3‘Speak, my lord’, I said. He said to me: ‘Imagine a sea set in a vast open space, spreading far and wide,4but the entrance to it narrow like the gorge of a river.5If anyone is determined to reach this sea, whether to set eyes on it or to gain command of it, he cannot arrive at its open waters except through the narrow gorge6Or again, imagine a city built in a plain, a city full of everything you can desire,7but the entrance to it narrow and steep, with fire to the right and deep water to the left.8 There is only the one path, between the fire and the water; and that is only wide enough for one man at a time. 9 If some man has been given this city as a legacy, how can he take possession of his inheritance except by passing through these dangerous approaches?’ 10 ‘That is the only way, my lord’, I agreed. He said to me: ‘Such is the lot of Israel. 11 It was for Israel that I made the world, and when Adam transgressed my decrees the creation came under judgment. 12The entrances to this world were made narrow, painful, and arduous, few and evil, full of perils and grinding hardship.13But the entrances to the greater world are broad and safe, and lead to immortality.14All men must therefore enter this narrow and futile existence; otherwise they can never attain the blessings in store.
Date: 70-100 C.E. (based on scholarly estimates)
13“Enter through the narrow gate because the gate is wide and the way is spacious that leads to destruction, and there are many who enter through it.14How narrow is the gate and difficult the way that leads to life, and there are few who find it!15 “Watch out for false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are voracious wolves. 16 You will recognize them by their fruit. Grapes are not gathered from thorns or figs from thistles, are they? 17 In the same way, every good tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears bad fruit. 18 A good tree is not able to bear bad fruit, nor a bad tree to bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. 20 So then, you will recognize them by their fruit.