The Ancient Sermon

Attributed to Clement of Rome

First Century AD | A True Names Version


Jackson Snyder Bible    Contact

Clement was the disciple of Peter (Kefa) and his successor. (Clement’s journal, in which Peter’s travels is the subject, can be found at Traditionally known as The Second Letter of Clement to the Corinthians, this manuscript is neither a letter nor by Clement.  It is a sermon on the subject of the believer’s walk of righteousness, and the earliest to use New Testament (or proto-New Testament) citations as though they were Scripture.  In addition, there are citations from works that did not make the cut of the canonical rule, including (perhaps) The Gospel of Thomas and The Gospel of the Egyptians.  This sermon is dated by scholars to the late 1st century; some date it as early as 70 AD, since one of the manuscripts was bound in a codex with Clement to the Corinthians, The Epistle of Barnabas, and The Teaching of the Twelve (Didaché). – jhs


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Italicized words from Manuscript B. Words within curly brackets {} are added for clarity. Words in < > are lacunae supplied by the authors.  Words in bold have been emphasized by the editor.  This is a modified version of the texts as found in The Dead Sea Scrolls - A New Translation, by Wise, Abegg & Cook (1996).


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[   ]  The Judge of the living and the dead : Cf. Acts 10:43, 1 Pet. 4:5.

[   ]  What praise, then, will we give Him, or what return  Cf. Ps. 116:12

[   ]  For He called us when we were not: Cf. Hos. 2:23; Rom.4:17, 9:25.  

[   ]  Rejoice, you barren who bear not Isa.54:1; Gal. 4:27.  

[   ]  I came not to call the righteous, but sinners: Cf. Mk. 2:7, The earliest NT quote.

[   ]  Desire to save the things that were perishing : Cf. Matt. 18:11; Luke 19:10.  

[   ]  Whoever will confess Me before men: Cf. Mk. 12:30; Matt. 10:32.  

[   ]  But with all our heart and all our mind. Cf. Matt. 12:37.  

[   ]  By honoring Him … with our heart and our mind: Isa. 29:13; Mk. 7:6.   

[   ]  Not everyone who says to Me, Master, Master: Matt. 7:21, loosely quoted.

[   ]  Even though you were gathered together to Me in My very bosom: The Gos. Eg.

[   ]  I do not know where you come from: Cf. Matt. 7: 23, Luke 13:27.

[   ]  You will be as lambs in the midst of wolves: Matt. 10:16.  

[   ]  Kefa = Simon Peter; but no such conversation is recorded in Scripture.

[   ]  The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves: Gos.Eg.

[   ]  Soul and body to cast them into the fiery Gehenna: Cf. Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4.  

[   ]  No servant can serve two masters: Matt. 6:24; Luke 16:13.  

[   ]  If a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?: Matt. 16:26; Mk. 8:36. 

[   ]  They would not deliver their children in captivity: Ezek.14:14, 20.  

[   ]  For of those who do not preserve the seal (baptism): Cf. Eph. 1:13; Acts 19: 6.  

[   ]  And they will be a spectacle to all flesh: Isa.66: 24. Cf. Mk. 9:48. 

[    ]  Let us practice repentance = confessing sins then turning back to the Torah.

[    ]  Faithful in that which is least, is faithful in much: Cf. Luke 16:10-12.

[    ]  Keep the flesh set-apart and the seal undefiled: an unknown apocryphal work.

[   ]  My brothers who do the will of My Father Matt. 12:50; Mk. 3:35; Luke 8:21.  

[   ]  Afterwards will they receive good things. Cf. 1 Clem. 23:3. 

[   ]  He is faithful who has promised: Cf. Heb. 10:23.

[   ]  That ear has not heard, nor eye seen: 1 Cor. 2:9.  

[   ]  When two will be one, without as that which is within: Thomas 22b, Gos. Eg.

[   ]  The men who are without, by our righteousness, that the Name: Cf. Acts 5:41.

[   ]  My name is blasphemed among all the Gentiles: Isa. 52:5.  

[   ]  Woe to him … My name is blasphemed Cf. Ezek.6:20-23.

[   ]  There is thanks to you, if you love your enemies: Luke 6:27,32, Matt. 5:44,46

[   ]  The spiritual Kahal, created before the sun and moon: Cf. Ps.72. (LXX.71):5,17.

[   ]  My house was made a den of robbers: Jer. 7:11. Cf. Matt. 12:13; Mark 11:17.  

[   ]  The Living Kahal is the body of the Anointed One: Cf. Eph. 1:23 etc.

[   ]  Elohim made man, male and female: Gen. 1:27; Cf. Eph. 5:31-33.  

[   ]  The seferot (books) and the shlichim (apostles); the Kahal is from the first.

[   ]  Ruach haQodesh = Set-apart Spirit (ie Holy Spirit).

[   ]  No one corrupts the copy will partake the original: Cf. Heb.9:24; 1 Pet. 3:21.  

[   ]  Not one can proclaim what the Master has prepared for his bacharim: Cor. 2:9

[   ]  Awandering and perishing soul that it may be saved. Cf. Jas. 5:19, 20

[   ]  I will say, Lo, I am here: Isa. 58:9, LXX.   Rom 7:8,11.  Cf. Mal.4:1.  

[   ] The earth will be as lead melting on the fire: Cf. Isa. 34:4, and 2 Pet.3:7,10.

[   ] Fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving is better than both: Cf. Tobit12:8, 9

[   ] Charity covers a multitude of sins 1 Pet. 4:8. Cf. Prov. 10:12; Jas. 5:20.  

[   ] For alms-giving lightens the burden of sin Cf. Sirach. 3:30.  

[   ] Overseers = presbyters, mebacharim = chosen leaders.

[   ] Let us not be dragged away by worldly lusts, but coming: Cf. Heb. 10:1 22.

[   ] Let us advance in the Torah, that all being like-minded 2 Cor. 13:11; Phil. 2:2.  

[   ] Gather all the nations, tribes, and tongues: Isa. 66:18. Cf. Dan. 3:7. Acts 1:14ff.

[   ] When they see the world government: Cf. 1 Pet. 4:4, 12.  

[   ] Woe unto us since you are the one: Cf. John 8:24.

[   ] They will be for a spectacle unto all flesh: Isa. 66:24.  

[   ] For I being an utter sinner: Cf. Didache 5:2, Ap. Cons. 7:18, and Barnabas 20. 

[   ] In the midst of the devil’s engines, Cf. Ignat., Rom., 4, (teeth of beasts).

[   ] So, brothers and sisters Cf. Barnabas 1:1, “Sons and daughters.”

[   ] I now read to you my entreaty: Cf. 1 Tim.2:1,4:5.

[   ] We are “darkened in our understanding: Cf. Eph. 4:18.  

[   ] To the only Elohim invisible: 1 Tim.1:17.

[   ] And Prince of Incorruption to us Acts 3:15, v. 31; Cf. Heb. 2:10.  

[   ] Amein: The doxology indicates the early custom of closing a sermon.


Chap. I.—We Should Think Highly of the Anointed One.

Brothers, it is fitting that you should think as highly of Yahshua the Anointed as of YHWH as the Judge of the living and the dead.[2] And it does not become us to think lightly of our salvation; for if we think little of Him, we will only hope to obtain little from Him. And those of us who hear carelessly of these things, as if they were of small importance, commit sin, not knowing from where we have been called, and by whom, and to what place, and how much Yahshua the Anointed submitted to suffer for our sakes. What return, then, will we make to Him? or what of our fruit will be worthy of that which He has given to us? For, indeed, how great are the benefits that we owe Him! He has graciously given us light; as a Father, He has called us sons; He has saved us when we were ready to perish. What praise, then, will we give Him, or what return will we make for the things that we have received?[3] We were deficient in understanding, worshipping stones and wood, and gold, and silver, and brass, the works of men’s hand; and our whole life was nothing else than death. Involved in blindness, and with such darkness before our eyes, we have received sight, and by His will have laid aside that cloud by which we were enveloped. For He had compassion on us, and mercifully saved us, observing the many errors in which we were entangled, as well as the destruction to which we were exposed, and that we had no hope of salvation except it came to us from Him. For He called us when we were not,[4] and willed that out of nothing we should attain a real existence.   

Chap. II.—The Kahal, Formerly a Barren Tree, is Now Fruitful.[5]

As the prophet has admonished us, “Rejoice, you barren who bear not; break forth and cry, you who travail not; for she who is desolate has many more children than she who has a husband.”[6]  In that He said, “Rejoice, you barren who bear not,” He referred to us, for our Kahal was barren before children were given to her. But when He said, “Cry out, you who travails not,” He means this, that we should sincerely offer up our prayers to Elohim, and should not, like women in travail, show signs of weakness. And in that He said, “For she who is desolate has many more children than she who has a husband,” He means that our people seemed to be outcast from Elohim, but now, through believing, have become more numerous than those who are reckoned to possess Elohim.  And another Scripture says, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.”[7] This means that those who are perishing must be saved. For it is indeed a great and admirable thing to establish, not the things that are standing, but the ones that are falling. Thus also did the Anointed One desire to save the things that were perishing,[8] and has saved many by coming and calling us when we were hastening to destruction.

Chap. III.—The Duty of Confessing the Anointed One.

Since, then, He has displayed such great mercy towards us, and especially in this respect, that we who are living would not offer sacrifices to dead gods, or pay them homage, but would through Him attain to the knowledge of the true Father. How else will we show that we do indeed know Him except by not denying the One[9] through whom this knowledge has been attained? For He Himself declares, “Whoever will confess Me before men, him will I confess before My Father.”[10] This is our reward if we will but confess Him by whom we have been saved. But in what way will we confess Him? By doing what He says, and not transgressing His Torah, and by honoring Him not with our lips only, but with all our heart and all our mind.[11] For he says in Isaiah, “This people honors Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me.”[12]  

Chap. IV.—True Confession of the Anointed One.

Let us, then, not only call Him Master, for that will not save us. For He says, “Not everyone who says to Me, Master, Master, will be saved, but he who works righteousness.”[13] So, brothers, let us confess Him by our works, by loving one another, by not committing adultery, or speaking evil of one another, or cherishing envy; but being continent, compassionate, and good. We ought also to sympathize with one another, and not be covetous. By such works let us confess Him, and not by such deeds that are of the opposing variety. And it is not fitting that we should fear men, but rather Elohim. For this reason, if we should do such immoral things, YHWH has said, “Even though you were gathered together to Me in My very bosom, yet if you were not to keep My Torah, I would cast you off, and say to you, Leave Me; I do not know where you come from, you workers of iniquity.”[14]

Chap. V.—This World Should be Despised.

So, brothers, leaving willingly our sojourn in this present world, let us do the will of Him who called us, and not fear to depart out of this world. For the Master says, “You will be as lambs in the midst of wolves.”[15] And Kefa answered and said to Him,[16] “What, then, if the wolves will tear in pieces the lambs?” Yahshua said to Kefa, “The lambs have no cause after they are dead to fear the wolves; and in like manner, fear not them who kill you, and can do nothing more to you; but fear Him who, after you are dead, has power over both soul and body to cast them into the fiery Gehenna.”[17] And consider, brothers, that the sojourning in the flesh in this world is but brief and transient, but the promise of the Anointed One is great and wonderful, even the rest of the kingdom to come, and of long-lasting life.  By what course of conduct, then, will we attain these things, but by leading a set-apart and righteous life, and by deeming these worldly things as not belonging to us, and not fixing our desires upon them? For if we desire to possess them, we fall away from the path of righteousness. 

Chap. VI.—The Present and Future Worlds are Enemies to Each Other.

Now the Master declares, “No servant can serve two masters.”[18] If we desire, then, to serve both Elohim and mammon, it will be unprofitable for us. “For what will it profit if a man gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?”[19] This world and the next are two enemies. The one urges to adultery and corruption, covetousness and deceit; the other bids farewell to these things. We cannot therefore be the friends of both; and it is to our advantage, by renouncing the one, to make sure of the other. Let us reckon that it is better to hate the things present, since they are trifling, and transient, and corruptible; and to love those that are to come, as being good and incorruptible. For if we do the will of the Anointed One, we will find rest; otherwise, nothing will deliver us from longstanding[20] retribution, if we disobey His Torah. For thus also says the Scripture in Ezekiel, “If Noah, Job, and Daniel should rise up, they would not deliver their children in captivity.”[21] Now, if men so eminently righteous are not able by their righteousness to deliver their children, how can we hope to enter into the royal residence of Elohim unless we keep our baptism set-apart and undefiled? Or who will be our advocate, unless we are found possessed of righteousness and set-apart works? 

Chap. VII.—We Must Strive in Order to be Crowned.

So, then, my brothers, let us struggle with all earnestness, knowing that the contest is in our case close at hand, and that many undertake long voyages to strive for a corruptible reward; yet all are not crowned, but those only who have labored hard and striven famously. Let us therefore so strive, that we may all be crowned. Let us run the straight course, even the race that is incorruptible; and let us in great numbers set out for it, and strive that we may be crowned. And should we not all be able to obtain the crown, let us at least come near it. We must remember that he who strives in the corruptible contest, if he be found acting unfairly, is taken away and whipped, and cast forth from the lists. What then think you? If someone does something unseemly in the incorruptible contest, what will he have to bear? For of those who do not preserve the seal[22] unbroken, the Scripture says, “Their worm will not die, and their fire will not be quenched, and they will be a spectacle to all flesh.”[23]

Chap. VIII.—The Necessity of Turning Around While We are on Earth.

So as long as we are on earth, let us practice teshuvah,[24] for we are as clay in the hand of the artificer. For as the potter, if he make a vessel, and it be distorted or broken in his hands, he fashions it over again; but if before this he has cast it into the fiery furnace, he can no longer find any help for it: so let us also, while we are in this world, turn with our whole heart away from the evil deeds we have done in the flesh, that we may be saved by the Master, while we still have an opportunity to turn around. For after we have gone out of the world, no further power of confessing or turning will belong to us there. So, brothers, by doing the will of the Father, and keeping the flesh set-apart, and observing the Torah of YHWH, we will obtain long-enduring life. For the Master says in the Good News, “If you-all have not kept what was small, who will commit great things to you? For I say to you, that he who is faithful in that which is least, is faithful also in much.”[25] Here is what He means: “Keep the flesh set-apart and the seal undefiled, so that you-all may receive long-lasting life.”[26]

Chap. IX.—We Will be Judged in the Flesh.

And let no one of you say that this very flesh will not be judged, nor rise again. Consider in what state you-all were saved, in what you received sight, if not while you were in this flesh. We must therefore preserve the flesh as the temple of Elohim. For as you were called in the flesh, you will also come to be judged in the flesh. As the Anointed Master who saved us, though He was first ruach, became flesh, and thus called us, so will we also receive the reward in this flesh. Let us therefore love one another, that we may all attain to the kingdom of Elohim. While we have an opportunity of being healed, let us yield ourselves to Elohim who heals us, and give Him compensation. Of what sort? Turning around out of a sincere heart; for He knows all things beforehand, and is acquainted with what is in our hearts. Let us therefore give Him praise, not with the mouth only, but also with the heart, that He may accept us as sons. For the Master has said, “Those are My brothers who do the will of My Father.”[27]

Chap. X.—Vice is to be Forsaken, and Virtue Followed.

So, my brothers, let us do the will of the Father who called us, that we may live; and let us intentionally follow virtue while forsaking every immoral tendency that would lead into transgression; and flee from unrighteousness, lest evils overtake us. For if we are diligent in doing good, peace will follow us. On this account, such men cannot find peace, since they are influenced by human terrors, and prefer rather present enjoyment to the promise that will afterwards be fulfilled. For they do not know what torment this present enjoyment exacts, or what speed is involved in the future promise. And if, indeed, they themselves only did such things, it would be the more tolerable; but now they persist in imbuing innocent souls with their pernicious doctrines, not knowing that they will receive a double condemnation, both they and those who hear them.  

Chap. XI.—We Ought to Serve YHWH, Trusting in his Promises.

Let us serve Elohim with a pure heart, and we will be righteous; but if we do not serve Him, because we do not trust the promise of Elohim, we will be miserable. For the prophetic word also declares, “Wretched are those of a double mind, and who doubt in their heart, who say, All these things have we heard even in the times of our fathers; but though we have waited day by day, we have seen none of them accomplished. You fools! Compare yourselves to a tree; take, for instance, the vine. First of all it sheds its leaves, then the bud appears; after that the sour grape, and then the fully-ripened fruit. So, likewise, my people have borne disturbances and afflictions, but afterwards will they receive good things promised.”[28] So, my brothers, let us not be of a double mind, but let us hope and endure, that we also may obtain the reward. For He is faithful who has promised[29] that He will bestow on everyone a reward according to his works. If, therefore, we will do righteousness in the sight of Elohim, we will enter into His kingdom, and will receive the promises, “that ear has not heard, nor eye seen, neither have entered into the heart of man.”[30]

Chap. XII.—We are Constantly to Look tor YHWH’s Kingdom Reign.

Let us expect, hour by hour, the kingdom of Elohim in love and righteousness, since we know not the day of the appearing of Elohim. For the Master Himself, being asked by one when His kingdom would come, replied, “When two will be one, and that which is without as that which is within, and the male with the female, neither male nor female.”[31]  Now, two are one when we speak the truth one to another, and there is undoubtedly one soul in two bodies. And “that which is without as that which is within” means this: He calls the soul “that which is within,” and the body “that which is without.” As, then, your body is visible to sight, so also let your soul be manifest by good works. And (he said) “the male with the female, neither male nor female.” This means that a brother seeing a sister should not think of her as of any female, nor should she think of him as of any male. “If you do these things,” says He, “the kingdom of my Father will come.”

Chap. XIII.—Disobedience Causes the Name of YHWH To Be Blasphemed.

Now {brothers}, let us confess at length; let us be sober unto what is good; for we are full of much folly and immorality. Let us blot out from us our former sins, and confessing from the soul let us be saved; and let us not become people-pleasers, nor let us desire to please only one another, but also the men who are without, by our righteousness, that the Name[32] be not blasphemed on account of us. For YHWH also says “Continually My name is blasphemed among all the Gentiles,”[33] and again, “Woe to him on account of whom My name is blasphemed.” [34] Wherein is it blasphemed? In your not doing what I desire. For the Gentiles, when they hear from our mouth the oracles of Elohim, marvel at them as beautiful and great; afterwards, when they have learned that our works are not worthy of the words we speak, they then turn themselves to blasphemy, saying that it is some fable and delusion. For when they hear from us that Elohim says, “There is no thanks to you, if you love them who love you; but there is thanks to you, if you love your enemies and them who hate you” [35]; when they hear these things, they marvel at the excellence of the goodness; but when they see that we not only do not love them who hate us, but not even them who love us, they laugh us to scorn, and the Name is blasphemed.  

Chap. XIV.—the Living Kahal is the Body of the Anointed One.

So,  brothers, if we do the will of YHWH our father, we will be a part of the First Kahal, that is, the spiritual Kahal, which has been created before the sun and moon;[36] but if we do not the will of the Master, we will be of the Scripture that says, “My house was made a den of robbers.”[37] So then let us choose to be of the Kahal of Life, that we may be saved. I do not, however, suppose you are ignorant that the Living Kahal is the body of the Anointed One;[38] for the Scripture says, “Elohim made man, male and female.”[39] the male is the Anointed One, the female is the Kahal. And the seferot and the shlichim plainly declare that the Kahal is not of the present, but from the beginning.[40] For the Kahal was spiritual, as was our Yahshua also, but was manifested in the last days that He might save us. Now the Kahal, being spiritual, was manifested in the flesh of the Anointed One, thus signifying to us that, if any of us keep her in the flesh and do not corrupt her, he will receive her again through Ruach haQodesh: for this flesh is the copy of the ruach.[41] No one then who corrupts the copy, will partake of the original.[42] This then is what He means, “Keep the flesh that you may partake of the ruach.” But if we say that the flesh is the Kahal and the ruach the Anointed One, then he who has shamefully used the flesh has shamefully used the Kahal. Such a one then will not partake of the ruach, which is the Anointed One. Such life and incorruption this flesh can partake of if Ruach haQodesh is joined to it. For not one soul can utter or proclaim “what the Master has prepared” for his bacharim.[43]

Chap. XV.—Faith and Love the Proper Return to Elohim.

Now I do not think I have given you any light counsel concerning self-control, which if anyone do he will not renounce it, but will save both himself and me who counseled him. For it is no light reward to turn again a wandering and perishing soul that it may be saved.[44] For this is the recompense we have to return to Elohim who created us, if he who speaks and hears both speaks and hears with faith and love. Let us therefore abide in the things that we believed, righteous and set-apart, that with boldness we may ask of Elohim who says, “While you are yet speaking, I will say, Lo, I am here.”[45] For this saying is the sign of a great promise; for YHWH says of Himself that He is more ready to give than he who asks to ask. Now being partakers of so great kindness, let us not be envious of one another in the obtaining of so many good things. For as great as is the pleasure that these sayings have for those who have done them, so great is the condemnation they have for those who have been disobedient.  

Chap. XVI.—The Excellence of Almsgiving.

So, brothers, having received no small occasion for teshuvah, while we have the opportunity, let us turn to Elohim who called us, while we still have Him as One who receives us. For if we renounce these ‘enjoyments’ and conquer our soul in not doing these its evil desires, we will partake of the mercy of Yahshua. But you know that the day of judgment even now “comes as a burning oven,” and some “of the skies will melt,” and all the earth will be as lead melting on the fire,[46]and then the hidden and open works of men will appear. So almsgiving is a good thing indeed as a means of turning away from sin. And fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving is better than both;[47] “but charity[48] covers a multitude of sins.”[49] But prayer out of a good conscience delivers from death. Blessed is everyone who is found full of these; for alms-giving lightens the burden of sin.[50]

Chap. XVII.—The Danger of Refusing to Turn Around.

So let us confess from the whole heart, that no one of us perish by the roadside. For if we have Torah that we should practice this, to draw away men from idols and instruct them, how much more ought a soul already knowing Elohim not to perish! Let us help one another that we may also lead those who are weak about what is good, so that all may be saved; and let us convert and admonish one another. And let us not think to give heed and believe now only, while we are admonished by the overseers,[51] but also when we have returned home, remembering the Torah of YHWH; and let us not be dragged away by worldly lusts, but coming[52] more frequently let us attempt to advance in the Torah of YHWH, that all being like-minded[53] we may be gathered together life-ward. For YHWH said, “I come to gather all the nations, tribes, and tongues in Yahad.”[54] This He speaks of the day of His appearing, when He will come and redeem us, each one according to his works. And the unbelievers “will see His Shekinah,” and His strength; and THEY WILL THINK IT STRANGE WHEN THEY SEE THE WORLD GOVERNMENT[55] IN YAHSHUA’S POWER; them saying, Woe unto us since YOU ARE[56] THE ONE[57] WHOM WE DID NOT KNOW AND DID NOT BELIEVE; Neither did me obey the overseers when they preached to us about our salvation!

As for these, “their worm dies not, and their fire is not quenched, and they will be for a spectacle unto all flesh.”[58] He speaks of that day of judgment, when they will see those among us who have been unrighteous and acted deceitfully with the Torah of Yahshua the Anointed One. But the righteous who have done well and endured torments and hated the enjoyments of the soul, when they will behold those who have gone astray and denied Yahshua through their words or through their works, how that they are punished with grievous torments in unquenchable fire, will be giving glory to Elohim, saying, There will be hope for him who has served Elohim with his whole heart.  

Chap. XVIII.—The Preacher Confesses His Own Sinfulness.

Let us also become of the number of them who give thanks, who have served Elohim, and not of the unrighteous who are judged. For I myself also, being an utter sinner,[59] and not yet escaped from temptation, but still being in the midst of the devil’s engines,[60] give diligence to follow after righteousness, that I may have strength to come even near it, fearing the judgment to come.  

Chap. XIX.—He Justifies His Sermon.

So, brothers and sisters,[61]after the Elohim of Truth has been heard,[62] I now read to you my entreaty[63] that you may give heed to the things that are written, in order that you may save both yourselves and the one among you who is not able to read. For as a reward I ask of you that you confess with the whole heart, thus giving to yourselves salvation and life. For by doing this we will set a goal for all the young who are minded to labor on behalf of piety and the goodness of Elohim. And let us not, unwise ones whom we are, be defensive and sorely displeased, whenever someone admonishes and turns us from iniquity to righteousness. For sometimes while we are practicing evil things we do not realize it because of the double-mindedness and unbelief that is in our hearts, and we are “darkened in our understanding”[64] by our vain lusts. Let us then practice righteousness that we may be saved unto the end. Blessed are they who obey these ordinances. Even if for a little time they suffer evil in the world, they will enjoy the undying fruit of the resurrection. Let not then the righteous man be grieved, if he be wretched in the times that now are; a blessed time waits for him. He, living again above with the fathers, will be joyful for a very long time without grief.  

Chap. XX.—Concluding Word of Consolation & a Word of Praise.

But neither let it trouble your understanding, seeing that the unrighteous are rich while Elohim’s slaves are unable to make ends meet.[65] Let us therefore, brothers and sisters, continue believing: yes, we are striving in the contest of the living Elohim, we are exercised by the present life, in order that we may be crowned by that which is to come. None of the righteous ever received fruit right away, but he awaits it. For if Elohim gave recompense to the righteous immediately, then immediately we would be exercising ourselves in business, not in righteousness; for we would seem to be righteous, while pursuing not what is righteous but what is gainful. And on this account, Divine Judgment surprised a spirit that was not righteous, and loaded it with chains.

To the only Elohim invisible,[66] the Father of truth, who sent forth the Savior and Prince of Incorruption to us,[67]  through whom also He manifested to us the truth and the sky-ward life, to Him be the esteem for a long, long time. Amein.[68]


[1] Many “New Testament” citations appear to be proto-New Testament.

[2] Cf. Acts 10:43, 1 Pet. 4:5.

[3] Cf. Ps.116:12

[5] Kahal = the Ekklesia or Assembly.

[7]  Cf. Mk. 2:7, Matt. 9:13; Luke 5:32.  This is the earliest instance of the New Testament being quoted as Scripture.

[9]  Lit., “Him.”

[10] Cf. Mk. 12:30; Matt. 10:32.  

[12] Isa. 29:13; Mk. 7:6; Matt. 15:8.   

[13] Matt. 7:21, loosely quoted. Righteousness in the sense of the sermon requires observing the Torah.

[14] The first part of this sentence is thought to be from The Gospel of the Egyptians; the second, Cf. Matt. 7: 23, Luke 13:27.

[16] Kefa = Simon Peter; but no such conversation is recorded in Scripture.

[17] Gospel of the Egyptians ??; Cf. Matt. 10:28; Luke 12:4, 5.  

[19] Matt. 16:26; Mk. 8:36; Luke 9:25. 

[20] The Heb. olam & Gr. aiwniwn mean “a long duration,” though it these are usually mistranslated as “everlasting,” “forever,” or “eternal.” A good lesson on this important teaching is here:

[22] Ie. Baptism. Cf. Eph. 1:13; Acts 19: 6.  

[23] Isa.66: 24. Cf. Mk. 9:48. 

[24] Teshuvah / metanoiea / repentance = confessing sins then turning back to the Torah.

[25] Cf. Luke 16:10-12.  Also Gosp, Egyp.

[26] Some think this a quotation from an unknown apocryphal work.

[27] Matt. 12:50; Mk. 3:35; Luke 8:21.   

[28] Cf. 1 Clem. 23:3. Some speculate a quote from Eldad and Modad.  See

[29] Cf. Heb. 10:23.

[31] A short version of Thomas 22b and the Gospel of the Egyptians.

[33] Isa. 52:5, with πασι̑ν inserted.  

[34] Cf. Ezek.6:20-23. Lightfoot thinks it probable that the preacher used two different forms of Isa.52:5.

[35] Luke 6:27, 32, freely combined; Cf. Matt. 5:44, 46

[36] Cf. Ps.72. (LXX.71):5,17.  

[38] Cf. Eph. 1:23 and many similar passages.  

[40] Seferot .. shlichim = books (ie Scripture) .. sent ones (ie apostles / shlichim).

[41] Ruach haQodesh = Set-apart Spirit (ie Holy Spirit).

[43] 1 Cor. 2:9. Bacharim = chosen ones, or the elect.  

[44] Cf. Jas. 5:19, 20, with which our passage has many verbal correspondences.  

[45] Isa. 58:9, LXX.  φορμν λαβόντες, as in Rom 7:8,11.  Cf. Mal.4:1.  

[46] Cf. Isa. 34:4, and 2 Pet.3:7,10.

[48] Or, “love.”

[50] Literally, “becomes a lightener (κούφισμα) of sin;” Cf. Ecclus. 3:30.  

[51] Overseers = presbyters, mebacharim = chosen leaders.

[54] Isa. 66:18. But “tribes” is inserted; Cf. Dan. 3:7. Yahad is the sacred unity often translated as “one accord”; Acts 1:14ff.

[56] “Were” is replaced by “are.”

[59] Cf. Didache 5:2, Apostolic Constitutions, 7:18, and Barnabas 20. 

[60] Cf. Ignat., Rom., 4, Ante-Nicene Fathers, where the word is rendered “instruments,” and applied to the teeth of the wild beasts in the amphitheatre. Lightfoot renders it as “engines”; a military metaphor.  

[61] Cf. the opening sentence of Barnabas, “Sons and daughters.”

[62] Heard, since the Word was read.

[65] The translator has the archaic straitened = financially strained.

[68] The doxology indicates the early custom of closing a sermon.