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Tiresias: The Ancient Mediterranean Religions Source Database



771
Anon., Acts Of John, 64-100


nanNow the multitude of one aspect (al. of one aspect) that is about the cross is the lower nature: and they whom thou seest in the cross, if they have not one form, it is because not yet hath every member of him that came down been comprehended. But when the human nature (or the upper nature) is taken up, and the race which draweth near unto me and obeyeth my voice, he that now heareth me shall be united therewith, and shall no more be that which now he is, but above them, as I also now am. For so long as thou callest not thyself mine, I am not that which I am (or was): but if thou hear me, thou, hearing, shalt be as I am, and I shall be that which I was, when I thee as I am with myself. For from me thou art that (which I am). Care not therefore for the many, and them that are outside the mystery despise; for know thou that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me.


nanBut his familiar friends saying these things to him did not convince him, but with shamelessness he courted her with messages; and when he learnt the insults and disgraces which she returned, he spent his life in melancholy (or better, she, when she learnt of this disgrace and insult at his hand, spent her life in heaviness). And after two days Drusiana took to her bed from heaviness, and was in a fever and said: Would that I had not now come home to my native place, I that have become an offence to a man ignorant of godliness! for if it were one who was filled with the word of God, he would not have gone to such a pitch of madness. But now (therefore) Lord, since I am become the occasion of a blow unto a soul devoid of knowledge, set me free from this chain and remove me unto thee quickly. And in the presence of John, who knew nothing at all of such a matter, Drusiana departed out of life not wholly happy, yea, even troubled because of the spiritual hurt of the man.


nanBut Andronicus, grieved with a secret grief, mourned in his soul, and wept openly, so that John checked him often and said to him: Upon a better hope hath Drusiana removed out of this unrighteous life. And Andronicus answered him: Yea, I am persuaded of it, O John, and I doubt not at all in regard of trust in my God: but this very thing do I hold fast, that she departed out of life pure.


nanAnd when she was carried forth, John took hold on Andronicus, and now that he knew the cause, he mourned more than Andronicus. And he kept silence, considering the provocation of the adversary, and for a space sat still. Then, the brethren being gathered there to hear what word he would speak of her that was departed, he began to say:


nanWhen the pilot that voyageth, together with them that sail with him, and the ship herself, arriveth in a calm and stormless harbour, then let him say that he is safe. And the husbandman that hath committed the seed to the earth, and toiled much in the care and protection of it, let him then take rest from his labours, when he layeth up the seed with manifold increase in his barns. Let him that enterpriseth to run in the course, then exult when he beareth home the prize. Let him that inscribeth his name for the boxing, then boast himself when he receiveth the crowns: and so in succession is it with all contests and crafts, when they do not fail in the end, but show themselves to be like that which they promised (corrupt).


nanAnd thus also I think is it with the faith which each one of us practiseth, that it is then discerned whether it be indeed true, when it continueth like itself even until the end of life. For many obstacles fall into the way, and prepare disturbance for the minds of men: care, children, parents, glory, poverty, flattery, prime of life, beauty, conceit, lust, wealth, anger, uplifting, slackness, envy, jealousy, neglect, fear, insolence, love, deceit, money, pretence, and other such obstacles, as many as there are in this life: as also the pilot sailing a prosperous course is opposed by the onset of contrary winds and a great storm and mighty waves out of calm, and the husbandman by untimely winter and blight and creeping things rising out of the earth, and they that strive in the games 'just do not win', and they that exercise crafts are hindered by the divers difficulties of them.


nanBut before all things it is needful that the believer should look before at his ending and understand it in what manner it will come upon him, whether it will be vigorous and sober and without any obstacle, or disturbed and clinging to the things that are here, and bound down by desires. So is it right that a body should be praised as comely when it is wholly stripped, and a general as great when he hath accomplished every promise of the war, and a physician as excellent when he hath succeeded in every cure, and a soul as full of faith and worthy (or receptive) of God when it hath paid its promise in full: not that soul which began well and was dissolved into all the things of this life and fell away, nor that which is numb, having made an effort to attain to better things, and then is borne down to temporal things, nor that which hath longed after the things of time more than those of eternity, nor that which exchangeth those that endure not, nor that which hath honoured the works of dishonour that deserve shame, nor that which taketh pledges of Satan, nor that which hath received the serpent into its own house, nor that which suffereth reproach for God's sake and then is [not] ashamed, nor that which with the mouth saith yea, but indeed approveth not itself: but that which hath prevailed not to be made weak by foul pleasure, not to be overcome by light-mindedness, not to be caught by the bait of love of money, not to be betrayed by vigour of body or wrath.


nanAnd as John was discoursing yet further unto the brethren that they should despise temporal things in respect of the eternal, he that was enamoured of Drusiana, being inflamed with an horrible lust and possession of the many-shaped Satan, bribed the steward of Andronicus who was a lover of money with a great sum: and he opened the tomb and gave him opportunity to wreak the forbidden thing upon the dead body. Not having succeeded with her when alive, he was still importunate after her death to her body, and said: If thou wouldst not have to do with me while thou livedst, I will outrage thy corpse now thou art dead. With this design, and having managed for himself the wicked act by means of the abominable steward, he rushed with him to the sepulchre; they opened the door and began to strip the grave-clothes from the corpse, saying: What art thou profited, poor Drusiana? couldest thou not have done this in life, which perchance would not have grieved thee, hadst thou done it willingly?


nanAnd as these men were speaking thus, and only the accustomed shift now remained on her body, a strange spectacle was seen, such as they deserve to suffer who do such deeds. A serpent appeared from some quarter and dealt the steward a single bite and slew him: but the young man it did not strike; but coiled about his feet, hissing terribly, and when he fell mounted on his body and sat upon him.


nanNow on the next day John came, accompanied by Andronicus and the brethren, to the sepulchre at dawn, it being now the third day from Drusiana's death, that we might break bread there. And first, when they set out, the keys were sought for and could not be found; but John said to Andronicus: It is quite right that they should be lost, for Drusiana is not in the sepulchre; nevertheless, let us go, that thou mayest not be neglectful, and the doors shall be opened of themselves, even as the Lord hath done for us many such things.


nanAnd when we were at the place, at the commandment of the master, the doors were opened, and we saw by the tomb of Drusiana a beautiful youth, smiling: and John, when he saw him, cried out and said: Art thou come before us hither too, beautiful one? and for what cause? And we heard a voice saying to him: For Drusiana's sake, whom thou art to raise up-for I was within a little of finding her -and for his sake that lieth dead beside her tomb. And when the beautiful one had said this unto John he went up into the heavens in the sight of us all. And John, turning to the other side of the sepulchre, saw a young man-even Callimachus, one of the chief of the Ephesians-and a huge serpent sleeping upon him, and the steward of Andronicus, Fortunatus by name, lying dead. And at the sight of the two he stood perplexed, saying to the brethren: What meaneth such a sight? or wherefore hath not the Lord declared unto me what was done here, he who hath never neglected me?


nanAnd Andronicus seeing those corpses, leapt up and went to Drusiana's tomb, and seeing her lying in her shift only, said to John: I understand what has happened, thou blessed servant of God, John. This Callimachus was enamoured of my sister; and because he never won her, though he often assayed it, he hath bribed this mine accursed steward with a great sum, perchance designing, as now we may see, to fulfil by his means the tragedy of his conspiracy, for indeed Callimachus avowed this to many, saying: If she will not consent to me when living, she shall be outraged when dead. And it may be, master, that the beautiful one knew it and suffered not her body to be insulted, and therefore have these died who made that attempt. And can it be that the voice that said unto thee, 'Raise up Drusiana', foreshowed this? because she departed out of this life in sorrow of mind. But I believe him that said that this is one of the men that have gone astray; for thou wast bidden to raise him up: for as to the other, I know that he is unworthy of salvation. But this one thing I beg of thee: raise up Callimachus first, and he will confess to us what is come about.


nanAnd John, looking upon the body, said to the venomous beast: Get thee away from him that is to be a servant of Jesus Christ; and stood up and prayed over him thus: O God whose name is glorified by us, as of right: O God who subduest every injurious force: O God whose will is accomplished, who alway hearest us: now also let thy gift be accomplished in this young man; and if there be any dispensation to be wrought through him, manifest it unto us when he is raised up. And straightway the young man rose up, and for a whole hour kept silence.


nanBut when he came to his right senses, John asked of him about his entry into the sepulchre, what it meant, and learning from him that which Andronicus had told him, namely, that he was enamoured of Drusiana, John inquired of him again if he had fulfilled his foul intent, to insult a body full of holiness. And he answered him: How could I accomplish it when this fearful beast struck down Fortunatus at a blow in my sight: and rightly, since he encouraged my frenzy, when I was already cured of that unreasonable and horrible madness: but me it stopped with affright, and brought me to that plight in which ye saw me before I arose. And another thing yet more wondrous I will tell thee, which yet went nigh to slay and was within a little of making me a corpse. When my soul was stirred up with folly and the uncontrollable malady was troubling me, and I had now torn away the grave-clothes in which she was clad, and I had then come out of the grave and laid them as thou seest, I went again to my unholy work: and I saw a beautiful youth covering her with his mantle, and from his eyes sparks of light came forth unto her eyes; and he uttered words to me, saying: Callimachus, die that thou mayest live. Now who he was I knew not, O servant of God; but that now thou hast appeared here, I recognize that he was an angel of God, that I know well; and this I know of a truth that it is a true God that is proclaimed by thee, and of it I am persuaded. But I beseech thee, be not slack to deliver me from this calamity and this fearful crime, and to present me unto thy God as a man deceived with a shameful and foul deceit. Beseeching help therefore of thee, I take hold on thy feet. I would become one of them that hope in Christ, that the voice may prove true which said to me, 'Die that thou mayest live': and that voice hath also fulfilled its effect, for he is dead, that faithless, disorderly, godless one, and I have been raised by thee, I who will be faithful, God-fearing, knowing the truth, which I entreat thee may be shown me by thee.


nanAnd John, filled with great gladness and perceiving the whole spectacle of the salvation of man, said: What thy power is, Lord Jesu Christ, I know not, bewildered as I am at thy much compassion and boundless long-suffering. O what a greatness that came down into bondage! O unspeakable liberty brought into slavery by us! O incomprehensible glory that is come unto us! thou that hast kept the dead tabernacle safe from insult; that hast redeemed the man that stained himself with blood and chastened the soul of him that would defile the corruptible body; Father that hast had pity and compassion on the man that cared not for thee; We glorify thee, and praise and bless and thank thy great goodness and long-suffering, O holy Jesu, for thou only art God, and none else: whose is the might that cannot be conspired against, now and world without end. Amen.


nanAnd when he had said this John took Callimachus and saluted (kissed) him, saying: Glory be to our God, my child, who hath had mercy on thee, and made me worthy to glorify his power, and thee also by a good course to depart from that thine abominable madness and drunkenness, and hath called thee unto his own rest and unto renewing of life.


nanBut Andronicus, beholding the dead Callimachus raised, besought John, with the brethren, to raise up Drusiana also, saying: O John, let Drusiana arise and spend happily that short space (of life) which she gave up through grief about Callimachus, when she thought she had become a stumbling block to him: and when the Lord will, he shall take her again to himself. And John without delay went unto her tomb and took her hand and said: Upon thee that art the only God do I call, the more than great, the unutterable, the incomprehensible: unto whom every power of principalities is subjected: unto whom all authority boweth: before whom all pride falleth down and keepeth silence: whom devils hearing of tremble: whom all creation perceiving keepeth its bounds. Let thy name be glorified by us, and raise up Drusiana, that Callimachus may yet more be confirmed unto thee who dispensest that which unto men is without a way and impossible, but to thee only possible, even salvation and resurrection: and that Drusiana may now come forth in peace, having about her not any the least hindrance -now that the young man is turned unto thee- in her course toward thee.


nanAnd after these words John said unto Drusiana: Drusiana, arise. And she arose and came out of the tomb; and when she saw herself in her shift only, she was perplexed at the thing, and learned the whole accurately from Andronicus, the while John lay upon his face, and Callimachus with voice and tears glorified God, and she also rejoiced, glorifying him in like manner.


nanAnd when she had clothed herself, she turned and saw Fortunatus lying, and said unto John: Father, let this man also rise, even if he did assay to become my betrayer. But Callimachus, when he heard her say that, said: Do not, I beseech thee, Drusiana, for the voice which I heard took no thought of him, but declared concerning thee only, and I saw and believed: for if he had been good, perchance God would have had mercy on him also and would have raised him by means of the blessed John: he knew therefore that the man was come to a bad end [Lat. he judged him worthy to die whom he did not declare worthy to rise again]. And John said to him: We have not learned, my child, to render evil for evil: for God, though we have done much ill and no good toward him, hath not given retribution unto us, but repentance, and though we were ignorant of his name he did not neglect us but had mercy on us, and when we blasphemed him, he did not punish but pitied us, and when we disbelieved him he bore us no grudge, and when we persecuted his brethren he did not recompense us evil but put into our minds repentance and abstinence from evil, and exhorted us to come unto him, as he hath thee also, my son Callimachus, and not remembering thy former evil hath made thee his servant, waiting upon his mercy. Wherefore if thou allowest not me to raise up Fortunatus, it is for Drusiana so to do.


nanAnd she, delaying not, went with rejoicing of spirit and soul unto the body of Fortunatus and said: Jesu Christ, God of the ages, God of truth, that hast granted me to see wonders and signs, and given to me to become partaker of thy name; that didst breathe thyself into me with thy many-shaped countenance, and hadst mercy on me in many ways; that didst protect me by thy great goodness when I was oppressed by Andronicus that was of old my husband; that didst give me thy servant Andronicus to be my brother; that hast kept me thine handmaid pure unto this day; that didst raise me up by thy servant John, and when I was raised didst show me him that was made to stumble free from stumbling; that hast given me perfect rest in thee, and lightened me of the secret madness; whom I have loved and affectioned: I pray thee, O Christ, refuse not thy Drusiana that asketh thee to raise up Fortunatus, even though he assayed to become my betrayer.


nanAnd taking the hand of the dead man she said: Rise up, Fortunatus, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. And Fortunatus arose, and when he saw John in the sepulchre, and Andronicus, and Drusiana raised from the dead, and Callimachus a believer, and the rest of the brethren glorifying God, he said: O, to what have the powers of these clever men attained! I did not want to be raised, but would rather die, so as not to see them. And with these words he fled and went out of the sepulchre.


nanAnd John, when he saw the unchanged mind (soul) of Fortunatus, said: O nature that is not changed for the better! O fountain of the soul that abideth in foulness! O essence of corruption full of darkness! O death exulting in them that are thine! O fruitless tree full of fire! O tree that bearest coals for fruit! O matter that dwellest with the madness of matter (al. O wood of trees full of unwholesome shoots) and neighbour of unbelief! Thou hast proved who thou art, and thou art always convicted, with thy children. And thou knowest not how to praise the better things: for thou hast them not. Therefore, such as is thy way (?fruit), such also is thy root and thy nature. Be thou destroyed from among them that trust in the Lord: from their thoughts, from their mind, from their souls, from their bodies, from their acts) their life, their conversation, from their business, their occupations, their counsel, from the resurrection unto (or rest in) God, from their sweet savour wherein thou wilt share, from their faith, their prayers, from the holy bath, from the eucharist, from the food of the flesh, from drink, from clothing, from love, from care, from abstinence, from righteousness: from all these, thou most unholy Satan, enemy of God, shall Jesus Christ our God and of all that are like thee and have thy character, make thee to perish.


nanAnd having thus said, John prayed, and took bread and bare it into the sepulchre to break it; and said: We glorify thy name, which converteth us from error and ruthless deceit: we glorify thee who hast shown before our eyes that which we have seen: we bear witness to thy loving-kindness which appeareth in divers ways: we praise thy merciful name, O Lord (we thank thee), who hast convicted them that are convicted of thee: we give thanks to thee, O Lord Jesu Christ, that we are persuaded of thy which is unchanging: we give thanks to thee who hadst need of our nature that should be saved: we give thanks to thee that hast given us this sure, for thou art alone, both now and ever. We thy servants give thee thanks, O holy one, who are assembled with intent and are gathered out of the world (or risen from death).


nanAnd having so prayed and given glory to God, he went out of the sepulchre after imparting unto all the brethren of the eucharist of the Lord. And when he was come unto Andronicus' house he said to the brethren: Brethren, a spirit within me hath divined that Fortunatus is about to die of blackness (poisoning of the blood) from the bite of the serpent; but let some one go quickly and learn if it is so indeed. And one of the young men ran and found him dead and the blackness spreading over him, and it had reached his heart: and came and told John that he had been dead three hours. And John said: Thou hast thy child, O devil. 'John therefore was with the brethren rejoicing in the Lord.'


nanThose that were present inquired the cause, and were especially perplexed, because Drusiana had said: The Lord appeared unto me in the tomb in the likeness of John, and in that of a youth. Forasmuch, therefore, as they were perplexed and were, in a manner, not yet stablished in the faith, so as to endure it steadfastly, John said (or John bearing it patiently, said):


nanMen and brethren, ye have suffered nothing strange or incredible as concerning your perception of the, inasmuch as we also, whom he chose for himself to be apostles, were tried in many ways: I, indeed, am neither able to set forth unto you nor to write the things which I both saw and heard: and now is it needful that I should fit them for your hearing; and according as each of you is able to contain it I will impart unto you those things whereof ye are able to become hearers, that ye may see the glory that is about him, which was and is, both now and for ever. For when he had chosen Peter and Andrew, which were brethren, he cometh unto me and James my brother, saying: I have need of you, come unto me. And my brother hearing that, said: John, what would this child have that is upon the sea-shore and called us? And I said: What child? And he said to me again: That which beckoneth to us. And I answered: Because of our long watch we have kept at sea, thou seest not aright, my brother James; but seest thou not the man that standeth there, comely and fair and of a cheerful countenance? But he said to me: Him I see not, brother; but let us go forth and we shall see what he would have.


nanAnd so when we had brought the ship to land, we saw him also helping along with us to settle the ship: and when we departed from that place, being minded to follow him, again he was seen of me as having rather bald, but the beard thick and flowing, but of James as a youth whose beard was newly come. We were therefore perplexed, both of us, as to what that which we had seen should mean. And after that, as we followed him, both of us were by little and little perplexed as we considered the matter. Yet unto me there then appeared this yet more wonderful thing: for I would try to see him privily, and I never at any time saw his eyes closing (winking), but only open. And oft-times he would appear to me as a small man and uncomely, and then againt as one reaching unto heaven. Also there was in him another marvel: when I sat at meat he would take me upon his own breast; and sometimes his breast was felt of me to be smooth and tender, and sometimes hard like unto stones, so that I was perplexed in myself and said: Wherefore is this so unto me? And as I considered this, he . .


nanAnd at another time he taketh with him me and James and Peter unto the mountain where he was wont to pray, and we saw in him a light such as it is not possible for a man that useth corruptible (mortal) speech to describe what it was like. Again in like manner he bringeth us three up into the mountain, saying: Come ye with me. And we went again: and we saw him at a distance praying. I, therefore, because he loved me, drew nigh unto him softly, as though he could not see me, and stood looking upon his hinder parts: and I saw that he was not in any wise clad with garments, but was seen of us naked, and not in any wise as a man, and that his feet were whiter than any snow, so that the earth there was lighted up by his feet, and that his head touched the heaven: so that I was afraid and cried out, and he, turning about, appeared as a man of small stature, and caught hold on my beard and pulled it and said to me: John, be not faithless but believing, and not curious. And I said unto him: But what have I done, Lord? And I say unto you, brethren, I suffered so great pain in that place where he took hold on my beard for thirty days, that I said to him: Lord, if thy twitch when thou wast in sport hath given me so great pain, what were it if thou hadst given me a buffet? And he said unto me: Let it be thine henceforth not to tempt him that cannot be tempted.


nanBut Peter and James were wroth because I spake with the Lord, and beckoned unto me that I should come unto them and leave the Lord alone. And I went, and they both said unto me: He (the old man) that was speaking with the Lord upon the top of the mount, who was he? for we heard both of them speaking. And I, having in mind his great grace, and his unity which hath many faces, and his wisdom which without ceasing looketh upon us, said: That shall ye learn if ye inquire of him.


nanAgain, once when all we his disciples were at Gennesaret sleeping in one house, I alone having wrapped myself in my mantle, watched (or watched from beneath my mantle) what he should do: and first I heard him say: John, go thou to sleep. And I thereon feigning to sleep saw another like unto him [sleeping], whom also I heard say unto my Lord: Jesus, they whom thou hast chosen believe not yet on thee (or do they not yet, &c.?). And my Lord said unto him: Thou sayest well: for they are men.


nanAnother glory also will I tell you, brethren: Sometimes when I would lay hold on him, I met with a material and solid body, and at other times, again, when I felt him, the substance was immaterial and as if it existed not at all. And if at any time he were bidden by some one of the Pharisees and went to the bidding, we went with him, and there was set before each one of us a loaf by them that had bidden us, and with us he also received one; and his own he would bless and part it among us: and of that little every one was filled, and our own loaves were saved whole, so that they which bade him were amazed. And oftentimes when I walked with him, I desired to see the print of his foot, whether it appeared on the earth; for I saw him as it were lifting himself up from the earth: and I never saw it. And these things I speak unto you, brethren, for the encouragement of your faith toward him; for we must at the present keep silence concerning his mighty and wonderful works, inasmuch as they are unspeakable and, it may be, cannot at all be either uttered or heard.


nanNow before he was taken by the lawless Jews, who also were governed by (had their law from) the lawless serpent, he gathered all of us together and said: Before I am delivered up unto them let us sing an hymn to the Father, and so go forth to that which lieth before us. He bade us therefore make as it were a ring, holding one another's hands, and himself standing in the midst he said: Answer Amen unto me. He began, then, to sing an hymn and to say: Glory be to thee, Father. And we, going about in a ring, answered him: Amen. Glory be to thee, Word: Glory be to thee, Grace. Amen. Glory be to thee, Spirit: Glory be to thee, Holy One: Glory be to thy glory. Amen. We praise thee, O Father; we give thanks to thee, O Light, wherein darkness dwelleth not. Amen.


nanNow whereas (or wherefore) we give thanks, I say: I would be saved, and I would save. Amen. I would be loosed, and I would loose. Amen. I would be wounded, and I would wound. Amen. I would be born, and I would bear. Amen. I would eat, and I would be eaten. Amen. I would hear, and I would be heard. Amen. I would be thought, being wholly thought. Amen. I would be washed, and I would wash. Amen. Grace danceth. I would pipe; dance ye all. Amen. I would mourn: lament ye all. Amen. The number Eight (lit. one ogdoad) singeth praise with us. Amen. The number Twelve danceth on high. Amen. The Whole on high hath part in our dancing. Amen. Whoso danceth not, knoweth not what cometh to pass. Amen. I would flee, and I would stay. Amen. I would adorn, and I would be adorned. Amen. I would be united, and I would unite. Amen. A house I have not, and I have houses. Amen. A place I have not, and I have places. Amen. A temple I have not, and I have temples. Amen. A lamp am I to thee that beholdest me. Amen. A mirror am I to thee that perceivest me. Amen. A door am I to thee that knockest at me. Amen. A way am I to thee a wayfarer. .


nanNow answer thou (or as thou respondest) unto my dancing. Behold thyself in me who speak, and seeing what I do, keep silence about my mysteries. Thou that dancest, perceive what I do, for thine is this passion of the manhood, which I am about to suffer. For thou couldest not at all have understood what thou sufferest if I had not been sent unto thee, as the word of the Father. Thou that sawest what I suffer sawest me as suffering, and seeing it thou didst not abide but wert wholly moved, moved to make wise. Thou hast me as a bed, rest upon me. Who I am, thou shalt know when I depart. What now I am seen to be, that I am not. Thou shalt see when thou comest. If thou hadst known how to suffer, thou wouldest have been able not to suffer. Learn thou to suffer, and thou shalt be able not to suffer. What thou knowest not, I myself will teach thee. Thy God am I, not the God of the traitor. I would keep tune with holy souls. In me know thou the word of wisdom. Again with me say thou: Glory be to thee, Father; glory to thee, Word; glory to thee, Holy Ghost. And if thou wouldst know concerning me, what I was, know that with a word did I deceive all things and I was no whit deceived. I have leaped: but do thou understand the whole, and having understood it, say: Glory be to thee, Father. Amen.


nanThus, my beloved, having danced with us the Lord went forth. And we as men gone astray or dazed with sleep fled this way and that. I, then, when I saw him suffer, did not even abide by his suffering, but fled unto the Mount of Olives, weeping at that which had befallen. And when he was crucified on the Friday, at the sixth hour of the day, darkness came upon all the earth. And my Lord standing in the midst of the cave and enlightening it, said: John, unto the multitude below in Jerusalem I am being crucified and pierced with lances and reeds, and gall and vinegar is given me to drink. But unto thee I speak, and what I speak hear thou. I put it into thy mind to come up into this mountain, that thou mightest hear those things which it behoveth a disciple to learn from his teacher and a man from his God.


nanAnd having thus spoken, he showed me a cross of light fixed (set up), and about the cross a great multitude, not having one form: and in it (the cross) was one form and one likenesst [so the MS.; I would read: and therein was one form and one likeness: and in the cross another multitude, not having one form]. And the Lord himself I beheld above the cross, not having any shape, but only a voice: and a voice not such as was familiar to us, but one sweet and kind and truly of God, saying unto me: John, it is needful that one should hear these things from me, for I have need of one that will hear. This cross of light is sometimes called the (or a) word by me for your sakes, sometimes mind, sometimes Jesus, sometimes Christ, sometimes door, sometimes a way, sometimes bread, sometimes seed, sometimes resurrection, sometimes Son, sometimes Father, sometimes Spirit, sometimes life, sometimes truth, sometimes faith, sometimes grace. And by these names it is called as toward men: but that which it is in truth, as conceived of in itself and as spoken of unto you (MS. us), it is the marking-off of all things, and the firm uplifting of things fixed out of things unstable, and the harmony of wisdom, and indeed wisdom in harmony [this last clause in the MS. is joined to the next: 'and being wisdom in harmony']. There are of the right hand and the left, powers also, authorities, lordships and demons, workings, threatenings, wraths, devils, Satan, and the lower root whence the nature of the things that come into being proceeded.


nanThis cross, then, is that which fixed all things apart (al. joined all things unto itself) by the (or a) word, and separate off the things that are from those that are below (lit. the things from birth and below it), and then also, being one, streamed forth into all things (or, made all flow forth. I suggested: compacted all into ). But this is not the cross of wood which thou wilt see when thou goest down hence: neither am I he that is on the cross, whom now thou seest not, but only hearest his (or a) voice. I was reckoned to be that which I am not, not being what I was unto many others: but they will call me (say of me) something else which is vile and not worthy of me. As, then, the place of rest is neither seen nor spoken of, much more shall I, the Lord thereof, be neither seen .


Intertexts (texts cited often on the same page as the searched text):

13 results
1. New Testament, Acts, 2.42, 2.46, 20.7 (1st cent. CE - 2nd cent. CE)

2.42. They continued steadfastly in the apostles' teaching and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and prayer. 2.46. Day by day, continuing steadfastly with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread at home, they took their food with gladness and singleness of heart 20.7. On the first day of the week, when the disciples were gathered together to break bread, Paul talked with them, intending to depart on the next day, and continued his speech until midnight.
2. New Testament, John, 21, 11 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

3. New Testament, Luke, 7.31-7.32, 24.35 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

7.31. The Lord said, "To what then will I liken the people of this generation? What are they like? 7.32. They are like children who sit in the marketplace, and call one to another, saying, 'We piped to you, and you didn't dance. We mourned, and you didn't weep.' 24.35. They related the things that happened along the way, and how he was recognized by them in the breaking of the bread.
4. New Testament, Mark, 14.26 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

14.26. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
5. New Testament, Matthew, 11.16-11.17, 26.30 (1st cent. CE - 1st cent. CE)

11.16. But to what shall I compare this generation? It is like children sitting in the marketplaces, who call to their companions 11.17. and say, 'We played the flute for you, and you didn't dance. We mourned for you, and you didn't lament.' 26.30. When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
6. Anon., The Acts of John, 101-102, 106-110, 19-29, 31, 33-54, 56, 60-61, 63-100 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

100. Now the multitude of one aspect (al. of one aspect) that is about the cross is the lower nature: and they whom thou seest in the cross, if they have not one form, it is because not yet hath every member of him that came down been comprehended. But when the human nature (or the upper nature) is taken up, and the race which draweth near unto me and obeyeth my voice, he that now heareth me shall be united therewith, and shall no more be that which now he is, but above them, as I also now am. For so long as thou callest not thyself mine, I am not that which I am (or was): but if thou hear me, thou, hearing, shalt be as I am, and I shall be that which I was, when I thee as I am with myself. For from me thou art that (which I am). Care not therefore for the many, and them that are outside the mystery despise; for know thou that I am wholly with the Father, and the Father with me.
7. Anon., Acts of John, 102, 106-110, 19-29, 31, 33-54, 56, 60-61, 63-99, 101 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

101. Nothing, therefore, of the things which they will say of me have I suffered: nay, that suffering also which I showed unto thee and the rest in the dance, I will that it be called a mystery. For what thou art, thou seest, for I showed it thee; but what I am I alone know, and no man else. Suffer me then to keep that which is mine, and that which is thine behold thou through me, and behold me in truth, that I am, not what I said, but what thou art able to know, because thou art akin thereto. Thou hearest that I suffered, yet did I not suffer; that I suffered not, yet did I suffer; that I was pierced, yet I was not smitten; hanged, and I was not hanged; that blood flowed from me, and it flowed not; and, in a word, what they say of me, that befell me not, but what they say not, that did I suffer. Now what those things are I signify unto thee, for I know that thou wilt understand. Perceive thou therefore in me the praising (al. slaying al. rest) of the (or a) Word (Logos), the piercing of the Word, the blood of the Word, the wound of the Word, the hanging up of the Word, the suffering of the Word, the nailing (fixing) of the Word, the death of the Word. And so speak I, separating off the manhood. Perceive thou therefore in the first place of the Word; then shalt thou perceive the Lord, and in the third place the man, and what he hath suffered.
8. Irenaeus, Refutation of All Heresies, 1.24.4 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

9. Nag Hammadi, The Apocryphon of John, 26.25, 27.15 (2nd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

10. Nag Hammadi, On The Origin of The World, 112.27, 113.13, 116.26 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

11. Nag Hammadi, The Gospel of Philip, 74.22-74.24 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

12. Nag Hammadi, The Hypostasis of The Archons, 89.23-89.26 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

13. Origen, Against Celsus, 8.48 (3rd cent. CE - 3rd cent. CE)

8.48. In the next place, Celsus, after referring to the enthusiasm with which men will contend unto death rather than abjure Christianity, adds strangely enough some remarks, in which he wishes to show that our doctrines are similar to those delivered by the priests at the celebration of the heathen mysteries. He says, Just as you, good sir, believe in eternal punishments, so also do the priests who interpret and initiate into the sacred mysteries. The same punishments with which you threaten others, they threaten you. Now it is worthy of examination, which of the two is more firmly established as true; for both parties contend with equal assurance that the truth is on their side. But if we require proofs, the priests of the heathen gods produce many that are clear and convincing, partly from wonders performed by demons, and partly from the answers given by oracles, and various other modes of divination. He would, then, have us believe that we and the interpreters of the mysteries equally teach the doctrine of eternal punishment, and that it is a matter for inquiry on which side of the two the truth lies. Now I should say that the truth lies with those who are able to induce their hearers to live as men who are convinced of the truth of what they have heard. But Jews and Christians have been thus affected by the doctrines they hold about what we speak of as the world to come, and the rewards of the righteous, and the punishments of the wicked. Let Celsus then, or any one who will, show us who have been moved in this way in regard to eternal punishments by the teaching of heathen priests and mystagogues. For surely the purpose of him who brought to light this doctrine was not only to reason upon the subject of punishments, and to strike men with terror of them, but to induce those who heard the truth to strive with all their might against those sins which are the causes of punishment. And those who study the prophecies with care, and are not content with a cursory perusal of the predictions contained in them, will find them such as to convince the intelligent and sincere reader that the Spirit of God was in those men, and that with their writings there is nothing in all the works of demons, responses of oracles, or sayings of soothsayers, for one moment to be compared.


Subjects of this text:

subject book bibliographic info
acts of john, and acts of peter Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
acts of john, conversion Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
acts of john, date Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
acts of john, place of composition Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
acts of john, polymorphy Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
acts of john, theatre Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
acts of peter, and acts of john Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
andronicus Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
angels, heavenly mansion of Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
aphrodisias Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
apocryphal acts, conversion Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
apocryphal acts, theatre Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
apocryphal acts of the apostles, asceticism and dualism Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 809
apocryphal acts of the apostles, evangelism and edification Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 807
apocryphal acts of the apostles Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 807, 809
apocryphal texts, armenian Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 262, 264
apocryphal texts, syriac Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 262
asceticism, in apocryphal acts Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 809
bacchic imagery Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95, 96
basilidean tradition, laughter in Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
beauty Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95
body / sōma Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 101, 102
chariton, and clementines, callirhoe Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 112
chorus, ancient, late antique Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 99, 100
christ/jesus, and cynics, name and magic/miracles Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
christ/jesus, and cynics, polymorphy Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
christian/ity, and damnation Bremmer, Magic and Martyrs in Early Christianity: Collected Essays (2017) 184
christology, christomonism Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 264
clarity Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 102
crucifixion Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 264
cult songs, mystery cult Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
dance, round / circular Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95, 96, 97, 100
demeter Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95
docetism Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 264
eleusis Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95
empathy, kinesthetic Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 100
empathy Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 101
eucharist Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 264
gnosis Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 96
gnosticism' Piovanelli, Burke, Pettipiece, Rediscovering the Apocryphal Continent: New Perspectives on Early Christian and Late Antique Apocryphal Textsand Traditions. De Gruyter: 2015 (2015) 264
hands Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 98, 100
imaginative literature, generally Esler, The Early Christian World (2000) 807, 809
initiation Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95, 96
jesus, smiles and laughter of Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
literature, greek, imperial Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95, 96, 97, 98, 99, 100, 101, 102
pantomime (tragoedia saltata, saltatio) Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 102
pathos / experience Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 96, 100, 101
reenactment Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 95
sense Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 97
sethian gnosticism, laughter in Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
spectator / audience / viewer Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 101, 102
storyworld Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 101
the gnostic laughter, ambiguity of Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
the gnostic laughter, in basilidean tradition Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
the gnostic laughter, jesuss laughter and smiles Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
the gnostic laughter Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333
understanding, embodied Gianvittorio-Ungar and Schlapbach, Choreonarratives: Dancing Stories in Greek and Roman Antiquity and Beyond (2021) 96, 100, 102
valentinian gnosticism, laughter in Scopello, The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas (2008) 333