The Apocryphal New Testament (1924)

For works with similar titles, see The Apocryphal New Testament.
The Apocryphal New Testament  (1924) 
edited by
Montague Rhodes James,
translated by
Montague Rhodes James











Litt.D., F.B.A., F.S.A.





Oxford University Press


New YorkTorontoMelbourneCape Town


Humphrey Milford Publisher to the University

Printed in England


Object of this collection xi
Existence and purpose of the apocryphal writings. Their inadequacy. Their importance and interest xii
The meaning and use of the words apocrypha and apocryphal xiii
Homer’s Apocryphal New Testament, misleading and unoriginal, based on a false view of the history of the Canon. The true state of the case xiv
The test of Canonicity, viz. use of books in public worship of Catholic congregations. Books which were so used but failed to obtain permanent recognition xvii
This collection not absolutely complete. Classes of writings not included in it: Gnostic Apocrypha, Books of Church Order, Liturgies, the Clementine literature, The Pseudo-Dionysian writings, books bearing names of Old Testament worthies, other late and unimportant compositions xxii
Note.—Titles are italicized in the case of texts of which an abstract, not a full translation, is given.
The Gospel according to the Hebrews 1
The Gospel of the Ebionites 8
The Gospel according to the Egyptians 10
The Gospel of Philip 12
The Gospel or Traditions of Matthias 12
The Gospel of Peter (ancient testimonies) 13
The Gospel of Thomas (ancient testimonies) 14
The Preaching of Peter 16
The Birth of Mary 19
The Lesser Questions of Mary 20
The Ascents of James and other lost books 20
The Memoria of the Apostles 21
Lists of Apocryphal Books:  
The Gelasian Decree 21
The List of the Sixty Books 23
The Stichometry of Nicephorus 23
The Synopsis of Pseudo-Athanasius 24
FRAGMENTS OF GOSPELS, ETC., preserved in manuscripts discovered in recent years:
A. Greek Fragments:
The Fayoum Gospel-fragment 25
The Oxyrhynchus Sayings of Jesus 25
Fragment of a Gospel 28
Fragment of another Gospel 29
B. Coptic Fragments:
The Strasburg papyrus 30
Fragment preserved with the Pistis Sophia 31
Fragment preserved with the Acts of Paul 31
A. Agrapha found as additions to the text of the Gospels 33
A. The Freer-logion 34
B. Agrapha preserved in quotations 34
The Book of James, or Protevangelium 38
The Gospel of Thomas. Greek text A 49
Greek text B 55
Latin text 58
Appendixes to the Gospel of Thomas. I. From the Pistis Sophia 66
II. Miracles of the Dyer, The Children in the Oven, The Boy in the Tower 66
The Liber de Infantia, or Gospel of Pseudo-Matthew 70
The Gospel of the Birth of Mary 79
The Arabic Gospel of the Infancy 80
The Armenian Gospel of the Infancy 83
The History of Joseph the Carpenter, or Death of Joseph 84
Coptic Lives, &c., of the Virgin 87
Discourse by Evodius? 87
Discourse of Cyril of Jerusalem 87
Discourse of Demetrius of Antioch 88
Discourse of Cyril of Alexandria 88
A modern Infancy Gospel, and other modern forgeries 89
The Gospel of Peter, Fragment I 90
The Gospel of Nicodemus, or Acts of Pilate 94
Part I 96
Part II. The Descent into Hell. Latin text A 117
Greek 119
Latin text B 119
Letter of Pilate to Claudius 146
Coptic Narratives of the Ministry and Passion: thirteen fragments 147
The Book of the Cock 150
An Ethiopic fragment 151
Other Appendixes to the Acts of Pilate 153
Letter of Pilate to Tiberius 153
Report and Paradosis of Pilate 153
Letters of Pilate and Herod 155
Letter of Tiberius to Pilate 156
The Death of Pilate 157
The Vengeance or Avenging of the Saviour 159
The Story of Joseph of Arimathaea 161
The Gospel of Bartholomew 166
The Book of the Resurrection of Christ by Bartholomew 181
The Book of John the Evangelist 187
The Assumption of the Virgin 194
Coptic Texts. The Narrative of Evodius 194
The Discourse of Cyril of Jerusalem 197
The Discourse of Theodosius 198
A Sahidic fragment 200
Greek Narrative, of John the Evangelist 201
of John of Thessalonica 209
Latin Narrative of Pseudo-Melito 209
of Joseph of Arimathaea 216
Syriac Narratives. 1. The Six (Five) Books 219
2, 2a. Fragmentary Narratives 222
3. The History of the Virgin 222
4. Obsequies of the Virgin 224
ACTS 228
The Acts of John 228
The Banishment 228
The Episode of Lycomedes 229
The Temple of Artemis 236
The Parricide 239
The Partridge 241
The Episode of Drusiana 242
The Discourse of John concerning the Lord 250
The Latin episodes. Atticus and Eugenius 257
Aristodemus: the Poison-cup 262
The Greek fragment from Oxyrhynchus 264
The fragment in the Epistle of Titus 266
The Death of John 266
The Acts of Paul 270
The Episode of Panchares 271
The Story of Thecla 272
The Episode of Hermocrates of Myra 281
The Episode of Sidon 284
The Episode of Tyre 285
The Episode of Frontina 287
The Correspondence with Corinth (Third Epistle to the Corinthians) 288
The Fight with Beasts at Ephesus 291
The Prophecies of Cleobius and Myrte 293
The Martyrdom 293
Unplaced and Uncertain Fragments 297
The Acts of Peter 300
The Coptic Fragment 300
The Gardener’s Daughter 303
The Vercelli Acts 304
The Martyrdom (330) 332
The Acts of Andrew 337
The Miracles, by Gregory of Tours 337
Detached fragments of the Acts 349
Fragment of Andrew’s discourse in prison 350
The Martyrdom 357
The Acts of Thomas 364
i. The Sale, and the Wedding Feast 365
ii. The Palace in Heaven 371
  Note by Professor Burkitt 378
iii. The Serpent 378
iv. The Ass’s Colt 383
v. The Devil and the Woman 385
vi. The Youth that murdered the Woman 388
vii. The Captain (Siphor) 393
viii. The Wild Asses 396
ix. Mygdonia the wife of Charisius 402
  The Hymn of the Soul 411
x. The Baptism of Mygdonia 417
xi. Tertia the wife of Misdaeus 422
xii. Iuzanes the son of Misdaeus 425
  The Prayer of Thomas 428
xiii. The Baptism of Iuzanes and the rest 430
(xiv). The Martyrdom 434
The Acts of Philip 439
i. The Widow 439
ii. At Athens 439
iii. In Parthia 442
iv. The daughter of Nicocleides 442
v. At Nicatera 443
vi. Ireus and Aristarchus 444
vii. Nerkela and Ireus 446
viii. The Leopard and the Kid 446
ix. The Dragon slain 447
xv. The Martyrdom 448
  The Syriac Act 450
The Acts of Andrew and Matthias (Matthew) 453
The Acts of Peter and Andrew 458
The Martyrdom of Matthew 460
The Apostolic History of Pseudo-Abdias 462
Book I. Peter. Book II. Paul. Book III. Andrew. Book IV. James the Great 462
Book V. John 464
Book VI. (a) James the Less 464
Book VI. (b) Simon and Jude 464
Book VII. Matthew 466
Book VIII. Bartholomew 467
Book IX. Thomas 468
Book X. Philip 469
Acts of John by Prochorus: Syriac History of John 469
Acts of Barnabas, of James the Great, of Thomas 470
Acts and Passions of Peter and Paul 470
Acts of Thaddaeus, of disciples of the Apostles 471
On the Oriental Acts, Coptic, Arabic, and Ethiopic 471
Acts of Andrew and Paul 472
Fragmentary story of Andrew 473
Slavonic Acts of Peter 474
The Letters of Christ and Abgarus 476
The Letter of Lentulus 477
The Epistle to the Laodiceans 478
A fragment, perhaps of an Epistle 479
The correspondence of Paul and Seneca 480
The Epistle of the Apostles 485
The Apocalypse of Peter 505
A. Ancient Quotations 506
B. The Akhmim Fragment (or Fragment II of the Gospel of Peter) 507
C. The Bodleian Leaf 510
D. The Ethiopic Text 510
E. Appendix. The Sibylline Oracles II, 190–338 521
The Apocalypse of Paul 525
The Apocalypse of Thomas 555
A. Text of Verona and Munich MSS. (Wilhelm) 556
B. Text of Munich and Vienna MSS. (Bihlmeyer) 559
The Apocalypse of the Virgin. A. Greek 563
B. Ethiopic 563
The Revelation of Stephen 564
Of Apocryphal Writings mentioned 569
Of Writers cited. I. Ancient and Mediaeval 572
Of Writers cited. II. Modern 573
Of Proper Names. I. Persons 574
Of Proper Names. II. Places 579
Of Subjects 581


References to less important works will be found in the body of the book, Antiquated publications are omitted.


Fabricius, Jo. Albert. Codex Apocryphus Novi Testamenti. 8vo. 3 vols. in 2. Hamburg, 1719, 1743.
The first really good book: still indispensable.

Thilo, Jo. Car. Codex Apocryphus N. T. Vol. I (all published). Leipzig, 1832.
Excellent commentaries.

Tischendorf, Const. Evangelia Apocrypha. Ed. 2. 1876.

——— (Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha. 1851. Superseded: see below.)

——— Apocalypses Apocryphae. 1866. (Apoc. of Paul. Assumption of the Virgin.)

Hennecke, Edgar (and others). Neutestamentliche Apokryphen. 1904. Introductions and translations.

——— Handbuch zu den NTlichen Apokryphen. 1904. Commentaries and notes.


Preuschen, E. Antilegomena. Giessen, 1901.
Evelyn Waite, H. G. The Sayings of Jesus from Oxyrhynchus. Cambridge, 1920.
Resch, A. Agrapha, 1889, &c. Both in Texte und Untersuchungen
Ropes, J. H. Die Sprüche Jesu. 1896
(Select Agrapha.)


Amann, E. Le Protévangile de Jacques et ses remaniements latins. 1910. In Les Apocryphes du N. T., Bousquet and Amann. Full commentary.

Michel, C., and Peeters, P. Évangiles apocryphes I. 1911. (Protev. and History of Joseph.)

——— Évangiles apocryphes II. 1914. (Syriac, Arabic, and Armenian Infancy-Gospels): in Textes et Documents, Hemmer and Lejay.

Swete, H. B. Gospel of Peter. Macmillan, 1893.

Bonwetsch, N. Die apokryphen Fragen des Bartholomäus. Göttinger Nachr., Philos.-Philol. Kl. 1897. (Greek and Slavonic).

Wilmart, Dom A., and Tisserant, E. Fragments grecs et latins de l’Évangile de Barthélemy. Revue Biblique, 1913.

Moricca, U. Un nuovo testo dell’ Evangelo di Bartolommeo. (The complete Latin version.) Ibid. 1921–2.

Robinson, Forbes. Coptic Apocryphal Gospels. Cambridge, 1896. In Texts and Studies.

Revillout, E. Apocryphes coptes. In Patrologia Orientalis, Graffin and Nau. II. fase. 2, IX. fase. 2.

Lacau, P. Fragments d’Apocryphes coptes. Mém. de l’Inst. Archéol. du Caire. 1904.

Budge, Sir E. A. Wallis. Coptic Apocrypha.

——— Coptic Martyrdoms.

——— Miscellaneous Texts.

British Museum, 1912, 1914, 1915. (Containing the Book of Bartholomew, Apoc. of Paul, &c.)


Dobschütz, E. von. Christusbilder, 1899. (Texte u. Untersuchungen.)


(Tischendorf, C. Apocalypses Apocr., above.)

Wright, W. Contributions to the Apocryphal Literature of the N.T. 1865.

Lewis, Mrs. A. S. Apocrypha Arabica. (Studia Sinaitica XI.) Cambridge, 1902.

Budge, Sir E. A. W. History of the B.V.M., &c. 1899. In Luzac’s Semitic Text and Transl. Series.


Lipsius, R. A. Die apokryphen Apostelgeschichten, 1883. Supplement, 1890. (4 vols.) Studies of the literature.

(Tischendorf, C. Acta Apost. Apocr., 1851, is superseded by)

Lipsius, R. A., and Bonnet, Max. Acta Apostolorum Apocrypha.
I. Peter, Paul and Thecla, Thaddaeus. 1891.
II. 1. (Bonnet.) Andrew, Bartholomew, John, Matthew. 1898.
II. 2. Philip, Thomas, Barnabas. 1903.

Zahn, Th. Acta Joannis. Erlangen, 1880.
(The complete text of Prochorus.)

Schmidt, C. Acta Pauli. 1904. The Coptic text, &c.

——— Die alten Petrusakten. 1903. In Texte und Untersuchungen. Has the Coptic fragment, and an important study of the whole subject.

Vouaux, L. Les Actes de Paul et ses lettres apocryphes. 1913.

——— Les Actes de Pierre. 1922.
Both in Les Apocryphes du N. T.

Flamion, J. Les Actes apocryphes de l’Apôtre André. Louvain, 1911. A study of these Acts.

Wright, W. Apocryphal Acts of the Apostles (Syriac). 2 vols. Text and translation. 1871.

Budge, Sir E. A. W. Contendings of the Apostles (Ethiopic). 2 vols. Text and translation. 1901.

Lewis, Mrs. A. S. The Mythological Acts of the Apostles (Arabic). Horae Semiticae IV. Cambridge, 1904.


Dobschütz, E. von. Christusbilder, 1899. (Above.)

Vouaux, L. Actes de Paul, above.

Guerrier, L. Testament de N.-S.en Galilée. (Epistle of the Apostles, Ethiopic.) In Patrologia Orientalis IX, fase. 3. 1913.

Schmidt, C. Gespräche Jesu mit seinen Jüngern, &c. (Epistle of the Apostles.) In Texte u. Unters. 1919.


James, M. R. A new text of the Apocalypse of Peter, Journal of Theol. Studies, 1910–11.

——— Apocrypha Anecdota I (Texts and Studies). Cambridge, 1893. (Apoe. of Paul, Latin, and of the Virgin.)


Schmidt, C. Koptisch-gnostische Schriften I. (Pistis Sophia, Books of Jeû.) 1905.

Schwartze and Petermann’s earlier edition of the Pistis Sophia has a Latin version.

The Teaching of the Apostles (Didache), ed. Harnack 1886, Funk 1887, &c.

The Apostolic Church Order. Ed. Bickell, Geschichte des Kirchenrechts, 1843

The Didascalia. Bunsen, Analecta Ante-Nicaena. 1854.

——— Gibson, Mrs. Horae Semiticae I. 1903.

——— Hauler, E. Fragmenta Veronensia. 1900.

The Apostolic Constitutions. Ed. F. X. Funk, 1905.

The Testament of our Lord. Cooper and Maclean, 1902.

Clementine Literature. Homilies. Lagarde, 1865.

——— Recognitions. Gersdorf, 1838.

English translations of some of the above will be found in T. & T. Clark’s Ante-Nicene Christian Library.

Lives of John Baptist. Ed. F. Nau. Patrologia Orientalis IV, fasc. 5.

Gospel of Barnabas. Ed. L. and L. Ragg. Oxford, 1907.

Sibylline Oracles. J. Geffcken. Berlin, 1902.

This work is in the public domain in the United States because it was published before January 1, 1928.

The longest-living author of this work died in 1936, so this work is in the public domain in countries and areas where the copyright term is the author's life plus 86 years or less. This work may be in the public domain in countries and areas with longer native copyright terms that apply the rule of the shorter term to foreign works.