Evangelium Quadraginta Dierum: The Forty-day Mission of Christ—The Forgotten Heritage
Hugh W. Nibley
Reprinted by permission from Mormonism and Early Christianity, vol. 4 of The Collected Works of Hugh W. Nibley (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book and FARMS, 1987), 10—44.
While those who ponder the historical relevance of Acts 1:3 concern themselves almost exclusively with the evidence of the canonical writings, we now possess in the early apocryphal texts, both those recently discovered and those being reappraised in the light of new findings, an impressive body of evidence that has direct bearing on the problem of the historicity of the 40 days. It is the purpose of the present study to indicate briefly the nature of this evidence.
The theme of the 40 days has always been a disturbing one. For many scholars the possibility of such an event as that indicated in Acts 1:3 is not even to be discussed,1 for others such things are tolerable only as myths,2 while some are frank enough to admit that they simply don’t like the story.3 It is astonishing how many writers on the resurrection pass by the 40-day interval in studied silence,4 and indeed churchmen since Clement and Origen have employed all the arts of rhetoric and logic to evade its crass literalism.5 It is claimed that the story is insufficiently attested,6 or that the language7 or the thought-forms of the ancients elude us,8 or that the writers themselves are confused—e.g., in maintaining that “flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom” while asserting “the very opposite” in the doctrine of the resurrection.9 We are often reminded today that we are here dealing with prefigured types and images that need not be taken literally, 40 itself being a well-known symbolic number in sacred writings.10
But on the other hand, Luke may well have chosen the round number precisely because everybody knew of like 40-day periods of spiritual discipline and preparation;11 ancient thought-forms can be checked by the words and behavior of an Ignatius, willing to give his life to show how he interpreted the 40 days;12 and contradictions may well have their source in the minds of readers rather than writers—the “flesh and blood” issue, in fact, seems to be of our own making.13
Yet even those who accept the reality of the 40-day ministry are at a loss to explain it. Plainly the key is missing when serious commentators can describe the event as a mere “example of condescension and friendship” by one who had more urgent business elsewhere,14 or as a magnanimous recompense for the 40 hours of anguish occasioned by the Lord’s absence in the tomb,15 or as a long lingering farewell,16 or as “forty-odd days of frustration and inaction,”17 or as a strategic and psychological holding back of forces for a more effective charge on the enemy.18 It is often claimed that a full 40 days were necessary to demonstrate the reality of resurrected flesh,19 and if that seems odd (40 seconds were sufficient to convince Thomas) we are told that the Apostles had to over-learn their lesson in order to persuade an over-skeptical world.20 The 40 days are also described as a weaning process, to draw the disciples away from undue attachment to each other,21 or to the person of the Lord—lest they be too upset by his departure,22 or, strangest of all, to wean their minds away from corporeal concepts to the pure realms of disembodied intellect.23 In short, if anything like “The Great Forty Days” occurred, the enormous portent of it, which Luke puts at the very root of the Christian faith, quite escapes the commentators, who view it as an odd and rather “interesting” interlude,24 but admit that in the end we do not know what Christ did or said during the 40 days but can only conjecture.25
The argument most confidently put forth today for the post-resurrectional activity of Jesus is the behavior of the apostles, who before the resurrection were by all accounts unready not only to preach but even to hear “the things of the kingdom,” and yet presently went forth into the world fully laden.26 But is it not remarkable that nothing has come down to us from that wonderful time when the church is supposed to have received all its knowledge and training? Why have we only the opening words of the Lord’s discourse, declaring how badly the disciples needed the instruction that followed (Luke 24:25—27), of which nothing is preserved in the canon (v. 45)? Those early apocryphal writings which purport to tell the rest of the story may not be ignored by the serious student. These writings take a position of conscious resistance to the rising tide of skepticism regarding the reality of the resurrection.27 Luke had made it perfectly clear at the outset of his history that he was dealing with solid reality; like his other prologue, the story of Zacharias, this one is a forthright factual account that leaves no margin for speculation. Unlike the related themes of the resurrection and ascension, the 40 days has had no appeal to artists and orators, for it offers the imagination nothing to play with—it is not a subject for discussion but an end of discussion, not something to be proven but the proof itself, the unshakable cornerstone of the edifice Luke is about to construct.28 In this spirit the bulk of the early apocryphal writings make of the 40 days the foundation of their own teachings, and when Ignatius wants an unanswerable argument for the resurrection of the flesh, he appeals not only to the 40 days but to a non-canonical witness for them.29
It is significant that the favorite theme of the early apocrypha happens to be “the teachings of the Lord to the Apostles after the Resurrection,” often directly indicated as such,30 and often indirectly.31 This has often been interpreted as both a bid for prestige by the various authors and a claim to immunity from criticism.32 But the tradition could only offer such security if it enjoyed unquestioned acceptance in the church, and if we examine the actual teachings purveyed under the frank of the 40 days it soon becomes apparent that they were never designed to be popular, but represent old and very unpopular doctrines in retreat. Even among the first disciples belief in a literal resurrection was only enforced after long resistance,33 and it proved an horrendum to the churchmen ever after.34 But the most conspicuous teaching of all in the 40-day repertoire is a picture of the future which cannot be surpassed for unrelieved pessimism and gloom. Here surely is no product of wishful thinking or sly invention.
In a standard 40-day situation the apostles, deeply worried, ask the Lord what lies ahead for them and their work,35 and receive an appalling reply: They are to be rejected by all men and take their violent exit from the world,36 what time corrupters and false shepherds will appear within the church, where a growing faction of the worldly-minded will soon overcome and annihilate what remains of the faithful saints.37 The sheep turn into wolves as the Wintertime of the just settles down;38 the lights go out and the long age of darkness begins under the rule of the Cosmoplanes, disastrously usurping the authority of Christ.39 There is indeed a promise of comfort and joy, but it is all on the other side and in the distant return of the Lord.40 The apostles protest, as we do today: Is this a time for speaking of death and disaster?41 Can all that has transpired be but for the salvation of a few and the condemnation of many? But Jesus remains unyielding: that is not for us to decide or to question.42 The grim picture is confirmed by the Apostolic Fathers, who are convinced that they are beholding the fulfillment of these very prophecies, and are driven by a tragic sense of urgency and finality.43 After them the early patristic writers accept the pattern with heavy reluctance,44 and only the surprising and unexpected victory of the church in the fourth century enable Eusebius’s generation to turn the tables and discredit the whole pessimistic tradition.45
Nobody would willingly invent such a depressing message or accept it without the highest credentials. The picture, though full of familiar elements from the earlier Jewish apocalypses, is not derived from them. The actors are not prophets and kings of other ages but the very men sitting before the Master; the predictions are not for distant ages but limited to a scope of two generations;46 and what is described is not the fate of the world or even of Israel, nor titanic upheavals of nature, but the undoing of the Christian society by perverters and corrupters in its midst.47 The more grandiose imagery is not missing, but it is kept distinct from the story of the church, which is concrete, specific, and utterly gloomy.48
All the 40-day teaching is described as very secret, delivered to a closed cult group.49 There is no desire to intrigue and mystify, however, as with the Gnostics, but rather the clearly stated policy that knowledge should be given always but only to those who ask for it,50 with the corollary that the higher and holier a teaching the more carefully it should be guarded.51 As “the last and highest revelation,” the teaching of the 40 days was top secret, and has not come down to us.52 Since Irenaeus, churchmen have strenuously denied that there ever was a secret teaching or that anything really important has ever been lost.53 To profess otherwise would be perilously close to an admission of bankruptcy; yet Christian scholars do concede that the Apostles had information that we do not have,54 allow the existence of an unwritten Apostolic tradition in the church,55 and grant that there was a policy of secrecy in the early church—though insisting that it began with the catechetical schools.56 The catechists, however, appeal to a much earlier tradition of secrecy,57 and when the Fathers attempt to reproduce the unwritten tradition which they claim for the church they have nothing to offer but the commonplaces of the schools.58 Plainly things have been lost.
After the alarming gap in the record following the fall of Jerusalem, the curtain rises on a second-century church seething with conflict and split into factions hotly debating the reality of the Resurrection.59 The Gnostic exploited both the ignorance and the knowledge of the time—the knowledge that the answers to the great questions of existence were known and treasured by “the Elders” of another day, and the ignorance of just what that knowledge was. The oldest definition of the Gnosis specifies that it was the knowledge imparted secretly by the Lord to the Apostles after the Resurrection. The Gnostics claimed to have that very knowledge,60 and their tremendous initial success shows how hungry the Christian world was for it—the “main church,” in fact, had to invent a counter-Gnosis of its own to meet the threat and ended up with a compromise that has left a Gnostic stamp on Christian thinking ever since.61 The Gnostics did not invent the 40-day situation, as has been claimed, for they were the last people in the world to imagine a return of the Savior in the flesh, and any tinkering would have been readily exposed in a quarreling and hyper-critical society; but they did exploit it because it was there and they had to: at a time when everything else was being questioned, it is one of the few things that is never challenged.62
The apocryphal teachings of the 40 days taken together comprise an imposing doctrinal edifice, totally unlike the patchwork systems of the Gnostics. It begins with the most natural question to ask anyone returning to earth after being away: Where did you go and what did you see? The Lord’s discourse in reply recalls the journeys to worlds above and below recounted by the prophets and patriarchs of the old Jewish apocrypha.63 And yet the picture is quite different: They go as observers and report what they have seen, while he goes as a missionary and reports what he has done. The central theme is the Descensus, a mission to the spirits below closely resembling the Lord’s earthly calling.64 He brings the kerygma to all, and those who accept it follow him out of the depths into the light,65 receive baptism,66 and hence mount up by degrees to realms of glory, for as in the Jewish apocrypha the picture of other worlds is not a simple one.67 This mounting up is depicted as the return of the spirit to its heavenly home, where it existed in glory before coming to earth.68 This is not the Gnostic idea of preexistence, however, for the soul is not sent down as punishment nor imprisoned in the flesh, nor does it fly directly to God after its release from physical confinement;69 rather it is sent to be tried and tested in “the blessed vessel” of the flesh whose immortality is guaranteed by the resurrection.70
There is a strong emphasis in early Christian literature on the doctrine of the Two Ways, depicting life as a time of probation, a constant confrontation with good and evil and the obligation to choose between them.71 This is conceived as part of a plan laid down “in the presence of the first angels” at the creation of the world,72 according to which through Adam’s fall the human race would be placed in the position, envied by the angels, of being perfectly free to choose good or evil and thereby fully merit whatever rewards would follow.73 Satan rebelled against the plan, refused obeisance to Adam, and was cast down upon the earth with his cohorts, to fulfill divine purpose by providing, as “the serpent,” the temptation necessary for an effectual testing of human beings.74 Through inspired prophets men from time to time are taught the rules of the game, but are prone to cheat, fall away into darkness, and require painful correction before return to divine favor and a new dispensation of heavenly gifts and covenants.75 The historical picture is a complicated one, culminating in the final return of the Lord, but not before he has made other appearances, notably to a few “righteous and pure souls and faithful,” preparatory to the ultimate and glorious parousia.76
What gives substance to this peculiar doctrinal structure is the imposing body of rites and ordinances that goes with it.77 Ritual and doctrinal elements are inextricably interwoven in a complex in which everything is oddly literal and all fit solidly together: The kerygma, whether above or below, is real and must have a “seal,” which is baptism, though the word is also used to designate rites of washing and anointing that go with it;78 after such rites the initiate receives a symbolic but real and tangible garment,79 and then sits down to a sacral meal, a real repast celebrating the perfect unity of the participants with each other and with the Lord, who is present in spirit. “Recent findings indicate unusual emphasis placed on a perfect unity of the sexes in marriage ordinances which were real enough and secret enough to excite the scandalized speculations of outsiders80 and the fantastic imitation of the Gnostics.81 After all allowances have been made, there remains a definite residue of early Christian ritual that goes far beyond anything known to later Christianity, which admittedly got its liturgy from the synagogue and the Hellenistic world, while the rites just mentioned all look to the temple and belong to the instructions of the 40 days.82
While the schools have their methods for dealing with unwelcome doctrines and traditions, the populace also has ways of absorbing and adapting teachings it does not understand, and the 40-day tradition left a bold imprint on vulgar Christianity. The fact that the Christian liturgy has always allowed a 40-day interval, and an important one, between the Resurrection and the Ascension is not to be lightly explained away,83 but it is the popular literature of the pseudo-Acts of the Apostles and the legends of the martyrs that most clearly indicate what was paramount in the teachings embraced by the newly converted masses of the age of Constantine.84 Here we have the monotonous repetition as one standard miracle, the raising of the dead, performed to demonstrate to a skeptical world the reality of the resurrection of Jesus.85 As the saint performs this miracle, or has it performed on him, Jesus himself stands by, now in his own person, now in that of the apostle, who is but his double or understudy.86 This, it is often explained, is what Jesus meant when he said he would continue to be with the Apostles to the end—it is a series of real appearances continuing the personal tutelage and supervision of the 40 days.87 The secular equivalent to this is the recurring legend of a youthful military hero and convert who is repeatedly put to death with spectacular tortures, only to be visited by Christ or the angels in the night and restored to health, ready to deliver a lecture on the resurrection and renew his painful demonstrations on the following day. His resuscitation is celebrated sometimes with the Eucharist and often with a great public banquet.88 The saints Victor, Theodore, George, Mercurius, Sebastian89 and the Seven Sleepers,90 as well as the first lady martyrs, Thecla, Felicitas, and Perpetua,91 belong to this illustrious company to which the names of most of the Apostles were added.92
Recurrent motifs in the legends, such as their strongly erotic orientation and the prominence of feasting, games, holy springs, horses and chariots, etc., point unmistakably to popular pre-Christian hero-cults,93 typical of which is the cult of the chaste Hippolytus, impaled on a tree and restored to life, whose “tragic death and triumphant resurrection made him a favorite theme alike on Greek and Roman sarcophagi.”94 It is well-known that local heroes and their cults were often converted to Christianity, but why the emphasis on a particular type of hero to the neglect of others, and how could the Christians bring themselves to make such concessions to the familiar ways of heathen idolatry? It was not because the Christian tradition was derived from the other—we know now that the two were quite different—but because there were definite points of resemblance at which they could fuse. Thus Puech and Quispel have recently pointed to the pagan origin of the cloud and chariot of apotheosis, a conspicuous object in our 40-day accounts.95 But their well-known pagan affinities would have rendered them invincibly repugnant to the Christians had they not something of their own that closely matched the pagan version. And what that was is apparent on every other page of the legends, where Jesus himself breaks into the story to give his instructions and then mount up to heaven “in great glory.” Again, how could the panegyrics and protocol of the Imperial cult, hailing the Christian emperor as praesens et corporalis deus, appear as anything but blasphemous unless there was a Christian precedent for them?96 We see that precedent in the constant intervention of Christ and his angels in the solemn assemblies of the emperor and on the field of battle; the clouds and angels that surround the august personage are the familiar properties not of the schools but of the monks of the desert, who sought to recapture the ancient order of the church, and who still thought of Christ as paying frequent and familiar visits to holy men.97 In the safely theatrical displays of rhetoric and architecture, the 40-day idea of God mingling with men and supervising their affairs in person was carried over as a basic Christian concept into the new popular Christianity.
The easiest way of disposing of the 40-day problem is to point out the numerous parallels and prefigurements to it taking as evidence of fraud what the early Christians regarded as the sure stamp of authenticity. Easter, Ascension, Pentecost, Transfiguration, and even Parousia are depicted today as “one undifferentiated experience,” or at least as “different ways of describing the same occurrence,” which naturally leaves no room for the awkward interruption of the 40 days.98
But a process need not be instantaneous, indeed cannot be, and gaps and delays are required if only to allow some time for preaching to the human family, while the idea that the Messiah can appear only once denies the fundamental thesis of Christianity and was, in fact, the principal obstacle to the acceptance of Jesus by the Jews.99 Moreover, if uniqueness is the mark of a historical event, the 40 days commands the highest respect. It is recognized today that the very oddness of Jesus’ teachings is strong proof of authenticity. No group of men, it is argued, would come together and of their own volition fashion doctrines that were “a slap in the face . . . to everything that healthy human understanding has viewed as sound thinking from that day to this.”100 What is more, no one would accept the incredible reports about the risen Lord unless “facts forced them to it.”101 The argument applies with particular force to the absolutely unparalleled situation of the 40 days, when Christ, “immortal and glorious,” condescends “to come to the table of illiterate and poor Apostles, partake of their course fare while he sits chatting with them” in a middle-class tenement or beside a smoky fire on the beach.102
The one thing that has got a respectful hearing for the 40-day Ministry is the need for such an episode to explain the founding of the church. Catholic theologians especially favor it as a time for settling all doctrinal issues, establishing proper officials, and preparing the Apostles for a missionary activity which the world was to find irresistible.103 But we have already noted that the progress of the church was but a triumphal process “out of the world,”104 and that nothing was ever handed down from that great time of instruction, conventional Christianity having rejected all the traditions of the 40 days and turned elsewhere for its doctrine and liturgy.105 The church can hardly claim the 40 days as its franchise while confessing total ignorance of what was done and taught them.106
To summarize, then, we have in the early apocryphal writings both direct and indirect evidence for the reality of the post-resurrectional activity of Jesus. (1) By uniformly supporting the clear and unequivocal language of Acts 1:3, and by making the 40-day teaching their principal concern, these writers serve notice that this subsequently despised and neglected theme had top priority among the early Christians. (2) Under the heading of the 40-day conversations the same writings convey to us a consistent and closely-knit body of doctrine, (3) accompanied by an equally organic structure of rites and ordinances—not a farrago of odds and ends in the Gnostic manner.107 (4) The Gnostic phenomenon itself attests the universal awareness that such a teaching had formerly existed and been lost to the main church: the specific Gnostic claim to possess the secrets of the 40 days shows what it was that was missing. (5) Furthermore, the apocryphal writings themselves fully explain that loss in terms of both secrecy and apostasy, while (6) the great impact of the 40-day image on popular Christianity is clearly reflected in popular legends and cults.
As indirect evidence we must consider the extreme oddness and unpopularity of the 40-day proposition, logically and artistically disturbing and burdened with a view of the future which is negative and frightening. It is anything but a product of wishful thinking or a bid for popular support. Yet the only arguments against it have been arguments of interpretation. Over against a facile manipulation of tests stands a massive array of phenomena which deserves more than the wave of the hand which we have given it here. Why is there no Evangelium quadraginta dierum? Its absence confirms the unreality of the 40 days to those scholars who point out that the record speaks only of what Christ taught during that period rather than what he did.108 But as Anselm observes, before the resurrection Christ was human—after it he was God.109 As such he came to teach and to teach only—all are agreed that even the eating and drinking had no other purpose—communing with men on a wholly different level from the man of sorrows in the Gospels. The 40-day episode is indeed unique. If it never took place, what was it that produced the singular phenomena that have been attributed to it?
This article first appeared under the title “Evangelium Quadraginta Dierum,” in Vigiliae Christianae 20 (1966): 1—24. The article was reprinted under the title “The Forty-day Mission of Christ—The Forgotten Heritage” in When the Lights Went Out (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 1970), 33—54.
1. “We are bound to conclude that such an occurrence is not only improbable but impossible,” John G. Davies, He Ascended into Heaven (New York: Association Press, 1958), quote on 56; generally 54—60. Cf. E. Grässer, “Die Apostelgeschichte in der Forschung der Gegenwart,” Theologische Rundschau 26 (1960): 101. “So hat die Gemeinde . . . gedichtet und gewoben,” Wilhelm Bousset, Kyrios Christos (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1926), 74.
2. To be taken “seriously, but not literally,” M. J. Suggs, quoting R. Niebuhr, in “Biblical Eschatology and the Message of the Church,” Encounter 24 (1963): 18—19. “Das können wir zwar nicht zusammendenken, aber die Evangelisten konnten es,” David F. Strauss, Das Leben Jesu, 9th ed., 2 vols. (Leipzig: Brockhaus, 1864), 2:151—52. “We can only know Jesus clad in the garb of myth,” J. Jeremias, “The Present Position in the Controversy Concerning the Problem of the Historical Jesus,” Expository Times 69 (1958): 334—35.
3. “Half of it I like, and half of it I don’t,” P. Scherer, “Then Came Jesus and Stood in the Midst: A Sermon,” Interpretation 12 (1958): 56. “The point is, do we or do we not like the answers?” Murdoch E. Dahl, The Resurrection of the Body (London: SCM Press, 1962), 92.
4. E.g., Severus of Antioch fails to mention the 40 days in his exhaustive treatise on the Resurrection, in M.-A. Kugener & Edgar Triffaux, eds. and trs., “Les homilia cathedrales de Sevère d’Antioche: Homélie LXXVII,” in PO 16:794—862, as does Bousset, Kyrios Christos, 74; and Dahl, The Resurrection of the Body, 92, also Frederick J. Foakes-Jackson and Kirsopp Lake, Commentary on Acts (London: Macmillan, 1939), and Grässer in his long survey “Apostelgeschichte in der Forschung der Gegenwart,” 92—167. Even J. F. Walvoord’s carefully prepared list of seventeen post-resurrection appearances of Jesus fails to mention the 40 days, “The Earthly Life of the Incarnate Christ,” Bibliotheca Sacra 117 (1960): 298—300.
5. Discussed by Carl Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu mit seinen Jüngern nach der Auferstehung (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1919), 524—29.
6. Thus Davies, He Ascended into Heaven, 56—60; S. MacLean Gilmour “Easter and Pentecost,” Journal of Biblical Literature 81 (1962):63—64.
7. Ed. Schweitzer, “Die hellenistichen Komponente im neutestamentlichen Sarx-Begriff,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 48 (1957): 250—53; B. Holt, “Realities of the Ascension,” Encounter 24 (1963): 88, 90.
8. “It is unlikely that the Apostle’s [Paul’s] logic bore any resemblance to ours, whether deductive or inductive,” Dahl, The Resurrection of the Body, 23; Rudolf Bultmann, Das Verhältnis der urchristlichen Christusbotschaft zum historischen Jesus, in Sitzungsberichte der Heidelberger Akademie der Wissenschaften, no. 3 (1960): 24; Davies, He Ascended into Heaven, 57; G. Lindeskog, “Christuskerygma und Jesustradition,” Novum Testamenturn 5 (1961—62):144.
9. Kirsopp and Silva Lake, An Introduction to the New Testament (New York: Harper, 1937), 46—47. John and Paul were both confused about post-resurrectional realities, Gilmour, “Easter and Pentecost ” 62—63.
10. Davies, He Ascended into Heaven, 52—53. On 40 days as a symbol, Frederick J. Foakes-Jackson, Acts, a volume in the Moffatt New Testament Commentary, 17 vols. (New York: Harper, 1931), 5:2; Pierre Miquel, “Christ’s Ascension and Our Glorification,” Theology Digest 9 (1961): 68. See below, note 98.
11. P. A. van Stempvoort, “The Interpretation of the Ascension in Luke and Acts,” New Testament Studies 5 (1958): 33—34, 39—41, shows that for Luke the designation of 40 days signifies simply “that the appearances of Christ after Easter had a certain duration.” Most commentators note that the paréstesen heauton of Acts 1:3 indicates occasional appearances over a period of time. Hence it would be impossible and foolish to calculate the exact length of the post-Resurrectional sojourn. Even Hilary, Commentarius in Matthaeum (Commentary on Matthew) 3, in PL 9:928, is quite aware of the symbolic propriety of the 40-day expression.
12. Ignatius, Epistola ad Trallianos (Epistle to the Trallians) 10, in PG 5:681; Epistola ad Smyrnaeos (Epistle to the Smyrnaeans) 2—3, in PG 5:708—9.
13. The contradictions are discussed by C. F. D. Moule, “The Ascension—Acts 1:9,” Expository Times 68 (1957): 205—9. “The blood is the life,” but specifically the earthly life, H. W. Robinson, “Blood,” in James Hastings, ed., Encyclopaedia of Religion and Ethics, 13 vols. (New York: Scribner, 1908—26) 2:715—16, and mention of blood is pointedly omitted in Luke 24:39, being nowhere ascribed to resurrected beings. Cf. Hippolytus, Sermonum sive Homiliarum Fragmenta (Fragments of Sermons or Homilies) 1, in PG 10:861.
14. Cornelius à Lapide [C. van den Steen], Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, 20 vols. (Paris: Coen, 1877), 18:51.
15. Hildebert, Sermons on Time 48, 11 (471), in PL 171:579; à Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, 18:48—49, gives other sources.
16. Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram,18:50.
17. F. R. Hancock, “The Man of Galilee,” Hibbert Journal 57 (1958—59): 223.
18. John Chrysostom, Commentarius in Acta Apostolorum (Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles) 1, 4, in PG 60:9—20; Theophylactus, Expositio in Acta Apostolorum (Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles) 1, 8, in PG 125:508.
19. Leo Magnus, Sermo (Discourse) 73 , in PL 54:394—96; Emaldus, De Carnalibus Operibus Christi (On the Mortal Works of Christ) 11, in PL 189:1667—68; à Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, 18:51.
20. Chrysostom, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 1, 5, in PG 60:19—20; and Frederick F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles (London: Tyndale, 1962), 67—68.
21. Miquel, “Christ’s Ascension and Our Glorification,” 71.
22. William Jenks, ed., Supplement to the Comprehensive Commentary on the Holy Bible, 6 parts (Brattleboro, Vt.: Fessenden, 1838), 5:4.
23. Ernaldus, On the Mortal Works of Christ 11, in PL 189: 1667—68; à Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, 18:49.
24. “The conversations of the Great Forty Days must have been of intensest interest, yet . . . these things are wrapped about with thickest darkness,” M. Dods, R. Watson, F. Farrar, eds., An Exposition of the Bible, 6 vols. (Hartford: Scranton, 1903—4), 5:302. “A great deal more passed on those most interesting subjects . . . than is anywhere recorded,” Matthew Henry and Thomas Scott, Commentary on the Holy Bible, 6 vols. (London: Religious Tract Society, 1866), 5, at Acts 1:3.
25. “Just what does a spiritual body do? We do not know,” Eugène Jacquier, Les actes des apôtres, 2nd ed. (Paris: Librairie Victor Lecoffre, 1926), 7—8. “We can only reverently conjecture,” Charles J. Ellicott, Commentary on the Whole Bible, 8 vols. (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1954), 7, at Acts 1:3. “Nowhere set forth in the Scriptures . . . impertinent to inquire and over-bold to specify,” Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram, 18:49.
26. Discussed by J. Schneider, “Der Beitrag der Urgemeinde zur Jesusüberlieferung im Lichte der neuesten Forschung,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 87 (1962): 401—12.
27. Michel Testuz, ed., Papyrus Bodmer X: Correspondance apocryphe des Corinthiens et de l’apôtre Paul (Cologne/Geneva Bibliotheca Bodmeriana, 1959), 51, 11, 55—56, 24—35; the same in the Acts of Paul 7 (see in Léon Vouaux, trans. & comm., Les actes de Paul et ses lettres apocryphes [Paris: Letouzey et Ané, 1913], 158—59); cf. Polycarp, Epistola ad Philippenses (Epistle to the Philippians) 7, 1, in PG 5:1012; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 13, 14, in PO 2:168—69; Gospel of Philip 105:9—14 (=NHLE 57:9—14, p. 134); Clement, Epistola I ad Corinthios (First Epistle to the Corinthians) 24—27, in PG 1:260—69; Clement, Epistola II ad Corinthios (Second Epistle to the Corinthians) 9, 12, in PG 1:341—47; Ignatius, Epistola ad Magnesios (Epistle to the Magnesians) 11, in PG 5:670; Epistle to the Trallians 9—10, in PG 5:669—72; Epistle to the Smyrnaeans 2—3, in PG 5:708—9; Barnabas, Epistola Catholica (Catholic Epistle) 5—6, in PG 2:733—44; Hermae Pastor (Shepherd of Hermas), Similitudo (Similitudes) 5, 7, in PG 2:961—62; Constitutiones Apostolicae (Apostolic Constitutions) VI, 26, in PG 1:976—77; Revelation to Peter, in E. Verdapet, “The Revelation of the Lord to Peter,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 23 (1924): 14; Epistle of the Apostles 19 (30), 21 (32), 25 (36) (Copt. xii, xiv, xix), in ANT, 491—94; Apocalypse of Peter, in ibid., 512—13; Apocalypse of Thomas, in ibid., 561; Apocryphon of James 11:35—12:17 (=NHLE, p, 34); cf. Athenogoras, De Resurrectione Mortuorum (On the Resurrection of the Dead), in PG 6:973—1024; Odes of Solomon 22:9—10, in OTP 2:755.
28. “St. Luke . . . gives to his narrative something of the seal of a medical statement,” James J. J. Tissot, Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 4 vols. (New York: McClure-Tissot, 1899), 4:257. “No metaphysical or psychological explanation can be given,” Hugh V. White, “Immortality and Resurrection in Recent Theology,” Encounter 22 (1961): 56—57.
29. Ignatius, Epistle to the Smyrnaeans 3, 2, in PG 5:709, from an old Gospel of the Hebrews, according to Jerome, De Viris Illustribus (On Noted Men), prologue and chapter 16, in PL 23:633, 655, though Eusebius, HE III, 36, 11, in PG 20:289, does not know the source.
30. The Testament in Galilee I, 45 (the Ethiopian version of the Epistola Apostolorum), in PO 9:177, 216, also in Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 26—27; this work can also be found in ANT, 485—503, and in NTA 1:189—226; Apocryphon of James 2:19—26, 8:1—4, discussed by H. Puech and G. Quispel, “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” Vigiliae Christianae 8 (1954): 8; Acts of Thomas 1; “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” in Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi (Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ), ed. Ignatius E. Rahmani (Moguntiae: Kircheim, 1899), 1, prologue; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 14, in PO 2:169—70; Gospel of Bartholomew, in PO 2:190—91, 194; and fragments in André Wilmart and Eugene Tisserant, “Fragments grecs et latins de 1’evangile de Barthélemy,” Revue Biblique 22 = n.s. 10 (1913): 185; Oxyrhynchus Logia, no. 8 (1); Freer Logion, in ANT, 34; Book of the Resurrection of Christ, in ANT, 185.
31. It has been shown that the term “The Living Jesus” (and even “kyrios”) refers specifically to the risen Lord, Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 264; cf. James Rendel Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon: Now First Published from the Syriac Version (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1909), 73. Thus the same value must be given to the opening line of the Gospel of Thomas 80:1.0 (=NHLE 32:10, p. 118), as to the Oxyrhynchus Logia, no. 8 (1): “sayings which Jesus who liveth and was dead spake to Judas Thomas”; cf. Gospel of Thomas 99:7—8 (=NHLE 51:7—8, p. 129). The conversational and questioning form of discourse is another clue, Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 206; Puech and Quispel, “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” 9, n. 3; Gospel of Thomas 81:14—17 (=NHLE 33:14—17, p. 118); Oxyrhynchus Logia, 4—5, 13 (6), 8 (1); a large number of the pseudo Acts in E.A. Wallis Budge, Contendings of the Apostles (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1935), begin with the Apostles questioning Christ after the Resurrection. Where an account of the Resurrection or Descensus is included in the report the setting is naturally post-resurrectional: this refers to all the apocrypha mentioned below, notes 63—66. The 40-day situation is implied where the resurrection of others is described, as in the second Akhmim fragment of the Gospel of Peter, in ANT, 508; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 2, in PO 2:135; and Acts of Thomas 54—55, in ANT, 390—91. The Prologue to the Discourse on Abbatôn purports to offer documentary evidence from the hands of the Apostles for the typical 40-day situation it describes, in E.A. Wallis Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms (London: British Museum, 1914; reprinted New York: AMS, 1977), 225—26, 474—75.
32. Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 201—6.
33. Matthew 28:17; Mark 16:8, 11—14; Luke 24:11, 21—35, 21—43; John 20:9, 25—29.
34. Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 346—47.
35. “Let us know what is the end of the aeon for we stand in the midst of scandals and offenses,” Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, in PO 2:160; Apocryphon of James, see Puech and Quispel, “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” 12—15; Gospel of Thomas 82:25 (= NHLE 34:25, p. 119); The Testament in Galilee 1:4, 40, 43, 45, 47—48, 51, 61; Revelation to Peter, in Vardapet, “The Revelation of the Lord to Peter,” 12; Epistle of the Apostles 17 (28); 19 (30); cf. Testament of Moses 11, in OTP 1:933—34; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 2; Apocalypse of Peter, in ANT, 510—11.
36. For a general treatment, Hugh Nibley, “The Passing of the Primitive Church,” Church History 30 (1961): 132—35, reprinted below in this volume, 169—72.
37. The two parties are the righteous thlibomenoi and the wicked thlibontes, Herbert Braun, “Zur nachpaulinischen Herkunft des zweiten Thessalonischerbriefes,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 44 (1952—53): 152—54. “They will combine against those who love me, to hate them and push them aside as nothing,” Epistle of the Apostles 50 (61), in ANT, 503; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1:13. “The idea that the just are going to be persecuted by the wicked” is found in The Testament in Galilee, and Clement, First Epistle to the Corinthians 1, 3—6, 45—47, 57, in PG 1:205—8, 213—21, 299—308, 324—25; see L. Guerrier, “Avant-Propos,” in PO 9:145.
38. On the wolves, Ignatius, Epistola ad Philadelphenses (Epistle to the Philadelphians) 2, in PG 5:820; Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5, in PG 1:336; Didache 16, in Kirsopp Lake, The Apostolic Fathers, Loeb Classical Library, 2 vols. (Cambridge: Harvard University/London: Heinemann, 1912), 1:332; 1 Enoch 89:13—27, 51—75; 90, in OTP 1:65—72; cf. Epistle of the Apostles 50 (61), discussed by Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 197—98. On the Wintertime, Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 3—4, in PG 2:955—58, and Charles Wessely, ed. and tr., “Les plus anciens monuments du christianisme écrits Sur papyrus,” in PO 18:469—70; Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 15, 5, in PG 2:772; Apocalypse of Baruch (=2 Baruch) 21:22—24, in OTP 1:628; Gospel of Philip 100:25—35 (=NHLE 52:25—35, p. 132), cf. 112:5—10 (=NHLE 64:5—10, p. 138). The same imagery of the seasons in Eusebius, De Laudibus Constantini (In Praise of Constantine) 17, in PG 20:1432—33; Cyril of Alexandria, Commentarius in Joannis Evangelium (Commentary on John) IV, 14, in PG 73:617—18, 620; E. W. Brooks, “A Collection of Letters of Severus of Antioch,” no. 81, in PO 14:130; Gospel of Thomas 84:22—23 (=NHLE 36:22—23, p. 120); 1QS (Manual of Discipline) 4:18—19; TB, Pesahim 2a.
39. This is the most conspicuous theme in all the Apocrypha: The Testament in Galilee 1:3—6; Michael Asin de Palacios, ed. and tr., “Logia et Agrapha Domini Jesus apud Moslémicos Scriptores, Ascelicos Praesertion Usitata,” no. 115, in PO 19:542; Sylvain Grébaut, “Les miracles de Jésus,” in PO 17:827—29; Odes of Solomon 38:9—15, in OTP 2:767; Ascension of Isaiah 3:19—4:5 (=Testament of Hezekiah, a Christian work), in OTP 2:160—61; Clement, First Epistle to the Corinthians 2—5, in PG 1:209—20; Ignatius, Epistola ad Ephesios (Epistle to the Ephesians) 17, in PG 5:657; Epistle to the Philadelphians 2—3, in PG 5:697—700; Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 16:9—72, in PG 2:773; Apostolic Constitutions VII, 32, in PG 1:1021—24; Didache 16, in Lake, The Apostolic Fathers 1:332; 1 Enoch 89:10—27, in OTP 1:65—66; Sibylline Oracles III, and IV, 49, in ibid. 1:385; Secrets of Enoch ([Slavonic] 2 Enoch) 34, in ibid. 1:158—59; 2 Baruch 27—30; 48:32—43; 70, in ibid. 1:630—631, 637, 644—45; 4 Ezra (=2 Esdras) 5:1—13; 9:1—13; 10:1—54, in ibid. 1:531—32, 544—48; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 8; Testament of Moses 5: 1—6, in ibid. 1:929—30; The Second Coming of Christ, in PO, 145; Epistle of the Apostles 36—45, in ANT, 498—502; Apocryphon of Thomas 1, in ibid., 556—58; Akhmim & Freer fragments, in ibid., 507—8; Book of John the Evangelist, in ibid., 191—93.
40. “To these afflictions on earth corresponds the song of triumph in Heaven,” E. Fascher, “Gottes Königtum im Urchristentum,” Numen 4 (1957): 113. “Through their faithfulness unto death they will attain to the glory of God, which is their true destiny,” Willem C. van Unnik, Newly Discovered Gnostic Writings (Naperville, Ill.: Allenson, 1960), 84. “Joyeuses promesses mêlées de menaces affligeantes, trop de sentiments contradictoires,” Puech and Quispel, “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” 15.
41. Puech and Quispel, “Les écrits gnostiques du Codex Jung,” 12, 6, 10, on Apocryphon of James 5:28—16:11; Epistle of the Apostles 36 (47, Copt. viii—ix), in ANT, 498; Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5 (Peter protests), in PG 1:336, cf. 1 Enoch 89:68—71; Verdapet, “The Revelation of the Lord to Peter,” 12.
42. The Testament in Galilee 51, 54, 56; 2 Baruch 55:2—8, in OTP 1:640; just so Moses in Apocalypse of Paul, in E.A. Wallis Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts (London: British Museum, 1915; reprinted AMS, 1977), 553—54, 1074; 1 Enoch 89:69, 75—77, in OTP 1:68—69. There is a special treatment in 4 Ezra 5:28—40; 6:59; 7:46; 8:1—3, 14—15, in ibid., 1:533, 536, 538, 542. The answer is always the same: The Testament in Galilee 1:42—43, 56; 1 Enoch 89:75; 2 Baruch 69:2—4, 75; 4 Ezra 5:40; 7:60—61; 8:47, 55—56, Epistle of the Apostles 10 (30), in ANT, 491—92.
43. To the testimony of the Apostolic Fathers, Hugh Nibley, “The Passing of the Primitive Church,” 4—5, add Asin de Palacios, “Logia et Agrapha,” nos. 108, 115, in PO 19:539, 542; Psalms of Solomon 8 (Odes of Solomon 51/50), 15—17, in OTP 2:658—60, 664—69; Testuz, Papyrus Bodmer X, 52; Apocalypse of Paul, in Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 540—42, 1060—61; Acts of Thecla (Acts of Paul), cit., Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 196; Testament of Hezekiah (=Ascension of Isaiah) describes “the worldliness and lawlessness which prevailed” in the church, R. H. Charles, Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament, 2 vols. (Oxford: Clarendon, 1913), 2:155; Ephraim, Asketikon, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 163—64, 415—16, is very close to the Clement, First Epistle to the Corinthians, and the Shepherd of Hermas; 127 Canons of the Apostles 12, in PO 8:582—83; The Testament in Galilee 1:3, 6—9; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 8.
44. So Justin, Dialogus cum Tryphone (Dialogue with Trypho) 110, in PG 6:493; Origen, Commentaria in Evangelium secundum Matthaeum (Commentary on Matthew) 36—38, in PG 13:1650—53; Hippolytus, Fragmenta in Danielem (Fragments on Daniel) 38—40, in PG 10:664—65; and idem Scholia in Danielem 12, 1, in PG 10:688; Lactantius, Divinae Institutiones (Divine Institutes) IV, 30, in PL 6:540—44; V, 6, in PL 6:567—69; VII, 17, in PL 6:793—95; Irenaeus, Contra Haereses (Against Heresies) V, 30, 1, in PG 7:1203; cf. ibid., IV, 34, 4, in PG 7:1086; Ephraim, Asketikon, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 163—64, 415—16. “It is as if the Main Church had a premonition of its demise which constantly and ceaselessly resounds through the early writings,” R. Abramowski, “Der Christus der Salomooden,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 35 (1936): 69, n. 41.
45. Nibley, “The Passing of the Primitive Church,” 135—36.
46. These things happen not to the Apostles but to the second generation after them. The Testament in Galilee 4; so Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 9, 14; 10, 4, in PG 2:979—80; cf. Asin de Palacios, “Logia et Agrapha,” no. 224, in PO 19:601; Hegesippus in Eusebius, HE III, 32, in PG 20:281; Epistle of the Apostles 34 (45), in ANT, 497. Paul is “the last of the last who will preach to the heathen,” Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 187; cf. 1 Corinthians 4:9—13, and Origen, Contra Celsum (Against Celsus) 4, 22, in PG 11:1056—57; W. Nestle, in Zeitschrift für Religions- und Geistesgeschichte 4 (1952): 118—19.
47. Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 385, notes that there is no mention whatever of the pagans as a source of danger or discomfort; it is the believers themselves who turn into betrayers and “enemies of righteousness,” Epistle of the Apostles 35, 37, 44, in ANT, 497—98, 510. A clear distinction is made between the immediate end and the end of the world, Epistle of the Apostles 34, in ibid., 497; 1 Enoch 1:2; Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 102, 339, 484, comments on this.
48. E.g., “These are the secret sayings which the living Jesus spoke,” Gospel of Thomas 80:10 (=NHLE 32:10, p. 118). Since Apocrypha are by definition secret writings, citations are not necessary. Even the “canonical traditions record appearances only to believers” during the 40 days, E. C. Rust, “Interpreting the Resurrection,” in Journal of Bible and Religion 29 (1961): 27—28.
49. Matthew 7:8 following 7:6; so Gospel of Truth 19:4—18 (=NHLE, p. 39); Recognitiones Clementinae (Clementine Recognitions) III, 53, 58, in PG 1:1305, 1307; Gospel of Thomas 96:30—34 (=NHLE 48:30—34, p. 128); 80:12—19 (=NHLE 32:12—19, p. 118); 81:10—14 (=NHLE 33:10—14, p. 118); 88:16—18 (=NHLE 40:16—18, p. 122); 91:34—92:1 (=NHLE 43:34—44:1, pp. 124—25); Tatian, Orationes (Orations) 6, in PG 6:817. See next note.
50. It can only damage even Christians who are not prepared for it, 1 Corinthians 3:2; Hebrews 5:12—13; Ignatius, Epistle to the Trallians 5, in PG 5:781; Clementine Recognitions II, 60, in PG 1:1276—77; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata I, 1, in PG 8:704. The highest is achieved by the fewest: Gospel of Thomas 94:9—13 (=NHLE 46:9—13; p. 126); Gospel of Truth 21:3—6 (=NHLE, p. 40); Gospel of Philip 105:32—106:10 (=NHLE 57:32—58:10, p. 135); Clementine Recognitions I, 23, in PG 1:1219; I, 28, in PG 1:1222; I, 52, in PG 1:1236; III, 3, in PG 1:1283; III, 34, in PG 1:1297; IV, 25, in PG 1:1324—25; 4 Ezra 14:44—46 in OTP 1:555; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1:18; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V, 10, in PG 9:93—101; Gospel of Bartholomew 66—68, in ANT, 179—80; Apocalypse of Peter, in ibid., 520; Apocryphon of James 1:8—25 (=NHLE, p. 30).
51. At this time the Apostles with some embarrassment ask questions which they have never asked before, “The Testament in Galilee,” 31, 35 in PO 9:204—5, 207; Epistle of the Apostles 20 (31), 24 (35), 25 (36), in ANT, 492—95; Gospel of Bartholomew 4—5, in ibid., 173—81; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, in PO 2:135; cf. Jerome, Dialogus contra Pelagianos (Dialogue against the Pelagians) II, 15, in PL 23:576—77. They are chided for asking too much, Apocryphon of James 2:33—39 (=NHLE, p. 30); Epistle of the Apostles 25 (36); but are told “the last and highest teachings,” Discourse on the Abbâton, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 231—32, 480; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, in PO 2:160—61; Epistle of the Apostles 12 (23): 11 great and amazing and real things.” Acts of Thomas 36, in ANT, 382; Gospel of Bartholomew, fragment in Wilmart and Tisserant, “Fragmenta grecs et latins,” 185. On the ignorance of the Apostles before the Resurrection, R. Latourelle, “Révélation, histoire et incarnation,” Gregorianum 44 (1963): 257.
52. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, Introduction 2, in PG 7:440—44; II, 27, in PG 7:802—4; III, 1, 1, in PG 7:844; III, 14, in PG 7:913—14. It was all to be taught “from the housetops,” H. Rahner, “The Christian Mystery and the Pagan Mystery,” in Joseph Campbell, ed., The Mysteries (New York: Pantheon, 1955), 357—58; at least nothing important has been lost, Latourelle, “Révélation, histoire et incarnation,” 258. Yet it is quite possible to publish some things while withholding others, Gospel of Thomas 87:10—17 (=NHLE 39:10—17, p. 122); 4 Ezra 14:6.
53. So Latourelle himself, “Révélation, histoire et incarnation,” 258, and A. de Bovis, “La fondation de l’Église,” Nouvelle revue théologique 85 (1963): 12—13. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata I, 1, in PG 8:701, insists that his own teachings sound imbecile beside those of the Apostles, as does Ignatius, Epistle to the Trallians 5, in PG 5:784 (long version); cf. Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians 3, in PG 5:1009. Clement of Alexandria tells how early teachings inevitably become lost, Stromatum I, 1, in PG 8:704; and John Chrysostom, In Epistolam I ad Corinthios Homilia (Homily on the First Epistle to the Corinthians) 7, in PG 61:58, and Basil, Epistolae (Letters) 8, in PG 32:257, note that many sacred writings have been lost. Irenaeus, Against Heresies, himself puts the knowledge of the Apostles in a special category, I, 13, 6, in PG 7:588, and when pressed admits that the Bible does not explain everything, and so falls back on tradition, III, 3, 1, in PG 7:848, and when this fails him he appeals to the oldest churches, III, 4, 1, in PG 7:851, and when these disagree to the most outlying ones, III, 4, 2, in PG 7:855—56.
54. A favorite teaching of Basil, Gottfried Thomasius, Die christliche Dogmengeschichte als Entwicklungsgeschichte des kirchlichen Lehrbegriffs, 2nd ed. (Erlangen: Deichert, 1886—89), vol. 1, Die Dogmengeschichte der alten Kirche (Erlangen: Deichert, 1886), 279—80. The greatest teachings were not trusted to writing, Clementine Recognitions I, 21, in PG 1:1218; Epistles of Paul and Seneca 6, in ANT, 482; John Chrysostom, De Laudibus Sancti Pauli Apostoli Homilia (Homily on the Praise of St. Paul the Apostle) 5, in PG 50:500, and Homilia de Melchisedeco (Homily on Melchizedek) 1 in PG 56:257—58.
55. Albert Schweitzer, Geschichte der Leben-Jesu-Forschung (Tübingen: Mohr, 1913) 1:396, admits the secrecy though at a loss to explain it (= The Quest of the Historical Jesus [New York: Macmillan, 1964]). An awkward attempt to explain the secrecy of the 40 days is made by John Chrysostom, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 1, in PG 60:19, and borrowed by Oecumenius, Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles 1, 2, in PG 118:45, and Theophylactus, Exposition of the Acts of the Apostles 1, 16, in PG 125:505. On the doctrina arcana and the catechetical schools, J. Baum, “Symbolic Representations of the Eucharist,” in Campbell, ed., The Mysteries, 261; O. Chadwick, From Bossuet to Newman (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1957), 68.
56. Discussed by A. Adam, “Ein vergessener Aspekt des frühchristlichen Herrenmahles,” Theologische Literaturzeitung 88 (1963): 10—11, for Origen and Clement of Alexandria. Cf. Clement (dubia), Homiliae (Homilies) 19, 20, in PG 2:441; Lactantius, Divine Institutes VII 26, in PL 6:815; Clementine Recognitions III, 74, in PG 1:1314. Baum himself is seeking to explain why representations of the Lord’s supper in art are “shunned down to the fifth century,” Baum, “Symbolic Representations of the Eucharist,” 262.
57. Irenaeus can only use the feeble arguments of the Gnostics against them: Against Heresies 11, 2, 4, in PG 7:714; 11, 8, 3, in PG 7:733; II, 22, 6, in PG 7:785; II, 25, 3, in PG 7:799; II, 28, 2—3, in PG 7:804—7. “When, however, we come to inquire into the nature of this sublime knowledge, we find that it consists of subtle explanations … allegorical and mystical interpretations … and of moral precepts,” John Kaye, Ecclesiastical History of the Second and Third Centuries, Illustrated from the Writings of Tertullian (London: Griffith, Farran & Browne, 1894), 16—17.
58. Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 80, 2—5, in PG 6:664—65. This remains the question of questions, to distinguish Christians from pagans and true Christians from false: Augustine, Enarrationes in Psalmos (Expositions on the Psalms) 88, in PL 37:1134; Sermones (Sermons) 109, in PL 39: 1961; Questions from Both Sides 114 (Against Pagans), in PL 35:2345 (Appendix).
59. Irenaeus, Against Heresies IV, 33, 8, in PG 7:1077—78; Eusebius, HE II, 1, 3—4, in PG 20:136; cf. III, 32, 8, in PG 20:284—86.
60. Gnosticism “left a mark upon the Christian Church which has persisted right up to the present day,” van Unnik, Newly Discovered Gnostic Writings, 43. Even Irenaeus’s rebuttal is but “a commonplace presentation of ordinary Gnostic beliefs,” A. S. Peake, quoted in Werner Förster, “Das System des Basilides,” New Testament Studies 9 (1963): 235. The opening lines of the Clementine Recognitions pose the “great questions” as the legitimate object of all human search, to which, it is later explained, the Gnostics had the wrong answers and Peter the right ones.
61. The charge of Irenaeus against the Gnostics is not that they invent new absurdities, but that they misrepresent true and familiar doctrines; so also Polycarp, Epistle to the Philippians 7; Testuz, Papyrus Bodmer X, 52:3. Their teachings are very convincing to Christians, for they use genuine logia but give them a false twist, Irenaeus, Against Heresies I, Introduction 1; their teachings look perfectly orthodox, I, Introduction 2; their fault is not in appealing to noncanonical writings, but in counterfeiting such, I, 20; I, 8, 1; they imitate the sacrament, I, 13, 2; they fake prophecy, I, 13, 3—5; they counterfeit revelation with potions and drugs, I, 13, 5; they parody marriage rites; I, 21, 3, and baptism, I, 21, 3, and anointing, I, 21, 4—5; they feign miraculous healings, I, 23, 1. They do not (except for Marcus) change the scriptures but misinterpret them, I, 27, 4; their teachings are a patchwork taken from the schools, II, 14, 2—6, all in PG 7:437—754; Ignatius brings the same charges: they are bad interpreters of the good word, mixing poison with good wine, Epistle to the Trallians 6, in PG 5:668; as Irenaeus says, they mix chalk with milk, Against Heresies III, 17, 4, in PG 7:931—32.
62. Such cosmic tours are described in Jubilees, 1 Enoch, 2 Enoch, Apocalypse of Abraham, Odes of Solomon, Testament of Moses, Apocalypse of Isaiah, Ascension of Isaiah, 2 Baruch. In the Testaments of Abraham, Isaiah, Isaac, the XII Patriarchs, Adam, Enoch, the saint gives blessings and prophecies to his (12) descendants or disciples before mounting to heaven and immediately after his return from a cosmic tour: the parallel to the 40 days is obvious; see Marinus de Jonge, The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs (Assen: Van Gorcum, 1953), 120.
63. Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 481—86. On the present-day “rediscovery” of the Descensus, O. Rousseau, “La descente aux enfers, fondement sotériologique du baptême chrétien,” Recherches des sciences religieuses 40 (1951—52): 273; Martin H. Scharlemann, “He Descended into Hell,” Concordia Theological Monthly 27 (1956): 81. Bo Reicke, The Disobedient Spirits and Christian Baptism (Copenhagen: Munksgaard, 1946), 14—15, asks why the Descensus is not treated in the earliest literature even though it “was clearly developed already in the writings of the Apostolic Fathers.” Obviously because it was a secret teaching, though very popular in the early Church, A. Dell, “Matthew 16, 17—19,” Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 15 (1914): 31—33.
64. For a general treatment, John A. MacCulloch, The Harrowing of Hell (Edinburgh: Clark, 1930), chs. 15 & 16. On the Jewish background, Marc Philonenko, Les interpolations chrétiennes des Testaments des XII Patriarches (Paris: Presses Universitaires de France, 1960), 22—24. See note 65.
65. Rousseau, “La descente aux enfers, foridement sotériologique du baptême chrétien,” 273—97, declares the Descensus to be nothing less than “the soteriological foundation of Christian baptism,” and Bo Reicke, in Archiv für Kirchengeschichte, n.s. 27:2—3, notes that early Christian baptisms were consciously dramatized to represent a release from the underworld. Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, 123, identifies Christ’s own baptism with the Descensus. On the baptism in the Acherusian Lake, J. B. Frey, Ma vie de l’au-dela dans les conceptions juives au temps de Jésus-Christ,” Biblica 13 (1932): 145—46; Erik Peterson, “Die Taufe im acherusischen See,” Vigiliae Christianae 9 (1955): 1—20. Cf. John H. Bernard, “The Descent into Hades and Christian Baptism,” Studia Sacra (London: Hodder & Stoughton, 1917), 1—50.
66. The doctrine by which “the soul mounts up continually from topos to topos was thoroughly orthodox, Carl Schmidt, Gnostische Schriften in koptischer Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1892), 193—94; Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 496—97, 512—13; cf. Origen, Homiliae in Librum Jesu Nave 25, in PG 12:944; cf. Gospel of Thomas 90:5—7 (=NHLE 42:5—7, p. 123); Gospel of Truth 21:23—34 (=NHLE 21:23—24, p. 40); Gospel of Philip 133:17—18 (=NHLE 85:17—18, p. 150); Apocalypse of Paul, in Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 1027—28, 1055; Ignatius, Epistle to the Trallians 5, in PG 5:781—85; Epistle to the Ephesians 19, in PG 5:753; Epistola ad Polycarpum (Epistle to Polycarp) 7, in PG 5:869, calling Polycarp theodromos, “God runner,” “Messenger of God”; Epistle of the Apostles 13—14; 19, in ANT, 489—92; 2 Enoch 61:2; Oxyrhynchus Logion 1, 2; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata II, 9, in PG 8:975—81; V, 14, 96, in PG 9:148—49. Cf. the doctrine of “stages of ascent,” i.e., three levels of enlightenment to which the Christian can aspire even during this life, H. P. Owen, “The ‘Stages of Ascent’ in Hebrews 5:11—6:3,” New Testament Studies 3 (1957): 243—53.
67. An old and orthodox idea. According to Wilhelm Bousset, Judisch-christlicher Schulbetrieb in Alexandria und Rom (Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1915), 269, Clement of Alexandria was the first to reject it. Though it was condemned by the Council of Constantinople in 553, A. Méhat, “‘Apocatastase’ Origène, Clément d’Alexandrie, Acts 3, 21,” Vigiliae Christianae 10 (1956): 196, Pius XII himself in Mediator Dei refers to this life as “an exile.”
68. Irenaeus, Against Heresies I, 25, 4, in PG 7:676—78; Clementine Recognitions II, 57, in PG 1:1275. Augustine condemns the idea that the soul sinned in its pre-existence and is being punished on earth, without condemning the doctrine of pre-existence itself, M. Leusse, “Le probleme de la Préexistence des Ames chez Marius Victorinus Afer,” Recherches des sciences religieuses 29 (1939): 236, n. 1; 237, n. 1. So also Cyril of Jerusalem, Catechesis IV de Decem Dogmatibus (Catechetical Lecture on the Ten Doctrines) 19, in PG 33:480; while Origen even suggests that earth-life is a reward rather than a punishment, Peri Archon (On First Things) 1, 8, 4, in PG 11:179—82; 11, 9, 6—8, in PG 11:230—33.
69. Quote is from Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 21, 7—8, in PG 2:780—81; cf. The Testament in Galilee 47, in PO 9:218—19; Gospel of Philip 124:32—36 (=NHLE 76, p. 146); Psalms of Thomas, in Alfred Adam, Die Psalmen des Thomas und das Perlenlied als Zeugnisse vorchristlichen Gnosis, in Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft, Supplement 24 (Berlin: Töpelmann, 1959), 9:1, 8—10; 2 Baruch 15:8, 16; 19:1; 21:13, 16; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1:13; Tertullian, De Baptismo (On Baptism) 20, 2, in PL 1:1332—34.
70. Sources listed in de Jonge, The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, 119—20, to which add 127 Canons of the Apostles 2, in PO 8:575; Asin de Palacios, “Logia et Agrapha,” nos. 145, 193, in PO 19:562—63, 583; Homiliae Clementinae 7, in PG 2:221; Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 6, in PG 1:336; Ignatius, Epistle to the Magnesians 5, in PG 5:761—64; Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 5, 19—20, in PG 2:733—37; Clementine Recognitions II, 24, in PG 1:1261; often in the Manual of Discipline (1QS) 3:2—4, 13—25; 4:1—26; cf. Psalm 1.
71. On the Council, Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 102, in PG 6:712—13; 141, in PG 6:797—800; 1 Enoch 48:2—6; 62:7; Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians 19, in PG 5:753; 4 Ezra 9:18; The Hypostasis of the Archons 135:23—25 (=NHLE 87:23—25, p. 153). A genuine biblical motif, H. Wheeler Robinson, “The Council of Yahweh,” Journal of Theological Studies 45 (1944): 151—57; Frank M. Cross, “The Council of Yahweh in Second Isaiah,” Journal of Near Eastern Studies 12 (1953): 274—77. Cf. N. A. Dahl, “Christ, Creation, and the Church,” in William Davies & David Daube, The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology (Cambridge: Cambridge University, 1956), ch. 22, on the importance of protology in early Christian thought; Masao Sekine, “Schöpfung und Erlösung im Buche Hiob,” in J. Hempel and L. Rost, eds., Von Ugarit nach Qumran, in Zeitschrift für die alttestamentliche Wissenschaft, Supplement 77 (Berlin: Töpelmann, 1958): 220—21. That the Two Ways is part of the Plan is specified by Clementine Recognitions I, 24, in PG 1:1220; I, 28, in PG 1:1222; III, 26, in PG 1:1294—95; V, 9, in PG 1:1334; cf. Odes of Solomon 7:11—12; 31, and Harris’ comment, p. 129; Apocryphon of James 4:27—5:6 (=NHLE 4:27—5:6, pp. 31—32); Psalm of Thomas 8:16—18 (the demons have a counterplan); Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 102, in PG 6:712—13; 141, in PG 6:797—800, and Apologia pro Christianis (Apology), 10, in PG 6:460—61.
72. Irenaeus calls this “the ancient law of liberty,” Against Heresies IV, 37, 1—6, in PG 7:1099—1103; IV, 39, 3, in PG 7:1109—10. It is explained in Clementine Recognitions II, 23—25, in PG 1:1260—61; III, 26, in PG 1:1294; III, 49, in PG 1:1303; 111, 59, in PG 1:1312; IV, 24, in PG 1324; IV, 34, in PG 1:1330; Apocalypse of Paul, in Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 1066; The Testament in Galilee 50, in PO 9:221—23; Apocryphon of James 4:27—5:6 (=NHLE 4:27—5:6, p. 31—32); Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 7, in PG 1:337; Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 10, 2, in PG 2:989; Clementine Recognitions 1, 7—8, in PG 1:1210—11; I, 16, in PG 1:1215; I, 27, in PG 1:1222; I, 51, in PG 1:1236; II, 21, in PG 1:1259; IV, 14, in PG 1:1320—21; V, 5, in PG 1:1333; 1 Enoch 69:11; 2 Baruch 54:15; 4 Ezra 7:72; 8:55—56; 9:10—11; Tatian, Orations 7, in PG 6:820—21.
73. Testuz, Papyrus Bodmer X, 53—54; Psalm of Thomas 9:7—16; The Pearl, in Adam, Die Psalmen des Thomas und das Perlenlied, 9—15; Theodosius, On St. Michael, in Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 339—40, 906—7; Discourse on the Abbatôn, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 240, 488; Gospel of Philip 102:29—31 (=NHLE 54:29—31, p. 133); 123:4—14 (=NHLE 75:4—14, p. 145); Homiliae Clementinae (Clementine Homilies) 9, in PG 2:241—58; Ignatius, Epistle to the Ephesians 13, 19, in PG 5:746—47; Epistle to Polycarp 3, in PG 5:709. Satan rules the earth, Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 2, in PG 2:729; 4, in PG 2:731—33; 18, in PG 2:776—77; Psalm of Thomas 1:17—37; 3:5—8; 1 Enoch 6:7; 44; 2 Enoch 18, 31:4; Acts of Thomas 32—33, 44—45, in ANT, 379—80, 386; Jerome, Dialogue against Pelagians II, 15, in PL 23:576—77, citing an old apocryphon. Cf. the “rule of Belial” in the Dead Sea Scrolls, Zadokite fragment 3:4; Jubilees 10:5—9; 11:5, etc. On the Origin of the World (=NHLE 98:27—99:28, p. 162—63).
74. The rules were first explained to Adam, 2 Enoch 30:14—15; it is the business of the true prophet to announce them, Clementine Recognitions V, 10, in PG 1:1334—35. The image of the games is familiar from the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers, e.g., Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 7, in PG 1:337—40; and 4 Ezra 7:57—61. The cycle of revelation-apostasy-punishment-restoration is well-known, de Jonge, The Testaments of the XII Patriarchs, 83—86.
75. Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1:8; 12; 13; this is a 40-day teaching, according to Adolf von Harnack, in TU 9:16—17. Cf. The Testament in Galilee 7, in PO 9:184; 2 Baruch 29, 2—3; 70:7; Hippolytus, On Daniel 10, in PG 10:685; 12, in PG 10:688; Clementine Recognitions V, 11, in PG 1:1335. The preliminary coming is not to be confused with the later coming, M. Feuillet, Me sens du mot Parousia dans I’Evangile de Matthieu,” in Davies & Daube, The Background of the New Testament and Its Eschatology, 262—69, and L. Guerrier, “Les Tes Avant-Propos,” in “The Testament in Galilee,” in PO 9:151.
76. Abramowski, “Der Christus der Salomooden,” 60: “die Formeln eschatologisch klingen . . . aber real kultisch gemeint.” Albertus F.J. Klijn, The Acts of Thomas (Leiden: Brill, 1962), 54ff.
77. Types of “seals” are discussed by Harris, The Odes and Psalms of Solomon, 78—79, and Klijn, The Acts of Thomas, 56—59. In Odes of Solomon 42:20, the seal is a name, in 4:8 it is a garment, in 8:16 it is a mark, in 23:8—12 it is an actual seal on a letter. In Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 8, 1—2, in PG 2:971—73, all receive seals and garments; in Similitudes 9, 16, in PG 2:995, “the seal is the water”; in Apostolic Constitutions VII, 22, in PG 1:1012—13, it is an anointing; in Barnabas, Catholic Epistle 9, 23—27, in PG 2:749—52, it is circumcision; in The Pearl it is both on a letter, 48—49, and a garment, 80—85, in the Testament of Moses 12:9 God wears a seal or ring on his right hand, cf. 127 Canons of the Apostles 10, in PO 8:580. As the soul mounts up “all these stations have their taxeis and their seals and their mysteries,” Schmidt, Gnostische Schriften in koptischer Sprache aus dem Codex Brucianus, 193—94. Anointing is conspicuous in the Gospel of Philip; there is anointing after the baptism in Apostolic Constitutions VII, 22, in PG 1:1012—13; Acts of Thomas 27, in ANT, 376; 121, in ANT, 418; 132, in ANT, 422; 157—58, in ANT, 433—34; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 2:9; Life of Adam and Eve 42; 2 Enoch 21—22; 56:2; 3 Baruch 15:1—2. The rites are often confused, Hans Achelis, Die ältesten Quellen des orientalischen Kirchenrechtes (Leipzig: Hinrich, 1891—1904), 96ff; OTP 1:138, note o; 677, ch. 15, note, recommending Esther Quinn, The Quest of Seth for the Oil of Life (Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1962).
78. Without the clothing the rite is invalid, Shepherd of Hermas, Similitudes 9, 13; cf. 8, 2, in PG 977—79. The resurrection itself is conceived as the putting on of a new garment, Carl Clemen, Primitive Christianity and Its Non-Jewish Sources (Edinburg: Clark, 1912), 173—74. Beside the familiar white robe of baptism the sources speak of a garment of repentance, a skin coat worn by the prophets in the desert in the manner of John the Baptist, Robert Eisler, Iesous Basileus ou Basileusas, 2 vols. (Heidelberg: Winter, 1929—30) 2:33—38. Clement, First Epistle to the Corinthians 17, in PG 1:241—44: this advice was taken literally, Apocalypse of Peter 17, in ANT, 508, where the whole community on the Mount of Transfiguration are so clothed; cf. Ascension of Isaiah 4:16; 11:40; and Life of Onnophrius, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 219, 469. Adam lost his garment of holiness and put on a garment of humility, Irenaeus, Against Heresies III, 23, 5, in PG 7:963—64; Jubilees 3:31; while Enoch reversed the process, 2 Enoch 22:8; cf. Acts of Thomas 6—7, in ANT, 367—68; 146, in ANT, 428—29; Acts of Philip, in Constantin von Tischendorf, Apocalypses Apocryphae Mosis, Esdrae, Pauli (Leipzig: Mendelssohn, 1866; reprinted Hildesheim: Olms, 1966), 147.
79. The meal taking place after baptism marked the death and resurrection, Apostolic Constitutions VIII, 12, in PG 1:1092—1108; Oscar Cullmann, Urchristentum und Gottesdienst (Zürich: Zwingli, 1950), 18, notes that this consciously goes back to “those meals where Jesus after his Resurrection appeared to the disciples.” The mystic unity is emphasized in Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, in PO 2:132—35; Gospel of Thomas 28:28—30 (=NHLE 50:28—30, p. 129); Gospel of Philip 106:11—14 (=NHLE 58:11—14, p. 135); Odes of Solomon 41:5—7; Ignatius, Epistle to the Philadelphians 4, in PG 5:821—28; Didache 9; Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ 1:23, in Rahmani, Testament of Our Lord Jesus Christ, 44. The Jewish parallels are many, e.g., “the table of the community,” in 1QSa 2:18; cf. Adam, “Ein vergessener Aspekt des frühchristlichen Herrenmahles,” 9—20.
80. Aristides, Apology 17, 2; Minucius Felix, Octavius 8—10, in PL 3:266—76. The charges were “not altogether without foundation,” R. M. Wilson, The Gospel of Philip (New York: Harper & Row, 1962), 21—22, though the nature of the rites cannot be surmised either from the anti-Christian scandal stories or from the Gnostic distortions. The famous passage about the “two becoming one,” etc., is not the abolition of the sexes (the later Fathers often puzzle about the survival of the sexes in the resurrection), but the overcoming of all prurient distinction and rivalry, the two becoming one “in the Lord” (1 Corinthians 11:11); Gospel of Thomas 85: 25—35 (=NHLE 37:25—35, p. 121); Gospel of Philip 113:1—26 (=NHLE 65:1—26, p. 139), 118:13—22 (=NHLE 70:13—22, p. 142); Acts of Thomas 14, in ANT, 370; Oxyrhynchus Frg. 655; Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III, 13, in PG 8:1192; III, 9, in PG 8:1165—69; Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 12, in PG 1:345—48.
81. Robert M. Grant, “The Mystery of Marriage in the Gospel of Philip,” Vigiliae Christianae 15 (1961): 140, argues that this consisted in “literalizing” the orthodox ideas. But Irenaeus’s stock charge against the Gnostics is that they de-literalize everything, their marriages of the Aeons being a good example, Against Heresies I, 28, 1, in PG 7:690—91; 1, 21, 3, in PG 7:687. Tatian, Orations 8, in PG 6:821—25, maintains that marriage is defilement, as in the Acts of Thomas 12. In a conversation of the 40 days Salome wrongly “imagined that it is wrong to have children,” Clement of Alexandria, Stromata III, 9, 66, in PG 8:1165—69.
82. While in a sense the synagogue is a shadow of the temple and preserves or rather cherishes aspects of its rites and teachings, the essential qualities of the latter are lacking in the synagogue, as we indicated in Hugh Nibley, “Christian Envy of the temple,” Jewish Quarterly Review 50 (1960): 230—33, 239. The temple’s “rich cosmic symbolism which was largely lost in later Israelite and Jewish tradition,” William F. Albright, Archaeology and the Religion of Israel (Baltimore: Johns Hopkins Press, 1942), 154—55, 88—89, 167, included, as Alfred Jeremias, Sigmund Mowinckel and others have shown, such elements as its cosmic orientation, its significance as a place of contact with other worlds above and below, the ritual drama of creation, fall, and victory over death, rites of initiation and purification, etc. These basic elements of Near Eastern “patternism” have been recently discussed with special reference to the Jerusalem cult by the authors of Samuel H. Hooke, ed., Myth, Ritual, and Kingship (Oxford: Clarendon, 1958). The relation of these things to early Christian thought and practice is discussed by N. Dahl, “Christ, Creation, and the Church,” 422—43. Even the Christian sacral meal which Cullmann believes was meant to supplant the temple worship, Oscar Cullmann, “Le Temple de Jérusalem,” New Testament Studies 5 (1959): 171, is now traced to the temple itself by Adam, “Ein vergessener Aspekt des frühchristlichen Herrenmahles,” 9—20. The problem of just what went on in the temple at Jerusalem at various periods calls for extensive investigation.
83. Davies, He Ascended into Heaven, 55. The length of the interval is not the significant thing, as van Stempvoort notes, “The Interpretation of the Ascension in Luke and Acts,” 34, but its existence is.
84. Though there is a trend in the legends away from history and doctrine towards “pure thaumaturgy,” ANT, 474, the literature as a whole goes “back to standard themes in popular preaching and Apocryphal Acts,” Klijn, Acts of Thomas, 25.
85. The raising of the dead is an actual demonstration of the Resurrection, Apostolic Constitutions V, 7, in PG 1:837—52; “Letters of Severus,” 88, in PO 14:153; the dead are raised in response to the challenge, “How could . . . Jesus Christ rise from the dead?” Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 177—21. Upon raising a dead man Peter cries, “Ye men of Rome, it is thus that the dead are raised up!” Acts of Peter 28—29, in ANT, 329; cf. Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 16, in PO 2:135; Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 580—81; Acts of Paul (Martyrdom, 1—5), in ANT, 294—96.
86. “I saw (Jesus) standing by thee at the moment when thou didst raise me up from the dead,” Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 86. “He saw our Lord Jesus Christ in the form of Judas Thomas sitting on the bed,” ibid., 343; Thecla in the arena “saw the Lord sitting, like unto Paul,” in the audience, Acts of Paul 2:21, in ANT, 276. After Philip’s death Jesus appears “at the end of 40 days . . . in the form of Philip,” to teach his disciples, Acts of Philip 148, in ibid., 450. The post-burial appearances and the ascension of Thomas are exactly like Jesus’, Acts of Thomas 169, in ibid., 437. The closest identity is with Mary who is inseparable from Jesus during the 40 days, and whose resurrection was “a greater miracle than the Resurrection of the Lord,” Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 16, in PO 2:182. The 40 days must even follow her resurrection! Falling Asleep of Mary, in Forbes Robinson, Coptic Apocryphal Gospels (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1896), 65.
87. Jesus “would appear to them in the form in which they used to know Him,” give his instructions, and then “mount up into heaven in great glory,” Story of Joseph of Arimathea 2—3, in ANT, 164—65; Acts of John 72—76, in ibid., 246; Acts of Peter 3:1, in ibid., 304; 5, in ibid., 307—9; 16, in ibid., 317; 35, in ibid., 333; Acts of Philip 20, in ibid., 441; Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 154—56, 158—62, 171, 185, 230, 247, 265—68, etc. He could appear “in any form I please,” ibid., 318; Acts of John, in Montague R. James, Apocrypha Anecdota, 2nd series (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1897), ii, 5; iv.
88. During the feast of St. George the Saint himself appeared, multiplied the loaves and wine and brought all the sacrificed animals to life. Franz Cumont, “St. George and Mithra ‘The Cattle-Thief,’ ” Journal of Roman Studies 27 (1937): 71. This multiplying of loaves and fishes is a theme of the post-resurrectional meals with the Lord, e.g., Gospel of the Twelve Apostles 2, in PO 2:132—34. Tha’labi, Kitab Qisas al-Anbiya (Cairo: Mustafa al-Halabi al-Babi wa-Awladuhu, 1354 A.H.), 272, 276—77, 280, cites a number of early Christian legends in which the raising of the dead is accompanied by a feast miraculously provided from heaven. The Apostles often celebrate a raising of the dead with a feast or the Eucharist, Acts of John 84, in ANT, 250; cf. Acts of Peter 5, in ibid., 308—9; Acts of Andrew 20, in ibid., 344; Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 22.
89. For Victor, Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 1—101; for Theodore, Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 1—48; the St. George cycle is in Tha’abi, Kitab Qisas al-Anbiya, 299—304; for Mercurius, Budge, Miscellaneous Coptic Texts, 231—99; for Sebastian, Ambrose, Acta Sancti Sebastiani (Acts of St. Sebastian), in PL 17:1111—50, where after his final demise the saint still returns to give instructions, 1149—50.
90. “Toutes les versions des Sept Dormants servent à prouver la résurrection des morts,” Bernhard Heller, “Eléments, Parallèlles et Origine de La Légende des Sept Dormants,” Revue des études Juives 49 (1904): 215. The identity of the Seven Sleepers with the seven heroic brothers of 4 Maccabees 8:3—11 has long been recognized, Hippolyte Delehaye, “Hagiographie Napolitaine,” Analecta Bollandiana 57 (1939): 30. Though the latter tale is in praise of philosophy, even there the resurrection motif occurs, as when the eldest brother appears “as if he were suffering a change by fire to incorruption,” 4 Maccabees 9:22.
91. A friend of Thecla’s embraces her after one of her resuscitations crying, “Now do I believe that the dead are raised up!” Acts of Paul 39 in ANT, 280. The seven sons of Felicitas repeat the story of 4 Maccabees 8; see Peter Chrysologus, Sermones (Discourses) 134, in PL 52:564—65; Gregory, Homiliae (Homilies) 3, in PL 76:107—8 treats the successive slayings as a repeated martyrdom of Felicitas herself. Perpetua’s story is in PL 3:17—46.
92. Thomas, who is repeatedly martyred, is called the “Twin of Christ,” Acts of Thomas 39, in ANT, 383—84; Philip and Paul are repeatedly executed, Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 530, 466, 470, 472, and Andrew, ibid., 326—30, and Mark, ibid., 258, 261—63, and Matthew, ANT, 460—62; when Paul survived the fire “all the people believed,” Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 459—60, 524.
93. Many examples may be found in L. Radermacher, “Hippolytos und Thekla: Studien zur Geschichte von Legende und Kultus,” in Sitzungsberichte kaiserliche Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien, Philosophisch-historische Klasse 182:3 (1910): 1—111; R. Vallois, “Les origines des jeux olympiques,” Revue des etudes Anciennes 31 (1929): 122, 128—30.
94. Arthur B. Cook, Zeus, 3 vols. (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1914—40) 2:417, n. 2. The seven brothers motif in notes 90 and 91 above is close to the archaic legend and cult of Niobe.
95. Puech and Quispel, “Les écrits Gnostiques du Codex Jung,” 15—19. The problem of such radical borrowings is treated by Erwin R. Goodenough, Jewish Symbols in the Greco-Roman Period, 13 vols. (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1953), 1:3—32.
96. Hugh W. Nibley, “The Hierocentric State,” Western Political Quarterly 4 (1951): 232, 249—51; “The Unsolved Loyalty Problem: Our Western Heritage,” Western Political Quarterly 6 (1953): 641—46, for references.
97. Life of Apa Cyrus, in Budge, Coptic Martyrdoms, 128—36, 381—89, is typical. Far from being unworldly, all the monkish writers in these two volumes of Budge are intrigued and bedizened by the glory of the royal court, which is constantly brought into conjunction with the heavenly court. The heroes, military or clerical, are invariably of high birth, great wealth, and brilliant popularity. Regal pomp and circumstance are not decried but described with loving enthusiasm as the earthly counterpart of the heavenly order.
98. S. MacLean Gilmour, “The Christophany to More Than 500 Brethren,” Journal of Biblical Literature 80 (1961): 251—52, citing John Knox; and “Easter and Pentecost,” 62—66. For some recent studies identifying these events see Davies, He Ascended into Heaven, chs. 2, 3; Grässer, “Die Apostelgeschichte in der Forschung der Gegenwart,” 155; W. von Loewenich, “Das Johannes-Verständnis im zweiten Jahrhundert,” in Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft Supplement 13 (Giessen: Töpelmann, 1932): 16; Charles E. Carlston, “Transfiguration and Resurrection,” Journal of Biblical Literature 80 (1961): 233—40; Joachim Jeremias, “Zwischen Karfreitag und Ostern,” Zeitschrift fur die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 42 (1949): 194; Hans-Joachim Schulz, “Die ‘Höllenfahrt’ als ‘Anastasis,'” Zeitschrift für Katholische Theologie 81 (1959): 1—66.
99. Justin, Dialogue with Trypho 2, 31—34, in PG 6: 476—77; 40, 4, in PG 6:561; 49, 2, in PG 6:581; 52, 1 and 4, in PG 6:589; 111, in PG 6:733; Clementine Recognitions 1, 32—33, in PG 1:1222—36—27; III, 61, in PG 1:1306.
100. K. Holl, “Urchristentum und Religionsgeschichte,” Zeitschrift für systematische Theologie 2 (1924): 403; cf. Joachim Jeremias, “The Present Position in the Controversy Concerning the Problem of the Historical Jesus,” Expository Times 69 (1958): 337—38; Schneider, “Der Beitrag der Urgemeinde zur Jesusoberlieferung im Lichte der neuesten Forschung,” 401—3. The argument has been skillfully pressed by C. S. Lewis.
101. Lindeskog, “Christuskerygma und Jesustradition,” 145, 149—50.
102. “Ad rudium et pauperum Apostolorum mensam, escarn et salinum vile et luteum se demittere, eis assidere, cum eis convivari,” á Lapide, Commentaria in Scripturam Sacram 17:51. On the nature of the coarse food, Tissot, Life of Our Lord Jesus Christ 4:260.
103. So Jacques-Paul Migne, Scripturae Sacrae Cursus Completus, 28 vols. (Paris: Migne, 1840), 23:1130; Leo, Discourse 73, in PL 54:394—96; E. Jacquier, Les actes des apôtres, 9; J. Sint, “Die Auferstehung Jesu in der Verkündigung der Urgemeinde,” Zeitschrift für katholisches Theologie 84 (1962): 149—51.
104. Clement, Second Epistle to the Corinthians 5—8, in PG 1:336—41; Didache 9; Epistle of the Apostles 36 (47), in ANT, 498; Gospel of the Twelve Apostles, in PO 2:154; Asin de Palacios, “Logia et Agrapha,” no. 129, in PO 19:551; Justin Dialogue with Trypho 110, 6, in PG 6:729—32; 119, 5—6, in PG 6:752—53.
105. See note 25 above.
106. Some insist that because we know the subject of the 40-days’ discourse we also know its content—which is far from being the case. J. Sint, “Die Auferstehung Jesu in der Verkandigung der Urgemeinde,” 149—51; Frederick F. Bruce, Commentary on the Book of Acts (London: Marshall, Morgan & Scott, 1962), 34.
107. The same association of ideas meets us in such venerable documents as the so-called Shabako Stone, Kurt Sethe, Dramatische Texte zur altägyptischen Mysterienspielen I (Leipzig: Hinrichs, 1928), and the Enuma Elish, where we find the council and controversy in heaven, the creation of the world, the law of the Two Ways, the champion and redeemer of the race who overcomes the powers of death, and the obligation of the human race to participate in rites commemorating and dramatizing those cosmic events. The same motifs are conspicuous in the Dead Sea Scrolls, and form the foundation of what is sometimes designated today as “patternism.” Whatever the significance of these resemblances, they do show that our apocryphal concepts are not the contrivancecs of undisciplined Oriental fantasy.
108. Thus Schmidt, Gespräche Jesu, 205.
109. Anselm, Homiliae (Homilies) 7, in PL 158:628—29.