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Acts of Paul

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

Estimated Range of Dating: 150-200 A.D.

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Information on the Acts of Paul

Philip Sellew writes (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 5, p. 202):

A 2d-century Christian writing recounting the missionary career and death of the apostle Paul and classed among the NT Apocrypha. In this work Paul is pictured as traveling from city to city, converting gentiles and proclaiming the need for a life of sexual abstinence and other encratite practices. Though ancient evidence suggests that the Acts of Paul was a relatively lengthy work (3600 lines according to the Stichometry of Nicephorus), only about two-thirds of that amount still survives. Individual sections were transmitted separately by the medieval manuscript tradition (Lipsius 1891), most importantly by the Acts of Paul and Thekla and the Martyrdom of Paul, both extant in the original Greek and several ancient translations. Manuscript discoveries in the last century have added considerable additional material. The most important of these include a Greek papyrus of the late 3d century, now at Hamburg (10 pages), a Coptic papyrus of the 4th or 5th century, now at Heidelberg (about 80 pages), and a Greek papyrus of correspondence between Paul and the Corinthians (3 Corinthians = Testuz 1959), now at Geneva. These finds have confirmed that the Thekla cycle and story of Paul's martyrdom were originally part of the larger Acts of Paul (details in Bovon 1981 or NTApocr.).

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Kirby, Peter. "Acts of Paul." Early Christian Writings. <>.