Gospel of the Hebrews

From Wikisource
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Gospel of the Hebrews

The Gospel of the Hebrews is a lost text. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem, provides a summary of the text, and a few fragments survive in the form of quotations from patristic authors. The selection of texts here follows the latest edition of Hennecke-Schneemelcher. (Compare the texts given in Bart D. Ehrman, Lost Scriptures, p. 16.) Other quotations, not known to be from the Gospel of the Hebrews, have sometimes been assigned to the text. See also Gospel of the Nazaraeans and Gospel of the Ebionites.


It is written in the Gospel of the Hebrews that when Christ wished to come upon the earth to men the Good Father called a mighty power in the heavens which was called Michael, and committed Christ to the care thereof. And the power came down into the world, and it was called Mary, and [Christ] was in her womb for seven months. Afterwards she gave birth to Him, and He increased in stature, and He chose the Apostles, who preached Him in every place. He fulfilled the appointed time that was decreed for Him. And the Jews became envious of Him, they hated Him, they changed the custom of their Law, and they rose up against Him and laid a trap and caught Him, and they delivered Him to the governor, and he gave Him to them to crucify Him. And after they had raised Him up on the Cross the Father took Him up into heaven unto Himself.[1]

First Fragment[edit]

And it came to pass, when the Lord had come up from the water, the entire fountain of the Holy Spirit descended and rested upon him and said to him, "My son, in all the prophets did I await thee, that thou mightest come and I might rest in thee; for thou art my rest; thou art my firstborn Son that reignest for ever."[2]

Second Fragment[edit]

Just now my mother the Holy Spirit took me by one of my hairs and bore me up on to the great mountain Tabor.[3]

Third Fragment[edit]

He who seeks will not stop till he find; and having found, he will wonder; and wondering, he will reign; and reigning, he will rest.[4]

Fourth Fragment[edit]

And be ye never joyful save when ye have looked upon your brother in charity.[5]

Fifth Fragment[edit]

... he is set down among the greatest criminals who hath grieved the spirit of his brother.[6]

Sixth Fragment[edit]

And when the Lord had given his linen cloth to the servant of the priest he went to James and appeared unto him. For James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour wherein he had drunk the cup of the Lord until he saw him rising again from the dead.

..."Bring a table and bread."

And he took up the bread and blessed and broke and afterward gave to James the Just and said to him, "My brother, eat thy bread, for the Son of Man is risen from them that sleep." [7]


  1. Cyril, Archbishop of Jerusalem, Discourse on Mary Theotokos, translated by E. A. Wallis Budge, Coptic Texts (London, 1915), p. 637.
  2. Jerome, Commentary on Isaiah IV on 11:2, translated in Edward B. Nicholson, The Gospel According to the Hebrews (London, 1879), p. 43.
  3. Origen, Commentary on John II 12; Homily on Jeremiah XV 4; Jerome, Commentary on Micah 7:6, Commentary on Isaiah 40:9, Commentary on Ezekiel 16:13; translated in Nicholson, pp. 74-76.
  4. Clement of Alexandria, Stromata V XIV, translated in Ante-Nicene Fathers (Buffalo, 1895) Volume II, p. 467; Clement also partly quotes this in Stromata II 9.
  5. Jerome, Commentary on Ephesians 5:4, translated in Nicholson, p. 44.
  6. Jerome, Commentary on Ezekiel 18:7, translated in Nicholson p. 44.
  7. Jerome, On Famous Men, 2, translated in Nicholson pp. 62-68.