• Pseudepigrapha

    by Published on 01-08-2012 07:15 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha,
    3. OT Apocrypha

    CHAP. II.

    Joseph is the victim of many plots by the wicked ingenuity of the Memphian woman. For an interesting prophetic parable, see Verses 73-74.

    YE see, therefore, my children, how great things patience worketh, and prayer with fasting.

    2 So ye too, if ye follow after chastity and purity with patience and prayer, with fasting in humility of heart, the Lord will dwell among you because He loveth chastity.

    3 And wheresoever the Most High dwelleth, even though envy, or slavery, or slander befalleth a man, the Lord who dwelleth in him, for the sake of his chastity not only delivereth him from evil, but also exalteth him even as me.

    4 For in every way the man is lifted up, whether in deed, or in word, or in thought.

    5 My brethren knew how my father loved me, and yet I did not exalt myself in my mind: although I was a child, I had the fear of God in my heart; for I knew that all things would pass away.

    6 And I did not raise myself against them with evil intent, but I honoured my brethren; and out of respect for them, even when ...
    by Published on 01-08-2012 07:14 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha,
    3. OT Apocrypha

    THE TESTAMENT OF JOSEPH
    The Eleventh Son of Jacob and Rachel.

    CHAP. I.

    Joseph, the eleventh son of Jacob and Rachel, the beautiful and beloved. His struggle against the Egyptian temptress.

    THE copy of the Testament of Joseph.

    2 When he was about to die he called his sons and his brethren together, and said to them:--

    3 My brethren and my children, hearken to Joseph the beloved of Israel; give ear, my sons, unto your father.

    4 I have seen in my life envy and death, yet I went not astray, but persevered in the truth--of the Lord.

    5 These my brethren hated me, but the Lord loved me:

    6 They wished to slay me, but the God of my fathers guarded me:

    7 They let me down into a pit, and the Most High brought me up again.

    8 I was sold into slavery, and the Lord of all made me free:

    9 I was taken into captivity, and His strong hand succoured me.

    10 I was beset with hunger, and the Lord Himself nourished me.

    11 I was alone, ...
    by Published on 01-08-2012 07:13 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha,
    3. OT Apocrypha

    CHAP. II.

    Verse 3 contains a striking example of the homeliness--yet vividness of the figures of speech of these ancient patriarchs.

    AND do ye, my children, flee evil-doing, envy, and hatred of brethren, and cleave to goodness and love.

    2 He that hath a pure mind in love, looketh not after a woman with a view to fornication; for he hath no defilement in his heart, because the Spirit of God resteth upon him.

    3 For as the sun is not defiled by shining on dung and mire, but ...
    by Published on 01-08-2012 07:12 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha,
    3. OT Apocrypha

    THE TESTAMENT OF BENJAMIN
    The Twelfth Son of Jacob and Rachel.

    CHAP. I.

    Benjamin, the twelfth son of Jacob and Rachel, the baby of the family, turns philosopher and philanthropist.

    THE copy of the words of Benjamin, which he commanded his sons to observe, after he had lived a hundred and twenty-five years.

    2 And he kissed them, and said: As Isaac was born to Abraham in his old age, so also was I to Jacob.

    3 And since Rachel my mother died in giving me birth, I had no milk; therefore I was suckled by Bilhah her handmaid.

    4 For Rachel remained barren for twelve years after she had borne Joseph; and she prayed ...
    by Published on 01-06-2012 02:00 AM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha

    LETTERS OF PONTIUS PILATE

    written during his Governorship of Judaea to his friend Seneca in Rome

    Edited by W. P. CROZIER (formerly Scholar of Trinity College, Oxford)

    JONATHAN CAPE Thirty Bedford Square London

    First Published MCMXXVIII [1928]

    PRINTED IN GREAT BRITAIN BY BUTLER & TANNER LTD FROME

    TITLES OF LETTERS

    FOREWORD--(it's very necessary to read this first)

    PART I

    1---ON THE WAY TO JUDAEA
    2---POLICY TOWARDS THE JEWS
    3---MEETING WITH HIS PREDECESSOR VALERIUS
    4---INSTRUCTION FROM VALERIUS
    5---A JEWISH DEPUTATION AT ALEXANDRIA
    6---ARRIVAL AT CAESAREA

    7---MEETING WITH CAIAPHAS
    8---A GOVERNOR'S PROBLEMS
    9---DECISION TO VISIT JERUSALEM
    10--DIFFICULTIES IN VISITING JERUSALEM
    11--RECEPTION AT JERUSALEM

    PART II

    12--FIRST MENTION OF JOHN THE BAPTIST
    13--FURTHER NEWS OF JOHN
    14--EYE-WITNESS'S REPORT ON JOHN
    15--THE IMAGES OF THE CAESARS
    16--THE ROMAN'S BURDEN
    17--CONFLICT WITH THE JEWS

    18--DEFEAT OF PILATE
    19--ARREST OF JOHN BY HEROD ANTIPAS
    20--THE PROBLEM OF THE AQUEDUCT
    21--FIRST MENTION OF JESUS
    22--DEATH OF JOHN AND QUESTIONS ABOUT JESUS
    23--SEIZURE OF THE TEMPLE-TRIBUTE

    24--A LESSON TO GALILEANS
    25--ANTIPAS'S INQUIRIES AT NAZARETH
    26--ATTEMPT IN GALILEE TO MAKE JESUS KING
    27--FLIGHT OF JESUS INTO SYRIA
    28--PILATE COMES TO JERUSALEM FOR THE PASSOVER
    29--REAPPEARANCE OF JESUS

    30--JESUS IN JERUSALEM
    31--SCENE IN THE TEMPLE AND DECISION TO ARREST JESUS
    32--ARREST OF JESUS
    33--TRIAL AND EXECUTION OF JESUS

    PART I

    ON THE WAY TO JUDAEA

    Shipboard off Alexandria

    We are at last within sight of Alexandria, my dear Seneca, and to-morrow we land. I shall spend a week meeting my staff, interviewing applicants for jobs (shoals of Greeks, of course), receiving deputations of loyal Jews, and talking to every one who can be useful to me. Then on to Caesarea which, as you know, is my head-quarters.

    Here at Alexandria I am to meet Valerius Gratus, my predecessor as Procurator of Judaea, and if anyone can tell me how to solve the riddle of getting on with the Jews, he ought to be the man. Not that I shall not get on with them; I mean to, and I believe I shall. Valerius has stood them - or they have stood him, do you say? - for over ten years, so it can be done, though no one else has done it.*

    *Valerius Gratus was Procurator of Judaea from A.D. 15 to A.D. 26.

    I have been lucky, by the way, in engaging two of Valerius's staff for myself. One is Marcius Rufus, his chief military officer and now mine, who has been on leave and is travelling back with me. The other, who is even more important, is his Secretary Alexander. He is a Jew, but one of those Jews that are half-Greek: Greek on the surface, and Jew at the bottom. You cannot do without them. It seems that you cannot get a real Jewish Jew to put himself at the service of a mere Roman governor, and if you could you would be little better off because he would not have the languages. And languages are needed, I assure you. There is one sort of Hebrew for their sacred writing, there is the Aramaic that they commonly talk, there is Greek for non-Jews and for all educated people, whether Jews or not, and there is Latin for the Roman Procurator and his staff if they don't choose to use Greek. Alexander speaks them all, Alexander knows everything. I am told that the only person in this part of the world who is sharper than a Greek is a Greek-educated Jew. Congratulate me, therefore, on my Alexander. I rely on him to tell me what I do not know about my province of Judaea - which is almost everything. There are two persons, you see, whom I must not at any price offend: Caesar Imperator ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 01:57 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha

    THE GREEK APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH

    OR

    3 BARUCH


    Prologue.

    1 A narrative and revelation of Baruch, concerning those ineffable things which he saw by command of God. Bless Thou, O Lord.

    2 A revelation of Baruch, who stood upon the river Gel weeping over the captivity of 3 Jerusalem, when also Abimelech was preserved by the hand of God, at the farm of Agrippa. And he was sitting thus at the beautiful gates, where the Holy of holies lay.

    1. 1 Verily I Baruch was weeping in my mind and sorrowing on account of the people, and that 2 Nebuchadnezzar the king was permitted ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 01:56 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha

    2 Baruch

    THE BOOK OF THE APOCALYPSE OF BARUCH THE SON OF NERIAH


    1—4. Announcement of the coming Destruction of Jerusalem to Baruch

    1 1 And it came to pass in the twenty-fifth year of Jeconiah, king of Judah, that the word of the Lord came to Baruch, the son of Neriah, and said to him: 2 'Have you seen all that this people are doing to Me, that the evils which these two tribes which remained have done are greater than (those of) the ten tribes which were carried away captive? 3 For the former tribes were forced by their kings to commit sin, but these two of themselves have been forcing and compelling their kings to commit sin. 4 For this reason, behold I bring evil upon this city, and upon its inhabitants, and it shall be removed from before Me for a time, and I will scatter this people among the Gentiles that they may do good to the Gentiles. And My people shall be chastened, and the time shall come when they will seek for the prosperity of their times.



    2 1 For I have said these things to you that you may bid Jeremiah, and all those that are like you, to retire from this city.



    2 For your works are to this city as a firm pillar,

    And your prayers as a strong wall.'



    3 1 And I said: 'O LORD, my Lord, have I come into the world for this purpose that I might see the evils of my mother? Not (so) my Lord. 2 If I have found grace in Your sight, first take my spirit that I may go to my fathers and not behold the destruction of my mother. For two things vehemently constrain me: for I cannot resist you, and my soul, moreover, cannot behold the evils of my mother. 4 But one thing I will say in Your presence, O Lord. 5 What, therefore, will there be after these things? for if you destroy Your city, and deliver up Your land to those that hate us, how shall the name of Israel be again remembered? 6 Or how shall one speak of Your praises? or to whom shall that which is in Your law be explained? Or shall the world return to its nature of aforetime), and the age revert to primeval silence? And shall the multitude of souls be taken away, and the nature of man not again be named? And where is all that which you did say regarding us?'



    4 1 And the Lord said unto me:

    'This city shall be delivered up for a time,

    And the people shall be chastened during a time,

    And the world will not be given over to oblivion.





    4:2-7. The heavenly Jerusalem



    2 [Dost you think that this is that city of which I said: "On the palms of My hands have I graven you"? 3 This building now built in your midst is not that which is revealed with Me, that which prepared beforehand here from the time when I took counsel to make Paradise, and showed Adam before he sinned, but when he transgressed the commandment it was removed from him, as also Paradise. 4 And after these things I showed it to My servant Abraham by night among the portions of the victims. 5 And again also I showed it to Moses on Mount Sinai when I showed to the likeness of the tabernacle and all its vessels. 6 And now, behold, it is preserved with Me, as Paradise. 7 Go, therefore, and do as I command you.']



    5. Baruch's Complaint and God's Reassurance



    5 1 And I answered and said:

    'So then I am destined to grieve for Zion,

    For your enemies will come to this place and pollute Your sanctuary,

    And lead your inheritance into captivity,

    And make themselves masters of those whom you have loved,

    And they will depart again to the place of their idols,

    And will boast before them:

    And what will you do for Your great name?'

    2 And the Lord said unto me:

    'My name and My glory are unto all eternity;

    And My judgment shall maintain its right in its own time.

    3 And you shall see with your eyes

    That the enemy will not overthrow Zion,

    Nor shall they burn Jerusalem,

    But be the ministers of the Judge for the time.

    4 But do you go and do whatsoever I have said unto you.

    5 And I went and took Jeremiah, and Adu, and Seriah, and Jabish, and Gedaliah, and all the honorable men of the people, and I led them to the valley of Kidron, and I narrated to them all that had been said to me. 6 And they lifted up their voice, and they all wept. 7 And we sat there and fasted until the evening.



    6—8. Invasion of the Chaldeans and their Entrance into the City after the Sacred Vessels were hidden and the City's Walls overthrown by Angels



    6 1 And it came to pass on the morrow that, lo! the army of the Chaldees surrounded the city, and at the time of the evening, I, Baruch, left the people, and I went forth and stood by the oak. 2 And I was grieving over Zion, and lamenting over the captivity which had come upon the people. 3 And lo! suddenly a strong spirit raised me, and bore me aloft over the wall of Jerusalem. 4 And I beheld, and lo! four angels standing at the four corners of the city, each of them holding a torch of fire in his hands. 5 And another angel began to descend from heaven. and said unto them: 'Hold your lamps, and do not light them till I tell you. 6 For I am first sent to speak a word to the earth, and to place in it what the Lord the Most High has commanded me.' 7 And I saw him descend into the Holy of Holies, and take from there the veil, and holy ark, and the mercy-seat, and the two tables, and the holy raiment of the priests, and the altar of incense, and the forty-eight precious stones, wherewith the priest was adorned and all the holy vessels of the tabernacle. 8 And he spoke to the earth with a loud voice:



    'Earth, earth, earth, hear the word of the mighty God,

    And receive what I commit to you,

    And guard them until the last times,

    So that, when you are ordered, you may restore them,

    So that strangers may not get possession of them.

    9 For the time comes when Jerusalem also will be delivered for a time,

    Until it is said, that it is again restored for ever.'

    10 And the earth opened its mouth and swallowed them up.



    7 1 And after these things I heard that angel saying unto those angels who held the lamps: 'Destroy, therefore, and overthrow its wall to its foundations, lest the enemy should boast and say:



    " We have overthrown the wall of Zion,

    And we have burnt the place of the mighty God."'

    2 And they have seized the place where I had been standing before.



    8 1 Now the angels did as he had commanded them, and when they had broken up the corners of the walls, a voice was heard from the interior of the temple, after the wall had fall saying:



    2 'Enter, you enemies,

    And come, you adversaries;

    For he who kept the house has forsaken (it).'



    3 And I, Baruch, departed. 4 And it came to pass after these things that the army of the Chaldees entered and seized the house, and all that was around it. And they led the people away captive and slew some of them, and bound Zedekiah the king, and sent him to the king of Babylon.



    9—12. First Fast of seven Days: Baruch to remain amid the Ruins of Jerusalem and Jeremiah to accompany the Exiles to Babylon. Baruch's Dirge over Jerusalem



    9 1 And I, Baruch, came, and Jeremiah, whose heart was found pure from sins, who had not been captured in the seizure of the City. 2 And we rent our garments, we wept, and mourned, and fasted seven days.



    10 1 And it came to pass after seven days, that the word of God carne to me, and said unto me: 2 'Tell Jeremiah to go and support the captivity of the people unto Babylon. But do you remain here amid the desolation of Zion, and I will show to you after these days 'what will befall at the end of days.' And I said to Jeremiah as the Lord commanded me. And he, indeed, departed with the people, but I, Baruch, returned and sat before the gates of the temple, and I lamented with the following lamentation over Zion and said:



    6 'Blessed is he who was not born,

    Or he, who having been born, has died.

    7 But as for us who live, woe unto us,

    Because we see the afflictions of Zion,

    And what has befallen Jerusalem.

    8 I will call the Sirens from the sea,

    And you Lilin, come you from the desert,

    And you Shedim and dragons from the forests:

    Awake and gird up your loins unto mourning,

    And take up with me the dirges,

    And make lamentation with me.

    9 Ye husbandmen, sow not again;

    And, O earth, wherefore give you your harvest fruits?

    Keep within you the sweets of your sustenance.

    10 And thou, vine, why further do you give your wine;

    For an offering will not again be made from there in Zion,

    Nor will first-fruits again be offered.

    11 And do ye, O heavens, 'withhold your dew,

    And open not the treasuries of rain:

    12 And do thou, O sun withhold the light of your rays.

    And do thou, O moon, extinguish the multitude of your light;

    For why should light rise again

    Where the light of Zion is darkened?

    13 And you, you bridegrooms, enter not in,

    And let not the brides adorn themselves with garlands;

    And, you women, pray not that you may bear.

    14 For the barren shall above all rejoice,

    And those who have no sons shall be glad,

    And those who have sons shall have anguish.

    15 For why should they bear in pain,

    Only to bury in grief?

    16 Or why, again, should mankind have sons?

    Or why should the seed of their kind again be named,

    Where this mother is desolate,

    And her sons are led into captivity?

    17 From this time forward speak not of beauty,

    And discourse not of gracefulness.

    18 Moreover, you priests) take you the keys of the sanctuary,

    And cast them into the height of heaven,

    And give them to the Lord and say:

    "Guard Your house Thyself,

    For lo! we are found false stewards."

    19 And you, you virgins; who weave fine linen

    And silk with gold of Ophir,

    Take with haste all (these) things

    And cast (them) into the fire,

    That it may bear them to Him who made them,

    And the flame send them to Him who created them,

    Lest the enemy get possession of them.'



    11 1 Moreover, I, Baruch, say this against you, Babylon:

    'If you had prospered,

    And Zion had dwelt in her glory,

    Yet the grief to us had been great

    That you should be equal to Zion.

    2 But now, lo! the grief is infinite,

    And the lamentation measureless,

    For lo! you are prospered

    And Zion desolate.

    3 Who will be judge regarding these things?

    Or to whom shall we complain regarding that which has befallen us?

    O Lord, how have you borne (it)?

    4 ...
    by Published on 01-05-2012 01:52 PM
    1. Categories:
    2. Pseudepigrapha

    WORD AND REVELATION OF ESDRAS,
    THE HOLY PROPHET AND BELOVED OF GOD.


    IT came to pass in the thirtieth year, on the twenty- second of the ...
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