Adam, Book of
Adam, Book Of, is the title, more or less definitely cited,, of several apocryphal works, an account of which we abstract from Smith's Dict. of Christ, Antiq. s.v. SEE APOCRYPHA.
1. "The Conflict of Adam and Eve."-This is a pseudepigraphical treatise brought by Krapf from Abyssinia, in an Ethiopic MS., and published in a German dress, by Dillmann, in Ewald's Jahrbucher d. bibl. Wissenschaft in 1853 (also separately, Gott. 1853). It is a story, partly historical, partly romantic, of the adventures of our first parents after their expulsion from Eden, followed by an account of the fortunes of the succeeding patriarchs. It thus consists of two parts, evidently by different authors, the later imitating the style of the earlier.
After the Fall, which is not itself described, the exiles are. represented as permitted to dwell in the "Cave of Treasures," under the western boundary of the Garden. There. they are subjected to a series of trials, through Satanic influence as well as natural causes, but are comforted by divine intercourse and promises, culminating in a not obscure intimation of the great atonement. As tokens of these assurances, angels bring to Adam " treasures" in the cave, where Adam's body is finally embalmed by Seth. After the catastrophe of the intercourse between the Cainities and the Sethites, Melchizedek opens the ark in which Adam's body had been deposited to preserve it from the Flood; and the true priesthood is thus continued through him.
The second part of the book is a peculiar travesty of the events of the Old Test. with remarkable incidents interpolated, including a genealogy of the Virgin Mary. This portion, even more plainly than the preceding, betrays a Christian origin.
The early date of the book in question is evinced by its reflection in the legends of Mohammedanism, and the allusions to the "Word of God." -At the same time; the author or authors, skilfully conceal their heretical views under a dramatic form, of which the doctrine of redemption is the basal idea. The work is singularly independent of the other and somewhat parallel Apocrypha known as the Book of Enoch and the Book of Jubilees. The original appears to have been written in Arabic, probably not later than the 7th century. It seems to have formed the basis of the Arabic Apocalypse of Peter, preserved at Oxford and Rome, and the Syriac Cave
of Treasures noticed by Cureton; possibly, also, of D'Abadie's Ethiopic MS. 125, entitled a Life of Adam.
2. "The Testament of Adam." — This is a remarkable group of fragmentary MSS., extant only in Syriac aid Arabic. It was published by Renan (in the Journal Asiafique, 1853, ii, 427-470), with a translation, introduction, and notes; and the Syriac text is likewise printed in Wright's Syriac Apocrypha, p. 61 sq. Parts i and ii are a horarium of the universe for day and night, distinguishing at each of the twenty-four hours the adoration paid by some order of created beings, as angels and daemons, men, animals, abysses, etc. Part iii, headed " More of Adam our, father," contains short prophecies by Adam to Seth, relating to the Incarnation, the restoration of Adam, the making of the cross (from the fig-tree identified with the tree of knowledge), and the Deluge. Part iv, entitled "More of the Testament of our father Adam," is a short account of the "heavenly powers," i.e. angels, archangels, principalities, etc.
These fragments evidently represent a work current under different titles in the early ages, such as the Revelations of Adam, noticed by Epiphanius (Hcer. 89 b), and the Repentance of Adam, condemned by Gelasius (Decret. vi, 30). Syncellus, Cedrenus, and the Apostotical Constitutions (especially in the Coptic recension) likewise allude to such prophecies attributed to Adam.
The Hours and the Prophecy have every appearance of forming part of the same work. In each Adam speaks to Seth, and refers to his past sin; and there is considerable similarity of tone. They are probably, however, mere extracts; the several passages are disconnected, and the dramatic framework is perceptible only at the end. If it be the book meant by Epiphanius, it cannot be later than the 4th century, and nothing decisive can be urged against this date, although it is impossible to speak with confidence.
The Testament, as it stands, is short and unpretending; yet a lofty spirit pervades a great part of it. No distinctive doctrine is to be found in it. It appears to lie outside of Greek and Latin Christianity, and is thus an interesting monument of an almost unknown world of ancient creeds.
3. "The Book of the Daughters of Adm." — This is a work condemned in the Gelasian decree as apocryphal. Another title appears to be "Leptogenesis," i.e. the Book of Jubilees; but, as the account of the daughters of Adam in the latter work occupies only six lines of ch. iv, some other writing is perhaps meant.
4. "The Story and Conversation of Adam."— This is the title of a Greek work which purports to be ." revealed by God to Moses [read Seth] his servant, taught by the archangel Michael." It begins, after the few introductory lines, with the murder of Abel, in place of whom another son is promised. This marks Seth as the organ of revelation, and he is distinguished throughout by special prerogatives. The true subject of the book, however, is the death of Adam, and his giving place to Seth.. In his mortal sickness, Adam collects his sons around him. Afflicted at his groans, Eve and Seth approach the Garden to pray for the oil of mercy from the tree, but in vain; he will die, Michael tells them, within three days. Eve then describes the circumstances of the Fall at great length (ch. 14-20), the embellishments of the Biblical account hating at times some imaginative beauty. She goes out to pray, but is raised up by an angel to see Adam (his spirit) borne up in a chariot of light. He is washed in the Acherusian lake, and committed by " the Father of the universe " to Michael to be placed in the third heaven. God himself descends to give promises of restoration and resurrection to the body. It is buried by angels, and Abel's body with it. Within a week Eve is laid in the same grave, and Michael returns to heaven singing hallelujah.
Various echoes of New-Test. language indicate that the book is of Christian origin, though there. is no quotation and no distinct Christian doctrine. Besides the borrowing of the framework: and various details from Jewish tradition, there are points of connection with other extant apocryphal, books. The original language appears to have been Greek, traces of the. Sept. being evident. Grammar, however, and inflections are of a debased type, and the tone is that of an Oriental population, such as might have been found in Palestine or Western Syria. It seems impossible, at present, to find evidence as to the date; but any early century from the second onwards is not inappropriate.
The work was first published in 1866 by Tischendorf, in his Apocalypses Apocryphae, under the fictitious, title "Apocalypsis Mosis." A better text is reproduced in. full in Cerrani's Monumenta Sacra et Profana (Milan, 1868, i, 21 sq.). No one of the MSS., however, is complete; and the text is in a bad state-in all. An English version of Tischendorf's text is given in the Antenicene Christian. Library.
5. "Liber Adavni," also known as the Codexs Nasaraeus properly The Great Book or Treasure of the Mendaeans (q.v.).