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Various apocryphal writings were, in the earlier periods of the Church, circulated under the name of the Apostle Peter.

1. Κατὰ Πέτρου Εὐαγγέλιον,

This is mentioned by Origen Commentar. in Matthaeum, tom. xi.), b>y Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 3.3, 25, 6.12), by Jerome (De Viris Illustrib. 100.1), by Theodoret (Haeret. Fabul. Compend. 2.2), who confounds it with the Euangelium Nazaraneorum, or Gospel used by the Nazarenes; and, according to two MSS., but not according to the printed editions by Pope Gelasius (Decretum de Libris Apocryphis.) This Euangelium Petri must not be confounded with the Euangelium Infantiae, which an Oriental tradition ascribes to Peter; and still less with the canonical Gospel of Mark, which has sometimes been named after Peter, because supposed to have been written under his direction. The apocryphal Gospel of Peter is not extant. Serapion of Antioch, a Christian writer near the close of the second century, wrote a refutation of the fables contained in it, by which some Christians at Rhossus in Syria had been led into heresy. Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.12) quotes a passage of this work of Serapion. (Fabric. Cod. Apocryph. p. 137.)

2. Πράξεις Πέτρου,

This work, is mentioned by Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 2.3), by Jerome (l.e.), by Isidore of Pelusium (Epistol. 2.99), and apparently by Philastrius (De Haeres. lxxxvii.), who speaks of an apocryphal work of Peter as received by the Manichaeans. It is not unlikely that these Acta Petri were substantially identical with or incorporated in the Recognitiones Clementiae [CLEMENS ROMANUS]; for Photius (Biblioth. codd. 112, 113) states that many copies of the Recognitiones were preceded by an introductory letter to james, the Lord's brother (Ἐπιστολἠ πρὸς τὸν ἀδελφόθεον Ἰάκωβον, Epistola ad Fratrem Domini Jacobum), of which there were two copies, one as from the Apostle Peter, stating that he had himself written his Πράξεις, Acta, and sent the to James, who had requested to have them; the other, as from Clement, stating that he had written the Acta at the command of Peter. Photius conjectured, with apparent reason, that there were two editions or copies of the Acta Petri, of which the one written as by himself had been lost, while the other, which was either the same with the Recognitiones, or was incorporated in them, had been generally diffused. There is some room, however, to doubt the identity of the lost edition with the work mentioned by Eusebius and the other ancient writers. (Comp. Grabe, Spicilegium, vol. i. p. 78.)


just mentioned. Turrianus, in his Apologia pro Epistolis Pontificum, published (lib. 4. c.1, and lib. 5. c.23) a letter of Peter to James, which Cotelerius. in his Patres Apostolici, prefixed to the Clementina s. Homilicae Clementinae. a work which Cave appears justly to characterize as only another edition or form of the Recognitiones. We consider the Ἐπιστολὴ πρὸς Ἰάκωβον, Epistola ad Jacolbum, published by Turrianus and Cotelerius, to be the one mentioned by Photius; though Fabricins, who has reprinted it in his Codex Apocryphus N.T. vol. ii. p. 997, &c. regards it as a different one.

4. Πέτρου ἀποκάλυψις,

This work is mentioned by Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 3.3), Jerome (l.c.), Sozomen (H. E. 7.19), and in some copies of the Stichometria subjoined to the Chronographia of Nicephorus of Constantinople. It was cited by the heretic Theodotus, as appears from a passage in the Ὑποτυπώσεις, Hypotyposes of Clemens of Alexandria, noticed by Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 6.14). Sozomen (l.c.) states that the work was, in his time, read once a year in some of the churches in Palestine. A passage in Latin, cited by Jacobus de Vitriaco in the thirteenth cetury, as from the Apocalypsis Petri (apud Grabe. Spicileyium, vol. i. p. 76), must be from a much later work than that noticed by Clement, Eusebius, and Jerome, for it bears internal evidence of having been written after the rise of Mohammedanism.

5. Πέτρου κήρυγμα,

Mentioned by Clement of Alexandria (Stromat. libb. i. vi.), Eusebius (Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 3.3), and Jerome (l.c.,) A few fragments of this work have been collected by Grabe (Spicileg. vol. i. p. 62, &c.), from Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Lactantius, Gregory Nazianzen, and others. Dodwell supposed that the Epistola ad Jacobum (No. 3) was the introduction to the Praedicatio, but his opinion is rejected by Grabe (ibid. p. 59). The work entitled Διδασκαλία Πέτρου, Doctrina Petri, quoted by Origen (Praef. ad Libros, Πεὶ ἀρχῶν, vers. Rufini) and Damascanuse cenus (Parallel. 2.16), is probably only another name for the Praedicatio *Grabe, ibid. pp. 56, 57). The Κατήχησις Πέτρου, Catechesis Petri, formerly in the Coislin library at Paris, is also apparently the same work.


This work is mentioned by Rufinus (Erposit. Symboli) and Jerome (l.c.). Grabe suspects that no such work ever existed; but that the supposition of its existence arose from Rufinus mistaking κρμα, the abbreviation of κήρυγμα, for κρίμα and that Jerome was misled by the error of Rufinus. The work is certainly not mentioned by Eusebius.

7. θεία λειτουργία τοῦ ἁγίου ἀποστόλου Πέτρου,


This work was published in Greek, with a Latin version by Fed. Morel. Paris, 1595, and has been reprinted (sometimes in Latin only) in various editions of the Bibliotheca Patrum.

The Πέτμου περίοδοι,

mentioned repeatedly by the ancients, appear to be only so many titles for the Recognitiones of Clement. The Πέτρου καὶ Ἀπίωνος ῾ς. Ἀππίωνος᾿ διάλογοι, Petri et Apionis Disputationes Euseb. Hist. Eccl. 3.38; Hieron. De Viris Illlustr. 15), was not ascribed to Peter as its author, but to Clement of Rome. Eusebius speaks of it as a spurious work, recently produced, and not noticed by more ancient writers. Valesius (not. ad Euseb. l.c.) thinks it was a second, and now lost part of the Recognitiones.

The and the Πέτρου καὶ Παύλου τῶν ἁγίων ἀποστόλων διατάξεις,

Now or formerly extant in the Medicean library at Florence, and the Bodleian at Oxford, appear to be portions of the well-known Constitutiones Apostolicae (Grabe, Spüleg. vol. i. pp. 85, 86).

The Planctus Petri Apostoli Vicarii (Fabric. Cod. Apocryph. N. T. vol. iii. p. 721) is one of a parcel of forged documents, partly written on parchment, partly inscribed on leaden plates, professing to be Latin translations from the Arabic, which were dug up in a mountain near Granada, near the close of the sixteenth century.

The Epistola, ad Pipinum Regem Francorum et Carolum ac Carlomannum Filios ejus, written by Pope Stephen III. in the name of the Apostle Peter, soliciting aid against the Lombards, is regarded by Fabricius rather as a piece of rhetorical affectation than a fraud.


The Epistola is given by Baronius, in his Annales Ecclesiastici, ad ann. 755, xvii. &c.

Further Information

Grabe, Spicileg. SS. Patrum, vol. i. pp. 55-81; Cave, Hist. Litt. vol. i. p. 6; Fabric. Codex Apocryphus N. T. passim.

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