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Author Topic: THE APOCALYPSE OF PAUL  (Read 1268 times)

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patrick jane

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« on: August 20, 2020, 11:25:23 am »
The Gnostic Society Library
The Nag Hammadi Library

The Apocalypse of Paul
Translated by George W. MacRae and William R. Murdock

[...] the road. And he spoke to him, saying, "By which road shall I go up to Jerusalem?" The little child replied, saying, "Say your name, so that I may show you the road". The little child knew who Paul was. He wished to make conversation with him through his words in order that he might find an excuse for speaking with him.

The little child spoke, saying, "I know who you are, Paul. You are he who was blessed from his mother`s womb. For I have come to you that you may go up to Jerusalem to your fellow apostles. And for this reason you were called. And I am the Spirit who accompanies you. Let your mind awaken, Paul, with [...]. For [...] whole which [...] among the principalities and these authorities and archangels and powers and the whole race of demons, [...] the one that reveals bodies to a soul-seed."

And after he brought that speech to an end, he spoke, saying to me, "Let your mind awaken, Paul, and see that this mountain upon which you are standing is the mountain of Jericho, so that you may know the hidden things in those that are visible. Now it is to the twelve apostles that you shall go, for they are elect spirits, and they will greet you." He raised his eyes and saw them greeting him.

Then the Holy Spirit who was speaking with him caught him up on high to the third heaven, and he passed beyond to the fourth heaven. The Holy Spirit spoke to him, saying, "Look and see your likeness upon the earth." And he looked down and saw those who were upon the earth. He stared and saw those who were upon the [...]. Then he gazed down and saw the twelve apostles at his right and at his left in the creation; and the Spirit was going before them.

But I saw in the fourth heaven according to class - I saw the angels resembling gods, the angels bringing a soul out of the land of the dead. They placed it at the gate of the fourth heaven. And the angels were whipping it. The soul spoke, saying, "What sin was it that I committed in the world?" The toll-collector who dwells in the fourth heaven replied, saying, "It was not right to commit all those lawless deeds that are in the world of the dead". The soul replied, saying, "Bring witnesses! Let them show you in what body I committed lawless deeds. Do you wish to bring a book to read from?"

And the three witnesses came. The first spoke, saying, "Was I not in the body the second hour [...]? I rose up against you until you fell into anger and rage and envy." And the second spoke, saying, "Was I not in the world? And I entered at the fifth hour, and I saw you and desired you. And behold, then, now I charge you with the murders you committed." The third spoke, saying, "Did I not come to you at the twelfth hour of the day when the sun was about to set? I gave you darkness until you should accomplish your sins." When the soul heard these things, it gazed downward in sorrow. And then it gazed upward. It was cast down. The soul that had been cast down went to a body which had been prepared for it. And behold, its witnesses were finished.

Then I gazed upward and saw the Spirit saying to me, "Paul, come! Proceed toward me!". Then as I went, the gate opened, and I went up to the fifth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me while the Spirit accompanied us. And I saw a great angel in the fifth heaven holding an iron rod in his hand. There were three other angels with him, and I stared into their faces. But they were rivalling each other, with whips in their hands, goading the souls on to the judgment. But I went with the Spirit and the gate opened for me.

Then we went up to the sixth heaven. And I saw my fellow apostles going with me, and the Holy Spirit was leading me before them. And I gazed up on high and saw a great light shining down on the sixth heaven. I spoke, saying to the toll-collector who was in the sixth heaven, "Open to me and the Holy Spirit who is before me." He opened to me.

Then we went up to the seventh heaven, and I saw an old man [...] light and whose garment was white. His throne, which is in the seventh heaven, was brighter than the sun by seven times. The old man spoke, saying to me, "Where are you going, Paul? O blessed one and the one who was set apart from his mother`s womb." But I looked at the Spirit, and he was nodding his head, saying to me, "Speak with him!". And I replied, saying to the old man, "I am going to the place from which I came." And the old man responded to me, "Where are you from?" But I replied, saying, "I am going down to the world of the dead in order to lead captive the captivity that was led captive in the captivity of Babylon." The old man replied to me saying, "How will you be able to get away from me? Look and see the principalities and authorities." The Spirit spoke, saying, "Give him the sign that you have, and he will open for you." And then I gave him the sign. He turned his face downwards to his creation and to those who are his own authorities.

And then the <seventh> heaven opened and we went up to the Ogdoad. And I saw the twelve apostles. They greeted me, and we went up to the ninth heaven. I greeted all those who were in the ninth heaven, and we went up to the tenth heaven. And I greeted my fellow spirits.


The Apocalypse of Paul

Original translation of this text was prepared by members of the
Coptic Gnostic Library Project of the Institute for Antiquity and Christianity, Claremont Graduate School.
The Coptic Gnostic Library Project was funded by UNESCO, the National Endowment for the Humanities, and other Institutions.
E. J. Brill has asserted copyright on texts published by the Coptic Gnostic Library Project.

The translation presented here has been edited, modified and formatted for use in the Gnostic Society Library.
For academic citation, please refer to published editions of this text.


| Nag Hammadi Library | Gnostic Society Library | Gnosis Archive |

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patrick jane

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« Reply #1 on: August 20, 2020, 11:30:13 am »
Information on the Apocalypse of Paul
Hugo Duensing, as revised by Aurelio de Santos Otero, writes concerning the citations of this text (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2., pp. 712-713):


In his Nomocanon (VII 9) Barhebraeus introduces a quotation from Origen according to which the Apocalypse of Paul, with other apocalypses and also other early Christian writings enumerated there, was accepted by the Church. If this quotation is not altered, with Zahn, to read Peter instead of Paul, and so is accepted as genuine as it stands, then one might also assume acquaintance at least with the material of our apocalypse in his Homil. in Psalmos (ed. Lommatzsch XII. 233), where he gives a description of the destiny of souls after death which is closely related with chs. 13ff. of the Apocalypse of Paul.

That he cannot in any case have had our recension before him follows not only on grounds of content but also from Sozomen (Hist. eccl. VII 19, ed. Bidez-Hansen, GCS 50, 1960, 331) who says of the Apocalypse of Paul that none of the ancients knew it; rather it was allegedly found under the emperor of the time, by which he alludes to the story of its discovery which it contains, but after inquiry from an ancient presbyter in Tarsus it turned out to be a fraud.

If Origen knew a document of the same title, it could not have beenthe apocalypse in the form in which we now have it. We find a more reliable witness to its existence in Augustine (In Ioh. tract. 98.8, ed. R. Willems, CChrSL 36, 1954, 581), who says that some have concocted an Apocalypse of Paul which the true church does not accept. And when in the Enchiridion (112-113, CChrSL 46, 109f.) he discusses the idea of the relaxation of the lot of the damned souls on the day of the Lord, he will have drawn that from our document; for at almost the same time (around 402) Prudentius produces this conception in his Cathemerinon (V. 125ff., ed. J. Bergman, CSEl 61, 1926, 30). In the Decretum Gelasianum the Apocalypse of Paul appears among the apocryphal books which are not accepted (ed. v. Dobschütz, TU 38.4, 1912, 12).

Later testimonies only evidence continued knowledge of this apocryphon and the eventual exstension of its influence.

The internal evidence may be taken to suggest a late fourth century date (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 713):

in 2 Cor. 12 Paul tells of being caught up into Paradise and this gave someone who was familiar with the apocalyptic tradition the opportunity of putting in Paul's mouth what he himself knew or thought about the next world. He gets over the difficulty that Paul had described what he heard as unutterable by distinguishing between some things which Paul could not tell and others which he was permitted to relate (cf. ch. 21). The introductory report of the discovery of these important revelations serves to explain how it happened that they were not made public earlier, possibly even in the time of Paul himself. If this account comes form the (first) author himself the date of the work is fixed as the end of the 4th or beginning of the 5th century. In any case the recension which we have must date from that period.

So might the allusions made to other texts in the Apocalypse of Paul (New Testament Apocrypha, vol. 2, p. 715):

It is clear that he knew the contents of the Apocalypse of Peter; this is seen above all in the description of the places of punishment and especially in that for those gulity of abortion; this conclusion would be quite incontrovertible if the Coptic has preserved the original ending, in which after his heavenly journey Paul returns to the circle of the apostles gathered on the Mount of Olives. The author would then understandably have altered his source only in so far as he replaces Clement, as in the Apocalypse of Peter, by Paul's disciples Mark and Timothy as those who wrote down what Paul saw. Other borrowings are Lake Acherusia (cf. supra), the encounter with the Patriarchs, the fiery stream, the angel Tartaruchus or Temeluchus.

The ferrying over Lake Acherusia occurs also in the Apocalypse of Zephaniah (G. Steindorff, TU 17.3a, 1899); in it we have also the recording angel with the manuscript (chirographon - agreeing in the Greek expression!) and the encounter with all the righteous in the heavenly world, in particular with the Patriarchs, Enoch, Elijah and David. There is a striking contact with the Apocalypse of Elijah (TU 17.3a) at the very beginning in ch. 3, where with very little variation the sentence is repeated 'The word of the Lord came to me thus: 'O son of man, say to this people, "why do you heap sin on sin and anger God the Lord, who made you?".'" (Steindorff, 155; Schrage, 231)

If the additional material at the end of the Coptic is original, then the author copied from the Apocalypse of Zephaniah, where it says, "Be strong that you may conquer and be mighty that you may overcome the accuser and come up out of the underworld." (Steindorff, 170; cf. ibid. p. 55, ch. 12, lines 12ff. of the Apocalypse of Elijah, and p.l 153: "Be triumphant and strong, for you are strong and are overcoming the accuser and coming up out of the underworld and the abyss." Cf. also the last four lines on the same page.) Casey (pp. 22ff.) draws attention to an agreement with Slavonic Enoch, chs. 8-9 (Morfil-Charles, pp. 7-9), in the description of Paradise; James (P. 552 n. 1) likewise draws attention to a contact with the Testament of Job. It is impossible to say from where the author may have drawn his fantastic representation of the colossal fruitfulness of eternity (ch. 22), which corresponds with the description of Papias (in Irenaeus, V 33. 3f.). All these borrowings render a later date probable.

This text has no connection to the Coptic Apocalypse of Paul discovered at Nag Hammadi.

Some Contemporary Texts
Gospel of Mani (250-274 A.D.)
Teachings of Silvanus (250-300 A.D.)
Excerpt from the Perfect Discourse (250-300 A.D.)
Coptic Apocalypse of Elijah (250-350 A.D.)
Apocalypse of Paul (250-400 A.D.)
Pope Cornelius (251-253 A.D.)
Novatian (251-258 A.D.)
Pope Stephen (254-257 A.D.)
Dionysius of Rome (259-268 A.D.)

patrick jane

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« Reply #2 on: August 22, 2020, 10:55:13 pm »
Didn't know about this


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