Gospel of Peter

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Discovered several miles from the Gnostic Nag Hammadi library, the 8-9th century manuscript of the Gospel of Peter was discovered. Scholars date this document to 150-200AD (Likely due to Church fathers discussing the document years after. This document is fragmentary and gives us mainly the passion story of Christ’s life. We do not know if this document said more than just the passion. The document was known to the Church Father’s so it must of had some public knowledge.

Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion

  1. Second century documents or later are outside of eyewitness testimony and beyond the Canonical criteria
    1. It appears in the Gnostic age, not the Apostolic age. 
  2. Describes Jesus in a Gnostic or Docetic style (Serapion the Church Father informs us of this) that his body is merely illusory
  3. It was condemned as heretical by Jerome and Pope Gelasius
  4. The document appears anti-Jewish skipping out information on informed prophecy
    1. Exonerates Pilate pinning the blame on Herod (Jewish) and the Jews

Useful external attestation details 

  1. Identifies Pilate and Herod by name
  2. Identifies Joseph (likely of Arimathea considering context) as the “friend of Pilate” who asked for Jesus’ body
  3. Passion story is quite similar to the Gospels
  4. He is beaten as the Jewish trial prior to his Roman trial before Pilate
  5. Garments divided
  6. His cross read “this is the king of Israel”
  7. Jesus was given gall and vinegar
  8. When Jesus died, the veil of the temple was torn in two and the sky became dark
  9. Jesus was removed from the cross and place din Joseph’s tomb
  10. Pilate assigned guards to the tomb
  11. Mary and her women friends visited the tomb
  12. Peter, Andrew and Matthew are specifically mentioned

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