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The Apocryphal New Testament Easy to use collection of English translations of the New Testament Apocrypha.


  • P. Ladeuze, ‘Apocryphes évangéliques coptes: Pseudo‐Gamaliel: Évangile de Barthélemy’, RHE 7 (1906), 245–68.

  • F. H. Hallock, ‘Coptic Apocrypha’, JBL 52 (1933), 163–74.

  • A. F. L. Beeston, ‘The Quaestiones Bartholomae’, JTS 25 (1974), 124–7.

  • J.‐D. Kaestli, ‘Où en est l’étude de l’“Évangile de Barthélemy”?’, Rev. Bib. 95 (1988), 5–33.

A. The Questions of Bartholomew

I 1 I give the opening verses in all three texts.

Greek. 1. After the resurrection from the dead of our Lord Jesus Christ, Bartholomew came to the Lord and questioned him, saying, ‘Lord, reveal to me the mysteries of the heavens.’

2. Jesus answered and said to him, ‘If I put 〈not〉 off the body of the flesh, I shall not be able to tell them to you.’

3. Omit.

Slavonic. 1. Before the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ from the dead, the apostles said, ‘Let us question the Lord: Lord, reveal to us the wonders.’

2. And Jesus said to them, ‘If I put 〈not〉 off the body of the flesh, I cannot tell them to you.’

3. But when he was buried and risen again, none of them dared question him, because it was not possible to look upon him, but the fullness of his Godhead was seen.

4. But Bartholomew, etc.

Latin 2. 1. At that time, before the Lord Jesus Christ suffered, all the disciples were gathered together, questioning him and saying, ‘Lord, show us the mystery in the heavens.’

2. But Jesus answered and said to them, ‘If I put not off the body of flesh I cannot tell you.’

3. But after he had suffered and risen again, all the apostles, looking upon him, did not dare to question him, because his countenance was not as it had been previously, but showed forth the fullness of power.

Greek. 4. Bartholomew therefore drew near to the Lord and said, ‘I have a word to speak to you, Lord.’

5. And Jesus said to him, ‘I know what you are about to say; say then what you will and I will answer you.’

6. And Bartholomew said, ‘Lord, when you went to be hanged upon the cross, I followed you afar off and saw you hung upon the cross, and the angels coming down from heaven and worshipping you. And when there came darkness, (7) I looked and I saw that you vanished away from the cross, and I heard only a voice in the parts under the earth, and great wailing and gnashing of teeth all of a sudden. Tell me, Lord, where did you go to from the cross?’

8. And Jesus answered and said, ‘Blessed are you, Bartholomew, my beloved, because you saw this mystery; and now I will tell you all things whatsoever you ask me. 9. For when I vanished from the cross, then I went down into Hades that I might bring up Adam and all those who were with him, according to the supplication of Michael the archangel.

10. Then Bartholomew said, ‘Lord, what was the voice which was heard?’

11. Jesus said to him, ‘Hades said to Beliar, “As I perceive, a God comes hither.’ ”

Slavonic and Latin 2. ‘And the angels cried to the powers saying, “Remove your gates, you princes, remove the everlasting doors for behold the King of Glory comes down.” 12. Hades said, “Who is the King of Glory, who comes down from heaven to us?” 2 Cf. Ps. 24: 10 .

13. ‘And when I had descended five hundred steps, Hades was troubled saying, “I hear the breathing of the Most High, and I cannot endure it.” [Lat. 2: He comes with great fragrance and I cannot bear it.] 14. But the devil answered and said, “Submit not yourself, O Hades, but be strong, for God himself has not descended upon the earth.” 15. But when I had descended five hundred steps, the angels and the powers cried out, “Take hold, remove the doors, for behold the King of Glory comes down.” And Hades said, “O, woe unto me, for I hear the breath of God.”

Greek. 16–17. ‘And Beliar said unto Hades, “Look carefully who it is who comes, for it is Elijah, or Enoch, or one of the prophets that this man seems to me to be.” But Hades answered Death and said, “Not yet are six thousand years accomplished. And whence are these, O Beliar, for the sum of the number is in my hands?”

[Slavonic. 16. ‘And the devil said unto Hades, “Why do you frighten me, Hades? It is a prophet, and he has made himself like God. This prophet will we take and bring him hither to those who think to ascend into heaven.” 17. And Hades said, “Which of the prophets is it? Show me. Is it Enoch the scribe of righteousness? But God has not suffered him to come down upon the earth before the end of the six thousand years. Do you say that it is Elijah, the avenger? But before the end he does not come down. What shall I do, for the destruction is from God, for surely our end is at hand? For I have the number of the years in my hands.”]

Greek. 18. ‘And Beliar said unto Hades, “Be not troubled, make safe your gates and strengthen your bars. Consider, God comes not down upon the earth.”

19. ‘Hades said to him, “These are no good words that I hear from you; my belly is rent, and my inward parts are pained: it cannot be but that God comes hither. Alas, whither shall I flee before the face of the power of the great king? Suffer me to enter into myself [Latin: yourself]: for before [Latin: of] you was I formed.”

20. ‘Then did I enter in and scourged him and bound him with chains that cannot be loosed, and brought forth thence all the patriarchs and came again to the cross.’

21. Bartholomew said to him, [Lat. 2: ‘I saw you again, hanging upon the cross, and all the dead arising and worshipping you, and going up again into their sepulchres.’] ‘Tell me, Lord, who was he whom the angels carried up in their hands, that man who was very great of stature?’ [Slav., Lat. 2: ‘And what did you say to him that he sighed so deeply?’]

22. Jesus answered and said to him, ‘It was Adam the first‐formed, for whose sake I came down from heaven upon earth. And I said to him, “I was hung upon the cross for you and for your children's sake.” And he, when he heard it, groaned and said, “Such was your good pleasure, O Lord.’ ”

23. Again Bartholomew said, ‘Lord, I saw the angels ascending before Adam and singing praises. 24. But one of the angels who was very great, above the rest, would not ascend with them; and there was in his hand a sword of fire, and he was looking steadfastly upon you only.’

Slavonic. 25. ‘And all the angels besought him that he would go up with them, but he would not. But when you commanded him to go up, I beheld a flame of fire issuing out of his hands and going even to the city of Jerusalem.’

26. And Jesus said to him, ‘Blessed are you, Bartholomew my beloved, because you saw these mysteries. This was one of the angels of vengeance which stand before my Father's throne: and this angel he sent to me. 27. And for this cause he would not ascend, because he desired to destroy all the powers of the world. But when I commanded him to ascend, there went a flame out of his hand and rent asunder the veil of the temple, and parted it in two pieces for a witness to the children of Israel for my passion because they crucified me.’ [Lat. 1: ‘But the flame which you saw issuing out of his hands smote the house of the synagogue of the Jews, for a testimony of me, because they crucified me.’]

Greek. 28. And when he had spoken he said to the apostles, ‘Tarry for me in this place, for today a sacrifice is offered in paradise.’ 29. And Bartholomew answered and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, what is the sacrifice which is offered in paradise?’ And Jesus said, ‘There are souls of the righteous which today have departed out of the body and go to paradise, and unless I be present they cannot enter into paradise.’

30. And Bartholomew said, ‘Lord, how many souls depart out of the world daily?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Thirty thousand.’

31. Bartholomew said to him, ‘Lord, when you were with us teaching the word, did you receive the sacrifices in paradise?’ 3 In Lat. 2, 31 follows 29. Jesus answered and said to him, ‘Verily I say unto you, my beloved, that I both taught the word with you and continually sat with my Father and received the sacrifices in paradise every day.’ 32. Bartholomew answered and said to him, ‘Lord, if thirty thousand souls depart out of the world every day, how many souls out of them are found righteous?’ Jesus said to him, ‘Hardly fifty‐three 4 The MSS are confused with this and the numbers in the next verse. , my beloved.’ 33. Again Bartholomew said, ‘And how do three only enter into paradise?’ Jesus said to him, ‘The fifty‐three enter into paradise or are laid up in Abraham's bosom: but the others go into the place of the resurrection, for the three are not like the fifty.’

34. Bartholomew said to him, ‘Lord, how many souls above the number are born into the world daily?’ Jesus said to him, ‘One soul only is born above the number of those who depart.’ 5 Lat. 1, 30, etc.: Bartholomew said, ‘How many are the souls which depart out of the body every day?’ Jesus said, ‘Verily I say unto you, twelve (thousand) eight hundred, four score and three souls depart out of the body every day.’ Lat. 2, 30–4: ‘six thousand and seventy‐four souls depart out of the body every day. Three go into paradise.’ 33. ‘How three only?’ ‘Fifty‐three go into paradise, but only three into Abraham's bosom. The rest are in the place of repose, for they are not like the three. 34. One more soul departs every day than is born.’

35. And when he had said this he gave them the peace, and vanished away from them.


1. Now the apostles were in the place Cherubim [variants: Cheltoura, Chritir] with Mary. 2. And Bartholomew came and said to Peter and Andrew and John, ‘Let us ask her who is highly favoured how she conceived the incomprehensible, or how she bore him that cannot be carried, or how she brought forth so much greatness.’ But they hesitated to ask her. 3. Bartholomew therefore said to Peter, ‘You are the chief, and my teacher, draw near and ask her.’ But Peter said to John, ‘You are a virgin and undefiled and beloved and you must ask her.’ 4. And as they all doubted and disputed, Bartholomew came near to her with a cheerful countenance and said to her, ‘You who are highly favoured, the tabernacle of the Most High, unblemished, we, all the apostles, ask you (or All the apostles have sent me to ask you) to tell us how you conceived the incomprehensible, or how you bore him who cannot be carried, or how you brought forth so much greatness.’

5. But Mary said to them, ‘Ask me not (or Do you indeed ask me) concerning this mystery. If I should begin to tell you, fire will issue forth out of my mouth and consume all the world.’ 6. But they continued the more to ask her. And she, for she could not refuse to hear the apostles, said, ‘Let us stand up in prayer.’ 7. And the apostles stood behind Mary, but she said to Peter, ‘Peter, you chief, you great pillar, do you stand behind us? Did not our Lord say, “The head of the man is Christ [Slav., Lat. 2 add but the head of the woman is the man]”? Now therefore stand before me and pray.’ 8. But they said to her, ‘In you did the Lord set his tabernacle, and it was his good pleasure that you should contain him, and you ought to be the leader in the prayer.’ 9. But she said to them, ‘You are shining stars and, as the prophet said, “I lift up my eyes to the hills: where is my help to come from?” 6 Ps. 121: 1 . You, therefore, are the hills, and it behoves you to pray.’ 10. The apostles said to her, ‘You ought to pray, you are the mother of the heavenly king.” 11. Mary said to them, ‘In your likeness did God form the sparrows, 7 See the Infancy Gospels, esp. the Infancy Gospel of Thomas 2. and sent them forth into the four corners of the world.’ 12. But they said to her, ‘He who is hardly contained by the seven heavens was pleased to be contained in you.’

13. Then Mary stood up before them and spread out her hands toward the heaven and began to speak thus, ‘Elphuë Zarethra Charboum Nemioth Melitho Thraboutha Mephnounos Chemiath Aroura Maridon Elison Marmiadon Seption Hesaboutha Ennouna Saktinos Athoor Belelam Opheoth Abo Chrasar, 8 This is the reading of one Greek copy: the others and the Slavonic have many differences, as in all such cases; but as the original words—assuming them to have once had a meaning—are hopelessly corrupted, the matter is not of importance. Lat. 2: Helfoith. Alaritha. Arbar. Neniotho. Melitho. Tarasunt. Chanebonos. Umia. Theirura. Marado. Seliso. Heliphomar. Mabon. Saruth. Gefutha. Enunnas. Sacinos. Thatis. Etelelam. Tetheo. Abocia. Rusar. which is in the Greek tongue [Slav.: Hebrew]: O God the exceeding great and all‐wise and king of the worlds (ages), who are not to be described, the ineffable, who established the greatness of the heavens and all things by a word, that out of darkness constituted and fastened together the poles of heaven in harmony, brought into shape the matter that was in confusion, brought into order the things that were without order, parted the misty darkness from the light, established in one place the foundations of the waters, you who made the beings of the air tremble, and are the fear of those who are on the earth, who settled the earth and did not suffer it to perish, and filled it, which is the nourisher of all things, with showers of blessing: Son of the Father, whom the seven heavens hardly contained, but who were well‐pleased to be contained without pain in me, you who are yourself the full word of the Father in whom all things came to be, give glory to your exceeding great name and bid me to speak before your holy apostles.’

14. And when she had ended the prayer she began to say to them, ‘Let us sit down upon the ground; and come, Peter the chief, and sit on my right hand and put your left hand beneath my armpit; and you, Andrew, do so on my left hand; and you, John, the virgin, hold my bosom; and you, Bartholomew, set your knees against my back and hold my shoulders, lest when I begin to speak my bones be loosed one from another.’

15. And when they had so done she began to say, ‘When I abode in the temple of God and received my food from an angel, on a certain day there appeared to me one in the likeness of an angel, but his face was incomprehensible, and he did not have in his hand bread or a cup, as did the angel which came to me previously. 16. And straightway the veil of the temple was rent and there was a very great earthquake, and I fell upon the earth, for I was not able to endure the sight of him. 17. But he put his hand beneath me and raised me up, and I looked up into heaven and there came a cloud of dew and sprinkled me from the head to the feet, and he wiped me with his robe. 18. And he said to me, ‘Hail, you who are highly favoured, the chosen vessel, grace inexhaustible.’ And he smote his garment upon the right hand and there came a very great loaf, and he set it upon the altar of the temple and did eat of it first himself, and gave to me also. 19. And again he smote his garment upon the left hand and there came a very great cup full of wine, and he set it upon the altar of the temple and did drink of it first himself, and gave also to me. And I looked and saw the bread and the cup whole as before.

20. ‘And he said to me, “In three years, I will send my word to you and you shall conceive my son, and through him shall the whole creation be saved. Peace be to you, my beloved, and my peace shall be with you continually.”

21. And when he had spoken he vanished away from my eyes, and the temple was restored as it had been before.’

22. And as she was saying this, fire issued out of her mouth; and the world was at the point to come to an end. But Jesus appeared quickly [Lat. 2: and laid his hand upon her mouth] and said unto Mary, ‘Utter not this mystery, or this day my whole creation will come to an end’ [Lat. 2: and the flame from her mouth ceased]. And the apostles were taken with fear lest the Lord should be angry with them.


1. And he departed with them to mount Mauria [Lat. 2: Mambre], and sat in the midst of them. 2. But they hesitated to question him, being afraid. 3. And Jesus answered and said to them, ‘Ask me what you will that I should teach you, and I will show it to you. For in seven days I ascend to my Father, and I shall no more be seen of you in this likeness.’ 4. But they, still hesitating, said to him, ‘Lord, show us the deep abyss according to your promise.’ 5. And Jesus said to them, ‘It is not good [Lat. 2: is good] for you to see the deep; notwithstanding, if you desire it, in accordance with my promise, come, follow me and behold.’ 6. And he led them away into a place that is called Cherubim [Slav.: Cherukt; Gr.: Chairoudee; Lat. 2 omits], that is the place of truth. 7. And he beckoned to the angels of the west, and the earth was rolled up like a volume of a book and the deep was revealed to them. 8. And when the apostles saw it they fell on their faces upon the earth. 9. But Jesus raised them up saying, ‘Did I not say to you, “It is not good for you to see the deep”?’ And again he beckoned to the angels and the deep was covered up.


1. And he took them and brought them again to the Mount of Olives.

2. And Peter said to Mary, ‘You who are highly favoured, entreat the Lord to reveal to us the things that are in the heavens.’

3. And Mary said to Peter, ‘O stone hewn out of the rock, did not the Lord build his church upon you? Go first and ask him.’

4. Peter said again, ‘O tabernacle who are spread abroad, it behoves you to ask.’ 5. Mary said, ‘You are the image of Adam; was not he first formed and then Eve? Look upon the sun; according to the likeness of Adam it is bright, and upon the moon; because of the transgression of Eve it is full of clay. For God placed Adam in the east and Eve in the west, and appointed the lights—that the sun should shine on Adam in the east with its fiery chariots, and the moon in the west should give light to Eve with a light like milk. And she defiled the commandment of the Lord. Therefore the moon was stained with clay [Lat. 2: is cloudy] and her light is not bright. You, therefore, since you are the likeness of Adam, ought to ask him; but in me was he contained that I might recover the dignity of woman.’

6. Now when they came up to the top of the mount, and the master withdrew from them for a little while, Peter said to Mary, ‘You are she who brought to nought the transgression of Eve, changing it from shame into joy; it is lawful, therefore, for you to ask.’

7. When Jesus appeared again, Bartholomew said to him, ‘Lord, show us the adversary of men that we may behold him, of what fashion he is, and what is his work, and whence he comes forth, and what power he has that he spared not even you but caused you to be hanged upon the tree.’ 8. But Jesus looked upon him and said, ‘You bold heart! You ask for that which you are not able to look upon.’ 9. But Bartholomew was troubled and fell at Jesus' feet and began to speak thus, ‘O lamp that cannot be quenched, Lord Jesu Christ, maker of the eternal light, who have given to those who love you the grace that beautifies all, and have given us the eternal light by your coming into the world, who have . . . the heavenly essence by a word . . . have accomplished the work of the Father, have turned the shamefacedness of Adam into mirth, have done away the sorrow of Eve with a cheerful countenance by your birth from a virgin: remember not evil against me but grant me the work of my asking.’ [Lat. 2: ‘who came down into the world, who have confirmed the eternal world of the Father, who have called the sadness of Adam joy, who have made the shame of Eve glad, and restored her by willing to be contained in the womb.’]

10. And as he spoke, Jesus raised him up and said to him, ‘Bartholomew, will you see the adversary of men? I tell you that when you behold him not only you but the rest of the apostles and Mary will fall on your faces and become as dead corpses.’

11. But they all said unto him, ‘Lord, let us behold him.’

12. And he led them down from the Mount of Olives and looked wrathfully upon the angels that keep hell (Tartarus), and beckoned to Michael to sound the trumpet in the height of the heavens. And Michael sounded, and the earth shook, and Beliar came up, being held by six hundred and sixty [Gk.: five hundred and sixty; Lat. 1: six thousand and sixty‐four; Lat. 2: six thousand and sixty] angels and bound with fiery chains. 13. And the length of him was one thousand six hundred cubits and his breadth forty [Lat. 1: three hundred; Slav.: seventeen] cubits [Lat. 2: his length one thousand nine hundred cubits, his breadth seven hundred, one wing of him eighty], and his face was like a lightning of fire and his eyes full of darkness [Slav.: like sparks]. And out of his nostrils came a stinking smoke; and his mouth was as the gulf of a precipice, and one of his wings was four‐score cubits. 14. And straightway when the apostles saw him, they fell to the earth on their faces and became as dead. 15. But Jesus came near and raised the apostles and gave them a spirit of power, and he said to Bartholomew, ‘Come near, Bartholomew, and trample your feet on his neck, and he will tell you his work, what it is, and how he deceives men.’ 16. And Jesus stood afar off with the rest of the apostles. 17. And Bartholomew was afraid and raised his voice and said, ‘Blessed be the name of your immortal Kingdom from henceforth even for ever.’ And when he had spoken, Jesus ordered him, saying, ‘Go and tread upon the neck of Beliar.’ And Bartholomew ran quickly upon him and trod upon his neck, and Beliar trembled. [17. Vienna Gk. Ms: And Bartholomew raised his voice and said thus, ‘O womb more spacious than a city, wider than the spreading of the heavens, that contained him whom the seven heavens contain not, but you without pain did contain, sanctified in your bosom’ (evidently out of place); Lat. 1: Then did Antichrist tremble and was filled with fury.]

18. And Bartholomew was afraid and fled, and said to Jesus, ‘Lord, give me a hem of your garments [Lat. 2: the kerchief (?) from your shoulders] that I may have courage to draw near to him.’ 19. But Jesus said to him, ‘You cannot take a hem of my garments, for these are not my garments which I wore before I was crucified.’ 20. And Bartholomew said, ‘Lord, I fear because, just as he did not spare your angels, he will swallow me up also.’ [Lat. 2 omits 20.] 21. Jesus said to him, ‘Were not all things made by my word, and by the will of my Father the spirits were made subject to Solomon? You, therefore, being commanded by my word, go in my name and ask him what you will.’ 22. 9 Words enclosed by square brackets are from Jerusalem Gk. MS and Lat. 1. [And Bartholomew made the sign of the cross and prayed to Jesus and went behind him. And Jesus said to him, ‘Draw near.’ And as Bartholomew drew near, the fire was kindled on every side, so that his garments appeared fiery. Jesus said to Bartholomew, ‘As I said to you, tread upon his neck and ask him what is his power.’] And Bartholomew went and trod upon his neck, and pressed down his face into the earth as far as his ears. 23. And Bartholomew said to him, ‘Tell me who you are and what is your name.’ And he said to him, ‘Lighten me a little, and I will tell you who I am and how I came hither, and what my work is and what my power is.’ 24. And he eased him and said to him, ‘Say all that you have done and all that you will do.’ 25. And Beliar answered and said, ‘If you will know my name, at the first I was called Satanael, which is interpreted a messenger of God, but when I rejected the image of God my name was called Satanas, that is, an angel that keeps hell (Tartarus).’ 10 Lat. 2 adds about seven lines descriptive of Satan's character. 26. And again Bartholomew said to him, ‘Reveal to me all things and hide nothing from me.’ 27. And he said to him, ‘I swear to you by the power of the glory of God that even if I would hide anything I cannot, for he who would convict me is near. For if I were able I would have destroyed you like one of those who were before you. 28. For indeed I was formed the first angel; for when God made the heavens, he took a handful of fire and formed me first, Michael second [Vienna Gk. MS adds for he had his Son before the heavens and the earth and we were formed (for when he took thought to create all things, his Son spoke a word), so that we also were created by the will of the Son and the consent of the Father. He formed first me, next Michael the chief captain of the hosts that are above], Gabriel third, Uriel fourth, Raphael fifth, Nathanael sixth, and other angels of whom I cannot tell the names. [Jerusalem Gk. MS: Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel, Xathanael, and other six thousand angels; Lat. 1: Michael the honour of power, third Raphael, fourth Gabriel, and another seven; Lat. 2: Raphael third, Gabriel fourth, Uriel fifth, Zathael sixth, and another six.] For they are the rod‐bearers of God, and they smite me with their rods and pursue me seven times in the night and seven times in the day, and leave me not at all and break in pieces all my power. These are the [Lat. 2: twelve] angels of vengeance who stand before the throne of God: these are the angels that were first formed. 30. And after them were formed all the angels. In the first heaven are a hundred myriads, and in the second a hundred myriads, and in the third a hundred myriads, and in the fourth a hundred myriads, and in the fifth a hundred myriads, and in the sixth a hundred myriads, and in the seventh [Jerusalem Gk. MS: a hundred myriads, and outside the seven heavens,] is the first firmament wherein are the powers which work upon men. 31. For there are four other angels set over the winds. The first angel is over the north, and he is called Chairoum [Lat. 2: angel of the north, 11 Boreas Mauch], and has in his hand a rod of fire and restrains the superfluity of moisture that the earth be not too wet. 32. And the angel that is over the north 12 Aparktios. is called Oertha [Lat. 2: Alfatha]: he has a torch of fire and puts it to his sides, and they warm his great coldness so that he may not freeze the world. 33. And the angel that is over the south is called Kerkoutha [Lat. 2: Cedar], and they break his fierceness so that he may not shake the earth. 34. And the angel that is over the south‐west is called Naoutha, and he has a rod of snow in his hand and puts it into his mouth, and quenches the fire that comes out of his mouth. And if the angel did not quench it at his mouth it would set all the world on fire. 35. And there is another angel over the sea which makes it rough with the waves. 36. But the rest I will not tell you, for he who stands by does not permit it.’

37. Bartholomew said to him, ‘How do you chastise the souls of men?’ 38. Beliar said to him, ‘Do you wish me to describe the punishment of the hypocrites, of the backbiters, of the jesters, of the idolaters, and the covetous, and the adulterers, and the wizards, and the diviners, and of those who believe in us, and of all whom I look upon (deceive?)?’ 39. Bartholomew said to him, ‘I wish you to be brief.’ [Lat. 2: 38. When I will show any illusion by them. But those who do these things, and those who consent to them or follow them, perish with me.’ 39. Bartholomew said to him, ‘Declare quickly how you persuade men not to follow God, and your evil arts, that are slippery and dark, that they should leave the straight and shining paths of the Lord.’] 40. And he smote his teeth together, gnashing them, and there came up out of the bottomless pit a wheel having a sword flashing with fire, and in the sword were pipes. 41. And I (he) asked him, saying, ‘What is this sword?’ 42. And he said, ‘This sword is the sword of the gluttonous, for into this pipe are sent those who through their gluttony devise all manner of sin; into the second pipe are sent the backbiters who slander their neighbours secretly; into the third pipe are sent the hypocrites and the rest whom I overthrow by my contrivance.’ [Lat. 2: 40. And Antichrist said, ‘I will tell you.’ And a wheel came up out of the abyss, having seven fiery knives. The first knife has twelve pipes . . . 42. Antichrist answered, ‘The pipe of fire in the first knife; in it are put the casters of lots and diviners and enchanters, and those who believe in them or have sought them, because in the iniquity of their heart they have invented false divinations. In the second pipe of fire are first the blasphemers . . . suicides . . . idolaters . . . In the rest are first perjurers . . .  ’ (long enumeration).] 43. And Bartholomew said, ‘Do you then do these things by yourself alone?’ 44. And Satan said, ‘If I were able to go forth by myself I would have destroyed the whole world in three days, but neither I nor any of the six hundred go forth. For we have other swift ministers whom we command, and we furnish them with a hook of many points and send them forth to hunt, and they catch for us souls of men, enticing them with various tempting baits, that is, by drunkenness and laughter, by backbiting, hypocrisy, pleasures, fornication, and the rest of the trifles that come out of their treasures. [Lat. 2 amplifies enormously.]

45. ‘And I will tell you also the rest of the names of the angels. The angel of the hail is called Mermeoth, and he holds the hail upon his head, and my ministers adjure him and send him whither they will. And other angels are there over the snow, and others over the thunder, and others over the lightning, and when any spirit of ours wishes to go forth either by land or by sea, these angels send out fiery stones and set our limbs on fire.’ [Lat. 2 enumerates all the transgressions of Israel and all possible sins.]

46. Bartholomew said, ‘Be still, you dragon of the pit.’ 47. And Beliar said, ‘Many things will I tell you of the angels. Those who run together throughout the heavenly places and the earthly are these: Mermeoth, Onomatath, Douth, Melioth, Charouth, Graphathas, Oethra, Nephonos, Chalkatoura. With them fly (are administered?) the things that are in heaven and on earth and under the earth.’

48. Bartholomew said to him, ‘Be still and be powerless, so that I may entreat my Lord.’ 49. And Bartholomew fell upon his face and cast earth upon his head and began to say, ‘O Lord Jesu Christ, the great and glorious name. All the choirs of the angels praise you, O Master, and I who am unworthy with my lips . . . do praise you, O Master. Hearken to me, your servant, and as you chose me from the receipt of custom and did not allow me to continue in my way of life to the end, O Lord Jesu Christ, hearken to me and have mercy upon the sinners.’ 50. And when he had spoken, the Lord said to him, ‘Rise up, permit the one who groans to arise; I will declare the rest to you.’ 51. And Bartholomew raised up Satan and said to him, ‘Go to your place with your angels; but the Lord has mercy upon all his world.’ [50, 51, again enormously amplified in Lat. 2. Satan complains that he has been tricked into telling his secrets before the time. 49 follows 51 in this text.]

52. But the devil said, ‘Permit me, and I will tell you how I was cast down into this place and how the Lord made man. 53. I was going to and fro in the world, and God said to Michael, “Bring me a clod from the four corners of the earth, and water out of the four rivers of paradise.” And when Michael brought them, God formed Adam in the regions of the east, and shaped the clod which was shapeless, and stretched sinews and veins upon it and established it with joints; and he showed him reverence for his own sake because he was the image of God. Michael also worshipped him. 54. And when I came from the ends of the earth, Michael said, “Worship the image of God, which he has made according to his likeness.” But I said, “I am fire of fire, I was the first angel formed, and shall I worship clay and matter?” 55. And Michael said to me, “Worship, lest God be angry with you.” But I said to him, “God will not be angry with me; but I will set my throne over against his throne, and I will be as he is.” Then God was angry with me and cast me down, having commanded the windows of heaven to be opened. 56. And when I was cast down, he also asked the six hundred that were under me if they would worship, but they said, “Just as we have seen the first angel do, neither will we worship him who is less than ourselves.” Then the six hundred were also cast down by him with me. 57. And when we were cast down upon the earth we were senseless for forty years; and when the sun shone forth seven times brighter than fire, suddenly I awoke; and I looked about and saw the six hundred that were under me senseless. 58. And I woke my son Salpsan and took counsel with him how I might deceive the man on whose account I was cast out of the heavens. 59. And thus did I contrive it. I took a vial in my hand and scraped the sweat from off my breast and the hair of my armpits, and washed myself [Lat. 2: I took fig‐leaves in my hands and wiped the sweat from my bosom and below mine arms and cast it down beside the streams of waters. 59 is greatly prolonged in this text] in the springs of the waters whence the four rivers flow out, and Eve drank of it and desire came upon her; for if she had not drunk of that water I should not have been able to deceive her.’ 60. Then Bartholomew commanded him to go into hell.

61. And Bartholomew came and fell at Jesus' feet and began with tears to say, ‘Abba, Father, you are incapable of being discovered by us. Word of the Father, whom the seven heavens hardly contained, but who were pleased to be contained easily and without pain within the body of the Virgin, whom the Virgin knew not that she bore; you by your thought have ordained all things to be; you give us that which we need before you are entreated. 62. You who wore a crown of thorns that you might prepare for us who repent the precious crown from heaven; you did hang upon the tree, that . . . [Lat 2: that you might turn from us the tree of lust and concupiscence. The verse is prolonged for over forty lines] (who did drink wine mingled with gall) that you might give us to drink of the wine of compunction, and were pierced in the side with a spear that you might fill us with your body and your blood; (63) you who gave names to the four rivers: to the first Pison, because of the faith which you appeared in the world to preach; to the second Geon, for that man was made of earth; to the third Tigris, because by you was revealed to us the consubstantial Trinity in the heavens; to the fourth Euphrates, because by your presence in the world you made every soul to rejoice through the word of immortality.

64. 13 In Lat. 2, vv. 64–71 occupy eighty‐three lines, of which v. 65 fills nearly fifty. Jesus dwells on the words, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’, and speaks at some length of his benefits to the Jewish nation and of their blindness and ingratitude (recalling the Improperia and 2 Esdras 1); there are also many clauses from John 13–15 . ‘My God, and Father, the greatest, my King: save, Lord, the sinners.’ 65. When he had prayed, Jesus said to him, ‘Bartholomew, my Father named me Christ, that I might come down upon earth and anoint every man who comes to me with the oil of life; and he called me Jesus that I might heal every sin of those who know not . . . and give to men . . . the truth of God.’

66. And again Bartholomew said to him, ‘Lord, is it lawful for me to reveal these mysteries to every man?’ 67. Jesus said to him, ‘Bartholomew, my beloved, as many as are faithful and are able to keep them to themselves, to them you may entrust these things. For some there are who are worthy of them, but there are also others to whom it is not fit to entrust them; for they are vain drunkards, proud, unmerciful, partakers in idolatry, authors of fornication, slanderers, teachers of foolishness, and doing all works that are of the devil; and therefore they are not worthy that these should be entrusted to them. 68. And also they are secret, because of those who cannot contain them; for as many as can contain them shall have a part in them. Hitherto, therefore, my beloved, have I spoken to you, for blessed are you and all your kindred who have this word entrusted to them; for all those who can contain it shall receive whatsoever they will in the 〈day?〉 of my judgement.’

69. Then I, Bartholomew, who wrote these things in my heart, took hold of the hand of the Lord the lover of men and began to rejoice and to speak thus:

‘Glory be to you, O Lord Jesus Christ, who gives unto all your grace which we have all perceived. Alleluia. Glory be to you, O Lord, the life of sinners. Glory be to you, O Lord, death is put to shame. Glory be to you, O Lord, the treasure of righteousness. For unto God do we sing.’

70. And as Bartholomew spoke, Jesus put off his mantle and took a kerchief from the neck of Bartholomew and began to rejoice and say, [Lat. 2: Then Jesus took a kerchief (?) and said, ‘I am good: mild and gracious and merciful, strong and righteous, wonderful and holy’] ‘I am good. Alleluia. I am meek and gentle. Alleluia. Glory be to you, O Lord: for I give gifts to all who desire me. Alleluia.

‘Glory be to you, O Lord, world without end. Amen. Alleluia.’

71. And when he had ceased, the apostles kissed him, and he gave them the peace of love.

V 14 Possibly this section is a late addition.

1. Bartholomew said to him, 15 In Lat. 2, vv. 1–6 occupy fifty‐eight lines. ‘Declare to us, Lord, what sin is more grievous than all sins?’ 2. Jesus said to him, ‘Truly I say to you that hypocrisy and backbiting are more grievous than all sins: for because of them the prophet said in the psalm that “the ungodly shall not rise in judgement, neither sinners in the council of the righteous”, 16 Ps. 1: 4 . neither the ungodly in the judgement of my Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, that every sin shall be forgiven to every man, but the sin against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven.’ 3. And Bartholomew said to him, ‘What is the sin against the Holy Ghost?’ 4. Jesus said to him, ‘Whosoever shall decree against any man who has served my holy Father has blasphemed against the Holy Ghost. Every man who serves God with reverence is worthy of the Holy Ghost, and he who speaks anything evil against him shall not be forgiven. 17 Lat. 2 enumerates seventeen other sins—chiefly forms of idolatry and wrong belief.

5. ‘Woe to him who swears by the head of God, woe to him who swears falsely by him even when speaking the truth. For there are twelve heads of God the most high: for he is the truth, and in him is no lie, neither forswearing. 6. You, therefore, go and preach to all the world the word of truth, and you, Bartholomew, preach this word to every one who desires it; and as many as believe shall have eternal life.’

7. Bartholomew said, 18 In Lat. 2, vv. 7–10 fill sixty‐nine lines. ‘O Lord, and if anyone sin with sin of the body, what is their reward?’ 8. And Jesus said, ‘It is good if he who is baptized preserve his baptism blameless: but the pleasure of the flesh will become an allurement. For a single marriage belongs to sobriety: for truly I say to you, he who sins after the third marriage is unworthy of God. [Lat. 2 is to this effect: . . . But if the lust of the flesh come upon him, he ought to be the husband of one wife. The married, if they are good and pay tithes, will receive a hundredfold. A second marriage is lawful, on condition of the diligent performance of good works, and due payment of tithes; but a third marriage is reprobated: and virginity is best.] 9. But preach to every man that they keep themselves from such things: for I depart not from you and I do supply you with the Holy Ghost.’ [Lat. 2: at the end of 9, Jesus ascends in the clouds, and two angels appear and say. ‘You men of Galilee . . .  ’] 10. And Bartholomew worshipped him with the apostles, and glorified God earnestly, saying, ‘Glory be to you, Holy Father, Sun unquenchable, incomprehensible, full of light. To you be glory, to you honour and adoration, world without end. Amen.’ (Lat. 2 adds End of the questioning of the most blessed Bartholomew and the other apostles with the Lord Jesus Christ.]

B. The Book of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ by Bartholomew the Apostle

1. Summary, Based on James, ANT 182–6, of the London Manuscript Published by Wallis Budge

Five leaves are wanting at the beginning of the British Museum manuscript. The contents of these can be partly filled up from Lacau and Revillout. But in the first place a passage (p. 193, Budge) may be quoted which shows something of the setting of the book: ‘Do not let this book come into the hand of any man who is an unbeliever and a heretic. Behold, this is the seventh time that I have commanded you, O my son Thaddaeus, concerning these mysteries. Do not reveal them to any impure man, but keep them safely.’ We see that the book was addressed by Bartholomew to his son Thaddaeus, and this would no doubt have been the subject of some of the opening lines of the text.

Next we may place the two fragments, one about the child of Joseph of Arimathaea, the other about the cock raised to life (Revillout no. 6, below, p. 672).

Then we have a piece which in Revillout is no. 12 (below, p. 672). There can be but little matter lost between this and the opening of the British Museum manuscript, in the first lines of which the taking of Ananias' soul to heaven is mentioned.

We now take up the British Museum manuscript as our basis. Certain passages of it are preserved in the Paris fragments which partly overlap each other, and so three different texts exist for some parts: but it will not be important for our purpose to note many of the variations.

Joseph of Arimathaea buried the body of Jesus. Death came into Amente (the underworld), asking who the new arrival was, for he detected a disturbance.

He came to the tomb of Jesus with his six sons in the form of serpents. Jesus lay there (it was the second day, i.e. the Saturday) with his face and head covered with napkins.

Death addressed his son the Pestilence, and described the commotion which had taken place in his domain. Then he spoke to the body of Jesus and asked, ‘Who are you?’ Jesus removed the napkin that was on his face and looked in the face of Death and laughed at him. Death and his sons fled. Then they approached again, and the same thing happened. He addressed Jesus again at some length, suspecting, but not certain, who he was.

Then Jesus rose and mounted into the chariot of the Cherubim. He wrought havoc in Hell, breaking the doors, binding the demons Beliar and Melkir and delivered Adam and the holy souls.

Then he turned to Judas Iscariot and uttered a long rebuke, and described the sufferings which he must endure. Thirty names of sins are given, which are the snakes that were sent to devour him.

Jesus rose from the dead, and Abbaton (Death) and Pestilence came back to Amente to protect it, but they found it wholly desolate, only three souls were left in it (those of Herod, Cain, and Judas, according to the Paris manuscript).

Meanwhile the angels were singing the hymn which the Seraphim sing at dawn on the Lord's day over his body and his blood.

Early in the morning of the Lord's day the women went to the tomb. They were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James whom Jesus delivered out of the hand of Satan, Salome who tempted him, Mary who ministered to him and Martha her sister, Joanna the wife of Chuza who had renounced the marriage bed, Berenice who was healed of an issue of blood in Capernaum, Leah the widow whose son he raised at Nain, and the woman to whom he said, ‘Your sins which are many are forgiven you.’

These were all in the garden of Philogenes, whose son, Simeon, Jesus healed when he came down from the Mount of Olives with the apostles.

Mary said to Philogenes, ‘If you are indeed he, I know you.’ Philogenes said, ‘You are Mary the mother of Thalkamarimath, which means joy, blessing, and gladness.’ Mary said, ‘If you have borne him away, tell me where you have laid him and I will take him away: fear not.’ Philogenes told how the Jews sought a safe tomb for Jesus that the body might not be stolen, and he offered to place it in a tomb in his own garden and watch over it; and they sealed it and departed. At midnight he rose and went out and found all the orders of angels: Cherubim, Seraphim, Powers, and Virgins. Heaven opened, and the Father raised Jesus. Peter, too, was there and supported Philogenes, or he would have died.

The Saviour then appeared to them on the chariot of the Father and said to Mary, ‘Mari Khar Mariath (Mary the mother of the Son of God).’ Mary answered, ‘Rabbouni Kathiathari Mioth (The Son of God the Almighty, my Lord, and my Son).’ A long address to Mary from Jesus follows, in the course of which he bids her tell his brethren, ‘I ascend to my Father and your Father.’ Mary says, ‘If indeed I am not permitted to touch you, at least bless my body in which you deigned to dwell.’

Believe me, my brethren the holy apostles, I, Bartholomew, beheld the Son of God on the chariot of the Cherubim. All the heavenly hosts were about him. He blessed the body of Mary.

She went and gave the message to the apostles, and Peter blessed her, and they rejoiced.

Jesus and the redeemed souls ascended into heaven, and the Father crowned him. The glory of this scene Bartholomew could not describe. It is here that he enjoins his son Thaddaeus not to let this book fall into the hands of the impure.

Then follows a series of hymns sung in heaven, eight in all, which accompany the reception of Adam and the other holy souls into glory. Adam was eighty cubits high and Eve fifty. They were brought to the Father by Michael. Bartholomew had never seen anything to compare with the beauty and glory of Adam, save that of Jesus. Adam was forgiven, and all the angels and saints rejoiced and saluted him, and departed each to their place.

Adam was set at the gate of life to greet all the righteous as they enter, and Eve was set over all the women who had done the will of God, to greet them as they come into the city of Christ.

As for me, Bartholomew, I remained many days without food or drink, nourished by the glory of the vision.

The apostles thanked and blessed Bartholomew for what he had told them: he should be called the apostle of the mysteries of God. But he protested, ‘I am the least of you all, a humble workman. Will not the people of the city say when they see me, “Is not this Bartholomew the man of Italy, the gardener, the dealer in vegetables? Is not this the man who lives in the garden of Hierocrates the governor of our city? How has he attained this greatness?’ ”

The next words introduce a new section.

At the time when Jesus took us up into the Mount of Olives he spoke to us in an unknown tongue, which he revealed to us, saying, ‘Anetharath (or Atharath Thaurath).’ The heavens were opened and we all went up into the seventh heaven. (So the London manuscript; in the Paris copy only Jesus went up, and the apostles gazed after him.) He prayed to the Father to bless us. The Father, with the Son and the Holy Ghost, laid his hand on the head of Peter (and made him archbishop of the whole world: Paris B). All that is bound or loosed by him on earth shall be so in heaven; none who is not ordained by him shall be accepted. Each of the apostles was separately blessed (there are omissions of single names in one or other of the three texts). Andrew, James, John, Philip (the cross will precede him wherever he goes), Thomas, Bartholomew (he will be the depositary of the mysteries of the Son), Matthew (his shadow will heal the sick), James son of Alphaeus, Simon Zelotes, Judas of James, Thaddeus, Matthias (who was rich and left all to follow Jesus).

And now, my brethren the apostles, forgive me. I, Bartholomew, am not a man to be honoured.

The apostles kissed and blessed him. And then, with Mary, they offered the Eucharist.

The Father sent the Son down into Galilee to console the apostles and Mary: and he came and blessed them and showed them his wounds, and committed them to the care of Peter, and gave them their commission to preach. They kissed his side and sealed themselves with the blood that flowed thence. He went up to heaven.

Thomas was not with them, for he had departed to his city, hearing that his son Siophanes (Theophanes?) was dead. It was the seventh day since the death when he arrived. He went to the tomb and raised him in the name of Jesus.

Siophanes told him of the taking of his soul by Michael: how it sprang from his body and lighted on the hand of Michael, who wrapped it in a fine linen cloth; how he crossed the river of fire and it seemed to him as water, and was washed thrice in the Acherusian lake; how in heaven he saw the twelve splendid thrones of the apostles, and was not permitted to sit on his father's throne. 19 This vision resembles one inserted in the end of the Coptic version of the Apocalypse of Paul.

Thomas and he went into the city to the consternation of all who saw them. He, Siophanes, addressed the people and told his story; and Thomas baptized twelve thousand of them, founded a church, and made Siophanes its bishop.

Then Thomas mounted on a cloud, and it took him to the Mount of Olives and to the apostles, who told him of the visit of Jesus and he would not believe. Bartholomew admonished him. Then Jesus appeared, and made Thomas touch his wounds and departed into heaven.

This is the second time that he showed himself to his disciples after he had risen from the dead.

This is the Book of the Resurrection of Jesus the Christ, our Lord, in joy and gladness. In peace. Amen.

Peter said to the apostles, ‘Let us offer the offering before we separate.’ They prepared the bread, the cup, and incense.

Peter stood by the sacrifice and the others round the table. They waited (break in the text) table . . . their hearts rejoiced . . . worshipped the Son of God. He took his seat . . . his Father. His body was on the table around which they were assembled, and they divided it. They saw the blood of Jesus pouring out as living blood down into the cup. Peter said, ‘God has loved us more than all, in letting us see these great honours; and our Lord Jesus Christ has allowed us to behold and has revealed to us the glory of his body and his divine blood.’ They partook of the body and blood, and then they separated and preached the word.

2. Summary of Extracts from Revillout (Bibliography Above)

Revillout 6 (= Lacau no. 3, pp. 33–4):

Jesus and the apostles at table. The table turned of itself after Jesus had partaken of a dish, to present it to each apostle.

Matthias set a dish on the table in which was a cock, and told Jesus how, when he was killing it, the Jews said, ‘The blood of your master shall be shed like that of this cock.’ Jesus smiled and answered that it was true; and after some more words bade the cock come to life and fly away and ‘announce the day whereon they will deliver me up’. And it did so.

Revillout 12 (= Lacau no. 3, pp. 35–6) parallels an incident referred to in Budge's London manuscript:

Ananias hurries to the cross and tells the Jews to crucify him and not Jesus. A voice from the cross tells Ananias that his soul will not enter Amente nor his body decay. The priests unsuccessfully try to stone Ananias. He is thrown into a fire but stays there unharmed for three days and nights. He is finally killed with a spear‐thrust but Jesus carries off his soul to heaven.

Revillout pp. 185–94 and 149–50 (= Lacau no. 4, pp. 39–77) closely parallel the London manuscript.


1 I give the opening verses in all three texts.

2 Cf. Ps. 24: 10 .

3 In Lat. 2, 31 follows 29.

4 The MSS are confused with this and the numbers in the next verse.

5 Lat. 1, 30, etc.: Bartholomew said, ‘How many are the souls which depart out of the body every day?’ Jesus said, ‘Verily I say unto you, twelve (thousand) eight hundred, four score and three souls depart out of the body every day.’

Lat. 2, 30–4: ‘six thousand and seventy‐four souls depart out of the body every day. Three go into paradise.’ 33. ‘How three only?’ ‘Fifty‐three go into paradise, but only three into Abraham's bosom. The rest are in the place of repose, for they are not like the three. 34. One more soul departs every day than is born.’

6 Ps. 121: 1 .

7 See the Infancy Gospels, esp. the Infancy Gospel of Thomas 2.

8 This is the reading of one Greek copy: the others and the Slavonic have many differences, as in all such cases; but as the original words—assuming them to have once had a meaning—are hopelessly corrupted, the matter is not of importance.

Lat. 2: Helfoith. Alaritha. Arbar. Neniotho. Melitho. Tarasunt. Chanebonos. Umia. Theirura. Marado. Seliso. Heliphomar. Mabon. Saruth. Gefutha. Enunnas. Sacinos. Thatis. Etelelam. Tetheo. Abocia. Rusar.

9 Words enclosed by square brackets are from Jerusalem Gk. MS and Lat. 1.

10 Lat. 2 adds about seven lines descriptive of Satan's character.

11 Boreas

12 Aparktios.

13 In Lat. 2, vv. 64–71 occupy eighty‐three lines, of which v. 65 fills nearly fifty. Jesus dwells on the words, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life’, and speaks at some length of his benefits to the Jewish nation and of their blindness and ingratitude (recalling the Improperia and 2 Esdras 1); there are also many clauses from John 13–15 .

14 Possibly this section is a late addition.

15 In Lat. 2, vv. 1–6 occupy fifty‐eight lines.

16 Ps. 1: 4 .

17 Lat. 2 enumerates seventeen other sins—chiefly forms of idolatry and wrong belief.

18 In Lat. 2, vv. 7–10 fill sixty‐nine lines.

19 This vision resembles one inserted in the end of the Coptic version of the Apocalypse of Paul.

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