The Acts of Paul and Thecla
1. As Paul was going to Iconium after his flight from Antioch, his fellow‐travellers were Demas and Hermogenes, the copper‐smith, who were full of hypocrisy and flattered Paul as if they loved him. Paul, looking only to the goodness of Christ, did them no harm but loved them exceedingly so that he made sweet to them all the words of the Lord and the interpretation of the gospel concerning the birth and resurrection of the Beloved; and he gave them an account, word for word, of the great deeds of Christ as they were revealed to him.
2. And a certain man, by name Onesiphorus, hearing that Paul was to come to Iconium, went out to meet him with his children Simmias and Zeno and his wife Lectra, in order that he might entertain him. Titus had informed him what Paul looked like, for he had not seen him in the flesh, but only in the spirit.
3. And he went along the royal road to Lystra and kept looking at the passers‐by according to the description of Titus. And he saw Paul coming, a man small in size, bald‐headed, bandy‐legged, of noble mien, with eyebrows meeting, rather hook‐nosed, full of grace. Sometimes he seemed like a man, and sometimes he had the face of an angel.
4. And Paul, seeing Onesiphorus, smiled; and Onesiphorus said, ‘Hail, O servant of the blessed God.’ And he said, ‘Grace be with you and your house.’ And Demas and Hermogenes were jealous and showed greater hypocrisy, so that Demas said, ‘Are we not of the blessed God that you have not thus saluted us?’ And Onesiphorus said, ‘I do not see in you the fruit of righteousness, but if such you be, come also into my house and refresh yourselves.’
5. And after Paul had gone into the house of Onesiphorus there was great joy and bowing of knees and breaking of bread and the word of God about abstinence and the resurrection. Paul said, ‘Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God; 2 Matt. 5: 8 . blessed are those who have kept the flesh chaste, for they shall become a temple of God; blessed are the continent, for God shall speak with them; blessed are those who have kept aloof from this world, for they shall be pleasing to God; blessed are those who have wives as not having them, for they shall experience God; 3 1 Cor. 7: 29; Rom 8: 17 . blessed are those who have fear of God, for they shall become angels of God.
6. ‘Blessed are those who respect the word of God, for they shall be comforted; 4 Matt. 5: 4 . blessed are those who have received the wisdom of Jesus Christ, for they shall be called the sons of the Most High; 5 Matt. 5: 9 . blessed are those who have kept the baptism, for they shall be refreshed by the Father and the Son; blessed are those who have come to a knowledge of Jesus Christ, for they shall be in the light; blessed are those who through love of God no longer conform to the world, for they shall judge angels, and shall be blessed at the right hand of the Father; blessed are the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy 6 Matt. 5: 7 . and shall not see the bitter day of judgement; blessed are the bodies of the virgins, for they shall be well pleasing to God and shall not lose the reward of their chastity. For the word of the Father shall become to them a work of salvation in the day of the Son, and they shall have rest for ever and ever.’
7. And while Paul was speaking in the midst of the church in the house of Onesiphorus a certain virgin named Thecla, the daughter of Theoclia, betrothed to a man named Thamyris, was sitting at the window close by and listened day and night to the discourse of virginity, as proclaimed by Paul. And she did not look away from the window, but was led on by faith, rejoicing exceedingly. And when she saw many women and virgins going in to Paul she also had an eager desire to be deemed worthy to stand in Paul's presence and hear the word of Christ. For she had not yet seen Paul in person, but only heard his word.
8. As she did not move from the window her mother sent to Thamyris. And he came gladly as if already receiving her in marriage. And Thamyris said to Theoclia, ‘Where, then, is my Thecla 〈that I may see her〉?’ 7 Words bracketed are absent in Greek MSS. And Theoclia answered, ‘I have a strange story to tell you, Thamyris. For three days and three nights Thecla does not rise from the window either to eat or to drink; but looking earnestly as if upon some pleasant sight she is devoted to a foreigner teaching deceitful and artful discourses, so that I wonder how a virgin of her great modesty exposes herself to such extreme discomfort.
9. ‘Thamyris, this man will overturn the city of the Iconians and your Thecla too; for all the women and the young men go in to him to be taught by him. He says one must fear only one God and live in chastity. Moreover, my daughter, clinging to the window like a spider, lays hold of what is said by him with a strange eagerness and fearful emotion. For the virgin looks eagerly at what is said by him and has been captivated. But go near and speak to her, for she is betrothed to you.’
10. And Thamyris greeted her with a kiss, but at the same time being afraid of her overpowering emotion said, ‘Thecla, my betrothed, why do you sit thus? And what sort of feeling holds you distracted? Come back to your Thamyris and be ashamed.’ Moreover, her mother said the same, ‘Why do you sit thus looking down, my child, and answering nothing, like a sick woman?’ And those who were in the house wept bitterly, Thamyris for the loss of a wife, Theoclia for that of a child, and the maidservants for that of a mistress. And there was a great outpouring of lamentation in the house. And while these things were going on Thecla did not turn away but kept attending to the word of Paul.
11. And Thamyris, jumping up, went into the street, and watched all who went in to Paul and came out. And he saw two men bitterly quarrelling with each other and he said to them, ‘Men, who are you and tell me who is this man among you, leading astray the souls of young men and deceiving virgins so that they should not marry but remain as they are? I promise you money enough if you tell me about him, for I am the chief man of this city.’
12. And Demas and Hermogenes said to him, ‘Who he is we do not know. But he deprives the husbands of wives and maidens of husbands, saying, “There is for you no resurrection unless you remain chaste and do not pollute the flesh.” ’
13. And Thamyris said to them, ‘Come into my house and refresh yourselves.’ And they went to a sumptuous supper and much wine and great wealth and a splendid table. And Thamyris made them drink, for he loved Thecla and wished to take her as wife. And during the supper Thamyris said, ‘Men, tell me what is his teaching that I also may know it, for I am greatly distressed about Thecla, because she so loves the stranger and I am prevented from marrying.’
14. And Demas and Hermogenes said, ‘Bring him before the Governor Castellius because he persuades the multitude to embrace the new teaching of the Christians, and he will destroy him and you shall have Thecla as your wife. And we shall teach you about the resurrection which he says is to come, that it has already taken place in the children whom we have 8 2 Tim. 2: 18 . and that we rise again, after having come to the knowledge of the true God.
15. And when Thamyris heard these things he rose up early in the morning and, filled with jealousy and anger, went into the house of Onesiphorus with rulers and officers and a great crowd with batons and said to Paul, ‘You have deceived the city of the Iconians and especially my betrothed bride so that she will not have me! Let us go to the governor Castellius!’ And the whole crowd cried, ‘Away with the sorcerer for he has misled all our wives!’, and the multitude was also incited.
16. And Thamyris standing before the tribunal said with a great shout, ‘O proconsul, this man—we do not know where he comes from—makes virgins averse to marriage. Let him say before you why he teaches thus.’ But Demas and Hermogenes said to Thamyris, ‘Say that he is a Christian and he will die at once.’ But the governor kept his resolve and called Paul, saying, ‘Who are you and what do you teach? For they bring no small accusation against you.’
17. And Paul, lifting up his voice, said, ‘If I today must tell any of my teachings then listen, O proconsul. The living God, the God of vengeance, the jealous God, the God who has need of nothing, who seeks the salvation of men, has sent me that I may rescue them from corruption and uncleanness and from all pleasure, and from death, that they may sin no more. On this account God sent his Son whose gospel I preach and teach, that in him men have hope, who alone has had compassion upon a world led astray, that men may be no longer under judgement but may have faith and fear of God and knowledge of honesty and love of truth. If then I teach the things revealed to me by God what harm do I do, O proconsul?’ When the governor heard this he ordered Paul to be bound and sent to prison until he had time to hear him more attentively.
18. And Thecla, by night, took off her bracelets and gave them to the gatekeeper; and when the door was opened to her she went into the prison. To the jailer she gave a silver mirror and was thus enabled to go in to Paul and, sitting at his feet, she heard the great deeds of God. And Paul was afraid of nothing, but trusted in God. And her faith also increased and she kissed his bonds.
19. And when Thecla was sought for by her family and Thamyris they were hunting through the streets as if she had been lost. One of the gatekeeper's fellow slaves informed them that she had gone out by night. And they examined the gatekeeper who said to them, ‘She has gone to the foreigner in the prison.’ And they went and found her, so to say, chained to him by affection. And having gone out from there they incited the people and informed the governor what had happened.
20. And he ordered Paul to be brought before the tribunal, but Thecla was riveted to the place where Paul had sat whilst in prison. And the governor ordered her also to be brought to the tribunal, and she came with an exceedingly great joy. And when Paul had been led forth the crowd vehemently cried out, ‘He is a sorcerer. Away with him!’ But the governor gladly heard Paul speak about the holy works of Christ. And having taken counsel, he summoned Thecla and said, ‘Why do you not marry Thamyris, according to the law of the Iconians?’ But she stood looking earnestly at Paul. And when she gave no answer Theoclia, her mother, cried out saying, ‘Burn the wicked one; burn her who will not marry in the midst of the theatre, that all the women who have been taught by this man may be afraid.’
21. And the governor was greatly moved, and after scourging Paul he cast him out of the city. But Thecla he condemned to be burned. And immediately the governor arose and went away to the theatre. And the whole multitude went out to witness the spectacle. But as a lamb in the wilderness looks around for the shepherd, so Thecla kept searching for Paul. And having looked into the crowd she saw the Lord sitting in the likeness of Paul and said, ‘As if I were unable to endure, Paul has come to look after me.’ And she gazed upon him with great earnestness, but he went up into heaven.
22. And the boys and girls brought wood and straw in order that Thecla might be burned. And when she came in naked the governor wept and admired the power that was in her. And the executioners arranged the wood and told her to go up on the pile. And having made the sign of the cross she went up on the pile. And they lighted the fire. And though a great fire was blazing it did not touch her. For God, having compassion upon her, made an underground rumbling, and a cloud full of water and hail overshadowed the theatre from above, and all its contents were poured out so that many were in danger of death. And the fire was put out and Thecla saved.
23. And Paul was fasting with Onesiphorus and his wife and his children in a new tomb on the way which led from Iconium to Daphne. And after many days had been spent in fasting the children said to Paul, ‘We are hungry.’ And they had nothing with which to buy bread, for Onesiphorus had left the things of this world and followed Paul with all his house. And Paul, having taken off his cloak, said, ‘Go, my child, sell this and buy some loaves and bring them.’ And when the child was buying them he saw Thecla their neighbour and was astonished and said, ‘Thecla, where are you going?’ And she said, ‘I have been saved from the fire and am following Paul.’ And the child said, ‘Come, I shall take you to him; for he has been mourning for you and praying and fasting six days already.’
24. And when she had come to the tomb Paul was kneeling and praying, ‘Father of Christ, let not the fire touch Thecla but stand by her, for she is yours’; she, standing behind him, cried out, ‘O Father who made the heaven and the earth, the Father of your beloved Son Jesus Christ, I praise you that you have saved me from the fire that I may see Paul again.’ And Paul, rising up, saw her and said, ‘O God, who knows the heart, Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you because you have speedily heard my prayer.’
25. And there was great love in the tomb as Paul and Onesiphorus and the others all rejoiced. And they had five loaves and vegetables and water, and they rejoiced in the holy works of Christ. And Thecla said to Paul, ‘I will cut my hair off and I shall follow you wherever you go.’ But he said, ‘Times are evil and you are beautiful. I am afraid lest another temptation come upon you worse than the first and that you do not withstand it but become mad after men.’ And Thecla said, ‘Only give me the seal in Christ, and no temptation shall touch me.’ And Paul said, ‘Thecla, be patient; you shall receive the water.’
26. And Paul sent away Onesiphorus and all his family to Iconium and went into Antioch, taking Thecla with him. And as soon as they had arrived a certain Syrian, Alexander by name, an influential citizen of Antioch, seeing Thecla, became enamoured of her and tried to bribe Paul with gifts and presents. But Paul said, ‘I know not the woman of whom you speak, nor is she mine.’ But he, being of great power, embraced her in the street. But she would not endure it and looked about for Paul. And she cried out bitterly, saying, ‘Do not force the stranger; do not force the servant of God. I am one of the chief persons of the Iconians and because I would not marry Thamyris I have been cast out of the city.’ And taking hold of Alexander, she tore his cloak and pulled off his crown and made him a laughing‐stock.
27. And he, although loving her, nevertheless felt ashamed of what had happened and led her before the governor; and as she confessed that she had done these things he condemned her to the wild beasts. The women of the city cried out before the tribunal, ‘Evil judgement! impious judgement!’ And Thecla asked the governor that she might remain pure until she was to fight with the wild beasts. And a rich woman named Queen Tryphaena, whose daughter was dead, took her under her protection and had her for a consolation.
28. And when the beasts were exhibited they bound her to a fierce lioness, and Queen Tryphaena followed her. And the lioness, with Thecla sitting upon her, licked her feet; and all the multitude was astonished. And the charge on her inscription was ‘Sacrilegious.’ And the women and children cried out again and again, ‘O God, outrageous things take place in this city.’ And after the exhibition Tryphaena received her again. For her dead daughter Falconilla had said to her in a dream, ‘Mother, receive this stranger, the forsaken Thecla, in my place, that she may pray for me and I may come to the place of the just.’
29. And when, after the exhibition, Tryphaena had received her she was grieved because Thecla had to fight on the following day with the wild beasts, but on the other hand she loved her dearly like her daughter Falconilla and said, ‘Thecla, my second child, come, pray for my child that she may live in eternity, for this I saw in my sleep.’ And without hesitation she lifted up her voice and said, ‘My God, Son of the Most High, who are in heaven, grant her wish that her daughter Falconilla may live in eternity.’ And when Thecla had spoken Tryphaena grieved very much, considering that such beauty was to be thrown to the wild beasts.
30. And when it was dawn Alexander came to her, for it was he who arranged the exhibition of wild beasts, and said, ‘The governor has taken his seat and the crowd is clamouring for us; get ready, I will take her to fight with the wild beasts.’ And Tryphaena put him to flight with a loud cry, saying, ‘A second mourning for my Falconilla has come upon my house, and there is no one to help, neither child for she is dead, nor kinsman for I am a widow. God of Thecla, my child, help Thecla.’
31. And the governor sent soldiers to bring Thecla. Tryphaena did not leave her but took her by the hand and led her away saying, ‘My daughter Falconilla I took away to the tomb, but you, Thecla, I take to fight the wild beasts.’ And Thecla wept bitterly and sighed to the Lord, ‘O Lord God, in whom I trust, to whom I have fled for refuge, who did deliver me from the fire, reward Tryphaena who has had compassion on your servant and because she kept me pure.’
32. And there arose a tumult: the wild beasts roared, the people and the women sitting together were crying, some saying, ‘Away with the sacrilegious person!’, others saying, ‘O that the city would be destroyed on account of this iniquity! Kill us all, proconsul; miserable spectacle, evil judgement!’
33. And Thecla, having been taken from the hands of Tryphaena, was stripped and received a girdle and was thrown into the arena. And lions and bears were let loose upon her. And a fierce lioness ran up and lay down at her feet. And the multitude of the women cried aloud. And a bear ran upon her, but the lioness went to meet it and tore the bear to pieces. And again a lion that had been trained to fight against men, which belonged to Alexander, ran upon her. And the lioness, encountering the lion, was killed along with it. And the women cried the more since the lioness, her protector, was dead.
34. Then they sent in many beasts as she was standing and stretching forth her hands and praying. And when she had finished her prayer she turned around and saw a large pit full of water and said, ‘Now it is time to wash myself.’ And she threw herself in saying, ‘In the name of Jesus Christ I baptize myself on my last day.’ When the women and the multitude saw it they wept and said, ‘Do not throw yourself into the water!’; even the governor shed tears because the seals were to devour such beauty. She then threw herself into the water in the name of Jesus Christ, but the seals, having seen a flash of lightning, floated dead on the surface. And there was round her a cloud of fire so that the beasts could neither touch her nor could she be seen naked.
35. But the women lamented when other and fiercer animals were let loose; some threw petals, others nard, others cassia, others amomum, so that there was an abundance of perfumes. And all the wild beasts were hypnotized and did not touch her. And Alexander said to the governor, ‘I have some terrible bulls to which we will bind her.’ And the governor consented grudgingly, ‘Do what you will.’ And they bound her by the feet between the bulls and put red‐hot irons under their genitals so that they, being rendered more furious, might kill her. They rushed forward but the burning flame around her consumed the ropes, and she was as if she had not been bound.
36. And Tryphaena fainted standing beside the arena, so that the servants said, ‘Queen Tryphaena is dead.’ And the governor put a stop to the games and the whole city was in dismay. And Alexander fell down at the feet of the governor and cried, ‘Have mercy upon me and upon the city and set the woman free, lest the city also be destroyed. For if Caesar hear of these things he will possibly destroy the city along with us because his kinswoman, Queen Tryphaena, has died at the theatre gate.’
37. And the governor summoned Thecla out of the midst of the beasts and said to her, ‘Who are you? And what is there about you that not one of the wild beasts touched you?’ She answered, ‘I am a servant of the living God and, as to what there is about me, I have believed in the Son of God in whom he is well pleased; that is why not one of the beasts touched me. For he alone is the goal of salvation and the basis of immortal life. For he is a refuge to the tempest‐tossed, a solace to the afflicted, a shelter to the despairing; in brief, whoever does not believe in him shall not live but be dead forever.’
38. When the governor heard these things he ordered garments to be brought and to be put on her. And she said, ‘He who clothed me when I was naked among the beasts will in the day of judgement clothe me with salvation.’ And taking the garments she put them on.
And the governor immediately issued an edict saying, ‘I release to you the pious Thecla, the servant of God.’ And the women shouted aloud and with one voice praised God, ‘One is the God, who saved Thecla’, so that the whole city was shaken by their voices.
39. And Tryphaena, having received the good news, went with the multitude to meet Thecla. After embracing her she said, ‘Now I believe that the dead are raised! Now I believe that my child lives. Come inside and all that is mine I shall assign to you.’ And Thecla went in with her and rested eight days, instructing her in the word of God, so that many of the maidservants believed. And there was great joy in the house.
40. And Thecla longed for Paul and sought him, looking in every direction. And she was told that he was in Myra. And wearing a mantle that she had altered so as to make a man's cloak, she came with a band of young men and maidens to Myra, where she found Paul speaking the word of God and went to him. And he was astonished at seeing her and her companions, thinking that some new temptation was coming upon her. And perceiving this, she said to him, ‘I have received baptism, O Paul; for he who worked with you for the gospel has worked with me also for baptism.’
41. And Paul, taking her, led her to the house of Hermias and heard everything from her, so that he greatly wondered and those who heard were strengthened and prayed for Tryphaena. And Thecla rose up and said to Paul, ‘I am going to Iconium.’ Paul answered, ‘Go, and teach the word of God.’ And Tryphaena sent her much clothing and gold so that she could leave many things to Paul for the service of the poor.
42. And coming to Iconium she went into the house of Onesiphorus and fell upon the place where Paul had sat and taught the word of God, and she cried and said, ‘My God and God of this house where the light shone upon me, Jesus Christ, Son of God, my help in prison, my help before the governors, my help in the fire, my help among the wild beasts, you alone are God and to you be glory for ever. Amen.’
43. And she found Thamyris dead but her mother alive. And calling her mother she said, ‘Theoclia, my mother, can you believe that the Lord lives in heaven? For if you desire wealth the Lord will give it to you through me; or if you desire your child, behold, I am standing beside you.’
And having thus testified, she went to Seleucia and enlightened many by the word of God; then she rested in a glorious sleep.
(a) In some manuscripts after ‘Seleucia’ is to be found the following section (translated from Lipsius–Bonnet, i. 270–1):
‘and dwelt in a cave seventy‐two years, living upon herbs and water. And she enlightened many by the word of God.
44. And certain men of the city, being Greeks by religion and physicians by profession, sent to her pompous young men to corrupt her. For they said, ‘She is a virgin and serves Artemis, and from this she has virtue in healing.’ And by the providence of God she entered into the rock alive and went under ground. And she departed to Rome to see Paul and found that he had fallen asleep. And after staying there a short time, she rested in a glorious sleep and she is buried about two or three stadia from the tomb of her master Paul.
45. She was cast into the fire when seventeen years old and among the wild beasts when eighteen. And she was an ascetic in the cave, as has been said, seventy‐two years so that all the years of her life were ninety. And after accomplishing many cures she rests in the place of the saints, having fallen asleep on the twenty‐fourth of the month of September in Christ Jesus our Lord to whom be glory and strength for ever and ever. Amen.
[This section appears in Italian translation in Moraldi, ii. 1098–9, and Erbetta, ii. 268–9.]
(b) In manuscript G (as edited by Grabe) this final paragraph is expanded as follows (translated from Lipsius–Bonnet, i. 271–2):
And a cloud of light guided her. And having come into Seleucia she went outside the city one stade. And she was afraid of them for they worshipped idols. And it guided her to the mountain called Calaman or Rhodeon, and having found there a cave she went into it. And she was there many years and underwent many and grievous trials by the devil and bore them nobly, being assisted by Christ. And some of the well‐born women, having learned about the virgin Thecla, went to her and learned the miracles of God. And many of them bade farewell to the world and lived an ascetic life with her. And a good report was spread everywhere concerning her; and cures were done by her. All the city, therefore, and the country around, having learnt this, brought their sick to the mountain, and before they came near the door they were speedily released from whatever disease they were afflicted with; and the unclean spirits went out shrieking, and all received their own people in health, glorifying God who had given such grace to the virgin Thecla. The physicians of the city of Seleucia were thought nothing of, having lost their trade, and no one any longer had regard to them. Being filled with envy and hatred, they plotted against the servant of Christ to decide what they should do to her. The devil then suggested to them a wicked device. One day, having assembled, they took counsel and consulted with each other, saying, ‘This holy virgin has influence upon the great goddess Artemis and if she ask anything of her she hears her, being a virgin herself, and all the gods love her. Come, then, let us take unprincipled men and make them drunk with wine, and let us give them a great deal of money and say to them, “If you can corrupt and defile her we shall give you even more money.” ’ The physicians said to themselves that if they should be able to defile her neither the gods nor Artemis would listen to her in the case of the sick. They therefore acted accordingly, and the wicked men went up to the mountain and rushed upon the cave like lions and knocked at the door. And the holy martyr Thecla opened it, emboldened by the God in whom she trusted, for she knew of their plot beforehand. And she said to them, ‘What do you want, my children?’ And they said, ‘Is there someone here called Thecla?’ And she said, ‘What do you want with her?’ They said to her, ‘We want to sleep with her.’ The blessed Thecla said to them, ‘I am a poor old woman, a servant of my Lord Jesus Christ; and even though you want to do something unseemly to me you cannot.’ They said to her, ‘We must do to you what we want.’ And having said this, they laid fast hold of her and wished to insult her. But she said to them with mildness, ‘Wait, my children, that you may see the glory of the Lord.’ And when they took hold of her she looked up into heaven and said, ‘God, terrible and incomparable and glorious to your adversaries, who delivered me out of the fire, who did not give me up to Thamyris, who did not give me up to Alexander, who delivered me from the wild beasts, who saved me in the abyss, who has everywhere worked with me and glorified your name in me, now also deliver me from these lawless men and let them not insult my virginity which for your name's sake I have preserved till now because I love you and desire you and adore you, the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost for ever. Amen.’ And there came a voice out of the heaven saying, ‘Fear not, Thecla, my true servant, for I am with you. Look and see where an opening has been made before you, for there shall be for you an everlasting house and there you shall obtain shelter.’ And looking around, the blessed Thecla saw the rock opened far enough to allow a person to enter, and in obedience to what had been said to her she courageously fled from the lawless men and entered into the rock; and the rock was immediately shut together so that not even a joint could be seen. And they, beholding the extraordinary wonder, became distracted, and they were not able to stop the servant of God but only caught hold of her dress and were able to tear off a certain part. All this happened by the permission of God for the faith of those seeing the venerable place and for a blessing in the generations afterwards to those who believe in our Lord Jesus Christ out of a pure heart.
Thus, then, suffered the first martyr of God and apostle and virgin, Thecla, who came from Iconium when eighteen years of age. With her journeying and travels and the retirement in the mountain she lived seventy‐two years more. And when the Lord took her she was ninety years old. And thus is her consummation. And her holy commemoration is celebrated on the twenty‐fourth of the month of September, to the glory of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, now and ever and to ages of ages. Amen.
[This ending is given in English translation by Hone, 110–11, and Pick, Paralipomena: Remains of Gospels and Sayings of Christ (Chicago, 1908), 32–4, and in Italian translation in Moraldi, ii. 1099–1101; Erbetta, ii. 267–8.]
(When he departed from) Antioch and taught in Myra
When Paul was teaching the word of God in Myra there was a man there named Hermocrates who had the dropsy. He stood in the sight of all and said to Paul, ‘Nothing is impossible with God but especially with him whom you preach, for when he came he healed many, he whose servant you are. Lo, I and my wife and my children cast ourselves at your feet that I also may believe just as you believed in the living God.’ Paul said to him, ‘I will give you . . . without reward, but through the name of Jesus Christ you shall become whole in the presence of all these.’
. . . and his belly opened and a great deal of water flowed out of him and he fell as if dead, so that some said, ‘It is better for him to die, that he may not be in pain.’ But when Paul had quietened the crowd he took his hand, raised him up, and asked him saying, ‘Hermocrates, . . . what you will.’ But he said, ‘I wish to eat.’ And he took a loaf and gave it him to eat. He became whole in that hour, and received the grace of the seal in the Lord, he and his wife.
But Hermippus his son was angry with Paul and sought for an opportunity to rise up with those of his own age and destroy him. For he wished that his father should not be healed but die, so that he might quickly be master of his property. But Dion, his younger son, heard Paul gladly. All who were with his brother took counsel to fight Paul, so that Hermippus . . . and tried to kill him . . . Dion fell down and died, but Hermippus washed Dion with his tears. But Hermocrates mourned, for he loved Dion more than his other son. As he sat at Paul's feet he forgot that Dion was dead.
But when Dion was dead his mother Nympha rent her clothing and went to Paul and set herself before her husband Hermocrates and Paul. But when Paul saw her he was startled and said, ‘Why are you doing this, Nympha?’ But she said to him, ‘Dion is dead.’ And the whole crowd wept as they looked upon her. And Paul looked upon the mourning crowd; he sent young men and said to them, ‘Go and bring him here to me.’ So they went, but Hermippus took hold of the body in the street and cried out . . . 10 One leaf is missing.
But an angel of the Lord had said to him in the night, ‘Paul, there is before you today a great conflict against your body, but God, the Father of his Son Jesus Christ, will (protect) you.’ When Paul had arisen he went to his brethren and remained . . . saying, ‘What does this vision mean?’ But while Paul thought about this he saw Hermippus coming with a drawn sword in his hand, and with him many other young men with their cudgels. Paul said to them, ‘I am not a robber, nor am I a murderer. The God of all things, the Father of Christ, will turn your hands backwards and your sword into its sheath and will transform your strength into weakness. For I am a servant of God, and I am alone, a stranger, small and of no significance among the heathen. But you, O God, look down upon their counsel and let me not be brought to nought by them.’ As Hermippus . . . his sword . . . against Paul . . . he lost his sight, so that he cried aloud, saying, ‘ . . . comrades, forget not . . . Hermippus. For I have sinned, Paul, I have pursued after . . . blood. Learn, you foolish and you of understanding, this world is nothing, gold is nothing, all possessions are nothing. I who glutted myself with all that is good am now a beggar and entreat you all. Hearken, all my companions and every one who dwells in Myra. I have mocked a man who saved my father, I have . . . raised up my brother . . . But entreat him, for behold he saved my father and raised up my brother. It is possible for him to deliver me too.’ But Paul stood there weeping, alike before God because he had heard him quickly and also before men because the proud man was brought low. He turned and went up . . .
And they saw Hermippus their son in the form of . . . and how he touched the feet of each one, and also the feet of his parents, praying to them like one of the strangers that he might be healed. And his parents were troubled and lamented to every one who went in, so that some said, ‘Why do they weep? For Dion is risen.’ But Hermocrates . . . and brought the price to the . . . and took it and divided it . . .
But they and Paul prayed to God. And when Hermippus recovered his sight he turned to his mother Nympha, saying to her, ‘Paul came and laid his hand upon me while I wept. And in that hour I saw all things clearly.’ And she took his hand and brought him in to the widows and Paul. 11 A leaf is probably missing here.
. . . And when Paul had confirmed the brethren who were in Myra he departed for Sidon.
When he had departed from Myra and (wished to go to Sidon)
But when Paul departed from Myra and wished to go up to Sidon there was great sorrow among the brethren who were in Pisidia and Pamphylia since they yearned after his word and his holy presence, so that some from Perga followed Paul, namely Thrasymachus and Cleon with their wives Aline (?) and Chrysa, the wife of Cleon.
. . . 12 The section immediately preceding these words is preserved only in fragments and at least two leaves are missing. after the manner of strange men. Why do you presume to do things that are not seemly? Have you not heard of that which happened which God brought upon Sodom and Gomorrah, because they robbed . . . ’
But they did not listen to him but took the men and put them into the temple of Apollo to keep them secure until the morning in order that they might assemble the city . . . Abundant and costly was the food they gave them, but Paul, who was fasting for the third day, testified all night long, sad at heart, and smiting his brow said, ‘O God, look down upon their threats and do not allow us to fall and let not our adversary strike us down, but deliver us by bringing down quickly your righteousness upon us . . . ’
They went away and proclaimed in the city, ‘Apollo the god of the Sidonians has fallen and half of his temple.’ And all the inhabitants of the city ran to the temple and saw Paul and those who were with him weeping at this tribulation, because they were to become a spectacle for everyone. But the crowd cried out, ‘Bring them to the theatre!’ The magistrates came to fetch them and they groaned bitterly in their soul . . . 13 At least two leaves are missing.
But he commanded them to go to Tyre . . . in safety (?), and they put Paul 〈aboard a ship?〉 and went with him.
When he had departed from Sidon and wished to go to Tyre
But when Paul had entered into Tyre there came a crowd of Jews . . . in to him . . .
But immediately the demons fled. But when the crowd saw these things in the power of God they praised him who . . . to Paul. Now there was one named . . . rimos who had a 〈son〉 who had been born dumb . . . 14 James adds here the fragments found in Schmidt, nos. 64, 63, 70, 69, 68, 67, 66, 65, 61, 62, 60, 59.
But Paul said to him, ‘ . . . for you have no power over me except over my body, but my soul you can not kill. But hear in what manner you must be saved. And taking all my words to heart . . . and the earth and stars and dominions and . . . and all the good things in the world for the sake of . . . moulded . . . of men . . . led astray and enslaved . . . by gold . . . silver and precious stones . . . and acts of adultery and drunkenness . . . , which lead to deception through the afore‐mentioned . . . went and were slain. Now then since the Lord wishes us to live in God because of the error in the world and not to die in sins, he saves through the . . . who preach, that you may repent and believe . . . and one Christ Jesus and no other exists. For your gods are of . . . and stone and wood and can neither take food nor see nor hear, nor even stand. From a good resolve and be saved, lest God be wroth and burn you with unquenchable fire and the memory of you perish.’ And when the governor heard this . . . in the theatre with the people he said, ‘You men of Ephesus, that this man has spoken well I know, but also that it is not yet time for you to learn these things. Decide now what you wish!’ Some said he should be burned . . . , but the goldsmiths said, ‘To the beasts with the man!’ And since a great tumult broke out Hieronymus condemned him to the beasts, after having him scourged. Now the brethren, since it was Pentecost, did not mourn or bow their knees, but rejoiced and prayed standing. But after six days Hieronymus made a display of animals: all who saw it were astonished at the size of the beasts. While Paul was bound . . . he began to (? pray) . . . he heard the noise of the waggons . . . that carried the beasts . . .
And when the lion came to the side door of the stadium where Paul was imprisoned it roared loudly, so that everybody cried out, ‘The lion!’ For it roared fiercely and angrily, so that even Paul broke off his prayer in terror. There was a certain Diophantes, a freedman of Hieronymus, whose wife was a disciple of Paul, and she sat beside him night and day, so that Diophantes became jealous and hastened on the conflict. And Artemilla, the wife of Hieronymus, wished to hear Paul pray and said to Eubula, the wife of Diophantes, ‘ . . . to hear the beast‐fighter's prayer.’ And she went and told Paul, and Paul full of joy said, ‘Bring her.’ She put on darker clothes and came to him with Eubula. But when Paul saw her he groaned and said, ‘Woman, ruler of this world, mistress of much gold, citizen of great luxury, splendid in your raiment, sit down on the floor and forget your riches and your beauty and your finery. For these will profit you nothing if you pray not to God, who regards as dross all that here is marvellous but graciously bestows what beyond is wonderful. Gold perishes, riches are consumed, clothes become worn out. Beauty grows old, and great cities are changed, and the world will be destroyed in fire because of the lawlessness of men. God alone abides, and the sonship that is given through him in whom men must be saved. And now, Artemilla, hope in God and he will deliver you; hope in Christ and he will give you forgiveness of sins and will bestow upon you a crown of freedom, that you may no longer serve idols and the savour of sacrifice but the living God and Father of Christ whose is the glory for ever and ever. Amen.’ And when Artemilla heard this she with Eubula besought Paul that he would forthwith baptize her in God. And the fight with the beasts was arranged for the next day.
And Hieronymus heard from Diophantes that the women sat night and day with Paul, and he was not a little angry with Artemilla and the freedwoman Eubula. And when he had dined Hieronymus withdrew early that he might quickly carry through the animal fight. But the women said to Paul, ‘Do you wish us to bring a lock‐smith that you may baptize us in the sea as a free man?’ And Paul said, ‘I do not wish it, for I have faith in God who delivered the whole world from its bonds.’ And Paul cried out to God on the Sabbath as the Lord's day drew near, the day on which Paul was to fight with the beasts, and he said, ‘My God, Jesus Christ, who redeemed me from so many evils, grant me that before the eyes of Artemilla and Eubula, who are yours, the fetters may be broken from my hands.’ And as Paul thus testified there came in a youth very comely in grace and loosed Paul's bonds, the youth smiling as he did so. And straightway he departed. But because of the vision which was granted to Paul and the great miracle of his fetters his grief over the fight with the beasts departed and, rejoicing, he leaped as if in paradise. And taking Artemilla he went out from the narrow and dark place where the prisoners were kept.
. . . 15 The following section is fragmentary. In it is the account of Artemilla's baptism in the sea in the presence of the young man. As Artemilla faints this prayer occurs. ‘O you who give light and shine, come to my help, so that the heathen may not say that Paul the prisoner fled after killing Artemilla.’ And again the youth smiled, and the matron came to herself and went into the house as dawn was already breaking. But as Paul (?) went in the guards were asleep, and he broke bread and brought water, gave her to drink of the word, and sent her to her husband Hieronymus. But he himself prayed.
At dawn there was a cry from the citizens, ‘Let us go to the spectacle! Come, let us see the man who possesses God fighting with the beasts!’ Hieronymus himself joined them, partly because of his suspicion against his wife, partly because Paul had not fled; he commanded Diophantes and the other slaves to bring Paul into the stadium. He was dragged in, saying nothing but bowed down and groaning because he was led in triumph by the city. And when he was brought out he was immediately flung into the stadium. Everybody was angry at Paul's dignified bearing. But Artemilla and Eubula fell into a sickness and were in extreme danger because of Paul's likely destruction. Hieronymus was therefore not a little grieved over his wife, and also because the rumour was already abroad in the city and he did not have his wife with him. So when he had taken his place the . . . ordered a very fierce lion which had but recently been captured to be set loose against him . . .
. . . 16 In the gap would be found the lion's prayer and its conservation with Paul. There then follows this acclamation of the crowd. ‘Away with the sorcerer! Away with the poisoner!’ But the lion looked at Paul, and Paul at the lion. Then Paul recognized that this was the lion which had come and been baptized. And borne along by faith Paul said, ‘Lion, was it you whom I baptized?’ And the lion in answer said to Paul, ‘Yes.’ Paul spoke to it again and said, ‘And how were you captured?’ The lion said with its own voice, ‘Just as you were, Paul.’ After Hieronymus had sent many beasts so that Paul might be slain, and archers that the lion too might be killed, a violent and exceedingly heavy hail‐storm fell from heaven, although the sky was clear: many died and all the rest took to flight. But it did not touch Paul or the lion although the other beasts perished under the weight of the hail, which was so heavy that Hieronymus' ear was hit and torn off, and the people cried out as they fled, ‘Save us, O God, save us, O God of the man who fought with the beasts!’ And Paul took leave of the lion, which spoke no more, and went out of the stadium and down to the harbour and embarked on the ship which was sailing for Macedonia, for there were many who were sailing as if the city were about to perish. So he embarked too like one of the fugitives, but the lion went away into the mountains as was natural for it.
Now Artemilla and Eubula mourned not a little, fasting and in . . . as to what had befallen Paul. But when it was night there came (a young man) visibly into the bedroom, where . . . Hieronymus had a running sore in his ear.
. . . 17 In the gap it seems as if the women are comforted by the youth. Hieronymus then prays to Paul's God for help. ‘Through the will of Christ Jesus heal the ear!’ And it became whole, as the youth had commanded him, ‘Treat yourself with honey.’
The unpublished Coptic fragment announced by Kasser 18 See bibliography under ‘Coptic.’ concerns Paul in Ephesus and overlaps the passages translated above. In this fragment Paul leaves Smyrna to go to Ephesus, where he lodges with Prisca and Aquila. At night an angel warns Paul of impending doom. Paul then gives a sermon in which he refers to his having baptized a lion in Judaea. The sermon results in Paul's converting many Ephesians but also in his arrest. He is brought to the proconsul, Hieronymus, and gives an account of himself. (This section overlaps with P. Hamb, p. 1). 19 The passages are set out in parallel columns in Moraldi's Italian translation, ii. 1114–15. This Coptic fragment is then too lacunose to be of value.
8. Philippi 20 The beginning of this section is lost.
. . . The Corinthians were in great distress about Paul because he was going to die before his time. For men, Simon and Cleobius, had come to Corinth who said, ‘There is no resurrection of the flesh but only of the spirit, and the body of man is not created by God, and God did not create the world and does not know the world, nor has Jesus Christ been crucified but only in appearance, and he was not born of Mary nor of the seed of David.’ In a word, they taught many things in Corinth, deceiving many others and deceiving themselves. When therefore the Corinthians heard that Paul was at Philippi they sent a letter to Paul in Macedonia by the hand of Threptus and Eutychus, the deacons. The letter was as follows:
[A. Letter Of the Corinthians To the Apostle Paul]
- 1. Stephanus and his fellow‐presbyters Daphnus and Eubulus and Theophilus and Zeno to Paul, the brother in the Lord—greeting! 2. Two individuals have come to Corinth, named Simon and Cleobius, who overthrow the faith of some through pernicious words. 3. These you shall examine yourself. 4. For we never heard such things either from you or from the other apostles. 5. But we keep what we have received from you and from the others. 6. Since the Lord has shown us mercy, while you are still in the flesh we should hear this from you once more. 7. Come to us or write to us. 8. For we believe, as it has been revealed to Theonoe, that the Lord has delivered you from the hands of the godless. 9. What they say and teach is as follows: 10. They assert that one must not appeal to the prophets (11) and that God is not almighty, (12) there is no resurrection of the body, (13) man has not been made by God, (14) Christ has neither come in the flesh, nor was he born of Mary, (15) and the world is not the work of God but of angels. 16. Wherefore we beseech you, brother, be diligent to come to us that the Corinthian church may remain without stumbling and the foolishness of these men be confounded. Farewell in the Lord!
- 1. The deacons, Threptus and Eutychus, took the letter to Philippi (2) and Paul received it, being himself in prison because of Stratonike, the wife of Apollophanes; and he became very sad, (3) and exclaimed saying, ‘It would have been better had I died and were with the Lord than to abide in the flesh and to hear such words so that sorrow comes upon sorrow, (4) and to be in prison in the face of such great distress and behold such mischief where the wiles of Satan are busy!’ 5. And in great affliction Paul wrote the answer to the letter.
[B. Paul's Epistle To the Corinthians] 22 P. Bod. adds ‘concerning the Flesh’.
1. Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, to the brethren at Corinth—greeting!. 2. Being in many afflictions, I marvel not that
the teachings of the evil one had such rapid success. 3. For my Lord Jesus Christ will quickly come, since he is rejected by those who falsify his teaching.
4. For I delivered to you first of all what I received from the apostles before me who were always with Jesus Christ, (5)
that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of Mary of the seed of David, the Father having sent the spirit from heaven into her (6)
that he might come into this world and save all flesh by his own flesh and that he might raise us in the flesh from the dead
as he has presented himself to us as our example. 7. And since man is created by his Father, (8) for this reason was he sought
by him when he was lost, to become alive by adoption. 9. For the almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, sent the prophets
first to the Jews to deliver them from their sins, (10) for he wished to save the house of Israel; therefore he took from
the spirit of Christ and poured it out upon the prophets who proclaimed the true worship of God for a long period of time.
11. For the wicked prince who wished to be God himself laid his hands on them and killed them and bound all flesh of man to
his pleasure. 12. But the almighty God, being just, and not wishing to repudiate his creation had mercy (13) and sent his
Spirit into Mary the Galilean,
Verse 14 is found in Latin MSS: ‘Who believed with all her heart and conceived by the Holy Spirit that Jesus could come into
(15) that the evil one might be conquered by the same flesh by which he held sway, and be convinced that he is not God. 16.
For by his own body Jesus Christ saved all flesh, (17) presenting in his own body a temple of righteousness (18) through which
we are saved. 19. They who follow them are not children of righteousness but of wrath, who despise the wisdom of God and in
their disbelief assert that heaven and earth and all that is in them are not a work of God. 20. They have the accursed belief
of the serpent. 21. Turn away from them and keep aloof from their teaching.
Verses 22–3 are not found in all authorities. These verses read (in the Milan and Paris MSS and in Armenian): ‘22. For you
are not children of disobedience but of the beloved church. 23. Therefore is the time of the resurrection preached to all.’
24. And those who say that there is no resurrection of the flesh shall have no resurrection, (25) for they do not believe
him who had thus risen. 26. For they do not know, O Corinthians, about the sowing of wheat or some other grain that it is
cast naked into the ground and having perished rises up again by the will of God in a body and clothed. 27. And he not only
raises the body which is sown, but blesses it manifold. 28. And if one will not take the parable of the seeds (29) let him
look at Jonah, the son of Amathios who, being unwilling to preach to the Ninevites, was swallowed up by the whale. 30. And
after three days and three nights God heard the prayer of Jonah out of deepest hell, and nothing was corrupted, not even a
hair nor an eyelid. 31. How much more will he raise you up, who have believed in Christ Jesus, as he himself was raised up.
32. When a corpse was thrown on the bones of the prophet Elisha by one of the children of Israel the corpse rose from death;
how much more shall you rise up on that day with a whole body, after you been thrown upon the body and bones and Spirit of the Lord.
Verse 33 is found in some MSS: ‘Also Elijah the prophet: he raised up the widow's son from death: how much more shall the
Lord Jesus raise you up from death at the sound of the trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye? For he has shown us an example
in his own body.’
34. If, however, you receive anything else let no man trouble me, (35) for I have these bonds on me that I may win Christ,
and I bear his marks that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead. 36. And whoever accepts this rule which we have received
by the blessed prophets and the holy gospel, shall receive a reward,
Some manuscripts add: ‘and when he is raised from the dead shall obtain eternal life’.
(37) but for whomsoever deviates from this rule fire shall be for him and for those who preceded him therein (38) since they
are Godless men, a generation of vipers. 39. Resist them in the power of the Lord. 40. Peace be with you.
Between 3 Corinthians and the conclusion of the episode in Philippi there is a gap. In it is likely to have occurred the story of Longinus’ and Firmilla's daughter Frontina. The fragment begins in the middle of a speech probably by Longinus:
. . . nothing good has befallen my house.’ And he advised that . . . who were to throw down Frontina his daughter should also throw down Paul alive with her. Now Paul knew of the matter, but he laboured and fasted in great cheerfulness for two days with the prisoners. They commanded that on the third day . . . bring out Frontina. But the . . . followed her. And Firmilla and Longinus and the soldiers lamented. But the prisoners carried the bier. And when Paul saw the great mourning . . . Paul alive with the daughter. But when Paul had taken the daughter in his arms he groaned to the Lord Jesus Christ because of Firmilla's sorrow; he threw himself on his knees in the mud . . . and prayed for Frontina and her in one prayer. In that hour Frontina rose up. And all the crowd was afraid and fled. Paul took the daughter's hand and led her through the city to the house of Longinus. But the whole crowd cried with one voice, ‘One is God, who has made heaven and earth, who has given life to the daughter . . . of Paul’ . . . 27 Shortly after this Schmidt conjectured (incorrectly) the reading ‘to Philippi’. It is ‘from Philippi’, as P. Hamb. p. 6 makes clear. Before the next episode the following words may be restored from P. Heid. p. 44: ‘When he had departed from Philippi and wished to go (to Corinth)’.
- 1. Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, to the brethren at Corinth—greeting!. 2. Being in many afflictions, I marvel not that the teachings of the evil one had such rapid success. 3. For my Lord Jesus Christ will quickly come, since he is rejected by those who falsify his teaching. 4. For I delivered to you first of all what I received from the apostles before me who were always with Jesus Christ, (5) that our Lord Jesus Christ was born of Mary of the seed of David, the Father having sent the spirit from heaven into her (6) that he might come into this world and save all flesh by his own flesh and that he might raise us in the flesh from the dead as he has presented himself to us as our example. 7. And since man is created by his Father, (8) for this reason was he sought by him when he was lost, to become alive by adoption. 9. For the almighty God, maker of heaven and earth, sent the prophets first to the Jews to deliver them from their sins, (10) for he wished to save the house of Israel; therefore he took from the spirit of Christ and poured it out upon the prophets who proclaimed the true worship of God for a long period of time. 11. For the wicked prince who wished to be God himself laid his hands on them and killed them and bound all flesh of man to his pleasure. 12. But the almighty God, being just, and not wishing to repudiate his creation had mercy (13) and sent his Spirit into Mary the Galilean, 23 Verse 14 is found in Latin MSS: ‘Who believed with all her heart and conceived by the Holy Spirit that Jesus could come into the world’. (15) that the evil one might be conquered by the same flesh by which he held sway, and be convinced that he is not God. 16. For by his own body Jesus Christ saved all flesh, (17) presenting in his own body a temple of righteousness (18) through which we are saved. 19. They who follow them are not children of righteousness but of wrath, who despise the wisdom of God and in their disbelief assert that heaven and earth and all that is in them are not a work of God. 20. They have the accursed belief of the serpent. 21. Turn away from them and keep aloof from their teaching. 24 Verses 22–3 are not found in all authorities. These verses read (in the Milan and Paris MSS and in Armenian): ‘22. For you are not children of disobedience but of the beloved church. 23. Therefore is the time of the resurrection preached to all.’ 24. And those who say that there is no resurrection of the flesh shall have no resurrection, (25) for they do not believe him who had thus risen. 26. For they do not know, O Corinthians, about the sowing of wheat or some other grain that it is cast naked into the ground and having perished rises up again by the will of God in a body and clothed. 27. And he not only raises the body which is sown, but blesses it manifold. 28. And if one will not take the parable of the seeds (29) let him look at Jonah, the son of Amathios who, being unwilling to preach to the Ninevites, was swallowed up by the whale. 30. And after three days and three nights God heard the prayer of Jonah out of deepest hell, and nothing was corrupted, not even a hair nor an eyelid. 31. How much more will he raise you up, who have believed in Christ Jesus, as he himself was raised up. 32. When a corpse was thrown on the bones of the prophet Elisha by one of the children of Israel the corpse rose from death; how much more shall you rise up on that day with a whole body, after you been thrown upon the body and bones and Spirit of the Lord. 25 Verse 33 is found in some MSS: ‘Also Elijah the prophet: he raised up the widow's son from death: how much more shall the Lord Jesus raise you up from death at the sound of the trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye? For he has shown us an example in his own body.’ 34. If, however, you receive anything else let no man trouble me, (35) for I have these bonds on me that I may win Christ, and I bear his marks that I may attain to the resurrection of the dead. 36. And whoever accepts this rule which we have received by the blessed prophets and the holy gospel, shall receive a reward, 26 Some manuscripts add: ‘and when he is raised from the dead shall obtain eternal life’. (37) but for whomsoever deviates from this rule fire shall be for him and for those who preceded him therein (38) since they are Godless men, a generation of vipers. 39. Resist them in the power of the Lord. 40. Peace be with you.
From Philippi to Corinth
When Paul came from Philippi to Corinth, to the house of Epiphanius, there was joy; all our people rejoiced but at the same time wept as Paul related what he had suffered in Philippi in the workhouse and everywhere and what had befallen him so that his tears became . . . and prayer was offered without ceasing by all for Paul, and he counted himself blessed that so single‐heartedly every day they guided his affairs in prayer to the Lord. Unrivalled therefore was the greatness of the joy, and Paul's soul was uplifted because of the goodwill of the brethren so that for forty days he preached the word of perseverance, namely in what place anything had befallen him and what great deeds had been granted to him. So in every account he praised almighty God and Christ Jesus who in every place had been well pleased with Paul. But when the days were ended and the time drew near for Paul to depart for Rome grief came upon the brethren as to when they should see him again. And Paul, full of the Holy Spirit, said, ‘Brethren, be zealous about . . . and love. For behold, I go away to a furnace of fire . . . and I am not strong except the Lord grant me power. For indeed David accompanied Saul . . . for Christ Jesus was with him . . . The grace of the Lord will go with me that I may fulfil the . . . dispensation with steadfastness.’ But they were distressed and fasted. Then Cleobius was filled with the Spirit and said, ‘Brethren, now must Paul fulfil his assignment and go up to the . . . of death . . . in great instruction and knowledge and sowing of the word and must suffer envy and depart out of this world.’ But when the brethren and Paul heard this they lifted up their voice and said, ‘O God, . . . Father of Christ, help Paul your servant, that he may yet abide with us because of our weakness.’ But since Paul was cut to the heart and no longer fasted with them, when an offering was celebrated by Paul . . .
But the Spirit came upon Myrta so that she said, ‘Brethren, why are you alarmed at the sight of this sign? Paul the servant of the Lord will save many in Rome and will nourish innumerable people with the word and he will become manifest above all the faithful, and greatly will the glory . . . come upon him so that there will be great grace in Rome.’ And immediately, when the Spirit that was in Myrta was at peace, each one partook of the bread and feasted according to custom . . . amid the singing of psalms of David and of hymns. And Paul too was glad. On the following day, after they had spent the whole night according to the will of God, Paul said, ‘Brethren, I shall set out on Friday and sail for Rome that I may not delay what is commanded and laid upon me, for to this I was appointed.’ They were greatly distressed when they heard this, and all the brethren contributed according to their ability so that Paul might not be troubled, except that he was going away from the brethren.
10. From Corinth to Italy
As he embarked on the ship while they all prayed Artemon the captain of the ship was there. He had been baptized by Peter and . . . Paul that so much was entrusted to him . . . the Lord was embarking. But when the ship had set sail Artemon came together with Paul to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ in the grace of God since he had fore‐ordained his plan for Paul. When they were on the open sea and it was quiet Paul fell asleep, fatigued by the fastings and the night watches with the brethren. And the Lord came to him, walking upon the sea, and he touched Paul and said, ‘Stand up and see!’ And he awoke and said, ‘You are my Lord Jesus Christ, the king . . . , but why are you so gloomy and downcast, Lord? And if you . . . Lord, for I am not a little distressed that you are so.’ And the Lord said, ‘Paul, I am about to be crucified afresh.’ And Paul said, ‘God forbid, Lord, that I should see this!’ But the Lord said to Paul, ‘Paul, get up, go to Rome and admonish the brethren, that they abide in the calling to the Father.’ And . . . walking on the sea, he went before them . . . showed (the way). But when the voyage was ended . . . Paul went . . . with great sadness, and he saw a man standing on the harbour who was waiting for Artemon the captain and when Artemon saw him he greeted him . . . and he 28 P. Mich. 1317 begins here. said to him, ‘Claudius, see here Paul the beloved of the Lord, who is with me.’ . . . Claudius embraced 29 P. Berlin 13893 begins here. Paul and greeted him. And without delay he and Artemon carried the baggage from the ship to his house. And he rejoiced greatly and informed the brethren about him, so that at once Claudius' house was filled with joy and thanksgiving. For they saw how Paul laid aside his mood of sadness and taught the word of truth and said, ‘Brethren and soldiers of Christ, listen! How often did God deliver Israel out of the hand of the lawless! And as long as they kept the things of God he did not forsake them. For he saved them out of the hand of Pharaoh the lawless and of Og, a more ungodly king, and of Adar and the foreign people. And as long as they kept the things of God he gave them of the fruit of the loins, after he had promised them the land of the Canaanites, and he made the foreign people subject to them. And after all the things that he had provided for them in the desert and in the waterless country he sent them in addition prophets to proclaim our Lord Jesus Christ; and these in succession received a share and portion of the Spirit of Christ, and having suffered greatly were slain by the people. Having thus forsaken the living God according to their own desires they forfeited the eternal inheritance. And now, brethren, a great temptation lies before us. If we endure we shall have access to the Lord and shall receive as the refuge and shield of his good pleasure 30 P. Mich. 3788 begins. Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, if at least you receive the word as it is. For in these last times God for our sakes has sent down a spirit of power into the flesh, 31 P. Mich. 1317 breaks off. that is, into Mary the Galilean, according to the prophetic word, which was conceived and borne by her as the fruit of her womb until she was delivered and gave birth to Jesus the Christ, our king, of Bethlehem in Judaea, brought up in Nazareth, 32 P. Mich. 1317 resumes. who went to Jerusalem and taught all Judaea, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand! Forsake the darkness, receive the light, you who live in the darkness of death! A light has arisen for you!’ And he did great and wonderful works, choosing from the tribes twelve men whom he had with him in understanding and faith, as he raised the dead, healed diseases, cleansed lepers, healed the blind, 33 Here P. Hamb. p. 8 ends; the following words are from P. Berlin 13893. made cripples whole, raised up paralytics, cleansed those possessed by demons . . .
P. Mich 1317 ends, but in the Berlin papyrus there follow the fragments of 23 further lines. Possibly the text of P. Heid. pp. 79/80 and P. Mich. 3788 was attached here (see James p. 31):. . . wondered greatly and deliberated in their hearts. He said to them, ‘Why are you amazed that I raise up the dead or that I make the lame walk or that I cleanse the lepers or that I raise up the sick or that I have healed the paralytic and those possessed by demons or that I have divided a little bread and satisfied many or that I have walked upon the sea or that I have commanded the winds? If you believe this and are convinced then are you great. For truly I say to you, ‘If you say to this mountain; “Be removed and be cast into the sea”, and are not doubtful in your heart it will happen for you.’ . . . when one of them was convinced whose name was Simon and who said, ‘Lord, truly great are the works which you do. For we have never heard nor have we ever seen a man who has raised the dead, except you.’ The Lord said to him, ‘You will pray for the works which I myself will do . . . But the other works I will do at once. For these I do for the sake of a temporary deliverance in the time during which they are in these places, that they may believe in him who sent me.’ Simon said to him, ‘Lord, command me to speak.’ He said to him, ‘Speak, Peter!’ For from that day he called them by name. He said, ‘What then is the work that is greater than these except the raising of the dead and the feeding of such a crowd?’ The Lord said to him, ‘There is something that is greater than this, and blessed are they who have believed with all their heart.’ But Philip lifted up his voice in wrath, saying, ‘What manner of thing is this that you will teach us?’ But he said to him, ‘You . . . ’
11. The Martyrdom of the Holy Apostle Paul 34 A small gap separates this section from the preceding.
1. Luke, who had come from Gaul, and Titus, who had come from Dalmatia, expected Paul at Rome. When Paul saw them he rejoiced and rented a barn outside Rome where he and the brethren taught the word of truth. He became famous and many souls were added to the Lord, so that it was noised about in Rome and a great many from the house of the emperor came to him and there was much joy.
A certain Patroclus, a cupbearer of the emperor, who had come too late to the barn and could not get near to Paul on account of the throng of the people sat on a high window, and listened as he taught the word of God. But Satan, being wicked, became jealous of the love of the brethren and Patroclus fell down from the window and died; speedily it was reported to Nero. Paul, however, having learned it by the Spirit said, ‘Brethren, the evil one has obtained a way to tempt you; go forth and you will find a boy who has fallen down and is dying. Lift him up and bring him here.’ This they did. When the people saw him they were frightened. Paul said to them, ‘Now, brethren, show your faith. Come, let us mourn to our Lord Jesus Christ, that the boy may live and we remain unharmed.’ When all began to lament, the boy took breath and, having put him on an animal, they sent him away alive with all those who were of the emperor's house.
2. And Nero, having heard of Patroclus' death, became very sad, and as he came out from his bath he ordered another to be appointed for the wine. But his servants said, ‘Emperor, Patroclus is alive and stands at the sideboard.’ When the emperor heard that Patroclus was alive he was frightened and would not come in. But when he came in and saw Patroclus he cried out, ‘Patroclus, are you alive?’ He answered, ‘I am alive, Caesar.’ But he said, ‘Who is he who made you alive?’ And the boy, uplifted by the confidence of faith, said, ‘Christ Jesus, the king of the ages.’ The emperor asked in dismay, ‘Is he to be king of the ages and destroy all kingdoms?’ Patroclus said to him, ‘Yes, he destroys all kingdoms under heaven, and he alone shall remain in all eternity, and there will be no kingdom which escapes him.’ And he struck his face and cried out, ‘Patroclus, are you also fighting for that king?’ He answered, ‘Yes, my lord and Caesar, for he has raised me from the dead.’
And Barsabas Justus the flat‐footed and Urion the Cappadocian and Festus of Galatia, the chief men of Nero, said, ‘And we, too, fight for him, the king of the ages.’ After having tortured those men whom he used to love he imprisoned them and ordered that the soldiers of the great king be sought, and he issued an edict that all Christians and soldiers of Christ that were found should be executed.
3. And among the many Paul also was brought in fetters. Those who were imprisoned with him looked at him, so that the emperor observed that he was the leader of the soldiers. And he said to him, ‘Man of the great king, now my prisoner, what induced you to come secretly into the Roman empire and to enlist soldiers in my territory?’ But Paul, filled with the Holy Spirit, said in the presence of all, ‘Caesar, we enlist soldiers not only in your territory but in all lands of the earth. For thus we are commanded to exclude none who wishes to fight for my king. If it seems good to you serve him, for neither riches nor the splendours of this life will save you; but if you become his subject and beseech him you shall be saved. For in one day he will destroy the world.’
Having heard this Nero commanded all the prisoners to be burned with fire, but Paul to be beheaded according to the law of the Romans. But Paul was not silent and communicated the word to Longus the prefect and Cestus the centurion. And Nero, being instigated by the evil one, raged in Rome and had many Christians executed without trial, so that the Romans stood before the palace and cried, ‘It is enough, Caesar; these men are ours. You destroy the strength of the Romans.’ Being thus convinced, he desisted and commanded that no Christian was to be touched till his case had been investigated.
4. After the issuing of the edict Paul was brought before him, and he insisted that he should be executed. And Paul said, ‘Caesar, I live not merely for a short time for my king; and if you have me executed I shall do the following: I will rise again and appear to you, for I shall not be dead but alive to my king, Christ Jesus, who shall come to judge the earth.’
And Longus and Cestus said to Paul, ‘Whence have you this king that you believe in him without changing your mind even at point of death?’ And Paul answered and said, ‘You men, who are now ignorant and in error, change your mind and be saved from the fire which comes over the whole earth. For we fight not, as you suppose, for a king who is from the earth but for one who is from heaven: he is the living God who comes as judge because of the lawless deeds which take place in this world. And blessed is he who will believe in him and live in eternity when he shall come with fire to purge the earth.’ And they besought him and said, ‘We entreat you, help us, and we will release you.’ But he answered, ‘I am not a deserter from Christ but a faithful soldier of the living God. If I knew that I should die I would still have done it, Longus and Cestus, but since I live to God and love myself I go to the Lord that I may come again with him in the glory of his Father.’ And they said to him, ‘How can we live after you have been beheaded?’
5. And while they were speaking Nero sent a certain Parthenius and Pheretas to see whether Paul had already been beheaded. And they found him still alive. He summoned them beside him and said, ‘Believe in the living God who will raise me, as well as all those who believe in him, from the dead.’ But they said, ‘We will now go to Nero but when you have died and have been raised up we will believe in your God.’
But when Longus and Cestus continued to ask about salvation he said to them, ‘In the early dawn come quickly to my grave and you will find two men at prayer, Titus and Luke; they will give you the seal in the Lord.’
And turning toward the east, Paul lifted up his hands to heaven and prayed at length; and after having conversed in Hebrew with the fathers during prayer 35 P. Hamb. includes here the words ‘Father (into your hands) I commit my spirit . . . receive it’. he bent his neck, without speaking any more. When the executioner cut off his head milk splashed on the tunic of the soldier. And the soldier and all who stood near by were astonished at this sight and glorified God who had thus honoured Paul. And they went away and reported everything to Caesar.
6. When he heard of it he was amazed and did not know what to say. While many philosophers and the centurion were assembled with the emperor Paul came about the ninth hour, and in the presence of all he said, ‘Caesar, behold, here is Paul, the soldier of God; I am not dead but live in my God. But upon you, unhappy one, many evils and great punishment will come because you have unjustly shed the blood of the righteous not many days ago.’ And having spoken this Paul departed from him. When Nero had heard he commanded that the prisoners be released, Patroclus as well as Barsabas with his friends.
7. And, as Paul had told them, Longus and Cestus, the centurion, came in fear very early to the grave of Paul. And when they drew near they found two men in prayer and Paul with them, and they became frightened when they saw the unexpected miracle, but Titus and Luke, being afraid at the sight of Longus and Cestus, turned to run away.
But they followed and said to them, ‘We follow you not in order to kill you, blessed men of God, as you imagine, but in order to live, that you may do to us as Paul promised us. We have just seen him in prayer beside you.’ Upon hearing this Titus and Luke gave them joyfully the seal in the Lord, glorifying God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
7 Words bracketed are absent in Greek MSS.
10 One leaf is missing.
11 A leaf is probably missing here.
12 The section immediately preceding these words is preserved only in fragments and at least two leaves are missing.
13 At least two leaves are missing.
14 James adds here the fragments found in Schmidt, nos. 64, 63, 70, 69, 68, 67, 66, 65, 61, 62, 60, 59.
15 The following section is fragmentary. In it is the account of Artemilla's baptism in the sea in the presence of the young man. As Artemilla faints this prayer occurs.
16 In the gap would be found the lion's prayer and its conservation with Paul. There then follows this acclamation of the crowd.
17 In the gap it seems as if the women are comforted by the youth. Hieronymus then prays to Paul's God for help.
18 See bibliography under ‘Coptic.’
19 The passages are set out in parallel columns in Moraldi's Italian translation, ii. 1114–15.
20 The beginning of this section is lost.
21 Not in P. Bod.
22 P. Bod. adds ‘concerning the Flesh’.
23 Verse 14 is found in Latin MSS: ‘Who believed with all her heart and conceived by the Holy Spirit that Jesus could come into the world’.
24 Verses 22–3 are not found in all authorities. These verses read (in the Milan and Paris MSS and in Armenian): ‘22. For you are not children of disobedience but of the beloved church. 23. Therefore is the time of the resurrection preached to all.’
25 Verse 33 is found in some MSS: ‘Also Elijah the prophet: he raised up the widow's son from death: how much more shall the Lord Jesus raise you up from death at the sound of the trumpet, in the twinkling of an eye? For he has shown us an example in his own body.’
26 Some manuscripts add: ‘and when he is raised from the dead shall obtain eternal life’.
27 Shortly after this Schmidt conjectured (incorrectly) the reading ‘to Philippi’. It is ‘from Philippi’, as P. Hamb. p. 6 makes clear. Before the next episode the following words may be restored from P. Heid. p. 44: ‘When he had departed from Philippi and wished to go (to Corinth)’.
28 P. Mich. 1317 begins here.
29 P. Berlin 13893 begins here.
30 P. Mich. 3788 begins.
31 P. Mich. 1317 breaks off.
32 P. Mich. 1317 resumes.
33 Here P. Hamb. p. 8 ends; the following words are from P. Berlin 13893.
34 A small gap separates this section from the preceding.
35 P. Hamb. includes here the words ‘Father (into your hands) I commit my spirit . . . receive it’.