New Testament Apocrypha

By Wilhelm Schneemelcher and R. Mcl. Wilson

The authoritative edition of non-canonical New Testament writings, including the Infancy Gospels and the gospels of the Gnostics.

ISBN: 9780227679159


In recent years there has been so much research into extra-canonical gospel literature and, in particular, into the Coptic Gnostic library of Nag Hammadi that a completely new recasting of the seminal work, Neutestamentliche Apokryphen in Deutscher Ubersetzung (originally founded by Edgar Hennecke), seemed called for.

This is the English translation of the revised edition of that work, published in two volumes. This is an essential collection of sources for every student of the New Testament and of the history and literature of ancient Christianity.

Volume I covers the Gospels and related writings, including the various Gnostic Gospels and Infancy Gospels.

Volume II covers writings related to the Apostles, the Apocalypse and related subjects.

Additional information

Dimensions 234 × 156 mm
Pages 568 (Volume I), 788 (Volume II)


Volume 1  |  Volume 2  |  2 Volume Set

Trade Information JGEN

About the Author

Wilhelm Schneemelcher is a former Professor of Bonn University.

R. McL. Wilson is Emeritus Professor of Biblical Criticism at St Mary’s College in the University of St Andrew’s.

Other Contributors:
Wolfgang A. Bienert
Hans-Gebhard Bethge
Beate Blatz
Oscar Cullmann
Han J.W. Drijvers
Wolf-Peter Funk
Otfried Hofius
Joachim Jeremias
Dankwart Kirchner
Christian Maurer
H. Merkel
C. Detlef G. Müller
Henri-Charles Puech
Felix Scheidweiler
Hans-Martin Schenke
Georg Strecker
Einar Thomassen
M.-A. van den Oudenrijn
Philipp Vielhauer


Volume I: Gospels and Related Writings

Preface to the English Edition
Preface to the Sixth German Edition

General Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. The concepts: canon, testament, apocrypha
2. On the history of the New Testament canon
a) Canon catalogues
b) Testimonies of Church Fathers from the 3rd and 4th Centuries
3. New Testament apocrypha
4. The continuance and influence of the New Testament apocrypha
5. On the history of research into the apocryphal literature

A. Gospels: Non-Biblical Material About Jesus
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher

I. Isolated Sayings of the Lord / Otfried Hofius
II. Fragments of Unknown Gospels / Joachim Jeremias and Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 840
2. Papyrus Egerton 2
3. Oxyrhynchus Papyrus 1224
4. Papyrus Cairensis 10 735
5. The so-called Fayyum Fragment
6. The Strasbourg Coptic Papyrus
Appendix: the ‘secret Gospel’ of Mark / H. Merkel
III. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas / Beate Blatz
IV. Jewish Christian Gospels / Philipp Vielhauer and Georg Strecker
Introduction: The Testimonies of the Early Church regarding Jewish-Christian Gospels
1. The Gospel of the Nazareans
2. The Gospel of the Ebionites
3. The Gospel of the Hebrews
V. The Gospel of Philip / Hans-Martin Schenke
VI. The Gospel of the Egyptians / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
VII. The Gospel of Peter / Christian Maurer and Wilhelm Schneemelcher
VIII. Dialogues of the Redeemer
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. The Book of Thomas / Hans-Martin Schenke; translated by Einar Thomassen
2. The Freer Logion / Joachim Jeremias
3. Epistula Apostolorum / C. Detlef G. Müller
4. The Apocryphon of James / Dankwart Kirchner; translated by Einar Thomassen
5. The Dialogue of the Saviour / Beate Blatz; translated by Einar Thomassen
6. The First Apocalypse of James / Wolf-Peter Funk
7. The Second Apocalypse of James / Wolf-Peter Funk
8. The Letter of Peter to Philip / Hans-Gebhard Bethge
IX. Other Gnostic Gospels and Related Literature / Henri-Charles Puech; revised by Beate Blatz
Preliminary Note / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
A. Gospels under general titles
1. The Gospel of the Four Heavenly Regions
2. The Gospel of Perfection
3. The Gospel of Truth
B. Gospels under the name of an Old Testament figure
C. Gospels current, directly or indirectly, under the name of Jesus, and similar works
1. The Sophia Jesu Christi
2. The Dialogue of the Redeemer
3. The Pistis Sophia
4. The two Books of Jeu
D. Gospels attributed to the Apostles as a group
1. The Gospel of the Twelve (or: of the Twelve Apostles)
2. The (Kukean) Gospel of the Twelve
3. The Memoria Apostolorum
4. The (Manichean) Gospel of the Twelve Apostles
5. The Gospel of the Seventy
6. Other ‘Gospels of the Twelve Apostles’
E. Gospels under the name of an Apostle
1. The Gospel of Philip
2. The Coptic Gospel of Thomas
3. The Book of Thomas
4. The Gospel according to Matthias. The Traditions of Matthias
5. The Gospel of Judas
6. The Apocryphon of John
7. The Fragments of a Dialogue between John and Jesus
8. The Apocryphon of James (Apocryphon Jacobi)
9. The Gospel of Barthomew
F. Gospels under the names of holy women
1. The Questions of Mary
2. The Gospel of Mary
3. The ‘Genna Marias’
G. Gospels attributed to an arch-heretic
1. The Gospel of Cerinthus
2. The Gospel of Basilides
3. The Gospel of Marcion
4. The Gospel of Apelles
5. The Gospel of Bardesanes
6. The Gospel of Mani
H. Gospels under the names of their users
X. Infancy Gospels / Oscar Cullmann
General Introduction
1. The Protevangelium of James
2. The Infancy Story of Thomas
3. Gnostic Legends
4. Later Infancy Gospels
a) Extracts from the Arabic Infancy Gospel
b) Extracts from the Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew
c) Extract from the Latin Infancy Gospel in the Arundel Manuscript
d) Extract from the Life of John according to Serapion
XI. The Relatives of Jesus / Wolfgang A. Bienert
XII. The Work and Sufferings of Jesus
1. The Witness of Josephus (Testimonium Flavianum) / Wolfgang A. Bienert
2. The Abgar Legend / Han J.W. Drijvers
3. The Gospel of Nicodemus. Acts of Pilate and Christ’s Descent into Hell / Felix Scheidweiler
4. The Gospel of Bartholomew / Felix Scheidweiler and Wilhelm Schneemelcher
a) The Questions of Bartholomew
b) Coptic Bartholomew Texts
5. The Gospel of Gamaliel / M.-A. van den Oudenrijn

Volume II: Writing Related to the Apostles, Apocalypse and Related Subjects


B. Writings Relating to the Apostles
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher

XIII. The Picture of the Apostle in early Christian Tradition / Wolfgang A. Bienert
1. The concept of the Apostle in primitive Christianity
2. The Apostles as bearers of the tradition and mediators of revelation
3. ‘Apostolic’ as a norm for orthodoxy
XIV. Apostolic Pseudepigrapha
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. The Kerygma Petri / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
2. The Epistle to the Laodicians / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
3. The Correspondence Between Seneca and Paul / Cornelia Römer
4. The Pseudo-Titus Epistle / Aurelio de Santos Otero
XV. Second and Third-Century Acts of Apostles
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher and Knut Schäferdiek
1. The Acts of Andrew / Jean-Marc Prieur and Wilhelm Schneemelcher
2. The Acts of John / Knut Schäferdiek
Appendix / Ruairi ó hUiginn
3. The Acts of Paul / Wilhelm Schneemelcher and Rodolphe Kasser
4. The Acts of Peter / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
5. The Acts of Thomas / Han J.W. Drijvers
XVI. The Acts of Peter and the Twelve Apostles / Hans-Martin Schenke
XVII. Later Acts of Apostles / Aurelio de Santos Otero
XVIII. The Pseudo-Clementines / Johannes Irmscher and Georg Strecker
1. Introductory Writings
2. The Clement Romance
3. Kerygma Petrou

C. Apocalypses and Related Subjects
Introduction / Philipp Vielhauer and Georg Strecker

XIX. Apocalyptic in Early Christianity
Introduction / Philipp Vielhauer and Georg Strecker
1. The Ascension of Isaiah / C. Detlef G. Müller
2. Apocalypse of Peter / C. Detlef G. Müller
XX. Apocalyptic Prophecy in the Early Church
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. The Fifth and Sixth Books of Ezra / Hugo Duensing and Aurelio de Santos Otero
2. Christian Sibyllines / Ursula Treu
3. The Book of Elchasai / Johannes Irmscher
XXI. Later Apocalypses
Introduction / Wilhelm Schneemelcher
1. The Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Paul / Wolf-Peter Funk
2. The Coptic Gnostic Apocalypse of Peter / Andreas Werner
3. Apocalypse of Paul / Hugo Duensing and Aurelio de Santos Otero
4. Apocalypse of Thomas / Aurelio de Santos Otero

Index of Biblical Passages
Index of Names and Subjects

Endorsements and Reviews

The improvements over the previous editions are evident. The general introduction to the volume has been thoroughly revised. Here and in the revised introductions to the individual writings and updated bibliographies, the reader will find lucid accounts of the results and questions of the intensive and exciting scholarly debate of the last two decades. Moreover, the volume has been reliably and brilliantly translated by Professor R. McL. Wilson, the most eminent and distinguished scholar in the research on apocryphal and gnostic materials.
Professor Helmut Koester, Harvard University