Pahlavi Texts, Part III (SBE24), E.W. West, tr. , at sacred-texts.com
1. Another thing I publish is a feeble story (nisang) about the inconsistency, unbounded statements, and incoherent disputations of Christian (Tarsâk) believers.
2. Since, inasmuch as all three 1 are from the one origin of Judaism(3) that implying that, when anything is said within the one, it is for them mutually helping their own delusion of every kind(4) you should know whence the original sect of Christianity came forth. 5. That in the town of Jerusalem 2 there was a woman of the same Jews who was known for incapacity 3, (6) and pregnancy became manifest in her 4. 7. When asked by them thus: 'Whence is this pregnancy of thine?' (8) she said in reply thus: 'The angel Gabriel 5 came unto me, and he spoke thus: "Thou art pregnant by the pure wind (holy spirit) 6."'
9. As to that, you should observe thus: 'Who, apart from that woman, saw the angel Gabriel? And on what account is it expedient to consider that woman truthful?' 10. If they say that, on account of the spiritual state of that angel, no one is able to see him, (11) that impliesif the cause of not seeing that angel be his spiritual naturethat the sight of that woman also, for the same reason, is not unrestricted. 12. If they say that the sacred being made him visible to that woman, and on account of the worthiness of that woman, (13) no other person being made worthy, (14) observe this, where is the evidence that the woman spoke truthfully? 15. Or, if that woman were conspicuous to any one for truth, it is fitting for him to demonstrate that also to other persons, so that, through that evidence, she might be more fully considered as very truthful by them. 16. But now the showing of him (the angel), to that woman only; is not considered by any one as true. 17. Now you should also observe that the origin of their religion has all come forth from this testimony of a woman, which was given by her about her own condition.
18. Observe, again, that if they say the Messiah arose from the pure wind of the sacred being, that impliesif the only wind that is pure and from the sacred being be that onethat the other wind, which is distinct from that, is not from the sacred being and not pure, (19) and another producer is manifested inevitably. 20. If the wind be all from
the sacred being and sacred, it ought to be all pure. 21. If only that one wind be pure, the other wind is polluted and not sacred. 22. As there is no producer whatever except the sacred being, that pollution and impurity of the other wind are likewise from the sacred. being. 23. And if the other wind be that of the sacred being and sacred, it ought to be all pure. 24. Now, that one being considered as purity, why was the other polluted?
25. Again, observe this, that, if the Messiah were the son of the sacred being for the reason that the sacred being is the father of all, through productiveness, creativeness, and cherishing, (26) that Messiah, through sonship to the sacred being, is not otherwise than the meaner creatures which the sacred being produced and created. 27. If he were born through the means of male and female, (28) that impliesif birth through male and female be suitable unto the sacred beingthat it is also so unto the archangels and spirits; in like manner, on account of the existence of birth 1, the occurrence of death also is suitable. 29. Thus, about the arising of that same sacred being there is no doubt, (30) because there where birth of that kind exists, eating, drinking, and even death are certain.
31. And, there are some even who say that the Messiah is the sacred being himself. 32. Now this is very strange, when the mighty sacred being, the maintainer and cherisher of the two existences, became of human nature, and went into the womb of a woman who was a Jew. 33. To leave the lordly throne, the sky and earth, the celestial sphere
and other similar objects of his management and protection, he fell (aûpast), for concealment, into a polluted and straitened 1 place, (34) and, finally, delivered his own body to scourging, execution on the tree (dâr-kardîh), and the hands of enemies, (35) while, apart from death, much brutality and lawlessness were arranged by them.
36. If they speak of his having been inside the womb of a woman for the reason that the sacred being exists in every place, (37) that implies that being inside the womb of a woman, through existence in every place, is not more antagonistic than being in any very polluted and very fetid place; (38) and, along with that, that the faultiness of speaking of all places as having been the property of the sacred being is manifold, (39) because, if they were so, in like manner the speaking of anything whatever that is devoid of the existence of the sacred being is strange 2.
40. Again, as to that which they say, that death and execution on the tree were accepted by him, as a yoke 3, for the sake of demonstrating the resurrection to mankind, (41) that impliesif it were not possible for him to demonstrate the resurrection to mankind, except through that disgrace 4 and death and brutal treatment of himselfthat that omnipotence of his is not effectual. 42. Or, when no opponent and adversary whatever of his arose, why
are they not made without doubt of that sort of clear knowledge which is imparted by seeing the resurrection, so that there would not have been a necessity for this mode of demonstrating it brutally, disgracefully 1, distressingly, and through the will of his enemies. 43. If that death were accepted by him; as a yoke of a new description, through his own will, (44) that implies that now his outcry of woe and curses for the executioners 2, and his considering those Jews as it were wrathfully are unreasonable. 45. He ought, indeed, not to cause curses and imprecations of woe upon them, but it is fitting for them to be worthy of recompense through that deed.
46. Again, as to this which they state, that the father and son and pure wind are three names which are not separate one from the other 3, (47) nor is one foremost, (48) and this, too, that, though a son, he is not less than the father, but in every knowledge equal to the father 4, why now is one to call him by a different name? 49. If it be proper for three to be one, that implies that it is certainly possible for three to be nine and for nine to be
three; (50) and it is possible to speak of other numbers, in this sequence, unlimitedly.
51. Observe this, too, that if a son be not less than a father, that father also is not greater than the son. 52. That is possible if the father is said to be from the son, or the son not from the father. 53. And this is certain, that it is possible for every one originating from any one to be less than him from 1 whom he is, who is the essential origin 2 of himself; (54) if he be so in point of time, and likewise if so in point of relationship. 55. If the son be not less than the father, that implies that the maker is not before the thing made, nor yet is greater; (56) both must be original evolutions, (57) and the creation is not less than the creator, nor the creator greater than the creation, (58) however he may be said to be unlimited.
59. Observe this, too, that if the son be equal to the father in all knowledge, that father also is as ignorant as the son who was unaware of his own death and execution on the tree 3, (60) until he was slain by their capturing him and causing his wretched death, brutal treatment, and disgrace 4. 61. He did not know about it because they enquired of him thus: 'When is the day of resurrection?' And he answered thus: 'Of this no one is aware but the father 5.' 62. Just as when the son is formed (tâstîk)
as it were ignorant, the father must be as it were just the same.
63. Observe this, too, that all the creatures and creation, and even his own adversary, being created and produced by him out of nothing, the executioners of his son are themselves deluded by him. 64. And if the sacred being himself created the executioners of his son, and even his own adversary, without a purpose and without a cause, (65) and the son was slain by them altogether with, his knowledge, (66) that implies that it is now possible to be without doubt that the slayer of his son was he himself, (67) if he knew that when he produces 1 a son they will then slay him, and in the end he produced him foolishly and unwisely. 68. If he did not know it, he is deficient in knowledge.
69. Again, observe this, that, if the sacred being created these creatures and creation out of nothing, and created and produced even his adversary similarly out of nothing, that implies that their nature ought to be one. 70. Now, why is not the adversary preserved in the same manner as the other creatures?
71. Another point is about the inconsistency of the statements derived from the scriptures of their high-priest 2, (72) and that which he says that no one falls, nor anything from a tree, and no outcry arises in a district 3, nor two birds fight together
without the command of the father 1, (73) which is a demonstration 2 of these statements, that the original evolution is single and all things are by his will.
74. Now for what purpose was the Messiah appointed, who is his son; and which way is the demonstration, through that, of his (the father's) being unwilling; (75) when all is by his will, and nothing whatever is said about his being unwilling? 76. Even this is evident from the same explanation, that the Jews slew the Messiah, who is his son, through the will of the father.
77. Again, he speaks inconsistently about the free will (âzâd-kâmîh) of the faithful, (78) that mankind are produced by him with free will. 79. Thus the iniquity of the sin which mankind commit is freely willed, (80) and the freedom of will was produced by him himself for mankind. 81. That implies that it is fitting to consider him likewise a sinner who is the original cause of sin. 82. If mankind commit sin and crime by their own free will through. the will of the sacred being, (83) through what free will and sin are the sin and crime of the lion, serpent, wolf, and scorpionthe stinging and slaying noxious creatureswhich are the natural actions that ever proceed from them?
84. So also, who has maintained the origin of the deadly poison which is in the Bêsh herb 3 and other species of plants, the cause of which is not owing to free will? 85: If they say that those poisons
are advantageous and suitable in many medicines which are removers of the disease of the sick, (86) it should be asked of them thus: 'Who produced the disease itself and the harm that arises from it, and what is the necessity of it, (87) that, afterwards, medicine and deadly poison were created by him for it; and were necessary?' 88. Or, as to that disease, 'it would be more expedient if he had produced an antidotal (anôsh) medicine for carrying it away than a medicine of poison.' 89. Also this, that is, 'from what origin is the term itself "doing harm," and against whom is the advantageousness necessary?' 90. On this subject it is possible to speak abundantly for a summary compiled.
91. Another instance is from the words of Paul (Pâvarôs), who was their high-priest(92) that one who was afflictive with 1 them at their own beginning 2even this, they say, (93) is thus: 'Not the good works which I desire, but the iniquity (94) which I do not desire, I do 3. 95. And it is not I that do so, but that which is collected within me does it, (96) because I always see that it is striving with me day and night 4.'
97. Again, they say, from the words of the
[paragraph continues] Messiah, that the original evolution from the sacred being is light and goodness; (98) evil and darkness are separate from him 1. 99. Also this, that is, 'just as a shepherd who provides protection for his hundred sheep, (100) and the wolves carry off one from him, (101) goes after that one which the wolves carried off until he leads it back to the flock, (102) and leaves the ninety-nine of them in the wilderness (dast) 2, (103) even so I am come to take care of the defiled, not for the just, (104) because it is needless to bring him who is just into the right way 3.' 105. That implies, if the original evolution be one, and his will be wholly that no one whatever of it shall be astray and defiled, (106) that even the wolf's slaying the sheep is likewise his will, (107) and the wolf itself was also created by him.
108. The word of the Messiah is specially inconsistently a demonstrator as regards the two original evolutions. 109. As they say this is one of those same statements of the Messiah, that there is another original evolution, 'an enemy of my father, and I am of that sacred being doing good works 4.' 110. From this statement it is evident that his own father separates from that enemy, and acts differently.
111. This, too, he says, that is, 'I am produced by the sacred being for truth and through truth 1; (112) and Aharman, the iniquitous, came for my death (vadardanŏ), (113) and I am desired by him to deceive in many ways 2.' 114. Now, if the original evolution be one, and there be nothing competing with it, why was Aharman so powerful that he desired to delude the son of the sacred being? 115. If the sacred being himself created that iniquitous one, then the producing of that delusion by the latter was with the knowledge and will of the former himself, (116) and the deluder of the son was in like manner himself.
117. This, too, it says, that, when the Jews stood disputing against him, he spoke to the Jews thus: 'You are from that which is a lower region, and I am from an upper region; (118) you are of this country, I am not of it 3.' 119. And he also said this, that is, 'I know that you are of the seed of Abraham, and he 4 who had slain mankind from aforetime (120) has wished to slay even me. 121. I do that which is seen of my father, and you do that which is seen by you as to your own father 5.' 122. This,
too, he said, 'If the sacred being be that father of yours, he would be a friend of me for your sake, (123) because I have sprung from the sacred being; I have not come of my own will; (124) I am appointed by that sacred being doing good works 1. Why do you not hear those words of mine? 125. Only because you are from the iniquitous one it is not possible for you to hear them, (126) and you wish to do the will of your own father. 127. By him truth is not spoken; whatever he speaks he tells a lie of it, therefore you are false yourselves together with your father. 128. As for me, who speak the truth, you do not believe it of me 2: 129. And he who is from the sacred being hears the words of the sacred being, but you, because you are not from the sacred being, do not hear my words 3.' 130. By all these sayings it is demonstrated by him that there are two original evolutions, 'one by which I am produced, and one by which the Jews are,' (131) and that latter is not his doer of good works, but is called by him the iniquitous one. . .
132. And this, too, was said by him, that 'not
unrestricted (atang) is the tree of merit (kirfak) to produce the fruit of offensiveness (bazak), nor yet that of offensiveness as to the fruit of merit 1.' 133. This, too, he said, that 'he either makes the whole tree with fruit of merit, or the whole tree with fruit of offensiveness 2, (134) for every tree becomes manifest by its fruit, if it be of merit and if it be of offensivenes 3.' 135. And the whole tree was mentioned by him, not half the tree. 136. Now, how is it suitable for half a tree to be light and half dark, (137) half merit and half offensiveness, (138) half truth and half falsehood? 139. When these remain both competing together, (140) they cannot become one tree.
141. And, again, a Jewish sect was called by him 'the hill-serpent of the Jews 4,' (142) and he spoke thus: 'How is it possible for you to do good works when you are Jewish evil-doers 5?' 143. And it was not his own father he called an evil-doer 6.
144. This, too, he says, that 'every tree which the father has not sown should be dug up, and should be cast into the fire 1.' 145. Wherefore it is fitting to understand from these words that there is a tree, which the father has not sown; that it is necessary to dig up and cast away.
146. Again, he says this, that 'I am come to my own, and I am not received by my own 2.' 147. Wherefore it is fitting to understand that what is his own and what is not his own are two things.
148. This, too, he says, that is, 'Our father, that art in the sky, let thy empire arise! And may it be thy will that shall take place on earth as in the sky! 149. Also give us daily bread! And do not bring us to a cause of doubt 3!' 150. From these words it is evident that his will is not so unalloyed (avêzak) on earth as in the sky. 151. Also this, that the cause of the doubt of mankind is not owing to the sacred being.
152. And this, too, was said by him at first, that I am not come for the purpose that I may destroy the law of Moses (Mûshâê), (153) but I am come for the purpose that I may make it altogether more complete 4.' 154. And yet all his sayings and
commands were those that are dissipaters and afflictive for the rules and laws of Moses.
155. Upon this subject, however, as far as here is complete.
229:1 The three defects mentioned in § 1.
229:2 Nêr. reads Hurûsarm for Pahl. Aûrûsalem.
229:3 Sans. has 'misconduct,' but this is more than Pahl. dûsâzakîh seems to imply.
229:4 'Now the birth of Jesus Christ was on this wise: When as his mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Ghost' (Mat. i. 18).
229:5 Pahl. Gêprîl is misread Sparagar by Nêr. These two names would be written alike in Pahlavi.
229:6 'The angel Gabriel was sent from God . . . to a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph . . . and the angel p. 230 answered and said unto her, "The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God"' (Luke i. 26, 27, 35).
231:1 The Pâz. of JE interpolates the words 'from a mother.'
232:1 Assuming that Pâz. u vadang stands for Pahl. va tang.
232:2 Assuming that Pâz. vâhar (Sans. anrita) stands for Pahl. nâhâr.
232:3 See Chap. X, 67 n.
232:4 Assuming that Pâz. rasûnâî stands for Pahl. rûsvâih. Sans. has 'binding with cords.'
233:1 Sans. 'by binding with cords.'
233:2 'Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! . . . behold, I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes: and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city: that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth. . . . All these things shall come upon this generation' (Mat. xxiii. 29, 34-36).
233:3 'For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one' (1 John v. 7).
233:4 'And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other: none is greater, or less than another' (Athanasian Creed).
234:1 Assuming that Pâz. vas is a misreading of Pahl. agas.
234:2 Literally 'the maternal source.'
234:3 This is at variance with Mat. xxvi. 2:'Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover; and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.' But the author explains in § 61 that he is thinking of another instance of want of knowledge.
234:4 Sans. has 'binding.'
234:5 'Tell us, when shall these things be? . . . Of that day and p. 235 that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father' (Mark xiii. 4, 32).
235:1 Literally 'I produce.'
235:2 In § 91 Paul is called 'their high-priest,' but the term may be here applied to any other writer of the Christian scriptures.
235:3 So in Sans., but the Pâz. of JE has merely 'no district arises.'
236:1 Compare Mat. X. 29, 30:'Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.'
236:2 Literally 'demonstrator.'
236:3 A poisonous plant, Napellus Moysis (see Bd. XIV, 22, XXVII, 1).
237:1 Reading hanbêshin, but it may be 'well-afflicting to' if we read hû-bêshin.
237:2 'As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering into every house, and haling men and women, committed them to prison. . . . Saul who also is called Paul' (Acts viii. 3; xiii. 9).
237:3 'For the good that I would, I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do' (Rom. vii. 19).
237:4 'It is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me. . . . I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members' (Rom. vii. 20, 23).
238:1 'God is light, and in him is no darkness at all' (I John i. 5).
238:2 'What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?' (Luke. xv. 4).
238:3 'For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost' (Mat. xviii. 11). 'They that are whole need not a physician.; but they that are sick. I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance' (Luke v. 31, 32).
238:4 'He that soweth the good seed is the Son of man: the field is the world: the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one: the enemy that sowed them is the devil' (Mat. xiii. 37-39).
239:1 'And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us . . . full of grace and truth' (John i. 14).
239:2 See the account of the temptation of Jesus in Mat. iv. 3-10.
239:3 'And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world' (John viii. 23).
239:4 The iniquitous one of § 125, whom he calls their father, the devil.
239:5 'I know that ye are Abraham's seed: but ye seek to kill me, because my word hath no place in you. I speak that which I have seen with my Father: and ye do that which ye have seen with your father' (John viii. 37, 38).
240:1 'If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me' (John viii. 42).
240:2 'Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word. Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it. And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not' (John viii. 43-45).
240:3 'He that is of God heareth God's words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God' (John viii. 47).
241:1 'A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit' (Mat. vii. 18).
241:2 'Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit' (Mat. vii. 17).
241:3 'For every tree is known by his own fruit: for of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes' (Luke vi. 44).
241:4 'But when he saw many of the Pharisees and Sadducees come to his baptism, he said unto them, O generation of vipers, who hath warned you to flee from the wrath to come? . . . Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! how can ye escape the damnation of hell?' (Mat. iii. 7; xxiii. 33).
241:5 'O generation of vipers! how can ye, being evil, speak good things?' (Mat. xii: 34).
241:6 As he would have implied if he considered him the father of those Jews. The author is still arguing that the New Testament really confirms the existence of two creators.
242:1 'Every tree which bringeth not forth good fruit, is hewn down, and cast into the fire. . . . Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up' (Mat. iii. 10; xv. 13).
242:2 'He came unto his own, and his own received him not' (John i. 11).
242:3 'Our Father which art in heaven. . . . Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. . . . And lead us not into temptation' (Mat. vi. 9-11, 13).
242:4 'Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil' (Mat. v. 17).