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Q: Traditional names of the Criminals crucified with Jesus ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   1 Comment )
Subject: Traditional names of the Criminals crucified with Jesus
Category: Miscellaneous
Asked by: mikeyoung-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 12 Mar 2004 06:33 PST
Expires: 11 Apr 2004 07:33 PDT
Question ID: 315968
What, according to tradition, was the names of the two criminals
crucified with Jesus?  Their names are not recorded in the Bible, but
I believe some names were ascribed to them traditionally.  Do you know
what those names were?
Subject: Re: Traditional names of the Criminals crucified with Jesus
Answered By: answerfinder-ga on 12 Mar 2004 07:53 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Dear mikeyoung-ga,
The names are Dismas (also spelt Dysmas or Desmas) and Gestas. Their
names appear in the apocryphal Gospel of Nicodemus, the Acts of

Definition: Apocrypha  (Greek: apokryphos, hidden) 
"Originally writings that claimed a sacred origin and were supposed to
have been hidden for generations; later, a well-defined class of
literature with scriptural or quasi-scriptural pretensions, but
lacking genuineness and canonicity, which were composed during the two
centuries before Christ and the early centuries of our era.
Protestants apply the term improperly to denote also Old Testament
books, not contained in the Jewish canon, but received by Catholics
under the name of deuterocanonical."

From the full text of the Gospel of Nicodemus,

"Book IX:5 
5 Then Pilate commanded the veil to be drawn before the judgement-seat
whereon he sat, and saith unto Jesus: Thy nation hath convicted thee
(accused thee) as being a king: therefore have I decreed that thou
shouldest first be scourged according to the law of the pious
emperors, and thereafter hanged upon the cross in the garden wherein
thou wast taken: and let Dysmas and Gestas the two malefactors be
crucified with thee."

"Book X:2
2 And one of the malefactors that were hanged [by name Gestas] spake
unto him, saying: If thou be the Christ, save thyself, and us. But
Dysmas answering rebuked him, saying: Dost thou not at all fear God,
seeing thou art in the same condemnation? and we indeed justly, for we
receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing
amiss. And he said unto Jesus: Remember me, Lord, in thy kingdom. And
Jesus said unto him: Verily, verily, I say unto thee, that today thou
shalt be (art) with me in paradise."

This is from the introduction to the book's translation,
"According to tradition, Dismas, on Christ's right, repents and
eventually joins Christ in Heaven, while Gestas blasphemes and ends up
in Hell. At the moment of Christ's passing, he writhes in agony and
his feet jerk, pulling the lowest crossbar askew. On the traditional
Russian Orthodox cross, the lowest crossbar is at an angle, with the
right side up (Dismas went to Heaven) and the left side down (Gestas
went to Hell)."

Dismas was later canonised by the Catholic Church.

The site gives some further information on the Gospel of Nicodemus.
"This work does not assume to have written by Pilate, but to have been
derived from the official acts preserved in the praetorium at
Jerusalem. The alleged Hebrew original is attributed to Nicodemus. The
title "Gospel of Nicodemus" is of medieval origin. The apocryphon
gained wide credit in the Middle Ages, and has considerably affected
the legends of our Saviour's Passion."

I hope this answers your question. If it does not, or the answer is
unclear, then please ask for clarification of this research before
rating the answer. I shall respond to the clarification request as
soon as I receive it.
Thank you

"crucified with jesus" names
gestas Dismas OR Dysmas OR Desmas
mikeyoung-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Excellent answer very rapid response.

Subject: Re: Traditional names of the Criminals crucified with Jesus
From: answerfinder-ga on 12 Mar 2004 08:03 PST
Dear mikeyoung-ga,
Thank you for the rating and the tip. Pleased I could help.

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