ACTS OF PETER AND ANDREW
From "The Apocryphal New Testament"
M.R. James-Translation and Notes
Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1924
[A continuation of the Acts of Andrew and Matthias (Mathew)]
1 When Andrew left the city of the man-eaters, a cloud of light took him up and carried
him to the mountain where Peter and Matthias and Alexander and Rufus were sitting. And Peter
said: Have you prospered? Yes, he said, but they did me much hurt. Come then, said Peter, and
rest awhile from your labours.
2 And Jesus appeared in the form of a little child and greeted
them, and told them to go to the city of the barbarians, and prornised to be with them, and left
3 So the four set out. And when they were near the city Andrew asked Peter: Do many
troubles await us here? 'I do not know, but here is an old man sowing. Let us ask him for bread;
if he gives it us, we shall know that we are not to be troubled but if he says, I have none, troubles
await us.' They greeted him and asked accordingly. He said: If you will look after my plough and
oxen I will fetch you bread . . . . ' Are they your oxen?' 'No, I have hired them.' And he went off.
4 Peter took off his cloak and garment and said: It is no time for us to be idle, especially as the
old man is working for us; and he took the plough and began to sow. Andrew protested and took
it from him and sowed, and blessed the seed as he sowed. And Rufus and Alexander and
Matthias, going on the right, said; Let the sweet dew and the fair wind come and rest on this field.
And the seed sprang up and the corn ripened.
5 When the farmer returned with the bread and saw
the ripe corn he worshipped them as gods. But they told him who they were, and Peter gave him
the Commandments . . . . He said: I will leave all and follow you. ' Not so, but go to the city,
return your oxen to the owner, and tell your wife and children and prepare us a lodging;
took a sheaf, hung it on his staff. and went off. The people asked where he got the corn, for it
was the time of sowing, but he hastened home.
7 The chief men of the city heard of it and sent
for him and made him tell his story.
8 And the devil entered them and they said: Alas! these are
of the twelve Galilaeans who go about separating men from their wives; What are we to do?
One of them said: I can keep them out of the city? 'How?' 'They hate all women, and specially
unchaste ones: let us put a naked wanton in the gate, and they will see her and flee.' So they did.
10 The apostles perceived the snare by the spirit, and Andrew said: Bid me, and I will chastise
her. Peter said: Do as you will. Andrew prayed, and Michael was sent to catch her up by the
hair and suspend her till they had passed.
11 And she cried out, cursing the men of the city and
praying for pardon.
12 And many believed at her word and worshipped the apostles, and they did
many cures, and all praised God.
13 There was a rich man named Onesiphorus who said: If I believe, shall I be able to do
wonders? Andrew said: Yes, if you forsake your wife and all your possessions. He was angry
and put his garment about Andrew's neck and began to beat him, saying: You are a wizard, why
should I do so?
14 Peter saw it and told him to leave off. He said: I see you are wiser than he.
What do you say? Peter said: I tell you this: it is easier for a camel to go through a needle's eye
than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God. Onesiphorus was yet more angry and took his
garment off Andrew's neck and cast it on Peter's and haled him along, saying: You are worse
than the other. If you show me this sign, I and the whole city will believe but if not you shall be
15 Peter was troubled and stood and prayed: Lord, help us at this hour, for thou hast
entrapped us by thy words.
16 The Saviour appeared in the form of a boy of twelve years,
wearing a linen garment 'smooth within and without', and said; Fear not: let the needle and the
camel be brought. There was a huckster in the town who had been converted by Philip; and he
heard of it, and looked for a needle with a large eye, but Peter said: Nothing is impossible with
God rather bring a needle with a small eye.
17 When it was brought, Peter saw a camel coming
and stuck the needle in the ground and cried: In the name of Jesus Christ crucified under Pontius
Pilate I command thee, camel, to go through the eye of the needle. The eye opened like a gate
and the camel passed through; and yet again, at Peter's bidding.
18 Onesiphorus said: You are a
great sorcerer: but I shall not believe unless I may send for a needle and a camel. And he said
secretly to a servant: Bring a camel and a needle, and find a defiled woman and some swine's
flesh and bring them too. And Peter heard it in the spirit and said: O slow to believe, bring your
camel and woman and needle and flesh.
19 When they were brought Peter stuck the needle in the
ground, with the flesh, the woman was on the camel. He commanded it as before, and the camel
went through, and back again.
20 Onesiphorus cried out, convinced and said: Listen. I have
lands and vinevards and 27 litrae of gold and 50 of silver, and many slaves: I will give my goods
to the poor and free my slaves if I may do a wonders like you. Peter said: If you believe, you
21 Yet he was afraid he might not be able, because he was not baptized, but a voice came:
Let him do what he will. So Onesiphorus stood before the needle and camel and commanded it to
go through and it went as far as the neck and stopped. And he asked why. 'Because you are not
yet baptized.' He was content, and the apostles went to his house, and 1,000 souls were baptized
22 Next day the woman that was hung in the air said: Alas that I am not worthy to
believe like the rest! I will give all my goods to the poor and my house for a monastery of virgins.
Peter heard it and went out to her and at his word she was let down unhurt, and gave him for the
poor 4 litrae of gold and much raiment and her house for a monastery of virgins.
23 And the apostles consecrated a church and ordained clergy and committed the people to God.