Acts of Thomas
Introduction to the Acts of the Apostle Thomas
The Online Wayist Bible, Copyright © 1997 by International Association of Wayist Organisations,
Acts of Thomas tells the story of St. Thomas’ ministry in India. As the story unfolds, we learn how Church of the East was founded based on Initiation, mysticism, the presence of the Spirit of Yesu, and by the deacons and priests appointed by St. Thomas. St Thomas was not alone in India. Yesu our Lord was always with him and the devotees.
The author of Acts of Thomas is a master narrator and the story is fluent with an occasional plot that unravels with ease. This book stands its own ground in the annals of ancient literature and is regarded as one of the better literary works of two thousand years ago.
The aim and purpose of Acts of Thomas are not to provide a historical and chronologically accurate account of St. Thomas’ Indian ministry. Its aim is to give readers a readable story that illustrates some incidents and issues in the founding of the Church. Due to the lack of historical accounts of the Apostles’ work we are however in a position where we have to look at all sources for information. Books such as Acts of Thomas shed some light on the historical questions. Considering the fact that they did not write Acts of Thomas for this purpose, it does however help us in this regard. Through the Acts of Thomas we can date some early church fathers such as St. Siphor, Xenophon the Scholar (we think to be the author of the book), Luzanes the Priest and the Indian mother of The Magdalenes, Sister Surya.
After St. Thomas’ death his close friends moved his body to Syria, to be buried in his home town. This we know from other written sources. We also know from other written sources of many other areas where St. Thomas and Yesu our Lord ministered. The Acts of Thomas does not pretend to be, and is not, a full account of the Life of St. Thomas.
The theme of Sacred Sensuality is very strong in Acts of Thomas as the author(s) shows him and our Lord to persistently exhort people to know the reason that they indulge in sensual pleasure. They remind us to differentiate between sensual pleasures that devour the soul (fire) and sensual pleasures made innocent (Fire), being used for the benefit of the spiritual life.
The book is highly mystical and esoteric in places and challenges us to look for deeper meaning. The exoteric reading (surface or literal reading) is a pleasant and sometimes delightful read with the occasional humour, irony and twist worked in to keep the flow refreshing.
Acts of Thomas: Chapters 1 - 3
Apostle Thomas is reluctant to minister in India
1 At that time we apostles were all in Jerusalem, Simon called Peter and Andrew his brother, James the son of Zebedee and John his brother, Philip and Bartholomew, Thomas and Matthew the publican, James the son of Alphaeus and Simon the Cananean, and Judas the brother of James; and we divided the regions of the world, that each one of us might go to the region which fell to his lot, and to the nation to which the Lord sent him.
2 According to the lot, India fell to Judas Thomas, who is also called Didymos, but he did not wish to go, saying that through weakness of the flesh he could not travel, and: ‘How can I, who am a Hebrew, go and preach the truth among the Indians?’ As he considered and said this, the Saviour appeared to him by night saying to him: ‘Fear not, Thomas, go to India and preach the word there, for my grace is with you.’ But he would not obey and said: ‘Send me where you will -but somewhere else, for I am not going to the Indians!’
The Lord sells the Apostle to Abban.
3 As he thus spoke and thought, it happened that a certain merchant was there who had come from India. His name was Abban and he had been sent by king Gundaphorus, and had received orders from him to buy a carpenter and bring him back to him. Now the Lord saw him walking in the marketplace at noon, and said to him: ‘Do you wish to buy a carpenter?’ He said to him ‘Yes.’ The Lord said to him: ‘I have a slave who is a carpenter, and wish to sell him.’ When he had said this he showed him Thomas from a distance, and agreed with him for three pounds of un-coined silver, and wrote a deed of sale saying: ‘I, Yesu, the son of Yusaf the carpenter, confirm that I have sold my slave Judas to you, Abban, a merchant of Gundaphorus a king of the Indians.’
4 When the contract was completed the Saviour took Judas, who is also called Thomas, and led him to the merchant Abban. When Abban saw him, he said to him: ‘Is this your master?’ The apostle in answer said: ‘Yes, he is my Lord.’ Abban said: ‘I have bought you from him.’ And the apostle was silent.
Yesu gives Thomas the money to redeem himself from slavery
5 On the following morning the apostle prayed and asked the Lord, and said: ‘I will go wherever you want me to, Lord Yesu; your will be done.’ He then went off to Abban the merchant, carrying with him nothing at all, save only his price, for the Lord had given it to him, saying: ‘Let your price also be with you, with my grace, wherever you go.’ The apostle found Abban carrying his baggage aboard the ship, and he too began to carry it with him.
6 After they had embarked on the ship and sat down, Abban questioned the apostle, saying: ‘What manner of trade do you know?’ The apostle answered: ‘In wood I make ploughs and yokes and balances, and ships and oars for ships and masts and pulleys; and in stone, pillars and temples and royal palaces.’ Abban the merchant said to him: ‘Good, for of such a craftsman are we in need.’ So they began their voyage. They had a favourable wind, and sailed prosperously until they arrived at Andrapolis, a royal city.
The Wedding Feast
7 Leaving the ship, they went into the city. Sounds of flutes and water organs and trumpets echoed round about them; and the apostle inquired, saying: ‘What is this feast in this city?’ The people there said to him: ‘You too, have the gods brought to keep festival in this city, for the king has an only daughter, and now he is giving her to a man in marriage. So it is for the wedding, this rejoicing and this assembly for the feast today, which you see. The king has sent out heralds to proclaim everywhere that all should come to the wedding - rich and poor, slave and free, strangers and citizens; but if any man refuse, and come not to the marriage he shall be accountable to the king.’
8 When Abban heard it, he said to the apostle: ‘Let us also go, then, that we may not give offence to the king, especially since we are strangers.’ And he said: ‘Let us go.’ And after taking quarters at the inn and resting a little they went to the wedding. The apostle, seeing them all reclining, stretched out in their midst; and they all looked at him, as at a stranger and as one that came from a foreign land. But Abban the merchant, being the master, lay down at another place.
9 While they dined and drank, the apostle ate and drank nothing; so that those who were around about him said: ‘Why do you come here neither eating nor drinking?’;1
He answered them: ‘For something greater than food or drink have I came here, so that I may accomplish the kings will. For the heralds proclaim the king, and whoever does not listen to the heralds shall be liable to the king’s judgment.’2
Thomas anoints himself
10 After they had dined and drunk, crowns and scented oils were brought to them and each one took of the oil - one anointed his face, another his beard, another again other parts of his body; but the apostle anointed the crown of his head and smeared a little upon his nostrils, dropped some also into his ears, touched his teeth with it and carefully anointed the parts about his heart; and the crown that was brought to him, woven of myrtle and other flowers, he took and set upon his head; and he took a branch of a reed in his hand and held it.
11 Now, the flute-girl, holding her flute in her hand, was going round all the company and playing; but when she came to the place where the apostle was, she stood over him and played at his head for a long time, and the apostle knew the flute-girl was by race a Hebrew.
The Maiden Song
12 While the apostle was looking at the ground, one of the cup-bearers stretched out his hand and slapped him for his rudeness for not looking at the girl. But the apostle lifted up his eyes, directed his gaze at the man who had struck him, and said: ‘My God will forgive you this injury in the world to come, but in this world he will show forth his wonders, and I shall even now see that hand that smote me dragged by dogs.’3
When had said this he began to sing this song:
The maiden is the daughter of light,
Upon her stands and rests
the majestic effulgence of kings.
Delightful is the sight of her,
Radiant with shining beauty.
Her garments are like spring flowers,
and a scent of sweet fragrance is diffused from them.
In the crown of her head the king is established,
feeding with his own ambrosia those who are under him.
Truth rests upon her head,
by (the movement of) her feet she shows forth joy.
Her mouth is open, and so becomingly,
she sings magnificent songs of praise.
Thirty and two are they that sing her praises.
Her tongue is like the curtain of the door,
flung back for those who enter.
In steps her neck mounts up,
which the first craftsman worked.
Her two hands make signs and secret patterns,
proclaiming the dance of the blessed eons,
Her fingers open the gates of the city.
Her chamber is full of light,
breathing a scent of balsam and all sweet herbs,
And giving out a sweet smell of myrrh and aromatic leaves.
Within are strewn myrtle and incense flowers,
and the walkways are decorated with reeds.
Her seven groomsmen keep her company wherever she goes.
Whom she herself has chosen;
And her bridesmaids are seven,
who dance before her.
Twelve are they in number who serve before her.
And are subject to her,
moving their gaze and look toward the bridegroom,
That by the sight of him they may be enlightened;
And for ever shall they be with him in that eternal joy,
and they shall be at that marriage.
For which the princes assemble together,
and shall linger over the feasting.
Of which the eternal ones are accounted worthy,
and they shall put on royal robes.
And be arrayed in splendid raiment,
and both shall be in joy and exultation.
And they shall glorify the Father of all,
whose proud light they received.
And were enlightened by the vision of their Lord,
whose ambrosial food they received,
Which has no deficiency at all,
and they drank too of his wine.
Which gives them neither thirst nor desire;
and they glorified and praised, with the living Spirit,
the Father of Truth and the Mother of Wisdom.4
13 When he had sung and ended this song, all who were present gazed at him: and he was silent. They saw also his appearance changed, but they did not understand what he said, since he was a Hebrew and what he said was spoken in the Hebrew tongue.
14 The flute-girl alone heard it all, for she was a Hebrew by race; and moving away from him she played to the others, but often looked back and gazed on him. For she loved him greatly, as a man of her own race; moreover in appearance he was comely above all that were present.5
After the flute-girl had finished playing, she sat down opposite him and looked steadily at him. But he looked at no one at all, nor did he pay attention to anyone, but kept his eyes only on the ground, waiting for the time when he might take his departure.
The lot of the cup-bearer
15 But the cup-bearer who had slapped him went down to the well to draw water. It so happened that there was a lion there, and it slew him and left him to lie on the spot, after tearing his limbs to pieces - immediately dogs seized his limbs, and among them a black dog grasped his right hand in its mouth and carried it into the place where the feast was.
16 They were all amazed and inquired which of them were absent when they saw it. When it became evident that it was the hand of the cup-bearer who had struck the apostle, the flute-girl smashed her flute and threw it away, and went to the apostle’s feet and sat down, saying: ‘This man is either a god or a servant of God; for I heard him say to the cupbearer in Hebrew: “Even now shall I see the hand that smote me dragged by dogs” which you also have now seen; for as he said, so did it come to pass.’ And some believed her, but some did not.
17 But when the king heard it, he came and said to the apostle: ‘Arise and come with me, and pray for my daughter! For she is my only child, and today I give her in marriage.’ But the apostle would not go with him, for the Lord was not yet revealed to him there. But the king led him away against his will into the bridal chamber, that he might pray for the bridal pair.6
Thomas prays for the couple who are getting married
18 The apostle stood there and began to pray these words: ‘My Lord and my god, the companion of his servants, who guide and direct those who believe in him, the refuge and rest of the oppressed, the hope of the poor and redeemer of the captives, the physician of the souls laid low in sickness and saviour of all creation, who quicken the world to life and strengthen the souls, you know what is to be, who also do accomplish it through us; you, Lord, who reveal hidden mysteries and make manifest words that are secret; you, Lord, are the planter of the good tree, and by your hands are all good works engendered; you, Lord, are he who is in all and passes through all and dwells in all your works, and manifest in the working of them all; Yesu Christ, son of compassion and perfect Saviour; Christ, son of the living God, the undaunted power which overthrew the enemy, the voice that was heard by all the powers of the universe, which shook all their powers; ambassador sent from the height who did descend even to Hell, who having opened the doors did bring up here those who for many ages had been shut up in the treasury of darkness, and show them the Way that leads up to the height; I pray you, Lord Yesu, as I bring to you my supplication for these young people, that you do for them the things that help and are useful and profitable.’ After laying his hands upon them and saying: ‘The Lord shall be with you,’ he left them in that place and departed.
The Lord appears to the couple
19 The king required the attendants to go out of the bridal chamber. When all had gone out and the doors were shut, the bridegroom lifted up the veil of the bridal chamber, that he might bring the bride to himself. Then he saw the Lord Yesu in the likeness of the apostle Judas Thomas, who shortly before had blessed them and departed from them, conversing with the bride, and he said to him: ‘Did you not go out before them all? How are you now found here?’ But the Lord said to him: ‘I am not Judas who is also Thomas, I am his brother.’ The Lord sat down upon the bed and bade them also to sit on the chairs, and began to say to them:
20 ‘Remember, my children, what my brother said to you, and to whom he commended you; and know this, that if you abandon this filthy intercourse you become holy temples, pure and free from afflictions and pains both manifest and hidden, and you will not be surrounded with cares for life and for children, the end of which is destruction. But if you get many children, then for their sakes you become robbers and materialistic, ones who flay orphans and defraud widows, and by so doing you subject yourselves to the most grievous punishments. For the majority of children become unprofitable, possessed by demons, some openly and some in secret; for they become either lunatic or half-witted or crippled or deaf or dumb or paralytic or stupid. Even if they are healthy, again will they be unserviceable, performing useless and abominable deeds; for they are caught either in adultery or in murder or in theft or in unchastity, and by all these you will be afflicted. But if you obey, and keep your souls pure unto God, you shall have living children whom these hurts do not touch, and shall be without care, leading an undisturbed life without grief or anxiety, waiting to receive that incorruptible and true marriage 7 (as befitting for you), and in it you shall be groomsmen entering into that bridal chamber which is full of immortality and light.’8
21 When the young people heard this, they believed the Lord and gave themselves entirely to him, and refrained from the filthy passion, and so remained throughout the night in that place. The Lord departed from them, saying: ‘The grace of God shall be with you.’
22 When morning broke, the king came to meet them, and after furnishing the table brought it in before the bridegroom and the bride; and he found them sitting opposite one another, the bride with her face unveiled and the bridegroom very cheerful. But her mother came in and said to the bride: ‘Why do you sit like this, child, and are not ashamed, but do behave as if you have lived a long time with your own husband?’ Their father said: ‘Because of your great love for your husband do you not even veil yourself?’ 9
23 The bride in answer said: ‘Truly, father, I am in great love, and I pray to my Lord that the love which I experienced this night may remain with me, and I will ask for the husband of whom I have learned today. I do not veil myself because the mirror of shame was taken from me, I am no longer ashamed or abashed, because the work of shame and bashfulness has been removed far from me. I am not alarmed, because alarm did not remain with me. I am in cheerfulness and joy because the day of joy was not disturbed. I have set at nothing this man, and this marriage which passes away from before my eyes, because I am bound in another marriage. Also, I have had no intercourse with a short-lived husband, the end of which is bitterness of soul, because I am yoked with the true man.’
24 While the bride was saying yet more than this, the bridegroom answered and said: ‘I thank you, Lord who through the stranger was proclaimed and found in us; who removed me from corruption, who has sown in me life, who freed me from this sickness hard to heal and hard to cure and abiding for ever, and implanted in me sober health; who showed yourself to me and revealed to me all my condition in which I am; who redeemed me from the fall and lead me to the better, and freed me from transitory things but count me worthy of those that are immortal and everlasting; who humbled yourself to me and my smallness, that setting me beside your greatness you unite me with yourself; who did not withhold your mercy from me that was ready to perish, but showed me to seek myself and to recognise who I was and who and how I now am, that I may become again what I was; whom I did not know, but you yourself did seek me out; of whom I was unaware, but though yourself did take me to you; whom I have perceived, and now cannot forget; whose love rises within me, and of whom I cannot speak as I ought, but what I can say about him is short and very little and does not correspond to his glory; but he does not blame me when I make bold to say to him even what I do not know; for it is for love of him that I say this.’
25 But when the king heard this from the bridegroom and the bride he tore his garments and said to those who stood near him: ‘Go out quickly and go through all the city, and seize and bring to me that man, the sorcerer who by an evil chance is in this city. For I brought him with my own hands into my house; and told him to pray over my most unfortunate daughter. Whosoever finds and brings him to me, to him do I give whatever he may ask of me.10
26 So they left and went in search of him, and did not find him; for he had set sail. They went also into the inn where he had lodged, and there they found the flute-girl weeping and distressed, because he had not taken her with him. But when they told her what had happened in the case of the young people, she was very glad when she heard it, and setting aside her grief she said: ‘Now have I too found rest here!’
27 The stood up and went to them, and stayed with them a long time, until they had taught many about the truth, and the king also.
28 Many of the brethren also gathered there, until they heard a report about the apostle, that he had landed in the cities of India and was teaching there, and they went off and joined themselves with him.
Concerning the eternal palace
1 When the apostle came to the cities of India with Abban the merchant, Abban went off to salute King Gundaphorus, and reported to him concerning the architect whom he had brought with him. The king was glad, and commanded that he should come to him.
2 So when he came the king said to him: ‘What kind of trade do you understand?’ The apostle replied: ‘Carpentry and building.’ The king said to him: ‘What craftsmanship then do you know in wood and what in stone?’ The apostle said: ‘In wood; ploughs, yokes, balances, pulleys, and ships and oars and masts; and in stone, pillars, temples and royal palaces.’ The king asked: ‘Will you build me a palace?’ He answered: ‘Yes, I will build, and I will finish it with furnishings; for this is why I came, to build and work as a carpenter.’
3 The king took him and went out of the gates of the city, and began to discuss with him on the way the building of the palace and how the foundations should be laid, until they came to the place where he wanted the building to be. He said: ‘I wish the building to be here.’ The apostle agreed: ‘Yes, for this place is suitable for the building’, for the place was wooded, and there was much water there.
4 So the king said: ‘Begin to build.’ But the apostle said: ‘I cannot begin to build now at this season.’ The king asked: ‘When can you?’ And he said: ‘I will begin in November and finish in April.’ Then the king said in astonishment: ‘All buildings are built in summer, but you can build and establish a palace even in winter?’ And the apostle said: ‘So it ought to be, and there is no other way.’
5 The king said: ‘Well then, if this is your decision, draw me a plan how the work will be done, and I will come back here after some time to see it.’ The apostle then took a reed and drew, measuring the place; and the doors he set toward the east, to face the light, and the windows to the west towards the winds, and the bake-house he made to be to the south, and the aqueduct for the service to the north. When the king saw this, he said: ‘Yes, truly you are an architect, it is fitting for you to serve kings.’ And leaving much money with him he departed.
The hungry and destitute need material help
6 At appointed times the king sent him money and whatever was necessary both for his own sustenance and for that of the other workmen. But Thomas took it all and handed it out, going about the towns and the villages round about, distributing it and giving alms to the poor and afflicted, and he gave them relief, saying: ‘The king knows that he will receive a royal reward, but the poor must for the present be uplifted.’
7 Later the king sent an ambassador to the apostle, writing to him thus: ‘Show me what you have done, or what I should send you, or what you require.’ The apostle replied to him, saying: ‘The palace is built, and only the roof remains.’ When the king heard this, he sent him again gold and un-coined silver, writing: ‘If the palace is built, let it be roofed.’
8 The apostle thanked the Lord: ‘I thank you Lord, in every respect that for a short time you died that I might live eternally in you, and that you sold me in order to deliver many through me.’
9 He did not cease from teaching and uplifting the afflicted, saying: ‘The Lord has dispensed this to you, and himself provides to each his food; for he is the nourisher of the orphans and supporter of the widows, and to all that are afflicted he is relief and rest.’ (See 1:20)
10 The day the king came to the city he inquired of his friends concerning the palace which Judas who is also Thomas was building for him. They told him: ‘Neither has he built a palace, not has he done anything else of what he promised to do, but he goes about the towns and villages, and if he has anything he gives it all to the poor, and he teaches a new God and heals the sick and drives out demons and does many other wonderful things; we think he is a magician. His works of compassion, and the healings which are worked by him without reward, and moreover his simplicity and kindness and the quality of his faith, show that he is righteous or an apostle of the new God of whom he preaches. For continually he fasts and prays, and eats only bread and salt, and his drink is water, and he wears one garment whether in fine weather or in cold, and takes nothing from anyone, and what he has he gives to others.’ When the king heard this, he smote his face with his hands, shaking his head for a long time.
11 The king sent for the merchant who brought him, and for the apostle, and said to him: ‘Have you built me the palace?’ The apostle replied: ‘Yes, I have built it.’ The king said: ‘Then when shall we go and see it?’ But the apostle answered him: ‘Now you can not see it, but when you do depart this life you shall see it.’
12 Hearing this, the king in great wrath commanded both the merchant and Judas who is also Thomas to be put in bonds and cast into prison until he should investigate and learn to whom the king’s money had been given, and so destroy him together with the merchant. But the apostle went rejoicing into the prison and said to the merchant: ‘Fear nothing, but only believe in the God who is preached by me, and you shall be freed from this world, but from the age to come shall obtain life.’
13 Now the king was considering with what manner of death he should destroy them. He had resolved to flay them alive and then burn them with fire. In the same night Gad 11 the king’s brother fell sick, and because of the pain and disappointment which the king had suffered, he was greatly depressed.
14 Gad, sent for the king and said to him: ‘My brother the king, my house and my children I commend to you. I have been grieved on account of the despiteful usage that has befallen you, and behold, I am dying, and if you do not come down with vengeance upon the head of that magician, you will give my soul no rest in Hades.’12
15 The king replied to his brother: ‘The whole night through I was considering how I should put him to death; and this have I resolved, to flay him alive and then burn him with fire, both him and with him the merchant who brought him.’
16 As they conversed, the soul of Gad his brother departed. The king mourned Gad deeply, for he loved him greatly, and commanded him to be buried in royal and costly apparel. But when this happened, angels took the soul of Gad, the king’s brother and carried it up into heaven, showing him the places there and the dwellings and asking him: ‘In what kind of place would you live?’
17 When they drew near to the building of Thomas the apostle, which he built for the king, Gad, when he saw it, said to the angels: ‘I pray you, sirs, allow me to live in one of these lower apartments.’ But they denied him: ‘You cannot live in this building.’ And he asked: ‘Why?’ They replied: ‘This palace is the one which that Christian built for your brother.’ He then pleaded with them: ‘I pray you, sirs, allow me to go to my brother, that I may buy this palace from him. For my brother does not know of what kind it is, and will sell it to me.’
18 Then the angels let Gad’s soul go. While they were putting the grave clothes on him, his soul entered into him, and he said to those who stood around him: ‘Call to me my brother, that I may ask of him one request.’ So at once they brought the good news to the king, saying: ‘Your brother is alive again.’ The king sprang up and came with a great crowd to his brother, and going in he stood by his bed as if stupefied, unable to speak to him.
19 Gad said: ‘I know and am persuaded, brother, that if anyone asked of you the half of your kingdom, you would have given it for my sake. Therefore I beseech you to grant me one favour which I ask of you, that you sell me what I ask from you.’ The king answered: ‘And what is it that you do ask me to sell you?’ His brother replied: ‘Convince me by an oath that you will grant it me.’ The king swore to him: ‘Of my possessions you ask and I give it.’
20 Only then the kings brother said to him: ‘Sell me that palace which you have in heaven.’ The king asked: ‘Since when should I have a palace in heaven?’ He replied: ‘The one that Christian built for you, who is now in prison, the man the merchant brought after buying him from one Yesu. I mean that Hebrew slave whom you wished to punish, for having suffered some deception at his hand. The slave against whom I too was vexed, but then I died, and now I am alive again.’
King Gundaphorus receives Wisdom
21 Then the king, considering the matter, understood concerning the eternal goods which were more excellent for him and which he was to receive, and said: ‘That palace I cannot sell to you, and I pray to enter it one day and live in it. But if you truly wish to buy such a palace, behold the man is alive, and will build you one better than that.’
22 Immediately the king sent for and brought the apostle out of the prison, and the merchant who had been shut up with him, saying: ‘I plead with you, as a man entreating the servant of God, to pray for me and beseech him whose servant you are, that he forgive me and overlook the things that I have done against you, or thought to do, and that I may become a worthy inhabitant of that dwelling for which I did not labour at all, but you built it for me labouring alone, the grace of your God working with you, and that I too may become a servant, and serve this God whom you do proclaim.’
23 His brother also fell down at the apostle’s feet and said: ‘I pray you and implore before your God, that I may become worthy of this ministry and service, and that it may be my lot to be worthy of the things shown to me by his angels.’
24 The apostle was full of joy, saying: ‘I praise you, Lord Yesu, that you have revealed truth in them. You are the God of truth, and no other; and you are he who knows all that is unknown to the many; you, Lord, are he who in all things show forbearance to humanity. For humans, because of the error that is in them forsake you, but you forsake them not. Now, as I beseech and supplicate you, receive the king and his brother and unite them with your flock, cleansing them with your washing and anointing them with your oil, saving them from the error which surrounds them. Preserve them also from the wolves who wish to lead them from your pastures. Give them to drink from your ambrosial spring which neither is turbid nor dries up. For they pray you and implore and desire to become your ministers and servants, and for this cause they are content even to be persecuted by your enemies, and for your sake to be hated by them and be despitefully used and put to death, even as you for our sakes suffered all these things that you might preserve us, who are our Lord and good shepherd. Do grant to them that they may have confidence in you alone, and the help which comes from you and your salvation they expect from you alone, and that they may be established in your mysteries and receive of your graces and gifts the perfect good, and may flourish in your service, and bring forth fruit to perfection in our Father.’
25 Being now well disposed to the apostle, king Gundaphorus and his brother Gad followed him, not leaving his side at all. They themselves were providing for those who were in need, giving to all and inspiring all.
26 They pleaded with him that they also might now receive the seal of the word, saying to him: ‘Since our souls are at leisure and we are zealous for God, give us the seal! For we have heard you say that the God of whom you do preach, knows his own sheep by his seal.’
27 The apostle said to them: ‘I also rejoice and pray for you to receive this seal, and to share with me in this Great Mystery and divine feast, and to be made perfect in it. For this is the Lord of all, Yesu Christ whom I preach, and he is in the Father of truth in whom I have taught you to believe.’ He then commanded them to bring oil for anointing, that through anointing they may be sealed. So they brought the oil, and lit many lamps; since it was night.
28 The apostle rose up and sealed them, and the Lord was revealed to them by a voice, saying: ‘Peace be with you brothers!’ They only heard his voice, but his form they did not see; for they had not yet received the additional sealing of the seal. The apostle took the oil, and pouring it on their heads anointed and chrismed them, and began to say:13
The Great Invocation
‘Come, holy name of Christ that is above every name;
Come, power of the Most High and perfect compassion;
Come, our highest gift;
Come, compassionate mother;
Come, fellowship of the male;
Come, mother that reveals the hidden mysteries;
Come, mother of the seven days, that your rest may be in the eighth house;
Come, elder of the virtues: understanding, thought, prudence, considerations, reasoning,
Communicate with these young men!
Come, Holy Spirit, and purify their control and their heart and give them the added seal in the name of the Father, the Mother and the Holy Son.’
Yesu appears to them in the form of a youth
30 When they had been sealed there appeared to them a young man carrying a burning torch, so that even the lamps were darkened at the brightness of its light – and going out he vanished from their sight.
31 The apostle said to the Lord: ‘Beyond our comprehension, Lord, is your light, and we are not able to bear it; for it is greater than our sight.’
King Gundaphorus and his brother Gad partakes of the Great Mystery and Thomas delivers the sermon to the crowd
32 And when dawn came and it was light, he broke bread and made them partakers in the great Mystery of Christ. They rejoiced and were glad, and many others also, believing, joined the faithful and came into the refuge of the Saviour.
33 The apostle did not cease preaching and said to them: ‘Men and women, boys and girls, youths and maids, vigorous and aged, whether you are slaves or free, abstain from fornication and avarice and the service of the belly; for in these three heads all lawlessness is comprised. For fornication blinds the mind and darkens the eyes of the soul, and is a hindrance to the right ordering of the body, turning the whole person to weakness and throwing the whole body into sickness.
34 Insatiate desire brings the soul into fear and shame, since it is within the body and plunders the goods of others,14 and harbours suspicion. Even once restored, these things and their owners will be shamed. The service of the belly plunges the soul into cares and anxieties and sorrows, it becomes anxious for fear of wanting, and reaches out for what is far from it. If then you escape from these, you become free from care and sorrow and fear, and there remains with you that which was said by the Saviour: ‘Be not anxious for tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself. Remember also the words which were spoken before: “Look at the ravens and consider the birds of the heaven, that they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and God provides for them. How much more for you, O you of little faith!”
35 Do you wait for his coming, and set your hope in him, and believe in his name? – for he is the judge of the living and the dead and he gives to each one according to his works. At his coming, and later appearance, no man has any word of excuse when he is about to be judged by him, as if he had not heard. For his heralds are proclaiming to the four regions of the world: ‘Repent and believe the tidings of freedom from this world, and receive a yoke of meekness and a light burden, that you may live and not die!’
36 These things, make it your own and treasure it. Come out from the darkness, that the light may receive you! Come to him who is truly good, that you may receive grace from him and take up his sign in your souls.’
37 When he had said this, some of the bystanders said to him: ‘It is time for the creditor to receive the debt.’ But he said to them: ‘The creditor always wishes to receive more than enough, but let us give him what is his due.’
38 When he had blessed them he took bread and oil and herbs and salt, and blessed and gave to them; but he himself continued in his fasting, for the Lord’s day was about to dawn.
39 As he slept in the following night, the Lord came and stood at his head and said: ‘Thomas, rise up early and bless them all, and after the prayer and service go down the eastern road two miles, and there I will show in you my glory. Because of the work which you have done, many will take refuge in me, and you shall face the nature and the power of the enemy.’
40 Rising up from sleep he said to the brothers who were with him: ‘Children and brothers, the Lord wishes to accomplish something through me today. Let us pray and entreat him, that nothing may become a hindrance for us towards him, but that as at all times so now it may come to pass through us according to his will and desire.’
41 When he had said this, he laid his hands upon them and blessed them. And breaking the bread of the great Mystery he gave it to them, saying: ‘This Mystery shall be to you for compassion and mercy, and not for judgment and requital.’ They said: ‘Amen.’
Concerning the serpent
1 Thomas went out to go to where the Lord had commanded him; and when he was near the second milestone and had turned aside a little from the road he saw lying there the body of a comely youth, and said: ‘Lord, was it for this that you brought me out here? That I might be tested by this? Your will be done.’
2 He began to pray and say: ‘O Lord, judge of living and dead, of the living who stand by and the dead one lying here, you, Lord of all and Father – but Father not of the spirits that are in bodies, but of those that are out; for of the spirits that are in pollution you are Lord and judge – come in this hour in which I call upon you, and show your glory toward this young man who lies here.’
3 Turning to those who followed him he said: ‘This thing has not happened for no purpose, but the enemy has been at work, and has worked this that he may make an attack thereby; and you see that he has made use of no other and worked through no other creature than that which is his subject.’
4 When he had said this a great serpent came out of a hole, darting his head and lashing his tail on the ground, and said with a loud voice to the apostle: ‘I will say before you for what reason I slew him, for to this end have you come, to put my works to shame.’
5 The apostle said: ‘Yes, speak on.’ And the serpent said: ‘There is a beautiful woman in this village over against us. As she was once by my place I saw her and fell in love with her, and following her I kept watch on her. I found this young man kissing her, and he had intercourse with her and did other shameful things with her. But not wishing to disquiet her I did not kill him in that very hour, but watched for him, and as he came by in the evening I smote and slew him, the more especially since he dared to do this on the Lord’s day.’
The nature of evil
6 But the apostle questioned him, saying: ‘Tell me of what seed and what race you are?’
7 The serpent said to him: ‘I am a reptile of reptile nature, a baleful son of a menacing father; I am son of him who hurt and smote the four Tall Brothers;15 I am son of him who sits upon the throne which has power over the creation which is under heaven,16 who takes his own from those who borrow;17
9 I am he who entered through the fence into Paradise and said to Eve all the things my father charged me to say to her;20 I am he who kindled and inflamed Cain to slay his own, and because of me thorns and thistles sprang up on the earth;21
10 I am he who hurled the angels down from above, and bound them in lusts for women, that earth-born children might come from them and I fulfil my will in them;22 I am he who hardened Pharaoh’s heart, that he might slay the children of Israel and enslave them in a yoke of cruelty; I am he who led the multitude astray in the wilderness, when they made the calf; I am he who inflamed Herod and kindled Caiaphas to the false accusation of the lie before Pilate; for this was fitting for me; I am he who kindled Judas and bribed him to betray Christ to death;23
11 I am he who inhabits and possesses the abyss of Tartarus, but the Son of God did me wrong against my will, and chose out of his own not from me; I am a kinsman of him who is to come from the east, to whom also is given power to do what he will on the earth.’24
12 When the serpent had said this, in the hearing of all the crowd, the apostle lifted up his voice on high and said: ‘Cease now, most shameless one, and be you put to shame and entirely done to death! For your end and destruction, is come. Do not dare to say what you have worked through to those who have become subject to you. I command you in the name of that Yesu who contends with you until now for the souls who are his own by choice, that you suck out your poison which you put into this man, and draw it out and take it from him.’
13 But the serpent said: ‘Not yet has the time of our end come, as you have said. Why do you compel me to take what I have put into this man and die before the time? For indeed if my father draw forth and suck out what he cast into the creation, then only is his end.’
14 But the apostle said to him: ‘Show now the nature of your father!’ And the serpent came forward and set his mouth against the young man’s wound and sucked the gall out of it. Little by little the young man’s colour, which was purple, became white, and the serpent swelled up. When the serpent had drawn up all the gall into himself, the young man sprang up and stood, then ran and fell at the apostle’s feet.
15 The serpent, being swollen, burst and died, and his poison and gall poured out; and in the place where his poison poured out there came a great chasm, and that serpent was swallowed up. The apostle said to the king and his brother: ‘Send workmen and fill up that place, and lay foundations and build houses on top, that it may become a dwelling place for the strangers.’
The young man
16 The young man said to the apostle, with many tears: ‘Wherein have I sinned against you? For you are a man that has two forms, and wherever you want to, there you are found, and you are restrained by no man, as I see.
17 For I saw how that man stood beside you, and said to you: “I have many wonders to show through you, and I have great works to accomplish through you, for which you shall receive a reward; and you shall make many live, and they shall be in rest in eternal light as children of God. Do you, then,” he said, speaking to you of me, “revive this young man stricken by the enemy, and become at all times his guardian.”
18 You have done well to come here, and again you shall do well to depart of him, for indeed he never leaves you at all. But I have become free from care and reproach, and the light has shown me freedom from the care of the night, and I am at rest from the toil of the day; but I am free also from him who urged me to do these things.
19 I sinned against him who taught me the opposite, and I have lost that kinsman of the night who compelled me to sin by his own deeds; but I found that figure of light to be my kinsman. I have lost him who darkens and blinds his subjects, that they may not know what they are doing, and being ashamed at their works depart from them, and their deeds come to an end; but I found him whose works are light and his deeds truth, of which if a man does them he does not repent. I have been freed from him whose lie is persistent, before whom darkness goes as a veil and behind whom follows shame, shameless in inactivity; but I found him who revealed to me beautiful things that I might take hold of them, the Son of Truth, who is kinsman of concord, who driving away the mist enlightens his own creation, and healing its wounds overthrows its enemies.
20 I pray you, man of God, make me to look upon him again, and to see him who has now become hidden from me, that I may also hear his voice, the wonder of which I cannot express; for it is not of the nature of this bodily organ.’
21 The apostle answered and said to him: ‘If you are freed from those things of which you have received knowledge, as you have said, and know who it is that has worked this in you, and do learn and become an heir of him who now in your fervent love you search; you shall both see him and be with him for ever, and in his rest shall you rest, and you shall be in his joy.
22 But if you be lightly disposed towards him, and turn again to your former doings, and let go the beauty and that radiant countenance which now was shown to you, then the effulgence of his light, which now you so desire, will be wholly hidden from you, not only of this life shall you be deprived but also of that which is to come, and you shall depart to him whom you said you have lost, and no longer look on him whom you said you have found.’
23 When the apostle had said this, he went into the city holding fast that young man’s hand and saying to him: ‘These things which you have seen, child, are but a few of the many which God has; for it is not about these visible things that he brings good news to us, but greater things than these he promises us.
24 So long as we are in the body we cannot speak and declare what he gives to our souls. We say that he gives us light, this is a visible thing and we possess it; it both exists and is visible in this world, and we name it, and do not require it, for it has been said: “Hardly shall a rich man enter into the kingdom of heaven.” If we speak of the cloak which the luxurious in this life put on, it is named and it has been said: “They who wear soft garments are in king’s houses.”
25 Of costly banquets, concerning these we have received a commandment to beware of them, not to be “weighed down in to intemperance and drunkenness and the cares of this life.” As you have read at the service, and it is said: “Be not anxious for your life, what you shall eat or what you shall drink, neither for your body, what you shall put on, for the life is more than meat, and the body than clothes.”
26 If we speak of this rest which is temporal, judgment is appointed for this also. But we speak about the world above, about God and angels, about watchers and saints, about the ambrosial soma and the drink of the true vine, about clothing that endures and does not grow old, about things which the eye has not seen, nor the ear heard, neither have they entered into the hearts of sinful people; things which God has prepared for those who love him.
27 These things we discuss, and about these we bring good tidings. Do you also, therefore, believe in him, that you may live, and set in him your trust, and you shall not die. For he is not persuaded by gifts, that you should offer to him; nor does he need sacrifices, that you should sacrifice to him. But look to him from the heart, and he will not disregard you; and turn to him, and he will not forsake you; and you will receive the true knowledge of things above and below now and forever and of before and after.
28 For his comeliness and beauty will make you eager to love him, but also it does not allow you to turn yourself away.’
‘If you are not lifted up you cannot see me...’
29 When the apostle spoke these things to the youth, a great multitude joined them. The apostle looked and saw them raising themselves on high that they might see him, and they were going up into high places, and the apostle said to them: ‘You that have come to the assembly of Christ, and would believe on Yesu, take an example from this. If you are not lifted up you cannot see me who am but little, and you will not be able to spy on me who am really like you all. If, then, you cannot see me who are like you unless you lift yourselves up a little from the earth, how can you see him that dwell in the height and now is found in the depth? – unless you first lift yourselves up from where you stood before in your unprofitable deeds, and your desires that abide not, and the wealth that is left here, and the possession of earth that grows old, and the clothes that corrupts, and the beauty that waxes old and vanishes away, and yet more out of the whole body wherein all these things are stored up, and which grows old and becomes dust, returning to its own nature? 25 For it is the body which maintains all these things.
30 Rather believe on our Lord Yesu Christ, of whom we preach, that your hope may be in him and in him you may have life without end, that he may become your fellow traveller in this land of error, and may be to you a harbour in this troubled sea.
31 He shall be to you a fountain springing up in this thirsty land and a chamber full of food in this place of them that hunger, and a rest to your souls, yes, and a physician for your bodies.’
32 Then the multitude of them that were gathered around hearing these things wept, and said to the apostle: ‘0 man of God, the God whom you preach, we dare not say that we are his, for the works which we have done are alien to him and not pleasing to him; but if he will have compassion on us and pity us and save us, overlooking our former deeds, and will set us free from the evils which we committed being in error, and not impute them to us nor make remembrance of our former sins, we will become his servants and will accomplish his will to the end.’ The apostle answered them and said: ‘He reckons not against you, neither takes account of the sins which you committed being in error, but overlooks your transgressions which you have done in ignorance.’26
33 While the apostle stood in the highway and spoke with the multitude, a she- colt came and stood before him and Judas said: ‘It is not without the direction of God that this colt has come here.’
34 He said; ‘0 colt, by the grace of our Lord there shall be given to you speech before these multitudes that are standing here; now whatsoever you must, that they may believe in the God of truth whom we preach.’
35 The mouth of the colt was opened, and it spoke, saying: ‘You twin of Christ, apostle of the Most High and initiate in the hidden word of Christ who receives his secret oracles, fellow worker with the son of God, who being free have become a bondman, and being sold have brought many into liberty. You kinsman of the great race that have condemned the enemy and redeemed his own, that have become an occasion of life to man in the land of the Indians; for you have come, not by your own will, to us that are in error, and by your appearing and your divine words they are now turning to the God of truth which sent you. Mount and sit upon me and repose yourself until you enter into the city.’
36 The apostle answered and said: ‘O Christ that understands the perfect mercy! O tranquillity and silence that now speak among brute beasts! O hidden rest, that are manifested by your works, Saviour of us and nourisher, keeping us and resting in alien bodies! O Saviour of our spirits! Spring that is sweet and unfailing; fountain secure and dear and never polluted; defender and helper in the fight of your own servants, turning away and scaring the enemy from us, that fights in many battles for us and makes us conquerors in all; our true and undefeated athlete; our holy and victorious captain. Glorious and giving to your own a joy that never passes away, and a relief wherein is none affliction; good shepherd that gives yourself for your own sheep, and have vanquished the wolf and redeemed your own lambs and led them into a good pasture. We glorify and praise you, and your invisible Father the Holy Spirit, and Wisdom the Mother of all creation.’
37 When the apostle had said these things, all the multitudes were there looking upon him, expecting to hear what he would answer to the colt.
38 The apostle stood a long time as if he was astonished, and looked up into heaven and said to the colt: ‘Of whom are you and to whom do you belong? For marvellous are the things that came forth from your mouth, and amazing as such are hidden from the many.’
39 The colt answered: ‘I am of that stock that served Balaam, and your Lord and teacher also sat upon one that appertained to me by race. I also have now been sent to give you rest by your sitting upon me: and I may receive faith, and to me may be added that portion which now I shall receive by your service wherewith I serve you; and when I have ministered to you, it shall be taken from me.’
40 The apostle said to him: ‘He is able who granted you this gift, to cause it to be fulfilled to the end in you and in them that belong to you by race; for as to this mystery I am weak and powerless.’
41 The apostle would not sit upon him, but the colt beseeched and entreated him that he might be blessed by him by ministering to him. Then the apostle mounted him and sat upon him; and they followed him, some going before and some following after, and all of them ran, desiring to see the end, and how he would dismiss the colt.
42 But when he came near to the city gates he dismounted from him, saying: ‘Depart, and be you kept safe where you go.’ Straightaway the colt fell to the ground at the apostle’s feet and died.
43 All they that were present were sorry and said to the apostle: ‘Bring him to life and raise him up.’ But he answered and said to them: ‘I indeed am able to raise him by the name of Yesu Christ, but this is by everything the better way. For he that gave him speech that he might talk was able to cause that he should not die; and I raise him not, not as being unable, but because this is that which is expedient and profitable for him.’ He asked them that were present to dig a trench and bury his body and they did as they were commanded.
Acts of Thomas: Chapters 4-7
Concerning the devil that took up his abode in the woman
1 The apostle entered into the city and all the multitudes followed him. He thought to go to the parents of the young man whom he had made alive when he was slain by the serpent, for they earnestly besought him to come to them and enter into their house.
2 But a very beautiful woman all of a sudden uttered an exceeding loud cry, saying: ‘O Apostle of the new God that have come into India, and servant of that holy and only good God; for by you is he preached, the Saviour of the souls that come to him, and by you are healed the bodies of them that are tormented by the enemy, and you are he that is an occasion of life to all that turn to him.
3 Command me to be brought before you that I may tell you what have befallen me, and perhaps of you I may have hope, and these that stand by you may be more confident in the God whom you preach. I am much tormented by the adversary, now this past five years.
4 As a woman I was sitting in quiet, and peace was around me on every side and I had no care for anything, for I took no thought for any other. Then it happened one day that as I came out from the bath, there met me a man troubled and disturbed, and his voice and speech seemed to me exceeding faint and dim, and he stood before me and said: “I and you will be in one love and we will have intercourse together as a man with his wife.”
5 I answered and said to him: “I never did such, even with my betrothed, for I refused to marry, now how shall I allow that to you who would have intercourse with me in adulterous way?”
6 And having so said, I passed on. I said to my handmaid that was with me: “You saw that youth and his shamelessness, how boldly he spake with me, and had no shame?” But she said to me: “I saw an old man speaking to you.”
7 When I was in my house and had dined, my spirit suggested to me some suspicion and especially because he was seen in two forms - and having this in my mind I fell asleep. He came, therefore, in that night and was joined to me in his foul intercourse.
8 When it was day I saw him and fled from him, and on the night following that he came and abused me - and now as you see me I have spent five years being troubled by him, and he has not departed from me. But I know and am persuaded that both devils and spirits and destroyers are subject to you and are filled with trembling at your prayers: pray you therefore for me, and drive away from me the devil that ever troubled me, that I also may be set free and be gathered to the nature that is mine from the beginning, and receive the grace that has been given to my kindred.’
9 The apostle replied: ‘O evil that cannot be restrained! O shamelessness of the enemy! O envious one that are never at rest! O hideous one that subdues the comely! O you of many forms! As he will he appear to, but his essence cannot be changed. O the crafty and faithless one! O the bitter tree whose fruits are like to him! O the devil that overcome them that are alien to him! O the deceit that use impudence! O the wickedness that creeps like a serpent, and that is of his kindred!’
10 When the apostle said this, the malicious one came and stood before him, no man seeing him save the woman and the apostle, and with an exceeding loud voice said in the hearing of all:
11 ‘What have we to do with you, you apostle of the Most High! What have we to do with you, you servant of Yesu Christ? What have we to do with you, you counsellor of the holy son of God? Why would you destroy us, whereas our time is not yet come? Why would you take away our power?
12 For to this hour we had hope and time remaining to us. What have we to do with you? You have power over your own, and we over ours. Why would you act tyrannously against us, when you yourself teach others not to act tyrannously? Why do you crave other men’s goods and not suffice yourself with your own?
13 Why are you made in the likeness of that son of God which have done us wrong? For you resemble him altogether as if you were born of him. For we thought to have brought him under the yoke like as we have the rest, but he turned and made us subject to him. For we knew him not, but he deceived us with his form of all uncomeliness and his poverty and his neediness: for seeing him to be such, we thought that he was a man wearing flesh, and knew not that in him is that which give life to humans.
14 He gave us power over our own, and that we should not in this present time leave them but have our walk in them, but you would get more than your due and that which was given you, and afflict us altogether.’
15 Having said this the devil wept, saying: ‘I leave you, my fairest consort, whom long since I found and rested in you, I forsake you, my sure sister, my beloved in whom I was well pleased. What I shall do I know not, or on whom I shall call that he may hear me and help me. I know what I will do: I will depart to some place where the report of this man have not been heard, and perhaps I shall call you, my beloved by another name.’
16 He lifted up his voice and said: ‘Abide in peace for you have taken refuge with one greater than I. I will depart and seek for one like you, and if I find her not, I will return to you again: for I know that whilst you are near to this man you have a refuge in him, but when he departs you will be such as you were before he appeared, and him you will forget, and I shall have opportunity and confidence – but now I fear the name of him that have saved you.’
17 Having so said the devil vanished out of sight. When he departed, only fire and smoke were seen there, and all that stood there were astonished.
18 Seeing it, the apostle said to them: ‘This devil have shown nothing that is alien or strange to him, but his own nature, wherein also he shall be consumed, for truly the fire shall destroy him utterly and the smoke of it shall be scattered abroad.’
19 He began to say: ‘Yesu, the hidden mystery that have been revealed to us, you are he that have shown to us many mysteries. Yesu, you that called me apart from all my fellows and spoke to me the words wherewith I am inflamed, and am not able to speak them to others. Yesu, man that was slain, dead and buried! Yesu, god of God, Saviour that quicken the dead, and heal the sick! Yesu, that were in need, and saves as one that have no need, that caught the fish for the morning meal and the supper and made all satisfied with a little bread. Yesu, that rested from the weariness of wayfaring like a man, and walked on the waves like a god.’
20 ‘Yesu, most high, voice arising from perfect mercy, Saviour of all, the right hand of the Light, overthrowing the evil one in his own nature, and gathering all his nature into one place; you of many forms, that are only begotten, first-born of many brethren, god of the Most High God, man despised until now. Yesu Christ that forgets us not when we call upon you, that have become an occasion of life to all humankind, that for us were judged and shut up in prison, and liberates all that are in bonds; that was called a deceiver, and redeems his own from error. I beseech you for these that stand here and believe in you, for they entreat to obtain your gifts, having good hope in your help, and having their refuge in your greatness; they hold their hearing ready to listen to the words that are spoken by us. Let your peace come and tent in them and renew them from their former deeds, and let them take off the old persons with their deeds, and put on the new that now is proclaimed to them by me.’
21 He laid his hands on them and blessed them, saying: ‘The grace of our Lord Yesu Christ shall be upon you for ever.’ They said, ‘Amen.’
The woman receives the Seal
22 The woman besought him, saying: ‘O apostle of the Most High, give me the seal, so that enemy return not again to me.’ Then he called her to come near to him, and laid his hands upon her and sealed her in the name of the Father, Mother and the Christ, and many others also were sealed with her.
23 The apostle bade his deacon to set forth a table; and he set forth a stool which they found there, and spread a linen doth upon it and set on the bread of blessing; and the apostle stood by it and said: ‘Yesu, you have accounted us worthy to partake of the mystery of your holy body and blood. Yes, we are bold to draw near to your mystery and to call upon your holy name: come O Christ and commune with us.’
The Great Invocation
24 The apostle began to say: ‘Come, O perfect compassion; come, O communion of the male; come, she that knows the mysteries of him that is chosen; come, she that have part in all the combats of the noble athlete; come, the silence that reveals the great things of the whole greatness; come, she that manifests the hidden things and makes the unspeakable things plain, the holy dove that bears the twin young; come, the hidden mother; come, she that is manifest in her deeds and gives joy and rest to then that are joined to her - come and communicate with us in this mystery which we celebrate in your name and in the love-feast wherein we are gathered together at your calling.’
25 Having so said, the apostle marked out the cross upon the bread, and broke it, and began to distribute it. First he gave to the woman, saying: ‘This shall be to you for remission of sins and eternal transgressions.’
26 After giving to her, he gave to all the others who also have received the seal and said to them: ‘Let this gift be to you for renewed life and inner silence, and not for judgement and pride.’
They said, ‘Amen.’
Of the youth that murdered the woman
1 Now there was a certain youth who had worked an abominable deed, and he came near and received of the Mystery with his mouth; but his two hands withered up, so that he could no more put them to his own mouth.
2 They that were there saw him and told the apostle what had befallen the youth; and the apostle called him and said to him: ‘Tell me, my child, and be not ashamed, what was it that you did, and came here for? For the Mystery of the Lord have convicted you. For this gift which pass among many, healed them that with faith and love drew near, but you it have withered away; and that which happened, did not befall on you without some effectual cause.’
3 The youth, being convicted by the Mystery Meal of the Lord, came to tell at the apostle’s feet and appealed to him, saying: ‘I have done an evil deed, yet I thought to do good. I was enamoured of a woman that dwell at an inn outside the city, and she also loved me.
4 When I heard of you and believed, that you proclaim a living God, I came and received of you the seal with the rest, for you said: “Whoever shall partake in the polluted union, and especially in adultery, he shall not have life with the God whom I preach.”
5 Whereas therefore I loved her much, I entreated her and would have persuaded her to become my consort in chastity and pure conversation, which you also teach, but she would not. When, therefore, she consented not, I took a sword and slew her, for I could not endure to see her commit adultery with another man.’
6 When the apostle heard this he said: ‘O insane union, how you are reduced to shamelessness! O unrestrained lust, how have you stirred up this man to do this! O work of the serpent, how are you enraged against your own!’
7 The apostle asked for water to be brought to him in a basin, and when the water was brought, he said: ‘Come, you waters from the living waters, that were sent to us, the true from the true, the rest that was sent to us from the rest, the power of salvation that comes from that power which conquers all things and subdues them to its own will – come and dwell in these waters, that the gift of the Father the Holy Spirit may be perfectly consummated in them.’
8 He said to the youth: ‘Go, wash your hands in these waters.’ When he had washed, his hands were restored; and the apostle said to him: ‘Do you believe in our Lord Yesu Christ and that he is able to do all things?’
9 The youth replied: ‘Though I am the least, yes, I believe. But I committed this deed thinking that I was doing good, for I pleaded with her to keep herself chaste, as I told you, but she would not obey me.’
10 The apostle said to him: ‘Come, let us go to the inn where you committed this deed.’ The youth went before the apostle in the way, and when they came to the inn they found her lying dead.
Raising of the slain woman
11 The apostle, when he saw her, was sorry for the comely girl. He then commanded her to be brought into the midst of the inn. They laid her on a bed and brought her forth and set her down in the midst of the court of the inn.
12 Then the apostle laid his hand upon her and began to say: ‘Yesu, who always show yourself to us, for this is your will, that we should at all times seek you; and you yourself have given us this power, to ask and to receive, and have not only permitted this, but have taught us to pray. Yesu, who are not seen of our bodily eyes, but are never hidden from the eyes of our spirit; and in this aspect you are concealed, but in your works are manifested to us. Yesu, in your many acts we have known you so far as we are able, and yourself have given us your gifts without measure, saying: “Ask and it shall be given to you, seek and you shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you”. We beseech you, therefore, having suspicion of our own sins, and we ask of you, not riches, not gold, not silver, not possessions, not anything else of the things which come of the earth and return again to the earth; but this we ask of you and entreat, that in your holy name you would raise up the woman that lies here, by your power, to the glory and faith of them that stand by.’
13 He said to the youth: ‘Stretch your mind towards our Lord,’ and he signed him with the cross, having sealed him he said: ‘Go and take her hand and say to her: I with my hands killed you with iron, and with my hands in the faith of Yesu I raise you up.’
14 So the youth went to her and stood by her, saying: ‘I believe in you, Christ Yesu.’ He then looked to Judas Thomas the apostle and said to him: ‘Pray for me that my Lord may come to my help, whom I also call upon.’
15 And he laid his hand upon her hand and said: ‘Come, Lord Yesu Christ, to her grant life and to me the absolute of faith in you.’
16 Straightway as he drew her hand she lived and sat up, looking upon the great company that stood by. She saw the apostle also standing over against her, and leaving the bed she leapt forward and fell at his feet and caught hold on his garment, saying: ’I beseech you, my lord where is that other that was with you, who left me not to remain in that fearful and cruel place, but delivered me to you, saying: “Take you this woman, that she may be made perfect, and hereafter be gathered into her place?”’
17 The apostle told her: ‘Relate to us where you have been.’ She answered: ‘Do you who were with me and to whom I was delivered desire to hear?’
18 She began to say: ‘I was taken by a man who was hateful, to look upon absolute in darkness, and his clothing exceedingly foul, and took me away to a place wherein were many pits, and a great stench and hateful odour came from it. He caused me to look into every pit, and I saw in the pit flaming fire, and wheels of fire ran round there, and souls were hanged upon those wheels, and were broken against each other: and very great crying and howling was there, and there was none to deliver them.
19 And that man said to me: “These souls are of your tribe, and when the number of their days were over they were delivered to the torment of reflection, and then are others brought in their place, and likewise those into another place. These are they that have revered the intercourse of male and female.” I looked and saw infants heaped one upon another and struggling with each other as they lay on them. He saw me looking and said to me: “These are the offspring of those who worship their passions.”’
20 ‘Then he took me to another pit, and I stooped and looked and saw worms eating up, and souls wallowing there, and a great gnashing of teeth was heard from them. That man said to me: “These are the souls who may not look away from the mirror of themselves and their pleading is to be devoured and delivered from this eternal torment.”’
21 ‘Again he took me and showed me a cave exceedingly dark, breathing out a great stench, and many souls were looking out desiring to get some of the air, but their keepers suffered them not to look out. And he that was with me said: “This is the prison of those souls which you saw, for when they have fulfilled their understanding for that which each did, thereafter do others succeed them; and there be some that are wholly consumed and others that are delivered over to other torments.”
22 They that kept the souls which were in the dark cave said to the man that had taken me: “Give her to us that we may bring her in to the rest until the time come for her to be delivered to her torment.” But he answered them: “I give her not to you, but I take her back with me until I shall receive order concerning her.”
23 Then he that was like to you took me and delivered me to you, saying: “Take her, for she is one of the sheep that have gone astray.” I was taken by you, and now am I before you. I beseech you, therefore, and supplicate that I may not depart to those places of punishment which I have seen.’
24 The apostle said: ‘You have heard what this woman have related. There are not these torments only, but others also, worse than these; and you, if you turn not to this God whom I preach, and abstain from your former works and the deeds which you committed without knowledge, you shall have your end in those torments.
25 Believe therefore in Christ Yesu, and he will forgive you the sins you have committed to this day, and will cleanse you from all your bodily lusts that abide on the earth, and will heal you of all your trespasses which follow you and depart with you and are found upon you.
26 Put off therefore every one of you the old person, and put on the new, and forsake your former walk and conversation - and let them that stole steal no more, but live by labouring and working; and let the adulterous no more fornicate, for they will deliver themselves to eternal torment, for adultery is before God exceeding evil beyond other sins; and put away from you covetousness and lying and drunkenness and slandering, and render not evil for evil - for all these things are strange and alien to the God who is preached by me.
27 Rather walk in faith and meekness and holiness and hope, wherein God delights, that you may become his own, expecting of him the gifts which some few only do receive.’
28 All the people therefore believed and gave their souls obediently to the living God and Christ Yesu, rejoicing in the blessed works of the Most High and in his holy service. They brought much money for the service of the widows: for the apostle had them gathered together in the cities, and to all of them he sent provision by his own deacons, both clothes and nourishment.
29 And he himself ceased not preaching, and speaking to them and showing that this is Yesu Christ whom the scriptures proclaimed, who came and was crucified, and raised on the third day from the dead, and that he ministers unto this time.
30 Next he showed them plainly, beginning from the prophets, the things concerning the Christ, that it was necessary that he came, and that in him was accomplished all things that were wanted of him from God.
31 And the fame of the apostle went ahead into all the cities and countries - and all, that had sick or them that were oppressed by unclean spirits, brought them, and some they laid in the way whereby he should pass, and he healed them all by the power of the Lord.
32 Then all that were healed by him said with one accord: “Glory be to you, Yesu, who have granted us all alike healing through your servant and apostle Thomas. Now being whole and rejoicing, we beseech you that we may be of your flock, and be numbered among your sheep – receive us therefore, Lord, and charge not to us our transgressions and our former faults which we committed being in ignorance.”
33 The apostle said: ‘Glory be to the first-born of many brethren! Glory be to you, the defender and helper of them that come to your refuge! Glory be to you, that sleep not, and awake them that are asleep, that live and give life to them that lie in death! O god Yesu Christ, son of the living God, redeemer and helper, refuge and rest of all that labour in your work, giver of healing to them that for your name’s sake bear the burden and heat of the day; we give thanks to the gifts that are given to us of you and granted to us by your help and your dispensation that come to us from you.’
34 ‘Perfect therefore these things in us to the end that we may have the boldness that is in you. Look upon us, Lord, because for your sake have we forsaken our homes and our parents, and for your sake have we gladly and willingly become strangers.
35 Look upon us, Lord, for we have forsaken our own possessions for your sake, that we might gain you, the possession that cannot be taken away. Look upon us, Lord, for we have forsaken them that belong to us by race, that we might be joined to your kinship.
36 Look upon us, Lord, we that have forsaken our fathers and mothers and guardians, that we might behold your Father, and Mother and be satisfied with this divine food. Look upon us, Lord, as for your sake have we forsaken our bodily consorts and our earthly fruits, that we might be partakers in that enduring and true fellowship, and bring forth true fruits, whose nature is from above, which no human can take from us, with whom we shall abide and who shall abide with us.’
Of the captain
1 Now while the apostle Thomas was proclaiming throughout all India the word of God, a certain captain of the king Misdeas came to him and said to him: ‘I have heard of you that you take no reward of any man, but even what you have you give to them that need.
2 For if you did receive rewards, I would have sent you a great sum, and would not have come myself, for the king does nothing without me - for I have much substance and am rich, even one of the richest men of India.
3 I have never done wrong to any, but the contrary have befallen me. I have a wife, and of her I had a daughter, and I am well affectioned toward my wife, as also nature requires and have never made trial after another wife.
4 It so happened that there was a wedding in our city, and they that made the marriage feast were well beloved of me; they came and asked me to it, also my wife and her daughter.
5 Since then as they were my good friends I could not refuse - I sent her therefore, though she desired not to go, and with them I sent also many servants – so they departed, adorned with ornaments, both she and her daughter.’
6 ‘When it was evening and the time came to depart from the wedding I sent lamps and torches to meet them, and I stood in the street to watch when she should come and I should see her with my daughter.
7 As I stood I heard a sound of lamentation. “Woe for her!” was heard out of every mouth. Then my servants with their clothes torn came to me and told me what was done. “We saw,” said they, “a man and a boy with him. The man laid his hand upon your wife, and the boy upon your daughter, and they fled from them. We wounded them with our swords, but our swords fell to the ground.
8 And the same hour the women fell down, gnashing their teeth and beating their heads upon the earth, and seeing this we came to tell it you.”
9 When I heard this of my servants I tore my clothes and smote my face with my hands, and becoming like one mad I ran along the street, and came and found them cast in the market-place. I took them and brought them to my house, and after a long space they awoke and stood up, and sat down.’
10 ‘I began therefore to inquire of my wife: “What is it that have befallen you?” She replied: “Do you not know what you have done to me? I begged of you that I might not go to the wedding, because I was not of even health in my body.
11 As I went on the way and came near to the aqueduct wherein the water flows, I saw a dark man standing over there nodding at me with his head, and a boy like to him standing by him. I said to my daughter: ”Look at those two hideous men, whose teeth are like milk and their lips like soot."
12 We left them and went towards the aqueduct to the wedding. When it was sunset, we departed from the wedding, as we passed by with the young servants and drew near the aqueduct, my daughter saw them first, and was frightened and fled towards me, and I also saw them coming towards us. The servants that were with us fled from them and they struck us, and cast down both me and my daughter."
13 As she had told me these things, the devils came upon them again and threw them down – and from that hour they are not able to come out, but are shut up in a room with another.
14 On their account I suffer much, and am distressed: for the devils throw them down, where ever they find them, and strip them naked.
15 I beseech and supplicate you before God, help me and have pity on me, for it is now three years that a table have not been set in my house, and my wife and my daughter have not sat at a table, and especially for my unhappy daughter, which have not seen any good at all in this world.’
16 The apostle, hearing these things from the captain, was greatly grieved for him, and said to him: ‘Do you believe that Yesu will heal them?’
17 The captain said: ‘Yes.’ The apostle then said: ‘Commit yourself then to Yesu, and he will heal them and find them strength.’
18 The captain said: ‘Show me him, that I may entreat him and believe in him.’ The apostle answered: ‘He appears not to these bodily eyes, but is found by the eyes of the mind.’
19 The captain therefore lifted up his voice and said: ‘I believe you, Yesu, and entreat and supplicate you, help my little faith which I have in you.’
Ordination of Xenophon
20 Where after the apostle commanded Xenophon the deacon to assemble all the brothers and sisters; and when the whole multitude was gathered, the apostle stood in the midst and said:
21 ‘Children and brothers and sisters that have believed in the Lord, abide in this faith, preaching Yesu who was proclaimed to you by me, to bring you hope in him; and forsake him not, and he will not forsake you. While you sleep in this slumber that weighs down the sleepers, he, sleeping not, keeps watch over you. When you sail and are in peril and none can help, he, walking upon the waters supports and helps.
22 For I am now departing from you, and it appears not if I shall again see you according to the flesh. Be you not therefore like the people of Israel, who losing sight of their pastors for an hour, stumbled.
23 But I leave to you Xenophon, the deacon, in my place; for he also, like myself, proclaims Yesu. Know that neither am I to be regarded, nor he, but Yesu only; for I also am a man clothed with a body, a son of man like one of you. Neither have I riches as it is found with some, which also convict them that possess them, being wholly useless, and left behind upon the earth, from where also they came, and they carry away with them the transgressions and blemishes of sins which befall humans by their means. And scarcely are rich people found in almsgiving, but the merciful and lowly in heart, these shall inherit the kingdom of God.
24 It is not beauty that endures with humans, for they that trust in it, when age comes upon them, shall suddenly be put to shame: all things therefore have their time - in their season are they loved and hated.
25 Let your hope then be in Yesu Christ the son of God, which is always loved, and always desired. Be mindful of us, as we are of you; for we too, if we fulfil not the burden of the commandments are not worthy to be preachers of this name, and hereafter shall we pay the punishment of our own head.’
26 The apostle prayed with them and continued with them a long time in prayer and supplication, and committing them to the Lord, he said: ‘O Lord that rule over every spirit that is in the body, God, Father of the souls that have their hope in you and expect your mercies; that redeem from error the men that are your own, and set free from bondage and corruption your subjects that come to your refuge; be you in the flock of Xenophon and anoint it with holy oil, and heal it of sores, and preserve it from the ravening wolves.’ He laid his hand on them and said: ‘The peace of the Lord shall be upon you and shall journey with us.’
Of the wild asses
1 The apostle therefore prepared to depart on the way, and they all escorted him, weeping and adjuring him to make remembrance of them in his prayers and not to forget them.
2 He went up then and sat upon the chariot, leaving all the brothers and sisters, and the captain came and woke the driver, saying: ‘I entreat and pray that I may become worthy to sit beneath his feet, and I will be his driver upon this way, that he also may become my guide in that way whereby few go.’
3 When they had journeyed about two miles, the apostle begged of the captain and made him arise and sit by him, asking the driver to sit in his own place. As they went along the road, it came to pass that the beasts were tired with the great heat and could not be stirred at all.
4 The captain was greatly troubled and depressed, and thought to run on his own feet and bring other beasts for the use of the chariot, but the apostle said: ‘Let not your heart be troubled nor frighted, but believe in Yesu Christ whom I have proclaimed to you, and you shall see great wonders.’
5 He looked and saw a herd of wild asses feeding by the wayside, and said to the captain: ‘If you have believe in Christ Yesu, go to that herd of wild asses and say: Judas Thomas the apostle of Christ the new god say to you: Let four of you come, of whom we have use.’
6 The captain went in fear, for they were many, and as he went, they came to meet him, and when they were near, he said to them: ‘Judas Thomas the apostle of the new god command to you: Let four of you come, of whom I have need.’ When the wild asses heard it, they ran with one accord and came to him, and when they came they did him reverence.
7 Judas Thomas the apostle of our Lord lifted up his voice in praise and said: ‘Glorious are you, God of truth and Lord of all natures, for you willed with your will, and make all your works and finish all your creatures, and bring them to the rule of their nature, and lay upon them all your fear that they might be subject to your command. Your will trod the path from your secrecy to manifestation, and was caring for every soul that you made, and was spoken of by the mouth of all the prophets, in all visions and sounds and voices; but Israel did not obey because of their evil inclination. You, because you are Lord of all, have a care for the creatures, so that you spread over us your mercy in him who came by your will and put on the body, your creature, which you willed and formed according to your glorious Wisdom. He whom you appoint in your secrecy and establish in your manifestation, to him you give the name of Son, he who becomes your will, the power of your thought; so that you are by various names, the Father and Wisdom and the Spirit, for the sake of the government of your creatures, for the nourishing of all natures, and you are one in glory and power and will; and you are divided without being separated, and all subsists in you and is subject to you, because all is yours. I rely upon you, Lord, and by your command have subjected these dumb beasts, that you may show your ministering power upon us and upon them because it is needful, and that your name might be glorified in us and in the beasts that cannot speak.
8 The apostle said to them: ‘Peace be to you. Yoke four of you in the place of these beasts that have come to a stand.’ Every one of them came and pressed to be yoked, there were then four stronger than the rest, which also were yoked. And the rest, some went before and some followed. When they had journeyed a little way he dismissed the colts, saying: ‘I say to you inhabitants of the desert, depart to your pastures, for if I had need of all, you would all have gone with me, but now go to your place where you dwell.’ They departed quietly until they were no more seen.
9 Now as the apostle and the captain and the driver went on, the wild asses drew the chariot quietly and evenly. When they came near to the city gate they turned aside and stood still before the doors of the captain’s house.
10 The captain said: ‘It is not possible for me to relate what have happened, but when I see the end I will tell it.’ The whole city came to see the wild asses under the yoke, and they had heard also the report of the apostle that he was to come and visit them.
11 The apostle asked the captain: ‘Where is your dwelling, and where do you bring us?’ He said to him: ‘You yourself know that we stand before the doors, and these which by your commandment have come with you know it better than I.’
12 Having so said he came down from the chariot. The apostle therefore began to say: ‘Yesu Christ, that are blasphemed by the ignorance of you in this country; Yesu, the report of whom is strange in this city; Yesu, that receives all send on before the apostles in every country and in every city, and all yours that are worthy are glorified in you; Christ, that took a form and become as a man, and was seen by all of us, that you might not separate us from your own love. You, Lord, are he that gave yourself for us, and with your blood have purchased us and gained us as a possession of great price: and what have we to give you, Lord, in exchange for your life which you gave for us? For that which we would give, you gave us, and this is, that we should entreat of you and live.’
13 When he had so said, many assembled from every quarter to see the apostle of the new God. Again the apostle said: ‘Why do we stand idle? Yesu, Lord, the hour has come, what will you have done? Command therefore what should be fulfilled and what needs to be done.’
14 Now the captain’s wife and her daughter were sick and worn down by the devils, so that they of the house thought they would rise up no more, for they allowed them not to partake of anything, but threw them down upon their beds recognizing no man until that day when the apostle came.
15 The apostle said to one of the wild asses that were yoked on the right hand: ‘Enter you within the gate, and stand there and call the devils and say to them: Judas Thomas the apostle and disciple of Yesu Christ say to you: Come here, for on your account am I sent and to them that are like you by race, to destroy you and chase you to your place, until the time of the end come and you go down into your own deep of darkness.’
16 And that wild ass went in, a great multitude being with him, and said: ‘Unto you I speak, the enemies, of Yesu that is called Christ; to you I speak, that shut your eyes lest you see the light; to you I speak, children of the pit of destruction, of him that cease not from evil until now, that always renews his workings and the things that befit his being; to you I speak, most shameless, that shall perish by your own hands.
17 What I shall say of your destruction and end, and what I shall tell, I know not. For there are many things and innumerable to the hearing, and greater are your doings than the torment that is reserved for you. But to you I speak, devil, and to your son that follows with you, for now am I set against you.
18 Why should I make many words about your nature and root, which yourselves know and are not ashamed? But, Judas Thomas the apostle of Christ Yesu say to you, he that by much love and affection is sent here: Before all this multitude that stand here, come forward and tell me of what race you are.’
19 Straightaway the woman came forward with her daughter, both like dead persons and dishonoured in how they looked, and the apostle beholding them was grieved, especially for the girl, and said to the devils: ‘God forbid that for you there should be sparing or propitiation, for you know not to spare nor to have pity, in the name of Yesu, depart from them and stand by their side.’
20 When the apostle had so said, the women fell down and became as dead, for they neither had breath nor uttered speech.
21 But the devil answered with a loud voice and said: ‘Have you come here again, you that make a mockery of our nature and race? Have you come again, you that blot out our devices? And, as I take it, you do not even like being upon earth at all - but this at this time you can not accomplish.’ The apostle guessed that this devil was the one that had been driven out from that other woman.
22 The devil said: ‘I beseech you, give me leave to depart even wherever you want, and I will stay there and take commandment from you, and I will not fear the ruler that have authority over me. For as you come to preach good tidings, so I also am come to destroy; and like you, if you fulfil not the will of him that sent you, he will bring punishment upon your head, so I also if I do not the will of him that sent me, before the season and time appointed, I shall be sent to my own nature; and as your Christ helps you in what you do, so also my father helps me in what I do; and as for you he prepares vessels worthy of your inhabiting, so also for me he seeks out vessels whereby I may accomplish his deeds; and like as he nourishes and provides for his subjects, so also for me he prepares chastisements and torments, with them that become my dwelling places; and as for a reward of your working he gives you eternal life, so also to me he gives for a reward of my works eternal destruction; and like you are refreshed by prayer and good works and spiritual thanksgivings, so I also am refreshed by murders and adulteries and sacrifices made with wine upon altars; and like you convert human beings to eternal life, so I also pervert them that obey me to eternal destruction and torment - and you receive your own and I mine.’
23 When the devil had said these things and yet more the apostle said: ‘Through me, Yesu commands you and your son to enter no more into the habitation of humans, but go away and depart and dwell totally apart from the habitation of humans.’
24 The devils said to him: ‘You have laid on us a harsh commandment, but what will you do to them that now are concealed from you? Since they that have made all the idols rejoice in them more than you, and many of them worship those even more than you worship God, and they do what they want, sacrificing to them and bringing them food, by oils and by wine and water and offering with praises.’
25 The apostle said: ‘They also shall now be abolished, with their works.’ Suddenly the devils vanished away, but the women lay upon the earth as if they were dead, and without speech.
The ass’ sermon
26 The wild asses stood together and parted not one from another. But he to whom speech was given by the power of the Lord, while all men kept silence, and looked to see what they would do, the wild ass said to the apostle: ‘Why do you stand and do nothing, O apostle of Christ the Most High, who looks that you should ask of him the best of learning? Why do you wait then, for see, your teacher desires to show by your hands his mighty works? Why do you stand still, O herald of the hidden one, for your Lord wants to manifest through you his unspeakable things, which he reserves for them that are worthy of him, to hear them. Why do you rest, O doer of mighty works in the name of the Lord, for your Lord encourages you and engenders boldness in you. Fear not, for he will not forsake the soul that belongs to you by birth. Begin to call upon him and he will listen to you! Why do you stand amazed at all his acts and his workings, for these are small things which he has shown by your means. What will you tell concerning his great gifts, for you will not be sufficient to declare them? And why are you amazed at his cures of the body which he works even though it comes to an end, especially when you know that healing of his which is secure and lasting, which he brings by his own nature. Why do you look to this passing life, and have no thought of that which is eternal?’
27 ‘But to you, the multitudes that stand by and look to see these that are cast down raised up, I say; believe in the apostle of Yesu Christ, believe the teacher of truth, believe him that show you the truth; believe Yesu, believe in the Christ that was born, that the born may live by his life, who also was raised up through infancy, that perfection might appear by his humanhood.
28 He taught his own disciples, for he is the teacher of the truth and makes wise men wise. He who went to school that through him perfect wisdom might be known, he taught his teachers because he was the teacher of exactness and the master of the wise.
29 He who also offered the gift in the temple that he might show that even that offering can be sanctified. This is his apostle, the shower of truth, this is he that performs the will of him that sent him.
30 But there shall come false apostles and prophets of lawlessness, whose end shall be according to their deeds: preaching and ordaining to flee from ungodliness, but themselves at all times detected in sins; covered with sheep’s clothing, but within, ravening wolves; who take for themselves not one wife but corrupt many women; who, saying that they despise children, destroy many children, for whom they will pay the penalty; that content not themselves with their own possessions, but desire that all useless things should minister to them only; professing to be his disciples, and with their mouth they utter one thing, but in their mind they think another; charging other men to beware of evil, but they themselves perform nothing that is good; who are said to be even tempered, and charge other men to abstain from fornication, theft, and lust, but in all these things do they themselves walk secretly, teaching other men not to do them.’
The Confession of Faith
31 When the wild ass had declared all these things, all the people gazed upon him. When he ceased the apostle said: ‘What I shall think concerning your beauty, O Yesu, and what I shall tell of you, I know not, or rather I am not able, for I have no power to declare it; O Christ that are in rest, and ever wise to know the inward of the heart and understand the thought. Glory be to you, merciful and tranquil one. Glory to you, wise word. Glory to your compassion that was born to us. Glory to your mercy that was spread out over us. Glory to your greatness that was made small for us. Glory to your most high kingship that was humbled for us. Glory to your might which was made small for us. Glory to your Godliness that for us was seen in the likeness of a man. Glory to your humanhood that died for us that it might make us live. Glory to your resurrection from the dead; for thereby rising again and rest come to our souls. Glory and praise to your ascending into the heavens; for thereby you have showed us the high Way, and promised that we shall sit with you on your right hand and with you judge the twelve tribes of Israel.27 You are the heavenly word of the Father, you are the hidden light of Wisdom, shower of the Way of truth, driver-away of darkness, and destroyer of sin and its effects.
32 Having thus spoken, the apostle stood over the women, saying: ‘My Lord, and my God, I am not divided from you, nor as one unbelieving do I call upon you who are always our helper and strength and raiser-up; who breathes your own power into us and encourages us and gives confidence in love to your own servants. I beseech you, let these souls be healed and rise up and become such as they were before they were smitten of the devils.’ When he thus spoke the women turned and sat up.
33 The apostle then showed the captain that his servants should take them and bring them within. When they had gone in, the apostle said to the wild asses, ‘Follow me.’ Obediently they went after him until he had brought them without the gate, and when they had gone out, he said to them: ‘Depart in peace to your pastures.’
34 The wild asses therefore went away willingly; and the apostle stood and watched over them that they should not be hurt by any one, until they had gone afar off and were no more seen. Thereafter the apostle returned with the multitude into the house of the captain.28
Acts of Thomas: Chapters 8- 10
1 Then it happened that a certain woman, whose name was Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, that was next in line to the king, came to see the new name and the new God who was being proclaimed, and the new apostle who had come to visit their country.
2 She was carried by her own servants; and because of the great crowd and the narrow way they were not able to bring her near to him. She sent word to her husband to send her more servants to minister to her; they came and approached her, pressing upon the people and beating them.
3 When the apostle saw it he said to them: ‘Why do you overthrow them that come to hear the word, and are eager for it? You desire to be near me, but are far off, as it was said of the multitude that came to the Lord: “Having eyes you see not, and having ears you hear not”; and he said to the multitudes: “They that have ears to hear, let them hear”; and “Come to me, all you that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”’
4 Looking upon them that carried her, he said to them: ‘This blessing and this caution which was promised to them is for you that are heavily burdened now. You are they that carry burdens that are heavy to carry, and are carried about by her command.
5 And, though you are human, they lay on you loads as on brute beasts, for they that have authority over you think that you are not human such as themselves.
6 Neither shall possessions profit the rich, nor poverty save the poor from judgement; nor have we received a commandment which we are not able to perform, nor has he laid on us burdens grievous to be carried which we are not able to carry, or to make that (stones) which humans use to build; nor were we told to hew stones and prepare houses as craftsmen do. But this commandment have we received of the Lord: that, that which pleases us not when it is done by another this we should not do to any other person.’
The two cities
7 ‘Abstain therefore first from adultery, for this is the beginning of all evils, and next from theft and lust, which enticed Judas Iscariot, and brought him to hanging; for many who give in to lust see not that which they do; and from pride and from all foul deeds, especially them of the body, whereby comes eternal condemnation. For this is the chief city of all evils; and likewise it brings them that hold their heads high to tyranny, and it draws them down to the deep, and submits them under its hands that they see not what they do; therefore the things they do are hidden from them.’
8 ‘But, become well-pleasing to God in all good things, in meekness and quietness: for these do God spare, and grant eternal life and set death at nothing.
9 Also become gentle, and walk in gentleness, for gentleness follows on all good things, and overcomes all enemies and alone receives the crown of victory: with gentleness, and stretching out of the hand to the poor, and supplying the want of the needy, and distributing to them that are in need, especially them that walk in holiness.
10 For this is chosen before God and lead to eternal life; for this is before God, the chief city of all good; for they that strive not in the stadium of Christ shall not obtain holiness - holiness appeared from God.
11 God, you have come into a desert country, for we live in the desert; being like brute beasts in our conversation, but now shall we be saved by your hands; I beseech you, therefore, take thought of me, and pray for me, that the compassion of the God whom you preach may come upon me, and I may become his dwelling place and be joined in prayer and hope and faith in him, and I also may receive the seal and become a holy temple and he may dwell in me.’
12 The apostle continued and said: ‘I do pray and entreat for you all: Brothers that believe in the Lord, and for you, sisters, that hope in Christ; that in all of you the word of God may tabernacle and have her tabernacle therein - for we have no power over your souls because you are given power over your own souls.’
13 He began to say to the woman Mygdonia: ‘Rise up from the earth and compose yourself, take off your ornaments; for this attire that is put on shall not profit you, nor the beauty of your body, nor your apparel, neither yet the fame of your rank, nor the authority of this world, nor the polluted intercourse with your husband shall avail 29 you if you be partake of the true fellowship: for the fantasy of ornamenting come to nothing, and the body becomes old and change, and coverings wear out, and authority and lordship pass away accompanied with reward or punishment, according as each person have conducted themselves in that.’
14 This he spoke, and dismissing the woman said: ‘Depart in peace, and the Lord shall make you worthy of his own mysteries.’
15 But she said: ‘I fear to go away, lest you forsake me and depart to another nation.’ The apostle replied: ‘Even if I go, I shall not leave you alone, but Yesu of his compassion will be with you.’ She fell down and did him reverence and departed to her house.
16 Now Charisius, the kinsman of Misdaeus the king, bathed himself and returned and laid him down to dine. He inquired concerning his wife, where she was; for she had not come out of her own chamber to meet him, as she was wanted.
Mygdonia refuses her husband’s sexual advances
17 Her handmaids said to him: ‘She is not well.’ He then entered quickly into the chamber and found her lying on the bed and veiled, he unveiled her and kissed her, saying: ‘Why are you sorrowful to-day?’ She said: ‘I am not well.’
18 He then said to her: ‘Why then did you not keep the appearance of a freewoman30, but went out to go and listen to vain speeches and look upon works of sorcery? Rise up and dine with me, for I cannot dine without you.’ She said to him: ‘To-day I decline it, for I am greatly afraid.’
19 ‘When Charisius heard this of Mygdonia, he would not go in to dinner, but asked his servants to bring her to dine with him. When then they brought her in, he desired her to dine with him, but she excused herself; and he dined alone, saying to her: ‘On your account I refused to dine with Misdaeus the king, and you, were you not willing to dine with me?’ She replied: ‘It is because I am not well.’ Charisius consequently rose up because he was in need of sexual satisfaction and wanted to sleep with her, but she said: ‘Did I not tell you that for today I refused it?’
20 When he heard that, he went to another bed and slept; and awaking out of sleep he said: ‘My lady Mygdonia, listen to the dream which I have seen. I saw myself lie at dinner near to Misdaeus the king, and a dish of all sorts was set before us: and I saw an eagle come down from heaven and carry off from before me and the king two partridges, which he set against his heart; and again he came over us and flew about above us, and the king asked a bow to be brought to him; and the eagle again caught away from before us a pigeon and a dove, and the king shot an arrow at him, and it passed through him from one side to the other and hurt him not; and he being unscathed rose up into his own nest. I awoke, and I am full of fear and troubled, because I had tasted of the partridge, and he allowed me not to put it to my mouth again.’
21 Mygdonia said to him: ‘Your dream is good, for you eat partridges every day, but this eagle had not tasted of a partridge until now.’
22 When it was morning Charisius went and dressed himself and put his right foot in his left shoe; he stopped, and said to Mygdonia: ‘What then is the matter? Look, the dream and this action of mine!’ 31 But Mygdonia said to him: ‘This also is not evil, but seems to me very good; for from an unlucky act there will be a change to the better.’ He then washed his hands and went to greet Misdaeus the king.
23 Likewise Mygdonia rose up early and went to greet Judas Thomas the apostle, and she found him discoursing with the captain and all the multitude, and he was advising them and speaking of the woman which had received the Lord in her soul. He asked whose wife she was, and the captain said: ‘She is the wife of Charisius the kinsman of Misdaeus the king. Her husband is a hard man, and in everything that her husband says to the king, the king obeys him. He will not allow her to continue in this mind which she have promised; for often-times have he praised her before the king, saying that there is none other like her in bed. All things therefore that you speak to her are strange to her.’
24 The apostle said: ‘If truly and surely the Lord has risen upon her spirit and she has received the seed that was cast on her, she will have no care of this temporal life, nor fear death, neither will Charisius be able to harm her at all: for greater is he whom she have received into her soul, if she have received him indeed.’
25 Mygdonia hearing this said to the apostle: ‘In truth, my lord, I have received the seed of your words, and I will bear fruit like to such seed.’
26 The apostle said: ‘Our spirits give praise and thanks to you, O Lord, for they are yours; our bodies give thanks to you, which you have accounted worthy to become the indwelling-place of your heavenly gift.’
27 And he said also to them that stood by:
‘Blessed are the holy, whose souls have not condemned them, for they have gained them and are not divided against themselves.
Blessed are the spirits of the pure, and they that have received the heavenly crown whole from the age which have been appointed them.
Blessed are the bodies of the holy, for they have been made worthy to become temples of God, that Christ may dwell in them.
Blessed are you, for you have power to change the course of sins.
Blessed are you, if you lose not that which is committed to you, but rejoicing and departing take it away with you. Blessed are you the holy, for to you it is given to ask and receive.
Blessed are you meek, for you have been counted worthy by God to become heirs of the heavenly kingdom. Blessed are you meek, for you are they that have overcome the enemy.
Blessed are you meek, for you shall see the face of the Lord.
Blessed are you that hunger for the Lord’s sake, for, for you is rest laid up, and your souls rejoice from henceforth. Blessed are you that are quiet, for you have been counted worthy to be set free from sin and from the exchange of clean and unclean animals.’
28 And, when the apostle had said these things for the multitude to hear, Mygdonia was the more confirmed in the faith and glory and greatness of Christ.
29 When Charisius the kinsman and friend of Misdaeus the king came to his breakfast and found not his wife in the house, he inquired of all that were in his house: ‘Where has your mistress gone?’ One of them answered and said: ‘She has gone to that stranger.’
30 Having heard this of his servant, he was angry with the other servants because they had not straightaway told him what was done, and he sat down and waited for her.
31 It was evening when she came into the house and he said to her: ‘Where were you?’ Mygdonia answered: ‘With the physician.’
32 He said: ‘Is that stranger a physician? And she said: ‘Yes, he is a physician of souls: for most physicians do heal bodies that are dissolved, but he heals souls that are not destroyed.’
33 Charisius, hearing this, was very angry in his mind with Mygdonia because of the apostle, but he answered her nothing, for he was afraid; for she was above him both in wealth and birth 32. He departed to dinner, and she went into her chamber. He told the servants to call her to dinner, but she would not come.
Domestic problems in Charisius’ household
34 When he heard that she would not come out of her chamber, he went in and said to her: ‘Why will you not dine with me, and perhaps not sleep with me as the need is? Yes, concerning this I have a great suspicion, for I have heard that that sorcerer and deceiver teach that a man should not live with his wife, and that which nature requires and the godhead have ordained he overthrows.’ When Charisius said these things, Mygdonia kept silence.
35 Again he said to her: ’My lady and consort Mygdonia, be not led astray by deceitful and vain words, nor by the works of sorcery which I have heard that this man performs in the name of the Father, and the Christ; for it was never yet heard in the world that any raised the dead, and, as I hear, it is reported of this man that he raised dead people.
36 And for that he neither eats nor drinks, think not that for righteousness sake he neither eats nor drinks, but this he does because he possesses nothing, for what does he do which provides not even his daily bread? Furthermore, he has one garment because he is poor, and as for his not receiving anything of any, it is surely because he knows he never works honestly.’
37 When Charisius said this, Mygdonia was as silent as a stone, but she prayed, asking when it should be day, that she might go to the apostle of Christ. He withdrew from her and went to dinner heavy in mind, for he thought to sleep with her according to his need.
38 When he has gone out, she bowed her knees and prayed, saying: ‘Lord God our Mother, merciful Father, Saviour Christ, do give me strength to overcome the shamelessness of Charisius, and grant me to keep the holiness wherein you delight, that I may also find eternal life by it.’ When she had so prayed, she laid herself on her bed and veiled herself.
39 After Charisius had dined he came in to her and came upon her, and she cried out, saying: ‘You have no more any room by me, for my Lord Yesu is greater than you, who is with me and rests in me.’
40 He laughed, saying: ‘You mock so very well, saying this of that sorcerer, and well do you ridicule him who says: “You have no life with God unless you purify yourselves.”’
41 When he had so said, he set out to sleep with her, but she endured it not and cried out bitterly saying: ‘I call upon you, Lord Yesu, forsake me not, for with you have I made my refuge when I learned that you are he that seek out them that are veiled in ignorance and saves them that are held in error. Now I entreat you whose report I have heard and believed, come you to my help and save me from the shamelessness of Charisius, that his foulness may not get the upper hand of me.’
42 Therefore she tied his hands together and fled from him naked. As she ran out, she pulled down the curtain of the bedchamber and wrapped it about her, she went to her nurse, and slept there in her chamber.
43 But Charisius was in heaviness all night, and slapped his face with his hands. He was minded to go that very hour and tell the king concerning the violence that was done him, but he deliberated with himself, saying: ‘If the great heaviness which is upon me compel me to go now to the king, who will bring me in to him? I know that my abuse have overthrown me from my high looks and my pride and majesty, and have cast me down into this vileness and separated my sister Mygdonia from me. Yes, if the king himself stood before the doors at this hour, I could not have gone out and answered him. But, I will wait until dawn, and I know that whatsoever I ask of the king, he will grant to me. I will tell him of the madness of this stranger, how that it tyrannously casts down the great and illustrious into the depth. For it is not this that grieves me, that I am depraved of her company, but for her am I grieved, because her greatness of soul is humbled: being an honourable lady in whom none of her house ever found fault she has fled away naked, running out of her own bedchamber, and I know not where she went. It may be that she has gone mad by the means of that sorcerer, and in her madness have gone into the market-place to seek him; for there is nothing that appeal to her lovably except him and the things that are spoken by him.’
45 So he began to lament, saying: ‘Woe to me, O my consort, and to you likewise! I am too quickly bereaved of you! Woe to me, my most dear one, for you are most excellent of all my race: neither son nor daughter have I had of you that I might find rest in them. Neither have you yet dwelt with me a full year, and an evil eye have caught you from me.
Would that the violence of death had taken you, and I should yet have reckoned myself among kings and nobles: but that I should suffer this at the hands of a stranger, and he is like a slave that have run away, to my bad fortune and the sorrow of my unhappy soul!’
46 ‘Let there be no stumbling block for me until I destroy him and avenge this night, and may I not be happy before Misdaeus the king if he helps me not to take revenge of this stranger.’
47 ‘Of Siphor, the captain who have been the occasion of this, I will also tell – for by his means did the stranger appear here, and lodged at his house. Many are there that go in and come out, whom the stranger teaches this new doctrine; saying that none can live if he quit not all his substance and become a renunciant like himself – and he strives to make many to partake with him.’
48 As Charisius thought on these things, the day dawned. He put on a mean habit and shoes, and went depressed and long-faced to greet the king.
When the king saw him he said: ‘Why are you sorrowful, and come in such clothes? I see that your appearance has changed.’
49 And Charisius said to the king: ‘I have a new thing to tell you and a new desolation which Siphor have brought into India, a certain Hebrew, a sorcerer, whom he have sitting in his house and who departs not from him.
50 Many are there that go in to him, whom also he teaches of a new God, and lays on them new laws such as never yet were heard, saying: “It is impossible for you to enter into that eternal life which I proclaim to you, unless you rid you of your wives, and likewise the wives of their husbands.”
51 It so happened that my unlucky wife also went to him and became a hearer of his words, and she believed them, and in the night she left me and ran to the stranger.
Now send for both Siphor and that sorcerer that is hiding with him, and bring it on their heads, before all that are of our customs perish.’
52 When Misdaeus his friend heard this, he said to him: ‘Be not grieved nor depressed, for I will send for him and revenge you, and you shall have your wife again.’
53 The king went forth and sat on the judgement seat, and he commanded Siphor the captain to be called. They went to his house and found him sitting on the right hand of the apostle and Mygdonia at his feet, listening to him with all the multitude.
54 And they that were sent from the king said to Siphor: ‘Do you sit here listening to vain words, while Misdaeus the king in his anger thinks to destroy you because of this sorcerer and deceiver whom you have brought into your house?’
55 Siphor when hearing it was depressed, not because of the king’s threat against him, but for the apostle, because the king was disposed antagonistically to him.
56 Siphor said to the apostle: ‘I am distressed concerning you: I told you at the first that that woman is the wife of Charisius, the king’s friend and kinsman, and that he will not allow her to perform that which she has promised, and all that he asks of the king he grants him.’
57 But the apostle said to Siphor: ‘Fear nothing, but believe in Yesu that pleads for us all, for to his refuge are we gathered together.’ Siphor, hearing that, put his toga about him and went to Misdaeus the king.
58 The apostle inquired of Mygdonia: ‘What was the cause that your husband was angry with you and devised this against us?’
59 She replied: ‘Because I gave not myself up to his corruption, for he desired last night to subdue me and subject me to that passion which he serves – and he to whom I have committed my soul delivered me out of his hands, and I fled away from him naked, and slept at my nurse’s - but what came into him to plan this, I know not.’
60 The apostle said: ‘These things will not hurt us; but believe you on Yesu, and he shall overthrow the anger of Charisius and his madness and his impulse; and he shall be a companion to you in the fearful way, and he shall guide you into his kingdom, and shall bring you to eternal life giving you that confidence which pass not away nor changes.’
Siphor before king Misdaeus
61 Now Siphor stood before the king, and the king inquired of him: ’Who is that sorcerer and where from is he, and what teaches he whom you have hiding in your house?’
62 Siphor answered the king: ‘You are not ignorant, O king, of what trouble and grief I with my friends had concerning my wife, whom you know and many others remember, and concerning my daughter, whom I value more than all my possessions. What a time and trial I suffered, for I became a laughing-stock and a curse in all our country!
I heard the report of this man and went to him and entreated him, and took him and brought him here. As I came by the way I saw wonderful and amazing things: and here also many did hear the wild ass and concerning that devil whom he drove out, and healed my wife and daughter, and now they are whole.’
63 ‘This man asked no reward but requires faith and holiness, that people should become partakers with him in that which he does - and this he teaches; to worship and fear one God, the ruler of all things, and Yesu Christ his son, that they may have eternal life.’
64 ‘That which he eats is bread and salt, and his drink is water from evening to evening. He makes many prayers, and whatsoever he asks of his God, he gives him.
He teaches that this God is holy and mighty, and that Christ is living and makes alive, wherefore also he charges them that are there present to come to him in holiness and purity and love and faith.’
65 When Misdaeus the king heard these things of Siphor he sent many soldiers to the house of Siphor the captain, to bring Thomas the apostle and all that were found there. They that were sent entered in and found him teaching many people, with Mygdonia sitting at his feet.
66 They feared when they beheld the great multitude that were about him, and returned to their king and said: ‘We dare not say anything to him, for there was a great multitude about him, and Mygdonia sitting at his feet was listening to the things that were spoken by him.’
67 When Misdaeus the king and Charisius heard these things, Charisius leaped out from before the king and drew much people with him and said: ‘I will bring him, O king, and Mygdonia whose understanding he have taken away.’
68 He went to the house of Siphor the captain, greatly disturbed, and found Thomas teaching, but Mygdonia he found not, for she had withdrawn herself to her house, having learnt that her husband had been told that she was there.
Thomas before king Misdaeus
69 Charisius said to the apostle: ‘Up, you wicked one and destroyer and enemy of my house, for me your sorcery harms not, for I will visit your sorcery on your head.’
70 The apostle looked upon him and said to him: ‘Your threats shall return upon you, for me you will not harm in any way: for greater than you and your king and all your army is the Lord Yesu Christ in whom I have my trust.’
71 Charisius took a head-cloth of one of his slaves and flung it about the neck of the apostle, saying: ‘Bring him and take him away; let me see if his God is able to deliver him out of my hands.’ And they brought him and led him away to Misdaeus the king.
72 As the apostle stood before the king, the king said to him: ‘Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things.’ But the apostle kept silence.
73 Then the king commanded his officers that the apostle should be scourged with a hundred and twenty blows, and bound, and be cast into the prison - they bound him and led him away.
74 Thereafter the king and Charisius considered how they should put him to death, for the multitude worshipped him as a god. They had it in mind to say: ‘The stranger insulted the king and is a deceiver.’
Thomas in prison
1 The apostle went to the prison rejoicing and exulting, saying: ‘I praise you, Yesu, for that you have not only made me worthy of faith in you, but also to endure much for your sake. I give you thanks therefore, Lord, that you have taken thought for me and given me patience. I thank you Lord, that for your sake I am called a sorcerer and a wizard.’
2 ‘Let me receive of the blessings of the poor, and of the rest of the weary, and of the blessings of them whom men hate and persecute and revile, and speak evil words of them. For Lord, for your sake I am hated, Lord for your sake I am cut off from the many, and for your sake they call me such as I am not.’
Song of the Pearl
3 As the apostle Thomas prayed, all the prisoners looked on him, and begged him to pray for them, and when he had prayed and sat down, he began to sing this mystical song:
‘When I was a little child, I played in the kingdom of my Father, and enjoyed the wealth and luxuries, of those who raised me up. 1
From our homeland, in the East, my Parents prepared me and sent me. 2
And from the riches of our treasury, they gave me a load, Great the treasure was, but so light I could carry it alone. 3
Gold from Beth’Ellaye (the house of the high ones), and silver from great Ga’zak. Chalcedonies from India and opals of the realm of Kushan. 4
They girded me with determination, which crushes iron. 5
They took off from me the splendid robe, which in their love they had made for me, and the purple toga, which was woven to the measure of my eminence. 6
They made with me an oath, and wrote it in my heart, that I might not forget:
“If you go down to Egypt and bring the one pearl, which is in the middle of the sea, in the place where the loud-breathing serpent lives, then you will again put on your splendid robe, and the toga which lies over it.
And with your Brother, our next in rank, you shall inherit our kingdom." 7
I quitted the East and went down, led by two companions, for the way was dangerous and difficult, and I was very young to travel it. 8
I passed over the borders of Maisan, (meeting-place of the merchants) of the East, and reached the land of Babel, and entered in to the walls of Sarbug. 9
I went down into Egypt, and my companions left me to go alone. 10
I went straight to the serpent, and close to the place where he lives I stayed. 11
I waited that he should slumber and sleep, so that I might take my pearl from him. 12
Since I was all alone, I was a stranger to those who lived there with me. 13
One of my race I saw there, a nobleman out of the East, a youth fair and lovable, an anointed one, and he came and attached himself to me. 14
I made him my intimate friend, my companion with whom I discussed my business. 15
He warned me against the Egyptians and against associating with the unclean. 16
But I dressed in clothes like theirs, so they would not suspect I came from outside to take the pearl, and so may wake the serpent up against me. 17
But for some reason or other they saw that I was not from their country, so they treated me treacherously, and gave me to eat of their food. 18
Very soon I forgot that I was a king’s child, and I served their king. 19
And soon I forgot about the pearl, for which my Parents had sent me. 20
Because of the heaviness of their food, I fell into a deep dream. 21
All that happened to me, my Parents observed and were sad for me. 22
A proclamation was published in our kingdom that all should come to our gate, the kings and chieftains of Parthia, and all the great ones of the East. 23
They decided that I must not be left in Egypt, and they wrote me a letter, and every family member signed it:
“From your Father, the King of kings, and your Mother, the mistress of the East, and from your Brother, our other child, to you, our child in Egypt, greetings!
Awake and rise up from your sleep, and listen to the words of our letter.
Remember that you are a child of a king. See the slavery of those serving the one you also serve!
Remember the pearl, for which you went into Egypt.
Remember the beautiful robe, and think of your glorious toga, that you may put them on again, that your name may be read in the book of the heroes, and that with your Brother, our crown prince, you inherit our kingdom." 24
The letter was a letter which the king had sealed with his right hand, against the wicked, the people of Babel and the rebellious demons of Sarbug. 25
It flew in the form of an eagle, the most majestic of all birds, it flew and sat down beside me, and became all speech. 26
Hearing its voice and the sound of its rustling, I woke up from my sleep. 27
I took the letter and kissed it, broke its seal and read. 28
The letter was a reminder of the oath they made with me, that they wrote in my heart, so that I might not forget. 30
Then I remembered I am a child of a king, and my noble birth asserted itself. 31
I remembered the pearl for which I was sent to Egypt, and I began to cast a spell on the terrible loud-breathing serpent. 32
I brought him to dream and sleep, by naming my Father’s name over him, and of my mother, the queen of the East, and the name of our next in rank, my Brother. 33
I snatched away the pearl, and turned about, to go to my Father’s house. 34
The dirty clothes of that land, I took off and left it there. 35
Then I changed my way, to face the light of our homeland, the East. 36
My letter, my awakener, I found before me on the way; as with its voice it had awakened me, so it led me further with its light, written on Chinese tissue with ruddle, gleaming before me with its image. 37
With its voice and its guidance encouraging me to speed, drawing me with its love. 38
I went forward, passed through Sarbug, left Babel on my left hand, and came to the great Maisan, the haven of the merchants, which lies on the shore of the sea. 39
My beautiful robe that I had taken off, and my toga with which it was wrapped about, from the heights of our kingdom, my Parents sent it to me. 40
It was brought to me by the hands of their faithful and trusted treasurers. 41
Amazed, I forgot how dignified it was, for I had left it in my childhood in my Father’s house, but suddenly, when I put it on, it became like me, as my reflection in a mirror; I saw it in me, and in it I saw myself, apart from myself, so that we were two in distinction, and again one in a single form. 42
And the treasurers too, who had brought it to me, I saw in like manner, that they were two of a single form, for one sign of the king was impressed upon them, who restored to me through them, my pledge and my riches, my splendid robe adorned gleaming in glorious colours, with gold and beryls, chalcedonies and opals, and sardonyxes of varied colour, adding to the grandeur of my robe, with stones of determination all its seams fastened. 43
The likeness of the king of kings, was embroidered all over it, like stones of sapphire in its grandeur brilliant with manifold hues. 44
Again I saw that all over it, the movements of knowledge were stirring. 45
I saw too the preparation of a speech. 46
I hear the sounds of its songs, which it whispered as it came down:
“I belong to the brave servant, who was reared for me by my Father, and I saw in myself how I grew, as the servant laboured." 47
With royal movements, it poured itself toward me, and my love made me run to meet it, and receive it, I stretched out and took it. With the beauty of its colours I dressed myself. 48
And my toga of brilliant colours, I put on completely over myself. I clothed myself with it, and went up to the gate of greeting and adoration. 49
I bowed my head and worshipped the splendour of the Father who sent the robe, whose commands I had accomplished, as he also had done what he promised. 50
At the gate of his kingdom I mingled among his great ones. For he rejoiced over me and received me, and I was with him in his kingdom. 51
With the sound of music all his servants praised him. And he promised that I will again walk with the crown prince, to the gate of the king of kings, and with my gift and my pearl, with him, we will appear before our king.” 52
Charisius blames the gods
1 Charisius went home glad, thinking that his wife would be with him, and that she had become such as she was before, even before she heard the divine word and believed in Yesu.
2 When he got home, he found her with her hair dishevelled and her clothes torn: ‘My lady Mygdonia, why does this cruel disease keep hold of you, and why have you done this? I am your husband from your virginity, and both the gods and the law grant me to have rule over you! What is this great madness of yours, that you have become a mockery in all our nation? Now, put away the prudence that comes of that sorcerer; and I will remove his face from among us, so that you may see him no more.’
3 But, when Mygdonia heard that, she gave herself up to grief, groaning and lamenting. Charisius said again: ‘Have I then so much wronged the gods that they have afflicted me with such a disease? What is my great offence that they have cast me into such humiliation? I beg of you, Mygdonia, stop strangling my soul with the pitiful sight of you and your mean appearance, and stop tormenting my heart with care for you. I am Charisius your husband, whom all the nation honours and fears. What must I do? I know not which way to turn. What am I to think? Shall I keep silence and endure?’
4 ‘Yet, who can be patient when a man takes his treasure, and who can endure to lose your sweet ways? What is there for me? The fragrance of you is in my nostrils, and your bright face is fixed in my eyes. They are taking away my soul, and the fair body which I delight to see, they are destroying. Those sharpest of eyes, they are blinding and cutting off my right hand, my joy is turning to grief and my life to death, and the light of it is being coloured with darkness, and from you no help have come to me. Let no man of my family look to me! I hereafter not worship the gods of the East that have enwrapped me in such trouble, nor will I pray to them any more, nor sacrifice to them, for I was robbed of my wife. What else should I ask of them? For all my glory is taken away, yet am I a prince and next to the king in power; but Mygdonia have made me into nothing, and taken away all these things.’
5 And while Charisius spoke this with tears, Mygdonia sat silently, looking upon the ground. Again he came to her and said: ‘My lady Mygdonia, most desired of mine, remember that out of all the women that are in India I chose and took you as the most beautiful, though I might have joined to myself in marriage many more beautiful. No, that is a lie, but yet I lie, Mygdonia, for by the gods it would not have been possible to find another like you in the land of India! But, take pity on me, for you do not even consider me worthy of a reply; I would rather have you insult me, so that I may hear only a word from you. Look at me, for I am more handsome than that sorcerer. You are my wealth and honour, and all men know that there is none like me, you are my race and kind – and behold, he takes you away from me.’
6 And when Charisius had so said, Mygdonia said to him: ‘He whom I love is better than you and your substance: for your substance is of earth and returns to the earth; but he whom I love is of heaven and will take me with him to heaven.’
7 ‘Your wealth shall pass away, and your beauty shall vanish, and your robes, and your many works: and you shall be alone, naked, with your transgressions. Call not to my remembrance your deeds, for I pray the Lord that I may forget you, so as to remember no more those former pleasures and the custom of the body; which shall pass away as a shadow, but only Yesu endures for ever, and the souls which hope in him. Yesu himself shall acquit me of the shameful deeds which I did with you.’
8 When Charisius heard this, he turned him to sleep, troubled and fragile in soul, saying to her: ‘Consider it by yourself all this night; if you will be with me as you were before, and not see that sorcerer, I will do all what you may think to ask of me; if you will remove your affection from him, I will take him out of the prison and let him go, also I will remove him to another country; in addition I will not trouble you, for I know that you make much of the stranger.’
9 ‘Be mindful that you are not the first woman who this happened to, for many other women he has also deceived in the same way as you; and they have woken up sober and returned to themselves; do not then make nothing of my words and cause me to be a reproach among the Indians.’
10 Charisius having said this, went to sleep. But Mygdonia took ten coins, and went secretly to give them to the jailors so that she might enter and visit the apostle.
11 But, on the way there Judas Thomas came and met her, and she saw him and was afraid, for she thought that he was one of the rulers as a great light went before him.
12 She said to herself as she fled: ‘I have lost you, O my unhappy soul, for you will not again see Judas the apostle of the living , and you have not yet received the holy seal!’
13 She fled and ran into a narrow alley and there hid herself, saying: ‘I would rather choose to be taken by the destitute of the street, whom it is possible to persuade, than to fall into the hands of this mighty ruler, who will despise gifts.’
Acts of Thomas: Chapters 11 - 16
Mygdonia receives baptism
1 While Mygdonia thought this, Judas came and stood over her, she saw him and was afraid, she fell down and became lifeless with terror.
2 But he stood by her and took her by the hand and said to her: ‘Fear not, Mygdonia, Yesu will not leave you, neither will the Lord to whom you have committed your soul overlook you. His compassionate rest will not forsake you, he that is kind will not forsake you.’
3 ‘Rise up then from the earth, you that have become wholly above it; look at the light, for the Lord leaves not them that love him to walk in darkness; see him that travel with his servants, he is to them a defender in times of danger.’
4 Mygdonia arose and looked on him and said: ‘Where did you go to my lord, and who is he that brought you out of prison to see the sun?’ Judas Thomas replied: ‘My Lord Yesu is mightier than all powers and all kings and rulers.’
5 Mygdonia said: ‘Give me the seal of Yesu Christ and let me receive the gift at your hands before you depart out of life.’
6 She took him with her, entered into the court and woke her nurse, saying to her: ‘Narcia, my mother and nurse, all your service and nourishment you have given me from my childhood until my present age are boastful, and for them I owe you thanks which are temporary; do for me now also a favour, that you may for ever receive a recompense from him that gives great gifts.’
7 Narcia in answer said: ‘What do you need, my daughter Mygdonia, and what is to be done for your pleasure? The honours which you did promise me, that is before the stranger, you have not allowed yourself to accomplish, therefore you have made me a scandal among all the nation. Now, what is this new thing that you command from me?’
8 Mygdonia said: ‘Become a partaker with me in eternal life, that I may receive of perfect nursing: take bread and bring it to me, and wine mingled with water, and pity me a free-born woman.’
9 The nurse said: ‘I will bring you many loaves, and much water and of wine enough to fulfil your desire.’ But she said to the nurse: ‘Gallons is not what I desire nor the many loaves; but this only, bring wine mingled with water and one loaf, and oil.’
10 When Narcia had brought these things, Mygdonia stood before the apostle with her head bare; and he took the oil and poured it on her head, saying: ‘You, holy oil given to us for sanctification, secret mystery whereby we know the cross, you are the straightener of the crooked limbs, you are the softener of hard things, you are it that shows the hidden treasures, you are the sprout of goodness; let your power come, let it be established upon your servant Mygdonia, and her by this freedom.’
11 When the oil was poured upon her he called her nurse, unclothed her and wrapped a linen cloth about her; and there was a fountain of water upon which the apostle went up, and baptised Mygdonia in the name of God the Holy Father, Holy Mother and Holy Son.
12 When she was baptised and clothed, he broke bread and took a cup of water and made her a partaker in the body of Christ and the cup of the Son of God, and said: ‘You have received your seal, get for yourself eternal life.’ Immediately there was heard from above a voice saying: ‘Yes, Amen.’
Narcia receives the seal
13 When Narcia heard that voice, she was amazed, and asked the apostle that she also might receive the seal; the apostle gave it to her and said: ‘Let the care of the Lord be about you as about the rest.’
14 Having done these things, the apostle returned to the prison, there he found the doors open and the guards still sleeping. Thomas said: ‘Who is like you, O God, who does not withhold your loving affection and care from any who is like you, the merciful, who have delivered your creatures out of evil? Life that have subdued death, rest that have ended toil. Glory be to the one begotten of the Father. Glory to the compassionate that was sent forth of his heart.’
15 After he had said this, the guards woke up, saw all the doors open and the prisoners asleep, they said to themselves: ‘Did we not fasten the doors, and how are they now open, and the prisoners within?’
Charisius opposes Yesu
16 At dawn, Charisius went to Mygdonia, and found them praying and saying: ‘O new God, that by the stranger have come here to us, hidden God of the people of India; God, that have shown your glory by your apostle Thomas; God, whose report we have heard and believed; God, to whom we come to be saved; God, who for love of man and for pity came down to our littleness; God, who sought us out when we did not know you; God, that contemplates in the heights and from whom the depths are not hidden: turn away from us the madness of Charisius.’
17 Charisius hearing them said to Mygdonia: ‘Rightly you call me evil and mad and foul, for if I had not been patient with your disobedience, and given you liberty, you would not have called on God against me, and made mention of your name before God. Believe me, Mygdonia, that in that sorcerer there is no profit, and what he promises to perform he cannot; but I will perform before your sight all that I promise, that you may believe; bear with my words and you will be to me as you were before.’
18 He then came near to hear, and asked her again: ‘If you will be persuaded by me, I shall have no further grief; remember that day when you first saw me, tell the truth, was I not more beautiful to you at that time, than Yesu is at this time?’
19 Mygdonia replied: ‘That time required its own, and this time also; that was the time of the beginning, but this of the end; that was the time of temporal life, this of eternal; that of pleasure that pass away, but this of pleasure that lasts for ever; that of day and night, this of day without night; you saw the marriage that was passing, here and only now, but this marriage continues for ever; that was a partnership of corruption, but this is of eternal life; those groomsmen and maids were men and women of time, but these stay to the end.’ The marriage on earth is set on dropping dew from the love of humans, that bed-chamber is taken down again, but this one remains for ever and is set on holy dew from the Spirit; that bed was strewn with covers that grow old, but this with love and faith; you are a bridegroom that pass away and are dissolved, but Yesu is a true bridegroom, enduring for ever immortal; that bride-price was of money and robes that grow old, but this is of living words which never pass away.’
20 Charisius heard these things and went to the king to tell him all; the king then commanded Judas to be brought before him so that he might judge him and destroy him.’
21 Charisius said: ‘Have a little patience, O king, first persuade the man by making him afraid, that he may convince Mygdonia to be to me as before.’
22 Misdaeus sent for the apostle of Christ, and when he was fetched from the prison, all the prisoners were grieved because the apostle departed from them; they yearned after him, saying: ‘Even the comfort which we had, have they taken away from us.’
23 King Misdaeus asked Judas: ‘Why do you teach this new doctrine, which both gods and men hate, and which have nothing of profit?’
24 Judas answered: ‘What evil do I teach?’ Misdaeus said: ‘You teach, saying that it is not possible for humans to have a life with the God you preach if they do not keep themselves pure as gods.’
25 Judas said: ‘You say true, O king, thus do I teach. Do tell me, are you not angry with your soldiers if they wait on you in filthy garments? If then you, being a king of earth, and returning to earth, request your subjects to be reverend in their doings ... why then are you angry and say that I teach ill, when I say that they who serve my king, must be reverend and pure; free from all grief and care of children; and free from unprofitable aches and vain trouble?’ For indeed, you want your subjects to follow your conversation and your manners, and you punish them if they despise your commandments! How much more must they that believe in Yesu Christ serve God? They must serve God with much reverence and cleanness and firmness, and be rid of all pleasures of the body, adultery and prodigality and theft and drunkenness and belly-service and foul deeds.’
26 Misdaeus hearing these things said: ‘See, I let you go. Now, go and persuade Mygdonia, the wife of Charisius, not to want to depart from him.’
27 Judas said to him: ‘Do not delay anything you have to do. As for her, if she have rightly received what she have learned, neither iron, nor fire, nor anything else stronger than these, will hurt her or uproot him that is held in her soul.’
28 Misdaeus said to Judas: ‘Some poisons do dissolve other poisons, theriacs cure the bite of the viper: and you, if you want to, you can give a solvent of those diseases, and make peace and concord between this couple; for by so doing you will spare yourself, for not yet are you fulfilled with life; and you should know that if you do not persuade her, I will pluck you away out of this life which is desirable to all men.’
29 Judas said: ‘This life have been given as a loan, and this time is one that changes, but that life of which I teach is incorruptible; and beauty and youth that are seen shall in a soon cease to be.’ The king said to him: ‘I have counselled you for the best, but you know your own affairs.’
30 As the apostle went from before the king, Charisius came to him and appealed him and said: ‘I beseech you, O man, I have not sinned against you or any other person at any time, nor against the gods, why then have you stirred up this great disaster against me? For what cause have you brought such disturbance upon my house and what do you profit from it? If you think to gain from this, tell me what the gain is and I will procure it for you without labour. To what end do you want to make me mad, and cast yourself into destruction? If you persuade her not, I will dispatch you both and finally take myself out of life! But if, as you say, after our departing from this place of life and death, and condemnation and victory, that there is a place of judgement, then I will also go in there to be judged with you: and if that God whom you preach is just and awards punishment justly, I know that I shall win my case against you; for you have injured me, you who suffered no wrong at my hands; for indeed even here I am able to avenge myself on you and bring upon you all that you have done to me. Therefore be persuaded, and come home with me and persuade Mygdonia to be with me as she was at first, before she saw you.’
31 Judas said to him: ‘Believe me, my child, that if men loved God as much as they love one another, they would ask of him all things and receive them, and none would do them violence.’
32 As Thomas said this, they came to the house of Charisius and found Mygdonia sitting and Narcia standing by her, her hand supporting her cheek as she was saying: ‘Let the remainder of the days of my life, O mother, be cut off from me, and all the hours become as one hour, and let me depart out of life that I may go sooner and see that beautiful one, who I have heard of. Yes, that living one and giver of life to them that believe in him, where there is neither day and night, nor light and darkness, nor good and evil, nor poor and rich, nor male and female, nor free and bond, nor proud that subjects the humble.’
33 As she spoke these words, the apostle stood by her, and she rose up and did him reverence. Then Charisius said to him: ‘See how she fears and honours you. All that you shall ask her she will do willingly!’
34 And as he spoke, Judas said to Mygdonia: ‘My daughter Mygdonia, obey that which your brother Charisius say.’
35 Mygdonia said: ‘If you are not able to even describe the deed in word, will you compel me to endure the act? I have heard of you that this life is of no profit, and this relief is for a time, and these possessions are transitory. You said that whoever renounces this life shall receive the life eternal, and whoever has the light of day and night shall see a light that is not overcome, that whoever despises this money shall find other and eternal money. But, now because you are in fear you speak differently. Who that have done a great work and is praised for it, changes it, and straightaway overthrows it from the foundation? Who digs a spring for water in a thirsty land, and straightaway fill it in again? Who finds a treasure and uses it not?’
36 Charisius heard it and said: ‘I will not imitate you, neither will I rush to destroy you, nor, even though I may still do so, will I put bonds about you. But you, Mygdonia, I will not allow to speak again with this sorcerer; if you obey me, then it is well, but if not, I know what I must do.’
Siphor requests the seal
37 Judas went out of Charisius’ house and departed to the house of Siphor and lodged there with him. Siphor said: ‘I will prepare for Judas a clinic wherein he may teach.’
38 And he did so, and Siphor said: ‘I and my wife and daughter will live in holiness, and in chastity, and in one mind. I beseech you that we may receive of you the seal, and become worshippers of the true God and be numbered among his sheep and lambs.’ Judas said: ‘I am afraid to speak that which I think, yet I know something, and what I know, it is not possible for me to speak.’
Thomas speaks on baptism
39 He began to say concerning baptism: ‘This baptism is for repentance of sins and the turning about of your due load 33: this brings forth again light that is shed about us; this brings to birth the new person; this mingles holiness with the spirit, the soul and the body; and raises up in threefold-wise a new person and partaker of the remission of dues from sin. Glory be to you, hidden one, that are communicated in baptism. Glory to you the unseen power that is in baptism. Glory to you, renewal, whereby are renewed they that are baptised and with affection take hold upon you.’
40 Having said this he poured oil over their heads and said: ‘Glory be to you the love of the heart. Glory to you name of Christ. Glory to you, power established in Christ.’
41 He then commanded a vessel to be brought, and baptised them in the name of the Male the Female and the Son.’
42 When they were baptised and dressed, he placed bread on the table and blessed it, and said: ‘Bread of life, of which whoever eats remains incorruptible. Bread that fills the hungry souls with the blessing thereof, you are he that concede to receive a gift, that you may become to us remission of sins, and that they who eat you may become immortal. We invoke upon you the name of the Mother, of the unspeakable Mystery of the hidden powers and authorities of the Father; we invoke upon you the name of your Yesu.’
41 He continued: ‘Let the powers of blessing come, and be established in this bread, that all the souls which partake of it may be washed from their sins.’ He broke the bread and gave to Siphor and his wife and daughter.
The wife of Misdaeus
1 Misdaeus the king, when he had let Judas go, dined and went home. He told his wife what trouble fell on Charisius their kinsman, saying: ‘See what have come to pass to that unhappy man, and you yourself know, my sister Tertia, that a man has nothing better than his own wife on whom he rests. It accidentally happened that his wife went to that sorcerer, of whom you have heard that came to the land of the Indians, and fell into his charms and is parted from her own husband; and he knows not what he should do. I would have destroyed the malefactor, but Charisius would not have it. Perhaps you would go and counsel her to give in to her husband, and to forsake the vain words of the sorcerer.’
2 As soon as she arose Tertia went to the house of Charisius. She found Mygdonia lying upon the earth in humiliation, ashes and sackcloth were spread under her; she was praying that God would forgive her her former sins and that she might soon depart out of life.
3 Tertia said to her: ‘Mygdonia, my dear sister and companion, what is this disease that have overtaken you? Why do you act like a mad person? Find yourself and come back to your own way. Come close to your family, and spare your good husband Charisius – so stop doing things unbefitting a free-woman.’
4 Mygdonia said to her: ‘O Tertia, you have not yet heard the preacher of life, not yet has he touched your ears, not yet have you tasted the medicine of life, nor are you freed from corruptible mourning. You stand in the life of time, everlasting life and salvation you do not know of, and you do not yet see the incorruptible fellowship. You stand dressed in robes that grow old and you do not desire those that are eternal, you are proud of this beauty which vanish and have no thought of the holiness of your soul. You are rich in a multitude of servants, but your own soul is enslaved. You are proud, since you believe that the glory that comes from having much will redeem you, but you do not redeem yourself from the condemnation of death.’
5 When Tertia heard this of Mygdonia she said: ‘I pray you, sister, take me to that stranger that teaches these great things, that I also may go and hear him, and be taught to worship the God whom he preaches, and become partaker of his prayers, and a sharer in all that you have told me of.’
6 Mygdonia told her: ‘He is in the house of Siphor the captain. Furthermore, he has become the occasion of life to all of them that are being saved in India.’
7 Hearing that, Tertia went quickly to Siphor’s house, that she might see the new apostle. When she entered the house, Judas said to her: ‘What have you come to see? A man that is a stranger and poor, contemptible and needy, having neither riches nor substance? Yet, there is one thing I possess, which neither kings nor rulers can take away, that neither perishes nor ceases; that is Yesu, the Saviour of all humankind, the son of the living God, who have given life to all that believe in him and take refuge with him and are known to be of the number of his servants.’
8 Tertia asked of him: ‘How may I become a partaker of this life, which you promise, that all who come together to the assembly of God shall receive?’
9 The apostle replied: ‘The treasury of the holy king is opened wide, and they who worthily partake of the good things that are therein do rest, and resting do reign;34 but first, no one comes to him that is unclean and vile, for he knows our inmost hearts and the depths of our thought, and it is not possible for any to escape him. You, then, if you really believe in him, shall be made worthy of his mysteries, and he will magnify you and enrich you, and make you to be an heir of his kingdom.’
10 Tertia, having heard this, returned home rejoicing. She found her husband awaiting her, not having dined, and when Misdaeus saw her he asked: ‘Why is it that your entering into this room to-day is more beautiful? And, why do you come walking, it is not proper, not for a free-born women like you?’
11 Tertia said to him: ‘I owe you the greatest of thanks because you sent me to Mygdonia – I went and heard of a new life! I saw the new apostle of the God that gives life to them that believe in him and fulfil his commandments. I should therefore repay you for this favour and admonition with good advice; for you shall be a great king in heaven if you obey me and fear the God that is preached by the stranger, and keep yourself holy to the living God. For this kingdom passes away, and your comfort will be turned into affliction, but go to that man, and believe him, and you shall live to the end.’
12 When Misdaeus heard these things of his wife, he slapped his face with his hands and tore his clothes, saying: ‘May the soul of Charisius find no rest, for he has hurt me to the soul; and may he have no hope, for he has taken away my hope.’ Misdaeus went out greatly displeased.
13 Misdaeus found Charisius his friend in the market-place. He grabbed Charisius and said to him: ‘Why have you cast me into hell to be another companion to yourself? Why have you emptied and defrauded me to gain nothing? Why have you hurt me, and profited yourself not at all? Why have you slain me, and yourself you have not lived? Why have you wronged me, and yourself you gained no justice? Why did you not allow me to destroy that sorcerer before he corrupted my house with his wickedness?’
14 Charisius asked: ‘Why, what have befallen you?’ Misdaeus replied: ‘He bewitched Tertia!’
Misdaeus hits Thomas with a chair
15 Both the men went to the house of Siphor the captain, and found Judas sitting and teaching. All they that were there rose up before the king, but he arose not.
16 Misdaeus saw that it was Judas Thomas – and took hold of a seat and sat over it, then took up the seat with both his hands and hit his head so that he wounded it.
17 He delivered Thomas to his soldiers, ordering: ‘Take him away, take him with violence and not gently, that his shame may be shown to all.’
18 They took him to the place where Misdaeus ordered, and he stood there, held by the soldiers of Misdaeus.
Luzanes the son of Misdaeus
1 But, Luzanes the son of Misdaeus came to the soldiers and said: ‘Give me him, that I may speak with him until the king comes.’ They gave Thomas up, and he took him to where the king gives judgement.
2 Luzanes then said: ‘Know you not that I am the son of Misdaeus the king; I have the power to say to the king what I will, and he will allow you to live? Tell me then, who is your God? What power do you claim and what glory in it? If it be that this power is of magic, tell me, and teach me, and I will let you go.’
3 Judas replied: ‘You are the son of Misdaeus the king, who is king for a time, but I am the servant of Yesu Christ, the eternal king. You have power to say to your father to save whom you want, in this temporal life wherein humans continue not, and you and your father grant these things here; but, I beseech my Lord and intercede for all, and he gives them a new life which is altogether enduring.’
4 ‘You boast yourself of possessions and servants, robes and luxury, and unclean chambers; whereas I boast myself of poverty and philosophy, humility and fasting, prayer and the fellowship of the Holy Father and Mother of my brothers and sisters that are worthy of God - I boast myself of eternal life. You rely on a man like yourself, not able to save his own soul from judgement and death; and I, I rely upon the living God, upon the saviour of kings and princes, who is the judge of all.’
5 ‘True, you indeed to-day may accidentally be, and tomorrow accidentally you may be no more; but I have taken refuge with him that remains for ever and knows all our seasons and times. If you would become the servant of this God, you shall also soon do as I do. But, you will have to show that you will be a servant worthy of him hereby: First, by holy purity, which is the head of all good things; then by fellowship with this God whom I preach; and philosophy and simplicity; and love and faith in him; and unity with pure and simple food.’
6 The young man was persuaded by the Lord and was looking for a way to let Judas escape, but while he thought about it the king came, and the soldiers took Judas and led him forth, and Luzanes went forth with him and stood beside him.
7 When the king sat down, he called for Judas to be brought in, with his hands bound behind him, and he was brought into the middle and stood there.
8 The king said: ‘Tell me who you are and by what power you do these things?’
9 Judas replied: ‘I am a man like you, and by the power of Yesu Christ I do these things.’
Miracles save the Apostle
10 Misdaeus said: ‘Tell me the truth, before I destroy you!’ Judas answered: ‘You have no power against me, as you suppose, and you will not hurt me at all.’
11 The king was angry at his words, and commanded his soldiers to heat iron plates and set him upon them barefoot. As the soldiers took off his shoes Judas said: ‘The wisdom of God is better than the wisdom of humans. My Lord and King, take council with these men and let your goodness resist this man’s anger.’
12 They brought the plates which were like fire, and set the apostle upon them, straightaway water sprang up abundantly from the earth, so that the plates were swallowed up in it, and they that held him let him go, and withdrew themselves.
13 The king seeing the abundance of water said to Judas: ‘Ask your God that he deliver me from this death, that I perish not in the flood.’
14 The apostle prayed: ‘You that did bind this element of nature and gathered it into one place, and send it forth into many lands; that did bring disorder into order; that grant mighty works and great wonders by the hands of Judas your servant; that have mercy on my soul, that I may always receive your brightness; that give wages to them that have laboured; you, saviour of my soul, restoring it to its own nature that it may have no fellowship with hurtful things; that have always been the occasion of life - restrain this element that it lift not itself up to destroy, for there are some of them that stand here who shall believe in you and live.’
15 After he had prayed, the water was swallowed up little by little, and the place became dry. When Misdaeus saw it, he commanded him to be taken to the prison: ‘Until I shall consider how he must be used.’
16 As Judas was led away to the prison, they all followed him, Luzanes the king’s son walked at his right hand and Siphor at the left.
17 He entered into the prison and sat down, and with Luzanes and Siphor. And Siphor persuaded his wife and his daughter to sit down, for they also went into the prison to hear the word of life. They knew that Misdaeus would slay Judas Thomas because of the excess of his anger.
Luzanes requests ordination
18 And Luzanes the youth besought the apostle, saying: ‘I plead with you, O man, apostle of God, allow me to go, and I will persuade the jailer to permit you to come home with me, that by you I may receive the seal, and become your minister and a keeper of the commandments of the God whom you preach. For indeed, formerly I walked in those things which you teach, until my father forced me and joined me to a wife by name Mnesara. I am in my twenty first year, and have now been married for seven years. Before I was joined in marriage I knew no other woman, and for that I was accounted useless by my father. I have no son or daughter of this wife, as my wife herself have lived with me in chastity all this time. Today, if she had been in health, and had listened to you, I know well that I would have been at rest and she would have received eternal life, but she is in pain and afflicted with much illness. I will therefore persuade the keeper that he promise for you to come with me, for I live by myself, and you shall also heal that unhappy one.’
19 Judas the apostle of the Most High, hearing this, said to Luzanes: ‘If you believe, you shall see the marvels of God, and how he saves his servants.’
20 As they spoke, Tertia and Mygdonia and Narcia stood at the door of the prison; they gave the jailer silver money and entered the jail to see Judas. They found Luzanes and Siphor and his wife and daughter, and all the prisoners sitting and hearing the word.
21 When they stood by him he said to them: ‘Who allowed you to come to us? And, who opened to you the sealed door that you came through?’
22 Tertia replied: ‘Did not you open the door for us, and told us to come into the prison that we might take our brothers that were there, and then should the Lord show forth his glory on us? When we came near the door, I know not how, you were parted from us and hid yourself and came here before us, where also we heard the noise of the door, when you shut us out. We gave money therefore to the keepers and came in, and see, we are here praying you that we may persuade you and let you escape until the king’s anger against you shall cease.’
Unto whom Judas said: ‘Tell us first of all how you were shut up.’
23 Tertia said to him: ‘You were with us, and did never leave us for one hour, and now you ask how we were shut up?
24 But, if you desire to hear, hear. The king Misdaeus sent for me and said to me: ‘Not yet have that sorcerer prayed over you, for, as I hear, he bewitches women with oil and water and bread, and have not yet bewitched you. But obey me now, for if not, I will imprison you and wear you out, and him I will destroy. I know that if he has not yet given you oil and water and bread, he has not prevailed to get power over you.’
25 I said to him: ‘Over my body you have authority and do you whatever you will; but my soul I will not let perish with you!’ Hearing that he shut me up in a chamber, and Charisius brought Mygdonia and shut her up with me. But then, you let us out and brought us here, therefore give us the seal quickly, that the hope of Misdaeus who counsels us may be cut off.’
26 When the apostle heard this, he said: ‘Glory be to you, O Yesu of many forms, glory to you that appear in the guise of our poor human state. Glory to you that encourage us, and make us strong, and give grace, and console us, and stand by us in all perils, and strengthen our weakness.’
27 As he spoke, the jailer came and said: ‘Put out the lamps, before someone reports you to the king.’ They extinguished the lamps, and turned to sleep; but the apostle spoke to the Lord: ‘It is the time now, O Yesu, for you to make haste; see, the children of darkness make us sit in their own darkness – will you therefore enlighten us with the light of your nature?’
28 Suddenly the whole prison was light as the day, and while all that were in the prison slept a deep sleep, only they that had believed in the Lord woke up.
29 Judas then said to Luzanes: ‘Go ahead and make ready the things for our need.’ Luzanes asked: ‘And who will open the doors of the prison? The jailers shut them and are asleep.’ Judas said: ‘Believe in Yesu, and you shall find the doors open.’
Mnesara is healed
1 When he went forth and departed from them, all the rest followed after him. And as Luzanes left, Mnesara his wife met him as she was going to the prison. She recognised him and said: ‘Bother Luzanes, is it you?’ He replied: ‘Yes, and are you Mnesara?’ She said: ‘Yes.’ Luzanes asked her: ‘Where are you walking to, especially at so untimely an hour? Also, how were you able to rise up?’
2 She answered: ‘This youth laid his hand on me and raised me up, and, in a dream he said that I should go to where the stranger sits, and become perfectly whole.’ Luzanes asked: ‘What youth is with you?’ She said: ‘Do you not see him here on my right hand, leading me by the hand?’
3 While they spoke together, Judas, with Siphor and his wife and daughter, and Tertia and Mygdonia and Narcia, came to Luzanes’ house. Mnesara, the wife of Luzanes, seeing Judas Thomas did reverence and said: ‘Have you come, the one that saves us from the terrible disease? You are he, whom I saw in the night, delivering to me this youth to take me to the prison, and your goodness allowed me not to grow weary, but you yourself came to me.’
4 So saying, she turned about and saw the youth no more, and finding him not, she said to the apostle: ‘I am not able to walk alone, for the youth whom you gave me is not here.’
5 Judas said: ‘Yesu will lead you from now on.’ Thereafter she came running to him. And when they entered into the house of Luzanes, the son of Misdaeus the king, though it was still night, a great light shined about them.’
6 Judas then began to pray and to speak: ‘O companion and battle partner35; hope of the weak and confidence of the poor; refuge and lodging of the weary; voice that came forth from the height; comforter dwelling in the within; port and harbour of them that pass through the regions of the powers; physician that heal without payment; who among humans were crucified for many; who went down into hell with great might; the sight of whom the princes of death endured not. You came up with great glory, and by gathering all them that fled to you, you prepared a Way; and in your footsteps they journeyed and those you redeemed; and you brought them into your own fold and joined them with your sheep.’
7 ‘Son of mercy, the son that for love of humankind were sent to us from the perfect country that is above; the Lord of all possessions, that serves your servants that they may live: that fills creation with your own riches; you feed the poor, that were in need and hungered forty days; that satisfies thirsty souls with your own good things – be you with Luzanes the son of Misdaeus and with Tertia and Mnesara. Gather them into your fold and mingle them with your children; be to them a guide in the land of error; be to them a physician in the land of sickness; be to them a rest in the land of the weary; sanctify them in a polluted land; be their physician both of bodies and souls; make them holy temples of you, and let your holy spirit dwell in them.’
St Thomas performs his last Initiation
8 Having thus prayed over them, the apostle said to Mygdonia: ‘Unclothe your sisters.’
9 She took off their clothes and wrapped them in sheets and brought them. Luzanes went first, and they came after him - the apostle took oil in a cup of silver, and spoke this over the oil: ‘Fruit more beautiful than all other fruits, to which none other whatsoever may be compared: altogether merciful; fervent with the force of the Word; power of the tree which if taken on by humans they overcome their adversaries; crowner of the conquerors; mandala and joy of the sick; that announced to humans their salvation; that showed light to them that are in darkness; whose leaf is bitter, but in your most sweet fruit you are fair; that are rough to the sight, but soft to the taste; seeming to be weak, but in the greatness of your strength able to bear the power that beholds all things.’
10 Having said this blessing, he prayed: ‘Yesu, let your victorious night come and be established in this oil, as it was established in the tree that was its stock, without which might they that crucified you could not endure the Word; let the gift also come whereby breathing upon your enemies you caused them to retreat and fall headlong, and let it rest in this oil, whereupon we invoke your holy name.’
11 Having thus said, he poured it first upon the head of Luzanes and then upon the women’s heads, saying: ‘In your name, O Yesu Christ, let it be unto these souls for remission of sins, and for turning back from the adversary, and for salvation of their souls.’
12 He then commanded Mygdonia to anoint the women, but he himself anointed Luzanes. Having anointed them, he led them down into the water in the name of Holy Father and Holy Mother and Holy Son.
13 When they came up, he took bread and a cup, and blessed it and said: ‘Your holy body which was crucified for us do we eat, and your blood that was shed for us to salvation do we drink; let therefore your body be to us salvation and your blood for remission of sins. For the gall which you drank for our sakes, let the gall of the devil be removed from us; for the bitter potion which you drank for us, let our weakness be made strong; for the spitting which you received for us, let us receive the dew of your goodness; by the reed wherewith they smote you for us, let us receive the perfect house; and whereas you received a crown of thorns for our sake, let us that have loved you put on a crown that fade not away; for the linen cloth wherein you were wrapped, let us also be wrapped about with your power that is not conquered; for the new tomb and the burial, let us receive renewing of soul and body; and because you raised up and revived your body, let all revive and live and stand before you in righteous judgement.’
14 The apostle broke and gave the Mystery of thanksgiving to Luzanes and Tertia and Mnesara and the wife and daughter of Siphor and said: ‘Let this thanksgiving Mystery be to you for salvation and joy and health of your souls.’ They said: ‘Amen.’ And a voice was heard, saying: ‘Amen. Fear not, but only believe.’
The martyrdom of the Apostle
1 After these things Judas departed to be imprisoned. Tertia with Mygdonia and Narcia also went to be imprisoned.
2 The apostle Thomas said to the multitude of them that had believed and that were present: ‘Daughters and sisters and fellow-servants which have believed in our Lord and God, ministers of my Yesu, listen to me this day - for I deliver my word to you, and I shall no more speak with you in the flesh or in this world; for I go up to my Lord and to my God. Yesu Christ, to him that sold me, to that Lord that humbled himself even to me the little, and brought me up to eternal greatness, that granted to me to become his servant in truth and steadfastness; to him do I depart, knowing that the time is fulfilled, and the day appointed have drawn near for me to go and receive my reward;
3 for my rewarder is righteous, the Saviour knows me, how I ought to receive my reward, for he is not grudging nor envious, but is rich in his gifts; he is not a lover of craft things and that which he gives is crafted by his Father and Mother, for he has confidence in possessions which cannot fail.’
4 ‘I am not Yesu, but I am his servant; I am not Christ, but I am his minister; I am not the Son of God, but I pray to become worthy of it. Continue in the faith of Christ; continue in the hope of the Son of God; faint not at affliction, neither be divided in mind if you see me mocked or that I am shut up in prison, for I accomplish his will. For if I had willed not to die, I know in Christ that I am able to conquer that;36 but this which is called death is not death,37 but a setting free from the body.’
5 ‘Why, I receive gladly this setting free from the body, that I may depart and see him that is beautiful and full of mercy, him that is to be loved; for I have endured much toil in his service, and have laboured for his grace that has come upon me, which departs not from me. Let not Satan, then, enter you by stealth and snatch away your thoughts; let there be in you no place for him; for he is mighty whom you have received. Watch and wait for the coming of Christ, for he shall come and receive you, and it is he whom you shall see when he comes for you.’
6 When the apostle had ended these sayings, they went into the house, and the apostle Thomas said: ‘Saviour that suffered many things for us, let these doors be as they were and let seals be set on them.’ He left them and went to be imprisoned, but they wept and were in heaviness, for they knew in their minds that Misdaeus would slay him.
7 The apostle found the keepers at argument, saying: ‘Wherein have we sinned against this wizard? By his magic he has opened the doors and would have had all the prisoners escape, so let us go and report it to the king, and tell him concerning his wife and his son.’
8 As they disputed this, Thomas held his peace. They rose up early, therefore, and went to the king and said to him: ‘Our lord and king, do take away that sorcerer and cause him to be shut up elsewhere, for we are not able to keep him. Fortunately by your good fortune the prison was saved, for all the condemned persons could have escaped, because now this was the second time we have found the doors open. Also your wife, O king, and your son and the rest did not depart from him.’
9 The king, hearing what they said, went and found the seals that were set on the doors whole, he also took note of the doors, then he said to the keepers: ‘Why do you lie, for the seals are whole? How can you say that Tertia and Mygdonia went to him at the prison?’ The keepers answered: ‘We have told you the truth.’
10 Misdaeus went to the prison and took his seat and sent for the apostle Thomas. He stripped him, tied him up and had him seated before him, then he said to him: ‘Are you a slave or a free person?’
11 Thomas replied: ‘I am the slave of one only, over whom you have no authority.’ Misdaeus asked: ‘How did you run away and come into this country?’ Thomas said: ‘I was sold here by my master, that I might save many, and by your hands depart out of this world.’
12 Misdaeus asked: ‘Who is your lord? What is his name? Of what country is he?’ Thomas said: ‘My Lord is your master and he is Lord of heaven and earth.’ Misdaeus asked: ‘What is his name?’ Thomas answered: ‘You can not hear his true name at this time, but the name that was given to him is Yesu Christ.’
13 Then Misdaeus said to him: ‘I have not made haste to destroy you, but have had long patience with you: but you have added to your evil deeds, and your sorceries are dispersed abroad and heard of throughout all the country: but this I do that your sorceries may depart with you, and our land be cleansed from them.’
14 Thomas said to him: ‘These sorceries depart with me when I depart from here, but you know that I shall never forsake them that are here.’
15 When the apostle had said these things, Misdaeus considered how he should put him to death; for he was afraid because of the many people that were subject to him, also many of the nobles and of them that were in authority believed in him. He took him therefore and went out of the city, armed soldiers went with him. The people supposed that the king desired to learn somewhat of him, and they stood still and gave heed. When they had walked one mile, Misdaeus delivered the apostle to four soldiers and an officer, and commanded them to take him into the mountain and there pierce him with spears and put an end to him, and return again to the city. After saying this to the soldiers, he himself also returned to the city.
16 But many men ran after Thomas, desiring to deliver him from death. Then two soldiers went at the right hand of the apostle and two on his left, holding spears, and the officer held his hand and supported him. The apostle Thomas said: ‘O the hidden mysteries which even until our departure are accomplished in us! O riches of his glory, who will not suffer us to be swallowed up in this passion of the body! Four are they that cast me down, for of four am I made; and one is he that draws me, for one I am become, and to the One I go. This I now understand, that my Lord Yesu Christ being of one was pierced by one, but I, which am of four, am pierced by four.’38
17 They went up into the mountain, and when they reached the place where he was to be slain, he said to them that held him, and to the rest who followed: ‘Brothers, listen to me now at the last, for I am came to my departure out of the body. Let not then the eyes of your heart be blinded, nor your ears be made deaf. Believe in the God whom I preach, and be not guides to yourselves in the hardness of your heart, but walk in all your liberty, and in the glory that is toward men, and the life that is toward God.’
St. Thomas’ last sermon
18 He said to Luzanes: ‘You, son of the earthly king Misdaeus and minister of our Lord Yesu Christ, give to the servants of Misdaeus their price that they may allow me to go and pray.’ Luzanes persuaded the soldiers to let him pray.
19 Judas set his hands in the air and began to say: ‘O, liberator of my soul from the bondage of the many! Because I gave myself to be sold, behold, I rejoice and exult, knowing that the times are fulfilled for me to enter in and receive. See, I am to be set free from the cares that are on the earth; yes, I fulfil my hope and receive truth; oh yes, I am set free from sorrow and I put on joy alone; yes, I become careless and without grief and walk in rest; yes, I am set free from bondage and am called to liberty; see, I have served times and seasons, and I am lifted up above times and seasons; see, I receive my wages from my master, who gives without calculations because his wealth is greater than the gift; and I shall not put the body on again39; yes, I sleep and awake, and I shall no more go to sleep; see, I die and live again, and I shall no more taste of death; yes, they rejoice and expect me, that I may come and be with their family and be set as a flower in their crown; see, I reign in the kingdom whereon I set my hope, even from here; yes, the rebellious fall before me, for I have escaped them; yes, the prince have come, whereunto all are gathered.’
20 As the apostle spoke, all that were there heard, and understood that in that hour he would depart out to another life.
22 Again he said: ‘Believe in the physician of all, both seen and unseen, and in the saviour of the souls that need help from him. This is the free-born of kings; this the physician of his creatures; this is he that was criticised by his own slaves; this is the Lord of human nature and the Judge of the holy ones of the Father.’
23 ‘He came from the Absolute, the only born son of the deep mysteries; he was manifested through Mary the virgin, and was called the son of Yusaf the carpenter. He whose littleness we beheld with the eyes of our body, but his greatness we received by truth, and saw it in his works whose human body we felt also with our hands; his human aspect we saw transfigured with our eyes, but his heavenly semblance on the mount40 we were not able to see; he that made the rulers stumble and did violence to death.41’
24 ‘He, the truth that lies not, that at the last paid the tribute for himself and his disciples; whom the prince of the world when beholding feared, and the powers that were with him were troubled.’
25 ‘And the prince of the world witnessed who he was and from where, for he knew not the truth, because he is alien from truth. He, that have authority over those in the world, and the pleasures therein, and the possessions and the comfort, all these things he uses as a substitute to turn away his subjects, that they should not use the true holy things which he hates.’
The Lord’s Prayer
26 Having fulfilled these sayings, he kneeled in prayer, saying thus: ‘Our Father, which are in heaven, praised be your name so Your kingdom come as Your will be done, as in heaven so it is on earth. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. My Lord and God, hope and confidence and teacher, you have taught me to pray thus, behold, I pray this prayer and fulfil your commandment.’
27 ‘Be you with me to the end; you that from childhood have sown life in me and kept me from corruption; you that have brought me to the poverty of this world, and exhorted me to the true riches; you that have made me known to myself and showed me that I am yours.’
28 ‘I have kept myself pure from that which you require from us, for temples of the Holy Spirit are not to be found in defilement.’
29 ‘My words are not sufficient to praise you, neither am I able to conceive the care and carefulness with which you nurtured me. For I desired to gain riches, but you, by a vision, showed me that it is full of loss and interrogation to them that gain them. I believed your showing, and continued in the poverty of the world until you, the true riches were revealed to me, who filled both me and the rest that were worthy of you with your own riches, and set us free from care and anxiety.’
30 ‘I have therefore fulfilled your commandments, O Lord, and accomplished your will: I became poor and needy; a stranger and a bondsman42, having nothing; I have been a prisoner; I have been hungry and thirsty, and without shoes; and fasting from the world; I have worked for your sake - that my confidence might not perish, that my hope that is in you might not be confounded, that my hard labour might not be in vain, and my weakness not be counted for nothing.’
Living according to the parables of the Kingdom
31 ‘Let not my prayers and my continual fasting perish, and my great zeal toward you perish; let not my seed of wheat be changed for tares43 out of your land, let not the enemy carry it away and mingle his own tares therewith; for your land truly receives not his tares, and neither can they be stored up in your houses.’44
32 ‘I have planted your vine in the earth; it sent down its roots into the depth, its growth is spread out in the height, the fruits of it are stretching forth upon the earth, and they that are worthy of you are made happy by them, whom also you have gained.’
33 ‘The money which you have from me I placed in safekeeping with you; this, when you require for me to have it, you will restore to me with interest as you have promised. With your one mind45 have I traded and have made tenfold more, you have added more to me besides that which I had, as you promised. I have forgiven my debtors as you require.’46
34 ‘I was called to the supper and I came. I refused the burden of land, the yoke of oxen, and a household – that I might not be divided in my walk.’47
35 ‘I was called to the wedding, and I put on white garments,48 that I might be worthy of it and not be bound hand and foot and cast into the outer darkness. My lamp with its bright light expects the master coming from the marriage, that it may receive him, and he may not see it dimmed because the oil is spent.’
36 ‘My eyes, O Christ, look upon thee, and my heart exults with joy because I have fulfilled your will and perfected your commandments; that I may be likened to that watchful and careful servant who in his eagerness neglects not to keep watch for the moment of your arrival, neither in the first sleep, or the midnight watch, or at cockcrow. All the night have I laboured to keep my house from robbers, lest it be broken through.’
37 ‘My loins have I wrapped closed with truth and I bound the shoes on my feet, that I may never see them opened or to rest my shoes next to the bed of error. My hands have I put to the yoked way (yoga) of the plough and have not turned to look backward, lest my furrows go crooked. The plough-land has become white and the harvest is ready, that I may receive my wages.’
38 ‘My garment that grows old I have worn out, and the labour that have brought me to rest have I accomplished. I have kept the first watch and the second and the third, that I may behold your face and adore your holy brightness. I have rooted out the worst of my earthly treasures and left them desolate upon earth, that my treasury may be filled full from your treasures - everything I owned have I sold, that I may gain you the Pearl.’
39 ‘The moist spring that was in me have I dried up, that I may live and rest beside your inexhaustible spring. The captive whom you committed to me I have slain, that he which is set free in me may not fall from his confidence. Him that was inward have I made outward, and the outward I have slain, and all your fullness have been fulfilled in me.49 The dead man have I made alive, and the living one have I overcome, and that which was lacking have I filled up, that I may receive the crown of victory, and the power of Christ may be accomplished in me.’
40 ‘I have received reproach upon earth, but you will give me the return and the reward in the heavens. I have not returned to the things that are behind, but have gone forward to the things that are before, that I become not a reproach and bad example.’
41 ‘Let not the officials and the officers regard me, and let them not have any thought concerning me; let not the publicans and tax collectors ply their vocation upon me; let not the weak and the evil cry out against me that I am valiant and humble, and when I am taken upward let them not rise up to stand before me, by your power, O Yesu, which surrounds me as a crown. For they do flee and hide themselves from you, they cannot look on you; because they quickly trample them that are subject to them, and their division of the sons of the evil one cries out loudly and convict itself, and the evil one is not hidden from them, and their true nature is not made manifest in them; the children of the evil one are separated off.’50
42 ‘Do you then grant me, Lord, that I may pass by in quietness and joy and peace, and pass over and stand before the judge? Let not the slanderer look upon me, let his eyes be blinded by your light which you have made to dwell in me, close up his mouth, for he has found nothing against me.’
43 And he said to them that were around him: ‘Believe in the Saviour of those that have laboured in his service, for my soul already flourishes because my time is near to receive him; for he, being beautiful draws me on to always speak concerning his beauty - what it is though I am not able to, or equipped to speak of it worthily. You that are the light of my poverty, and the supplier of my knowledge of my defects, and nurturer of my needs, be with me until I come and receive you for evermore.’
44 And the blessed Thomas turned and walked to stand before the soldiers and stretched forth his hands to heaven, and he said this prayer:
45 ‘My Lord and my God, and hope and redeemer and leader and guide in all countries, be with all them that serve you, and guide me this day as I come to you. Do therefore give me this and perfect me; and this I say, not for that I doubt, but that they may hear for whom it is needful to hear.’
46 When he had prayed this, he said to the soldiers: ‘Come here and accomplish the commandments of him that you serve.’ The four soldiers came and pierced him with their spears, and he fell down and died. All the brothers wept, and they brought beautiful robes and medicines and fair linen, and buried him in a royal grave-chamber wherein the first kings were laid.
47 But Siphor and Luzanes would not go down to the city, but continued sitting by him all the day. And the apostle Thomas appeared to them and said: ‘Why do you sit here and keep watch over me? I am not here, but I have ascended and received all that I was promised. But rise up and go down from here, for after a little time you also shall be gathered to me.’
48 And the brothers gathered together and rejoiced in the grace of the Holy Father’s Spirit. Now the apostle Thomas when he went up into the mountain to die, when he departed out of the world, made Siphor a presbyter and Luzanes a deacon. The Lord worked with them, and many were added to the faith.
Misdaeus comes to faith
1 Misdaeus and Charisius took away Mygdonia and Tertia and afflicted them severely, after which they gave in to them but not by will. And the apostle appeared to them and said: ‘Be not deceived, Yesu the holy, the living one, shall quickly send help to you. Misdaeus and Charisius, when they saw that Mygdonia and Tertia did not perceive them and obeyed them not, allowed them to live according to their own desire.
2 Now it came to pass after a long time that one of the children of Misdaeus the king was felled by a devil, and no man could cure him, for the devil was exceedingly fierce. Then Misdaeus the king thought and said: ‘I will go and open the grave-chamber, and take a bone of the apostle of God and hang it upon my son, and he shall be healed.’
3 But while Misdaeus thought this, the apostle Thomas appeared to him and said to him: ‘You believed not in a living man, now will you believe in the dead? Yet, fear not, for my Lord Yesu Christ has compassion on you and pity you out of his goodness.’
4 Misdaeus went and opened the grave-chamber, but found not the apostle there, for one of the brethren had stolen him away and taken him to Mesopotamia. But, from that place where the bones of the apostle had lain, Misdaeus took dust and put it about his son’s neck, saying: ‘I believe in you, Yesu Christ. Now that he has left me which troubled us and opposed us, or else they should not see you.’ And when he had hung it upon his son, the young man became whole.
5 Misdaeus the king therefore was also gathered among brothers, and bowed his head under the hands of Siphor the priest.
6 Siphor said to the brothers: ‘Pray for Misdaeus the king, that he may obtain mercy of Yesu Christ, and that he may no more remember evil against him.’ They all therefore, with one accord rejoicing, made prayer for him: and the Lord that loves humanity, the King of kings and Lord of lords, granted Misdaeus also to have hope in him; and he was gathered with the multitude of them that had believed in Christ , glorifying the Holy Father and Holy Mother and the Holy Son, whose is power and adoration, now and for ever and world without end. Amen.
The acts of Judas Thomas the apostle are completed, which he did in India, fulfilling the commandment of Him that sent him: Unto whom be glory, world without end. Amen.