Book of the Cave of Treasures

(ca. 500–600)

The Book of the Cave of Treasures is an example of New Testament Apocrypha chronicling human history from Creation to the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. The title by which the book is known suggests that it is the story of a cave, while an alternate title provided in the text itself, “Book of the Succession of the Generations,” implies that it is a book of genealogical records. But neither title is strictly accurate; the Cave of Treasures itself is described only vaguely, and the book is more than a simple outline of family trees and listings of ancestors and descendants. The purpose of the Book of the Cave of Treasures is to illustrate the continuity of a plan of salvation across the millennia of human history. It is the history presented in the Hebrew Bible, also known as the Old Testament, refocused through the lens of early Mesopotamian Christianity. From the religion’s beginnings, Christian thinkers and writers asserted that continuity existed between the Hebrew Bible...

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Cain killing Abel (Yale University Art Gallery)

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