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    by Published on 01-05-2012 09:20 PM
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    The Apocryphon of John (long version)

    Translated by Frederik Wisse

    The teaching of the savior, and the revelation of the mysteries and the things hidden in silence, even these things which he taught John, his disciple.

    And it happened one day, when John, the brother of James - who are the sons of Zebedee - had come up to the temple, that a Pharisee named Arimanius approached him and said to him, "Where is your master whom you followed?" And he said to him, "He has gone to the place from which he came." The Pharisee said to him, "With deception did this Nazarene deceive you (pl.), and he filled your ears with lies, and closed your hearts (and) turned you from the traditions of your fathers."

    When I, John, heard these things I turned away from the temple to a desert place. And I grieved greatly in my heart, saying, "How then was the savior appointed, and why was he sent into the world by his Father, and who is his Father who sent him, and of what sort is that aeon to which we shall go? For what did he mean when he said to us, 'This aeon to which you will go is of the type of the imperishable ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 09:16 PM
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    BOOK OF JOHN THE EVANGELIST

    From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
    M.R. James-Translation and Notes
    Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
    Introduction

    Reprinted by Thilo from I. Benoist's Histoire des Albigeois, &c., Paris, 196, T. 1, 283-96. Dollinger in his Beitrage zur mittelalter-lichen Sektengeschichte, vol. ii, printed another text from a fourteenth-century manuscript at Vienna. I have not given the variants. Thilo's reprint is followed. The Vienna MS. is rather imperfect at ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 09:03 PM
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    The Narrative of Joseph of Arimathaea

    NARRATIVE OF JOSEPH OF ARIMATHAEA, THAT BEGGED THE LORD'S BODY;
    IN WHICH ALSO HE BRINGS IN THE CASES OF THE TWO ROBBERS.

    CHAP. I.--I am Joseph of Arimathaea, who begged from Pilate the body of the Lord Jesus for burial, and who for this cause was kept close in prison by the murderous and God-fighting Jews, who also, keeping to the law, have by Moses himself become partakers in tribulation

    and having provoked their Lawgiver to anger, and not knowing that He ...
    by Published on 01-05-2011 09:14 PM

    The Apocryphon of James

    James writes to you. Peace be with you from Peace, love from Love, grace from Grace, faith from Faith, life from Holy Life!

    Since you asked me to send you a secret book which was revealed to me and Peter by the Lord, I could neither refuse you nor speak directly to you, but I have written it in Hebrew letters and have sent it to you - and to you alone. But inasmuch as you are a minister of the salvation of the saints, endeavor earnestly and take care not to recount this book to many - this which the Savior did not desire to recount to all of us, his ...
    by Published on 01-05-2011 09:10 PM
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    The Report of Pontius Pilate, Procurator of Judaea Sent to Rome to Tiberius Caesar

    SECOND GREEK FORM.

    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 ...
    by Published on 01-05-2011 09:04 PM
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    EPISTLE OF THE APOSTLES

    From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
    M.R. James-Translation and Notes
    Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924

    Introduction
    .
    The authorities for the text are: (a) a Coptic MS. of the fourth or fifth century at Cairo, mutilated; (b) a complete version in Ethiopic (c) a leaf of a fifth-century MS. in Latin, palimpsest, at Vienna. The only edition which makes use of all the authorities is C. Schmidt's 19]9. The Ethiopic was previously edited by Guerrier in Patrologia orientalis under the title of Testament of our Lord in Galilee. A notice of this text by Guerrier in the Revue de l'Orient Chretien (1907) enable me to identify it with the Coptic text, of which Schmidt had given preliminary account to the Berlin Academy. As to the date and character of the book, Schmidt's verdict is that it was written in Asia Minor about AD 160 by an orthodox Catholic. The orthodoxy has been questioned (see a review by G. Bardy in Revue Biblique, 1921.) No ancient writer mentions it, and very few traces of its use can be found: the (third?)-century poet Commodian seems to use it in one place.

    There has so far been no English rendering of the text; my version depends on Schmidt and Guerrier.

    In the Ethiopic version another writing, a prophecy of our Lord concerning the signs of the end, is prefixed to the Epistle. Parts this recur in the Syriac Testament of the Lord and part is repeated the Epistle itself. It is noteworthy that this prophecy ends with a passage which is identical with one quoted by Clement of Alexandria from a source he does not name -only calling it 'the Scripture'.

    A similar passage is in the Apostolic Constitutions, vii. 22. On the possible derivation from the Apocalypse of Elias see my Lost Apocrypha of OT, pg. 54.

    The first four leaves of the Coptic MS. are lost, so we depend on the Ethiopic for the opening of the text.

    1 The book which Jesus Christ revealed unto his disciples: and how that Jesus Christ revealed the book for the company (college) of the apostles, the disciples of Jesus Christ, even the book which is for all men. Simon and Cerinthus, the false apostles, concerning whom it is written that no man shall cleave unto them for there is in them deceit wherewith they bring men to destruction. (The book hath been written) that ye may be steadfast and not flinch nor be troubled, and depart not from the word of the Gospel which ye have heard. Like as we heard it, we keep it in remembrance and have written it for the whole world. We commend you our sons and our daughters in joy in the name of God the Father the Lord of the world, and of Jesus Christ. Let grace be multiplied upon you.

    2 We, John, Thomas, Peter, Andrew, James, Philip, Bartholomew, Matthew, Nathanael, Judas Zelotes, and Cephas, write unto the churches of the east and the west, of the north and the south declaring and imparting unto you that which concerneth our Lord Jesus Christ: we do write according as we have seen and heard and touched him, after that he was risen from the dead: and how that he revealed unto us things mighty and wonderful and true.

    3 This know we: that our Lord and Redeemer Jesus Christ is God the Son of God, who was sent of God the Lord of the whole world, the maker and creator of it, who is named by all names and high above all powers, Lord of lords, King of kings, Ruler of rulers, the heavenly one, that sitteth above the cherubim and seraphim at the right hand of the throne of the Father: who by his word made the heavens, and formed the earth and that which is in it, and set bounds to the sea that it should not pass: the deeps also and fountains,that they should spring forth and flow over the earth: the day and the night, the sun and the moon, did he establish, and the stars in the heaven: that did separate the light from the darkness: that called forth hell, and in the twinkling of an eye ordained the rain of the winter, the snow (cloud), the hail, and the ice, and the days in their several seasons: that maketh the earth to quake and again establisheth it: that created man in his own image, after his likeness, and by the fathers of old and the prophets is it declared (or, and spake in parables with the fathers of old and the prophets in verity), of whom the apostles preached, and whom the disciples did touch. In God, the Lord, the Son of God, do we believe, that he is the word become flesh: that of Mary the holy virgin he took a body, begotten of the Holy Ghost, not of the will (lust) of the flesh, but by the will of God: that he was wrapped in swaddling clothes in Bethlehem and made manifest, and grew up and came to ripe age, when also we beheld it.

    4 This did our Lord Jesus Christ, who was sent by Joseph and Mary his mother to be taught. [And] when he that taught him said unto him: Say Alpha: then answered he and said: Tell thou me first what is Beta (probably: Tell thou me first what is Beta. Cf. the Marcosian story quoted by Irenaeus (see above, Gospel of Thomas)- The story is in our texts of the Gospel of Thomas, and runs through all the Infancy Gospels). This thing which then came to pass Is true and of verity.

    5 Thereafter was there a marriage in Cana of Galilee; and they bade him with his mother and his brethren, and he changed water into wine. He raised the dead, he caused the lame to walk: him whose hand was withered he caused to stretch it out, and the woman which had suffered an issue of blood twelve years touched the hem of his garment and was healed in the same hour. And when we marvelled at the miracle which was done, he said: Who touched me? Then said we: Lord, the press of men hath touched thee. But he answered and said unto us: I perceive that a virtue is gone out of me. Straightway that woman came before him, and answered and said unto him: Lord, I touched thee. And he answered and said unto her: Go, thy faith hath made thee whole. Thereafter he made the deaf to hear and the blind to see; out of them that were possessed he cast out the unclean spirits, and cleansed the lepers. The spirit which dwelt in a man, whereof the name was Legion, cried out against Jesus, saying: Before the time of our destruction is come, thou art come to drive us out. But the Lord Jesus rebuked him, saying: Go out of this man and do him no hurt. And he entered into the swine and drowned them in the water and they were choked.

    Thereafter he did walk upon the sea, and the winds blew, and he cried out against them (rebuked them), and the waves of the sea were made calm. And when we his disciples had no money, we asked him: What shall we do because of the tax-gatherer? And he answered and told us: Let one of you cast an hook into the deep, and take out a fish, and he shall find therein a penny: that give unto the tax-gatherer for me and you. And thereafter when we had no bread, but only five loaves and two fishes, he commanded the people to sit them down, and the number of them was five thousand, besides children and women. We did set pieces of bread before them, and they ate and were filled, and there remained over, and we filled twelve baskets full of the fragments, asking one another and saying: What mean these five loaves? They are the symbol of our faith in the Lord of the Christians (in the great christendom), even in the Father, the Lord Almighty, and in Jesus Christ our redeemer, in the Holy Ghost the comforter, in the holy church, and in the remission of sins.

    6 These things did our Lord and Saviour reveal unto us and teach us. And we do even as he, that ye may become partakers in the grace of our Lord and in our ministry and our giving of thanks (glory), and think upon life eternal. Be ye steadfast and waver not in the knowledge and confidence of our Lord Jesus Christ, and he will have mercy on you and save you everlastingly, world without end.

    Here begins the Coptic text.

    7 Cerinthus and Simon are come to go to and fro in the world, but they are enemies of our Lord Jesus Christ, for they do pervert the word and the true thing, even (faith in) Jesus Christ. Keep yourselves therefore far from them, for death is in them, and great pollution and corruption, even in these on whom shall come judgement and the end and everlasting destruction.

    8 Therefore have we not shrunk from writing unto you concerning the testimony of Christ our Saviour, of what he did, when we followed with him, how he enlightened our understanding . . . .

    9 Concerning whom we testify that the Lord is he who was crucified by Pontius Pilate and Archelaus between the two thieves (and with them he was taken down from the tree of the cross, Eth.), and was buried in a place which is called the place of a skull (Kranion). And thither went three women, Mary, she that was kin to Martha, and Mary Magdalene (Sarrha, Martha, and Mary, Eth.), and took ointments to pour upon the body, weeping and mourning over that which was come to pass. And when they drew near to the sepulchre, they looked in and found not the body (Eth. they found the stone rolled away and opened the entrance).

    10 And as they mourned and wept, the Lord showed himself unto them and said to them: For whom weep ye? weep no more I am he whom ye seek. But let one of you go to your brethren and say: Come ye, the Master is risen from the dead. Martha (Mary, Eth.) came and told us. We said unto her: What have we to do with thee, woman? He that is dead and buried, is it possible that he should live? And we believed her not that the Saviour was risen from the dead. Then she returned unto the Lord and said unto him: None of them hath believed me, that thou livest. He said: Let another of you go unto them and tell them again. Mary (Sarrha, Eth.) came and told us again, and we believed her not; and she returned unto the Lord and she also told him.

    11 Then said the Lord unto Mary and her sisters: Let us go unto them. And he came and found us within (sitting veiled or fishing, Eth.), and called us out, but we thought that it was a phantom and believed not that it was the Lord. Then said he unto us: Come, fear ye not. I am your master, even he, O Peter, whom thou didst deny thrice; and dost thou now deny again? And we came unto him, doubting in our hearts whether it were he. Then said he unto us: Wherefore doubt ye still, and are unbelieving? I am he that spake unto you of my flesh and my death and my resurrection. But that ye may know that I am he, do thou, Peter, put thy finger into the print of the nails in mine hands, and thou also, Thomas, put thy finger into the wound of the spear in my side; but thou, Andrew, look on my feet and see whether they press the earth; for it is written in the prophet: A phantom of a devil maketh no footprint on the earth.

    12 And we touched him, that we might learn of a truth whether he were risen in the flesh; and we fell on our faces (and worshipped him) confessing our sin, that we had been unbelieving. Then said our Lord and Saviour unto us: Rise up, and I will reveal unto you that which is above the heaven and in the heaven, and your rest which is in the kingdom of heaven. For my Father hath given me power (sent me, Eth.) to take you up thither, and them also that believe on me.

    13 Now that which he revealed unto us is this, which he spake: It came to pass when I was about (minded) to come hither from the Father of all things, and passed through the heavens, then did I put on the wisdom of the Father, and I put on the power of his might. I was in heaven, and I passed by the archangels and the angels in their likeness, like as if I were one of them, among the princedoms and powers. I passed through them because I possessed the wisdom of him that had sent me. Now the chief captain of the angels, [is] Michael, and Gabriel and Uriel and Raphael followed me unto the fifth firmament (heaven), for they thought in their heart that I was one of them; such power was given me of my Father. And on that day did I adorn the archangels with a wonderful voice (so Copt.: Eth., Lat., I made them quake -amazed them), so that they should go unto the altar of the Father and serve and fulfil the ministry until I should return unto him. And so wrought I the likeness by my wisdom; for I became all things in all, that I might praise the dispensation of the Father and fulfil the glory of him that sent me (the verbs might well be transposed) and return unto him. (Here the Latin omits a considerable portion of text without notice, to near the beginning of c. 17.)

    14 For ye know that the angel Gabriel brought the message unto Mary. And we answered: Yea, Lord. He answered and said unto us: Remember ye not, then, that I said unto you a little while ago: I became an angel among the angels, and I became all things in all? We said unto him: Yea, Lord. Then answered he and said unto us: On that day whereon I took the form of the angel Gabriel, I appeared unto Mary and spake with her. Her heart accepted me, and she believed (She believed and laughed, Eth.), and I formed myself and entered into her body. I became flesh, for I alone was a minister unto myself in that which concerned Mary (I was mine own messenger, Eth.) in the appearance of the shape of an angel. For so must I needs (or, was I wont to) do. Thereafter did I return to my Father (Copt. After my return to the Father, and run on).

    15 But do ye commemorate my death. Now when the Passover (Easter, pascha) cometh, one of you shall be cast into prison for my names sake; and he will be in grief and sorrow, because ye keep the Easter while he is in prison and separated from you, for he will be sorrowful because he keepeth not Easter with you. And I will send my power in the form of mine angel Gabriel, and the doors of the prison shall open. And he shall come forth and come unto you and keep the night-watch with you until the cock crow. And when ye have accomplished the memorial which is made of me, and the Agape (love-feast), he shall again be cast into prison for a testimony, until he shall come out thence and preach that which I have delivered unto you.

    And we said unto him: Lord, is it then needful that we should again take the cup and drink? (Lord, didst not thou thyself fulfil the drinking of the Passover? is it then needful that we should accomplish it again? Eth.) He said unto us: Yea, it is needful, until the day when I come again, with them that have been put to death for my sake (come with my wounds, Eth.).

    16 Then said we to him: Lord, that which thou hast revealed unto us (revealest, Eth.) is great. Wilt thou come in the power of any creature or in an appearance of any kind? (In what power or form wilt thou come? Eth.) He answered and said unto us: Verily I say unto you, I shall come like the sun when it is risen, and my brightness will be seven times the brightness thereof! The wings of the clouds shall bear me in brightness, and the sign of the cross shall go before me, and I shall come upon earth to judge the quick and the dead.

    17 We said unto him: Lord, after how many years shall this come to pass? He said unto us: When the hundredth part and the twentieth part is fulfilled, between the Pentecost and the feast of unleavened bread, then shall the coming of my Father be (so Copt.: When an hundred and fifty years are past, in the days of the feast of Passover and Pentecost, &c., Eth.: . . . (imperfect word) year is fulfilled, between the unleavened bread and Pentecost shall be the coming of my Father, lat.).3

    We said unto him: Now sayest thou unto us: I will come; and how sayest thou: He that sent me is he that shall come? Then said he to us: I am wholly in the Father and my Father is in me. Then said we to him: Wilt thou indeed forsake us until thy coming? Where can we find a master? But he answered and said unto us: Know ye not, then, that like as until now I have been here, so also was I there, with him that sent me? And we said to him: Lord, is it then possible that thou shouldest be both here and there? But he answered us: I am wholly in the Father and the Father in me, because of (in regard of) the likeness of the form and the power and the fullness and the light and the full measure and the voice. I am the word, I am become unto him a thing, that is to say (word gone) of the thought, fulfilled in the type (likeness); I have come into the Ogdoad (eighth number), which is the Lord's day. [The Lord's day considered as the eighth day of the week.] (In place of these sentences Eth. has: I am of his resemblance and form, of his power and completeness, and of his light. I am his complete (fulfilled, entire) word.

    18 But it came to pass after he was crucified, and dead and arisen again, when the work was fulfilled which was accomplished in the flesh, and he was crucified and the ascension come to pass at the end of the days, then said he thus, &c. It is an interpolation, in place of words which the translator did not understand, or found heretical.) But the whole fulfilment of the fulfilment shall ye see after the redemption which hath come to pass by me, and ye shall see me, how I go up unto my Father which is in heaven. But behold, now, I give unto you a new commandment: Love one another and [a leaf lost in Copt.] obey one another, that peace may rule always among you. Love your enemies, and what ye would not that man do unto you, that do unto no man.

    19 And this preach ye also and teach them that believe on me and preach the kingdom of heaven of my Father, and how my Father hath given me the power, that ye may bring near the children of my heavenly Father. Preach ye, and they shall obtain faith, that ye may be they for whom it is ordained that they shall bring his children unto heaven.

    And we said unto him: Lord, unto thee it is possible to accomplish that whereof thou tellest us, but how shall we be able to do it? He said to us: Verily I say unto you, preach and proclaim as I command you, for I will be with you, for it is my good pleasure to be with you, that ye may be heirs with me in the kingdom of heaven, even the kingdom of him that sent me. Verily I say unto you, ye shall be my brethren and my friends for my Father hath found pleasure in you: and so also shall they be that believe on me by your means. Verily I say unto you such and so great joy hath my Father prepared for you that the angels and the powers desired and do desire to see it and look upon it; but it is not given unto them to behold the glory of my Father. We said unto him: Lord, what is this whereof thou speakest to us?

    Copt. begins again: words are missing.

    He answered us: Ye shall behold a light, more excellent than that which shineth . . . (shineth more brightly than the light, and is more perfect than perfection. And the Son shall become perfect through the Father who is Light, for the Father is perfect which bringeth to pass death and resurrection, and ye shall see a perfection more perfect than the perfect. And I am wholly at the right hand of the Father, even in him that maketh perfect. So Eth.: Copt. has gaps).

    And we said unto him: Lord, in all things art thou become salvation and life unto us, for that thou makest known such a hope unto us. And he said to us: Be of good courage and rest in me. Verily I say unto you, your rest shall be above (?), in the place where is neither eating nor drinking, nor care (Copt. joy) nor sorrow, nor passing away of them that are therein: for ye shall have no part in (the things of earth, Eth.) but ye shall be received in the everlastingness of my Father. Like as I am in him, so shall ye also be in me.

    Again we said unto him: In what form? in the fashion of angels, or in flesh? And he answered and said unto us: Lo, I have put on your flesh, wherein I was born and crucified, and am risen again through my Father which is in heaven, that the prophecy of David the prophet might be fulfilled, in regard of that which was declared concerning me and my death and resurrection, saying:

    Lord, they are increased that fight with me, and many are they that are risen up against me. Many there be that say to my soul: There is no help for him in his God.But thou, O Lord, art my defender: thou art my worship, and the lifter up of my head.I did call upon the Lord with my voice and he heard me (out of the high place of his temple, Eth.). I laid me down and slept,and rose up again: for thou,O Lord, art my defender. I will not be afraid for ten thousands of the people, that have set themselves against me round about. Up, Lord, and help me, O my God: for thou hast smitten down all them that without cause are mine enemies: thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. Salvation belongeth unto the Lord, and his good pleasure is upon his people (Ps. iii. 1-8).

    If, therefore, all the words which were spoken by the prophets have been fulfilled in me (for I myself was in them), how much more shall that which I say unto you come to pass indeed, that he which sent me may be glorified by you and by them that believe on me?

    20 And when he had said this unto us, we said to him: In all things hast thou had mercy on us and saved us, and hast revealed all things unto us; but yet would we ask of thee somewhat if thou give us leave. And he said unto us: I know that ye pay heed, and that your heart is well-pleased when ye hear me: now concerning that which ye desire, I will speak good words unto you. 21 For verily I say unto you: Like as my Father hath raised me from the dead, so shall ye also rise (in the flesh, Eth.) and be taken up into the highest heaven, unto the place whereof I have told you from the beginning, unto the place which he who sent me hath prepared for you. And so will I accomplish all dispensations (all grace, Eth.), even I who am unbegotten and yet begotten of mankind, who am without flesh and yet have borne flesh : for to that end am I come, that (gap in Copt.: Eth. continues) ye might rise from the dead in your flesh, in the second birth, even a vesture that shall not decay, together with all them that hope and believe in him that sent me: for so is the will of my Father that I would give unto you, and unto them whom it pleaseth me, the hope of the kingdom.

    Then said we unto him: Great is that which thou sufferest us to hope, and tellest us. And he answered and said: Believe ye that every thing that I tell you shall come to pass? We answered and said: Yea, Lord. (Copt. resumes for a few lines: then another gap. Follow Eth.) He said unto us: Verily I say unto you, that I have obtained the whole power of my Father, that I may bring back into light them that dwell in darkness, them that are in corruption into incorruption, them that are in death into life and that I may loose them that are in fetters. For that which is impossible with men, is possible with the Father. I am the hope of them that despair, the helper of them that have no saviour, the wealth of the poor, the health of the sick, and the resurrection of the dead.

    22 When he had thus said, we said unto him: Lord, is it true that the flesh shall be judged together with the soul and the spirit and that the one part shall rest in heaven and the other part be punished everlastingly yet living? And he said unto us: (Copt. resumes) How long will ye inquire and doubt?

    23 Again we said unto him: Lord, there is necessity upon us to inquire of thee -because thou hast commanded us to preach- that we ourselves may learn assuredly of thee and be profitable preachers, and that they which are instructed by us may believe in thee. Therefore must we needs inquire of thee.

    24 He answered us and said: Verily I say unto you, the resurrection of the flesh shall come to pass with the soul therein and the spirit. And we said unto him: Lord, is it then possible that that which is dissolved and brought to nought should become whole? and we ask thee not as unbelieving, neither as if it were impossible unto thee; but verily we believe that that which thou sayest shall come to pass. And he was wroth with us and said: O ye of little faith, how long will ye ask questions? But what ye will, tell it me, and I myself will tell you without grudging: only keep ye my commandments and do that which I bid you, and turn not away your face from any man, that I turn not my face away from you, but without shrinking and fear and without respect of persons, minister ye in the way that is direct and narrow and strait. So shall my Father himself rejoice over you.

    25 Again we said unto him: Lord, already are we ashamed that we question thee oft-times and burden thee. And he answered and said unto us: I know that in faith and with your whole heart ye do question me, therefore do I rejoice over you for verily I say unto you: I rejoice, and my Father that is in me, because ye question me; and your importunity (shamelessness) is unto me rejoicing and unto you it giveth life. And when he had so said unto us, we were glad that we had questioned him and we said to him: Lord, in all things thou makest us alive and hast mercy on us. Wilt thou now declare unto us that which we shall ask thee? Then said he unto us: Is it the flesh that passeth ...
    by Published on 01-05-2011 09:00 PM
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    2. NT Apocrypha

    Dead Sea Scrolls -- Community Rule

    The Community Rule
    Serekh ha-Yahad
    4Q258
    Parchment
    Copied late first century B.C.E.Äearly first century C.E.
    Courtesy of the Israel Antiquities Authority
    ...
    by Published on 01-05-2010 09:21 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. NT Apocrypha

    The Sentences of the Sextus, from NH codex XII
    translation by Frederik Wisse

    157. [...] is a sign of ignorance.
    158/159. Love the truth, and the lie use like poison.
    160. May the right time precede your words.
    161/162. Speak when it is not proper to be silent, but speak concerning the things you know only when it is fitting.
    163a. The untimely word is characteristic of an evil mind.
    163b. When it is proper to act, do not use a word.
    164a. Do not wish to speak first in the midst of a crowd.
    164b. While it is a skill to speak, it is also a skill to be silent.
    165a. It is better for you to be defeated while speaking the truth, than to be victorious through deceit.
    165b. He who is victorious through deceit is defeated by the truth.
    ...

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