domingo, 19 de enero de 2014
DOCUMENT ON ANCIENT SAUL OF TARSUS
By: Scribe Valdemir M Menezes.
An ancient manuscript chronicles persecutions that the early Christians in apostolic times suffered by Saul of Tarsus. These "enemies" who entered the temple and persecuted Christians is a paraphrase of the person of Saul, who later would become, and would be the greatest exponent of Christianity.
Selections of Clementine Recognitions
[Persecutor of the Faith] (date unknown)
[The preceding chapters describe a debate in Jerusalem between the apostles and the leaders of each of the Jewish sects.] * * *And when matters were at that point that they should come and be baptized, some one of our enemies, 20entering the temple with a few men, began to cry out, and to say, What mean ye, O men of Israel? Why are you so easily hurried on? Why are ye led headlong by most miserable men, who are deceived by a magician?' While he was thus speaking, and adding more to the same effect, and while James the bishop was refuting him, he began to excite the people and to raise a tumult, so that the people might not be able to hear what was said. Therefore he began to drive all into confusion with shouting, and to undo what had been arranged with much labour, and at the same time to reproach the priests, and to enrage them with revilings and abuse, and like a madman, to excite every one to murder, saying, 'What do ye? Why do ye hesitate? Oh, sluggish and inert, why do we not lay hands upon them, and pull all these fellows to pieces?' When he had said this, he first, seizing a strong brand from the altar, set the example of smiting. Then others also, seeing him, were carried away with like madness. Then ensued a tumult on either side, of the beating and the beaten. Much blood is shed; there is a confused flight, in the midst of which that enemy attacked James, and threw him headlong from the top of the steps; and supposing him to be dead, he cared not to inflict further violence upon him.
But our friends lifted him up, for they were both more numerous and more powerful than the others; but, from their fear of God, they rather suffered themselves to be killed by an inferior force, than they would kill others. But when the evening came the priests shut up the temple, and we returned to the house of James, and spent the night there in prayer. Then before daylight we went down to Jericho, to the number of 5000 men. Then after three days one of the brethren came to us from Gamaliel, whom we mentioned before, bringing us secret tidings that that enemy had received a commission from Caiaphas, the chief priest, that he should arrest all who believed in Jesus, and should go to Damascus with his letters, and that there also, employing the help of the unbelievers, he should make havoc among the faithful; and that he was hastening to Damascus chiefly on this account, because he believed that Peter had fled thither. Apd about thirty days thereafter he stopped on his way while passing through Jericho going to Damascus. At that time we were absent, having gone out to the sepulchres of two brethren which were whitened of themselves every year, by which miracle the fury of many against us was restrained, because they saw that our brethren were had in remembrance before God. * * *
20. This "enemy" is Paul. The same phrase is applied to him in the Letter of Peter to James (above).