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Coptic Apocalypse of Peter

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Estimated Range of Dating: 200-255 A.D.

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Information on Coptic Apocalypse of Peter

Andreas Werner writes (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 702):

The manuscript of Codex VII probably derives from the 4th century (middle or end?); at this period a translation must therefore already have been available. Since it has evidently been transcribed before, we may assume an earlier time of origin, which is further confirmed by the assumption of translation from the Greek. If the text itself, with its mention of the name 'Hermas' at p. 78.18, engages in polemic against the possibility of repentence advocated in the Shepherd of Hermas, this would yield a terminus post quem on grounds of content in the middle of the 2nd century. Apoc. Pet. presupposes and criticizes the structures of a Great Church in process of consolidation, and the appropriation of Peter as the inaugurator of Gnosis is probably also directed against this; these points together with the controversy with other gnostics suggest placing the document at the end of the 2nd century or the beginning of the 3rd.

James Brashler writes (The Nag Hammadi Library in English, pp. 372-373): "The Apocalypse of Peter is significant in several respects. It contains important source material for a gnostic Christology that understands Jesus as a docetic redeemer. The view of the Gnostic community, including its relationship to Peter as its originator, is another key theme of this document. Of considerable interest are the identity of the gnostic group to which the writing is addressed, and the stage of the controversy, between emerging orthodoxy and heresy, presupposed by the tractate. It would appear that the Apocalypse of Peter was written in the third century, when this distinction between orthodoxy and heresy was rather clearly drawn."

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Kirby, Peter. "Coptic Apocalypse of Peter." Early Christian Writings. <>.