Bread is not so good for the temporal life as is learning for the eternal life? Know you not that it is a precept of God to learn? For thus says God: Ask of your elders, and they shall teach you. And of the Law says God: See that my precept be before your eyes, and when you sit down, and when you walk, and at all times meditate thereon. Whether, then, it is good not to learn, you may now know. He who despises wisdom, for he is sure to lose eternal life."
One may say that Job learned not from a master, nor Abraham; nevertheless they became holy ones and Prophets. Its true and actually they don't need to Learn, because, he who is of the bridegroom's house does not need to be invited to the marriage, as he dwells in the house where the marriage is held; but they that are far from the house. And we know that the prophets of God are in the house of God's grace and mercy, and so have the Law of God manifest in them: as David our father says on this matter: The Law of his God is in his heart; therefore his path shall not be digged up.
Our God in creating man not only created him righteous, but inserted in his heart a light that should show to him that it is fitting to serve God. Wherefore, even if this light be darkened after sin, yet is it not extinguished. For every nation has the desire to serve God, though they have lost God and serve false and lying gods.
Accordingly it is necessary that a man be taught of the prophets of God, for he may clear the light to learn the way to go to paradise, by serving God well: just as it is necessary that he who has his eyes through him diseased should be guided and helped."
Now, It is a Question that how shall the prophets teach us if they are dead; and how shall he be taught who has not knowledge of the prophets?"
The doctrine of the Prophet is written down, for you to study. He who despises the prophecy, despises not only the prophet, but also God who has sent the prophet. But concerning such as know not the prophet, as are the nations, Say, if there shall live in those regions any man who lives as his heart shall show him, not doing to others that which he would not receive from others, and giving to his neighbour that which he would receive from others, such a man shall not be forsaken of the mercy of God.
Wherefore at death, if not sooner, God will show him and give him his Law with mercy. Perhaps you think that God has given the Law for love of the Law?
Assuredly this is not true, but rather has God given his Law in order that man might work good for love of God. And so if God shall find a man who for love of him works good, shall he perhaps despise him?
No, surely, but rather will he love him more than those to whom he has given the Law. For an example: There was a man who had great possessions; and in his territory he had desert land that only bore unfruitful things. And so, as he was walking out one day through such desert land, he found among such unfruitful plants a plant that had delicate fruits.
Whereupon this man said: "Now how does this plant here bear these so delicate fruits? Assuredly I will not that it be cut down and put on the fire with the rest."
And having called his servants he made them dig it up and set it in his garden. Even so, I tell you, that our God shall preserve from the flames of hell those who work righteousness;,wheresoever they be."
"Tell me, where dwelt Job but in Ur among idolaters? And at the time of the flood, how writes Moses? Tell me. He says: "Noah truly found grace before God."
Our father Abraham had a father without faith, for he made and worshipped false idols. Lot abode among the most wicked men on earth. Daniel as a child, with Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, were taken captive by Nebuchadnezzar in such wise that they were but two years old when they were taken; and they were nurtured among the multitude of idolatrous servants.
As God lives, even as the fire burns dry things and converts them into fire, making no difference between olive and cypress and palm; even so our God has mercy on every one that works righteously, making no difference between Jew, Scythian, Greek, or Ishmaelite.
But let not your heart stop there, because where God has sent the prophet it is necessary entirely to deny your own judgment and to follow the prophet, and not to say: 'Why says he thus? Why does he thus forbid and command?'
But say: 'Thus God wills. Thus God commands.' Now what said God to Moses when Israel despised Moses? They have not despised you, but they have despised me.
Truly, man ought to spend all the time of his life not in learning how to speak or to read, but in learning how to work well. Now tell me, who is that servant of Herod who would not study to please him by serving him with all diligence?
Woe to the world that studies only to please a body that is clay and dung, and studies not but forgets the service of God who has made all things, who is blessed for evermore."
Not Yet Verified.
Gospel of Barnabas.
Gospel of Barnabas.
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