THE GENERAL EPISTLE OF BARNABAS
From The Lost Books of the Bible and the Forgotten Books of Eden, Collins-World Publishers
Preface to the Epistle
1. All happiness in peace to you my sons and daughters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ who loved us.
2. Having perceived abundance of knowledge of the great and excellent laws of God to be in you, I exceedingly rejoice in your blessed and admirable souls, because you have so worthily received the grace which was grafted in you.
3. For which cause I am full of joy, hoping with more reason to be saved; inasmuch as I truly see a spirit infused into you from the pure fountain of God:
4. Having this persuasion, and being fully convinced of it, because that since I began to speak unto you, I have had a more than ordinary good success in the way of the law of the Lord which is in Christ.
5. For which cause, brethren, I also truly think that I love you above my own soul; because in that dwells the greatness of faith and charity, as also the hope of that life which is to come.
6. Considering that if I shall take care to communicate to you a part of what I have received, it will turn to my reward, that I have served such good souls; I gave diligence to write in a few words to you, that together with your faith, knowledge also may be perfect.
7. There are therefore three things ordained by the Lord; the hope of life; the beginning and the completion of it.
8. For the Lord has both declared to us by the prophets those things that are past, and opened to us the beginnings of those that are to come.
9. Wherefore, it will be incumbent on us, as he has spoken, to come more holily, and nearer to his altar.
10. I therefore, not as a teacher, but as one of you, will endeavor to lay before you a few things by which you may, on many accounts, become more joyful.
That God has abolished the legal sacrifices to introduce the spiritual righteousness of the Gospel.
1. Seeing then the days are exceeding evil, and the adversary has got the power of this present world, we ought to give all the more diligence to inquire into the righteous judgments of the Lord.
2. Now the assistants of our faith are fear and patience; our fellow-combatants are long-suffering and continence.
3. While these remain pure in what relates to the Lord, wisdom, and understanding, and science, and knowledge, rejoice together with them.
4. For God has manifested to us by all the prophets, that he has no occasion for our sacrifices, or burnt-offerings, or oblations, saying thus: To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices to me, says the Lord.
5. I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of he- goats.
6. When you come to appear before me, who has required this at your hands? You will no more tread my courts.
7. Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination to me; your new moons and sabbaths and the calling of assemblies I cannot put up with, it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting; your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hates.
8. These things therefore God has abolished, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of any such necessity, might have the spiritual offering of men themselves.
9. For so the Lord again said to these before: Did I at all command your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt concerning burnt-offerings of sacrifices?
10. But this I commanded them, saying, Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbor, and love no false oath.
11. Because then as we are not without understanding, we ought to apprehend the design of our merciful Father. For he speaks to us, being willing that we who have been in the same error about the sacrifices should seek and find how to approach to him.
12. And therefore he speaks to us, The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.
13. Therefore, brethren, we ought all the more diligently to inquire after those things that belong to our salvation, so the adversary may not have any entrance into us and deprive us of our spiritual life.
14. Therefore he again speaks to them concerning these things: You will not fast as you do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
15. Is it such a fast that I have chosen? A day for a man to afflict his soul? Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Will you call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
16. But to us he says in this manner, Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, to let the oppressed go free, and that you break every yoke?
17. Is it not to deal your bread to the hungry, and that you bring the poor that are cast out to your house? When you see the naked that you cover him, and that you hide not yourself from your own flesh.
18. Then will your light break forth as the morning, and your health will spring forth speedily; your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the Lord will be your reward.
19. Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry and he will say, Here I am. If you put away from the midst of you the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity; if you draw out your soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul.
20. In this therefore, brethren, God has evidenced his foreknowledge and love for us, because the people which he has purchased to his beloved Son were to believe in sincerity; and therefore he has shown these things to all of us, that we should not run as proselytes to the Jewish law.
The prophecies of Daniel concerning the ten kings, and the coming of Christ.
1. So it is necessary that searching diligently into those things which are near to come to pass, we should write to you what may serve to keep you whole.
2. For which purpose let us flee from every evil work and hate the errors of the present time, that we may be happy in that which is to come:
3. Let us not give ourselves the liberty of disputing with the wicked and sinners, for fear that in time we possibly should become like them.
4. For the consummation of sin is to come, as the prophet Daniel says. And for this end the Lord has shortened the times and the days, that his beloved might hasten his coming to his inheritance.
5. For so the prophet speaks, There will ten kings reign in the heart, and there will rise last of all another little one, and he will humble three kings.
6. And again Daniel speaks in a similar manner concerning the kingdoms: And I saw the fourth beast dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold there came up among them another little horn, before which were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots.
7. We ought therefore to understand this also, so I beseech you as one of your own brethren, loving you all beyond my own life, that you look well to yourselves and not be like those who add sin to sin, and say that their covenant is ours also. No, but it is ours only, for they have forever lost that which Moses received.
8. For thus says the Scripture: And Moses continued fasting forty days and forty nights in the mount; and he received the covenant from the Lord, even the two tables of stone, written by the hand of God.
9. But having turned themselves to idols, they lost it; as the Lord also said to Moses, Moses, go down quickly, for your people, whom you have brought forth out of Egypt have corrupted themselves, and turned aside from the way which I commanded them. And Moses cast the two tables out of his hands, and their covenant was broken so the love of Jesus might be sealed in your hearts, to the hope of his faith.
10. Therefore let us give heed to the last times. For all the time past of our life, and our faith, will profit us nothing unless we continue to hate what is evil and to withstand the future temptations. So the Son of God tells us, Let us resist all iniquity and hate it.
11. Consider the works of the evil way. Do not withdraw yourselves from others as if you were already justified, but coming all together into one place, inquire what is agreeable to and profitable for the beloved of God. For the Scripture says, Woe to them that are wise in their own eyes, and prudent in their own sight.
12. Let us become spiritual, a perfect temple to God. As much as we can, let us meditate upon the fear of God and strive to the utmost of our power to keep his commandments, so that we may rejoice in his righteous judgments.
13. For God will judge the world without respect of persons, and every one will receive according to his works.
14. If a man will be good, his righteousness will go before him; if wicked, the reward of his wickedness will follow him.
15. Take heed therefore for fear that sitting still, now that we are called, we fall asleep in our sins and the wicked one get dominion over us, stir us up, and shut us out of the kingdom of the Lord.
16. Consider this also: although you have seen such great signs and wonders done among the people of the Jews, yet despite this the Lord has forsaken them.
17. Beware therefore, for fear that it happen to us as it is written, There may be many called, but few chosen.
That Christ was to suffer is proved from the prophecies concerning him.
1. For this cause did our Lord condescend to give up his body to destruction, that through the forgiveness of our sins we might be sanctified; that is, by the sprinkling of his blood.
2. Now for what concerns the things that are written about him, some belong to the people of the Jews, and some to us.
3. For the Scripture says: He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, and by his blood we are healed. He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before his shearers is mute, so he opened not his mouth.
4. Considering this, we ought to give thanks to God even more, because he has both declared to us what is passed, and not allowed us to be without understanding of those things that are to come.
5. But to them he says, The nets are not unjustly spread for the birds.
6. This he spoke, because a man will justly perish if, having the knowledge of the way of truth, he will nevertheless not refrain himself from the way of darkness.
7. Because of this the Lord was content to suffer for our souls, although he is the Lord of the whole earth, to whom God said before the beginning of the world, Let us make man after our own image and likeness.
8. Now how he suffered for us, seeing it was by men that he underwent it, I will show you.
9. The prophets, having received from him the gift of prophecy, spoke before concerning him:
10. But he, that he might abolish death and make known the resurrection from the dead, was content, as was necessary, to appear in the flesh, that he might make good the promise given before to our fathers, and preparing himself a new people, might demonstrate to them while he was upon earth, that after the resurrection he would judge the world.
11. And finally teaching the people of Israel and doing many wonders and signs among them, he preached to them and showed the exceeding great love which he had toward them.
12. And when he chose his Apostles who were afterwards to publish his Gospel, he took men who had been very great sinners; that he might plainly show that he came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.
13. Then he clearly demonstrated himself to be the Son of God. For had he not come in the flesh, how could men have been able to look upon him so that they might be saved?
14. Seeing if they beheld only the sun, which was the work of his hands, and will hereafter cease to be, they are not able to endure steadfastly to look against the rays of it.
15. Therefore the Son of God came in the flesh for this cause, that he might fill up the measure of their iniquity, who have persecuted his prophets to death. And for the same reason also he suffered.
16. For God has said of the lash-marks on his flesh, that they were from them [namely, from the Jews]. And, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.
17. Thus he would suffer, because it was incumbent on him to suffer upon the cross.
18. For thus one says, prophesying concerning him: Spare my soul from the sword. And again, Pierce my flesh from your fear.
19. And again, the congregation of wicked doers rose up against me, (They have pierced my hands and my feet).
20. And again he says, I gave my back to the smiters, and my face I set as a hard rock.
The subject continued.
1. And what did he say when he had fulfilled the commandment of God? Who will contend with me? Let him stand against me, or who is he that will implore me? Let him draw near to the servant of the Lord. Woe be to you! Because you will all become old as a garment, the moth will eat you up.
2. And again the prophet adds, He is put for a stone for stumbling. Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation, a precious stone, a choice cornerstone; an honorable stone. And what follows? And he that hopes in him will live forever.
3. What then? Is our hope built upon a stone? God forbid. But because the Lord has strengthened his flesh against sufferings, he says, I have put me as a firm rock.
4. And again the prophet adds, The stone which the builders refused has become the head of the corner. And again he says, This is the great and wonderful day which the Lord has made. I write these things the more plainly to you that you may understand; for indeed I could be content even to die for your sakes.
5. But what says the prophet again? The counsel of the wicked surrounded me. They came about me, as bees about the honey-comb. And, Upon my vesture they cast lots.
6. Because our Savior was to appear in the flesh and suffer, his passion was foretold by this.
7. For thus says the prophet against Israel: Woe be to their soul, because they have taken wicked counsel against themselves, saying, let us lay snares for the righteous, because he is unprofitable to us.
8. Moses likewise speaks to them: Behold, the Lord God says, Enter into the good land that the Lord promised to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, that he would give it you and possess it; a land flowing with milk and honey.
9. Now learn what the spiritual meaning of this is: It is as if it had been said, Put your trust in Jesus, who will be manifested to you in the flesh. Man is the suffering earth, for out of the substance of the earth Adam was formed.
10. What therefore does he mean when he says, Into a good land flowing with milk and honey? Blessed be our Lord, who has given us wisdom, and a heart to understand his secrets. For so says the prophet, Who will understand the difficult sayings of the Lord? He that is wise, and intelligent, and loves his Lord.
11. Seeing that he has renewed us by the remission of our sins, he has made us another form so that we should have souls like those of children, forming us again himself by the Spirit.
12. For thus the Scripture says concerning us, where it introduces the Father speaking to the Son; Let us make man after our likeness and similitude; and let them have dominion over the beasts of the earth, and over the fowls of the air, and the fish of the sea.
13. And when the Lord saw the man he had formed, and that he was very good, he said, Increase and multiply, and replenish the earth. And this he spoke to his son.
14. I will now show you how he made us a new creature in the latter days.
15. The Lord says, Behold I will make the last as the first. Wherefore the prophet thus spoke, Enter the land flowing with milk and honey, and have dominion over it.
16. So you see how we are again formed anew. He also speaks by another prophet, Behold says the Lord, I will take from them, that is, from those whom the spirit of the Lord foresaw, their hearts of stone, and I will put into them hearts of flesh.
17. Because he was going to be made manifest in the flesh and to dwell in us.
18. For, my brethren, the habitation of our heart is a holy temple to the Lord. For the Lord says again, In what place shall I appear before the Lord my God, and be glorified?
19. He answers, I will acknowledge you in the congregation in the midst of my brethren and sing to you in the church of the saints.
20. So we are they whom he has brought into that good land.
21. But what does the milk and honey signify? Because as the child is nourished first with milk, and then with honey; so we being kept alive by the belief of his promises, and his word, shall live and have dominion over the land.
22. For he foretold above, saying, Increase and multiply, and have dominion over the fishes, and so forth.
23. But who is there that is now able to have this dominion over the wild beasts, or fishes, or fowls of the air? For you know that to rule is to have power, for a man should be set over what he rules.
24. But because we have not this now, he tells us when we shall have it; namely, when we shall become perfect, that we may be made the inheritors of the covenant of the Lord.
The scape-goat an evident type of this.
1. Understand then, my beloved children, that the good God has before made clear all things to us, that we might know to whom we ought always to give thanks and praise.
2. If therefore the Son of God, who is the Lord of all and will come to judge both the living and the dead, has suffered so that by the lash-marks he received we might live, let us believe that except for us, the Son of God would not have suffered. But while being crucified, they gave him vinegar and gall to drink.
3. Hear therefore how the priests of the temple foreshowed this also: the Lord declared by his written command that whoever did not fast the appointed fast should die the death, because he also was himself one day to offer up his body for our sins; so that the type of what was done in Isaac, who was offered upon the altar, might be fulfilled.
4. What therefore is it that he says by the prophet? And let them eat of the goat offered for all their sins in the day of the fast. Hearken diligently (my brethren): all the priests will eat only the inwards not washed with vinegar.
5. Why so? Because I know that when I shall hereafter offer my flesh for the sins of a new people, you will give me vinegar to drink mixed with gall; therefore do you only eat, the people fasting meanwhile and lamenting in sackcloth and ashes.
6. And that he might foreshow that he was to suffer for them, hear then how he appointed it.
7. Take, says he, two goats, fair and alike, and offer them, and let the high priest take one of them for a burned offering. And what must be done with the other? Let it, says he, be accursed.
8. Consider how exactly this appears to have been a type of Jesus: And let all the congregation spit upon it, and prick it, and put the scarlet wool about its head, and thus let it be carried forth into the wilderness.
9. And this being done, he that was appointed to convey the goat, led it into the wilderness, and took away the scarlet wool, and put it upon a thorn bush, whose young sprouts when we find them in the field we are accustomed to eat, because only the fruit of that thorn is sweet.
10. And to what end was this ceremony? Consider: one was offered upon the altar, the other was accursed.
11. And why was that which was accursed crowned? Because they will see Christ in that day having a scarlet garment about his body, and will say, Is not this he whom we crucified after we had despised him, pierced him, mocked him? Certainly this is he who said that he was the Son of God.
12. So he then will be similar to what he was on earth, the Jews were commanded to take two fair and equal goats so that when they hereafter will see our Savior coming in the clouds of heaven, they may be amazed at the analogy of the goats.
13. So again here you see a type of Jesus who was to suffer for us.
14. But what then signifies this, that the wool was to be put into the midst of the thorns?
15. This also is a figure of Jesus, sent out to the church. For as he who would take away the scarlet wool must undergo many difficulties, because that thorn was very sharp, and only with difficulty could he get it, Christ says, They that will see me and come to my kingdom, must attain to me through many afflictions and troubles.
The red heifer, another type of Christ.
1. But what type do you suppose it to have been, where it is commanded to the people of Israel, that grown persons in whom sins are come to perfection, should offer an heifer, and after they had killed it should burn it?
2. Then young men should take up the ashes and put them in vessels, and tie a piece of scarlet wool and hyssop upon a stick, and so the young men should sprinkle every one of the people, and they would be clear from their sins.
3. Consider how all these are delivered in a figure to us.
4. This heifer is Jesus Christ, the wicked men that were to offer it are those sinners who brought him to death, who afterwards have no more to do with it; the sinners have no more the honor of handling it.
5. The young men who performed the sprinkling signified those who preach to us the forgiveness of sins and the purification of the heart. The Lord gave authority to preach his Gospel at the beginning to twelve, to signify the tribes, because there were twelve tribes of Israel.
6. But why were there three young men appointed to sprinkle? To denote Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, because they were great before God.
7. And why was the wool put upon a stick? Because the kingdom of Jesus was founded upon the cross; therefore they that put their trust in him will live for ever.
8. But why was the wool and hyssop put together? To signify that in the kingdom of Christ there will be evil and filthy days, in which however we shall be saved; and because he who has any disease in the flesh caused by some filthy fluids is cured by hyssop.
9. These things done this way are to us indeed evident, but to the Jews they are obscure, because they hearkened not to the voice of the Lord.
Of the circumcision of the ears, and how in the first institution of circumcision Abraham mystically foretold Christ by name.
1. And therefore the Scripture again speaks concerning our ears, that God has circumcised them together with our hearts. For the Lord says by the holy prophets, By the hearing of the ear they obeyed me.
2. And again, They who are afar off will hear and understand what things I have done. And again, Circumcise your hearts, says the Lord.
3. And again he says, Hear O Israel! For thus says the Lord your God. And again the Spirit of God prophesies, saying, Whoever would live forever, let him hear the voice of my Son.
4. And again, Hear, O Heaven, and give ear, O Earth! Because the Lord has spoken these things for a witness.
5. And again he says, Hear the word of the Lord, you princes of the people. And again, Hear, O Children, the voice of one crying in the wilderness.
6. He has circumcised our ears so that we should hear his word, and believe. But as for that circumcision, in which the Jews trust, it is abolished. For the circumcision of which God spoke was not of the flesh;
7. But they have transgressed his commands, because the evil one has deceived them. For thus God speaks to them; Thus says the Lord your God (Here I find the new law) Sow not among thorns, but circumcise yourselves to the Lord your God. And what does he mean by this saying? Hearken to your Lord.
8. And again he says, Circumcise the hardness of your heart, and harden not your neck. And again the Lord says, Behold all the nations are uncircumcised (they have not lost their foreskin), but this people is uncircumcised in heart.
9. But you will say the Jews were circumcised for a sign. And so are all the Syrians and Arabians, and all the idolatrous priests, but are they therefore of the covenant of Israel? And even the Egyptians themselves are circumcised.
10. Understand therefore, children, these things more fully, that Abraham, who was the first that brought in circumcision, looking forward in the Spirit to Jesus, was circumcised, having received the mystery of three letters.
11. For the Scripture says that Abraham circumcised three hundred and eighteen men of his house. But what was the mystery that was made known to him?
12. Mark, first the eighteen, and next the three hundred. For the numeral letters of ten and eight are I H. And these denote Jesus.
13. And because it was by the cross we were to find grace, he said, three hundred; the note of which is T (the figure of his cross). Therefore by two letters he signified Jesus, and by the third his cross.
14. He who has put the engrafted gift of his doctrine within us, knows that I never taught to anyone a more certain truth; but I trust that you are worthy of it.
That the commands of Moses concerning clean and unclean beasts, etc., were all designed for a spiritual significance.
1. But why did Moses say, You must not eat of the swine, neither the eagle nor the hawk; nor the crow; nor any fish that has not a scale upon it? Because he comprehended three doctrines that were to be gathered in the understanding.
2. So he says to them in the book of Deuteronomy, I will give my statutes to this people. Therefore it is not the command of God that they should not eat these things, but Moses in the spirit spoke to them.
3. He forbade them to eat the sow, meaning: You must not join yourself to such persons who are like swine, who while they live in pleasure, forget their God; but when any lack pinches them, then they recognize the Lord; just as the sow when she is full does not acknowledge her master, but makes a noise when she is hungry, and being fed again, is silent.
4. Neither, says he, will you eat the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the kite, nor the crow; that is, you must not keep company with the kind of men who do not know how to get themselves food by their labor and sweat, but injuriously steal the things of others and watch how to lay snares for them, when at the same time they appear to live in perfect innocence.
5. So these birds alone seek not food for themselves, but sitting idle seek how they may eat the flesh others have provided, being destructive through their wickedness.
6. Neither, says he, will you eat the lamprey, nor the polypus, nor the cuttle-fish; that is, you must not become like such men, by being used to conversing with them, who are altogether wicked and adjudged to death. For so these fishes are alone accursed, and wallow in the mire, and do not swim as other fishes, but tumble in the dirt at the bottom of the deep.
7. But he adds, neither must you eat of the hare. To what end? To signify this to us: You must not be an adulterer, nor be like such persons. For the hare every year multiplies the places of its conception; and so many years as it lives, so many it has.
8. Neither must you eat of the hyena: that is, again, be not an adulterer, nor a corruptor of others, neither be like such. And why so? Because that creature every year changes its kind, and is sometimes male and sometimes female.
9. For which reason also he justly hated the weasel, to the end that they should not be like such persons who with their mouths commit wickedness by reason of their uncleanness, nor join themselves with those impure women who with their mouths commit wickedness. Because that animal conceives with its mouth.
10. Moses, therefore, speaking as if concerning meats, delivered indeed three great precepts to them in the spiritual significance of those commands. But they according to the desires of the flesh, understood him as if he had only meant it about meats.
11. And therefore David took aright the knowledge of his three-fold command, saying in like manner.
12. Blessed in the man that has not walked in the counsel of the ungodly; as the fishes before mentioned in the bottom of the deep in darkness.
13. Nor stood in the way of sinners; as they who seem to fear the Lord, but yet sin, as the sow.
14. And has not sat in the seat of the scorners; as those birds who sit and watch that they may devour.
15. Here you have the law concerning meat perfectly set forth, and according to the true knowledge of it.
16. But, says Moses, you may eat all that divides the hoof and chews the cud. This means one that after taking food, knows him that nourishes him, and rests upon him, and rejoices in him.
17. And in this he spoke well, having respect to the commandment. What, therefore, is it that he says? That we should hold fast to them that fear the Lord, those who meditate on the command of the word that they have received in their heart, and with those that declare the righteous judgments of the Lord and keep his commandments;
18. In short, with those who know that to meditate is a work of pleasure, and therefore exercise themselves in the word of the Lord.
19. But why might they eat those that cleave the hoof? Because the righteous lives in this present world, but his expectation is fixed upon the other. See, brethren, how admirably Moses commanded these things.
20. But how should we know and understand all this? We, therefore, understanding aright the commandments, speak as the Lord would have us. He has circumcised our ears and our hearts, in order that we might know these things.
Baptism and the Cross of Christ foretold in figures under the law.
1. Let us now inquire whether the Lord took care to reveal anything beforehand concerning water and the cross.
2. Now for the former of these, it is written to the people of Israel how they will not receive that baptism which brings forgiveness of sins, but will institute another to themselves that cannot.
3. For thus says the prophet: Be astonished, O Heaven! And let the earth tremble at it, because this people have done two great and wicked things: they have left me, the fountain of living water, and have dug for themselves broken cisterns that can hold no water.
4. Is my holy mountain a Zion, a desolate wilderness? For you will be as a young bird when its nest is taken away.
5. And again the prophet says, I will go before you, and will make plain the mountains, and will break the gates of brass, and will snap in pieces the bars of iron; and I will give you dark, hidden, and invisible treasures, that they may know that I am the Lord God.
6. And again, He will dwell in the high den of the strong rock. And then, what follows in the same prophet? His water is faithful; you will see the king with glory, and your soul will learn the fear of the Lord.
7. And again he says in another prophet, He that does these things will be like a tree, planted by the currents of water, which will give its fruit in its season. Its leaf also will not wither, and whatever he does will prosper.
8. As for the wicked, it is not so with them; they are as the dust which the wind scatters away from the face of the earth.
9. Therefore the ungodly will not stand in the judgment, neither sinners in the council of the righteous. For the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of the ungodly will perish.
10. Consider how he has joined both the cross and the water together.
11. For thus he says: Blessed are they who put their trust in the cross and descend into the water, for they will have their reward in due time; then, he says, I will give it to them.
12. But concerning the present time, he says their leaves will not fall, meaning that every word that will go out of our mouth through faith and charity will be to the conversion and hope of many.
13. In a similar manner another prophet speaks, And the land of Jacob was the praise of all the earth, magnifying by that the vessel of his spirit.
14. And what follows? And there was a river running on the right hand, and beautiful trees grew up by it, and he that will eat of them will live forever. The significance of which is this: that we go down into the water full of sins and pollutions but come up again, bringing forth fruit because we have in our hearts by the spirit the fear and hope which is in Jesus. And whoever will eat of them will live forever.
15. That is, whoever will pay attention to those who call them, and will believe, will live forever.
The subject continued.
1. In a similar manner he determines concerning the cross in another prophet saying, And when will these things be fulfilled?
2. The Lord answers, When the tree that has fallen will rise, and when blood will drop down from the tree. Here you have again mention made both of the cross and of him that was to be crucified upon it.
3. And yet further he says by Moses, when Israel was fighting with, and beaten by, a strange people, to the end that God might teach them how that for their sins they were delivered to death, yes, the Holy Spirit put it into the heart of Moses to represent both the sign of the cross and of him that was to suffer so that they might know that if they did not believe in him, they would be overcome forever.
4. Moses therefore piled up armor upon armor in the middle of a rising ground, and standing up high above all of them, stretched forth his arms, and so Israel again conquered.
5. But no sooner did he let down his hands, but they were again slain. And why so? So they might know that except they trust in him, they cannot be saved.
6. And in another prophet he says, I have stretched out my hands all day long to a people who are disobedient and speak against my righteous way.
7. And again Moses makes a type of Jesus in the example of those that fell in Israel, to show that he was to die, and then that he, whom they thought to be dead, was to give life to others.
8. For God caused all sorts of serpents to bite them, and they died, just as by a serpent transgression began in Eve, so that so he might convince them that they will be delivered into the pain of death for their transgressions.
9. Moses, who had commanded them, then said, You must not make to yourselves any graven or molten image to be your God; yet now did so himself so that he might represent to them the figure of the Lord Jesus.
10. For he made a brazen serpent, and set it up on high, and called the people together by a proclamation. When they came, they entreated Moses that he would make an atonement for them and pray so they might be healed.
11. Then Moses spoke to them, saying: When any one among you will be bitten, let him come to the serpent that is set upon the pole, and let him assuredly trust in him, for though he be dead, yet he is able to give life, and presently he will be saved; and so they did. See therefore how here also you have in this the glory of Jesus, and that in him and to him are all things.
12. Again, consider what Moses, being a prophet, said to Jesus the son of Nun, when he gave that name to him so that all the people might hear him alone, because the Father did manifest all things concerning his son Jesus, in Jesus the son of Nun. When he sent him to spy out the land of Canaan, he gave him that name and said, Take a book in your hands, and write what the Lord says: inasmuch as Jesus the Son of God will in the last days cut off by the roots all the house of Amalek. See here again Jesus, not the son of man, but the Son of God, made manifest in a type and in the flesh.
13. But because it later might be said that Christ was the Son of David, therefore David fearing and well knowing the errors of the wicked, says, The Lord said to my Lord, sit on my right hand until I make your enemies your footstool.
14. And again Isaiah speaks like this. The Lord said to Christ my Lord, I have laid hold on his right hand, that the nations should obey before him, and I will break the strength of kings.
15. Behold how David and Isaiah call him Lord and the Son of God.
The promise of God is not made only to the Jews, but also to the Gentiles, and fulfilled to us by Jesus Christ.
1. But let us go yet further, and inquire whether this people be the heir, or the former; and whether the covenant be with us or with them.
2. And first, as concerning the people, hear now what the Scripture says.
3. Isaac prayed for his wife Rebecca because she was barren, and she conceived. Afterwards Rebecca went forth to inquire of the Lord.
4. And the Lord said to her, There are two nations in your womb, and two people will come from your body; and the one will have power over the other, and the greater will serve the lesser. Understand here who was Isaac, and who was Rebecca, and of whom it was foretold that this people will be greater than that.
5. In another prophecy Jacob speaks more clearly to his son Joseph, saying, Behold the Lord has not deprived me of seeing your face, so bring me your sons that I may bless them. And he brought to his father Manasseh and Ephraim, desiring that he should bless Manasseh, because he was the elder.
6. Therefore Joseph brought him to the right hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob by the spirit foresaw the figure of the people that was to come.
7. And what says the Scripture? And Jacob crossed his hands, and put his right hand upon Ephraim, his second and younger son, and blessed him. And Joseph said to Jacob, Put your right hand upon the head of Manasseh, for he is my first-born. And Jacob said to Joseph, I know it, my son, I know it; but the greater will serve the lesser; though he also will be blessed.
8. You see of whom he appointed it, that they should be the first people, and heirs of the covenant
9. If God took notice of this also by Abraham, our understanding of it will then be perfectly established.
10. What says the Scripture to Abraham when he believed, and it was imputed to him for righteousness? Behold I have made you a father of the nations that without circumcision believe in the Lord.
11. Let us therefore now inquire whether God has fulfilled the covenant he swore to our fathers, that he would give this people? Yes, truly, he gave it; but they were not worthy to receive it because of their sins.
12. For thus says the prophet, And Moses continued fasting forty days and forty nights in Mount Sinai, to receive the covenant of the Lord with the people.
13. And he received from the Lord two tables written with the finger of the Lord's hand in the Spirit. And when Moses received them he brought them down to deliver them to the people.
14. And the Lord said to Moses: Moses, Moses, get down quickly, for the people you brought out of the land of Egypt have done wickedly.
15. And Moses understood that they had again set up a molten image; and he cast the two tables out of his hands, and the tables of the covenant of the Lord were broken. Moses received them, but they were not worthy.
16. Now then learn how we have received them. Moses, being a servant, took them; but the Lord himself, having suffered for us, has given them to us in order that we might be the people of his inheritance.
17. He was manifested that they should fill up the measure of their sins; and that we, being made heirs by him, should receive the covenant of the Lord Jesus.
18. Again the prophet says, Behold, I have assigned you to be a light to the Gentiles for salvation to all the ends of the earth, says the Lord your God who has redeemed you.
19. Who was prepared for that very purpose so by his own appearing he might redeem our hearts, already devoured by death and delivered over to the irregularity of error, from darkness; and establish a covenant with us by his word.
20. For so it is written that the Father commanded him by delivering us from darkness, to prepare to himself a holy people.
21. Therefore the prophet says, I the Lord your God have called you in righteousness, and I will take you by your hand and will strengthen you. And give you as a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house.
22. Consider therefore for what we have been redeemed. And again the prophet says, The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me; he has sent me to preach glad tidings to the lowly, to heal the broken in heart, to preach remission to the captives and sight to the blind, to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord and the day of restitution, and to comfort all that mourn.
That the Sabbath of the Jews was but a figure of a more glorious Sabbath to come, and their temple, of the spiritual temples of God.
1. Furthermore it is written concerning the Sabbath, in the ten commandments which God spoke face to face in Mount Sinai to Moses, Sanctify the Sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and with a clean heart.
2. Elsewhere he says, If your children will keep my Sabbaths, then will I put my mercy upon them.
3. And even in the beginning of the creation he makes mention of the Sabbath: And God made in six days the works of his hands; and he finished them on the seventh day, and he rested the seventh day, and sanctified it.
4. Consider, my children, what it signifies, that he finished them in six days. The meaning of it is this: that in six thousand years the Lord God will bring all things to an end.
5. For with him one day is a thousand years, as he himself testifies, saying, Behold this day will be as a thousand years. Therefore, children, in six days, that is, in six thousand years, will all things be accomplished.
6. And he rested the seventh day, means this: that when his Son will come, and abolish the season of the Wicked One, and judge the ungodly, and will change the sun and the moon and the stars, then he will gloriously rest in that seventh day.
7. He adds lastly, You will sanctify it with clean hands and a pure heart. Therefore we are greatly deceived if we imagine that anyone can now sanctify that day which God has made holy, without having a heart pure in all things.
8. Behold therefore, he will then truly sanctify it with blessed rest, when we having received the righteous promise, when iniquity will be no more, and all things have been renewed by the Lord, will be able to sanctify it, because we ourselves will first be made holy.
9. Lastly he says to them, I cannot stand your new moons and your Sabbaths. Consider what he means by it: the Sabbaths, he says, that you now keep are not acceptable to me, but only those which I have made, when resting from all things I shall begin the eighth day, that is, the beginning of the other world.
10. For which cause we observe the eighth day with gladness, in which Jesus rose from the dead, and after showing himself to his disciples, ascended into heaven.
11. [New paragraph in the oldest extant manuscripts] It still remains for me to speak to you concerning the temple, how these miserable men, being deceived, have put their trust in the house as if it were the habitation of God, and not in God himself who made them,
12. For much after the same manner as the Gentiles, they consecrated him in the temple.
13. But learn therefore how the Lord speaks, rendering the temple vain: Who has measured the full extent of heaven, or the earth with his hand? Is it not I? Thus says the Lord, Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool. What is the house that you will build me? Or what is the place of my rest? Know therefore that all their hope is vain.
14. And again he speaks after this manner: Behold they that destroy this temple, even they will again build it up. And so it came to pass, for through their wars it was destroyed by their enemies, and the servants of their enemies built it up.
15. Furthermore it has been made evident how both the city and the temple, and the people of Israel, should be given up. For the Scripture says, And it will come to pass in the last days, that the Lord will deliver up the sheep of his pasture, and their fold, and their tower into destruction. And it is come to pass, as the Lord has spoken.
16. Let us therefore inquire whether there is any temple of God. Yes there is, where he himself declares that he would both make and perfect it. For it is written, As soon as the week will be completed, the temple of the Lord will be gloriously built in the name of the Lord.
17. I find therefore that there is a temple. But how will it be built in the name of the Lord? I will show you.
18. Before we believed in God, the habitation of our heart was as corruptible and feeble as a temple truly built with hands.
19. For it was a house full of idolatry, a house of devils; inasmuch as there was done in it whatever was contrary to God. But it will be built in the name of the Lord.
20. Consider how that the temple of the Lord will be very gloriously built, and learn by what means that will be.
21. Having received remission of our sins, and trusting in the name of the Lord, we are become renewed, being again created as it were from the beginning. Therefore God truly dwells in our house, that is, in us.
22. But how does he dwell in us? Through the word of his faith, the calling of his promise, the wisdom of his righteous judgments, and the commands of his doctrine. He himself prophesies within us, he himself dwells in us, and opens to us who were in bondage of death the gate of our temple, that is, the mouth of wisdom, having given repentance to us; and by this means he has brought us to be an incorruptible temple.
23. He therefore who desires to be saved looks not to the man, but to him that dwells in him, and speaks by him, because he is struck with wonder, for he never either heard him speaking such words out of his mouth, nor ever desired to hear them.
24. This is that spiritual temple that is built to the Lord.
Of the way of light, a summary of what a Christian is to do, that he may be happy forever.
1. And thus, I trust, I have declared to you as much, and with as great simplicity as I could, those things which make for your salvation, so as not to have omitted anything that might be requisite thereto.
2. For should I speak further of the things that now are, and of those that are to come, you would not yet understand them, seeing they lie in parables. What I have said will suffice as to these things.
3. Let us now go on to the other kind of knowledge and doctrine. There are two ways of doctrine and power: the one of light, the other of darkness.
4. But there is a great deal of difference between these two ways; for over one are appointed the angels of God, the leaders of the way of light; over the other, the angels of Satan. And the one is the Lord from everlasting to everlasting; the other is the prince of the time of unrighteousness.
5. Now the way of light is this: if any one desires to attain to the place that is appointed for him, he will hasten there by his works. And the knowledge that has been given to us for walking in it, is to this effect: You must love him that made you; you must glorify him that has redeemed you from death.
6. You must be simple in heart, and rich in the spirit. You must not unite to those that walk in the way of death. You must hate to do anything that is not pleasing to God. You must abhor all dissimulation. You must not neglect any of the commands of the Lord.
7. You must not exalt yourself, but must be humble. You must not take honor to yourself. You must not enter into any wicked counsel against your neighbor. You must not be over- confident in your heart.
8. You must not commit fornication nor adultery. Neither must you corrupt yourself with mankind. You must not make use of the word of God to any impurity.
9. You must not accept any man's person, when you reprove anyone's faults. You must be gentle. You must be quiet. You must tremble at the words which you have heard. You must not keep any hatred in your heart against your brother. You must not entertain any doubt whether it will be or not.
10. You must not take the name of the Lord in vain. You must love your neighbor above your own soul.
11. You must not destroy your conceptions before they are brought forth, nor kill them after they are born.
12. You must not withdraw your hand from your son, or from your daughter, but will teach them from their youth the fear of the Lord.
13. You must not covet your neighbor's goods, neither must you be greedy. Neither must your heart be joined to proud men, but you must be counted among the righteous and the lowly. Whatever events will happen to you, you must receive them as good.
14. You must not be double-minded, or double-tongued, for a double tongue is the snare of death. You must be subject in fear and reverence to the Lord, and to inferior masters as to the representatives of God.
15. You must not be bitter when ordering any of your servants who trust in God, for fear that you may not fear him who is over both; because he came not to call any with respect of persons, but whomever the Spirit had prepared.
16. You must communicate to your neighbor of all you have; you must not call anything your own, for if you share in such things as are incorruptible, how much more should you do it in those that are corruptible?
17. You must not be too eager to speak, for the mouth is the trap of death. Strive for your soul with all your might. Do not reach out your hand to receive, and then withhold it when you should give.
18. You must love, as the apple of your eye, everyone that speaks to you the word of the Lord. Call to your remembrance, day and night, the future judgment.
19. You must seek out every day the persons of the righteous, and both consider and go about to exhort others by the word, and meditate how you may save a soul.
20. You must also labor with your hands to give to the poor, so that your sins may be forgiven you. You must not deliberate whether you should give, nor, having given, complain about it.
21. Give to every one that asks, so will you know who is the good rewarder of your gifts.
22. Keep what you have received; you must neither add to it nor take from it.
23. Let the wicked be always your aversion. You must judge righteous judgment. You must never cause divisions, but make peace between those that are at variance, and bring them together.
24. You must confess your sins and not come to your prayer with an evil conscience.
25. This is the way of light.
Of the way of darkness, that is, what kind of persons will forever be cast out of the kingdom of God.
1. But the way of darkness is crooked and full of cursing. For it is the way of eternal death, with punishment, in which those that walk will meet those things that destroy their own souls.
2. Such are: idolatry, confidence, pride of power, hypocrisy, double-mindedness, adultery, murder, pillage, pride, transgression, deceit, malice, arrogance, witchcraft, covetousness, and the lack of the fear of God.
3. In this walk those who are the persecutors of them that are good, the haters of truth and lovers of lies, who do not know the reward of righteousness, nor adhere to any thing that is good.
4. Who administer not righteous judgment to the widow and orphan; who examine wickedness, and not the fear of the Lord;
5. From whom gentleness and patience are afar off; who love vanity, and follow after rewards; who have no compassion upon the poor, nor take any pains for those who are burdened and oppressed.
6. They readily speak evil, not knowing him that made them; they are murderers of children, corrupters of the creatures of God; they turn away from the needy and oppress the afflicted; they are advocates of the rich, but unjust judges of the poor; they are altogether sinners.
7. It is therefore appropriate that, learning the just commands of the Lord we have before mentioned, we should walk in them. For he who does such things will be glorified in the kingdom of God.
8. But he who chooses the other part will be destroyed, together with his works. For this reason there will be both a resurrection, and a retribution.
9. I implore those that are in high estate among you (if you will take the counsel that with a good intention I offer to you), do not forsake those with you towards whom you may do good.
10. For the day is at hand in which all things will be destroyed, together with the wicked one. The Lord is near, and his reward is with him.
11. Therefore I ask you, again and again, be good lawgivers to one another, continue to be faithful counselors to each other, and remove from among you all hypocrisy.
12. And may God, the Lord of all the world, give you wisdom, knowledge, counsel, and understanding of his judgments in patience.
13. Be taught by God; seek what it is the Lord requires of you, and do it, so that you may be saved in the day of judgment.
14. And if there is any remembrance among you of what is good, think of me by meditating on these things, so that both my wishes and my watching for you may turn to a good account.
15. I beg you, I ask it as a favor of you, that while you are in this beautiful vessel of the body, be lacking in none of these things, but seek them without ceasing and fulfill every command, for these things are proper and worthy to be done.
16. Wherefore I have diligently written to you, according to my ability, that you might rejoice. Farewell, children, in love and peace.
17. May the Lord of glory and of all grace be with your spirit, Amen.
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