Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:Early Church Fathers Index Previous Next
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 1
Our Lord Jesus Christ having wrought in Judæa many and great and extraordinary miracles, and on account of this being hated by the Hebrews, while Pilate was procurator in Jerusalem, and Annas and Caiaphas high priests, there came of the Jews to the chief priests, Judas, Levi, Nephthalim, Alexander, Syrus, and many others, speaking against Christ. And these chief priests sent them away to say these things to Pilate also. And they went away, and said to him: A man walks about in this city whose father is called Joseph, and his mother Mary; and he calls himself king and Son of God; and being a Jew, he overturns the Scriptures, and does away with the Sabbath. Pilate then asked, in order to learn from them in what manner he did away with the Sabbath. And they answered, saying: He cures the sick on the Sabbath. Pilate says: If he makes the sick whole, he does no evil. They say to him: If he effected the cures properly, small would be the evil; but by using magic he does these things, and by having the demons on his side. Pilate says: To cure a person that is ill is not a diabolic work, but a grace from God.
The Hebrews said: We beseech your highness to summon him, in order that thou mayst make accurate inquiry into what we say. Pilate therefore, throwing off his cloak, gave it to one of his officers, 1873 saying: Go away, and show this to Jesus, and say to him, Pilate the procurator calls thee to come before him. The officer accordingly went away, and finding Jesus, summoned Him, having unfolded on the ground also Pilates mantle, and urged Him to walk upon it. And the Hebrews, seeing this, and being greatly enraged, came to Pilate, murmuring against him, how he had deemed Jesus worthy of so great honour.
And he, having inquired of the officer who had been sent how he had done so, the officer answered: When thou didst send me to the Jew Alexander, I came upon Jesus entering the gate of the city, sitting upon an ass. And I saw that the Hebrews spread their garments in the way, and the ass walked upon the garments; and others cut branches, and they went forth to meet him, and cried out, Hosanna in the highest! Thus, therefore, it was necessary for me also to do.
The Jews, hearing these words, said to him: How didst thou, being a Roman, know what was said by the Hebrews? The officer answered: I asked one of the Hebrews, and he told me these things. Pilate said: What means Hosanna? The Jews said: Save us, O Lord. Pilate answered: Since you confess that your children said so, how now do you bring charges, and say against Jesus what you do say? The Jews were silent, and had nothing to answer. 1874
Now, as Jesus was coming to Pilate, the soldiers of Pilate adored Him. And others also were standing before Pilate holding standards. And as Jesus was coming, the standards also bowed down, and adored Him. As Pilate, therefore, was wondering at what had happened, the Jews said to him: My lord, it was not the standards that adored Jesus, but the soldiers who were holding them carelessly.
Pilate says to the ruler of the synagogue: Choose twelve powerful men, and give them the p. 427 standards, so that they may hold them firmly. And this having taken place, Pilate ordered the officer to take Jesus outside, and bring Him in again. And as He was coming in, the standards again bowed down, and adored Him. Pilate therefore wondered greatly. But the Jews said: He is a magician, and through that he does these things.
One ms. inserts: by name Rachaab, the messenger.426:1874
Instead of these four sections, ms. C has a minute account of the suicide of Judas, of which the following specimen may be given:—And he went home to make a halter to hang himself, and he found his wife roasting a cock on the coals. And he says to her: Rise, wife, and get a rope ready for me; for I mean to hang myself, as I deserve. And his wife said to him: Why do you speak like that? And Judas says: Know in truth that I unjustly betrayed my master, etc., and that he is going to rise on the third day; and woe to us! And his wife says: Do not speak or think in that way. It is just as likely as that this cock roasting on the coals will crow, that Jesus will rise, as you say. No sooner said than the cock flapped his wings, and crew thrice. This decided Judas, and he immediately made the halter, and hanged himself. [Themss. of the “Second Greek Form” are designated by Tischendorf (Evang. Apocry., pp. lxxii., lxxiii.) as follows: A, a Venice ms., comparatively recent; B., a Paris ms. of the fifteenth century; C. a Venice ms. of the same century.—R.]
Next: Chapter 2
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