Missionary Service

The Testament of Our Lord

Jesus speaks to His apostles and tells them a little concerning the glory of those who will believe on their words (1:1) and warns of future persecutors (1:4-5) and dissenters (1:8). Rewards for those who suffer persecutions are alluded to (1:8), Regulations relating to the dispensing of the secret knowledge is given (1:18), and anointing rites are described (2:8-9).


Translation – Cooper and Maclean, The Testament of Our Lord.

Translation – Ignatius Ephraem II Rahmani, Testamentum Domini Nostri Jesu Christi.

The Preaching of Simon, the Son of Cleopas

Jesus appears to the disciples as they cast lots on the Mount of Olives. Simon asks the Lord to be with them, and for Peter to accompany him to Samaria on his missionary journey (A, fol. 26b, col. 1). The Lord instructs Simon to return to Jerusalem after he finishes his preaching, where he will become the successor to James the Just’s bishopric, and end his life as James did (A, fol. 26b, col. 1).


Translation – E.A. Wallis Budge, Contendings of the Apostles, 58-61

The Preaching of Saint Thomas in India

Christ appears and instructs the apostles to divide the world into twelve portions, and to go forth and preach. As words of comfort, He assures the apostles that the persecutions which they shall endure are known to Him, and he exhorts them to bear suffering patiently (A, fol.119b, col. I). On another occasion he appears to Thomas, only to assure him that all of his scourging are not to be “compared with one hour of the rest” which he is to receive in the kingdom of God (B, fol. 238a, col. I).

The Preaching of Saint Matthias in the City of the Cannibals

The resurrected Lord appears to Andrew and sends him to go and release Matthias from the prisonhouse (B, fol. 211a, col. 2). Later in the text the Lord informs Andrew that “in this city” much suffering will come upon him (A, fol. 104a, col. 1).


Translation – Budge, The Contendings of The Apostles

The Preaching of Saint James the Just

The apostles cast lots to decide who should preach in which parts of the world, and James gets chosen to preach in Jerusalem (B, fol. 114a col. 1; A, fol. 29a, col. 2; B, fol. 114a, col. 2). Because he knows that the Jews will “seek to kill” him he pleads that he might be assigned to go amongst the gentiles. Jesus then assures James that he is needed in Jerusalem, and prophesies that he will become “Bishop in Jerusalem” and end his life nobly – by death (A, fol. 29b, col. 1).


Translation – Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, 65-68

The Preaching of Saint Andrew and Saint Philemon Among the Kurds

Jesus appears and assigns Andrew, Matthias and Philemon to different areas of service, declaring that He has many in that city whom he has chosen (A fol. 61a, col. 2; B, fol. 166b, col. 2; A fol. 61b, col. 1; B, fol. 167a, col. 1).


Translation – Budge, The Contendings of the Apostles, 137

The Preaching of Peter

The Savior instructs the Apostles to go into the world and preach, that those who believe might be saved, and those who do not may be without excuse (Clement of Alexandria, Stomata 6:6)


Translation – M.R. James. The Apocryphal New Testament, 17.

Translation – J. K. Elliott, Apocryphal New Testament, 20-24

The Letter of Peter to Philip

Having been previously instructed to go out and preach the gospel (132:10-23). Peter leads the Apostles to the Mount of Olives, where Christ appears in response to their collective prayers. In answer to some questions which the Apostles ask, the living Jesus explains Gnostic mythology relating to the creation and the Pleroma, as well as some Gnostic theology. After Christ’s departure, He speaks from heaven, instructing the Apostles about the necessity of suffering (138:8-139:4).