A Fragment of the Letter from Paul to the Alexandrians

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Chapter One

1 Brethren, we that are under the power of the Lord ought to keep the commandments of God. 2 They that keep the precepts of the Lord have eternal life, and they that deny His commandments bring ruin upon themselves, and then to the second death.

3 Now the precepts of the Lord are these: do not swear falsely, do not steal, do not commit adultery, do not bear false witness, and do not take gifts against the truth or in exchange for power. 4 Whoever has power and denies the truth shall be denied entrance to the Kingdom of God, and shall be trodden down into hell, from which he will not come forth again.

5 How frail and deceitful are we, workers of sin! 6 We do not repent daily, yet daily we commit sin upon sin! 6 You know, dearly beloved brethren, that our works are judged; 7 listen, therefore, to that which is written in this book: “It shall be for a memorial against us in the day of judgment.” 1

8 There shall be neither witnesses nor companions, nor shall judgment be given by gifts; for there is nothing better than faith, truth, chastity, fasting, and charitable giving, which covers all sins.

9 That which you would not have done to yourself, do not do to another.

10 Come to agreement for the Kingdom of God, and you will receive the crown which is in Yeshua the Messiah, our Lord.

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Footnotes

1 Enoch 96:4.

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2 Comments

  1. Christopher

    Is this “Letter of Paul to the Alexandrians” fictional or something? The Church in Alexandria was extremely Gnostic and driven by Greek philosophy… even more so than the gentile churches in Asia Minor (such as the Colossians, Ephesians, etc.) But, nevertheless, they did receive Pauls Gospel of the Chrestos.
    I don’t think the Alexandrians would have cared at all for anything Jewish as far as religion goes. Paul never used the term “Yeshua” when writing to his Churches. He used the term “Chrestos” (which does not mean Messiah).
    Is this yet another attempt to Judaize St. Paul’s Gospel? We all know from “Galatians” how Paul; felt about all that kind of “dung”

    • Aish Tamid

      Hello Christopher,

      This letter is definitely apocryphal. It was found in a collection of Pauline epistles discovered by Theodor Zahn in the 19th century. The text he found is titled “To the Colossians,” though as you can see, it bears no resemblance to the canonical letter to the Colossians. I suspect he believed it to have been written “To the Alexandrians” on the basis that two letters, in ancient times, were deemed “forged” letters of Paul, which had been used in ancient times to further Marcionite heresies. (These two are the letters to the Laodiceans and the Alexandrians. See the Muratorian canon.) As this fragment contains no such Marcionite inference, I suspect Zahn thought this letter to be the one called Alexandrians in antiquity, on the basis that it could have been a lesser known Pauline letter of the same name, or it could have been written in an attempt to de-legitimize the Marcionite forgery.

      But that’s enough speculation on my part.

      Yes, the letter is absolutely apocryphal.

      Getting on to some of the other “dung” in your post here, Paul was a Pharisee of Pharisees, and his lifestyle in the book of Acts confirms that he never left the observance of both Torah and Jewish tradition during his ministry. His letters were written in Aramaic, the linguae francae of first century Israel. (Citations from the church fathers support this.) Whether or not the Greek translators of the New Testament got it wrong is a totally different discussion.

      As for Paul’s letter to the Galatians, I would encourage you to take a look at some solid Jewish commentaries on it.

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