What is the Apocalypse of Peter?
The Apocalypse of Peter is one of fifty-three religious treatises that make up the Coptic Gnostic Library that was discovered near Nag Hammadi, Egypt, in 1946. This particular treatise is narrated by Peter, who is sitting with the Savior in the temple the day before the Crucifixion. (The Savior himself is referred to by various names and titles, including "The Strong One," "The Enlightener," "Christ," and "The Living Jesus.") During their conversation, Jesus says that those who follow him will be able to distinguish between wickedness and righteousness. He discusses spiritual blindness, opens to Peter a vision, and reiterates that Peter will be a spiritual leader to the righteous. The second part of his discourse focuses on the apostasy, the nature of immortal souls, and deceptive leaders. Some of the more peculiar doctrines of the Apocalypse of Peter can be traced to the Docetic Christians of the first century A.D. They believed that the real Jesus was a spirit who only seemed to have a body of flesh. Because the divine Christ could not suffer, he only united himself to the physical personage of Jesus at baptism, and later separated from his physical counterpart before the suffering in Gethsemane and on the cross. The article includes an explanation of the passages, as well as the translated passages themselves.
S. Kent Brown -
S. Kent Brown has been an assistant profesor of ancient scripture at Brigham Young University.
C. Wilfred Griggs -
C. Wilfred Griggs has been Professor of Ancient Scripture at Brigham Young University.