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Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

At a Glance
(2/5) **
Reliability of Dating:
(3/5) ***
Length of Text:
Original Language:
Ancient Translations:
Modern Translations:

Estimated Range of Dating: 150-225 A.D.

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Information on the Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles

Douglas M. Parrott writes (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, pp. 264):

This tractate is the first in the miscellaneous collection of Sahidic Coptic tractates comprising Nag Hammadi Codex VI. For all its brevity (12 pages) it is a remarkably complex document. The first half consists mainly of an account, with heavy allegorical overtones, about a pearl merchant who attracts the poor but is shunned by the rich, and who turns out not to have the pearl he is hawking; it is available only to those willing to journey to his city. The pearl merchant's name is Lithargoel, which means, according to the text, a lightweight, glistening stone (5.16-18) (Wilson and Parrott 215 n.). The account takes place in on island city identified simply as "Habitation" (the Coptic for which may be a translation of the Greek word meaning "inhabited world").

Parrott states on its dating (op. cit., p. 265):

The earliest portion of the tractate - the allegory - probably should be dated not later than the middle of the 2d century, because of the affinity with Herm. Sim., which is dated in the mid-century or before. The tractate as a whole, then, may have been put together in its present form toward the end of the 2d century, or early in the 3d.

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Kirby, Peter. "Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles." Early Christian Writings. <>.