The Aquarian Gospel of Jesus Christ, by Levi H. Dowling, , at sacred-texts.com
A royal feast is held in Machaerus. John, the harbinger, is beheaded. His body is buried in Hebron. His disciples mourn. The Christines cross the sea in the night. Jesus calms a raging storm.
1. A royal feast was held in honour of the birthday of the tetrarch in fortified Machaerus, east of the Bitter Sea.
2. The tetrarch, Herod, and his wife, Herodias, together with Salome were there; and all the men and women of the royal court were there.
3. And when the feast was done, lo, all the guests and courtiers were drunk with wine; they danced and leaped about like children in their play.
4. Salome, daughter of Herodias, came in and danced before the king. The beauty of her form, her grace and winning ways entranced the silly Herod, then half drunk with wine.
5. He called the maiden to his side and said, Salome, you have won my heart, and you may ask and I will give you anything you wish.
6. The maiden ran in childish glee and told her mother what the ruler said.
7. Her mother said, Go back and say, Give me the head of John, the harbinger.
8. The maiden ran and told the ruler what she wished.
9. And Herod called his trusty executioner and said to him, Go to the tower and tell the keeper that by my authority you come to execute the prisoner known as John.
10. The man went forth and in a little while returned and on a platter bore the lifeless head of John, and Herod offered it unto the maiden in the presence of the guests.
11. The maiden stood aloof; her innocence was outraged when she saw the bloody gift, and she would touch it not.
12. Her mother, steeped and hardened well in crime, came up and took the head and held it up before the guests and said,
13. This is the fate of every man who dares to scorn, or criticise, the acts of him who reigns.
14. The drunken rabble gazed upon the gruesome sight with fiendish joy.
15. The head was taken back unto the tower. The body had been given unto holy men who had been friends of John; they placed it in a burial case and carried it away.
16. They bore it to the Jordan, which they crossed just at the ford where John first preached the word;
17. And through the passes of the Judean hills they carried it.
18. They reached the sacred grounds near Hebron, where the bodies of the parents of the harbinger lay in their tombs;
19. And there they buried it; and then they went their way.
20. Now, when the news reached Galilee that John was dead the people met to sing the sonnets of the dead.
21. And Jesus and the foreign masters and the twelve took ship to cross the sea of Galilee.
22. A scribe, a faithful friend of John, stood by the sea; he called to Jesus and he said, Rabboni, let me follow where you go.
23. And Jesus said, You seek a safe retreat from evil men. There is no safety for your life with me;
24. For evil men will take my life as they have taken John's.
25. The foxes of the earth have safe retreats; the birds have nests secure among the hidden rocks, but I have not a place where I may lay my head and rest secure.
26. Then an apostle said, Lord, suffer me to tarry here a while, that I may take my father, who is dead, and lay him in the tomb.
27. But Jesus said, The dead can care for those who die; the living wait for those who live; come, follow me.
28. The evening came; three boats put out to sea and Jesus rested in the foremost boat; he slept.
29. A storm came on; the boats were tossed about like toys upon the sea.
30. The waters swept the decks; the hardy boatmen were afraid lest all be lost.
31. And Thomas found the master fast asleep; he called, and Jesus woke.
32. And Thomas said, Behold the storm! have you no care for us? The boats are going down.
33. And Jesus stood; he raised his hand; he talked unto the spirits of the winds and waves as men would talk with men.
34. And, lo, the winds blew not; the waves came tremblingly and kissed his feet; the sea was calm.
35. And then he said, You men of faith, where is your faith? for you can speak and winds and waves will hear and will obey.
36. And the disciples were amazed. They said, Who is this man that even winds and waves obey his voice?