The apocalypse of Peter.

An apocryphal apocalypse.


Attributed author(s).
Peter.

Text(s) available.
NT Gateway: Apocalypse of Peter (Greek only; in .doc format).
Early Christian Writings: Apocalypse of Peter (English only).

Useful links.
Apocalypse of Peter at Early Christian Writings.
Apocrypha in the Catholic Encyclopedia.

The apocalypse of Peter did not make it into the canon, but it was highly respected in some quarters of the early church. The Muratorian canon ranks it as an accepted book, while acknowledging that some in the churches do not accept it.

At least parts of this text are preserved in two divergent recensions, to wit, a Greek version (the Akhmm fragment) and an Ethiopic version.

Clement of Alexandria, Eclogues 41:

Η γραφη φησι τα βρεφη τα εκτεθεντα τημελουχω παραδιδοσθαι αγγελω, υφ ου παιδευεσθαι τε και αυξειν· και εσονται, φησιν, ως οι εκατον ετων ενταυθα πιστοι· διο και Πετρος εν τη αποκαλυψει φησι· Και αστραπη πυρος πηδωσα απο των βρεφων εκεινων και πλησσουσα τους οφθαλμους των γυναικων.

The scripture says that the children which have been exposed are delivered to a caretaking angel, by whom they are educated and made to grow up; and they shall be, it says, as the faithful of a hundred years old are here. Wherefore also Peter in the apocalypse says: And a lightning flash of fire leaping from those children and smiting the eyes of the women.

Clement of Alexandria, Eclogues 48:

Αυτικα ο Πετρος εν τη αποκαλυψει φησιν τα βρεφη εξαμβλωθεντα της αμεινονος εσομενα πειρας, ταυτα αγγελω τημελουχω παραδιδοσθαι, ινα γνωσεως μεταλαβοντα της αμεινονος τυχη μονης, παθοντα α αν επαθεν και εν σωματι γενομενα· τα δ ετερα μονης της σωτηριας τευξεται, ως ηδικημενα ελεηθεντα, και μενει ανευ κολασεως, τουτο γερας λαβοντα.

For example, Peter in the apocalypse says that the children born out of due time who would have been of the better part, these are delivered to a caretaking angel, so that they may partake of knowledge and obtain the better abode, having already suffered what they would have suffered had they been in the body. But the others shall obtain salvation alone, as having been injured and been shown mercy, and they shall remain without torment, receiving that as a reward.

Clement of Alexandria, Eclogues 49:

Το δε γαλα των γυναικων, ρεον απο των μαστων και πηγνυμενον, φησιν ο Πετρος εν τη αποκαλυψει, γεννησει θηρια λεπτα σαρκοφαγα, και ανατρεχοντα εις αυτας κατεσθιει, δια τας αμαρτιας γινεσθαι τας κολασεις διδασκων.

But the milk of the women, flowing from the breasts and congealing, says Peter in the apocalypse, shall beget small flesheating beasts, and these run upon them and devour them, teaching that the torments happen on account of the sins.

Methodius, Symposium 2.6:

Οθεν δη και τημελουχοις αγγελοις, καν εκ μοιχειας ωσι, τα αποτικτομενα παραδιδοσθαι παρειληφαμεν εν θεοπνευστοις γραμμασιν.

From which also we have received in the inspired writings that those who are begotten, even if it be in adultery, are delivered over to caretaking angels.

Macarius Magnes, Apocritica 4.6-7, citing an opponent of Christianity (English only; I do not yet have the Greek text of this passage):

And by way of superfluity let this also be cited which is said in the apocalypse of Peter. He introduces heaven to be judged along with the earth thus; the earth, he says, shall present all men to God to be judged in the day of judgment being itself also to be judged along with the heaven that encompasses it. And this again he says, which is a statement full of impiety: And every power of heaven shall be melted, and the heaven shall be rolled up like a book, and all the stars shall fall like leaves from the vine, and as the leaves from the fig tree.*

* No extant text of the apocalypse of Peter contains such a text; rather, the source appears to be Isaiah 34.4.