EPISTULA APOSTOLORUM

Book Revealed to His Disciples. The title Epistula is from the Latin translation. Only the first part of the Epistula apostolorum is a letter; the work as a whole belongs to the literary genre of Dialogues of Jesus with the apostles. The text, written in Greek between 160 and 180 in Egypt or in Syria, is preserved entirely only in an Ethiopic version, which the first editors of the Ethiopic text called The Testament in Galilee of Our Lord Jesus Christ the title of the apocalypse that precedes the Epistula apostolorum in that MS. It is preserved fragmentarily in Coptic, and a few passages in Latin. The first chapters 1-11 contain a discourse of Jesus; the second part 12-50 is a dialogue of Jesus with his disciples after the resurrection. The document contains interesting fragments on Jesus’ life e.g., birth, childhood, wedding at Cana, passion and resurrection. The epilogue speaks of his ascension 51. Though containing some gnostic elements, the Epistula apostolorum is aimed against gnosis and the gnostics: Simon Magus and Cerinthus. The author stresses the unity of the two Testaments.

CANT 22; Editions: Ethiopic text: L. Guerrier, S. Grbaut, PO 9, 1913, 172-233; Coptic: C. Schmidt, TU 43, 1919 repr. Hildesheim 1967. Translations: J.N. Pr¨s, Apocryphes 5, 1994; It.: Erbetta 3, 37-62; Moraldi 2, 27-60; Pol.: S. Kur, in Starowieyski 3, 27-50, bibl. 355; Ger.: H. Duensing, Kleine Texte 152, Bonn 1925; C.D.G. M¼ller, in Schneemelcher 1, 205-233; M. Hornschuh, Studien zur Epistula Apostolorum, Berlin 1965; J. Hills, Tradition and Composition in the Epistula Apostolorum, Minneapolis 1990; J.N. Pr¨s, L’‰p®tre des Ap´tres! et l’Anaphore des Ap´tres: quelques convergences, Apocrypha 8 1997 89-96; Id., Un lment de christologie quartodcimane dans l’‰p®tre des Ap´tres: l’agape pascale comme occurence de solidarit: Apocrypha 13 2002 113-121.

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