Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/26

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8
THE LOST APOCRYPHA OF

(in § 8) he says that they use "Apocalypses of Adam" as well as other spurious books. The plural is merely rhetorical. It has been assumed, plausibly enough, that the quotation about the tree—which nearly coincides with Rev. xxii. 2—is from the Apocalypse of Adam; but this is no more than an assumption. The importance of the passage is that it gives fourth-century evidence of the currency of the Apocalypse.

Upon the whole I incline (in spite of the evidence of Samuel of Ani) to the opinion that there were two outstanding Adam-books of Jewish origin. One, the Apocalypse (Testament, Penitence), which is gone, except for a few quotations; the other the Life, which is represented in its main features by the Latin and Greek texts (Vita Adæ et Evæ, and "Apocalypse of Moses").


Eve

The only book current under this name was a "Gospel," and Epiphanius is the only authority for its existence. In the same 26th Heresy (2, 3) he says: "Others do not scruple to speak of a Gospel of Eve, for they father their offspring upon her name, as supposedly the discoverer of the food of knowledge by revelation of the serpent that spake to her." "Their words," he goes on, "like those of a drunkard, are fit to move sometimes laughter, sometimes tears. They deal in foolish visions and testimonies in this Gospel of theirs." Thus: "I stood upon a high mountain, and I saw a tall man and another, a short man, and I heard as it were the voice of thunder, and drew near to hearken, and he spake to me and said: 'I am thou and thou art I. And wheresoever thou art, there am I, and I am dispersed among all things, and whence thou wilt thou canst gather me, and in gathering me thou gatherest thyself.'" This is pantheistic stuff, of a kind, one would suppose, very easy to write, if a model were furnished. I give it a place here only for the sake of completeness: it is no more an Old Testanient apocryph than it is a gospel.