1 Apocryphal Apocalypse of John

1 Apocalypsis Iohannis apocrypha

Standard abbreviation: 1 Apocr. Apoc. John

Other titles: Apocalypse of John the Theologian, Second Apocalypse of John, Apocryphal Apocalypse of John, Apocalypse of John the Theologian, Second Apocalypse of John, Apocryphal Apocalypse of John

Clavis numbers: CANT 331; BHG 921–922h

Category: Apocalypses

Related literature: (Latin) Revelation of John about Antichrist, Mysteries of John, 3 Apocalypse of John, Questions of James to John

Compiled by: Rick Brannan, independent scholar (rick@faithlife.com)

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Brannan, Rick. “1 Apocryphal Apocalypse of John.” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR. http://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/1-apocryphal-apocalypse-of-john/.

Posted September 2016.


An apocryphal apocalypse attributed to John the Theologian. It begins with John (the disciple) on Mount Tabor shortly after Jesus’ ascension. He prays for seven days and is transported from Mount Tabor by a cloud to heaven. He hears a voice and sees the heavens opened. He is shown a book with seven seals, and asks for a revelation of the contents of the book. The bulk of the dialogue consists of questions and answers about Jesus’ return, the antichrist, archangels, resurrection of the dead, preservation of holy things, the new heaven and new earth, the return of the Lord, and the opening of the book with seven seals. After the dialogue, John is returned from heaven to Mount Tabor, and exhorted to tell others what he has seen.

Named historical figures and characters: Adam (patriarch), David (king), Enoch (patriarch), Elijah (prophet), Gabriel (angel), Jesus Christ, John (son of Zebedee), Michael (angel), Paul (apostle).

Geographical locations: Mount Tabor, Jerusalem.



3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

3.1.1 Arabic

Mount Sinai, St. Catherine’s Monastery, ar. 485, fols. 1v–13v (13th cent.)

3.1.2 Armenian

Rosenstiehl, J.-M. “Notes sur la première Apocalypse apocryphe de Jean et d’autres apocryphes arméniens.” REAArm 18 (1984): 599–603.

3.1.3 Garšūnī

Cambridge, Trinity College, R. 13.19, fols. 100r–108r (16th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. sir. 211, fols. 1r–12r (15th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. sir. 212, fols. 1r–18r (16th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. sir. 213, fols. 2r–11r (16th cent.)

3.1.4 Greek

Tischendorf provides the most recent critical edition. His edition is based on seven manuscripts which he labels as follows:

A   Venice, Biblioteca Marciana, gr. XI.20, fols. 303–313r (16th cent.)

B   Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, gr. 947, fols. 26v–32v (1574 CE)

C   Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, gr. II.42, fols. 285r–291r (13th cent.)

D   Paris, Bibliothèque nationale, gr. 1034, fols. 120r–134v (15th cent.)

E   Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, gr. II.90, fols. 249r–255r (16th cent.)

F  Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Pal. gr. 364,  fols. 110r–116r (15th cent.)

G  Vienna, Österreichische Nationalbibliothek, hist. gr. 119, fols. 108r–115v (15th cent.)

Emanuela Valeriani reports 14 additional manuscripts:

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 346, fols. 36r–41v (15th cent.)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 355, fols. 30r–37v (15th cent.)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 356, fols. 300v–306r (1633–1634)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 1007, fols. 238r–243v (15th–16th cent.)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 1098, fols. 15r–17v (1506–1507)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, gr. 2484, fols. 271r–273v (15th cent.)

Athens, Ethnikē Bibliothēkē, Met. Taphou 596, fols. 170v–187v (16th cent.)

Jerusalem, Patriarchikē bibliothēkē, Panagios Taphos gr. 66, fols. 378v–385r (15th cent.)

Jerusalem, Patriarchikē bibliothēkē, Panagiou Taphou gr. 97 (15th cent.)

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, suppl. gr. 136, fols. 28v–40v (16th cent.)

Paris, Bibliothèque nationale de France, Coislin 121, fols. 6, 17, 5 (1342/1343)

Berlin, Staatsbibliothek, graec. quart. 22 (320) (Krakow, Uniwersytet Jagielloński, Biblioteka Jagiellońska), fols. 80v–88v (15th cent.)

Cambridge, Trinity College, O.8.33, fols. 98r–102v (16th cent.)

London, Highgate School, II.29, fols. 112v–120v (15th cent.)

And an additional ten are known:

Mount Athos, M. Vatopedi, 422 (13th cent.)

Meteora, Monē Metamorphōseōs, 382, fols. 58v–65v (15th cent.)

Milan, Biblioteca Ambrosiana, L13 sup., fols. 167r–170r (15th cent.)

Palermo, Biblioteca centrale della Regione siciliana “Alberto Bombace,” III.B.25, fols. 25–41 (15th cent.)

Patmos, Monē tou Hagiou Iōannou tou Theologou, 379 (16th cent.)

Sophia, C’rkovnoistoričeskija i archiven Institut, 887, fols. 130r–157v (16th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Barb. gr. 284, fols. 39r–54v (15th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. gr. 2255, fol. 57v (16th cent.)

Vatican, Biblioteca Apostolica, Vat. gr. 2557, fols. 168v–176r (15th cent.)

Venice, Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana, gr. II.172, fols. 477r–483r (18th cent.)

Birch, Andreas. Auctarium Codicis Apocryphi Novi Testamenti Fabriciani. Vol. I. Copenhagen, 1804. (Editio princeps based on Tischendorf’s F and G manuscripts).

online-bulletTischendorf, Constantin. “Apocalypsis Johannis Apocrypha.” Pages 70–94 in Apocalypses Apocryphae. Leipzig, 1866; Repr., Hildesheim: Georg Olms, 1966.

Brannan, Rick. The First Apocryphal Apocalypse of John: A Greek Reader. Appian Way Greek Readers. Bellingham, WA: Appian Way Press, 2017 (based on Tischendorf’s edition).

3.1.5 Old Bulgarian

Grech. 70 in the Russian National Library in St. Petersburg, part of Manuscript No. 34 from St. Catherine’s Monastery on Mt. Sinai (12th/13th century)

Miltenov, Yavor. “The Apocryphal Apocalypse of John the Theologian (Commentary and Critical Edition of the Text).” Pages 91–167 in Annuaire de l’Universite de Sofia “St. Kliment Ohridski” Faculte de Philologies Slaves. Vol. 96–97. Sofia: Presses Universitaires “St. Kliment Ohridski,” 2007.

3.1.6 Slavonic

Santos Otero, Aurelio de. Die handscriftliche Überlieferung der altslavischen Apokryphen. 2 vols. PTS 20 and 23. Berlin: de Gruyter, 1977. (Discussion of the Slavonic tradition, vol. 1 pp. 197–209, vol. 2 pp. 253–54.)

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Court, John M. The Book of Revelation and the Johannine Apocalyptic Tradition. JSNTS 190. Sheffield: Sheffield Academic Press, 2000.

online-bulletWalker, Alexander. “Revelation of Saint John the Theologian.” Pages 582–85 in Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, the Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages. Vol. 8. 10 vols. Ante-Nicene Fathers. Christian Literature Company: Buffalo, NY, 1886.

3.2.2 French

Kaestli, Jean-Daniel and J.-C. Picard. “Première Apocalypse Apocryphe de Jean.” Pages 983–90 in volume 2 of Écrits Apocryphes Chrétiens. Edited by P. Geoltrain and J.-D. Kaestli. Bibliothèque de la Pléiade 516. Paris: Gallimard, 2005.

3.2.3 Italian

Erbetta, Mario. “La prima apocalisse apocrifi di Giovanni.” Pages 409–14 in vol. 3 of Gli Apocrifi del nuovo Testamento. 3 vols. in 4. Turin: Marietti, 1966–1981.

Lupieri, E., ed. L’Apocalisse Di Giovanni. Milano: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla. Scrittori greci e latini, 1999.

Moraldi, Luigi. “Apocalisse di Giovanni.” Pages 1951–66 in vol. 2 of Apocrifi del Nuovo Testamento. 2 vols. Classici delle Religioni 24.5. Turin: Unione Tipografico-Editrice Torinese, 1971.

3.3 General Works

Charlesworth, James H., and James R. Mueller. “40. John, 1 Revelation of (Apocalypsis Tou Hagiou Ioannou Theologou).” Pages 238–40 in The New Testament Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha: A Guide to Publications, With Excursuses on Apocalypses. ATLA Bibliography Series. Piscataway, NJ: Scarecrow Press, 1987.

Doglio, C. “Quanto apocalittica è l’Apocalisse di Giovanni?” RStB 7, no. 2 (1995): 104–11.

Elliott, J. K. The Apocryphal New Testament: A Collection of Apocryphal Christian Literature in English Translation. Oxford: Clarendon, 1993 (p. 684).

Kaestli, Jean-Daniel. “La Figure de l’Antichrist Dans l’Apocalypse de Saint Jean Le Théologien (Première Apocalypse Apocryphe de Jean).” Les Forces Du Bien et Du Mal Dans Les Premiers Siècles de l’Église. Edited by J.-M. Blanchard, B. Pouderon, and M. Scopello. ThH 118. Paris, 2010.

Miltenov, Yavor. “A Fragment by St. Papias of Hierapolis in the Apocryphal Apocalypsis Ioannis.” Scripta & E-Scripta 1 (2003): 197–206.

Nau, François. “Un deuxième apocalypse apocryphe grecque de saint Jean.” RevBib 11 (1914): 209–21.

Potesta, G. L., and M. Rizzi, eds. L’Anticristo, 2: Il figlio della perdizione. Testi dal IV al XII secolo. Milano: Fondazione Lorenzo Valla. Scrittori greci e latini, 2012.

de Santos Otero, Aurelio. Die handscriftliche Überlieferung der altslavischen Apokryphen. Vol. 1. 2 vols. Patristiche Texte und Studien 20. Berlin: Walter de Gruyter, 1977, 197–209.

Valeriani, Emanuela. “L’artefice di iniquità nell’Apocalisse apocrifa di Giovanni.” Pages 87–109 in L’ultimo nemico di Dio. Il ruolo dell’anticristo nel cristianesimo antico e tardoantico. Edited by Emanuela Valeriani and Alberto D’Anna. Bologna: Edizioni Dehoniane Bologna, 2013.

———. “Simbolismo Ed Escatologia nell’Apocalisse Apocrifa Di Giovanni: Un Confronto Con l’Apocalisse Canonica.” Apocrypha 26 (2015): 79–101.

Vianès, Laurence. “Les citations bibliques dans la Première Apocalyse Apocryphe de saint Jean et dans les Quaestiones ad Antiochum Ducem.” Pages 145–61 in Soyez des changuers avisés. Controverses exégétiques dans la littérature apocryphe chrétienne. Edited by Gabriella Aragione and Rémi Gounelle. Cahiers de Biblia Patristica 12. Strasbourg: Université de Strasbourg, 2012.

Weinel, Heinrich. “Die spätere christlich Apokalyptik.” Pages 141–73 in vol. 2 of Eucharisterion, Festschrift für Hermann Gunkel. Edited by Hans Schmidt. 2 vols. Studien zur religion und Literatur des Alten und Neuen Testaments 19. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1923.

Whealey, Alice. “The Apocryphal Apocalypse of John: A Byzantine Apocalypse from the Early Islamic Period.” JTS 53 (2002): 533–40.