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NON-CANONICAL GOSPELS

18

that the book was first given its name by those living outside of Egypt, to identify it as a book in common use there. Since the Gospel is well-known to Clement and, evidently, his com­ munity, it may have been composed already by the first part of the second century.

1

When Salome asked, “How long will death prevail?” the Lord re­ plied, “For as long as you women bear children.” But he did not say this because life is evil or creation wicked; instead he was teaching the natural succession of things; for everything degenerates after coming into being. (Clement of Alexan­ dria, Miscellanies, 3, 45, 3)

2

Those who oppose God’s creation because of self-control—which at least sounds good—quote the words spo­ ken to Salome, the first of which we have already mentioned, found, I think, in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. For they claim that the Savior himself said, “I have come to destroy the works of the female.” By “the female” he meant desire and by “works” he meant birth and de­ generation. (Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 3, 63, 1)

3

When the Word made a reasonable disclosure concerning the consum­ mation of all things, Salome asked, “How long will people continue to die?” Now Scripture refers to people in two ways, as having a visible part and the soul, that is, the part that is saved and the part that is not. And sin is called the death of the soul. For this reason, the Lord replied shrewdly, “For as long as women bear children”—that is to say, for as long as

desires continue to be active. (Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 3, 64, 1)

4

Why do those who adhere to every­ thing except the gospel rule of truth not cite the following words spoken to Salome? For when she said, “Then I have done well not to bear children” (suppos­ ing that it was not suitable to give birth), the Lord responded, “Eat every herb, but not the one that is bitter.” (Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 3, 66, 1–2)

5

This is why Cassian indicates that when Salome asked when the things she had asked about would be­ come known, the Lord replied: “When you trample on the shameful garment and when the two become one and the male with the female is neither male nor fe­ male.” The first thing to note, then, is that we do not find this saying in the four Gospels handed down to us, but in the Gospel according to the Egyptians. (Clement of Alexandria, Miscellanies, 3, 92, 2–93, 1)

6

And when the Savior said to Sa­ lome, “Death will last as long as women give birth,” he was not denigrat­ ing birth—since it is, after all, necessary for the salvation of those who believe. (Clement of Alexandria, Excerpts from Theodotus 67, 2)

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http://sheekh-3arb.org/library/books/christian/en/LostScriptures.pdf

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