house of Charisius and went to the house of Siphor and lodged with him. And Siphor said, ‘I will prepare for him a dining‐room in which he shall teach.’ And he did so. And Siphor said, ‘I and my wife and my daughter shall from now on live in holiness, in purity, and in one mind. I pray, give us the seal that we may become servants of the true God and be counted among his sheep and lambs.’ And Judas said, ‘I fear to say what I think. I know something, and what I know I cannot express.’
132. And he began to speak of baptism: ‘This baptism is forgiveness of sins. It is a light shed abroad everywhere. It generates the new man, establishes the new man in a threefold manner, and is partaker in forgiveness of sins. Praise be to you, hidden power, which is united with us by baptism! Praise be to you, invisible power, which is in the baptism! Praise be to you, renovation, by which those baptized are renewed, taking hold of you with love.’ And having said this, he poured oil upon their heads and said, ‘Praise be to you, love of mercy! Praise be to you, name of Christ! Praise be to you, power that dwells in Christ!’ And he had a basin brought and baptized them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
133. And when they were baptized and had dressed, he put bread on the table, and blessing it said, ‘Bread of life, those who eat of which shall be imperishable; bread which satisfies hungry souls with its blessedness—you have been deemed worthy to receive a gift, that you may become to us a forgiveness of sins, and those who eat you immortal; we name over you the name of the mother, the hidden mystery of the hidden dominions and powers, we name over you the name of Jesus.’ And he said, ‘Let the power of blessing rest upon the bread, that all souls who partake of it be delivered from their sins.’ And he broke the bread and gave it to Siphor and to his wife and daughter.
Eleventh Act Concerning the Wife of Misdaeus
134. After King Misdaeus had dismissed Judas he went to his house to dine and told his wife what had happened to their relative Charisius, saying, ‘See what happened to that unfortunate man! You yourself know, my sister Tertia, that a man has nothing more beautiful than his wife, whom he enjoys. Now it happened that his wife went to the sorcerer of whom you have heard that he came as a stranger into the land of the Indians, and she became enticed by his sorceries and separated from her husband. And he does not know what to do. And as I was about to destroy the malefactor he would not allow it. But go and advise her to turn again to her husband, and to keep away from the foolish words of the sorcerer.’
135. And Tertia rose up immediately and went to the house of Charisius, the relative of her husband. And she found Mygdonia prostrated upon the ground resting on sackcloth and ashes. And she was praying that the Lord would pardon her her former sins and quickly take her from this life. And Tertia said to her, ‘Mygdonia, most beloved sister and companion, what disease has taken hold of you? Why do you do the deeds of madmen? Know yourself and return to your own ways. Draw near to your numerous family, and save your husband Charisius, and do not do what is alien to your free birth!’ Mygdonia said to her, ‘O Tertia, you have not yet heard the preacher of life! His voice has not yet come to your ears, neither have you tasted the medicine of life, nor have you been delivered from destructive sighs. Since you stand in the temporary life, you know not the life eternal and the redemption, and without perceiving the imperishable communion . . . 62 Syriac adds: ‘You are afflicted by corruptible communion’. You stand here clad in garments which grow old, and do not desire the eternal. You are proud of your beauty which shall be destroyed, and consider not the ugliness of the soul. You are rich in slaves. You are proud of the glory of the multitude, but do not free yourself from the condemnation of death.’
136. When Mygdonia had spoken thus, Tertia said, ‘I pray you, sister, bring me to the stranger who teaches these great things, that I may also go and hear him and be taught to worship the God whom he preaches and take part in his prayers and in that of which you have spoken to me.’ Mygdonia said to her, ‘He is in the house of Siphor the captain, who became the cause of life for all who are being saved in India.’ Upon hearing this Tertia went hastily to the house of Siphor to see the new apostle who had come into the land. When she entered, Judas said to her, ‘What have you come to see? A stranger, poor and despised and beggarly, who has neither riches nor possession? But one possession I have which neither a king nor a prince can take away, which is neither destroyed nor does it come to an end, which is Jesus, the redeemer of mankind, the Son of the living God, who gave life to all who believe in him and take refuge in him, and who is known by the number of his servants.’ Tertia said to him, ‘Let me have part in this life which, as you promise, all shall receive who come to the hostelry of God.’ And the apostle said, ‘The treasury of the holy king is open, and they who worthily take part of the treasures deposited there rest, and by resting they reign. 63 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 2. But firstly, no unclean and bad man comes to him. For he knows our hearts and the depths of our thoughts, and none can be hidden from him. You too, if you truly believe in him shall be deemed worthy of his mysteries, and he will make you great and rich and an heir of his Kingdom.’ 64 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 2.
137. Having heard this, Tertia returned to her house rejoicing. And she found her husband, who, without having breakfasted, had waited for her. When Misdaeus saw her he said, ‘Why is your coming in so much more beautiful to‐day? And why did you come on foot, which is unbecoming a person like you?’ Tertia said to him, ‘I am under great obligation to you for having sent me to Mygdonia. For by going there I heard of the new life and saw the apostle of the new God, who gives life to those who believe in him and fulfil his commandments. I ought to recompense you for this grace with good advice. For you shall be a great king in heaven if you obey me and fear the God preached by the stranger and keep yourself holy to the living God. For this kingdom passes away, and your comfort will be turned into sadness. But go to that man and believe him, and you shall live unto the end.’ When Misdaeus heard this from his wife he struck his face with his hands, tore his garments, and said, ‘Let the soul of Charisius have no rest, because he has struck me at the soul, and let him have no hope, because he has taken away my hope.’ And he went away troubled.
138. In the market‐place he found his friend Charisius and said, ‘Why did you throw me as your companion into Hell? Why have you robbed me and caused loss to me without having profited anything yourself? Why have you hurt me without having any benefit? Why have you killed me without having life yourself? Why have you wronged me without having obtained the right yourself? Why did you not allow me to kill the sorcerer before he destroyed my house by his sorcery?’ And he quarrelled with Charisius, and Charisius said, ‘What has happened to you?’ And Misdaeus said, ‘He has bewitched Tertia!’ And both went to the house of the captain Siphor. And they found Judas sitting and teaching. And those present rose up before the king, but he did not get up. And Misdaeus knew that it was he, and taking the seat upturned it, and lifting up the chair with both hands, he struck him so hard on the head that he wounded him. And he delivered him to his soldiers with the words, ‘Drag him along by force without restraint, that his insolence may become known to all.’ And they dragged him to a place where Misdaeus used to sit in judgement. There he stood, held by the soldiers of Misdaeus.
Twelfth Act Concerning Vazan, the Son of Misdaeus
139. Now Vazan, Misdaeus' son, went to the soldiers and said, ‘Give him to me that I may speak to him till the king comes.’ And they handed him over. And he led him to the place where the king used to sit in judgement. And Vazan said, ‘Do you know that I am the son of Misdaeus the king, and that I am at liberty to say to the king what I will, and that if I tell him he will spare your life? Tell me, therefore, who your God is, and on whose power you rely and glory in. For if it is a power of magic and of sorcery, tell it and teach me, and I will set you free.’ Judas said to him, ‘You are the son of King Misdaeus, who is a temporal king. I am, however, the servant of Jesus Christ, the eternal king. You are at liberty to ask your father to spare those whom you wish in this temporal life, in which men do not remain, though you and your father give it to them. I, however, beseech my Lord and implore him for men, and he gives them new life, which abides forever. You glory in possessions, slaves, garments, revelry, and unclean beds; but I glory in poverty, love of wisdom, humility, fasting, and prayer, and communion with the Holy Spirit and with my brethren, who are worthy of God, and I boast in an eternal life. You have sought refuge with a man like you, who is unable to save his own soul from judgement and from death; but I have taken refuge in the living God, in the redeemer of kings and princes, the judge of all. To‐day you may live, but not to‐morrow; but I have taken refuge in him who remains in eternity, who knows all our times and circumstances. But if you would become a servant of this God, you can become it soon. And if you are a servant of him, you will show it in the following things: first in sanctification, which is the principal part of all good things; then in the communion with this God whom I preach, and in the love of wisdom, in simplicity, in love, in faith, by the hope in him and by the unity of pure life.’ 65 Greek: ‘food’.
140. And the young man, convinced by the Lord, sought an opportunity how he could help Judas escape. While he was considering it, the king came. And the soldiers took Judas and led him out. And Vazan also went with him and stood beside him. And the king took his seat and had Judas brought in with his hands tied behind him. Being led into the midst, he stood still. And the king said, ‘Tell me who you are and by whose power you do these things.’ Judas said to him, ‘I am a man like yourself, and do these things by the power of Jesus Christ.’ And Misdaeus said, ‘Tell the truth before I destroy you.’ Judas said, ‘You have no power over me, as you think, and will hurt me in nothing.’ Indignant at the words, the king ordered (the soldiers) to heat iron plates and to put him barefoot on them. And when the soldiers removed his shoes he said, ‘The wisdom of God is better than the wisdom of men. You, Lord and King, let your goodness oppose his wrath!’ And they brought the plates which were like fire and put the apostle on them. And straightway water gushed forth from the ground and the plates were swallowed up. And those who held him let him go and fell back.
141. When the king saw the great amount of water he said to Judas, ‘Pray your God that he deliver me from this death, that I perish not by the flood.’ And the apostle prayed and said, ‘You who have bound this nature and united it in one place and send it out to different countries; who have brought order out of disorder, who do mighty deeds and great miracles by the hands of your servant Judas; who have pity on my soul, that I may always receive your light; who give reward to the weary; who save my soul and bring it again to its own nature, not to unite with those who do harm; who are always author of life—calm this element that it rise not and destroy. For there are some here among those present who shall live, 66 Cf. Mark 9: 1 and parallels. because they have believed in you.’ When he had prayed, the water was soon absorbed, and the place was dry. And when Misdaeus saw this he ordered him to be led to prison, ‘Till I have decided what to do with him.’
142. When Judas was taken to the prison, Vazan, the king's son, walked at his right, and Siphor at his left. Having entered the prison he sat down with Vazan and Siphor, and the latter persuaded his wife and his daughter to sit down. For they too had come to hear the word of life. For they knew that Misdaeus would kill him because of his extreme wrath. And Judas began to say, ‘Deliverer of my soul from the servitude of the multitude, because I gave myself to be sold, behold, I rejoice and am glad, since I know that the times are fulfilled that I go in and receive you. See, I am freed from earthly cares. Behold, I fulfil my hope and receive truth. Behold, I am delivered from sadness and have only joy. Behold, I am free from care and pain and live in rest. Behold, I am free from servitude and I am called to liberty. Behold, I have served times and seasons and have been lifted up above times and seasons. Behold, I receive my reward from the rewarder, who gives without counting, because his riches are sufficient for his gifts. Behold, I undress myself and I dress myself, and shall not again be undressed. Behold, I sleep and wake up and shall not sleep again. Behold, I die and return to life and shall not taste death again. Behold, with gladness they wait until I come and am united with their kindred. I shall be put as a flower into their wreath. Behold, I reign in the Kingdom for which I have set my hope here. Behold, the disobedient fall before me, because I have escaped them. Behold, it is peace to which all come.’
143. As the apostle spoke this, all those present listened, believing that he was to depart his life in this hour. And he continued, saying, ‘Believe in the physician of everything visible and invisible and in the redeemer of souls who need his help. He is free, son of kings. He is the physician of his creatures. It is he who is reviled by his own servants. He is the Father of the height and the Lord and judge of nature. He became the highest from the greatest, the only‐begotten Son of the depth. And he was called son of the virgin Mary and son of the carpenter Joseph; he whose lowliness we beheld with our bodily eyes, whose majesty, however, we have received by faith and seen in his works; whose human body we handled with our hands, whose transfigured appearance we saw with our eyes, whose heavenly form, however, we could not see on the mountain; he who baffled the princes and overcame death; he who is infallible truth and paid tribute at the end for himself and his disciples; he at whose sight the archon became afraid and the powers with him were confounded. And the archon asked who and whence he was, and he did not tell him the truth, since he is a stranger to truth; 67 Cf. John 8: 44 . though having power over the world and its pleasures, treasures, and enjoyments, he abstains from all these things and urges his subjects to make no use thereof.’
144. Having finished his address, he rose and prayed thus: ‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your kingdom come; your will be done as in heaven, so also on earth; 68 Syriac adds ‘give us the constant bread of the day’. forgive us our trespasses as we have forgiven our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ 69 Matt. 6: 9 ff . , 70 The section from here to 148 follows 167, as in manuscript P. See James, ANT 428, 436.
149. 71 MSS U and S contain 149. The first three verses of the speech are from the Syriac. And turning to those who were in the prison with him he said, ‘Believe, my children, in this God whom I preach; believe in Jesus Christ, whom I proclaim; believe in him who makes alive and helps his servants; believe in the redeemer of those who toiled in his service. For my soul already rejoices, because my time is at hand to receive him. Being beautiful, he always makes me speak of his beauty, of what manner it is, although I cannot speak of it as I wish and ought. You who are the light of my poverty, and the supplier of my want and the provider of my need—be with me till I come and receive you in eternity.’
Thirteenth Act How Vazan and the Others Were Baptized
150. And the young man Vazan made a request to the apostle and said, ‘I pray you, man, apostle of God, allow me to go out, and I shall persuade the jailer to let you go to my house so that from you I may receive the seal and become your servant and one who keeps the commandment of God whom you preach. For previously I walked in accordance with your preaching till my father forced me and bound me to a woman named Mnesara. Being twenty‐one years of age, I have been married to her seven years. Before she became my wife I knew no other woman. On this account my father considered me as useless. And neither son nor daughter has ever been born to me by this wife. But my wife also lived all this time in chastity with me, and to‐day I know that if she were well and heard your words, I should have rest and she would receive eternal life. But danger and many sufferings try her. I will therefore persuade the keeper, provided you will come with me. For I live all alone. At the same time you shall heal the unfortunate one.’ Upon hearing this, Judas, the apostle of the Most High, said to Vazan, ‘If you believe, you shall see the wonders of God and how he saves his servants.’
151. And as they were thus conversing, Tertia and Mygdonia and Marcia stood in the door of the prison, and after giving three hundred and sixty‐three silver pieces to the jailer they went in to Judas. And they found Vazan and Siphor and his wife and his daughter and all the prisoners, sitting and listening to the word. And as they came to him, he said to them, ‘Who allowed you to come to us, and who opened the sealed door to go out?’ Tertia said to him, ‘Did you not open the door and bid us to go to the prison, so that we should find our brethren there and then the Lord might show his glory in us? And as we came near the door you were separated from us—I know not how—and, being hidden from us, you came here first, where we heard the noise of the door as you shut us out. We gave money to the keepers and thus we got in, and now we are here and beseech you to let us help you to get away from here, till the anger of the king against you ceases.’ And Judas said to her, ‘Tell us first how you were locked up.’
152. And she said to him, ‘You were with us and did not leave us even for an hour, and can you ask how we were locked up? But if you desire to hear, listen. King Misdaeus sent for me and said, ‘The magician has not yet become master over you, because, as I hear, he enchants the people by oil, water, and bread, but he has not yet enchanted you. Now obey me, otherwise I shall lock you up and strike you, but destroy him. For I know that if he has not yet given you oil, water, and bread, he has not been able to have power over you.’ And I said to him, “You have power over my body; do to it as you please, but my soul I will not destroy with you.” Upon hearing this he locked me up in a room. And Charisius also brought Mygdonia and locked her up with me. And you have taken us out and brought us hither to this assembly. Now give us the seal so that the hopes of Misdaeus, who is plotting, be destroyed.’
153. Upon hearing this, the apostle said, ‘Glory to you, polymorphous Jesus; praise to you, who appear like our poor humanity! Praise to you, who give us courage and strength and joy, and comfort and help in all dangers, and strength in our weakness.’ When he had said this, the jailer came in and said, ‘Put your lamps away, lest we be reported to the king.’ Having extinguished the lamps, they turned to sleep. And the apostle spoke with the Lord, ‘Now, Jesus, is the time for you to hasten, for behold, the children of darkness put us into their darkness. Illuminate us by the light of your nature!’ And suddenly the whole prison was as light as the day. And while all those who were in the prison were asleep, only those who believed in the Lord were awake.
154. And Judas said to Vazan, ‘Go ahead and prepare everything necessary.’ Vazan said, ‘And who shall open the prison gates? For the keepers have closed them and are asleep.’ And Judas said, ‘Believe in Jesus, and you shall find the gates open.’ When he left them to go out, the others followed him. And as Vazan went ahead he met his wife Mnesara, who was going to the prison. And as she recognized him she said to him, ‘My brother Vazan, is it you?’ He said, ‘Yes. And are you Mnesara?’ She said, ‘Yes.’ And Vazan said to her, ‘Where are you going at this time? And how did you get up?’ And she said, ‘This young man put his hand upon me and raised me up, and in my sleep I saw that I should go where the stranger was, in order to recover fully.’ Vazan said to her, ‘What young man is with you?’ She said, ‘Do you not see who leads me by the right hand?’
155. And as they were thus conversing, Judas came with Siphor and his wife and his daughter and Tertia and Mygdonia and Marcia into the house of Vazan. And when Mnesara, Vazan's wife, saw him, she fell upon her knees and said, ‘Have you come to save us from the dreadful disease? You are he whom I saw in the night as he gave me this young man to bring me to the prison. But your goodness would not allow me to become weary, but you yourself came to me.’ And when she said this and turned around, she saw the young man no more. And not finding him, she said to the apostle, ‘I cannot walk alone. The young man is not here, whom you gave me.’ And Judas said, ‘Jesus shall lead you.’ And she went before them. And when they had come into the house of Vazan, the son of King Misdaeus, a great light shone, which was spread around them, although it was still night.
156. And Judas began to pray and to say, ‘Companion and associate, hope of the weak and trust of the poor, refuge and shelter of the weary, voice which came forth from on high, comforter who dwells among us, shelter and haven of those who travel through dark countries, physician who heals without money, who was crucified among men for many, who descended into Hades with great might, whose sight the princes of death could not bear, and you ascended with much glory, and gathered all who take refuge with you and prepared the way, and in your steps all journeyed whom you redeemed and you brought them to your own flock and united with them your sheep; Son of mercy, Son sent to us out of philanthropy from the perfect fatherland above; Lord of undefiled possessions; who minister to your servants that they live; who have filled the creation with your riches; poor one, who was in need and hungered forty days; who satisfies thirsty souls with your goods—be with Vazan, Misdaeus' son, and Tertia and Mnesara, and gather them into your fold and unite them with your number; be their guide in the land of error, their physician in the land of sickness, their rest in the land of the weary; sanctify them in the impure country, be the physician of their bodies and souls, make them your holy temples, and let your Holy Spirit dwell in them!’
157. Having thus prayed for them, the apostle said to Mygdonia, ‘Undress your sisters!’ She undressed them and put aprons about them and brought them forward. Vazan had gone first, and they followed. And Judas took oil in a silver cup and spoke thus: ‘Fruit, more beautiful than the other fruits, with which no other can be compared; most compassionate; you who burn with the power of the word; power of the wood, which if men put on they overcome their enemies; you who crown the victors; symbol and joy of the weary; who have brought to men the good news of their salvation; who show light to those in darkness; whose leaves are bitter but whose fruit is most sweet; who are rough in appearance, but tender to use; who seem weak, but carry the all‐seeing power by the extraordinariness of your power . . . Jesus, let your victorious power come and rest upon this oil as it once rested upon the wood related to it—and your crucifiers could not endure its word; let also the gift come by which you breathed upon your enemies and thereby made them retreat and fall headlong, and may it dwell in this oil over which we name your holy name!’ And after the apostle had said this he poured it first upon the head of Vazan, then upon the heads of the women, saying, ‘In your name, Jesus Christ, let it be to these souls for forgiveness of sins and for keeping away of the enemy and for the salvation of their souls!’ And he ordered Mygdonia to anoint the women while he himself anointed Vazan. And having anointed them he made them go down into the water in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.
158. When they came out of the water, he took bread and a cup, blessed, and said, ‘We eat your holy body, crucified for us; and we drink your blood, shed for us for redemption. May your body be redemption for us, and your blood be for the forgiveness of sins! For the gall which you drank for our sakes, may the gall of the devil around us be taken away; and for the vinegar which you drank for us, may our weakness be strengthened; for the spittle which you received for our sakes, may we receive the dew of your goodness, and for the reed with which they struck you for our sakes, may we receive the perfect house! Because you received a crown of thorns for our sakes, may we who have loved you crown ourselves with an imperishable crown! And for the linen, in which you were wrapped, let us be clothed with your invincible power; for the new tomb and burial let our souls receive renewal of soul and body. 72 Note allusions to Matt. 27. Because you rose again and came to life, let us rise again and live and stand before you in righteous judgement!’ And he broke the bread of the eucharist and gave it to Vazan, Tertia, and Mnesara, and to the wife and daughter of Siphor, and said, ‘May this eucharist be to your salvation and joy and to the healing of your souls!’ And they said, ‘Amen.’ And a voice was heard saying, ‘Amen. Be not afraid, only believe!’
Martyrdom of the Holy and Famous Apostle Thomas 73 The translation follows MS P and its allies (with James). U has a different text.
159. In those days the apostle departed to be imprisoned. And Tertia with Mygdonia and Marcia also went to be imprisoned. And the apostle Thomas said to the multitude of believers, ‘Daughters and sisters and fellow‐servants who have believed in my Lord and God, ministers of my Jesus, hearken to me this day: for I deliver my word to you, and I shall no more speak with you in this flesh nor in this world; for I go up to my Lord and God Jesus Christ, to him who sold me, to that Lord who humbled himself even to me the little, and brought me up to eternal greatness, who vouchsafed to me to become his servant in truth and steadfastness: to him do I depart, knowing that the time is fulfilled, and the day appointed has drawn near for me to go and receive my recompense from my Lord and God: for my recompenser is righteous; he knows how I ought to receive my reward; for he is not grudging nor envious, but is rich in his gifts; he is not a lover of craft in what he gives, for he has confidence in his possessions which cannot fail.
160. ‘I am not Jesus, but I am his servant: I am not Christ, but I am his minister: I am not the Son of God, but I pray to become worthy of God. Continue in the faith of Christ; continue in the hope of the Son of God; faint not at affliction, neither be divided in mind if you see me mocked or shut up in prison; for I do accomplish his will. For if I had willed not to die, I know in Christ that I am able; but this which is called death is not death, but a setting free from the body; wherefore I receive gladly this setting free from the body, that I may depart and see him who is beautiful and full of mercy, him who is to be loved; for I have endured much toil in his service, and have laboured for his grace that is come upon me and does not depart from me. Let not Satan, then, enter you by stealth and catch away your thoughts; let there be in you no place for him; for he is mighty whom you have received. Look for the coming of Christ, for he shall come and receive you, and this is he whom you shall see when he comes.’
161. When the apostle had ended these sayings, they went into the house, and the apostle Thomas said, ‘Saviour who suffered many things for us, let these doors be as they were and let seals be set on them.’ And he left them and went to be imprisoned, and they wept and were in heaviness, not knowing that Misdaeus would release him.
162. And the apostle found the keepers wrangling and saying, ‘Wherein have we sinned against this magician, for by his magic art he has opened the doors and would have had all the prisoners escape? But let us go and report it to the king, and tell him about his wife and his son.’ And as they disputed, Thomas held his peace. They rose up early, therefore, and went to the king and said to him, ‘Our lord and king, take away that sorcerer and cause him to be shut up elsewhere, for we are not able to keep him; for only your good fortune kept the prison, otherwise all the condemned persons would have escaped; this is the second time that we found the doors open; and also your wife, O king, and your son and the rest never leave him.’ And the king, hearing that, went and found the seals that were set on the doors whole; and he took note of the doors also and said to the keepers, ‘Why do you lie, for the seals are whole? Why did you say that Tertia and Mygdonia came to him in the prison?’ And the keepers said, ‘We have told you the truth.’
163. And Misdaeus went to the prison and took his seat, and sent for the apostle Thomas and stripped him and set him before him and said to him, ‘Are you bond or free?’ Thomas said, ‘I am the bondsman of one only, over whom you have no authority.’ And Misdaeus said to him, ‘How did you run away and come to this country?’ And Thomas said, ‘I was sold hither by my master, that I might save many, and by your hands depart out of this world.’ And Misdaeus said, ‘Who is your lord, and what is his name, and of what country is he?’ And Thomas said, ‘My Lord is your master, and he is Lord of heaven and earth.’ And Misdaeus said, ‘What is his name?’ Thomas said, ‘You can not hear his true name at this time; but the name that was given to him is Jesus Christ.’ And Misdaeus said to him, ‘I have not made haste to destroy you, but have had long patience with you; but you have added to your evil deeds, and your sorceries are dispersed abroad and heard of throughout all the country; but this I do that your sorceries may depart with you, and our land be cleansed from them.’ Thomas said to him, ‘These sorceries depart with me when I set forth hence, and know this that I shall never forsake those who are here.’
164. When the apostle had said these things, Misdaeus considered how he should put him to death; he was afraid because of the many people who were subject to him, for many of the nobles and of those in authority believed in him. He therefore took him and went out of the city, and armed soldiers also went with him. And the people supposed that the king desired to learn something from him, and they stood still and gave heed. And when they had walked one mile, he delivered him to four soldiers and an officer, and commanded them to take him into the mountain and there pierce him with spears and put an end to him, and return again to the city. And having said this to the soldiers he himself returned to the city.
165. But the men ran after Thomas, desiring to deliver him from death. And two soldiers went at the right hand of the apostle and two on his left, holding spears, and the officer held his hand and supported him. And the apostle Thomas said, ‘O the hidden mysteries which even until our departure are accomplished in us! O riches of his glory, who will not suffer us to be swallowed up in this passion of the body! Four are they that cast me down, for of four am I made; and one is he who draws me, for of one I am, and to him I go. And this I now understand, that my Lord and God Jesus Christ, being of one, was pierced by one, but I, who am of four, am pierced by four.’
166. And having come up into the mountain to the place where he was to be slain, he said to those who held him and to the rest, ‘Brethren, hearken to me now at the last; for I am come to my departure out of the body. Let not then the eyes of your heart be blinded nor your ears be made deaf. Believe in the God whom I preach, and be not guides to yourselves in the hardness of your heart, but walk in all your liberty, and in the glory that is toward men and the life that is toward God.’
167. And he said to Vazan, ‘You, son of King Misdaeus and minister of our Lord Jesus Christ: give to the servants of Misdaeus their price that they may allow me to go and pray.’ And Vazan persuaded the soldiers to let him pray. And the blessed Thomas went to pray and kneeled down, and rose up and stretched forth his hands to heaven and spoke thus: 74 Here P and the rest give—rightly—the prayer of chs. 144–8. U and its companions give the following: ‘He turned to his prayer; and it was this, “My Lord and my God [John 20: 28 ], and hope and redeemer and leader and guide in all countries, be with all those who serve you, and guide me this day as I come to you. Let no one take my soul which I have committed to you; let not the publicans see me, and let not the tax‐gatherers accuse me falsely. Let not the serpent see me, and let not the children of the dragon hiss at me. Behold, Lord, I have accomplished your work and perfected your commandment. I have become a bondman; therefore to‐day I receive freedom. Therefore give me this and perfect me: and this I say, not that I doubt, but that they may hear for whom it is needful to hear.” ’
144. ‘My Lord and God, my hope and my confidence and my teacher, you have implanted courage in me, you taught me to pray thus; behold, I pray your prayer and bring your will to fulfilment; be with me to the end. You are he who from my youth gave me patience in temptation and sowed in me life and preserved me from corruption; you are he who brought me into the poverty of this world and filled me with the true riches; you are he who showed me that I was yours: wherefore I was never joined to a wife, that the temple worthy of you might not be found in pollution.
145. ‘My mouth is insufficient to praise you, neither am I able to conceive the care and providence which you have had for me. For I desired to gain riches, but you by a vision showed me that they are full of loss and injury to those who gain them; and I believed your showing, and continued in the poverty of the world until you, the true riches, were revealed to me, who filled both me and the rest who were worthy of you with your own riches and set free your own from care and anxiety. I have therefore fulfilled your commandments, O Lord, and accomplished your will, and become poor and needy and a stranger and a bondman and set at nought and a prisoner and hungry and thirsty and naked and unshod, and I have toiled for your sake, that my confidence might not perish, and my hope that is in you might not be confounded, and my labour might not be in vain, and my weariness not be counted for nought: let not my prayers and my continual fastings perish, and my great zeal toward you; let not my seed of wheat be changed for tares on your land; let not the enemy carry it away and mingle his own tares with it; for your land can truly not receive his tares, neither indeed can they be laid up in your houses.
146. ‘I have planted your vine in the earth; it has sent down its roots to the depth, and its growth is spread out in the height, and the fruits of it are stretched forth upon the earth, and they who are worthy of you are made glad by them, whom also you have gained. The money which you have from me I laid down upon the table; this, when you require it, restore to me with usury, as you have promised. With your one mina have I traded and have made ten; you have added more to me beside that which I had, as you covenanted. I have forgiven my debtor the mina, require it not at my hands. I was bidden to the supper, and I came; and I refused the land and the yoke of oxen and the wife, that I might not for their sake be rejected. I was bidden to the wedding, and I put on white raiment, that I might be worthy of it and not be bound hand and foot and cast into the outer darkness. My lamp with its bright light expects the master coming from the marriage, that it may receive him, and I may not see it dimmed because the oil is spent. My eyes, O Christ, look upon you, and my heart exults with joy because I have fulfilled your will and perfected your commandments that I may be likened to that watchful and careful servant who in his eagerness neglects not to keep vigil. All the night have I laboured to keep my house from robbers, lest it be broken through.
147. ‘My loins have I girt with truth 75 Eph. 6: 14 . and bound my shoes on my feet, that I may never see them gaping: my hands have I put to the yoked plough and have not turned back, lest my furrows go crooked. The plough‐land is white and the harvest is come, that I may receive my wages. My garment that grows old I have worn out, and the labour that has brought me to rest have I accomplished. I have kept the first watch and the second and the third, that I may behold your face and adore your holy brightness. I have rooted out my storehouses and left them desolate on earth, that I may be filled full from your treasures. The moist spring that was in me have I dried up, that I may live and rest beside your inexhaustible spring. 76 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13. The captive whom you committed to me I have slain, that he who is set free in me may not fall from his confidence. The inward I have made the outward and the outward the inward, 77 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 22, and Gospel of the Egyptians. and all your fullness has been fulfilled in me. I have not returned to the things that are behind, but have gone forward to the things that are before, that I do not become a reproach. The dead man have I quickened, and the living one have I overcome, and that which was lacking I have filled up, that I may receive the crown of victory, and the power of Christ may be accomplished in me. I have received reproach upon earth, but give me the return and the recompense in the heavens.
148. ‘Let not the powers and the officers perceive me, and let them not have any thought concerning me; let not the publicans and tax‐gatherers ply their calling upon me; let not the weak and the evil cry out against me who am valiant and humble; and when I am borne upward let them not rise up to stand before me, by your power, O Jesus, which surrounds me as a crown: for they flee and hide themselves, they cannot look on you; but suddenly they fall upon those who are subject to them, and the portion of the sons of the evil one itself cries out and convicts them; and it is not hid from them, for their nature is made known; the children of the evil one are separated off. Grant me, Lord, that I may pass by in quietness and joy and peace, and pass over and stand before the judge; and let not the devil look upon me; let his eyes be blinded by your light which you have made to dwell in me; muzzle his mouth for he has found nothing against me’.
168. And when he had thus prayed he said to the soldiers, ‘Come here and accomplish the commandments of him who sent you.’ And the four came and pierced him with their spears, and he fell down and died.
And all the brethren wept; and they brought beautiful robes and much fair linen, and buried him in a royal sepulchre wherein the earlier kings were laid.
169. But Siphor and Vazan would not go down to the city, but continued sitting by him all the day. And the apostle Thomas appeared to them and said, ‘Why do you sit here and keep watch over me? I am not here but I have gone up and received all that I was promised. But rise up and go down hence; for after a little time you also shall be gathered to me.’
But Misdaeus and Charisius took away Mygdonia and Tertia and afflicted them, but they did not consent to their will. And the apostle appeared to them and said, ‘Do not be deceived: Jesus the holy, the living one, shall quickly send help to you.’ And Misdaeus and Charisius, when they perceived that Mygdonia and Tertia did not obey them, allowed them to live according to their own desire.
And the brethren gathered together and rejoiced in the grace of the Holy Ghost. Now the apostle Thomas when he departed out of the world made Siphor a presbyter and Vazan a deacon, when he went up into the mountain to die. And the Lord worked through them, and many were added to the faith.
170. Now it came to pass after a long time that one of the children of Misdaeus the king was a demoniac and no one could cure him, for the devil was extremely fierce. And Misdaeus the king took thought and said, ‘I will go and open the sepulchre, and take a bone of the apostle of God and hang it upon my son, and he shall be healed.’ But while Misdaeus thought about this, the apostle Thomas appeared to him and said to him, ‘You did not believe in a living man, 78 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 52. and will you believe in the dead? Yet fear not, for my Lord Jesus Christ has compassion on you and pities you of his goodness.’
And he went and opened the sepulchre, but did not find the apostle there, for one of the brethren had stolen him away and taken him to Mesopotamia; but from that place where the bones of the apostle had lain Misdaeus took dust and put it about his son's neck, saying, ‘I believe in you, Jesu Christ, now that he has left me who troubles men and opposes them lest they should see you.’ And when he had hung it upon his son, the boy became whole.
Misdaeus the king therefore was also included among the brethren, and bowed his head under the hands of Siphor the priest; and Siphor said to the brethren, ‘Pray for Misdaeus the king, that he may obtain mercy of Jesus Christ and that he may no more remember evil against him.’ Therefore, they all with one accord rejoiced, and made prayer for him; and the Lord who loves men, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, granted Misdaeus also to have hope in him; and he was gathered with the multitude of those who had believed in Christ, glorifying the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost; theirs is the power and adoration, now and for ever and world without end. Amen. 79 Some manuscripts include an extra section, numbered ch. 171 in Bonnet's edition.
1 This title comes from the Syriac.
4 Syriac adds ‘She sings loud songs of praise’.
5 Syriac adds ‘Her neck ascends like steps’.
10 James (ANT 378) includes a note by F. C. Burkitt on these five words for ‘mind’ in Syriac.
16 Literally ‘pollutions'.
22 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13.
23 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13.
36 The Syriac inserts here a hymn.
37 Infancy Gospel of Thomas 6–8, 14, 15.
42 I follow the Rome manuscript U for chs. 84–5. The text is corrupt but is longer than that in the Paris manuscript P.
43 The Syriac refers to sexual intercourse here.
44 The Syriac includes ‘walk in holiness’.
46 Greek corrupt.
47 Greek ‘heart’.
48 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 22.
51 Line numbers follow the Syriac.
52 In Syriac are found vv. 51–2: (51) ‘It flew in the form of an eagle, the king of birds, (52) It flew and alighted beside me and became all speech.’
53 Literally ‘ . . . at its voice and perception’.
54 Greek obscure. Syriac has ‘My noble birth asserted itself’.
55 Syriac adds v. 60: ‘And the name of our second in rank and of my mother, the Queen of the East’.
56 Syriac: ‘my letter’.
57 Syriac adds v. 67: ‘And with its voice and its guidance encouraging me to speed’.
58 Syriac adds vv. 71–4: ‘And my splendid robe which I had taken off | And my toga with which it was wrapped about | From the heights of Hyrcania | My parents sent there | By the hand of their treasurers, | Who for their faithfulness were so entrusted.’
59 Syriac adds v. 85: ‘And with stones of adamant all its seams were fastened.’
60 Greek corrupt. Syriac has: ‘And I stretched out and took it and adorned myself with the beauty of its colours.’
62 Syriac adds: ‘You are afflicted by corruptible communion’.
63 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 2.
64 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 2.
65 Greek: ‘food’.
68 Syriac adds ‘give us the constant bread of the day’.
70 The section from here to 148 follows 167, as in manuscript P. See James, ANT 428, 436.
71 MSS U and S contain 149. The first three verses of the speech are from the Syriac.
72 Note allusions to Matt. 27.
73 The translation follows MS P and its allies (with James). U has a different text.
74 Here P and the rest give—rightly—the prayer of chs. 144–8. U and its companions give the following: ‘He turned to his prayer; and it was this, “My Lord and my God [John 20: 28 ], and hope and redeemer and leader and guide in all countries, be with all those who serve you, and guide me this day as I come to you. Let no one take my soul which I have committed to you; let not the publicans see me, and let not the tax‐gatherers accuse me falsely. Let not the serpent see me, and let not the children of the dragon hiss at me. Behold, Lord, I have accomplished your work and perfected your commandment. I have become a bondman; therefore to‐day I receive freedom. Therefore give me this and perfect me: and this I say, not that I doubt, but that they may hear for whom it is needful to hear.” ’
76 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 13.
77 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 22, and Gospel of the Egyptians.
78 Cf. Gospel of Thomas 52.
79 Some manuscripts include an extra section, numbered ch. 171 in Bonnet's edition.