ACTS OF THOMAS
From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M.R. James-Translation and Notes
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
This is the only one of the five primary romances which we possess in its entirety. It is of
great length and considerable interest. The Stichometry (see p. 24) gives it only 1,600 lines: this
is far too little: it may probably apply only to a portion of the Acts, single episodes of which, in
addition to the Martyrdom, may have been current separately. We do, in fact, find some separate
miracles in some of the oriental versions.
There is a consensus of opinion among Syriac scholars that our Greek text of these Acts is
a version from Syriac. The Syriac original was edited and translated by Wright in his Apocryphal
Acts, and older fragments have since been published by Mrs. Lewis (Horae Semiticae IV, 1904.
Mythological Acts of the Apostles).
Certain hymns occur in the Syriac which were undoubtedly composed in that language:
most notable is the Hymn of the Soul (edited separately by A. A. Bevan, and others) which is not
relevant to the context. It has been ascribed to Bardaisan the famous Syrian heretic. Only one
Greek MS. of the Acts (the Vallicellian, at Rome, Bonnet's MS. U, of the eleventh century)
contains it; it is paraphrased by Nicetas of Thessalonica in his Greek rechauffe of the Acts.
There is, in fact, no room to doubt that the whole text of the Acts, as preserved complete
in MS. U and partially in other manuscripts, is a translation from the Syriac. But in the
Martyrdom four manuscripts (including a very important Paris copy-Gr. 1510, of eleventh
century, and another of ninth century) present a quite different, and superior. text, indubitably
superior in one striking point: that whereas Syr. places the great prayer of Thomas in the twelfth
Act, some little time before the Martyrdom (ch. 144 sqq.), the four manuscripts place it
immediately before, after ch. 167, and this is certainly the proper place for it.
It is, I believe, still arguable (though denied by the Syriacists) that here is a relic of the
original Greek text: in other words, the Acts were composed in Greek, and early rendered into
Syriac. Becoming scarce or being wholly lost in Greek they were retranslated out of Syriac into
Greek. But meanwhile the original Greek of the Martyrdom had survived separately, and we have
it here. This was M. Bonnet's view, and it is one which I should like to adopt.
At the very least, we have a better text of the Martyrdom preserved in these four
manuscripts than in U and its congeners.
As to other versions. The Latin Passions-one probably by Gregory of Tours- have been
much adulterated. We have also Ethiopic versions of some episodes, and there is also an
Armenian one of which little use has been made. However, versions are of little account in this
case, where we have such comparatively good authorities as the Greek and Syriac for the whole
My version is made from the Greek text, (Bonnet, 1903) with an eye on the Syriac as
rendered by Wright and by Mrs. Lewis and Bevan.
ACTS OF THE HOLY APOSTLE THOMAS
Act the Third: concerning the servent
30 And the apostle went forth to go where the Lord had bidden him; and when he was
near to the second mile (stone) and had turned a little out of the way, he saw the body of a comely
youth Iying, and said: Lord, is it for this that thou hast brought me forth, to come hither that I
might see this (trial) temptation? thy will therefore be done as thou desirest. And he began to
pray and to say: O Lord, the judge of quick and dead, of the quick that stand by and the dead that
lie here, and master and father of all things; and father not only of the souls that are in bodies but
of them that have gone forth of them, for of the souls also that are in pollutions (al. bodies) thou
art lord and judge; come thou at this hour wherein I call upon thee and show forth thy glory upon
him that lieth here. And he turned himself unto them that followed him and said: This thing is not
come to pass without cause, but the enemy hath effected it and brought it about that he may
assault (?) us thereby; and see ye that he hath not made use of another sort, nor wrought through
any other creature save that which is his subjcct.
31 And when he had so said, a great (Syr. black) serpent (dragon) came out of a hole,
beating with his head and shaking his tail upon the ground, and with (using) a loud voice said unto
the apostle: I will tell before thee the cause wherefor I slew this man, since thou art come hither
for that end, to reprove my works. And the apostle said: Yea, say on. And the serpent: There is
a certain beautiful woman in this village over against us; and as she passed by me (or my place) I
saw her and was enamoured of her, and I followed her and kept watch upon her; and I found this
youth kissing her, and he had intercourse with her and did other shameful acts with her: and for
me it was easy to declare them before thee, for I know that thou art the twin brother of the Christ
and alway abolishest our nature (Syr. easy for me to say, but to thee I do not dare to utter them
because I know that the ocean-flood of the Messiah will destroy our nature): but because I would
not affright her, I slew him not at that time, but waited for him till he passed by in the evening and
smote and slew him, and especially because he adventured to do this upon the Lord's day.
And the apostlc inquired of him, saying: Tell me of what seed and of what race thou art.
32 And he said unto him: I am a reptile of the reptile nature and noxious son of the noxious
father: of him that hurt and smote the four brethren which stood upright (om. Syr.: the elerments
or four cardinal points may be meant) I am son to him that sitteth on a throne over all the earth
that receiveth back his own from them that borrow: I am son to him that girdeth about the
sphere: and I am kin to him that is outside the ocean, whose tail is set in his own mouth: I am he
that entered through the barrier (fence) into paradise and spake with Eve the things which my
father bade me speak unto her: I am he that kindled and inflamed Cain to kill his own brother,
and on mine account did thorns and thistles grow up in the earth: I am he that cast down the
angels from above and bound them in lusts after women, that children born of earth might come
of them and I might work my will in them: I am he that hardened Pharaoh's heart that he should
slay the children of Israel and enslave them with the yoke of cruelty: I am he that caused the
multitude to err in the wilderness when they made the calf: I am he that inflamed Herod and
enkindled Caiaphas unto false accusation of a lie before Pilate; for this was fitting to me: I am he
that stirred up Judas and bribed him to deliver up the Christ: I am he that inhabiteth and holdeth
the deep of hell (Tartarus), but the Son of God hath wronged rne, against my will, and taken
(chosen) them that were his own from me: I am kin to him that is to come from the east, unto
whom also power is given to do what he will upon the earth.
33 And wllen that serpent had spoken these things in the hearing of all the people, the
apostle lifted up his voice on high and said: Cease thou henceforth, O most shameless one, and be
put to confusion and die wholly, for the end of thy destruction is come, and dare not to tell of
what thou hast done by them that have become subject unto thee. And I charge thee in the name
of that Jesus who until now contendeth with you for the men that are his own, that thou suck out
thy venom which thou hast put into this man, and draw it forth and take it from him. But the
serpent said: Not yet is the end of our time come as thou hast said. Wherefore compellest thou
me to take back that which I have put into this man, and to die before my time? for mine own
father, when he shall draw forth and suck out that which he hath cast into the creation, then shall
his end come. And the apostle said unto him: Show, then, now the nature of thy father. And the
serpent came near and set his mouth upon the wound of the young man and sucked forth the gall
out of it. And by little and little the colour of the young man which was as purple, became white,
but the serpent swelled up. And when the serpent had drawn up all the gall into himself, the
young man leapt up and stood, and ran and fell at the apostle's feet: but the serpent being swelled
up, burst and died, and his venom and gall were shed forth; and in the place where his venom was
shed there came a great gulf, and that serpent was swallowed up therein. And the apostle said
unto the king and his brother: Take workmen and fill up that place, and lay foundations and build
houses upon them, that it may be a dwelling-place for strangers.
The Fifth Act: concerning the devil that took up his abode in the woman
42 And the apostle entered into the city and all the multitude followed him. And he
thought to go unto the parents of the young man whom he had made alive when he was slain by
the serpent: for they earnestly besought him to come unto them and enter into their house. But a
very beautiful woman on a sudden uttered an exceeding loud cry, saying: O Apostle of the new
God that art come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God; for by thee is he
preached, the Saviour of the souls that come unto him, and by thee are healed the bodies of them
that are tormented by the enemy, and thou art he that is become an occasion of life unto all that
turn unto him: command me to be brought before thee that I may tell thee what hath befallen me,
and peradventure of thee I may have hope, and these that stand by thee may be more confident in
the God whom thou preachest. For I am not a little tormented by the adversary now this five
years' space [one Greek MS. And the apostle bade her come unto him, and the woman stood
before him and said: I, O servant of him that is indeed God am a woman: the rest have, As a
woman] I was sitting at the first in quiet, and peace encompassed me on every side and I had no
care for anything, for I took no thought for any other. 43 And it fell out one day that as I came
out from the bath there met me a man troubled and disturbed, and his voice and speech seemed to
me exceeding faint and dim; and he stood before me and said: I and thou will be in one love and
we will have intercourse together as a man with his wife; And I answered and said to him: I never
had to do with my betrothed, for I refused to marry, and how shall I yield myself to thee that
wouldest have intercourse with me in adulterous wise? And having so said, I passed on, and I
said to rny handmaid that was with me: Sawest thou that youth and his shamelessness, how
boldly he spake with me, and had no shame? but she said to me: I saw an old man speaking to
thee. And when I was in mine house and had dined my soul suggested unto me some suspicion
and especially because he was seen of me in two forms; and having this in my mind I fell asleep.
He came, therefore, in that night and was joined unto me in his foul intercourse. And when it was
day I saw him and fled from him, and on the night following that he came and abused me; and
now as thou seest me I have spent five years being troubled by him, and he hath not departed
from me. But I know and am persuaded that both devils and spirits and destroyers are subject
unto thee and are filled with trembling at thy prayers: pray thou therefore for me and drive away
from me the devil that ever troubleth me, that I also may be set free and be gathered unto the
nature that is mine from the beginning, and receive the grace that hath been given unto my
44 And the apostle said: O evil that cannot be restrained! O shamelessness of the enemy!
O envious one that art never at rest! O hideous one that subduest the comely! O thou of many
forms! As he will he appeareth, but his essence cannot be changed. O the crafty and faithless
one! O the bitter tree whose fruits are like unto him! O the devil that overcometh them that are
alien to him! O the deceit that useth impudence! O the wickedness that creepeth like a serpent,
and that is of his kindred! (Syr. wrongly adds a clause bidding the devil show himself.) And
when the apostle said this, the malicious one came and stood before him, no man seeing him save
the woman and the apostle, and with an exceeding loud voice said in the hearing of all: 45 What
have we to do with thee, thou apostle of the Most High! What have we to do with thee, thou
servant of Jesus Christ? What have we to do with thee, thou counsellor of the holy Son of God?
Wherefore wilt thou destroy us, whereas our time is not yet come? Wherefore wilt thou take
away our power? for unto this hour we had hope and time remaining to us. What have we to do
with thee? Thou hast power over thine own, and we over ours. Wherefore wilt thou act
tyrannously against us, when thou thyself teachest others not to act tyrannously? Wherefore dost
thou crave other men's goods and not suffice thyself with thine own? Wherefore art thou made
like unto the Son of God which hath done us wrong? for thou resemblest him altogether as if
thou wert born of him. For we thought to have brought him under the yoke like as we have the
rest, but he turned and made us subject unto him: for we knew him not; but he deceived us with
his form of all uncomeliness and his poverty and his neediness: for seeing him to be such, we
thought that he was a man wearing flesh, and knew not that it is he that giveth life unto men. And
he gave us power over our own, and that we should not in this present time Ieave them but have
our walk in them: but thou wouldest get more than thy due and that which was given thee, and
afflict us altogether.
46 And having said this the devil wept, saying: I leave thee, my fairest consort, whom
long since I found and rested in thee; I forsake thee, my sure sister, my beloved in whom I was
well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or on whom I shall call that he may hear me and help
me. I know what I will do: I will depart unto some place where the report of this man hath not
been heard, and peradventure I shall call thee, my beloved by another name (Syr. for thee my
beloved I shall find a substitute). And he lifted up his voice and said: Abide in peace for thou
hast taken refuge with one greater than I, but I will depart and seek for one like thee, and if I find
her not, I will return unto thee again: for I know that whilst thou art near unto this man thou hast
a refuge in him, but when he departeth thou wilt be such as thou wast before he appeared, and
him thou wilt forget, and I shall have opportunity and confidence: but now I fear the name of him
that hath saved thee. And having so said the devil vanished out of sight: only when he departed
fire and smoke were seen there: and all that stood there were astonied.
47 And the apostle seeing it, said unto them: This devil hath shown nought that is alien or
strange to him, but his own nature, wherein also he shall be consumed, for verily the fire shall
destroy him utterly and the smoke of it shall be scattered abroad. And he began to say:
Jesu, the hidden mystery that hath been revealed unto us, thou art he that hast shown unto
us many mysteries; thou that didst call me apart from all my fellows and spakest unto me three
(one, Syr.) words wherewith I am inflamed, and am not able to speak them unto others. Jesu,
man that wast slain, dead buried! Jesu, God of God, Saviour that quickenest the dead, and
healest the sick! Jesu, that wert in need like [a poor man] and savest as one that hath no need,
that didst catch the fish for the breakfast and the dinner and madest all satisfied with a little bread.
Jesu, that didst rest from the weariness of wayfaring like a man, and walkedst on the waves like a
God. 48 Jesu most high, voice arising from perfect mercy, Saviour of all, the right hand of the
light, overthrowing the evil one in his own nature, and gathering all his nature into one place; thou
of many forms, that art only begotten, first-born of many brethren God of the Most High God,
man despised until now (Syr. and humble). Jesu Christ that neglectest us not when we call upon
thee, that art become an occasion of life unto all mankind, that for us wast judged and shut up in
prison, and loosest all that are in bonds, that wast called a deceiver and redeemest thine own from
error: I beseech thee for these that stand here and believe on thee, for they entreat to obtain thy
gifts, having good hope in thy help, and having their refuge in thy greatness; they hold their
hearing ready to listen unto the words that are spoken by us. Let thy peace come and tabernacle
in them and renew them from their former deeds, and let them put off the old man with his deeds,
and put on the new that now is proclaimed unto them by me.
52 When the apostle heard this he said: O insane union how ruinest thou unto
shamelessness! O unrestrained lust, how hast thou stirred up this man to do this! O work of the
serpent, how art thou enraged against thine own! And the apostle bade water to be brought to
him in a bason; and when the water was brought, he said: Come, ye waters from the living
waters, that were sent unto us, the true from the true, the rest that was sent unto us from the rest,
the power of salvation that cometh from that power which conquereth all things and subdueth
them unto its own will: come and dwell in these waters, that the gift of the Holy Ghost may be
perfcctly consummated in them. And he said unto the youth: Go, wash thy hands in these waters.
And when he had washed they were restored; and the apostle said unto him: Believest thou in our
Lord Jesus Christ that he is able to do all things? And he said: Though I be the least, yet I
believe. But I committed this deed thinking that I was doing somewhat good: for I besought her
as I told thee, but she would not obey me, to keep herself chaste.
64 I began therefore to inquire of my wife: What is it that hath befallen thee? And she
said to me: Knowest thou not what thou hast done unto me? for I prayed thee that I might not
go to the wedding, because I was not of even health in my body; and as I went on the way and
came near to the aqueduct wherein the water floweth, I saw a black man standing over against me
nodding at me with his head, and a boy like unto him standing by him; and I said to my daughter:
Look at those two hideous men, whose teeth are like milk and their lips like soot. And we left
them and went towards the aqueduct; and when it was sunset and we departed from the wedding,
as we passed by with the young men and drew near the aqueduct, my daughter saw them first, and
was affrighted and fled towards me; and after her I also beheld them coming against us: and the
servants that were with us fled from them (Syr.) and they struck us, and cast down both me and
my daughter. And when she had told me these things, the devils came upon them again and threw
them down: and from that hour they are not able to come forth, but are shut up in one room or a
second (Syr. in a room within another): and on their account I suffer much, and am distressed:
for the devils throw them down wheresoever they find them, and strip them naked. I beseech and
supplicate thee before God, help me and have pity on me, for it is now three years that a table
hath not been set in my house, and my wife and my daughter have not sat at a table: and
especially for mine unhappy daughter, which hath not seen any good at all in this world.
73 And when he had so said, many assembled from every quarter to see the apostle of the
new God. And again the apostle said: Why stand we idle? Jesu, Lord, the hour is come: what
wilt thou have done? command therefore that that be fulfilled which needeth to be done. Now
the captain's wife and her daughter were sore borne down by the devils, so that they of the house
thought they would rise up no more: for they suffered them not to partake of aught, but cast
them down upon their beds recognizing no man until that day when the apostle came thither. And
the apostle said unto one of the wild asses that were yoked on the right hand: Enter thou within
the gate, and stand there and call the devils and say to them: Judas Thomas the apostle and
disciple of Jesus Christ saith unto you: Come forth hither: for on your account am I sent and
unto them that pertain to you by race, to destroy you and chase you unto your place, until the
time of the end come and ye go down into your own deep of darkness.
74 And that wild ass went in, a great multitude being with him, and said: Unto you I
speak, the enemies of Jesus that is called Christ: unto you I speak that shut your eyes lest ye see
the light: unto you I speak, children of Gehenna and of destruction, of him that ceaseth not from
evil until now, that alway reneweth his workings and the things that befit his being: unto you I
speak, most shameless, that shall perish by your own hands. And what I shall say of your
destruction and end, and what I shall tell, I know not. For there are many things and innumerable
to the hearing: and greater are your doings than the torment that is reserved for you (Syr.
however great your bodies, they are too small for your retributions). But unto thee I speak, devil,
and to thy son that followeth with thee: for now am I sent against you. And wherefore should I
make many words concerning your nature and root, which yourselves know and are not ashamed?
but Judas Thomas the apostle of Christ Jesus saith unto you, he that by much love and affection is
sent hither: Before all this multitude that standeth here, come forth and tell me of what race ye
75 And straightway the woman came forth with her daughter, both like dead persons and
dishonoured in aspect: and the apostle beholding them was grieved. especially for the girl, and
saith unto the devils: God forbid that for you there should be sparing or propitiation, for ye know
not to spare nor to have pity: but in the name of Jesus, depart from them and stand by their side.
And when the apostle had so said, the women fell down and became as dead; for they neither had
breath nor uttered speech: but the devil answered with a loud voice and said: Art thou come
hither again, thou that deridest our nature and race? art thou come again, that blottest out our
devices? and as I take it, thou wouldest not suffer us to be upon the earth at all: but this at this
time thou canst not accomplish. And the apostle guessed that this devil was he that had been
driven out from that other woman.
76 And the devil said: I beseech thee, give me leave to depart even whither thou wilt, and
dwell there and take commandment from thee, and I will not fear the ruler that hath authority over
me. For like as thou art come to preach good tidings, so I also am come to destroy; and like as, if
thou fulfil not the will of him that sent thee, he will bring punishment upon thy head, so I also if I
do not the will of him that sent me, before the season and time appointed, shall be sent unto mine
own nature; and like as thy Christ helpeth thee in that thou doest, so also my father helpeth me in
that I do; and like as for thee he prepareth vessels worthy of thine inhabiting, so also for me he
seeketh out vessels whereby I may accomplish his deeds; and like as he nourisheth and provideth
for his subjects, so also for me he prepareth chastisements and torments, with them that become
my dwellingplaces (Syr. those in whom I dwell); and like as for a recompense of thy working he
giveth thee eternal life, so also unto me he giveth for a reward of my works eternal destruction;
and like as thou art refreshed by thy prayer and thy good works and spiritual thanksgivings, so I
also am refreshed by murders and adulteries and sacrifices made with wine upon altars (Syr.
sacrifices and libations of wine), and like as thou convertest men unto eternal life, so I also pervert
them that obey me unto eternal destruction and torment: and thou receivest thine own and I
77 And when the devil had said these things and yet more the apostle said: Jesus
commandeth thee and thy son by me to enter no more into the habitation of man: but go ye forth
and depart and dwell wholly apart from the habitation of men. And the devils said unto him:
Thou hast laid on us a harsh commandment: but what wilt thou do unto them that now are
concealed from thee? for they that have wrought all the images rejoice in them more than thee:
and many of them do the more part worship, and perform their will, sacrificing to them and
bringing them food, by libations and by wine and water and oflering with oblations. And the
apostle said: They also shall now be abolished, with their works. And suddenly the devils
vanished away: but the women lay cast upon the earth as if were dead, and without speech.
81 Having thus spoken, the apostle stood over the women, saying: My Lord and my God,
I am not divided from thee (or doubt not concerning thee), nor as one unbelieving do I call upon
thee, who art always our helper and succourer and raiser-up; who breathest thine own power into
us and encouragest us and givest confidence in love unto thine own servants. I beseech thee, let
these souls be healed and rise up and become such as they were before they were smitten of the
devils. And when he thus spake the women turned and sat up. And the apostle bade the captain
that his servants should take them and bring them within (Syr. and give them food, for they had
not eaten for many days). And when they were gone in, the apostle said unto the wild asses,
Follow me. And they went after him until he had brought them without the gate. And when they
had gone out, he said to them: Depart in peace unto your pastures. The wild asses therefore
went away willingly; and the apostle stood and took heed to them lest they should be hurt of any,
until they had gone afar off and were no more seen. And the apostle returned with the multitude
into the house of the captain.
The Ninth Act: of the Wife of Charisius.
104 Now Siphor stood before the king, and he inquired of him: Who is that sorcerer and
whence, and what teacheth he whom thou hast lurking in thine house? And Siphor answered the
king: Thou art not ignorant, O king, what trouble and grief I, with my friends had concerning my
wife, whom thou knowest and many others remember, and concerning my daughter, whom I
value more than all my possessions, what a time and trial I suffered; for I became a laughing-stock
and a curse in all our country. And I heard the report of this man and went to him and entreated
him, and took him and brought him hither. And as I came by the way I saw wonderful and
amazing things: and here also many did hear the wild ass and concerning that devil whom he
drove out, and healed my wife and daughter, and now are they whole; and he asked no reward but
requireth faith and holiness, that men should become partakers with him in that which he doeth:
and this he teacheth to worship and fear one God, the ruler of all things, and Jesus Christ his Son,
that they may have eternal life. And that which he eateth is bread and salt, and his drink is water
from evening unto evening, and he maketh many prayers; and whatsoever he asketh of his God,
he giveth him. And he teacheth that this God is holy and mighty, and that Christ is living and
maketh alive, wherefore also he chargeth them that are there present to come unto him in holiness
and purity and love and faith.
[Here follows the Hymn of the Soul: a most remarkable composition, originally Syriac,
and certainly older than the Acts, with which it has no real connexion. We have it in Greek in one
manuscript, the Vallicellian, and in a paraphrase by Nicetas of Thessalonica, found and edited by
1 When I was an infant child
in the palace of my Father
2 and resting in the wealth and luxury of my nurturers,
out of the East, our native country, my parents provisioned me and sent me.
4 And of the wealth of those their treasures they put together a load
5 both great and light, that I might carry it alone.
6 Gold is the load, of them that are above (or of the land of the Ellaeans or Gilaeans),
and silver of the great treasures (or of Gazzak the great)
7 and stones, chalcedonies from the Indians
and pearls from the Kosani (Kushan).
8 And they armed me with adamant
9 and they took off from me (Gr. put on me) the garment set with gems, spangled with
gold, which they had made for me because they loved me
10 and the robe that was yellow in hue, made for my stature.
11 And they made a covenant with me, and inscribed it on mine understanding, that I
should forget it, and said:
12 If thou go down into Egypt, and bring back thence the one pearl
13 which is there girt about by the devouring serpent
14 thou shalt put on the garment set with gems, and that robe whereupon it
resteth (or which is thereon)
15 and become with thy brother that is next unto us (Gr. of the well- remembered) an heir
(Gr. herald) in our kingdom.
109. 16 And I came out of the East by a road difficult and fearful, with two guides
17 and I was untried in travelling by it.
18 And I passed by the borders of the Mosani (Maishan) where is the resort of the
merchants of the East,
19 and reached the land of the Babylonians .
20 But when I entered into Egypt, the guides left me which had journeyed with me.
21 And I set forth by the quickest way to the serpent, and by his hole I abode
22 watching for him to slumber and sleep, that I might take my pearl from him.
23 And forasmuch as I was alone I made mine aspect strange, and appeared as an alien to
24 And there I saw my kinsman from the East, the free-born
25 a lad of grace and beauty, a son of princes (or an anointed one).
26 He came unto me and dwelt with me,
27 and I had him for a companion, and made him my friend and partaker in my journey (or
28 And I charged him to beware of the Egyptians, and of partaking of those unclean things
(or consorting with those unclean men).
29 And I put on their raiment, lest I should seem strange, as one that had come from
30 to recover the pearl; and lest the Egyptians should awake the serpent against me.
31 But, I know not by what occasion, they learned that I was not of their country.
32 And with guile they mingled for me a deceit, and I tasted of their food.
33 And I knew no more that I was a king's son, and I became a servant unto their
34 And I forgat also the pearl for which my fathers had sent me,
35 and by means of the heaviness of their food I fell into a deep sleep.
110. 36 But when this befell me, my fathers also were ware of it, and grieved for me
37 and a proclamation was published in our kingdom, that all should meet at our
38 And then the kings of Parthia and they that bare office and the great ones of the East
39 made a resolve concerning me, that I should not be left in Egypt,
40 and the princes wrote unto me signifying thus (and every noble signed his name to it,
41 From the (thy) Father the King of kings, and thy mother that ruleth the East,
42 and thy brother that is second unto us; unto our son that is in Egypt, peace.
43 Rise up and awake out of sleep, and hearken unto the words of the letter
44 and remember that thou art a son of kings; lo, thou hast come under the yoke of
45 Remember the pearl for the which thou wast sent into Egypt (Gr. puts this after
46 Remember thy garment spangled with gold,
47 Thy name is named in the book of life,
48 and with thy brother whom thou hast received in our kingdom.
111. 49 and the King [as ambassador] sealed it
50 because of the evil ones, even the children of the Babylonians and the tyrannous
demons of Labyrinthus (Sarbug, Syr.).
51 It flew like the eagle, the king of all fowls.
52 It flew and lighted down by me, and became all speech.
53 And I at the voice of it and the feeling of it started up out of sleep
54 and I took it up and kissed it and read it.
55 And it was written concerning that which was recorded in mine heart.
56 And I remembered forthwith that I was a son of kings, and my freedom yearned
(sought) after its kind.
57 I remembered also the pearl for the which I was sent down into Egypt
58 and I began (or came) with charms against the terrible serpent,
59 and I overcame him (or put him to sleep) by naming the name of my Father upon
127 And Misdaeus hearing these things said: Lo, I let thee go: go then and persuade
Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, not to desire to depart from him. Judas saith unto him: Delay
not if thou hast aught to do: for her, if she hath rightly received what she hath learned, neither
iron nor fire nor aught else stronger than these will avail to hurt or to root out him that is held in
her soul. Misdaeus saith unto Judas: Some poisons do dissolve other poisons, and a theriac
cureth the bites of the viper; and thou if thou wilt canst give a solvent of those diseases, and make
peace and concord betwixt this couple: for by so doing thou wilt spare thyself, for not yet art
thou sated with life; and know thou that if thou do not persuade her, I will catch thee away out of
this life which is desirable unto all men. And Judas said: This life hath been given as a loan, and
this time is one that changeth, but that life whereof I teach is incorruptible; and beauty and youth
that are seen shall in a little cease to be. The king saith to him: I have counselled thee for the
best, but thou knowest thine own alfairs.
148 Let not the powers and the officers perceive me, and let them not have any thought
concerning me; let not the publicans and exactors ply their calling upon me; let not the weak and
the evil cry out against me that am valiant and humble, and when I am borne upward let them not
rise up to stand before me, by thy power, O Jesu, which surroundeth me as a crown: for they do
flee and hide themselves, they cannot look on thee: but (for) suddenly do they fall upon them that
are subject to them, and the portion of tile sons of the evil one doth itself cry out and convict
them; and it is not hid from them, nor their nature is made known: the children of the evil one are
separated off. Do thou then grant me, Lord, that I may pass by in quietness and joy and peace,
and pass over and stand before the judge, and let not the devil (or slanderer) look upon me; let his
eyes be blinded by thy light which thou hast made to dwell in me, close thou up (muzzle) his
mouth: for he hath found nought against me.
158 And when they were come up, he took bread and a cup, and blessed it and said:
Thine holy body w}lich was crucified for us do we eat, and thy blood that was shed for us unto
salvation do we drink; let therefore thy body be unto us salvation and thy blood for remission of
sins. And for the gall which thou didst drink for our sakes let the gall of the devil be removed
from us: and for the vinegar which thou hast drunk for us, let our weakness be made strong: and
for the spitting which thou didst receive for us, let us receive the dew of thy goodness: and by (or
for) the reed wherewith they smote thee for us, let us receive the perfect house: and whereas
thou receivedst a crown of thorns for our sake, let us that have loved thee put on a crown that
fadeth not away; and for the linen cloth wherein thou wast Wrapped, let us also be girt about with
thy power that is not vanquished and for the new tomb and the burial let us receive renewing of
soul and body: and for that thou didst rise up and revive, let us revive and live and stand before
thee in righteous judgement. And he brake and gave the eucharist unto Iuzanes and Tertia and
Mnesara and the wife and daughter of Siphor and said: Let this eucharist be unto you for
salvation and joy and health of your souls. And they said: Amen. And a voice was heard, saying:
Amen: fear ye not, but only believe.
[Here P and the rest give -rightly- the prayer of cc. 144-8. U and its companions give the foilowing:
He turned to his prayer; and it was this: My Lord and my God, and hope and redeemer and leader
and guide in all countries, be thou with all them that serve thee, and guide me this day as I come
unto thee. Let not any take my soul which I have committed unto thee: let not the publicans see
me, and let not the exactors accuse me falsely (play the sycophant with me). Let not the serpent
see me, and let not the children of the dragon hiss at me. Behold, Lord, I have accomplished thy
work and perfected thy commandment. I have become a bondman; therefore to-day do I receive
freedom. Do thou therefore give me this and perfect me: and this I sav, not for that I doubt, but that
they may hear for whom it is needful to hear.]
170 Now it came to pass after a long time that one of the children of Misdaeus the king
was smitten by a devil, and no man could cure him, for the devil was exceeding fierce. And
Misdaeus the king took thought and sad: I will go and open the sepulchre, and take a bone of the
apostle of God and hang it upon my son and he shall be healed. But while Misdaeus thought
upon this, the apostle Thomas appeared to him and said unto him: Thou believedst not on a living
man, and wilt thou believe on the dead? yet fear not, for my Lord Jesus Christ hath compassion
on thee and pitieth thee of his goodness.
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