Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume VIII/Apocrypha of the New Testament/Acts of Pilate: Second Greek Form/Chapter 10
The sentence to this effect, then, having been passed by Pilate, the Jews began to strike Jesus, some with rods, others with their hands, others with their feet; some also spat in His face. Immediately, therefore, they got ready the cross, and gave it to Him, and flew to take the road. And thus going along, bearing also the cross, He came as far as the gate of the city of Jerusalem. But as He, from the many blows and the weight of the cross, was unable to walk, the Jews, out of the eager desire they had to crucify Him as quickly as possible, took the cross from Him, and gave it to a man that met them, Simon by name, who had also two sons, Alexander and Rufus. And he was from the city of Cyrene. They gave the cross, then, to him, not because they pitied Jesus, and wished to lighten Him of the weight, but because they eagerly desired, as has been said, to put Him to death more speedily.
Of His disciples, therefore, John followed Him there. Then he came fleeing to the mother of God, and said to her: Where hast thou been, that thou hast not come to see what has happened? She answered: What is it that has happened? John says: Know that the Jews have laid hold of my Master, and are taking Him away to crucify Him. Hearing this, His mother cried out with a loud voice, saying: My son, my son, what evil then hast thou done, that they are taking thee away to crucify thee? And she rose up as if blinded, and goes along the road weeping. And women followed her—Martha, and Mary Magdalene, and Salome, and other virgins. And John also was with her. When, therefore, they came to the multitude of the crowd, the mother of God says to John: Where is my son? John says: Seest thou Him bearing the crown of thorns, and having His hands bound? And the mother of God, hearing this, and seeing Him, fainted, and fell backwards to the ground, and lay a considerable time. And the women, as many as followed her, stood round her, and wept. And as soon as she revived and rose up, she cried out with a loud voice: My Lord, my son, where has the beauty of thy form sunk? how shall I endure to see thee suffering such things? And thus saying, she tore her face with her nails, and beat her breast. Where are they gone, said she, the good deeds which thou didst in Judæa? What evil hast thou done to the Jews? The Jews, then, seeing her thus lamenting and crying, came and drove her from the road; but she would not flee, but remained, saying: Kill me first, ye lawless Jews.
Then they got safe to the place called Cranium, which was paved with stone; and there the Jews set up the cross. Then they stripped Jesus, and the soldiers took His garments, and divided them among themselves; and they put on Him a tattered robe of scarlet, and raised Him, and drew Him up on the cross at the sixth hour of the day. After this they brought also two robbers, the one on His right, the other on His left.
Then the mother of God, standing and looking, cried out with a loud voice, saying: My son! my son! And Jesus, turning to her, and seeing John near her, and weeping with the rest of the women, said: Behold thy son! Then He says also to John: Behold thy mother! And she wept much, saying: For this I weep, my son, because thou sufferest unjustly, because the lawless Jews have delivered thee to a bitter death. Without thee, my son, what will become of me? How shall I live without thee? What sort of life shall I spend? Where are thy disciples, who boasted that they would die with thee? Where those healed by thee? How has no one been found to help thee? And looking to the cross, she said: Bend down, O cross, that I may embrace and kiss my son, whom I suckled at these breasts after a strange manner, as not having known man. Bend down, O cross; I wish to throw my arms round my son. Bend down, O cross, that I may bid farewell to my son like a mother. The Jews, hearing these words, came forward, and drove to a distance both her and the women and John.
Then Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying: Father, let not this sin stand against them; for they know not what they do. Then He says: I thirst. And immediately there ran one of the soldiers, and took a sponge, and filled it with gall and vinegar mixed, and put it on a reed, and gave Jesus to drink. And having tasted it, He would not drink it. And the Jews standing and looking on laughed at Him, and said: If thou truly sayst that thou art the Son of God, come down from the cross, and immediately, that we may believe in thee. Others said mocking: Others he saved, others he cured, and he healed the sick, the paralytic, the lepers, the demoniacs, the blind, the lame, the dead; and himself he cannot cure.
In the same manner also, the robber crucified on His left hand said to Him: If thou art the Son of God, come down and save both thyself and us. His name was Gistas. And he that was crucified on the right, Dysmas by name, reproved that robber, saying: O wretched and miserable man, dost thou not fear God? We suffer the due punishment of what we have done; but this man has done no evil at all. And turning to Jesus, he says to Him: Lord, when Thou shalt reign do not forget me. And He said to him: To-day, I tell thee truth, I shall have thee in paradise with me.
- Mark xv. 21.
- Θεοτόκος— a word used several times by Athanasius (died 373), e.g., in Orat. iii. Contra Arianos, c. 14 and 29. The refusal of Nestorius to give this epithet to Mary was the commencement, in 428, of the long struggle between the rival sees of Constantinople and Alexandria. See Haag, Histoire des Dogmes Chrétiens, i. 190. The paragraphs about the Θεοτόκος in this chapter are interpolations.
- Lit., and.
- Lit., darkened.
- A mistaken reference to John xix. 13.
- John xix. 26, 27.
- Luke xxiii. 34; cf. Acts vii. 60.
- John xix. 28; Matt. xxvii. 48.
- Comp. Matt. xxvii. 40–42.
- Luke xxiii. 39–43. ms. C here inserts the early history of the robber Dysmas. [See note 3, p. 426.—R.]