The Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter

Published by 1c15 on

Reading Time: < 1 minute

Yet another document found in the Nag Hammadi library in Egypt in 1945 with the surviving text being 4th century and the text likely to go back to late 2nd, early third century (160-210AD). It is written in the Coptic language and is sometimes known as the “Coptic Apocalypse”. Like many other of these Gnostic documents, they are portrayed as private conversations and this version is between Jesus and Peter.

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. The document argues with Shepherd of Hermas theology that is second century. It can’t argue with a document that hadn’t come into existence yet
  3. It was discovered with other Gnostic texts dating to middle/late second century
  4. Church Fathers labelled this document heretical
  5. Contains Gnostic language and speaks of hidden knowledge exclusive to Peter
  6. Presents a Docetic Jesus (Jesus’ Material body was an illusion and only “appeared” to die on the cross)

Useful external attestation details 

  1. Jesus is described as Saviour & Son of Man
  2. Peter is one of Jesus’ disciples
  3. Jesus is a wise teacher
  4. Jesus has divine knowledge
  5. Contains similar Canonical verses (Like Matthew 7:16 for example)
  6. Jesus’ death on the cross
    1. Pierced with nails

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *