At least we now know who they are talking to whilst talking to the wall…
THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS;
1 Quarrel between Satan and the prince of hell concerning the expected arrival of Christ in hell. WHILE all the saints were vv rejoicing, behold Satan, the prince and captain of death, said to the prince of hell, [note: St. Jerome affirms that the soul of Christ went to hell.]
2 Prepare to receive Jesus of Nazareth himself, who boasted that he was the Son of God, and yet was a man afraid of death, and said, [note: Matt. xxvi. 38.] My soul is sorrowful even to death.
3 Besides he did many injuries to me and to many others; for those whom I made blind and lame and those also whom I tormented with several devils, he cured by his word; yea, and those whom I brought dead to thee, he by force takes away from thee.
4 To this the prince of hell replied to Satan, Who is that so-powerful prince, and yet a man who is afraid of death?
5 For all the potentates of the earth are subject to my power, whom thou broughtest to subjection by thy power.
6 But if he be so powerful in his human nature, I affirm to thee for truth, that he is almighty in his divine nature, and no man can resist his power.
7 When therefore he said he was afraid of death, he designed to ensnare thee, and unhappy it will be to thee for everlasting ages.
8 Then Satan replying, said to the prince of hell, Why didst thou express a doubt, and wast afraid to receive that Jesus of Nazareth, both thy adversary and mine?
9 AS FOR ME, I TEMPTED HIM and stirred up MY OLD PEOPLE the JEWS with zeal and anger against him? (#Revelation 2:9)
10 I sharpened the spear for his suffering; I mixed the gall and vinegar, and commanded that he should drink it; I prepared the cross to crucify him, and the nails to pierce through Ibis hands and feet; and now his death is near at hand, I will bring him hither, subject both to thee and me.
11 Then the prince of hell answering, said, Thou saidst to me just now, that he took away the dead from me by force.
12 They who have been kept here till they should live again upon earth, were taken away hence, not by their own power, but by prayers made to God, and their almighty God took them from me.
13 Who then is that Jesus of Nazareth that by his word hath taken away the dead from me without prayer to God?
14 Perhaps it is the same who took away from me Lazarus, after he had been four days dead, and did both stink and was rotten, and of whom I had possession as a dead person, yet he brought him to life again by his power.
15 Satan answering, replied to the prince of hell, It is the very same person, Jesus of Nazareth.
16 Which when the prince of hell heard, he said to him, I adjure thee by the powers which belong to thee and me, that thou bring him not to me.
17 For when I heard of the power of his word, I trembled for fear, and all my impious company were at the same time disturbed;
18 And we were not able to detain Lazarus, [note: John xi.] but he gave himself a shake, and with all the signs of malice, he immediately went away from us; and the very earth, in which the dead body of Lazarus was lodged, presently turned him out alive.
19 And I know now that he is Almighty God who could perform such things, who is mighty in his dominion, and mighty in his human nature, who is the Saviour of mankind.
20 Bring not therefore this person hither, for he will set at liberty all those whom I hold in prison under unbelief, and bound with the fetters of their sins, and will conduct them to everlasting life.
“I am he that liveth, and was dead; and, behold, I am alive for evermore, Amen; and have the keys of hell and of death.”
THE GOSPEL OF NICODEMUS;
1 Beelzebub, prince of hell, vehemently upbraids Satan for persecuting Christ and bringing him to hell. 4. Christ gives Beelzebub dominion over Satan for ever, as a recompense for taking away Adam and his sons.
THEN the prince of hell took Satan, and with great indication said to him, O thou prince of destruction, author of Beelzebub’s defeat and banishment, the scorn of God’s angels and loathed by all righteous persons! What inclined thee to act thus?
2 Thou wouldst crucify the King of Glory, and by his destruction, hast made us promises of very large advantages, but as a fool wert ignorant of what thou wast about.
3 For behold now that Jesus of Nazareth, with the brightness of his glorious divinity, puts to flight all the horrid powers of darkness and death;
4 He has broke down our prisons from top to bottom, dismissed all the captives, released all who were bound, and all who were wont formerly to groan under the weight of their torments have now insulted us, and we are like to be defeated by their prayers.
5 Our impious dominions are subdued, and no part of mankind is now left in our subjection, but on the other hand, they all boldly defy us;
6 Though, before, the dead never durst behave themselves insolently towards us, nor, being prisoners, could ever on any occasion be merry.
7 ¶ O Satan, thou prince of all the wicked, father of the impious and abandoned, why wouldest thou attempt this exploit, seeing our prisoners were hitherto always without the least hopes of salvation and life?
8 But now there is not one of them does ever groan, nor is there the least appearance of a tear in any of their faces.
9 O prince Satan, thou great keeper of the infernal regions, all thy advantages which thou didst acquire by the forbidden tree, and the loss of Paradise, thou hast now lost by the wood of the cross;
10 And thy happiness all then expired, when thou didst crucify Jesus Christ the King of Glory.
11 Thou hast acted against thine own interest and mine, as thou wilt presently perceive by those large torments and infinite punishments which thou art about to suffer.
12 O Satan, prince of all evil, author of death, and source of all pride, thou shouldest first have inquired into the evil crimes of Jesus of Nazareth, and then thou wouldest have found that he was guilty of no fault worthy of death.
13 Why didst thou venture, without either reason or justice, to crucify him, and hast brought down to our regions a person innocent and righteous, and thereby hast lost all the sinners, impious and unrighteous persons in the whole world?
14 While the prince of hell was thus speaking to Satan, the King of Glory said to Beelzebub, the prince of hell, Satan, the prince shall be subject to thy dominion for ever, in the room of Adam and his righteous sons, who are mine.