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Ante-Nicene Fathers, Vol VIII:
Apocrypha of the New Testament.: Chapter 12

Early Church Fathers  Index     

Chapter 12.

And the Jews, hearing that Joseph had begged the body of Jesus, sought for him; and those twelve men who had said that He was not born of fornication, and Nicodemus, and many others, who had stood before Pilate and declared His good works.  And all of them being hid, Nicodemus alone appeared to them, because he was a chief man of the Jews; and he says to them:  How have ye come into the synagogue?  The Jews say to him:  And thou, how hast thou come into the synagogue, seeing that thou consentest with him?  May his portion be with thee in the world to come!  Nicodemus said:  Amen, amen, amen.  Likewise also Joseph, coming forth, said to them:  Why are you enraged against me because I begged the body of Jesus?  Lo, I have laid him in my own new p. 444 tomb, wrapping him in clean linen; and I have rolled a stone to the door of the cave.  And ye have not acted well against a just man, since you have not borne in mind how you crucified him, and pierced him with a lance.  The Jews therefore, laying hold of Joseph, ordered him to be imprisoned because of the Sabbath-day; and they say to him:  Know that the hour compels us not to do anything against thee, because the Sabbath is dawning.  But understand that thou art worthy not even of burial, but we will give thy flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth.  Joseph says to them:  That is the speech of proud Goliath, who reviled the living God against holy David.  And God hath said, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.  And Pilate, intercepted 1964 in his heart, took water, and washed his hands before the sun, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just man; see ye to it.  And you answered and said to Pilate, His blood be upon us, and upon our children.  And now I fear that some time or other the wrath of God will come upon you and your children, as you have said.  And the Jews, hearing this, were embittered in heart; and taking Joseph, shut him up in a house where there was no window, and set guards at the gates, and sealed the gate where Joseph had been shut up.

And on the Sabbath morning they took counsel with the priests and the Levites, that they should all be assembled after the Sabbath-day.  And awaking at dawn, all the multitude in the synagogue took counsel by what death they should slay him.  And when the assembly was sitting, they ordered him to be brought with much indignity; and opening the gate, they found him not.  All the people therefore were in terror, and wondered with exceeding astonishment, because they found the seals sealed, and because Caiaphas had the keys.  And no longer did they dare to lay hand upon those who spoke before Pilate in Jesus’ defence.



Another reading is compunctus, pricked.  The reading in the text, obstructus, is a curious mistranslation of the word in the Greek, περιτετμημένος, cut away all round, i.e., circumcised; or, by an obvious transition, hemmed in—the meaning adopted in the version before us.

Next: Chapter 13

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