Apocrypha: Egerton Gospel

Fragment 1:

[…] And Jesus said to the lawyers: “Punish every wrongdoer and transgressor, and not me. […]* he does, how does he do it?”

And turning to the rulers of the people he said this word: “Search the scriptures, in which you think you have life. These are they, which testify about me. Do not suppose that I have come to accuse you to my father. There is one who accuses you: Moses, in whom you have hoped.”

And they said: “We know that God spoke to Moses,but as for you, we do not know, where you are from.”

Jesus answered and said to them: “Now is accused your disbelief in those who have been commended by him. For had you believed Moses, you would have believed me. For about me he wrote to your fathers […]”

——
* Possible reconstructions:
“Judge the deeds, how he does, what he does.”
“Because an outlaw does not know, how he does, what he does.”
“Because it’s unexplained, how he does, what he does.”
“And see, how he does, what he does.”
“Who is condemning, how he does, what he does.”

Fragment 1 Recto

[…] and taking up stones together to stone him. And the rulers laid their hands upon him to seize him and hand him over to the crowd. And they could not take him because the hour of his arrest had not yet come. But the Lord himself, escaping from their hands, withdrew from them.

And behold, a leper coming to him, says: “Teacher Jesus, while traveling with lepers and eating together with them in the inn, I myself also became a leper.* If therefore you will, I am clean.”

And the Lord said to him: “I will, be clean.”

And immediately the leprosy left him. And Jesus said to him: “Go show yourself to the priests and offer concerning the cleansing as Moses commanded and sin no more […]”

————
* (Schmidt:) You look for the lepers and were eating with publicans. Have mercy, I am like them.
The original reconstruction is factually impossible (traveling with lepers), therefore this new one.

Fragment 2 Recto

Coming to him, they tested him in an exacting way, saying: “Teacher Jesus, we know that you have come from God, for what you do testifies beyond all the prophets. Therefore tell us, is it lawful to pay to kings the things which benefit their rule? Shall we pay them or not?”

But Jesus, perceiving their purpose and becoming indignant said to them: “Why do you call me teacher with your mouth, not doing what I say? Well did Isaiah* prophesy concerning you, saying: ‘This people honor me with their lips, but their heart is far from me. And in vain they worship me, teaching as their doctrines the precepts of men…'”

—-
* Jes 29:13 (NRS): The Lord said:
“Because these people draw near with their mouths and honor me with their lips, while their hearts are far from me, and their worship of me is a human commandment learned by rote, …”

Fragment 2 Verso

(unfortunately this fragment is in such a bad state, that it cannot be sufficiently reconstructed. What follows is first the text which can be reconstructed pretty sure and then some more speculative restaurations.)

“(…) shut up (…) has been subjected uncertainly (…) its weight unweighted?”

And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood on the lip of the Jordan river, stretching out his right hand, filled it with (…) and sowed upon the (…). And the (…) water (…) the (…). And (…) before them, he brought forth fruit (…) much (…) for joy (…)

(Dodd:) “When a husbandman has enclosed a small seed in a secret place, so that it is invisibly buried, how does its abundance become immeasurable?”

And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood still upon the verge of the River Jordan, and stretching out his right hand, he filled it with water and sprinkled it upon the shore . And thereupon the sprinkled water made the ground moist , and it was watered before them and brought forth fruit…

(Schmidt:) “Why is the seed enclosed in the ground, the abundance buried? Hidden for a short time, it will be immeasurable.”

And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood on the banks of the River Jordan, and stretching out his right hand, he filled it with seed and sowed it upon the ground . And thereupon he poured sufficient water over it . And looking at the ground before them, the fruit appeared…

(Cerfaux:) “(…) enclosed like me, buried, uncertain, and making possible immeasurable abundance?”

And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood on the banks of the River Jordan, and stretching out his right hand, he took a fig-tree and planted it in the river . And on the water , the roots spread out and fruit appeared…

(Lietzmann:) And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus, as he walked, stood on the banks of the River Jordan, and stretching out his right hand, he filled it with water and sowed on the ground . And the sprinkled water purified(?) the ground . (…) and coming out before them, the fruit appeared.

(Lagrange:) And when they where perplexed at the strange question, Jesus walked at the banks of the River Jordan, and stretching out his right hand, he filled it with sand and sowed seed on the sand . And then he poured running water over it . And it run to seed and coming out before them, the fruit appeared.

Though the fragment cannot be reconstructed sufficiently, the meaning can be found:
A small seed in the ground is hidden and invisible. How does its abundance become immeasurable?
(By growing and bringing fruit.)
To clarify this, Jesus performs a miracle: He walks up to the river Jordan and with the water he gives rise to a spontaneous ripening of fruit. (much, for joy!)

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