The Ascents of James

The Ascents of James (Ya’acov)

1.33.3 But Abraham, when he was not in the knowledge of the Great One (as was related by the account which does not he, and that True Prophet witnessed, as I have shown you again), had two sons. One was later called Ishmael; the other was Eliezer, of whom the nations of the Arabs and Persians are multiplied.

(4) Some of them were joined with their neighbors, the Brahmins; and some from him who lived in Arabia were scattered to Egypt, because they were near it.

(5) Hence some Indians and Egyptians have observed circumcision and were greatly purified with other purifications. But in the long span of time some of them turned the goodness of their purity into evil.

1.34.1 However, while he himself did not have knowledge, he obtained two sons. When he was in the knowledge of the truth from Yahuah he prayed that, because he was just, Sarah would have a son. She was his lawful wife from his youth, although she was barren. (2) It was granted to her [to have] him whom he called Yitschach. And Yitschach begot Ya’acov, and Ya’acov the twelve, and the twelve the seventy-two.

(3) But when, however, there was a famine, all their family went into Egypt. Within four hundred years they multiplied by the blessing and promise of Yahuah, and they were afflicted in wickedness by the Egyptians.

(4) But when they were afflicted, the True Prophet, Moshe, came to them. When the oppressing Egyptians did not allow the people of the Hebrews to depart and journey to the land of their fathers, he punished and scourged them with ten plagues from heaven; and thus he led them, the people who were loved by Yahuah, from Egypt.

(5) Because of this, the Egyptian people who were left conspired in wickedness with their king. They followed and overtook the Hebrews.

(6) They besieged them at once at the shore of the sea, and they desired together to destroy them by the sword. But when they were about to come near them, that prophet in his prayer to Yahuah divided the sea, parting it in two, and so in this manner the people went over. And the multitudes of the Egyptians in their presumption all followed after them and died.

(7) When the last of the Hebrews had gone up, the last of the Egyptians went down; then the sea, which had been made firm by the command of him who divided it, rushed back to its former nature. And the Egyptians who pursued received punishment in it.


1.35.1 Then Moshe, by the command of Yahuah, who knows everything, led the great multitude of the Hebrews into the wilderness. He left the short way which leads from Egypt to Judea and led them by the long way of the wilderness, so that by forty years of wanderings he might purge the evil manner of life which grew on them through a long duration of time in Egypt, and at another time might be able to temper and change [them] by the giving of the TORAH.

(2) At last they came to Mount Sinai, and they heard with heavenly sounds the TORAH of Yahuah, all ten commandments. The first of them is this, that while keeping the TORAH they should keep only to Him, and not make for themselves the image of another [god] to worship. (3) But when Moshe had been gone for forty days, those assembled, who saw Egypt punished with ten plagues, and who passed over through a divided sea on their feet, and who received heavenly manna for food, and who drank water from the rock which was following them (the taste of which were changed by divine power according to their desires),

(4) and were traveling under the hot zone, a pillar of cloud shading them in the day because of the sun, and a pillar of fire giving them light in the night because of the darkness.

(5) When Moshe delayed, these made an idol in the image of Apis which they had seen in Egypt, an image of gold. They bowed down to it, those who after all sorts of demonstrations were not able to put away the evil customs from their hearts.

(6) Because of this, Moshe then came down from the mountain by the command of Yahuah, and left, and I said before, the shortest road which goes from Egypt to Judea. He led them in that vast wilderness, so that in the time of forty years he might by another time, in the giving of the TORAH, be able to change those evils which clung to them from an extended time with the many customs of the Egyptians.


1.36.1 Therefore, when Moshe came down from Mount Sinai and saw that vice, as he was a good and faithful steward he discerned that it was not possible to take from the people all the sickness of the love of idol-worship which was in them from the long stay, and that they could not easily be riddled of it and bring it to an end because of their evil upbringing with the Egyptians. Because of this he did permit them to sacrifice; but he told them that they could do this only in the name of Yahuah, so that he could cut off and bring to an end one half of this sickness. But as for the correction of the other half, it was [reserved] for another time in the hand of someone else, as was right, in whose care it would be, in the one of whom he said,

(2) “A prophet shall the Yahuah your Elohim raise up for you like me; hear him in everything. Anyone who does not obey him shall surely die. It shall be known that this one has given up his soul to destruction.”


1.37.1 And with these things he also set apart a place for them in which alone it was permitted to offer sacrifices.

(2) All of this was promulgated to them until a more convenient time should come, when they would be able to understand that Yahuah desires mercy and not sacrifices. Then that prophet who declares these things will be sent to them, and those who believe in him will be led by the wisdom of Yahuah to the strong place of the land, which is for the living. There they will be preserved from the war which will shortly come to their own destruction upon those who because of their division do not obey.

(3) But this war did not come hastily or suddenly, as even before the arrival of the coming prophet they had been prepared for the abolition of sacrifices. For many times in the providence of Yahuah that war came upon them,

(4) and they would be in captivity and be carried away to another nation. Since they then did not have that place which the TORAH giver permitted them for sacrifice, but were keeping his TORAH without sacrifices, they were restored and redeemed. This [happened] many times to them, so that they might understand that when they keep the TORAH without sacrifices, they were redeemed. But when coming to their place they offered sacrifices, they went out and were exiled from it, so that they would cease and offer sacrifices no more.

(5) But they were slow to learn this, and it was good to only a few. Even the knowledge of those few was darkened by those multitudes who thought otherwise, who were not able to perceive all this. For to distinguish and understand the cause of this is not given to the multitudes, but only the few can understand it.


1.38.1 Thus Moshe, when he had ordered and arranged these things, appointed for them a general of the army of the people who was named Yahusha [son of nun], who would lead them by the strengthening Word of Yahuah into the land of their fathers.

(2) When he went up before all of them, he died, and no one to this day has been able to find his grave.

(3) Then those multitudes entered the land of their fathers, and by the providence of Yahuah they put to flight those evil peoples as soon as they appeared. Then they entered into the land of their fathers according to their tribes, taking possession of it in allotted portions.

(4) During the time of the judges they did not have kings, and they remained firmly in their places.

(5) But when they made for themselves tyrants who really were not kings, then they abolished for a temple that place which had at first been appointed for them as a house of prayer. They were taken captive by force through the kingship, an institution of their will and making. Thus through time they were led away into increasing evil by those evil kings who were over them.


1.39.1 Thus when the time came near for the needed correction of what was lacking, the fitting time arrived in which that prophet who had been proclaimed beforehand by Moshe was revealed. At his coming, because of the mercy of Yahuah he first warned them to cease and desist from sacrificing.

(2) But lest they suppose within themselves that they were being deprived of the forgiveness of their sins through sacrifices, and this be troublesome for them, he appointed baptism by water for the forgiveness of sins. It was shown to them that it truly gives the forgiveness of sins and is able to preserve those who are perfect unto eternal life.

(3) Then those who please Yahuah will in His inexpressible wisdom be preserved from the war which is coming to destroy those who do not believe. Just as they cannot do what they desire to do, so also when they are expelled from their place they will understand and be instructed against their will to do what pleases Yahuah.


1.40.1 When, therefore, these things were thus appointed, he who is the good prophet appeared and worked signs.

(2) Nevertheless the ancient people still did not believe, even though they had been prepared beforehand to believe. For those persons are most miserable of all, who desire to believe neither good nor evil about virtue; but this is how they do not believe, by despising them through accusations, and calling them gluttons and demons.

(3) Thus does evil find victory through evil persons, that unless the wisdom of Yahuah had helped those who love the truth, these also would perhaps fall into error.

(4) It was revealed to us that he who came first chose twelve apostles, and then seventy-two disciples, that through this the multitudes might understand that this is the coming prophet, whom Moshe had already proclaimed.


1.41.1 But perhaps it is easy for anyone to make a number; but no one is able to make those signs and wonders which he did in his coming. For Moshe did signs in Egypt.

(2) And that prophet who arose even as he arose did signs among the people, drove out every sickness, and proclaimed eternal life. But by the folly of the evil stupidity of evil persons they brought crucifixion upon him, which very thing was changed by his power into grace and goodness.

(3) For when he suffered, this whole world suffered with him. Even the sun grew dark and the stars were moved, the sea was troubled, and the mountains loosened and the tombs were opened. The veil of the temple was torn as if in mourning for the coming desolation of the place.

(4) Because of these things, all the people were afraid and were constrained to question them. But some, although all the people were moved in their minds, did not move themselves to this matter.


1.42.1 It was right, on account of those who were not persuaded, that the Gentiles be called to be fullness of the number that was shown to Abraham; therefore this disorder came to be.

(2) And the hostile power which frequently darkens and opposes those sons of freedom troubled all the people. He prepared a great testing of then goodness, so that those who wish to draw near to the Word of salvation will be stronger than the strength which troubles them, and with their wills they will easily receive victory in salvation.

(3) While he suffered, there was darkness from the sixth hour to the ninth. But when the sun appeared, and matters returned firmly as they were before, evil ones of the people returned to their ways.

(4) For some of them said about him who had suffered, and who was not found although they had guarded him, that he was a magician; thus they were not afraid to dare to he.


1.43.1 But the uprightness of the truth was victorious; for because they lied that we were fewer than they, they were not upright. For by the zeal of Yahuah we more and more were steadily increasing more than they. Then even their priests were afraid, lest perhaps by the providence of Yahuah the whole people might come over to our faith, to their own confusion. Sending to us frequently, they asked us to speak to them about Yahusha, if he were that prophet who was prophesied by Moshe, who is the eternal Messiah.

(2) For only on this is there a difference between us, we who believe in Yahusha, and those sons of our faith who do not believe.

(3) But while they asked us many times, and we were looking for a fitting time, one week of years was completed from the passion of Yahusha. The ecclesia in Jerusalem which was established by our Adonai was increased, being governed uprightly and steadily by Ya’acov (James), who was made bishop in it by our Adonai.


1.44.1 When we twelve apostles had gathered on the days of the Passover with the great assembly in Jerusalem, that we might gather with our brothers in the festival, each one of us was asked by Ya’acov to tell us about the most important of those things which we had done among the people. Each one briefly reported to us.

(2) Caiaphas the high priest sent priests to us apostles and asked us to come to him, that either we should persuade him that Yahusha is the eternal Messiah, or he should convince us that he is not, and thus all the people should come to one and the same faith.

(3) Many times he sought for us to do this, but we not a few times declined, as we were seeking a more suitable time.


1.55.1 Since, therefore, the high priest with the rest of the priests had asked us often about these things which concern Yahusha, either to teach or learn in the counsel of all, when all the ecclesia was assembled we went up to the temple.

(2) We were standing upon the steps with all our believing multitude, in the silence of every man and in great quietness. First the high priest began to appease the people, [that] as those who are in the love of the truth they humbly be willing to seek it, because they had been chosen witnesses and judges of the debate which was to come.

(3) But as he was greatly desirous to find those who desired the sacrifices, supposing that they give the forgiveness of sins, he accused the baptism which was given by Yahusha to us.

(4) But Matthew refuted this one who spoke thus, [saying] that not only will he who is not baptized be rejected from the kingdom of heaven, but also will be in danger in the resurrection of the dead; even if he is good in manner of life and upright in mind, he will not have eternal life. As they were in quietness, when he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.56.1 Then the Sadducees, who do not believe in the resurrection of the dead, were enraged when they heard [this]. One of them shouted from the middle of the multitude and said, “This is an error, to think that the dead ever arise.”

(2) Against him Andrew my brother spoke, and showed that it is not an error for us to believe that the dead are raised, because he who was foretold by Moshe as the prophet who was to come, who is Yahusha, showed before in this matter that the dead are raised.

(3) But if one does not believe that he is the prophet foretold by Moshe, who was to come, it first ought to be inquired into, if this one is he. And when we know that it is he, it ought to be easy to learn everything in his teaching. When he had said these things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.57.1 But one Samaritan, who thought and considered against the people and Yahuah, said that the dead are not raised, and Mount Gerizim instead of the holy place of Jerusalem is the house of worship. As an enemy he said against Yahusha that he is not the one foretold by Moshe, the prophet who was to come.

(2) Against this one and another who helped him, Ya’acov and John, the sons of Zebedee, spoke wisely.

(3) For even though they had a command not to enter their city nor speak with them, they continued even though they were not to speak with them, and were silent no more, lest they think they attained victory and revile the true faith of many. Wisely, therefore, as though from silence, they spoke with them.

(4) Because of this love of believing in the resurrection of the dead and of honoring the holy place of Jerusalem, Ya’acov blamed them for thinking wickedly in not believing that the dead arise. His brother showed that they act foolishly in that which is difficult for them. Then he argued these things, that by praising Mount Gerizim they dishonor the holy place of Jerusalem. After these things he immediately argued that if they knew the teaching of Yahusha, they would then believe in the resurrection of the dead and honor the place of Jerusalem.

(5) “Because of this,” he said, “it is necessary first to know if this one who did signs and wonders like Moshe is the one whom Moshe announced beforehand, the prophet who was to come.” When he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.58.1 And one of the scribes shouted from the middle of the people and said, “Your Yahusha did signs and wonders as a magician and not as a prophet.”

(2) Against this one Philip spoke, and said, “By this saying you accuse Moshe also,

(3) because he did signs and wonders in Egypt in the way that Yahusha did here.” He said these things so that he might understand that what he said about Yahusha could also be said about Moshe. When he had said these things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.59.1 But one of the Pharisees, when he heard these things, condemned Philip, because he said that Yahusha is equal to Moshe.

(2) Bartholomew spoke against him, and showed that we do not say that he is an equal to Moshe, but that he is greater than Moshe.

(3) For Moshe was a prophet, which Yahusha is also; but that which Yahusha is, the Messiah, Moshe was not. Therefore, that which Moshe is, Yahusha is also; but that which Yahusha is, Moshe is not. When he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.

(4) After him Ya’acov the son of Alphaeus spoke and taught, “One ought not to believe in Yahusha because the prophets who proceeded him foretold him, but in the prophets, that they were prophets, because the Messiah witnesses to them.

(6) For it is not right that faith receive witness from the lessers about the great and  virtuous one, but by the witness of the great and virtuous one the lessers are made known.” But when he had said these things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.

(7) After him Lebbaeus condemned the people in many things, that they did not believe in Yahusha, who had helped them by exhortation and his healing and his consolatory discourses. In spite of these things they killed him and hated him, he who helped them in everything and did good things for them. When he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.60.1 And one of the disciples of Yahuchanon [“the Baptist”] came near, saying that he was the Messiah, and Yahusha was not. “For Yahusha himself said about him that he was greater than the prophets who were beforetime.

(2) If then he is greater than Moshe, it is evident that he is also [greater] than Yahusha, because Yahusha arose as Moshe did. Thus Yahuchanon [the Baptist], who is fittingly greater than these, is the Messiah.”

(3) Against him Simon the Canaanite argued that Yahuchanon was greater than those prophets who are among those born of women, but he was not [greater] than he who is the Son of Man.

(4) Therefore Yahusha is also the Messiah, but that one was only a prophet. But all these things about Yahusha are as distant from comparison with these things about Yahuchanon, as he who is sent as a forerunner is distant from him whose forerunner he is, and he who does the work of the TORAH from him who lays down the TORAH. When he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.

(5) And after this Barnabas [also called Matthias], who became an apostle in place of Judas the betrayer, advised the people that they neither hate Yahusha nor reproach him.

(6) For it is more virtuous, since they do not know that Yahusha is the Messiah, that they not hate him, since Yahuah has appointed a reward for love and not for hatred.

(7) For since he has taken a body from the people of the Jews and became a Jew, Yahuah brings not a little loss of death upon him who hates him. When he had said those things and witnessed others like them, he then was silent.


1.61.1 Then after the counsel of Barnabas, Caiaphas condemned the teaching of Yahusha,

(2) “Because he said many vain things in his coming, that he gives blessing to the poor and promised earthly rewards, that those of virtue will inherit the earth and that they will be satisfied by eating and drinking, and things similar to these.”

(3) Against him Thomas spoke, and showed that he is wickedly angry at Yahusha. He showed that the prophets, those who believed beforehand, also spoke things similar to these, but they did not show how the people are able to receive them; but he [Yahusha] also showed and made known how they are to receive them. And after saying those things, and witnessing others like them, he then was silent.


1.62.1 After this Caiaphas looked at me, in part as if counseling me, in part as if condemning me. He said, “Be silent, and do not proclaim Yahusha as the Messiah, because you are bringing destruction upon your soul, as you yourself are going astray after him, and you are leading others astray.”

(2) He condemned me again as arrogant, “Because although you are ignorant and are a fisher by trade, you are teaching.”

(3) When he said these things and things similar to them, I also said words such as these to him: “My danger is less if, as you say, this one is not the Messiah, for I accept him as a teacher of the TORAH. But there is not a little danger, but great danger for you, if he is the Messiah, which he in truth is.

(4) For I believe in him who has appeared and been revealed, but you are keeping your faith for someone else whom you do not know.

(5) But if, as you have said, I am an ignorant and uneducated man and a fisherman, and I confess I know more than the wise sages,” I said to him, “this ought rather to alarm you greatly.

(6) For if we had gone out for instruction, and then refuted you wise men, this would be a work of time and diligence which is of natural disposition and not of the power of Yahuah.

(7) But because we who are unlearned overcome by our refutation you who are wise, in whose judgment would this not be apparent that his thing about us is not of the sons of men, but is of the will of Yahuah, to whom everything is possible?” But I said these things to him, and things similar to them.


1.64.1 “For we know that He is very angry because of your sacrificing, because the time of sacrifices is now complete.

(2) Therefore the temple will be destroyed, and they will set up the abomination of desolation in the holy place. Then the Gospel will be made known to the Gentiles as a witness, for the healing of the divisions which exist, and your divisions as well.

(3) For because the whole world in each generation is sick with evil desire either secretly or openly, that physician who was sought visited for its health.

(4) Behold, we thus witness to each one of you about all that you lack. Yours is now to decide what is helpful for you to do.”


1.65.1 When I had said these things, the whole multitude of the priests shouted about this, that I had openly spoken about the destruction of the temple.

(2) But then Gamaliel, a leader of the people who for our advantage was secretly our brother in the word of faith, noticed that many were gnashing their teeth in the great rage with which they were filled against us. He said to them,

(3) “Be quiet and keep silence, O men, sons of Israel, for we do not know what sort of trial this is that stands over us. Therefore leave these men alone. If this thing is of the sons of men, it will fail; but if it is of Yahuah, why would you sin uselessly when you are not able to accomplish it? For the will of Yahuah always fittingly conquers in everything.

(4) Now because this day is passing away, I desire to speak with them tomorrow here in your presence in order to refute their word of error.”

(5) While these were gnashing their teeth and were filled with rage and anger, they became silent in the supposition that on the next day we would be convicted of error in the presence of them all. When he had promised this to them, he dismissed the people in peace.


1.66.1 When we had come, we related these things that were said to Ya’acov. When we had told him, we took food, and all of us spent the night with him. During the whole night we prayed that on the next day our word of truth would prevail and conquer in the coming debate.

(2) On the next day, Ya’acov the bishop went up to the temple with all our multitude, and we found there a great multitude which had been waiting for us.

(3) Then we all were standing in the places of the preceding day, as thus in the high places we were visible to all the people.

(4) When there was a great quiet, Gamaliel, who, as I said before, was secretly among them for our assistance although he was our brother, so that when they in one mind were plotting against us, he would be able to know it and keep it from us, or in fitting counsel would change it by his intercession against those who opposed us,

(5) nevertheless first wisely spoke as our enemy, and he proclaimed in such a way that he might persuade the people, and that they would hear in love the true words which were spoken. Looking at Ya’acov the bishop, he began his discourse thus:


1.67.1 “I Gamaliel, who am old, and who have honor among teachers of the truth, am not ashamed to learn from children and unlearned ones something about salvation and helpful for my life, for to those who have a discerning mind there is nothing more excellent than their soul.”

(2) And he declared that neither kings nor friends nor kindred nor fathers nor anything else is more excellent than the truth.

(3) As if enticing and coaxing us, he said, “If you know anything, do not be reluctant to give it to your people, because you are brothers in the matter of the worship of Yahuah.

(4/5) Let us commit our soul, brothers, in faith to the love of the true narration, as Yahuah desires to fill up through these things what is lacking in us or in you.

(6) But if perhaps you fear the deceit of those prejudiced men among us who indiscriminately stir up division, and you do not wish to speak openly what is lacking in us, I also take away this cause, and I swear to you by the living Yahuah that I will not allow anyone to lay hands upon you.

(7) Since you have these multitudes who have come near and are standing [here] as witnesses and mediators, and the oath has been given to you as a pledge, let there by no delay in each one of you saying what you have learned, and we will listen as lovers of the truth.”


1.68.1 When Gamaliel said these things, Caiaphas was not much pleased. I thought he supposed something in his mind against him, and took it upon himself to probe and question.

(2) As if quietly mocking Gamaliel and Ya’acov the head bishop, the chief of the priests asked that the debate and disputation about the Messiah be drawn only from Scripture, “So that,” he said, “we may know if Yahusha is certainly he who is anointed, or not.”

(3) And Ya’acov said, “First we must seek from where the debate ought rightly to be made.”

(4) But after great coercion he was rightly compelled to agree to this, that the debate be made from the TORAH.


1.69.1 Ya’acov likewise spoke in his speech about the prophets, and showed that everything they said was taken from the TORAH, and is truly in agreement with the TORAH.

(2) Then he also spoke about the Books of Kings, how and when and by whom they were written, and how one ought to use them.

(3) Then he again spoke in his speech about the TORAH and showed how those things are in them. At the end of his speech he spoke about the Messiah, and completed great arguments without measure from every place that Yahusha is the Messiah, in whom everything about his humble coming is fulfilled.

(4) For there are two comings of him: one in humbleness, in which he has come; but the second in glory, in which he will come and rule over those who believe in him, who do all those things that he commanded.

(8) He also said many things about the Paraclete and baptism, and persuaded all the people with the chief priest through seven complete days that they should immediately hasten and come now for baptism.


1.70.1 Then a certain man who was an enemy came into the temple and toward the altar, while shouting and saying,

(2)”What are you doing, O men of Israel, that you are so quickly carried off by miserable men who go astray after a magician?”

(3) But while he was saying other things like these, he heard Ya’acov speaking other things against them and overcoming them. He began to make a great tumult, so that the good things that were being said properly could be neither examined in quietness nor understood, and so be believed.

(4) Then he shouted even more about the foolishness and feebleness of the priests, and reviled them,

(5) saying, “Why do you delay? Why do you not immediately seize all of them who are with him?”

(6) When he had said these things, he first jumped up and seized a brand from the altar, and began to strike with it. (7) When the rest of the priests saw him they did likewise. (8) Many were in flight, and some were falling by the sword. Some of them were consumed, and many died. Much blood of those killed was shed. That enemy threw Ya’acov from the top of the stairs, and when he fell he was as dead, so he did not strike him a second time.


1.71.1 When they saw what had happened to Ya’acov, they came up and rescued him. For although they were more numerous than them, because of their fear of Yahuah they would rather endure killing than kill [others]. Although they were greater and stronger than them, because of their fear of Yahuah they were seen as fewer.

(2) When evening came, the priests closed the temple. We came to the house of Ya’acov and prayed there. Before dawn we went down to Jericho, about five thousand persons.

(3) After three days, one of the brothers came and related to us what had happened after we were in the temple. Those priests who were with him were convinced that he should be as a priest in all their plans, because they did not know that he was a fellow-believer with us. He told us, therefore, that the hostile man had gone before the priests and asked Caiaphas the high priest to destroy all those who believe in Yahusha.

(4) He had gone to Damascus taking letters from them, so that there the unbelievers would help him destroy those who believe. Now he wanted to go there first because he thought that Peter had gone there.

(5) But after thirty days he passed by us there in Jericho <…..> to two of our brothers in the night in the place we had buried them, whose tombs were every year suddenly whitened.

(6) And the anger of many was suppressed, as they knew that the sons of our faith were worthy of Yahuah’s remembrance.


Translated by Robert E. Van Voorst

Hebrew name corrections by POTV.