The Acts of John
Summary of Contents
18 From Miletus to Ephesus.
19–36 First Stay in Ephesus: Lycomedes and Cleopatra raised from the dead by John (19–25). The portrait of John is painted by a friend of Lycomedes (26–9). John's sermon in the theatre prior to a healing of the sick women (absent from the text) (30–6).
Gap. Possibly includes the healing of the women and the story of Andronicus' conversion. The raising of Andronicus and his wife Drusiana is likely to have been included, leading to the sermon given as chs. 87–105 in Bonnet's numeration.
87–105 Discourse on the polymorphous nature of Christ. Hymn of Christ. The revelation of the mystery of the cross.
37–55 End of First Stay in Ephesus: Destruction of the Temple of Artemis and conversion of her followers (37–45). Raising of the priest of Artemis (46–7). Story of the parricide (48–54). Call to Smyrna.
58–61 Return to Ephesus (58–9). The obedient bedbugs (60–1).
62–86, 106–15 Second Stay in Ephesus:
- The history of Drusiana and Callimachus (62–86). Final reunion of John and the brethren. John's last act of worship. Prayers and eucharist. John's death (106–15).
19. When we came near the city Lycomedes, the commander‐in‐chief of the Ephesians, a wealthy man, met us, fell down before John and asked him for help, with these words, ‘Your name is John; the God whom you preach has sent you to help my wife, who has been paralysed for seven days and lies past recovery. But glorify your God and treat her out of compassion for us. Whilst I was reflecting what to do, a man came to me and said, “Desist, Lycomedes, from the evil thought which militates against you. Do not submit. For out of compassion for my servant Cleopatra I have sent you a man from Miletus, named John, who will comfort her and restore her to you cured.” Delay not, therefore, servant of the God who announced you to me, but hasten to the ailing woman.’ And John went at once from the gate with the brethren who were with him, and followed Lycomedes into his house. And Cleobius said to his servants, ‘Go to my relative Callippus and make yourselves comfortable in his house—for I am coming there with his son—that we may find everything prepared!’
20. When Lycomedes and John had come into the house in which the woman was lying, he grasped his feet again, and said, ‘See, Lord, the lost beauty, see the youth, see the much talked of bloom of my unhappy wife, the admiration of all Ephesus! Woe to me, unhappy man! I was envied, humbled, the enemy's eye was fixed on me. I never wronged anyone, although I could harm many. I envisaged this situation and I was always anxious to experience no sorrow or anything like it! Of what use is my care now, Cleopatra? What good was it to me, that I was called godly to this day? I suffer more than a heathen, seeing you, Cleopatra, suffering so. The sun in his circuit shall not see me, if you are no more with me. Cleopatra, I will die before you. I will not spare my life though I am still youthful. I will justify myself before the goddess of right, whom I served in righteousness, though I might indict her for her unrighteous sentence. I will avenge myself on her by coming as a shade. I will say to her, ‘You have forced me to leave the light of life, because you tore away Cleopatra. You are the cause of my death, by having prepared for me this fate. You have forced me to blaspheme Providence by destroying my joy.’
21. And Lycomedes spoke more to Cleopatra, went to her couch, and cried bitterly. But John drew him away and said, ‘Abandon these tears and unbecoming words! It is not proper for you, who saw the vision, to be disbelieving. Know that your partner for life will be restored to you. Therefore join us, who have come for her sake, and pray to the God whom you saw, when he showed me to you in a vision! What is the matter, Lycomedes? Wake up and open also your soul! Cast from you heavy sleep! Call on the Lord, beseech him for your wife, and he will support her.’ But he fell to the ground and wept dejectedly. And John said with tears, ‘Woe to the treachery of the vision, woe to the new temptation prepared for me, woe to the new craft of him who devises cunnings against me! Did the voice from heaven, which came to me by the way, intend this for me, predicting to me what should here take place? Will it deliver me up to such a great multitude of citizens, for the sake of Lycomedes? The man lies here lifeless, and I know that I shall not leave this house alive. Why do you delay, Lord? Why have you deprived us of your gracious promise? I beseech you, Lord, let not him rejoice who delights in the sorrow of others. Let him not dance who always laughs at us! But let your holy name and your compassion come quickly! Waken the bodies of the two, who are against me!’
22. While John was crying, the city of Ephesus ran to the house of Lycomedes, supposing him dead. And when John saw the great multitude, he prayed to the Lord, ‘Now the time of refreshing 1 Cf. Acts 3: 19 . and confidence has come with you, O Christ; now is the time for us weary ones to have help from you, physician, who heal freely. Keep my entrance here free from derision! I beseech you, Jesus, help such a great multitude to come to the Lord of the universe. Behold the affliction, behold those who lie here! Even those who came here, make holy instruments for your service, after they have seen your gift. For you have said yourself, O Christ, “Ask and it shall be given you.” 2 Matt. 7: 7 and parallel. We therefore beseech you, O King, not for gold, not for silver, not for riches, not for possession, nor for any transient, earthly goods, but for two souls through whom you will convert those present to your way, to your knowledge, to your confidence and to your infallible promise. For many of them shall be saved, after they have known your power through the resurrection of the departed. Give us, therefore, hope in you! I will go to Cleopatra and say, “Arise, in the name of Jesus Christ.” ’
23. And he went, touched her face, and said, ‘Cleopatra, he whom every ruler fears, and every creature, power, abyss, and darkness and unsmiling death and the heights of heaven and the caverns of the lower world and the resurrection of the dead and the sight of the blind and the whole power of the ruler of the world, and the pride of its prince, says, “Rise and become not a pretext for many who will not believe, and an affliction for souls who hope and could be saved.” ’ And Cleopatra cried out at once, ‘I will rise, master, save your handmaiden!’ When she had risen after the seven days, the whole city of Ephesus was stirred by the miraculous sight. And Cleopatra asked for her husband Lycomedes. John answered, ‘Cleopatra, if you have a steadfast and firm soul, you shall immediately see your husband beside you, provided you do not become excited and confounded by what took place, but believe in my God, who through me will give him to you alive. Follow me into another room, and you shall see him dead but he will rise up by the power of my God.’
24. And Cleopatra followed John into her room, and saw Lycomedes dead because of her. Her voice failed, she gnashed her teeth, bit her tongue, closed her eyes, and began to weep. And she looked silently at the apostle. And John felt sorry for Cleopatra and, seeing that she became neither distraught nor excited, he called upon the perfect mercy free from arrogance, saying, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, you see this self‐control; you see that she imposes restraint on herself; you see how Cleopatra's soul cries in silence. For she hides within herself insufferable grief. And I know that she will die yet because of Lycomedes.’ And in a low voice she said to John, ‘This I have in my mind, master, and nothing else.’ And the apostle went to the couch, on which Lycomedes lay, seized the hand of Cleopatra, and said, ‘Cleopatra, because of the people who stand by and because of your relatives who have come, call to your husband, “Arise, and glorify God's name, because he gives the dead to the dead!” ’ And she went and spoke to her husband as she was told, and immediately she raised him. Having risen, he fell down and kissed the feet of John. And he lifted him up and said, ‘Man, kiss not my feet, but God's, by whose power both of you have risen!’
25. And Lycomedes said to John, ‘I beseech and adjure you by the God in whose name you have revived us, stay with us, both you and your companions.’ Likewise Cleopatra grasped his feet and said the same. And John answered, ‘To‐morrow I will be with you.’ And they said again to him, ‘We have no hope in your God, but would be revived in vain, if you did not stay with us.’ And Cleobius, Aristodemus, and Demonicus, grieved to the very heart, said to John, ‘Let us abide with them, that they remain unsullied before the Lord!’ So he remained there with the brethren.
26. And a great multitude gathered together because of John. And while he was preaching to those present, Lycomedes, who had a talented painter as friend, ran to him and said, ‘You see that I have come to you. Come quickly to my house, and paint the man whom I shall point out, without his perceiving it.’ And the painter gave the necessary instruments and colours to some one, and said to Lycomedes, ‘Point him out to me, and have no worry for the rest!’ And Lycomedes pointed out John to the painter, and brought him into a room close by, from which the apostle of Christ could be seen. And Lycomedes remained with the blessed man, united in faith and in the knowledge of our God; but rejoiced still more that he was to have him in a portrait.
27. On the first day the painter made the outline and left; on the following day he completed the picture and gave it to Lycomedes, who rejoiced. He took it, put it in his bedchamber, and put garlands on it. And John, who saw it much later said to him, ‘My beloved child, what are you doing when upon leaving the bath you go alone into your bedchamber? Am I not to pray with you and the other brethren? Or are you hiding something from us?’ Saying this and jesting, he entered the room with him. And he saw the crowned picture of an old man, and candlesticks and an altar before it. And he said to him, ‘Lycomedes, what does this picture mean to you? Is it a picture of one of your gods? I see that you are still living like a heathen!’ Lycomedes replied, ‘He alone is my God who has revived me and my wife from the dead. But if one is permitted next to God to call those gods who are our benefactors, then it is you, father, who are painted in the picture, whom I crown, love, and worship as having become my good guide.’
28. And John who had never yet seen his own face, said to him, ‘You mock me, child. Do I look like this? By your Lord, how will you convince me that the picture is like me?’ And Lycomedes brought a mirror. And when John saw himself in the mirror, he said ‘As the Lord Jesus Christ lives, the picture resembles me, child, but is not like me, only like the image of my body. For if that painter, who copied my face in the picture, will paint me, he would now lack the colours given to you as well as tables and opportunity (?) and access (?) and carriage and form and age and youth and everything visible. 3 Text obscure.
29. ‘But, Lycomedes, you must be a good painter to me. You have colours, which Jesus gives you through me, who paints us all for himself, who knows the shape and form and gesture and disposition and image of our souls. And the colours which I bid you use are: belief in God, knowledge, fear of God, love, fellowship, meekness, goodness, brotherly love, chastity, integrity, firmness, fearlessness, cheerfulness, honesty. And the whole range of colours, which represents your soul in the picture, and already supports your prostrated members which rose, appeased, delivered from plagues, heals your wounds, arranges your entangled hair, washes your face, trains your eyes, purifies your heart, empties your stomach, and mutilates your abdomen. In short, if all such colours are combined and mixed in your soul, they will make it bold, intrepid, and firm, and bring it to our Lord Jesus Christ. But what you have done now is childish and imperfect: you have painted the dead picture of what is dead.’
30. And he ordered brother Verus, who ministered to him, to bring all the old women in the whole of Ephesus, whilst he himself and Cleopatra and Lycomedes made the necessary preparations to care for them. And Verus came and told John, ‘Of the more than sixty old women who live here, I found only four in a healthy state; of the rest some are paralysed and some otherwise sick.’ When John heard it, he remained silent for some time, rubbed his face, and said, ‘Oh, the indolence of those who dwell in Ephesus! Oh, the despair and weakness in the faith in God! Oh, devil who mocked all this time at the believers in Ephesus! Jesus, who gives me grace and the gift to trust in him, speaks quietly to me now, “Have the sick women brought, come with them to the theatre, and heal them through me! For of those who will come to this spectacle are some which I will convert by such cures, that they may be of some use.” ’
31. When all the people had met at Lycomedes' house on account of John, he dismissed them, saying, ‘All of you who wish to know the power of God, come to the theatre tomorrow!’ On the following day, while it was still dark, the people ran to the theatre. The proconsul also went there and sat among the people. A captain, Andronicus, at that time one of the most prominent Ephesians, said, ‘John has promised impossible and incredible things. But if he can really do what I hear he boasts about let him come to the theatre naked, without holding anything in his hands; let him not pronounce that magic name which I heard him name!’
32. Upon hearing this and moved by these words, John had the old women brought to the theatre. When they were brought there on couches, some asleep, and after the whole city had gathered, a great silence ensued and John opened his mouth and spoke thus:
33. ‘Men of Ephesus, first know why I visit your city . . . or what is my confidence towards you, which is so strong that it even became known to this assembly, to all of you. I have not been sent with a human message, nor a hopeless journey. I am no merchant who buys or exchanges goods; but Jesus Christ, of whom I preach, will, in his mercy and goodness, convert you all through me and deliver you from your error, who are domineered by unbelief and are sold into ignominious lusts. By his power I will also confound your captain in his unbelief by raising up those who are before us, whose external condition and diseases are visible to you all. And this I cannot do if they perish; so they shall be healed.
34. ‘There is, however, one thing first which I would implant into your ear: I have come to you to care for your souls, so that you do not think that this time will last to all eternity, which is rather a time of bondage, and that you do not lay up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where everything withers away. Do not think, if you have children, to rest on them, and do not seek to rob and defraud on their account! Do not mourn, you who are poor, if you cannot serve your desires! For even those who are rich call you happy when they are sick. And you who are rich, rejoice not because you have treasures! For their possession causes you unlimited sorrow, if you lose them. And again, when you have them, you must be afraid that some one might kill you because of them.
35. ‘And you who are proud of bodily beauty, and give haughty looks, you will see the end of the promise only when you come to the grave. You who delight in adultery, know that law and nature revenge themselves on you, and above all the conscience! And you, adulteress, who trespassed against the law, you do not know where you will end up. If you kept your treasures without helping the poor, having left this body and being in the flames of the fire, you will find no one who will have mercy on you when you are begging for mercy. You who are hot‐tempered and raging, know that you live like brutes. You drunkard and brawler, realize that you lose your senses by serving a vile, filthy passion!
36. ‘You who have pleasure in gold and ivory and precious stones, do you see the things you love when the night has set in? You who indulge in soft raiment and depart this life, will these help you in the place you go to? Let the murderer know that the merited punishment is double in the time after he goes from here! In like manner the poisoner, sorcerer, robber, defrauder, sodomite, thief, and all who belong to that band, accompanied by your works you shall go into the fire that never shall be quenched, to utter darkness, to the pit of torture, and to external damnation. Therefore, men of Ephesus, repent; understand also that kings, rulers, tyrants, boasters, warmongers depart naked from this world, to suffer pain in everlasting torments!’
Having thus spoken, John healed all their diseases by the power of God . . . 4 This summary sentence, often numbered as the beginning of ch. 37, must be an abridgement of a much longer narration. The manuscript does not indicate a break, but much text has been lost: this is likely to have included the conversion of Drusiana and Andronicus.
87. 5 Chs. 37–86 follow 87–105. . . . Then those who were present inquired about the cause, and were especially perplexed because Drusiana had said, ‘The Lord appeared to me in the tomb in the form of John and of a youth.’ And as they were perplexed and in some ways were not yet confirmed in the faith, John said with patience:
88. ‘Men and brethren, you have suffered nothing that is strange or incredible in your perception of the Lord, inasmuch as we also, whom he chose for himself as apostles, were tried in many ways. I, indeed, am able neither to set forth to you nor to write the things which I saw and heard. Now I must adapt them to your hearing; and in accordance with everyone's capabilities I will communicate to you those things whereof you are able to become hearers, that you may see the glory that surrounds him who was and is both now and for ever.
‘For when he had chosen Peter and Andrew, who were brothers, he came to me and to my brother James, saying, “I have need of you, come unto me.” And my brother said, “John, this child on the shore who called to us, what does he want?” And I said, “What child?” He replied, “The one who is beckoning to us.” And I answered, “Because of our long watch that we kept at sea you are not seeing straight, brother James: but do you not see the man who stands there, fair and comely and of a cheerful countenance?” But he said to me, “Him I do not see, brother; but let us go and we shall see what it means.” And so when we had landed the ship, we saw him helping us to beach the ship.
89. ‘And when we left the place, wishing to follow him again, he again appeared to me, bald‐headed but with a thick and flowing beard; but to James he appeared as a youth whose beard was just starting. We were perplexed, both of us, as to the meaning of what we had seen. But when we followed him, we both became gradually more perplexed as we thought on the matter. Yet to me there appeared a still more wonderful sight; for I tried to see him as he was, and I never at any time saw his eyes closing but only open. And sometimes he appeared to me as a small man and unattractive, and then again as one reaching to heaven. Also there was in him another marvel; when I sat at table he would take me upon his breast and I held him; and sometimes his breast felt to me to be smooth and tender, and sometimes hard, like stone, so that I was perplexed in myself and said, “What does this mean?” And when I was thinking of these things . . . . 6 Gap in text.
90. ‘At another time he took me and James and Peter to the mountain, where he used to pray, and we beheld such a light on him that it is not possible for a man who uses mortal speech to describe what it was like. Again in a similar way he led us three up to the mountain saying, “Come with me.” And we went again and saw him at a distance praying. Now I, because he loved me, went to him quietly as though he should not see, and stood looking upon his back. And I saw that he was not dressed in garments, but was seen by us as naked and not at all like a man; his feet were whiter than snow, so that the ground there was lit up by his feet, and his head reached to heaven; so that I was afraid and cried out, and he turned and appeared as a man of small stature, and took hold of my beard and pulled it and said to me, “John, be not unbelieving, but believing, and not inquisitive.” And I said to him, “What have I done, Lord?” And I tell you brethren, I suffered such pain for thirty days at the place where he took hold of my beard, that I said unto him, “Lord, if your playful tug has given me so much pain, what if you had given me a beating?” And he said to me, “Let it be your concern from henceforth not to tempt him who is not to be tempted.”
91. ‘But Peter and James were angry because I spoke with the Lord and beckoned me to come to them and leave the Lord alone. And I went, and they both said to me, “Who was speaking to the Lord when he was on top of the mountain, for we heard both of them speaking?” And I, when I considered his great grace and his unity which has many faces, and his wisdom which without ceasing looked upon us, said, “This you shall learn if you ask him.”
92. ‘Again when all of us disciples were once sleeping in a house at Gennesaret, after wrapping myself up I watched what he did, and first I heard him say, “John, go to sleep.” And thereupon I feigned to be asleep; and I saw another like him whom I also heard saying to my Lord, “Jesus, those whom you have chosen still do not believe in you.” And my Lord said to him, “You are right, for they are men.”
93. ‘Another glory I will tell you, brethren. Sometimes when I meant to touch him, I met a material and solid body; and at other times again when I felt him, the substance was immaterial and bodiless and as if it were not existing at all. Now, if at any time he were invited by one of the Pharisees and went where he was invited, we went with him. And there was set before each one of us a loaf of bread by our host, and he also received a loaf. And he would bless his own and divide it amongst us; and from that little piece each of us was filled, and our own loaves were saved intact, so that those who had invited him were amazed. And often when I was walking with him I wished to see whether the print of his foot appeared upon the earth—for I saw him raising himself from the earth—but I never saw it. Now, these things, dear brethren, I speak to you to encourage you in your faith towards him, for we must at the present keep silent about his mighty and wonderful works, inasmuch as they are mysteries and doubtless cannot be uttered or heard.
94. ‘Now, before he was arrested by the lawless Jews, who received their law from a lawless serpent, he gathered us all together and said, “Before I am delivered up to them, let us sing a hymn to the Father, and go forth to what lies before us.” So he commanded us to make a circle, holding one another's hands, and he himself stood in the middle. He said, “Respond Amen to me.” He then began to sing a hymn, and to say:
“Glory be to you, Father!” And we circling him said, “Amen”. “Glory be to you, Word! Glory be to you, Grace!” “Amen.” “Glory be to you, Spirit! Glory be to you, Holy One! Glory be to the glory!” “Amen.” “We praise you, O Father. We give thanks to you, light, in whom darkness does not abide.” “Amen.”
95. “Now we give thanks, I say:
I will be saved, and I will save.” “Amen.” “I will be loosed, and I will loose.” “Amen.” “I will be pierced, and I will pierce.” “Amen.” “I will be born, and I will bear.” “Amen.” “I will eat, and I will be eaten.” “Amen.” “I will hear, and I will be heard.” “Amen.” “I will be understood, being wholly understanding.” “Amen.” “I will be washed, and I will wash.” “Amen.”
Grace Is Dancing.
“I will pipe, dance all of you!” “Amen.” “I will mourn, lament all of you!” “Amen.” “An Ogdoad 7 i.e. the eightfold power. is singing with us.” “Amen.” “The Twelfth number is dancing above.” “Amen.” “The whole universe takes part in the dancing.” “Amen.” “He who does not dance, does not know what is being done.” “Amen.” “I will flee and I will stay.” “Amen.” “I will adorn, and I will be adorned.” “Amen.” “I will be united, and I will unite.” “Amen.” “I have no house, and I have houses.” “Amen.” “I have no place, and I have places.” “Amen.” “I have no temple, and I have temples.” “Amen.” “I am a lamp to you who see me.” “Amen.” “I am a mirror to you who perceive.” “Amen.” “I am a door to you who knock on me.” “Amen.” “I am a way to you, wayfarer.” “Amen.”
96. “ ‘Now if you respond to my dancing, see yourself in me who speak; and when you have seen what I do, keep silence about my mysteries! You who dance, perceive what I do; for yours is this passion of mankind which I am to suffer! For you could not at all have comprehended what you suffer if I had not been sent to you as the Word by the Father. When you saw what I suffer, you have seen me as one suffering; and seeing that, you have not stood firm but were wholly moved. Moved to become wise, you have me for a support. Rest upon me! Who am I? You shall know when I go away. What I am now seen to be, that I am not. You shall see when you come. If you knew how to suffer, you would have had the power not to suffer. Learn suffering, and you shall have the power not to suffer. That which you do not know, I will teach you. I am your God, not that of the betrayer. I will that there be prepared holy souls for me. Know the word of wisdom! Say again with me:
Glory be to you, Father; glory be to you, Word; Glory be to you, Holy Ghost!Now concerning me, if you would know what I was: with a word I once deceived all things, and was not put to shame at all. I have leaped; but understand the whole, and having understood it say, “Glory be to you, Father!” “Amen.” 8 Fragments of this hymn (chs. 95–6 cited in Augustine, ep. 237, are (Goldbacher's page and line): I will save, and I will be saved. (530. 17) I will loose, and I will be loosed. (529. 3 and 29) I will be born. (531. 4) I will sing, dance all of you. (531. 7 and 9) I will lament, beat you all yourselves. (531. 12) I will adorn, and I will be adorned. (531. 13f.) I am a lamp to you who see me. (531. 18) I am a door to you who knock on me. (531. 20f) You who see what I do, keep silence about my works. (531. 26) By the Word I mocked at all things, and I was not mocked at all. (532. 17f.)
97. ‘After this dance, my beloved, the Lord went out; and we were as men gone astray or dazed with sleep, and we fled all ways. Even I, when I saw him suffer, did not abide at his passion but fled to the Mount of Olives, weeping over what had taken place. And when he was hung upon the cross on Friday, at the sixth hour of the day, there came darkness over all the earth. And my Lord stood in the middle of the cave and lit it up, and said, “John, to the multitude down below in Jerusalem I am being crucified, and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But to you I am speaking, and pay attention to what I say. I put it into your mind to come up to this mountain, so that you might hear matters needful for a disciple to learn from his teacher, and for a man to learn from his God.”
98. ‘And having said this, he showed me a cross of light set up, and around the cross a great multitude which had no one form; and in the cross was one form and one likeness. And the Lord himself I beheld above the cross, not having a shape, but only a voice, and a voice not such as was familiar to us, but a sweet and kind voice and one truly divine, and it said to me, “It is necessary that one man should hear these things from me, O John, for I have need of someone who will hear. This cross of light is sometimes called the Word by me for your sakes, sometimes Mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes Door, sometimes Way, sometimes Bread, sometimes Seed, sometimes Resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes Life, sometimes Truth, sometimes Faith, sometimes Grace. Thus it is called for man's sake. But in truth, as known in itself and as spoken to us, it is the marking off of all things and the uplifting and foundation of those things that are fixed but had been unstable, and the harmony of the wisdom and indeed the wisdom of the harmony. But there are on the right and on the left, powers, principalities, dominions and demons, operations, threatenings, wrath, devils, Satan and the inferior root, from which the nature of the transient things proceeded.
99. “ ‘This, then, is the cross which has united all things by the Word, and marked off things transient and inferior, and then compacted all into one. But this is not the cross of wood which you will see when you go down here, neither am I he who is upon the cross, whom now you do not see, but only hear a voice. I was reckoned to be what I am not, not being what I was to many others; but they will call me something else, which is vile and not worthy of me. Therefore, just as the place of rest is neither seen nor spoken of, much less shall I, the Lord of this place, be seen or spoken of.
100. “ ‘Now the multitude about the cross which is the lower nature is not of one form; and those whom you see in the cross, do not have one form. That is because every member of him who came down has not yet been gathered together. But when the nature of man shall be taken up, and the race which comes to me in obedience to my voice, then he who now hears me shall be united with it and shall no longer be what it now is, but shall be above them, as I am now. For as long as you do not call yourself mine, I am not that which I was. But if you hear and hearken to me, then you shall be as I am, and shall be what I was, when I have you with myself. For from this you are. 9 Text obscure. Therefore, ignore the many, and despise those who are outside the mystery! Know that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me.
101. “ ‘Therefore I have suffered none of the things which they will say of me: that suffering which I showed to you and to the rest in dance, I wish it to be called a mystery. For what you are, you see that I showed you; but what I am, that I alone know, and no one else. Let me, therefore, keep that which is my own, and that which is yours you must see through me. As for seeing me as I am in reality, I have told you this is impossible unless you are able to see me as my kinsman. You hear that I suffered, yet I suffered not; that I suffered not, yet I did suffer; that I was pierced, yet was I not wounded; hanged, and I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, yet it did not flow; and, in a word, those things that they say of me I did not endure, and the things that they do not say those I suffered. Now what they are I will reveal to you for I know you will understand. Perceive in me the slaying of the Logos, the piercing of the Logos, the blood of the Logos, the wounding of the Logos, the hanging of the Logos, the passion of the Logos, the nailing of the Logos, the death of the Logos. And thus I speak, discarding manhood. Therefore, in the first place think of the Logos, then you shall perceive the Lord, and thirdly the man, and what he has suffered”.
102. ‘When he had spoken to me these things and others which I know not how to say as he would have me, he was taken up, without any of the multitude having seen him. And when I went down, I laughed them all to scorn, inasmuch as he had told me the things which they said about him; and I held firmly this one thing in my mind, that the Lord contrived all things symbolically and as a dispensation toward men, for their conversion and salvation.
103. ‘Therefore, brethren, having seen the grace of the Lord and his affection toward us, let us worship him as those to whom he has shown mercy, not with our fingers, nor with our mouths, nor with the tongue, nor with any part of our body whatsoever, but with the disposition of our soul: let us worship him, who became man apart from this body. And let us watch because he keeps watch even now over prisons for our sakes, and in tombs, in bonds and dungeons, in shame and reproaches, by sea and land, at scourgings, condemnations, conspiracies, plots, punishments, and, in a word, he is with all of us, and suffers with us when we suffer, brethren. When he is called by any one of us he does not allow himself to shut his ears to us, but being everywhere he hearkens to all of us, and just now has hearkened to both me and Drusiana—as he is the God of those who are imprisoned—bringing help to us by his own compassion.
104. ‘You therefore must also be persuaded, beloved, that it is no man that I preach to you to worship, but God unchangeable, God invincible, God higher than all authority, and all power, and older and mightier than all the angles and creatures that are spoken of, and all ages. If then you abide in him, and are built up in him, you shall possess your soul indestructible.’
105. And when he had delivered these things to the brethren, John departed with Andronicus to walk; and Drusiana also followed afar off together with all, that they might behold the acts that were done and at all times hear his word in the Lord . . . 10 MS C adds ‘now, always and for eternity, Amen’. Several episodes are missing at this point.
37. And the brethren from Miletus said to John, ‘We have remained a long time at Ephesus. If you agree, let us go to Smyrna. For we already hear that the wonderful works of God have been heard of there.’ And Andronicus said, ‘If it pleases the master, then let us go!’ John said, ‘First let us go to the temple of Artemis! For if we are seen there we shall be able to find ministers of the Lord.’
38. After two days the birthday of the idol's temple was celebrated. While everybody was dressed in white garments, John wore black and went to the temple. They laid hold of him and tried to kill him. But John said, ‘Men, you are mad to lay hold of me, the servant of the only God.’ And climbing on to the platform he spoke to them:
39. ‘Men of Ephesus, you are in danger of behaving like the sea. Every discharging river and every precipitating spring, downpours and incessant waves and torrents rushing from the rock, are permeated by the bitter salt which is in the sea. Thus to this day you are unchangeably hostile to true piety, and you perish in your old idolatry. How many miraculous deeds did you see me perform, how many cures! And still you are hardened in the heart and cannot see clearly. What now, men of Ephesus? I have ventured now to come up to this idol's temple, to convince you that you are wholly without God and dead to human reasoning. Behold, here I stand. You all assert that Artemis is powerful. Pray to her, that I alone die! Or if you cannot accomplish this, I alone will call upon my God to kill you all because of your unbelief.’
40. Since they already knew him and had seen the dead raised, they cried aloud, ‘Do not treat us so and kill us, we beseech you, John; we know indeed that you can do it.’ And John answered them, ‘If you do not wish to die, let me convince you of your idolatry. And why? So that you may desist from your old error. Be now converted by my God or I will die at the hands of your goddess. For I will pray in your presence to my God, and ask him to have mercy upon you.’
41. After these words he prayed, ‘God, who are God above all so‐called gods, who to this day have been despised at Ephesus, you induced me to come to this place, which I never had in view. You have abrogated every form of worship through conversion to you. In your name every idol, every demon, and every unclean spirit is banished. May the deity of this place, which has deceived so many, now also give way to your name, and thus show your mercy on this place! For they walk in error.’
42. And with these words of John the altar of Artemis suddenly split into many parts, and the oblations put up in the temple suddenly fell to the ground, and its glory 11 Text obscure. Junod and Kaestli, p. 222, conjecture ‘arch’ from Greek ‘toxon’ instead of ‘doxon’ (‘glory’). broke, and so did more than seven of the idols. And half of the temple fell down, so that when the roof came down, the priest also was killed at one stroke. And the people of the Ephesians cried, ‘There is only one God, that of John, only one God who has compassion for us; for you alone are God; now we have become converted, since we saw your miraculous deeds. Have mercy upon us, God, according to your will, and deliver us from our great error.’ And some of them lay on their faces and cried; others bent their knees and prayed; others rent their garments and lamented; still others tried to escape.
43. And John stretched out his hands and prayed with uplifted soul to the Lord, ‘Glory be to you, my Jesus, the only God of truth, who procure your servants in manifold ways!’ And after these words he said to the people, ‘Rise up from the ground, men of Ephesus, pray to my God, and know how his invisible power was made manifest and his miraculous deeds took place before your eyes! Artemis herself should have helped. Her servant should have received help from her and not have died. Where is the power of the deity? Where are the sacrifices? Where the birthday? Where the festivals? Where the garlands? Where the great enchantment and the poison allied to it?’
44. And the people rose up from the ground and made haste to destroy the remainder of the temple, crying, ‘We know that the God of John is the only one, and henceforth we worship him, since we have obtained mercy from him.’ And as John came down, many of the people touched him, saying, ‘Help us, John, help us who die in vain! You see our intention; you see how the multitude following you cleaves to hope in your God. We have seen the way in which we have gone astray when we were lost. We have seen that our gods were erected in vain. We have seen their great and disgraceful derision. But give us, we beseech you, help without hindrance, when we have come to your house! Receive us, who are desperate!’
45. John answered them, ‘Men, believe that it was for your sakes that I remained at Ephesus, although I was anxious to go to Smyrna and the other cities, so that the people there may become converted to him as servants of Christ. But when I was about to leave and my mind was not yet completely at ease about you, I remained praying to my God and asked him that I should leave Ephesus only after I had strengthened you. Since I see that this is done, and is increasing, I shall not leave until I have weaned you like children from the milk of the nurse, and have set you upon a firm rock.’
46. So John remained with them, and received them in the house of Andronicus. And one of those gathered there placed the body of the priest of Artemis before the gate, for he was a relative, and quickly came in with the others without saying anything to anyone. After John's homily to the brethren, prayer and eucharist, and the laying on of hands on each person assembled, he said, moved by the Spirit, ‘There is present someone, brought here through faith in God, who has laid the priest of Artemis before the gate and come in, because in the desire of his soul he placed the care for his soul first, reasoning thus within himself, “It is better to care for the living than for the body of my relative. For I know that by turning to the Lord and saving my own soul John will not refuse to raise the dead.” ’ And John rose from his place and went to the place where the relative of the priest who had had these thoughts was standing, and taking him by the hand he said, ‘Were these not your thoughts, as you came to me, child?’ And he answered tremblingly, ‘Yes, lord!’, and fell down at his feet. And John said, ‘Our Lord is Jesus Christ, who will prove his power on the body of your relative by raising him.’
47. And lifting up the young man, he took him by the hand, and said, ‘It is not a great task for a man who is lord over great mysteries to bother himself with small things. Or is it important to drive away bodily diseases?’ And still holding the young man by the hand he said, ‘I say to you, son, go, and raise the dead man yourself without saying anything else but this: “The servant of God, John, says to you, Arise!” ’ And the young man went to his relative and said in the presence of many people these words only, and then returned to John bringing him in alive. When he saw him who had been raised, he said, ‘You have been raised and are indeed not really living, and are not partaker and heir of the true life. Will you belong to him by whose name and power you have been raised? Believe now and you shall live in all eternity.’ He immediately believed in the Lord Jesus and followed John.
48. On the following day, having seen in a vision that he was to walk three miles outside the gates, John did not hesitate, but rose early in the morning, and went with the brethren. And a young farmer, having been admonished by his father not to take to himself the wife of his fellow labourer, as the other threatened to kill him, was offended at his father's warning, and suddenly killed him. 12 Variant: ‘kicked him and left him speechless’. When John had perceived what had taken place, he said to the Lord, ‘Lord, was it because of this that you told me to come here to‐day?’
49. When the young man saw the hasty death, he was afraid of being seized, took the sickle from his girdle, and ran to the house. When John met him, he said, ‘Stand still, you villainous demon! Where are you running with that bloodthirsty sickle?’ The young man, confused, let the weapon drop to the ground, and said to him, ‘I have knowingly committed a monstrous, inhuman deed; therefore, I resolve to do something more violent and more cruel to myself, to die once for all. For whilst my father always exhorted me to lead a chaste and honourable life, I could not tolerate his censure, and struck and killed him. And when I saw what had taken place, I intended to go to the woman on whose account I had become a parricide and try to kill her and her husband and finally myself. For I could not bear her husband seeing me being executed.’
50. And John said to him, ‘I will not go away and leave you in danger nor shall I give a chance to him who would laugh and mock you. Come with me and show me where your father is! And if I raise him up for you, how will I keep you away from the woman who has become dangerous to you?’ The young man replied, ‘By giving me back my father alive, and by seeing and hearing him, I will keep away from her.’
51. And thus speaking, they came to the place where the body of the old man lay. Other travellers stood by. John said to the young man, ‘Unhappy one, not even the age of your father was spared by you.’ And he wept, tore his hair, and confessed he felt sorry. But the servant of the Lord, John, prayed, ‘You who have this day shown me the way here, who knew that this deed was to take place, before whom no deed in human life can be hidden, who granted to me every healing and cure according to your will, grant to me also that the old man may live, since you see how the murderer became his own judge! And spare him, O Lord, although he did not spare his father, from whom he received such good advice!’
52. After these words he went to the old man and said, ‘My Lord shall not be powerless to extend to you his good compassion and his mercy free from presumption. Arise, therefore, and give God glory for the present work.’ And the old man said, ‘I rise, Lord.’ And he arose and, having seated himself, he said, ‘I was delivered from a life of the most fearful pain. I had to suffer many fearful abuses and unkindness from my son; and now, man of the living God, you have called me back: to what purpose?’ John replied: ‘If you rise up to the same life, you would be better to remain dead. But rise up to a better!’ And he took him, brought him to the city, and preached to him of the mercy of God, so that before he came into the gate the old man believed.
53. And when the young man saw the unexpected resurrection of his father and his own salvation, he took the sickle and cut off his genitals. And running into the house where he kept his adulteress, he flung them at her saying, ‘On your account I became a parricide and should also become a murderer both of you two and myself. Here is the cause of all. God has had mercy upon me, because I have seen his power.’
54. He returned to John, and in the presence of the brethren told what he had done. But John said to him, ‘The one who induced you, young man, to kill your father and to become the lover of another man's wife, has also made you cut off your genitals as if it were a righteous work. But you should not have destroyed your private parts for the temper which proved itself evil through the members. For your organs are not hurtful to man, but the hidden sources, by which every shameful inclination is stirred and becomes manifest. Repent, therefore, my son, this fault, and recognize Satan's cunnings, and you shall have God, who helps you in all that your soul needs.’ And the young man led a quiet life in repentance for his former sins, that he might obtain forgiveness through God's goodness, and he did not leave John.
55. While he was performing these deeds at Ephesus, the people in Smyrna sent messengers to him saying, ‘We hear that God whom you preach is an unenvious God, and has bidden you not to show partiality and remain in one place. Being the preacher of such a God, come to Smyrna and the other cities, that we may know your God and, knowing him, put our hope in him . . . .
(A gap follows. A travel narrative seems to have disappeared at this point. Many editors place here, as chs. 56–7, the story of John and the partridge, found in MS Q. Junod and Kaestli print as their chs. 56–7 a story set in Smyrna found in MSS L and S. Both are now translated below.)
A. John and the Partridge
56. One day John was seated and a partridge flew through the air and was playing in the sand before him. John looked at this with amazement. And a priest, one of the hearers, came to John and saw the partridge playing before him. He was offended and said to himself, ‘Such a great man rejoices over a partridge playing in the sand!’ But John perceived his thoughts and said to him, ‘It would be better if you, too, my son, would look at a partridge playing in the sand, and not contaminate yourself with disgraceful and impure acts. He who expects the repentance and conversion of all has brought you here for this purpose. For I have no need of a partridge playing in the sand. The partridge is your soul.’
57. When the old man heard this and perceived that he was not unknown, but that Christ's apostle had said everything which was in his heart, he fell to the ground and said, ‘Now I know that God dwells in you, blessed John. And blessed is he who has not tempted God in you! He who tempts you, tempts him who cannot be tempted.’ And he asked him to pray for him. And he instructed him, gave him commandments, dismissed him and praised God who is over all.
B. John in Smyrna: The Sons of Antipatros
56. Then leaving Ephesus we came to Smyrna. All the town gathered together when it learned of John's presence. And a man called Antipatros, a prominent resident of Smyrna, came to John and said, ‘Servant of God, I have heard tell that you have performed many good and great wonders in Ephesus. Behold, I offer you a hundred thousand gold pieces. I have twin sons who since birth have been possessed of a demon and who have suffered terribly: they are thirty‐four years old. In one moment both may fall faint, sometimes in the baths, sometimes while walking, often while eating, and sometimes even at a public gathering in town. You will see for yourself that they are well‐built men, but they are overcome by this malady that possesses them every day. I pray you, assist me in my old age. I am quite prepared to take a deadly decision. As children they suffered slightly, but since becoming adults their demons have grown up too. Take pity on me and on them.’ John said to him, ‘My healer works without payment, and heals freely; in exchange for illness he accepts the souls cured. What are you prepared to give, Antipatros, in exchange for your sons? Give your soul to God and you will find your sons in good health by the power of Christ.’ But Antipatros said, ‘Until now you have neglected no one, do not neglect my sons. With the agreement of my kinsfolk I was prepared to end the derision and poison them, but you who have come as a faithful doctor invested by God, for their sake, enlighten them and help them.’
57. John, who had been called to help, said to the Lord, ‘You who always console the downtrodden and who called me to aid, you who have never waited to be called to console because you are present before we seek your assistance, make the evil spirits be discharged from the sons of Antipatros.’ And immediately they left them. John ordered the sons to come to him. When the father saw them in good health, he fell to the ground prostrate before John. John, having instructed them about Father, Son and Holy Ghost, baptized them. John besought Antipatros to give his money to those in need, and he dismissed them and they praised and blessed God.
From Laodicea to Ephesus the Second Time 13 Heading as in MSS M and O.
58. Some time passed without any of the brethren being distressed by John. But now they were distressed when he said, ‘Brethren, it is time for me to go to Ephesus; for such is my agreement with those who live there, so that they may not become slack through being for a long time without their pastor. But you must direct your mind to God, who does not desert us. And when the brethren heard this, they became sad that they should be separated from him. And John said, ‘Though I go from you, Christ is always with you. If you love him purely, you shall continually enjoy the blessing of his communion. For where he is loved, he loves those first who love him.’
59. Having spoken thus, and having instructed them, he left a large amount of money to the brethren for distribution, and went to Ephesus, leaving all the brethren sorrowing and weeping. Those who were with him from Ephesus were Andronicus and Drusiana, Lycomedes and Cleobius, and their attendants. They were followed by Aristobula, who had heard that her husband Tertullus had died on the way, Aristippus with Xenophon, and the chaste prostitute, and many others whom he always directed to the Lord and who would never leave him.
60. On the first day we came to a lonely inn, and when we were trying to find a bed for John we experienced a strange event. There was one bedstead without covers over which we spread our cloaks which we had brought and requested him to lie down and to rest, whilst we slept on the floor. He had hardly lain down, when he was molested by bugs. But as they became more and more troublesome, and as it was midnight already, we all heard him say to them, ‘I say to you, you bugs, be considerate; leave your home for this night and go to rest in a place which is far away from the servants of God!’ And while we laughed and talked, John fell asleep. And we conversed quietly, and thanks to him we remained undisturbed.
61. When it was day, I rose first, and with me Verus and Andronicus. And in the door of the room which we had taken was a mass of bugs. And having called all the brethren, we went outside to have a full view of them. John was still asleep. When he woke up we showed him what we had seen. And sitting up in bed and seeing them, he said, ‘Since you have been wise to heed my warning, go back to your place!’ When he had spoken and had risen from the bed, the bugs hastened from the door to the bed, ran up the legs into the joints and disappeared. And John said again, ‘This creature heard the voice of a man and kept quiet and was obedient. We, however, hear God's voice, and yet irresponsibly transgress his commandments. And how long will this go on?’
62. After this we came to Ephesus. And when the brethren who lived there had learned that John had returned after this long time, they met in the house of Andronicus, where he also was staying, grasped his feet, put his hands to their faces, and kissed them because they had touched his clothes. 14 Variant deletes ‘because . . . clothes’.
63. And while great love and endless joy prevailed among the brethren, one, a servant of Satan, coveted Drusiana, although he saw and knew that she was the wife of Andronicus. Very many people remonstrated with him, ‘It is impossible for you to obtain this woman, especially since she has separated even from her husband out of piety. Or do you alone not know that Andronicus, who was not the godly man he now is, had locked her up in a tomb, saying, “Either I'll have you as a wife, as I had you before, or you must die!” And she preferred to die rather than to commit the repugnant act. Now, if out of piety she withheld her consent to sexual intercourse with her husband and master, but persuaded him to become like‐minded, should she consent to you, who wish to commit adultery with her? Desist from your passion, which gives you no rest! Desist from your scheme, which you cannot accomplish!’
64. Though his intimate friends remonstrated with him, they could not persuade him. He was even so impudent as to send word to her. When Drusiana heard of his disgraceful passion and shameless demands, she became very despondent, and after two days she was feverish. She said, ‘Oh, if I only had not come back to my native city where I have become a stumbling‐block to a man who believes not in the worship of God! For if he were filled with God's word, he would not fall into such a passion. Therefore, O Lord, since I have become accessory to a blow which struck an ignorant soul, deliver me from this prison and take me soon to you!’ And without being understood by anyone Drusiana departed this life in the presence of John, not rejoicing but sorrowing over the physical trouble of that man.
65. And Andronicus was sad and carried a hidden sorrow in his heart, and wept bitterly, so that John could only silence him by saying to him, ‘Drusiana has departed this unjust life for a better hope.’ To this answered Andronicus, ‘Of this I am certain, John, and I have no doubt in the belief in my God. My hopes are grounded on the fact, that she departed this life pure.’
66. After she was interred, John took Andronicus aside, and having learned of the cause he sorrowed more than Andronicus. And he kept silence, considering the threats of the enemy, and sat still a little. When the brethren were assembled to hear which words he would say concerning the departed, he began to speak:
67. ‘When the helmsman who crosses the ocean has landed with the ship and passengers in a quiet haven free from storms, he feels secure. The husbandman who sowed the seed‐grains in the ground and cared for them with great pains is only then to enjoy a rest from his labours when he has harvested abundant corn in his barns. Whoever promises to take part in a race should rejoice only when he has obtained the prize. He whose name is entered on the list of prize‐fighting and should triumph only after he receives the crowns. And thus it is with all races and skills, when they do not fail at the end, but are carried out, as they were intended.
68. ‘So I think it is with the faith which every one of us practises, and which can be decided as having been the true one only when it remains the same to the end of life. For there are many obstacles which cause unrest to human reasoning: cares, children, parents, glory, poverty, flattery, youth, beauty, boasting, desire for riches, anger, pride, frivolity, envy, passion, carelessness, violence, lust, slaves, money, pretence, and all the other similar obstacles which exist in life; it is the same for the helmsman who takes his course for a quiet journey and is opposed by the adverse winds and a great tempest and a mighty wave, when the heaven is serene; it is the same for the husbandman who is opposed by untimely weather and blight and creeping worms appearing from the ground; for the athletes, the near miss, and for the craftsman the obstacles to their skills.
69. ‘The believer must above all things consider the end and carefully examine how it will come, whether energetic 15 Text unclear. and sober and without impediment, or in confusion and flattering worldly things and bound by passions. Thus one can praise the beauty of the body only when it is completely naked; and the greatness of the general when he has happily finished the whole campaign as he promised; and the excellence of the physician when he has succeeded in every cure; and so one praises a soul filled with faith and worthy of God if it has happily accomplished that which it promised, not one which made a good beginning, and gradually descended into the errors of life and became weak, nor the numb soul which made an effort to attain higher things and was afterwards reduced to perishable, nor that which loved the temporal more than the eternal, nor that which exchanged the perishable for the lasting, nor that which honoured what was not to be honoured and loved works of dishonour, nor that which accepted pledges from Satan and received the serpent into its house, nor one which was reviled for God's sake and afterwards was ashamed, nor one which consented with the mouth but did not show it by the deed; but we praise one which refused to be inflamed by filthy lust, to succumb to levity, to be ensnared by thirst after money, or to be betrayed by the strength of the body and anger.’
70. While John continued to preach to the brethren that they despise earthly goods for the sake of the eternal ones, the lover of Drusiana, inflamed by the influence of the polymorphous Satan to the most ardent passions, bribed the greedy steward of Andronicus with money. And he opened the tomb of Drusiana and left him to accomplish on the body that which was once denied to him. Since he had not procured her during her lifetime, he continually thought of her body after she was dead, and exclaimed, ‘Although when living you refused to unite with me in love, after your death I will dishonour your corpse.’ Being in such a frame of mind he obtained the opportunity to execute his impious plan through the accursed steward, and both went to the tomb. Having opened the door, they began to take the graveclothes from the corpse, and said, ‘What have you gained, unhappy Drusiana? Could you not have done this while you were alive? It need not have grieved you if you had done it willingly.’
71. Whilst they spoke and only the shift remained, there appeared something wonderful, which people that do such things deserve to experience. 16 Following MS M in Bonnet. A serpent appeared from somewhere, bit the steward, and killed him. And the serpent did not bite the young man, but encircled his feet, hissing fearfully, and when he fell down, the serpent sat on him.
72. On the following day John and Andronicus and the brethren went at the break of day to the tomb in which Drusiana had been for three days, so that we might break bread there. And when we were about to start, the keys were not to be found. And John said to Andronicus, ‘It is right that they are lost, for Drusiana is not in the tomb. Nevertheless, let us go, that you do not appear neglectful, and the doors will open of themselves, since the Lord has already given us many other things.’
73. When we came to the place, the doors opened at the master's 17 Some MSS read ‘John's’. behest, and at the tomb of Drusiana we saw a beautiful youth smiling. When John saw him, he exclaimed and said, ‘Do you come before us here also, noble one? And why?’ And he heard a voice saying to him, ‘For the sake of Drusiana, whom you are to raise up. I found her almost defiled on account of the dead man lying near the tomb.’ And when the noble one had thus spoken to John he ascended to heaven before the eyes of all. And John turned to the other side of the tomb and saw a young man, the very prominent Ephesian Callimachus—for this is what he was called—and on him a huge snake sleeping, also the steward of Andronicus, named Fortunatus, dead. On seeing both, he stood helpless and said to the brethren, ‘What does all this mean? Or why did the Lord not reveal to me what took place here, for he was always concerned for me?’
74. When Andronicus saw these bodies, he jumped up and went to the tomb of Drusiana. And when he saw her in her shift, he said to John, ‘I understand what took place, blessed servant of God. This Callimachus loved my sister. And as he could not get her, although he tried it often, he no doubt bribed this accursed steward of mine with a great sum of money with the intention—as one can now see—to accomplish his purpose through him. For this Callimachus said to many, “If she will not yield to me alive, rape shall be committed on her death.” This, O master, the noble one saw and did not allow her earthly remains to be violated. That is why those who engineered this are dead. And the voice which came to you “Raise Drusiana!” foretold this. For she departed this life through sorrow. And I believe him who said that this is one of the men who was led astray. For you were asked to raise him. As for the other I know that he does not deserve salvation. But one thing I ask of you. Raise Callimachus first, and he shall confess what took place.’ 75. And John looked at the corpse and said to the poisonous snake, ‘Depart from him who is to serve Jesus Christ!’ Then he rose and prayed, ‘God, whose name is rightly praised by us; God, who overcomes each harmful work; God, whose will is done, who always hears us, make your grace now efficacious on this youth! And if through him some dispensation is to take place, make it known to us, when he is raised!’ And the young man immediately arose and kept silence for a whole hour.
76. When the man had regained his senses, John asked what his intrusion into the tomb meant. And having learned from him what Andronicus had already told him, how he passionately loved Drusiana, John asked further whether he had accomplished his wicked design to commit rape on the holy earthly remains. And he replied, ‘How could I have accomplished this when this fearful beast killed Fortunatus with one bite before my eyes? And this deservedly so, for he encouraged me to such madness, after I had already desisted from the ill‐timed and dreadful frenzy—but he frightened me and put me in the state in which you saw me, before I arose. But I will tell you another greater miracle, which nearly slew me and almost killed me. When my soul was seized with mad passion and the incurable disease was troubling me, when I had already robbed her of the grave‐clothes with which she was dressed, and went from the grave to put them down as you see, I turned back to perpetrate the abominable deed. And I saw a beautiful youth covering her with this cloak. Rays of light fell from his face upon hers, and he turned to me also and said, “Callimachus, die, that you may live.” Who it was, I knew not, servant of God. Since you have come here, I know that it was an angel of God. And this I truly know, that the true God is preached by you; and I am sure of it. But I pray you, see to it that I may be delivered from this fate and dreadful crime, and bring me to your God as a man who had gone astray in scandalous, abominable, deceit. On my knees I ask for your help. I will become one of those who hope in Christ so that the voice may also prove true, which spoke here to me, “Die to live!” And it is already fulfilled. For that unbeliever, godless, lawless man, is dead; I am raised by you as a believer, faithful and godly, that I may know the truth, which I ask of you to reveal to me.’
77. And John, rejoicing, contemplated the whole spectacle of the salvation of men and said, ‘O Lord Jesus Christ, I do not know what your power is. I am amazed at your great mercy and endless forbearance. Oh, what greatness descended to servitude! O unspeakable freedom, which was enslaved by us! O inconceivable glory, which has come upon us! You have kept the grave from shame, and redeemed that man who contaminated himself with blood, and taught him to be chaste who meant to violate dead bodies. Father, full of mercy and compassion toward him who disregarded you, we praise, glorify, and honour you and thank you for your great goodness and long‐suffering, holy Jesus, for you alone are God and none else; you against whose power all devices can do nothing now and in all eternity! Amen!’ 18 A different version of this prayer is given in CCA i. 278–81.
78. After these words, John took Callimachus, kissed him, and said, ‘Glory be to our God, who had mercy upon you, child, and deemed me worthy to praise his power, and delivered you by a wise method from that madness and intoxication and called you to rest and renewal of life.’
79. When Andronicus saw that Callimachus had been raised from the dead, he and the brethren besought John to raise Drusiana also, and said, ‘John, let her be raised and happily complete life's short space, which she gave up out of sorrow for Callimachus, because she thought she was a temptation to him! And when it pleases the Lord, he will take her to himself.’ And without delay John went to the grave, seized her hand and said, ‘You who alone are God, I call upon you, the immense, the unspeakable, the incomprehensible, to whom all worldly power is subject, before whom every authority bows, before whom every pride falls down and is silent, before whose voice the demons are confounded, at whose contemplation the whole creation surrenders in quiet meditation. Your name will be hallowed by us. Raise Drusiana that Callimachus be still further strengthened in you who alone can do what is wholly impossible with man, and have given salvation and resurrection, and let Drusiana come out comforted because, in consequence of the conversion of the youth, she no more has the least impediment to long for you!’ 19 Text obscure.
80. Having spoken thus John said, ‘Drusiana, arise!’ And she arose and came from the tomb. And when she saw that she wore nothing but her shirt, she was perplexed how to explain what had happened. Having learned everything from Andronicus, while John was upon his face and Callimachus with tears praised God, she also rejoiced and praised God.
81. Having dressed herself and looked around, she saw Fortunatus. And she said to John, ‘Father, he too shall rise, though he tried so much to become my betrayer.’ When Callimachus heard her speaking thus, he said, ‘No, I beg you, Drusiana. For the voice which I heard did not mention him, but only concerned you, and when I saw I believed. If he were good, God out of mercy would have certainly raised him through the blessed John. He knew that the man should have a bad death.’ And John answered him, ‘My son, we have not learnt to recompense evil with evil. For God has not recompensed the evil which we have done to him, but has given us repentance. And although we did not know his name, he did not forget us, but had mercy upon us. And when we reviled him, he forsook us not, but was merciful. And when we were disbelieving, he remembered not the evil. And when we persecuted his brethren, he did not requite us, but made us repent, turn away from sin, and called us to himself, as he called you also, child Callimachus, and, without remembering your former sins, made you his servant through his long‐suffering mercy. If you do not wish me to raise Fortunatus, let Drusiana do it.’
82. Without wavering, but in the joy of her spirit and soul, she went to the body of Fortunatus and said, ‘God of the ages, Jesus Christ, God of truth, you allowed me to see signs and wonders and granted me to partake of your name. You breathed into me your spirit with your polymorphous face, and showed much compassion. With your rich goodness, you protected me when my former husband, Andronicus, did violence to me, and gave me your servant Andronicus as a brother. Until now you have kept me, your maiden, pure. You raised me when I was dead through your servant John. To me, risen and freed from offence, you showed me him who was offended at me. You gave me perfect rest in you, and delivered me from the secret madness. I love you with all my heart. I beseech you, Christ, not to dismiss Drusiana's petition, who asks of you the resurrection of Fortunatus, though he tried so much to become my betrayer.’
83. And she took the hand of the dead man and said, ‘Rise, Fortunatus, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ!’ And Fortunatus rose up. And seeing John in the tomb and Andronicus and Drusiana risen from the dead and Callimachus now a believer, he said, ‘O how far the power of these awful people has spread! I wish I were not raised, but remained dead, so as not to see them.’ And with these words he ran from the tomb.
84. And when John perceived the unchangeable soul of Fortunatus, he said, ‘O nature, unchanged for the better! O source of the soul, remaining in the filth! O essence of corruption, full of darkness! O death, dancing among those belonging to you! O fruitless tree, full of fire! 20 Variant adds ‘O trunk, having a demon for reason’. O wood, producing coal as fruit! O forest, with trees full of unhealthy shoots, 21 Or ‘O matter that dwells with the madness of matter’. neighbour of unbelief! You showed us who you are, and you will always be convicted with your children. And the power of praising higher things is unknown to you, for you do not have it. Therefore as your issue is, so is your root and nature. Vanish away from those who hope in the Lord—from their thoughts, from their mind, from their souls, from their bodies, from their action, from their life, from their conversation, from their activity, from their deeds, from their counsel, from their resurrection to God, from their fragrance which you will share, from their fastings, from their prayers, from their holy baptism, from their eucharist, from the nourishment of their flesh, from their drink, from their dress, from their agape, from their acts of mourning, from their continence, and from their rightcousness. From all these, most unholy and abominable Satan, shall Jesus Christ, our God and judge of those who are like you and your nature, remove you.’
85. After these words John prayed, fetched a loaf of bread to the tomb to break it, and said, ‘We praise your name, who have converted us from error and unmerciful lusts. We praise you who have brought before our eyes that which we saw. We bear witness to your goodness manifested to us in various ways. We hallow your gracious name, Lord, and thank you who have convicted those who are convicted by you. We thank you, Lord Jesus Christ, that we believe in your unchangeable mercy. 22 Conjecture (Bonnet). We thank you that you are in need of a saved human nature. We thank you that you gave this sure faith, that you alone are God, now and for ever. We, your servants, thank you, O holy One, we who are assembled with good reason and risen from the dead.’
86. Having thus prayed and praised God, he made all the brethren partake of the eucharist of the Lord and then left the tomb. And when he had come into the house of Andronicus, he said to the brethren, ‘Dear brethren, a spirit within me has prophesied that, in consequence of the bite of the serpent, Fortunatus would die of blood‐poisoning. 23 Literally ‘blackness'. Let someone make haste and inquire whether it is so!’ And one of the young men ran and found him dead already, the poison 23 Literally ‘blackness'. having spread and reached his heart. And he returned to John, reporting that he had been dead three hours already. And John said, ‘You have your child, devil!’
Thus John rejoiced with the brethren in the Lord. 24 CCA i. 292–3 links this sentence with the beginning of ch. 106.
106. 25 Chs. 87–105 follow ch. 36. On the following day, which was the Lord's day, he began to say to them in the presence of the brethren, ‘Brethren, fellow‐servants, coheirs, and copartners in the kingdom of the Lord, you know the Lord, how many powers he has given you through me, how many miracles, what cures, signs, gifts, teachings, rulings, times for relaxation, services, knowledge, glories, graces, gifts, acts of faith, communion, which you have seen with your eyes, were given you by him, though they cannot be seen with these eyes and cannot be heard with these ears. Be strong, therefore, in him, remembering him in all your doings, knowing the mystery of the dispensation that has come to men, and why the Lord has so acted. He, then, through me, exhorts you, since he wishes you to remain without grief, without insult, without treachery, without punishment. For he also knows insult comes from you, he knows also dishonour, treachery, and punishment, if you disobey his commandments.
107. ‘So let not our good God be grieved, the compassionate, the merciful, the holy, the undefiled, the immaterial, the only, the one, the immutable, the sincere, the guileless, the patient, he who is higher and more exalted than every name that we speak or think of, our God Jesus Christ! Let him rejoice along with us, because we behave well; let him be glad because we live in purity. Let him be refreshed because our behaviour is sober. Let him be unconcerned because we are temperate, let him be pleased because we live in fellowship, let him smile because we are chaste, and let him be delighted because we love him! These things, brethren, I communicate to you, pressing on to the work prepared for me, already perfected for me by the Lord. For what else have I to say to you? You have the sureties of our God. You have the pledges of his goodness, you have his sure presence. And if you, then, sin no more, he will forgive you what you have done in ignorance. But if, after you have known him and he has had compassion upon you, you return to such deeds, even your former offences will be laid to your charge, and you shall have no part or mercy in his presence.’
108. And when he had said this to them, he prayed, ‘Jesus, who have woven this crown by your twining, who have inserted these many flowers into the everlasting flower of your countenance, who have sown these words into my soul, who are the only protector and physician of your servants, who heal freely; you who are benign and not haughty, alone merciful and kind, alone a Saviour and righteous; you who always see what concerns all, and are in all, and everywhere present, comprising all and replenishing all, Christ Jesus, God, Lord, who with your gifts and your compassion protect those who hope in you; who know intimately all the cunnings and threats by which our adversary contrives against us everywhere. O Lord, only help your servants with your watchful care. So be it, Lord.’
109. And having asked for bread, he gave thanks, saying, ‘What praise or what sort of offering or what thanksgiving shall we invoke as we break the bread, but you only, Lord Jesus? We glorify the name spoken by the Father. We glorify the name spoken through the Son. We glorify you as the entrance door; we glorify your resurrection manifested to us through you. We glorify your way; we glorify your seed, your word, your grace, your faith, your salt, your unspeakable pearl, your treasure, your plough, net, greatness, diadem, him called Son of man for our sakes, who has given us truth, rest, knowledge, power, commandment, trust, hope, love, freedom, and place of refuge in you. For you alone, O Lord, are the root of immortality and the fountain of incorruption, and seat of the ages; you have been called all these names for our sakes, so that now we, calling upon you through them, may recognize your greatness, which we cannot see at the present, but which is only visible to the pure, solely in the image of the man portrayed in you!’
110. And having broken the bread, he gave it to us, praying for each of the brethren, that he might be worthy of the grace of the Lord and his most holy eucharist. He also partook of it and said, ‘To me also let there be a portion with you, and peace be with you, my beloved.’
111. And he said to Verus, ‘Take two brethren with you with baskets and shovels and follow me!’ And Verus did immediately what John, the servant of God, had bidden him. 26 CCA i. 304–5 adds these two sentences to the end of ch. 110. And the blessed John went from the house and walked outside the gates, having told the multitude to leave him. And having come to the tomb of one of our brethren, he told the young men, ‘Dig, my sons!’ And they dug, and he said to them, ‘Let the trench be deeper.’ And as they dug, he preached to them the word of God, and exhorted those who had come out of the house with him, building them up and preparing them for the majesty of God, and praying for each one of us. And when the young men had finished the trench as he had wished, while we were kept in ignorance, he took off the clothes he had on, and laid them, as if they were bedding, at the bottom of the trench; and standing in only his vest, stretched forth his hands, and prayed:
112. ‘O God, who have chosen us for the apostleship among the Gentiles, who have sent us into this world; who have declared yourself through the Law and the prophets; who have never rested, but from the foundation of the world always save those who can be saved; who have made yourself known through all nature, even among the animals; who have made the lonely and wild soul quiet and peaceable; who have given yourself to it when thirsting after your words; who quickly showed yourself to it when about to die, and appeared as a law when it sank into lawlessness; who manifested yourself to it when overcome by Satan; who have overcome its adversary when it took refuge in you; who have given it your hand and raised it from the works of Hades; who did not allow it to walk in the body; who have shown it its own enemy; who have given it a pure knowledge of you, God Jesus, Father of the supernatural, ruler of those in heaven, law of things ethereal, the course of things in the air, guardian of those on earth and terror of those under the earth, and grace of your own people; receive also the soul of your John, which is certainly deemed worthy of you!’
113. ‘You who have preserved me also till the present hour pure to yourself, and free from intercourse with a woman; who, when I inclined in my youth to marry, appeared to me and said, “I am in need of you, John”; who prepared for me beforehand my bodily weakness; who, on the third occasion when I wished to marry, prevented me immediately, and said to me at the third hour on the sea, “John, if you were not mine, I would let you marry”; who for two years blinded me, letting me mourn and be dependent on you; who in the third year opened up the spiritual eyes, and gave me back my visible eyes; who, when I regained my sight, disclosed to me the repugnance of gazing upon a woman; who delivered me from temporary show, and guided me to eternal life; who separated me from the foul madness of the flesh; who snatched me from bitter death, and presented me only to you; who silenced the secret disease of the soul, and cut off its open deed; who afflicted and banished him who rebelled in me; who established a spotless friendship to you; who prepared a safe way to you; who gave me undoubting faith in you; who have traced out for me pure thoughts toward you; who have given the due reward to every deed; who have set it in my soul to have no other possession than you alone—for what can be more precious than you? Now, since I have accomplished your stewardship with which I was entrusted, make me worthy, O Lord, of your repose, and give me my end in you, which is the unspeakable and ineffable salvation.’
114. ‘And as I go to you, let the fire withdraw; let darkness be overcome; let chaos be powerless; let the furnace grow weak; let hell be extinguished, let the angels get behind me; let the demons be afraid; let the princes be shattered; let the power fall. Let the devil be brought to silence; let Satan be laughed to scorn; let his madness be tamed; let his wrath be broken; let his vengeance be disgraced; let his attack suffer sorrow. Let his children be trodden under foot, and let all his root be destroyed. And grant me to accomplish my journey to you, without suffering insults and abuses; and let me receive what you have promised to those who live in purity and love you only!’
115. And having sealed himself in every part, he stood and said, ‘Be with me, Lord Jesus Christ’; he lay down in the grave in which he had spread out his garments. He then said to us, ‘Peace be with you, brethren!’, and peacefully yielded up the ghost.
(a) Virtutes Iohannis V–VIII 27 Following Junod and Kaestli's numbering of the Virtutes. The chapters are usually given as 14–18, 20–1.
V. Now on the next day Craton, a philosopher, proclaimed in the marketplace that he would give an example of the contempt of riches; and the spectacle was in this manner. He persuaded two young men, the richest of the city, who were brothers, to spend their whole inheritance and each of them buy a jewel, and these they broke in pieces publicly in the sight of the people. And while they were doing this, it happened by chance that the apostle passed by. And calling Craton, the philosopher, to him, he said, ‘That is a foolish despising of the world which is raised by the mouths of men, but long ago condemned by the judgement of God. For as that is a vain medicine whereby the disease is not extirpated, so is it a vain teaching by which the faults of souls and of conduct are not cured. But indeed my master taught a youth who desired to attain to eternal life, in these words, saying that if he would be perfect, he should sell all his goods and give to the poor, and so doing he would gain treasure in heaven and find the life that has no ending.’ 28 Mark 10: 17–22 and parallels. And Craton said to him, ‘Here the fruit of covetousness is set forth in the midst of men, and has been broken to pieces. But if God is indeed your master and wills that the sum of the price of these jewels should be given to the poor, cause the gems to be restored whole, that what I have done for the praise of men you may do for the glory of him whom you call your master.’ Then the blessed John gathered together the fragments of the gems and, holding them in his hands, lifted up his eyes to heaven and said, ‘Lord Jesus Christ, to whom nothing is impossible; who, when the world was broken by the tree of concupiscence, restored it again in your faithfulness by the tree of the cross; who gave to one born blind the eyes which nature had denied him; who recalled Lazarus, dead and buried, after the fourth day to the light, and have subjected all diseases and all sicknesses to the word of your power—so also now do with these precious stones which these men, not knowing the fruits of almsgiving, have broken in pieces for the praise of men: recover them, Lord, now by the hands of your angels, that by their value the work of mercy may be fulfilled, and make these men believe in you the unbegotten Father through your only‐begotten Son Jesus Christ our Lord, with the Holy Ghost the illuminator and sanctifier of the whole Church, world without end.’ And when the faithful who were with the apostle answered and said ‘Amen’, the fragments of the gems were forthwith so joined that no sign at all that they had been broken remained visible. And Craton, the philosopher, with his disciples, seeing this, fell at the feet of the apostle and believed immediately and was baptized, with them all, and began himself publicly to preach the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Those two brothers, therefore, of whom we spoke, sold the gems which they had bought by the sale of their inheritance and gave the price to the poor; and thereafter a very great multitude of believers began to be joined to the apostle.
VI. And when all this was done, it happened that, after the same example, two honourable men of the city of the Ephesians 29 Or rather, as Pseudo‐Melito has it, the same two brothers. sold all their goods and distributed them to the needy, and followed the apostle as he went through the cities preaching the word of God. But it came to pass, when they entered the city of Pergamum, that they saw their servants walking abroad arrayed in silken raiment and shining with the glory of this world. It happened that they were pierced with the arrow of the devil and became sad, seeing themselves poor and clad with a single cloak while their own servants were powerful and prosperous. But the apostle of Christ, perceiving these wiles of the devil, said, ‘I see that you have changed your minds and your countenances on this account, that, obeying the teaching of my Lord Jesus Christ, you have given all you had to the poor. Now, if you desire to recover that which you formerly possessed of gold, silver, and precious stones, bring me some straight rods, each of you a bundle.’ And when they had done so, he called upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, and they were turned into gold. And the apostle said to them, ‘Bring me small stones from the sea‐shore.’ And when they had done this also, he called upon the majesty of the Lord, and all the pebbles were turned into gems. Then the blessed John turned to those men and said to them, ‘Go about to the goldsmiths and jewellers for seven days, and when you have proved that these are true gold and true jewels, tell me.’ And they went, both of them, and after seven days returned to the apostle, saying, ‘Lord, we have gone about the shops of all the goldsmiths, and they have all said that they never saw such pure gold. Likewise the jewellers have said the same, that they never saw such excellent and precious gems.’
Then the holy John said to them, ‘Go, and redeem for yourselves the lands which you have sold, for you have lost the estates of heaven. Buy yourselves silken raiment, that for a time you may shine like the rose which shows its fragrance and redness and suddenly fades away. For you sighed at beholding your servants and groaned that you were poor. Flourish, therefore, that you may fade; be rich for the time, that you may be beggars for ever. Is not the Lord's hand able to make riches overflowing and unsurpassably glorious? But he has appointed a conflict for souls, that they who for his name's sake have refused temporal wealth may believe that they shall have eternal riches. Indeed, our master told us about a certain rich man 30 Luke 16: 19–31 . who feasted every day and shone with gold and purple, at whose door lay a beggar, Lazarus, who desired to receive even the crumbs that fell from his table, and no man gave anything to him. And it came to pass that on one day they both died, and that beggar was taken into the rest which is in Abraham's bosom, but the rich man was cast into flaming fire, out of which he lifted up his eyes and saw Lazarus, and prayed to him to dip his finger in water and cool his mouth, for he was tormented in the flames. And Abraham answered him and said, “Remember, son, that you received good things in your life, but this Lazarus, evil things. Wherefore rightly is he now comforted, while you are tormented, and besides all this, a great gulf is fixed between you and us, so that neither can they come thence hither, nor hither thence.” But he answered, “I have five brothers: I pray that someone may go to warn them, that they do not come into this flame.” And Abraham said to him, “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.” To that he answered, “Lord, unless one rise up again, they will not believe.” Abraham said to him, “If they do not believe Moses and the prophets, neither will they believe, even if someone rise again.” And these words our Lord and master confirmed by examples of mighty works: for when they said to him, “Who has come hither from there that we may believe him?”, he answered, “Bring hither the dead whom you have.” And when they had brought to him a young man who was dead, he was awakened by him as if he had been asleep, and confirmed all his words.
‘But wherefore should I speak of my Lord, when at this present there are those whom in his name and in your presence and sight I have raised from the dead; in whose name you have seen palsied men healed, lepers cleansed, blind men enlightened, and many delivered from evil spirits? But the riches of these mighty works they cannot have if they have desired to have earthly wealth. Finally, when you yourselves went to the sick and called upon the name of Jesus Christ, they were healed; you drove out devils and restored light to the blind. Behold, this grace is taken from you, and you have become wretched, you who were mighty and great. And whereas there was such fear of you by the devils that at your bidding they left the men whom they possessed, now you will be in fear of the devils. For he who loves money is the servant of Mammon, and Mammon is the name of a devil who is set over carnal gains, and is the master of those who love the world. But even the lovers of the world do not possess riches, but are possessed of them. For it is out of reason that for one belly there should be laid up so much food as would suffice a thousand, and for one body so many garments as would furnish clothing for a thousand men. In vain, therefore, is that stored up which does not come into use, and for whom it is kept no man knows, as the Holy Ghost says by the prophet, “In vain is every man troubled who heaps up riches and knows not for whom he gathers them.” 31 Ps. 39 (38): 6. Naked did our birth from women bring us into this light, destitute of food and drink; naked will the earth receive us which brought us forth. We possess in common the riches of the heaven; the brightness of the sun is equal for the rich and the poor, and likewise the light of the moon and the stars, the softness of the air and the drops of rain, and the gate of the church and the fount of sanctification, and the forgiveness of sins, and the sharing in the altar, and the eating of the body and drinking of the blood of Christ, and the anointing of the chrism, and the grace of the giver, and the visitation of the Lord, and pardon of sin—in all these the dispensing of the Creator is equal, without respect of persons. The rich man does not use these gifts after one manner and the poor after another.
‘But wretched and unhappy is the man who would have something more than he requires; for of this come heats of fevers, rigours of cold, divers pains in all the members of the body, and he can be neither fed with food nor sated with drink; so that covetousness may learn that money will not profit it, which being laid up brings to the keepers thereof anxiety by day and night, and does not permit them even for an hour to be quiet and secure. For while they guard their houses against thieves, till their estate, ply the plough, pay taxes, build storehouses, strive for gain, try to baffle the attacks of the strong, and to strip the weak, exercise their wrath on whom they can, and hardly bear it from others, shrink not from playing at tables and from public shows, fear not to defile or to be defiled, suddenly they depart from this world naked, bearing only their own sins with them, for which they shall suffer eternal punishment.’
VII. While the apostle was speaking, behold there was brought to him by his widowed mother a young man who thirty days before had married a wife. And all the people who were waiting upon the burial came with the widowed mother and cast themselves at the apostle's feet with groans, weeping, and mourning, and besought him that in the name of his God he would raise up this young man as he had done with Drusiana. And there was such great weeping that the apostle himself could hardly refrain from crying and tears. He therefore cast himself down in prayer and wept a long time; and rising from prayer he spread out his hands to heaven, and for a long period prayed within himself. And when he had so done three times, he commanded the body which was swathed to be loosed, and said, ‘Young Stacteus, 32 v.l. ‘Syrice’. who for love of your flesh have quickly lost your soul, youth which knew not your creator, nor perceived the Saviour of men, and were ignorant of your true friend, and therefore fell into the snare of the worst enemy: behold, I have poured out tears and prayers to my Lord for your ignorance, that you may rise from the dead, the bands of death being loosed, and declare to these two, to Atticus and Eugenius, what great glory they have lost, and what great punishment they have incurred.’ Then Stacteus arose and worshipped the apostle, and began to reproach his disciples, saying, ‘I beheld your angels weeping, and the angels of Satan rejoicing at your overthrow. For now in a little time you have lost the kingdom that was prepared for you, and the dwelling‐places built of shining stones, full of joy, of feasting and delights, full of everlasting life and eternal light; and have obtained yourselves places of darkness, full of dragons, of roaring flames, of torments, and punishments unsurpassable, of pains and anguish, fear and horrible trembling. You have lost the places full of unfading flowers, shining, full of the sounds of instruments of music, and have on the contrary obtained places wherein roaring and howling and mourning does not stop day or night. Nothing else remains for you except to ask the apostle of the Lord that just as he raised me to life, he would raise you also from death to salvation and bring back your souls which now are blotted out of the book of life.’
Then both he who had been raised and all the people, together with Atticus and Eugenius, cast themselves at the apostle's feet and besought him to intercede for them with the Lord. The holy apostle gave them this answer: that for thirty days they should offer penitence to God, and in that space pray especially that the rods of gold might return to their nature and likewise the stones return to the baseness of which they were made. And it came to pass that after thirty days were accomplished, and neither the rods were turned into wood nor the gems into pebbles, Atticus and Eugenius came and said to the apostle, ‘You have always taught mercy, and preached forgiveness, and urged that one man should spare another. And if God wills that a man should forgive a man, how much more shall he, as he is God, both forgive and spare men. We are confounded for our sin; and whereas we have cried with our eyes which lusted after the world, we do now repent with eyes that weep. We pray you, Lord, we pray you, apostle of God, show in deed that mercy which you have always promised in words.’ Then the holy John said to them as they wept and repented, and interceded for them, ‘Our Lord God used these words when he spake concerning sinners: “I do not desire the death of a sinner, but I wish rather that he be converted and live.” 33 Ezekiel 33: 11 . For when the Lord Jesus Christ taught us about the penitent, he said, “Verily I say unto you, there is great joy in heaven over one sinner who repents and turns himself from his sins; and there is more joy over him than over ninety‐nine who have not sinned.” 34 Luke 15: 7 . Wherefore I would have you know that the Lord accepts the repentance of these men.’ And he turned to Atticus and Eugenius and said, ‘Go, carry back the rods to the wood from which you took them, for now they are returned to their own nature, and the stones to the sea‐shore, for they have become common stones as they were before.’ And when this was accomplished, they received again the grace which they had lost, so that again they cast out devils as before and healed the sick and enlightened the blind, and daily the Lord did many mighty works by their means . . . 35 A paragraph omitted here tells of the destruction of the temple in Ephesus and the conversion of 12,000 people.
VIII. Now when Aristodemus, who was chief priest of all those idols, saw this he was filled with a wicked spirit, and stirred up sedition among the people, so that one group of people prepared themselves to fight against the other. And John turned to him and said, ‘Tell me, Aristodemus, what can I do to take away the anger from your soul?’ And Aristodemus said, ‘If you want me to believe in your God, I will give you poison to drink, and if you drink it, and do not die, it will appear that your God is true.’ The apostle answered, ‘If you give me poison to drink, when I call on the name of my Lord it will not be able to harm me.’ Aristodemus said again, ‘First I wish you to see others drink it and die straightway, so that your heart may recoil from that cup.’ And the blessed John said, ‘I have told you already that I am prepared to drink it, that you may believe in the Lord Jesus Christ when you see me whole after drinking the cup of poison.’ Aristodemus therefore went to the proconsul and asked of him two men who were to undergo the sentence of death. And when he had set them in the midst of the market‐place before all the people, in the sight of the apostle he made them drink the poison; and as soon as they had drunk it, they gave up the ghost. Then Aristodemus turned to John and said, ‘Hearken to me and depart from your teaching with which you call away the people from the worship of the gods; or take and drink this, that you may show that your God is almighty if, after you have drunk, you can remain whole.’ Then the blessed John, with those who had drunk the poison lying dead, like a fearless and brave man took the cup and, making the sign of the cross, said, ‘My God, and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whose word the heavens were established, 36 Ps. 33 (32): 6. unto whom all things are subject, whom all creation serves, whom all power obeys, fears, and trembles, when we call on you for succour; upon hearing whose name the serpent is still, the dragon flees, the viper is quiet, the frog is still and strengthless, the scorpion is quenched, the serpent vanquished, and the spider does no harm; in a word, all venomous things, and the fiercest reptiles and troublesome beasts are covered with darkness, and all roots hurtful to the health of men dry up. I say quench the venom of this poison, put out its deadly workings, void it of the strength which it has in it, and grant in your sight to all these whom you have created eyes that they may see and ears that they may hear and a heart that they may understand your greatness.’ And when he had said this, he armed his mouth and all his body with the sign of the cross and drank all that was in the cup. And after he had drunk, he said, ‘I ask that those for whose sake I have drunk be turned to you, O Lord, and by your enlightening receive the salvation which is in you.’ And when for the space of three hours the people saw that John was of a cheerful countenance, and that there was no sign at all of paleness or fear in him, they began to cry out with a loud voice, ‘He whom John worships is the one true God.’
But even so Aristodemus did not believe, though the people reproached him. But he turned to John and said, ‘This one thing I lack: if you in the name of your God raise up these who have died by this poison, my mind will be cleansed of all doubt.’ When he said that, the people rose against Aristodemus, saying, ‘We will burn you and your house if you go on to trouble the apostle further with your words.’ John, therefore, seeing that there was a fierce sedition asked for silence, and said in the hearing of all, ‘The first of the virtues of God which we ought to imitate is patience, by which we are able to bear with the foolishness of unbelievers. Wherefore if Aristodemus is still held by unbelief, let us loose the knots of his unbelief. He shall be compelled, even though late, to acknowledge his creator; for I will not cease from this work until a remedy shall bring help to his wounds, and like physicians who have in their hands a sick man needing medicine, so also, if Aristodemus be not yet cured by that which has already been done, he shall be cured by that which I will now do.’ And he called Aristodemus to him, and gave him his coat, and he himself stood clad only in his mantle. And Aristodemus said to him, ‘Why have you given me your coat?’ John said to him, ‘That you may even so be put to shame and depart from your unbelief.’ And Aristodemus said, ‘And how shall your coat make me depart from unbelief?’ The apostle answered, ‘Go and cast it upon the bodies of the dead, and say: “The apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ has sent me that in his name you may rise again, that all may know that life and death are servants of my Lord Jesus Christ.” ’ When Aristodemus had done this, and had seen them rise, he worshipped John, and ran quickly to the proconsul and began to say with a loud voice, ‘Hear me, hear me, proconsul; I think you remember that I have often stirred up your wrath against John and devised many things against him daily, and so I fear that I may feel his wrath; for he is a god hidden in the form of a man, and has drunk poison, and not only continues whole, but those who died by the poison he has recalled to life by my means, by the touch of his coat, and they have no mark of death upon them.’ When the proconsul heard this he said, ‘And what will you have me do?’ Aristodemus answered, ‘Let us go and fall at his feet and ask pardon, and whatever he commands us let us do.’ Then they came together and cast themselves down and besought forgiveness. And he received them and offered prayer and thanksgiving to God, and he ordained them a fast of a week and when it was fulfilled he baptized them. And when they were baptized, with all their house and their servants and their kindred, they broke all their idols and built a church in the name of Saint John, wherein he himself was taken up, in the following way: 37 There then follows in Ps.‐Abdias a version of the Metastasis.
(b) Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 850
Verso: 38 James places the incident told on the recto before the incident told on the verso. . . . for him [ ] groanings and [ ] but John [ to Zeuxis having arisen and taken [ ] who compelled me [ ] thinking to strangle himself, who the desperate ] converts to yourself; you who to no man are known ] makes known; who weeps for the oppressed ] who raises up the dead [ ] of the helpless: Jesus the comforter [ ] we praise you and worship and give thanks for all your gifts and for your present dispensation ] and service. And to Zeuxis only at the eucharist ] he gave to those who wished to receive [ ] looking on him they did not dare, but the proconsul [ ] the midst of the congregation to John ] said ‘Servant of the unnameable [ ] has brought letters from Caesar ] and with . . . Recto: . . . departure [ ] Andronicus and his ]wife 39 This is written as a title of the following episode. When a few days had passed John went[ with many brethren to [ ] pass over a bridge under which a river ran [ ] John went to the brethren [ a man came to him in soldier's clothing and stood in his presence and said, ‘John if [ my hands you shall shortly come.’ And John [ said, ‘The Lord shall quench your threatening and your wrath and transgression.’ And behold, the man vanished. When John came to those he was visiting and found them gathered together, he said, ‘Rise up, my brethren and let us bow our knees to the Lord who the great enemy's unseen activity has brought to nothing ] bowed their knees together with them ] God . . . 40 In the interest of presenting a reasonably logical sequence of English words from this fragmentary text no attempt has been made to indicate the exact lengths of the original lines. The brackets are meant to indicate the major gaps in the text.
(c) Epistle of Pseudo‐Titus 41 Ed. D. de Bruyne, ‘Nouveaux fragments des Actes de Pierre, de Paul, de Jean, d'André et de l'Apocalypse d’Élie’, Rev. Bén. 25 (1908), 149–60, sp. 155–7. The full text of Pseudo‐Titus was edited by de Bruyne in Rev. Bén. 37 (1925), 47–72.
As rendered by James (p. 266) one part reads:
Or is that outside the law which we are taught, how the very devils [when they] confessed to Dyrus (read Verus) the deacon as to the coming of John: consider what they said, ‘Many will come to us in the last times to turn us out of our vessels (i.e. the bodies possessed by them), saying that they are pure and clean from women and are not held by desire of them: whom (MS while) if we desired, we (could) possess them also.’Another reads (in brief):
Receive therefore in your heart the admonition of the blessed John, who, when he was bidden to a marriage, came only to promote the cause of chastity, and consider what he said: ‘Little children, while yet your flesh is pure and you have your body untouched and not destroyed, and are not defiled by Satan, the great enemy and shameless (foe) of chastity: know therefore more fully the mystery of the nuptial union: it is the experiment of the serpent, the ignorance of teaching, injury of the seed, the gift of death, . . . 42 Text corrupt. the impediment which separates from the Lord, the beginning of disobedience, the end of life, and death. Hearing this, little children, join yourselves together in an inseparable marriage, holy and true, waiting for the one true incomparable bridegroom from heaven, even Christ, the ever‐lasting bridegroom.’
3 Text obscure.
4 This summary sentence, often numbered as the beginning of ch. 37, must be an abridgement of a much longer narration. The manuscript does not indicate a break, but much text has been lost: this is likely to have included the conversion of Drusiana and Andronicus.
5 Chs. 37–86 follow 87–105.
6 Gap in text.
7 i.e. the eightfold power.
8 Fragments of this hymn (chs. 95–6 cited in Augustine, ep. 237, are (Goldbacher's page and line):
I will save, and I will be saved. (530. 17) I will loose, and I will be loosed. (529. 3 and 29) I will be born. (531. 4) I will sing, dance all of you. (531. 7 and 9) I will lament, beat you all yourselves. (531. 12) I will adorn, and I will be adorned. (531. 13f.) I am a lamp to you who see me. (531. 18) I am a door to you who knock on me. (531. 20f) You who see what I do, keep silence about my works. (531. 26) By the Word I mocked at all things, and I was not mocked at all. (532. 17f.)
9 Text obscure.
10 MS C adds ‘now, always and for eternity, Amen’. Several episodes are missing at this point.
11 Text obscure. Junod and Kaestli, p. 222, conjecture ‘arch’ from Greek ‘toxon’ instead of ‘doxon’ (‘glory’).
12 Variant: ‘kicked him and left him speechless’.
13 Heading as in MSS M and O.
14 Variant deletes ‘because . . . clothes’.
15 Text unclear.
16 Following MS M in Bonnet.
17 Some MSS read ‘John's’.
18 A different version of this prayer is given in CCA i. 278–81.
19 Text obscure.
20 Variant adds ‘O trunk, having a demon for reason’.
21 Or ‘O matter that dwells with the madness of matter’.
22 Conjecture (Bonnet).
23 Literally ‘blackness'.
24 CCA i. 292–3 links this sentence with the beginning of ch. 106.
25 Chs. 87–105 follow ch. 36.
26 CCA i. 304–5 adds these two sentences to the end of ch. 110.
27 Following Junod and Kaestli's numbering of the Virtutes. The chapters are usually given as 14–18, 20–1.
29 Or rather, as Pseudo‐Melito has it, the same two brothers.
31 Ps. 39 (38): 6.
32 v.l. ‘Syrice’.
35 A paragraph omitted here tells of the destruction of the temple in Ephesus and the conversion of 12,000 people.
36 Ps. 33 (32): 6.
37 There then follows in Ps.‐Abdias a version of the Metastasis.
38 James places the incident told on the recto before the incident told on the verso.
39 This is written as a title of the following episode.
40 In the interest of presenting a reasonably logical sequence of English words from this fragmentary text no attempt has been made to indicate the exact lengths of the original lines. The brackets are meant to indicate the major gaps in the text.
41 Ed. D. de Bruyne, ‘Nouveaux fragments des Actes de Pierre, de Paul, de Jean, d'André et de l'Apocalypse d’Élie’, Rev. Bén. 25 (1908), 149–60, sp. 155–7. The full text of Pseudo‐Titus was edited by de Bruyne in Rev. Bén. 37 (1925), 47–72.
42 Text corrupt.