The Lost Books of the Bible

272 If therefore thou wouldst be concerned for thy garment, and complain that thou hadst not received it whole; what thinkest thou that the Lord will do, who gave his Spirit to thee entire, and thou hast rendered him altogether unprofitable, so that he can be of no use unto his Lord? For being corrupted by thee, he is no longer profitable to him.

273 Will not therefore the Lord do the same concerning his Spirit, by reason of thy deed? Undoubtedly, said I, he will do the same to all those whom he shall find to continue in the remembrance of injuries.

274 Tread not then under foot he said, his mercy; but rather honour him, because he is so patient with respect to your offences, and not like one of you; but repent, for that will be profitable for you.

275 All these things which are above written, I the shepherd, the angel of repentance, have shown and spoken to the servants of God.

276 If therefore ye shall believe and hearken to these words, and shall walk in them, and shall correct your ways, ye shall live. But if ye shall continue in malice, and in the remembrance of injuries, no such sinners shall live unto God.

277 All these things which were to be spoken by me I have thus delivered unto you. Then the shepherd said unto me, Hast thou asked all things of me? I answered, Sir, I have.

278 Why, then, said he, hast thou not asked concerning the spaces of these stones that were put in the building, that I may explain that also unto thee? I answered, Sir, I forgot it. Hear, then, said he, concerning these also.

279 They are those who have now heard these commands, and have repented with all their hearts;

280 And when the Lord saw that their repentance was good and pure, and that they could continue in it, he commanded their former sins to be blotted

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out. For these spaces were their sins, and they are therefore made even that they might not appear.


Of Repentance and alms-deeds.

AFTER that I had written this book, the angel which had delivered me to that shepherd, came into the house where I was and sat upon the bed, and that shepherd stood at his right hand.

2 Then he called me and said unto me; I delivered thee and thy house to this shepherd, that thou mightest be protected by him. I said, Yes, Lord.

3 If therefore, said he, thou wilt be protected from all vexations and from all cruelty, and have success in every good word and work; and have all virtue and righteousness; walk in those commands which he has given thee, and thou shalt have dominion over all sin.

4 For if thou keepest those commands, all the lust and pleasure of this present world shall be subject to thee; and success shall follow thee in every good undertaking.

5 Take therefore his [*1] gravity and modesty towards thee, and say unto all, that he is in great honour and renown with God, and is a [*2] prince of great authority and powerful in his office.

6 To him only is the power of repentance committed throughout the whole world. Does he not seem to thee to be of great authority?

7 But ye despise his goodness, and the modesty which he chews towards you.

8 I said unto him; Sir, ask him since the time that he came into my house whether I have done any thing disorderly, or have offended him in any thing?

9 I know, said he, that thou hast done nothing disorderly, neither wilt thou hereafter do any such thing; and therefore I speak these things with thee that thou mayest persevere; for he has given me a good account concerning thee,

10 But thou shalt speak these things to others, that they who either have repented, or shall repent, [*3] may be like-minded with thee; and he may give me as good an account of them also, and I may do the same unto the Lord.

11 I answered; Sir, I declare to all men the wonderful works of God; and I hope that all who love them and have before sinned, when they shall hear these things, will repent, and recover life.

12 Continue therefore, said he, in this ministry, and fulfil it. And whosoever shall do according to the commands of this shepherd, he shall live; and shall have great honour both here and with the Lord.

13 But they that shall not keep his commands, flee from their life, and are adversaries to it. And they that follow not his commands, shall deliver themselves unto death, and shall be every one guilty of his own blood.

14 But I say unto thee, keep these commandments, and thou shalt find a cure for all thy sins.

15 Moreover, I have sent these [*4] virgins to dwell with thee; for I have seen that they are

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very kind to thee. Thou shalt therefore have them for thy helpers, that thou mayest the better keep the commands which he hath given thee; for these commands cannot be kept without these virgins.

16 And [*1] I see how they are willing to be with thee; and I will also command them that they shall not all depart from thy house.

17 Only do thou purify thy house, for they will readily dwell in a clean house. For they are clean and chaste, and industrious; and all of them have grace with the Lord.

18 If therefore, thou shalt have thy house pure, they will abide with thee. But if it shall be never so little polluted, they will immediately depart from thy house: for these virgins cannot endure any manner of pollution.

19 I said unto him; Sir, I hope that I shall so please them, that they shall always delight to dwell in my house. And as he to whom you have committed me, makes no complaint of me; so neither shall they complain.

20 Then he said to that shepherd: I see that the servant of God will live and keep these commandments, and place these virgins in a pure habitation.

21 When he had said this, he delivered me again to that shepherd, and called the virgins, and said unto them; forasmuch as I see that ye will readily dwell in this man’s house, I commend him and his house to you, that ye may not at all depart from his house. And they willingly heard these words.

22 Then he said unto me, Go on manfully in thy ministry; declare to all men the great things of God, and thou shalt find grace in this ministry.

23 And whosoever shall walk in these commands, shall live, and be happy in his life. But he that shall neglect them, shall not live, and shall be unhappy in his life.

24 Say unto all that whosoever can do well, cease not to exercise themselves in good works, for it is profitable unto them. For I [*2] would that all men should be delivered from the inconveniences they lie under.

25 For he that wants, and suffers inconveniences in his daily life, is in great torment and necessity. Whosoever therefore delivers such a soul from necessity, gets great joy unto himself.

26 For he that is grieved with such inconveniences is equally tormented, as if he were in chains. And many upon the account of such calamities, being not able to bear them, have chosen even to destroy themselves.

27 He therefore that knows the calamity of such a man, and does not free him from it, commits a great sin, and is guilty of his blood.

28 Wherefore exercise yourselves in good works, as many as have received ability from the Lord; lest whilst ye delay to do them, the building of the tower be finished; because for your sakes the building is stopped.

29 Except therefore ye shall make haste to do well, the tower shall be finished, and ye shall be shut out of it.

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30 And after he had thus spoken with me, he rose up from the bed and departed, taking the shepherd and virgins with him.

31 Howbeit he said unto me that he would send back the shepherd and virgins unto my house. Amen.


^228:5 Antioch. Hom. xv.

^229:1 Souls.

^229:2 MS. Lambeth. Proprias, autem quas habetis agite.

^229:3 Vid. Origen. in Jos. Hom. x.

^230:1 Distracted.

^230:2 Who are.

^231:1 Nations

^231:2 With me.

^231:3 Vid. not. Coteler. in loc. pp. 72, 73.

^231:4 Coteler.

^231:5 Jejuna certe verum jejunium tale. Lat.

^232:1 Just a commendation.

^233:1 Shameful; or, upbraiding.

^233:2 Vid. Not. Coteler. ii., p. 74. A. B. C.

^233:3 Vid. Antioch. Hom. vii.

^234:1 Angels.

^235:1 Angels.

^235:2 This place, which in all the editions of Hermas is wretchedly corrupted, by the collation of editions and MSS. is thus corrected by Dr. Grabe: “Quaere autem Dominus in concilio adhibuerit, filium de haereditate, honestosque nuncios, audi; Spiritum Sanctum, qui creatus est omnium primus, in corpore, in quo habitaret Deus, collocavit; in delecto scilicet corpore quod ei videbatur.”

^235:3 Viz. the created Spirit of Christ, as man; not the Holy Ghost, the Third Person of the Sacred Trinity.

^235:4 Thy body, according to some copies.

^236:1 In them.

^236:2 Vid. Annot. Coteler. in loc.

^236:3 Angel.

^237:1 Ad. defectionem. Lat.

^237:2 Exultantia. Lat.

^237:3 In Gr. epithymiais toy Aiunos toytoy.

^237:4 Agrestem Lat.

^237:5 Vid. Origen. in Ps. xxxvi. Hom. 1.

^237:6 Righteous. In Gr. Athanas. ek tun Aggelun tun dikaiun esti, &c. et sic MS. Lamb.

^238:1 MS. Lamb. Succurritiis: Gr. Athanas, on ginuskoysi.

^238:2 MS. Lamb. Inquiris.

^238:3 Origen. in Num. Hom. viii.

^238:4 MS. Lamb. Omnino.

^239:1 Obeyeth his disease.

^239:2 Angel.

^242:1 Moved.

^242:2 MS. Lamb. Haec autem lex Filius Dei est, praedicatus, &c.

^242:3 Satisfied.

^243:1 Sabano. Vid. Edit. Oxon. p. 129. not. d.

^244:1 MS. Lamb. Minimum habuerant viride.

^244:2 Sea.

^245:1 Lamb. MS. Quamplurimis generibus inficiati.

^246:1 Righteous.

^246:2 Probi.

^247:1 See above, Book I.

^247:2 Angel

^247:3 Ascent.

^248:1 Origen, Hom. iii. in. Ezech.

^248:2 Fascem aliquem. Lat.

^249:1 So Cotelerius in loc.

^249:2 MS. Lamb. Ascenderunt.

^251:1 Greatness.

^252:1 MS. Lamb. Ita exasperetur, ut hi lapides.

^252:2 MS. Lamb. Negligens, patrisfamilias.

^252:3 Vid. MS. Lamb. Edit. Oxon. p. 157.

^252:4 MS. Lamb. Fuerant.

^253:1 Formas. Lat.

^255:1 Ita ut. Lat.

^255:2 The creatures.

^256:1 Vid. Annot. Edit. Oxon. p. 116, d.

^256:2 Vid. Origen. Philocal. c. viii.

^256:3 Sentiebant aequitatem, Lat. from the Greek efronoyn: but the true reading of Hermes seemeth to have been oforoyn.

^257:1 Origin. Hom. 13, in Ezek.

^258:1 Justos, Righteous.

^258:2 Vid. Edit. Oxon. p.171, b.

^258:3 Traditur, Delivered.

^258:4 Vid. Coteler. Annot. in loc. p. 77, 78. Comp. 1 Pet. iii. 19.

^258:5 Vid. Clem. Alex. Strom. ii. et vi.

^259:1 Prudence.

^259:2 Sense.

^259:3 Lat. Virtutem.

^259:4 Vid. Orig. Philocal. c. viii.

^259:5 Evil.

^260:1 Profligate.

^260:2 Vid. Edit. Oxon., p. 178, Not. b.

^261:1 Magnum Daemonium.

^262:1 Infancy.

^262:2 MS. Lamb. Et quidam Doctores caste: Omitting Qui.

^265:1 MS. Lamb. Tantum non necesse habuisset.

^265:2 MS. Lamb. Structuram turris hujus.

^265:3 MS. Lamb. Et unum quemque spiritum fleri: which appears from the Gr. of Antiochus to be the true reading, kai genesthai en pneyma.

^265:4 MS. Lamb. Gaudeat de his; and Gr. Antioch xare ep aytu.

^265:5 Vid. Antioch. Hom. cxxii.

^265:6 Gr. Tui despotei toy poimnioy.

^266:1 Perdites malitia. Lat.

^266:2 Antioch. Hom. xciv.

^267:1 Lat. Maturitatem.

^267:2 President.

^267:3 Eadem quae tu sentiant.

^267:4 What is meant by these virgins?–See before, Simil. ix. v. 149 et seq.

^268:1 MS. Lamb. Video: which appears from the close of this section to be the true reading.

^268:2 Say.

The Lost Books of the Bible, [1926], at



[These letters occur in a Syriac MS., of the sixth or seventh century, in the British Museum. Dr. Tischendorf states in his Apocalypses Apocryphae (Prolegg. p. 56) that he has a copy of the same in Greek from a Paris MS., of which he says “scripture satis differt, non item argumentum.” The letters are followed by a few extracts which seem to have been added by some copyist, although they are followed by the subscription to Pilate’s letter. We suppose that by Justinus, we are to understand Justus of Tiberias of whom Josephus speaks as a historian of his tine. We cannot venture an opinion favorable to the genuineness of this extract, because Photius says Justus did not mention Christ. By Theodorus, we understand the Emperor Tiberius. The question and answer agree in sense with what is read in the “Anaphora,” or response of Pilate.]



I AM in great anxiety. I write these things unto thee, that when thou hast heard them thou mayest be grieved for me. For as my daughter Herodias, who is dear to me, was playing upon a pool of water which had ice upon it, it broke under her, and all her body went down, and her head was cut off and remained on the surface of the ice. And behold, her mother is holding her head upon her knees in her lap, and my whole house is in great sorrow. For I, when I heard of the man Jesus, wished to come to thee, that I might see him alone, and hear his word, whether it was like that of the sons of men. And it is certain that because of the many evil things which were done by me to John the Baptist, and because I mocked the Christ, behold I receive the reward of righteousness, [*1] for I have shed much blood of others’ children upon the earth. [*2] Therefore the judgments of God are righteous; for every man receives according

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to his thought. But since thou wast worthy to see that God-man, therefore it becometh you to pray for me.

My son Azbonius also is in the agony of the hour of death.

And I too am in affliction and great trial, because I have the dropsy; and am in great distress, because I persecuted the introducer of baptism by water, which was John. Therefore, my brother, the judgments of God are righteous.

And my wife, again, through all her grief for her daughter, is become blind in her left eye, because we desired to blind the Eye of righteousness. There is no peace to the doers of evil, saith the Lord. [*1] For already great affliction cometh upon the priests and upon the writers of the law; because they delivered unto thee the Just One. For this is the consummation of the world, that they consented that the Gentiles should become heirs. For the children of light shall be cast out, [*2] for they have not observed the things which were preached concerning the Lord, and concerning his Son. Therefore gird up thy loins, [*3] and receive righteousness, thou with thy wife remembering Jesus night and day; and the kingdom shall belong to you Gentiles, for we the (chosen) people have mocked the Righteous One.

Now if there is place for our request, O Pilate, because we were at one time in power, bury my household carefully; for it is right that we should be buried by thee, rather than by the priests, whom, after a little time, as the Scriptures say, at the coming of Jesus Christ, vengeance shall overtake.

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