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The Acts of Peter and John

By Pseudo-Mark

Apocryphal Scripture,
Written c. 180
Chap. 3:7-22, 7: 1-13

Chapter 3

 7 JESUS sent two of the disciples, Simon Peter and the one he loved, to prepare the Passover. They met the man Simon, who led them to the upper room, which he and his wife Berenice had made ready.

8 But there was no basin for the foot washing. So John hastened to borrow one from Mary, the mother of Jesus, and the other women who took their Passover elsewhere.

9 The Lord himself did wash the disciples’ feet that night. But after the supper, Jesus and the disciples went out. And the Lord was betrayed and arrested.

10 The next morning, Simon and his wife found the basin while cleaning the house. And Berenice, bathing her lame foot in the basin, was healed.

11 Shortly afterwards, the Romans arrived at the orders of the prefect Pontius Pilate. And they ransacked the upper room, casting dishes out of the window and breaking them.

12 Seeing her with the basin, they sought to seize it also. To save it, Berenice falsely told the centurion of the guards that it was their masters. Yet Simon admitted the truth and that it had healed her.

13 Wondering, the centurion took them and the basin to the prefect. Pilate questioned her closely and was also amazed.

14 “How is this,” he asked the Jews, “that a vessel this man has touched can heal? What evil has he done that you should desire his death?”

15 “No vessel save for Noah’s Ark ever gave life, just as none but Moses’ slew: all else is of the devil,” the wise men answered him. “He is a sorcerer, and a blasphemer for he heals even on the Sabbath.” And they cried aloud for Jesus’ death.

16 And Pilate, taking water, washed his hands of the guilt of innocent blood in the basin. So he condemned Jesus to death, but Berenice, like Barabbas, was released.

17And Simon was filled with gladness when they returned with the basin, for he would take it for his own.

18 And even while the disciples hid in mourning, he celebrated. The next morning, though it was the Sabbath, Peter, came looking for the basin in his grief and marveled to see Berenice dancing.

19 “This is a great sign,” he said, weeping, “for it shows that God has not completely abandoned us.” And he bade Simon and Berenice to keep it secret.

20 The next day, the women brought news that the Lord had risen. Peter and John raced to the tomb, which was open. Peter went in, wondering at the empty grave cloths.

21 And later, when he was preparing to leave Jerusalem to go home to Galilee, Jesus appeared to Peter and forgave him.

22 Jesus told him to go and pray with the other disciples, and he would come again and tell them all that was needful.

Chapter 7

1 Simon and Berenice for a long time kept secret the basin Jesus used that night. Forgotten by the apostles, they hid it first in fear, then in joy and astonishment at the wonders it worked.

2 Yet the devil already worked in Simon. Though by the tub the grace of God healed his wife, Simon wished to use it to become a great magician.

3 So they moved back home to Samaria.

4 There Simon preached his own gospel. He healed and converted many and became rich. For he gave the glory not to God but to himself.

5 Finally, the tales of these marvels reached the disciples. They sent John and Peter there to preach the true gospel.

6 And confronting Simon, John saw the tub and knew it. And Peter told him everything.

7 Then Simon offered to return the basin with much gold for the power of laying on hands in blessing. But Peter reproached him.

8 And Simon the magician was struck dumb with shame until he restored the basin to the apostles of the Lord.

9 Then Peter prayed for Simon and restored his speech. So Simon feigned repentance for a time.

10 But he received not the Holy Spirit because of the evil in his heart.

11 Secretly he swore to be revenged upon Peter. But against the beloved disciple and the others he did not dare raise his hand.

10 But he abandoned his wife as his search for magic continued. Having studied in Egypt and with the Chaldeans, he came at last unto Tyre.

11 There Simon freed a woman famed for her beauty named Helen from a brothel. He deluded her with his tricks and proclaimed her divinity as Mother of All.

12 And so in great state, they sailed for Rome, where all that is novel and strange may excite admiration.

13 And Peter, warned in a dream, followed. But the basin he left in Antioch with Berenice.

Top

“ ‘How is this,’ [Pilate] asked the Jews,
‘that a vessel this man has touched can heal?
What evil has he done that you should desire his death?’
“ ‘No vessel save for Noah’s Ark ever gave life,
just as none but Moses’ slew:
all else is of the devil,’
the wise men answered him.
‘He is a sorcerer,
and a blasphemer for he heals even on the Sabbath.’ ”

Acts of Peter and John 3:14-15

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