I ran across a peculiar reading of the parable of Dives and Lazarus in the Gospel of Barnabas, as edited and translated from the Italian manuscript into English in the Imperial Library at Vienna by the eminent scholars Lonsdale and Laura Ragg.
What follows is a copy of that parable:
Jesus wept, saying: ‘Woe to those who are servants to their flesh, for they are sure not to have any good in the other life, but only torments for their sins.
I tell you that there was a rich glutton who paid no heed to aught but gluttony, and so every day held a splendid feast. There stood at his gate a poor man by name Lazarus, who was full of wounds, and was fain to have those crumbs that fell from the glutton’s table. But no one gave them to him; nay, all mocked him.
Only the dogs had pity on him, for they licked his wounds.
It came to pass that the poor man died, and the angels carried him to the arms of Abraham our father. The rich man also died, and the devils carried him to the arms of Satan; whereupon, undergoing the greatest torment, he lifted up his eyes and from afar saw Lazarus in the arms of Abraham.
Then cried the rich man: “O father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, who upon his fingers may bring me a drop of water to cool my tongue, which is tormented in this flame.”
‘Abraham answered: “Son, remember that thou receivedst thy good in the other life and Lazarus his evil; wherefore now thou shalt be in torment, and Lazarus in consolation.”
‘The rich man cried out again, saying: “O father Abraham, in my house there are three brethren of mine. Therefore send
Lazarus to announce to them how much I am suffering, in order that they may repent and not come hither.” ‘Abraham answered: “They have Moses and the prophets, let them hear them.”
‘The rich man answered: “Nay, father Abraham; but if one dead shall arise they will believe.”
‘Abraham answered: “Whoso believeth not Moses and the prophets will not believe even the dead if they should arise.
‘See then whether the poor are blessed,’ said Jesus, ‘who have patience, and only desire that which is necessary, hating
O wretched they, who bear others to the burial, to give their flesh for food of worms, and do not learn the truth.
So far from it that they live here like immortals, for they build great houses and purchase great revenues and live in pride.’