Apocalypse of Peter (Coptic)

Apocalypsis Petri (coptice)

Standard abbreviation: Apoc. Pet.

Other Titles: Revelation of Peter

Clavis numbers: CANT 324

Category: Passion Narratives

Related Literature: Acts of John 99, Basilides (see Irenaeus, Against Heresies 1.24.4; Epiphanius, Panarion 24.3), Second Discourse of Great Seth (note, the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter is unrelated to the Greek/Ethiopoc Apocalypse of Peter).

Compiled by: Pamela Mullins Reaves, Colorado College (Pamela.Reaves@ColoradoCollege.edu)

Citing this resource (using Chicago Manual of Style): Reaves, Pamela Mullins. “The Apocalypse of Peter (Coptic).” e-Clavis: Christian Apocrypha. Accessed DAY MONTH YEAR. http://www.nasscal.com/e-clavis-christian-apocrypha/apocalypse-of-peter-coptic/.

Posted April 2017.

 1. SUMMARY

The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (NHC VII,3) is an early Christian apocalypse, written pseudonymously in Peter’s name. Since it shares terminology and concepts with related second- and third-century traditions, including other Nag Hammadi writings, it is typically characterized as “gnostic.” Interpreting a series of visions, Jesus—“the Savior”—details the “true” meaning of persecution for Peter. This involves conveying the realities of the crucifixion, the emergence of error within Christianity, and the oppression of some Christians (including Peter) by others. The apocalypse opens in Jerusalem with Jesus instructing Peter at the temple on the eve of the crucifixion. Peter fears death when he sees priests and people en route to attack them. The Savior reassures Peter that these people, ultimately responsible for the crucifixion, are blind and misguidedly attached to the rulers of the created world. Reassured, Peter progressively gains exclusive knowledge about the realities of this world as well as about his own association with a higher, immortal realm. Those like Peter are referred to as “the little ones,” likely reflecting their marginal status among Christians. In this situation, persecution by other Christians (those who lack awareness) is to be expected, but it will be temporary. The Savior’s explication of Peter’s vision of crucifixion highlights the futility of such persecution. Having departed from the flesh, the true Savior stands by laughing as the authorities foolishly execute the irrelevant bodily remnant. Through the example of the Savior, Apoc. Pet. rejects the glorification of physical plight, challenging other Christians who advocate a suffering Savior. With this new awareness, Peter is encouraged to be strong and convey his knowledge to others, who are similarly not of this age (aeon).

Named historical figures and characters: Hermas, Jesus Christ (the Savior), Peter.

Geographical locations: Jerusalem, temple (Jerusalem).

2. RESOURCES

2.1 Web Sites

“Coptic Apocalypse of Peter.” Early Christian Writings (with links to online translations and online and print articles).

“Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter.” Wikipedia.

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

2.2 Documentaries

Jennings, Tom, dir. The Secret Lives of Jesus. Washington, DC: National Geographic Video, 2006. Segment: 33:40–40:45.

Madeja, Geoffrey, dir. Banned from the Bible. The History Channel, Episode 1, 2003. New York: A & E Home Video, 2008. Segment: 87:50–89:45

3. BIBLIOGRAPHY

3.1 Manuscripts and Editions

3.1.1 Coptic

Cairo, Coptic Museum, Inv. 10546 (Nag Hammadi Codex VII) (4th cent.)

Brashler, James. “NHC VII,3: Apocalypse of Peter: Text, Translation, and Notes.” Pages 218–47 in Nag Hammadi Codex VII. Edited by Birger A. Pearson. NHMS 30. The Coptic Gnostic Library. Leiden: Brill, 1996.

Havelaar, Henriette W. The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (Nag-Hammadi-Codex VII,3). TU 144. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1999.

3.2 Modern Translations

3.2.1 English

Brashler, James. “NHC VII,3: Apocalypse of Peter: Text, Translation, and Notes.” Pages 218–47 in Nag Hammadi Codex VII. Edited by Birger A. Pearson. NHMS 30. The Coptic Gnostic Library. Leiden: Brill, 1996.

Brashler, James, and Roger A. Bullard. “Apocalypse of Peter (VII, 3).” Pages 372–78 in The Nag Hammadi Library in English. Edited by James M. Robinson and Richard Smith. 3rd rev. ed. San Francisco: HarperSanFrancisco, 1988.

Brown, S. Kent, and C. Wilfred Griggs. “The Apocalypse of Peter: Introduction and Translation.” Brigham Young University Studies Quarterly 15 (1975): 131–45.

Havelaar, Henriette W. The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (Nag-Hammadi-Codex VII,3). TU 144. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1999.

Meyer, Marvin W. “The Revelation of Peter.” Pages 487–97 in The Nag Hammadi Scriptures. Edited by Marvin W. Meyer. New York: HarperOne, 2007.

3.2.2 French

Dubois, Jean-Daniel. “Apocalypse de Pierre (NH VII,3).” Pages 1143–66 in Écrits gnostiques: La bibliothèque de Nag Hammadi. Edited by Jean-Pierre Mahé and Paul-Hubert Poirier. Paris: Gallimard, 2007.

3.2.3 German

Havelaar, Henriette W. “Die Apokalypse des Petrus.” Pages 410–16 in Nag Hammadi Deutsch: Studienausgabe: NHC I-XIII, Codex Berolinensis 1 und 4, Codex Tchacos 3 und 4. Edited by Hans-Martin Schenke, Ursula Ulrike Kaiser, and Hans-Gebhard Bethge. Berlin: De Gruyter, 2013.

Krause, Martin, and Viktor Girgis. “Die Petrusapokalypse.” Pages 152–79 in Christentum am Roten Meer, II. Edited by Franz Altheim and Ruth Stiehl. Berlin: De Gruyter, 1973.

Lüdemann, Gerd, and Martina Janssen. Pages 232–237 in Bibel der Häretiker: Die gnostischen Schriften aus Nag Hammadi: Eingeleitet, übersetzt und kommentiert. Stuttgart: Radius, 1997.

Schoenborn, Ulrich. Diverbium Salutis: Studien zur Interdependenz von literarischer Struktur und theologischer Intention des gnostischen Dialogs, ausgeführt an der koptischen ‘Apokalypse der Petrus’ aus Nag Hammadi (NHC VII,3). SUNT 19. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995.

Werner, Andreas. “Die Apokalypse des Petrus: Die dritte Schrift aus Nag-Hammadi Codex VII eingeleitet und übersetzt vom Berliner Arbeitskreis für koptische-gnostische Schriften.” TLZ 99 (1974): 575–84.

_________. “Koptisch-gnosticische Apokalypse des Petrus.” Pages 633–43 in Neutestamentliche Apokryphen in deutscher Übersetzung, Bd. 2: Apostolisches, Apokalypsen und Verwandtes. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher. 6th ed. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1997. English translation: “The Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter.” Pages 700–12 in New Testament Apocrypha, Vol. 2, Writings Relating to the Apostles; Apocalypses and Related Subjects. Edited by Wilhelm Schneemelcher. Translated by Robert McL. Wilson. Rev. ed. Louisville, KY: Westminster/John Knox, 1992.

3.2.4 Italian

Moraldi, Luigi. Le apocalissi gnostische: Apocalissi di Adamo, Pietro, Giacomo, Paolo. Biblioteca Adelphi 181. Milan: Adelphi Edizioni, 1987.

3.2.5 Polish

Myszor, Wincenty. “Apokalipsa Piotra (Nag Hammadi Codex VII,3, P. 70,13-84,14): Wstęp, przekład z koptyjskiego, komentarz.” Śląskie Studia Historyczno-Teologiczne 31 (1998): 315–29.

3.2.6 Spanish

Piñero, Antonio. “Apocalipsis de Pedro (NHC VII 3 70,13—84,14).” Pages 47–70 in Textos gnósticos, biblioteca de Nag Hammadi, Vol. 3: Apocalipsis y otros escritos. Colección Paradigmas 27. Madrid: Trotta, 2000.

3.3 General Works

Aranda Pérez, Gonzalo. “El Apóstel Pedro en la literature gnóstica.” EstBib 47 (1989): 65–92.

Baumeister, Theofried. “Die Rolle des Petrus in gnostischen Texten.” Pages 3–12 in Acts of the Second International Congress of Coptic Studies, Roma, 22-26 September 1980. Edited by Tito Orlandi and Frederik Wisse. Rome: C.I.M., 1985.

Berger, Klaus. “Unfehlbare Offenbarung: Petrus in der gnosticischen und apocalyptischen Offenbarungsliteratur.” Pages 261–326 in Kontinuität und Einheit: Für Franz Mussner. Edited by Paul-Gerhard Müller and Werner Stenger. Freiburg: Herder, 1981.

Böhlig, Alexander. “Zur Apokalypse des Petrus.” Pages 395–398 in vol. 2 of Gnosis und Synkretismus: Gesammelte Aufsätze zur spätantiken Religionsgeschichte. 2 vols. WUNT 47–48. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1989.

Brashler, James A. The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter: A Genre Analysis and Interpretation. PhD dissertation, Claremont Graduate School, 1977.

Desjardins, Michel. “NHC VII,3: Apocalypse of Peter. Introduction.” Pages 201–16 in Nag Hammadi Codex VII. Edited by Birger A. Pearson. NHMS 30. The Coptic Gnostic Library. Leiden: Brill, 1996.

Dubois, Jean-Daniel. “L’Apocalypse de Pierre (NHC VII, 3) et le Nouveau Testament.” Pages 117–25 in Écritures et traditions dans la littérature copte: Journée d’études coptes, Strasbourg 28 mai 1982. Cahiers de la Bibliothèque Copte 1. Louvain: Peeters, 1983.

_________. “L’Évangile de Judas et la tradition basilidienne.” Pages 145–54 in The Gospel of Judas in Context: Proceedings of the First International Conference on the Gospel of Judas, Paris, Sorbonne, October 27th-28th, 2006. Edited by Madeleine Scopello. Leiden: Brill, 2008.

_________. “Le preamble de l’Apocalypse de Pierre (Nag Hammadi VII,70,14–20).” Pages 384–93 in Gnosticisme et monde hellénistique: Actes du colloque de Louvain-la-Neuve (1114 mars 1980). Edited by Julien Ries, Yvonne Janssens, and Jean–Marie Sevrin. Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 27. Louvain-la-Neuve: Université catholique de Louvain, Institut Orientaliste, 1982.

Fallon, Francis T. “Gnostic Apocalypses.” Semeia 14 (1979): 123–58.

Guillaumont, Antoine. “Textes de Nag Hammadi: ‘L’Apocalypse de Pierre.’” Annuaire du collège de France 1979–1980 80 (1980): 471–73.

Havelaar, Henriette W. The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (Nag-Hammadi-Codex VII,3). TU 144. Berlin: Akademie Verlag, 1999.

_________. “An Intertextual Study of the Apocalypse of Peter.” Pages 388–94 in Actes du IVe Congrès copte: Louvain–la–Neuve, 5–10 septembre 1988, vol. 2: De la linguistique au gnosticisme. Edited by Marguerite Rassart-Debergh and Julien Ries. Publications de l’Institut Orientaliste de Louvain 41. Louvain-la-Neuve: Université catholique de Louvain, 1992.

_________. “The Use of Scripture in the Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter (NHC VII,3).” Pages 221–33 in The Use of Sacred Books in the Ancient World. Edited by L. V. Rutgers et al. CBET 22. Leuven: Peeters, 1998.

Hellholm, David. “The Mighty Minority of Gnostic Christians.” Pages 41–66 in Mighty Minorities? Minorities in Early Christianity, Positions and Strategies: Essays in Honour of Jacob Jervell on his 70th Birthday, 21 May 1995. Edited by David Hellholm, Halvor Moxnes, Turid Karlsen Seim. Oslo: Scandinavian University Press, 1995.

_________. “The ‘Revelation Schema’ and Its Adaptation in the Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter.” SEÅ 63 (1998): 233–48.

Koschorke, Klaus. Die Polemik der Gnostiker gegen das kirchliche Christentum: Unter besonderer Berücksichtigung der Nag-Hammadi-Traktate ‘Apokalypse des Petrus’ (NHC VII, 3) und ‘Testimonium Veritatis’ (NHC IX, 3). NHS 12. Leiden: Brill, 1978.

Krause, Martin. “Die literarischen Gattungen der Apokalypsen von Nag Hammadi.” Pages 621–37 in Apocalypticism in the Mediterranean World and the Near East: Proceedings of the International Colloquium on Apocalypticism, Uppsala, August 12–17, 1979. Edited by David Hellholm. 2nd ed. Tübingen: Mohr, 1989.

Lapham, Fred. “The Coptic Apocalypse of Peter.” Pages 217–36 in Peter: The Myth, the Man and the Writings: A Study of Early Petrine Text and Tradition. JSNTSup 239. London: Sheffield Academic, 2003.

Luttikhuizen, Gerard P. “The Suffering Jesus and the Invulnerable Christ in the Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter.” Pages 187–99 in The Apocalypse of Peter. Edited by Jan N. Bremmer and István Czachesz. Studies on Early Christian Apocrypha 7. Leuven: Peeters, 2003.

Mees, Michael. “Das Petrusbild nach ausserkanonischen Zeugnissen.” ZRGG 27 (1975): 193–205.

_________. “Petrustraditionen im Zeugnis kanonischen und ausserkanonischen Schrifttums.” Augustinianum 13 (1973): 185–203.

Molinari, Andrea Lorenzo. “The Apocalypse of Peter and Its Dating.” Pages 583–605 in Coptica, gnostica, Manichaica: Mélanges offerts à Wolf-Peter Funk. Bibliothèque copte de Nag Hammadi: Section “Études” 7. Quebec: Les Presses de l’Université Laval, 2006.

Nicklas, Tobias. “‘Gnostic’ Perspectives on Peter.” Pages 196–221 in Peter in Early Christianity. Edited by Helen K. Bond and Larry W. Hurtado. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 2015.

Oegema, Gerbern S. “Die koptische Petrus-Apokalypse: ApkPtr.” Pages 146–47 in Zwischen Hoffnung und Gericht: Untersuchungen zur Rezeption der Apokalyptik im frühen Christentum und Judentum. WMANT 82. Neukirchen-Vluyn: Neukirchener Verlag, 1999.

Pagels, Elaine. “Gnostic and Orthodox Views of Christ’s Passion: Paradigms for the Christian’s Response to Persecution.” Pages 262–83 in vol. 1 of The Rediscovery of Gnosticism: Proceedings of the International Conference on Gnosticism at Yale, New Haven, Connecticut, March 28–31, 1978. Edited by Bentley Layton. 2 vols. SHR 41.1. Leiden: Brill, 1980–1981.

Pearson, Birger A. “The Apocalypse of Peter and Canonical 2 Peter.” Pages 67–74 in Gnosticism & the Early Christian World: In Honor of James M. Robinson. Edited by James E. Goehring, Charles W. Hedrick, Jack T. Sanders, and Hans Dieter Betz. Forum Fascicles 2. Sonoma, CA: Polebridge, 1990.

Peel, Malcolm L. “Gnostic Eschatology and the New Testament.” NovT 12 (1970): 141–65.

Perkins, Pheme. “The Gnostic Apostle: The Petrine Tradition.” Pages 113–30 in The Gnostic Dialogue: The Early Church and the Crisis of Gnosticism. Theological Inquiries. New York: Paulist, 1980.

_________. “Peter in Gnostic Revelation.” Pages 1–13 in Society of Biblical Literature 1974 Seminar Papers, vol. 2. Edited by George W. MacRae. Cambridge: Society of Biblical Literature, 1974.

Reaves, Pamela Mullins. “Pseudo-Peter and Persecution: (Counter-)Evaluations of Suffering in the Coptic Apocalypse of Peter (NHC VII,3) and the Letter of Peter to Philip (NHC VIII,2). Pages 129–51 in ”Fakes, Forgeries, and Fictions: Writing Ancient and Modern Christian Apocrypha. Edited by Tony Burke. Eugene, OR: Cascade, 2017.

Rosenstiehl, Jean-Marc. “Les cinq ‘Apocalypses’ de Nag Hammadi.” Histoire et archéologie 70 (1983): 30–33.

Schenke, Hans-Martin. “Bemerkungen zur Apokalypse des Petrus.” Pages 277–85 in Essays on the Nag Hammadi Texts: In Honour of Pahor Labib. Edited by Martin Krause. NHS 6. Leiden: Brill, 1975.

_________. “Zur Faksimile-Aufgabe der Nag Hammadi-Schriften: Die Schriften des Codex VII.” ZÄS 102 (1975): 123–38.

Schoenborn, Ulrich. Diverbium Salutis: Studien zur Interdependenz von literarischer Struktur und theologischer Intention des gnostischen Dialogs, ausgeführt an der koptischen ‘Apokalypse der Petrus’ aus Nag Hammadi (NHC VII,3). SUNT 19. Göttingen: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1995.

Scholten, Clemens. “Die Apokalypse des Petrus.” Pages 80–90 in Martyrium und Sophiamythos im Gnostizismus nach den Texten von Nag Hammadi. JAC 14. Münster: Aschendorffsche Verlagsbuchhandlung, 1987.

Shellrude, Glen M. “Nag Hammadi Apocalypses: A Study of the Relationship of Selected Texts to the Traditional Apocalypse.” PhD dissertation, St. Andrews University, 1986.

Smith, Terence V. Petrine Controversies in Early Christianity: Attitudes towards Peter in Christian Writings of the First Two Centuries. WUNT 2.15. Tübingen: Mohr, 1985.

Stanton, Graham N. “The Nag Hammadi Apocalypse of Peter.” Pages 272–277 in A Gospel for a New People: Studies in Matthew. Edinburgh: T&T Clark, 1992.

Tite, Philip L. “Voluntary Martyrdom and Gnosticism.” JECS 23 (2015): 27–54.

Werner, Andreas. “Die Apokalypse des Petrus: Die dritte Schrift aus Nag-Hammadi Codex VII eingeleitet und übersetzt vom Berliner Arbeitskreis für koptische-gnostische Schriften.” TLZ 99 (1974): 575–84.