The First Apocalypse of James
This document is dated between the 3rd – 4th century, after the Second Apocalypse of James surprisingly (250-325AD) and was found in Egypt with the other Nag Hammadi material in 1945 and only one single damaged copy has been recovered.
Reasons for rejection/non-inclusion
- Second century documents or later are outside of eyewitness testimony and beyond the Canonical criteria
- It appears in the Gnostic age, not the Apostolic age.
- Found with Gnostic works, not apostolic ones
- Uses Valentinian Gnostic language throughout
- Fits into the type of material Irenaeus stated “was forged to bewilder the minds of foolish people”
- Valentinus was condemned specifically by church fathers Irenaeus and Epiphanius and all works like his thereon.
- Salvation through means of Gnosis, not through the Grace of God and Jesus’ deity, death and resurrection
- Contains features like “passwords” to ascend to the highest heaven
- Focus’ on transcending the physical body, compared to doctrine of a new body for eternity
Useful external attestation details
- Jesus is a wise teacher who possesses the knowledge of God
- Jesus is called Lord, Rabbi
- Jesus has many disciples
- Salome, Mary and Martha mentioned by name
- Jesus is Crucified (Inferred)
- Martyrdom of James is mentioned