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Christianity / Apocryphal gospels /
Gospel of Peter

Full text in translationFull text in translation

In Christianity, apocryphal gospel dating back to the first half of the 2nd century CE, most likely originating in Syria.
The actual text used for translations was found in 1886 in Akhmim, Egypt. The existence of the gospel was known before that, having been mentioned in many ancient texts, but no part of its actual text had survived until the Akhmim find. Both the beginning and the end of the gospel is missing. Later finds at Oxyrhynchus, Egypt of papyrus fragments may provided with other parts of the gospel text, but this cannot be clearly established.
Apparently, this gospel was of great importance in early Christianity. It has been suggested that Peter builds directly on Q as a central source, not using the synoptic gospels.

Authorship
With central parts of the text missing, it is not clear what exact role Peter plays in order to have this text attributed to him.

Content
This gospel contains a Passion of Christ that has been suggested to represent its own tradition from the canonical gospels, and equally old.
This gospel fits the Docetic tradition, which denied that there was an actual human nature to Jesus. In this gospel, Jesus did not suffer on the cross, and the cross itself is represented anthropomorphically, being able to speak and move.
This gospel understands the Crucifixion solely from the theology of the Old Testament, but not as an actual historical event.
In the extant text, it comes clear that the opponents of Christianity knew of the truth, but were afraid of it.
Peter's gospel has elements of the stories from Hell that Bartholomew and Nicodemus tell about. Peter has one unique detail; that a large following travelled out of Jerusalem to visit his grave.




By Tore Kjeilen