Page:Catholic Encyclopedia, volume 1.djvu/682

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APOCRYPHA


•worthy as emphasizing tlic close concord between the Apostolic founders of the Roman Church. The date (a. d. 55) of composition is involved in obscurity. Lipsius finds traces of our Acts as early as Hippolytus (c. 235), but it is not clear that the Fathers adduced empldvod any written source for their references to the victory over Simon Magus and the work of the Apostles at Rome. Lipsius assigns the kernel of the Martyrdom to the second century; Bardenhewer refers the whole to the first half of the third. The Acts of Peter and Paul undoubtedly embody some genuine traditions. (See Peter, St., Apostle; Paul, St.. .\postle; Simon M.\gus). — Acts of St. Paul. Origen and Eusebius expressly name the Trpdfeis Ilafxou; Tertullian speaks of writings falsely at- tributed to Paul: "Qitod fii Pauli perperam inscripta legunt." He is cautioning his readers against the tale of Thecla preaching and baptizing her- self Hitherto it was supposed that he referred to the "Acts of Paul and Thecla". The "Acta Pauli ", presumed to be a distinct composition, were deemed to have perished; but recently (1899) a Coptic papyrus MS., torn to shreds, was found in Egypt, and proves to contain approximately com- plete the identical Acts of Paul alluded to by a few ecclesiastical writers. This find ha.s established the fact that the long-known .Acts of Paul and Thecla and the apocryphal correspondence of St. Paul with the Corinthian Church, as well a.s the Martyrdom of St. Paul, are really only excerpts from the original Pauline .\cts. The newly-discovered document con- tains material hitherto vmknown as well as the above- noted sections, long extant. It begins with a pre- tended flight of St. Paul from Antioch of Pisidia, and ends with his martyrdom at Rome. The narrative rests on data in the canonical books of the New Testament, but it abounds in marvels and personages unhinted at there, and it disfigures traits of some of tho.se actually mentioned in the Sacred Writings. The .\cts of Paul, therefore, adds nothing trust- worthy to our knowledge of the .\postle of the Gentiles. Fortunately the above-cited passage of Tertullian (De Baptismo, xvii) informs us of its authorship and aim. The African writer observes that the pseudo-history was the work of a priest of Asia Minor, who on the discovery of the fraud, was deposed from an ecclesia.stical charge, and confessed that he forged the book out of love for St. Paul. Experts ascribe its composition to the second cen- tury. It was already known when Tertulhan wrote, and during the first centuries enjoyed a considerable popularity, both East and West. In fact Eusebius cla.sses it among the antilegomeiia, or works having locally quasi-canonical authority. — Acts of Paul and Thecla. The early detachment of these as well as the Martyrdom from the Acts of St. Paul may be accoimted for by ecclesiastical use as festal lections. Despite Tertullian's remark regarding this pseudo- graph, it enjoyed an immense and persistent popu- larity through the patristic period antl the Uliddle Ages. This favour is to be explained mainly by the romantic and spirited flavour of the narrative. Exceptional among the apocryphists, the author kept a curb upon his fertile imagination, and his production is distinguished by its simplicity, clear- ness, and vigour. It deals with the adventures of Thecla, a young woman of Iconium, who upon being converted by St. Paul's preaching, left lier bride- grooin and lived a life of virginity and missionary activity, becoming a companion of St. Paul, and preaclung the Gospel. She is persecuted, but miraculously escapes from the fire and the savage beasts of the arena. The relief into which abstention froiT the marriage-bed is brought in these Acts makes it difficult to escape from the conclusion that they have been coloured by Encratite ideas. Never- theless the thesis of Lijisius, sup|)orted by Cor.ssen,


that a Gnostic Grundschrift untlerlies our present document, is not accepted by Harnack, Zahn, Bard- enhewer, and others. The apocrj-phon follows the New Testament data of St. Paul's missions very loosely and is full of unhistorical characters and events. For instance, the writer introduces a journey of the .Apostles, to which there is nothing analogous in the Sacred Books. However, there are grains of historical material in the Thecla story. A Christian virgin of that name may well have been converted by St. Paul at Iconium, and suffered persecution. Gutschmid has discovered that a certain Queen Trj-- phena was an historical personage (Rheinisches Mu- seum fiir Philologie, X, 1864). (See Thecla.)— Acts of St. Philip. The extant Greek fragments supply us with all but five (10-14) of the fifteen Acts composing the work. Of these 1-7 are a farrago of various legends, each, it would seem, with an in- dependent history; S-14 is a unit, which forms a parasitic growth on the ancient but somewhat con- fused traditions of the missionary activity of an Apostle Philip in Hierapolis of Phrygia. Zahn's view, that this document is the work of an ill-informed Catholic monk of the fourth century, is a satisfactory' hy]5othesis. The largest fragment was first pub- lislied by Batifi'ol in " Analecta Bollandiana", IX (Paris, 1890). A Coptic "Acts of Phihp"is also to be noted. (See Philip, St., Apo.stle.)

There are Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, and Armenian histories of the missions and death of St. James the Greater, the son of Zebedee. Lipsius assigns the Latin to about the third century. Coptic and Armenian Acts and Martyrdom of St. James the Less depend mostly on the Hegesippus tradition, preserved by Eusebius (Hist. EccL, IV, xxii).— .4ds of St. Mat- thew. The Apostolic Acts of the Pseudo-Abdias con- tain a Latin " Passio Sancti Mattha?i ", which preserves an Abyssinian legend of St. Matthew, later than the Coptic Martyrdom noticed in connection with the Gnostic Acts of that saint. The correct historical setting indicates that the recension was the work of an Abyssinian of the sixth century, who wished to date the establishment of the Abyssinian Church (fourth century) back to the .Apostolic times. How- ever, the kernel of the narrative is drawn from older sources. The Abdias Passio places St. Matthew's mar- tyrdom in Abyssinia. (See M.\tthew, St., Apostle.) — Teaching of Addai (Thaddcus). In 1876 an ancient Syriac document, entitled "The Teaching of Addai, the Apostle", was published for the first time. It proved to closely parallel the Abgar material de- rived by Eusebius from the Edessa archives, and indeed purports to have been entrusted to those arcliives by its author, who gives his name as Labubna, the son of Senaak. It is full of legendary but in- teresting material describing the relations between Jesus and King .Abgar of Edessa. Thaddeus, or Addai, one of the seventy disciples, is sent, after the Resurrection, in compliance with Christ's ]iromise. to Abg.ar, heals the ruler and Christianizes ICdcssa with the most prompt and brilliant success. Notable is the story of the painting of ,Jesus made at the in- stance of Abgar's envoy to the former. Since the narrative of a Gaulish pilgrim who visited Edessa about 390 contains no allusion to such a picture, we may reasonably conclude that the Teaching of Addai is of later origin. Critics accept the period between 399-430. The Thaddeus legend ha.s many ramifications and has undergone a number of varia- tions. There is a Greek ".Acts of Thaddeus", which identifies Addai with Thaddeus or Lebbivus, one of the Twelve. (See .Aboau; ICdessa). — .4c/s of Simoti and Judc. .\ Latin Pansio, whidi Lipsius attributes to the fourth or fiftli century, narrates the miracles, conver.sions. and martyrdoins of tliese .Apostles. It it found in the .Vbclias collect ion. The scene is Persia and Babylonia. It has been recognized th.at tha