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Kerygmata Petrou

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Estimated Range of Dating: 180-220 A.D.

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The Kerygmata Petrou is believed to be a source for the basic document (dating to the third century but also hypothetical) of the Pseudo-Clementines, which was incorporated into the Recognitions and the Homilies of Clement. The Pseudo-Clementines achieved their final form in the fourth century. The Homilies, along with epistles addressed to James attributed to Clement and Peter, are found in Parisinus Graecus 930 and Vaticanus Ottobonianus 443. The Recognitions are preserved only in the Latin translation of Rufinus.

Georg Strecker writes (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 489):

If R III 75, the so-called Table of Contents of the Kerygmata, is to be recognised (with Rehm) as a literary fiction, then in reconstructing the KP-source we must proceed only from the introductory writings, [which are] the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio, isolating on the basis of conceptual and material parallels those contexts in the Pseudo-Clementines which display the same trend or tendency. Admittedly it is always only portions of the basic document that are thus laid hold of; statements regarding the Kerygmata cannot be wholly freed from the relativity that is theirs through their having been selected and interfered with by the author of the basic document.

Georg Strecker writes (op. cit., p. 493):

The terminus a quo for the origin of the basic document is Bardesanes' work Peri Eimarmenhs, to which the section R IX 19-29 goes back. The earliest possible time of origin is thus A.D. 220. Establishing the terminus ad quem is substantially more difficult. The use of the basic document by Epiphanius takes us back at the earliest to the middle of the 4th century. There thus remains as the most obvious clue only the time of composition of the Homilies in the first two decades of the 4th century (cf. above, p. 485), which results in a range from 220 to 300 with the year 260 A.D. as the arithmetical mean. This is also the lower limit [upper bound?] for the origin of the KP document. For the latter there is no firm foundation for establishing the terminus a quo. We may not go too far back into the 2nd century, since then we should not be able to understand why there is no evidence for the Kerygmata outside of the basic document. Over and above that, we can obtain an indication of the possible dating through comparison with the time of composition of the other sources of the basic document: if Bardesanes' dialogue, which the author of the basic document copied, was composed about the year 220, an ordination schema which that author used (in Ep. Clem., H III 60-72; XI 36; R III 65-66; VI 15) also came into being about 200. The same dating may be assumed for the Kerygmata.

The translation of the Kerygmata given above follows that of Georg Strecker and Johannes Irmscher.

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Kirby, Peter. "Kerygmata Petrou." Early Christian Writings. <>.