Christ's Descent into Hell
1(17). 1. Joseph said, ‘Why then do you marvel that Jesus has been raised? This in itself is not marvellous, but what is marvellous is that he was not raised alone, but raised up many other dead who appeared to many in Jerusalem. And if you do not know the others, Simeon, who received Jesus, and his two sons, whom he raised up, you do at least know. For we buried them a little while ago. And now their sepulchres are to be seen opened and empty, but they themselves are alive and dwelling in Arimathaea.’ They therefore sent men, and they found their tombs opened and empty. Joseph said, ‘Let us go to Arimathaea and find them.’ 2. Then arose the chief priests Annas and Caiaphas, and Joseph and Nicodemus and Gamaliel and others with them, and went to Arimathaea and found the men of whom Joseph spoke. So they offered prayer, and greeted one another. Then they went with them to Jerusalem, and they brought them into the synagogue, and secured the doors, and the chief priests placed the Old Testament of the Jews in the midst and said to them, ‘We wish you to swear by the God of Israel and by Adonai and so speak the truth, how you arose and who raised you from the dead.’ 3. When the men who had risen heard that, they signed their faces with the sign of the cross, and said to the chief priests, ‘Give us paper and ink and pen.’ So they brought these things. And they sat down and wrote as follows: 2(18). 1. O Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life of the world, give us grace that we may tell of your resurrection and of your miracles which you performed in Hades. We, then, were in Hades with all who have died since the beginning of the world. And at the hour of midnight there rose upon the darkness there something like the light of the sun, and it shone and lit us all, and we saw one another. And immediately our father Abraham, together with the patriarchs and the prophets, was filled with joy, and they said to one another, ‘This light comes from a great illumination.’ The prophet Isaiah, who was present there, said, ‘This light comes from the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit. This I prophesied when I was still living, “The land of Zabulon and the land of Nephthalim, the people that sit in darkness saw a great light.” ’ 44 Isa. 9: 1–2 .
2. Then there came into the midst another, an anchorite from the wilderness and the patriarchs asked him, ‘Who are you?’ He replied, ‘I am John, the last of the prophets, who made straight the ways of the Son of God, and preached repentance to the people for the forgiveness of sins. And the Son of God came to me, and when I saw him afar off, I said to the people, “Behold, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world.” 45 John 1: 29 . And with my hand I baptized him in the river Jordan, and I saw the Holy Spirit like a dove coming upon him, and heard also the voice of God the Father speaking thus, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 46 Matt. 3: 16–17 . And for this reason he sent me to you, to preach that the only begotten Son of God comes here, in order that whoever believes in him should be saved, and whoever does not believe in him should be condemned. Therefore I say to you all that when you see him, all of you worship him. For now only have you opportunity for repentance because you worshipped idols in the vain world above and sinned. At any other time this is impossible.’
3(19). 1. Now when John was thus teaching those who were in Hades, the first‐created, the first father Adam, heard and said to his son Seth, ‘My son, I wish you to tell to the forefathers of the race of men and to the prophets where I sent you when I was about to die.’ And Seth said, ‘Prophets and patriarchs, listen. My father Adam, the first‐created, when he fell into mortal sickness, sent me close to the gate of paradise to pray to God that he might lead me by an angel to the tree of mercy, that I might take oil and anoint my father, so that he might arise from his sickness. This I did. And after my prayer an angel of the Lord came and asked me, “What do you desire, Seth? Because of the sickness of your father do you desire the oil that raises up the sick, or the tree from which flows such oil? This cannot be found now. Therefore go and tell your father that after the completion of 5,500 years from the creation of the world, the only‐begotten Son of God shall then become man and shall descend upon the earth. And he shall anoint him with that oil. And he shall arise and wash him and his descendants with water and the Holy Spirit. And then he shall be healed of every disease. But this is impossible now.” ’ When the patriarchs and prophets heard this, they rejoiced greatly.
4(20). 1. And while they were all so joyful, Satan the heir of darkness came and said to Hades, ‘All devouring and insatiable one, listen to my words. There is one of the race of the Jews, Jesus by name, who calls himself the Son of God. But he is a man, and at our instigation the Jews crucified him. And now that he is dead, be prepared that we may secure him here. For I know that he is a man, and I heard him saying, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” 47 Matt. 26: 38 and parallel. He caused me much trouble in the world above while he lived among mortals. For wherever he found my servants, he cast them out, and all those whom I had made to be crippled or blind or lame, leprous and the like, he healed with only a word, and many whom I had made ready for burial he also made alive again with only a word.’ 2. Hades said, ‘Is he so powerful that he does such things with only a word? And if he is of such power, are you able to withstand him? It seems to me that no one will be able to withstand such as he is. But if you say that you heard how he feared death, he said this to mock and laugh at you, wishing to seize you with a strong hand. And woe, woe to you for all eternity.’ Satan answered, ‘O all‐devouring and insatiable Hades, did you fear so greatly when you heard about our common foe? I did not fear him, but worked upon the Jews, and they crucified him and gave him gall and vinegar to drink. Therefore prepare yourself to get him firmly into your power when he comes.’
3. Hades answered, ‘O heir of darkness, son of perdition, devil, you have just told me that many whom you made ready for burial he made alive again with only a word. If then he freed others from the grave, how and with what power will he be held by us? A short time ago I devoured a certain dead man called Lazarus, and soon afterwards one of the living drew him up forcibly from my entrails with only a word. And I think it is the one of whom you speak. If, therefore, we receive him here, I fear lest we run the risk of losing the others also. For, behold, I see that all those whom I have devoured from the beginning of the world are disquieted. My belly is in pain. Lazarus who was snatched from me before seems to me no good sign. For not like a dead man, but like an eagle he flew away from me, so quickly did the earth cast him out. Therefore I adjure you by your gifts and mine, do not bring him here. For I believe that he comes here to raise all the dead. And I tell you this: By the darkness which surrounds us, if you bring him here, none of the dead will be left for me.’
5(21). 1. While Satan and Hades were speaking thus to one another, a loud voice like thunder sounded, ‘Lift up your gates, O rulers, and be lifted up, O everlasting doors, and the King of Glory shall come in.’ 48 Psalm 24: 7 . When Hades heard this, he said to Satan, ‘Go out, if you can, and withstand him.’ So Satan went out. Then Hades said to his demons, ‘Secure strongly and firmly the gates of brass and the bars of iron, and hold my bolts, and stand upright and keep watch on everything. For if he comes in, woe will seize us. 2. When the forefathers heard that, they all began to mock him, saying, ‘O all‐devouring and insatiable one, open, that the King of Glory may come in.’ The prophet David said, ‘Do you not know, blind one, that when I lived in the world, I prophesied that word: “Lift up your gates, O rulers”?’ 49 Psalm 24: 7 . Isaiah said, ‘I foresaw this by the Holy Spirit and wrote, “The dead shall arise, and those who are in the tombs shall be raised up, and those who are under the earth shall rejoice. 50 Isa. 26: 19 . O death, where is your sting? O Hades, where is your victory?” ’ 51 1 Cor. 15: 55 . 3. Again the voice sounded, ‘Lift up the gates.’ When Hades heard the voice the second time, he answered as if he did not know it and said, ‘Who is this King of Glory?’ The angels of the Lord said, ‘The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.’ 52 Psalm 24: 8 . And immediately at this answer the gates of brass were broken in pieces and the bars of iron were crushed and all the dead who were bound were loosed from their chains, and we with them. And the King of Glory entered as a man, and all the dark places of Hades were illuminated.
6(22). 1. Hades at once cried out, ‘We are defeated, woe to us. But who are you, who have such authority and power? And who are you, who without sin have come here, you who appear small and can do great things, who are humble and exalted, slave and master, soldier and king, and have authority over both the dead and the living? You were nailed to the cross, and laid in the sepulchre, and now you have become free and have destroyed all our power. Are you Jesus, of whom the chief ruler Satan said to us that through the cross and death you would inherit the whole world?’ 2. Then the King of Glory seized the chief ruler Satan by the head and handed him over to the angels, saying, ‘Bind with irons his hands and his feet and his neck and his mouth.’ Then he gave him to Hades and said, ‘Take him and hold him fast until my second coming.’
7(23). 1. And Hades took Satan and said to him, ‘O Beelzebub, heir of fire and torment, enemy of the saints, through what necessity did you contrive that the King of Glory should be crucified, so that he should come here and strip us naked? Turn and see that not one dead man is left in me, but all that you gained through the tree of knowledge you have lost through the tree of the cross. All your joy is changed into sorrow. You wished to kill the King of Glory, but have killed yourself. For since I have received you to hold you fast, you shall learn by experience what evils I shall do to you. O arch‐devil, the beginning of death, the root of sin, the end of all evil, what evil did you find in Jesus to procure his destruction? How did you dare to commit such great wickedness? How did you study to bring down such a man into this darkness, through whom you have been deprived of all who have died since the beginning?’8(24). 1. While Hades was thus speaking with Satan, the King of Glory stretched out his right hand, and took hold of our forefather Adam and raised him up. Then he turned to the rest and said, ‘Come with me, all you who have died through the tree which this man touched. For behold, I raise you all up again through the tree of the cross.’ With that he sent them all out. And our forefather Adam was seen to be full of joy, and said, ‘I give thanks to your majesty, O Lord, because you have brought me up from the lowest Hades.’ Likewise all the prophets and the saints said, ‘We give you thanks, O Christ, Saviour of the world, because you have brought up our life from destruction’. 2. When they had said this, the Saviour blessed Adam with the sign of the cross on his forehead. And he did this also to the patriarchs and prophets and martyrs and forefathers, and he took them and sprang up out of Hades. And as he went the holy fathers sang praises, following him and saying, ‘Blessed be he who comes in the name of the Lord. 53 Psalm 118:26 . Alleluia. To him be the glory of all the saints.’9(25). 1. Thus he went into paradise holding our forefather Adam by the hand, and he handed him and all the righteous to Michael the archangel. And as they were entering the gate of paradise, two old men met them. The holy fathers asked them, ‘Who are you, who have not seen death nor gone down into Hades, but dwell in paradise with your bodies and souls?’ One of them answered, ‘I am Enoch, who pleased God and was removed here by him. And this is Elijah the Tishbite. We are to live until the end of the world. But then we are to be sent by God to withstand Antichrist and to be killed by him. And after three days we shall rise again and be caught up in clouds to meet the Lord.’10(26). 1. While they were saying this there came another, a humble man, carrying a cross on his shoulder. The holy fathers asked him, ‘Who are you, who have the appearance of a robber, and what is the cross you carry on your shoulder?’ He answered, ‘I was, as you say, a robber and a thief in the world, and therefore the Jews took me and delivered me to the death of the cross together with our Lord Jesus Christ. When he hung on the cross, I saw the wonders which happened and believed in him. And I appealed to him and said, “Lord, when you reign as king, do not forget me.” And immediately he said to me, “Truly, truly, today, I say to you, you shall be with me in paradise.” 54 Luke 23: 43 . So I came into paradise carrying my cross, and found Michael the archangel, and said to him, “Our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified, has sent me here. Lead me, therefore, to the gate of Eden.” And when the flaming sword saw the sign of the cross, it opened to me and I went in. Then the archangel said to me, “Wait a short while. For Adam also, the forefather of the race of men, comes with the righteous, that they also may enter in.” And now that I have seen you, I have come to meet you.’ When the saints heard this, they all cried with a loud voice, ‘Great is our Lord, and great is his power.’11(27). 1. All this we saw and heard, we two brothers who also were sent by Michael the archangel and were appointed to preach the resurrection of the Lord, but first to go to the Jordan and be baptized. We went there and were baptized with other dead who had risen. Then we went to Jerusalem and celebrated the passover of the resurrection. But now we depart, since we cannot remain here. And the love of God the Father and the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 55 2 Cor. 13: 14 .
When they had written this and had sealed the books, they gave half to the chief priests and half to Joseph and Nicodemus. And they immediately vanished. To the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
Christ's Descent into Hell (Latin A)
1(17). 1. And Joseph rose and said to Annas and Caiaphas, ‘It is right and proper that you marvel at hearing that Jesus was seen to ascend into heaven alive from the dead. But what is more marvellous is that he did not rise from the dead alone, but has raised to life many other dead from their tombs, and they have been seen by many in Jerusalem. And hear me now, for we all know the blessed Simeon, the great priest, who in the temple took up the infant Jesus in his arms. Now this Simeon had two sons, full brothers, and we were all present at their falling asleep and at their burial. Go, therefore, and see their tombs for they are open, because they have risen again, and behold, they are in the city of Arimathaea, living together in prayer. And indeed they are heard crying out but speaking with no one, and they are silent as the dead. But come, let us go to them, and bring them back with all honour and gentleness. And if we put them on oath they will perhaps speak to us of the mystery of their resurrection.’
2. And they all rejoiced as they heard these things. And Annas and Caiaphas, Nicodemus and Joseph and Gamaliel, went and did not find them in their sepulchre; but, going to the city of Arimathaea, they found them there spending their time on bended knees in prayer. And they kissed them, and with all respect and fear of God led them to Jerusalem into the synagogue. And when the doors were shut they took up the law of the Lord and placed it in their hands, and adjured them by the God Adonai and the God of Israel who spoke to our fathers through the law and the prophets, saying, ‘Do you believe that it was Jesus who raised you from the dead? Tell us how you rose from the dead.’
3. Hearing this oath, Karinus and Leucius trembled in body, and being troubled in heart, groaned. And together, looking to heaven, they made the sign of the cross with their fingers upon their tongues and immediately spoke together and said, ‘Give to each of us sheets of paper and let us write what we have seen and heard.’ So they gave the paper to them. And they sat down and each wrote as follows:
2(18). 1. Lord Jesus Christ, the Resurrection and the Life, permit us to speak mysteries through your death on the cross for we have been adjured by you. For you have ordered your servants to tell to no man the secrets of your Divine majesty which you did in Hades. Now, when we were placed with all our fathers in the deep, in obscure darkness, suddenly there came a golden heat of the sun and a purple and royal light shining upon us. And immediately the father of all the human race with all the patriarchs and prophets rejoiced and said, ‘That light is the author of everlasting light, who has promised to send to us the co‐eternal light.’ And Isaiah cried out and said, ‘This is the light of the Father, the Son of God, as I foretold when I was living on the earth. The land of Zebulon and the land of Naphthalim beyond Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles, the people who sat in darkness have seen a great light; and they who were in the region of the shadow of death, among them the light shone. And now it has come and shone on us who sit in death.’ 1 Isa. 9: 1 – 2.
2. And when we all rejoiced in the light which shone upon us, our father Simeon came to us and said to us, rejoicing, ‘Glorify the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; for when born I took him up, an infant in my hands in the temple. And being compelled by the holy spirit I confessed to him, saying, “Now my eyes have seen your salvation which you have prepared in the sight of all peoples, a light for revelation of the Gentiles and the glory of your people Israel.’ ” 2 Luke 2: 30 – 2. And, hearing this, all the multitude of the saints rejoiced the more.
3. And after this there came up a man who looked like a dweller in the wilderness and he was asked by all, ‘Who are you?’ And he answered them and said, ‘I am John, the voice and prophet of the Most High, who goes before the face of his coming to prepare his ways, to give knowledge of salvation to his people for the remission of their sins. And seeing him coming to me, compelled by the holy spirit, I said, “Behold the Lamb of God! Behold him who takes away the sins of the world!” 3 John 1: 29 . And I baptized him in the River Jordan and I saw the holy spirit descending upon him in the form of a dove, and I heard a voice from heaven saying, “This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased.” And now I have gone before his face and have come down to announce to you that the risen Son of God is about to visit us, coming from on high to us who are sitting in darkness and the shadow of death.’
3(19). 1. And when the first created man, Father Adam, had heard that Jesus was baptized in Jordan, he cried out to his son Seth, ‘Tell your sons, the patriarchs and prophets, all that you heard from the archangel Michael, when I sent you to the gates of Paradise to pray to God that he would send to you his angel to give you oil from the tree of mercy to anoint my body when I was sick.’ Then Seth, approaching the holy patriarchs and prophets said, ‘When I, Seth, was praying to the Lord at the gates of Paradise, behold, Michael, the angel of the Lord, appeared to me and said, “I am sent to you by the Lord for I am set over the human race. And to you, Seth, I say: Do not labour in praying and entreating with tears for the oil of the tree of mercy to anoint your father Adam for the pain of his body, for you will not be able to receive it except in the last days and times, nor until the five thousand and five hundred years 4 Variant: ‘five thousand, nine hundred, and fifty‐two’. shall have been fulfilled. Then will come upon the earth the most beloved Son of God to raise the body of Adam and the bodies of the dead, and he, when he comes, shall be baptized in Jordan. And when he shall have come out from the water of Jordan, then with the oil of his mercy he will anoint all who believe in him, and that oil of mercy shall be for the generation of those who shall be born of water and the holy spirit to eternal life. Then descending into the earth the most beloved Son of God, Jesus Christ, shall bring our father Adam into paradise to the tree of mercy.’ ” And hearing all these things from Seth, all the patriarchs and prophets rejoiced with great joy.
4(20). 1. And when all the saints were rejoicing, behold, Satan, the prince and leader of death, said to Hades, ‘Prepare yourself to receive Jesus who boasts that he is the Son of God and is a man who fears death and says, “My soul is sorrowful even unto death.” 5 Matt. 26: 38 . And he has withstood me in very many things, doing me evil, and many whom I made blind, lame, deaf, leprous, and demoniacs, he has healed with a word; and those whom I brought to you dead, them has he taken from you.’
2. Hades, answering, said to prince Satan, ‘Who is this man so powerful if he be a man who fears death? For all the powerful people of the earth whom you have brought into subjection by your might are held subject by my power. If, therefore, you are powerful, of what kind is that man Jesus, who, fearing death, resists your power? If he is so powerful in humanity, of a truth I say to you, he is all‐powerful in divinity, and no one can resist his power. And when he says that he fears death he desires to capture you, and woe will be to you for everlasting ages.’ And Satan, prince of Tartarus, answered and said, ‘Why have you doubted and feared to receive that Jesus, your adversary and mine? For I have tempted him and stirred up my ancient people, the Jews, with zeal and wrath against him; I have sharpened a spear to pierce him, I have mingled gall and vinegar to give him drink, and I have prepared a tree to crucify him and thorns to prick him, and his death is close at hand that I may bring him to you, subject to you and me.’
3. Hades, answering, said, ‘You have said to me that it is he himself who has drawn the dead from me. There are many who have been held here by me, who when they lived on the earth took from me the dead, not by their own powers but by prayers to God, and their almighty God drew them from me. Who is this Jesus, who by his own word has drawn the dead from me without prayers? Perhaps it is even he who by the word of his command restored Lazarus to life after he had been four days dead in stench and corruption, when I held him dead.’ Then Satan, prince of death, answered and said, ‘It is that same Jesus.’ And hearing this, Hades said to him, ‘I adjure you by your powers and mine that you do not bring him to me; for when I heard then the command of his word I trembled with fear and dread, and all my servants were confounded together with me. And we could not keep Lazarus; but shaking himself as an eagle with all alacrity and speed he sprang forth from us, and the very earth which held the dead body of Lazarus immediately gave him up alive. So now I know that the man who could do these things is God, powerful in dominion, mighty in humanity, and is the saviour of the human race. And if you bring him to me he will release all who are here shut up in the cruelty of prison and fettered with the unbreakable chains of their sins, and will bring them to the life of his divinity for ever.’
5(21). 1. And while prince Satan and Hades said these things, one to another, there came suddenly a voice as of thunder, and a cry of spirits, ‘Lift up your gates, princes; and be lifted up you everlasting gates, and the King of Glory shall come in.’ 6 Ps. 24: 7 . And hearing this, Hades said to prince Satan, ‘Go away from me and depart from my home. If you are a mighty fighter fight against the King of Glory. But what have you to do with him?’ And Hades cast Satan forth from his realm. And Hades said to his wicked servants, ‘Close the cruel gates of brass, and lay on them the bars of iron, and bravely resist, that we who hold captivity may not be taken captive.’ 7 Reading ‘captevemur’.
2. And all the multitude of the saints, hearing these things, said to Hades, with the voice of reproof, ‘Open your gates, that the King of Glory may come in.’ And David cried out saying, ‘When I was alive on the earth, did I not prophesy to you, “Let them confess to the Lord for his mercies and declare his wonders to the children of men; for he has shattered the gates of brass and broken the bars of iron; he has taken them up from the way of their iniquity”?’ 8 Ps. 107: 16–17 . And after this Isaiah likewise said, ‘When I was alive on the earth, did I not prophesy to you, “The dead shall rise up, and they who are in the tombs shall rise again, and those who are on the earth shall rejoice, for the dew which is from the Lord is their healing”? 9 Isa. 26: 19 . And again I said, “Where, O death, is your sting? Where, O Hades, is your victory?’ ” 10 1 Cor. 15: 55 (or Isa. 25: 8 ?).
3. And when all the saints heard these words from Isaiah, they said to Hades, ‘Open your gates. Now you are conquered and will be weak and powerless.’ And again there came a great voice as of thunder saying, ‘Lift up your gates, princes, and be lifted up, you gates of Hades, and the King of Glory shall come in.’ And Hades, seeing that the voice had twice cried, said as if not knowing, ‘Who is the King of Glory?’ And David answered and said to Hades, ‘I recognize the words of this cry, for I prophesied the same through his spirit. And now, as I said before, I say to you, “It is the Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle, he is the King of Glory.” 11 Ps. 24: 8 . And the Lord himself looked down from heaven on earth to hear the groans of the fettered and to release the sons of the slain. And now, O most vile and filthy Hades, open your gates, that the King of Glory may come in.’ And while David spoke, the Lord of Majesty came upon Hades in the form of man, and lighted up the eternal darkness and broke the indissoluble chains, and the succour of invincible power visited us who were sitting in the deep darkness of trespasses and in the shadow of the death of sins.
6(22). 1. Then Hades and Death and their wicked servants, together with their cruel ministers, seeing this, were stricken with fear at the brightness so great a light revealed in their own dominions as they saw Christ suddenly in their abode and they cried out saying, ‘We are conquered by you. Who are you who brings our master to confusion? 12 Or variant: ‘Who are you who directs your prayer to God for our confusion?’ Who are you who, undestroyed by corruption, with proof of majesty undefiled, condemn with wrath our power? Who are you, so great and so small, so lowly and so high, soldier and commander, wondrous fighter in the form of a servant, and King of Glory, dead and alive, who, when slain, have carried the cross? You, who lay dead in the sepulchre, have descended to us alive; and in your death the whole creation trembled and all the stars were shaken, and now you have become free among the dead and disturb our legions. Who are you who release the prisoners who were held bound by original sin, and recall them to their former freedom? Who are you who shed divine and glorious and illuminating light on those who are blinded by the darkness of sins?’ And in like manner all the legions of demons, terrified with similar fear because of their dreadful overthrow, cried out with one voice saying, ‘Where do you come from, O Jesus, a man so strong and splendid in majesty, so glorious, without spot and clean from sin? For that earthly world which has always been subject to us until now and paid tribute to our profit has never sent to us such a dead man nor dispatched such gifts to the underworld. Who then are you, who have so fearlessly entered our bounds, and have not only no fear of our punishments but attempt in addition to deliver everyone from our chains? Perhaps you are that Jesus of whom our prince Satan said that by your death on the cross you would receive the dominion of the whole world.’
2. Then the King of Glory with his majesty trampled on Death and seizing Satan, its prince, delivered him to the power of Hades and drew Adam to his brightness.
7(23). 1. Then Hades, receiving prince Satan, said to him with great reviling, ‘O prince of perdition and chief of destruction, Beelzebub, derision of angels, contempt of the righteous, why did you wish to do these things? Did you want to crucify the Lord of Glory in whose death you promised us such great spoils? Did you, as a fool, not know what you did? Behold now, this Jesus, with the splendour of his divinity, disperses all the darkness of death and has broken the firm foundations of our prisons, and has sent forth the prisoners and loosed those who were bound; and all who used to groan under our torments insult us, and by their prayers our dominion is stormed and our kingdom conquered, and the human race no longer fears us. And more than this, the dead, who were never proud over us and could not at any time be joyful as prisoners, now boldly threaten us. O prince Satan, father of all impious wretches and apostates, why did you wish to do this? They who from the beginning until now had despaired of salvation and life can no longer be heard howling, neither are their groans heard nor is the trace of tears found on the face of any of them. O prince Satan, possessor of the keys of the underworld, those riches of yours which you acquired by the tree of transgression and the loss of paradise you have now lost by the tree of the cross, and all your joy is perished. When you hanged that Christ Jesus, the King of Glory, you acted against yourself and against me. Henceforth you will know what eternal torments and endless punishments you are to suffer in my everlasting keeping. O prince Satan, author of death and source of all pride, you ought first to have considered the evil case of that Jesus. Why without reason did you dare unjustly to crucify him in whom you knew there to be no fault, and bring to our realm an innocent and righteous man, and release the guilty, wicked and unrighteous of the whole world?’ 2. And after Hades had spoken thus to prince Satan then the King of Glory said to Hades, ‘Prince Satan shall be under your power for everlasting ages in the place of Adam and his sons, my righteous ones.’
8(24). 1. And the Lord, stretching forth his hand, said, ‘Come to me, all you my saints who have my image and my likeness. You who by the tree and the devil and death had been condemned see now how by the tree the devil and death have been condemned.’ And immediately all the saints were gathered together under the hand of the Lord. Then the Lord, holding the right hand of Adam, said to him, ‘Peace be to you with all your sons, my righteous ones.’ But Adam, falling at the knees of the Lord with tearful entreaty, prayed in a loud voice and said, ‘I will exalt you, O Lord because you have taken me up and not made my foes to triumph me. O Lord God, I cried to you, and you, Lord, have healed me. You have brought my soul out of Hades and have saved me from those who go down into the pit. Sing to the Lord, all his saints, and give thanks to the remembrance of his holiness, for there is wrath in his indignation and life in his good pleasure.’ In like manner all the saints of God knelt at the feet of the Lord and said with one voice, ‘You have come, O redeemer of the world. What you foretold by the law and your prophets you have indeed fulfilled. You have redeemed the living by your cross, and by the death of the cross have descended to us that you might deliver us from the underworld and death by your majesty. O Lord, as you have set the name of your glory in heaven and have erected your cross on earth as the token of redemption, so, O Lord, set the sign of the victory of your cross in Hades that death may no more have dominion.’
2. And the Lord, stretching forth his hand, made the sign of the cross on Adam and on all his saints, and holding the right hand of Adam ascended from the underworld, and all the saints followed him. Then holy David cried aloud and said, ‘Sing to the Lord a new song for he has done marvellous things. His right hand and his holy arm have brought salvation. The Lord has made known his salvation and revealed his righteousness in the sight of the nations.’ 13 Ps. 98: 1 – 2. And all the multitude of the saints answered saying, ‘This is glory for all his saints. Amen. Alleluia.’
3. And after this the prophet Habakkuk cried out saying, ‘You went forth for the salvation of your people, to deliver your elect.’ 14 Hab. 3: 13 . And all the saints answered and said, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord. The Lord is God and has shone his light upon us. Amen. Alleluia.’ Likewise after this the prophet Micah cried out saying, ‘Who is a God like you are, O Lord, taking away iniquities, and passing over sins? And now you restrain your anger for a testimony because you are desirous of mercy, and you turn away and have mercy on us, and forgive all our iniquities, and have made all our sins to sink in the multitude of death 15 Perhaps ‘depth of the sea’, reading ‘altitudine maris’ for ‘multitudine mortis’. as you did swear to our fathers in the days of old.’ 16 Mic. 7: 18 – 20. And all the saints answered and said, ‘This is our God for ever and world without end and he will rule us for ever. Amen. Alleluia.’ Thus all the prophets, quoting sacred words from their praises, and all the saints crying, ‘Amen. Alleluia!’ followed the Lord.
9(25). 1. Then the Lord, holding the hand of Adam, delivered him to the archangel Michael, and all the saints followed the archangel Michael, and he brought them all into the glorious grace of paradise. And there met them two men, ancients of days. And they were asked by the saints, ‘Who are you have not yet been dead in the underworld with us and have been placed in paradise in the body?’ One of them answered and said, ‘I am Enoch, who was translated here by the word of the Lord; and he who is with me is Elijah the Tishbite who was taken up in the chariot of fire. Up to this day we have not tasted death but have been waiting for the coming of Antichrist, to do battle with him with divine signs and wonders and, after having been slain by him in Jerusalem, to be again taken up alive in the clouds after three days and a half.’
10(26). 1. And while Enoch and Elijah were speaking with the saints, behold, another man, most wretched, came up, bearing on his shoulders the sign of the cross. And all the saints seeing him said to him, ‘Who are you? Your appearance is that of a robber. And what is the sign that you bear on your shoulders?’ And he answered them and said, ‘You correctly say that I was a robber, doing all evil deeds on the earth. And the Jews crucified me with Jesus, and I saw the miracles which were done to creation by the cross of Jesus crucified, and I believed him to be the creator of all created things, and the King omnipotent, and I prayed to him, saying, “Remember me, O Lord, when you have come into your kingdom.” And he, immediately receiving my prayer, said to me, “Amen, I say to you, this day you shall be with me in paradise.” 17 Luke 23: 43 . And he gave me this sign of the cross saying, “Bearing this, walk into paradise, and if the angel who guards paradise will not permit you to enter show him the sign of the cross and you shall say to him, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, who has now been crucified, has sent me.” And when I had done this I said all this to the angel who guarded paradise. And when he heard this from me immediately he opened the gates and let me in and placed me on the right hand of paradise, saying, “Behold, wait a little and Adam, the father of all the human race, will enter with all his sons, the holy and just, after the triumph and glory of the ascension of Christ, the crucified Lord.’ ” And hearing these words of the robber all the holy patriarchs and prophets said with one voice, ‘Blessed be you, O Lord Almighty, the Father of eternal blessings and Father of mercies, who have given such grace to your sinners and have brought them into the joy of paradise and into your rich pastures; for this is spiritual life most sure. Amen, amen.’
11(27). 1. These are the divine and sacred mysteries which we saw and heard, I, Karinus, and Leucius. The other mysteries of God we are not permitted to tell further, as Michael the archangel adjured us and said, ‘You shall go with your brethren to Jerusalem and continue crying in prayers and glorifying the resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ, who raised you from the dead with himself. And you shall speak with no man, but shall sit dumb until the hour shall come when the Lord himself permits you to relate the mysteries of his divinty.’ And the archangel Michael ordered us to go across Jordan into a rich and fertile spot where are many who rose with us in witness of the resurrection of the Lord Christ. But we who rose from the dead were only permitted three days to keep the passover of the Lord in Jerusalem with our living relatives in witness of the resurrection of Christ the Lord, and we have been baptized in the holy stream of Jordan, each one receiving a white robe. And after three days, having kept the Lord's passover, all who rose with us were carried up in the clouds and brought beyond Jordan, and have not been seen since by any man. But we were told to continue in prayer in the city of Arimathaea.
2. These are the things which the Lord ordered us to relate to you. Give praise and thanks to him, and repent that he may have mercy on you. Peace be to you from the Lord Jesus Christ himself, the Saviour of us all. Amen.
3. And after they had finished writing on separate sheets of paper they rose. And Karinus gave what he had written into the hands of Annas and Caiaphas and Gamaliel; and in like manner Leucius gave what he had written into the hands of Nicodemus and Joseph. And they were suddenly transfigured and became exceeding white, and were seen no more. And their writings were found the same, neither more nor less by a letter.
4. And all the synagogue of the Jews, hearing all these wonderful words of Karinus and Leucius, said to one another, ‘Of a truth all these things were done by the Lord and blessed be the Lord for ever and ever. Amen.’ And they all went out with great anxiety, beating their breasts with fear and trembling, and departed, each to his own home.
5. And immediately Joseph and Nicodemus related to the governor all these things which were said by the Jews in their synagogue. And Pilate himself wrote all things that were done and said by the Jews concerning Jesus, and placed all the words among the public records of his praetorium.
12(28). 1. After this Pilate, having entered the temple of the Jews, gathered together all the chief priests and learned men and scribes and doctors of the law and entered with them into the sanctuary of the temple and ordered that all the gates should be shut, and said to them, ‘We have heard that you have a great library in this temple. I therefore ask you that it be presented before us.’ And when the collection of books, adorned with gold and precious stones, was brought by four servants, Pilate said to all, ‘I adjure you by the God of your fathers, who commanded you to build this temple in the place of his sanctuary, that you do not hide the truth from me. You know all things that are written in this collection of books, so say now if you have found in the Scriptures that this Jesus whom you crucified is the Son of God, who should come for the salvation of the human race, and in how many years' time he ought to come. Show me if you crucified him in ignorance or with knowledge.’
2. Thus sworn, Annas and Caiaphas ordered all the others who were with them to go forth from the sanctuary, and they themselves shut all the gates of the temple and the sanctuary and said to Pilate, ‘We have been adjured by you, O good judge, by the building of this temple, to give a clear and truthful explanation to you. After we crucified Jesus, not knowing that he was the Son of God but thinking that he did miracles by some charm, we held a great synagogue in this temple. And conferring with one another about the signs of the miracles which Jesus had done, we found many witnesses of our race who said that they had seen Jesus alive after the suffering of death, and that he had entered into the height of heaven. And we have seen two witnesses whom Jesus raised from the dead, who have declared to us many wonders which Jesus did among the dead, of which we have a written account in our hands. And it is our custom every year, before our synagogue, to open this sacred collection of books and seek out the testimony of God. And we have found in the first book of the Septuagint, where the archangel Michael spoke to the third son of Adam, the first man, about the five thousand and five hundred years after which Christ, the most dearly beloved Son of God, should come from heaven, and we have, moreover, considered that perhaps he was the God of Israel who said to Moses, “Make the ark of the covenant of two cubits and a half in length, of one cubit and a half in width, and one cubit and a half in height.” 18 Exod. 25: 10 . In these five cubits and a half we have understood and recognized the structure of the ark of the Old Testament, that in five and a half thousands of years Jesus Christ should come in the ark of the body, and we have found that he is the God of Israel, the Son of God. Because after his suffering we, the chief priests, wondering at the signs which were done because of him, opened this collection of books seeking out all the generations up to the generation of Joseph, and reckoning that Mary, the mother of Christ, was of the seed of David; and we have found that from the time when God made heaven and earth and the first man until the flood are two thousand, two hundred, and twelve years; and from the flood until the building of the tower five hundred and thirty‐one years; and from the building of the tower until Abraham, six hundred and six years; and from Abraham until the coming of the children of Israel four hundred and seventy years; from the Exodus of the children of Israel from Egypt to the building of the Temple five hundred and eleven years: and from the building of the Temple to the destruction of the same Temple four hundred and sixty‐four years. Thus far have we found in the book of Ezra. We find, after search, that from the burning of the Temple to the coming of Christ and his birth are six hundred and thirty‐six years. And these together are five thousand and five hundred years, as we find it written in the book that the archangel Michael foretold to Seth, the third son of Adam; so Christ, the Son of God, came in five and a half thousands of years. Until now we have told no one, that there may be no division in our synagogues; but now, O good judge, you have charged us on oath by this sacred collection of books of the testimonies of God and we declare it to you. And we have adjured you by your life and health to make these words known to no one in Jerusalem.’
13(29). 1. Pilate, hearing these words of Annas and Caiaphas, set them all in the acts of the Lord and Saviour in the public records of his praetorium and wrote a letter to Claudius, king of the city of Rome, saying: Here follows the Letter of Pilate to Claudius. See below, pp. 205–6 .
Christ's Descent into Hell (Latin B)
1(17). 1. Then Rabbi Adas, and Rabbi Fineës, and Rabbi Egias, the three men who had come from Galilee testifying that they had seen Jesus taken up into heaven, stood up in the midst of the multitude of the chiefs of the Jews and said before the priests and the Levites, who had been called together to the council of the Lord, ‘When we came from Galilee we met at the Jordan a very great multitude of men, fathers, who had been some time dead. And present among them we saw Karinus and Leucius. And when they came up to us we kissed each other because they were dear friends of ours; and we asked them, “Tell us, friends and brothers, what is this soul and flesh? and who are those with whom you are going? and how is it that you, who have been some time dead, remain in the body?’ ”
2. And they said in answer, ‘We rose with Christ from the underworld and he himself raised us up again from the dead. And from this you may know that the gates of death and darkness have been destroyed, and the souls of the saints have been brought out from there, and have ascended into heaven along with Christ the Lord. And indeed we have been commanded by the Lord himself that for an appointed time we should walk over the banks of Jordan and the mountains; not, however, appearing to all nor speaking to all except to those to whom he has permitted us. And even now we could neither have spoken to you nor be seen by you unless we had been permitted by the Holy Spirit.’
3. And when they heard this all the multitude who were present in the council were struck with fear and trembling, and wondered whether these things had really happened which these Galileans testified. Then Caiaphas and Annas said to the council, ‘What these have testified both before and after must shortly be made absolutely clear. If it is true that Karinus and Leucius remain alive in the body, and if we shall be able to behold them with our own eyes, then what they testify is altogether true; and if we find them they will inform us of everything; but if not, you may know that it is all lies.’
4. Then the council forthwith rose. And it seemed good to them to choose fit men, fearing God, who knew when they died and where they were buried: these would inquire diligently to see whether it was as they had heard. The men therefore proceeded to the same place, fifteen in number, who throughout had been present at their falling asleep, and had stood at their feet when they were buried, and had beheld their tombs. And they came and found their tombs open and very many others besides and found a sign neither of their bones nor of their dust. And they returned in all haste and reported what they had seen.
5. Then all their synagogue was in great grief and perplexity and they said to each other, ‘What shall we do?’ Annas and Caiaphas said, ‘Let us turn to where we have heard that they are, and let us send to them men of rank asking and entreating them: perhaps they will deign to come to us. Then they sent to them Nicodemus and Joseph, and the three Galilean rabbis who had seen them to ask that they should deign to come to them. And they went and walked round all the region of Jordan and the mountains but returned without finding them.
6. And, behold, suddenly there appeared coming down from Mount Amalech a very great number, about twelve thousand men, who had risen with the Lord. And though they recognized very many there they were not able to say anything to them out of fear and the angelic vision; and they stood at a distance gazing at them and listening to them as they marched along singing praises and saying, ‘The Lord has risen again from the dead as he had said; let us all exult and be glad since he reigns for ever.’ Then those who had been sent were astonished and fell to the ground for fear and received the answer from them that they should see Karinus and Leucius in their own houses.
7. And they rose up and went to their houses and found them spending their time in prayer. And going in to them they fell on their faces to the ground, greeting them; and standing up, they said, ‘O friends of God, all the multitude of the Jews have directed us to you, hearing that you have risen from the dead, asking and beseeching you to come to them that we all may know the great things of God which have happened around us in our times.’ And they immediately, at a sign from God, stood up and came with them and entered their synagogue. Then the multitude of the Jews with the priests put the books of the law in their hands and adjured them by the God Heloi and the God Adonai and by the law and the prophets, saying, ‘Tell us how you have risen from the dead, and what are those wonderful things which have happened in our times, such as we have never heard to have happened at any other time; because already for fear all our bones have been benumbed and have dried up and the earth moves itself under our feet: for we have joined all our hearts to shed righteous and holy blood.’
8. Then Karinus and Leucius beckoned to them with their hands to give them a sheet of paper and ink. And this they did because the Holy Spirit did not allow them to speak to them. And they gave each of them paper and put them apart, the one from the other in separate cells. And they made with their fingers the sign of the cross of Christ and began to write on the separate sheets: and after they had finished they cried out as if out of one mouth from the separate cells, ‘Amen.’ And they rose, Karinus giving his paper to Annas, and Leucius to Caiaphas; and, greeting each other, they went out and returned to their sepulchres.
9. Then Annas and Caiaphas, opening the sheets of paper, began each to read it in secret. But all the people took it amiss and so all cried out, ‘Read these writings to us openly; and after they have been read we shall keep them lest perchance this truth of God be turned through wilful blindness, by unclean and deceitful men, into falsehood.’ At this Annas and Caiaphas, filled with trembling, delivered the sheet of paper to Rabbi Adas and Rabbi Fineës and Rabbi Egias, who had come from Galilee and announced that Jesus had been taken up into heaven. All the multitude of the Jews entrusted them to read this writing. And they read the paper containing these words:
2(18). 1. I Karinus. O Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, permit me to speak of your wonders which you have done in the underworld. When we were kept in darkness and the shadow of death in the underworld suddenly there shone upon us a great light, and Hades and the gates of death trembled. And then was heard the voice of the Son of the Father most high as if the voice of a great thunder; and loudly proclaiming, he thus charged them, ‘Lift up your gates, you princes; lift up the everlasting gates; the King of Glory, Christ the Lord, will come up to enter in.’ 1 Ps. 24: 7 .
2. Then Satan, the leader of death, came up, fleeing in terror, saying to his officers and the powers below, ‘My officers and all the powers below, run together, shut your gates, put up the iron bars, and fight bravely, and resist, lest they lay hold of us and keep us captive in chains.’ Then all his impious officers were troubled, and began to shut the gates of death with all diligence, and gradually to fasten the locks and the iron bars, and to hold all their equipment grasped in their hands, and to howl in a dreadful and most hideous voice.
3(19). 1. Then Satan said to Hades, ‘Make yourself ready to receive him whom I shall bring down to you.’ Thereupon Hades replied to Satan, ‘That voice was nothing else than the cry of the Son of the Father most high because the earth and all the places of the world below so trembled under it: wherefore I think that myself and all my dungeons now lie exposed. But I adjure you, Satan, head of all evils, by your power and mine, do not bring him to me lest, when we wish to take him, we be taken captive by him. For if at his voice alone all my power had been thus destroyed what do you think he will do when he shall come in person?’
2. Satan, the leader of death, replied, ‘What are you crying about? Do not be afraid, my old most wicked friend, because I have stirred up the people of the Jews against him; I have told them to strike him with blows on the face and I have brought upon him betrayal by one of his disciples; and he is a man in great fear of death because out of fear he said, “My soul is sorrowful, even unto death”, 2 Matt. 26: 38 and parallel. and I have brought him to this, that he has just been lifted up and hanged on the cross.’
3. Then Hades said to him, ‘If it is he who, by the mere word of his command made Lazarus fly away like an eagle from my bosom when he had already been dead four days, he is not a man in humanity but God in majesty. I entreat you not to bring him to me.’ And Satan said to him, ‘Make yourself ready nevertheless, be not afraid; because he is already hanging on the cross I can do nothing else.’ Then Hades replied to Satan, ‘If, then, you can do nothing else, behold, your destruction is at hand. I, indeed, shall remain cast down and dishonoured; you, however, will be tortured under my power.’
4(20). 1. And the saints of God heard the wrangling of Satan and Hades. They, however, were not as yet recognizing each other but, notwithstanding, did have knowledge. But our holy father Adam replied to Satan, ‘O captain of death, why do you fear and tremble? Behold, the Lord is coming who will now destroy all your inventions; and you shall be taken by him and bound for ever.’
2. Then all the saints, hearing the voice of our father Adam and how boldly he replied to Satan, were strengthened in joy; and all ran together to father Adam and were crowded in one place. Then our father Adam, gazing on all that multitude, wondered greatly whether all in the world were descended from him. And embracing those who were standing everywhere around him and shedding most bitter tears, he addressed his son Seth, saying, ‘Relate, my son Seth, to the holy patriarchs and prophets what the guardian of paradise said to you when I sent you to bring to me that oil of mercy to anoint my body when I was ill.’
3. Then he answered, ‘When you sent me to the gates of paradise I prayed and entreated the Lord with tears and called upon the guardian of paradise to give it me. Then Michael the archangel came out and said to me, “Seth, why are you weeping? Know beforehand that your father Adam will not receive this oil of mercy now but after many generations of time. For the most beloved Son of God will come down from heaven into the world and will be baptized by John in the river Jordan; and then your father Adam shall receive of this oil of mercy and so will all who believe in him. And the kingdom of those who have believed in him will endure for ever.’ ”
5(21). 1. Then all the saints, when they heard this, exulted in joy. And one of those standing there, Isaiah by name, cried out aloud and exclaimed, ‘Father Adam and all standing round, hear my declaration. When I was on earth, by the teaching of the Holy Spirit I sang in prophecy of this light: “The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light; to them dwelling in the region of the shadow of death light has arisen.’ ” 3 Isa. 9: 2 . At these words father Adam and all of them turned and asked him, ‘Who are you? What you say is true.’ And he replied and said, ‘My name is Isaiah.’
2. Then appeared another near him, as if a hermit. And they asked him, saying, ‘Who are you, who wears such things on your body?’ And he straightway answered, ‘I am John the Baptist, voice and prophet of the Most High. I went before the face of the same Lord that I might make the desert and rough places into clear paths. With my finger I pointed out and made manifest the Lamb of the Lord, and Son of God, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I baptized him in the river Jordan. I heard the voice of the Father sounding from heaven over him and proclaiming, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.” 4 Matt. 3: 17 and parallels. I received from him the answer that he would descend to the underworld.’ Then father Adam, hearing this, cried with a loud voice, exclaiming, ‘Alleluia!’ which means ‘The Lord is certainly coming’.
6(22). 1. After that, another standing there, distinguished by a certain royal mark, David by name, cried out and said, ‘When I was upon earth I made a revelation of the mercy of God and his visitation to the people prophesying future joys, saying, “Through all ages, let them make confession to the Lord of his tender mercy and his wonderful works to the sons of men because he has shattered the gates of brass and broken the bars of iron.’ ” 5 Ps. 107: 15–16 . Then the holy patriarchs and prophets began in turn to recognize each other and each to quote his prophecies. Then holy Jeremiah, examining his prophecies, said to the patriarchs and prophets, ‘When I was upon earth I prophesied of the Son of God that he was seen upon earth and conversed with men.’
2. Then all the saints, exulting in the light of the Lord and in the sight of father Adam, and in answer to all the patriarchs and prophets, cried out saying, ‘Alleluia! blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’ As a result of their crying out Satan trembled and sought a way of escape. And he could not, because Hades and his minions kept him bound in the underworld and guarded on all sides. And they said to him, ‘Why do you tremble? By no means will we allow you to go forth. But receive this as you deserve from him whom you daily assailed, and know that, bound by him, you shall be in my custody.’
7(23). 1. And again there came the voice of the Son of the Father most high like great thunder, saying, ‘Lift up your gates, you princes; and be lifted up, you everlasting gates, and the King of Glory will come in.’ Then Satan and Hades cried out saying, ‘Who is the King of Glory?’ And the voice of the Lord answered them, ‘The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.’ 6 Ps. 24: 7–8 .
2. After this voice there came a man who had the appearance of a robber, carrying a cross on his shoulder, crying outside and saying, ‘Open to me, that I may come in.’ And Satan, opening to him a little, brought him inside into his abode and shut the door after him. And all the saints saw him clearly and said to him immediately. ‘Your appearance is that of a robber. Tell us what it is you are carrying on your back.’ And he answered and said humbly, ‘Truly I was a robber, and the Jews hanged me up on a cross, along with my Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father most high. I have come as his herald; he is coming immediately behind me.’
3. Then holy David, inflamed with anger against Satan, cried out aloud, ‘Open your gates, most vile wretch, that the King of Glory may come in.’ In like manner all the saints of God also rose up against Satan and tried to seize him and tear him in pieces. And again the cry was heard within, ‘Lift up your gates, you princes; and be lifted up, you everlasting gates; and the King of Glory shall come in.’ Hades and Satan at that clear voice again asked saying, ‘Who is this King of Glory?’ 7 Ps. 24: 9–10 . And that wonderful voice replied, ‘The Lord of hosts, he is the King of Glory.’
8(24). 1. And behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, everything was exposed. And Satan remained in the midst and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of celestial light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in his hand, bound Satan by the neck; and tying his hands behind him dashed him on his back into Tartarus and set his holy foot on his throat, saying, ‘Through all the ages you have done many evils; you have never rested. Today I deliver you to everlasting fire.’ And having quickly summoned Hades, he commanded him and said, ‘Take this most wicked and impious one and have him in your keeping until that day when I shall command you.’ And when he had received him he went down with him beneath the feet of the Lord into the depth of the abyss.
9(25). 1. Then the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, kind and gentle, greeted Adam and said to him, ‘Peace be to you, Adam, with your children, through immeasurable ages of ages! Amen.’ Then father Adam fell down at the feet of the Lord and then, rising, kissed his hands and shed many tears. And he testified to all, ‘Behold the hands which fashioned me!’ And he said to the Lord, ‘You have come, O King of Glory, delivering men, and bringing them into your everlasting kingdom.’ Then also our mother Eve in like manner fell at the feet of the Lord and, arising, kissed his hands and shed many tears. And she testified to all, ‘Behold the hands which made me!’
2. Then all the saints, worshipping him, cried out saying, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! The Lord God has shone upon us through all ages. Amen. Alleluia for ever and ever! Praise, honour, power, glory, because you have come from on high to visit us.’ Singing Alleluia and rejoicing together in his glory they ran together beneath the hands of the Lord. Then the Saviour, inquiring about all, smote Hades, immediately threw some down into Tartarus and led others with him to the world above.
10(26). 1. Then all the saints of God asked the Lord to leave as a sign of victory the sign of his holy cross in the underworld that its most impious officers might not retain as an offender any one whom the Lord had absolved. And so it was done. And the Lord set his cross in the midst of Hades and it is the sign of victory which will remain to eternity.
Then we all went forth with the Lord, leaving Satan and Hades in Tartarus. And to us and many others it was commanded that we should rise in the body to testify in the world of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ and of those things which had been done in the underworld.
Dearest brethren, these are the things which we have seen and which, adjured by you, we testify. Our testimony is confirmed by him who died for us and rose. As it was written, so has it been done in all respects.
11(27). 1. And when the roll was completely read through, all who heard it fell on their faces, weeping bitterly and relentlessly beating their breasts, crying out and saying repeatedly, ‘Woe to us! Why has this happened to us wretched men?’ Pilate fled; Annas and Caiaphas fled; the priests and Levites fled; also the people of the Jews, weeping, said, ‘Woe to us wretched! we have shed sacred blood upon the earth.’
For three days and three nights they did not taste bread and water at all, nor did any of them return to the synagogue. But on the third day the council was again assembled and the other paper (of Leucius) was read; and there was found in it neither more nor less, not even to a single letter, than that which the writing of Karinus contained. Then the synagogue was perplexed; and they all lamented forty days and forty nights, expecting destruction from God and the vengeance of God. But he, the Most High, grateful and merciful, did not immediately destroy them, generously giving them a means of repentance. But they were not found worthy to turn to the Lord.
These, beloved brethren, are the testimonies of Karinus and Leucius, concerning Christ the Son of God, and his holy deeds in the underworld. To him let us all give praise and glory through immeasurable ages of ages. Amen.
4 Variant: ‘five thousand, nine hundred, and fifty‐two’.
7 Reading ‘captevemur’.
12 Or variant: ‘Who are you who directs your prayer to God for our confusion?’
15 Perhaps ‘depth of the sea’, reading ‘altitudine maris’ for ‘multitudine mortis’.