Yesterday I said a few things about the Gospel of Nicodemus; here is the opening section of it. As you’ll see the author does his best to convince his readers that this is an authentic account (even though it was written over three centuries after Nicodemus would have been dead). And then comes one of its intriguing passages: despite everyone’s best efforts, the Roman standards (bearing the emblem of the emperor himself – thought, of course, to be a god) bow down to Jesus during his trial. Terrific account!
This is my translation from the Greek version of the book, found in The Other Gospels.
The Gospel of Nicodemus
Public Records about our Lord Jesus Christ, Composed Under Pontius Pilate
I, Ananias, a member of the procurator’s bodyguard, well versed in the law, came to know our Lord Jesus Christ from the divine Scriptures, coming to him by faith and being deemed worthy of holy baptism. I searched out the public records composed at that time, in the days of our master Jesus Christ, which the Jews set down under Pontius Pilate. These public records I found written in Hebrew, and with God’s good pleasure I have translated them into Greek so that all who call upon the name of our Lord Jesus Christ might know them. This I did in the seventeenth year of our master, the emperor Flavius Theodotius, the sixth year of Flavius Valentinianus, in the ninth indiction.
All you who read these records and who copy them into other books, remember me and pray for me, that God may be merciful to me and have mercy on the sins I have committed against him.
Peace be to those who read and those who hear, along with their households. Amen.
These things took place in the fifteenth year of the rule of Tiberius Caesar, emperor of the Romans, and in the nineteenth year of the rule of Herod, king of Galilee, eight days before the Kalends of April — that is, on the twenty-fifth of March, during the consulate of Rufus and Rubellionus, in the fourth year of the two hundred second Olympiad, when Joseph Caiaphas was the high priest of the Jews.
Nicodemus related all the things that happened after the crucifixion and suffering of our Lord and delivered them over to the high priests and the other Jews. The same Nicodemus compiled these writings in the Hebrew tongue.
The Jewish Leaders Accuse Jesus
1 The chief priests and scribes called a meeting of the council — Annas, Caiaphas, Semes, Dathaes, Gamalial, Judas, Levi, Nephthalim, Alexander, Jairus, and the other Jews — and they came to Pilate, accusing Jesus of many deeds: “We know that …