Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/25

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7
THE OLD TESTAMENT

80th day, and also because of the impureness of the female compared with the male; for when she is unclean she does not enter the Temple until 7 days after, according to the Law of God.

"This we have copied shortly out of the so-called Life of Adam for the information of students."

Now, although George Syncellus expressly distinguishes the Leptogenesis (Book of Jubilees) from the Life of Adam, and subsequently gives quotations avowedly made from it, the fact remains that practically all that he quotes from the Life of Adam occurs in Jubilees (iii. 1-11). The month-reckonings and the astronomical details are not there, but all the facts are. It has been held that the Life was an amplified episode taken from Jubilees, or that it is merely another name for Jubilees. The former is to my mind the more likely explanation, for there is another bit of evidence in favour of the separate existence of such a writing. Anastasius of Sinai, writing at the end of the sixth century, says (on the Hexameron, vii. p. 895): "The Hebrews assert, on the authority of a book not included in the Canon, which is called the Testament of the Protoplasts, that Adam entered Paradise on the 40th day, and that is the view also of a historian, the chronographer Pyrrho, and of many commentators."

This Testament may very well have been the same as Syncellus's Life. I think we need not greatly regret that we do not possess this Life or Testament: we probably have most of the matter of it either in Jubilees or in the Greek and Latin texts I have described.

The Apocalypse-Testament would have been more interesting, with its hymns of the repentant Adam and the Messianic predictions which I do not doubt that it contained. One more testimony to its existence must be put on record. Epiphanius (Heresy, 26), treating of the "Borborite" Gnostics, makes (in § 5) this quotation: "Reading in apocryphal writings that 'I saw a tree bearing twelve fruits in the year, and he said to me, "This is the tree of life,"' the heretics interpret it" in a way which need not be remembered. Later on