The epistle 1 Clement has several features that show up on a close reading:
- Disjointed indications of date, with different parts suggesting conclusions both before and after the destruction of Jerusalem.
- Difficult and long perambulation to the letter.
- Doxologies punctuating the letter abruptly.
- Digressive material that interrupts the flow of the argument.
- Doctrinal concerns of Judaism addressed in a Jewish way.
- Defense of the resurrection from nature and the phoenix.
- Divergent aims and vocabulary at the start and finish absent in the middle.
And so to the problems that face us, I wish to throw my own hypothesis into the ring. I’ve placed my reconstruction below today, and I welcome comments. I will gather my thoughts about the various arguments surrounding the epistle in a later post on another day, hopefully informed further by any helpful comments.
I propose that there is a real letter of the church at Rome to the church at Corinth that addresses the problem of the couple of persons who have turned against the presbyters. In the middle of one argument in particular, that the believers in Jesus Christ are especially in danger of the risks of having prideful and envious thoughts that lead to death, there is an interpolation inserted based on a separate composition.
The composition inserted seems easiest to understand if it is (non-Christian) Jewish with minimal glosses from the hand of the editor. The doxologies seem to be the editor’s because they appear in both parts. Besides his refrain of “world without end” and “amen,” the editor seems to hold consistent to describing Jesus as a “high priest,” something found in the doxologies and some of the possible glosses.
The interpolation starts with some transitional words from the editor. The material is loosely related (by the word association of “pure mind”) to the original letter’s argument where it leaves off, but it soon begins to wander off according to the different aims of the source text. The editor also seems to have some minimal concern for continuity (with some word association regarding “knowledge”) when he abruptly picks up the original letter’s argument again, prefacing the statements about the necessity of orderly sacrifices in the Temple in the source to the conclusion of the original letter’s argument that the danger of death is greater for those to whom much knowledge is given. Despite the effort, the beginning and the end of the source quoted do not actually flow well into the substance of the original letter’s argument, which is seamless after the interpolation is removed.
While the effect has been to obscure the author’s train of thought at this point (which might be intentional given that the original letter has something of a “hard saying” in the part interrupted), the editor has salvaged edifying material (presumably from its Jewish source) by placing it in this epistle. The editor’s handiwork would go on to be read in the churches for some time. The editor who so consistently considered Jesus the “high priest” apparently had a high estimation of this other source, which he clarifies with some Christian glosses, some of which result in doublets by repetition of the source material. Here, then, is the proposed reconstruction of the original letter, the Jewish source, and the editor’s glosses. (All headings are mine. The translation is Hoole’s.)
GREETINGS AND STATEMENT OF ISSUE
0:1 The Church of God which sojourneth at Rome, to the Church of God which sojourneth at Corinth, to them that are called and sanctified in the will of God through our Lord Jesus Christ: Grace and peace be multiplied unto you from Almighty God through Jesus Christ.
1:1 On account of the sudden and repeated calamities and mischances, brethren, that have come upon us, we suppose that we have the more slowly given heed to the things that are disputed among you, beloved, and to the foul and unholy sedition, alien and foreign to the elect of God, which a few headstrong and self-willed persons have kindled to such a degree of madness, that your venerable and famous name, worthy to be loved of all men, is greatly blasphemed.
1:2 For who that hath tarried among you hath not approved your most virtuous and firm faith, hath not admired your sober and seemly piety in Christ, hath not proclaimed your splendid disposition of hospitality, hath not deemed blessed your perfect and unerring knowledge?
1:3 For ye did all things without respect of persons, and walked in the laws of God, submitting yourselves to them that have the rule over you, and giving the due honour to the presbyters that are among you. Young men ye enjoined to think such things as be sober and grave. Women ye exhorted to perform all things in a blameless and honourable and pure conscience, loving dutifully their own husbands; and ye taught them to manage the affairs of their houses with gravity, keeping in the rule of obedience, being temperate in all things.
2:1 And ye were all humble, boasting of nothing, submitting yourselves rather than subjecting others, more gladly giving than receiving, content with the provision that God had given you; and attending diligently to his words, ye received them into your very hearts, and his sufferings were before your eyes.
2:2 Thus a deep and rich peace was given to all, and an insatiable longing for doing good, and a plentiful outpouring of the Holy Spirit was upon all of you.
2:3 And ye, being filled with a holy desire, with excellent zeal and pious confidence, stretched out your arms to Almighty God, beseeching him to be merciful unto you, if ye had in anything unwillingly done amiss.
2:4 Ye contended day and night for the whole brotherhood, that in his mercy and good pleasure the number of his elect might be saved.
2:5 Ye were simple and sincere without malice one toward another:
2:6 all sedition and all schism were abominable unto you. Ye grieved over the transgressions of your neighbour, judging his short-comings your own.
2:7 Ye repented not of any well-doing, being ready to every good work;
2:8 and being adorned with a very virtuous and holy habit of life, ye did all things in his fear. The commandments and ordinances of the Lord were written on the breadth of your heart.
3:1 All honour and enlargement was given to you, and then was fulfilled that which is written: — The beloved ate and drank, and was enlarged and grew fat and kicked.
3:2 From this came emulation and envy, strife and sedition, persecution and disorder, war and captivity.
3:3 Thus the mean men were lifted up against the honourable; those of no repute against those of good repute; the foolish against the wise; the young against the elder.
THAT THE SCRIPTURES SHOW THAT ENVY LEADS TO DEATH
3:4 Through this justice and peace are afar off, because each of you leaveth off the fear of God and is dimsighted in his faith, nor walketh in the laws of his commandments, nor behaveth as becometh a citizen of Christ; but each walketh according to his own evil lusts, having taken up unjust and unholy envy, by which also death entered into the world.
4:1 For it is thus written: And it came to pass after certain days, that Cain brought of the fruits of the ground a sacrifice to God, and Abel brought also of the firstlings of the sheep and of their fat.
4:2 And God had respect unto Abel and unto his gifts; but unto Cain and his gifts he had no regard.
4:3 And Cain was grieved greatly, and his countenance fell.
4:4 And God said unto Cain, Why art thou very sorrowful, and why hath thy countenance fallen? If thou hast rightly offered, but hast not rightly divided, hast thou not sinned?
4:5 Hold thy peace; thy gift returneth unto thee, and thou shalt be master over it.
4:6 And Cain said unto Abel, Let us pass over into the field. And it came to pass while they were in the field, Cain rose up against Abel his brother and slew him.
4:7 Ye see, brethren, jealousy and envy wrought the slaughter of a brother.
4:8 Through envy our father Jacob fled from the face of his brother Esau.
4:9 Envy caused Joseph to be persecuted unto death, and to enter into bondage.
4:10 Envy compelled Moses to flee from the face of Pharaoh, king of Egypt, because he heard his countryman say, Who made thee a judge or a decider over us? Wilt thou kill me, as thou didst the Egyptian yesterday?
4:11 Through envy Aaron and Miriam pitched their tents without the camp.
4:12 Envy brought down Dathan and Abiram alive to the grave, because they contended against Moses, the servant of God.
4:13 Through envy David suffered jealousy not only of foreigners, but was persecuted also by Saul, king of Israel.
THAT OUR OWN TIMES SHOW THAT ENVY LEADS TO DEATH
5:1 But let us pass from ancient examples, and come unto those who have in the times nearest to us, wrestled for the faith.
5:2 Let us take the noble examples of our own generation. Through jealousy and envy the greatest and most just pillars of the Church were persecuted, and came even unto death.
5:3 Let us place before our eyes the good Apostles.
5:4 Peter, through unjust envy, endured not one or two but many labours, and at last, having delivered his testimony, departed unto the place of glory due to him.
5:5 Through envy Paul, too, showed by example the prize that is given to patience:
5:6 seven times was he cast into chains; he was banished; he was stoned; having become a herald, both in the East and in the West, he obtained the noble renown due to his faith;
5:7 and having preached righteousness to the whole world, and having come to the extremity of the West, and having borne witness before rulers, he departed at length out of the world, and went to the holy place, having become the greatest example of patience.
6:1 To these men, who walked in holiness, there was gathered a great multitude of the elect, who, having suffered, through envy, many insults and tortures, became a most excellent example among us.
6:2 Through envy women were persecuted, even the Danaides and Dircae, who, after enduring dreadful and unholy insults, attained to the sure course of the faith; and they who were weak in body received a noble reward.
6:3 Envy hath estranged the minds of wives from their husbands, and changed the saying of our father Adam: This is now bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh.
6:4 Envy and strife have overthrown mighty cities and rooted out great nations.
7:1 These things we enjoin you, beloved, not only by way of admonition to you, but as putting ourselves also in mind. For we are in the same arena, and the same contest is imposed upon us.
THAT THE GRACE OF REPENTENCE IS PLEASING TO GOD, EXAMPLES GIVEN
7:2 Wherefore, let us leave empty and vain thoughts, and come unto the glorious and venerable rule of our holy calling.
7:3 Let us consider what is good and pleasing and acceptable before him who made us.
7:4 Let us look steadfastly to the blood of Christ, and see how precious in the sight of God is his blood, which having been poured out for our salvation, brought to the whole world the grace of repentance.
7:5 Let us go back to all generations, and learn that in every generation God hath granted a place for repentance to such as wished to return unto him.
7:6 Noah preached repentance, and as many as hearkened unto him were saved.
7:7 Jonah prophesied destruction to the Ninevites, and they, repenting of their sins, appeased God through prayer, and, though alien from God, obtained salvation.
8:1 The ministers of the grace of God spake by the Holy Spirit concerning repentance;
8:2 and the Lord of all himself spake concerning repentance with an oath. As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death of a sinner, as I desire his repentance; adding thereto an excellent saying:
8:3 Repent, O house of Israel, from your iniquity: Say unto the sons of my people, Though your sins reach from earth to heaven, and though they be redder than scarlet, and blacker than sackcloth, and ye turn unto me with your whole heart and say, My father, I will hearken unto you as to an holy people.
8:4 And in another place he speaketh in this wise: Wash, and be ye clean; take away the wickedness from your souls from before my eyes; cease from your evil deeds, learn to do well; seek judgment; deliver him that is oppressed; give judgment for the orphan, and justify the widow; and come and let us reason together, saith he; and though your sins be as purple, I will make them white as snow; and though they be as scarlet, I will make them white as wool. And if ye be willing and hearken unto me, ye shall eat the good things of the earth; but if ye be not willing, and hearken not, the sword shall devour you; for the mouth of the Lord hath said this.
8:5 Desiring, therefore, that all his beloved ones should partake of repentance, he hath confirmed it by his almighty will.
9:1 Wherefore, let us submit ourselves to his excellent and glorious will, and, becoming suppliants of his mercy and goodness, let us fall before him and betake ourselves to his mercies, having laid aside the vain toil and the strife and the jealousy that leadeth unto death.
THAT FAITH AND HOSPITALITY FORM PERFECT MINISTRY, EXAMPLES GIVEN
9:2 Let us look steadfastly at those that have ministered with perfectness to his excellent glory.
9:3 Let us take as example Enoch, who, having been found just by reason of obedience, was translated, and his death was not found.
9:4 Noah, having been found faithful, preached, by his ministry, regeneration unto the world, and by him God preserved the animals that entered with one consent into the ark.
10:1 Abraham, who was called the friend, was found faithful, inasmuch as he became obedient to the words of God.
10:2 This man, by obedience, went out from his land and his kinsfolk, and the house of his father, that, by leaving a scanty land and weak kinsfolk and a small house, he might inherit the promises of God.
10:3 For he saith unto him, Go out from thy land and thy kinsfolk, and the house of thy father, unto the land that I shall show thee, and I will make thee a great nation, and bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.
10:4 And again, when he separated from Lot, God said unto him, Lift up thine eyes, and look from the place where thou now art unto the north and unto the south, and unto the east and unto the sea; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever,
10:5 and I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: if any man can number the dust of the earth, thy seed also shall be numbered.
10:6 And again he saith, God brought forth Abraham, and said unto him: Look up to heaven and number the stars, if thou art able to number them, so shall thy seed be. And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.
10:7 Through faith and hospitality a son was given unto him in old age, and through obedience he offered him a sacrifice unto God on one of the mountains that he showed him.
11:1 By hospitality and goodness Lot was saved out of Sodom when the whole region round about was judged with fire and brimstone; the Lord making it manifest that he leaveth not them that hope upon him, but appointeth to punishment and torment them that turn in another way.
11:2 For his wife, who went out together with him, being of another mind, and not being in concord with him, was on that account placed as a sign, so that she became a pillar of salt even to this day; that it might be known to all that the double-minded, and they who doubt concerning the power of God, are for a judgment and a sign to all generations.
12:1 Through faith and hospitality Rahab the harlot was saved;
12:2 for when spies were sent unto Jericho by Jesus, the son of Nun, the king of the land knew that they had come to spy out his country, and sent out men to apprehend them that they might be taken and put to death.
12:3 But the hospitable Rahab having received them, hid them in an upper story under the stalks of flax.
12:4 When, therefore, the men from the king came upon her, and said, There came unto thee men who are spies of this our land; bring them out, for the king so commandeth it; she answered, The two men whom ye are seeking entered in unto me, but they departed quickly and are on their way; but she showed not the men unto them.
12:5 And she said unto the men, Of a surety I know that the Lord your God has given over this city unto you; for the fear and trembling of you hath fallen upon them that inhabit it; when, therefore, it hath happened unto you to take it, save me and the house of my father.
12:6 And they say unto her, So shall it be, even as thou hast spoken unto us. When, therefore, thou hast perceived that we are coming, thou shalt gather together all thy household under thy roof, and they shall be saved; but as many as shall be found without the house shall be destroyed.
12:7 And they proceeded further to give her a sign, that she should hang from her house scarlet, making it manifest beforehand that through the blood of the Lord there shall be redemption to all who believe and hope upon God.
12:8 Behold, beloved, how there was not only faith, but prophecy in the woman.
THAT HUMILITY IS COMMANDED
13:1 Let us therefore, brethren, be humble, laying aside all boasting and pride, and folly and wrath, and let us do that which is written; for the Holy Spirit saith, Let not the wise boast in his wisdom, nor the strong in his strength, nor the rich in his riches; but let him that boasteth make his boast in the Lord, even by seeking him and doing judgment and justice. Let us especially remember the words of our Lord Jesus Christ which he spake when teaching gentleness and long-suffering, for he spake thus:
13:2 Show mercy, that ye may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven unto you; as ye do, so shall it be done unto you; as ye give, so shall it be given unto you; as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye are kindly affectioned, so shall kindness be showed unto you; with whatsover measure ye measure, with the same shall it be measured unto you.
13:3 With this commandment and with these exhortations let us strengthen ourselves, that we may walk obedient to his holy words with all humility. For the Holy Scripture saith,
13:4 Upon whom shall I have respect but upon him that is meek and quiet, and that trembleth at my words?
THAT DISOBEDIENCE TO GOD LEADS TO DEATH
14:1 It is therefore meet and right, men and brethren, that we should be obedient unto God rather than follow them that in pride and disorderliness are leaders of detestable sedition.
14:2 For we shall incur no slight harm, but rather a great danger, if we rashly give ourselves up to the wills of men who launch out into strife and sedition so as to estrange us from that which is good.
14:3 Let us, therefore, show kindness towards them according to the mercy and sweetness of him that made us.
14:4 For it is written, The men of kindness shall inherit the land. The innocent shall be left upon it; but they that be lawless shall be destroyed out of it.
14:5 And again he saith, I saw the unrighteous man exalted on high and lifted up like the cedars of Lebanon. And I passed by, and behold he was not; I sought his place and found it not. Keep innocence, and regard righteousness; for there is a remnant that remaineth to the man of peace.
15:1 Let us therefore cleave unto them who live in peace and godliness, not unto them who hypocritically profess to desire peace.
15:2 For he saith in a certain place, This people honoureth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.
15:3 And again, With their mouth did they bless, but with their heart did they curse.
15:4 And again he saith, They loved him with their mouth, and with their tongue they lied against him. For their heart was not right with him, nor were they faithful in his covenant.
15:5 Let the crafty lips be put to silence, and may the Lord destroy all the deceitful lips, even the haughty tongue, they who said, Let us magnify our tongue, our lips are our own; who is master over us?
15:6 On account of the misery of the poor, and on account of the groaning of the needy, I will now arise, saith the Lord; I will set him in safety, I will deal confidently with him.
THAT CHRIST HUMBLED HIMSELF FOR US
16:1 For Christ belongeth unto them that are humble, not unto them that exalt themselves over his flock.
16:2 Our Lord Jesus Christ, who is the sceptre of the majesty of God, came not in the arrogance of boasting and pride, though he was able to do so; but in humility, even as the Holy Spirit spake concerning him.
16:3 For he saith, Lord, who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed? Like a child have we delivered our message before him; he is as a root in a thirsty land. There is no form nor glory in him, and we beheld him, and he had neither form nor comeliness, but his form was despised, lacking comeliness, beyond the form of the sons of men. He was a man stricken and in toil, knowing how to bear infirmity, for his face was turned away; it was dishonoured and held in no reputation.
16:4 He beareth our sins and suffereth pain on our account, and we esteemed him as one in toil, stricken and afflicted.
16:5 He was wounded for our sins, and for our transgressions did he suffer infirmity; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we were healed.
16:6 All we, like sheep, have gone astray, every one hath erred in his own way,
16:7 and the Lord hath given him up for our sins; and he, through affliction, openeth not his mouth. He was led like a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before its shearers is dumb, so openeth he not his mouth.
16:8 In his humiliation his judgment was taken away, and who shall declare his generation, for his life is taken from the earth;
16:9 for the iniquity of my people he hath come unto death.
16:10 And I will give the wicked in requital for his burial, and the rich for his death: for he did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: and the Lord willeth to purify him from stripes.
16:11 If ye make an offering for sin your soul shall prolong its days.
16:12 And the Lord willeth to take away from the travail of his soul, to show him light and to form him by knowledge, to justify the righteous man who serveth many well; and their sins he shall bear himself.
16:13 Wherefore he shall receive the inheritance of many, and shall divide the spoils of the strong, because his soul was delivered up unto death, and he was numbered among the transgressors,
16:14 and he bore the sins of many, and was given up for their sins.
16:15 And again he saith, I am a worm and no man — a reproach of men and despised of the people;
16:16 all they who saw me mocked me, they spake with their lips, they shook the head; he hoped in God, let him deliver him, let him save him, because he desireth him.
16:17 See, beloved, what is the example that hath been given unto us; for if the Lord so humbled himself, what shall we do who have through his mercy come under the yoke of his grace?
THAT THE SCRIPTURES ALSO GIVE EXAMPLES OF HUMILITY
17:1 Let us be imitators of them also who went about in goat-skins and sheep-skins, preaching the coming of Christ; we mean Elias and Elisaeus and Ezekiel the prophets, and beside them those who have obtained a good report.
17:2 Abraham obtained an exceeding good report, and was called the friend of God, and saith, looking steadfastly to the glory of God in humility, I am but earth and ashes.
17:3 And, moreover, concerning Job, it is thus written: Job was a just man and blameless, truthful, one that feared God, and abstained from all evil.
17:4 But he himself, accusing himself, saith, No one is pure from pollution, though his life be but for one day.
17:5 Moses was called faithful in all his house, and by his ministry God judged his people Israel by stripes and punishment. But he, though he was greatly glorified, spake not haughtily, but said, when the oracle was given him out of the bush, Who am I that thou sendest me? I am weak of voice and slow of tongue.
17:6 And again he saith, I am but as the smoke from a pot.
18:1 But what shall we say of David, who obtained a good report; unto whom God said, I have found a man after my own heart, David, the son of Jesse, with my everlasting mercy have I anointed him.
18:2 But he himself saith unto God, Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy great mercy, according to the multitude of thy compassion do away with mine iniquity;
18:3 wash me throughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I know my iniquity, and my sin is ever before me.
18:4 Against thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be justified in thy words, and overcome when thou art judged.
18:5 Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin did my mother conceive me.
18:6 Behold, thou hast loved truth; thou hast shown me the secret and hidden things of thy wisdom.
18:7 Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be clean. Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
18:8 Thou shalt make me to hear of joy and gladness; the bones that have been humiliated shall rejoice.
18:9 Turn away thy face from my sins, and blot out all my misdeeds.
18:10 Create in me a new heart, O Lord, and renew a right spirit within me.
18:11 Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
18:12 O give me again the joy of thy salvation, and establish me with thy guiding Spirit.
18:13 I will teach sinners thy ways; the ungodly shall be converted unto thee.
18:14 Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, thou God of my salvation;
18:15 my tongue shall rejoice in thy righteousness. O Lord, thou shalt open my mouth, and my lips shall show forth thy praise.
18:16 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would have given it; in whole burnt offerings thou wilt not delight.
18:17 The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart God will not despise.
19:1 The humility of men so many in number and so great, and who have obtained so good a report, and their subjection through obedience, hath made not only us but the generations before us better, namely, those who in fear and truth have received his oracles.
THAT GOD IS GENTLE AND OFFERS US THE GIFTS OF PEACE
19:2 Since, therefore, we have become the partakers in many great and glorious actions, let us finally return to that goal of peace that was given us from the beginning; let us look steadfastly to the Father and Creator of the whole world, and let us cleave to the glorious and excellent gifts and benefits of his peace.
19:3 Let us behold him in spirit, and look with the eyes of the soul to his long-suffering will. Let us consider how gentle he is toward all his creation.
20:1 The heavens, being put in motion by his appointment, are subject to him in peace;
20:2 night and day accomplish the course ordered by him, in nothing hindering one another.
20:3 The sun and the moon and the dances of the stars according to his appointment, in harmony and without any violation of order, roll on the courses appointed to them.
20:4 The fruitful earth bringeth forth in due season, according to his will, abundant nourishment for men and beasts; nothing doubting, nor changing in anything from the things that are decreed by him.
20:5 The unsearchable things of the abyss, and the secret ordinances of the lower parts of the earth, are held together by the same command.
20:6 The hollow of the vast sea, gathered together by his hand into its reservoirs, transgresseth not the bounds placed around it; but even as he hath appointed to it, so it doeth;
20:7 for he said, Thus far shalt thou come, and thy waves shall be broken within thee.
20:8 The ocean, impassable to men, and the worlds that are beyond it, are governed by the same commandments of their Master.
20:9 The seasons of spring and summer, autumn and winter, in peace succeed one another.
20:10 The fixed stations of the winds, each in their due time, perform their services without offence. The ever-flowing fountains, made for enjoyment and health, offer their breasts without fail to sustain the lives of men. Even the smallest of animals come together in peace and harmony.
20:11 All these things the great Maker and Master of all things hath appointed to be in peace and harmony, doing good unto all things, but more especially unto us, who have fled for refuge to his mercies, through our Lord Jesus Christ,
20:12 to whom be glory and majesty for ever and ever. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
THAT THOSE IN CHRIST ARE IN SPECIAL DANGER IF THEIR MIND IS NOT PURE
21:1 Beware, beloved, lest his many blessings come to be a condemnation to all of us, unless, walking worthily of him, we do what is honourable and well pleasing before him with oneness of mind.
21:2 For he saith in a certain place, The Spirit of the Lord is a candle, searching out the secret places of the heart.
21:3 Let us see how near he is at hand, and how none of our thoughts and reasonings do escape him.
21:4 It is right, therefore, that we should not desert from his will.
21:5 Let us offend against men who are foolish, and senseless, and puffed up in the pride of their own speech, rather than against God.
21:6 Let us have respect to our Lord Jesus Christ, whose blood was given for us. Let us reverence them that are over us. Let us honour our elders. Let us instruct the young in the discipline of the fear of God. Let us direct our wives to that which is good;
21:7 let them show forth the lovely habit of chastity, and exhibit the pure disposition of meekness. Let them make manifest by their conversation the government of their tongues; let them show love, not according to partiality, but equally to all that fear the Lord in holiness.
21:8 Let your children be partakers of the discipline of Christ; let them learn how much humility availeth before God; what power a pure love hath with God; how his fear is honourable and great, preserving all who, with a pure mind, walk in holiness before him.
21:9 For he is a searcher out of thoughts and counsels, his breath is in us, and when he willeth he will take it away.
41:3 They, therefore, who do anything contrary to that which is according to his will have for their punishment death.
41:4 Ye see, brethren, by as much as we have been thought worthy of greater knowledge, by so much the more are we exposed to danger.
THAT BISHOPS AND DEACONS ARE SENT FROM THE APOSTLES, SENT FROM CHRIST
42:1 The Apostles received for us the gospel from our Lord Jesus Christ; our Lord Jesus Christ received it from God.
42:2 Christ, therefore, was sent out from God, and the Apostles from Christ; and both these things were done in good order, according to the will of God.
42:3 They, therefore, having received the promises, having been fully persuaded by the resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ, and having been confirmed by
the word of God, with the full persuasion of the Holy Spirit, went forth preaching the good tidings that the kingdom of God was at hand.
42:4 Preaching, therefore, through the countries and cities, they appointed their firstfruits to be bishops and deacons over such as should believe, after
they had proved them in the Spirit.
42:5 And this they did in no new way, for in truth it had in long past time been written concerning bishops and deacons; for the scripture, in a certain
place, saith in this wise: I will establish their bishops in righteousness, and their deacons in faith.
43:1 And wherein is it wonderful, if they who, in Christ, were entrusted by God with this work appointed the aforesaid officers? since even the blessed Moses, the faithful servant in all his house, signified in the sacred books all the things that were commanded unto him, whom also the prophets have followed, bearing witness together to the laws which were appointed by him.
43:2 For he, when a strife arose concerning the priesthood, and when the tribes contended which of them should be adorned with that glorious name, commanded the twelve chiefs of the tribes to bring to him rods, each inscribed with the name of a tribe; and when he had taken them, he bound them together, and sealed them with the seals of the heads of the tribes, and laid them up on the table of God, in the tabernacle of the testimony.
43:3 And when he had closed the tabernacle, he sealed the keys, and likewise the rods,
43:4 and said unto them, Men and brethren, of whatever tribe the rod shall bud, this hath God chosen to be his priest, and to serve him.
43:5 And when morning was come, he called together all Israel, even six hundred thousand men, and showed unto the heads of the tribes the seals, and opened the tabernacle of the testimony and brought forth the rods, and the rod of Aaron was found not only to have budded, but also bearing fruit.
43:6 What think ye, beloved? did not Moses know beforehand that this was about to happen? Most assuredly did he know it. But, that there might be no disorder in Israel, he did thus that the name of the true and only God might be glorified, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
44:1 Our Apostles, too, by the instruction of our Lord Jesus Christ, knew that strife would arise concerning the dignity of a bishop;
44:2 and on this account, having received perfect foreknowledge, they appointed the above-mentioned as bishops and deacons: and then gave a rule of succession, in order that, when they had fallen asleep, other men, who had been approved, might succeed to their ministry.
THAT ONLY THE LAWLESS PERSECUTE THE JUST
44:3 Those who were thus appointed by them, or afterwards by other men of good repute, with the consent of the whole Church, who have blamelessly ministered to the flock of Christ with humility, quietly, and without illiberality, and who for a long time have obtained a good report from all, these, we think, have been unjustly deposed from the ministry.
44:4 For it will be no small sin in us if we depose from the office of bishop those who blamelessly and piously have made the offerings.
44:5 Happy are the presbyters who finished their course before, and died in mature age after they had borne fruit; for they do not fear lest any one should remove them from the place appointed for them.
44:6 For we see that ye have removed some men of honest conversation from the ministry, which had been blamelessly and honourably performed by them.
45:1 Ye are contentious, brethren, and are zealous concerning things that pertain not unto salvation.
45:2 Look diligently into the scriptures, which are the true sayings of the Holy Spirit.
45:3 Ye know how that nothing unjust or corrupt hath been written in them; for ye will not in them find the just expelled by holy men.
45:4 The just were persecuted, but it was by the lawless; they were thrown into prison, but it was by the unholy; they were stoned, but it was by sinners; they were slain, but it was by wicked men, even by those who had taken up an unjust envy against them.
45:5 They, therefore, when they suffered all these things, suffered them with a good report.
45:6 For what shall we say, brethren? was it by those that feared God that Daniel was cast into the den of lions?
45:7 Was it by those who practised the magnificent and glorious worship of the Most High that Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, were shut up in the fiery furnace? Let us not suppose that such was the case. Who, then, were the men who did these things? Abominable men and full of all wickedness were inflamed to such a degree of wrath that they cast into tortures those who, with a holy and a blameless purpose, served God, not knowing that the Most High is a champion and defender of those who with a pure conscience serve his most excellent name, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
45:8 But they, abiding steadfastly in their confidence, have inherited honour and glory, and have both been exalted and made beautiful by God, in the memory that is made of them world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
46:1 To such examples ought we also to cleave, brethren.
46:2 For it is written, Cleave unto them that are holy, for they that cleave unto them shall be made holy.
46:3 And again, in another place he saith, With the guiltless man thou shalt be guiltless, and with the excellent thou shalt be excellent, and with him that is crooked thou shalt be perverse.
46:4 Let us, therefore, cleave to the guiltless and the just, for they are the elect of God.
THAT PAUL WARNED OF DIVISIONS, WHICH ARE OPPOSED TO OUR CALLING IN ONE CHRIST
46:5 Why are there strivings, and anger, and division, and war among you?
46:6 Have we not one God and one Christ? Is not the Spirit of grace, which was poured out upon us, one? Is not our calling one in Christ?
46:7 Why do we tear apart and rend asunder the members of Christ, and make sedition against our body, and come to such a degree of madness that we forget we are members one of another? Remember the words of our Lord Jesus,
46:8 for he said, Woe unto that man; it were good for him if he had never been born, rather than that he should cause one of my elect to offend. It were better for him that a millstone were tied about him, and that he were cast into the sea, rather than that he should cause one of my little ones to offend.
46:9 This your schism has perverted many; hath cast many into despondency; many into doubt; all of us into grief, and, as yet, your sedition remaineth.
47:1 Take into your hands the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul.
47:2 What did he first write unto you in the beginning of his gospel?
47:3 Of a truth, he warned you spiritually, in a letter, concerning himself, and concerning Cephas and Apollos, because even then there were factions among you;
47:4 but the faction of that time brought less sin upon you; for ye inclined unto Apostles of good repute, and unto a man approved among them.
THAT ONE OR TWO PERSONS HAVE BROUGHT DISGRACE TO THE ANCIENT CHURCH OF CORINTH AND BEFORE THE GENTILES
47:5 But now consider who they are that have perverted you, and have diminished the glory of your famous brotherly love.
47:6 Disgraceful, brethren, yea, very disgraceful is it, and unworthy of the conduct which is in Christ, that it should be reported that the most firm and ancient Church of the Corinthians hath, on account of one or two persons, made sedition against its presbyters.
47:7 And this report came not only unto us, but also unto the Gentiles, who go not with us. So that ye heap blasphemies on the name of the Lord through your folly, and withal cause danger to yourselves.
THAT THE GATE OF RIGHTEOUSNESS IS OPEN FOR THOSE WHO WOULD TURN TOWARDS LIFE
48:1 Let us, therefore, remove this thing as quickly as possible, and let us fall before the feet of the Master, and beseech him with tears, that he will have mercy and be reconciled unto us, and restore us again to the grave and pure conversation of brotherly love.
48:2 For this is a gate of righteousness opened unto life, as it is written, Open unto me the gates of righteousness; I will go in unto them, and give thanks unto the Lord:
48:3 this is the gate of the Lord; the righteous shall enter thereby.
48:4 Now, since many gates have been opened, the gate of righteousness is that which is in Christ. Happy are all they that enter therein, and who keep their path straight in holiness and righteousness, quietly performing all their duties.
48:5 If a man be faithful, if he be mighty to expound knowledge, if he be wise in the interpretation of words, if he be pure in his deeds,
48:6 by so much the more ought he to be humble, and by as much as he seemeth to be greater, by so much the more ought he to seek the common advantage of all, and not of himself alone.
THAT LOVE WILL MAKE NOT SEDITION BUT WILL COVER A MULTITUDE OF SINS
49:1 Let him that hath the love which is in Christ keep the commandments of Christ.
49:2 Who can describe sufficiently the bond of the love of God?
49:3 Who is sufficient to speak as he ought of the excellence of its beauty?
49:4 The height to which love leads up is unspeakable.
49:5 Love joineth us unto God; love hideth a multitude of sins; love beareth all things; is long suffering in all things. In love there is nothing illiberal, nothing haughty. Love hath no schism; love maketh not sedition; love doth all things in harmony; in love all the elect of God have been made perfect. Without love nothing is acceptable unto God.
49:6 In love, our Master hath taken us to himself. Through the love that he hath for us, Jesus Christ our Lord hath given his blood for us, by the will of God, his flesh for our flesh, his soul for our soul.
50:1 Ye see, brethren, how great and wonderful a thing love is, and how there is no describing its perfection.
50:2 Who is sufficient to be found in it, except those whom God shall have deemed worthy? Let us pray, therefore, and ask from his mercy that we may live in love, without human partiality, blameless.
50:3 All the generations, from Adam even unto this day, are gone by; but they who have been made perfect in love according to the grace of God inhabit the abode of the pious, and shall be made manifest in the visitation of the kingdom of Christ.
50:4 For it is written, Enter into the secret chambers but a little while, until my anger and wrath be passed, and I will remember the good day, and will raise you up from your sepulchres.
50:5 Blessed are we, beloved, if we do the commandments of God in the harmony of love, so that through love our sins may be forgiven us.
50:6 For it is written, Blessed are they whose iniquities are forgiven, and whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not sin, and in whose mouth there is no guile.
50:7 This blessedness cometh unto them who are elect by God, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
THAT WE SHOULD ASK FOR PARDON, EXAMPLES GIVEN
51:1 Whatever errors, therefore, we have committed through the assaults of the adversary, let us for these ask pardon; and they who have been leaders of the sedition and division ought to consider the common ground of our hope.
51:2 For they who have their conversation in fear and love wish that they themselves, rather than their neighbours, should fall into suffering; and would rather that themselves should undergo condemnation, than that the harmony which hath been honourably and justly handed down to us should do so.
51:3 For it is better that a man should make confession concerning his sins, than that he should harden his heart, even as the heart of them was hardened who made sedition against Moses the servant of God; whose condemnation was manifest,
51:4 for they went down alive into hell, and death swallowed them up.
51:5 Pharaoh and his army, and all the leaders of Egypt, their chariots and their riders, through no other cause were sunk in the Red Sea, and perished there, than through the hardening of their foolish hearts, after that the signs and wonders happened in Egypt through the hand of Moses the servant of God.
52:1 The Lord of all things, brethren, is in need of naught; neither requireth he anything of any one, except to confess unto him.
52:2 For the elect David saith, I will confess unto the Lord, and that shall please him more than a young calf that putteth forth horns and hoofs. Let the poor behold and rejoice thereat.
52:3 And again he saith, Offer unto the Lord the sacrifice of praise: pay thy vows unto the Most High. And call upon me in the day of thy affliction, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
52:4 For the sacrifice unto God is a broken spirit.
53:1 Ye know, beloved, and know well, the sacred scriptures, and have looked into the oracles of God; call, therefore, these things to remembrance.
53:2 For, when Moses had gone up into the mount, and had tarried there forty days and forty nights in fasting and humiliation, the Lord said unto him, Moses, Moses, get thee down quickly hence, for thy people, whom thou broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have wrought iniquity. They have gone astray quickly out of the way that thou commandest them, and have made unto themselves molten images.
53:3 And the Lord said unto him, I have spoken unto thee once and twice, saying, I have beheld this people, and, lo, it is a stiffnecked people. Let me alone, that I may destroy them, and I will wipe out their name from under heaven, and make of thee a nation great and wonderful, and far more numerous than they.
53:4 And Moses said, Be it far from thee, O Lord. Forgive this people their sin, or wipe my name also out of the book of the living.
53:5 Oh, the great love! Oh, the unsurpassable perfection! The servant is bold towards the Lord: he asketh remission for the people, or demands otherwise that he himself should be destroyed together with them.
54:1 Who among you is noble? who is compassionate? who is filled with love?
54:2 Let him speak in this wise: If through me sedition and strife arise, I will depart, I will go away whithersoever ye will, and I will do that which is commanded by the majority, only let the flock of Christ be at peace together with the appointed presbyters.
54:3 He who doeth this shall gain for himself great glory in the Lord, and every place shall receive him; for the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof.
54:4 These things have they done who are citizens of the kingdom of God, which needeth not to be repented of, and these things will they yet do.
55:1 But, to bring forward examples from the Gentiles, also many kings and leaders, when a time of pestilence had arisen, being warned by oracles, gave themselves unto death, that they might deliver their citizens by their blood. Many went out from their own cities, that there might be no more sedition therein.
55:2 We know that many among us gave themselves up unto bonds, that they might deliver others. Many have given themselves up unto slavery, and, having received their own price, have therewith fed others.
55:3 Many women, waxing strong through the grace of God, have performed many manly deeds.
55:4 The blessed Judith, when the city was besieged, asked of the elders that she should be permitted to go forth into the camp of the aliens.
55:5 She therefore delivered herself unto danger, and went out through love of her country and of her people, who were besieged. And the Lord delivered Olophernes into the hands of a woman.
55:6 To no smaller danger did Esther, being perfect in faith, expose herself, that she might deliver the twelve tribes of Israel, who were about to perish. For by fasting and humiliation she besought the Master, who overlooketh all things, the God of Ages, who, seeing the humiliation of her soul, delivered the people for whose sake she put herself in jeopardy.
THAT CHASTISEMENT SAVES US FROM DEATH
56:1 Let us, therefore, pray for those who have fallen into any transgression, that moderation and humility may be given unto them, to the end that they should submit themselves, I do not say unto us, but unto the will of God; for so shall they obtain a fruitful and perfect remembrance and compassion before God and his saints.
56:2 Let us accept, brethren, that discipline at which no one needeth to be offended. The admonition which we make one toward another is good and useful exceedingly, for it joineth us unto the will of God.
56:3 For thus speaketh the holy word: The Lord hath chastened me with chastisements, but he hath not given me over unto death.
56:4 For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.
56:5 The righteous shall chastise me in pity and shall rebuke me, but let not the oil of sinners anoint mine head.
56:6 And again he saith: Blessed is the man whom the Lord hath rebuked; refuse not thou the admonition of the Almighty, for he maketh thee to grieve, and again he restoreth thee;
56:7 he hath smitten, and his hands have healed thee;
56:8 six times shall he deliver thee from calamity, and the seventh time evil shall not touch thee.
56:9 In the time of famine he shall deliver thee from death, in war he shall redeem thee from the hand of iron.
56:10 From the scourge of the tongue shall he hide thee, and thou shalt not be afraid when evils approach.
56:11 The unjust and the sinner shalt thou laugh to scorn;
56:12 and of the wild beasts thou shalt not be afraid, for the wild beasts shall be at peace with thee.
56:13 Then shalt thou know that thy house shall be at peace; the habitation of thy tabernacle shall not fail.
56:14 Thou shalt know that thy seed is abundant, thy children like all the herb of the field.
56:15 Thou shalt come to thy tomb like a ripe ear of corn reaped in due season, like the heap of a threshing-floor that is gathered at its proper time.
56:16 Ye see, beloved, that there is a protection for them that are chastened by the Master, for God chasteneth us because he is good, to the end that we should be admonished by his holy discipline.
THAT CHASTISEMENT UNTO REPENTENCE TO AVOID DEATH REQUIRES OBEDIENCE TO THE PRESBYTERS
57:1 Do ye, therefore, that have laid the foundation of the sedition submit yourselves to the presbyters, and be chastised to repentance, bending the knees of your hearts.
57:2 Learn to submit yourselves, laying aside the vain and haughty self-will of your tongues; for it is better that you should be small and approved in the flock of Christ, rather than that, seeming to be superior to others, ye should be cast out of his hope.
57:3 For thus saith the most excellent Wisdom, Behold, I will send upon you the language of my Spirit; I will teach you my word.
57:4 Since I called and ye did not hearken, and prolonged my words, and ye attended not, but made my counsels of none effect, and were not obedient to my reproofs, therefore I will laugh at your destruction, I will exult when desolation cometh upon you; when perturbation hath suddenly come upon you, and ruin is at hand like a whirlwind, when tribulation and oppression cometh upon you.
57:5 For the time shall come when ye shall call upon me, and I shall not hearken unto you; the wicked shall seek me, and shall not find me. They hated wisdom and chose not the fear of the Lord; they were not willing to attend to my counsels, they mocked at my rebukes.
57:6 Wherefore they shall eat the fruits of their own way; they shall be filled with their own unrighteousness.
57:7 For because they wronged the innocent they shall be slain, and judgment shall destroy the unrighteous; but he who hearkeneth unto me shall abide trusting in hope, and shall rest securely from all evil.
58:1 Let us, therefore, submit to his all-holy and glorious name, and escape the threats that have been before spoken by Wisdom against the disobedient, that we may abide trusting in the most holy name of his greatness.
58:2 Accept this our advice, and it will not be repented of by you. For as God liveth, and as the Lord Jesus Christ liveth, and the Holy Spirit, the confidence and hope of the elect, he who observeth in humility with earnest obedience, and repining not, the ordinances and commands given by God, he shall be reckoned and counted in the number of them that are saved by Jesus Christ, through whom is there to him glory, world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
THAT DISOBEDIENCE TO THIS LETTER LEADS TO THE DANGER THAT WE PRAY TO AVERT
59:1 But if some should be disobedient to the things spoken by him through us, let them know that they will entangle themselves in no small transgression and danger,
59:2 but that we shall be guiltless of this sin; and we will ask, making with earnestness our prayer and supplication, that the Maker of all things may keep uninjured in all the world the number of those that have been numbered as his elect, through his beloved Son, Jesus Christ, through whom he hath called us from darkness unto light, and from ignorance to a knowledge of the glory of his name.
59:3 That we may hope in thy name, which is the first of all things, open the eyes of our heart to know thee, who art alone highest among the highest, holy among the holy, who puttest down the haughtiness of the proud, who scatterest the reasonings of the Gentiles, who exaltest the humble on high, and lowerest the lofty, who makest rich and makest poor, who killest and makest to live, the only benefactor of spirits, and God of all flesh, who lookest into the abysses, who beholdest the works of men, who art the helper of those in danger, the saviour of those who have lost hope, who art the maker and bishop of every soul, who makest the nations to multiply upon earth, and out of all hast chosen those that love thee through Jesus Christ thy beloved Son, through whom thou hast taught us, hast sanctified us, hast honoured us.
59:4 We ask thee, Lord, to be our helper and assister, save those of us who are in affliction, have compassion on the humble, raise the fallen, appear to those who are in need, heal the sinners, convert those of thy people who are wandering from the way, feed the hungry, ransom our prisoners, raise up the sick, encourage the feeble-hearted, let all the nations know that thou art God alone and Jesus Christ thy Son, and that we are thy people and the sheep of thy pasture.
60:1 Thou hast made manifest the everlasting constitution of the world by the things that happen. Thou, Lord, who art faithful in all generations, hast founded the world; thou who art just in thy judgments, who art wonderful in strength and greatness; thou who art wise in creating and prudent in establishing the things that are made; thou that art good in the things that are seen and faithful among them that trust upon thee, merciful and compassionate, forgive us our transgressions and unrighteousnesses, our sins and our negligences.
60:2 Take not into account every sin of thy servants and handmaids, but purify us with the purification of thy truth, and make straight our steps in holiness and righteousness and singleness of heart, that we may so walk and do such things as are right and well pleasing before thee, and before our rulers.
60:3 Yea, Lord, cause thy face to appear to us in peace to our good, that we may be sheltered by thy mighty hand, and preserved from all sin by thy lofty arm, and deliver us from those that hate us unjustly.
60:4 Give unity and peace both to us and to all that dwell upon the earth, as thou gavest to our fathers when they called upon thee with faith and truth, so that we should become obedient to thy all-powerful and most excellent name, and to those who rule and govern us upon the earth.
61:1 Thou, Lord, hast given the authority of the kingdom to them through thy almighty and unspeakable power, so that we, knowing the estimation and honour given to them by thee, might submit ourselves to them, in no way opposing thy will; to whom give, O Lord, health, peace, concord, stability, so that they may discharge the rule given unto them by thee without offence;
61:2 for thou, heavenly Lord, everlasting King, givest to the sons of men glory and honour and authority over the things that are upon the earth. Do thou, Lord, direct their counsel according to what is good and pleasing before thee, that, fulfilling with peace and meekness and piety the authority given unto them by thee, they may obtain mercy from thee.
61:3 Thou who alone art able to do these and greater good things among us, to thee do we give thanks through the high priest and protector of our souls, Jesus Christ, through whom to thee be the glory and majesty, now and to all generations, world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the editor’s hand.]
THAT OUR ARGUMENT AND EXAMPLES SHOULD LEAD TO OBEDIENCE
62:1 Concerning the things that pertain to our religion, and the things that are most useful to a virtuous life, for those who are willing to live piously and righteously, we have sufficiently charged you, men and brethren.
62:2 For we have handled every argument concerning faith and repentance, and genuine love and temperance, and moderation and patience, reminding you that ye must by righteousness and truth and long-suffering approve yourselves with piety to almighty God, being of one mind, without malice, in love and peace with earnest obedience, even as our fathers, who were before mentioned, approved themselves with humility both with regard to God the Father and Creator and to all men.
62:3 And these things have we so much the more gladly put you in mind of, inasmuch as we knew plainly that we wrote unto men who are faithful and of high repute, and who have looked into the oracles of the instruction of God.
63:1 It is right, therefore, that those who have attended to so great and so many examples should submit their necks, and fill the place of obedience, so that being at peace from the vain sedition we may attain, without any blame, to the end set before us in truth.
63:2 For joy and rejoicing will ye afford us if, becoming obedient to the things that have been written by us, ye put an end, by the suggestion of the Holy Spirit, to the unlawful wrath of your discord, according to the supplication which we have made concerning peace and unity in this epistle.
63:3 But we have also sent unto you men who are faithful and prudent, who from youth up to old age have behaved blamelessly among us, who also will be witnesses between yourselves and us;
63:4 and this we have done that ye may know that our whole thought has been and is this, that ye may speedily be at peace among yourselves.
THAT GOD MAY GIVE EVERY SOUL THAT CALLS ON HIM VIRTUE
64:1 Finally, my God, who overlooketh all things, who is the Master of spirits and Lord of all flesh, who hath chosen our Lord Jesus Christ, and us through him to be a peculiar people, give unto every soul that is called after his glorious and holy name, faith, fear, peace, patience, long-suffering, continence, purity, sobriety, to the well-pleasing of his name, through our high priest and protector, Jesus Christ, through whom be ascribed unto him glory and greatness, strength and honour, both now and world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the editor’s hand.]
65:1 See that ye send back quickly unto us in peace and with joy Claudius Ephebus and Valerius Bito, together also with Fortunatus, who were sent unto you from us, that they may the more quickly bring us news of your peace and order, which we pray for and desire, so that we may the sooner have joy concerning your good order.
65:2 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you, and with all who everywhere are called of God through him, to whom through him be glory, honour, might, majesty, and eternal dominion, world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the editor’s hand.]
(Belonging to the Text of the Interpolation)
In Praise of the Fear of the Lord
22:1 All these things doth the faith which is in Christ assure. For he himself, through the Holy Spirit, thus calleth unto us: [Possibly, the hand of the editor.] Come, ye children, hearken unto me, I will teach you the fear of the Lord.
22:2 What man is he that wisheth for life and would fain see good days?
22:3 Keep thy tongue from evil, and thy lips that they speak no guile.
22:4 Turn away from evil and do good;
22:5 seek peace and pursue it.
22:6 The eyes of the Lord are over the just, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against them that do evil, to destroy their memorial out of the land.
22:7 The righteous cried, and the Lord heard him, and delivered him out of all his troubles.
22:8 Many are the afflictions of the sinner, but they that hope in the Lord, mercy shall compass them round about.
To Avoid Doubt of the Coming Resurrection
23:1 The Father whose mercies are over all things, who loveth to do good, hath bowels of compassion for them that fear him, and with gentleness and kindness bestoweth his favour upon them that come unto him with a pure mind.
23:2 Wherefore let us not be double-minded, nor let our hearts form vain imaginations concerning his excellent and glorious gifts.
23:3 Let not that scripture be applicable unto us which saith, Wretched are the double-minded, even they that doubt in their heart and say, We have heard these things in the time of our fathers; and lo, we have grown old, and none of them hath happened unto us.
23:4 O foolish ones! compare yourselves to a tree. Take, for example, the vine: first it sheddeth its leaves, then cometh the bud, then the leaf, then the flower, after that the unripe grape, then the ripe grape. See how in a little time the fruit of the tree attaineth to maturity.
23:5 Of a truth, quickly and suddenly shall his will be fulfilled; the scripture also bearing witness that he shall come quickly, and shall not tarry; and the Lord shall come suddenly into his temple, even the holy one, whom ye expect.
The Resurrection Illustrated
24:1 Let us consider, beloved, how the Master showeth to us continually the resurrection that is about to be, of which he hath made our Lord Jesus Christ the first fruit, having raised him from the dead. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
24:2 Let us look, beloved, at the resurrection that is ever taking place.
24:3 Day and night show to us the resurrection; the night is lulled to rest, the day ariseth; the day departeth, the night cometh on.
24:4 Let us consider the fruits, in what way a grain of corn is sown.
24:5 The sower goeth forth and casteth it into the ground, and when the seeds are cast into the ground, they that fell into the ground dry and naked are dissolved; then after their dissolution, the mighty power of the providence of the Lord raiseth them up, and from one seed many grow up and bring forth fruits.
25:1 Let us consider the wonderful sign that happeneth in the region of the east, even about Arabia.
25:2 There is a bird which is called the phoenix. This, being the only one of its kind, liveth for five hundred years. And when the time of its death draweth near, it maketh for itself a nest of frankincense and myrrh and the other perfumes, into which, when its time is fulfilled, it entereth, and then dieth.
25:3 But as its flesh rotteth, a certain worm is produced, which being nourished by the moisture of the dead animal, putteth forth feathers. Then, when it hath become strong, it taketh the nest wherein are the bones of its ancestor, and bearing them, it flieth from the region of Arabia to that of Egypt, to the city which is called Heliopolis;
25:4 there, in day-time, in the sight of all, it flieth up, and placeth them upon the altar of the sun, and having done so, returneth back.
25:5 The priests, therefore, look into the registers of the times, and find that it has come at the completion of the five-hundredth year.
26:1 Shall we then think it great and wonderful, if the Maker of all things shall make a resurrection of those who, in the confidence of a good faith, have piously seized him, when even by means of a bird he showeth the greatness of his promises?
26:2 For he saith in a certain place, And thou shalt raise me up, and I will give thanks unto thee; and again: I slumbered and slept; I arose up because thou art with me.
26:3 And again Job saith, Thou shalt raise up this my flesh, which hath suffered all these things.
27:1 In this hope, therefore, let our souls be bound unto him who is faithful in his promises and just in his judgments.
27:2 He who hath commanded men not to lie, much more shall he not lie; for nothing is impossible with God, except to lie.
27:3 Let our faith, therefore, in him be kindled afresh within us, and let us consider that all things are near unto him.
Be Ready for Judgment Before the Maker of All Things
27:4 By the word of his majesty did he constitute all things, and by a word he is able to destroy them.
27:5 Who shall say unto him, What hast thou done? or who shall resist the might of his strength? He will do all things when he willeth and as he willeth, and none of the things decreed by him shall pass away.
27:6 All things are before him, and nothing hath escaped his counsel:
27:7 seeing that the heavens declare the glory of God, and the firmament showeth the work of his hands: day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night proclaimeth knowledge; and there is no speech nor language where their voices are not heard.
28:1 Since, therefore, all things are seen and heard of him, let us fear him and abandon the filthy desires for evil deeds, that we may be sheltered by his mercy from the judgments to come.
28:2 For whither can any of us fly from his mighty hand, and what world shall receive any of them that desert from him?
28:3 For the scripture saith in a certain place, Whither shall I go, and where shall I conceal myself from thy face? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there; if I depart into the uttermost parts of the earth, there is thy right hand; if I shall make my bed in the abyss, there is thy Spirit.
28:4 Whither then shall we depart, and where shall we fly from him that embraceth all things?
Israel the Lord’s Chosen People
29:1 Let us, therefore, approach him with holiness of spirit, lifting unto him pure and undefiled hands; loving the kind and compassionate Father who hath made us a part of his elect.
29:2 For it is thus written, When The Most High divided the nations, when he dispersed the sons of Adam, he settled the boundaries of the nations according to the number of the angels of God. The portion of the Lord was his people Jacob.
29:3 Israel was the measurement of his inheritance. And in another place he saith, Behold the Lord taketh to himself a nation from the midst of the nations, even as a man taketh the firstfruits of his threshingfloor; and there shall go forth from that nation the Holy of Holies.
30:1 Since, therefore, we are a portion of the Holy One, let us do all such things as pertain unto holiness, avoiding evil-speaking, foul and impure embraces, drunkenness, disorderliness, abominable desires, detestable adultery, execrable pride;
30:2 for God, he saith, resisteth the proud, but giveth grace unto the humble.
That God Desires Deeds, Not Words
30:3 Let us cleave, therefore, to them to whom grace has been given from God. Let us clothe ourselves with concord, being humble, temperate, keeping ourselves far from all whispering and evil speaking, justified by our deeds, and not by our words.
30:4 For he saith, He who saith many things shall, in return, hear many things. Doth he that is eloquent think himself to be just?
30:5 — doth he that is born of woman and liveth but for a short time think himself to be blessed? Be not abundant in speech.
30:6 Let our praise be in God, and not for ourselves, for God hateth the self-praisers.
30:7 Let the testimony of right actions be given us from others, even as it was given to our fathers who were just.
30:8 Audacity, self-will, and boldness belong to them who are accursed of God; but moderation, humility, and meekness, to them that are blessed of God.
The Righteousness of Our Fathers Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob Reckoned Nothing Next to the Gifts God Has Given
31:1 Let us cleave, therefore, to his blessing, and let us see what are the ways of blessing. Let us consult the records of the things that happened from the beginning.
31:2 On what account was our father Abraham blessed? Was it not that he wrought righteousness and truth through faith?
31:3 Isaac, with confidence, knowing the future, willingly became a sacrifice.
31:4 Jacob, with humility, flying from his brother, went out from his own land and journeyed unto Laban and served as a slave, and there were given unto him the twelve tribes of Israel.
32:1 If any one will consider these things with sincerity and one by one, he will recognize the magnificence of the gifts that were given by him.
32:2 For from Jacob came the priests and all the Levites that serve the altar of God. From him came our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh; [Possibly, the hand of the editor.] from him came the kings and rulers and governors of the tribe of Judah; and the remainder of his tribes are of no small glory, since God hath promised, Thy seed shall be as the stars of heaven.
32:3 All these, therefore, have been glorified and magnified, not through themselves or through their works, or through the righteousness that they have done, but through his will.
32:4 And we who through his will have been called in Christ Jesus are justified, not by ourselves, or through our wisdom or understanding or godliness, or the works that we have done in holiness of heart, but by faith, by which all men from the beginning have been justified by Almighty God, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
In Praise of Good Works in the Face of Gifts Freely Given by God
33:1 What, then, shall we do, brethren? Shall we cease from well-doing, and abandon charity? May the Master never allow that this should happen to us! but let us rather with diligence and zeal hasten to fulfill every good work.
33:2 For the Maker and Lord of all things rejoiceth in his works.
33:3 By his supreme power he founded the heavens, and by his incomprehensible understanding he ordered them. The earth he separated from the water that surrounded it, and fixed it on the firm foundation of his own will. The animals which inhabit therein he commanded to be by his ordinance. Having made beforehand the sea and the animals that are therein, he shut them in by his own power.
33:4 Man, the most excellent of all animals, infinite in faculty, he moulded with his holy and faultless hands, in the impress of his likeness.
33:5 For thus saith God: Let us make man in our own image, and after our own likeness. And God made man. Male and female made he them.
33:6 When, therefore, he had finished all things, he praised and blessed them, and said, Be fruitful, and multiply.
33:7 Let us see, therefore, how all the just have been adorned with good works. Yea, the Lord himself rejoiced when he had adorned himself with his works.
33:8 Having, therefore, this example, let us come in without shrinking to his will; let us work with all our strength the work of righteousness.
34:1 The good workman receiveth boldly the bread of his labour, but the slothful and remiss looketh not his employer in the face.
34:2 It is therefore right that we should be zealous in well-doing, for from Him are all things;
34:3 for he telleth us beforehand, Behold the Lord cometh, and his reward is before his face, to give to every one according to his work.
34:4 He exhorteth us, therefore, with this reward in view, to strive with our whole heart not to be slothful or remiss towards every good work.
To Submit Ourselves to the Will of God and Cherish His Gifts
34:5 Let our glorying and our confidence be in him; let us submit ourselves to his will; let us consider the whole multitude of his angels, how they stand by and serve his will.
34:6 For the scripture saith, Ten thousand times ten thousand stood beside him, and thousands of thousands served him; and they cried, Holy, holy, holy Lord of Sabaoth! all creation is full of his glory.
34:7 And let us, being gathered together in harmony and a good conscience, cry earnestly, as it were with one mouth, unto him, that we may become partakers of his great and glorious promises;
34:8 for he saith, Eye hath not seen, and ear hath not heard, neither hath there entered into the heart of man, what things he hath prepared for them that wait for him.
35:1 Behold, beloved, how blessed and wonderful are the gifts of God
35:2 — life in immortality, cheerfulness in righteousness, truth in liberty, faith in confidence, temperance in sanctification; and all these things have already come within our cognizance.
35:3 What therefore are the things that are prepared for them that abide in patience? The Maker and Father of the worlds, the all-holy one, he knoweth how many and how beautiful they are.
35:4 Let us, therefore, strive to be found in the number of them that await him, that we may partake of the promised gifts.
That Sinners Are Hateful to God
35:5 And how will this be, beloved? If our mind be established by faith toward God; if we seek out what is pleasant and acceptable in his sight; if we perform such things as harmonize with his blameless will, and follow in the way of truth, casting from us all unrighteousness and lawlessness, covetousness, strife, malice and fraud, whispering and evil speaking, hatred of God, pride and insolence, vainglory and churlishness.
35:6 For they who do these things are hateful unto God, and not only they who do them, but also they who have pleasure in them that do them.
35:7 For the scripture saith: But unto the sinner God hath said, Why dost thou speak of my ordinances, and takest my covenant in thy mouth:
35:8 but thou hast hated instruction and hast cast my words behind thee. When thou sawest a thief thou wentest with him, and hast cast in thy portion with the adulterers; thy mouth hath abounded with evil, and thy tongue hath contrived deceit. Thou satest and spakest against thy brother, and hast slandered the son of thy mother.
35:9 This hast thou done, and I kept silence. Thou thoughtest, O wicked one, that I was like unto thee;
35:10 but I will convict thee, and set thyself before thee.
35:11 Consider this, ye who forget God, lest he seize you as a lion, and there be none to save you.
The Way of the Salvation of God
35:12 The sacrifice of praise shall honour me; and there is the way by which I will show him the salvation of God.
36:1 This is the way, beloved, in which we found our salvation; even Jesus Christ, the high priest of our oblations, the champion and defender of our weakness. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
36:2 Through him we look steadfastly to the heights of the heavens; through him we behold, as in a glass, the immaculate and lofty countenance of God the Father; through him the eyes of our heart were opened; through him our foolish and darkened understanding springeth up again to his marvellous light; through him the Lord hath willed us to taste of immortal knowledge; who, being the brightness of his glory, is so far better than the angels, as he hath, by inheritance, obtained a more excellent name than they.
36:3 For it is thus written: Who maketh his angels spirits, his ministers a flame of fire.
That God Will Join War on the Enemies of His Children
36:4 But of his Son the Lord hath thus said: Thou art my Son, to-day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the world for thy possession.
36:5 And, again, he saith unto him: Sit on my right hand until I make thy enemies thy footstool.
36:6 Who then are the enemies? Even the wicked, and they who resist the will of God.
37:1 Let us, therefore, men and brethren, carry on our warfare with all earnestness in his faultless ordinances.
That Each Has Their Part to Play
37:2 Let us consider those who fight under our rulers, how orderly and obediently and submissively they perform what is commanded them.
37:3 All are not prefects, or commanders of thousands, or commanders of hundreds, or commanders of fifties, or such-like; but each in his own rank performeth what has been ordered by the king or the commanders.
37:4 The great cannot exist without the small, nor the small without the great. There is a certain mixture in all things, and from thence ariseth their use.
37:5 Let us take, for example, our body; the head is nothing without the feet, nor the feet without the head. The smallest members of the body are necessary and useful to the whole body, and all unite and work with harmonious obedience for the preservation of the whole body.
38:1 Let, therefore, our whole body be saved in Christ Jesus [possibly, the hand of the editor], and let each be subject to his neighbour, according to the gift which he hath received.
38:2 Let not the strong man despise the weak, and let the weak pay regard to the strong. Let him that is rich minister to him that is poor. Let him that is poor praise God that he hath given unto him one by whom his want may be supplied. Let the wise show his wisdom, not in words, but in good deeds; let him that is humble not bear witness to himself, but leave another to bear witness to him. Let him that is pure in the flesh boast not of it, knowing that it is another that giveth him the power of continence.
That We Should Give Thanks to the Lord
38:3 Let us consider, brethren, of what matter we are made, of what sort and who we are that have come into the world, as it were out of the tomb and darkness. He that made and fashioned us hath brought us into this world, having prepared beforehand his benefactions, even before we were born.
38:4 Having, therefore, all these things from him, we ought in all respects to give thanks unto him, to whom be glory world without end. Amen. [Possibly, the hand of the editor.]
The Foolish Mock Our Thankgsiving to the Lord
39:1 The senseless and unwise, the foolish and unruly, make a mock of us, wishing to exalt themselves in their own imagination.
39:2 For what can a mortal do? or what strength hath he that is born of earth?
39:3 For it is written, There was no form before my eyes, only I heard a breath and a voice.
39:4 For what? shall a mortal be pure before the Lord? or is a man blameless from his works? seeing that he putteth no trust in his servants, and beholdeth somewhat of iniquity in his angels;
39:5 yea, the heaven is not pure in his sight. Away, ye who dwell in houses of clay, of whom are we also even of the same clay. He hath smitten them even as it were a moth, and in a single day they are no more. Because they could not help themselves they perished:
39:6 he blew among them, and they died, because they had no wisdom.
39:7 Call, now, and see if there is any one that will obey thee, if thou shalt behold any of the holy angels. For anger destroyeth the fool, and envy putteth him to death that is gone out of the way.
39:8 I have beheld the foolish casting forth roots, but straightway his habitation was eaten up.
39:9 Let his sons be far from safety, let them be mocked at the gates of their inferiors, and there shall be none to deliver them. For that which had been prepared for them the just shall eat, and they shall not be delivered out of their troubles.
That the Lord Has Commanded Offerings of Thanksgiving at Fixed Times and Seasons
40:1 Since, therefore, these things have been made manifest before unto us, and since we have looked into the depths of the divine knowledge, we ought to do everything in order, whatsoever the Lord hath commanded us to do at the appointed seasons, and to perform the offerings and liturgies.
40:2 These he hath not commanded to be done at random or in disorder, but at fixed times and seasons.
40:3 But when and by whom he wisheth them to be fulfilled he himself hath decided by his supreme will; that all things, being done piously, according to his good pleasure, might be acceptable to his will.
40:4 They, therefore, who at the appointed seasons make their offerings are acceptable and blessed; for while following the laws of the Master they do not completely sin.
40:5 For to the High Priest were assigned special services, and to the priests a special place hath been appointed; and on the Levites special duties are imposed. But he that is a layman is bound by the ordinances of laymen.
41:1 Let each of you, brethren, in his own order, give thanks unto God, continuing in a good conscience, not transgressing the fixed rule of his ministry, with all gravity.
41:2 Not in every place, brethren, are sacrifices offered continually, either in answer to prayer, or concerning sin and neglect, but in Jerusalem only; and even there the offering is not made in every place, but before the temple in the court of the altar, after that which is offered has been diligently examined by the high priest and the appointed ministers.
(Presumably, the source continues.)
As I said, I will write more about this, but as of now I’m opening the idea here up to comments.