Acts of Paul

1.0 The Development of the Canon of the New Testament: Acts of Paul1)http://www.ntcanon.org/Acts_of_Paul.shtml

(Asia Minor, 185-195 CE)

The Acts of Paul is a romance that makes arbitrary use of the canonical Acts and the Pauline Epistles. Many manuscripts have survived, there is an English translation in [Schneemelcher] v. 2 pp. 237-265, but there is not yet a critical edition. The canon list in the 6th century codex Claromontanus includes it with an indication that it contains 3560 lines, somewhat longer than the canonical Acts with 2600 lines.

The author, so Tertullian tells us, was a cleric who lived in the Roman province of Asia in the western part of Asia Minor, and who composed the book about 170 CE with the avowed intent of doing honor to the Apostle Paul. Although well-intentioned, the author was brought up for trial by his peers and, being convicted of falsifying the facts, was dismissed from his office. But his book, though condemned by ecclesiastical leaders, achieved considerable popularity among the laity.

Certain episodes in the Acts of Paul, such as the ‘Journeys of Paul and Thecla’, exist in a number of Greek manuscripts and in half a dozen ancient versions. Thecla was a noble-born virgin from Iconium and an enthusiastic follower of the Apostle; she preached like a missionary and administered baptism. It was the administration of baptism by a woman that scandalized Tertullian and led him to condemn the entire book. In this section we find a description of the physical appearance of Paul:

A man small in size, with a bald head and crooked legs; in good health; with eyebrows that met and a rather prominent nose; full of grace, for sometimes he looked like a man and sometimes he looked like an angel.

Another episode concerns the Apostle and the baptized lion. Although previously known from allusions to it in patristic writers, it was not until 1936 that the complete text was made available from a recently discovered Greek papyrus. Probably the imaginative writer had read Paul’s rhetorical question: ‘What do I gain if, humanly speaking, I fought with the wild beasts at Ephesus?’ (I Cor. 15:32). Wishing to supply details to supplement this allusion, the author supplies a thrilling account of the intrepid apostle’s experience at Ephesus. Interest is added when the reader learns that some time earlier in the wilds of the countryside Paul had preached to that very lion and, on its profession of faith, had baptized it. It is not surprising that the outcome of the confrontation in the amphitheater was the miraculous release of the apostle.

2.0 Acts of Paul2)http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/actspaul.html

Text

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 orNTApocr.).

3.0 Topic3)

Ut diam ponderum patrioque eam, illum atomorum pro et. Et reque atomorum definitiones quo. Ubique copiosae imperdiet ne nam, in est vocibus vivendum euripidis, labore pertinacia ea nec. Ei pro natum detracto. Habemus offendit has cu. Aeterno insolens nam te, usu nonumy quaestio in. Sea ei illum summo constituto, pri ut lorem sonet altera, nihil corpora epicurei et vis.

Nisl debet veritus duo at. Dicam semper vel et, choro utinam te vim, id pri laudem dissentiunt mediocritatem. Ad modo latine impedit duo, porro virtute mea ne. Tota nihil prompta pro in, mea et putant impetus scripserit. Qui at option feugiat, qui in delicata recteque. Te duo docendi consequuntur, in natum evertitur voluptatibus quo.

4.0 Topic3)

Ut diam ponderum patrioque eam, illum atomorum pro et. Et reque atomorum definitiones quo. Ubique copiosae imperdiet ne nam, in est vocibus vivendum euripidis, labore pertinacia ea nec. Ei pro natum detracto. Habemus offendit has cu. Aeterno insolens nam te, usu nonumy quaestio in. Sea ei illum summo constituto, pri ut lorem sonet altera, nihil corpora epicurei et vis.

Nisl debet veritus duo at. Dicam semper vel et, choro utinam te vim, id pri laudem dissentiunt mediocritatem. Ad modo latine impedit duo, porro virtute mea ne. Tota nihil prompta pro in, mea et putant impetus scripserit. Qui at option feugiat, qui in delicata recteque. Te duo docendi consequuntur, in natum evertitur voluptatibus quo.


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Related: Non Canonical Text

Apocryphal New Testament Writings List


Related: Early Christian Writings

References   [ + ]

1. http://www.ntcanon.org/Acts_of_Paul.shtml
2. http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/actspaul.html

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