Page:LostApocryphaOfTheOldTestamentMRJames.djvu/49

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THE OLD TESTAMENT

the Prayer of Joseph knew something of Christian theology and indulged in some side-hits at it. Whether that was the main object of the book we cannot tell; but Origen treats it with such respect that I think its attack on Christianity cannot have been very overt.

In the Journal of Theological Studies, xx. (1918) p. 20, Mr. Vacher Burch advocates the view that the Prayer was pro-Christian, and based on the primitive Testimonia against the Jews. "The chief theme of the fragments ... is the surpassing of one angel-appearance of the Christ by another—of Uriel by Israel." It is now known that Uriel was a Testimony hypostasis of this nature, for the Ethiopic Narrative of St. Clement (Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, ii 479) contains this helpful passage: "And I (Peter) gave them commandments concerning circumcision according to the Law of Moses, and God (i. e. Christ) appeared unto me in the form of the Angel Uriel, and commanded me to do away the Old Law and to bring in the New." He refers also to the fact that Justin Martyr makes Jacob and Israel names of Christ. I cannot reproduce the whole of the passage here: the thesis is to me unconvincing at present. It is obscurely put by Mr. Burch, and needs restatement in an expanded form to make it plausible, or indeed intelligible. See further under Hezekiah.


Jannes and Mambres

Jannes and Mambres (or Mambres). The Penitence of Jannes and Mambres is mentioned in the Gelasian Decree. Origen (on Matthew xxv.) says: "Paul's statement, 'As Jannes and Mambres withstood Moses' (2 Tim. iii. 8) is not found in the 'public' scriptures, but in a secret (apocryphal) book entitled the Book of Jannes and Mambres." The writer called Ambrosiaster, on 2 Timothy, says: "This example is from the Apocrypha. For Jannes and Mambres were brothers, magicians or poisoners, of the Egyptians, who thought they could resist by the art of their magic the mighty works of God which were being accomplished through