The Lost Books of the Bible

10 Let us, therefore, my brethren, contend with all earnestness, knowing that our combat is at hand; and that many go long voyages to encounter for a corruptible reward.

11 And yet all are not crowned, but they only that labour much, and strive gloriously. Let us, therefore, so contend, that we may all be crowned. Let us run in the straight road, the race that is incorruptible: and let us in great numbers pass unto it, and strive that we may receive the crown. But and if we cannot all be crowned, let us come as near to it as we are able.

12 Moreover, we must consider, that he who contends in a corruptible combat, if he be found doing anything that is not fair, is taken away and scourged, and cast out of the lists. What think ye then that he shall suffer, who does anything that is not fitting in the combat of immortality?

13 Thus speaks the prophet concerning those who keep not their seal; [*5] Their worm shall not die, and their fire shall not be quenched; and they shall be for a spectacle unto all flesh.

14 Let us therefore repent, whilst we are yet upon the earth: for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For as the potter if he make a vessel, and it be turned amiss in his hands, or broken, again forms it anew;

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but if he have gone so far as to throw it into the furnace of fire, he can no more bring any remedy to it.

15 So we, whilst we are in this world, [*1] should repent with our whole heart for whatsoever evil we have done in the flesh; while we have yet the time of repentance, that we may be saved by the Lord.

16 For after we shall have departed out of this world, we shall no longer be able to confess our sins or repent [*2] in the other.

17 Wherefore, brethren, let us doing the will of the Father, and keeping our flesh pure, and observing the commandments of the Lord, lay hold on eternal life: for the Lord saith in the gospel, [*3] If ye have not kept that which was little, who will give you that which is great?–For I say unto you, he that is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.

18 This, therefore, is what he saith; keep your bodies pure, and your seal without spot, that ye may receive eternal life.

CHAP. IV.

1 We shall rise, and be judged in our bodies; therefore we must live well in them, 6 that we ought, for our own interest, to live well; though few seem to mind what really is for their advantage, 10 and not deceive ourselves: seeing God will certainly judge us, and render to all of us according to our works.

AND let not any one among you say, that this very flesh is not judged, neither raised up. Consider, in what were you saved; in what did you look up, if not whilst you were in this flesh.

2 We must, therefore, keep our flesh as the temple of God. For in like manner as ye were called in the flesh ye shall also come to judgment in the flesh. [*4] Our one Lord Jesus Christ, who has saved us, being first a spirit, was made flesh, and so called us; even so we also shall in this flesh receive the reward.

3 Let us, therefore, love one another, that we may attain unto the kingdom of God. Whilst we have time to be healed, let us deliver up ourselves to God our physician, giving our reward unto him.

4. And what reward shall we give?–Repentance out of a pure heart. For he knows all things before hand, and searches out our very hearts.

5 Let us, therefore, give praise unto him: not only with our mouths, but with all our souls; that he may receive us as children. [*5] For so the Lord hath said; [*6] They are my brethren, who do the will of my father.

6 Wherefore, my brethren, let us do the will of the Father, who hath called us, that we may live. Let us pursue virtue, and forsake wickedness, which leadeth us into sins; and let us flee all ungodliness, that evils overtake us not.

7 For, if we shall do our diligence to live well, peace shall follow us. [*7] And yet how hard is it to find a man that does this? For almost all are led by human fears, choosing rather the present enjoyments, than the future promise.

8 For they know not how great a torment the present enjoyments bring with them; nor what delights the future promise

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9 And if they themselves only did this, it might the more easily be endured; but now they go on to infect innocent souls with their evil doctrines; not knowing that both themselves, and those that hear them, shall receive a double condemnation.

10 Let us, therefore, serve God with a pure heart, and we shall be righteous: but if we shall not serve him because we do not believe the promise of God, we shall be miserable.

11 For thus saith the prophet; [*1] Miserable are the double minded who doubt in their heart, and say, these things we have heard, even in the time of our fathers, but we have seen none of them, though we have expected them from day to day.

12 O ye fools! compare yourselves to a tree; take the vine for an example. First it sheds its leaves, then it buds, then come the sour grapes, then the ripe fruit; even so my people have borne its disorders and afflictions, but shall hereafter receive good things.

13 Wherefore my brethren, let us not doubt in our minds, but let us expect with hope, that we may receive our reward; for he is faithful, who has promised he will render to every one a reward according to his works.

14 If, therefore, we shall do what is just in the sight of God we shall enter into his kingdom, I and shall receive the promises; [*2] Which neither eye has seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man.

15 Wherefore let us every hour expect the kingdom of God in love and righteousness; because we know not the day of God’s appearing.

CHAP. V.

A FRAGMENT.

Of the Lord’s kingdom.

1 * * For the Lord himself, being asked by a certain person, When his kingdom should come? answered, When two shall be one, and that which is without as that which is within; and the male with the female, neither male nor female.

2 Now two are one, when we speak the truth to each other, and there is (without hypocrisy) one soul in two bodies:

3 And that which is without as that which is within;–He means this: he calls the soul that which is within, and the body that which is without. As therefore thy body appears, so let thy soul be seen by its good works.

4 And the male with the female neither male nor female;–He means this; he calls our anger the male, our concupiscence the female.

5 When therefore a man is come to such a pass that he is subject neither to the one nor the other of these (both of which, through the prevalence of custom, and an evil education, cloud and darken the reason,)

6 But rather, having dispelled the mist arising from them, and being full of shame, shall by repentance have united both his soul and spirit in the obedience of reason; then, as Paul says, there is in us neither male nor female

Footnotes

^139:5 Little things, or meanly.

^140:1 Hear as of little things.

^140:2 Knowing.

^140:3 How greatly holy things do we owe unto him.

^140:4 Isaiah liv. 1.

^140:5 Aplus. See St. James i. 5. Compare Rom. xii. 8. 2 Cor. viii. 2, ix. 11, 13.

^140:6 Matt. ix. 13.

^141:1 What is the knowledge which is towards him.

^141:2 Matt. x. 32.

^141:3 Isaiah xxix. 13.

^141:4 Matt. vii. 21.

^141:5 Wherefore we doing these things.

^141:6 Matt. xii. 23; Luke xiii. 27.

^141:7 Matt. v. 16.

^141:8 Luke xii. 4, 5.

^142:1 MS. Alexander. osius kai diakaius ansrefesthai.

^142:2 Luke xvi. 13.

^142:3 Matt. xvi 26.

^142:4 Ezek. xiv. 14, 20.

^142:5 Isaiah lxvi. 24.

^143:1 Let us repent.

^143:2 There.

^143:3 Luke xvi. 10, 12.

^143:4 MS. Alex. plane sic exhibit: eis Khrisos.

^143:5 Vox. Theoy non est in MS.

^143:6 Matt. xii. 50.

^143:7 For, for this cause, we cannot find a man. Aliter Wendel. in traduct. lat. q. v.

^144:1 See I. Clement, chap. x.

^144:2 1 Cor. ii. 9.

The Lost Books of the Bible, [1926], at sacred-texts.com

Click to enlarge
(Left) CHRIST PRAYING THE GARDEN. (Right) PETER CUTTING OFF THE EAR OF MALCHUS, AND THE KISS OF JUDAS. FROM A GREEK MANUSCRIPT, OF THE TWELFTH CENTURY, IN THE LIBRARY OF THE VATICAN.

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The GENERAL EPISTLE OF BARNABAS.

[Barnabas was a companion and fellow-preacher with Paul. This Epistle lays a greater claim to canonical authority than most others. It has been cited by Clemens Alexandrinus, Origen, Eusebius, and Jerome, and many ancient Fathers. Cotelerius affirms that Origen and Jerome esteemed it genuine and canonical; but Cotelerius himself did not believe it to be either one or the other; on the contrary, he supposes it was written for the benefit of the Ebionites (the christianized Jews,) who were tenacious of rites and ceremonies. Bishop Fell feared to own expressly what he seemed to be persuaded of, that it ought to be treated with the same respect as several of the books of the present canon. Dr. Bernard, Savilian professor at Oxford, not only believed it to be genuine, but that it was read throughout, in the churches at Alexandria, as the canonical scriptures were. Dodwell supposed it to have been published before the Epistle of Jude, and the writings of both the Johns. Vossius, Dupuis, Dr. Cane, Dr. Mill, Dr. S. Clark, Whiston, and Archbishop Wake also esteemed it genuine: Menardus, Archbishop Laud, Spanheim, and others, deemed it apocryphal.]

CHAP. I.

Preface to the Epistle.

ALL happiness to you my sons and daughters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, who loved us, in peace.

2 Having perceived abundance of knowledge of the great and [*1] excellent [*2] laws of God to be in you, I exceedingly rejoice in your blessed and admirable [*3] souls, because ye have so worthily received the grace which was [*4] grafted in you.

3 For which cause I am full of joy, hoping the rather to he [*5] saved; inasmuch as I truly see a spirit infused into you, from the [*6] pure fountain of God:

4 Having this persuasion, and being fully convinced thereof, because that since I have begun to speak unto you, I have had a more than ordinary good success in the way of [*7] the law of the Lord which is in Christ.

5 For which cause [*8] brethren, I also think verily that I love you above my own soul: because that therein dwelleth the greatness of faith and charity, as also the hope of that life which is to come.

6. Wherefore considering this, that if I shall take care to communicate to you a part of what I have received, it shall turn to my reward, [*9] that I have served such good souls; I gave diligence to write in a few words unto you; that together with your faith, [*10] knowledge also may be perfect.

7 There are therefore three [*11] things ordained by the Lord; the hope of life; [*12] the beginning and the completion of it.

8 For the Lord hath both declared unto us, by the prophets those things that [*13] are past; and [*14] opened to us the beginnings of those that are to come.

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9 Wherefore, it will behoove us, [*1] as he has spoken, to come [*2] more holily, and nearer to his altar.

10 I therefore, not as a teacher, but as one [*3] of you, will endeavour to lay before you a few things by which you may, on [*4] many accounts, become the more joyful.

CHAP. II.

That God has abolished the legal sacrifices to introduce the spiritual righteousness of the Gospel.

SEEING then the days are exceeding evil, and the adversary has got the power of this present [*5] world we ought to give the more diligence to inquire into the [*6] righteous judgments of the Lord.

2 [*7] Now the assistants of our faith are fear and patience; our fellow-combatants, long-suffering and continence.

3 Whilst these remain pure in what relates unto the Lord, wisdom, and understanding, and science, and knowledge, rejoice together with them.

4 For God has manifested to us by all the prophets, that he has no occasion for our sacrifices, or burnt-offerings, or oblations: saying thus; [*8] To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me, saith the Lord.

5 I am full of the burnt-offerings of rams, and the fat of [*9] fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of he-goats

6 [*10] When ye come to appear before me; who hath required this at your hands? Ye shall no more tread my courts.

7 Bring no more vain oblations, incense is an abomination unto me; your new moons and sabbaths; the calling of assemblies I cannot away with, it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting; your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth.

8 These things therefore hath God abolished, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is without the yoke of any such necessity, might have the spiritual offering of men themselves.

9 For so the Lord saith again to those heretofore; [*11] Did I at all command your fathers when they came out of the land of Egypt concerning burnt-offerings of sacrifices?

10 But this I commanded them, saying, [*12] Let none of you imagine evil in your hearts against his neighbour, and love no false oath.

11 Forasmuch then as we are not without understanding, we ought to apprehend the design [*13] of our merciful Father. For he speaks to us, being willing that we who have been in the same error about the sacrifices, should seek and find how to approach unto him.

12 And therefore he thus bespeaks us, [*14] The sacrifice of God (is a broken spirit,) a broken and contrite heart God will not despise.

13 Wherefore brethren, we ought the more diligently to inquire after these things that belong to our salvation, that the adversary may not have any entrance into us, and deprive us of our spiritual life.

14 Wherefore he again speaketh to them, concerning these

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things; [*1] Ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.

15 Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? [*2] Is it to bow down his head like a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? Wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

16 But to us he saith on this wise. [*3] Is not this the fast that I have chosen, to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free; and that ye break every yoke?

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