Yeshua’s Passover Appearance to Ya’akov

Yeshua’s Passover Appearance to Ya’akov
By
James Scott Trimm

We read in 1Corinthians:

[1] Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand;
[2] By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain.
[3] For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures;
[4] And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
[5] And that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve:
[6] After that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep.
[7] After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles.
(1Cor. 15:1-7 KJV)

In his Jewish New Testament Commentary, David Stern writes of 1Cor. 15:7:

The appearance to Ya’akov (James), …is not mentioned elsewhere in the New Testament but is reported in one of the apocryphal books, the Gospel according to the Hebrews…
(Jewish New Testament Commentary by David Stern 1Cor. 15:7)

What is the Gospel according to the Hebrews? The Gospel according to the Hebrews was an ancient, lost, apocryphal gospel which was used by the ancient Nazarenes, the original followers of Yeshua as Messiah.

The Third Century “Church Father” Eusebius wrote of this document:

“And among them [doubted books] some have placed the Gospel according to the Hebrews which is the especial delight of those of the Hebrews who have accepted Messiah.”
(Eusebius; Eccl. Hist. 3:25:5)

When speaking of the Ebionites, Epiphanius calls GH “their Gospel” (Pan. 30:16:4-5) and Jerome refers to GH as “the Gospel which the Nazarenes and Ebionites use” (On Mat. 12:13). The actual document has been lost to history, but about 50 quotations and citations of this document are preserved in quotations and citations from the so-called “Church Fathers” and other commentators even into the middle ages.

The twentieth Century Scholar Hugh Schonfield wrote of this lost gospel:

“The Gospel according to the Hebrews is a literary outlaw with a price on its head; but in spite of the scholarly hue and cry it still evades capture. Neither monastic libraries nor Egyptian rubbish heaps have so far yielded up a single leaf of this important document….
For behind Hebrews lies the unknown potentialities of the Nazarene tradition, which may confirm or contradict some of the most cherished beliefs of Orthodox Christianity. It is useless for certain theologians to designate Hebrews as “secondary” on the evidence of the present fragmentary remains preserved in quotation. …
Judged by ancient testimony alone it is indisputable that Hebrews has the best right of any Gospel to be considered a genuine apostolic production;…
Here is obviously a most valuable witness, perhaps the most valuable witness to the truth about [Yeshua]… whom even a jury composed entirely of orthodox Christians could not despise, and who ought to be brought into court. But the witness is missing, and all that we have is a few reported statements of his taken long ago…
…it may be argued that there has been dependence not of ‘Hebrews’ on the Synoptics but vice versa– that ‘Hebrews’ was one of the sources on which one or more of them drew.”
(Hugh Schonfield; According to the Hebrews; 13-18)

The Fourth Century “Church Father” Jerome cites an account of Yeshua’s “Last Supper” Passover Seder in the Gospel according to the Hebrews as follows:

Also the gospel called according to the Hebrews, recently translated by me into Greek and Latin, which Origen often uses, says after the resurrection of the Savior: Now the Lord, when he had given the cloth to the servant of the priest, went to Ya’akov and appeared to him. (for James had sworn that he would not eat bread from that hour in which he had drank the Lord’s cup until he should see him risen from among them that sleep). A little further on the Lord says, Bring a table and bread. And immediately it is added, He took bread and blessed and broke and gave it to Ya’akov HaTzadik and said to him, My brother, eat your bread, for the Son of Man is risen from among them that sleep.”
(Jerome; On Illustrious Men, 2)

Here we have preserved for us this ancient Nazarene account of Yeshua’s appearance to Ya’akov which Paul had referenced in 1Cor. 15:7, so that we as Nazarenes of the restoration may at Passover reflect upon this new light which we have upon Yeshua’s Seder and his resurrection.

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