Old Testament

Apocrypha* & Pseudepigrapha**

Also Known As The Noncanonical Literature*** 

Greek Apocalypse of Ezra

Chapter one

It came to pass in the thirtieth year on the twenty-second of the month, I was in my house and I cried out, saying to the Most High, “Lord, grant (me) glory so that I may see your mysteries.” When night fell the angel Michael, the archangel, came and said to me, “Prophet Ezra, lay aside bread for seventy weeks.” And I fasted just as he told me, And the archistrategos Raphael came and gave me a storax staff, and I fasted twice sixty weeks, and I saw the mysteries of God and his angels. And I said to them, “I wish to plead with God concerning the Christian people. It were better that man were not born than that he entered the world.”


Ezra taken up to heaven: his prayer for mercy

Therefore, I was taken up into heaven and I saw in the first heaven a great command of angels and they led me to the judgments. And I heard a voice saying to me, “Have pity upon us, Ezra elect of God.” Then I began to say, “Woe to the sinners when they see the righteous man (elevated) above angels, and they are for fiery Gehenna.” And Ezra said, “Have pity upon the works of your hands, merciful and greatly pitying one. Condemn me rather than the souls of the sinners, for it is better to punish one soul and not to bring the whole world to destruction.” And God said, “I shall give rest to the righteous in Paradise and I am merciful.” And Ezra said, “Lord why do you show favor to the righteous? For as a hired man completes his time of service and goes away, and again a slave serves his masters in order to receive his wage, thus the righteous man receives his reward in the heavens. But, have mercy upon the sinners for we know that you are merciful.” And God said, “I have no way to be merciful to them.” And Ezra said, “(Be merciful) because they cannot sustain your anger.” And God said. “(I am wrathful) because such (are the deserts) of such (men) as these.” And God said, “I wish to keep you as both Paul and John. You have given me uncorrupted the inviolate treasury, the treasure of virginity, the wall of men?


Ezra’s second prayer

And Ezra said. “It were better if man were not born; it were well if he were not alive. The dumb beasts are a better thing than man, for they do not have punishment. (You to) ok us and delivered us to judgment. Woe to the sinners in the world to come, for their condemnation is endless and the flame unquenched.”


Ezra remonstrates with God: the sin of Adam

Chapter two

As I said this to him, Michael and Gabriel and all the apostles came and said, “Greetings!” (And Ezra said, “Faithful man of God!) Arise and come hither with me, O Lord, to judgment,” And God said. “Behold I am giving you my covenant, both mine and yours, so that you will accept it.” And Ezra said, “We shall plead our case in your ear(s).” And God said, “Ask Abraham your father what kind of son presses suit against his father and come and plead the cast with us.” And Ezra said, “As the Lord lives, I shall never cease pleading the case with you on account of the Christian people. Where are your former mercies, O Lord? Where your long-suffering?” And God said, “As I made night and day I made the righteous and the sinner and it were fitting to conduct yourself like the righteous man.” And the prophet said. “Who made Adam, the protoplast, the first one?” And God said, “My immaculate hands, and I placed him in Paradise to guard the region of the tree of life.: (...) “Since he who established disobedience made this (man) sin.” And the prophet said, “Was he not guarded by an angel? And was life not preserved (by) the cherubim for the endless age? And how was he deceived who was guarded by angels (whom) you commanded to be present whatever happened? Attend also to that which I say! If you had not given him Eve, the serpent would never have deceived her. If you save whom you wish you will also destroy whom you wish.”


Ezra remonstrates with God: the sins of men

And the prophet said, “O my Lord, let us continue to a second judgment.” And God said, “I cast fire upon Sodom and Gomorrah.” And the prophet said, “Lord, you bring upon us what we deserve.” And God said, “Your sins exceed my kindness.” And the prophet said. “Remember Scripture, my father, who measured out Jerusalem and rebuilt her. Pity Lord, the sinners, pity your own molding, have mercy upon your works.” Then God remembered his works and said to the prophet, “How can I have mercy upon them? They gave me vinegar and gall to drink and (...) They repented.”


The day of judgment

And the prophet said, “Reveal your cherubim and let us go together to judgment, and show me what is the character of the day of judgment.” And God said, “You have digressed, Ezra, for such is the day of judgment upon which there is no rain on the earth, for there is a merciful judgment during that day.” And the prophet said, “I shall never cease to argue the case with you until I see the day of consummation.” (And God said,) “Count the stars and the sand of the sea and if you will be able to count this, you will also be able to argue the case with me.”

Chapter three

And the prophet said, “Lord, you know that I bear human flesh. And how can I count the stars of heaven and the sand of the sea?” And God said. “O my elect prophet, no man will know that great day and the manifestation which prevails to judge the world. For your sake, O my prophet, I told you the day, but the hour I told you not.” And the prophet said, “Lord tell me also the years.” And God said, “If I see that the justice of the world has become abundant, I will be long-suffering toward them If not, I will stretch out my hand and I will grasp the inhabited world from its four corners and I will gather them all together to the valley of Jehosaphat and I will wipe out the human race and the world will be no more.” And the prophet said. “And how will your tight hand be glorified?” And God said, “I will be glorified by my angels.”


Why was man created?

And the prophet said. “Lord, if this was your calculation, why did you form man? You said to Abraham our father, ‘I will surely multiply your seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand along the shore of the sea.’ And where is your promise?”


Signs of the end

And God said, “First I shall cause by shaking the fall of four-footed beasts and men, And when you see that brother delivers brother over to death and children will rise up against parents and a wife abandons her own husband, and when nation will rise up against nation in war, then you shall know that the end is near.

And then brother will not have mercy upon brother, nor man upon his wife, nor children upon parents, nor friends upon friends, nor slave upon master. For the opponent of men himself will come up from Tartarus and will show many things to men. What shall I do to you, Ezra, and will you argue the case with me?”


Ezra descends to Tartarus

Chapter four

And the prophet said, “Lord I shall never cease arguing the case with you.” And God said, “Count the flowers of the earth. If you can count them you also will be able to argue the case with me.”

And the prophet said, “Lord, I cannot count them- I bear human flesh-but neither will I stop arguing the case with you. I wish, Lord, to see the lower parts of Tartarus.” And God said, “Go down and see!” And he gave me Michael and Gabriel and thirty-four other angels, and I descended eighty-five steps and they led me down five hundred steps.


The punishment of Herod

And I saw a fiery throne and an old man seated on it, and his punishment was merciless. And I said to the angels, “Who is this and what is his sin?” And they said to me, “This is Herod, who was king for a time, and he commanded to kill the infants two years old of under.” And I said, “Woe upon his soul!”


The disobedient and the abyss

And again they lad me down thirty steps. And I saw boiling fires there, and a multitude of sinners in them. And I heard their voices, but I did not perceive their forms. And they lad me down deeper many steps which I was unable to count. And I saw old men there, and fiery axles were revolving their ears. And I said, “Who are these and what is their sin?” And they said to me, “These are the eavesdroppers.” And again they lad me down five hundred other steps. And there I saw the unsleeping worm and fire consuming the sinners. And they led me down to the foundation of Apoleia (Destruction) and there I saw the twelvefold blow of the abyss. And they led me away to the south and there I saw a man hanging from his eyelids and the angles were beating him. And I asked, “Who is this and what is his sin?” And Michael the archistrategos said to me, “This man is incestuous; having carried out a small lust, this man was commanded to be hanged.”


The Antichrist

And they lad me away to the north and I saw a man there restrained with iron bars. And I asked, “Who is this?” And he said to me, “This is the one who says, ‘I am the son of God and he who made stones bread and water wine.’” And the prophet said, “Make known to me what sort of appearance he has and I will inform the race of men lest they believe hin him.” And he said to me, “The appearance of his face is as of a wild man. His right eye is like a star rising at sawn and the other is unmoving. His mouth is one cubit, his teeth are a span long, his fingers like scythes, the soles of his feet two span, and on his forehead and inscription ‘Antichrist’, He was exalted up to heaven, he will descend as far as Hades. One time he will be a child, another and old man.” And the prophet said, “Lord, how do you permit the race of men to stray?” And God said. “Hear. My prophet! He becomes a child and an old man and let no one believe him that he is my beloved son. And after these things a trumpet, and the graves will be opened and the dead will rise up uncorrupted. Then the opponent, having heard the terrible threat, will hide himself in the outer darkness. Then the heaven and the earth and the sea will perish. Then I shall burn the heaven for eighty cubits and the earth for eight hundred cubits.” And the prophet said. “And (in) what did the heaven sin?” And God said, “Since(...) Is the evil.” And the prophet said, “Lord (in) what did the earth sin?” And God said, “Since the opponent having heard my terrible threat will hide (in it), and because of that I shall melt the earth and with it the rebel of the race of men.”


Further punishments

Chapter five

And the prophet said, “Pity, O Lord, the race of Christians.” And I saw a woman suspended and four wild beasts were sucking upon her breasts. And the angels said to me, “She begrudged giving her milk but also cast infants into the rivers.” And I saw terrible darkness and night without stars or moon. There is there neither young of old, neither brother with brother nor mother with child nor wife with husband. And I wept and said. “O Lord, Lord, have mercy upon the sinners.”


Ezra taken to heaven

And as I said these things a cloud came and seized me and took me up again to the heavens. And I saw many judgments and I wept bitterly and I said. “It were better if man did not come forth from his mother’s belly.” Those who were in punishment called out, saying, “Since you came here, holy one of God, we have obtained a slight respite.” And the prophet said, “Blessed are they who bewail their own sins.”


Birth and its purpose

And God said, “Hear Ezra, beloved one! Just as a farmer casts down the seed of corn into the earth, so a man casts down his seed into a woman’s place. In the first (month) it is a whole, in the second it is swollen, in the third it grows hair, in the fourth it grows nails, in the fifth it becomes milky, in the sixth it is ready and quickened, in the seventh it is prepared, (in the eighth....), in the ninth the bars of the gateways of the woman are opened and it is born healthy on the earth.” And the prophet said. “It were better for man not to have been born. Alas, O human race, at that time when you come to judgment!” And I said to the Lord, “Lord, why did you create man and give him over to judgment?” And God said in his exalted pronouncement, “I will not pardon those who transgress my covenant.” And the prophet said, “Lord, where is your goodness?” And God said. “I prepared everything because of man and man does no keep my commandments.”


Punishments and rewards

And the prophet said, “Lord, reveal to me the punishments and Paradise.”

And the angels led me away to the east and I saw the tree of life. And I saw there Enoch and Elijah and Moses and Peter and Paul and Luke and Matthew and all the righteous and the patriarchs. And I saw there the (punishment) of the air and the blowing of the winds and the storehouses of the ice and the eternal punishments. And I saw there a man hanging by his skull. And they said to me, “This one transferred boundaries.” And there I saw great judgments and said to the Lord, “O Lord, Lord, which of men, having been born, did not sin?” And they led me farther down in Tartarus and I saw all the sinners lamenting and weeping and evil mourning. And I too wept, seeing the race of men punished thus

Chapter six

Then God said to me, “Ezra, do you know the name of the angels who are over the consummation: Michael, Gabriel, Uriel, Raphael, Gabuthelon, Aker, Arphugitonos, Beberos, Zebuleon?”


Ezra struggles for his soul

Then a voice came to me, “Come here, die, Ezra, my beloved! Give back that which has been entrusted (to you).” And the prophet said, “And whence can you bring forth my soul?” And the angels said, “We can cast it forth through your mouth.” And the prophet said, “I spoke mouth to mouth with God and it will not go forth from there.” And the angels said. “We will bring it forth through your nostrils.” And the prophet said. “My nostrils smelled the glory of God.” And the angels said, “We can bring it forth through your eyes.” And the prophet said, “My eyes have seen the back of God.” And the angels said, “We can bring it forth through your head.” (...And the angels said, “We can bring it forth through your feet.”) And the prophet said. “I walked with Moses on the mountain, and it will not come forth from there.” And the angels said, “We can cast it forth through the tips of your (toe) nails.” And the prophet said, “My feet walked in the sanctuary.” And the angels departed unsuccessful, saying, “Lord, we cannot receive his soul.” Then he said to his only begotten son, “Go down, my beloved son, with a numerous host of angels, taking the soul of my beloved Ezra.” For the Lord, having taken a numerous army of many angels, said to the prophet, “Give me that deposit which I entrusted to you, The crown is readied for you.” And the prophet said, “Lord, if you take my soul from me, who will you have left to plead on behalf of the race of men?” And God said, “You who are mortal and earthly, do not plead the cast with me.” And the prophet said, “I shall never cease pleading.” And God said, “Give, in the mean while, that which is entrusted (to you). The crown is readied for you. Come here, die, so that you may attain it.” Then the prophet began to speak with tears, “O Lord, what profits it that I be consumed by worms. Bewail me, all holy and pious ones, I plead greatly and am delivered over to death! Bewail me, all holy and just ones, because I have entered the bowl of Hades.”


Soul and body

Chapter seven

And God said to him, “Hear, Ezra my beloved one. I, being immortal, received a cross, I tasted vinegar and gall, O was set down in a grave. And I raised up my elect ones and I summoned up Adam and Hades so that the race of men (...) Therefore, fear not death. For that which is from me, that is the soul, departs for heaven. That which is from the earth, that is the body, departs for the earth from which it was taken.? And the prophet said, “Woe, woe! What shall I do? How shall I act? I know not.”


Concluding prayer

And then the blessed Ezra began to say, “O eternal God, Creator of the whole creation, who measured out the heaven with a span and contained the earth in his hand, who drives the cherubim, who took the prophet Elijah to the heavens in a fiery chariot, who gives nurture to all flesh, whom all things fear and tremble from the face of your power, hear me who pleads greatly and give to all who copy this book and preserve it and recall my name and preserve my memory fully, give them blessing from heaven. And bless all of his things, just as the ends of Joseph. And remember not his previous sins on the day of his judgment. Those who do not believe this book will be burned like Sodom and Gomorrah.” And a voice came to him saying, “Ezra, my beloved, I shall grant to each one the things which you asked.”


Death and burial of Ezra

And at once he gave over his precious soul with much honor on the eighteenth of the month of October. And they buried him with incense and psalms. His precious and holy body provides unceasingly strengthening of souls and bodies for those who approach him willingly.



Glory, might, honor, and worship to him for whom it is fitting, for the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, now and always and forever and ever. Amen.


* Apocrypha - (from the Greek word απόκρυφα meaning "those having been hidden away") are texts of uncertain authenticity or writings where the authorship is questioned. These texts may have been used in some churches by were never considered as part of the Bible

** Pseudepigrapha = (from Greek pseudes = "false", "epigraphe" = "inscription") are texts falsely attributed to biblical characters or times. These books were never part of the Bible & were never considered as scripture by the church at any time despite being published under such titles of "The Lost Books of the Bible" or "The Hidden Gospels". The church has always known about them & they were never "Hidden" & could be read at any University or college. There is no deep dark secret here, just publishers trying to make a buck with interesting book titles.

*** Noncanonical Literature =  Never part of the Canon or Bible.