From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M.R. James-Translation and Notes
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
[A continuation of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias (Mathew)]
1 When Andrew left the city of the man-eaters, a cloud of light took him up and carried him to the mountain where Peter and Matthias and Alexander and Rufus were sitting. And Peter said: Have you prospered? Yes, he said, but they did me much hurt. Come then, said Peter, and rest awhile from your labours.
2 And Jesus appeared in the form of a little child and greeted them, and told them to go to the city of the barbarians, and prornised to be with them, and left them.
3 So the four set out. And when they were near the city Andrew asked Peter: Do many troubles await us here? 'I do not know, but here is an old man sowing. Let us ask him for bread; if he gives it us, we shall know that we are not to be troubled but if he says, I have none, troubles await us.' They greeted him and asked accordingly. He said: If you will look after my plough and oxen I will fetch you bread . . . . ' Are they your oxen?' 'No, I have hired them.' And he went off.
4 Peter took off his cloak and garment and said: It is no time for us to be idle, especially as the old man is working for us; and he took the plough and began to sow. Andrew protested and took it from him and sowed, and blessed the seed as he sowed. And Rufus and Alexander and Matthias, going on the right, said; Let the sweet dew and the fair wind come and rest on this field. And the seed sprang up and the corn ripened.
5 When the farmer returned with the bread and saw the ripe corn he worshipped them as gods. But they told him who they were, and Peter gave him the Commandments . . . . He said: I will leave all and follow you. ' Not so, but go to the city, return your oxen to the owner, and tell your wife and children and prepare us a lodging;
6 He took a sheaf, hung it on his staff. and went off. The people asked where he got the corn, for it was the time of sowing, but he hastened home.
7 The chief men of the city heard of it and sent for him and made him tell his story.
8 And the devil entered them and they said: Alas! these are of the twelve Galilaeans who go about separating men from their wives; What are we to do?
9 One of them said: I can keep them out of the city? 'How?' 'They hate all women, and specially unchaste ones: let us put a naked wanton in the gate, and they will see her and flee.' So they did.
10 The apostles perceived the snare by the spirit, and Andrew said: Bid me, and I will chastise her. Peter said: Do as you will. Andrew prayed, and Michael was sent to catch her up by the hair and suspend her till they had passed.
11 And she cried out, cursing the men of the city and praying for pardon.
12 And many believed at her word and worshipped the apostles, and they did many cures, and all praised God.
13 There was a rich man named Onesiphorus who said: If I believe, shall I be able to do wonders? Andrew said: Yes, if you forsake your wife and all your possessions. He was angry and put his garment about Andrew's neck and began to beat him, saying: You are a wizard, why should I do so?
14 Peter saw it and told him to leave off. He said: I see you are wiser than he. What do you say? Peter said: I tell you this: it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Onesiphorus was yet more angry and took his garment off Andrew's neck and cast it on Peter's and haled him along, saying: You are worse than the other. If you show me this sign, I and the whole city will believe but if not you shall be punished.
15 Peter was troubled and stood and prayed: Lord, help us at this hour, for thou hast entrapped us by thy words.
16 The Saviour appeared in the form of a boy of twelve years, wearing a linen garment 'smooth within and without', and said; Fear not: let the needle and the camel be brought. There was a huckster in the town who had been converted by Philip; and he heard of it, and looked for a needle with a large eye, but Peter said: Nothing is impossible with God rather bring a needle with a small eye.
17 When it was brought, Peter saw a camel coming and stuck the needle in the ground and cried: In the name of Jesus Christ crucified under Pontius Pilate I command thee, camel, to go through the eye of the needle. The eye opened like a gate and the camel passed through; and yet again, at Peter's bidding.
18 Onesiphorus said: You are a great sorcerer: but I shall not believe unless I may send for a needle and a camel. And he said secretly to a servant: Bring a camel and a needle, and find a defiled woman and some swine's flesh and bring them too. And Peter heard it in the spirit and said: O slow to believe, bring your camel and woman and needle and flesh.
19 When they were brought Peter stuck the needle in the ground, with the flesh, the woman was on the camel. He commanded it as before, and the camel went through, and back again.
20 Onesiphorus cried out, convinced and said: Listen. I have lands and vinevards and 27 litrae of gold and 50 of silver, and many slaves: I will give my goods to the poor and free my slaves if I may do a wonders like you. Peter said: If you believe, you shall.
21 Yet he was afraid he might not be able, because he was not baptized, but a voice came: Let him do what he will. So Onesiphorus stood before the needle and camel and commanded it to go through and it went as far as the neck and stopped. And he asked why. 'Because you are not yet baptized.' He was content, and the apostles went to his house, and 1,000 souls were baptized that night.
22 Next day the woman that was hung in the air said: Alas that I am not worthy to believe like the rest! I will give all my goods to the poor and my house for a monastery of virgins. Peter heard it and went out to her and at his word she was let down unhurt, and gave him for the poor 4 litrae of gold and much raiment and her house for a monastery of virgins.
23 And the apostles consecrated a church and ordained clergy and committed the people to God.
Scanned and Edited by
Northwest Nazarene College, 1995