Translated by Dr. Stephen Boyce
The fragmented manuscript begins with the words “But none of the Jews.”
(1)…But none of the Jews washed their hands, not even Herod, nor any among his judges. And since they were not willing to wash their hands, Pilate stood up, (2) and then Herod the king commanded that the Lord be taken away, saying to them, “What I have commanded you to do, go do.”
(3) Now Joseph stood there, who was a friend of Pilate and of the Lord; and knowing that they were about to crucify Him, came to Pilate and asked for the body of the Lord for burial; (4) and Pilate, having sent to Herod, asked for His body. (5) And Herod said, “Brother Pilate, even if no one had asked for Him, we still would have buried Him since the Sabbath is drawing near. For it is written in the Law, “The sun must not set upon someone who has been executed.” And he delivered Him over to the people before the first day of their Feast, the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
(6) But having taken the Lord, they pushed1 Him as they ran, and said: “Let us push the Son of God, since we have power over Him.” (7) And they clothed Him with purple, and sat Him in a seat of judgment saying, “Judge righteously, Oh King of Israel!” And one of them brought a crown of thorns and placed it upon the Lord’s head. (9) And others who stood by were spitting in His face, and others slapped His face.2 Others jabbed Him with a reed, and some scourged Him saying, “Let us honor the Son of God with this honor.”
(10) And they brought two criminals, and crucified the Lord between them. But He remained silent, as having no pain.3 (11) And when they had set the cross upright, they inscribed the words “THIS IS THE KING OF ISRAEL.” (12) And they placed His garments before Him, and they divided the garments and cast lots for them. (13) Then one of the criminals scorned4 them saying: “We have been made to suffer for the evil that we have committed, but this Man,5 having become the Savior of men, what wrong has He done to you?”
(14) And being angry at him,6 they demanded that his legs should not be broken, so that he would die being tormented. (15) But it was midday, and darkness fell upon all of Judea. And they trembled and were afraid because the sun had set and He was still alive. For it is written for them: “The sun must not set upon someone who has been executed.” (16) And one of them said, “Give Him gall with vinegar to drink.” And having made a mixture, they gave it to Him to drink.
(17) And they fulfilled all things by bringing their own sins upon their heads. (18) But many were walking around with lamps thinking that it was night, and some of them fell down. (19) And the Lord cried out saying, “My power, My power you have forsaken Me.” And having said this, He was taken up. (20) And in the same hour, the veil of the temple in Jerusalem was torn in two. (21) And they pulled the nails out of the hands of the Lord, and laid Him on the ground.7 And the whole earth shook and great fear came upon them. (22) Then the sun shone and it was found to be the ninth hour.
(23) So the Jews rejoiced and gave His body to Joseph so that he would bury it, since he had seen all the good works that He had done. (24) So he took the Lord, and washed Him, and wrapped8 Him in a linen cloth, and brought Him into his own tomb, which is called the Garden of Joseph. (25) Then many of the Jews, Elders, and Priests, having realized9 what evil they had done to themselves, began to weep and say, “Woe unto our sins! The judgment has come near and the end of Jerusalem.”
(26) But I with my friends10 were grieved; and having been wounded in spirit, we were in hiding; for we were sought after by them as evildoers, and as if we were wanting to set the temple on fire. (27) Now, in addition to all of these things, we were fasting; and we sat grieving and weeping night and day until the Sabbath. (28) But the Scribes, Pharisees, and Elders gathered together after hearing that all the people were grumbling and mourning, saying, “If at His death these great signs took place, He must have been righteous!” (29) So the Elders were afraid and came to Pilate, pleading with him and saying, (30) “Give us soldiers that we may guard the tomb for three days, lest His disciples come and steal Him away and the people begin to accept that He is risen from the dead, and do us much harm.”
(31) So Pilate delivered to them Petronius the centurion with soldiers to guard the tomb, and the Elders and Scribes came with them to the tomb. (32) And together with the centurion and the soldiers, they rolled a large stone, and placed it against the door of the tomb. (33) And they marked it with seven seals; and they pitched a tent there to guard it.
(34) So early in the morning as the Sabbath dawned, there came a crowd of people from Jerusalem and the surrounding regions in order to see that the tomb was sealed. (35) Now during the night as the Lord’s Day dawned, when the soldiers stood guard in pairs of two11 at each watch, there was a loud voice from heaven; (36) and they saw the heavens were opened, and from there, two young12 men came down having great radiance, approaching the tomb.
(37) Then the stone which was placed at the door rolled away on its own and partially gave way, and the tomb opened and the two young men went in. (38) Therefore, having seen this, the soldiers woke up the centurions and Elders, for they were also keeping watch. (39) And while they were describing to them the things they had seen, behold, they saw three men coming out of the tomb, with the two young men supporting the One,13 and a cross following them. (40) And the heads of the two reaching unto heaven, but the One of whom they led out by the hand, His head reached beyond the heavens. (41) And they heard a voice from heaven asking,14 “Did you preach to those who sleep?” (42) And a response was heard from the cross saying, “Yes!” (43) Those who saw these things consulted with each other to go and reveal these things to Pilate.
(44) And while they were still considering these things, behold, the heavens opened again, and a man came down and entered the tomb. (45) When those who were with the centurion saw this, they ran quickly in the night to tell Pilate, leaving the tomb that they were assigned to guard. And they described all the things they had seen, and were in great despair saying, “Truly, He was the Son of God.”
(46) Pilate answered and said, “I am clean from the blood of the Son of God, but it pleased you to do this. (47) Afterward, they all came forward begging and pleading with him to command the centurion and the soldiers not to tell anyone what they had seen. (48) For they said, “It is better for us to be guilty15 of the greatest sin in the presence of God than16 to fall into the hands of the Jewish people and be stoned.”
(49) So Pilate commanded the centurion and the soldiers not to say anything. (50) Now, early in the morning on the Lord’s day, Mary Magdalene, a disciple17 of the Lord, fearing the Jews since they were burning with anger, had not performed at the tomb of the Lord what women are accustomed to do for those who die and who are dear to them.
(51) She brought her friends with her and came to the tomb where He had been laid. (52) And they were afraid that the Jews might see them, and they said, “Even though we were not able to weep and mourn for Him on the day that He was crucified, let us now do these things at His tomb.” (53) But they asked, “Who will roll the stone away for us which was placed at the entrance of the tomb, so that we may enter in and sit beside Him, and do the things that are expected?” (54) (For the stone was large) “And we fear lest anyone should see us. And if we are not able, let us place what we have brought for a memorial at the door of the tomb, weeping and mourning until we arrive at our homes.”
(55) And when they arrived, they found that the tomb was opened. And they came near to look inside; and they looked inside and saw a young man sitting in the midst of the tomb, with a beautiful countenance and bright clothing, who said to them:
(56) “Why have you come here? Who are you seeking? Is it not the One18 who was crucified? He has risen and departed. But if you do not believe, look inside and see where He was laid, for He is not there; for He has risen and departed to the place from where He was sent.”
(57) Then the women were afraid and fled. (58) Now, it was the last day of the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and many of the people were going out returning to their homes19 since the feast had come to an end. (59) But we, the twelve disciples of the Lord, continued weeping and grieving, each one grieving because of what had taken place, and returned to his own home. (60) But I Simon Peter and Andrew my brother, having taken our nets, departed out to the sea; and there was Levi the son of Alphaeus, whom the Lord…”20
The manuscript ends here after the word “Lord.”
1. Following Bouriant’s text which reads συρομεν rather than Ευρομεν in H. B. Swete’s text. The Apocryphal Gospel of Peter: The Greek Text of the Newly Discovered Fragment (London: Macmillan and Co. 1892).
2. or “cheeks” for σιαγονας
3. or “anguish” for πονον
4. or “reviled” for ωνειδισεν
5. Literally “this one” ουτος
6. It is undetermined in the Greek, as to whether “he” is referring to the criminal or the Lord not having their legs broken.
7. or “earth” for γης
8. or “tied Him” for ειλησε
9. or “knowing” for ιδοντες
10. or “companions” for εταιρων
11. Literally “two by two” for δυο δυο
12. supplying the word “young” based on the later description in verse 37, νεανισκοι
13. or “the other” for ενα
14. Often translated “saying” for λεγουσης. Since the cross responded with an answer in the same verse, the translator chose to translate λεγουσης into “asking” in order to make sense of the context. λεγουσης can be translated “commanding” or “asking” in certain contexts.
15. Literary to “owe a debt” for οφλησαι
16. or “and not” for και μη
17. Literally a “female disciple” for μαθητρια. Also, the same term is used for Tabitha in Acts 9:36.
18. Literally “that One” for εκεινον
19. or “houses” for οικους