new fragment of early literature came to light through
certain manuscripts which were recently found in Russia and Servia and
so far as yet known has been preserved only in Slavonic. Little is known
of its origin except that in its present form it was written somewhere
about the beginning of the Christian era. Its final editor was a Greek
and the place of its composition Egypt. Its value lies in the unquestioned
influence which it has exerted on the writers of the new Testament. Some
of the dark passages of the latter being all but inexplicable without
Although the very knowledge
that such a book ever existed was lost for probably 1200 years, it
nevertheless was much used by both Christian and heretic in the early
centuries and forms a most valuable document in any study of the forms
of early Christianity.
The writing appeals to the
reader who thrills to lend wings to his thoughts and fly to mystical realms.
Here is a strange dramatization of eternity-with views on Creation,
Anthropology, and Ethics. As the world was made in six days, so its
history would be accomplished in 6,000 years ( or 6,000,000 years ), and
this would be followed by 1,000 years of rest ( or possibly when the
balance of conflicting moral forces has been struck and human life has
reached the ideal state ). At its close would begin the 8th Eternal Day,
when time would should be no more.