Apocrypha: III Corinthians
taken from the armenian canon
By Dr. Ken Johnson
From Corinth to Paul
Stephanus and the presbyters who are with him, Daphnus, Eubulus, Theophilus and Xenon, to Paul their brother in the Lord, greeting.
Two men have come to Corinth, Simon and Cleobius, who pervert the faith of many through pernicious words we want you to respond to. We have never heard such things from you or the other apostles. What ever you and the other apostles teach we will believe. The Lord has shown mercy to us, since you are still alive we wish to hear from you again. Please do write or come to us. We believe, what has been revealed to Theonoe, that the Lord delivered you out of the hand of the lawless one. What they teach is as follows:
1. We must not appeal to the prophets
2. God is not Almighty
3. There is no resurrection of the flesh
4. Creation is not God’s work
5. The Lord did not come in the flesh
6. The Lord was not born of Mary
7. The world is not of God but the Angels
So brother, hurry and come here, that the church here in Corinth may remain pure, and the foolishness of these men may be made known to all. Farewell in the Lord.
From Paul to Corinth
Paul, the prisoner of Jesus Christ, to the brothers in Corinth, greeting!
Since I am in prison, I am not surprised that the teachings of the evil one are quickly gaining ground. My Lord Jesus Christ will quickly come, since he is rejected by those who falsify His words. I delivered to you from the beginning what I received from the apostles who were before me, who were at all times together with the Lord Jesus Christ.
Our Lord Jesus Christ was born of Mary of the seed of David. The Holy Spirit was sent from Heaven by the Father into her, that he might come into this world to redeem all flesh through his own flesh, and that he might raise up from the dead we who are fleshly, just as He has shown Himself as our example.
Since man was molded by his Father, man was sought for when he was lost, that he might be quickened by adoption into sonship. The almighty God, who made heaven and earth, first sent the prophets to the Jews, that they might turn from their sins; for he had determined how to save the house of Israel, therefore he sent a portion of the spirit of Christ into the prophets, who at many times proclaimed the faultless worship of God. But since the prince who was unrighteous wished to be God, he laid hands on them and killed them, and so all the flesh of men were bound to passions. But God, the almighty, who is righteous and would not repudiate his own creation, sent the Holy Spirit to Mary the Galilean, who believed with all her heart, and she received the Holy Spirit into her womb that Jesus might enter the world, in order that the evil one might be conquered by the same flesh which he held sway, and be convinced that he was not God.
For by his own body Jesus Christ saved all flesh and brought it to eternal life through faith, that he might present a temple of righteousness in his own body, through whom we are redeemed. These are not children of righteousness but of wrath, who reject the providence of God, saying that heaven and earth and all that is in them are not the works of the Father. They are themselves therefore children of wrath, for they have the accursed faith of the serpent. From them turn away, and flee from there teaching! For you are not sons of disobedience but of the church most dearly beloved. This is why the time of the resurrection is proclaimed.
As for those who tell you there is no resurrection of the flesh, for them there is no resurrection, who do not believe in Him who has risen. You men of Corinth must understand that they don’t know about the sowing of wheat or other seeds. That they are cast naked to the ground and when they have perished below and are raised again by the will of God in a body and clothed. The body is not only raised up, but abundantly blessed. And consider not only the seeds, but nobler bodies.
You know how Jonah the son of Amathios, when he would not preach in Nineveh but fled, was swallowed by a whale and after three days and three nights God heard Jonah’s prayer out of the deepest hell, and no part of him was corrupted, not even an eyelid. How much more, you of so little faith, will he raise up you who have believed in Christ Jesus, as he himself rose up? And if, when a corpse was thrown by the children of Israel on the bones of the prophet Elisha, the man’s body rose up, so you also who have been cast upon the body and bones and spirit of the Lord will rise up on that day with your flesh whole.
But if you receive anything else, do not cause me trouble; for I have these fetters on my hands that I may gain Christ, and his marks on my body that I may attain to the resurrection form the dead. And whoever abides by the rule which he received by the prophets and the holy Gospel, he shall receive a reward and when he has risen form the dead shall obtain eternal life. But to him that turns aside form them – there is fire with him and those who go before him in the way, since they are men without God, a generation of vipers; from these turn away in the power of the Lord
May peace, grace and love be with you. Amen.