Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

Acta Petri et XII Apostolorum

Other Titles: none

Standard abbreviation: Acts Pet. 12 Apos.

Clavis numbers: CANT 207

Category: Apocryphal Acts

Related Literature: Acts of Philip, Acts of Thomas, Book of the Installation of the Angel Gabriel

Compiled by: Calogero A. Miceli, Concordia University (calogero.miceli@concordia.ca)

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Miceli, Calogero A. “Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR. http://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/acts-of-peter-and-the-twelve-apostles/.

Posted 4 May 2017

1. SUMMARY

The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles is a noncanonical account from Nag Hammadi Codex VI. Estimated dates of composition range from as early as the second century CE to as late as the fourth century CE. The copy of Acts Pet. 12 Apos. found in Codex VI is the only known copy of the work. Acts Pet. 12 Apos. tells how Peter and the apostles, who are without Jesus, set sail and arrive at the city of Habitation. Once there, they encounter a pearl merchant named Lithargoel, who, much to the dismay of the rich people of the city, claims that he will give his precious pearl for free to those who travel to his home, the city of Nine Gates. Peter and the apostles heed the merchant’s advice and make their way to the city. Once they arrive, the apostles are met by Lithargoel, this time dressed as a physician. He is soon revealed to be Jesus. He instructs Peter and the others to go back to Habitation and look after those who have believed. Though it is never stated in the text, it is often assumed by scholars that the story is set after Jesus’ arrest and crucifixion, in which case these are appearances of the resurrected Jesus.

Named historical figures and characters: Lithargoel, Jesus Christ, John (son of Zebedee), Peter (apostle).

Places: Habitation (city), Nine Gates (city).

2. RESOURCES

“Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Early Christian Writings. Administrator: Peter Kirby (Features several English translations and a brief bibliography).

“The Nag Hammadi Library Codex Index.” The Gnostic Society Library (with links to online translations).

Miceli, Calogero. “Yet Another Story about Jesus Outside the New Testament.” Inquisitive Minds Podcast. Posted 8 May 2017.

3. BIBLIOGRAPHY

3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

3.1.1 Coptic

Cairo, Coptic Museum, Inv. 10549 (Nag Hammadi Codex VI), pp. 1–12 (4th cent.)

Parrott, Douglas M., and R. McL. Wilson. “NHC VI,1: The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 197–230 in Nag Hammadi Codices V, 2-5 and VI, with Papyrus Berolinensis 8502, 1 and 4. Edited by Douglas M. Parrott. NHS 11. Coptic Gnostic Library. Leiden: Brill, 1979 (codicological analysis pp. 30–36).

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Molinari, Andrea Lorenzo. The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NHC 6.1): Allegory, Ascent, and Ministry in the Wake of the Decian Persecution. SBLDS 174. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000.

Parrott, Douglas M., and R. McL. Wilson. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles: VI 1, 1-12, 22.” Pages 289–94 in The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Edited by James M. Robinson. 3d ed. New York: HarperOne, 1990.

Schenke, Hans-Martin. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 412–25 in New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 2, Writings Relating to the Apostles; Apocalypses and Related Subjects. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher. Translated by Robert McLachlan Wilson. Rev. ed. Louisville: Westminster/John Knox, 1992.

Scopello, Madeleine, and Marvin Meyer. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 357–66 in The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Edited by Marvin W. Meyer. New York: HarperOne, 2007.

3.2.2 French

Ghica, Victor. “Les Actes de Pierre et des douze apôtres (NH VI,1): La vie d’un écrit apocryphe: Rédaction, remaniement, traduction.” Ph.D. diss., Université Laval and École Pratique des Hautes Études, 2006.

__________. “Actes de Pierre et des Douze Apôtres (NH VI, I).” Pages 809–35 in Écrits gnostiques: La Bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi. Edited by Jean-Pierre Mahé and Paul-Hubert Poirier. Paris: NRF, 2007.

3.2.3 German

Lüdemann, Gerd, and Martina Janssen. Bibel der Häretiker: Die gnostischen Schriften aus Nag Hammadi. Stuttgart: Radius, 1997.

3.3 General Works

Batten, Alicia J. “Thematic Affinities between the Letter of James and the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 249–66 in Christian Apocrypha: Receptions of the New Testament in Ancient Christian Apocrypha. Edited by Jean-Michel Roessli and Tobias Nicklas. Novum Testamentum Patristicum 26. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 2014.

Czachesz, István. Apostolic Commission Narratives in the Canonical and Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles. Ph.D. diss., University of Groningen, 2002.

__________. “The Identity of Lithargoel in the Acts of Peter and the Twelve.” Pages 485–502 in The Wisdom of Egypt: Jewish, Early Christian, and Gnostic Essays in Honour of Gerard P. Luttikhuizen. Edited by Anthony Hilhorst and George H. van Kooten. Leiden: Brill, 2005.

__________. The Grotesque Body in Early Christian Discourse: Hell, Scatology, and Metamorphosis. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 2014.

Foster, Paul. “Polymorphic Christology: Its Origins and Development in Early Christianity.” JTS 58 (2007): 66–99.

Ghica, Victor. “Les Actes de Pierre et des douze apôtres (NH VI,1): La vie d’un écrit apocryphe: Rédaction, remaniement, traduction.” Ph.D. diss., Université Laval and École Pratique des Hautes Études, 2006.

Ghica, Victor. “Actes de Pierre et des Douze Apôtres (NH VI, I).” Pages 809–35 in Écrits gnostiques: La Bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi. Edited by Jean-Pierre Mahé and Paul-Hubert Poirier. Paris: NRF, 2007.

Guillaumont, Antoine. “De nouveaux actes apocryphes: Les actes de Pierre et des douze apôtres.” RHR 196 (1979): 141–52.

Haas, Yves. “L’exigence du renoncement au monde dans les Actes de Pierre et des douze Apôtres, les Apophtegmes des Pères du Désert et la Pistis Sophia.” Pages 295–303 in Colloque international sur les textes de Nag Hammadi (Québec, 25 août 1978). Edited by Bernard Barc. Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi: Section “Études” 1. Quebec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 1981.

Klauck, Hans-Josef. The Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles: An Introduction. Translated by Brian J. McNeil. Waco, TX: Baylor University Press, 2008.

Lapham, Fred. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” Pages 71–82 in Peter: The Myth, the Man and the Writings: A Study of Early Petrine Text and Tradition. JSNTSup 239. London: Sheffield Academic Press, 2003.

Lüdemann, Gerd, and Martina Janssen. Bibel der Häretiker: Die gnostischen Schriften aus Nag Hammadi. Stuttgart: Radius, 1997.

Miceli, Calogero A. “The Shapeshifting of Jesus in the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NHC VI.1).” Forthcoming in Nag Hammadi after 70 Years: What have we Learned? Presses de l’Université Laval.

Molinari, Andrea Lorenzo. The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NHC 6.1): Allegory, Ascent, and Ministry in the Wake of the Decian Persecution. SBLDS 174. Atlanta, GA: Society of Biblical Literature, 2000.

__________. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles: A Reconsideration of the Source Question.” Pages 461–83 in Nag Hammadi Library After Fifty Years: Proceedings of the 1995 Society of Biblical Literature Commemoration. Edited by John D. Turner and Anne McGuire. Leiden: Brill, 1997.

Parrott, Douglas M., and R. McL. Wilson. “The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles: VI 1, 1-12, 22.” Pages 289–94 in The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Edited by James M. Robinson. 3d ed. New York: HarperOne, 1990.

Patterson, Stephen J. “Sources, Redaction and Tendenz in the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles (NH VI,1).” VC 45 (1991): 1–17.

Salvoni, F. “Un nuovo apocrifo: Gli Atti di S. Pietro e dei 12 apostoli.” Ricerche bibliche e religiose 15 (1980): 35–42.

Sell, Jesse. “A Note on a Striking Johannine Motif Found at CG VI: 6, 19.” NovT 20 (1978): 232–40.

__________. “Simon Peter’s ‘Confession’ and the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles.” NovT 21 (1979): 344–56.

__________. “Jesus the ‘Fellow-Stranger’: A Study of CG VI: 2, 35-3, II.” NovT 23 (1981): 173–92.

Smith, Mitzi J. “Understand ye a Parable!: The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles as Parable Narrative.” Apocrypha 13 (2002): 29–52.