Ante-nicene fathers



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Latin. Second Version.

Chapter 1 (17).

Then Rabbi Addas, and Rabbi Finees, and Rabbi Egias, the three men who had come from Galilee, testifying that they had seen Jesus taken up into heaven, rose up in the midst of the multitude of the chiefs of the Jews, and said before the priests and the Levites, who had been called together to the council of the Lord: When we were coming from Galilee, we met at the Jordan a very great multitude of men, fathers76 who had been some time dead. And present among them we saw Karinus and Leucius. And they came up to us, and we kissed each other, because they were dear friends of ours; and we asked them, Tell us, friends and brothers, what is this breath of life and flesh? and who are those with whom you are going? and how do you, who have been some time dead, remain in the body?

And they said in answer: We have risen again along with Christ from the lower world, and He has raised us up again from the dead. And from this you may know that the gates of death and darkness have been destroyed, and the souls of the saints have been brought out thence, and have ascended into heaven along with Christ the Lord. And indeed to us it has been commanded by the Lord Himself, that for an appointed time we should walk over the banks of Jordan and the mountains; not, however, appearing to every one, nor speaking to every one, except to those to whom He has permitted us. And just now we could neither have spoken nor appeared to you, unless it had been allowed to us by the Holy Spirit.

And when they heard this, all the multitude who were present in the council were struck with fear and trembling, and wondered whether these things had really happened which these Galilaeans testified. Then Caiaphas and Annas said to the council: What these have testified, first and last, must shortly be altogether made clear: If it shall be found to be true that Karinus and Leucius remain alive in the body, and if we shall be able to behold them with our own eyes, then what they testify is altogether true; and if we find them, they will inform us of everything; but if not, you may know that it is all lies.

Then the council having suddenly risen, it pleased them to choose men fit for the duty, fearing God, and who knew when they died, and where they were buried, to inquire diligently, and to see whether it was as they had heard. The men therefore proceeded to the same place, fifteen in number, who through all were present at their falling asleep, and had stood at their feet when they were buried, and had beheld their tombs. And they came and found their tombs open, and very many others besides, and found a sign neither of their bones nor of their dust. And they returned in all haste, and reported what they had seen.

Then all their synagogue was in great grief and perplexity, and they said to each other: What shall we do? Annas and Caiaphas said: Let us turn to where we have heard that they are, and let us send to them men of rank, asking and entreating them: perhaps they will deign to come to us. Then they sent to them Nicodemus and Joseph, and the three men, the Galilaen rabbis who had seen them, asking that they should deign to come to them. And they went, and walked round all the region of Jordan and of the mountains, and they were coming back without finding them.

And, behold, suddenly there appeared coming down from Mount Amalech a very great number, as it were, twelve thousand men, who had risen with the Lord. And though they recognised very many there, they were not able to say anything to them for fear and the angelic vision; and they stood at a distance gazing and hearing them, how they walked along singing praises, and saying: The Lord has risen again from the dead, as He had said; let us all exult and be glad, since He reigns for ever. Then those who had been sent were astonished, and fell to the ground for fear, and received the answer from them, that they should see Karinus and Leucius in their own houses.

And they rose up and went to their houses, and found them spending their time in prayer. And going in to them, they fell on their faces to the ground, saluting them; and being raised up, they said: O friends of God, all the multitude of the Jews have directed us to you, hearing that you have risen from the dead, asking and beseeching you to come to them, that we all may know the great things of God which have happened around us in our times. And they immediately, at a sign from God, rose up, and came with them, and entered their synagogue. Then the multitude of the Jews, with the priests, put the books of the law in their hands, and adjured them by the God Heloi, and the God Adonai, and by the law and the prophets, saying: Tell us how you have risen from the dead, and what are those wonderful things which have happened in our times, such as we have never heard to have happened at any other time; because already for fear all our bones have been benumbed, and have dried up, and the earth moves itself under our feet: for we have joined all our hearts to shed righteous and holy blood.

Then Karinus and Leucius signed to them with their hands to give them a sheet of paper and ink. And this they did, because the Holy Spirit did not allow them to speak to them. And they gave each of them paper, and put them apart, the one from the other in separate cells. And they, making with their fingers the sign of the cross of Christ, began to write on the separate sheets; and after they had finished, as if out of one mouth from the separate cells, they cried out, Amen. And rising up, Karinus gave his paper to Annas, and Leucius to Caiaphas; and saluting each other, they went out, and returned to their sepulchres.

Then Annas and Caiaphas, opening the sheet of paper, began each to read it in secret. But all the people took it ill, and so all cried out: Read these writings to us openly; and after they have been read through we shall keep them, lest perchance this truth of God be turned through wilful blindness, by unclean and deceitful men, into falsehood. At this Annas and Caiaphas fell a-trembling, and delivered the sheet of paper to Rabbi Addas, and Rabbi Finees, and Rabbi Egias, who had come from Galilee, and announced that Jesus had been taken up into heaven. All the multitude of the Jews trusted to them to read this writing. And they read the paper containing these words:—

Chapter 2 (18).

I Karinus. 0 Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the living God, permit me to speak of Thy wonders which Thou hast done in the lower world. When, therefore, we were kept in darkness and the shadow of death in the lower world, suddenly there shone upon us a great light, and Hades and the gates of death trembled. And then was heard the voice of the Son of the Father most high, as if the voice of a great thunder; and loudly proclaiming, He thus charged them: Lift up your gates, ye princes; lift up the everlasting gates; the King of glory, Christ the Lord, will come up to enter in.

Then Satan, the leader of death, came up, fleeing in terror, saying to his officers and the powers below: My officers, and all the powers below, run together, shut your gates, put up the iron bars, and fight bravely, and resist, lest they lay hold of us, and keep us captive in chains. Then all his impious officers were perplexed, and began to shut the gates of death with all diligence, and by little and little to fasten the locks and the iron bars, and to hold all their weapons77 grasped in their hands, and to utter howlings in a direful and most hideous voice.

Chapter 3 (19).

Then Satan said to Hades: Make thyself ready to receive him whom I shall bring down to thee. Thereupon Hades thus replied to Satan: That voice was from nothing else than the cry of the Son of the Father most high, because the earth and all the places of the world below so trembled trader it: wherefore I think that myself and all my dungeons are now lying open. But I adjure thee, Satan, head of all evils,78 by thy power and my own, bring him not to me, lest, while we wish to take him, we be taken captive by him. For if, at his voice only, all my power has been thus destroyed, what do you think he will do when he shall come in person?

To him Satan, the leader of death, thus replied: What art thou crying out about? Do not be afraid, my old most wicked friend, because I have stirred up the people of the Jews against him; I have told them to strike him with blows on the face, and I have brought upon him betrayal by one of his disciples; and he is a man in great fear of death, because from fear he said, My soul is sorrowful, even unto death; and I have brought him to this, that he has just been lifted up and hanged on the cross.

Then Hades said to him: If he be the same who, by the mere word of his command, made Lazarus fly away like an eagle from my bosom, when he had already been dead four days, he is not a man in humanity, but God in majesty. I entreat thee not to bring him to me. And Satan says to him: Make thyself ready nevertheless; be not afraid; because he is already hanging on the cross, I can do nothing else. Then Hades thus replied to Satan: If, then, thou canst do nothing else, behold, thy destruction is at hand. I, in short, shall remain cast down and dishonoured; thou, however, wilt be tortured under my power.

Chapter 4 (20).

And the saints of God heard the wrangling of Satan and Hades. They, however, though as yet not at all recognising each other, were, notwithstanding, in the possession of their faculties. But our holy father Adam thus replied to Satan at once: O captain of death, why dost thou fear and tremble? Behold, the Lord is coming, who will now destroy all thy, inventions; and thou shalt be taken by Him, and bound throughout eternity.

Then all the saints, hearing the voice of our father Adam, how boldly he replied to Satan in all points, were strengthened in joy; and all running together to father Adam, were crowded in one place. Then our father Adam, gazing on all that multitude, wondered greatly whether all of them had been begotten from him into the world. And embracing those who were standing everywhere around him, and shedding most bitter tears, he addressed his son Seth, saying: Relate, my son Seth, to the holy patriarchs and prophets what the guardian of paradise said to thee, when I sent thee to bring to me of that oil of compassion, in order to anoint my body when I was ill.

Then he answered: I, when thou sentest me before the gates of paradise, prayed and en-treated the Lord with tears, and called upon the guardian of paradise to give me of it therefrom. Then Michael the archangel came out, and said to me, Seth, why then dost thou weep? Know, being informed beforehand, that thy father Adam will not receive of this oil of compassion now, but after many generations of time. For the most beloved Son of God will come down from heaven into the world, and will be baptized by John in the river Jordan; and then shall thy father Adam receive of this oil79 of compassion, and all that believe in him. And of those who have believed in him, their kingdom will endure for ever.

Chapter 5 (21).

Then all the saints, hearing this again, exulted in joy. And one of those standing round, Isaias by name, cried out aloud, and thundered: Father Adam, and all standing round, hear my declaration. When I was on earth, and by the teaching of the Holy Spirit, in prophecy I sang of this light: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light; to them dwelling in the region of the shadow of death light has arisen. At these words father Adam, and all of them, turned and asked him: Who art thou? because what thou sayest is true. And he subjoined, and said: My name is Isaias.

Then appeared. another near him, as if a hermit. And they asked him, saying: Who art thou, who bearest such an appearance in thy body?80 And he firmly answered: I am John the Baptist, voice and prophet of the Most High. I went before the face of the same Lord, that I might make the waste and rough places into plain ways. I with my finger pointed out and made manifest the Lamb of the Lord, and Son of God, to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. I baptized Him in the river Jordan. I heard the voice of the Father from heaven thundering over Him, and proclaiming, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. I received from Him the answer that He would descend to the lower world

Then father Adam, hearing this, cried with a loud voice, exclaiming: Alleluia! which is, interpreted, The Lord is certainly coming.

Chapter 6 (22).

After that, another standing there, pre-eminent as it were, with a certain mark of an emperor, David by name, thus cried out, and said: When I was upon earth, I made revelations to the people of the mercy of God and His visitation, prophesying future joys, saying through all ages, Let them make confession to the Lord of His tender mercy and His wonderful works to the sons of men, because He has shattered the gates of brass, and broken the bars of iron. Then the holy patriarchs and prophets began mutually to recognise each other, and each to quote his prophecies.

Then holy Jeremias, examining his prophecies, said to the patriarchs and prophets: When was upon earth, I prophesied of the Son of God, that He was seen upon earth, and dwelt with men.

Then all the saints, exulting in the light of the Lord, and in the sight of father Adam, and in the answering of all the patriarchs and prophets, cried out, saying: Alleluia! blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord; so that at their crying out Satan trembled, and sought a way of escape. And he could not, because Hades and his satellites kept him bound in the lower regions, and guarded at all points. And they said to him: Why dost thou tremble? We by no means allow thee to go forth hence. But receive this, as thou art worthy, from Him whom thou didst daily assail; but if not, know that thou, bound by Him, shall be in my keeping.

Chapter 7 (23).

And again there came the voice of the Son of the Father most high, as it were the voice of a great thunder, saying: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates, and the King of glory will come in. Then Satan and Hades cried out, saying: Who is the king of glory? And it was answered to them in the voice of the Lord: The Lord strong and mighty, the Lord mighty in battle.

After this voice there came a man, whose appearance was that of a robber, carrying a cross on his shoulder, crying from the outside of the door, and saying: Open to me, that I may come in. And Satan, opening to him a little, brought him inside into his dwelling,81 and again shut the door after him. And all the saints saw him most clearly, and said to him forthwith: Thy appearance is that of a robber. Tell us what it is that thou carriest on thy back. And he answered, and said with humility: Truly I was a robber altogether; and the Jews hung me up on a cross, along with my Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the Father most high. I, in fine, have come heralding82 Him; He indeed is coming immediately behind me.

Then holy David, inflamed with anger against Satan, cried out aloud: Open thy gates, most vile wretch, that the King of glory may come in. In like manner also all the saints of God rose up against Satan, and would have seized him, and divided him among them. And again a cry was heard within: Lift up your gates, ye princes; and be ye lifted up, ye everlasting gates; and the King of glory shall come in. Hades and Satan, at that clear voice, again asked, saying: Who is this king of glory? And it was said to them by that wonderful voice: The Lord of powers, He is the King of glory.

Chapter 8 (24).

And, behold, suddenly Hades trembled, and the gates of death and the bolts were shattered, and the iron bars were broken and fell to the ground, and everything was laid open. And Satan remained in the midst, and stood confounded and downcast, bound with fetters on his feet. And, behold, the Lord Jesus Christ, coming in the brightness of light from on high, compassionate, great, and lowly, carrying a chain in His hand, bound Satan by the neck; and again tying his hands behind him, dashed him on his back into Tartarus, and placed His holy foot on his throat, saying: Through all ages thou hast done many evils; thou hast not in any wise rested. To-day I deliver thee to everlasting fire. And Hades being suddenly summoned, He commanded him, and said: Take this most wicked and impious one, and have him in thy keeping even to that day in which I shall command thee. And he, as soon as he received him, was plunged under the feet of the Lord along with him into the depth of the abyss.

Chapter 9 (25).

Then the Lord Jesus, the Saviour of all, affectionate and most mild, saluting Adam kindly, said to him: Peace be to thee, Adam, with thy children, through immeasurable ages of ages! Amen. Then father Adam, falling forward at the feet of the Lord, and being raised erect, kissed His hands, and shed many tears, saying, testifying to all: Behold. the hands which fashioned me! And he said to the Lord: Thou hast come, O King of glory, delivering men, and bringing them into Thy everlasting kingdom. Then also our mother Eve in like manner fell forward at the feet of our Lord, and was raised erect, and kissed His hands, and poured forth tears in abundance, and said, testifying to all: Behold the hands which made me!

Then all the saints, adoring Him, cried out, saying: Blessed is He who cometh in the name of the Lord! The Lord God hath shone upon us—amen—through all ages. Alleluia for ever and ever! Praise, honour, power, glory! because Thou hast come from on high to visit us. Singing Alleluia continually, and rejoicing together concerning His glory, they ran together under the hands of the Lord. Then the Saviour, inquiring thoroughly about all, seized Hades,83 immediately threw some down into Tartarus, and led some with Him to the upper world.

Chapter 10 (26).

Then all the saints of God asked the Lord to leave as a sign of victory the sign of His holy cross in the lower world, that its most impious officers might not retain as an offender any one whom the Lord had absolved. And so it was done. And the Lord set His cross in the midst of Hades, which is the sign of victory, and which will remain even to eternity.

Then we all went forth thence along with the Lord, leaving Satan and Hades in Tartarus. And to us and many others it was commanded that we should rise in the body, giving in the world a testimony of the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of those things which had been done in the lower world.

These are the things, dearest brethren, which we have seen, and which, adjured by you, we testify, He bearing witness who died for us, and rose again; because, as it was written, so has it been done in all points.

Chapter 11 (27).

And when the paper was finished and read through, all that heard it fell on their faces, weeping bitterly, and cruelly beating their breasts, crying out, and saying through all: Woe to us! Why has this happened to us wretched? Pilate flees; Annas and Caiaphas flee; the priests and Levites flee; moreover also the people of the Jews, weeping and saying, Woe to us wretched! we have shed sacred blood upon the earth.

For three days, therefore, and three nights, they did not taste bread and water at all; nor did any of them return to the synagogue. But on the third day again the council was assembled, and the other paper of Leucius was read through; and it was found neither more nor less, to a single letter, than that which the writing of Karinus contained. Then the synagogue was perplexed; and they all lamented forty days and forty nights, looking for destruction from God, and the vengeance of God. But He, pitier affectionate and most high, did not immediately destroy them, bountifully giving them a place of repentance. But they were not found worthy to be turned to the Lord.

These are the testimonies of Karinus and Leucius, dearest brethren, concerning Christ the Son of God, and His holy deeds in the lower world; to whom let us all give praise and glory through immeasurable age of ages. Amen.

The Letter of Pontius Pilate

Which He Wrote to the Roman Emperor, Concerning Our Lord Jesus Christ.

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Pontius Pilate to Tiberius Caesar the emperor, greeting.1

Upon Jesus Christ, whose case I had dearly set forth to thee in my last, at length by the will of the people a bitter punishment has been inflicted, myself being in a sort unwilling and rather afraid. A man, by Hercules, so pious and strict, no age has ever had nor will have. But wonderful were the efforts of the people themselves, and the unanimity of all the scribes and chief men and elders, to crucify this ambassador of truth, notwithstanding that their own prophets, and after our manner the sibyls, warned them against it: and supernatural signs appeared while he was hanging, and, in the opinion of philosophers, threatened destruction to the whole world. His disciples are flourishing, in their work and the regulation of their lives not belying their master; yea, in his name most beneficent. Had I not been afraid of the rising of a sedition among the people, who were just on the point of breaking out, perhaps this man would still have been alive to us; although, urged more by fidelity to thy dignity than induced by my own wishes, I did not according to my strength resist that innocent blood free from the whole charge brought against it, but unjustly, through the malignity of men, should be sold and suffer, yet, as the Scriptures signify, to their own destruction. Farewell, 28th March.

The Report of Pilate the Procurator

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First Greek Form

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The Report of Pilate the Procurator Concerning Our Lord Jesus Christ Sent to the August1 Caesar in Rome

In those days, our Lord Jesus Christ having been crucified under Pontius Pilate, procurator of Palestine and Phoenicia, these records were made in Jerusalem as to what was done by the Jews against the Lord. Pilate therefore, along with his private report, sent them to the Caesar in Rome, writing thus:—

To the most mighty, venerable, most divine, and most terrible, the august2 Caesar, Pilate the governor of the East sends greeting. I have, O most mighty, a narrative to give thee, on account of which I am seized with fear and trembling. For in this government of mine, of which one of the cities is called Jerusalem, all the people of the Jews have delivered to me a man named Jesus, bringing many charges against him, which they were not able to convict him of by the consistency of their evidence. And one of the heresies they had against him was, that Jesus said that their Sabbath should not be a day of leisure, and should not be observed. For he performed many cures on that day: he made the blind receive their sight, the lame walk; he raised up the dead, he cleansed the lepers; he healed paralytics that were not at all able to make any movement of their body, or to keep their nerves steady, but who had only speech and the modulation of their voice, and he gave them the power of walking and running, removing their illness by a single word. Another thing again, more powerful still, which is strange even with our gods: he raised up one that had been dead four days, summoning him by a single word, when the dead man had his blood corrupted, and when his body was destroyed by the worms produced in it, and when it had the stink of a dog And seeing him lying in the tomb, he ordered him to run. Nor had he anything of a dead body about him at all; but as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber, so he came forth from the tomb filled with very great fragrance. And strangers that were manifestly demoniac, and that had their dwelling in deserts, and ate their own flesh, living like beasts and creeping things, even these he made to be dwellers in cities, and by his word restored them to soundness of mind, and rendered them wise and able and reputable, eating with all the enemies of the unclean spirits that dwelt in them for their destruction, which he cast down into the depths of the sea. And again there was another having a withered hand; and not the hand only, but rather the half of the body of the man, was petrified, so that he had not the form of a than, or the power of moving his body. And him by a word he healed, and made sound. And a woman that had an issue of blood for many years, and whose joints3 and veins were drained by the flowing of the blood, so that she did not present the appearance of a human being, but was like a corpse, and was speechless every day, so that all the physicians of the district could not cure her. For there was not any hope of life left to her. And when Jesus passed by, she mysteriously received strength through his overshadowing her; and she took hold of his fringe behind, and immediately in the same hour power filled up what in her was empty, so that, no longer suffering any pain, she began to run swiftly to her own city Kepharnaum, so as to accomplish the journey in six days.

And these are the things which I lately had in my mind to report, which Jesus accomplished on the Sabbath. And other signs greater than these he did, so that I have perceived that the wonderful works done by him are greater than can be done by the gods whom we worship.

And him Herod and Archelaus and Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, with all the people, delivered to me, making a great uproar against me that I should try him. I therefore ordered him to be crucified, having first scourged him, and having found against him no cause of evil accusations or deeds.

And at the time he was crucified there was darkness over all the world, the sun being darkened at mid-day, and the stars appearing, but in them there appeared no lustre; and the moon, as if turned into blood, failed in her light. And the world was swallowed up by the lower regions, so that the very sanctuary of the temple, as they call it, could not be seen by the Jews in their fall; and they saw below them a chasm of the earth, with the roar of the thunders that fell upon it.4 And in that terror dead men were seen that had risen, as the Jews themselves testified; and they said that it was Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, and Moses and Job, that had died, as they say, three thousand five hundred years before. And there were very many whom I also saw appearing in the body; and they were making a lamentation about the Jews, on account of the wickedness that bad come to pass through them, and the destruction of the Jews and of their law.

And the fear of the earthquake remained from the sixth hour of the preparation until the ninth hour. And on the evening of the first day of the week there was a sound out of the heaven, so that the heaven became enlightened sevenfold more than all the days. And at the third hour of the night also the sun was seen brighter than it had ever shone before, lighting up all the heaven. And as lightnings come suddenly in winter, so majestic men appeared5 in glorious robes, an innumerable multitude, whose voice was heard as that of a very great thunder, crying out: Jesus that was crucified is risen: come up out of Hades, ye that have been enslaved in the underground regions of Hades. And the chasm of the earth was as if it had no bottom; but it was as if the very foundations of the earth appeared along with those that cried out in the heavens, and walked about in the body in the midst of the dead that had risen. And he that raised up all the dead, and bound Hades, said: Say to my disciples, He goes before you into Galilee; there shall you see him.

And all that night the light did not cease shining. And many of the Jews died, swallowed up in the chasm of the earth, so that on the following day most of those who had been against Jesus could not be found. Others saw the appearing of those that had risen, whom no one of us had ever seen.6 And only one7 synagogue of the Jews was left in this Jerusalem, since all disappeared in that fall.

With that terror, being in perplexity, and seized with a most frightful trembling, I have written what I saw at that time, and have reported to thy majesty. Having set in order also what was done by the Jews against Jesus, I have sent it, my lord, to thy divinity.

Second Greek Form

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The Report of Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judaea, Sent to Rome to Tiberius Caesar

To the most mighty, venerable, awful, most divine, the august,—Pilatus Pontius, the governor of the East: I have to report to thy reverence, through this writing of mine, being seized with great trembling and fear, O most mighty emperor, the conjuncture of the present times, as the end of these things has shown. For while I, my lord, according to the commandment of thy clemency, was discharging the duties of my government, which is one of the cities of the East, Jerusalem by name, in which is built the temple of the Jewish nation, all the multitude of the Jews came together, and delivered to me a certain man named Jesus, bringing against him many and groundless charges; and they were not able to convict him in anything. And one heresy of theirs against him was, that he said that the Sabbath was not their right rest. And that man wrought many cures, in addition to good works. He made the blind see; he cleansed lepers; he raised the dead; he healed paralytics who could not move at all, except that they only had their voice, and the joining of their bones; and he gave them the power of walking about and running, commanding them by a single word. And another mightier work he did, which was strange even with our gods: he raised up a dead man, Lazarus, who had been dead four days, by a single word ordering the dead man to be raised, although his body was already corrupted by the worms that grow in wounds; and that ill-smelling body lying in the tomb he ordered to run; and as a bridegroom from the bridal chamber, so he came forth out of the tomb, filled with exceeding fragrance. And some that were cruelly vexed by demons, and had their dwellings in deserts, and ate the flesh of their own limbs, and lived along with reptiles and wild beasts, he made to be dwellers in cities in their own houses, and by a word he rendered them sound-minded; and he made those that were troubled by unclean spirits to be intelligent and reputable; and sending away the demons in them into a herd of swine, he suffocated them in the sea. Another man, again, who had a withered hand, and lived in sorrow, and had not even the half of his body sound, he rendered sound by a single word. And a woman that had a flow of blood for many years, so that, in consequence of the flowing of her blood, all the joinings of her bones appeared, and were transparent like glass; and assuredly all the physicians had left her without hope, and had not cleansed her, for there was not in her a single hope of health: once, then, as Jesus was passing by, she took hold of the fringe of his clothes behind, and that same hour the power of her body was completely restored, and she became whole, as if nothing were the matter with her, and she began to run swiftly to her own city Paneas.1

And these things indeed were so. And the Jews gave information that Jesus did these things on the Sabbath. And I also ascertained that the miracles done by him were greater than any which the gods whom we worship could do.

Him then Herod and Archelaus and Philip, and Annas and Caiaphas, with all the people, delivered to me to try him. And as many were exciting an insurrection against me, I ordered him to be crucified.

And when he had been crucified, there was darkness over the whole earth, the sun having been completely hidden, and the heaven appearing dark though it was day, so that the stars appeared, but had at the same time their brightness darkened, as I suppose your reverence is not ignorant of, because in all the world they lighted lamps from the sixth hour until evening. And the moon, being like blood, did not shine the whole night, and yet she happened to be at the full. And the stars also, and Orion, made a lament about the Jews, on account of the wickedness that had been done by them.2

And on the first of the week, about the third hour of the night, the sun was seen such as it had never at any time shone, and all the heaven was lighted up. And as lightnings come on in winter, so majestic men of indescribable splendour of dress and of glory appeared in the air, and an innumerable multitude of angels crying out, and saying: Glory in the highest to God, and on earth peace, among men goodwill: come up out of Hades, ye who have been kept in slavery in the underground regions of Hades. And at their voice all the mountains and hills were shaken, and the rocks were burst asunder; and great chasms were made in the earth, so that also what was in the abyss appeared.

And there were seen in that terror dead men raised up,3 as the Jews that saw them said: We have seen Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and the twelve patriarchs, that died two thousand five hundred years ago; and we have seen Noah manifestly in the body. And all the multitude walked about, and sang praises to God with aloud voice, saying: The Lord our God that has risen from the dead has brought to life all the dead, and has plundered Hades, and put him to death.

All that night therefore, my lord, O king, the light ceased not. And many of the Jews died, and were engulphed and swallowed up in the chasms in that night, so that not even their bodies appeared. Those, I say, of the Jews suffered that had spoken against Jesus. And one synagogue was left in Jerusalem, since all those synagogues that had been against Jesus were engulphed.

From that fear, then, being in perplexity, and seized with much trembling, at that same hour I ordered what had been done by them all to be written; and I have reported it to thy mightiness.

The Giving Up of Pontius Pilate

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And the writings having come to the city of the Romans, and having been read to the Caesar, with not a few standing by, all were astounded, because through the wickedness of Pilate the darkness and the earthquake had come over the whole world. And the Caesar, filled with rage, sent soldiers, and ordered them to bring Pilate a prisoner.

And when he was brought to the city of the Romans, the Caesar, hearing that Pilate had arrived, sat in the temple of the gods, in the presence of all the senate, and with all the army, and all the multitude of his power; and he ordered Pilate to stand forward.1 And the Caesar says to him: Why hast thou, O most impious, dared to do such things, having seen so great miracles in that man? By daring to do an evil deed, thou hast destroyed the whole world.

And Pilate said: O almighty2 king, I am innocent of these things; but the multitude of the Jews are violent and guilty. And the Caesar said: And who are they? Pilate says: Herod, Archelaus, Philip, Annas and Caiaphas, and all the multitude of the Jews. The Caesar says: For what reason didst thou follow out their counsel? And Pilate says: Their nation is rebellious and insubmissive, not submitting themselves to thy power. And the Caesar said: When they delivered him to thee, thou oughtest to have made him secure, and to have sent him to me, and not to have obeyed them in crucifying such a man, righteous as he was, and one that did such good miracles, as thou hast said in thy report. For from such miracles Jesus was manifestly the Christ, the King of the Jews.

And as the Caesar was thus speaking, when he named the name of Christ, all the multitude of the gods fell down in a body, and became as dust, where the Caesar was sitting with the senate. And the people standing beside the Caesar all began to tremble, on account of the speaking of the word, and the fall of their gods; and being seized with terror, they all went away, each to his own house, wondering at what had happened. And the Caesar ordered Pilate to be kept in security, in order that he might know the truth about Jesus.

And on the following day, the Caesar, sitting in the Capitol with all the senate, tried again to question Pilate. And the Caesar says: Tell the truth, O most impious, because through thy impious action which thou hast perpetrated against Jesus, even here the doing of thy wicked deeds has been shown by the gods having been cast down. Say, then, who is he that has been crucified; because even his name has destroyed all the gods? Pilate said: And indeed the records of him are true; for assuredly I myself was persuaded from his works that he was greater than all the gods whom we worship. And the Caesar said: For what reason, then, didst thou bring against him such audacity and such doings, if thou wert not ignorant of him, and altogether devising mischief against my kingdom? Pilate said: On account of the wickedness and rebellion of the lawless and ungodly Jews, I did this.

And the Caesar, being filled with rage, held a council with all his senate and his power, and ordered a decree to be written against the Jews as follows:—To Licianus, the governor of the chief places of the East, greeting. The reckless deed which has been done at the present time by the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and the cities of the Jews round about, and their wicked action, has come to my knowledge, that they have forced Pilate to crucify a certain god named Jesus, and on account of this great fault of theirs the world has been darkened and dragged to destruction. Do thou then speedily, with a multitude of soldiers, go to them there, and make them prisoners, in accordance with this decree. Be obedient, and take action against them, and scatter them, and make them slaves among all the nations; and having driven them out of the whole of Judaea, make them the smallest of nations, so that it may not any longer be seen at all, because they are full of wickedness.3

And this decree having come into the region of the East, Licianus, obeying from fear of the decree, seized all the nation of the Jews; and those that were left in Judaea he scattered among the nations, and sold for slaves:4 so that it was known to the Caesar that these things had been done by Licianus against the Jews in the region of the East; and it pleased him.

And again the Caesar set himself to question Pilate; and he orders a captain named Albius to cut off Pilate’s head, saying: Just as he laid hands upon the just man named Christ, in like manner also shall he fall, and not find safety.

And Pilate, going away to the place, prayed. in silence, saying: Lord, do not destroy me along with the wicked Hebrews, because I would not have laid hands upon Thee, except for the nation of the lawless Jews, because they were exciting rebellion against me. But Thou knowest that I did it in ignorance. Do not then destroy me for this my sin; but remember not evil against me, O Lord, and against Thy servant Procla, who is standing with me in this the hour of my death, whom Thou didst appoint to prophesy that Thou shouldest be nailed to the cross. Do not condemn her also in my sin; but pardon us, and make us to be numbered in the portion of Thy righteous.

And, behold, when Pilate had finished his prayer, there came a voice out of the heaven, saying: All the generations and families of the nations shall count thee blessed, because under thee have been fulfilled all those things said about me by the prophets; and thou thyself shall be seen as my witness at my second appearing, when I shall judge the twelve tribes of Israel, and those that have not owned my name. And the prefect struck off the head of Pilate; and, behold, an angel of the Lord received it. And his wife Procla, seeing the angel coming and receiving his head, being filled with joy herself also, immediately gave up the ghost, and was buried along with her husband.5

The Death of Pilate, Who Condemned Jesus

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And when Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, was labouring under a grievous disease, and understanding that there was at Jerusalem a certain physician, Jesus by name, who by a single word cured all infirmities, he, not knowing that the Jews and Pilate had put Him to death, ordered a certain friend of his named Volusianus: Go as quickly as possible across the seas; and thou shalt tell Pilate, my servant and friend, to send me this physician, that he may restore me to my former health. And this Volusianus, having heard the emperor’s command, immediately departed, and came to Pilate, as he had been commanded. And he related to the same Pilate what had been entrusted to him by Tiberius Caesar, saying: Tiberius Caesar, the emperor of the Romans, thy master, having heard that in this city there is a physician who by his word alone heals infirmities, begs thee earnestly to send him to him for the curing of his infirmity. Pilate, hearing this, was very much afraid, knowing that through envy he had caused Him to be put to death. Pilate answered the same messenger thus, saying: This man was a malefactor, and a man who drew to himself all the people; so a council of the wise men of the city was held, and I caused him to be crucified. And this messenger returning to his inn, met a certain woman named Veronica, who had been a friend of Jesus; and he said: O woman, a certain physician who was in this city, who cured the sick by a word alone, why have the Jews put him to death? And she began to weep, saying: Ah me! my lord, my God and my Lord, whom Pilate for envy delivered, condemned, and ordered to be crucified. Then he, being exceedingly grieved, said: I am vehemently grieved that I am unable to accomplish that for which my lord had sent me. And Veronica said to him: When my Lord was going about preaching, and I, much against my will, was deprived of His presence, I wished His picture to be painted for me, in order that, while I was deprived of His presence, the figure of His picture might at least afford me consolation. And when I was carrying the canvas to the painter to be painted, my Lord met me, and asked whither I was going. And when I had disclosed to Him the cause of my journey, He asked of me the cloth, and gave it back to me impressed with the image of His venerable face. Therefore, if thy lord will devoutly gaze upon His face,1 he shall obtain forthwith the benefit of health. And he said to her: Is a picture of such a sort procurable by gold or silver? She said to him: No; but by the pious influence of devotion. I shall therefore set out with thee, and shall carry the picture to be seen by Caesar, and shall come back again.

Volusianus therefore came with Veronica to Rome, and said to Tiberius the emperor: Jesus, whom thou hast been longing for, Pilate and the Jews have delivered to an unjust death, and have through envy affixed to the gibbet of the cross. There has therefore come with me a certain matron, bringing a picture of Jesus himself; and if thou wilt devoutly look upon it, thou shall immediately obtain the benefit of thy health. Caesar therefore ordered the way to be strewn with silk cloths, and the picture to be presented to him; and as soon as he had looked upon it, he regained his former health.

Pontius Pilate, therefore, by the command of Caesar, is taken and brought through to Rome. Caesar. hearing that Pilate had arrived at Rome, was filled with exceeding fury against him, and caused him to be brought to him. But Pilate brought down with him the seamless tunic of Jesus; and he wore it on him in presence of the emperor. And as soon as the emperor saw him, he laid aside all his anger, and forthwith rose up to meet him. Nor was he able to speak harshly to him in anything; and he who seemed so terrible and fierce in his absence, now in his presence is somehow found to be mild. And when he had sent him away, immediately he blazed out against him terribly, crying out that he was a wretch, inasmuch as he had not at all shown him the fury of his heart. And immediately he made him be called back, swearing and declaring that he was the son of death, and that it was infamous that he should live upon the earth. And as soon as he saw him, he forthwith saluted him, and threw away all the ferocity of his mind. All wondered; and he himself wondered that he should thus blaze out against Pilate when he was absent, and that while he was present he could say nothing to him roughly. Then, by a divine impulse, or perhaps by the advice of some Christian,2 he caused him to be stripped of that tunic, and immediately resumed against him his former ferocity of mind. And when at this the emperor wondered very much, it was told him that that tunic had belonged to the Lord Jesus. Then the emperor ordered him to be kept in prison, until he should deliberate in a council of the wise men what ought to be done with him. And a few days after, sentence was therefore passed upon Pilate, that he should be condemned to the most disgraceful death. Pilate, hearing this, killed himself with his own knife, and by such a death ended his life.

When Caesar knew of the death of Pilate, he said: Truly he has died by a most disgraceful death, whom his own hand has not spared. He is therefore bound to a great mass, and sunk into the river Tiber. But malignant and filthy spirits in his malignant and filthy body, all rejoicing together, kept moving themselves in the waters, and in a terrible manner brought lightnings and tempests, thunders and hail-storms, in the air, so that all men were kept in horrible fear. Wherefore the Romans, drawing him out of the river Tiber, in derision carried him down to Vienna, and sunk him in the river Rhone. For Vienna is called, as it were, Via Gehennae, the way of Gehenna, because it was then a place of cursing. But there evil spirits were present, working the same things in the same place. Those men therefore, not enduring such a visitation of demons, removed froth themselves that vessel of malediction, and sent him to be buried in the territory of Losania.3 And they, seeing that they were troubled by the aforesaid visitations, removed him from themselves, and sunk him in a certain pit surrounded by mountains, where to this day, according to the account of some, certain diabolical machinations are said to bubble up.

The Narrative of Joseph

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