VIII. The Beginning of the Gospel According to Mary
[Excerpt from the translation by C.T. Edwards, A. Healy, L. Moresco, and S. Wise]
I, Mariamne, wife and apostle to Joshua, Mashiach by the grace of our Father and Mother in Heaven, to my beloved daughter, Sarah. This is the testament you and the others have asked me for, that my memories of your father, the Mashiach of our people, should not be lost and that his own teachings not be replaced by the fantasies of men who never knew him. All of the brothers who were his students with me have perished at the hands of the Gentiles. There are no others now alive who knew him also. May the good news thus not perish with me.
Joshua, the son of Joseph and Mary, whom the Greeks call Jesus, came as a prophet anointed with authority by our Father and Mother in Heaven to announce the coming of the Kingdom of Heaven on Earth. He died in fulfilling all the commandments given to us by our Father and Mother, who brought him back to us to show their compassion for us and that they will reward us also for fulfilling the commandments.
There was a contention between the House of Hillel and the House of Shammai. The House of Hillel said, “All flesh shall see the Queen,” but the House of Shammai said, “All flesh shall not see the Queen.” At last a Daughter of the Voice was heard in the land, saying, “The interpretation of the Law is according to the House of Hillel.” But it was not heard in time to save our Rabbi from his cruel death.
It is said that in the days of Herod, King of Judea, when Caiaphas was High Priest, a man named John began baptizing for repentance in the river Jordan. All the people believed him to be a prophet given authority by God to heal our illnesses. He preached to the people who came out to him from Jerusalem and all of Judea, saying, “Change the way you think! Accept the will of God, for the Kingdom is upon you!” He baptized the people in the Jordan to forgive their transgressions, so that they could freely accept the will of God.
Joshua’s mother and siblings said to him, “John is baptizing for the remission of sins. Let us go and be baptized by him.”
Joshua replied, “In what have I sinned that I should go and be baptized by him? Yet, perhaps this is a sin of ignorance.” So he went with them.
Thus Joshua’s family came down from Galilee to be baptized by John. His mother, his brothers, and his sisters were all baptized, then Joshua was baptized also. As he came up out of the water, a dove lit upon his shoulder; all know that the dove is sacred to the Queen of Heaven. He saw the heavens open and heard a voice saying, “You are my beloved son.” The Holy Spirit entered into him and drove him out into the wilderness, where he thought and prayed, struggling with demons and strengthened by angels.
Joshua later said to me, “My mother, the Holy Spirit, took me by one hair on my head and carried me away to the great mountain Tabor, where I met the spirit of Melchizedek. My earthly mother brought me forth, and truth is in the midst of all things, but my true mother, the Holy Spirit, gave me life. My Mother begot me, and I came forth from the Mother and am here.”
When he returned from the wilderness about Mount Tabor, he told his family the good news that the Lord had anointed him as a prophet like John and had given him authority to also announce the good news that the Kingdom of Heaven is upon the earth and that all the righteous will receive the rewards promised to us for faithfully fulfilling the commandments. We brought the good news also to our brothers and sisters. Joshua returned to the Jordan to be with John and to announce the good news to all who came from Judea to be baptized for the forgiving of their failures to fulfill all the commandments. He began to work with John, preaching and baptizing by the Jordan with John.
John’s students believed John was the one anointed by God, but John loved Joshua. On one day he said to Andrew and me, “Look at him. Isn’t he like a lamb of God?”
Andrew and I began to follow him; he turned to us and asked, “What do you want with me?”
Andrew replied, “Rabbi, where are you staying?”
He replied, “Come and see.”
We spent that day talking with him and learning from him. He asked if we wanted to become his students, and we assented to his invitation.
The next day Andrew found his brother Simon and said to him, “We have found the Rabbi we have been hoping for!” He brought Simon to meet Joshua. The next day Joshua met Philip and invited him to become his student also. Joshua decided to return with his students to Galilee, where he also met Nathaniel, but I returned with my brother to our home in Bethany.
When John was arrested and imprisoned by Herod, Joshua knew he must continue John’s work as a prophet. He began preaching in Galilee, proclaiming what John had proclaimed, “Change how you think, do the will of God, and you will find yourself in the Kingdom of Heaven!”
The Holy Spirit was so strong in him that he began to heal their illnesses. Crowds of people began to follow him, hoping to be healed and listening to his preaching. Word about him went out immediately into all of Galilee and its surrounding area. Joshua could no more openly enter into a city, but stayed outside in desert places. Still they came to him from everywhere.
When he came home to Capernaum after some days, and the people heard that he was home, immediately a crowd gathered. There was no room, even around the door, for them to so much as eat bread. As he was speaking to the crowd, his mother and brothers and sisters came to hear his preaching, but they could not pass through the crowd to reach him. A man called to him, “Your brothers and sisters and your mother are standing outside.”
He said, “Let them come forward, for it is they who do the will of the Father. If you do my Father’s will, then you too shall be my brothers and sisters, and you shall also be in my Father’s kingdom. Do the will of the Father, then, for you are from him. If you do the Father’s will, he will love you, make you equal with me, and reckon you to have become beloved through his providence by your own choice.”
A woman in the crowd said to him, “Lucky are the womb that bore you and the breasts that fed you.”
He said to her, “Lucky are those who have heard the word of the Father and have truly kept it. For there will be days when you will say, ‘Lucky are the womb that has not conceived and the breasts that have not given milk.’”
A man in the crowd called out, “Tell my brothers to divide my father’s possessions with me.”
Joshua said to him, “Mister, who made me a divider?”
He turned to his students and said to them, “I’m not a divider, am I?”
He turned back to the man and said, “Haven’t you read what Moses wrote? That male and female he created them? Therefore the son and the daughter shall inherit equally. Tell your brother to divide the Father’s possessions with your sister as well. Keep yourselves from being greedy, for a man’s life doesn’t consist of how many things he possesses.
“Examine yourself, and learn who you are, in what way you exist, and how you will come to be. If you do not know yourself, then you live in poverty, and you are the poverty. Those who know themselves will enjoy their possessions, but those who do not, will not. If you bring forth what is within you, what you have will save you. If you do not have that within you, what you do not have within you will kill you. He who has not known himself has known nothing, but he who has known himself already knows all. When you know yourselves, then you will be known, and you will understand that you are children of the living Father.
“Never be joyful except when you look upon your brother with love. Love your friends like your own life, protect them like the pupil of your eye.”
A man asked him, “Good Rabbi, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
Joshua said to him, “Why do you call me good? No one is good except one—God. You know the commandments. Fulfill the Law and the Prophets.”
He said to him, “I’ve done that all my life.”
Joshua said to him, “Go, sell whatever you have, give it to the poor, and then come, follow me.”
But the man began to scratch his head, for that saying did not please him.
Joshua said to him, “How can you say, ‘I have fulfilled the Law and the Prophets?’ For it stands written in the Law, ‘Love your neighbor like yourself.’ But look, many of your brothers, sons of Abraham, are begrimed with dirt and die of hunger, when your house is filled with many good things, yet nothing at all comes forth from it to them.”
Joshua said to his students, “Children, how hard is it for those who trust in riches to enter into the Kingdom of God! It is easier for a camel to go through a needle’s eye than for a rich man to enter into the Kingdom of Heaven.”
The students were amazed at his words, for the House of Hillel taught that a poor man could not afford to fulfill all the commandments. They said to him, “Then who can be saved?”
Joshua said, “With men it is impossible, but all things are possible with God.”
Seeing a man working on the Sabbath, he said, “Man, if you know what you are doing, you are blest, but if not, you are cursed as a transgressor of the Law.”
Someone said, “Lord, there are many around the drinking trough, but there is nothing in the well.”
Joshua said, “There are many standing at the door, but those who are alone will enter the bridal suite.”
 Codex Bezae on Lk 6:4.