Apocalypse of Peter without notations:
What kind of sick depraved mind wrote this vengeful and dark homily in teh name of God?
THE AKHMIM FRAGMENT
which I should prefer to call Fragment II of the Gospel of Peter. It begins abruptly in a discourse of our Lord.
1 Many of them shall be false prophets, and shall teach ways and diverse doctrines of perdition. 2 And they shall become sons of perdition. 3 And then
shall God come unto my faithful ones that hunger and thirst and are afflicted and prove their souls in this life, and shall judge the sons of
4 And the Lord added and said: Let us go unto the mountain (and) pray. 5 And going with him, we the twelve disciples besought him that he would show
us one of our righteous brethren that had departed out of the world, that we might see what manner of men they are in their form, and take courage,
and encourage also the men that should hear us.
6 And as we prayed, suddenly there appeared two men standing before the Lord (perhaps add, to the east) upon whom we were not able to look. 7 For
there issued from their countenance a ray as of the sun, and their raiment was shining so as the eye of man never saw the like: for no mouth is able
to declare nor heart to conceive the glory wherewith they were clad and the beauty of their countenance. 8 Whom when we saw we were astonied, for
their bodies were whiter than any snow and redder than any rose. 9 And the redness of them was mingled with the whiteness, and, in a word, I am not
able to declare their beauty. 10 For their hair was curling and flourishing (flowery), and fell comely about their countenance and their shoulders
like a garland woven of nard and various flowers, or like a rainbow in the air: such was their comeliness.
11 We, then, seeing the beauty of them were astonied at them, for they appeared suddenly. 12 And I drew near to the Lord and said: Who are these? 13
He saith to me: These are your (our) righteous brethren whose appearance ye did desire to see. 14 And I said unto him: And where are all the
righteous? or of what sort is the world wherein they are, and possess this glory? 15 And the Lord showed me a very great region outside this world
exceeding bright with light, and the air of that place illuminated with the beams of the sun, and the earth of itself flowering with blossoms that
fade not, and full of spices and plants, fair-flowering and incorruptible, and bearing blessed fruit. 16 And so great was the blossom that the odour
thereof was borne thence even unto us.
17 And the dwellers in that place were clad with the raiment of shining angels, and their raiment was like unto their land.
18 And angels ran round about them there. 19 And the glory of them that dwelt there was all equal, and with one voice they praised the Lord God,
rejoicing in that place.
20 The Lord saith unto us: This is the place of your leaders (or, high priests), the righteous men.
21 And I saw also another place over against that one, very squalid; and it was a place of punishment, and they that were punished and the angels that
punished them had their raiment dark, according to the air of the place. 22 And some there were there hanging by their tongues; and these were they
that blasphemed the way of righteousness, and under them was laid fire flaming and tormenting them.
23 And there was a great lake full of flaming mire, wherein were certain men that turned away from righteousness; and angels, tormentors, were set
24 And there were also others, women, hanged by their hair above that mire which boiled up; and these were they that adorned themselves for
And the men that were joined with them in the defilement of adultery were hanging by their feet, and had their heads hidden in the mire, and said: We
believed not that we should come unto this place.
25 And I saw the murderers and them that were consenting to them cast into a strait place full of evil, creeping things, and smitten by those beasts,
and so turning themselves about in that torment. And upon them were set worms like clouds of darkness. And the souls of them that were murdered stood
and looked upon the torment of those murderers and said: O God, righteous is thy judgement.
26 And hard by that place I saw another strait place wherein the discharge and the stench of them that were in torment ran down, and there was as it
were a lake there. And there sat women up to their necks in that liquor, and over against them many children which were born out of due time sat
crying: and from them went forth rays of fire and smote the women in the eyes: and these were they that conceived out of wedlock (?) and caused
27 And other men and women were being burned up to their middle and cast down in a dark place and scourged by evil spirits, and having their entrails
devoured by worms that rested not. And these were they that had persecuted the righteous and delivered them up.
28 And near to them again were women and men gnawing their lips and in torment, and having iron heated in the fire set against their eyes. And these
were they that did blaspheme and speak evil of the way of righteousness.
29 And over against these were yet others, men and women, gnawing their tongues and having flaming fire in their mouths. And these were the false
30 And in another place were gravel-stones sharper than swords or any spit, heated with fire, and men and women clad in filthy rags rolled upon them
in torment. [This is suggested by the LXX of two passages in Job: xli. 30, his bed is of sharp spits; viii. 17, on an heap of stones doth he rest, and
shall live in the midst of gravel-stones.] And these were they that were rich and trusted in their riches, and had no pity upon orphans and widows but
neglected the commandments of God.
31 And in another great lake full of foul matter (pus) and blood and boiling mire stood men and women up to their knees And these were they that lent
money and demanded usury upon usury.
32 And other men and women being cast down from a great rock (precipice) fell (came) to the bottom, and again were driven by them that were set over
them, to go up upon the rock, and thence were cast down to the bottom and had no rest from this torment. And these were they that did defile their
bodies behaving as women: and the women that were with them were they that lay with one another as a man with a woman.
33 And beside that rock was a place full of much fire, and there stood men which with their own hands had made images for themselves instead of God,
[And beside them other men and women] having rods of fire and smiting one another and never resting from this manner of torment....
34 And yet others near unto them, men and women, burning and turning themselves about and roasted as in a pan. And these were they that forsook the
way of God.
THE BODLEIAN LEAF
It measures but 2 3/4 by 2 inches and has 13 lines of 8 to 10 letters on each side (Madan's Summary Catalogue, No. 31810). The verso (second page) is
difficult to read.
Recto=Gr. 33, 34: women holding chains and scourging themselves before those idols of deceit. And they shall unceasingly have this torment. And
Verso: them shall be other men and women burning in the burning of them that were mad after idols. And these are they which forsook the way of God
wholly (?) and . . .
THE ETHIOPIC TEXT
First published by the Abbe Sylvain Grebaut in Revue de l'Orient Chretien, 1910: a fresh translation from his Ethiopic text by H. Duensing appeared
in Zeitschr. f. ntl. Wiss., 1913.
The Second Coming of Christ and Resurrection of the Dead (which Christ revealed unto Peter) who died because of their sins, for that they kept not the
commandment of God their creator.
And he (Peter) pondered thereon, that he might perceive the mystery of the Son of God, the merciful and lover of mercy.
And when the Lord was seated upon the Mount of Olives, his disciples came unto him.
And we besought and entreated him severally and prayed him, saying unto him: Declare unto us what are the signs of thy coming and of the end of the
world, that we may perceive and mark the time of thy coming and instruct them that come after us, unto whom we preach the word of thy gospel, and whom
we set over (in) thy church, that they when they hear it may take heed to themselves and mark the time of thy coming.
And our Lord answered us, saying: Take heed that no man deceive you, and that ye be not doubters and serve other gods. Many shall come in my name,
saying: I am the Christ. Believe them not, neither draw near unto them. For the coming of the Son of God shall not be plain (i.e. foreseen); but as
the lightning that shineth from the east unto the west, so will I come upon the clouds of heaven with a great host in my majesty; with my cross going
before my face will I come in my majesty, shining sevenfold more than the sun will I come in my majesty with all my saints, mine angels (mine holy
angels). And my Father shall set a crown upon mine head, that I may judge the quick and the dead and recompense every man according to his works.
And ye, take ye the likeness thereof (learn a parable) from the fig-tree: so soon as the shoot thereof is come forth and the twigs grown, the end of
the world shall come.
And I, Peter, answered and said unto him: Interpret unto me concerning the fig-tree, whereby we shall perceive it; for throughout all its days doth
the fig-tree send forth shoots, and every year it bringeth forth its fruit for its master. What then meaneth the parable of the fig-tree? We know it
And the Master (Lord) answered and said unto me: Understandest thou not that the fig-tree is the house of Israel? Even as a man that planted a
fig-tree in his garden, and it brought forth no fruit. And he sought the fruit thereof many years and when he found it not, he said to the keeper of
his garden: Root up this fig-tree that it make not our ground to be unfruitful. And the gardener said unto God: (Suffer us) to rid it of weeds and dig
the ground round about it and water it. If then it bear not fruit, we will straightway remove its roots out of the garden and plant another in place
of it. Hast thou not undErstood that the fig-tree is the house of Israel? Verily I say unto thee, when the twigs thereof have sprouted forth in the
last days, then shall feigned Christs come and awake expectation saying: I am the Christ, that am now come into the world. And when they (Israel)
shall perceive the wickedness of their deeds they shall turn away after them and deny him [whom our fathers did praise], even the first Christ whom
they crucified and therein sinned a great sin. But this deceiver is not the Christ. [something is wrong here: the sense required is that Israel
perceives the wickedness of antichrist and does not follow him.] And when they reject him he shall slay with the sword, and there shall be many
martyrs. Then shall the twigs of the fig-tree, that is, the house of Israel, shoot forth: many shall become martyrs at his hand. Enoch and Elias shall
be sent to teach them that this is the deceiver which must come into the world and do signs and wonders to deceive. And therefore shall they that die
by his hand be martyrs, and shall be reckoned among the good and righteous martyrs who have pleased God in their life. [Hermas, Vision III.i.9, speaks
of 'those that have already been well-pleasing unto God and have suffered for the Name's sake'.]
And he showed me in his right hand the souls of all men, And on the palm of his right hand the image of that which shall be accomplished at the last
day: and how the righteous and the sinners shall be separated, and how they do that are upright in heart, and how the evil-doers shall be rooted out
unto all eternity. We beheld how the sinners wept (weep) in great affliction and sorrow, until all that saw it with their eyes wept, whether righteous
or angels, and he himself also.
And I asked him and said unto him: Lord, suffer me to speak thy word concerning the sinners: It were better for them if they had not been created. And
the Saviour answered and said unto me: Peter, wherefore speakest thou thus, that not to have been created were better for them? Thou resistest God.
Thou wouldest not have more compassion than he for his image: for he hath created them and brought them forth out of not being. Now because thou hast
seen the lamentation which shall come upon the sinners in the last days, therefore is thine heart troubled; but I will show thee their works, whereby
they have sinned against the Most High.
Behold now what shall come upon them in the last days, when the day of God and the day of the decision of the judgement of God cometh. From the east
unto the west shall all the children of men be gathered together before my Father that liveth for ever. And he shall command hell to open its bars of
adamant and give up all that is therein.
And the wild beasts and the fowls shall he command to restore all the flesh that they have devoured, because he willeth that men should appear; for
nothing perisheth before God, and nothing is impossible with him, because all things are his.
For all things come to pass on the day of decision, on the day of judgement, at the word of God: and as all things were done when he created the world
and commanded all that is therein and it was done -even so shall it be in the last days; for all things are possible with God. And therefore saith he
in the scripture: [Ezek. xxxvii.] Son of man, prophesy upon the several bones and say unto the bones: bone unto bone in joints, sinew. nerves, flesh
and skin and hair thereon [and soul and spirit].
And soul and spirit shall the great Uriel give them at the commandment of God; for him hath God set over the rising again of the dead at the day of
Behold and consider the corns of wheat that are sown in the earth. As things dry and without soul do men sow them in the earth: and they live again
and bear fruit, and the earth restoreth them as a pledge entrusted unto it.
[And this that dieth, that is sown as seed in the earth, and shall become alive and be restored unto life, is man. Probably a gloss.]
How much more shall God raise up on the day of decision them that believe in him and are chosen of him, for whose sake he made the world? And all
things shall the earth restore on the day of decision, for it also shall be judged with them, and the heaven with it.
And this shall come at the day of judgement upon them that have fallen away from faith in God and that have committed sin: Floods (cataracts) of fire
shall be let loose; and darkness and obscurity shall come up and clothe and veil the whole world and the waters shall be changed and turned into coals
of fire and all that is in them shall burn, and the sea shall become fire. Under the heaven shall be a sharp fire that cannot be quenched and floweth
to fulfil the judgement of wrath. And the stars shall fly in pieces by flames of fire, as if they had not been created and the powers (firmaments) of
the heaven shall pass away for lack of water and shall be as though they had not been. And the lightnings of heaven shall be no more, and by their
enchantment they shall affright the world (probably: The heaven shall turn to lightning and the lightnings thereof shall affright the world. The
spirits also of the dead bodies shall be like unto them (the lightnings?) and shall become fire at the commandment of God.
And so soon as the whole creation dissolveth, the men that are in the east shall flee unto the west, unto the east; they that are in the south shall
flee to the north, and they that are in the south. And in all places shall the wrath of a fearful fire overtake them and an unquenchable flame driving
them shall bring them unto the judgement of wrath, unto the stream of unquenchable fire that floweth, flaming with fire, and when the waves thereof
part themselves one from another, burning, there shall be a great gnashing of teeth among the children of men.
Then shall they all behold me coming upon an eternal cloud of brightness: and the angels of God that are with me shall sit (prob. And I shall sit)
upon the throne of my glory at the right hand of my Heavenly Father; and he shall set a crown upon mine head. And when the nations behold it, they
shall weep, every nation apart.
Then shall he command them to enter into the river of fire while the works of every one of them shall stand before them (something is wanting) to
every man according to his deeds. As for the elect that have done good, they shall come unto me and not see death by the devouring fire. But the
unrighteous the sinners, and the hypocrites shall stand in the depths of darkness that shall not pass away, and their chastisement is the fire, and
angels bring forward their sins and prepare for them a place wherein they shall be punished for ever (every one according to his transgression).
Uriel (Urael) the angel of God shall bring forth the souls of those sinners (every one according to his transgression: perhaps this clause should end
the preceding paragraph: so Grebaut takes it) who perished in the flood, and of all that dwelt in all idols, in every molten image, in every (object
of) love, and in pictures, and of those that dwelt on all hills and in stones and by the wayside, whom men called gods: they shall burn them with them
(the objects in which they dwelt, or their worshippers?) in everlasting fire; and after that all of them with their dwelling places are destroyed,
they shall be punished eternally.
(Here begins the description of torments which we have, in another text, in the Akhmim fragment.)
Then shall men and women come unto the place prepared for them. By their tongues wherewith they have blasphemed the way of righteousness shall they be
hanged up. There is spread under them unquenchable fire, that they escape it not.
Behold, another place: therein is a pit, great and full (of . . ) In it are they that have denied righteousness: and angels of punishment chastise
them and there do they kindle upon them the fire of their torment.
And again behold [two: corrupt] women: they hang them up by their neck and by their hair; they shall cast them into the pit. These are they which
plaited their hair, not for good (or, not to make them beautiful) but to turn them to fornication, that they might ensnare the souls of men unto
perdition. And the men that lay with them in fornication shall be hung by their loins in that place of fire; and they shall say one to another: We
knew not that we should come unto everlasting punishment.
And the murderers and them that have made common cause with them shall they cast into the fire, in a place full of venomous beasts, and they shall be
tormented without rest, feeling their pains; and their worms shall be as many in number as a dark cloud. And the angel Ezrael shall bring forth the
souls of them that have been slain, and they shall behold the torment of them that slew them, and say one to another: Righteousness and justice is the
judgement of God. For we heard, but we believed not, that we should come into this place of eternal judgement.
And near by this flame shall be a pit, great and very deep, and into it floweth from above all manner of torment, foulness, and issue. And women are
swallowed up therein up to their necks and tormented with great pain. These are they that have caused their children to be born untimely, and have
corrupted the work of God that created them. Over against them shall be another place where sit their children [both] alive, and they cry unto God.
And flashes (lightnings) go forth from those children and pierce the eyes of them that for fornication's sake have caused their destruction.
Other men and women shall stand above them, naked; and their children stand over against them in a place of delight, and sigh and cry unto God because
of their parents, saying: These are they that have despised and cursed and transgressed thy commandments and delivered us unto death: they have cursed
the angel that formed us, and have hanged us up, and withheld from us (or, begrudged us) the light which thou hast given unto all creatures. And the
milk of their mothers flowing from their breasts shall congeal, and from it shall come beasts devouring flesh, which shall come forth and turn and
torment them for ever with their husbands, because they forsook the commandments of God and slew their children. As for their children, they shall be
delivered unto the angel Temlakos (i.e. a care-taking angel: see above, in the Fragments). And they that slew them shall be tormented eternally, for
God willeth it so.
Ezrael the angel of wrath shall bring men and women, the half of their bodies burning, and cast them into a place of darkness, even the hell of men;
and a spirit of wrath shall chastise them with all manner of torment, and a worm that sleepeth not shall devour their entrails: and these are the
persecutors and betrayers of my righteous ones.
And beside them that are there, shall be other men and women, gnawing their tongues; and they shall torment them with red-hot iron and burn their
eyes. These are they that slander and doubt of my righteousness. Other men and women whose works were done in deceitfulness shall have their lips cut
off, and fire entereth into their mouth and their entrails. These are the false witnesses (al. these are they that caused the martyrs to die by their
And beside them, in a place near at hand, upon the stone shall be a pillar of fire, and the pillar is sharper than swords. And there shall be men and
women clad in rags and filthy garments, and they shall be cast thereon, to suffer the judgement of a torment that ceaseth not: these are they that
trusted in their riches and despised the widows and the woman with fatherless children . . . before God.
And into another place hard by, full of filth, do they cast men and women up to the knees. These are they that lent money and took usury.
And other men and women cast themselves down from an high place and return again and run, and devils drive them. [These are the worshippers of idols]
and they put them to the end of their witst (drive them up to the top of the height) and they cast themselves down. And thus do they continually, and
are tormented for ever. These are they which have cut their flesh as [apostles] of a man: and the women that were with them . . . and these are the
men that defiled themselves together as women. (This is very corrupt: but the sense is clear in the (Greek.)
And beside them (shall be a brazier ?) . . . and beneath them shall the angel Ezrael prepare a place of much fire: and all the idols of gold and
silver, all idols, the work of men's hands, and the semblances of images of cats and lions, of creeping things and wild beasts, and the men and women
that have prepared the images thereof, shall be in chains of fire and shall be chastised because of their error before the idols, and this is their
judgement for ever. (In the Greek they beat each other with rods of fire: and this is better.)
And beside them shall be other men and women, burning in the fire of the judgement, and their torment is everlasting. These are they that have
forsaken the commandment of God and followed the (persuasions ?) of devils.
(Parts of these two sections are in the Bodleian Fragment. this point the Akhmim fragment ends. The Ethiopic continues
And there shall be another place, very high (corrupt sentences follow. Duensing omits them: Grebaut renders doubtfully: There shall be a furnace and a
brazier wherein shall burn fire. The fire that shall burn shall come from one end of the brazier). The men and women whose feet slip, shall go rolling
down into a place where is fear. And again while the fire that is prepared floweth, they mount up and fall down again and continue to roll down. (This
suggests a narrow bridge over a stream of fire which they keep trying to cross.) Thus shall they be tormented for ever. These are they that honoured
not their father and mother and of their own accord withheld (withdrew) themselves from them. Therefore shall they be chastised eternally.
Furthermore the angel Ezrael shall bring children and maidens to show them those that are tormented. They shall be chastised with pains, with hanging
up (?) and with a multitude of wounds which flesh-devouring birds shall inflict upon them. These are they that boast themselves (trust) in their sins,
and obey not their parents and follow not the instruction of their fathers, and honour not them that are more aged than they.
Beside them shall be girls clad in darkness for a garment and they shall be sore chastised and their flesh shall be torn in pieces. These are they
that kept not their virginity until they were given in marriage, and with these torments shall they be punished, and shall feel them.
And again, other men and women, gnawing their tongues without ceasing, and being tormented with everlasting fire. These are the servants (slaves)
which were not obedient unto their masters; and this then is their judgement for ever.
And hard by this place of torment shall be men and women dumb and blind, whose raiment is white. They shall crowd one upon another, and fall upon
coals of unquenchable fire. These are they that give alms and say: We are righteous before God: whereas they have not sought after righteousness.
Ezrael the angel of God shall bring them forth out of this fire and establish a judgement of decision. This then is their judgement. A river of fire
shall flow and all judgement (they that are judged) shall be drawn down into the middle of the river. And Uriel shall set them there.
And there are wheels of fire and men and women hung thereon by the strength of the whirling thereof. And they that are in the pit shall burn: now
these are the sorcerers and sorceresses. Those wheels shall be in a]l decision (judgement, punishment) by fire without number.
Thereafter shall the angels bring mine elect and righteous which are perfect in all uprightness, and bear them in their hands, and clothe them with
the raiment of the life that is above. They shall see their desire on them that hated them, when he punisheth them, and the torment of every one shall
be for ever according to his works.
And all they that are in torment shall say with one voice: have mercy upon us, for now know we the judgement of God, which he declared unto us
aforetime, and we believed not. And the angel Tatirokos (Tartaruchus, keeper of hell: a word corresponding in formation to Temeluchus) shall come and
chastise them with yet greater torment, and say unto them: Now do ye repent, when it is no longer the time for repentance, and nought of life
remaineth. And they shall say: Righteous is the judgement of God, for we have heard and perceived that his judgement is good; for we are recompensed
according to our deeds.
Then will I give unto mine elect and righteous the washing (baptism) and the salvation for which they have besought me, in the field of Akrosja
(Acherousia, a lake in other writings, e.g. Apocalypse of Moses -where the soul of Adam is washed in it: see also Paul 22, 23) which is called
Aneslasleja (Elysium). They shall adorn with flowers the portion of the righteous, and I shall go . . . I shall rejoice with them. I will cause the
peoples to enter in to mine everlasting kingdom, and show them that eternal thing (life ?) whereon I have made them to set their hope, even I and my
Father which is in heaven.
I have spoken this unto thee, Peter, and declared it unto thee. Go forth therefore and go unto the land (or city) of the west. (Duensing omits the
next sentences as unintelligible; Grebaut and N. McLean render thus: and enter into the vineyard which I shall tell thee of, in order that by the
sickness (sufferings) of the Son who is without sin the deeds of corruption may be sanctified. As for thee, thou art chosen according to the promise
which I have given thee. Spread thou therefore my gospel throughout all the world in peace. Verily men shall rejoice: my words shall be the source of
hope and of life, and suddenly shall the world be ravished.)
(We now have the section descriptive of paradise, which in the Akhmim text precedes that about hell.)
And my Lord Jesus Christ our King said unto me: Let us go unto the holy mountain. And his disciples went with him, praying. And behold there were two
men there, and we could not look upon their faces, for a light came from them, shining more than the sun, and their rairment also was shining, and
cannot be described, and nothing is sufficient to be compared unto them in this world. And the sweetness of them . . . that no mouth is able to utter
the beauty of their appearance (or, the mouth hath not sweetness to express, &c.), for their aspect was astonishing and wonderful. And the other,
great, I say (probably: and, in a word, I cannot describe it), shineth in his (sic) aspect above crystal. Like the flower of roses is the appearance
of the colour of his aspect and of his body . . . his head (al. their head was a marvel). And upon his (their) shoulders (evidently something about
their hair has dropped out) and on their foreheads was a crown of nard woven of fair flowers. As the rainbow in the water, [Probably: in the time of
rain. From the LXX of Ezek.i.28.] so was their hair. And such was the comeliness of their countenance, adorned with all manner of ornament. And when
we saw them on a sudden, we marvelled. And I drew near unto the Lord (God) Jesus Christ and said unto him: O my Lord, who are these? And he said unto
me: They are Moses and Elias. And I said unto him: Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and the rest of the righteous fathers? And he showed us a great garden,
open, full of fair trees and blessed fruits, and of the odour of perfumes. The fragrance thereof was pleasant and came even unto us. And thereof (al.
of that tree) . . . saw I much fruit. And my Lord and God Jesus Christ said unto me: Hast thou seen the companies of the fathers?
As is their rest, such also is the honour and the glory of them that are persecuted for my righteousness' sake. And I rejoiced and believed [and
believed] and understood that which is written in the book of my Lord Jesus Christ. And I said unto him: O my Lord, wilt thou that I make here three
tabernacles, one for thee, and one for Moses, and one for Elias? And he said unto me in wrath: Satan maketh war against thee, and hath veiled thine
understanding; and the good things of this world prevail against thee. Thine eyes therefore must be opened and thine ears unstopped that a tabernacle,
not made with men's hands, which my heavenly Father hath made for me and for the elect. And we beheld it and were full of gladness.
And behold, suddenly there came a voice from heaven, saying: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased: my commandments. And then came a great
and exceeding white cloud over our heads and bare away our Lord and Moses and Elias. And I trembled and was afraid: and we looked up and the heaven
opened and we beheld men in the flesh, and they came and greeted our Lord and Moses and Elias and went into another heaven. And the word of the
scripture was fulfilled: This is the generation that seeketh him and seeketh the face of the God of Jacob. And great fear and commotion was there in
heaven and the angels pressed one upon another that the word of the scripture might be fulfilled which saith: Open the gates, ye princes.
Thereafter was the heaven shut, that had been open.
And we prayed and went down from the mountain, glorifying God, which hath written the names of the righteous in heaven in the book of life.
There is a great deal more of the Ethiopic text, but it is very evidently of later date; the next words are:
'Peter opened his mouth and said to me: Hearken, my son Clement, God created all things for his glory,' and this proposition is dwelt upon. The
glory of those who duly praise God is described in terms borrowed from the Apocalypse: 'The Son at his coming will raise the dead . . . and will make
my righteous ones shine seven times more than the sun, and will make their crowns shine like crystal and like the rainbow in the time of rain (crowns)
which are perfumed with nard and cannot be contemplated (adorned) with rubies, with the colour of emeralds shining brightly, with topazes, gems, and
yellow pearls that shine like the stars of heaven, and like the rays of the sun, sparkling which cannot be gazed upon.' Again, of the angels: '
Their faces shine more than the sun; their crowns are as the rainbow in the time of rain. (They are perfumed) with nard. Their eyes shine like the
morning star. The beauty of their appearance cannot be expressed.... Their raiment is not woven, but white as that of the fuller, according as I saw
on the mountain where Moses and Elias were. Our Lord showed at the transfiguration the apparel of the last days, of the day of resurrection, unto
Peter, James and John the sons of Zebedee, and a bright cloud overshadowed us, and we heard the voice of the Father saying unto us: This is my Son
whom I love and in whom I am well pleased: hear him. And being afraid we forgat all the things of this life and of the flesh, and knew not what we
said because of the greatness of the wonder of that day, and of the mountain whereon he showed us the second coming in the kingdom that passeth not
Next: ' The Father hath committed all judgement unto the Son.' The destiny of sinners -their eternal doom- is more than Peter can endure: he appeals
to Christ to have pity on them.
And my Lord answered me and said to me: 'Hast thou understood that which I said unto thee before? It is permitted unto thee to know that concerning
which thou askest: but thou must not tell that which thou hearest unto the sinners lest they transgress the more, and sin.' Peter weeps many hours,
and is at last consoled by an answer which, though exceedingly diffuse and vague does seem to promise ultimate pardon for all: 'My Father will give
unto them all the life, the glory, and the kingdom that passeth not away,' . . . 'It is because of them that have believed in me that I am come. It
is also because of them that have believed in me, that, at their word, I shall have pity on men.' The doctrine that sinners will be saved at last by
the prayers of the righteous is, rather obscurely, enunciated in the Second Book of the Sibylline Oracles (a paraphrase, in this part, of the
Apocalypse), and in the (Coptic) Apocalypse of Elias