The Epistle of Barnabas is a very early Christian writing. It was probably written about AD 80–120. Although it is not part of the New Testament canon, it is often mentioned by various church fathers.
Epistle of Barnabas – Charles H. Hoole Translation
1:1 Hail, my sons and daughters, in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ, who hath loved us in peace.
1:2 I rejoice exceedingly and beyond measure at your
happy and glorious spirit, since the ordinances of God
are great and rich towards you, who have received the
engrafted grace of the spiritual gift.
1:3 Wherefore, I congratulate myself the more,
hoping to be saved, because I see of a truth the
Spirit poured out upon you from the rich Lord of love.
So greatly hath your longed-for appearance stricken me
1:4 Being persuaded, therefore, of this, and knowing
in myself that since I spake among you the Lord hath
helped me in many things in the way of righteousness,
I am altogether compelled to love you even beyond my
own soul, because great faith and love dwelleth in you
in the hope of his life.
1:5 Considering also this, that if I take care to
communicate to you a part of that which I have
received, it shall turn to my reward to have assisted
such spirits as ye are, I gave diligence to write unto
you in few words, in order that together with your
faith, ye might have your knowledge perfect also.
1:6 For there are three doctrines ordained of the
Lord: the hope of life, the beginning, and the end.
1:7 For the Master hath made known unto us by the
prophets the things which are past, and the things
which are at hand, and hath given us the firstfruits
of the knowledge of the things that are to come.
Since, therefore, we see all these things severally
working as he has spoken, we ought the more fully and
loftily to approach to his altar;
1:8 but I, not as a master, but as one of
yourselves, will show to you a few things, by means of
which ye may even in this present rejoice.
2:1 Since, therefore, the days are evil, and the
adversary hath the authority, we ought to take heed to
ourselves and seek out the ordinances of the Lord.
2:2 For the helpers of our faith are fear and
patience, and they that fight on our side are
long-suffering and continence.
2:3 While these, therefore, remain pure in things
relating to the Lord, wisdom and understanding,
science and knowledge, rejoice together with them.
2:4 For God hath made known unto us through all the
prophets, that he desireth neither sacrifices nor
whole burnt offerings, nor oblations; for he saith in
a certain place,
2:5 To what purpose is the multitude of your
sacrifices? saith the Lord. I am full of the whole
burnt offerings of rams; I desire not the fat of
lambs, nor the blood of bulls and goats, nor need ye
come to be seen of me. For who hath required these
things at your hands? Ye shall not add thereto to
tread my court. If ye bring the fine flour, it is
vain; incense is an abomination unto me; your new
moons and sabbaths I cannot endure; your fastings and
holidays and feasts my soul hateth.
2:6 These things, therefore, he hath made of none
effect, that the new law of our Lord Jesus Christ,
being free from the yoke of necessity, might have an
offering not made with hands.
2:7 Again, he saith unto them, Did I command your
fathers, when ye came out of the land of Egypt, offer
unto me whole burnt offerings and sacrifices? —
2:8 did I not rather command them this? — Let each
of you bear no malice against his neighbour in his
heart, and love not a false oath.
2:9 We ought to perceive, since we are not void of
understanding the meaning of the goodness of God our
Father, because he telleth us, wishing to seek us who
are wandering even as sheep, how we ought to approach
2:10 He therefore speaketh unto us in this wise: The
sacrifice unto God is a broken heart; a smell of sweet
savour unto the Lord is a heart that glorifieth him
that made it. We ought, therefore, brethren, to
examine accurately concerning our salvation, lest the
evil one, making an entrance among us, should draw us
away from our life.
3:1 Therefore, he saith again, concerning these
things, unto them, Why fast ye unto me, saith the
Lord, so that your voice is heard to-day in its
crying? This is not the fast that I have chosen, saith
the Lord, for a man to humiliate his soul;
3:2 nor if ye bend your neck as a ring, and put
under you sackcloth and ashes — not even then will ye
call it an acceptable fast.
3:3 But unto us he saith, Behold the fast which I
have chosen, saith the Lord, not that a man should
humiliate his soul, but that he should loose every
bond of unrighteousness, and untie the knots of the
compacts of violence; set at liberty them that are
bruised, and cancel every agreement of
unrighteousness; break thy bread with the hungry, and
if thou seest the naked, clothe him; bring them that
are houseless into thy dwelling, and if thou seest a
man that is lowly, despise him not, and turn not away
from those of thy family;
3:4 then shall thy light break forth early, and thy
garments shall spring up quickly, and justice shall go
before thee, and the glory of the Lord shall surround
3:5 then shalt thou cry, and the Lord shall hearken
unto thee; while thou art yet speaking he shall say,
Lo, I am here: if thou put away from thee the league
and the conspiracy, and the word of murmuring, and
givest thy bread unto the hungry with all thine heart,
and hast compassion upon the soul that is lowly.
3:6 The long-suffering God therefore having seen
beforehand that the people whom he had prepared for
his beloved would believe in simplicity, showed to us
beforehand concerning all these things, that we should
not come as strangers to their law.
4:1 It behoveth, therefore, that we, searching much
concerning the things that are at hand, should seek
out the things that are able to save us. Let us fly,
therefore, utterly from all the work of
unrighteousness, and let us hate the error of the time
that now is, that we may be loved in that which is to
4:2 Let us not give liberty unto our soul that it
should have leave to run with sinners and evil men,
neither let us be made like unto them.
4:3 The tribulation being made perfect is at hand,
concerning which it is written, as Enoch saith, For to
this purpose the Lord hath cut short the times and the
days, that his beloved might make haste and come into
4:4 The prophet also speaketh in this wise: Ten
kingdoms shall reign upon the earth; and there shall
rise up after them a little king who shall humble
three of the kings under one.
4:5 And in like manner Daniel speaketh concerning
him: And I saw the fourth beast, evil and strong and
harder than all the beasts of the earth; and I saw how
there grew up from him ten horns, and from among them
a little horn, growing up beside, and how it humbled
under one three of the great horns.
4:6 Ye ought, therefore, to understand. And moreover
I ask this of you, as being one among you, loving you
especially and altogether, even above my own soul,
that ye should take heed unto yourselves, and not be
like unto certain men, by adding to your sins and
saying that their covenant is also ours. Ours, indeed,
it is; but they have lost it for ever, in this wise,
after that Moses had already received it.
4:7 For the scripture saith, And Moses was in the
mount fasting forty days and nights, and he received
the covenant from the Lord; even tables of stone
written with the finger of the hand of the Lord. But
when they turned unto idols they lost it.
4:8 For the Lord saith thus unto Moses, Moses, get
thee down quickly, for thy people, whom thou
broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have done
unlawfully. And Moses understood, and cast the two
tables from his hands, and the covenant that was on
them was broken; to the end that that of the beloved
Jesus might be sealed in our hearts in the hope of his
4:9 Now, though I wished to write many things unto
you, not as a master, but even as suiteth one that
loveth you, not to fall short of the things that we
have, I have been zealous to write unto you as though
I were the offscouring of you. Let us, therefore, give
heed unto the last days; for the whole time of our
faith will profit us nothing unless now, in the season
of iniquity and among the stumbling-blocks that are
coming, we resist as becometh the sons of God,
4:10 that the evil one may not have entrance
unawares. Let us fly all vanity and hate perfectly the
deeds of the evil way. Do not, entering into your own
houses, dwell alone, as though ye were already
justified, but coming together, inquire one with
another concerning the common advantage.
4:11 For the scripture saith, Woe unto them that are
wise in their own conceit and learned in their own
eyes. Let us be spiritual: let us be a perfect temple
unto God. So far as in you lieth, let us practise the
fear of God, and strive to keep his commandments, that
we may be glad in his ordinances.
4:12 The Lord shall judge the world without respect
of persons; each shall receive according as he hath
done; if he be good, righteousness shall go before
him, but if he be evil, the reward of wickedness shall
be before him.
4:13 Let us give heed that we do not, as being
already elect, take rest, and sleep in our sins, lest
the ruler of wickedness, getting the mastery over us,
thrust us from the kingdom of the Lord.
4:14 And, moreover, my brethren, consider this. When
ye see that after so many signs and wonders that have
happened in Israel, even then they have been
abandoned, let us take heed lest, as it is written,
many of us be called but few chosen.
5:1 For on this account the Lord endured to give his
flesh unto corruption, that we might be sanctified by
the remission of sins, which is by the sprinkling of
5:2 For there are written concerning him certain
things that pertain unto Israel, and certain other
that pertain unto us. For he speaketh thus, He was
wounded for our iniquities, and vexed for our sins; by
his stripes we are healed. He was led as a sheep unto
the slaughter, and like a lamb dumb before him that
5:3 We ought, therefore, to give especial thanks
unto the Lord because he hath made known unto us the
things that are past, and hath made us wise with
regard to those that are at hand, neither are we
without understanding as regards the future.
5:4 For the scripture saith, Not unjustly is the net
stretched for the birds. Now this meaneth that a man
will perish justly who, having a knowledge of the path
of righteousness, shutteth himself up into the way of
5:5 Consider this too, my brethren; if the Lord
endured to suffer for our souls, though he were the
Lord of the whole world, to whom God said from the
foundation of the world, Let us make man according to
our image and according to our likeness, how then did
he endure to suffer at the hands of men? Learn ye!
5:6 The prophets having received the grace from him
prophesied with regard to him. But he, that he might
make death of none effect and bring to light the
resurrection from the dead, because it behoved him to
be made manifest in the flesh,
5:7 endured it, that he might give unto our fathers
the promise, and by preparing for himself a new
people, might show, while upon earth, that he will
raise the dead and himself execute judgment.
5:8 Yea, further; though he taught Israel and did so
many signs and wonders among them, yet they loved him
5:9 But when he chose out his own Apostles, who were
about to preach his gospel, they were men unrighteous
beyond all sin, that he might show that he came not to
call the righteous but sinners to repentance; then
made he himself manifest that he was the Son of God.
5:10 For if he had not come in the flesh how could
men have looked upon him and have been saved, since
they cannot endure to look at the rays of the sun
which must one day perish, and which is the work of
5:11 For this purpose did the Son of God come in the
flesh, that he might sum up and finish the sin of them
who persecuted his prophets unto death;
5:12 therefore he endured even unto this. For God
saith that the smiting of his flesh it was from them.
When they shall smite their shepherd, then shall the
sheep of the flock be scattered.
5:13 But he himself wished thus to suffer, for it
was necessary that he should suffer upon the cross;
for he who prophesieth about him saith, Spare my soul
from the sword, and again, Drive nails into my flesh,
for the synagogues of evil men have risen against me.
5:14 And again he saith, Behold, I have given my
back unto the scourging and my cheeks unto buffetings;
my face also have I set as a hard rock.
6:1 When, therefore, he made the commandment what
sayeth he? Who is he that disputeth with me? let him
resist me; or who is he that contendeth with me? let
him draw nigh unto the Son of the Lord.
6:2 Woe unto you, for you shall all wax old as a
garment, and the moth shall devour you. And again the
prophet saith, Since he hath been placed, as a strong
stone, for crushing; behold I will place on the
foundation of Zion a stone precious, elect, a chief
corner stone of great price.
6:3 And then what saith he? And he that believeth in
him shall live for ever. Is then our hope in a stone?
God forbid. But it is thus said because the Lord hath
made strong his flesh, for he saith, And he made me as
it were a hard rock.
6:4 And again, The stone which the builders rejected
hath become the head of the corner. And again he
saith, This is the day, great and wonderful, which the
Lord hath made.
6:5 I write unto you the more simply that ye may
understand. I am the offscouring of your love.
6:6 What then saith the prophet again? The synagogue
of the wicked came around me; they surrounded me as
bees do an honey-comb, and, over my garment they cast
6:7 Since, therefore, he was about to be made
manifest and to suffer in the flesh, his suffering was
showed beforehand. For the prophet saith unto Israel,
Woe unto their soul, for they have counselled an evil
counsel among themselves, saying, Let us bind the
righteous because he is an encumbrance unto us.
6:8 And what saith the other prophet, even Moses,
unto them? Behold, thus saith the Lord God: Enter into
the good land which the Lord sware unto Abraham and
Isaac and Jacob, and inherit it, even a land flowing
with milk and honey.
6:9 What saith the knowledge? Learn ye. Hope, it
saith, upon Jesus, who is about to be manifested unto
you in the flesh. For man is but earth which suffers;
for, from the face of the ground was made the moulding
6:10 What then meaneth he when he saith, Into the
good land which floweth with milk and honey? Blessed
be the Lord, brethren, who hath put into you wisdom
and knowledge of his secret things. For the prophet
speaketh a parable from the Lord. Who shall
understand, except he that is wise and skilful and
that loveth his Lord?
6:11 Since, therefore, having renewed us by the
remission of our sins, he hath made us of a new
character, he willeth that we should have the souls of
children, inasmuch as it is indeed he who hath formed
6:12 For the scripture saith concerning us, that he
saith unto the Son, Let us make man after our own
image and according to our likeness; and let them rule
over the beasts of the earth, and the fowls of heaven,
and the fishes of the sea. And the Lord said, when he
saw how excellent our form was, Increase and multiply
and replenish the earth. These things he saith unto
6:13 Again I will show unto thee how the Lord
speaketh unto us, since he hath made a second
fashioning in these last days; the Lord saith, Behold
I make the last even as the first. For to this purpose
did the prophet preach. Enter ye into the land flowing
with milk and honey, and have dominion over it.
6:14 Behold now we have been formed again, even as
he saith again in another prophet: Behold, saith the
Lord, I will take out from these, that is out of those
whom the Spirit of the Lord foresaw, the hearts of
stone, and will put into them hearts of flesh, because
he himself was about to be manifested in the flesh and
to dwell among us.
6:15 For the habitation of our heart is a temple
holy unto the Lord.
6:16 For the Lord saith again, Whereby shall I
appear before the Lord my God and be glorified? He
saith too, I will give thanks unto thee in the
assembly, in the midst of my brethren; I will sing
unto thee in the midst of the assembly of the saints.
We are, therefore, those whom he brought into the good
6:17 What, then, meaneth the milk and honey? It is
because a child is kept alive, first with honey,
afterwards with milk. So we, too, being quickened by
faith in his promise and by his word, shall live and
rule over the earth.
6:18 And we said previously, And let them increase
and multiply and rule over the fish. Who then is he
who is able to rule over the beasts, the fish, and
fowls of heaven? For we ought to perceive that to rule
belongeth to authority, so that a man by giving
commands may exercise lordship.
6:19 If, therefore, this doth not take place now, he
hath told us when it will; even when we ourselves have
been made perfect, so that we become heirs of the
covenant of the Lord.
7:1 Ye perceive, therefore, beloved children, that
our good Lord hath manifested unto us all things
beforehand, to the end that we should know whom we
ought to praise, returning thanks for all things.
7:2 If, therefore, the Son of God, being he who is
the Lord and who is about to judge the quick and the
dead, suffered, to the end that his stripes might make
us live, let us believe that the Son of God could not
suffer except on our account.
7:3 But being crucified, he was given to drink of
vinegar and gall. How, then, did the priests of the
temple signify concerning this? Now, the commandment
is written in this wise: Whosoever shall not fast on
the fast, he shall die the death, the Lord hath
commanded it. Since he also was about to offer the
vessel that contained his spirit as a sacrifice, in
order that the type might be fulfilled which was given
by the offering of Isaac at the altar,
7:4 what saith he in the book of the prophet? And
let them eat of the goat which is offered on the fast
for the sins of all. Attend ye diligently thereto. And
let the priests alone eat of the unwashed entrails
7:5 With what signification? Because ye will one day
give me to drink of vinegar and gall, when I am about
to offer up my flesh for my new people, eat ye it
alone, while the people fast and lament in sackcloth
and ashes. He commanded this in order that he might
show that he must needs suffer at their hands.
7:6 How, then, did he give his commands? Attend ye.
Take ye two goats, fair and like each other, and offer
them up. And let the priest take one of them as a
whole burnt offering for sin.
7:7 But what shall they do with the other? Let the
other, he saith, be accursed. Now attend ye, how the
type of Jesus is made manifest.
7:8 And do ye all spit upon it and pierce it, and
put scarlet wool around its head, and so let it be
cast out into the wilderness. And when this hath been
done, he who beareth the goat leadeth it out into the
wilderness, and taketh away the wool and placeth it
upon a bush, which is called rachel, the shoots of
which we are accustomed to eat when we find them in
the fields. Thus the fruit of the rachel only is
7:9 What, therefore, meaneth this? Attend ye. One is
brought to the altar, the other is accursed, and the
accursed one is crowned, because they shall see him in
that day, who had the scarlet robe about his flesh,
and they shall say, Is not this he whom once we set at
naught and crucified, and spat upon and pierced? Truly
this was he who at that time said that he was the Son
7:10 How then was the one like to the other? In this
respect were the goats like him: they were fair and
equal, so that when they saw him coming they were
astonished at the likeness to the goat. Therefore,
behold here the type of Jesus, who was about to
7:11 And what meaneth the wool placed in the midst
of thorns? It is a type of Jesus, which hath been
placed in the church. For he who wisheth to take the
scarlet wool must suffer many things, because the
thorn is terrible, and must after tribulation gain
possession of it. So he saith, They who wish to see me
and to take hold of my kingdom must through trouble
and suffering receive me.
8:1 And what type, think ye, was the commandment
unto Israel, that the men in whom sin had been
accomplished should offer a heifer, and after they had
slaughtered it should burn it, and that children
should then take the ashes and cast them into vessels,
and place scarlet wool and hyssop around a stick —
behold, again, the type of the cross and the scarlet
wool, — and so the children should sprinkle the
people one by one, that they might be purged from
8:2 Behold, therefore, in what way he speaketh unto
you with simplicity. The heifer signifieth Jesus; the
sinful men who offer it are the men who brought him
unto the slaughter. But now the men are no longer
before us, no longer doth the glory belong to sinners.
8:3 The children who sprinkled are they who brought
us the good news of the forgiveness of sins and
purification of heart, to whom he hath given the
authority of the gospel for the purpose of preaching,
being twelve in number, for a testimony unto the
tribes, for twelve were the tribes of Israel.
8:4 And why, then, were the children who sprinkled
three in number? For a testimony unto Abraham, Isaac,
and Jacob, because these are great before God.
8:5 And what signifieth the wool upon the stick?
Because the kingdom of Jesus is upon the cross, and
because they who hope upon him shall live for ever.
8:6 And why are there at the same time the wool and
the hyssop? Because in his kingdom the days in which
we shall be saved shall be evil and filthy, because
also he that grieveth his flesh is healed through the
purifying of the hyssop.
8:7 And these things having happened on this account
are manifest unto us, but obscure unto them, because
they hearkened not unto the voice of the Lord.
9:1 He saith also again concerning our ears how he
hath circumcised our heart. The Lord saith in the
prophet, They have hearkened unto me with the hearing
of their ears; and again, he saith, They that are afar
off shall hear with their ears; they shall know what I
have done; and be ye circumcised, saith the Lord, in
9:2 and again, Hear, O Israel, for thus saith the
Lord thy God; and again the Spirit of the Lord
prophesied, Who is he that wisheth to live for ever?
let him hearken unto the voice of my Son.
9:3 And again he saith, Hear, O heaven, and give
ear, O earth, for the Lord hath spoken these things
for a testimony. And again he saith, Hearken unto the
voice of the Lord, ye rulers of this people. And again
he saith, Hearken ye children unto the voice of one
crying in the wilderness.
9:4 To this end, therefore, hath he circumcised our
hearing, that when we hear his word, we should
believe; for the circumcision in which they trust is
done away with. For he hath said that circumcision is
not that which was made in the flesh; but they have
transgressed, for an evil angel hath deluded them.
9:5 He saith unto them, These things saith the Lord
your God, — here I find a new commandment — Sow not
among thorns, but be ye circumcised unto your Lord.
And what saith he? Circumcise the hardness of your
hearts, and harden not your neck. And again, Behold,
saith the Lord, all the Gentiles are uncircumcised in
their foreskin, but this people is uncircumcised in
9:6 But he will say, Of a truth the people have been
circumcised for a seal unto them; but so, also, hath
every Syrian and Arabian, and all the priests of
idols. Do they also belong to the covenant? But the
Egyptians also are in circumcision.
9:7 Learn, therefore, children of love, richly
concerning all things, that Abraham, who first gave
circumcision, circumcised, looking forward in the
spirit unto Jesus, having received the doctrines of
the three letters.
9:8 For he saith, And Abraham circumcised out of his
household eighteen and three hundred. What, then, was
the knowledge that was given by this? Learn ye, that
he mentioneth the eighteen first, and then, having
made an interval, he mentioneth the three hundred. In
the eighteen, IH, you have Jesus; and because the
cross in the letter T was about to convey the grace of
redemption, he mentioneth also the three hundred.
Therefore, he showeth Jesus in the two letters, IH,
and the cross in the one, T.
9:9 He knoweth this who hath placed the engrafted
gift of his teaching in us. No one hath had from me a
more true account than this; but I know that ye are
10:1 But in that Moses said, Thou shalt not eat the
swine, nor the eagle, nor the hawk, nor the crow, nor
any fish that hath not scales in itself, he had in his
mind three doctrines.
10:2 For in the end he saith unto them in
Deuteronomy, And I will arrange before this people my
ordinances. The commandment of God is not, therefore,
that they should not eat; but Moses spake in a
10:3 He spake of the swine with this meaning: Thou
shalt not cleave, he meaneth, unto men of this sort,
who are like unto swine, for when they become wanton
they forget their Lord, but when they are in want they
think upon the Lord; even as the swine when it eateth
knoweth not its lord, but when it is hungry it crieth,
and when it hath received it is again silent.
10:4 Nor shalt thou eat of the eagle, nor of the
hawk, nor of the kite, nor of the crow. Thou shalt
not, he meaneth, cleave to, nor be like to men of this
sort, who know not how to provide sustenance for
themselves by labour and sweat, but in their iniquity
seize the property of others, and, as though they
walked in innocence, watch and observe whom they shall
plunder, through their covetousness; even as these
birds alone provide not sustenance for themselves by
means of toil, but, sitting idle, seek out how they
may eat the flesh of others, being destructive by
reason of their wickedness.
10:5 And thou shalt not eat, he saith, of the
lamprey, or the polypus, or the cuttle-fish. Thou shalt
not, he meaneth, cleave to or become like unto men of
this sort, who are impious unto the end, and have been
already condemned to death, even as these accursed
fish alone swim in the depth, not floating as the
others do, but dwelling in the earth below the depth
of the sea.
10:6 Thus, he saith, Thou shalt not eat the hare,
meaning thou shalt not indulge in unnatural lusts;
10:7 nor shalt thou eat the hyaena, meaning thou
shalt not be an adulterer;
10:8 nor shalt thou eat the weazel, meaning thou
shalt not do uncleanness with thy mouth concerning
10:9 therefore Moses spake in the spirit these three
doctrines. But they, according to the lusts of their
flesh, received them as being about meat.
10:10 And David receiveth knowledge concerning the
same three doctrines, and saith in like manner,
Blessed is the man who hath not walked in the counsel
of the ungodly, even as the fish walk in darkness into
the depths of the sea, and hath not stood in the way
of sinners, even as they who pretend to fear the Lord
sin as doth the swine, and hath not sat in the seat of
the destroyers, even as the birds that sit for prey.
Ye have also in the end a commandment concerning food;
10:11 but Moses said, Eat ye everything that is
cloven-footed and that cheweth the cud. What meaneth
he? He that taketh food knoweth him that feedeth him,
and, resting upon him, seemeth to be glad. He
therefore saith well, having regard to the
commandment. What then meaneth he? Cleave ye unto them
that fear the Lord, who walk in his commandments,
which they have received in their hearts; unto them
that speak of the ordinances of the Lord, and observe
them, unto them who know that the practice of them is
a work of gladness, and who meditate on the word of
the Lord. But what meaneth that which cleaveth the
hoof? It meaneth that the just walketh even in this
world, and expecteth the holy life. Behold how well
Moses hath made these laws;
10:12 but how was it possible for them to perceive
or understand these things? But we, having rightly
understood the commandments, speak them even as the
Lord hath willed. On this account hath he circumcised
our ears and hearts, that we should understand these
11:1 Let us inquire, therefore, if the Lord cared to
show us beforehand concerning the water and concerning
the cross. Concerning the water it is written, with
respect to Israel, how that they will not receive the
baptism that bringeth remission of sins, but will
establish one for themselves.
11:2 The prophet therefore speaketh in this wise, Be
astonished, O heaven! and let the earth be afraid
still more at this, because this people hath done two
great and evil things: they have abandoned me who am
the fountain of life, and have dug for themselves
11:3 Is my holy mountain of Zion a deserted rock? ye
shall be as the young of a bird which have flown when
the nest has been taken away.
11:4 And again the prophet saith, I will go before
thee and will lay low the mountains. And I will break
the doors of brass and burst the bars of iron; and I
will give unto thee the treasures of darkness hidden
and unseen, that they may know that I am the Lord God;
and, He shall dwell in the lofty cave of the strong
11:5 Then what saith he of the Son? His water is
faithful. Ye shall behold the king in his glory, and
your soul shall practise the fear of the Lord.
11:6 And again, in another prophet, he saith, He
that doeth these things shall be as a tree that
groweth beside the watercourses, which giveth his
fruit in his season; and his leaf shall not fall off,
and whatever he doeth shall prosper.
11:7 Not so are the ungodly, not so; they are like
the dust which the wind carrieth away from the face of
the earth, wherefore the ungodly shall not rise up in
judgment, nor sinners in the congregation of the just:
for the Lord knoweth the way of the just, but the way
of the ungodly shall perish.
11:8 Ye perceive how he hath put together the water
and the cross. For what he meaneth is this, Blessed
are they who having hoped on the cross have gone down
into the water. For he speaketh of a reward to be
given at the due season; then, saith he, I will render
what is due unto you. But now in that he saith, Their
leaves shall not fall off, he meaneth this, That every
word that goeth out from your mouth in faith and love
shall be for a refuge and a hope unto many.
11:9 And again another prophet saith, And the land
of Jacob was praised beyond the whole earth. By so
saying he meaneth this, He shall glorify the vessel
that containeth his Spirit.
11:10 And what sayeth he afterwards? There was a
river flowing on the right, and there grew up on its
banks fair trees, and whosoever eateth of them shall
live for ever.
11:11 By this he meaneth that we go down into the
water full of sin and pollution, and go up bearing
fruit in the heart, having in the spirit fear and hope
toward Jesus. And whoever shall eat of them shall live
for ever. He meaneth this, Whoever, he saith, shall
hear these words spoken and believe them shall live
12:1 In like manner again he signifieth concerning
the cross in another prophet, who saith, And when
shall these things be fulfilled? The Lord saith, When
the tree hath been bent and shall rise up again, and
when blood shall flow from the tree. You have again a
prophecy concerning the cross and about him who is
about to be crucified.
12:2 And he saith again in Moses, when Israel was
being made war upon by aliens, even that he might
remind them while they were being made war upon, that
for their sins they were being delivered over unto
death, the Spirit saith unto the heart of Moses, that
he should make the form of a cross, and of him who was
about to suffer, for if, he says, they shall not hope
upon him, they will be made war upon for ever. Moses,
therefore, arranges weapon against weapon in the midst
of the battle, and standing higher than all, stretched
out his hands, and so again Israel conquered; then,
when he let them down, they were again slaughtered.
12:3 Wherefore? that they might know that they are
not to be saved except they hope upon him.
12:4 And again, in another prophet, he saith, All
day long have I stretched out my hands unto a people
who are disobedient, and who speak against my
12:5 Again, Moses maketh another type of Jesus, that
it behoveth that he should suffer, and cause others to
live, whom they thought that they had destroyed in
figure when Israel was falling: For the Lord made
every kind of serpent to bite them, and they died,
since the transgression happened to Eve by means of
the serpent, to the end that he might convince them
that through their transgression they should be given
over to the pangs of death.
12:6 For in the end Moses himself, after that he had
given commandment, There shall not be among you a
molten image or a graven image for a god, maketh one
himself, that he might show a type of Jesus. Moses,
therefore, maketh a brazen serpent, and setteth it
aloft, and calleth the people by a proclamation.
12:7 When, therefore, they had come together they
besought Moses, that he should offer supplication for
them concerning their healing. Moses therefore said
unto them, When any of you is bitten let him come unto
the dead serpent, that is placed upon the tree, and
let him believe and hope that, though it is dead, it
is able to make him live, and immediately he shall be
saved; and so did they. You have, therefore, again in
these things also, the glory of Jesus, that in him and
to him are all things.
12:8 What again saith Moses unto Jesus the son of
Nun, after he had given this name to him, being a
prophet, to this end alone, that all the people might
hear that the Father revealeth all things concerning
the Son, Jesus?
12:9 Moses therefore saith unto Jesus the son of
Nun, having given him this name, when he sent him to
spy out the land, Take the book into thy hands and
write what the Lord saith, even that the Son of God,
in the last days, will cut off the whole house of
Amalek from the roots.
12:10 Behold, therefore, again Jesus, not the son of
man but the Son of God, and by a type made manifest in
the flesh. Since, therefore, they should one day say
that Christ is the son of David, David himself
prophesieth, being in fear and understanding the
deceitfulness of sinners, The Lord said unto my Lord,
Sit on my right hand until I make thy enemies thy
12:11 And again Esaias speaketh in this wise, The
Lord said unto Christ, my Lord, whose right hand I
have held, that the Gentiles should hearken before
him, and I will break the strength of kings. Behold
how David calleth him Lord, and doth not call him son.
13:1 Let us inquire, therefore, whether this people
or the first people inheriteth, and whether the
covenant is unto us or unto them.
13:2 Hear, now, what the scripture saith concerning
the people. But Isaac prayed for Rebecca his wife
because she was barren, and she conceived. Then went
forth Rebecca to inquire of the Lord, and the Lord
said unto her, Two nations are in thy womb, and two
peoples are in thy bowels, and the one people shall
surpass the other, and the elder shall serve the
13:3 We ought to understand who was Isaac and who
was Rebecca, and concerning whom he declared that the
one people was greater than the other.
13:4 And in another prophecy Jacob speaketh yet more
clearly to Joseph his son, saying, Behold the Lord
hath not deprived me of thy face; bring unto me thy
sons, that I may bless them.
13:5 And he brought unto him Ephraim and Manasseh,
wishing that he should bless Manasseh, because he was
the elder. Joseph, therefore, brought him to the right
hand of his father Jacob. But Jacob saw in spirit a
figure of the people that should be hereafter. And
what saith the Scriptures? And Jacob crossed his
hands, and placed his right hand on the head of
Ephraim, the second and youngest, and blessed him. And
Joseph said unto Jacob, Change thy right hand unto the
head of Manasseh, because he is my firstborn son. And
Jacob said unto Joseph, I know, my child, I know; but
the elder shall serve the younger; but this one also
shall be blessed.
13:6 Behold in what way he appointed that this
people should be the first and heir of the covenant.
13:7 If, therefore, it were moreover mentioned
through Abraham also, we have the perfecting of our
knowledge. What, therefore, saith he unto Abraham,
when he alone believed, and it was counted unto him
for righteousness? Behold I have made thee, Abraham, a
father of the nations who in uncircumcision believe in
14:1 Yea; but let us inquire whether he hath given
the covenant that he swear unto the fathers that he
would give unto the people. Verily he hath given it;
but they were not worthy to receive it on account of
14:2 For the prophet saith, And Moses was fasting in
Mount Sinai forty days and forty nights, that he might
receive the covenant which the Lord hath made with his
people. And he received from the Lord the two tables
that were written in the spirit with the finger of the
hand of the Lord. And Moses, when he had received
them, was bringing them down to the people for to give
14:3 And the Lord said unto Moses, Moses, Moses, get
thee down quickly, for thy people, whom thou
broughtest out of the land of Egypt, have done
unlawfully. And Moses perceived that they had again
made molten images, and he cast the tables from his
hands, and the tables of the covenant of the Lord were
14:4 Moses indeed received them, but the people were
not worthy. Hearken ye, therefore, how we have
received them. Moses received them being a servant,
but the Lord himself gave unto us to be a people of
inheritance, having suffered for our sake.
14:5 And he was made manifest, that both they might
be made perfect in their sins, and that we, through
him that inherited, might receive the covenant of the
Lord Jesus, who, for this purpose was prepared, that
by appearing himself and redeeming from darkness our
hearts, which were already lavished on death, and
given over to the iniquity of deceit, he might place
in us the covenant of his people.
14:6 For it is written how the Father giveth
commandment unto him, that having redeemed us from
darkness, he should prepare for himself a holy people.
14:7 Therefore the prophet saith, I, the Lord thy
God, have called thee in righteousness, and I will
hold thy hand and make thee strong; and I have given
thee for a covenant to the nation, for a light unto
the Gentiles, to open the eyes of the blind, and to
bring out of chains them that are bound, and from the
house of prison them that sit in darkness. We know
from whence we were redeemed.
14:8 And again, the prophet saith, Behold, I have
placed thee for a light unto the Gentiles, that thou
shouldst be for a salvation even unto the end of the
earth; thus saith the Lord God who hath redeemed thee.
14:9 And again, the prophet saith, The Spirit of the
Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach
the gospel unto the poor, he hath sent me to heal
those that are broken in heart, to preach deliverance
to the captives, and the recovery of sight to the
blind, to tell of the acceptable year of the Lord, and
the day of recompense, to comfort all that mourn.
15:1 And, moreover, concerning the sabbath it is
written in the ten commandments, in which he spake on
Mount Sinai unto Moses face to face: Sanctify ye the
sabbath of the Lord with pure hands and a pure heart.
15:2 And in another place he saith, If my sons shall
keep my sabbath, then will I place my mercy upon them.
15:3 He speaketh, too, of the sabbath in the
beginning of the creation: And God made in six days
the works of his hands, and finished them on the
seventh day, and rested in it and sanctified it.
15:4 Consider, my children, what signify the words,
He finished them in six days. They mean this: that in
six thousand years the Lord will make an end of all
things, for a day is with him as a thousand years. And
he himself beareth witness unto me, saying: Behold
this day a day shall be as a thousand years.
Therefore, my children, in six days, that is in six
thousand years, shall all things be brought to an end.
15:5 And the words, He rested on the seventh day,
signify this: After that his Son hath come, and hath
caused to cease the time of the wicked one, and hath
judged the ungodly, and changed the sun and the moon
and the stars, then shall he rest well on the seventh
15:6 And further he saith, Thou shalt sanctify it
with pure hands and a pure heart. Who, therefore, can
sanctify the day which the Lord hath sanctified,
unless he be pure of heart? in all things have we been
15:7 Behold, that then indeed we shall be able to
rest well and sanctify; even when we ourselves, having
been justified, and having received the promise, when
iniquity exists no longer, but all things have been
made new by the Lord, we shall then be able to
sanctify it, having been first sanctified ourselves.
15:8 And, further, he saith unto them, Your new
moons and your sabbaths I cannot endure. See, now,
what he meaneth. The sabbaths, that now are, are not
acceptable unto me, but that which I have made is,
even that in which, after that I have brought all
things to an end, I shall make a beginning of the
eighth day, which thing is the beginning of another
15:9 Wherefore we keep the eighth day as a day of
gladness, on which also Jesus rose from the dead, and
after he had appeared ascended unto heaven.
16:1 And I will, moreover, tell you concerning the
temple, how these wretched men, being deceived, placed
their hopes in the building as if it were the
habitation of God, and not on the God who hath made
16:2 For almost after the manner of the Gentiles did
they consecrate him in the temple. But what saith the
Lord, making it of none effect? Hearken ye: Who hath
measured out the heaven with his palm, or the earth
with the flat of his hand, is it not I? saith the
Lord. Heaven is my throne, and earth the footstool of
my feet. What house will ye build for me, or what
shall be the place of my rest? Ye have known that
their hope was vain.
16:3 And, yet further, he saith again, Behold they
that have destroyed this temple shall rebuild it.
16:4 And so doth it happen, for through their war it
has been destroyed by the enemy, and now both they
themselves and the servants of their enemies shall
16:5 And again it was made manifest how the temple
and the people of Israel should be given up to their
enemies. For the scripture saith, And it shall come to
pass in the last days that the Lord shall deliver up
the sheep of his pasture, and their fold and their
tower shall he give up to destruction; and it happened
according to that which the Lord had spoken.
16:6 Let us inquire, therefore, whether there be any
temple of God. There is; even where he himself hath
declared that he would make and perfect it. For it is
written, And it shall be when the week is completed
that the temple of God shall be built gloriously in
the name of the Lord.
16:7 I find, therefore, that there is a temple; how
then shall it be built in the name of the Lord? Learn
ye. Before that we believed in God the habitation of
our heart was corrupt and feeble, as being of a truth
a temple built by hands. For it was full of idolatry,
and was a habitation of devils, because we did such
things as were contrary to God;
16:8 but it shall be built in the name of the Lord.
Attend ye: that the temple of the Lord may be built
gloriously. But in what manner? Learn ye: having
received the remission of our sins, and having hoped
upon the name of the Lord, we have become new, having
been again created entirely. Wherefore God of a truth
dwelleth in us as in an habitation.
16:9 How? The word of his faith, the calling of his
promise, the wisdom of his ordinances, the
commandments of his doctrine, he himself prophesying
in us, he himself dwelling in us. To us, who were
enslaved by death, he openeth the gate of the temple,
which is his mouth, and, giving us repentance, leadeth
us into the temple incorruptible.
16:10 For he who desireth to be saved looketh not
unto the man, but unto him that dwelleth in him and
speaketh in him, wondering that he had never before
heard him speaking such words out of his mouth, or
even desired to hear. This is the spiritual temple
built by the Lord.
17:1 So far as it is possible for me to show you
these things with simplicity, my mind and soul hopeth
that I have not omitted any of the things that pertain
17:2 for if I write unto you concerning the things
that are at hand, or the things that will be
hereafter, ye would not be able to understand them,
because they are couched in parables. These things,
therefore, are thus.
18:1 Let us pass on now to another kind of knowledge
and instruction. There are two paths of instruction
and authority — the one that of light, and the other
that of darkness. But there is a great difference
between the two paths. For over the one are appointed
as illuminators the angels of God, over the other the
angels of Satan;
18:2 on the one side is he who is Lord from
everlasting to everlasting, on the other is the ruler
of the world that now lieth in wickedness.
19:1 Now, the path of life is this: If any one
wishes to travel to the appointed place, let him
hasten by means of his works. Now, the knowledge of
walking in it that is given unto us is of this kind:
19:2 Thou shalt love him that made thee, thou shalt
fear him that formed thee, thou shalt glorify him that
redeemed thee from death. Thou shalt be simple in
heart, and rich in spirit; thou shalt not cleave unto
them that go in the path of death. Thou shalt hate
whatever is not pleasing unto God; thou shalt hate all
hypocrisy; thou shalt not abandon the commandments of
19:3 thou shalt not exalt thyself; thou shalt be
humble in all things; thou shalt not take glory unto
thyself; thou shalt not take evil counsel against thy
neighbour; thou shalt not take audacity into thy soul.
19:4 Thou shalt not commit fornication, thou shalt
not commit adultery. Thou shalt not pollute thyself
with mankind: let not the word of God go forth from
thee in corruption. Thou shalt not accept the person
of any to reprove any man for transgression. Thou
shalt be gentle, thou shalt be quiet; thou shalt
tremble at the words that thou hast heard; thou shalt
not bear malice against thy brother;
19:5 thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be
or not; thou shalt not take the name of the Lord in
vain. Thou shalt love thy neighbour beyond thine own
soul; thou shalt not kill a child by abortion, neither
shalt thou destroy it after it is born. Thou shalt not
remove thy hand from thy son or thy daughter, but
shalt teach them from their youth the fear of the
19:6 Thou shalt not covet thy neighbour’s goods;
thou shalt not be an extortioner; thou shalt not
cleave with thy soul unto the proud, but thou shalt
have thy conversation with the lowly and the just.
Receive as blessings the troubles that come unto thee,
knowing that without God nothing happens.
19:7 Thou shalt not be double-minded nor
double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is the snare
of death. Thou shalt submit thyself to thy masters as
to the image of God, with shame and fear. Thou shalt
not give commands with bitterness to thy servant and
thy handmaid, who hope in the same God as thou dost,
lest, perchance, thou cease to fear God, who is over
both. For he came not to call men with respect of
persons, but to call those whom the Spirit had
19:8 Thou shalt communicate in all things with thy
neighbour, and shalt not say that things are thine
own. For if ye be partners in that which is
incorruptible, how much more in the things that are
corruptible? Thou shalt not be hasty of speech, for
the mouth is a snare of death. As far as thou art
able, thou shalt be pure concerning thy soul.
19:9 Be not a stretcher forth of thy hand in
receiving, and a drawer back of it in giving. Thou
shalt love, as the apple of thine eye, every one that
speaketh unto thee the word of the Lord.
19:10 Thou shalt remember the day of judgment by
night and by day; and thou shalt seek out every day
the persons of the saints.
19:11 Thou shalt not doubt to give, nor shalt thou
murmur in giving. Give to every one that asketh thee,
and thou shalt know who is the good recompenser of the
reward. Thou shalt take care of that which thou hast
received, neither adding thereto, nor taking
therefrom. Thou shalt hate the evil man unto the end,
and shalt judge justly.
19:12 Thou shalt not make a schism, but shalt make
peace by bringing adversaries together. Thou shalt
make confession of thy sins. Thou shalt not go unto
prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of
life, either labouring by means of the word and
proceeding to exhort, and practising to save the soul
by the word, or thou shalt work by thy hands for the
redemption of thy sins.
20:1 But the path of darkness is crooked and full of
cursing, for it is the path of eternal death and
punishment, in which way are the things that destroy
the soul. Idolatry, boldness, the pride of power,
hypocrisy, double-heartedness, adultery, murder, rape,
haughtiness, transgression, deceit, malice, self-will,
witchcraft, sorcery, covetousness, want of the fear of
20:2 Here are they who are persecutors of the good,
haters of truth, lovers of lies; they who know not the
reward of righteousness, who cleave not to what is
good nor unto just judgment; who attend not to the
widow and the orphan; who are awake not unto the fear
of God, but unto evil; from whom meekness and patience
are afar off; who love the things that are vain, who
follow after recompense, who pity not the poor, who
labour not for him who is in trouble; who are prompt
to evil-speaking, who know not him that made them;
murderers of children, corruptors of the image of God;
who turn away from the poor man and oppress the
afflicted; advocates of the rich, unjust judges of the
poor, sinners in all things.
21:1 It is therefore right that he who has learned
the ordinances of the Lord, even as many as have been
written beforehand, should walk in them. For he who
doeth these things shall be glorified in the Kingdom
of God, but he who chooseth the contrary things shall
perish together with his works. On this account is the
resurrection; on this account is the retribution.
21:2 I ask those who are of high estate among you,
if ye will receive any friendly advice from me, keep
those with you toward whom ye may do what is
honourable. Fail not in so doing.
21:3 The day is at hand in which everything shall
perish together with the evil one; the Lord is nigh at
hand, and his reward also.
21:4 Again and again do I ask you, be ye good
lawgivers over yourselves, be ye good advisers of
yourselves. Abide faithful counsellors of one another;
take out of the midst of you all hypocrisy,
21:5 and may God, who ruleth the whole world, give
you wisdom, understanding, science, knowledge of his
ordinances, and patience.
21:6 And be ye taught of God, inquiring what the
Lord seeketh of you, and so work that ye may be found
saved in the day of judgment.
21:7 But if there is any memory of that which is
good, remember me while ye practise these things, that
both your desire and your watching may turn unto some
21:8 I beseech you this, asking it as a favour. So
long as the good vessel is with you, fail not in any
of these things, but seek them out without ceasing,
and fulfil all the commandments, for these things are
21:9 Therefore I have been the more anxious to write
unto you, so far as I was able, to the end that I
might make you glad. Farewell, children of love and
peace; the God of glory and of all grace be with your
Rediscovering the Church Fathers: Who They Were and How They Shaped the Church